Skip to main content

Review: Purple Carrot’s Thanksgiving Box Has Delicious, Meat-Free Twists on Holiday Staples

If you’re like me and love food but don’t particularly enjoy cooking, you may have already tried one of the many meal kits available. These kits make it easy to try new recipes with (practically) guaranteed outcomes. For the cooking adverse, they make time in the kitchen enjoyable and for those who already enjoy throwing on an apron and getting to work (I don’t understand you but I appreciate you), they are a great way to try out new recipes and gain inspiration. So when Purple Carrot reached out to SPY and offered one of their Thanksgiving boxes, we knew one thing we were definitely going to be grateful for this year.

Thanksgiving meals are serious business in many households. Sacred family recipes must be replicated without changes to appease the entire table. Omitting traditional dishes can be a non-starter and ensure you don’t get invited home next November. But for those who want to change things up this year or offer additional options to go along with your aunt’s creamy garlic mashed potatoes, Purple Carrot has put together plant-based alternatives to traditional fare. I’m not vegan and I do enjoy turkey, but Purple Carrot’s Thanksgiving Box delivered my favorite holiday meal in years.

What Is Purple Carrot?

Purple Carrot is a meal kit delivery system that offers plant-based dishes. Customers can choose from a variety of meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner and they have the option to select pre-made meals or meal kits.

Customers can enjoy the meals curated and picked by Purple Carrot or choose specific meals from the company’s weekly options. There are Gluten-free, High Protein and Quick & Easy meal preferences that customers can select when signing up. Breakfast (four servings) and lunches (two servings) can also be added a la carte and typically take less than five minutes to prepare. Purple Carrot also offers a la carte Plantry items (lol), which include products from various vegan brands.

Customers sign up for one of the three plans offered by Purple Carrot. Plan 1 includes three dinners per week, which each serve two people. This plan is priced at $79.50 per week or $13.25 per serving.

Plan 2 offers a choice of two or three dinners, each with four servings. A great option for families or meal preppers, this plan is priced at $88 per week or $11 per serving.

Plan 3 focuses on premade meals and allows users to order at least six meals per week, with a maximum of 10 meals. This plan starts at $78 per week or $13 per meal.

What Is In The Thanksgiving Box?

Each month, Purple Carrot offers customers a limited-edition box that includes a three-course meal for two for $75. The Thanksgiving Box, available for order now with shipping on November 21, feeds four and includes all the ingredients to make Rustic Ciabatta Stuffing, Cashew Cheese Stuffed Sweet Potatoes, Roasted Brussel Sprouts, Pear Cranberry Crisp, Classic Gravy and Cranberry Sauce. The Thanksgiving Box is November’s Celebration Box for Purple Carrot.

The Thanksgiving Box arrived with all the ingredients necessary to make the six items. The box arrived with the food neatly labeled and organized and in ice packs, which were still frozen. I live in Phoenix and even in November, that’s impressive.

An example of how each dish arrived.

The box arrived on a Tuesday, and I spread the dishes out over the week because I had already planned my dinners. The final dishes I made were the Rustic Ciabatta Stuffing and Roasted Brussel Sprouts on Saturday and the ingredients were still fresh.

The November Pantry Kit Ingredients Allison Bowsher / SPY

How Was The Food?

Delicious. Nutritious. Easy. Really, what more can you ask for in a meal? Meal prep kits have become hugely popular because they take the guesswork out of cooking, which I appreciate as a mediocre cook. Having every ingredient included, measured out, and ready to go is a dream. There was some cutting of course, specifically the Brussels sprouts and mushrooms, but this was still relatively fast and made me feel like I was really cooking.

One of my favorite aspects of the meal was items that I love, such as stuffing and Brussels sprouts, I don’t typically cook because my husband doesn’t like them and I am not into making separate meals (reminder: loathes cooking). It turns out, he loves both dishes as long as they include ingredients like Garlic Kimchi Butter and vegan Italian sausages.

Stuffing that non-stuffing lovers will love. Allison Bowsher / SPY

Although we are a meat house, we are trying to be more plant-based, but one of the biggest hurdles is that my husband has a nut allergy. Purple Carrot doesn’t offer nut-free options, but it was easy to substitute or leave out nuts or nut-based ingredients in the meals.

Walnut-free Pear Cranberry Crisp before going in the oven. Allison Bowsher / SPY

What I Liked About Purple Carrot

The recipes were easy to follow for each dish and every page included full-color photographs of each step. In a time when most of us prefer watching videos to see how a dish is made, pictures are a must.

Using meal prep kits are a great way to try new recipes, which was definitely the case with my now-stuffing and Brussels sprouts-loving husband. Like most people, I’m guilty of making the same dishes week after week, and Purple Carrot helps to encourage customers to try new ingredients and recipes.

Brussels Sprouts with Oyster mushrooms and Kimchi. Allison Bowsher / SPY

I also appreciate that the company’s focus on saving customers’ time will help with my daily cooking. I frequently make mashed sweet potatoes, but I usually peel, cut and boil them. Purple Carrot’s instructions to bake the sweet potatoes saved me a lot of time and effort. Let’s cook smarter, not harder.

Although I spread my meal over several days, I like that Purple Carrot includes a guide to help customers break down the cooking process. This included which items could be prepared days, hours, or minutes before dinnertime.

What I Didn’t Like About Purple Carrot

Customers must subscribe to one of the Purple Carrot plans to order the Thanksgiving Box. I would like to see an option where customers can order the monthly boxes without a subscription requirement.

Verdict – Is Purple Carrot Worth The Money?

Yes. The food was filling and healthy, tasted great, and encouraged me to try dishes and ingredients I would have otherwise skipped (Kimchi with Brussels sprouts are a game changer). Cooking was straightforward, I could prepare some dishes ahead of time, and I learned some cooking hacks along the way.

Cranberry sauce that was shockingly easy and fast to make. Allison Bowsher / SPY

As for the value, $75 does seem like a lot for a meal that doesn’t include meat or organic produce. But considering the rising food costs in grocery stores and restaurants, $18.75 per serving for a meal that includes dessert and doesn’t require me to leave my home is good value.