Dinnerly Review

Low-cost meal kits with lots of flavor

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4.1

Dinnerly

steak and potatoes on a gray plate

Verywell Fit / Eric Kleinberg

Dinnerly is an affordable meal kit subscription service for those looking for a wide range of quick weeknight dinners with minimal hands-on time. If you do not have major dietary restrictions and enjoy cooking simple meals that don’t skimp on flavor, then this service is for you.

Pros
  • 20+ recipes to choose from each week

  • Affordable

  • Meals prepared in five steps

Cons
  • No printed recipes

  • Directions do not come with visuals

  • Can only order for two or four people

4.1

Dinnerly

steak and potatoes on a gray plate

Verywell Fit / Eric Kleinberg

Dinnerly is a flexible subscription meal kit delivery service that delivers fresh ingredients for simple recipes each week at an affordable price. The company launched in 2017 and is designed with quick weeknight cooking in mind. There are 28 weekly recipes to choose from, and all can be prepared in five steps and in 30 minutes or less.

Dinnerly claims to offer quality ingredients, though there are fewer ingredients per dish—which also means less chopping and cleaning. In addition, Dinnerly uses digital recipes cards instead of paper ones, which helps to keep its prices down and lower its carbon footprint. We gave Dinnerly a try to see what the low price would get us.

Pricing: Very Affordable

Dinnerly offers 28 fast, easy, and tasty meals starting at $4.69 per person. There are two plans: a couples plan that serves two and a family plan that serves four. With both plans, you can choose to receive three, four, five, or six meals per week. The cost per portion decreases with the more you order. Shipping is $8.99, which is applied once per week regardless of how many meals are ordered.

Pricing is as follows:

Couples Plan

  • 3 recipes for 2 people: $35.34 + $8.99 shipping = $44.33
  • 4 recipes for 2 people: $46.32 + $8.99 shipping = $55.31
  • 5 recipes for 2 people: $56.90 + $8.99 shipping = $65.89
  • 6 recipes for 2 people: $67.08 + $8.99 shipping = $76.07

Family Plan

  • 3 recipes for 4 people: $67.08 + $8.99 shipping = $76.07
  • 4 recipes for 4 people: $83.04 + $8.99 shipping = $92.03
  • 5 recipes for 4 people: $99.80+ $8.99 shipping = $108.79
  • 6 recipes for 4 people: $112.56 + $8.99 shipping = $121.55

How It Works: Simple Process

When signing up, you first select how many people you're feeding and the number of meals you're looking for. Next, you are prompted to enter your zip code and then are given options for delivery dates and times based on where you live. We were given three dates—Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. for four weeks. You can also include delivery instructions at this step.

After entering your payment information, you select your meals. First, you are asked what kind of recipes you like and are given options to select vegetarian, beef, fish, lamb, pork, poultry, shellfish, or “I’ll eat anything.” While Dinnerly then presents you all available meals for the week, the company will pre-select options for you based on these preferences and label them as “recommended.” Ultimately, you get to choose which recipes you will receive in your box.

You can often add extra protein, sides, and smoothies to your orders.

Dinnerly only offers meal kits and delivers most ingredients for each recipe with the exception of pantry staples such as salt, pepper, sugar, butter, vinegar, milk, flour, and oil. You'll also need to have certain cooking tools on hand, such as baking sheets and skillets.

There is a good variety of recipes each week, ranging from pasta dishes, burgers, and stews to tacos and skillet meals.

Dinnerly says each meal is chef-created. In addition, the company's dietitian works with the chefs to ensure recipes meet certain nutritional parameters when labeled as such.

Choosing Meals: A Nice Variety

Among the more than two dozen meals on offer each week are unique vegetarian meals such as soups, flatbreads, and pasta dishes. Since it is a subscription service, you are billed five to six days in advance of your delivery day, depending on the transit time of your box and delivery area. Final meal selections should be made before then.

Dinnerly offers mostly entrée meals. However, for special occasions such as Thanksgiving and Mother’s Day, the company has brunch and dessert options. And, you can often add extra protein, sides, and smoothies to your orders.

several meal kit ingredients displayed on a counter

Verywell Fit / Eric Kleinberg

What We Made 

For the purpose of this review, we ordered a box for two people that included five meals. We were not given an option to customize the meals. All meal kits were delivered on time. With the exception of some staple ingredients, we had everything we needed to make the dishes. Our order included:

  • Chicken shawarma pita with tzatziki
  • Sesame-ginger beef with green beans & rice
  • Monster mash-ed potato bowl with gravy (Halloween week!)
  • Low-carb steak & garlic sauce with roasted green beans & tomatoes
  • Low-cal chicken tacos with shredded cheddar & fresh tomato salsa

Packaging: Lots of Plastic, but Well-Insulated

All meal kit ingredients arrived in a large box on our doorstep. An encapsulated cotton liner and reusable ice packs were in the box to keep the contents cool. Most ingredients were packaged in plastic wrap with the exception of some ingredients like onions, potatoes, and tomatoes. A piece of cardboard separated the proteins on the bottom from the remaining ingredients. Overall, there were 30 pieces of packaging in the box. The box seemed to be well-insulated and was packaged wisely, keeping food safety in mind.

steak, potatoes, and other ingredients in a delivery box

Verywell Fit / Eric Kleinberg

Customer Support: Several Avenues

Recipes are available on Dinnerly's website and in the mobile app. Access to a dietitian or other nutritional experts is not available. However, the customer service team provides automated support 24/7 through the chat box in the lower right corner of the website. You can also request to chat with a representative. Other avenues to reach customer service include a phone number and a contact form on the website.

Nutrition: No Diet Culture Language

Dinnerly primarily caters to regular diets with some vegetarian options. Sometimes, however, meals are labeled as low calorie, low carb, keto-friendly, and nutritious. Dinnerly says it works with its dietitian to ensure that these dishes meet certain nutritional paraments such as having fewer than 650 calories per serving for low-calorie dishes, fewer than 40 grams of carbs for low-carb dishes, and fewer than 20 grams of carbs for keto-friendly dishes. Dinnerly does not use diet culture language, opting instead to provide these options for people looking for them.

Note that Dinnerly does not guarantee protection from cross-contamination at its facilities because it handles ingredients that contain all of the major food allergens: wheat, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, soy, tree nuts, and peanuts. However, some recipes will be labeled as no added gluten or no added dairy.

The nutrition per serving for each meal only lists calories, fat, protein, and carbohydrates, so it is hard to give a full nutritional assessment. Based on these parameters alone, meals tend to be on the higher end of calories, fat, and protein.

The Cooking Process: Simple and Straightforward

Overall, the meals were easy to prepare following the provided instructions. However, photos for each step of the recipes would have been helpful. Each recipe came together in close to the indicated time. Dinnerly indicates that each recipe can be prepared in five simple steps, which was true in our case.

Our recipes required us to have oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, flour, and butter on hand, along with a saucepan, skillet, baking sheet, and grater.

Each recipe is given a level of difficulty. Ours were marked as easy with the exception of the monster mash-ed potato bowl with gravy, which did not have a level listed.

potatoes cooking in a pan

Verywell Fit / Eric Kleinberg

Flavor, Freshness, and Quality: Full of Flavor

We were impressed by the quality and freshness of our ingredients. Everything arrived in good condition with no spilled package contents. Our favorite recipe was the monster mash-ed potato bowl with gravy; it was comforting and full of flavor despite having minimal ingredients.

The meals and flavor profiles were diverse and seemed to offer a good range of options to satisfy different palates. While some may argue that the meals fall short on flavor because they use minimal ingredients, we did not find that to be the case.

Dinnerly says it sources its ingredients from trusted suppliers. The chicken is free of antibiotics; some ingredients are organic; some of the beef is grass-fed; heritage pork is on offer; and the shrimp comes from the Gulf of Mexico. Most of Dinnerly's meat and seafood come from areas within the United States. It sources its pasta from a small family-run producer in Italy.

Dinnerly Is Good For

Dinnerly claims to cater to picky eaters looking for quick weeknight meals made with fresh, quality ingredients at an affordable price point and it seems to have hit the mark. With upward of two dozen unique meals each week, the menu is sure to satisfy a range of palates, and the dishes are simple to prepare.

Dinnerly does not guarantee protection from cross-contamination at its facilities because it handles ingredients that contain all of the major food allergens.

Dinnerly is a good option for the beginner home chef who appreciates simple, quick meals without bells and whistles. Dinnerly is not for those with strict dietary restrictions or folks who are looking to expand their skills in the kitchen with complex dishes.

The Competition: Dinnerly vs. EveryPlate

Dinnerly and EveryPlate both offer easy-to-prepare meal kits at an affordable price point. Dinnerly's meals start at $4.69 per serving, while EveryPlate's start at $4.99 per serving. Dinnerly has nearly twice as many weekly recipes to choose from. Finally, EveryPlate offers both a physical recipe card and digital copy with photos of each step, while Dinnerly only offers digital copies of each recipe with no step-by-step visuals.

Final Verdict

Overall, Dinnerly is a great meal kit subscription service for people who don't have strict dietary restrictions and are looking for a high-quality and affordable meal kit that prioritizes fast, easy cooking.

Methodology

We ordered, cooked, and evaluated meals from 27 meal delivery services to get a sense of each one’s offerings, nutrition profiles, prices, and, of course, flavors. We contacted the customer service teams at each of the companies, filled out surveys, and wrote detailed reviews about each one.

Our writers are all registered dietitians and relied on their research and its resulting data to inform their reviews.

Specs

  • Product Name Dinnerly
  • Lowest Price per Serving $4.69
  • Number of Diets Served 2
  • Number of Recipes 25
  • Delivery Area 48 states
  • Serving Sizes Available 2, 4
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