As a party of one, I know from experience how awkward cooking for yourself can be: stocking up on large amounts of produce that won’t get used often means much of it goes to waste, resulting in trips to the grocery store every other day.
That’s where meal delivery services can save you both time and money. Those that offer single-serving prepared meals are helpful for people with allergies and dietary needs, or anyone who needs a quick meal to take to work or the gym.
Meal kits, on the other hand, bottom out at two servings per meal, but they can still be great for singles who want leftovers or larger portions.
My list contains both meal kits and single-serving meals, so you’re bound to find the right fit for your needs. My top pick was Factor, thanks to its range of great-tasting, quick-and-easy prepared meals. But each of these services shines in its own way.
Nutrition coaching programs available
34+ rotating weekly meals
Dietary options include vegan, vegetarian, keto, and calorie-smart
Current deal: Up to $276 Off!
For my money, Factor offers some of the best single-serving microwavable meals on the market. The great taste alone is enough to recommend this service heartily – but Factor’s features fly far beyond flavor!
Factor isn’t a budget option, and it serves as an example of the quality you can get when you have some extra cash to spend. The meals are packed with healthy ingredients that are free from unwanted additives, and each dish is hand-prepared and thoughtfully packed before shipping to your door.
In this in-depth review, my colleague was a huge fan of Factor’s dietary support program, where every subscriber is entitled to a free 20-minute consultation. But I think Factor’s best feature is its diet-friendly menus.
You’ll find a large selection of keto and high-protein meals as well as plenty of vegan and veggie, and calorie-smart options, too.
You can mix and match across any of these categories, as well as purchase add-ons like breakfast bowls, smoothies, and keto-friendly snacks.
Internationally inspired recipes
19 new meals each week, plus add-ons
Dietary options include vegetarian, low calorie, and diabetes-friendly
Current deal: Enjoy $130 off across your first 6 orders
Blue Apron is a smart choice for singles who like to host because it offers both gourmet meal kits for when you have guests over, as well as prepared meals for busy weeknights.
When my colleague put together this in-depth review, they were also impressed by Blue Apron’s wine offerings. The company’s optional wine subscription is the perfect way to level up your mealtimes, and each dish comes with suggested pairings.
Blue Apron’s main menu is its Signature plan, with everything from grain bowls and shrimp tacos, to fettuccine, steak, and more available each week.
However, if you have other dietary needs you might want to sign up for the Vegetarian plan or Blue Apron’s Wellness plan, which aligns with WW SmartPoints and offers easy tips to lower the calories in each dish.
Superb customer service and a wide-ranging menu
30+ meals per week, plus customizations
Dietary plans include Veggie, Pescatarian, and Fit & Wholesome
Current deal: Get 25 free meals + free shipping + 3 surprise gifts
The top meal kit delivery service on my list, HelloFresh, is renowned for its extensively tested recipes. Crowd-pleasing dishes like the Crispy Parmesan Chicken (pictured) are perfect for singles who want leftovers for lunch or dinner the next day.
Meal kits do require you to do the cooking yourself, but HelloFresh makes this a cinch even for kitchen newbies. My colleague’s rather honest tried-and-tested review of HelloFresh saw her raving about all of its convenient features, including how organized the ingredients are.
With everything from classic American dishes to Indian, Italian, Moroccan, and more, the variety is excellent. In fact, I’d go as far as saying HelloFresh’s menu is the gold standard for affordable meal kits.
You can order up to six meals per week, too, so you’ll hardly ever need to set foot in a grocery store – other than to pick up a few essentials.
Salads, sides, desserts, and more to add on
25+ meals per week
Dietary options include carb-conscious and calorie-conscious
Current deal: Get 16 Free Meals!
Fresh and Easy is part of the Home Chef family, offering a curated selection of speedy recipes. Its meals start at just $6.99 with our discount, so it’s a great choice if you want to save a few bucks.
Fresh and Easy’s menu contains a variety of time-saving measures. Oven-Ready meals require almost no hands-on work, and Fast & Fresh meals can be heated in the microwave for extra-quick meals.
My colleague was blown away by the flavor and convenience in their review of Fresh and Easy. With lots of variety and only the simplest recipes, this is an excellent choice for anyone living alone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time cooking.
Fresh single-serving prepared meals
100+ rotating weekly meals to choose from
Dietary options include keto, paleo, vegan, and high-protein
Current deal: 25% Off + Free Shipping With Money Back Guarantee
Fresh N Lean is another great source of diet-friendly prepared meals. Its menu is extensive, though – as my colleague discoveredwhen they reviewed Fresh N Lean – you can’t mix and match between the plans, so you’ll need to choose the right one for your lifestyle.
There’s a ton of options, though. From Protein + to Low-Carb Vegan, each of the seven menus includes a dozen or so lunch and dinner options, plus a small selection of breakfasts.
This level of specificity makes Fresh N Lean a great choice for people with particular dietary needs who want to have easy, healthy meals to hand.
Plus, if you have a particularly active lifestyle (and the freezer space), Fresh N Lean allows you to stock up on extra protein, veggies, and ingredients such as oats, to keep you fueled.
Customize the protein in almost every dish
25+ meals per week, plus protein packs
Dietary options include carb-conscious, calorie-conscious, and more
Current deal: 75% Off Your 1st Box + 60% Off Your 2nd and 3rd Boxes!
Home Chef offers a wide variety of dishes, but what makes it stand out is its huge offering of meal types. The menu has Easy Prep meals and gourmet options in addition to standard meal kits, so there’s something for every kind of schedule.
There’s also a selection of Culinary Collection meals, which require a little more time and effort but which use premium ingredients (sirloin, shrimp) and gourmet sides. These come with an upcharge.
Regardless of which category you order from, Home Chef’s Customize It feature gives you numerous protein options for each dish. So, whether you want to swap out ground beef for turkey, or upgrade a chicken dish for steak, it’s really easy to do so, as my colleague found out when they tested Home Chef.
The options are more limited for vegetarians, though you can switch the protein in some recipes for Impossible Burger. But if you have few dietary restrictions and want tons of leftovers (hello, lunch!) Home Chef is a great choice.
Chef-curated meals with a new menu each week
Up to 28 meals each week including breakfasts, lunches, and dinners
Dietary options include keto, paleo, and vegan
Current deal: Get $120 Off Your First 6 Boxes with code DR120
Trifecta has a unique meal delivery process. Rather than choose meals from a weekly changing menu, this service does the deciding for you. Chefs prepare a personalized menu for you each week based on your preferences.
Trifecta’s single-serving, heat-and-eat meals can accommodate a number of dietary restrictions, and there are several diet plans to choose from. Keto is Trifecta’s leading plan, but there are also vegetarian, vegan, paleo, and others to choose from.
When reviewing Trifecta, my colleague was especially impressed with the signup process.. Trifecta walks you through every step in order to determine the best meal plan for your needs.
Plant-based meals designed to promote holistic health
16 meals per week, plus breakfast, lunch, and Plantry items
Dietary options include low-calorie, high-protein, nut-free, and more
Current deal: Get $30 Off with code carrot30
Like Blue Apron, Purple Carrot offers a selection of both meal kits and single-serving prepared meals. Yet this service sets itself apart with one important distinction: Purple Carrot’s menu is completely plant-based.
And rather than relying on meat substitutes, Purple Carrot celebrates all kinds of Earth-given foods. Dishes like the Cauliflower Shawarma or Jackfruit Carnitas use veggies in their purest (and tastiest!) form to provide maximum nutrients.
Unfortunately, you can’t mix and match across the meal kits and prepared meals when you put your box together, but whichever you choose, both are super tasty with lots of variety. Purple Carrot is the perfect way to get more plant-based meals into your diet.
Convenient weight-loss plan
150+ meals and snacks on the menu
Dietary options include diabetes-friendly and vegetarian
Current deal: 50% Off All Plans + Free Shipping!
Nutrisystem is a long-reputed weight-loss service that offers a complete three-meal plan (plus snacks) either five or seven days a week. This jumpstarts your diet with nutritionally balanced, low-calorie meals while encouraging healthier eating habits.
Nutrisystem also provides free access to the NuMi app. NuMi helps you monitor your diet and exercise, and even gives you challenges and prizes. In this review of Nutrisystem, my colleague found the NuMi app helpful for meal planning, too.
Nutrisystem’s half-a-century of experience is often what gives it an edge over many of its competitors. In addition to providing you with low-calorie meals and snacks, Nutrisystem teaches you how to make healthier choices on your own.
Low-calorie diet meals ready to heat and eat
2-3 meals per day, 5-7 days per week
Dietary options include Mediterranean, Vegetarian, and Keto-Carb30
Current deal: Save 50% Off
As the name suggests, Diet-To-Go is the perfect service for singles who want speedy, convenient, meals for weight loss. The weekly plan is designed to provide all or most of your meals, giving you the option to take weekends off or to skip breakfast.
While every meal in Diet-To-Go’s rotating 5-week calendar is meant to have low calories and balanced nutrients, there are other diets offered. The Balance plan is the basic menu for people without dietary restrictions. There’s also a low-glycemic plan for people with diabetes as well as vegetarian, Mediterranean, and low-carb plans.
My colleague reviewed Diet-To-Go and was honest about the relatively bland meals. This service prioritizes weight loss over flavor, but it might be right for you if you have the same priorities.
$6.19 Per Serving
$5.74 Per Serving
$3.32 Per Serving
$6.99 Per Serving
$7.53 Per Serving
$6.99 Per Serving
$6.00 Per Serving
$8.50 Per Serving
$8.54 Per Serving
$4.60 Per Serving
4 prepared meals
2 meals for 2 people
2 meals for 2 people
2 meals for 2 people
5 prepared meals
2 meals for 2 people
3 meal kits for 2 people/6 prepared meals
6 meals for 4 days
10 prepared meals
20 - 60 min. meal kits
20 - 30 min. meal kits
Oven- & grill-ready, kits, prepared
Kits, speedy kits, oven-ready, prepared
30-minute meal kits
Prepared meals, shelf-stable food
Here are some pointers on finding the meal delivery service best suited to your needs:
How often do you want to cook? If the answer is never – prepared meals are your best bet. Otherwise, meal kits come in minimum serving sizes of two, so you can alternate between a day of cooking and a day of eating leftovers.
Be mindful of how much space you have. Prepared meals are convenient, but having a dozen plastic trays in the fridge can take up a lot of space. If you share your kitchen with roommates or have a particularly small fridge/freezer, it’s worth double-checking the minimum order size before subscribing.
Pick a service that suits your schedule. Some meal delivery services make it near-impossible to adjust your weekly order. If you want the flexibility of skipping weeks or changing your order size (say if you’re hosting guests for one week), choose one that accommodates your needs.
Don’t be afraid to switch. You may go through a couple of meal services before you find the one that’s just right for you. The meal delivery services I’ve listed have easy cancellation policies and excellent discounts for first-time customers.
In short – yes! Meal delivery services will provide you with tasty suppers without the need to even set foot in a supermarket. And though most meal kit services are designed to cater to two people, those living alone will have plenty of leftovers for the next day.
If you live alone and are short on time, nothing beats the convenience of single-serving prepared meals like from my top pick, Factor.
Factor’s single-serving prepared meals are the best for solo diners. Not only did it excel for us in terms of taste and quality, but the meals cater to a number of specialized diets.
With more than 50 years in operation, Nutrisystem may have the longest track record of any diet meal delivery service. The service’s super-convenient five- and seven-day plans allow dieters to kick-start a healthier lifestyle.
Fresh N Lean provides nutritionally balanced prepared meals that you can heat and eat in five minutes or less. So long as you have a refrigerator, you can enjoy fitness-focused meals tailored to keto, paleo, vegan, and Whole30 diets at home, in the gym, or at the office.