The Best Meal Kits and Delivery Services You Can Buy Online

We surveyed the meal kits on the market to find the best ones for families, couples, vegetarians and more.

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January 13, 2022
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Planning weekly menus can be a chore. Sure, it saves time and money, but it can also get old fast. (How many times can you really eat chicken in a week, anyway?) It’s also easy to get stuck in a rut — buying completely new ingredients to try that new curry recipe you found can get expensive, fast. Luckily, meal kits can eliminate these issues, making it easier and more affordable for you and your family to try new and interesting foods. Sounds simple, right?

Until you check out your many, many options.

The hardest part of subscribing to a meal kit service is picking the right one for you. That's why we’ve created a guide to some of our favorite meal kits broken down by who we think they're best for: families, couples, plant-based eaters and those with dietary restrictions. Find one that works for you below.

Best for Families

There's a good chance you've probably seen a flyer for money off your first HelloFresh box in your mailbox. It's one of the most-popular meal kits in the nation offering plans based on flavor preference, number of people and frequency of meals. Their meals as having fun twists on traditional dishes, like the Tex-Mex Cheese-Stuffed Burgers and Chicken Sausage and Spinach Ravioli. Having tried the two-person plan, I will say that there was enough food for leftovers the next day.

Buy It

EveryPlate is intended specifically for families hoping to save money during their weekday meals. Each recipe comes out to about $4.99 per serving, and subscribers will find lots of offerings each week. Each meal is intended to be ready in 30 minutes — perfect for parents juggling work and kids' after-school schedules. Some standout meals are Chicken Sausage Orzo Pilaf and the Honey-Glazed Pork Chops.

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Home Chef offers meal plans for up to five week in advance, which is perfect for busy parents who don't have time to think about a weeknight dinner schedule. It’s also pretty affordable with recipes starting at $7.99 per serving. Some family-friendly menu samples include Pork Tenderloin with a Brown Sugar Demi Glaze, as well as a One-Pan Crispy Deviled Chicken.

Buy It

Best for Couples

Freshly is the much more cost-effective, but still delicious, pre-made meal delivery option. The more meals you have per week, the cheaper each meal will cost, but they start at four meals for $11.79. You can choose your menu, and they have hearty options like peppercorn steak and homestyle chicken with macaroni and cheese. They also make it easy to skip meals at any time.

Buy It

SunBasket is a great meal kit for the couple trying to eat healthier. The service prioritizes organic and non-GMO produce and features paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan and diabetes-friendly menu options. With plans designed for two or four people, a couple could opt for a few healthy dinners a week or healthy dinner with leftovers for lunch. At $11.99 per serving, this service could be a bit pricey for a family of four or more.

Buy It

My husband and I have done Blue Apron for over a year — and we’re still loving it. A lot of the meals are intricate and contain ingredients that would be tough for picky eaters, so this is probably best for two people looking to expand their palettes. We’ve discovered dishes that we never thought we’d love, like the Spicy Chipotle Chicken with Cilantro Farro. Using a meal kit has also helped us a create a new tradition of cooking together three times a week. This year, Blue Apron is launching a Wellness 360 program designed for anyone looking for healthy meals to jumpstart their health and wellness journey.

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Best for Vegetarians

Sakara Life is a fully plant-based subscription service that offers ready-made meals. In addition to being plant-based, the meals don’t have gluten, dairy, GMOs or refined sugars. You can choose between three and five days, and it costs $80 per day.

Buy It

Purple Carrot is a vegan meal plan, perfect for the couple or family hoping to make moves to a totally plant-based lifestyle for all their meals or just a few. Subscribers can pick from meal plans made for two or six people with three or two meals per week respectively. Customers also have the option of "add-ons," breakfasts or lunches that are plant-based and "ready in 5 minutes," according to the site.

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A little different from the other options on the list, Hungryroot is a "plant-centric" meal plan that pulls together lots of pre-packaged, fresh items based on your dietary preferences. (Don't sleep on the Chickpea Pesto!) Everything is either ready immediately or within minutes of preparation. The ingredients in the most basic box are enough for one person to make three to four meals (plus snacks).

Buy It

Best for Dietary Restrictions

Thistle prioritizes plant-based meals (but they still offer meat — they’re just not meat-centric), and they’ll send you an array of dishes from around the world that are as healthy as they are delicious. You can choose to receive breakfast, lunch and dinner for three to six days per week. Each meal costs about $13.25, and you can choose from a list of restrictions to accommodate any dietary needs you may have.

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This plan allows you to choose plans that include six, 12 or 18 pre-made meals per week. You can choose between diet plants like keto, vegan Mediterranean, paleo and tons of others. The menus rotate weekly and change with the seasons to include fresh ingredients, so you’re never bored.

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Green Chef caters to specific dietary needs. Subscribers can choose keto, plant-powered, paleo or balanced living menu options and omnivore or carnivore for families — all of which feature recipes designed for these considerations. The company is also certified organic and all boxes come with foods that are non-GMO, organic and sustainably sourced.

Buy It

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