When it comes to cooking, many of us want meals that are easy to make and good for our bodies. But in today’s fast-paced world, there is less and less time to cook up these types of home-made, healthy meals. That’s where meal delivery companies come in. When you want an easy, gourmet meal that’s not takeout, you can opt for a meal delivery kit instead.
Whether you’re a working professional, a parent trying to manage your family’s busy schedules, or you’re just not a great cook – these services have an option for everybody. All you have to do is pick one of the companies below, choose your meals, and your kits will be delivered right to your door. As long as you can follow directions, you’ll have a healthy, delicious dinner ready in no time! Not sure which service is right for you? Here are the 11 best meal delivery services.
Best Meal Delivery Services
Home Chef is a great meal delivery service for those who have little to no time to spare. With options ranging from oven-ready to classic 30-minute recipes, you can customize your meals to your weekly schedule. Have one night you’ll be getting home later than normal? Choose a pre-portioned meal ready to go right into the oven. Have a little more free-time Wednesday night? Order the creamy Tuscan tomato scallop risotto or the Huli Huli chicken rice bowl off of Home Chef’s classic menu.
If you’re new to the whole cooking thing, Home Chef also lets you set up a “taste profile” to help suggest meals more suited to your palate. Another cool perk of this service is the option for smoothies (yum!), 5-minute lunches, express recipes, and salads. Do you eat gluten-free? No problem. Dairy-free? You have options! Don’t eat meat? They’ve got you. No matter what your dietary needs are, Home Chef has you covered. Just specify your restrictions on the menu options.
Although all of this is great, the best part about Home Chef might be their resources. “The Table” is Home Chef’s very own blog featuring articles about what’s in season, common how-to’s, meal ideas, and entertaining bits on everything from storing your herbs to choosing the right gourd. And if you’re especially new to cooking – so new that you have zero cooking utensils – you can shop right from their kitchenware section.
Some sample meals from their current meals include steak strip and broccoli lo mein, cajun sausage stuffed peppers and remoulade sauce, seafood sampler protein pack, and oven-ready sweet chili pork meatballs with teriyaki rice and snap peas.
Cost: Starting at $7.99 per serving with options for two to four servings. Free shipping for all orders over $45 or pick-up in select Kroger stores.
Service Locations: Nationwide
Maybe it’s because they do such a great job marketing through celebrities – shout out to Jessica Alba – but Hello Fresh is arguably the most popular meal delivery service on the market. Or maybe it’s because they are one of the easier ones to use. Their recipes are easy to follow with six steps or less, all ingredients are pre-portioned including herbs, and you can have all of the cooking done within 30 minutes. As any parent knows, cooking for a family of more than just one can be a challenge. From one child’s picky eating to the other’s growth spurt, Hello Fresh’s family-style boxes take the question out of your weekly meal prep. They also have a special option for all you fit folk. Aside from being able to select low cal as a preference, you can also pick “fit” meals which send you the three most nutritional meals on the menu. If you’re worried about what wine to enjoy with each meal, don’t be. Hello Fresh even provides suggested wine pairings with each recipe – this may actually be the best part about them.
The only downside of Hello Fresh is the limited vegetarian options. Oh, and how quickly the food perishes. But you’d find that with any fresh food. It’s how you know it’s real food! They also have you set up on a subscription-style membership so your food will automatically ship each week, even if you don’t customize your menu – which could be a good or bad thing depending on how you swing it. But thanks to their user-friendly, intuitive website, they make it really easy to skip a week or cancel services. Just make sure you do so five days or more before your delivery!
Some sample meals from their current menu include firecracker meatballs, yellow squash flatbreads, pork and poblano tacos, and chicken sausage and spinach ravioli.
Cost: Starting at $7.49 per serving or $60 per week – this price includes two servings of three meals and shipping.
Service Locations: Nationwide
Blue Apron is the grandfather of meal delivery services, except now it’s got quite the competition. Even so, it’s hard to beat Blue Apron at their own game especially if you’re a big advocate for saving the world. The chefs at Blue Apron collaborate with local farmers to create meal plans derived from sustainable farming practices and less wasted food. Each ingredient comes complete with its story so you never have to wonder where you’re food came from. Blue Apron is also a really great option if you’re vegetarian or vegan. You can choose to have meals sent with Beyond Meat, a meat alternative, or opt for a meat-free option. Looking to lose some weight? Blue Apron teamed with Weight Watchers to offer menu options that make it effortless to maintain a healthy lifestyle.
Back on the wine thing, but Blue Apron knocked Hello Fresh out of the park with this one. We’ve got two words for you – wine subscription – and it all comes straight from the vineyard. This is a monthly subscription that sends you a box filled with 6, 500 mL wines, tasting notes, and the story behind each bottle. You get all of these goodies for only $65.99 a month including shipping, or $10 a bottle.
Saving the world is great and all, but if you’re looking to save time you might want to take your business somewhere else. Although Blue Apron’s recipes are so easy a six-year-old could do it, they take about 45 minutes to complete.
Sample recipes from their current menu include chicken Milanese, spiced salmon and garlic yogurt, coconut vegetable curry, white cheddar beyond burger, and curry chicken pitas.
Cost: $60 per week for two servings
Service Locations: Nationwide
At Sun Basket, nothing is as important as their ingredients. All produce is certified organic, the meat is antibiotic-free, and all seafood is wild-caught straight from the ocean – as it should be. Even the packaging is made of 100% recyclable materials. Sun Basket allows you to pick your specific diet in their menu options – paleo, vegan, Mediterranean, diabetes-friendly, gluten-free – you name it, they can create it. With options for breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinners you’ll be able to feel good about the food you’re putting into your body and cut back time spent grocery shopping and cooking it, too.
All of their meals are dietician-approved, full of flavor, and despite being easy to make, they’re creative too! Imagine telling your friend that you had pork chops with fig agrodolce and caraway cabbage for dinner. They’ll be more than impressed, and your tastebuds will be too. The only major downside of Sun Basket is the lack of service in four of the 52 states, but that only applies to you if you live in one of those four states. If you don’t, lucky you! Take advantage of this environmentally friendly, health-conscious meal delivery service.
Sample meals from their current menu include sesame-crusted salmon with orange and roasted carrot salad, Thai chicken lettuce cups, and turkey tacos with roasted red pepper salsa and queso fresco.
Cost: $72 per week for three meals, two servings each.
Service Locations: Nationwide not including New Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, and Montana
If you’re big into cooking pop culture, or pop culture at all, then you’ll recognize Martha & Marley Spoon’s founding woman – Martha Stewart. She and renowned German food company Marley Spoon created this meal delivery service with the simple goal of making weeknight dinners easier and much more delicious. Every week, you get to pick from a handful of meals taken right from her cookbooks with options to make them gluten-free, low carb, and dairy-free. One of the best parts about Martha & Marley Spoon though is their mouth-watering side dishes and meal garnishes. A steak is just a steak, but when paired with roasted parsnips and green beans, it’s a five-star meal. You can also head to “The Spoonful,” their blog, t0 learn about anything and everything ranging from what’s in season to grilling tips and more!
This is one of the pricier options, but you get what you pay for, and with this option, you do get some high-quality ingredients. All of the beef is grass-fed, the shrimp is caught right here in America, and each ingredient is bought from small food businesses. It’s up to you whether or not that’s worth the price bump.
On another note, Martha and Marley Spoon might not be the best option for our vegetarian or vegan readers as most menu items are centered around meat or seafood. Although most meals are not centered around meat (this is a real shocker, but we’re here for it!) Instead, they let some of the other key players step up as the star. Point is, some of the recipes could easily be made without the meat.
Sample meals from their current menu include skinny chicken parm, Moroccan roast pork tenderloin, roasted gnocchi, and garlic-butter steak and creamed greens.
Cost: $8.20 – $12 per serving
Service Locations: Austria, Australia, Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Netherlands, Nationwide not including New Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii, and Montana
We’ll cut right to the chase. Every Plate is the best meal delivery service for those of you on a budget. Each meal on the basic plan averages out to about $5 per serving and the serving sizes range from two to four, but if you’re a party of one, you can use the leftovers from each meal for lunch or dinner the next day.
The cost is a major perk of this option as long as you’re not a picky eater. Unlike some of their competitors, Every Plate only offers about eight meal options each week. And they don’t quite have as many customization options for those of you following a specific diet. In fact, to help keep their services affordable, they do not cater to any special diets. If you do have a restriction though, you can check for the allergen information in the recipe details. Still, you can’t beat their low prices especially when you factor in the idea that you can have a healthy, home-cooked meal for less than the price and a little more effort than a full meal at McDonald’s. And if you’re a student, you can get 18 meals for just $2.50 each! Seriously, such a steal. We’re considering going back to college just to get the discount.
Sample meals from their current menu include spicy honey butter chicken, pork and pineapple rice bowls, soy-glazed meatloaves, and hotel butter steak with brussels sprouts.
Cost: $39 per week for three meals, two servings each including the delivery fee.
Service Locations: Most of the continental United States
If you spend any time on Instagram at all, then chances are you’ve already seen Daily Harvest splattered all over your feed. Their aesthetically-pleasing packaging makes them hard to miss. Daily Harvest is an easy and delicious way to get in all your fruits and veggies. Each recipe is completely plant-based, organic, and free of the dirty dozen. They have cup options for pre-prepared smoothies, harvest bowls, soups, bites, oat bowls, chia bowls, and lattes that help you keep healthy nutrients in your diet despite your busy schedule. All you have to do is select how many cups you want to be delivered, the frequency, and the specific recipes you want sent to your door.
Fair warning – you do have to have a blender for most of these cups as they come frozen, and it’s on you to add the liquid and blend it up. If you choose to get the harvest bowls, you’ll also need a microwave or a stove.
Sample cups from their current menu include strawberry and peach smoothie, cauliflower rice and pesto harvest bowl, sweet potato and wild rice hash bowl, tomato and zucchini minestrone, apple cinnamon oat bowls, and cacao nib and vanilla bites.
Cost: $6.99 per cup
Service Locations: Nationwide
If you’re not a fan of cooking – like at all – but you still want to try to eat more from home, you’re going to want to check out Freshly. Freshly is the only meal delivery service that actually involves no cooking. Well, you still have to heat up your food. There’s no preparing, cutting, measuring, or sauteeing though! All meals are pre-cooked and ready for your enjoyment in under three minutes. Think you can handle that? Unlike other quick-make meals, these aren’t frozen, the recipes are good for you, and so are the ingredients. So there’s really no guilt, hassle, or effort involved. Also unlike its competitors, the meals are individually packaged with options to add up to 12 meals per week. Feel free to add on some snacks or desserts too! Each meal comes gluten-free, protein-dense, free from refined sugars, and completely natural. In their words, their meals are “ready in minutes, delicious, and nutritious.”
As mentioned, Freshly only offers individually packaged meals, so if you’re looking for a family plan, Freshly might not be your perfect match. They also rotate the menu weekly, meaning that if you really enjoy one of their options, chances are you won’t see it again. This could be a pro though if you’re a very adventurous eater.
Sample meals from their current menu include steak peppercorn with sauteed carrots and french green beans, Sicilian-style chicken parm with broccoli, buffalo chicken with loaded cauliflower, and sausage baked penne with sauteed zucchini and spinach.
Cost: $50 per week for one person, four meals. Various plans are available.
Service Locations: 48 states – head HERE to see if yours is one of them.
By this point, you might be wondering “what on earth does this meal kit do differently than the seven above?” The answer is simple. Unlike those seven, ALL of the ingredients in Green Chef’s meal kits are certified organic. If this isn’t something you value, skip down to Bistro MD, but if it is, you’re going to want to read this.
Green Chef plays a lot off of the “you are what you eat” quote. This is why every ingredient is whole, non-GMO, pesticide-free, no growth hormones or antibiotics, USDA certified organic and comes from sustainable, traceable sources. Hence the word “green” in the name. The entire idea was to build a business grounded in green innovation. Beyond the ingredients, the packaging is also reusable, compostable, and yes – recyclable. And although they don’t go into detail, they claim to offset 100% of their carbon emissions.
But there’s a lot more than organic ingredients when you choose to order your meals from Green Chef. It’s also a great way to stick to your diet as they have options organized by diet type including keto, paleo, balanced living (also known as meals including balanced proportions of meats, veggies, and fats), and plant-powered.
Sample meals from their current menu include roasted seed-crusted chicken, sausage with cheesy butternut mash, pesto panko chicken with mozzarella, and cranberry BBQ chicken burgers.
Cost: Starts at $9.99 a meal
Service Locations: Nationwide
Upon first glance, the “MD” in Bistro MD might seem like meaningless letters following the real name. Or maybe you actually caught what they really mean – we didn’t. The MD in the name isn’t there for kicks and giggles. It’s there because each item on this menu was hand-selected by a team of doctors (MDs) and chefs to bring those who struggle following a specific healthy diet some help. We’re talking those that need to follow a diabetic, heart-healthy, menopause, vegetarian, or gluten-free diet, although Bistro MD is mainly created for those who need help losing weight.
What’s so cool about this one is that after you order, dieticians on the Bistro MD team will create a custom meal plan based on your needs. You can specify certain taste preferences, choose breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner, and add their Essential and Tasty Snacks (EATS) snack program. What more could you ask for? With more than 150 meal options a week you can almost guarantee that your diet won’t ever be boring. You can get healthy without even choking on a salad.
There is one major con to this one – or pro depending on how you look at it – and that’s that all meals come frozen. The perks of this are that they involve no cooking, not even sauteing the pre-cut veggies. All that’s required of you is to pop it in the microwave and stick it in your mouth. Which is great if you have struggle sticking to your meal plan, have no extra time, or lack any kind of cooking skills. But if you prefer your meals to be made with fresh ingredients, then we suggest going with one of the other options.
Sample meals from their current menu include bagel sandwich with turkey sausage and cheddar, chicken pad thai, dark chocolate chip crepe with pork sausage, and blackened chicken with creamy smoked paprika sauce.
Cost: Between $6.42 and $9.00 per serving
Service Locations: Nationwide, and only Anchorage, Fairbanks, and Eagle River in Alaska
Diet To Go is pretty comparable to Bistro MD except for the fact that it can be picked up in select locations including New Jersey, Los Angeles, Washington DC, and Baltimore. Other than that the idea is pretty comparable. With Diet to Go, you’ll enter your information including age, gender, weight, and level of physical activity. This information will then be used in conjunction with a BMI scale to create a custom meal plan. Meal to Go counts your calories for you and takes all of the headaches out of healthy eating. The website also lets you customize your menu options to help you swap out a meal or hit pause when you want to skip a week.
Some deciding factors for this one may be that the meals are all frozen with no option to order individual meals, the packaging is not recyclable, and there are absolutely no vegan or gluten-free options. That said, it does offer options for vegetarians, low-carb, and diabetic diets that don’t feel like diet foods. It also features free access to a team of health coaches, dietitians, and nutritionists reachable whenever you need them by phone or email.
Sample meals from their current menu include waffles with peaches and apples in syrup, chicken black bean wrap, herb baked salmon and turkey Reuben sandwich.
Cost: Starts at $7.52 a meal, shipping is $9.99 regardless of order size.
Service Locations: Nationwide
Any plant-based eaters out there looking for an animal-free meal delivery? Well, look no further than Purple Carrot. Purple Carrot is a completely vegetarian and vegan meal subscription service sporting unique recipes that extend far beyond grilled veggies. Each box features intuitive recipes, pre-proportioned ingredients, and seasonal recipes with fresh herbs and veggies. You also have the option to “add extras” such as granola bowls or peanut butter overnight oats to help spice up your mornings.
Granola bowls and veggies are great, but what we love even more than the fact that there’s a meal delivery service just for vegans, is the mission Purple Carrot stands for. The entire company is built off of helping users be more aware of their choices, improve chronic disease, and help save the planet by embracing the power of plants.
Fun fact – did you know that by eating one less burger a week, you can save what is the equivalent of 320 miles in carbon emissions? And, the fastest way to reduce your carbon footprint is by ditching the meat? We didn’t know that either until we checked out the “why plants” page, but we’re sold.
Sample meals from their current menu include hazelnut barley pilaf, avocado quinoa burgers, spicy sambal stir-fry, Mexican black bean skillet, and roasted aloo gobi. See – we told you these plant-based meals were far from boring.
Cost: Ranges between $11.99 per serving for 3 meals a week (feeds 2) or $7.99 per serving for 2 meals a week (feeds 6).
Service Locations: Nationwide
How to Choose the Right Meal Delivery Service
With so many options on the market, it can feel hard to choose the right meal delivery service for your needs. Each company offers up its own pros and cons and gathering the information on each one can be overwhelming. To help you decide, you’ll first want to choose what you need out of a meal delivery service.
You’re going to want to ask yourself first whether there are any dietary restrictions you absolutely cannot flex on. Then you’ll need to ask yourself what your goals are. Are you worried about the environment or trying to lose weight? Do you care about eating organic? Are you wanting to switch to a plant-based diet? Do you even want to cook or would you rather microwave pre-made meal?
Once you’ve figured out those logistics, you can decide how much you’re willing to spend and choose the plan that works best for your needs.