With COVID-19’s presence still lurking across the country your favorite restaurants, bars and lunch spots may be closed. Additionally, the grocery store has become even more of a stressful experience than usual and some people are avoiding it altogether at all costs. While safety precautions are important to take during a pandemic, we don’t want you to live on just takeout and canned beans, get a healthy meal prep kit delivered to you with one of these services instead.
Preparing meals is a task that’s time-consuming and labor-intensive. Or it was, until the invention of meal kit delivery services. The best meal delivery services take all of the hassle out of home cooking, and they can make any kitchen amateur feel like a real gourmet chef.
Instead of worrying about what to eat, these handy services allow you to outsource meal preparation to varying degrees. They allow you to choose a weekly menu, and because they control what you eat, meal delivery services actually provide an immense number of additional benefits for your health. Not only does this process save time, relieve stress and ensure you and your family are eating well, it also opens up your kitchen to meal types and recipe choices you may have never considered otherwise. Most importantly, it saves you those perilous trips to the grocery store and potential infection of you and others.
Many people claim meal kit home delivery is the future. After you’ve tried it, we think you’ll find it hard to disagree. Below, we’ve reviewed our favorite meal kit delivery services (sadly, beloved meal delivery service Plated recently announced it was closing up shop). Our favorite options include meal plans for everyone, whether you have a giant family, you’re a vegetarian, you’re trying to lose weight or you’re sticking to a paleo diet. There’s even an online butcher who delivers fresh, high-quality meat to ensure you’re only eating the best cuts.
If the quarantine is making you not want to leave your home, consider these meal delivery options as a healthy but secure alternative.
1. Home Chef
If you prefer having control over the food you’re eating but still want to enjoy the ease of a meal delivery service, it’s worth checking out Home Chef. They’re one of the best in the business when it comes to both quality and customization. Every week, you’ll receive an email that shows you the 21 different meal choices for the week. You can pick each meal from this wide-ranging list, which includes veggie, low-carb and calorie-conscious options. Alternatively, you can trust the company’s recommendations and them to set the menu for you. You’ll also have the ability to customize each meal by upgrading, doubling-up or swapping the protein choice for meals you’d make yourself. For your convenience, the service provides a choice of meals that take between five minutes and 30 minutes to prepare, allowing you to tailor your food preparation commitments to your free time.
2. Blue Apron
By teaming up with Weight Watchers, Blue Apron is able to offer customers a range of easy-to-cook recipes ideal for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The delicious Freestyle meals include recipes like creamy lemon shrimp and orzo, spiced chicken salad and sweet-chili glazed salad to be enjoyed in a guilt-free environment. Their flexible meal service plans allow you to change menus each week, depending on who’s eating and what they want. The low level of commitment also means it’s easy to skip weeks if you’re eating out or away on vacation.
BEST FOR KIDS
If you have little mouths to feed and like the idea of doing it at a budget-friendly price, then Dinnerly could be just what you’re looking for. By replacing paper recipes with digital ones and simplifying the ingredients inside each meal, Dinnerly has lowered prices to become one of the most affordable meal delivery services on the market. Meals include options for kids, picky eaters, speedy prep as well as low-calorie choices and more. Simply choose your plan, pick a delivery day and enjoy easy-to-prepare food when you want it.
4. Every Plate
By offering delicious, budget-friendly meals that are ready in 30 minutes or less, Every Plate is a great way to take the stress out of mealtimes. From garlic rosemary chicken to pork and pineapple rice bowls, there’s something for everyone’s taste buds with this weekly meal delivery service. With Every Plate, you can cancel or skip a week without worry and tailor your deliveries to your dietary requirements. Choose how many people are eating and how many meals you want delivered each week. And, trust us, the adult-sized portions ensure no one ever goes hungry.
5. Hello Fresh
BEST FOR VEGETARIANS
If you’re a vegetarian, you’ll no doubt have experienced the toils of finding delicious meal options you can actually eat, let alone enjoy. With Hello Fresh, you’ll receive a range of meal options designed specifically for vegetarians. The site allows you to choose between three meal plan options — Calorie Smart, Classic and Family — with dishes like penne rustica with a kick, truffled mushroom flatbreads and ginger soy chicken and bell pepper. Each plan allows you to decide what you would like to eat and when you want to eat it. Plus, orders can skip a week or be canceled without any long term commitment required.
BEST FOR SINGLES
Eating alone? Freshly is definitely the choice for you. Freshly delivers single-person meals of one serving for one sitting. Each meal arrives pre-prepared and generally only requires a few minutes in your microwave. This is an ideal choice for people with a busy lifestyle or anyone who generally struggles to find time in the day to cook but still wants to eat delicious food. There are also meal options for every diet, including meals under 500 calories, paleo-friendly meals, vegetarian dishes and dairy-free options. Whatever you want, you can get it with Freshly’s meal kits.
7. Daily Harvest
BEST FOR SOUPS AND SMOOTHIES
The Daily Harvest meal delivery service is a great choice for anyone looking for a balance between healthy and tasty food. You get to pick the meals that are included in your monthly food delivery. Options include smoothies, harvest bowls, soups, oat bowls and more. It’s easy to change the size of the delivery each week or skip it altogether if you’re away on vacation. You’ll also find that trying something new is especially simple as each meal is listed on the website with plenty of information like its ingredients, what it’s good for and, perhaps most usefully, customer ratings. This meal plan is a great way to make sure you’re eating enough fruit and vegetables, and we’d bet it won’t be long until things like the sweet potato and miso puree, green chickpea and kale curry and strawberry and peach smoothie are your favorite dishes.
8. Green Chef
BEST FOR HEALTHY EATING
Whether you’re following the paleo diet, keto diet or just looking for an easy way to provide a balanced diet for your household, Green Chef has everything you need. Simply pick and choose the right meal plan for your family, and then personalize your menu by choosing the dishes you want delivered. All meals arrive pre-measured and prepared, meaning the input required is minimal for enjoying delicious food every day. Each dish includes step-by-step instructions and photos, so even the worst cook can follow along. The Green Chef company is USDA-certified organic, environmentally conscious and delivers food free from GMOs.
9. Sun Basket
BEST FOR PALEO
If your top priority is 100% organic produce with antibiotic and hormone-free meat, organic eggs and responsibly, wild-caught seafood, it’s definitely worth looking at what Sun Basket has to offer. This meal delivery kit offers a range of dietitian-approved meal plans, including paleo, lean & clean, vegetarian and Mediterranean. These delicious yet health-conscious programs make eating healthy simple. Plus, the included flexibility in the meal plans allows you to choose recipes from across the full range, no matter which plan you’ve chosen.
BEST FOR MEAT LOVERS
With plans like The Beef Plan, The Chicken & Beef Plan, The Salmon & Shrimp Plan and The Steak Plan, it’s pretty obvious why Rastelli’s is the best option for meat lovers. This online butcher subscription service has over 40 years of experience. Rastelli’s delivery plans are available with a subscription or as one-off purchases and can be customized to suit your family’s meat-eating needs. All the supplied meats are responsibly raised and free from antibiotics, steroids and hormones. That means you can include ethically-sourced proteins in all of your favorite recipes.
11. Butcher’s Box
BEST FOR STOCKING UP
Similar to Rastelli’s, Butcher’s Box is all about delivery quality meats and seafood to your home once a month. They’re all about convenience and quality which is why their boxes get delivered to your home for free — all you pay is the cost of the meat. The meat, by the way, is 100% grass-fed and grass-finished beef, heritage breed pork, free-range chicken and wild caught seafood. You have so many choices with Butcher’s Box from classic steak cuts to premium bacon, ground beef, scallops, pork shoulders, Alaskan salmon and more. The cost varies based on what you order but certain configurations can cost as little as $6 per meal and the shipping is totally free. The meat you receive is sourced locally based on your location and always comes fresh and ready to freeze until you cook it.
12. Purple Carrot
BEST FOR VEGANS
If you’re looking for a way to cook vegan in an affordable, sustainable and healthy way — Purple Carrot can help you get there. They offer delicious plant-based breakfasts, lunches, dinners and healthy snacks in their boxes aimed at making people healthier and lowering their carbon footprint all in one. Turns out, meal kits have a smaller impact on the environment than their grocery store equivalents which is why they want to make the 20,000 edible plants on this planet delicious and motivate everyone to eat more of them and less meat. A few of their meal options? Loaded sweet potatoes, bbq jackfruit sandwiches, tofu marsala and mint walnut pesto, among others. They’ve got a few different plans you can choose from including High-Protein, Gluten-Free and Chef’s Choice where they curate your menu for you or you can customize your order every week. They offer 2 and 4 serving plans and you can skip or cancel your deliveries at any time.
EASIEST TO PREPARE
These meals are seriously easy and quick to prepare and healthy at the same time. Each meal comes vacuum sealed to preserve the freshness of the flavors and is ready to enjoy in six minutes or less. The meals are Michelin chef-crafted meals and only require popping the bag in a pot of boiling water or in the microwave to prepare, so if you’re really not a chef you have nothing to worry about with this meal subscription service. They’ve got low-calorie, gluten-free and high protein options to choose between so there’s something for everyone in their selection.
14. Martha & Marley Spoon
BEST CELEBRITY ENDORSEMENT
Cooking with Martha Stewart? Sign us up! This brand delivers 22 meals to your door each week curated by Martha Stewart with pre-portioned seasonal ingredients that are easy to prepare to make recipes that’ll excite any appetite. Each recipe comes with easy-to-follow recipe cards and favorite spice blends that make the taste and experience of these recipes unique. Your meals are totally customizable, you can skip at any time and each recipe only takes about 30 minutes to complete.