Freshly Review

Gluten-free meals, zero effort

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shrimp and sausage paella in a white bowl

Verywell Fit / Abbey Littlejohn

As of January 2023, the Freshly meal delivery service has ceased operations. For more information, visit the company's website.

Freshly is ideal for folks who need reliably gluten-free meals with zero effort involved. It may not work as a primary source of meals for families, as all entrees are single-serving only, but if you’re into health-focused, gluten-free food and convenience, Freshly is definitely worth a try.

  • Certified gluten-free facility

  • Zero prep, quick to cook

  • Good menu variety

  • No customization

  • Mostly static menu

  • No sourcing information



shrimp and sausage paella in a white bowl

Verywell Fit / Abbey Littlejohn

Freshly was born out of its founder’s need to eat healthier in conjunction with a busy lifestyle—thus, he created a company that produces heat-and-eat meals geared toward health. Today, Freshly produces fresh, single-serving meals that require zero prep, most of which are certified gluten-free.

In the meal delivery industry, this level of dedication to safe preparation for medically relevant diets is rare, and Freshly seems to be positioned well in this niche. We gave the service a try to see if Freshly’s health-focused meals also deliver on flavor and customer experience.

While Freshly accommodates a few diets like dairy-free and plant-based, the service is probably most known for its certified gluten-free options.

Pricing: Pay-by-Plan, Shipping Varies

Freshly’s pricing is super simple: Choose the number of meals you want and your plan is priced accordingly, no matter which meals you select. The more you purchase, the less expensive each meal becomes. Keep in mind, though, that the shipping cost will increase as you add more food to your order. Also, as an aside, Freshly does not allow you to view past orders and receipts without contacting customer service, so keep your emailed receipts if you want to look back at your payments. Here’s how the typical costs break down:

  • 4 meals per week: $12.50 per serving (plus $9.99 shipping)
  • 5 meals per week: $12.40 per serving (plus $9.99 shipping)
  • 6 meals per week: $11.33 per serving (plus $9.99 shipping)
  • 7 meals per week: $10.71 per serving (plus $9.99 shipping)
  • 8 meals per week: $10.37 per serving (plus $9.99 shipping)
  • 9 meals per week: $10.22 per serving (plus $10.99 shipping)
  • 10 meals per week: $10.00 per serving (plus $10.99 shipping)
  • 11 meals per week: $9.81 per serving (plus $11.99 shipping)
  • 12 meals per week: $9.58 per serving (plus $11.99 shipping)

How It Works: Simple Signup, Recurring Orders

Getting yourself a weekly order of Freshly’s heat-and-eat meals takes only a few clicks. Simply sign up initially with an email address and zip code, then select which plan you want based on the number of meals. After that, there is the option to choose a date for the first delivery, usually starting about a week out. Unlike most other services, we love that dates for first delivery are available several weeks in advance, so you can really plan ahead. 

After this, Freshly takes you on to meal selection right away where you select meals up to the number provided in the plan. Freshly has a few different ways to sort the menu by diet, categories of meals, and nutrient values. While Freshly accommodates a few diets like dairy-free and plant-based, the service is probably most known for its certified gluten-free options. Freshly also offers some of its own “FreshlyFit” meals designed with certain nutrient thresholds in mind. 

Meal selection with Freshly does not allow for any customization or substitution and really doesn’t include add-ons. Once your meals are selected and your cart is full, the payment screen appears. Freshly is automatically set up to recur weekly, and there is a box you can check that will apply the meals you ordered to future orders.

four freshly prepared meals in packaging on a counter

Verywell Fit / Abbey Littlejohn

Choosing Meals: Static but Varied

Freshly’s menu is largely static with some rotating options that do offer seasonality and variety, but the company does add new meals weekly. The menu overall is quite large, with about 40 options available, and within that, the variety of choices offered is pretty good across flavor profiles, meal composition types, and ingredients. Nearly all of the options are gluten-free, and amongst the other diets accommodated there are about nine entrees that meet the “FreshlyFit” criteria, a similar number of meals that are dairy-free; plant-based has the smaller number of options with just five entrees. 

Customizations and add-ons are basically non-existent. The service does offer some proteins and sides which have some variation, which you can order with the meals you choose.

When it comes to selecting meals, you can filter the menu by diets accommodated, some “signature” items, and even by certain nutrients. Customers can view certain nutrients and meal information from the main dashboard, with lots of additional nutrition and allergen details if you navigate to each meal’s specific page. Then, review the information, choose the meals, add them to your cart, and check out.

What We Ordered

We did our best to order a mix of items across all the varied diet types and meal compositions available. When testing out this gluten-free service, we gave items that normally don’t contain gluten a try as well as those that incorporated substitutions for gluten ingredients. We chose the four-meal plan ordered the following dishes to review for Freshly:

  • Asian style chicken and noodles
  • Steak peppercorn
  • Thai green curry
  • Pork chile colorado

Packaging: Standard Mix of Paper and Plastic

Meals from Freshly arrive in a cardboard box with a plastic-covered insulated liner and several plastic-based ice packs. As is also common for heat-and-eat meals, the individually packaged items from Freshly come in a rigid plastic tray covered with a plastic film and are then wrapped in a cardboard-based sleeve with all of your heating information.

In total, for four meals plus the delivery packaging, we had 16 total pieces of packaging to contend with. Of those 16 pieces, 11 were eligible for recycling either curbside or at a special facility. The other five pieces, however, needed to be thrown in the trash.

freshly packaging materials in a cardboard delivery box

Verywell Fit / Abbey Littlejohn

Customer Support: Useful Chat Support

We had quite a bit of dialogue with the Freshly support team as we had questions about multiple areas of the service. We engaged with both the general customer service team as well as the Freshly “Wellness Expert” team via the service’s live chat function. Both groups were super helpful. The response was immediate, and we had a pretty clear resolution to the questions we had.

We got the pricing breakdown information we needed from the customer service team since, as mentioned, we couldn’t view past orders and invoices on our customer dashboard. We also had some questions about what exactly qualifies a meal to be “FreshlyFit,” and the Wellness Experts were able to get us the information we needed there as well.

We loved the idea of having specific “Wellness Experts” on the customer service team and given their expertise, Freshly succeeded in answering some questions that other services couldn’t. However, we would have liked to see licensed professionals in this area instead of the more vague “health science background” that’s listed.

Nutrition: Gluten-Free and Health Focused

We really like Freshly’s approach to both ingredient safety as well as general health. While it may be common to find restaurants offering “gluten-free” options, it is more rare to come across certified gluten-free kitchens. Freshly specifically works with the Gluten Intolerance Group to achieve its “safe spot” status, giving the company a powerful third-party certification. Managing ingredients and cross-contact is critical for gluten-related safety in commercial kitchens, and it can be at significant cost and effort, so we appreciate this level of dedication to safety.

When it comes to emphasis on health, Freshly doesn’t really push overly restrictive diets, rarely resorts to diet culture-based marketing, and the actual food options and ingredients showcase a fair amount of variety. Generally, meals run around 500 calories, 20g of fat, and 700mg sodium, and offer some health-oriented ingredient swaps like beef meatballs made with hidden veggies. While these substitutes definitely aren’t fooling anyone, and we believe that traditional versions of dishes can be part of a healthful life, we like that Freshly’s meal composition feels balanced and the emphasis is on nutrient density rather than following trendy diets and total restriction.

Aside from the gluten-free options, Freshly does offer a few diet-adjacent labels, such as carb-conscious, plant-based, and its own “FreshlyFit” meals. While there is some basic information on what these labels mean, we would have liked to see what the criteria is for “FreshlyFit” or “carb conscious” listed on the website.

The Cooking Process: Microwave in Minutes

One of the main advantages of heat-and-eat services like Freshly is the minimal cook time. The meals simply pop into the microwave and are ready to go in about 3 minutes, give or take. If you don’t mind a longer cook time, which varies by recipe, you can opt for some of the more cook-heavy instructions for reheating on the stovetop or in the oven.

Directions are short but clear, and you don’t need much more. We found that the meals reheated evenly with the instructions given, though we recommend trying the non-microwave cooking techniques if you order items that you want to have a more crispy texture, like breaded chicken dishes.

However you choose to cook it, Freshly is a fast and easy way to get food on the table. The fresh, heat-and-eat nature of the meals makes the service ideal for cooking newbies or folks who just don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

chicken tikka masala in a black container

Verywell Fit / Abbey Littlejohn

Flavor, Freshness, and Quality: First-rate Ingredients and Flavors, Some Texture Issues

Overall, we were pleased with most of the meals we ordered from Freshly. We do always view foods specially crafted for dietary needs with a different lens, as it can be impossible to replicate certain elements, but even with that in mind, we found the meals to be tasty and satisfying. One exception, however, was the steak peppercorn. While we enjoyed the flavor of the peppercorn sauce, mashed potatoes, and veggies, the texture of the steak was a bit too tough for our liking.

We will say that the meals all looked fresh upon arrival, and the ingredients all seemed to be good quality. We do think Freshly could do a bit more to disclose sourcing information for those who desire it, but we take that to mean that conventional products are being used and don’t see that as prohibitive to creating healthful and delicious food. 

Freshly Is Good For

Folks who need to be cautious about gluten (i.e. individuals with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity) could benefit from giving Freshly a try. While it may not be the most gourmet option, we appreciate the effort Freshly puts in to produce certified gluten-free meals that also promote health and require minimum effort to heat up. However, folks who don’t need to be gluten-free may find other options in the marketplace that offer better customization and a more enjoyable eating experience. 

However you choose to cook it, Freshly is a fast and easy way to get food on the table.

Final Verdict

Freshly ticks a lot of boxes for health and attention to safety for gluten-free eaters, but flavor-wise, it wasn’t a lot better than other microwaveable meals you find in the frozen food section of the grocery store. We do think it’s worth a try for gluten-free folks who enjoy a stealth-health approach to food, but we wouldn’t say it’s going to be a win for everyone.


We ordered, cooked, and evaluated meals from 40 different meal delivery services to rate each one’s offerings, nutrition profiles, prices, sustainability, and, of course, flavors. We contacted the customer service teams at each of the companies, collected data, and rigorously reviewed each one.

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


  • Product Name Freshly
  • Starting Price $9.58 per serving
  • Delivery Area 48 states
  • Products Arrive Fresh
  • Customers Can Choose Delivery Date? Yes
  • Free Shipping? No

By Tori Martinet, MS, RD
A licensed registered dietitian and culinary nutritionist, Tori Martinet works with individuals and brands on all things food and nutrition. She holds a bachelor’s degree in cellular and molecular neuroscience and a master’s in nutrition and exercise physiology.