Purple Carrot Review

Vegan meal kits and prepared dishes

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3.9

Purple Carrot

vegan mac and cheese and peas

Verywell Fit / Abbey Littlejohn

Purple Carrot offers fresh, heat-and-eat meals that may please the plant-based palate, but with limitations in variety, customization, and diets, the service may work best as an addition to your weekly meals rather than as a primary source.

Pros
  • Fresh food, not frozen

  • Globally-inspired flavors

  • Free shipping

Cons
  • Semi-static menu

  • No customization

3.9

Purple Carrot

vegan mac and cheese and peas

Verywell Fit / Abbey Littlejohn

Purple Carrot is on a mission to get people eating more plants, for their health and for the planet. The service offers plant-based, entirely vegan meals that can be purchased either as a cook-it-yourself meal kit or a heat-and-eat fresh food option.

The company still stands apart as one of the few entirely plant-based meal delivery services in the United States. We gave Purple Carrot’s prepared meals a test to see if plant-based food can be as delicious as they say.

Pricing: Static Pricing, Free Shipping

Prepared meals from Purple Carrot are all single serving, priced the same no matter what you order or how much. We enjoyed the simplicity here, as well as the free shipping. Meals are $12.99 per serving and are available in six-, eight-, or 10-meal increments per week. 

How It Works: Simple Signup, Minimal Choices

Purple Carrot offers both options of boxed meal kits or fresh, prepared foods to choose from, all vegan. We went for the premade option and found it easy to start the process. Getting started requires the usual: creating an account, selecting the preferred plan and meals, and then setting up delivery. 

Once you’ve got an account by using your email and creating a password, selecting a plan comes next. There are only a few options as the prepared meals are all single serve, so simply choose whether you want six, eight, or 10 dinners per week. 

Each week there are 12 vegan meals on offer.

From here, you’ll get charged for your first order and then move on to menu selection and delivery. Unfortunately, you cannot select your delivery day with Purple Carrot, which we found to be a tad inconvenient. However, it is easy to skip and manage upcoming deliveries. Just note that the cutoff to make changes to an upcoming order is the Tuesday of the week prior to your delivery.

Choosing Meals: Short Menu, No Add-Ons 

Selecting meals for your Purple Carrot delivery is a quick process, mostly because there’s not a ton to choose from and there is no option to customize. This may be different for the meal kit area, but for the prepared meals, there just is not a lot to work with. Each week there are 12 vegan meals on offer. That’s a decent-sized menu, but unfortunately the menus only rotate about every four weeks. So, even if you have Purple Carrot’s smallest size plan, you’ll be choosing some repeat items.

Customers can view the meals in their dashboard, see the ingredients, nutrition, and allergen for each meal by clicking through to the meal page, and make changes to what’s in their cart for the week. The whole process is quick and easy. 

six prepared meals on a counter

Verywell Fit / Abbey Littlejohn

What We Made

We chose an assortment of offerings—some hot, some cold—with as much variety in flavor profiles as we could find. We ordered the six-meal plan, and ultimately focused on these five options for this review:

  • Creamy mac n’ cheese with rosemary butternut squash
  • Thai peanut noodles with sweet chili squash & shiitakes
  • Tofu tikka masala with peas & green rice
  • Chilled curry noodles, sesame kale salad
  • West African peanut stew, sweet potatoes & collard greens

Packaging: A Mix of Materials

Overall, the quantity of packaging that came with our Purple Carrot order was standard, not more than we’ve come to expect of single serve, heat-and-eat meals. The recyclable cardboard box the package arrived in, the insulated liner that is plant-based and compostable, and the plastic cooling packs that came with the delivery all have corresponding, detailed instructions on how to properly dispose of them on the Purple Carrot website. We loved this and would have liked to see it extended to include the packaging for the individual meals, but unfortunately, it’s missing. Each meal is served in a rigid plastic tray with a plastic film and a cardboard sleeve around it, which holds details about the meal, from the nutrition to the reheating instructions. In total, we had about 20 pieces of packaging to contend with for our five items, plus the delivery packaging. 

a cardboard delivery box with prepared meals

Verywell Fit / Abbey Littlejohn

Customer Support: Mixed Support

We reached out at a few different points in our experience with Purple Carrot and had pretty different results each time. The first time, we used the chat feature and got a quick answer and a clear response to our question about changing an order.

The next time we reached out, we were met with a message from Purple Carrot saying that both phone and chat services were temporarily disabled in an effort to focus on the volume of email messages in the queue; it took over 24 hours for a response.

The general impression we get from Purple Carrot is that the service is a small but growing operation, which unfortunately comes with growing pains. Ultimately, we appreciated the head’s up on communications and acknowledge that companies deserve a little patience from customers during busy times of year.

Nutrition: Diets by Default

By default, Purple Carrot ends up accommodating a number of different diets given its primary objective to be plant-based: egg-free, fish-free, shellfish-free, dairy-free, and more. The service also offers some gluten-free meals. However, it’s also worth noting that the facility where meals are packaged is not certified gluten-free and does process wheat as well as nuts. 

Overall, the meals offer a range of nutrient-dense options and contain around 500-800 calories per serving. One of the more common concerns for vegan diets is protein intake, and the protein values on Purple Carrot meals seem to be within the 10-20g range, which we think is pretty good. We would love to see a “high protein” label on some of these meals in the 20g or higher range, as Purple Carrot has for its meal kits, but at the moment, you’ll have to search for that info yourself. 

We do love a way of eating that includes lots of plants, fiber, and other nutrient-dense foods, and Purple Carrot does give us that without feeling overly restrictive. While all of the nutrition and allergen information is available before you buy, we just aren’t getting much else on the nutrition or diet front from this service, so it may not be the best choice for folks with specialized needs beyond the guarantee of vegan foods. 

The Cooking Process: Super Fast

Purple Carrot meals go from fresh in the fridge to your belly in under 5 minutes. For meals that require heating, it only takes a few minutes in the microwave. We found that the directions provided gave us an evenly and thoroughly heated meal, plus some meals are even designed to be eaten cold. Instructions are only given for microwave reheating, which we think works for the types of meals on offer now, but if the menu ends up expanding, we might want some stovetop or oven reheating options too. We think the meals are great for those with absolutely zero kitchen skills or simply no time to spend on preparation.

noodles and vegetables in a black tray

Verywell Fit / Abbey Littlejohn

Flavor, Freshness, and Quality: Limited Sourcing Info

When considering a fresh, heat-and-eat meal option, one of the most important elements to consider is the freshness of the ingredients. We had no issues with Purple Carrot’s ingredients and thought each item looked enticing and of good quality. While there were one or two dishes that weren’t quite as robust as we hoped, the overall freshness of the dishes cannot be denied.

According to the FAQ page, Purple Carrot works with a variety of farmers and vendors across the country and uses mostly organic non-produce items. Aside from that bit of knowledge, the company does not disclose much else related to sourcing, which seems especially important given the sustainability focus of the plant-based movement. 

Purple Carrot Is Good For

We like Purple Carrot for folks who are looking to add plant-based meals into their life without a lot of frills, but who don’t need it to be their only source of meals. The single-serving nature of meals and higher price point per serving may not lend itself to larger groups, but individuals or even couples who have the budget may find it works for them. 

We do love a way of eating that includes lots of plants, fiber, and other nutrient-dense foods, and Purple Carrot does give us that without feeling overly restrictive.

The Competition: Purple Carrot vs. Veestro

In the world of meal kit options, Purple Carrot and Veestro both specialize in fully-prepared vegan meals delivered right to your door. The kits differ greatly in style of preparation, variety available, and diets served.

Veestro offers frozen meals to Purple Carrot’s fresh approach, and we have to say we preferred the fresh version for textures. However, Veestro has many times more variety that Purple Carrot has, and we liked that the frozen options from Veestro had a more extended shelf life. Both kits also have gluten-free options; however, if you have other dietary needs, we recommend Veestro as that service has much more to choose from in the diet department as well. 

Final Verdict

We wanted to love Purple Carrot’s prepared meals, but in practice, it left us looking for more. For plant-based eaters or the plant-based curious, we’d recommend giving the premade meals a try. This service is tasty, but it’s a no-frills experience overall and we think those elements make it an infrequent purchase rather than an everyday option. 

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, collected data, 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 Purple Carrot
  • Lowest Price per Serving $12.99
  • Number of Diets Served 7
  • Number of Recipes 12
  • Delivery Area 48 States
  • Serving Sizes Available 1

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.