If the question “What’s for dinner?” makes you want to bury your head in the sand or order takeout, we’ve got the answer: a meal kit delivery service. Meal kit delivery services take the guesswork out of weekly dinners by sending you a box each week packed with everything you need to prepare meals you’ve preselected according to your dietary needs and taste preferences. Best of all, during a time when inflation has made everything seem outrageously expensive, meal delivery services are surprisingly affordable. The services require no extra grocery shopping on your part and even minimize waste by providing only what’s needed to make perfectly proportioned meals. As an added bonus, a few of these services offer add-on options for breakfasts, lunches, desserts, and even bottles of wine perfectly matched to your meals.
With so many meal kit services aimed at the home chef on the market, it’s tough to decide where to start to find the best meal delivery service that meets your household’s needs. That’s where I come in. I’ve been eating for a living for many years now, have a degree from the French Culinary Institute and have worked for various food publications. I’m also a mom, with an active teen and tween whom I cook for daily.
To narrow down the list of meal delivery services, I personally tried many of the delivery services with my family to get their input. I also consulted with other Yahoo staff testers to gain their insights on the services they tested with their families. We evaluated each meal kit service according to the number of weekly menu choices offered that cater to a variety of dietary preferences (low-carb, keto, paleo, kid-friendly, gluten-free vegan, etc.), the quality and freshness of the included ingredients, ease of cooking, cost, eco-friendly packaging, flavor profiles and taste.
In making the final selection of winners, I also weighed info from Facebook groups devoted to discussing meal kits, plus expert advice from Jaclyn London, a New York City–based registered dietitian. Here are our top picks for the best meal delivery kit services of 2023
Cost: $10 per serving for all meal plans, shipping is free | Variety: 30+ weekly menu options | Meal types: Omnivore, Plant-Based, Pescatarian, Quick and Easy, Family-Friendly and Under 650 Calories
Hello Fresh was our overall favorite meal kit service for its variety of flavorful recipes and ability to customize meal options. For example, if you like shrimp instead of fish, you can swap out that ingredient. I appreciated the generous portion sizes of some meals, which means you can (and will want to!) reheat the leftovers for lunch the next day. Of note, Hello Fresh offers plant-based meals and rotating menu options.
Subscription: $10 per serving if you order meals for four people (less if you can lay your hands on a promo code). Three meals per week for four people costs $130.
Ease of use: Some meals took longer to prep than what the recipe cards estimated and were occasionally too much work at the end of a long day. However, some of the portion sizes were extra generous. We recommend this kit for cooks with at least some experience.
Menu choices: There are 30+ meal choices per week, with the ability to filter recipes by the following categories and dietary restrictions: Omnivore, Plant-Based, Pescatarian, Quick and Easy, Family-Friendly and Under 650 Calories. A notable feature is the ability to swap or upgrade proteins and some side dishes. You may order a maximum of four servings per meal and up to six meals per week.
Packaging: Most of the packaging is recyclable, plus the company determines each order’s most efficient ice levels and box sizes to ensure that each delivery vehicle can carry more boxes and produce fewer carbon emissions.
Read myfull review on the Hello Fresh meal delivery service, and how it holds up in 2023.
Cost: $5 – $7.50 per serving | Variety: 26 weekly menu options | Meal types: Customer favorites, 30 minutes or less, vegetarian, vegan, omnivore, pescetarian
EveryPlate earned Best Crowd-Pleaser for its familiar flavors, plus recipes that are quick to make and budget-friendly. Three meals per week for four people costs $66 (including shipping). EveryPlate recipes may not be super sophisticated or feature 12 ingredients in each dish, but that’s exactly what you want when you have to feed a crowd of hungry people who are looking for familiar flavors. You’ll save time and money and will likely have leftovers.
Subscription: $5.49 per serving if you order meals for four people (less if you use a promo code). Three meals per week for four people costs $72.
Ease of use: Some meal prep times turned out to be longer than advertised, but there are only six steps in any given recipe, making EveryPlate a good choice for even the most skittish cooks.
Menu choices: With 26 menu options to choose from each week, you’re bound to find a few that appeal. They do not cater to specific dietary restrictions, though some plant-based recipes were available. You may order a maximum of four servings per meal and up to six meals per week.
Taste: 7/10.Some dishes were too creamy and didn’t seem healthy enough to eat frequently.
Packaging: Most of the packaging is recyclable.
Read myfull review on the EveryPlate meal delivery service, and how it holds up in 2023.
Cost: $9.00 – $13.00 per serving, plus $11.99 for shipping| Variety: 100+ weekly menu options | Meal types: Low-carb, low-calorie, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, kid-friendly, one pot meal, omnivore, pescatarian, under 30 Minutes, breakfast, appetizers, desserts and family-friendly
We crowned Marley Spoon the Most Sophisticated plan because of its fresh and yummy produce. For three meals per week for four people, the cost is $126 (including shipping).
Marley Spoon brings delicious recipes, but they’re also sophisticated, which meant I occasionally had to cut corners on prep since some were too labor-intensive for weeknights. If you have time for that and are a foodie, then this is the meal kit for you. Personally, while I was impressed with the quality of ingredients and elegant recipes, I would prefer to cook Marley Spoon meals on weekends or days when I have more time to get through the numerous steps.
Subscription: $10.49 per serving if you order meals for four people (or less if you use a promo code). Three meals per week for four people costs $126, including shipping.
Ease of use: Some recipes were more complex than others. When I read that a zucchini and a piece of Parmesan would need to be grated at the end of a particularly exhausting day, I quickly diced the zucchini and saved the Parmesan for later while substituting some pregrated Parm from the fridge instead. This kit is best suited to people who cook regularly.
Menu choices: With more than 100 recipes and meal options each week that fall into categories like Health and Diet, Vegetarian and Vegan, Meat and Fish, Under 30 Minutes and Family-Friendly, you can satisfy most dietary restrictions. The weekly menus also feature breakfast options, desserts and party-friendly appetizers. You may order a maximum of four servings per meal and up to six meals per week.
Taste: 10/10. These were the best-tasting meals we tried. The quality and fresh ingredients were noteworthy, as were the portion sizes.
Packaging: Marley Spoon strives for carbon neutrality, which is achieved by offsetting emissions through decreased food waste, mostly via recyclable packaging and supporting carbon offset projects.
100+ menu options each week
Great for the adventurous
Multiple steps make this not good for beginner chefs
Cost: $8 – $10 | Variety: 35+weekly menu options | Meal types: Calorie-conscious, carb-conscious, vegetarian, easy-prep and under 30 minutes
Home Chef earned Most Flexible because it offers meals for every scenario you might face in a week, whether you want a meal on the table in 15, 30, 45 or more minutes, you will find a solution that works. For three meals per week for four people (including shipping), the cost is $131.
Home Chef is very solutions-oriented. It’s certainly the meal kit delivery service we would turn to when faced with a variety of weeknight schedule quirks. With roughly 35 or more kits available each week, you’ll be able to choose from dishes that come together in as little as 15 minutes and some that are more elaborate and take up to 60 minutes to prepare. Across the board, the recipes were easy to follow and the meals were flavorful, if not adventurous.
Subscription: Starting at 7.99 per serving (depending on the type of kit) if you order meals for four people (less if you use a promo code). Three meals per week for four people costs $131.
Ease of use: Most meal prep times were accurate and none of the steps were particularly complicated. Even novice cooks could make any of the meals we tested.
Menu choices: There are about 35 menu options to choose from each week with familiar flavors inspired by global cuisine (Italian, Tex-Mex, Greek, American classics, etc.). They do not cater to specific dietary restrictions, though some vegetarian/plant-based recipes were available. There was an option to filter recipes by the following categories: Calorie-conscious, Carb-conscious, Vegetarian and Under 30 minutes. You may order a maximum of 6 servings per meal and up to 4 meals per week.
Taste: 7/10.All three meals we tried seemed reasonably healthy and tasty. One tester said the Japanese-Style Steak Tacos were the best meal I had cooked in awhile. We tried the Souvlaki Greek-Style Chicken one night, which is a version of a dinner I make two or three times a month anyway, which is to say that many of the options are perfect for newer cooks and perhaps a bit too familiar to more experiences ones.
Packaging: Most of the packaging is recyclable.
Read myfull review on the Home Chef meal delivery service, and how it holds up in 2023.
Quiz to help you find perfect meals for your tastes
Cost: $8- $12 per serving, plus $11 for shipping | Variety: 70+ weekly options| Meal types: Chef favorites, wellness, family-friendly, fast and easy, vegetarian
Blue Apron earned our best time-saving meal delivery kit service because its recipes are so easy to follow — you can’t mess them up! Three meals per week for four people costs $102, plus a $9.99 shipping fee.
I felt very efficient using a Blue Apron kit for weeknight dinners. Plus, I liked the variety of the weekly menu, which could be tailored to specific dietary restrictions. In terms of flavor, I found these meals to be average overall, with the proteins rating lower in quality than expected. But I really appreciated the easy and clear recipe instructions — and the fact that I was able to put dinner on the table relatively quickly.
Subscription: $9.49 per serving if you order meals for four people. Three meals per week for four people costs $125.
Ease of use: The instructions were easy to follow and execute. For the most part, I was able to prepare the meals in the time suggested. This kit is appropriate for cooks of all skill levels.
Menu choices: There are 50-plus weekly options that range from Fast and Easy to Vegetarian to Wellness and beyond. The weekly menus also include add-on items like breakfast kits, à la carte proteins and party-friendly appetizers and desserts. You may order a maximum of four servings per meal and up to four meals per week.
Taste: 7/10. We found the proteins provided to be only average in quality and taste, and therefore the meals themselves were bland.
Packaging: Over 85% of Blue Apron packaging is recyclable by weight, and its website provides easy-to-understand recycling instructions for specific components. However, I wished the packaging had featured allergen and ingredient labeling, rather than directing me to the website.
Cost: $12 -$13 per serving | Variety: 70+ weekly menu options | Meal types: Keto, Paleo, Mediterranean, vegan, vegetarian, “Fast & Fit,” and gluten-free
We easily rated GreenChef Best Organic and Sustainable meal kit because it took the work out of putting meals on the table with mostly organic ingredients. It also allowed us to choose based on various dietary restrictions. Three meals per week for four people costs $150 (including shipping).
I preferred GreenChef’s vegetarian meals to the omnivore dishes I tried, and I found them appealing enough to continue eating them for lunch the next day. Though I appreciated the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) designation, I was left wondering about the nutritional value of some of the marinades and sauces.
Subscription: $12.49 per serving if you order meals for four people (less if there’s a promo code). Three meals per week for four people costs $150, including shipping.
Ease of use: The directions were clear and easy to follow, though I would have liked a tip on which size pan to use. The protein provided for the chicken dish we tried was cut into small, uneven pieces, which resulted in overcooking. However, this kit is workable for cooks of all levels.
Menu choices: There are 24 recipes to choose from each week across categories including Keto + Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Fast & Fit, Mediterranean and Gluten-Free. GreenChef also offers a high protein option. The weekly menus also offer a couple of 10-minute lunch kits. You may order a maximum of six servings per meal and up to four meals per week.
Taste: 9/10. The meals my family tried were a mix of vegetarian and omnivore recipes (all featuring organic produce). We loved the taste of both and found that the flavors were much more complex than our usual weeknight go-tos.
Packaging: GreenChef boasts a 100% offset of the direct carbon emissions and plastic from every box sold. Most of the packaging components are recyclable, depending on what types of items your community recycling system supports. We found the allergen labeling clear and helpful.
GreenChef boasts a 100% offset of the direct carbon emissions
Fast and easy to follow recipes
Will need extras other services provide, such as like butter, oil, sugar
Cost: $11 – $13.25 per serving | Variety: 12 weekly menu options, along with menus for breakfast (4), lunch (4) | Meal types: Vegetarian, vegan, soy-free, gluten-free and nut-free
The spot for Best Vegetarian/Vegan meal kit went to Purple Carrot, which offers a variety of vegetarian meals that are satisfying and flavorful. Three meals per week for four people costs $132 (including shipping).
For vegan meals and vegetarian options, Purple Carrot’s pricing seems a bit high, but the quality, freshness and variety of recipes were better than that of other meal kits we tried. Overall, Purple Carrot helped my family get out of our weeknight dinner rut with new veggies, and we would probably try it every few months for that reason.
Subscription: $11 per serving if you order meals for four people (less if there’s a promo code). Three meals per week for four people costs $132 (including shipping).
Ease of use: These recipes took a bit longer to cook than the instructions suggested but could easily be prepared by most home cooks.
Menu choices: There are roughly six to 10 menu choices per week, ranging from breakfast to dinner options. There are also categories based on dietary preference such as Soy-Free, Gluten-Free and Nut-Free. You may order a maximum of four servings per meal and up to three meals per week.
Taste: 8/10. We loved the flavors and textures and found the recipes to be a nice change of pace from our usual home-cooked dinners.
Packaging: The majority of the packaging components are recyclable, depending on what types of items your community recycling system supports.
Cost: $5 – $8 per serving plus $12 shipping |Variety: 100+ recipes to choose from each week| Meal types: Kid-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Under 30 Minutes, Vegetarian, Low-carb
Dinnerly meal kits are ideal for even the most inexperienced home chef and anyone on a budget. With few ingredients, little prep work and simple instructions, the meals are easy meals to prepare and feature familiar flavors. Most of these meals are ready in under 30 minutes. Though portions were on the smaller side, the recipes were easy to follow, and the price can’t be beat. Three meals per week for four people costs $74, plus a shipping fee of $11.99.
Subscription: $6.14 per serving is the cost of three meals per week for four people. Three meals per week for four people will cost $74, plus a shipping fee of $11.99.
Ease of use: Teenagers could probably get these meals on the table. That’s how easy the recipes are to follow and execute, none with more than six steps. Most dishes came with only five ingredients, making even the greenest of cooks feel like chefs.
Menu choices: There were more than 100 meal options to try each week across categories like Kid-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Under 30 Minutes, Vegetarian and more. The weekly menus also include breakfast options, as well as party-friendly appetizers and desserts. You may order a maximum of four servings per meal and up to six meals per week.
Packaging: Dinnerly does not include recipe cards but rather directs you to a digital recipe card for instructions. Most of the streamlined packaging is recyclable.
How do I choose the best meal kit delivery service for me?
With the market flooded with options, choosing the right meal kit delivery service can feel overwhelming. Because each brand has its own points of difference and offers kits for people focused on everything from allergies to wellness to weight loss, you’re sure to find a meal delivery kit that suits your needs. A few key things to look for in the best meal delivery kit to meet your needs are:
Cost: Thankfully, there is a wide range of price points across meal delivery services, so you should not have too much trouble finding a kit that aligns with your budget.
Ease of use, because you’re getting a meal kit to make your life easier. You don’t want anything too complicated or time-consuming.
Menu choices, because you want a good variety of meals, recipes and high-quality ingredients that change seasonally.
Taste, because above all, you want your dinner to be yummy!
Packaging Is there too much? Too little? Is it adding too much waste into the world? We factored this into our reviews.
How we chose the best meal kit delivery services
Every meal kit we reviewed has different strengths and weaknesses. Some are very easy, others offer more variety; some are great for families with picky eaters and special diets, and others are geared toward noncarnivores. We also tested some heat-and-eat premade meal options (remember when we used to call them TV dinners?) to throw into the mix as the easiest to make of the bunch. To narrow down the list of the best meal delivery services,myself and yahoo testers to gain their insights on the services they tested with their families. We evaluated the services according to the number of weekly menu choices offered that cater to a multitude of dietary variations (low-carb, keto, paleo, kid-friendly, vegan, etc.), the quality and freshness of the included ingredients, ease of cooking, cost, eco-friendly packaging, and, most of all, taste.
In making the final selection of winners, I also weighed info from Facebook Groups devoted to discussing meal kits, plus expert advice from Jaclyn London, a New York City–based registered dietitian.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are meal kits?
Meal kits are meals that are delivered to your home in a box. They contain premeasured ingredients and an accompanying recipe, enabling you to create a fresh-cooked meal at home without having to run to the supermarket or measure your own ingredients. You can usually order a kit to come between one and seven days per week, and you’ll find services that offer meals for two, four and, with a few services, even more people.
What can I expect from a meal delivery service?
A weight lifted off your shoulders! With each delivery of preportioned ingredients and an accompanying recipe, you won’t have to worry about what’s for dinner or a meal plan. There are meal delivery services to suit every budget and dietary need. These companies generally allow you to filter meals by your food restrictions and specific diets (omnivore, vegan or plant-based, keto, gluten-free, pescatarian, carb-conscious, low-carb, etc.), ease of use and time constraints. You can usually choose your delivery day and even add extras like portions of protein, breakfast foods, quick lunches and desserts.
I’m nervous about taking the meal kit plunge. Should I be?
Most meal kit companies offer major discounts to first-time customers, making it very affordable to try a bunch before you commit (or don’t) to any one plan. All you have to do is take advantage of any one of these offers and then mark your calendar with an alert for the date by which you must cancel the subscription.