Finding time to plan, shop and prep meals can be hard in a busy city like Cincinnati. Whether you’re a busy student, an aspiring gourmet, or a working household head, you could use some help getting healthy, tasty meals on the table. This is why I’ve prepared a list of the 10 best meal delivery services in Cincinnati.
I’ve consulted my colleagues and carefully researched each service listed. I’ve scanned reviews, compared prices, checked ratings, and tested their menus against a range of food preferences and dietary needs.
Blue Apron gets the top ranking, thanks to its sophisticated menu and range of kits and prepared meals. But every service on our list has something to offer, no matter what your dietary preferences or mealtime needs. Read on to find out how you can save time and eat better.
Blue Apron – Best meal delivery service in Cincinnati 2023
Factor – Best prepared meal delivery service in Cincinnati
Green Chef – Best organic meal delivery in Cincinnati
HelloFresh – Best for fresh, family-friendly food at home
Home Chef – Best customizable meal delivery in Cincinnati
Heat & Eat and Meal Kits
19+ unique recipes per week plus add-ons
Diabetes-friendly, vegetarian, and other options available
Current deal: Enjoy $180 off across your first 6 orders
Blue Apron’s target audience is people who enjoy cooking sophisticated recipes like the Hoisin Pork Belly pictured above. But cooking beginners will find the slideshows and instructional videos on Blue Apron’s website an invaluable guide to improving their kitchen skills.
You get to choose between 5 different preferences that help Blue Apron select suggested meals. But no matter which preferences you select, you’re free to order any Blue Apron recipe on the menu.
Fast & Easy
Premium recipes require more advanced cooking techniques and cost a bit more because they use more expensive ingredients like steak and seafood. And Blue Apron’s optional wine subscription service also provides you with wines chosen to pair perfectly with its meals.
But you can also order Quick Prep meal kits if you want to create delicious meals without spending too much time in the kitchen. Ready-to-Cook recipes come with a pan and pre-chopped ingredients. Assemble the recipe, pop it in the oven, and when it’s done you have a delicious meal. Blue Apron even offers Heat & Eat prepared meals.
Blue Apron also offers a range of diabetic-friendly dishes, which isn’t something you see with most mainstream meal delivery services. The company's Wellness menu is inspired by the heart-healthy Mediterranean diet and includes vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and lean proteins with moderate amounts of dairy. Our reviewer recommended Blue Apron for those looking to put weeknight meals on autopilot.
Blue Apron's Customized feature lets you swap or add proteins to some meals. And Blue Apron’s add-ons let you add extras such as salads, muffins, prepared meals, and a la carte proteins like shrimp, chicken breast pieces, and sometimes you’ll even find plant-based Black Bean and Red Pepper Patties. The Market includes kitchen utensils, wine, and Blue Apron’s signature spice blends.
You can order 2. 3, or 4 Blue Apron 2- or 4-serving meals per week. Pricing starts at $5.74 per serving.
The meals are designed in collaboration with a dietitian
35 unique recipes per week plus add-ons
Dietary options include vegetarian, calorie-smart, keto, high-protein, and vegan
Current deal: Up to $276 off!
Factor provides healthy and nutritious prepared meals designed by dietitians and prepared by in-house chefs. The meals take only a few minutes to heat up in a microwave or conventional oven and are both filling and flavorful. Our expert reviewer found that Factor is great for busy lifestyles.
Meals are available in a variety of international cuisines, including Mexican, Indian, Thai, Italian, and American classics, making it easy to enjoy a diverse range of flavors. Factor is especially good for those on specialized diets. You can choose between 5 different plans but are always free to order anything on the Factor menu.
Vegan & Veggie
Factor’s Keto menu is especially strong, with 15 or more options available each week. The Baja Shrimp (pictured above) is garnished with cauliflower rice and has 590 calories, making it a great keto lunch or dinner that’ll leave you feeling full and keep your body in fat-burning ketosis mode.
You can also order vegetarian and vegan meals, although the selection is limited to around 3 vegan and 2 vegetarian options each week. However, these meals are a great way to add some meat-free days to your diet, though strict vegetarians might do better with Purple Carrot or another company on our list of the best vegan meal delivery services.
In addition to prepared meals, Factor also offers add-ons like protein packs, smoothies, soups, and keto-friendly snacks. This makes it even more convenient for customers to enjoy a balanced and healthy diet.
Customers receive a free 20-minute consultation with a registered dietitian when they sign up, and they can subscribe to additional nutrition coaching support if they find it helpful. This personalized support can be very helpful if you’re trying to lose weight, get back into shape, or need to address specific health goals.
Factor prices start at $6.19 per serving, and you can order 6 to 18 single-serving meals per week.
A certified organic company
30+ weekly recipes
7 dietary options including keto, vegetarian, and gluten-free
Current deal: Get $250 off + free shipping
Green Chef is a premium meal delivery service that uses top quality ingredients, like organic produce and eggs and antibiotic and hormone-free meats. Green Chef meals focus on nutritionally dense but delicious ingredients. (The Lemony Sockeye Salmon and Succotash pictured above is a good example).
You get 7 Green Chef menus to choose from but can order any of Green Chef’s 30+ weekly recipes no matter which plans you choose.
Fast & Fit
Most Green Chef meals are certified gluten-free, including the entire Keto menu. Meals containing gluten are prepared and stored in a separate facility. Green Chef’s gluten-free menu is suitable for those with celiac disease or serious gluten sensitivity and Green Chef is on our list of the best gluten-free meal delivery services.
Green Chef’s organic produce really shines in the extensive selection of vegetarian and vegan recipes. You can also order a range of convenient add-ons such as breakfast entrees and additional proteins, making it easier to stick to healthy eating goals.
Green Chef’s recipe cards are easy to follow, and the premade sauces and spice blends make cooking restaurant-quality meals easy. I tried Green Chef at home and cooked some of the best meals I’ve ever made from a meal delivery service.
Green Chef also prioritizes sustainability, using eco-friendly packaging materials whenever possible. Boxes are insulated with ClimaCell, a proprietary plant-based insulating material that is also curbside recyclable.
The minimum Green Chef order is 3 meals a week for 2 people, and the maximum is 4 meals a week for 6 people. Prices start at $5.99 per serving.
World’s biggest meal delivery service
Over 30+ recipes per week
Dietary plans include Veggie, Pescatarian, and Fit & Wholesome
HelloFresh features easy-to-follow recipes using high-quality ingredients and inspiration from its creative team of chefs. Its meal kits are prepared and packaged to make cooking as simple as possible.
The HelloFresh menu has 6 categories:
Meat & Veggies
Fit & Wholesome
Quick and Easy
HelloFresh tags recipes by difficulty level, so customers can find dishes matching their cooking skill. Most recipes fall under the Easy or Medium category, with Easy Prep and Easy Cleanup options available for added convenience. The One-Pan Santa Fe Pork Tacos pictured above are an Easy Prep recipe that only takes 20 minutes to prepare.
But customers shouldn’t be afraid to try new recipes, as everything on the menu can be easily cooked by following directions. My colleague tried HelloFresh at home and noted in their expert review that HelloFresh taught them to be more adventurous in the kitchen.
HelloCustom gives customers more control over their meals by allowing them to change some sides and proteins in selected dishes. HelloFresh advertises more than 30 meals each week, but its HelloCustom options and Market offerings expand the menu even more.
HelloFresh is great for meal delivery service newbies thanks to its simple, fast, and delicious meals. The recipes are clear and easy, while the menu diversity ensures you will never get bored!
You can order between 2 and 6 recipes per week for either 2 or 4 people. Prices start at $3.32 per serving.
Recipes for every culinary skill level
25+ weekly recipes
Carb-conscious and calorie-conscious entrees
Home Chef has an exceptionally customizable menu. You can swap proteins using the Customize It tool, order options from the Extras section, and choose meal kits to suit your culinary skill and available time.
The Home Chef menu includes Asian, Mexican, and French options as well as traditional American dishes. After trying it out at home, my colleague reported that they had a pretty perfect experience with Home Chef.
Home Chef’s Fresh Start meals are dietitian-designed takes on classic favorites. You can easily identify them with the green tomato icon. The company includes a spice label that lets you know the recipe’s heat before you order. You can also find easy-prep recipes like its 15-Minute Meal Kits and Fast & Fresh microwaveable meals.
The Culinary Collection offers sophisticated entrees with more expensive ingredients, with signature dishes from famous chefs like Rachael Ray. You can also order extras like protein packs, salad bundles, desserts, and breakfasts.
Home Chef's menu may not be suitable for those with specialized dietary requirements, such as vegans and keto dieters. While you can filter out certain allergens on the website, all meal kits are prepared in the same facility, so individuals with severe allergies might do better with a service like Green Chef.
But Home Chef offers a lot of flexibility for omnivorous couples and families seeking a variety of meal options, from familiar, family-friendly dishes to more refined selections. It can be an ideal dinner solution for cooks looking for tasty, reasonably priced meals.
Home Chef’s minimum weekly order is 2 servings for 2 people. The maximum order is 6 servings for 6 people per week. The cost per meal starts at $7.99 per serving.
Many recipes can be customized
14+ entrees per week
Calorie-conscious, carb-conscious and other options
Fresh and Easy is great for quick, delicious, and nutritionally balanced meals. This Home Chef spinoff is popular with time-strapped cooks across the US. Our reviewer praised Fresh and Easy for its fast and simple meal kits.
Fresh and Easy quick meal types include:
Fast & Fresh: prepared meals and salads
Oven-Ready: assemble ingredients and bake (pan provided)
Express: ready in 15 minutes or less
Salads: toss and serve
Extras: desserts, bread, protein bundles, and more
The Chicken Rockefeller Breast pictured above is an oven-ready meal. You assemble the ingredients in the pan which is provided and bake for 25-35 minutes until supper is ready. Fresh and Easy’s 2-person meals leave you with lunchtime leftovers and made it a favorite on our list of the best meal delivery services for singles.
The line also includes Fast & Fresh prepared meals and salads, which are perfect for people who are always on-the-go. The salads require minimal mixing, while the prepared meals can be heated in the microwave for a few minutes.
If you want a special dinner but are short on time, check out Fresh and Easy’s Plus line. You get high-quality ingredients like steak, salmon, and mahi-mahi with pre-chopped vegetables and prepped ingredients you can put together and cook in under 30 minutes – less time than you’d spend driving to your favorite restaurant.
Fresh and Easy provides access to Home Chef's "Customize It" feature. Many recipes allow you to swap out or double up on proteins. You can also filter to eliminate meals that contain many common allergens. You also can order from the full Home Chef menu, so you can select more time-consuming meal kits as well.
You can order as few as 2 recipes for 2 people and up to 6 recipes for 6 people per week. The cost starts at $7.99 per serving.
Meals designed in consultation with a weight loss physician
150+ breakfast, lunch, dinner and snack options
Gluten-free, diabetes-friendly, heart-healthy, and more options
BistroMD’s flash-frozen prepared meals are an easy, effective diet solution. Weight loss meal delivery services are notorious for unappealing processed food, but BistroMD provides fresh meals that will leave you feeling satisfied. Our expert reviewer declared BistroMD a solid service for those serious about weight loss.
Dr. Caroline J. Cederquist, BistroMD’s founder, is a bariatric physician specializing in weight loss. She created BistroMD so her patients could receive balanced low-calorie meals. Today, Dr. Cederquist collaborates with dietitians, nutritionists, and medical professionals to offer weight loss programs tailored to different medical conditions and weight loss goals.
Each BistroMD entrée containins less than 450 calories. (The Meatloaf with Honey-Bourbon Glaze pictured above has just 340.) But generous portion sizes ensure you won't feel hungry or cheated. Meals are prepared using fresh ingredients, then flash-frozen to retain their nutrients. Pull a meal out of the freezer, pop it into the microwave, and enjoy!
BistroMD offers 6 plans:
BistroMD supplements your meals with Essential And Tasty Snacks (EATS). These treats include high-protein and high-fiber desserts like strawberry cheesecake and shakes. If you find yourself tempted to cheat on your diet, EATS is a great alternative to high-calorie sweets and junk food.
Every week BistroMD offers a weekly suggested menu, but you have the option to swap out any unwanted meals. While it offers a few vegetarian entrees and a selection of seafood recipes, BistroMD meals are best for omnivores on a diet.
BistroMD starts at $8.24 per serving. BistroMD also offers a 15% discount for dieting partners and couples.
The largest 100% vegan meal delivery service
16+ meal kits and prepared meals plus add-ons
Gluten-free, soy-free, and other vegan options available
Purple Carrot features a 100% plant-based menu. With no animal products like meat, cheese, eggs, or anything else on the menu, Purple Carrot is an excellent option for those who are looking for healthy and delicious vegan food.
While Purple Carrot is aimed primarily at vegans, it’s great for omnivores too. Purple Carrot’s motto is “Eat More Plants” and they make it easy to do that. Our reviewer, a dedicated meat-eater, tried Purple Carrot at home and declared it was guaranteed to please even the fussiest of omnivores.
Plants are the star of Purple Carrot’s meals, a welcome change from the meat substitutes many vegan meal delivery services rely on. Meals like the Tofu Palak Paneer pictured above are a good example of the international cuisine you can expect, with many Asian and African recipes that will teach you new ways to cook vegan meals.
You get a weekly selection of meal kits, prepared meals, and quick “Less Prep” meals that are ready in 25 minutes or less. You can mix and match meal types, so you can choose anything on the weekly menu. You can order vegan breakfasts and lunches and Purple Carrot’s Plantry also offers a range of vegan desserts and staples like cashew cream cheese.
You can sort for meals that are:
Under 600 Calories
Purple Carrot only provides the current week’s menu. Looking at upcoming menus is a great way to determine if a service’s meals are varied enough for you. While I’ve been reviewing Purple Carrot for years and can say that its meal lineup is consistently good, it would be nice if it provided multiple menus like HelloFresh.
The price per serving starts at $8.50. For meal kits, you can order 3 or 4 meals with 2 servings each or if you prefer meals with 4 servings, you can order 2 or 3 meals per week. Prepared meals come as single servings and cost the same per meal whether you order 6, 8, or the maximum of 10 meals.
Organic, macro-balanced meals
14 meal options per plan
Meal plans include Keto, Paleo, Vegetarian, and Whole30
Trifecta is specifically designed for people with fitness and health goals. Whether you want to lose weight, gain muscle, or take your training to the next level, Trifecta offers a variety of diet plans to meet your needs.
All Trifecta meals are free from GMOs, preservatives, and refined, processed ingredients. Trifecta uses organic produce, grass-fed meat, and sustainably sourced seafood for its high-quality, nutrient-dense entrees.
Meals are macro-balanced and have between 300 and 500 calories per serving, which makes them a great choice for those who want to lose weight. You can eat Trifecta for supper or for every meal of the day. Our reviewer found that Trifecta makes sticking to a healthy diet really simple.
Trifecta offers 6 different meal plans:
High Protein Vegan
High Protein Vegetarian
For a bit more flexibility, Trifecta also offers a Meal Prep plan that lets you choose your own proteins, carbohydrates, and vegetables and mix and match them as you see fit.
Subscribers also get access to Trifecta’s nutrition experts and online resources. Trifecta’s forums help you connect with other Trifecta members for support, advice, and motivation. You can also check out Trifecta’s list of health and nutrition articles, and track your progress and daily challenges via the Trifecta app.
All Trifecta plans are Chef’s Choice, with meals selected for you each week. (If you have specific dietary restrictions, you can exclude 1 or 2 ingredients from a limited list, such as mushrooms, tree nuts, and shellfish). This is helpful for people on strict training regimens, but those looking for a more flexible diet plan may find Trifecta too restrictive.
The minimum Trifecta order is 7 single-serving meals, with a maximum of 21 meals. Prices start at $6.00 per serving.
Recipes with 6 ingredients per dish
100+ menu items each week, including desserts and breakfasts
Low-calorie, vegetarian, low-carb and other options available
Dinnerly is the most affordable meal delivery service on this list. Everybody loves a bargain, but we also want to feed our families the best food we can. So what does Dinnerly give you for your money?
You get over 100 choices each week with your Dinnerly subscription. Our expert reviewer noted that Dinnerly’s menu offers you more choices than many more expensive services. Low-cost defintely doesn’t meal low-quality and sometimes you’ll even find organic produce in the kits.
Dinnerly meals use 6 ingredients or less, which helps keep down costs. But meals like the Pepper-Crusted Pork Tenderloin pictured above keep mealtimes adventurous and most importantly, tasty. Because Dinnerly is owned by the same company that owns Marley Spoon, it offers some interesting spice blends and flavors alongside its family-friendly meals.
Dinnerly cuts costs by providing digital recipe cards rather than paper ones. Another area where Dinnerly makes cuts is in the meal kit packaging. Where many other services pack ingredient by recipe, Dinnerly leaves it to you to sort through the box and work out what’s needed for which recipe. This saves on unnecessary packaging materials (especially plastic). The ingredients are all labelled so sorting them shouldn’t be too hard but will add a few minutes to your meal prep time.
A downside of the digital recipe cards is that the instructions don’t include accompanying images. You have to read instructions on Dinnerly’s website while cooking. This isn’t for everyone and if you’re a novice cook then this may make the meal prep process quite difficult. Blue Apron, on the other hand, provides detailed visual aids and follow-along videos if you prefer this.
Dinnerly labels include choices like:
Under 30 Minutes
No Added Gluten
Dinnerly provides an excellent assortment of vegetarian and pescatarian dishes, with roughly 10 vegetarian and 3-4 seafood options featured every week. Additionally, 1 or 2 vegan entrees are included, which is rare among low-cost meal services. You can even indicate a preference for vegetarian meals when you sign up.
Market by Dinnerly offers grocery items and ingredients, soups, drinks, and breakfast choices such as crepes and egg bites. Dinnerly also offers a selection of pre-made meals.
Prices start at $2.12 per serving. You can order 2 to 6 meals every week. The meals come in 2-serving or 4-serving portions.
$5.74 Per Serving
$6.19 Per Serving
$5.99 Per Serving
$3.32 Per Serving
$7.99 Per Serving
$7.99 Per Serving
$8.24 Per Serving
$8.50 Per Serving
$6.00 Per Serving
$2.12 Per Serving
2 meals for 2 people
6 prepared meals
3 meals for 2 people
2 meals for 2 people
2 meals for 2 people
2 meals for 2 people
10 prepared meals
3 meal kits for 2 people/6 prepared meals
3 meals for 2 people
20 - 60 min. meal kits
30-minute meal kits
20 - 30 min. meal kits
Kits, speedy kits, oven-ready, prepared
Oven- & grill-ready, kits, prepared
Meal kits, prepared meals
30-minute meal kits
Cincinnati is a big city with many culinary options, so it can be difficult to choose a meal delivery service that works for you all the time. To give you a hand, here are some of the criteria I used in choosing the candidates for this best meal delivery services list:
Know your skill level in the kitchen: I enjoy trying various meal delivery services for the culinary adventure. You get to cook and taste recipes that may not have come your way otherwise. Still, if you don’t know how to boil an egg, it’s best to stick to ready-to-eat meals from a service like Factor.
Avoid monotony: Eating the same thing repeatedly can quickly become boring. Therefore, consider the menu's size and variety, and the frequency of its rotation.
Price isn’t the most important factor: Of course, this is only true when you’re not on a tight budget. Still, there are options even when the funds are low (check Dinnerly’s offers). In most cases, you should have a few different options that fit within your budget, so make sure you know your dietary needs.
Try out different services: Cincinnati has easy access to a wide range of meal delivery services. So, if you can’t decide, narrow down your list to the top 3 services, and try all of them.
I gave Blue Apron our award for Cincinnati’s best meal delivery service. Blue Apron’s menu offers a good selection of sophisticated recipes alongside family-friendly comfort food, as well as a selection of prepared meals and quick-prep recipes.
Factor is our top choice when it comes to prepared meals. Factor meals are designed by dietitians and prepared by chefs, with options for vegetarians, vegans and keto dieters.
HelloFresh has the widest selection of family-friendly meals for picky eaters, especially children. HelloFresh’s high-quality ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes make it a great choice for busy parents trying to get fussy eaters to eat better.
Dinnerly is the most budget-friendly meal delivery services in Cincinnati, with prices starting at $2.12 per serving. But Dinnerly isn’t just cheap, it’s a great value that gives you over 100 meal kits and add-ons to choose from each week.