The 5 Best Meal Kits to Buy in 2021

Make meal prep a breeze with these helpful services

Our editors independently research, test, and recommend the best products; you can learn more about our review process here. We may receive commissions on purchases made from our chosen links.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Blue Apron

"The portions are absolutely huge."

Best for Beginners: HelloFresh

"The ingredients are sourced directly from independent producers."

Best for Vegans: Purple Carrot

"The menu offers a diverse selection of hearty, satisfying recipes."

Best for Breakfast: Daily Harvest

"All of the food comes cryogenically frozen in pre-portioned containers."

Best National: Home Chef

"Always offer vegetarian options, many of which also qualify as vegan."

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. They’ll even suggest tasting notes and pairing options.

Best for Beginners: HelloFresh

The beauty of HelloFresh is in the simplicity of the recipes. Each week, their team of dietitians and chefs work together to develop 15 new meal options, and HelloFresh 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 HelloFresh 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 Vegans: Purple Carrot

As of February 2021, Purple Carrot wants customers to know that due to COVID-19 there may be some delays with shipping.

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 each week. Recent dinner menu items include Lemon Braised Chickpeas with Rosemary & Cashew Cheese and Indian Butter Tofu with Vegetable Biryani & Mango Chutney. For lunch you can choose Protein Power Bowls or Cashew & Fig Melts.

Choose from three meals a week which each serves 1–2 people. 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. You can customize how many meals you want per week and 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 the same cost per serving and their smoothies and fruit baskets are too. Each delivery comes packed in recyclable boxes, bottles, and jars that are curbside-allowed nearly everywhere to help you minimize your carbon footprint.

What Are Meal Kits?

Delivered right to your front doorstep through a subscription service, meal kits include recipes and all the fresh, pre-measured ingredients needed to prepare them. Recipes include step-by-step instructions, sometimes with visual clues, to make the preparation as easy as possible. Subscribers can customize their plans based on the number of meals and their dietary preferences.

What Are Some Pros and Cons of Meal Kit Services?

Meal kits allow you to prepare restaurant-quality meals at home, which means you’ll learn some new recipes, cooking techniques, and kitchen skills. Many people like the convenience of having food delivered rather than making trips to the grocery store. You’re also likely to minimize food waste since all the food you receive in your kits is adequately portion-controlled.

On the other hand, you’ll pay more for meal kits than if you bought all the ingredients at a supermarket. The expense may not be worth it, particularly if you order a meal that you don’t enjoy. Another drawback for some people is the amount of packaging since each box comes with separately packaged ingredients and cold packs. Some companies do emphasize eco-friendly packaging, but that’s not always the case.

How Much Do Meal Kit Services Cost?

The cost of meal kit services varies depending on the number of meals, meal types, ingredients, dietary restrictions, and other factors. For example, kits that feature all organic ingredients or compostable packaging may cost more. Meals are usually in the range of $7 to $15 per serving. Generally, the more meals you order, the cheaper the price per serving. Some plans include shipping, while other companies charge an additional fee for it.

Are Meal Kit Services Worth It?

Whether or not a meal kit service is right for you ultimately depends on your lifestyle and eating habits. Although meal kits do cost more than buying the ingredients at a store, they’re not as expensive as eating out at a restaurant.

So, if you dine out or get take-out several times a week, using a meal kit service could actually save you some money. For busy people who don’t have a lot of time for meal planning, shopping, and prepping, the investment in healthy, fresh meals that they can cook at home may be worth it.

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