Comparing 14 Meal Kit Delivery Services

The dizzying number of emerging (and established) meal kits can make finding the right one tough. They’re popular and the industry is growing because these services help home cooks to save time, omit a ton of planning and shopping, and decrease the amount of wasted food.

I compared fourteen meal kit delivery services. I broke it down to simplify which one is right for every customer. Note that these services deliver kits that require cooking. Partial prep provided, but these are not prepared meals. This is not a sponsored post.

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Because these kits encourage home cooking,  I want to simplify your search for a service that fits your life. For the most part, they are similar in how they work. You pick out a plan (how many people, and how many meals per week), you pick out the recipes you want to make, and the meal kit is delivered to your door with everything you need to cook the meals you signed up for, including recipes. But from there, you’ll notice the differences in diet accommodations, price, speed to the table, and sustainability. That’s where this guide will come in handy to get you started with finding what you want.

First up, a handy little guide by dietary need/restriction/preference (keep scrolling for a deeper look at each service and what they’re good at):MealKitsByDietWhether cost, flexible menus, special diets, simplicity or convenience are the most important features, there’s a plan for you and your family. 

Note: Services listed below are in alphabetical order. Cost is indicated by the range of one to three dollar signs. Click the name of the service or screenshot of their website to visit each site for further information and current deals, incentives, and pricing.


Blue Apron – $$

Best for: Variety in Specific Diet Plans

BlueApronScreenshot

In a nutshell: Blue Apron addresses multiple diets at a moderate price (and free shipping). The recipes take under 45 minutes. Ingredients are responsibly sourced, and all packaging is recyclable.
  • Price Per Serving: $8-10
  • Shipping Price: Free
  • Special Diets Addressed: Mediterranean, Vegetarian, One-Pan Meals
  • Allergens: Ingredients are packaged separately to allow omission or substitutions
  • Selection: 8 recipes/week to choose from
  • Menus and Plans: 2 or 4 people, 2 or 3 meals
  • Sustainability: Responsibly sources, recyclable ice packs, and packaging
  • Time to Make: Under 45 minutes
  • Comments from customers who filled out my survey: One customer reported delivery damage on multiple orders, and one did not like the food choices. Another customer reported servings were generous, 4 servings often served 6.  Blue Apron seemed better quality than Hello Fresh when it came to meat, fish, and seafood according to one customer who used both services alternately. Another customer simply said great instructions and tasty meals!

Chef’D – $$$

Best for: Allergy Diets and Variety of Dietary Requirements

ChefDScreenshot

In a nutshell: Higher cost per serving than most services, the value is in the massive variety of recipes to choose from. Use filters to add or remove desired ingredients, dietary needs (such as allergens), and other things like kid-friendly, diabetes, Atkins, and Weight Watchers diets.
  • Price Per Serving: $12-$25
  • Shipping Price: Free or $10 (spend $40 to get Free Shipping)
  • Special Diets Addressed: Diabetic, Atkins, Vegetarian, Vegan, GF, Paleo, Weight Watchers, Family Friendly, Lighter, Grab & Go, Gourmet, New York Times Cooking, Spoon University, Quick & Easy, Skill Level
  • Allergens: Use filters to omit allergens
  • Selection: Thousands of recipes
  • Menus and Plans: 2 or 4 people, variable # of meals
  • Sustainability: Unknown
  • Time to Make: 30-60 minutes
  • Kid-friendly: Selection of recipes extremely flexible and vast, use filters to find family-friendly ideas
  • Comments from customers who filled out my survey: None of my survey participants had tried Chef’D

Dinnerly – $

Best for: Easy-To-Cook

Dinnerly

In a nutshell: This low-cost service features just six recipes, but they’re easy-to-cook and environmentally friendly. This may be great for involving kids in the cooking process to teach basic kitchen skills.
  • Price Per Serving: $5
  • Shipping Price: $8.99
  • Special Diets Addressed:  Some vegetarian during some weeks
  • Allergens: Allergens listed, but no special plan
  • Selection: 6 recipes/week
  • Menus and Plans: 2 or 4 people, 3 meals/week
  • Sustainability: Digital recipes, Grass-fed Beef, Antibiotic-free Chicken, American-caught Shrimp
  • Time to Make: Unknown
  • Comments from customers who filled out my survey: None of my survey participants had tried Dinnerly


EveryPlate – $

Best for: Low Price

EveryPlateScreenshot

In a nutshell: This low-cost service provides 5 recipes per week. Just 5 recipes to select from, but the price is significantly lower than many services.
  • Price Per Serving: $4.99
  • Shipping Price: $8.99
  • Special Diets Addressed: None
  • Allergens: Packaging keeps ingredients separate
  • Selection: 5 recipes/week
  • Menus and Plans: Unknown
  • Sustainability: Unknown
  • Time to Make: Unknown
  • Comments from customers who filled out my survey: None of my survey participants had tried EveryPlate

Gobble – $$

Best for: Fast to Cook, Kid-Friendly, Variety, Flexibility

GobbleScreenShot

In a nutshell: The value with Gobble is in flexibility for restricted diets, an above-average variety of recipes each week, and fast or kid-friendly options.
  • Price Per Serving: $12
  • Shipping Price: $6.99
  • Special Diets Addressed: Use filters to select beef, fish, lamb, pork, poultry, shellfish OR vegetarian. GF, Low-carb, Dairy-free, Kid-friendly
  • Allergens: Unknown
  • Selection: 24 recipes/week
  • Menus and Plans: 2 people, 6 meals/week or 4 people, 12 meals/week. Minimum order is 4 meals/week. No maximum.
  • Sustainability: Unknown
  • Time to Make: 15 minutes (all recipes have just 3 steps)
  • Kid-friendly: Use filters to find kid-friendly recipes, ease of cooking and fast to cook features make this a good option for busy families.
  • Comments from customers who filled out my survey: None of my survey participants had tried Gobble

Green Chef – $$

Best for: Sustainability, Multiple Dietary Plans

GreenChefScreenshot

In a nutshell: For those with a specific diet (keto, paleo, carnivore, omnivore, vegan, vegetarian, GF) this plan is for you.
  • Price Per Person: $12
  • Shipping Price: $5.99
  • Special Diets Addressed: keto, paleo, carnivore, omnivore, vegan, vegetarian, GF
  • Allergens: Unknown
  • Selection: Unknown
  • Menus and Plans: 2 or 4 people, 6 meals/week
  • Sustainability: USDA Organic, non-GMO, Certified Gluten-Free
  • Time to Make: 30-45 minutes
  • Comments from customers who filled out my survey: None of my survey participants had tried Green Chef

Hello Fresh – $$

Best for: Sustainable, Kid-Friendly

HelloFreshScreenshot

In a nutshell: Hello Fresh, a well-known service, features classic, veggie, or family plans. Sustainable ingredients and packaging are shipped for low to no prep cooking.
  • Price Per Serving: $9-$10
  • Shipping Price: Free/Varies (depends on where, but most US shipping is Free)
  • Special Diets Addressed: Vegetarian, Family
  • Allergens: Unknown
  • Selection: 10 recipes/week
  • Menus and Plans: 2 or 4 people, 3 or 4 meals/week
  • Sustainability: Indie producers, sustainable, environmentally friendly as possible, sustainable seafood, recyclable shipping
  • Time to Make: 30 minutes
  • Kid-friendly: simple prep, low-to-no prep
  • Comments from customers who filled out my survey: One customer mentioned being tired of the menus after about nine months. Another customer reported that she loved how easy it was to pause and unpause the service, that she learned about cooking from the recipes, and that she loves the variety from French cooking to celebrity chef menus. She added that in 2-3 years they’ve only had a few ingredients missing, and a refund was issued quickly. She is happy with the price and true-to-promised under 30 minute cooking times and great serving sizes. Another customer reported Servings were generous, 4 servings often served 6. Lots of repeating side dishes — heavy on the green beans and sweet potatoes. She would have preferred more variety.

Home Chef – $

Best for: Value for Variety

HomeChefScreenshot

In a nutshell: A value service with variety, Home Chef is flexible and addresses sustainability.
  • Price Per Serving: $7.99
  • Shipping Price: $10 or Free (Spend $45 for free shipping)
  • Special Diets Addressed: Better variety of recipes to choose from than other value kits
  • Allergens: Unknown
  • Selection: 18 recipes/week, Mix and match # of recipes (as few as 2, up to 14)
  • Menus and Plans: 2-14 meals per week
  • Sustainability: Green packaging, some local, some sustainable ingredients when possible
  • Time to Make: 30 minutes
  • Kid-friendly: Easy recipes
  • Comments from customers who filled out my survey: Lots of dairy, easy recipes, and the tastiest for the price.

Martha & Marley Spoon – $$

Best for: Price for High-End, Multiple Diets, Selection

MarleySpoonScreenshot

In a nutshell: If you like higher-end ingredients and you’re seeking a service that addresses special diets, this might be your best option.
  • Price Per Serving: $10
  • Shipping Price: Free
  • Special Diets Addressed: Dairy-Free, GF, Kid-friendly, Healthy, Low-carb, Vegetarian, Vegan
  • Allergens: Unknown
  • Selection: 10 recipes/week
  • Menus and Plans: 2 or 4 people, 2, 3 or 4 recipes/week
  • Sustainability: Unknown
  • Time to Make: 30 minutes
  • Kid-friendly: Specific kid-friendly plan
  • Comments from customers who filled out my survey: One customer was tired of the recipe options after 1-2 years. Reports of delivery issues. Another customer felt that the menus week to week were inconsistent. Some weeks were great, while other weeks offered nothing appealing.

Peach Dish – $$

Best for: Sustainability, Healthy

PeachDishScreenshot

In a nutshell: PeachDish provides sustainable “farm to kitchen” meal kits for a vareity of healthy diets.
  • Price Per Serving: $12.50
  • Shipping Price: Free or $15 (depending on state)
  • $12 fee for guests, or no fee for subscribers
  • Special Diets Addressed: Vegetarian, some Vegan, Omnivore, Super Food, No-Added Gluten, Nutritional
  • Allergens: Unknown
  • Selection: 9 or more/week, 6 of which change weekly (seasonal)
  • Menus and Plans: 4 servings per week.
  • Sustainability: In-house recycling and composting, verified sustainable sourcing, local and organic when possible, seasonal
  • Time to Make: 30 minutes
  • Comments from customers who filled out my survey: None of my survey participants had tried PeachDish

Plated – $$

Best for: Sustainability, Quality for Price

PlatedScreenshot

In a nutshell: Plated offers a good variety of recipes for 2, 3 or 4 people each week. You can select from the different “Dinner Experiences” for a good combo of quality and flexibility.
  • Price Per Person: $10-$12
  • Shipping Price: $6
  • Special Diets Addressed: World Traveler, Over Scheduler, Food Blogger, Farmstand Regular, Tireless Parent, Seasoned Home Cook
  • Allergens: Unknown
  • Selection: 20 recipes/week
  • Menus and Plans: 2, 3 or 4 people
  • Sustainability: No antibiotics, no hormones, sustainable seafood, organic when possible
  • Time to Make: 30 minutes
  • Kid-friendly: “Tireless Parent” plan
  • Comments from customers who filled out my survey: Customers reported liking the desserts. Also mentioned they have the best ingredients, and fancier, more complicated recipes.

Purple Carrot — $$

Best for: Vegan Only Menu, TB12

PurpleCarrotScreenShot

In a nutshell: Plant-based food lovers rejoice! This service offers vegan and TB12 Performance diets at a similar price to many other services.
  • Price Per Person: $12-$13
  • Shipping Price: Free
  • Special Diets Addressed: Vegan, TB12 Performance
  • Allergens: Unknown
  • Selection: 6 recipes/week (3 each vegan, TB12)
  • Menus and Plans: for 1 or 2, 3 recipes/week.
  • Sustainability: No animal products
  • Time to Make: 30-45 minutes
  • Comments from customers who filled out my survey: One customer reported quitting this service after finding out that one recipe had 60 grams of fat, and this was not expected from a plant-based diet, additionally the recipes were hit or miss. Another customer who still uses Purple Carrot says she loves the food but doesn’t like the packaging, however they are trying to reduce the amount of plastic.

Sun Basket – $$

Best for: Variety of Healthy Diets

SunBasketScreenshot

In a nutshell: Sun Basket features plans for a variety of healthy diets, including diabetic, Mediterranean, pescatarian, paleo and lean & clean.
  • Price: $12
  • Shipping Price: $5.99
  • Special Diets Addressed: GF, Lean & Clean, Paleo, Vegan, Mediterranean, Diabetes, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Chef’s Choice
  • Allergens: Unknown
  • Selection: 18 recipes/week
  • Menus and Plans: “Classic” for 2 or 4 people, 3 meals/week or “Family” (Chef’s Choice or Vegetarian menus only) for 4 people, 2, 3, or 4 meals/week
  • Sustainability: Organic, responsibly-raised meats, sustainable seafood, 100% recyclable packaging
  • Time to Make: 30 minutes
  • Comments from customers who filled out my survey: Customers reported missing or spoiled ingredients, wrong recipes sent, and no response from customer service, as well as choices being sub-par.

Terra’s Kitchen – $$

Best for: Healthy, Flexible, Selection

TerrasKitchenScreenShot

In a nutshell: With a flexible, large menu, this service focuses on clean, healthy eating for a wide variety of special diets, including pescatarian and Whole 30.
  • Price: $9-$14
  • Shipping Price: Free
  • Special Diets Addressed: Mediterranean, GF, Paleo, Vegetarian, Low-Cal, Pescatarian, Vegan, Low-Carb, Weight Loss, Whole 30
  • Allergens: Unknown
  • Selection: Hundreds of recipes to choose from. Use filters to find what you want.
  • Menus and Plans: for 2 people
  • Sustainability: Responsibly sourced
  • Time to Make: 15-30 minutes
  • Comments from customers who filled out my survey: None of my survey participants had tried Terra’s Kitchen

Notes to consider: Most of these services have incentives such as deep discounts on your first box so you can try the service and food before paying full price. I did not include any information about discounts because over the course of writing this, the deals were changing frequently and my information would quickly be out of date. Visit the individual websites for current incentives.

Unless I missed something, it seems that every one of these services is quite flexible about pausing and re-starting subscriptions, or not requiring weekly deliveries. All services make it quite simple to pause or cancel, but the customers who answered my survey did report that they often forget to do so. Be sure to review the policy of any service and make sure it works for your level of planning ahead.


Special thanks to Laura Roberts from AOV Photography for taking the beautiful cover photo for this article, as well as these additional shots of her Plated meals.

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Thanks to those of you who answered my survey to help me learn what information to include in this article in order to make it helpful for all of my readers.

Please comment below about your experiences using a meal kit service, or questions you’d like answered about them. I’d especially love to hear about cook times in your experience as compared against the promised cook times. Specifically, the services that promise fast to the table (15-30 minutes). Do the carrots come sliced, or do you do the slicing? Some kits come with ingredients prepped, some require more prep. Does this impact freshness on arrival? Is it preferred, or would you rather do the prep and take a little longer to get dinner on the table? With feedback, I’ll add your notes and comments to this article.

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