Best Meal Delivery Services for 2023
Best meal kits for families with picky eaters
What’s the best meal delivery service?
Meal kit delivery may have kicked off with Blue Apron more than a decade ago, but the concept has evolved into a booming industry with dozens of brands servicing millions of folks looking to save time and eat more healthily. The best meal delivery services send fresh, high-quality ingredients to be spun into easy weeknight meals. Others deliver fully prepared meals with menus and meal plans that can be tailored to specific diets. Of the many options out there, Blue Apron is still the best meal kit service for most people. (Hey, I guess practice does make perfect.) And for those looking to skip the cooking part altogether, Fresh N Lean is the best prepared meal delivery service we tested, out of more than two dozen.
Beyond these top performers, there are other excellent meal subscriptions to service every budget, set of dietary needs and nutrition goals, including meal delivery for the health-conscious; those looking to lose weight or cut out carbs; vegans and vegetarians; people keeping to a gluten-free diet; and people with diabetes or heart health concerns.
When deciding on the best meal delivery services, we put taste and freshness at the top of the list of criteria. Menu selection and variety, customer service, ease of ordering and overall value factor heavily into our rankings as well. Unlike TV dinners of decades past, many of these delivery services churn out tasty food without scary chemicals and preservatives. We’ve also looked closely to find the best meal kits for families and the best meal delivery services for those on specialty diets such as keto, paleo, diabetes-friendly and more.
For those who still want to cook but need a little helping hand, a handy meal kit delivery service will cut out the prep, shopping and planning. But if it’s a fully prepared meal you’re after, there are services for that and we’ve tested some of the best-known meal delivery operations — along with a few newbies — to see which ones cut the mustard, and which ones need a lot of ketchup just to get the food down.
Since there are many dozens of options to sort through, we’ve done a whole lot of testing and tasting to find the absolute best meal delivery services, bravely chowing on each for a minimum of one week. Below you’ll find the absolute best meal delivery for 2023.
Factors to consider
Cost per meal
There are great prepared meal delivery services as cheap as $5 to $9 per serving and others that cost more than $15. You’ll want to carefully consider your budget before diving into the meal subscription options.
Diet and nutrition goals
Meal services are engineered to service every type of diet possible. Consider your diet and nutrition goals (plant-based, keto, organic) and it will help you find the perfect fit.
Meals per week
Some services require you to order as many as five meals per week and function as a recurring subscription. Others allow you to order one-time deliveries of meals so you can tailor the number of meals to your liking.
Best meal delivery services of 2023
After testing more than two dozen of the most popular meal subscriptions available, these are the best prepared meal delivery services for 2023.
Pricing Starting at $8/servingType Meal kitRegional Availability 32 US states: Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Washington D.C., West Virginia, Wisconsin and WyomingNumber of Meal Options per Week 50+Menu Options/ Diet Types Vegetarian, diabetes-friendly, wellness, family-friendly, fast and easy
Blue Apron is largely accepted to be the granddad of meal kit delivery programs in the US and the brand still manages to deliver excellent meals with easy-to-follow recipes all at a fair price. The eight weekly menu choices available range from simple pasta dishes to inventive global cuisine, with seafood and vegetarian options available, too. With even the most basic recipes, you might find an unfamiliar component or two on the recipe card, and the website often highlights these ingredients as an educational opportunity.
The website is easy to navigate and recipes are tagged with helpful keywords such as “customer favorite,” “quick and easy,” “great for grilling” and so on. Occasional promotions include a menu from guest celebrity chefs or recipes that highlight popular travel destinations. An optional wine pairing service is also offered and Blue Apron is constantly launching special menus to help you prepare a festive spread for big food holidays like the Super Bowl and Thanksgiving.
See how Blue Apron compares to HelloFresh in our head-to-head review of the two popular meal delivery services or see my full review of the original meal kit service and how it holds up in 2023.
How much does Blue Apron cost? Blue Apron is right in the middle of the pack when it comes to cost. The price per serving ranges from $8 to $12, with options to prepare two to four recipes per week and two or four servings per recipe. While some services I tried such as Sunbasket and Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon might have slightly more high-end recipes, those services cost as much as $17 per serving.
Pricing Starting at $8/servingType Meal KitRegional Availability Continental United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Europe, JapanNumber of Meal Options per Week 30+Menu Options/ Diet Types Meat and veggies, veggies, family-friendly, fit and wholesome, quick and easy, pescatarian, low carb, low calorie
HelloFresh is all about choices, making it the best meal delivery service for families and homes with picky eaters. While you won’t find as much high-end, gourmet recipes, HelloFresh meals are all very tasty and fresh (hello, it’s right in the name).
This meal kit service also services special diets by providing more options than any other meal kit operation and allowing for substitutions to help you stay within your nutritional boundaries. Whether you’re looking for meal kits without dairy, gluten, soy, nuts or other allergens, HelloFresh allows you to sort recipes very easily and pick out the ones that work. This feature also makes sticking to a diet plan such as low-calorie, keto or paleo a snap.
HelloFresh has good portion sizes and it’s one of the most affordable meal kits, especially if you order meals large enough for a family.
How much does HelloFresh cost? Options range from $8 to $12 per serving, with options for two to six recipes per week and two or four servings per recipe, customizable along with Classic, Veggie and Family plans.
Read our Hello Fresh review.
Pricing Starting at $5/mealType Meal kitRegional Availability Contintental United StatesNumber of Meal Options per Week 20+Menu Options/ Diet Types Meat and veggie, veggie, family-friendly, quick and easy
You can barely find a coffee for $5 these days but this wallet-friendly meal kit service has plans that start under $6 a serving. That price drops even lower when you try cheaper EveryPlate’s sign-up offer.
So is the cheapest meal delivery service also good? We tried over 10 recipes from EveryPlate and there wasn’t a dud among them. EveryPlate is the best cheap meal kit service and that value is underscored with great meals, easy execution and large portions.
With EveryPlate can expect a lot of comfort food such as meatloaf, burgers and pasta dishes but there are healthier, low-calorie options and plant-based recipes as well. I found the ordering process simple and all my ingredients arrived fresh and in tact.
How much does EveryPlate cost? EveryPlate is the cheapest meal delivery service we’ve tried with most plans at just $5 or $6 per serving. Not too bad, right? Snag a sign-up offer and get meals starting at around $2 per serving.
Read our EveryPlate review.
Pricing Starting at $11/servingType Meal kit, pre-madeRegional Availability Continental United StatesNumber of Meal Options per Week Around 8 to 10Menu Options/ Diet Types 100% plant-based
For those seeking plant-based meal kits, look no further than Purple Carrot. This 100% vegan meal delivery service sends ingredients for meatless meals and it’s got plant-based cooking down to a science. Purple Carrot may not be the cheapest meal delivery service, but those extra bucks get you high-quality ingredients (often organic) and thoughtful recipes.
Purple Carrot takes its plant-based recipes pretty seriously and the goal is to help you create tasty and nourishing dinners the old-fashioned way, using fresh vegetables, grains, legumes and other whole foods. If you’re new to veganism and looking for only some plant-based or faux meat products like Impossible Beef that imitates the real thing, you might be better off with a service like HelloFresh.
There are about eight recipes to choose from each week. I tested a full week’s worth of meals — which you can read about in my full Purple Carrot review here — and enjoyed everything I had. Out of all the vegan meal kits I’ve tried, Purple Carrot’s provided me with the best knowledge of and practice for cooking vegan cuisine and its ingredient mainstays like lentils and grains. Purple Carrot also introduced me to some really interesting sauces and condiments like cashew cream and other nut-based “dairy” products.
A sample menu might include lemon-braised chickpeas with rosemary and cashew cheese, green curry lentils with brown rice and vegetables, and broccoli and cheddar soup with miso garlic croutons. There are also breakfast meal kit add-ons starting at $6 per serving.
How much does Purple Carrot cost? Purple Carrot meals are on the pricey side with recipes for two people clocking in at $13.25 per serving. Choose recipes for four and you’ll pay just $11 per serving.
Pricing Starting at $9/mealType Pre-madeRegional Availability United States nationwideNumber of Meal Options per Week 13Menu Options/ Diet Types Keto, vegan, paleo, protein, whole 30, mediterranean
Having tested all of the leading prepared meal delivery service options, Fresh N Lean ran away from the competition, ticking more boxes than any other. The food is healthy, thoughtfully prepared, tastes fantastic, looks appetizing and is fairly affordable depending on the plan you select.
Fresh N Lean has five meal plans to help keep folks on track with their specific nutrition goals including low-carb, vegan, paleo and protein-plus options. The food I tried was all made exceptionally well, made from simple, whole ingredients. Save for one dry chicken breast, everything I had was at least good, and most better than good, with some meals even bordering on restaurant quality. My favorite was a tender braised beef with vegetables and coconut-cilantro sauce.
How much does Fresh N Lean cost? Price per meal varies greatly depending on the plan you select as well as the number of meals per week. It’s roughly $8 to $10 if you order 10 or more meals per week. If you select lunch or dinners only, it’ll be less than $15 per meal. It’s not the cheapest, but not the most expensive either and totally worth the extra few bucks, in my opinion.
Read our Fresh n’ Lean review.
Pricing Starting at $10/mealType Pre-madeRegional Availability Most major metro areas in the Eastern and Western United StatesNumber of Meal Options per Week 50+Menu Options/ Diet Types Plant-based, vegan, vegetarian
I sampled more than 10 of Mosaic Food’s plant-based prepared meal offerings and the vegetarian prepared meal delivery service had an astoundingly high hit rate. Mosaic uses big and interesting global flavors and employs creative use of meat substitutes such as tofu, jackfruit, cauliflower and vegan sausages to create tasty and satisfying vegetarian meals — even for this omnivore.
There are some vegan meals, but many of them use dairy products, so vegans must choose their Mosaic meals carefully. But cooking isn’t your thing, Mosaic Foods is the best plant-based meal delivery service money can buy.
While everything I ate from Mosaic was at least good, some standouts included the bean and jackfruit chili, tomato olive and feta ragout and a tangy Thai noodle dish. All the food arrives frozen but still tastes surprisingly fresh upon defrosting and eating.
How much does Mosaic Foods cost? Mosaic meals are about $9 each and more like $5 per serving if you order the larger family-sized meals.
The food is simple to order from with a clear, concise website and no overly complicated plans. Simply choose the meals you want with a minimum order of $70 (about eight meals) and then decide how often you want them delivered — weekly, biweekly or monthly. You can change the meals, pause or cancel your subscription at any time.
Read our Mosaic Review.
Pricing Starting at $8/servingType Meal kit, pre-madeRegional Availability 98% of United StatesNumber of Meal Options per Week 30Menu Options/ Diet Types Calorie-conscious, carb-conscious
Home Chef is a popular meal delivery company and recently launched a line of oven-ready meals like Cajun chicken with rice and beans, meant to take nearly all the work out of dinner but still delivers home-cooked food, technically speaking.
If it’s oven-ready meal options you’re after you’ll want to choose Home Chef’s Fresh & Easy meals which are focused on easy oven-ready options. Plus this meal delivery service offers grill-ready meals for summer, 15-minute entree salads for those craving lighter fare or slow cooker meals that likewise require very minimal preparation and cleanup. This new category from Home Chef is designed to be low technical skill and is a good option if you’re wanting a home-cooked meal delivery plan but not interested in enlisting at a culinary institute to make a delicious meal happen.
How much does Home Chef cost? Most Home Chef meal delivery plans break down to around $7 to $9 per serving but will vary based on how many recipes and servings you order per week.
Read our Home Chef review.
Pricing Starting at $10/mealType Pre-madeRegional Availability Most of the continental United StatesNumber of Meal Options per Week 100+Menu Options/ Diet Types Gluten-free, dairy-free, keto, paleo, vegan, low calorie, low carb, plant-based
The best thing about CookUnity is the sheer volume of meal options you can choose from, all originating from chefs — some famous and some not — of different backgrounds and culinary styles. As a bona fide restaurant junkie, I would think of CookUnity not only as a tasty way to keep myself fed without having to cook but also as a fun way to learn about new kitchen personalities and restaurants for the next time I’m traveling to a new city or looking for a place to dine out locally.
I liked almost everything I tried, with recipes ranging from very healthy to more comfort-style food. There are plenty of options for vegetarians, too, but note that the menu will vary depending on where you live since they pull from local chefs to create the weekly offerings.
How much does CookUnity cost? Meals can be had for as cheap as $11 if you choose the large plan of 16 meals per week. The smaller plans will run you more like $12 or $13 per meal, which is not a bad deal considering the quality. The big downside is that CookUnity is still not currently available to all ZIP codes (check here).
Use promo code CNET30 for a 30% discount off of your first purchase.
Pricing Starting at $14/mealType Pre-madeRegional Availability United States nationwideNumber of Meal Options per Week 32Menu Options/ Diet Types Vegan, paleo, keto, AIP
Pete’s Real Food won me over in a week-long taste test of its healthy organic and paleo meals, earning a spot as one of the best healthy, organic meal delivery services for 2023. Pete’s meals are all fully prepared and ready to heat and eat.
The dozen or so Pete’s Real Food meals we’ve tested were all cooked well: meats were tender, vegetables (mostly) cooked to proper doneness and all the flavors worked. The food wasn’t overly seasoned and the recipes were mild and maybe even on the safe side, but nothing a few shakes of hot sauce can’t fix.
If you’re in training or keeping to a paleo plan and looking for lots of protein, healthy fats and nutrient-filled carbs such as sweet potatoes and beets, Pete’s should hit the spot. Pete’s has lots of ordering options, including vegan paleo meals, and the recipes are made to freeze so you can keep an inventory on hand for those days and nights when you need a quick fix.
How much does Pete’s Real Food cost? While it’s not the cheapest service out there, it’s actually cheaper than several other meal services that also use organic ingredients and quality meats, and Pete’s was better than most of them. You can nab a 10-pack of healthy meals for just $150 or subscribe for 10 meals per week for about $160. Either way you order, Pete’s meals break down to about $15 or $16 each.
Read our Pete’s Paleo review.
Pricing Starting at $8/mealType Pre-madeRegional Availability 95% of continental United StatesNumber of Meal Options per Week 40+Menu Options/ Diet Types Organic, whole fruits and vegetables, dairy-free, gluten-free
Editor’s note: On June 19, 2022, Daily Harvest issued a recall of its lentil and leek crumbles amid reports of serious illness. As of July 14, the brand reported that “all pathogen and toxicology results have come back negative.”
Daily Harvest launched in 2015 with an army of frozen and ready-to-blend smoothies, premade soups and hearty grain bowls to keep stocked in the freezer. Some of the bowls and soups could pass as dinner, but I like these best for a quick lunch or breakfast. Depending on the specific meal, you either drop it into a saucepan or skillet to heat and eat. Or add nut milk and blend it up, for Daily Harvest’s protein-packed smoothies, oat bowls and lattes.
This is a completely plant-based meal delivery service and is great if you want to simplify your week and keep meals healthy. Daily Harvest uses lots of ancient grains, oats and trendy superfoods like chia, avocado and kabocha squash in its recipes, which are satisfying and mostly well-balanced in flavor. The brand recently expanded offerings to include flatbreads, which I wasn’t crazy about, and snacks and desserts such as low-calorie ice cream and protein bites.
How much does Daily Harvest cost? With so many different offerings and options you can build a box with whatever you’d like. Smoothies and chia bowls can be had for as little as $7 per serving with bigger meals like grain bowls, soups and flatbreads in the $8-$9 range.
Daily Harvest often has a nice new-customer deal good for $30 or $40 off your first order, so look out for that.
Read our Daily Harvest review.
Pricing Starting at $10/mealType Pre-madeRegional Availability Continental United StatesNumber of Meal Options per Week Chef-selected menu or around 10 optionsMenu Options/ Diet Types Clean, whole 30, paleo, keto, vegan, vegetarian
Trifecta has healthy prepared meals that cater to a number of nutrition plans and diets — keto, paleo, low-calorie, clean eating and plant-based — so it’s perfect if you’re trying to incorporate more protein and fewer empty carbs. Trifecta also uses lots of organic ingredients as well as humanely raised chicken and grass-fed beef.
You’ll find mostly clean, lean meats and healthy vegetables in Trifecta meals with the occasional side of rice or grains too. While I didn’t love everything I tried, there were some real standouts and everything tasted very fresh. My personal favorite was Trifecta’s pesto salmon with quinoa and sautéed vegetables.
Pricing: This service is on the pricier side of the spectrum. Trifecta’s Clean Meal Plan will cost you $111 for a plan that includes 10 meals — which breaks down to around $10 per meal. If organic food with lots of fitness-friendly protein is important to you, this is the meal delivery service to try.
Read our Trifecta review.
Other meal delivery services we tried
- Splendid Spoon: I liked this smoothie and bowl service, which scratches a similar itch as Daily Harvest. The difference is these meals and drinks are already made, so if you don’t care to do any blending or stir-frying, I say give it a shot. Read my full review here.
- Territory Foods: This meal service supports area chefs by partnering with them to curate a menu of locally made and excellent eats. The food was some of the best I tried, and I found the recipes diverse and interesting. Ultimately the cost — meals are between $14 and $18 — kept it out of the top. Full review here.
- Factor: Factor’s food reminds me a lot of Fresh N Lean, with tons of lean and healthy recipes per week. The subscription service proved to be plenty edible, but I found Fresh N Lean meals to have a higher overall success rate and fewer misses. Full review here.
- BistroMD: BistroMD sports a wide range of diet-friendly food and is aimed at those looking to lose weight. While some meals were tasty, others were bland and boring.
- Ketogenic Diet-To-Go: This is another keto-friendly service, but I prefer Fresh N Lean or Pete’s Real Food’s offerings if you’re looking to go low-carb.
- Sakara Life: This plant-based delivery service is Instagram-ready and sends fresh meals as salads and grain bowls, breakfast bites and snacks along with wellness teas. I found everything to be rather tasty, but the exorbitant price keeps it out of the top ranks.
- Snap Kitchen: Snap is another decent prepared meal service that had some big hits but also some serious misses. Read my full review here.
- Provenance Meals: This plant-based meal service aims to be a dietary reset and sends frozen soups and grain bowls made from clean ingredients. The food is tasty but the big issue here is limited availability in the US along with the hefty cost per meal.
- FlexPro: These frozen keto meals were some of the worst I tried. I would not recommend the service.
- Nutrisystem: This diet food delivery service didn’t pass the taste test. Most meals were rubbery and lacked flavor.
- Sunbasket: Sunbasket is one of the better meal kit services with excellent recipes and fresh ingredients. But at $15 to $18 per serving, it’s too pricey to top the list.
- Green Chef: Green Chef specializes in healthy, organic meal kits. While it’s not a bad option, it’s also a splurge at $12 to $14 a serving.
- Dinnerly: While the price is right for this budget-friendly kit service, I found the recipes bland and boring.
- Gobble: This meal kit service does most of the prep for you, but it costs more than Blue Apron, HelloFresh and Home Chef, which keeps it off the best list.
- Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon: This is another meal kit service with high-end recipes and equally high prices to match.
Best prepared meal delivery compared
|Service||Subscription only||Meals offered||Meal options per week||Diets good for||Price per serving||CNET rating (out of 10)|
|Fresh N Lean||Yes||Breakfast, lunch, dinner||18||Keto, paleo, Whole30, gluten-free Mediterranean, vegan, vegetarian, high-protein||$8.49-$13||9.2|
|Home Chef Oven Ready||Yes||Lunch, dinner||7||None||$9||8|
|CookUnity||Yes||Lunch, dinner||100+||Keto, paleo, Whole30, gluten-free, dairy-free, low-sodium, Mediterranean, vegan, vegetarian, high-protein||$10 -$13||8.8|
|Pete’s Real Food||No||Lunch, dinner||28||Paleo, vegan, keto, autoimmune, gluten-free, dairy-free||$14-$19||9|
|Mosaic Foods||Yes||Lunch, dinner||80||Vegan, vegetarian||$5-$10||9.2|
|Trifecta Nutrition||Yes||Breakfast, lunch, dinner||Meals are preselected||Organic, keto, paleo, Whole30, gluten-free Mediterranean, vegan, vegetarian, high-protein||$8-$16||7.6|
|Daily Harvest||No||Breakfast, lunch, dinner||100+||Vegan, vegetarian, low-calorie, Whle30, paleo||$8-$10||8.8|
Best meal kits compared
|Service||Recipes per week||Diets good for||Avg. price per serving||Shipping||CNET rating (out of 10)|
|Home Chef||28||Keto, low-calorie, gluten-free, pescetarian||$9||Free on boxes over $40||8|
|Blue Apron||16||Vegetarian, low-calorie, gluten-free, pescetarian||$10||$10||8.2|
|HelloFresh||50+||Vegetarian, keto, paleo, gluten-free, diabetic, pescetarian||$9||$9||8|
|Purple Carrot||8||Vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free||$12||Free||8.6|
How I tested prepared meals
To test each meal delivery service, we tried at least five and sometimes as many as 10 meals from any given service. I choose a range of meals from the various menu and meal plan offerings. For instance, if a service offers plant-based meals I was sure to try at least one. We also mixed up the meal types to include pasta, meat dishes, bowls and other various styles offered by the brand.
I also careful note of each meal delivery service’s website, including what information was provided (ingredients, nutritional info), how clearly the menu was organized and how simple it was to pick a meal plan and order meals. When they arrived, I noted how well they were packaged and checked whether each meal was still chilled or frozen.
I reheated meals according to the instructions. If there were none, I heated them the way I would if left to my own devices. Often that meant warming gently in a nonstick skillet or reheating in my air fryer. Many of the meal delivery services offer a microwave heating option, but I almost always found that produced worse results than my trusted methods, even if they typically take a few seconds longer.
How I tested meal kits
Testing meal kits for CNET means rolling up our sleeves and cooking at least a week’s worth of meals from each service, often more. We also consider the website and how easy it is to navigate along with determining how easy it is to pause, cancel or change your order at any given time. if you hope to learn more, we have an in-depth look at how we test meal kits at CNET.
Factors to consider when choosing a meal delivery service
Who is meal delivery good for?
- Those looking to save time. Meal delivery is great for anyone who wants easy meals and fewer evenings spent cooking but doesn’t want to pony up the dough for expensive takeout.
- Those looking to eat more healthily. Many meal delivery services cater to Whole30, keto, paleo, vegan, vegetarian and organic eaters and can help you regulate fat, sugar, carbs and calories on a weekly basis.
- Families, in some cases. Certain meal kits with larger serving sizes are good for families. Mosaic Foods, for instance, has family meals that net out to just $5 a person. Meal kit services also have family plans that cost less per serving than buying meal kits for one or two people.
Who is meal delivery not good for?
- Those on a tight budget. While some services are affordable, meal delivery is often more expensive than cooking at home per serving. Anyone on a tight food budget may not be a good fit for meal delivery.
- Those with extreme dietary needs. Folks with allergies or drastic dietary restrictions may not want to use a meal delivery service. If you do, be sure to confirm there is no cross-contamination of allergens when the culinary team is preparing food and consult with your physician before starting.
FAQs for meal delivery
Is meal delivery worth it?
If you’re looking to save time and energy during the week, meal kits and prepared meal services. Meal delivery often saves you from having to choose recipes, shop for ingredients and cook from scratch. Meal delivery is typically a little more expensive than buying the groceries yourself, but if you choose a budget-friendly service such as EveryPlate or Dinnerly, the cost is about the same.
Which is the cheapest meal kit?
EveryPlate and Dinnerly are the cheapest meal kit services in 2023, and both have plans with meals starting at around $5 or $6 per serving. Of the two, EveryPlate was our favorite cheap meal kit delivery service.
Which is the cheapest meal delivery service?
Mosaic Foods is the cheapest meal delivery service we tried, with portions as low as $5 per serving for a family plan and $9 or $10 for individual meals. Excluding unhealthy fast food, it’s tough to find restaurants or takeout services that’ll feed you nutritious and tasty food for so little money. And some of these budget-friendly meal subscriptions delivered some pretty tasty fare, on par with the pricier operations.
Which is the healthiest meal delivery service?
HelloFresh is the best meal kit service for those looking to eat healthy. This service offers the most diet-friendly meals including keto meal kits, low-calorie options and vegetarian food.
For meal delivery, options are vast and certain prepared meal delivery services and meals including as Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Fresh N Lean and Daily Harvest staff dietitians and other experts infuse health and diet science into the weekly menus.
The healthiest services offer prepared menus and healthy meals or meal kits tailored for almost any dietary preference, including carnivores, vegetarians, flexitarians, vegan and other plant-based diets. They can also cater to those with dietary restrictions who are keeping to a keto, low-sodium, gluten-free, organic, low-carb, low-sugar or paleo diet. Even picky eaters will find something they like with all these prepared meal options.
Why is meal delivery so popular now?
Making dinner can be enjoyable, but dinner burnout can catch up to you quickly. Since most restaurants charge a pretty premium for takeout and delivery, and meal prep can eat up precious hours of your work week, an easy meal plan from one of these services can help lighten your daily load. And if meal delivery elicits thoughts of overly salted instant mashed potatoes and mystery meat, know that prepared food — both fresh and frozen — has come a long way in the past few years.
What’s the difference between meal delivery and frozen dinners?
Now, you might be wondering how meal delivery recipes differ from the frozen meals or classic TV dinners you find in the grocery store — and it’s a fair question. For one: Most are made just before shipping to you, so each individual meal is significantly fresher — which you can often taste. Because they don’t sit on grocery store freezer shelves, most are free from unhealthy preservatives or mounds of salt, too.
Lastly, these prepared meal delivery services often use higher quality ingredients and get a bit more creative with their rotating recipes, although it does vary from brand to brand. Prepared meals range anywhere from $5 to $18 per serving, depending on the service and specific meal plan you choose.