Whether you’re crunched for time or looking to simplify your life, a meal delivery service could be the solution you’ve been looking for. However, there’s a big difference between prepared meal delivery service (also known as pre-made meal delivery services) and meal kits. Prepared meal delivery services are made from scratch by the service you’re ordering from right before being sent to you. Whereas meal kits only send you the raw ingredients along with the recipes to make the meals.
The key benefit to premade meal delivery services, when compared to meal kits, is convenience—there’s little (if any) preparation or cooking involved.
There are many prepared meal delivery services out there and each one fits specific lifestyles. We’ve reviewed the top options currently available and laid out our favorites. Enjoy!
What It Is: With Factor Meals, you’ll enjoy chef-prepared meals delivered right to your doorstep each and every week. They give you the ability to choose from 20+ dietitian-designed meal options and Factor Meals’ gourmet chefs will do the prepping and the cooking for you. Your meals will be delivered fresh, never frozen, ready for you to reheat and eat.
The Details: Factor Meals uses only the freshest ingredients from their network of trusted ingredient suppliers. Every meal is free from gluten, refined sugars, and GMOs as well as hormones and antibiotics. Recipes are crafted by a team of culinary experts and designed by dietitians to make sure everything is packed with science-backed nutritional quality. What Factor is really known for is crafting high-quality meals that fit into the keto diet. Many of their meals are high in protein and low in carbs.
Enjoy meals like Steak with Roasted Sweet Potatoes, Mustard Salmon, or Spicy Turkey Poblano with prices starting at just $11.50 per meal. They also have a great selection of addons such as soups, juices, and even low-carb desserts (their cheesecake bites are my favorite).
Why It Made the List:
- Dietitian-designed meal plans that used high quality ingredients: grass-fed and pasture raised beef, antibiotic/hormone-free, soy-free, non-GMO, and no refined sugars.
- They offer 20+ meal options each week as well as an addon marketplace with a variety of snacks, drinks, meats, and desserts.
- Their meals fit into a wide variety of diets such as keto, paleo, dairy-free, vegetarian, and gluten-free.
Best For Diet Variety
Fresh ‘N Lean
What It Is: Fresh ‘n Lean is one of the few premade meal delivery services out there that allows you to choose a plan based on your specific diet. Their plans include: Protein+, Keto, Paleo, Standard Vegan, Low-Carb Vegan, and their Bulk plan which offers larger quantities of meats and sides.
The Details: With Fresh ‘N Lean you can feed your cravings with deliciously real food. Enjoy flavorful meal options like Sesame Miso Salmon with Steamed Broccoli or Roasted Chicken Breast with Turkey Bacon. Everything is made with high-quality ingredients, cooked to order, and vacuumed sealed to lock in freshness. In addition to meals, with any plan you can also add on a variety of snacks, drinks, and more.
Why It Made the List:
- They have the most diverse diet variety to choose from when it comes to their individual plans.
- Their meal packaging is one of a kind and unlike any other on this list. They vacuum seal everything to keep the food its freshest.
- They are one of the only pre-made meal delivery services that offers a bulk plan, perfect for bodybuilders.
Best For Fitness Enthusiasts
What It Is: Trifecta Nutrition makes it easy to eat well for those who train hard. This premade meal delivery service gives you the food, the advice, and the community support you need to meet your fitness goals. In fact, they're one of our favorite fitness meal delivery services. They offer a variety of custom meal plans including options for special diets like Paleo, Keto, and Vegetarian. You can choose from simple premade meals and simple to make meal kits.
The Details: With Trifecta Nutrition you’ll enjoy meals made with wholesome ingredients like organic produce, free-range chicken, and wild-caught seafood. Everything is dairy, gluten, and soy free and prepared fresh, never frozen, and never processed. What makes Trifecta unique among all of the other meal delivery services on this list is that they utilize a 3-step supply chain that helps reduce their carbon footprint by as much as 40%. They offer a variety of meals such as Chicken Tenders with Brown Rice and Mixed Vegetables or Flat Iron Steak with Brown Rice and Mixed Vegetables. Plans start at $119 per week.
Why It Made the List:
- They have exceptionally high standards when it comes to the ingredients they use.
- The amount of diet variety makes it perfect for those who live an active lifestyle and follow a specialty diet such as paleo, keto, low-carb, etc.
- You can personalize your menu with a lot of add-ons including extra proteins, extra vegetables, snacks, and more.
Best Vegan Option
What It Is: Enjoy organic, plant-based meals shipped right to your door with Sprinly. This meal delivery service takes the guesswork out of eating a healthy vegan diet – you’ll receive a weekly delivery of delicious, plant-based meals with no cooking required. Every recipe, regardless of what plan you choose, is 100% vegan and plant-based.
The Details: Sprinly is, by far, one of our favorite plant-based meal delivery services due to their commitment to high-quality ingredients and delicious meals. Everything is free from refined sugar, gluten, and artificial preservatives. Enjoy meals such as Paprika Spinach Salad, Enchilada Casserole, or Roasted Acorn Squash and choose from 6, 12, or 18 meals a week with free shipping on every order. To receive six meals per week, you’ll pay just $109.
Why It Made the List:
- Our favorite plant-based meal delivery services for ease of use and taste.
- They use the highest quality ingredients and all meals are free from gluten, refined sugar, and artificial preservatives.
- Being one of the few fresh, premade plant-based meal delivery services out there that ships nationwide, they make following a vegan diet very simple.
Best Weight Loss Option
What It Is: BistroMD is a doctor-designed meal delivery plan, created specifically for weight loss. With programs starting at just $98, you can shed weight the without feeling starved or deprived. You’ll enjoy healthy, delicious meals sent right to your door and everything is catered for weight loss. Shop by individual meals or subscribe for a 7-day, 5-day, or custom weight loss program.
The Details: At BistroMD, you can create a custom weight loss plan that is catered to your needs. The 7-day program includes 7 breakfasts, 7 lunches, and 6 dinners while the 5-day program is perfect for just the work week. Enjoy tasty meal options like Pork Tenderloin with Mushroom Marsala and Lasagna with Garden Marinara. Each week you can choose from over 150 doctor-designed, chef-prepared meals that are ready for you to reheat and enjoy. Prices start at just $98/week with free shipping.
Why It Made the List:
- We’ve personally used BistroMD to get our diets back on track and it works.
- They give you over 150 meals to choose from.
- They offer a variety of meal plans ranging from diabetes-friendly, heart-healthy, gluten free, and more.
- They give you full access to their team of registered dieticians and even fitness experts.
Best Frozen Option
What It Is: For fresh plant-based meals built on fruits and vegetables, Daily Harvest is one of our favorites. This meal delivery service sends fully prepared frozen vegan meals right to your door in convenient weekly deliveries. Everything is made with clean, organic, and nourishing ingredients. Daily Harvest meals are free from: dairy, gluten, gums, and artificial additives. Plus, they are flash-frozen at the peak of freshness to lock in flavor and nutrients.
The Details: With Daily Harvest, you can choose from a wide variety of meal options including smoothies, harvest bowls, flatbreads, soups, lattes, snacks and more. Start your day with a nourishing Strawberry + Peach Smoothie and refuel at lunchtime with a Sweet Potato + Wild Rice Hash bowl. Choose from 9, 14, or 24 items per week plans with prices ranging from $5.99 to $8.99 per item based on what you choose.
Why It Made the List:
- They offer 100+ different foods to add to your box each week.
- They’re one of the few premade meal delivery services that offer more than just meals—smoothies, snack bites, drinks, and even plant-based “milks”.
- I’ve found their foods balance tasty and good for you very well. For example, their Hazelnut + Chocolate bites are my favorite and made with ingredients like avocado, hazelnut, cacao, reishi, and vanilla bean.
Best Sous-Vide Option
What It Is: RealEats is real food made simple. This meal delivery service takes the work out of home cooking, sending you fresh, chef-prepared meals right to your door. Every meal is made with high-quality ingredients and prepared in a way that reduces food waste and supports local farmers. Simply pick a plan and choose your meals – there are options for singles, couples, and families. Once you’ve made your selections, RealEats will cook your meals and deliver them fresh to your door.
The Details: With RealEats, meal prep takes only a few minutes. Pop your sous-vide meal pouches into boiling water or simply reheat them in the microwave. It takes just a few minutes to prepare a home cooked meal. We were pleasantly surprised with just how delicious all of our RealEats meals came out. Some of our personal favorites are their Cilantro-Lime Chicken, Balsamic Glazed Steak, and Honey Soy Salmon. You can customize your meal plan with 4, 6, 8, or 12 dinners per week. Meal plans start at just $8.24 per meal and include free delivery.
Why It Made the List:
- In addition to meals, you can also add on other foods from their marketplace into your box each week such as soups, meats, snacks, and more.
- Since these meals are to be reheated sous-vide style, it keeps the flavor and taste similar to as if it was just cooked.
- Their pouches are free from BPA, phthalate, and plasticizer.
Best Gourmet Option
What It Is: Enjoy signature meals from award-winning chefs sent right to your door, ready to eat. CookUnity is a bit different than every other premade meal delivery service on this list in that they don’t have a central cooking location where they cook your food. Rather, they team up with talented chefs nationwide to cook and send your food.
The Details: With CookUnity, you’ll enjoy fresh, fully prepared meals that come with simple instructions for heating and plating. They even include a little QR code that you can scan to learn more about the chef that cooked your meal (very cool). Enjoy savory dishes like Seared Steak with Brussels Sprouts or Lamb Kebab with Turmeric Hummus. These meals surprised me with their flavor—they truly taste restaurant quality. This is because CookUnity teams up with culinary innovators and Michelin-starred chefs from around the world to cook their meals. Choose from 4, 6, 12, or 16 meals per week with prices starting at just $10.49 per meal. Delivery is always free.
Why It Made the List:
- Chef-inspired meals sent right to your doorstep each week.
- They team up with top rated chefs nationwide to send you meals.
- They offer diet-specific options such as keto, paleo, low-carb, plant-based, and more.
Best Quick & Tasty Paleo Option
What It Is: Snap Kitchen is a premade meal delivery service that focuses on healthy food for busy people. With this meal delivery service you’ll enjoy fresh, fully prepared meals sent right to your door in convenient weekly deliveries. Choose from a variety of dietitian-curated plans compatible with a wide range of diet plans including Whole30, keto, paleo, and more.
The Details: Every meal is made with fresh, high-quality ingredients with plenty of options to fit your lifestyle. Enjoy meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and shop Snap Kitchen’s selection of soups, salads, snacks, and drinks to round out your meal plan. Try classics like Baked Ziti or Beef Lasagna or go for something new like Barbacoa and Street Corn or Chicken Chile Enchiladas. My personal favorite is their banana pancakes! Meals start at $8.99 per serving and you can change, skip, or cancel at any time.
Why It Made the List:
- They offer a variety of dietitian-curated meal plans and they’re one of the few premade meal delivery services that is Whole30 approved.
- They offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner options as well as a variety of addons.
- You can have your food delivered to your doorstep or to one of their associated gym locations free of charge.
Best Senior Option
What It Is: Enjoy homestyle frozen meals sent right to your door, ready to heat and eat with Magic Kitchen. This meal delivery service doesn’t require you to start a subscription – you can simply shop by meal or purchase items a la carte. Magic Kitchen’s Complete Meals come with the mains and sides packaged together and there are plenty of options for special diets. If you choose to mix and match, you can shop mains, sides, soups, and desserts or buy them by the bundle.
The Details: Magic Kitchen is particularly popular among seniors, though their meals are perfect for anyone who wants to enjoy a home cooked meal without cooking it themselves. All meals are handmade in small batches with USA-sourced ingredients. Your meals arrive fully cooked and flash-frozen, ready to reheat and eat. They have a huge selection of meals to choose from, including meals that fall within diets such as low-sodium, low-fat, and gluten free. Some favorites include Beef Bourguignon and Baked Tilapia. Meals start around $10 per portion.
Why It Made the List:
- There’s no need to subscribe if you don’t want to. You can shop complete meals or a la carte options.
- With a wide variety of premade meals that fit specialty diets all the way to traditional comfort foods, it’s the perfect option for seniors and those with special dietary needs.
- All meals are flash-frozen, without preservatives.
Best Soup Option
Proper Good Soups
What It Is: If you’re looking for delicious premade soups delivered right to your door, look no further than Proper Good. This meal delivery services specializes in high-quality soups. They are shelf-stable (no fridge needed) and they can be reheated in just 90 seconds. Shop keto, gluten-free, and plant-based options. They offer individual soups and multi-packs. These soups are perfect for enjoying at home but also make for a great grab-and-go meal option.
The Details: With Proper Good Soups, you’ll enjoy a hearty meal made with clean ingredients. All of their soups are relatively low in sodium with no added sugar and made with functional ingredients like coconut milk, turmeric, and bone broth. Enjoy classics like Broccoli Cheddar Soup and Butternut Squash Soup or two of my personal favorites, Meatball Minestrone and Red Pepper and Meatball. Soups are priced around $7.99 each or you can save with a multi-pack.
Why It Made the List:
- These are some of the most delicious soups we’ve ever had (especially premade).
- They aren’t loaded with sodium or added sugars.
- Since the meals are fully shelf-stable, they’re perfect for throwing in the pantry for a quick meal.
Best “Sippable” Options
What It Is: Enjoy plant-based meals sent right to your door with Splendid Spoon. This company offers meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, all of which are plant-based, gluten-free, and ready-to-eat. Choose from over 50 options each week and they’ll be sent right to your door.
The Details: Splendid Spoon offers the best “sippable” premade meal options, such as premade smoothies and soups. None of their foods are frozen, only refrigerated. Much of what they offer doesn’t even need to be heated up—just grab and go. Enjoy smoothies like Chocolate Cherry and Dragon Fruit Berry or go for something hearty like the Vegetable Bolognese Bowl or Creamy Mushroom & Spinach Noodles. Plans start at just $9 per meal for the Breakfast and Lunch plan and go up to $13 per meal for lunch only.
Why It Made the List:
- All Splendid Spoon meals are plant-based, gluten-free, and ready to eat.
- Since they aren’t frozen, they’re perfect for those who want to just grab and meal and go.
- They also offer “reset” style cleanses.
Best Prepared & Meal Kit Option
Fresh & Easy (By Home Chef)
What It Is: Brought to you by Home Chef, Fresh & Easy is a premade meal delivery service that makes home cooking a breeze. You’ll enjoy fully prepped, portioned, and ready-to-cook meals with little to no mess to clean up afterward. Your meals will be delivered right to your door, ready to reheat in the microwave or oven – no pots and pans are even necessary. There are even grill-ready options – you simply assemble the ingredients in the included grill-safe bag and throw it on the grill.
The Details: With Fresh & Easy, you can choose from calorie- and carb-conscious meals or indicate ingredients you want to avoid like pork, beef, fish, or tree nuts. Because they’re under the “Home Chef” brand, you know you’re getting quality (Home Chef is one of Food Box HQ’s top rated meal kits). Customize your meal plan with 2, 4, or 6 servings per meal and choose up to 6 recipes per week.
Why It Made the List:
- All meals are fully prepped, portioned, and ready to reheat.
- You can choose from calorie- or carb-conscious meal plans.
- Customize your plan with dietary preferences such as ingredients you prefer to stay away from.
Best For Families
What It Is: Mosaic Foods is a frozen pre-made meal delivery service that focus on crafting plant-based, vegetable packed meals. They have 5 different meal categories to choose from, including veggie bowls, family meals, soups, oat bowls, and premium meals (which they call “Mosaic+”).
The Details: While Mosaic Foods meals are frozen, they're far from the traditional "TV dinners" you're likely to find at your local grocery store. Their meals aren't just nutritionally balanced, they also lean into interesting and exquisite cuisines to craft meals that are packed with flavor.
A favorite of mine is their Chipotle Mango Burrito Bowl. It's made with Spanish rice, tomatillos and zesty jalapeno. And while you may be thinking that chipotle and mango have no business going together, I can tell you from experience, it's delicious.
What makes Mosaic Foods really stand out among the rest of the prepared meal delivery services listed here is that they're one of the few that offer meals big enough to feed large families. Their Family Meals are 4 servings each and are very simple to make. Since they're pre-made, you're basically just reheating them. You simply pop them in the oven at 425 degree fahrenheit for about an hour and you have a meal ready to eat. My wife and I like to use them on occasions when we want to eat something nutritious but don't have the energy to cook and don't want to waste money on takeout.
Why It Made The List:
- Mosaic Foods offers family friendly oven-ready pre-made meals that can feed up to 4 people.
- Being a plant-based meal delivery service, all of their meals are packed with vegetables.
- Their satisfaction guarantee is one of the best in the business. It says, “If you don’t love your meals, we’ll issue a full refund, no questions asked.”
Who Are Premade Meal Delivery Services For?
Meal delivery services have become extremely popular over the past few years. Where there was once a handful of options there is now an endless variety, even services that cater to special diets like Paleo, Keto, Atkins, and more. The primary differentiating factor among meal delivery services is whether the meals come fully prepared or they come as a recipe with portioned ingredients. Both options have their benefits, but premade meal delivery services cater to a certain type of customer.
A premade meal delivery service might be right for you if you…
- Want to enjoy healthy, homemade meals without having to cook them yourself
- Don’t have time to go grocery shopping or to plan your meals
- Are a single person and don’t want to cook for yourself
- Follow a special diet and need help coming up with new meal ideas
- Don’t have time to plan, shop, or prep for meals at home
- Want to try new recipes or experiment with a new diet
- Are looking for healthy meals to take to work or on the go with you
- Want a healthier alternative to fast food and takeout
Some meal delivery services offer both premade meals and meal kits (for example, Home Chef’s Fresh & Easy plan). If you’re not quite sure which option is best or you like to keep your options open, one of these companies might be the right choice for you. Most meal delivery services make it easy to change, pause, or cancel your subscription so you have complete control over your deliveries and are never locked into a long-term plan.
Premade Meal Delivery Services vs. Meal Kits
When shopping for a meal delivery service, the first thing you need to ask yourself is whether you want premade meals or a meal kit. A premade meal delivery service is exactly what it sounds like – you get fully prepped meals sent to your door ready to heat and eat. With a meal kit, you’ll receive a recipe along with the ingredients needed to prepare it. Some services even go so far as to prep the ingredients for you while others require you to do a little prep yourself.
Both premade meal delivery services and meal kits have their benefits, so it’s really up to you to decide for yourself which option best suits your needs.
Here are some things to consider when choosing a meal delivery service:
- How many people you’re feeding. Most meal delivery services enable you to customize your subscription for one or several people, but premade meal delivery services are usually best for singles since the meals are packaged in individual portions. If you want to get the most bang for your buck as a couple or family, a meal kit might be the more economic option.
- Whether you follow a specific diet. Many meal delivery services offer options that cater to specific diets. If you follow a certain diet, you’ll probably find more variety with a premade meal delivery service than a meal kit. Premade meal delivery services can prepare small batches of meals to order which helps with the bottom line but meal kits that require special ingredients may make things a little more difficult.
- If you have the time/interest to prep meals. Simply put, if you enjoy cooking you might prefer a meal kit and if you don’t you’ll prefer a premade meal delivery service. With a premade meal delivery service, you generally only have to pop the meal in the microwave or oven to reheat it.
- Whether you want to take your meals to go. If you’re looking for an on-the-go meal option – something you can take to work, for example – you might prefer a premade meal delivery service. You can simply pack the meal and reheat it in the microwave when you’re ready to eat. Meal kits require more time and preparation.
Meal delivery services take the hassle out of grocery shopping and they make meal planning easy. If you’re looking for a convenient, no-nonsense option, go with a premade meal delivery service. These services send healthy, fully prepared meals right to your door for you to reheat and eat at your convenience.
Have a question we didn’t answer? Have you tried any of the above premade meal delivery services? Leave your comment below!
Easy for seniors? Which would you recommend best? We need a meal service that is healthy and easy to cook with no prep.
Check if you're in the shipping vicinity for Freshly. Their meals are great.
We've narrowed our choices to Freshly and Factor Meals. Given that you have tried both, which do you think is best for a couple looking to eat better without spending too much?
Both Freshly and Factor Meals are two of my favorite pre-made meal delivery services. As a couple, you'll likely be ordering the 12 meal plan from Freshly (their largest), which comes out to $11.29 per meal. With Factor Meals, you can get even more with their 18 meals per week plan, which comes out to $11 per meal. This means Factor Meals are going to be the least expensive. When it comes to flavor, I tend to prefer Factor Meals over Freshly. Not only does Factor have breakfast, lunch, and dinner options (Freshly only has lunch and dinner) they also have a pretty extensive marketplace of add ons such as soups and desserts. Feel free to check out our taste test of their add on foods here.
Each delivery I received from CookUnity had opened/unsealed food packages of which we did not eat, of course. Most of the time, the contents from the opened meals had spilled all over other meals in the delivery box smh and some of those meals contained shrimp of which both of my daughters are allergic and loved opening the box smh We are so lucky they didn’t react to touching the spilled sauce from the meals that contained shrimp! I was always given credit for the meals, but I finally canceled my subscription when both of my Mongolian Salmon meals had undercooked salmon along with some unsealed meals in the delivery yet again. It makes me wonder about their quality assurance and safety during manufacturing. Every week I was told that my concerns would be escalated so it doesn't happen again, but it continued week after week. Thank God none of us got sick. If their foods were properly handled during manufacturing, I would've kept my subscription active.
I'm so sorry to hear that! I'm glad they responded quick to remedy the situation and were able to refund you. We've never had any issues like that before with Cookunity but I appreciate you sharing your experience.
I'm in CA and I've tried CookUnity off and on for several months. The food is good, but the packaging/shipping is abysmal. It's the worst of any prepared meal delivery service I've tried. My meals always arrived in a jumbled mess in the box. Sometimes the plastic seals were broken. Ice packs were always all melted and sometimes meal packaging has arrived all wet. Several times meals were no longer cold to the point I had to throw them all away and get credited by customer service. Even my dog's fresh food arrives in better condition than my CookUnity meals. I've been hanging on in the hopes their packaging would improve since I like the food, but I've finally had it after I just threw away another shipment. It's over 100 here and they packed my meals with only two ice packs. Everything was warm when the package was delivered. I'm cancelling my subscription. Maybe I'll try them again in a year to see if it's better.
Everything I’ve tried from Factor has been amazing & I was pleasantly surprised!!