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Isn't it amazing how many ways we have to make our lives easier, from Instacart grocery deliveries to DoorDash dinners from our favorite restaurants? Meal delivery services fall in the middle of that spectrum: you save the time and hassle of planning a menu and buying the ingredients, while not spending tons of money on weekly (or nightly) take-out meals and the corresponding gratuities. These services include heat-and-eat meals that arrive either fresh or frozen, as well as kits that come with all the ingredients necessary to make a gourmet-style meal right at home.
You may have noticed that meal delivery recipe choices are abundant. From classic, hearty favorites like chicken parm and burgers to exotic dishes from around the world, there's something for everyone. Vegan? No problem. Following a special diet for health or medical reasons, like keto or diabetic-friendly? You've got possibilities!
Friday, August 12th
Sunbasket brings you the best of all worlds with its meal delivery service, with kits you prepare yourself or heat-and-eat convenience: mix and match as you see fit. They work hard to include 100% organic produce and sustainably-raised protein sources in everything they sell - which includes a grocery store-like market to add on breakfasts, sauces, desserts, yogurt and much more. Sunbasket has lots of long-term subscribers who rave about the quality of the meals and the excellent customer service they've received over the years. This meal delivery company easily earns our first-place ranking.
Top Chef Meals is our favorite option among services that only provide prepared meals (and not ingredient kits you cook for yourself). You're the boss when it comes to what's in each delivery: every meal is made to order with the sides you select. You're not locked into a subscription and you can order as many or as few entrees as you like. Top Chef Meals is a smaller company that delivers big with respect to customer satisfaction, and we recommend them wholeheartedly.
Dinner for less than $5 per person? With EveryPlate, the answer is yes. Grab one of their intro promos and you could get weeknight dinners for a family of four delivered to your doorstep for less than $40. You can't even get fast food at that price. EveryPlate is less expensive because they use less packaging, though, so sometimes your ingredients can arrive in less-than-perfect condition. We still think this is a meal delivery company you need to try at least once.
Dinnerly is the "affordable meal kit" offered by parent company Marley Spoon (who you'll also spot in our reviews): imagine paying less than $5 for meals you can prepare in just five steps. You'll have around 45 recipe options every week, including plentiful options for vegetarians, choices for breakfasts and desserts, and more. Most subscribers enjoy this meal delivery service, and we think Dinnerly is worth a try.
Gobble is one of our favorite meal kits. The options here are abundant: not just hearty Classic dinners or health-conscious Lean & Clean recipes, but also sides, desserts, and breakfasts the whole family will enjoy. There's tons of room for personalization here, with some kits that let you swap out one protein for another or choose an upgrade for a special occasion. You'll spend a little more for Gobble's meal deliveries, but over 1,000 five-star ratings from their customers should convince you that they're worth it.
The prepared meals you can get from Fresh N' Lean cover a wide range of today's most popular eating plans, like Whole30, Paleo, and Vegan. They're delivered fresh and can be refrigerated for up to 10 days or frozen for up to 6 weeks. Customers love the way the meals taste and they give lots of compliments to Fresh N' Lean for being responsive and helpful. The only downside is that you can't pick and choose specific meals while subscribed to a meal plan: you'll have to buy a la carte for that. Overall, though, this is a great choice for meal delivery.
Home Chef is a meal kit service with lower-than-average prices - and the only company we found that has options for six-serving recipes, ideal for bigger families (or lots of leftovers). You can also customize most recipes by swapping one protein choice for another, and Home Chef's add-on market adds a layer of on-demand convenience. A decline in customer satisfaction has dropped this meal delivery company a bit in our rankings, but it's still a decent option.
HelloFresh might be the first meal delivery service that comes to mind - and with good reason. With over a billion kits shipped last year alone, lots of people were introduced to the joy of skipping the grocery store and meal planning by HelloFresh. However, it's a competitive marketplace now, and subscriber dissatisfaction with this company seems to be on the rise in recent months. There are still more than 10,000 five-star ratings for this service, but you might want to check out HelloFresh's higher-ranked rivals before jumping into a subscription here.
Freshly offers a unique approach to meal delivery: instead of requiring you to choose how many people and how many servings you want, you simply select 4-12 meals per order. That could be several of the same item, a dozen different ones, or a combination of repeats and unique selections. All meals arrive fresh-not-frozen, ready to heat-and-eat, but can be put in the freezer for longer storage. Freshly has been outpaced by several other services, and a failure to respond to more than a few customer complaints is part of why they're no longer our #1 recommendation for meal deliveries.
Magic Kitchen is an excellent option for seniors who want fully-prepared meals delivered frozen, or for people on special diets like diabetic- or dialysis-friendly. The company has a terrific reputation for customer service and offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee. It's too limited in scope to earn a higher ranking, but for the part of the population who needs easy, nutritious meals that are just reheat-and-eat. Magic Kitchen deserves a look.
Marley Spoon delivers six-step recipes created by celebrity Martha Stewart - plus all of the ingredients you'll need to make them happen in your own kitchen. This service has expanded quite a bit over recent years, allowing subscribers to choose from a menu of 45+ recipes suitable for meat-lovers and vegetarians alike. Per-serving prices and per-delivery shipping fees are very reasonable here, but many customers have had issues with produce getting damaged in transit. We've given Marley Spoon a bump in our rating because of the improvements we've seen, but we encourage you to check out the higher-ranked meal delivery companies first.
Factor offers fresh-not-frozen meals for anyone pursuing a healthy (or healthier) lifestyle. Menu options include Keto, Calorie-Smart, Vegan/Veggie and others, and all deliveries should last at least a week in your fridge. You might be impressed by Factor's 10,000+ five-star reviews since 2011, but subscriber feedback more recently is almost all negative due to poor packaging and late deliveries leading to spoiled food. This all combines to leave Factor as a "just average" meal delivery option.
Personal Chef To Go is an always-fresh, never-frozen meal delivery service with a mom-and-pop feel. You've got about 24 different options to choose from at any given time, and you can either subscribe (lowest cost) or order meals as a one-off (highest cost) in groups of 5-20 servings at a time. We wish there were more information provided about each meal prior to delivery, and that there were clear-cut options for vegetarians. Most clients give Personal Chef To Go a 4- or 5-star rating, but this service doesn't stand out much above the competition in our opinion.
Blue Apron gives you options: choose meal kits to prepare at home, heat-and-eat prepared meals, or both. This delivery service works hard to source their ingredients sustainably, in ways that benefit the environment and the customer. But, despite Blue Apron's impressive 465+ million shipped meals, they've struggled in recent months to provide a quality experience to their clientele. You're likely to have a better time with a higher-ranked meal delivery option.
Diet To Go is one of several options in our review that offers prepared meals designed to help you lose weight. You'll choose from four main menus (like diabetic-friendly or vegetarian) and how many meals you'd like on a daily and weekly basis. We encountered some issues with the site during the sign-up process, and there's not enough positive buzz for this meal delivery service to get a strong recommendation from us.
bistroMD has dropped quite a bit in our rankings. This weight loss-focused meal delivery service hasn't done a great job of keeping up with the competition: customers say that the food here is low-quality, and bistroMD reps treat problems as if they're someone else's fault. Sure, you could probably use these meals to lose weight, but why not use a different company and get food you'll actually like - with a much more helpful customer support team too?
Home Bistro has made some changes in recent years, most notably their addition of recipes created by today's top chefs. But we're still not sure that it's worth $19 to get a microwavable meal that doesn't come with any satisfaction guarantee. And, the Home Bistro shopping experience doesn't make it easy to filter out ingredients you don't like or might be allergic to. This meal delivery service still lands near the bottom of our rankings.
Green Chef starts off looking like an amazing meal delivery option for environmentally-minded consumers: they're USDA-certified organic and place a strong emphasis on sustainable food and packaging. The meal kits here come with 24 new recipes to choose from each week, and there are options suitable for paleo, vegetarian and vegan diets. Unfortunately, that's where the goodness ends, because subscribers rant about the horrible customer service here: from moldy foods to skipped boxes that got delivered anyway, it's almost impossible to get an appropriate response (like a refund). Go with a more customer-centric meal delivery service and avoid Green Chef.
Many of these services are subscription-based: you choose the types of meals you prefer (or pick specific entrees), how many servings in each one, and how many meals you'd like in a week, and your deliveries will come like clockwork unless you pause your membership, skip a shipment, or cancel altogether. If that's not your preference, there are some meal delivery companies that let you place your orders whenever you like, with no ongoing commitment.
With almost every meal delivery service, you'll get big discounts on your first order (and sometimes several ones thereafter) - you could pay less than $2 per meal at the start. Just be aware that the regular pricing is higher, typically ranging from $6 to $20 per serving; you'll pay more for premium options with higher-quality proteins and ingredients (maybe for a special occasion?).
It's easy to get overwhelmed as you try to figure out which service to pick. Want some help? Here are a few factors to guide your decision:
To help you simplify your life with regular meal deliveries, TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked the most popular services available today. We're confident that this will make it a breeze to choose the one that's right for you. Bon appetit!
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