Many chefs I’ve met have told me, “A meal always tastes better when someone else prepares it.” That rings even truer at the end of a long, busy workday when the thought of cooking is exhausting. But you can look forward to meals again if you enlist the help of a meal delivery service. The perks? Healthy, delicious food, a variety of plans, they go from box to table in minutes, and there’s virtually no cleanup. But with so many options to choose from, getting started is confusing. Here are 7 of the best meal delivery services that get top marks for dollar and nutrition value, variety, and taste.
#1 | Factor 75
Choose a plan of 4, 6, 8, or 12 meals per week from Factor 75’s menu or let them custom-create and prepare your order based on your preferences. The brand’s dietitians work with chefs to strike a balance between nutrition and flavor. What you get: tempting and flavorful options, like pumpkin pancakes for breakfast and dinners such as chicken a la vodka. What you don’t get: hormones, antibiotics, gluten, refined sugars, and GMOs. Menus are updated weekly and meals are always fresh, but never frozen. Just heat in the oven or zap in the microwave—it’s that easy. Shipping is free on all orders, plus you get a discount of $90 on your first 3 orders.
#2 | The Good Kitchen
The Good Kitchen’s motto is, “Our meal plans have more flexibility than your last yoga instructor.” Founder Amber Lewis started the company to help busy families find an easy way to eat healthily. Sustainable ingredients, organic vegetables and antibiotic-free protein with no added hormones do just that. Categories range from Gluten-Free and Keto to Whole 30 Approved and Vegetarian or you can customize your plan. In line with Lewis’ belief that food is medicine, the brand recently teamed up with TB12—as in Tom Brady, NFL legend—to offer a line of peak performance-inspired recipes based on Brady’s nutrition regimen. You can subscribe to 5- or 10-meals per week, go à la carte, or place a one-time order. In general, pricing per meal ranges from $11-14. And with delicious offerings like Chicken Satay with Pineapple and Cilantro Cauliflower Rice, you’ll never dread dinner again.
#3 | Freshly
Your palate will never get bored on this plan, thanks to Freshly’s slate of more than 30 meal choices. A team of nutrition experts oversees the recipes, which contain no artificial sugars or processed ingredients. All of this is, of course, vital to staying healthy and staving off the dreaded weight gain. Enjoy straightforward entrées such as Very Verde Chicken with Super Greens & Roasted Cauliflower or more exotic alternatives like K-Town Pork & Purple Sticky Rice with Sesame Veggie Stir-Fry. As with most of these plans, the magic number is “3”—as in, dinner is served in just 3 minutes. And signing up comes with an incentive; in this case, $30 off.
#4 | Purple Carrot
Clean, green, and lean characterize Purple Carrot‘s plant-based offerings, but even devoted carnivores are sure to love Crispy Carrot Dumplings with Hazelnut Sesame Butter & Apple Arugula Salad. Chocolate Porridge with Hazelnuts & Mango for breakfast? Yes, please. Snacks like Chili & Lime Lupini beans in a take-along pouch are the antidote to salt cravings, while the Comfort and Joy Sampler of 4 Mexican chocolate disks can satisfy that mid-afternoon yen for something sweet. The fresh meal components arrive at your door in recyclable boxes. Gel packs inside keep everything cold. Prep time is minimal, averaging around 15 minutes. Mix and match your meals or select a full menu of High-Protein, Gluten-Free, Quick & Easy, or Chef’s Choice. Two- and 4-serving plans are available, both at a discount of $20 on your initial order.
NOTE FROM ERIN: Didn’t love Purple Carrot. Prep is not simple and the meals are a little too out there for me and my family.
#5 | Daily Harvest
I was originally attracted to Daily Harvest’s highly stylized photos of creamy smoothies and enticing soups. But after trying them, substance won out over style. Recently the vegan, organic, dairy-free, gluten-free brand has expanded to include bowls, from chia to harvest, plus flatbreads and desserts. Everything arrives frozen, but can be prepared quickly, and is easily transported. So pop an item in an insulated bag and tote it to work for lunch. No muss, no fuss, no forethought required. At $6-$9 per item (with a minimum of six items), prices can’t be beat. In fact, the more you buy, the more you save: $5 off nine items, $10 off 12, $20 off 24. You can schedule deliveries to be weekly or monthly, skip one or pause the order when you want to. Enter WELCOME20 to get $20 off your first order.
NOTE FROM ERIN : I order Daily Harvest every week for my lunches. I LOVE their smoothies and dairy-free ice cream.
#6 | Eat to Evolve
Evolve‘s fresh (not frozen) pre-cooked meals are categorized into Paleo, Keto, Chef’s Choice and Evolve 30, the latter of which is free of wheat, dairy, soy, grains, and sugar. Purchase a subscription plan of 10, 12, or 14 entrées or buy à la carte (although there are savings to be had by choosing the subscription). Meals average around $11 apiece and include offerings like Chicken Fried Cauli Rice, Egg Roll in a Bowl, and Roasted Spaghetti Squash with Meat Sauce. (The menu changes monthly.) Also in the offing from their “Pantry” are cereals, paleo pancake mix, and snacks such as Banana Bread Paleo Balls and an array of trail mixes, to keep it interesting.
Erin is currently trying this service and should have an update for you soon!
UPDATE FROM ERIN: Sorry, but most of the Eat to Evolve meals were barely edible. I’m not ordering a second round.
#7 | Sakara
Plant-based home delivery food service company Sakara Life was founded by two friends who had experienced firsthand the trials and tribulations of diet-hopping. As a result, they started to study nutrition. Today the duo runs the company offering nutrition and wellness products, including a plant-based meal delivery service. Sakara’s Signature Program consists of 3 to 5 days of organic, ready-to-eat meals delivered weekly. Or check out Level II: Detox, which includes 3 meals per day for five days, supplements, digestive tea, and even check-ins with a holistic health coach. Among the recipes, you’ll find breakfast options such as Plant Protein Granola served with maple milk and a Superfood Mac + “Cheeze” comprised of chickpeas, carrot cheese, and baby watercress. As an incentive to start, you’ll receive $50 off your first order, which helps especially since the cost is on the higher side at approximately $56-$80 per day.
Have you tried any of these services or one we haven’t mentioned that you recommend? Please comment below!
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