Eating well is one of the best reasons to sign up for one of the many healthy meal delivery services on the market. With nutritionally balanced, portion-controlled, and tasty food wrapped up in an easy-to-prepare package, it’s hard to go wrong. Whatever your health aims – weight loss, better eating, or cutting back on cravings – there’s a healthy meal delivery service for you.
To save you the headache, our experts have done their research on the most popular healthy meal delivery services out there, sorting out the good from the great and the tasty from the delicious.
No matter your reason for embarking on a new eating regime, our detailed reviews will help you to find the right meal delivery service for your lifestyle, cooking level, and budget.
Home Chef – Best overall healthy meal kit
HelloFresh – Best family-friendly healthy meal kits
Diet-to-Go – Gourmet healthy meals for weight loss
All meal delivery services offer a huge selection of menus, health claims, and price points. It’s easy to get confused by the number of options, so we’re breaking it down for you:
Meal delivery kits make it easier than ever to eat healthy and delicious meals, without having to go to a restaurant. At the same time, these services remove much of the stress we face at mealtimes. If you decide a meal kit is the way to go, make sure it checks off the following:
High-quality products – From fruit and veggies to proteins and sauces, you want the ingredients to arrive in optimum condition. If not, it’s time to check out another company.
Logically packaged ingredients – Whether the ingredients and recipes are color-coded like Green Chef or use another system altogether, the service should use some clever way to keep all the ingredients straight. Trust us, you do not want to spend your time trying to figure out which ingredient goes with which recipe.
Food prepped how you want it – If you’re a beginner, you might be more comfortable with a meal kit service that does some of the prep work for you. On the other hand, if you absolutely love being in the kitchen, opening up a box to find the food already chopped and diced isn’t going to cut it!
Stress-free recipes – Don’t get caught up with how good a meal looks on screen. As well as liking the dishes, you need a service with recipes that suit your skill level. A 15-minute meal, like one from Home Chef might be perfect at the start, then you can work up to a more complicated dish once you’ve honed your skills.
People often think that precooked meals aren’t healthy, but that’s far from the case. With advances in flash-freezing, frozen meals retain most of their vitamins and nutrients and fresh meals are just as healthy as anything you can put together yourself. Prepared meals also have the advantage of minimal prep time.
If you’re deliberating over the idea of a precooked meal delivery service, here are a few pointers to think about:
Shelf life – One advantage of a frozen meal delivery service, such as Veestro, is you can store the meals in the freezer and just dip into them when you feel like it, rather than being beholden to a particular meal plan. Fresh meals can often be frozen, too, but make sure to check all use-by dates so you don’t run the risk of spoiling your food.
Heating methods – Whether you go for fresh or frozen, most prepared meals can be heated up using a range of methods: in the microwave, on the stove, or in the oven. Some dishes, such as grain bowls, can be enjoyed at room temperature. Be sure to check for exact details so you don’t choose an oven-only meal when you only have a microwave (and vice versa).
Cookware included – Some prepared meals are shipped in or with microwavable containers or oven-safe pans to make cooking even easier.
Commitment-free plans – Finding a healthy meal delivery service is a bit like online dating: things often look good on screen but don’t live up to expectations in real life! Make sure you pick a plan with a flexible change or cancellation policy in case the service you choose isn’t as tasty or convenient as you wanted.
The right recipe choices – Some meal delivery services have a lot of choices but don’t switch their menus very often (if ever). Others have fewer choices but offer a brand new menu every week. A set menu is the best option if you prefer finding what you like and sticking to it, while ever-changing menus will suit those who like trying out new tastes and ingredients.
Extras like breakfast or snacks – If you’re trying out a healthy meal service to change your lifestyle, it might be beneficial to have more than lunch or dinner taken care of. Look for a service with options to cover all of your mealtimes – like breakfast and snacks – to keep you eating healthily throughout the day.
Shipping costs you can live with – When considering which meal delivery service works for you, factor in the recurring shipping fees because they can turn a budget option into a more expensive choice. On the other hand, don’t be swayed by free or cheap shipping – the food is still the most important element.
Keeping all these points in mind, let’s unpack our list of the 12 best healthy meal kits and prepared meal plans on the market.
A mix of precooked and meal kit options – Plan for that busier day (or two!) of the week with an easier dinner
Clear instructions – You don’t need to be an expert to make great meals. All the instructions are clearly laid out and easy to follow
Freedom to pick and choose – Use the flexible “Customize It” tool to upgrade or swap out ingredients
Free delivery – On orders worth $45 or more
With Home Chef’s Calorie-Conscious meals (<625 calories per serving) and Carb-Conscious meals (<35 grams per serving), you can easily choose dishes that help you reach your health goals. It’s easy to customize meals to include nutritious ingredients and cut down on the more indulgent options. You can also easily exclude allergens when you first sign up.
There’s also a huge choice, with recipes that change each week and a variety of meal types. You may have heard of oven-ready dishes – well, Home Chef takes it up a notch with grill-ready meal kits! Find more on Home Chef’s menu options and plans in this expert Home Chef review.
Home Chef delivers its meals in eco-friendly, recyclable boxes to 98% of the U.S. with deliveries scheduled Monday to Friday.
Top-quality ingredients – Enjoy seasonal, fresh-from-the-farm fruits and vegetables
An assortment of meal kits – A range of food options including one-pot wonders, 20-minute meals, and craft burgers
Value for money – More affordable than other meal kits
Fun for families – Family-friendly recipes everyone can enjoy
No matter which HelloFresh plan you choose, you’ll be spoiled for choice. Between all four plans (which include veggie and low-calorie options) you get a choice of 20 different recipes. You can also filter out meals with ingredients you don’t want. Read more on how the plans work in this full-length HelloFresh review.
If you’re looking for tasty, healthy options that the whole family will eat, this is a great place to start. You can choose meals set at different difficulty levels and there’s even a Family Friendly meal plan that will (hopefully) tempt the fussiest eaters in the house. With such simple-to-follow recipes, you can get them involved in the cooking as well!
HelloFresh delivery is available throughout the continental U.S. The majority of deliveries arrive Wednesday to Friday, however certain locations can get their parcel from Saturday to Tuesday.
Ready prepared – The meals are ready in minutes (and you don’t need to lift a finger)
Diet analysis – Get free advice on how to eat healthier
Detailed nutritional information – Help stick to your health regime with clear nutritional information printed on each meal
Local pickup – Forget the extra packaging involved in getting meals shipped to your door. Instead, go for the local delivery option where you can pick up your meals fresh and leave the recycling to someone else (limited areas only)
In case the name doesn’t give it away, Diet-to-Go is ideal for anyone with a busy lifestyle who’s looking to eat healthier. Across its plans, meals are nutritionally balanced and even include condiments to remove the temptation to slather a healthy dish with an unhealthy dressing!
There are four specialized diets, including vegetarian, keto, and diabetes plans, plus a “Balance” plan for anyone who just wants to eat better. The food is calorie-controlled and heart-healthy – with more than 25 years in the business, Diet-go-Go knows what works and what doesn’t. Learn more in this full Diet-to-Go review.
The meals arrive ready to heat and eat and there are hundreds of options to choose from on a five-week rotation (you can customize them so they’re exactly what you want). You also get to choose which meals you receive: breakfast, lunch, dinner, or all three. Diet-to-Go delivers throughout the continental U.S. (via FedEx). Weekly shipping costs $19.98 per delivery.
Organic meal kits and precooked options – Cook one night, then enjoy a heat-and-eat meal the next
Choice of healthy meal plans – Including paleo, vegan, and gluten-free
Plentiful portions – Enjoy some of the most generous servings on the market
Family choices – Child-friendly food everyone will love
Sunbasket has one of the widest varieties of healthy choices on the market, with 10 specialized plans to keep you on track with a healthy diet. Get the full list in our dedicated Sunbasket review. No matter which menu you choose, meals all fall into the 500-800 calorie range. There’s plenty of flair and flavor on your plate for exciting food that doesn’t sacrifice anything to healthy eating.
The meal kits take the standard 30ish minutes to prepare and come with easy-to-follow recipes that make it almost impossible to mess up. There’s also a new ready-meal option for healthy eating with no effort.
Sunbasket delivers weekly between 8 am-9 pm, Monday to Thursday, with shipping available across the whole country (except for some locations in New Mexico, Montana, and North Dakota).
Organic, gluten-free meal kits - The first certified organic meal delivery service
Prepared ingredients – Makes cooking healthy meals a breeze
Choice of specialized plans – Healthy eating menus include paleo and keto options
Recyclable packaging – Eco-friendly packaging that doesn’t harm the environment
Green Chef is a great choice for anyone looking to eat healthier. If you follow a specific diet, menus include paleo, keto, and plant-powered, and for those who like a bit of everything, there’s a balanced living menu. While you can’t pick and choose meals between the different plans, you can switch to a new plan as long as you give seven days’ notice.
The meal kits include pre-measured (and in many cases prepared) ingredients. To make things really simple, the ingredients and recipes are color-coded so you know exactly what you need. We talk more about this in our detailed Green Chef review.
Deliveries are sent in insulated boxes guaranteed to keep food fresh until the end of the day. Delivery is offered from Monday to Saturday, depending on location. Green Chef delivers across the U.S. with the exception of Alaska, Hawaii, and certain parts of Louisiana. Shipping costs $8.99 a week.
Prepared frozen vegan meals – Designed to be heated in the oven
Organic ingredients – More than 96% of the ingredients used are organic
Kid-friendly – Some meals are aimed specifically for children
Free shipping – Available with auto-deliveries
Veestro takes all the hassle out of eating healthily. The meals are frozen, but don’t let that put you off. These are not reheated airline meals! They’re made from 96% organic ingredients and are all preservative-free. Veestro covers a lot of dietary requirements, including kosher (which is super unusual), as well as gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, low-calorie, and high-protein.
Choose one of three plans (which includes a weight-loss option), then filter out the meals with ingredients you don’t eat, to get a menu customized to your needs. Learn more about the menu and meal plans in our expert Veestro review.
The meals keep for up to eight weeks in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat, just heat in the oven, stove, or microwave. Veestro’s shipping is free with auto-deliveries.
Fresh and Easy Best Features
Foolproof meal kits – Ingredients come prepared, just assemble and cook
Includes cookware – Comes with a pan for easy cooking, so no washing up required
New options added frequently – 15 weekly choices that change regularly
Free shipping – On every order of $49 or more
Fresh & Easy in a Nutshell
Powered by Home Chef, Fresh and Easy lets you feel like you’re cooking when you’re actually just assembling. But who cares! This is healthy food that helps you keep your portions and cravings under control. It’s easy to filter out any allergens (including wheat) or food you don’t want to eat.
As well as oven-ready meals, there are also grill-ready options (complete with grill-safe bag), 15-minute meal kits, and non-cook entree salads. We go into more detail about the menu in our expert Fresh and Easy review.
The food is delivered in an eco-friendly refrigerated box (which can be recycled in most places). Delivery is available Monday to Friday and any orders over $49 are delivered free to most areas of the United States. Otherwise, shipping is dependent upon your meal plan and location.
100% plant-based – Delicious, eclectic vegan dishes
Options for three meals a day – Opt for dinner only or add breakfast, lunch, and snacks
Shipping fee included – No minimal order necessary
Purple Carrot is a totally vegan meal kit with several recipe categories: gluten-free, high protein, and quick and easy. If you don’t have any specific requirements, there are also “chef’s choice” meals, which offer internationally inspired recipes.
For each category, there are eight meals available and each takes about 30 minutes to cook (though some can be a bit more complicated).
Meals average 500-800 calories a serving and include complex carbohydrates from nuts, vegetables, legumes, seeds, and fruits coupled with lean proteins and healthy fats. You can learn about the meal plans in our dedicated Purple Carrot review. In short, you can choose either a two-serving plan (with three or four meals a week) or a four-serving plan (including two or three meals each week).
Budget meal-kit option – Meals cost $4.99 a serving
Meals change each week – Endless choices of new and exciting dishes
Straightforward recipes – Most meals take just half an hour
Shipping is always $8.99 – It’s not included, but it costs less than other services
EveryPlate offers fuss-free, low-cost meals. While EveryPlate may not have some of the bells and whistles of other meal kits, it’s still a great way to eat healthier. There are no specific health plans on offer (like keto, low-carb, or vegan) but you’ll find a good selection of weekly, portion-controlled meals. We discuss the menu and plans in this dedicated EveryPlate review.
With an emphasis on “home-style recipes,” you can choose to feed either two or four people and get three to five meals a week. Each recipe comes with clear instructions to help you put together a delicious, healthy meal. If you have a particular allergy, allergen information is clearly marked on each recipe and on the recipe cards you receive.
Shipping is extra and costs $8.99 per box, no matter which plan you choose. EveryPlate delivers from Tuesday to Saturday, depending on location.
bistroMD Best Features
Prepared meals – Store frozen, heat, and enjoy
Dietitian-approved meals – Healthy and nutritionally balanced meals designed by the experts
Dietician consultations included – Get professional help planning your meals or diet
Highly customizable – Ensures you only get what you can (or want to) eat
bistroMD in a Nutshell
bistroMD offers more than 150 chef-prepared meals each week across its various healthy plans, which include gluten-free meals, diabetes-friendly dishes, and even menopause-friendly food. You also get the guidance of registered dietitians to create a custom diet program to make sure you’re eating optimally.
Far from going hungry, you get all the food you need to keep you full throughout the day, including a selection of gluten-free snacks, for either five or seven days. The meals can be heated from frozen in five minutes.
bistroMD delivers throughout the entire U.S., but bear in mind that shipping is extra and costs $19.95 a week. Because of the level of customization involved, any changes need to be made a week in advance.
Prepared in advance – Fresh meals, ready in minutes
Certified gluten-free and organic – All ingredients are clean and safe for celiacs
Fixed plans – No need to spend time choosing what you eat (but you can on the a la carte menu, if you want)
Shipping included – Free delivery throughout the U.S.
Fresh n'Lean has five healthy eating plans: Keto, Protein+, Paleo, Plant-Based, and Low-Carb/Low-Cal Plant-Based, so you should certainly find the right plan for your individual health goals. With prepared meals that are ready in just a few minutes, it’s hard to think of an easier option for fuss-free healthy food.
Unless you order the a la carte plan, you can’t choose your meals – this helps keep costs down. However, you can let the company know of any requirements or allergies and it will do its best to cater to these needs. Each plan gets you enough food for a full week, although there’s the option to only order lunches or dinners if you want to vary what you’re eating.
Orders are sent in insulated boxes that can be recycled in most locations. Shipping across all 50 states takes place each Friday.
Freshly Best Features
Prepared for you – Fresh meals ready to go in minutes
Certified gluten-free – No need to worry about cross-contamination
Ideal for singles – Every prepackaged meal is designed for one
You’ll be spoiled for choice with Freshly. As its name suggests, there are more than 30 fresh meals to choose from each week. They’re all totally gluten-free, nutritionally balanced, and around 350-600 calories each (most clock in at 500 calories). In each weekly rotation, 20 meals are guaranteed to be under 500 calories, at least eight have less than 35 grams of carbs, and a minimum of eight meals are dairy-free. Read more about Freshly’s menu and how it works in our expert Freshly review.
Freshly makes it easy to change the number of meals you receive each week. But remember, the more you order, the cheaper they become. They’re all quick to heat up, so you’ll be enjoying your food in just three minutes. Shipping is determined at checkout and depends on location and the number of meals ordered. Delivery is available in the continental U.S. only.
Starting Price Per Serving
Meal kits, including oven- and grill-ready
Healthy, vegetarian, low-calorie, family-friendly
Weight loss, diabetic
Kits and fresh, oven-ready
Organic, paleo, keto, vegan & more
Keto, vegan, paleo
Weekly, bi-weekly, monthly
Organic, vegan, weight loss, allergen-free, kosher
Weekly, biweekly, monthly
Meal kits including oven- and grill-ready
Healthy, low-carb, vegetarian
Vegan, gluten-free, high protein
Healthy, gluten-free, heart-healthy, and more
Organic, gluten-free, vegan, keto, paleo, low-carb vegan
Healthy, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free
If you’re considering ordering from a healthy meal delivery service – especially for the first time – it’s important to know what’s involved and how you can benefit. Here’s what you need to know about how they work:
Let’s start with making one thing clear: there are healthy meal plans that are NOT related to meal delivery services.
Healthy meal plans are, in short, a guide. Based on your needs, they give you a detailed plan for every meal you should be eating day-to-day. From YouTube videos to blogs, there is no shortage of meal plans and health coaches promising to keep you on track with what you eat. There are so many out there, it can be daunting finding the right meal plan for you, and that indecision can set you back in pursuing your health goals.
Meal plans from a healthy meal delivery service, on the other hand, take the meal planning and grocery shopping out of the equation. Choose your desired meal plan, and the rest is done for you. All you have to do is pick your meals, unbox your food, prepare, then eat!
Only you can answer this question and the answer depends on how much you want to be involved at mealtime.
If you want to do some cooking (even if it’s just 15-20 minutes) and like trying out new recipes, then you’re best off choosing a meal kit. For some, the process is simple, like putting ingredients in a grill-safe bag and then cooking. Others require you to do a lot of chopping, peeling, cutting, and slicing, and can take up to 45 minutes (though the standard is about 30).
Home Chef gives you a whole range of meal kit options, so you can pick and choose based on skill level and your upcoming schedule.
If the answer is that you’d rather do anything other than cook (and clean up!) then a ready-made option, like a meal plan from Veestro, is the perfect solution. You’re not sacrificing taste or health for convenience. The fresh or frozen meals arrive at your door packed with nutrients and are just as healthy as meals you put together yourself.
Health plans and meal delivery services tend to go together well, so no matter what sort of health or diet aims you have, there’s bound to be a service to suit your needs.
Some of these meal delivery services help you lose weight, like Diet-to-Go’s weight-loss plans. You get enough food (often more food than you’d think you could eat) sent to your door, so you won’t need to snack on sweet things between meals. This keeps you on track and increases your chances of hitting your weight-loss goals.
Then there are more general lifestyle and diet-oriented plans, such as low-calorie menus, low-carb options, or vegan and vegetarian choices. Sunbasket’s 10 different diet plans cover all of today’s most popular diets. These are great if you’re new to a diet and need a straightforward and hassle-free way of phasing out your old way of eating. Even if you’re not new to your current diet, the convenience of wellness-centered meal delivery services just can’t be beaten.
While some meal services offer set diet options and only let you have food from your chosen plan, others let you use diet options as a menu filter with the “plan” actually being the number of meals you want to receive. That’s the case with Freshly, which allows you to order between four and 12 meals a week from each of its menus. Some services let you customize your food so you can filter out allergens or ingredients you don’t like, while others (mainly the lower-cost options) don’t let you make any substitutions at all.
The price of healthy meal delivery services run from the low (around the $5 mark) to about the same as you’d pay for a nice meal in a restaurant. While it’s hard to be specific, one thing to remember is that the more specialized the service, the more costly the meals will be. Organic meals, for example, generally start at around $9 per serving. There’s also the cost of shipping (we’ll go into more detail on that next), which can add up.
Another point to consider is how often you’re charged. Monthly deliveries tend to be cheaper and work out to a lower per-meal price. The same is also true for services that are flexible in how many meals you can order – they tend to get cheaper per meal the more you order.
A meal delivery service may seem like a lot of money upfront, but you also have to take into account how much you’re saving, and that goes far beyond just the cost of the food. There’s the cost of traveling to the store, plus the cost of ingredients that would otherwise end up sitting unused in your pantry.
Plus, you’re saving yourself the stress and time of meal planning, which can feel priceless.
Depending on where you live and which service you go for, you might be able to choose your delivery day. This means if you have a specific day you like to cook, you can plan the delivery around your schedule. Other services offer more limited options and don’t always deliver to more remote locations as frequently.
There are also differences in how much (if anything) services charge for shipping and delivery. Some bundle it into the price of the meals, because they know how much we all love “free” shipping. Others charge you shipping up to a certain order amount, while others charge delivery on every single order (and sometimes it’s pricey, up to $20 a week).
Whatever you pay, most meal delivery services have some sort of tracking mechanism in place, whether it’s a dedicated app or through the shipping company (i.e. you can track your order on the FedEx site).
If your box is about to show up and you're far from home – don’t worry. All services send their meals out in refrigerated/insulated boxes packed with ice packs or dry ice to keep your food fresh until you can get to it. If that sounds like it’s probably also packed with loads of plastic, you’d be right, which is the only downside.
Although some companies like Green Chef really do try to be as environmentally friendly as possible, there’s no escaping the fact that you’re going to have a lot of packaging to deal with when you open your box. Most of it should be recyclable, but that could depend on your location so that’s something to bear in mind.
Unlike some other services (hey, phone company!) meal delivery services are easy to sign up for and also bid farewell to. That makes sense given that people tend to test out a few services and are looking for companies that make it easy to do so.
Generally, if you want to skip, pause, or cancel your subscription, all you need to do is find the button in your account settings and with a click or two, you’re done. Others make it a little harder and ask you to send either an email or to call customer services to speak to a rep in person.
The only thing to be aware of is that while it’s easy enough to make changes to your membership, don’t leave it to the last minute. With rare exceptions, you have to let the company know what you want to change or if you want to pause or cancel at least five days in advance (and some require seven). Fail to follow the instructions and you’re going to be stuck paying for a delivery you don’t want. You’ve been warned!
Meal delivery services are a great solution for solving the eternal need to have healthy groceries in the pantry and an answer to the whole “what are we eating tonight” question. But they’re not for everyone and not every service is right for everyone.
If you suffer from serious food allergies, such as severe celiac or you have Crohn’s disease or diabetes, you should probably stay away from meal delivery services, healthy or otherwise. The exception is if the company explicitly states it has systems in place to avoid cross-contamination. Or, in the case of Type II diabetes, the service is specifically designed to handle a specialist diet, for example, bistroMD’s diabetic-friendly program.
To be on the safe side, though, if you have any medical condition, you should consult with your doctor before signing up for any meal delivery service to ensure you aren’t jeopardizing your health.
Aside from medical issues, a particular meal delivery service might not work for you for scheduling reasons (i.e. you like to cook Sundays and the only day you can get delivery is on a Wednesday), or the menu is not as exciting as you hoped it would be, or the veggies are all sent chopped and you find it relieves stress to peel and dice carrots after a hard day at work! It’s totally individual, but there are enough choices out there that you should find the right service for you.
Diet-to-Go not only offers specialized diets for vegetarians, those following a keto lifestyle, or those trying to get their diabetes under control – its dishes are also calorie-controlled and made using heart-healthy ingredients.
EveryPlate has figured out a system that makes it cheaper per serving than pretty much every other meal delivery service on the market. That’s because it only offers relatively few choices each week and doesn’t encourage customization.
No matter which meal kit you choose, remember that the per-serving price isn’t the full story. Always make sure you add in the shipping costs to understand exactly how much a particular delivery service will cost you.
They might be, but so are many of the other meal delivery services out there. The reason there are so many health-oriented meal delivery services is to make healthy eating accessible to every household. You might be specifically looking for family-friendly vegan meals like those from Veestro, or calorie-conscious meal kits like those from Home Chef.
That depends on exactly what you want from your meal delivery service! There are heart-healthy meals, care of Diet-to-Go, plant-based dishes from Purple Carrot, or gluten-free and nutritionally balanced meals from Fresh n’Lean. And there are plenty of others out there!
As its name highlights, Diet-to-Go is one service to check out if you want to lose weight. bistroMD is another option also designed for weight loss, without sacrificing anything on taste. Veestro has a weight-loss plan for vegan prepared meals.
Absolutely! Meal delivery services like Home Chef only use fresh ingredients that are sent or prepared when they’re at their best. Many are free of allergens and they all help to keep portion sizes under control, which is one of the biggest causes of obesity. That doesn’t mean the food isn’t delicious. Far from it! The meals are exciting and varied and will give your taste buds a welcome workout.