Meal kits might look tasty, and some might even make a conscious effort to keep those calorie counts down...but how about those of us looking for a low-carb meal kit?
Fear not: I’ve tried and tested over 20 meal kit delivery services, bringing you the best of the low-carb options out there (as well as mentioning how low is ‘low’, to boot).
Ultimately, I found HelloFresh to have the best low-carb options, as well as overall pricing range and more!
Home Chef – Best for low-carb customizable options
Blue Apron – High quality ingredients in every low-carb meal
Low-carb meal services aren't all created alike (and nor would you not them to be!). For one thing, there’s a word of difference between meal kits that come fully prepared, and you just need to heat up a meal, and one where you need to assemble and cook everything yourself with provided ingredients.
Here are the things to be on the lookout for when choosing a low-carb meal kit service:
Eating exclusively low-carb meals requires a lot of work (at least to decide what to eat, and then check the carbohydrate content), so low-carb meal prep delivery kits take all of the guesswork out of this process.
They allow you to enjoy the cooking process (and maybe even learn a thing or two, while you’re at it!). Without having to source the ingredients (and check their carb content) yourself, much less comes up with an exciting meal idea in the first place.
There are a few things you should check for, when choosing a low-carb meal prep kit:
Top quality produce and ingredients: meal kits usually invest more in finding top produce than you'd find at a supermarket or store. Using top quality ingredients will help you cook better (and your food will be much tastier too!)
A clearly set out cooking guide: you don't want to be confused while you're in the kitchen, and ruin all those lovely ingredients you've just received!
A lifestyle-helper, not hindrance: there’s a huge difference between having to cook a meal yourself and not having to, so if you have the time and patience (and want to) then a meal prep kit is a great way to go for you, otherwise, you should check out meal delivery services, below, for something that might fit your lifestyle more.
These are meals that are either pre-cooked, or frozen, both of which are easy for you to heat up when you want to eat them, rather than have to cook them yourself. These aren't anything like those old-skool TV dinners you might remember in horror; these are high-quality, chef-cooked meals, and use only the best produce and ingredients.
Here’s what you should check out when choosing a meal kit delivery service:
How to heat up your meal: it could be either oven, microwave, or even both!
How the meal arrives: can your meal be heated up in each container it arrives in, or not? If so - do you have what you need already in your kitchen?
The type of meal: are the meals freshly cooked, or pre-frozen? If you have a strong preference for one or the other, pay close attention to this!
Fridge and freezer-life of the meals: can they be stored for a few days (or months) in the fridge or freezer? For how long? If so, how and when should you place your next order?
Once you decide if you’d prefer a meal kit (where you cook the meal yourself) or a meal delivery (where you heat up your meal), there are still some other factors you should be aware of when choosing your low-carb meal kit delivery plan:
One-off orders and flexible subscriptions: you need a service that can adapt to your lifestyle, meaning that if your circumstances, tastes or situation changes, you can easily cancel or delay your subscription. Most of the meal kit services on my list below allow you to cancel within a week or so of your delivery date, but you still should be very aware of the terms and conditions of your subscription when signing up!
A varied, tasty menu: some of the meal kit services below have a certain set of menu options that are repeated; others have an almost overwhelming array of ever-changing recipes and meals. If you love variety and trying new things, make sure your meal service works for you!
Number of meals included: the thing most people find when ordering for the first time, is that some providers don't cover every meal. If you're looking for a meal plan for weight loss, make sure you have all of your meals covered to avoid making calorie-expensive mistakes on the meals you don't receive as a part of your plan!
Free shipping (or not): not all services offer free shipping, or some may on orders over a certain amount. You should also include this when calculating the cost of your subscription...or you might be in for a nasty surprise when your credit card bill comes through!
Offers both prepared meals and meal kits
Customize your meal, your way, with upgrades, swaps and double-ups
Free shipping on orders over $45
Super easy instructions to follow
Not only does Home Chef offer you a whole Carb Conscious plan (where each of the meals on offer is committed to being under 35 grams of carbs per serving), but it also gives you the option to customize these!
That means, you can choose to swap out your recipe’s protein, double it up, or even upgrade it to a premium version - for example, you can choose to replace your chicken with organic chicken instead.
I also really like how quick and easy it is to follow the instructions, with a handy ‘before you cook’ section, giving you the lowdown on what you need to have ready - that means, no more sticky surfaces from scrabbling around, when you cook with Home Chef!
WW-friendly and carb-conscious meal choices
Free shipping when you order three meals each week
A range of cooking times to fit your schedule
On each week’s menu, Blue Apron offers a selection of meals marked with the WW tag (a Weight Watchers approved meal). These plant-focused recipes keep added sugars to a minimum and you’ll also find chef’s tips to help cut down on carbs and extra fats.
From sustainable seafood to antibiotic- and hormone-free proteins, Blue Apron ingredients are all high-quality. Recipes are easy to follow and the website offers additional video instructions if needed.
When selecting your meal kits, you can browse by cooking times and also see options listed as “easy prep and cleanup” – a great choice for beginners and those who want to limit the washing up!
Recipes for under-20 minutes from prep to table, one-pot recipes and even kid-friendly recipes!
Great for low-carb foodies looking for quality on a budget
Fresh, quality produce, on a level higher than anything you'll find in the supermarket
Edit your order up to 5 days before delivery
Offering a range of low-carb (and low-calorie at the same time) recipes, you'll have around 20 recipes a week across 4 plans: Meat, Veggies, Family Friendly and Calorie Smart. You'll easily be able to filter out anything not specifically low-carb, or that takes longer than 20-minutes to prepare (check out more about this in my HelloFresh review).
Not only that, but the recipes on offer are simply mouthwatering, but even more importantly won't break your budget. It's not the cheapest on the market...but it comes pretty close, all the while serving you up quality, fresh ingredients. It's also pretty easy to pause your account and even edit your menu up to 5 days before it's delivered.
Eays, just cook meals for people with active lifestyles
Meals starting from just $6.99 (although these are mostly snacky, salad-types of meals)
Super easy to customize your order
Low-carb-specific meal plan
From parent company Home Chef, who also made my list, Fresh & Easy takes things up a notch: it prepares all of the meals for you, delivering them in a pan that you just need to put in the oven - et voila! Your meal is cooked!
Just as with its parent company, you can easily customize, double up or swap out your protein choices. You can also select the Low-Carb (under 30g per serving) menu, and mark which foods you want to avoid (pork, shellfish, soy and more). Shipping is also free over $45, and you'll have around 12 recipes a week to choose from (see what kind of recipes these are in my Fresh and Easy review).
Hundreds of meals available, with up 30g of carbs per serving
Chef-cooked, designed for weight loss
Professional coaching, including a diet analysis and other weight loss support in each plan
Local pickup in certain locations, allowing you to pick up your package outside of a specific delivery window
With literally hundreds of chef-cooked meals on offer, that you just need to heat up and go, there’s little to no doubt that Ketogenic Diet To Go will answer your needs. Check out more in this Ketogenic Diet-to-Go review.
Did I mention it's also designed for weight loss? You'll have a lot of personalized weight loss support included in your plan, such as coaching, analysis and more. It’s an all-in-one meal plan too, with meals across breakfast, lunch and dinner.
One thing you should know: your meals will be batch-shipped via FedEx, which can add $19.98 to your total. You can also choose to pick up your meals from select locations, which is a nice money-saver!
Low-carb-specific plan (Keto)
Delivered in eco-friendly packaging that’s fully recyclable
Ingredients are fully prepared before delivery - just assemble and cook them!
100% certified organic ingredients
Not only is Green Chef the first meal kit to be certified as 100% organic, but it’s run with a strong ethos of environmental responsibility: of all the kits on the market, Green Chef’s packaging is 100% recyclable.
See what I thought about the meals on offer in my Green Chef review.
Not only that, but with its low-carb Keto plan, you'll have a range of up to 16 options that only need to be assembled and put in the oven for under 30 minutes. What could be easier than that? The instructions are super detailed, and the ingredients are top-quality too. There's also a new menu each week, to really keep you always wanting more!
Special low-carb plan available
Massive portion sizes, with easily filtered out allergens in recipes
Easily swap out your preferred protein
Family plan available - no-fuss kid-friendly prep and meals
With a massive range of 10 dietary-specific plans available, Sun Basket always comes out on top when I recommend specific meal plans.
Check out more about what you can expect with Sun Basket in my review.
With around 20 meals per plan to choose from, there's a lot of crossover...meaning if you're on the low-carb plan, you’ll still be able to pick from low-calorie, vegan, paleo and other special dietary food. In short, this is the plan for you if you're a fussy eater!
Sun Basket also commits itself to a mostly under-30 minute prep time, massive (and I mean massive) portion sizes, as well a really innovative, exotic menu (as well as a more standard American food).
Easy, straightforward healthy eating for weight loss
Professional support offered, from dietitian advice to diet analysis
Diabetic-plan for low-carb eaters
Full-on meal plan covering every meal and snack in a week
BistroMD does things a little differently; it offers you a weekly plan covering every single meal and snack, so you eat right all the time (no mistakes or slip ups anywhere!).
Check out this expert BistroMD review to get the full explanation on how this weight loss system works.
Developed by a physician specializing in bariatric medicine, BistroMD has 5 different plans (including Menopause, Heart Healthy and Gluten-Free), with the Diabetic plan offering under 25 grams of net carbs per serving. You'll have around 150 options available to you, across breakfast, lunch, dinner and 2 snacks a day. There's also no food prep or cooking needed: just heat up the meals and eat them, hassle-free!
100% vegan options across breakfast, lunch and dinner
4 plans available, including Gluten-Free
Choose between 2 servings or 4 servings a week
Food ready in under 30 minutes
Read more about what I think about Purple Carrot’s innovative all-vegan food in my review.
Of the plans available, there is a commitment to offering lower carb options, but there's no dedicated plan available. Instead, carbohydrate content is clearly displayed alongside the ingredients. It might take a bit of searching, but once you find something you like the look of, meals take under 30 minutes to prepare and cook.
Meals starting from just $4.99 per serving
Super easy to follow recipes
14 meals a week to choose from
Prep and cook within 30-minutes
Although it doesn't have a low-carb specific plan, EveryPlate does offer you the cheapest meal kit on the market, with servings starting from just $4.99 per meal.
You'll have 14 recipes to choose between, all of which can be assembled and cooked in under 30 minutes. But, you'll need to do your low-carb research yourself, which is pretty easily done... but will add a few minutes to building your menu.
See more of what I thought about EveryPlate in my review
Although that sounds annoying, you should know that, even with the added shipping fee, EveryPlate still works out cheaper than most other meal plans - even the ones on my list above!
Meals starting from
Meals starting at $6.99
Free over $45, $10 if under
21+ options per menu
Starting at $8.99/serving
12+ options per week
$7.49 for 3 meals a week for 4 people
$6.99 per week
17+ options per menu
From $6.99 per portion
Free over $45, $10 if under
20+ options per menu
Starting from $8.57
Keto, diabetes, vegetarian
$9.99 per week
500+ options per plan
$10.99 a serving
Vegetarian, fish, keto, paleo
$7.99 per week
8 options per menu
$10.99 per serving
Paleo, vegan, keto - a wide range of dietary preferences
$6.99 per week
18+ options p/menu
Gluten Free, Diabetic, Heart Healthy and Menopause
Free for the first week, then $19.95
150+ per week
From $9.99 per portion
Vegan, carb-conscious, gluten-free, weight loss
8 choices per menu
From $4.99 per portion
$8.99 a week
8 meals per week
Just because a menu delivery service says it’s healthy, it doesn’t necessarily mean it's low carb.
But - all is not lost; this is very easy to determine yourself! You just need to -
Find a meal delivery service you like the look of
Check their plans: is there a low-carb one? If yes, check out how ‘low-carb’ is low-carb. You can do this by checking out the nutritional content on the site’s recipes, or ask customer support for more details. There may also be an FAQ section on the site addressing this question.
If the meal delivery service you like the looks of doesn’t have a specific low-carb diet, you can easily check the nutritional content of the recipes and see if there’s something you like the look of, and that it’s sufficiently low carb for you.
It really depends on the meal delivery service you're looking at using, but most will have some combination of high-protein, low-carb meals with salmon, chicken and meat with vegetables. Examples from Home Chef’s low-carb menu include grilled honey mustard salmon, Tex-Mex taco salad, and grilled pork chop with a side of corn on the cob.
I personally found HelloFresh to have a solid range of low-carb meals, but it's really up to you to see which service has the right type of cuisine and recipes to suit your lifestyle.
HelloFresh has several low-carb recipes, but no dedicated low-carb plan, this is super easy to get around though - you just need to select the ‘low carb’ filter, and see the recipes that come up for you! Home Chef works the same way, as well.
Blue Apron offers a great selection of low-carb meals. Just look for the meals with the Carb Conscious tag on the menu.