Our reviewers evaluate products and services based on unbiased research. Top Consumer Reviews may earn money when you click on a link. Learn more about our process.
How many times have you come home after a long day and stared blankly at your refrigerator or pantry, trying to figure out what to eat? Or stopped at the drive-thru for fast food because the thought of coming up with something for dinner was just too much?
You're not alone. For people who'd like the convenience of fast food with the benefits of home cooking, Prepared Meals are the answer. For every imaginable palate and preference, there's a prepared meal service that can help. Several of today's most popular services send you high-quality, often organic ingredients - including fresh produce like shallots and herbs - saving you the hassle of planning your meals and going to the store.
Friday, February 26th
All of Freshly's prepared meals have fresh-not-frozen entrees that can be reheated in 3 minutes or less, and you can choose 4-12 meals per week. Happy customers praise Freshly's food as both convenient and flavorful. Plus, Freshly's menu is 100% gluten- and peanut-free: a welcome option for families with food allergies. This company ranks first among Prepared Meal Companies.
If you are trying to lose weight but want food that is both convenient and delicious, bistroMD is your best option. They're affordable, too - giving you the option of a full week of food with 3 meals per day, for less than $200. It's not an ideal fit for people who enjoy cooking or who want a full calorie Prepared Meal plan, but for those who are hoping to drop a few pounds, bistroMD is an excellent choice.
Veestro offers the only Prepared Meals plan that is 100% vegan. Whether you prefer to order a la carte or with a package, you'll get plant-based food that's fresh and tastes good - without spending any time at the supermarket. Obviously, Veestro won't have much to offer if you're looking for meals that contain eggs, fish, or animal products of any kind.
Home Chef follows the model of providing you with fresh ingredients and simple-to-prepare recipes. They're one of the most affordable in that market, and also one of the only providers that offers packages for larger families. Although Home Chef has received some complaints about missing ingredients in their shipments, they still show a strong commitment to keeping their customers happy, as evidenced by their "A+" rating with the Better Business Bureau.
Sun Basket brings many different types of cuisine to your table, minus the stress of planning meals or shopping for ingredients. Choose from over a dozen entrees every week, including Paleo, Vegan, and Mediterranean options with easy-to-follow recipes and fresh ingredients. All of Sun Basket's Prepared Meals are ready in 30 minutes or less, and you'll spend about what it would cost to have a meal at a decent restaurant.
HelloFresh has made a number of positive changes in the last few years, including more customizable Prepared Meals options rather than sending a specific set of entrees to each customer. HelloFresh serving sizes are generous, and most customers are satisfied with the ingredients and recipes they receive.
Blue Apron does the meal planning while you take care of the cooking. Every delivery brings you seasonal, high-quality ingredients - often sourced through the company's direct relationships with farmers - to prepare in your own kitchen. While you won't get the convenience of a heat-and-serve TV dinner, you will get delicious meals - prepared by you without having to choose recipes in advance or spend time at the grocery store.
For customers who are trying to shed a few pounds, Diet-to-Go is a good option. Their Prepared Meals are portioned appropriately, and customers say that their breakfasts, lunches, and dinners taste much better than you'd expect from "diet food". You'll also get access to health professionals and coaches no matter which meal plan you choose. Although it's not for people who want rich sauces and high-sugar treats, Diet-to-Go meets the needs of people who want to lose weight without sacrificing food that tastes good.
Harry & David is the reigning champ of gift-giving, and bringing one of their Prepared Meals to your next potluck or family meal could put you in first place too. However, if what you're really looking for are healthy ingredients to prepare at home, or quick reheat-and-eat meals after a typical day at work, you probably won't find it here.
Magic Kitchen focuses mostly on older people who have specific dietary requirements. All of their Prepared Meals can be reheated quickly in the microwave and served in the container it comes in, making it a good choice for people with limited options. Plans include a la carte selections and full meal programs. However, if you want a restaurant-quality meal or if you enjoy preparing a meal with fresh ingredients, Magic Kitchen isn't for you.
Personal Chef to Go has been delivering Prepared Meals for more than 15 years. Although they have lots of happy, long-term customers, their meal options are more limited and higher-priced than almost every other service we reviewed. They're not likely to rank high for your budget or your taste buds.
The "Martha" in Martha & Marley Spoon stands for Ms. Stewart herself. This Prepared Meals service derives its recipes from the Queen of the Kitchen, delivering packages of ingredients that can be prepared in your own kitchen in six steps or less. While it might sound fun to put a celebrity's own meals on your dinner table, customers say that the actual results are less than impressive. Plus, without a clear promise of customer satisfaction, you too could wind up with boxes of thawed meats, watery ice packs, and drooping veggies. We recommend that you choose a provider of Prepared Meals with a stronger reputation.
Plated is one of many services that delivers ingredients and recipes to you, with the idea that you'll learn how to cook new main courses and sweet treats in an hour or less. But, this service has mediocre results with their customers, offering only $12 in credit for shipments that had moldy food. Plated doesn't keep up with the competition.
Home Bistro has several plans for Prepared Meals, ranging from single-serve entrees to combo packs with a variety of meals. However, this service does not have a customer satisfaction guarantee, which could be a problem given how many reviews say that the food tastes bad enough to ask for a refund. Home Bistro receives our lowest rating, and we're confident you'll have a much better experience with one of the more reputable providers of Prepared Meals in our review.
If you have a loved one that needs to start eating a special diet for diabetes or other medical issues, you can choose a prepared meals company that offers ready-to-reheat meals packaged similarly to a TV dinner and that have been carefully created by nutritionists specifically for that condition.
On the other hand, maybe you've been tasked with bringing a mind-blowing main course to an important company function, but your skills in the kitchen are limited to boiling water and burning toast. No problem: just choose a Prepared Meals service that focuses on gourmet-level, special occasion entrees like chicken cordon bleu or even surf-and-turf.
When deciding which company is a good fit for your delivery of Prepared Meals, you'll soon notice that there's a wide variety to choose from. How do you select the one that's best for you? Here are some things to consider as you look at each service:
TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best Prepared Meals Delivery Companies available today. We hope these reviews help you find the right company to deliver the kind of meals you want, directly to your doorstep!
Select any 2 Prepared Meal Companies to compare them head to head
TwinCities.com on ...
Eat good, feel good: These food-related businesses give back, ...
That basic statement drives what we do every week in the Eat section. But if this pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that food is also nourishment. It’s survival. We also were reminded that many of ...
Thu, 25 Feb 2021