The 7 Best Meal Kits to Buy in 2018

Make meal prep a breeze with these helpful services

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There are countless benefits to cooking and eating your meals at home. Research shows that cooking for yourself encourages you to eat healthier, is linked to a longer life, reduces your carbon footprint on the earth, and helps raise happier and healthier kids. But in addition to all those obvious plus sides, it’s also just as rewarding and satisfying to sit down to a meal that you made yourself.

In the last few years there has been an vast increase of meal delivery kits that are available nationwide. In these easy-to-use kits, the company provides the home cook with the necessary ingredients and simple instructions, and you do the rest. It’s a fun and easy way to stay on track with your meal prep goals during the busy week and doesn't require any extra grocery shopping, making it perfect for busy families.

Read on to find out the details behind the best meal kits available, and be sure to check their individual websites for availability in your area.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Blue Apron

Blue Apron provides home cooks with everything they need to make seriously satisfying meals quickly. It’s one of the original meal kit services and is widely used across the United States. The best part? The portions are absolutely huge, so you know you’re getting a great deal for the subscription price. Meals from Blue Apron are generally hearty, including recipes such as Italian-Style Shrimp & Sweet Peppers over Fregola Sarda Pasta, Red Quinoa & Roasted Vegetable Salad with Date-Citrus Vinaigrette, and an indulgent Mushroom & Fontina Grilled Cheese with Fig & Apple salad. Every week, you get eight meal options to choose from.

Another awesome feature that Blue Apron offers is the ability to pair your meals with their wine delivery service. Subscribers can also purchase the wine subscription on its own. For $65 dollars a month, Blue Apron will ship you six bottles of wine, allowing you to chose from reds, whites, or both. They’ll even suggest tasting notes and pairing options.

Best for Beginners: Hello Fresh

The beauty of Hello Fresh is in the simplicity of the recipes. Each week, their team of dietitians and chefs work together to develop 15 new meal options, and Hello Fresh then suggests the meals it thinks you’ll like the most based on your past selections. The ingredients are sourced directly from independent producers and are delivered to your address packed with ice packs in an insulated box to stay cool and keep food fresh until you return at the end of the day. And if you’re starving, no worries—the majority of Hello Fresh recipes can be prepared in just 30 minutes or less.

Another great thing about this kit is the flexibility of the different kinds of plans available. Subscribers choose from one of three plans: a classic plan, which offers the widest variety of meals; a veggie plan for vegetarians; and a family plan that includes more kid-friendly options.

Best for Variety: Plated

If you’re someone who can’t get behind the monotony of some of the available meal delivery kits, don’t give up on the concept until you have tried Plated. They describe themselves as “for people who love food,” and they offer unprecedented flexibility. Choose a combination of weekly meals from their list of 20 options. The variety changes weekly to keep things fresh and new.

The meals are diverse and innovative, including selections like Blue Cheese–Caramelized Onion Pizza with Pear and Arugula and Crispy Calamari with Greens and Miso Vinaigrette. Plated also offers almost a dozen different selections for frequency and servings, so you can have dinner for two, four nights a week, just as easily as you can have dinner for three, four times a week.

Best for Vegans: Purple Carrot

This entirely plant-based meal service provides vegans and non-vegans alike with gorgeous and natural meals. The menu offers a diverse selection of hearty, satisfying recipes, including Chickpea Saag with Naan and Mango Chutney and even One Pot Jambalaya.

The pricing is $72 per week for 3 meals a week which each serve 1-2 people, or $78 per week for the same quantity of TB Performance Meals, which are meals developed with Tom Brady. The TB Performance Meals mimic something the football star might eat in a typical week. TB meals are higher in protein than the regular Purple Carrot meals, and are gluten-free. In keeping with their good for the earth attitude, Purple Carrot's packaging is made of completely sustainable materials.

Best for Breakfast: Daily Harvest

Daily Harvest stands out from other meal kits available because it doesn’t center around dinnertime meals. Instead, subscribers can choose from a variety of smoothies, harvest bowls, soups, lattes, overnight oats, chia parfaits, and sundaes. These options make it ideal for on-the-go breakfasts, quick pick-me-up snacks, or healthier desserts. Harvest Bowls are the main savory items offered by DH and are ideal for eating as a snack or side dish, but definitely not an entire meal. Harvest Bowl options offered include Butternut Squash + Chimichurri, Brussels Sprouts + Tahini, and Red Lentil + Kitchari.

All of the food comes cryogenically frozen in pre-portioned containers that take only a few steps to prepare. All ingredients are vegan, organic, and raw. The smoothies start from around $7 a serving, which is comparable pricing to purchasing a smoothie at a juice bar. Still, the at-home convenience and all natural ingredients make it worth the price.

Best National: Home Chef

Home Chef is another meal kit delivery service that centers around simple, 30-minute recipes. Their delivery areas span 97 percent of the country, so they chances are they’re available in your neighborhood. While Home Chef provides a variety of options for customers that eat meat, they also always offer vegetarian options, many of which also qualify as vegan.

While most kit services offer a sliding scale of pricing for a variety of plans, Home Chef meals are all $9.95 per serving and their smoothies and fruit baskets are $4.95 each. Each delivery comes packed in recyclable boxes, bottles, and jars that are curbside-allowed nearly everywhere to help you minimize your carbon footprint.

Best Farm to Table: Peach Dish

Peach Dish is a southern-centric meal kit service that prides itself on its farm-to-door practices. Ingredients are sourced from hundreds of smaller farms in the southern United States and are delivered to their hundreds of thousands of subscribers around the country. The company is also adamant about addressing the issue of food waste, a global problem that most meal kit services actually end up contributing to.

The delicious, simple recipes are developed each week by celebrated southern chefs including Steven Satterfield, Zeb Stevenson, Virginia Willis, and Sheri Castle. Each week there are nine meals offered, three of which change seasonally while the other six rotate weekly. This system gives you the ability to try new things and enjoy consistent favorites simultaneously. While Peach Dish frequently includes animal products in their recipes, they always offer two vegetarian meals per week. Some of these vegetarian dishes meet the requirements of veganism.

For more easy ways to get a nutritious meal on the table, check out reviews and read about the best frozen dinners for health conscious people.

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