The best meal kit delivery services for 2019

id=”article-body” class=”row” section=”article-body”> Looking for the best meal kit delivery service in 2019? It seems field of options gets larger with every passing month but knowing the differences between each will help you make the best possible choice for your home meal kit needs. 

If you live anywhere where it’s even a little bit possible to glimpse the stoops of your neighbors, you’ve probably noticed cheerful boxes from the likes of Home Chef, Martha & Marley Spoon and Purple Carrot making ever more frequent appearances on said stoops over the last five years. The age of the meal kit food delivery service is upon us. It’s a type of convenience service that combines the efforts of chefs, nutritionists and personal shoppers, and delivers them into the hands of willing home cooks or enthusiastic eaters, with weekly menus and preportioned ingredients.

Read more: Best Meat Delivery Services of 2019 

I once met one of the founders of Blue Apron, whose box I’d become familiar with, thanks to the denizens of my apartment building. I mentioned that I thought the service sounded like a cool idea, but inundated him with a litany of reasons why such a thing didn’t apply to me: I work in an industry where meals are often provided; I’m rarely home; I’m culinary school trained; and so on. His counter-argument was flawless: “Can I send you a free box?” I mean, duh.

Despite my protestations, the reasons I enjoyed the service were plenty, and inspired me to continue my subscription with an occasional box. Even with culinary school credibility, I liked having ingredients I didn’t know of or would rarely seek out put directly into my hands. I was especially moved by a concept that provided me the single rib of celery that a recipe demanded, sparing me the heartache of watching an entire head of celery languish in my produce drawer when left to my own devices.

There are now dozens of meal kit delivery programs to choose from like Sunbasket, Purple Carrot and more with niche customizations to fit special diets like vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, low-carb, keto and just about anything else. You’ll also often find promotional offers for new customers and convenient features like the ability to skip weeks and cancel anytime. With no-to-limited commitment, if you’re a calendar master and an account-management ninja, you can dabble in any or all of these services and choose, week-by-week, which best suits your circumstances.

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Special Offer:  Save $80 with Home Chef! That’s $20 off your first four boxes! 

Home Chef

Best for those who are really hungry

Home Chef The meal choices at Home Chef are pretty typical for what we’ve seen from other meal kits, but what’s unique is that you are able to customize some of the meal choices. For example, with some options, you can order double the protein without doubling the overall portions. With other options, you can choose to order antibiotic-free protein instead of the standard version it typically comes with. Meal kits are usually pretty standard in their offering (which is what keeps them efficient to the masses), so this is a way for Home Chef to stand out among the crowded marketplace.

Subscription: $9.95 per serving for two or four servings per recipe, with additional premium recipes offered at market price. 

See at Home Chef Sun Basket

Best for those who really care about where their food comes from

Chowhound Healthy and fresh are common meal kit descriptors, but Sun Basket goes a step further. They’re committed to organic, non-GMO, sustainably and responsibly raised products, which they package in 100-percent recyclable materials to boot. Sun Basket’s recipes are developed by Justine Kelly, a San Francisco chef known for her work at the James Beard Award-winning Slanted Door restaurant, and for her appearance on “Top Chef.” All of her easy and delicious meals are nutritionist-approved (500 to 800 calories per serving), and most take only about 30 minutes to put together, with online tutorials available if you need a little extra guidance. You’ve got options too—you’ll be able to choose from a selection of 6 to 18 different recipes each week, including paleo, vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free meals, so you’ll always get what you want. Sun Basket delivery is available in 36 states, and shipments arrive on Tuesdays and Wednesdays between 8 a.m. and 9 p.m. For three meals each week, you’ll pay $74.93 for the two-person plan (or $11.99 per serving) and $143.87 for the four-person plan ($10.99 per serving), with a $5.99 shipping fee either way.  

Subscription: For three meals each week, you’ll pay $74.93 for the two-person plan (or $11.99 per serving) and $143.87 for the four-person plan ($10.99 per serving), with a $5.99 shipping fee either way. 

See at Sun Basket EveryPlate

Best for those on a budget

At just $4.99 per serving and an emphasis on hearty meals with generous portions, EveryPlate is the best plan for those whose journey into meal kit delivery is based on affordability. They keep overhead low by offering 8 recipes to choose from weekly, which does mostly exclude vegetarians and those on special diets, but the 8 available meals are full of variety and flavor otherwise. Get 18 meals for only $3.33 each, free shipping on your first order, + the ability to skip or cancel anytime.

Subscription: Each serving is only $4.99. Each weekly box includes three recipes with either two or four servings apiece.

See at EveryPlate Gobble

Best for those committed to actually cooking but who have no time

Brandy Yowell Gobble takes the template from the old guard of meal delivery kits but speeds it up by pre-chopping and part-cooking many of the components so that all recipes can be prepared in 15 minutes. Despite the “fast food” angle, menus have a sophisticated and worldly vibe. Weekly recipe choices are cleverly categorized into From the Range, From the Ranch, From the Sea and From the Earth options.

Subscription: Options range from $11.99 to $13.99 per serving, with options for two to four servings of two or three (or more!) recipes. 

See at Gobble Plated

Best for top chef aficionados

Plated With a whopping 20 weekly recipes to choose from, including a couple of dessert options, the very name Plated inspires fantasies of Padma Lakshmi standing over your kitchen table sampling forkfuls of chef-designed recipes whose components you might have had to practice pronouncing. That being said, relative ease is still largely the point, and sustainale and thoughtfully sourced ingredients are emphasize

Subscription: Options range from $9.95 to $11.95 per serving, with options for two to four recipes per week and two to four servings per recipe.

See at Plated Freshly

Best for those who crave home cooking but don’t actually cook

Freshly A few of these services provide fully cooked meals to your doorstep, and Freshly is a good one if you desire wholesome, familiar comfort foods such as peppercorn steak, penne bolognese or chicken and rice pilaf. Meals are prepared right before delivery and are never frozen. With minimal reheating required by you, it’s like having Mom cook for you, without having Mom live with you. (Sorry, Mom.)

Subscription: $8.99 to $12.50 per serving, with up to 12 servings per week. Shipping is free.

See at Freshly Green Chef

Best for those who are following a specific diet plan

Green Chef We like Green Chef for its versatility in the different specific diet plans available. They offer Paleo, Keto, Pescatarian, Vegan, Vegetarian options, and Gluten-Free options. No matter which diet you’re following (for health or personal reasons) you’ll be able to find a plan that works for you. Because they offer so many different diet plan options, this also makes Green Chef one of the most versatile meal kit delivery services since they offer a plethora of different menu options per week.

Subscription: $12.99-$11.99 per serving for a two-person subscription at 3 meals/week; $10.99 per serving for a four-person subscription at 2 meals/week. 

See at Green Chef Blue Apron

Best intro to meal kit delivery

Blue Apron Blue Apron is largely accepted to be the granddad of meal kit delivery programs in the US. The eight menus available weekly range from simple pastas to international options, with seafood and vegetarian menus always available. Even the simplest recipes might include an unfamiliar component or two, and the website often highlights these ingredients as an educational opportunity. Recipes are tagged with helpful keywords such as “customer favorite,” “quick and easy,” “great for grilling” and so on. Occasional promotions include menus from guest celebrity chefs, or recipes that highlight popular travel destinations. An optional wine pairing service is also offered.

Subscription: Options range from $7.49 to $9.99 per serving, with options for two to four recipes per week and two or four servings per recipe.

See at Blue Apron HelloFresh

Best for those with designer food allergies

HelloFresh HelloFresh helpfully tags each recipe accordingly, whether you are allergic to (or avoiding) dairy, gluten, soy, nuts and so on. Familiarity of components is key, even when applied to dishes from various world cuisines. A “dinner to lunch” element is a unique twist that provides the home cook a variation on tonight’s dinner to serve as a portable lunch tomorrow.

Subscription: Options range from $8.74 to $9.99 per serving, with options for two to four recipes per week and two or four servings per recipe, customizable along Classic, Veggie and Family plans.

See at HelloFresh Dinnerly

Best for those who crave simplicity

Dinnerly Dinnerly rolls out some pretty exciting-sounding meals such as summery chicken panzanella and risotto with asparagus and cannellini beans, but with no more than six ingredients per recipe, the damage done to your time and kitchen is minimized. Along with not overwhelming you with myriad components and multiple steps, the price tag for Dinnerly puts it squarely in the budget-friendly category, clocking in around $5 per serving.

Subscription: The options include a Two-Person Box for $30, or a Family Box for $60, each with three recipes for the week.

See at Dinnerly Read more: 

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