Exploring the Best Meal Kit Delivery Services
HelloFresh saves valuable time in the kitchen and at the grocery store. The meal kit delivery service offers premium meal kits delivered directly to your front door. Without a doubt, meal preparation and cooking just become remarkably easier with meal kits companies like Hello Fresh, Home Chef, Blue Apron, or others.
Meal Kit Services Like Hello Fresh
Who doesn’t love a tasty home-cooked meal? Unfortunately, in today’s fast-paced society in the United States, cooking has become a time-consuming luxury that single parents, couples, and rising professionals just cannot afford to sacrifice.
Thankfully, meal kit delivery services like Hello Fresh provide a fun and delicious alternative to in-home cooking.
What Is Hello Fresh?
Hello Fresh is a meal kit delivery service that provides healthy meal choices delivered to your front door. All you have to do is cook the meal kits following the friendly recipe cards and enjoy the meals. The meal subscription service provides you with a vast 20 recipes per week menu, from which you choose your meals per week. You then place the order and wait for the meals each week to arrive on your doorstep.
You can indulge yourself in three meals per week or simply opt to create healthy meals for dinner using the meal delivery service every weekday. You can even choose the family plan or the two-person box of pre-portioned goodies.
No Commitment – Sign No Contract or Skip a Week
One of the best things about Hello Fresh is that there is no contract. You simply the meals per week based on the personal plan you desire, such as two or four meals. You can skip weeks, choose only three meals per week, or choose meals for the entire week. The versatility is very impressive.
Delicious Recipes per Week
The meal-kit arrives with fresh foods and easy-to-read recipe cards. Follow the directions to create gourmet-style cuisine. Cooking has never been more straightforward, more stress-free, enjoyable, or faster. Most meals a week are ready in 30 minutes or less with minimal preparation time.
Pros and Cons of Hello Fresh
Food delivery services offer ready-to-eat meals that not only taste good but are also healthy. The subscription boxes arrive in a timely fashion and are a breeze to prepare.
As with all meal delivery services, there are pros and cons to consider when deciding whether or not to give them a try.
- Fresh, high-quality ingredients.
- Skip weeks or cancel at any time.
- Meal plans for families, vegetarians, and a healthy living lifestyle.
- Pre-measured ingredients help save on cooking time and food waste per meal.
- Eco-friendly service, with recyclable packaging.
- Does takes time to prepare the meal kits, with no pre-cooked meal options.
- Nutrition information is vague online
- No options for vegans and a gluten-free diet.
Hello Fresh Sample Meal Options
- Beef and cheese tostadas with long green pepper, tomato salsa, and hot sauce cream.
- BBQ pineapple flatbreads with caramelized and pickled onion.
- Smothered pepper Jack burgers with BBQ Potato wedges and spicy ketchup.
- Pork sausage and bell pepper risotto with parmesan and lemon.
- Mushroom and soy ramen with fried onions.
What are Other Companies Like Hello Fresh?
The need for meal delivery services has escalated in recent years. The reason why the demand is so high is varied. Many cite a fast-paced, career-driven lifestyle, elderly singles looking for nutritious meals, and a need to avoid crowds and the grocery store due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Whatever the reason, various companies like Hello Fresh have sprung up in the last few years. They all have their advantages and disadvantages. Keep reading this article to find out which are the best alternatives.
SunBasket – The Healthy Version of Hello Fresh
Sunbasket meal delivery stands out because it gives customers the golden opportunity to hone their home cooking skills with each meal kit. All of the high-quality organic and sustainable ingredients in each recipe boasts globally-inspired spices and flavors to make each meal restaurant quality.
The company features flexible meal plans that are created by the award-winning chef, Justine Kelly. The menu features meals to fit gluten-free friendly diet, plant-based diet, low-carb diet, Mediterranean diet, and more.
Registered dietitians also approve the recipes, so you know you are constantly receiving healthy meals.
You can receive weekly meal plans with premeasured recipes. You can select your favorite foods from 20+ different healthy recipe choices, including some oven-ready meals and even some pre-made fresh meals and speedy time meal kits.
With Sun Basket, if weekly delivery is too much of a commitment, then you can peruse the frequency delivery options such as every other week, three meals per week, or monthly meal delivery. Are you taking a vacation? You can pause your meals subscription service or can cancel at any time with no hidden fees.
Lastly, each meal box you get delivered from sun Basket is packed with compostable materials that are entirely sustainable. You can recycle everything and reduce your carbon footprint.
Pros and Cons of Sun Basket
Sun Basket Pros:
- Organic fresh ingredients
- support many popular diets- dairy-free, low-carb, diabetes-friendly, plant-based, and more.
- Try easy-cooking and oven-ready meals from around the world.
- Seasoned to perfection with house unique spice blends and sauces.
- Prepare a complete meal in 30 minutes or less.
- Avoid excessive grocery shopping and food waste.
- Eco-friendly packaging.
- Great meals to choose from every week.
- Many add-on options like uncooked proteins, fresh pasta, breakfast, lunch, and healthy snacks.
Sun Basket Cons:
- Meals are packaged in a facility that handles known food allergens such as milk, shellfish, nuts, wheat, and soybeans – so it’s not ideal for allergies.
- Not as affordable as other meal delivery services.
- Do not ship the meals to AK, HI, Mt, and many areas of NM.
Sun Basket Sample Meals
- Stovetop Chicken and penne casserole with carrots, peas, and ricotta – makes a great family meal option.
- Mojo pork tacos with pickled onions and salsa verde – a dairy-free choice.
- Salmon farro bowls with spinach and green goddess dressing – a dairy-free and soy-free option.
- Chicken tikka masala with basmati rice pilaf – gluten free.
- Mediterranean quinoa salad – a vegetarian choice.
Dinnerly – The Best Cheap Meals Alternative, Starting at $4.99 Per Serving
Who doesn’t want to save a buck nowadays? Everyone is pinching pennies, so you shouldn’t feel bad about wanting to pick a food delivery service that offers meal plans that are hearty, delicious, and affordable. Compared to Hello Fresh, Dinnerly is a more budget-friendly option.
Many people shopping for a meal kit service overlook Dinnerly because it doesn’t have the prestige of other meal subscription services like Hello Fresh or Blue Apron. They view the company as a budget choice which they think means subpar meal kits. However, there are many pros you’ll want to consider.
Dinnerly might be the best choice for anyone who wants to go easy on the pocketbook while still enjoying the dining variety offered by a meal delivery service.
The Dinnerly menu features 16 recipes to choose from each week. Each recipe is simple and easy to cook, with only six ingredients. The recipes are simple – but delicious and made out with a quality of ingredients! The cost of the Dinnerly recipes per week probably workers out cheaper than going to the grocery store.
Pros and Cons of Dinnerly
- Great variety of meals per week.
- Affordable per meal prices – starting at $4.99 per serving.
- Easy to understand with only six ingredients per recipe.
- The online ordering process is easy.
- Children and picky eaters adore the foods.
- Low-carb, low calory, gluten-free friendly, and dairy-free meals available.
- The fresh ingredients are not separated per recipe in the delivery box.
- The recipes are simple.
Dinnerly sample Meals
- Chimichurri steak with oven frees- dairy-free and kid-friendly
- Sesame-ginger beef with green beans and jasmine rice – ready in less than 30 minutes.
- Roasted cauliflower tacos with salsa, guac, and sour cream – vegetarian meal choice.
- Thai curry chicken noodle stir-fry with scallions.
- Veggie lentil shepherd’s pie with cheesy mashed potatoes – a vegetarian option.
Blue Apron – An Upscale Meal Kit Experience
The Blue Apron meal kit company stands out as a leader in the meal-kit industry. It is, in fact, the first one to operate in the US market. If you have meals delivered and looking for a proper alternative, you might want to give this outfit a try.
Blue Apron has the distinction of being one of the first big-name meal delivery services. They take great pride in working closely with sustainable food experts to ensure that all foods and meats that go into their menu meet optimum standards.
With an undeniable dedication to premium ingredients, the Blue Apron recipes are notably superb. You can even customize the Blue Apron meals to fit your unique taste and diet needs better.
The cooking instructions are laid out in easy-to-understand recipe cards that make cooking the Blue Apron cuisine a breeze and fun experience.
With Blue Apron, you can choose from a variety of serving sizes to meet the needs of any sized household; You can pick two to five meals per week menu that has four or two servings each (you’ll receive six to 16 servings depending on which you choose).
Singles, couples, and families generally report to be very satisfied with the Blue Apron meal kit sizes – and the taste has an authentic restaurant quality to it.
Pick from Blue Apron’s signature collection, which includes fish, beef, pork, chicken, or vegetarian choices. They also have a WW Freestyle option with a light calorie count. The WW Freestyle is geared toward weight watchers and a weight loss diet.
Pros and Cons of Blue Apron
Blue Apron Pros:
- Sustainable and High-Quality ingredients.
- Cultural chef-designed recipes and cuisines.
- Unique ingredients and seasonings blends.
- Ideal for singles, couples, or large families.
Blue Apron Cons:
- Picky eaters might not enjoy the exotic food choices
- Some meals take a long time to prepare and cook.
Blue Apron Recommended Meals
- Pan-seared duck and sour cherry sauce with roasted fingerlings, snap peas, and mint.
- Lemon-caper tilapia with orzo, zucchini, and tomatoes
- Bell pepper and sour cherry grilled cheese
- Pimento cheeseburgers
- Sweet and spicy salmon
Home Chef – Easy to Cook Meals
The entire motto of Home Chef is focused on providing easy-to-cook meal kits. They want to put the simple back into meal preparations. The meal kits arrive nicely packaged (unfortunately, some of the material used is plastic, so not recyclable).
Home Chef has a healthy menu online with lots of meals to choose from. The recipe card explains how to prepare the recipes that come in the box.
If you spend a particular amount on meals a week, you receive free shipping, which makes the Home Chef meal plans wonderfully affordable.
Pros and Cons of Home Chef
Home Chef Pros:
- Always easy to follow recipes.
- Oven-ready and 15 minutes meal kit options.
- Generous portions in every meal kit.
- Free shipping after meeting a certain threshold
- A robust online menu
Home Chef Cons:
- Not Plastic packaging not recyclable.
- Sauces and other items sometimes arrive pre-made to reduce cooking time.
- No vegan options.
Home Chef recommended Meals:
- Sirloin with blue cheese chive cream with roasted fingerling potatoes and Brussels sprouts.
- One-pan Greek-style chicken thigh orzo with spinach and feta.
- Spicy plantain and black bean tacos with sour cream and poblano pepper.
- Turkey and sweet potato picadillo with green chili slaw.
- Asiago turkey meatballs with tomato basil couscous easy prep and pan included.
Martha & Marley Spoon – Classic Meal Kits
Marth & Marley Spoon is a meal kit service similar to Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. This service’s main advantage is that the meals are designed and approved by Martha Stewart, the ultimate home-cooking queen!
You can pick up to 22 meals a week from an extensive menu of choices. Each of the meals per week is easy-to-prepare and nicely sized for either couples or families.
You can even choose their vegetarian option made from organic ingredients. Simply pick the person plan (single, couple, or family plan) you want and start creating your healthy meals. You can choose from a variety of meals to include in your first box.
The variety of meals featured on the Martha Marley Spoon website are nicely laid out and is impressive. There are comfort food favorites mixed with global cuisine and more classic-style entrees. There is something for everyone’s unique preferences.
Pros and Cons of Martha & Marley Spoon
Martha & Marley Spoon Pros:
- Meals catalog from the Martha Stewarts collection.
- Pre-portioned high-quality ingredients.
- Detailed and easy to follow Recipe cards.
- Add on foods like desserts, coffee, and extra protein meals each week.
- Vegetarian, dairy-free, low-calorie, and low-carb meal options.
Martha & Marley Spoon Cons:
- Shipping is expensive
- It does not cater to individuals with severe food allergies or dietary restrictions.
Martha & Marley Spoon Sample Meals:
- Take-out style meal: falafel platter with herbed bulgur and shepherd salad.
- Farro, mozzarella, and arugula grain bowl.
- Caramelized onion pork chop with egg noodles and savory green beans.
- Beef and white bean chili with couscous, lime, and cilantro.
- Baked cheddar and veggie quesadillas with salsa and guacamole.
Freshly – Best Premade Meals Competitor to Hello Fresh
Freshly is categorized as one of the best meal delivery services- but the main thing that differentiates it from Hello Fresh or Blue Apron is that they provide pre-prepared meals, so all you have to do is heat and serve to enjoy.
Without a doubt, Freshly is an ideal meal service for a single person who doesn’t enjoy cooking or having many leftovers!
With Freshly, Each microwave meal kit is made from fresh, high-quality ingredients. It is then pre-cooked, so all you have to do is warm it up for 3 minutes and enjoy the rest of your evening.
The meals are delivered according to the plan that you choose for meals each week. You can pick from as low as four meals per week and up to 12 meals. The weekly menu contains a vast collection of 36 different meals.
Freshly, as a flexible meal delivery service, allows you to skip weeks when needed.
When you visit their website, you’ll notice that Freshly relies on a symbol system to reveal each meal’s essential nutrition features. The symbals are a convenient way to learn about each healthy meal and help you choose your meals based on your needs. Some are gluten-free, dairy-free, low carb, and high on proteins.
The first delivery box is packaged nicely and features the meal plan/recipe card with heating instructions on how to warm the food properly. Choose from one, two, three, or four meals (or more)
Pros and Cons of Freshly
- Oven-ready and microwave-prepared meals that can be ready in 3 minutes!
- Many dietary preferences meet everyones’ needs – 100% gluten-free, high proteins, soy-free, dairy-free, and more.
- Single, couples, small family, and athletes meal plans
- 30+ food options to choose from every week.
- Skip weeks or cancel at any time.
Higher prices than other meal kit companies for the one-person plan.
no options for plant-based meals
Freshly Most Recommended Meals:
- Ultra-umami turkey meatloaf with creamed spinach and carb swap cauliflower mash
- Steak peppercorn with sautéed carrots and french green beans
- Three-bean ancho turkey chili bowl with cheddar cheese
- Homestyle chicken with masterful mac and cheese
- Oven-baked chicken florentine with creamed spinach and parmesan
When choosing a meal kit service, the bottom line is that you have a wide assortment of really great companies to pick from.
When comparing each one to Hello Fresh, you’ll see that they are all not very similar- with each offering different weekly menu variety, style of meals, and pricing points.
Whether you like traditional dining choices or something with a little more of an exotic flair, you’ll find the meal delivery service to deliver your favorite recipes each week.
Hello Fresh continues to stand out as one of the leading meal kit services, but the competition – meal kit companies like Blue Apron, Sun Basket, Home Chef, and more – is also giving them a good run for the money.
Other Related FAQs:
Is Hello Fresh Worth The Money?
Yes, the service stands out as an affordable option when seeking a high-quality meal kit service.
It is an excellent alternative to going to the grocery store every week and a specially cheap alternative to take-out and restaurant ordering-in. You simply pick the number of meals per week you want, choose your recipes, and have the pre-portioned ingredients delivered to your front door.
Meal planning has never been simpler or more affordable.
Is There a Cheaper Version of Hello Fresh?
Who doesn’t want to save money nowadays? Yes, there is a more affordable option than Hello Fresh. Dinnerly stands out as the best cheap alternative.
Dinnerly hasn’t had the opportunity to build a name for itself like the other competition. They don’t have a celebrity spokesperson. However, good things are projected for the company’s future.
It’s true, they don’t provide a great deal of instruction with recipes (the recipe cards are online through the Dinnerly website), and the meal boxes are a bit less organized per meal, but they haven’t had the chance to hone things yet. In the future, we suspect that they will become more refined and take their place as one of the stand-out subscription box services with an excellent weekly menu.
Just remember, whatever meals delivered company you pick, it’s not like you are spending $9.99 per serving. They are all in the affordable range for most consumers
What Companies Does HelloFresh Own?
The companies owned by Hello Fresh include EveryPlate, which made its debut in 2018 to much fanfare as a lower-cost meal kit delivery service option.
In March of 2018, Hello Fresh also purchased Green Chef. Green Chef is an entirely organic meal kit service that offers easy-to-cook meals every week for diets like vegans, keto, paleo, and low-calories dieters. The Green Chef offer includes a two-person box or four-person box subscription.