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Many of us have found a new love for cooking at home a lot more these days, so it's more important than ever before to simplify meal prep. With busy work schedules, weeknight dinners can sometimes fall by the wayside. Thankfully, these trusty meal delivery services can help you out where logistics can't.
There are tons of options for meal delivery services to help you plan wholesome breakfasts, lunches, and dinners in advance. They bring the ingredients right to your front door and even coach you in the kitchen with step-by-step tutorials.
Regardless of your family's size, dietary restrictions, or culinary chops, there's a plan designed just for you. We even included a meal service specifically designed for families with little ones to encourage healthy cooking and eating habits from a young age, as well as those that offer signature curations from award-winning chefs.
The Best Meal Delivery Services
What to Consider
Before you get overwhelmed by the tons of options available, here's what to keep in mind when outsourcing your dinners:
Probably one of the most, if not the most crucial things to consider is your household's dietary preferences. A meal plan that caters specifically to those restrictions, or at least has some flexibility to its menu — like having plant-based, kid-friendly, or heart-healthy options, for example — is a must.
Servings and Frequency
How many people are you feeding every evening? Look for meal delivery services that have options for larger (or smaller) families, depending on the size of your household. Plans that also have lunch options can be good to look into as well, especially now that many are working remotely.
How many meals during the week do you want to prepare? The frequency or number of servings is also something to think about, with many typically opting for around three to five dinners a week.
Unless stated as pre-made, microwaveable, or oven-ready, meal kits will usually still involve some degree of prep and cooking. Depending on how busy you are or your overall skill level in the kitchen, pick a service that caters to your needs best, whether that be a plan that has microwaveables or under-30-minute recipes, or something more complex.
Tied to how many servings your meal plan offers is the cost for each serving. Determine your budget and toggle accordingly — many delivery services offer dinner at less than $10 a plate. Prices can vary depending on the servings and number of meals you order, with more meals usually costing cheaper overall.
Another no-brainer, but it bears saying that many meal services in the United States can have shipping limitations. Check their site for availability in your area to ensure that not only are they able to deliver to your location, but that they're also capable of doing so in a timely manner so your food comes fresh and on your chosen schedule.
Our top picks for the best meal delivery services will take the stress out of mealtimes and give you more energy to focus on what really matters: enjoying that plate of food!
From the pre-measured ingredients to simple step-by-step recipes (the Ikea of cooking!), HelloFresh is an incredibly user-friendly meal delivery service that can be customized to fit both couples and families. With customizable meal plans, easy-to-follow recipes, and family-friendly preferences at less than $10 per meal, this subscription kit is both robust and affordable for those on a budget.
HelloFresh supplies all the ingredients you'll need for weeknight meals that are carefully planned and locally sourced. The fact that it has six chef-curated, customizable meal plans, plus supports swaps and upgrades via the HelloCustom option to satisfy a wide variety of dietary preferences — on top of nationwide availability — earns it our vote of best overall meal delivery service.
Cheapest for Families
Dinnerly proudly claims itself as the most affordable option, so those with a tighter budget can still grab some great-tasting recipes (over 100 recipes are available to choose from each week!) that even the fussiest of eaters will be hard-pressed to resist. Each meal only has five steps, simplifying the prep-and-cook process, and you can filter through to categories such as One-Pot Meal, Under 30 Minutes, Kid-Friendly, or No Added Gluten, among actual protein preferences such as Meat, Fish, or Veggie.
All recipes are available online, complete with skill level and nutrition information for easy reference. There are also some ready-made options for snacks and desserts, as well as Markey by Dinnerly, which allows you to add groceries or pantry staples to your weekly box.
If you or your partner are pinched for meal-planning time during the week but still love to experiment with new cuisines, Blue Apron is the meal kit for you. The OG of meal plans, their chefs work directly with farmers to create recipes that are sustainably farmed, as they’re on a mission to build a better food system by using non-GMO seasonal produce and sustainably sourced proteins.
Oh, and rookie cooks, rejoice: They also have a series of how-to videos on their blog that covers basic skills. And did we mention the fact that they also offer a wine subscription, as well as an online store with items like kitchen tools, pantry staples, and ready-for-gifting holiday meal boxes
Best Pre-Made Plant-Based
If your diet is plant-based, Veestro will make weeknight dinners a no-brainer. With meals that come fully prepared and require zero prep work (all you need to do is reheat, as they come fresh), these meals are ideal for vegans or vegetarians pressed for time — or creativity!
Veestro's plant-forward entrees — think teriyaki tofu bowls, savory Indian stews, and harvest butternut squash risottos — are prepared by chefs using vegan, gluten-free organic ingredients, and are then fresh-frozen. Especially handy is their <500 filter, which allows you to mix and match any combo of meals that are less than 500 calories a day, thereby removing any guesswork. All meals are also packed in 100% compostable carton trays or 100% recyclable BPA-free plastic pouches.
Classic crowd-pleasing meals that start at less than $8 a serving, plus servings for larger families (up to six servings) — it’s not hard to see why Home Chef is considered one of the options that not only gives you the most bang for your buck, but also the most flexibility.
Their recipes take around 30 minutes or less to create, and users can filter through to their desired skill level, restrictions, or prep time (example options are “Calorie-Conscious,” “<30min,” “Carb-Conscious,” or “Culinary Collection,” as well as other filters for holiday or microwaveable/oven-ready dinners and even snacks, bread, breakfast, and dessert).
Another perk we absolutely love? Students and heroes — doctors, nurses, hospital employees, military, first responders, and teachers — get a discount.
Best for the Health-Conscious
Those on a ketogenic or macro-counting kick will love the options provided by FlexPro’s meal delivery service, which is one of the most protein-forward meal kits on our list. Subscribers can choose between two kinds of low-calorie portion sizes: Fat Trimmer, which offers 230 to 500 calories per meal, or Lean Muscle, which offers 320 to 780 calories per meal. You then choose anything from seven to 21 meals a week.
You get to pick from over 35 recipes — and provided you place your order before 3 p.m. EST from Monday to Thursday, your microwave-ready meals will then ship the same day (and ships the next day of the upcoming week if you order from Friday to Sunday)!
Hailing themselves as the “Amazon Prime of meal delivery,” they make access to quick, easy, and healthy food so much simpler for those just beginning their nutrition-conscious journeys. Loyal customers also sing their praises for convenience and taste quality.
Best for Detoxing
You wouldn’t be remiss in thinking that Sakara was one of the priciest options (especially for one that’s fully plant-based), but the company justifies the spend with their healthy, all-organic offerings that focus on transformative nutrition that’s actually flat-out delicious. Eunice Lucero-Lee, our senior editor, agrees: “I’m an omnivore through and through, but their Signature Nutrition Program didn’t leave me feeling deprived at all; quite the opposite, in fact. I tried it a few weeks before my wedding and was blown away by the flavors and how filling the meals were — and the fact that they helped me get rid of any bloating!”
This is why those seeking to reset and rejigger their lifestyles — whether it be via a comprehensive month-long detox, a week-long deep cleanse, or getting wedding-ready from the inside out — consider this premium service worth it when looking to get their bodies back on track.
Apart from their Signature Nutrition Program (and their popular Bridal Program and Level II: Detox), they also have several new offerings to their plant-based targeted nutrition programs, such as The Metabolism Reset, The Fresh Start Cleanse, The Gut Health Reboot, and The Performance System.
In addition to their meal programs, they also offer snacks and supplements — their Metabolism Super Powder, Coconut Praline Granola, and Detox Water Drops are perennial best-sellers.
EveryPlate’s main selling point is satisfying, convenient meals at the best value, especially for those of us just starting out — in the kitchen and in life. Recipes are classic crowd-pleasers (Crispy Caesar Chicken, Gravy Lover’s Meatballs), and can serve either two or four people.
Cooking is quick and easy enough for even the most beginner of home chefs to take on, and since “they’ve been there,” they even offer 80% off on your first box and an ongoing 15% discount for 52 weeks (as in, a whole year) if you’re a Unidays-verified student! The dormer in your life will appreciate the opportunity to try new cuisines at an accessible price.
Best for Dieters
Hitting a wall with your diet goals, on a confusing new health plan, or just finding calorie counting to be the most tedious thing ever? bistroMD can help jumpstart that “New Year, New You” journey by offering ready-to-heat-and-eat meals that are customizable to your specific dietary needs — without the effort.
Their nutritionally balanced, doctor-created meals can be customized as a Full Program, Lunches and Dinners, 7-Day, or 5-Day programs, which can also be fully customized according to your needs. They also offer separate options for Men and Women, a hormone- and insulin-regulating Menopause Program, a Heart-Healthy Program, a Keto Flex Program, and an effortless Diabetic-Friendly Program, as well as members-only access to tools and support from registered dietitians.
If you’ve ever dreamed of having your own personal chef on hand to cook you mouthwatering fare, then CookUnity is probably the easiest way to make those dreams come true. Touting itself as a chef collective, the service offers up ready-to-heat-and-eat meals from industry-renowned chefs. Their goal is to share their talent beyond the confines of their local kitchens and bring their signature meals to tables across the U.S., where subscribers can now sample previously inaccessible dishes.
Recipes are scrumptious classics with each chef’s own culinary twist, and the service also offers treats and drinks. Choose from four to 16 meals a week, which they deliver free of charge.
Purple Carrot takes eating your veggies to a new, revolutionary level. Not only does its plant-powered recipes help you lose weight and lower LDL cholesterol — aka the bad kind — in a month, but it also claims that its plant-powered meals require 51% less water to produce and emit 72% less carbon than the standard American meal.
Their recipes aren’t your run-of-the-mill vegan offerings, either. They’re healthy, yes, but also delicious and creative. Options for breakfast — as well as snacks from their “Plantry” — make adopting a vegan or plant-based lifestyle easier and delightfully satisfying.
The best thing about Purple Carrot? It offers options for Meal Kits, with straightforward pricing: Meals average to around $13.25 for two servings (and $11 for four) for the Meal Kits and $13 a meal for the Prepared Meals.
Best for Babies and Toddlers
Toddler food that’s yummy, healthy, and delivered fresh to your doorstep? What a time to be alive! Seriously: Parents love the stress-free convenience of Nurture Life, a meal delivery service that caters specifically to babies, toddlers, and young kids learning to self-feed. Nutritionally balanced, chokeproof finger foods and meals, clean ingredients, and — most importantly — tasty, kid-approved flavors satisfy even the pickiest eaters, and can all be ready in under 1 minute. Mom guilt, begone.
If you can’t be bothered to cook for one every day, yet still want reliable, well-balanced options, Freshly’s microwaveable meals are totally up your alley. They’re portioned for single servings, can be filtered through to satisfy vegetarian or low-calorie preferences, and come in well-loved flavors like Protein-Packed Chicken Parm and Steak Peppercorn, but with a healthier twist.
It’s not the cheapest, though, if that’s a concern (the most cost-effective bundle, 12 meals, nets out to $9.58 a meal). However, its abject convenience and the way in which it frees you from grocery shopping, food prep, or takeout each day is super appealing, especially for busy working individuals. Those who want to supplement their own meals with more inventive and health-conscious extras will also appreciate their Proteins and Sides option.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why choose a meal delivery service?
There are a ton of upsides to subscribing to a meal delivery service: It does away with having to do the groceries (and thus surplus grocery waste), it's quicker and easier than planning meals from scratch every day (especially for busy households), and you're provided with all the ingredients you need at your doorstep. Provided you curate your box with the correct number of servings, you also remove any guesswork for portion sizes.
You also have a rotating — and oftentimes, chef- and nutritionist-curated — menu of delicious lunches and dinners tailored to your specific dietary needs and preferences. For those on strict health plans or diets, it takes the stress out of meal prepping and eating healthy as well.
For pre-made, ready-to-heat-and-eat meal deliveries, this process gets even more convenient — all you need to do is pop your flash-frozen meal into an oven or microwave, and you're set.
Do the meals require preparation?
Many meal delivery services offer kits that include all the ingredients you need for each recipe, and where all that's needed is some minimal food prep like cutting and pre-seasoning before a short cooking period. You can search for services that offer quick and easy meals, one-pot meals, or choose pre-made (a.k.a. microwaveable or oven-ready) meals entirely.
Is a meal delivery service worth it?
Delivery or takeout dinners can cost up to $20 a serving, and making meals from scratch, though more economical, can also cost you a lot of time and effort. Meal deliveries usually cost way below what you would expect to pay per plate in a restaurant, and many companies offer more savings the more servings you bundle together.
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