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Hungryroot review 2024: The meal delivery service for busy people

Our honest review of Hungryroot, the meal kit/grocery delivery hybrid that makes dinnertime a cinch.

I’ve been testing (and tasting) meal kits for years. Simplifying the burden of dinner prep appeals to me, and the ubiquitous free trials appeal even more. At this point, I’ve tried almost every meal delivery service on the market. But there’s only one I’ve stuck with — and paid for — long after the introductory offer: Hungryroot. Here is my honest Hungryroot review.

Unlike popular competitors like HelloFresh and Blue Apron, Hungryroot isn’t just a box of ingredients pre-portioned and prepped for a set of rotating recipes. And unlike prepared meal delivery services, Hungryroot isn’t a heat-and-eat box either. Instead, it’s a hybrid approach, with both recipe ingredients and extra grocery items to fill in the gaps between dinners. For example, the box I tested included baby carrots and grapes to snack on, pumpkin spice cookies for dessert, and even a ready-to-eat breakfast burrito.

Read more: The best meal kit delivery services and the best healthy meal delivery services of 2024, tested and reviewed


Price: $9.69-$11.39/serving (plus the cost of groceries) | Variety: ~5,000 recipes to choose from | Diet choices: Vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, allergen-free, 500 calories or less, carb-conscious, kid-friendly | Skill level: Beginner friendly | Taste: 6/10

VERDICT: So, is Hungryroot worth it? This meal kit doesn’t court foodies or avid home chefs, but if meal planning and cooking are annoying necessary evils on your neverending to-do list, Hungryroot meals are for you.

  • Huge recipe database
  • Prepackaged snacks are great for kids
  • Recipes take as little as 5 minutes
  • Some recipes trade taste for convenience
  • Many recipes feature precooked meat, which can be overly salty
  • Algorithm doesn’t seem great at predicting preferences
$9.69-$11.39/serving at Hungryroot

Hungryroot is a hybrid meal kit and grocery delivery service that features thousands of simple recipes and grocery items that you can mix and match for near-infinite combinations. Subscription plans are built on a customized “food profile," based on your answers to an initial quiz, plus your ongoing feedback. You can also override the algorithm and order whatever you want.

The food quiz starts with logistics, like how many servings of each meal you’ll need, then gets into specific queries about eating habits and preferences — allergies? Dietary concerns? Foods you refuse to eat?

I need enough food to feed my spouse and toddler son, so I requested four dinner recipes, a few lunch options and a couple of snacks in each box. I checked off most global cuisine options, from Indian to Italian, and all protein options except smoked fish (not a fan!). I said I’d prefer meals like tacos and stir-fries to soups and sandwiches. I requested recipes that skewed quick-and-easy, and said no thanks to anything that calls for a blender (which, somehow, I do not own).

The Hungryroot website is divided into Recipes and Groceries; each item has a point value rather than a price. My plan includes 77 points per box, but you can purchase more points or roll over points if you don’t use them up. The system put together a virtual box for me, based on my profile: four recipes and some extra grocery items. I could have stopped there, but I wanted to explore my options a bit more. I had fun swapping recipes and filling in with random 1- or 2-point grocery items.

I found the algorithm to be less than perfect (stop trying to make Buffalo Chicken Jerky Sticks happen, Hungryroot!), but it’s actually kind of fun to fill up your box manually, especially since the point system makes it feel like you’re working with Monopoly money.

With all 77 points accounted for, all that was left was to wait for my first box. I chose Monday for my weekly delivery.

Prices for a Hungryroot subscription vary depending on how many meals and grocery items you select — that is, how many points are available in your cart. For the meal portion of your box, per-serving prices range from $9.69 to $11.39 (the number of recipes and number of servings play a role in the calculation). The least expensive per-serving box would be 3-4 recipes with 4 servings each (12-16 servings total) or 7-8 recipes with 2 servings each (14-16 servings total)

Recipes per box

2-serving plan

4-serving plan






















Add-on grocery items cost extra. When you set up your food profile, you’ll determine how many servings of breakfast items, fruits, snacks, sweets and kids’ snacks you’d like (anywhere from 0 to 13). Grocery additions can add as little as $5 to your box, or up to $155 if you really go for broke. Shipping is free if you spend at least $70. And yes, you can sacrifice grocery points for extra meals. Hungryroot don't care!

Each Hungryroot box arrives lined with recyclable cold packs (“EnviroIce”), with perishables on the bottom and shelf-stable items on top. Also included is a cardboard printout with your recipes for the week (super-handy for those who don’t like to swipe on a phone with raw-chicken hands), along with a guide for using up extra ingredients.

A Hungryroot box filled with bags of little potatoes, pearled farro, green beans, a red bell pepper and so on.
A peek inside my very first Hungryroot box.

The ingredients for each recipe aren’t preportioned as they are in competing meal kits. You get full-size items that may or may not be entirely used up when you cook. Common recipe ingredients include bagged salad kits, prechopped stir-fry veggies, tubs of marinara sauce, full-size packages of tortillas and even spice packets. Many meat options are precooked, great for speeding up dinner prep (and great for newbie chefs), but some arrive raw.

Hungryroot says all of its food is free of partially hydrogenated oils, artificial sweeteners, high-fructose corn syrup and artificial colors and preservatives. Many snacks and ingredients are also gluten-free or vegan — sometimes unexpectedly. I unknowingly ordered cauliflower pasta and vegan cheese ravioli, and you know what? They were good!

Salads are some of the fastest and easiest Hungryroot meals to put together, but their simplicity belies their ability to hit the spot. This recipe included two Caesar salad kits, two avocados, and two packages of pre-cooked chicken breast. It was basically toss-and-eat. As a lifelong salad fan, I quite enjoyed this meal. It was even a hit with my toddler, who loved the flavorful blackened chicken and creamy Caesar dressing.

Chicken Avocado Caesar Salad in a bowl.
The Chicken Avocado Caesar Salad recipe was quick and delicious.

This recipe took a little longer to move from fridge to table (38 minutes), but the results were worth it. I filled halved bell peppers with ground beef and marinara sauce, topped with mozzarella and baked. This meal could have benefited from some kind of a side, but I did appreciate that it was low in carbs. These stuffed peppers also reheated beautifully for the next day’s lunch.

Classic Italian Stuffed Peppers on a plate.
These cheesy, satisfying Classic Italian Stuffed Peppers made for a great lunch the next day too.

One might call this recipe “serviceable.” It was quick to put together (just the three ingredients name-checked in the title) and it stemmed my hunger. But the taste was just OK — the toothsome farro and unseasoned green beans were more utilitarian than epicurean.

Shawarma Chicken + Green Bean Farro Bowl in a pan and on a plate.
The Shawarma Chicken + Green Bean Farro Bowl recipe was just OK.

I love a good paneer dish at my local Indian restaurant, but this recipe was ... not it. I found the texture of the cooked paneer to be closer to that of scrambled eggs, making this recipe one of the rare Hungryroot meals whose leftovers I let go to the great compost bin in the sky. I forgot to snap a photo of it, but you can trust me that it was nowhere near as photogenic as Hungryroot’s professional shot suggests.

The Coconut Curry Paneer Rice Bowl, ready to eat.
The Coconut Curry Paneer Rice Bowl recipe looked good, but I wouldn’t try it again. (Photo: Hungryroot)

In addition to the meals, my box included grocery items to eat for breakfast, dessert or snacks, including a Nitro Cold Brew Oat Milk Latte (yum), Brie Bites (yes, please), a Chicken Tikka Naan Toastie (would buy again), a Stroopwafel cookie (longtime fave) and an individual hummus and pita chips package (perfect for my son’s lunch). Hungryroot’s grocery options run the gamut from basic produce — grapes, lettuce — to pantry staples like pasta or salsa to kid-friendly snacks. My son has requested — nay, begged for — an encore of the organic smoothie pouches.

For several years, I’ve wanted to create an automated system that would scan my favorite recipes for ingredients and turn them into a grocery list that is auto-magically added to my grocery delivery service cart to be delivered right to my door. The problem is, I’m not an app developer and there’s only so much a spreadsheet can do.

Discovering Hungryroot is the closest I’ve come to realizing this dream of dinnertime efficiency. Hungryroot essentially takes meal planning and grocery shopping off your list, and it makes the actual cooking part as close to automated as possible. If you’re like me, and eating is just something you have to do to avoid succumbing to scurvy or hanger (hunger + anger), and the grocery store is the absolute last place you’d like to find yourself after a long day at the office, this is the meal kit for you. And if you’ve got kids for whom daily lunches need packing, same goes for you.

If you consider cooking to be even remotely relaxing, if it’s your evening creative outlet or stress reliever, if you seek gustatory novelty or enjoy learning new knife skills, Hungryroot’s efficiency-forward meals may actually offend you in their simplicity. For budding home chefs, there are plenty of other great meal kit options that will scratch that creative itch, but Hungryroot is probably not for you.

Hungryroot seems like a company that takes sustainability seriously. Each box and all packing materials are completely recyclable, including the EnviroIce cold packs that keep perishable food on ice. The cold packs need to be defrosted, then cut open and emptied of gel before the bags can be recycled. But the gel is safe to be dumped down the drain, and it even doubles as plant food — really, I fed it to my tomato plants!

Beyond packaging, Hungryroot has a frankly impressive offering of meat alternatives in its recipe database, and its “cookbook” is searchable by ingredient, so you can easily find ways to use up extra ingredients and minimize food waste.

Skipping a week is really easy on the Hungryroot website, and you can skip up to three boxes in advance. Hungryroot will also send you a weekly email that not only lets you know what’s new that week, but doubles as your reminder to skip (or alter your cart). Hint: If you skip a box, Hungryroot may send you a coupon to nudge you to unskip it.

Every recipe can be viewed on the Hungryroot website prior to adding it to your cart. You’ll see which ingredients are included, as well as full nutritional information for each serving.

The frozen EnviroIce cold packs arrived on my doorstep as solid blocks of ice, and Hungryroot says boxes can safely remain on your front porch for several hours without sacrificing freshness. That said, you can always change your delivery day to work better with your schedule, and you can also sign up to receive a text message when your package arrives.

Yes, all outer packaging materials are recyclable — box, liners and cold packs — and many of the individual ingredients and grocery items come inside recyclable packaging as well.

For this review, I tried a week of Hungryroot recipes and groceries with my spouse and preschool-age son. I am famously cooking-averse and tend to avoid the kitchen for anything beyond reheating leftovers, so when it comes to rating recipes by ease of execution, my bona fides are quite solid.

I evaluated Hungryroot based on the following criteria:

  • Subscription price

  • Ease of use

  • Menu choices

  • Taste

  • Packaging

I think Hungryroot is an exceptional option for busy families who want to get dinner on the table as easily as possible without sacrificing flavor or healthy options. Hungryroot takes the guesswork out of meal planning, completely obviates the need for grocery shopping and turns cooking into something even I can handle. But if you’re a foodie or an amateur chef for whom dinner is something to savor rather than get through, this meal kit may leave you hungry.


Price: $9.69-$11.39/serving (plus the cost of groceries) | Variety: ~5,000 recipes to choose from | Diet choices: Vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, allergen-free, 500 calories or less, carb-conscious, kid-friendly | Skill level: Beginner-friendly | Taste: 6/10

$9.69-$11.39/serving at Hungryroot