When it comes to food subscription services that are currently available, one of the companies we’re all familiar with is Blue Apron.
What many may not know is that Blue Apron got its start back in 2012 thanks to Matt Salzberg, Ilia Papas, and Matt Wadiak. It was then that they tested the very first Blue Apron recipes in their New York City apartments.
The goal with the recipes they created was to give everyone access to better cooking. They wanted people to have the ability to obtain quality produce and specialty ingredients. They also wanted to make cooking simpler for those who lead busy lives and might struggle to get a nutritious dinner on the table sometimes. And that’s exactly how Blue Apron was born, with this very mission in mind.
Since its beginning, Blue Apron has expanded into a significantly larger team and they now send over eight million meals per month to their customers. These meals are enabling their customers to experiment with the foods they eat and expand their knowledge of the culinary world by making cooking an enjoyable process. There’s no excuse to be stuck in a cooking rut or to resort to fast food when you have a company like Blue Apron by your side.
To learn more and to determine if Blue Apron is right for you, read on for our review of what you can expect when ordering from them.
How to Join & Choose Your Items
If you’re interested in trying Blue Apron, the good news is that joining and ordering your first box really couldn’t be any easier.
The first decision you’ll have to make is which plan option is right for you. You can choose a two-person plan, which delivers three recipes to your door each week. Each recipe is perfectly portioned for two people, making it perfect for you and your significant other or even you and your roommate.
They also offer a family plan, with is ideal for feeding a family of four. With this plan, you’ll receive either two or four recipes each week. You can choose exactly how much you’d like to receive from Blue Apron, making it customizable to suit your unique needs.
Once you’ve signed up, you’ll want to do a little exploring around your Account Settings to familiarize yourself with how everything works. You can check your dietary preferences to indicate if there are any types of foods you aren’t interested in receiving. You’re also able to select your delivery date, based on the options available for your area. The “Upcoming” page will allow you to review your calendar and the upcoming meal options.
You’ll have a certain time frame each week to select the meals you want to receive in your box, which ensures you get something you’re truly interested in eating. You don’t have to let it be one big mystery. Instead, you’ll know what you’re receiving and can plan your weeknight meals accordingly.
Types of Food They Offer
With the help of their culinary team, Blue Apron is dedicated to crafting unique recipes for you to enjoy each and every week. They plan recipes based on the produce they have available to them and strive to use new ingredients and cooking techniques on a regular basis. This ensures you’re truly getting a great dining experience with every meal you prepare.
While many food subscription services provide breakfast and lunch options, Blue Apron is focused strictly on dinner. The dinner recipes you’ll find are sure to get you out of any cooking rut you might be in, as they’re different from what you’re likely used to making. Each dish is creative and will allow you to experience all kinds of new tastes.
A few of the dinner options they have previously created include: Thai Steak Lettuce cups with Spicy Green Beans & Sushi Rice, Honey-Rhubarb Chicken with Asparagus & Fingerling Potatoes, and Salmon-Dill Burgers with Marinated Cucumber & Roasted Potatoes. They even put their own spin on a traditional pizza with their Asparagus & Arugula Pesto Pizza with Pink Lemon Ricotta.
If those dishes don’t get your mouth watering just thinking about them, then perhaps you’d prefer the Crispy Catfish & Spicy Vegetable Curry with Charred Lime, the Visalia Onion & Kale Tarts with Lemon-Garlic Roasted Potatoes, or the Cajun-Spiced Chicken with Potato Salad & Red Cabbage Slaw.
If you choose their family plan, you’ll find dishes such as: Italian Meatball Sandwiches with Red Leaf Lettuce & Cucumber Salad, Chicken Salad Sandwiches with Parmesan-Garlic Summer Squash, Three-Cheese Focaccia Pizza with Marinated Cucumber & Bell Pepper Salad, and Spicy Shrimp & Fresh Fusilli Pasta with Spinach & Basil. Even if you have children who are picky eaters, you’re sure to find something they’d be interested in trying out.
As you can see, one of the best parts of Blue Apron is the unique variety of meals that they offer. Their chefs really understand how to craft meals that are fun, different, and tasty.
With Blue Apron, the meal options are endless and you’re sure to enjoy getting to select your food each and every week (we certainly did). It’s going to give you the ability to try something new while also expanding your cooking skills to make you more comfortable in the kitchen with every dish you prepare.
One thing to note is if you have any food allergies, Blue Apron does not recommend using their food subscription service. Although allergen information is printed on their nutrition labels and they take great care to prepare meals safely, there’s no guarantee that cross-contamination hasn’t occurred. All of the ingredients they use are produced in a facility that processes milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy. If you have a food allergy, you’ll want to look elsewhere.
You can, however, personalize your box based on your dietary preferences. For example, if you are a vegetarian or pescatarian or if there are certain things you don’t eat (such as red meat, fish, shellfish, pork, or lamb), you can indicate that in your meal preferences.
When considering signing up for a food subscription service, it’s important to make sure they deliver to your area, as not all of them do. Blue Apron delivers to all of the contiguous United States. If you want to be sure you can place an order with them, you can enter your zip code and see delivery options over on their website.
After you’ve signed up and entered your zip code, you’ll have the ability to select a delivery day from a list of options that are available for your area. You can always view your delivery date by logging into your account and heading over to the “Upcoming” page. Typically, delivers are scheduled from Tuesday to Friday each week, but some locations are eligible for Monday and Saturday deliveries.
If you ever need to, you are able to skip a delivery with Blue Apron. All you have to do is log into your account and select the week you’d like to skip. This is ideal if you’re ever going out of town or just want to take a break from receiving their deliveries. If you change your mind, you can even reschedule those deliveries you skipped. However, you need to remember that all changes need to be made by the “Changeable by” date in your account. Your “changeable by” date is six days before your next shipment, by 12 PM Eastern Time.
You also don’t have to be home for the delivery, which means there’s no waiting around for a shipping carrier to show up with your meal ingredients. Packages are typically left on your doorstep, but you may be able to provide additional shipping instructions that indicate where you’d like the package to be left if you aren’t home. This is, of course, dependent on the shipping carrier and not Blue Apron.
Because you will be receiving ingredients that need to be kept cold during transit, Blue Apron has designed their packaging to ensure everything remains fresh. An insulated box and frozen gel packs are inside their packages to keep everything at the optimal temperature. They even modify packaging depending on the season and your location, so you shouldn’t have to worry about anything spoiling or not being in great condition upon its arrival.
Once you have received your delivery, you’ll want to unpack all of the ingredients as soon as possible and place anything that needs to be kept cold inside the fridge. This helps to promote freshness so everything tastes great once you’re finally ready to prepare your meal.
Blue Apron also provides customers with two different ways to recycle their packaging. You can find your local recycling center and find out what types of material they accept. This will give you the chance to recycle items such as the box, the liners, ice packs, etc. The other option is to return your packaging to Blue Apron for free. You can find more details on their website, but all you have to do is print out a return label and drop the box off at your local USPS office. Blue Apron is one of the very few food delivery services that take recycling this seriously and the win some extra points for that!
Freshness of Food
If you’re concerned about the freshness of the ingredients you receive in each box, you may find some comfort in knowing that Blue Apron offers a “Freshness Guarantee.” They’re committed to providing you with only the best and want to ensure all of their customers are happy with each and every ingredient inside their boxes.
If you ever find that an item isn’t in acceptable cooking condition, all you have to do is notify Blue Apron with seven days of receiving your delivery. There’s a specific form you can fill out via their website so you can let them know exactly what the problem was. Then, they’ll make it right for you!
They’re also committed to providing their customers with only the highest quality ingredients. Blue Apron has partnered with the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch to ensure any fish or shellfish used is rated “Best Choice” or “Good Alternative.” They even worked with farmers and ranchers who raise animals without added hormones or antibiotics. The farmers Blue Apron selects also use minimal fertilizers and pesticides. Many of the ingredients in your box are also USDA certified organic.
Each meal is designed to remain fresh for the entire week as well. They do recommend fixing fish and seafood meals first though to ensure it’s at it’s best when cooking. It’s safe to say there’s no need to worry about your ingredients not being high-quality upon their arrival.
Ease of Cooking
Blue Apron is one of the many food subscription services that provide you with ingredients and a recipe for you to prepare the meal on your own. While this might seem intimidating, it really doesn’t have to be. Nor do you need to be skilled in the kitchen to prepare your own meals! In fact, we found it to be fun and educational.
Everything is made simple by having the ingredients ready for you and easy-to-follow recipe steps. In fact, Blue Apron could help you become a lot more comfortable in the kitchen. The meals aren’t complex to cook, so don’t be afraid to venture into the world of cooking through the help of a meal service. Plus, you’ll be able to select meals and you’ll know what you’re getting ahead of time, so you can choose the things you’re most interested in preparing.
When there are a team of culinary experts working hard to craft unique meals, there’s no doubt that everything is going to taste great. The team at Blue Apron works closely with the farmers and artisans with whom they receive their ingredients. They’re able to plans their crops and grow specialty produce specifically for Blue Apron’s needs.
Once the culinary team knows which fresh ingredients they’re going to have, they can create recipes accordingly. They try to incorporate new ingredients and cooking techniques each week for their customers to try out. This allows you to expand your palate and helps you better those cooking skills of yours ;-).
A favorite recipe of ours is definitely the Seared Steaks & Salsa Verde. Not only was the meat high-quality and tender once cooked, it paired perfectly with the radishes and asparagus that were included in this dish. Not only was it tasty, it was also simple and fun to make.
Putting a spin on a classic, they even had a Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwich. It’s almost like giving your childhood favorite a grown-up twist that’s simply delectable. The combination of the caramelized Vidalia onion and the fontina cheese was absolutely delicious. The side of roasted summer squash was a great addition to this dish!
It’s safe to say that everything from Blue Apron has been impressive so far. The ingredients are all high-quality, with no issues in freshness. Plus, you can tell that they’ve spent time crafting each of the meals with the help of their expert culinary team. We even love that Blue Apron takes it up a notch by recommending wines to go along with their dinners.
*Blue Apron often updates their pricing. We will try to update this section as frequently as possible to reflect the newest prices.
The price you’ll pay for Blue Apron will depend on how many meals you want to receive each week and how many servings you’ll need. They offer a two-person plan, which provides you with three recipes each week. They also offer a family plan, which is ideal for a family of four and is perfect for those who have children to cook for as well. You have the option to receive two or four recipes each week when choosing the family plan.
Many customers are put off by the prices on meal subscription services, but you really have to consider the convenience and what you’re getting for the value. Instead of going to the grocery store and spending that money, you’re able to put it directly to use with Blue Apron and receive just what you need to make delicious meals every week. It also saves you the hassle of having to plan meals and do the shopping yourself.
Plus, there’s a lot less waste when using a service like Blue Apron. You’re getting exactly the amount of ingredients you need and then using them in the recipe. This helps to eliminate food waste and ultimately saves you money that you won’t wind up throwing out because you failed to use something before it expired.
Blue Apron truly is a great option for anyone who wants the ease of a meal subscription service, but also wants to better their skills in the kitchen. Receiving the ingredients you need and recipes delivered straight to your door is certainly going to make your life easier. It cuts down on the time you have to spend planning meals and doing the grocery shopping.
By following the recipes their team of culinary experts have carefully crafted, you’ll not only expand your palate by trying new dishes, but you’ll learn new cooking techniques each and every week. With every meal you cook, you’ll become more comfortable in front of the stove and you’ll proudly be able to serve your family with dishes you lovingly prepared.