Which Meal-Prep Kit Is Right for You?
The scoop on 6 popular food-delivery services
Whether you’re in a cooking rut or trying to up your skills in the kitchen, a meal-prep delivery service may be the perfect solution. There’s one for every type of cook, from novice to semi-pro, but with so many options available, how do you know which one to choose? Luckily, we’ve done the research to help you find the one that’s right for you.
Best for: Those who want to learn their way around the kitchen
What to know: HelloFresh is pretty straightforward. The instructions are clear, and the recipes are healthy and no-frills. (Think roasted salmon with citrus and avocado.)
Cost: $11.50 per person for 3 meals per week (with a subscription)
Best for: Those who like to cook with minimal effort
What to know: Blue Apron meals are flavorful without getting too crazy or complicated, such as veggie-packed spring minestrone soup. One con: You can select your dietary preferences, but your options might be limited as a result.
Cost: $9.99 per person for 3 meals per week (with a subscription)
Best for: Those who value flexibility and variety
What to know: Chef'd is not a traditional subscription service--you have the ability to order when you please. It also offers more diversity in terms of meal options. Bonus: You can get PureWow recipes delivered right to your door.
What it costs: Dinner for two starts at $25
Best for: Those who want to channel their inner Julia Child but lack time
What to know: Plated is one of the pricier options, but the service offers the most variety and some pretty sophisticated meals, like Peruvian stir-fry. It also has more options in terms of dietary restrictions--gluten-free, dairy-free and low-calorie.
Cost: Average meal is $12, but specialty dishes can cost up to $30 with a subscription
Best for: Those who enjoy eating but not so much cooking
What to know: This newcomer closes the gap between takeout and home-cooked meals. Its menu changes daily, rotating seasonal, local ingredients (hello, short-rib ragu with pappardelle). The downside: It’s available only in San Francisco, Seattle and New York City.
Cost: $8 to $15 per entrée, plus $3 delivery fee
Best for: Those who hate cooking but crave a “homemade” meal
What to know: FreshDirect specializes in pre-cooked four-minute meals that only need to be heated and served. Offerings are organized by cuisine so you can order anything from wood-fired pizza to chicken tikka masala.
Cost: $6 to $10 per entrée, plus delivery fee