A complete comparison of these two meal kit services, including a review of the meals, the variety, the meal plans, pricing, and more.
If you’re debating between these two meal delivery service options, the notes below on Blue Apron vs. Dinnerly can help you decide which company is best for you.
On the one hand, Blue Apron will help you create impressive meals with premium ingredients, while Dinnerly is an excellent super-affordable meal kit service for picky eaters. But ultimately, they’ll help you avoid the grocery store and cut down on meal prep time throughout the week.
About Dinnerly And Blue Apron Meal Delivery Services
These meal delivery kits are intended to help you craft healthier meals in your home without recipe prep, grocery store trips, or excessive meal prep.
Blue Apron has been around for longer since it launched in 2012. The company focuses on crafting meal kits with sustainable and high-quality ingredients. You’ll find 30+ prepared meals and meal kits on the menu weekly. Expect chef-crafted recipes and fresh ingredients when ordering Blue Apron.
Dinnerly was established about five years later after noticing that meal kit delivery services erred on the pricier side. However, they noticed not every family with busy schedules could find room in their budget for the weekly cost.
Thus, Dinnerly caters to families and professionals who want high-quality ingredients at a more affordable price. By making small tweaks, such as keeping the recipes online instead of sending printed versions and creating more uncomplicated recipes, Dinnerly can offer a lower price per meal than most meal kit services (including Blue Apron).
Pros And Cons Of Both Meal Kit Delivery Services
- Easy on the wallet – Meal prices start at around $5 per serving.
- Large weekly menu variety, including many add-ons.
- Excellent meal options for picky eaters.
- Great for families (kid-friendly recipes)
- Nutritious meals with dietary preferences in mind
- Quick meals for busy schedules (under 30 minutes)
- Lack of elevated meal options
- No option for those who prefer printed recipe cards
- Great for improving cooking skills.
- Chef-curated recipes, Including elevated and classic choices.
- High-quality ingredients.
- Longer cook times for some recipes.
- Fewer options for dietary restrictions.
- Less weekly menu options.
Main Differences Between Dinnerly And Blue Apron
- Dinnerly features an array of meals for different dietary preferences (low-carb, low-calorie, no gluten added, etc.), while Blue Apron meals are more geared toward those following Weight Watchers or diabetics.
- Dinnerly has a much larger number of meals and market items available each week.
- Dinnerly offers more sustainable packaging, with step-by-step directions on recycling each piece.
Variety Of Meal Plans
As you might expect, Dinnerly keeps it simple when you select meal plans. You’ll choose whether you want two or four servings, with the option of three to six meals per week. There’s a regular meal plan or a vegetarian option. However, once you complete the setup process, the menu features more options (such as dairy-free) to help you customize your deliveries.
Blue Apron allows you to select from four meal plans when you sign up: Signature, Vegetarian, Wellness, and Signature for Four.
The vegetarian plan is catered to those who are meat-free. Signature meals include an array of meals that range from diabetes-friendly to vegetarian. The signature for Four is the family plan. The Wellness plan includes nutritionist-approved meals that are balanced and help you stay healthy.
On each meal plan, you can select the number of portions, though the selection is smaller. Two or four servings are available, with the option of two to four meals per week.
Variety Of Weekly Meal Kits
Dinnerly has an excellent meal plan variety, ranging from classic comfort food options like pasta with alfredo sauce to pork schnitzel. Each week, you can choose from 100+ items across their available categories (meal kits, prepped meals, and market items). Dinnerly focuses on American and American-fusion cuisine, though there is enough variety for different tastes.
Moreover, the Dinnerly weekly menus feature meals for many dietary needs, like vegetarian meals, dairy-free and Gluten-free friendly meals, ready-to-eat meals, low-calorie options, and more.
In comparison, Blue Apron has 30+ items in the same categories each week. Even with the smaller number of meals, some work well for picky eaters. Generally, meals purchased from Blue Apron take about 30-35 minutes to create, with a few elevated options requiring more time.
Style And Complexity Of Meals
Each meal kit service is geared toward a different type of home cook. Dinnerly is an excellent choice for quick, easy meals that simply taste delicious. These meals are beginner-friendly and require minimal cooking tools and utensils.
Blue Apron leans toward home chefs who want to level up their cooking skills. Some meals have longer 45-minute cook times, focusing more on cooking techniques. While beginners can cook the Blue Apron meals, they’re best for those who have developed some skills in the kitchen.
Our Experience With Blue Apron And Dinnerly
Overall, we were happy with both meal kit services. Blue Apron and Dinnerly offered tasty, healthy meals centered around fresh ingredients. Each helped save time in the kitchen, which is the primary goal of meal delivery services.
We found that Dinnerly’s variety was excellent for all, while Blue Apron was great for special occasions.
We noticed it took a few extra minutes to sort Blue Apron and Dinnerly’s ingredients, as they are not pre-sorted. However, at Dinnerly’s price point, it was less noticeable.
Additionally, the quality of ingredients in both boxes was satisfactory. Even though Dinnerly has a lower price point, the company does not sacrifice ingredient quality.
Other Popular Sample Meals From Blue Apron And Dinnerly
Blue Apron Meal Options
- Oven-Baked Creamy Tomato & Sausage Pasta with Spinach & Ricotta
- Korean-Style Cheeseburgers with Sesame Sweet Potatoes
- Glazed Beef & Rice Bowls with Vegetables & Fried Eggs
- Mexican-Spiced Shrimp Tacos with Spicy Cabbage Slaw
Dinnerly Meal Options
- Ground Beef Gyro with Chopped Shepherd’s Salad
- Popcorn Shrimp with Green Bean Fries & Chipotle Dip
- Chicken Enchilada Bowl with Guacamole & Cheddar
- Vegetarian Mexican Stuffed Zucchini Boats with Black Beans, Cheddar & Rice
Quality Of Ingredients
When focusing on Dinnerly, you’ll notice that the meat options are of excellent quality. Their chicken is antibiotic-free, and the other protein options do not have antibiotics when harvested. However, there are typically lower numbers of organic ingredients in each box. With that said, the meal kits include fresh produce, MSG-free food (except for some sauces/seasoning), and primarily USA-sourced meat.
In comparison, Blue Apron prides itself on sourcing hormone- and antibiotic-free protein. Additionally, the service requires their vendors to treat the animals well, with prompt treatments for any illnesses. For example, Blue Apron uses ingredients from its network of 100 family-run farms, ensuring they deliver fresh vegetables, fruits, and high-quality meat in each box.
Special Features And Diet Support On The Menu
Dinnerly meal delivery service has each menu item tagged to allow you to find meals that align with your needs. You’ll see tags ranging from vegetarian to low-calorie, dairy-free, no-gluten-added, pescatarian, and more. They even include notes such as kid-friendly, under 30 minutes, one pot, etc., for a better meal match.
Blue Apron meal delivery service has fewer options for those with dietary restrictions. They feature Weight Watchers, diabetes, carb-conscious, and vegetarian meals. Of course, standard meals with meat are available in the Signature plan.
Ease Of Use Of The Website & Ordering Process
Each meal kit delivery company has a straightforward process for ordering. You follow the onscreen directions and prompts, which allow you to note dietary preferences, box size, number of portions, delivery information, etc.
While both are easy to navigate, Dinnerly’s instructions are more to the point. For example, you can only select a standard or vegetarian meal plan and the number of portions. For example, when signing up for Blue Apron, you have four meal plan choices, and you can select multiple options.
Packaging And Sustainability
As mentioned, Dinnerly has more recyclable packaging than Blue Apron, even though both companies seem to invest great efforts in being more eco-friendly.
In general, a study comparing meal kits with meals made from grocery shopping items found that meal kits create less food waste and contribute 33% less greenhouse gas emissions (a smaller carbon footprint), and hence more eco-friendly.
Blue Apron state that over 85% of its packaging is recyclable by weight. That includes the carton box, molded fiber containers, plastic bags, metal cans, and glass bottles.
Dinnerly states that the box and the separator inside it are SFI-certified, meaning they are made of paper sourced from sustainably managed forests. All plastic bags and containers are recyclable as well. The ice packs contain 98% water and only 2% non-toxic super absorbent polymer.
Both companies provide multiple ways of contacting customer support, including a customer support line, an inquiry request, a customer care email address, and more. These options make it easy to get a hold of customer support when needed. The customer service team for both companies is pleasant and relatively quick to respond.
Blue Apron and Dinnerly allow you to skip weeks and deactivate your account easily should you wish to discontinue your service. However, Dinnerly also offers an option to pause the subscription, which is beneficial if it doesn’t fit your budget, you’ll be traveling for extended periods, etc.
Delivery Area Availability
There is a slight difference in the delivery area between Dinnerly and Blue Apron. Dinnerly notes that it delivers to most contiguous US states, while Blue Apron delivers to all contiguous US states.
Pricing for Blue Apron and Dinnerly can vary based on your chosen weekly meal plan. Basically, the more meals you order per week, or for more people, the better price per meal you get. (That is the case for most other meal delivery services, BTW).
But, it is clear that the winner in this category is Dinnerly. The Dinnerly meals start at about $5 per serving, while Blue Apron meals start at about $10 per serving.
Bottom Line – Try Dinnerly Meal Kit Delivery Service!
Overall, both meal kit service options have pros and cons when considering Dinnerly vs. Blue Apron. Blue Apron is suitable for those who want to improve their home kitchen skills and are willing to pay more.
If you’re looking for a budget-friendly option geared toward kids and classic simple meals, you’ll find Dinnerly an excellent choice for great meal kits.
From our experience, the meals are always delicious, and the quality of the ingredients is excellent. Plus, with its many ready-made meals, desserts, and market items, Dinnerly is a great way to enjoy meal delivery kits without breaking the bank.