Sick of being asked, “What’s for dinner?” every single day? Too tired after work to head to the grocery store? Watching your weight, dipping your toe in the vegan waters or just in need of a quick, easy and healthy way to get the family fed? Meal delivery services offer everything from pre-portioned gourmet ingredients and chef-created recipes to diet-specific, ready-to-heat meals that can be popped in a microwave and ready in minutes.
Plus, registered dietitian Mia Syn says meal delivery services, which allow you to introduce a variety of foods into your diet, also provide a host of wellness benefits. “Diversifying your diet is one way to ensure you get a range of nutrients to help meet your needs,” she says. “Trying new foods and seeing what you like can also encourage you to cook more in the long run.”
Syn points to research that suggests meals prepared at home are typically lower in sodium, calories and saturated fat than those eaten at restaurants. “Additionally, most meal delivery services deliver nutritionally balanced meals that incorporate vegetables, grains and protein,” she adds. “Since meal delivery services are convenient, they can be a good alternative to drive-thru meals when you need something easy.”
Dr. Caroline J. Cederquist, founder of the meal delivery plan BistroMD, says both meal kits and prepared meal services can ease stress, thanks to the convenience and efficiency of having healthy meal options brought to your door. “Another benefit of subscribing to a meal delivery service is that these services, especially prepared food delivery, eliminate food waste,” she says.
They often provide quality ingredients too. “Many prepared meal delivery services offer healthier, more nutritious options than most of the frozen meal options you will find in grocery stores,” Cederquist says. “Prepared meal delivery services are also nutritionally balanced, so they are likely healthier than convenient fast food options. However, make sure to check the nutrition labels first.”
When choosing a program, Cederquist says ease of preparation and your own unique schedule should be considered. “For the working mom with young kids, she might consider a prepared meal delivery service as she can be so busy with the children’s sports and activities later in the day,” she says. “She often is running at full speed and doesn’t have time to cook and clean the dishes. Next, consider what type of meals the program provides. Do they offer breakfast options or other add-ons, such as snacks? These extras can be great if you are someone who needs to save time in the grocery store or if you need to have other food options available to you throughout your day.”
Also, think about your dietary needs and preferences. “Are you looking for a service that can cater to individual dietary needs such as low-carb, low-sodium, gluten-free, vegetarian or vegan? After that, check to see if the program selects the meals for you or if you are permitted to customize your menu,” Cederquist says.
When choosing a meal plan, it’s also a good idea to set a goal for yourself, advises Sarah Crawford, a registered dietician at eMeals. “If you have a goal to make two recipes a week for dinner, you’ll start to get more comfortable in the kitchen and cooking will become more of a natural thing for you,” she says. “Slowly work your way up and you’ll be eating at home more than you’re eating out.”
Crawford also recommends taking advantage of grocery delivery outlets. “When you have someone doing your shopping for you, the whole process of making dinner and meal prepping for the week gets a lot easier,” she says.
Whether you’re seeking easy prep or oven-ready dinners, feeding hungry kids or working on your home chef skills, working with special diets or interested in trying some new recipes, there’s a meal kit for you. We’ve rounded up 12 of our favorite meal delivery kit services, perfect for a variety of needs. For more meal delivery ideas, check out our roundup of keto-friendly meal delivery, vegetarian-friendly meal delivery and meat delivery services too.
The basics: Approachable, colorful, delicious and certified organic, Green Chef offers home cooks sustainably sourced, premium ingredients and recipes curated by chefs. Boxes arrive with pre-measured ingredients and detailed recipe cards, and in 30-40 minutes, you’ll be feasting like royalty — after you pause to post photos of your meal masterpiece, of course.
What makes it unique: Practicing healthy eating or on a special diet? Choose from plans including Keto + Paleo, Balanced Living and Plant-Powered to tailor your meals to your wellness needs. Keto lovers will approve of beef tenderloin with a mushroom sauce and broccoli gratin. On the Balanced Living plan? Expect recipes for dishes like pecan-crusted chicken with mashed butternut squash and green beans. Plant-Powered menus include meals like peanut udon noodle bowls. And with premeasured and premade sauces, marinades and spice blends, you’ll spend less time in the kitchen and have more time to devote to your wellness routine.
Plan options: Choose from plans to serve two, four or six people, and opt for three or four meals per week. Sign up for weekly subscriptions and pause or cancel orders for no charge.
Pricing: Boxes start at about $80 per week, including shipping. Check the site for discounts.
The basics: eMeals is a meal planning service, not a meal delivery kit. But the app allows you to send your shopping list, based on the recipes you select, directly to stores including Walmart, Kroger, Amazon, Instacart and Shipt for home delivery.
What makes it unique: Each week you receive a meal plan with seven simple recipes you can customize from a huge list of options. Subscriptions also grant access to dessert, occasions and bonus recipe collections. Want lunch or breakfast ideas? You’ll find those, too. Once meals are selected, you receive a detailed shopping list for the week (which you can also customize). Discover a few new favorites? Save them in the app for easy reference.
Plan options: Choose from 15 meal and food-style plans. Looking to manage your weight? Try Paleo, Heart Healthy, Diabetic, Low Calorie or Low Carb. Choose meals for two or a family.
Pricing: Subscriptions start at $4.99 per month for 12 months. A three-month subscription for $9.99 a month is also available. Not sure? Try it free for 14 days.
The basics: Designed specifically for weight loss and weight management, BistroMD is a prepared meal delivery subscription service that offers tasty, healthy, customizable meal programs with no need to shop, prep, cook or clean. Just pop your meal in the microwave and start eating in five minutes or fewer.
What makes it unique: Choose from more than 150 meals, with recipes developed by chefs and dietitians and each meal clocking in at fewer than 450 calories. Select from five- or seven-day programs that include breakfasts (omelets, bagel sandwiches, waffles and eggs), lunches and dinners (lasagna, meatloaf, salmon) or create a custom plan. Want to add on snacks (cookie bites, mixed nuts, protein bars)? No problem. BistroMD also allows for a free consultation with a registered dietitian.
Plan options: Programs include gluten-free, heart-healthy, diabetic and menopause customizations, as well as options for men and women.
Pricing: Subscriptions start at $104.95, plus shipping. See site for discounts.
The basics: Simple, quick and yummy recipes make HelloFresh a fave of busy parents. Helping to ease that dinnertime stress, the step-by-step instructions and premeasured ingredients allow you to whip up dishes that the whole family will love in just 30 minutes — all with little cleanup and waste.
What makes it unique: You customize your meal plan by selecting preferences (e.g., meat and veggies, family-friendly, quick and easy), and meal choices are clearly labeled to help make choosing them a breeze. Now, about those picky eaters? With 20 recipes available each week, you’ll be feeding them ricotta-tomato-stuffed ravioli, cheeseburgers with fries or pork carnitas tacos.
Plan options: Opt for Meat & Veggies, Veggie, Family Friendly or Low Calorie, and choose your plan size, which includes two or four servings per meal with two to six meals per week. Skip a week or cancel at any time.
Pricing: Starting at $7.99 per serving, plus shipping.
The basics: EveryPlate is all about super simple recipes with six steps or less, making this an easy pick for someone who doesn’t have a lot of time to cook every night. Rather than concentrate on specialty diets, the company focuses on keeping prices low.
What makes it unique: EveryPlate is specially good for extremely busy people and families. The recipes range from chicken dishes to burgers and tacos.
Plan options: Choose Classic, Veggie or Family Plate and two to four dinner servings per meal; delivery frequency can be anywhere from three to five times a week. You can cancel at any time.
Pricing: Starting at $4.99 per meal, plus $9.99 for shipping.
The basics: With a rotating weekly menu, Home Chef gives you a wide range of items to choose from, including 15-minute kits and precooked meals, and the option to customize — whether you choose an upgrade, swap or want to double your protein on certain recipes.
What makes it unique: Home Chef really listens to what its customers are saying: The company combs through the 100,000-plus reviews and 50,000-plus comments it receives each month to inform its upcoming menu planning. Want to create a meal that would cause even Gordon Ramsay to break into applause? You can also select extras (think garlic bread, burritos or desserts) for an extra fee.
Plan options: Choose two, four, six or eight servings per meal; search by calorie-conscious, under 30 minutes, carb-conscious or vegetarian. Skip or cancel at any time.
Pricing: Meals start at $6.99 per serving, with a minimum weekly order of $49.95 required.
The basics: Freshly sends microwaveable meals that can be ready in three minutes, with various diets in mind. You can choose from a variety of meal categories, including low calorie, protein-based and twists on takeout faves.
What makes it unique: Freshly is one of the few services that sends completely ready-for-microwave (or oven) meals that truly taste fresh. No icy vegetables or half-frozen pastas to be seen. And if you don’t want to eat it within a week of your shipment, just pop the food in the freezer.
Plan options: You can choose from four meals per week to 12 meals per week, starting at $8.99 per meal.
The basics: With your dietary restrictions or preferences — no meat, no gluten, pasta lover and more — in mind, Hungryroot loads your fridge with delicious groceries and helps you cook them. Along with the items, you get a variety of recipes that suit your taste and are super easy. Like, done-in-10-minutes-or-less easy. And did we mention they’re delicious? Think Beyond burgers with crispy lettuce or a spinach artichoke wrap.
What makes it unique: You can either personally choose every single item that comes in your box, or have the company shop for you, though of course, Hungryroot sends you an email making sure you’re OK with the items before shipping and lets you swap as many items as you’d like. In addition to the ingredients, Hungryroot has a variety of delicious snacks you can add to your box.
Plan options: Choose from six to 16 servings per plan. You can skip a week or cancel anytime.
Pricing: Plans start at $65 per delivery.
The basics: We don’t care if you hate to cook, never have time to meal prep, need help with portion control or simply love deliciously prepared food. Factor has you covered on all counts. The meal delivery service allows you to pick from nearly two dozen dietitian-designed meals each week that come fresh (never frozen) and are ready to heat and eat in about two minutes. Want more? You’ll also find more than 30 add-ons, such as cold-pressed juices and wellness shots.
What makes it unique: While not specifically designed to promote weight loss, Factor meals can help keep you and your wellness on track. Most meals range from 350 to 900 calories, averaging 600, and we have yet to taste one we didn’t crave again later. Keto devotees will devour dinners like the jalapeno popper burger with cauliflower rice, zucchini and squash or the spicy Peruvian shrimp bowl with red pepper cauliflower grits and roasted broccoli.
Plan options: Choose from four to 16 servings per plan. You can skip a week or cancel anytime.
Pricing: Meals start at $11.50 per meal.
The basics: Ready to try the popular keto diet on for size? This delivery service features fresh, organic, gluten-free, ready-to-eat meals with seven plan options, including keto — with premium proteins, clean fats, no added hormones, no antibiotics and an average of 10 grams of carbs and 450 calories per meal.
What makes it unique: A rotating menu with clearly marked protein and carbs, with options for breakfast and entrees, features meals that can be quickly heated in your microwave. Worried about waste? Fresh N Lean’s box, plastic trays and seals are all recyclable.
Plan options: In addition to the Keto plan, you’ll find Protein+, Paleo, Standard Vegan, Low-Carb Vegan, Whole30 Approved and Bulk (think 16-ounce portions of beef, salmon and other proteins, quinoa and brown rice, and four-cup servings of veggies). Choose from four to 16 servings per plan. You can skip a week or cancel anytime.
Pricing: Meals average $7.93; choose from five or seven days a week. Not ready for a full subscription? The à la carte menu allows for one-time orders ($85 minimum order required). Call to skip or cancel.
The basics: Not farmers’ market season? No problem! Capay Organic, a second-generation family farm in California, works with local farms and artisans to deliver certified organic produce and handcrafted farm products to your doorstep. What’s inside? A small Mixed Fruit and Veggie box might contain two oranges, one avocado, two Fuji apples, a head of red leaf lettuce and one bunch each of spring onions, kale, carrots and red beets.
What makes it unique: Farm Fresh To You allows you to customize each order — add or remove produce or change your box type, size and delivery frequency. Hate beets? Just put them on your “never send” list. You can also choose to add grocery and artisan basics like eggs and dairy, honey and jam, or fresh flowers and hand lotion to your box. Need recipes? You can find inspiration here.
Plan options: Select your style (Mixed Fruit and Veggie, No Cooking, Fruit Only, Traditional CSA, Veggie Only or Snack Pack), size and frequency of delivery (weekly, every other week, every three weeks or every four weeks). Before each delivery, add any extra items if you choose to customize your order. Skip or cancel at any time.
Pricing: Small boxes start at $27.50.
The basics: Whether you’re looking to test out a plant-based diet or have been eating vegan for years, this convenient meal kit delivery service sends you all the ingredients you’ll need to make delicious meat-free dishes at home. Prefer pre-made meals? You can order those, too.
What makes it unique: Yes, there are plenty of dinner options, but for those who want more, there’s the option to add two-serving breakfasts (how about tropical chia pudding or caper-dill bagels?) and lunches (dibs on the brown rice bowl). You can also add pantry items like pasta or dairy-free cheese to your order.
Plan options: Choose from eight meal kit recipes each week or 15 prepared meals. Choose from a two-serving plan (includes three dinners per week, each serving two people) or a four-serving plan (includes two or three dinners per week, each serving four people).
Pricing: The two-serving plan starts at $71.94 per week (each serving is $11.99); the four-serving plan starts at $79.92 per week (each serving is $9.99). Prepared meals are $12.99 per serving.
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