These days you can order just about anything online – including your family’s dinner, complete with plenty of recipes and all the ingredients you need. It’s an appealing concept to busy families, not to mention a nice way to quickly get kids building some cooking skills in the kitchen.
But meal kit delivery services don’t just appeal to harried households (although mine would certainly qualify). These ready-to-make meals take the work out of looking up recipes and shopping for ingredients. Your family just gets to do the fun part – cooking! I’ve found that it’s been a great way to ease my kids into making more meals since all of the ingredients are ready to go and often premeasured.
If you’ve been thinking about trying a meal kit delivery service, here, you’ll find out more about some popular options. A few notes to get you started:
- Most of these services operate in a similar way – you choose your meals online or via an app and then select a delivery day. Canceling or changing your orders is fairly simple (as long as it’s not too close to delivery day).
- The ingredients are delivered to your door in insulated packaging so that it can (as long as it’s not too hot of day) wait until you arrive home to place in the refrigerator.
- Many services define “family plans” as those with portions for four, which I found limiting since I’ve got five in my family (there were a few exceptions). The pricing for family plans is included below; to find two-person meal plan pricing, see the company’s website.
- With most services, I found you couldn’t view the actual meals until you’d offered up information about yourself, like your address and email.
The basics: Started in 2012, Blue Apron is one of the original meal kit delivery services and arguably one of the most prominent. Recipe options are fairly limited – you’re restricted to what’s on the menu that week. Since I’ve got family members with food sensitivities, I found it a little challenging to make selections on weeks where the recipes included ingredients we couldn’t eat, like shrimp. My kids loved the bright recipe cards and information on cool ingredients like lessons on soba noodles.
Pricing: The family plan (portioned to feed four people) includes either two, three or four meals per week at $8.99 per serving for two recipes, $7.99 for three recipes or $7.49 for four recipes, which makes the weekly totals, $71.92, $95.88 and $119.94, respectively.
The basics: What’s fun about Chef’d is that you’re able to choose from a variety of meals from categories like well-known chefs, brands and websites, like Allrecipes.com. There’s no minimum number of meals required for you to purchase each week, and you can reorder your favorite meals. I found it to be one of the more flexible options out there. It can get a little overwhelming with so much to choose from, but there are plenty of ways to zero in on choices that work for you, including by cuisine, cooking time, dietary lifestyle, allergens and more. There’s also a short “personalization” quiz to help you refine your choices. This meal-kit service also has breakfast, lunch and dessert choices besides the standard dinner.
Pricing: Varies based on the meals that you choose and the number of servings.
The basics: Green Chef is the first meal kit company to receive gluten-free certification through the Gluten Intolerance Group’s Gluten-Free Food Services (GFFS) Certification program. Choose from three menus, Paleo, Keto and Gluten-free that are designed to feed either two people or a family of four. Carnivore, omnivore, vegetarian and vegan options are also available. Meals are delivered weekly on the day of your choosing for $9 per box.
Pricing: Varies based on the plan that you choose and the number of servings. Typically, vegetarian kits are $10.49 per meal, omnivore and vegan kits are $11.99 per meal, carnivore and gluten-free kits are $13.49 per meal and paleo kits are $14.99 per meal.
The basics: As with Blue Apron, you’ll select from either two-person (classic) or the family plan (four people). I did appreciate that you could select the age groupings of your kiddos – either younger kids or teenagers. Choose from either two or three weekly meals for families. Also as with Blue Apron, you’ll need to make your meal selections from the 15 offered for that week.
Pricing: For the family plan it’s $8.74 per serving or $69.92 weekly for two meals and $104.88 for three meals. You’ll pay more to feed your teenagers – $9.99 per meal, and you’ll need to select three meals or $119.88 weekly. Family plan meals are designed for four. Two-person plans offer greater flexibility with either meat or veggie options. Pricing starts at $9.99 per serving.
The basics: They’re putting together 2.5 million meals per month through this popular meal kit delivery option. When you open your account, you’ll be asked how many meals you’d like them to provide each week, from two to six, along with how many people you’re cooking for (two to six). I liked that during my meal selection process, the service asked if I was trying to avoid any certain ingredients – since we’re mostly dairy-free at our house. You’ll still need to choose from the 15 meal options for the week, but usually there are options to accommodate ingredients you’re trying to avoid. Being able to select “six” people was also a huge plus for my family of five (hello, leftovers!).
Pricing: Meals start at $7.99 per serving, although some premium dishes cost a bit more. Delivery is free on orders over $45.
The basics: Martha Stewart gets in on the meal kit game and delivers her best recipes, pre-portioned, directly to your door every week. Choose from ten different meals each week that are labeled “dairy free,” “low calorie,” vegetarian” or “kid-friendly” for your convenience. You can plan your meals up to five weeks in advance for your convenience. Boxes come prepared for 2 people or 3-4 people with two, three or four servings.
Pricing: Depending on the number of meals you’re getting per week, the two-person box ranges from $48-$76 per week. Three- to four-person boxes are $76-$131.20.
The basics: You can mix and match from 20 recipes each week, plus dessert to create a box that’s sure to fit your family’s needs. Each recipe features a “thoughtfully sourced” meat, poultry or seafood item (with special veggie options if you don’t eat meat) and highly-rated customer faves. Offers the option to skip weeks, swap out recipes or cancel anytime. Choose from plans that offer two, three or four servings, two, three or four times a week. Shipping is free for plans over $60.
Pricing: Depending on the number of meals you’re getting per week, the two serving option is $47.80-$95.60 per week, the three serving option is $59.70-$119.40 per week and the four serving option is $79.60-$119.40.
The basics: This service is good for families that want to live a healthier lifestyle through their diet. It offers 100-percent plant-based meals, like carrot dogs and Jamaican curry, that are good for both you and the environment. Choose from the purple carrot plan, which features three meals for one to two people or the performance meal plan for three meals that are high in protein and always gluten free.
Pricing: Meals are $12 per plate on the purple carrot plan for a total of $72 per week or $13 per plate on the performance plan for a total of $78 per week.
The basics: Sun Basket boasts being a first “paleo-friendly” option and aims to provide healthy meals for families. Choose from two people (classic) or four people (family). The default is to three recipes per week. Choose among various meal plans like paleo, gluten free, “lean and clean,” vegetarian and others. Meal options are pre-selected, but you can choose from among what’s listed to meet your family’s preferences.
Pricing: Per serving, you’ll pay $11.99 on the classic plan and $10.99 on the family plan.
The basics: If you’re looking to make more all-veggie meals, use this service to rotate them in. Veestro prides itself on offering 100-percent plant-based, organic, preservative-free, chef-prepared entrees, soups and juices – nationwide. Choose from meal pack options, weight loss meal plans and a la carte.
Pricing: Varies based on the meals you choose and the number of servings.
This post was originally published in 2017 and is updated regularly.