Gluten has become something of a buzzword since the gluten-free diet really started picking up steam. For someone like me who has celiac disease, it’s both a good and bad thing.

On the one hand, the rising popularity of the gluten-free diet means more celiac-friendly convenience foods on grocery store shelves and more gluten-free options popping up on restaurant menus. But I’ve discovered that just because people are becoming more familiar with the term gluten-free, that doesn’t mean all those people understand what it means.

I’ve been to restaurants that print “gluten-free options available” on their menus only to be greeted by confused looks when I ask the server about it. Equally frustrating, I’ve had servers walk me through the menu pointing out every item that has bread or pasta in it, telling me, “You can’t have that.”

Because eating out is so frequently an exercise in frustration, I tend to cook most of my meals at home. The trouble is, I’m lazy when it comes to meal planning, so I often end up eating the same simple meals week after week.

Why not try a meal delivery service? I tried a few when meal kits like HelloFresh and Blue Apron first hit the market, but options were limited. And half the time I ended up having to buy ingredients to make substitutions anyway. But maybe it’s time to try again.

In this review, I’ll cover everything someone following a gluten-free diet needs to know about choosing a meal delivery service. From recipe variety to ingredient packaging, I’ll offer advice on how to choose the best gluten-free meal delivery service to suit your needs.

First, however, I want to offer a quick introduction to the gluten-free diet and explore some of the challenges of going gluten-free by necessity rather than choice.

Food Box HQ Disclaimer: The information in this article is meant for educational and informational purposes, reflecting the author’s personal experience with celiac disease and gluten-free meal delivery services. However, it’s not a replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always consult with your physician, dietitian, or a qualified healthcare provider about any medical condition or dietary choices, especially if you’re considering a gluten-free diet. Don’t ignore or delay seeking professional medical advice based on what you’ve read here, as the insights shared may not apply to your specific situation.

What It Means To Go Gluten-Free

For those who are entirely unfamiliar, gluten is a type of protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It’s not an inherently dangerous or unhealthy substance, but people with certain conditions respond poorly to it. These conditions are sometimes categorized as forms of gluten intolerance:

  1. Celiac Disease
  2. Wheat Allergy
  3. Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease triggered by the consumption of gluten that leads to damage in the small intestine. Wheat allergies are similar, to some extent, in that there’s immune system involvement—the difference is that the body attacks the wheat instead of its own tissues.

A third condition, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, is not well understood. While there is some evidence of an immune component, gluten sensitivity seems to primarily involve gastrointestinal symptoms.

Individuals diagnosed with any of these three conditions can best be treated by removing gluten—or, in some cases, just wheat—from their diets. For those with non-celiac sensitivity, that may simply involve avoiding foods that contain a significant amount of gluten-containing ingredients. For those with celiac disease, however, it’s much more involved.

Not only do individuals with celiac disease need to avoid foods with gluten-containing ingredients, but they need to avoid contact with those ingredients entirely. Even small traces of gluten from shared processing equipment can trigger a reaction.

Symptoms of celiac disease may include:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Gas or bloating
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Headaches or migraines
  • Cognitive impairment
  • Joint pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Anxiety and depression
  • Itchy skin rash (dermatitis herpetiformis)
  • Osteoporosis
  • Peripheral neuropathy

Even if an individual with celiac disease doesn’t experience physical symptoms after consuming gluten, an autoimmune reaction may occur. The Celiac Disease Foundation suggests that even a few crumbs from a cutting board or toaster could be enough to cause small intestine damage.

Going gluten-free—completely gluten-free—is the only treatment for celiac disease. For an estimated 1.4% of the global population, the gluten-free diet is a matter of medical necessity, not preference.

As such, buying prepared foods, eating at a restaurant, or subscribing to a meal delivery service comes with a certain degree of risk. Basically, any situation where the individual doesn’t have complete control over choosing ingredients and preparing the meal.

It isn’t my intention to suggest that those with celiac disease can never eat foods they don’t prepare themselves. But they need to exercise caution. Anyone following a gluten-free diet needs to do their research in order to make their own educated decisions.

If you’re considering a meal delivery service, for example, you should start by asking a few key questions.

Questions To Ask When Comparing Meal Kit Services

ModifyHealth Gluten Free Thyme & Rosemary Pot Roast
ModifyHealth Gluten Free Thyme & Rosemary Pot Roast

Meal kits and meal delivery services are nothing new. While the origins can be traced to Omaha Steaks, founded in 1917, the first meal kit was launched in Sweden in 2007. By 2012, they had made their way to the United States, starting with Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, and Plated. A little over a decade later, there are well over 150 options on the market.

To keep a leg up on the competition, many meal delivery services cater to specific diets. But just because a service offers gluten-free recipes doesn’t mean it’s going to be a safe or satisfying choice for gluten-free dieters.

It’s essential to think about exactly what needs you want a meal delivery service to fulfill and compare the options to find the best fit. Here are five questions to ask when comparing the options:

1. Does it specialize in gluten-free or cater to a wide variety of diets?

The diet industry is fickle, and fads change on a dime. While some companies cater to a specific subset of consumers, others try to hedge their bets by appealing to the widest audience possible.

For example, while HelloFresh offers a wide range of meal choices with a decent degree of customization, their meals are mainly categorized according to key indicators such as “Easy Prep” and and “Seasonal” rather than being designed for specific diets. This means, if you have dietary restrictions, you’ll probably need to put some effort into choosing your meals each week.

If you’re looking for a meal subscription designed with gluten-free dieters in mind, check out Fresh N Lean (an entirely gluten-free company) or BistroMD (which has meals batch tested at less than 20 ppm of gluten).

Though some services that cater to multiple diets might not be the best option for those with celiac disease, other shoppers may appreciate some crossover. For example, many people who follow a gluten-free diet also make an effort to restrict their intake of FODMAPs.

According to research, 7-30% of people with celiac disease continue to experience symptoms even after switching to a gluten-free diet. Many of these individuals have a dual diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). A low FODMAP (Fermentable Oligo-Di-Monosaccharides and Polyols) diet often offers relief from symptoms for these individuals.

If you’re on a gluten-free and low-FODMAP diet, consider ModifyHealth. It offers a low-FODMAP plan and allows you to customize for specific allergens or ingredients. This company has a clinical advisory board made up of medical experts.

2. How large is the gluten-free menu? How many options do you get each week?

Not only should you determine whether the company is exclusively gluten-free or not, but it’s wise to browse their selection of gluten-free meal options. A certified gluten-free meal service might sound great, but might quickly lose its appeal if the same meal choices are offered every week.

This is where the answer to the first question comes into play. The more diets a service caters to, the less variety it’s likely to offer within each category. Fortunately, if a service specializes in a specific diet, there’s likely to be a decent number of meals to choose from.

For example, Epicured has over 100 gluten-free made-to-order meal options to choose from. Fresh N Lean has a larger selection of meals, but they don’t offer a gluten-free meal plan specifically.

In addition to assessing a service’s entire repertoire of recipes and products, determine how many choices you’ll have each week. For prepared meal services like Daily Harvest and Epicured, you may be able to shop the entire selection. Some services, however, only allow you to choose your weekly meals from a limited selection of options (like Green Chef).

3. Does it offer unique and interesting recipes?

It doesn’t do you much good to have 200 recipes to choose from if they’re all bland and boring. That said, some people subscribe to meal delivery services for the simplicity of having ingredients or fully prepared meals delivered to their door. For others, however, it’s an opportunity to try new recipes each week and to sample different flavors.

To give you an idea what’s out there, here are a few gluten-free meal options from popular services:

  • Meatloaf with Honey Bourbon Glaze – BistroMD
  • Burmese Chicken and Sweet Potato Curry – Sunbasket
  • Green Godden Scramble with Sweet Potato Hash – Fresh N Lean
  • Beyond Crispy-Crunchy Cauliflower Toast – Hungryroot
  • Buckwheat Pancakes with Strawberries and Brie – Epicured
  • Middle Eastern-Style Beef & “Rice” Bowls – Green Chef

Everyone has their own preferences, so it’s important to browse the menu options before subscribing to a meal service. Keep in mind that the larger companies like Home Chef and Green Chef tend to refresh their offerings on a regular basis. If you’re shopping prepared meals from a service like Sunbasket or Epicured, your options may not change as often.

4. How are ingredients packaged? Is there a risk for cross-contact?

Meal delivery services work in several ways. The lowest effort option is the fully prepared meal delivery service. These services send cooked meals packaged in single portions or family-friendly servings.

Having individually packaged meals makes it easy to keep gluten-free meals separate from other foods in your fridge or freezer, but it’s worth doing a little research to find out what precautions the company takes during preparation. For example, BistroMD performs batch testing on all gluten-free meals to make sure they contain less than 20 ppm of gluten.

Another option is the meal kit which sends you recipe cards and the ingredients needed to prepare them. Examples include Green Chef, Blue Apron, and Home Chef.

These services typically separate the ingredients for each recipe, often keeping the meat entirely separate from fresh ingredients. Gluten-containing ingredients like bread, tortillas, or breadcrumbs are usually packed in plastic to keep them fresh, so it’s easy to avoid cross-contact at home.

You may need to contact the company, however, to determine if the ingredients are processed on shared equipment. Even if a meal service offers gluten-free options, cross-contamination is still possible if the meal prep facilities aren’t completely gluten-free.

5. Does the service maintain a 100% gluten-free facility?

If you’re highly sensitive to trace amounts of gluten, it may be important to you that gluten-free meals and ingredients are processed in a dedicated gluten-free facility.

Unfortunately, these kinds of services are tricky to find. The closest options are Mom’s Meals, Epicured, and, one of our favorites here at Food Box HQ, ModifyHealth.

After you’ve narrowed down your options to a few services, it would be wise to contact customer service for each company to clarify what precautions they take to avoid cross-contamination.

Other Practical Aspects to Consider

If you’re shopping specifically for a gluten-free meal kit or meal delivery service, start by answering the questions above. Once you’ve narrowed down the options you can think about some of the more general factors that might make one service a better fit than another. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Price: Meal delivery services are typically offered by weekly subscription. Promotional offers are a dime a dozen, but it’s wise to consider the regular price before you pull the trigger. Does the service charge per week or per serving? Is shipping included?
  • Flexibility: Consider how well the service will fit your lifestyle and your schedule. Can you choose your delivery day? Can you skip a week (or longer) without canceling the service?
  • Preparation: Think about how much effort you want to put into prepping your meals (or choose a service like Tovala that sends prepared meals). Also consider whether you want a service to send you pre-portioned ingredients with recipe cards (like Green Chef) or if pre-made is more your style (like Splendid Spoon). Some services will even send you snacks like Sunbasket.
  • Reputation: Don’t underestimate the power of popularity. While the biggest names in any industry aren’t always the best, a meal service that has tons of customer ratings and in-depth reviews is going to be easier to judge. Run an Internet search for the meal service plus terms like “gluten-free” or “celiac disease” to see what other gluten-free dieters think of it. Places like Trustpilot and are also good places to find others who have tried these meal delivery services.
  • EcoFriendliness: Some meal delivery services put more effort into eco-friendliness than others (Green Chef is a great example). If this interests you, check the company’s website for statements about sustainability. Many services are committed to responsible sourcing, waste reduction, and recyclable packaging.

At the end of the day, it’s difficult to know what meal kit is the best fit for your needs without trying a few of them out. Sometimes an option that seems perfect on paper doesn’t live up to expectations in lived experience. But you live and you learn.

If you’re simply not interested in doing all that research yourself, I don’t blame you. The whole point of subscribing to a meal delivery service is to make life simpler, after all. For those who prefer the try-it-and-see approach, one of the services in the next section might be a good option to start with.

Gluten-Free Dieters Approve Of These 8 Meal Delivery Services

Here at Food Box HQ we’ve spent over half a decade testing and reviewing hundreds of meal delivery services. Below are the gluten-free meal delivery services that stood out to us and earned our recommendation for those that adhere best to a gluten-free diet…

Overall Best: ModifyHealth

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A fully prepared meal delivery service, ModifyHealth follows a dietitian-backed approach to premade meals. This company has a clinical advisory board made up of medical experts and subscribers have the option to receive personalized advice from a dietician.


  • One of the few services that offer a low-FODMAP plan
  • Generous portion sizes with over 60 meal options
  • Fast delivery to all 50 states
  • Plans are customizable for common allergens

If you’re looking for premade meals from a company that understands that gluten-free really means, ModifyHealth is a great choice. That said, some report that the meals are a little lacking in flavor (though this may be due to their low sodium content).

View ModifyHealth Pricing

Best For Convenience: Daily Harvest

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Perfect for busy lifestyles, Daily Harvest offers a wide variety of quick and easy meals including smoothies, snacks, and grain bowls. All of their products are gluten-free, making them a great option for those adhering to a gluten-free diet.


  • Simple meal options perfect for busy lifestyles
  • Lots of healthy meals to choose from
  • Recipes rely on whole-food ingredients
  • A la carte pricing with discounts for larger orders

If you’re looking for a convenient source for easy- or no-prep small meals and snacks, Daily Harvest is a cost-effective choice. That said, it’s a little on the expensive side and some customers report that it takes a fair amount of trial and error to find what flavor combinations you enjoy.

View Daily Harvest Pricing

Best For Families: Green Chef

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This meal kit has a reputation for sustainability and they are one of the few that is certified organic. Plus, with plans to feed as many as six people, it’s a good choice for families.


  • Reputation for flavorful meals
  • Customizable for varying skill levels
  • Wide variety of recipes and diet plans
  • More eco-friendly than many services

If you’re looking for a meal kit service that offers family-friendly serving sizes and organic options, Green Chef is a good pick. It’s a little on the pricey side, however, and their gluten-free meals are packaged in the same facilities as their other menu options.

View Green Chef Pricing

Best Plant-Based: Hungryroot

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Being both vegan or vegetarian and gluten-free can be a challenge, but Hungryroot enables you to customize your meal plan for specific dietary needs. It offers a variety of ready-made meals but also serves as an online grocery store.


  • Customizable for a variety of diets
  • Ready-made options and grocery staples
  • Free ground shipping to contiguous 48 states
  • Very little preparation needed

If you would like to retain some control over your weekly meal plan, Hungryroot might be a good option. You can stock up on ready-made meals and staples, but you may need to add extra ingredients. Be aware that the credit system Hungryroot uses can be a little confusing at first.

View Hungryroot Pricing

Best For Prepared Meals: BistroMD

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Choose from six meal plans curated by registered dieticians with BistroMD. The gluten-free menu is particularly expansive with over 50 entrees and several dozen lunches and snacks. All meals are batch-tested to meet the FDA’s gluten-free standards.


  • Strong quality control measures
  • Extensive gluten-free variety
  • Meals crafted by registered dieticians
  • Good for those who want to lose weight

If you’re looking for quick and easy meals that also happen to be healthy and gluten-free, consider BistroMD. Though, you’ll want to keep in mind that these are frozen meals and shipping isn’t included in the price.

View BistroMD Pricing

Most Customizable: Fresh N Lean

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With a variety of healthy, ready-made meals to choose from, Fresh N Lean states that most of their meals are gluten-free. It offers plans that cater to multiple diets with customizable options to choose breakfasts, lunches, and dinners in single-serving or bulk portions.


  • Mostly gluten-free service
  • Caters to multiple diets
  • Variety of healthy, ready-made meals
  • Add-ons for bulk protein and veggies

If you’re looking for a simple but customizable premade option, Fresh N Lean could be a great option to consider. That said, I have noticed that breakfast options are limited, and the vacuum-sealed packaging can be tricky to open.

View Fresh N Lean Pricing

Best Subscription-Free: Epicured

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Using organic, non-GMO, and locally sourced ingredients, Epicured offers a variety of ready-made meals prepared by Michelin star chefs. This company is a standout for gluten-free safety, with rigid protocols to prevent cross-contamination.


  • Rigid protocols to prevent cross-contamination
  • Gluten-free meals are dietitian-approved
  • Meals are prepared by Michelin star chefs
  • Decent variety of ready-made meals

If you’re looking for a simple way to fill your fridge or freezer with quick gluten-free meals without paying for a weekly subscription, consider Epicured. They’re a bit expensive and the menus don’t change weekly, but you can buy as many meals as you want at a time.

View Epicured Pricing

Best For Variety: Sunbasket

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With both meal kits and prepared meals available, Sunbasket caters to a large audience. Plus, you can add breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and proteins to your order. While they offer a variety of gluten-free options, those meals aren’t packed in a dedicated gluten-free facility.


  • One of few certified organic services
  • Meal kits and prepared meals available
  • Rotating weekly menu
  • Options to add on breakfasts and proteins

If organic meals are a priority for you, Sunbasket is a great option. While they offer both meal kits and fully prepared meals, you can’t mix-and-match meal types (you have to choose one or the other).

View Sunbasket Pricing

Final Verdict: Are Gluten-Free Meal Delivery Services Worth It?

Ultimately, there’s no one answer to this question. There are certainly substantial benefits to subscribing to a meal delivery service, but no option is without risks—especially for those with celiac disease.

As someone who has been living with celiac disease for over a decade, I personally like the idea of placing the burden of meal planning on someone else’s shoulders. With a busy schedule, I struggle to find time to cook. In the past, I’ve enjoyed services like Home Chef and Plated that offer 15- and 30-minute meals, and I’m tempted by fully prepared meal options from Daily Harvest and BistroMD.

The only advice I can truly give is to think about what you want to get out of a meal delivery service and find one that fulfills those needs at a price that works for you. I’m sorry to say that this may involve some time-consuming research, but anyone with celiac disease knows that the gluten-free life is never easy.