Choosing the best meal delivery services in Madison is a lot easier said than done. Choosing a service that guarantees quality, diversity, and value for money isn’t all that simple when there seem to be tens of options. It's like navigating a large food festival with endless vendors.
I've done the legwork this year to help save you time and find what you’re looking for. After thorough research and vetting, I've rounded up the best options. I want to help you make a more informed decision, whether you’re looking for meal kits or heat-and-eat prepared meals.
Among all the options, Factor is my top choice. It offers an elevated dining experience with a large selection of prepared meals. The menu is inspired by global cuisines – and you get lots of extras, snacks, and beverages.
Factor – Best prepared meals for fitness enthusiasts
Green Chef – Best organic meals
HelloFresh – Best family-friendly meals
Home Chef – Best customization options
Fresh and Easy – Best quick meal kits
Dietitian-designed meals to your door
27+ meals per week
Dietary options include keto, vegan, low-calorie, and more
Current deal: Get 50% OFF your 1st box + 20% OFF the next 4 boxes!
Factor is all about fresh, nutritious prepared meals that still feel satisfying. The company works with registered dietitians and professional chefs to create every meal. You can even start by speaking to a resident nutrition coach to discuss your health goals.
Factor is best if you’re too busy to cook but want to keep track of your diet and fitness. My colleague explains that there are a variety of health-conscious plans to pick from in their detailed review
Factor’s plans include Keto, Vegan & Veggie, Protein Plus, Flexitarian, and Calorie Smart. Speaking of health-focused, most of the meals you’ll find contain 600 calories or fewer. I’d also say that around 80 to 90% of the meals have the Protein Plus label for those who wish to consume more protein than average.
I’d also like to point out that there is an impressive number of cuisines on offer. There’s everything from Latin American, Asian, French-inspired, Italian, Greek, and many more. Most of the meals are definitely more Americanized, but that can be expected with prepared meals.
I also wouldn’t necessarily call Factor the most family-friendly service out there. Since the meals are prepared, they’re single-serving only, which isn’t ideal if you have kids. This could get sort of expensive after a while. But for single individuals or couples, it’s a great choice. If you’re looking for more affordable meals for the whole family, check out Dinnerly instead.
You can get a bunch of add-ons and extras with Factor, though, which I find surprising. There is everything from pancakes, egg bites, extra smoked sausages, smoothies, keto desserts, extra chicken wings, steaks, veggie sides, granola, and lots more. It’s among the most impressive selections of sides I’ve seen.
Factor is a bit pricier than some of the competition, but you can save money by getting the largest order. The minimum order is 6 meals per week. Options include 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, and 18. If you get 18 per week, you’ll only pay $6.19 per meal.
Lots of breakfasts, lunches, and other extras
45+ meals every week
Specialty diets like keto, Mediterranean, and gluten-free
Current deal: Get $250 off + free shipping
Green Chef’s meal kits are some of the quickest, with an average prep time of 30 minutes. A few options each week may require up to 40 minutes, which remains manageable for busy individuals looking to streamline meal times without compromising on quality or variety.
It's worth noting that Green Chef doesn't provide ready-made meals. If you prefer heat-and-eat meals, consider exploring services like Factor. However, cooking with Green Chef is straightforward thanks to vivid recipe cards and clear instructions. My colleague’s review explores this further.
Green Chef offers a variety of mix-and-match meal plans. These include Protein Packed, Keto, Plant Based, Mediterranean, Calorie Smart, Quick & Easy, the globally-inspired Delicious Discoveries, and a specialized Gluten Free option.
The service focuses on nutritious ingredients, incorporating plenty of vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins. Predominantly, you’ll find chicken, barramundi, salmon, lean pork, and beef tenderloin in its meals.
In terms of cuisine, Green Chef offers a gourmet experience with a diverse range of international dishes. Expect Peruvian, Italian, Greek, Mexican, French, and more. Roughly a third of the menu comprises classic American recipes, like Cheesy Ground Beef Melts, and some international flavors that have been given an Americanized twist, like the Turkish-Spiced Chicken Tacos.
The service also offers a broad selection of add-ons and extras. You’ll find breakfast items like oatmeal and pancakes, lunches such as salads and wraps, keto-friendly muffins for dessert, and an array of protein add-ons featuring shrimp, salmon, chicken, beef, and various ground meats.
Green Chef also sets itself apart with a strong commitment to sustainability. The packaging is designed with a minimal carbon footprint in mind, and the meals incorporate high-quality, USDA-certified organic ingredients.
The smallest order from Green Chef is 3 meals for 2 people per week, with the possibility of ordering up to 4 meals for 6 people. Opting for the largest weekly order can help you save roughly $1.50 per serving, resulting in a cost of $9.99 per serving.
Family- and kid-friendly meals
50+ weekly meal options
Diets like low-carb, low-calorie, high-protein, and pescatarian
HelloFresh stands as a budget-conscious, family-centric alternative to Green Chef. It provides an array of recipes that require only 20 minutes of preparation, catering to various dietary needs.
HelloFresh offers 6 specific plans. These include Meat & Veggies, Veggie, Family Friendly, Fit & Wholesome, Quick & Easy, and Pescatarian. For detailed information on each plan, please refer to our comprehensive HelloFresh review.
The service also accommodates specific dietary preferences such as low-carb, low-calorie, and pescatarian. However, if you have any food allergies or intolerances, HelloFresh advises thoroughly inspecting the ingredients list of each meal before placing an order.
Expect to receive easy-to-follow recipes, fresh premium ingredients, and a wide variety of cuisines. You'll find options ranging from Latin American, traditional American, Italian, Chinese, Middle Eastern, and more.
The breadth of meal and add-on choices offered by HelloFresh is one of the most extensive I've seen. Extras span from yogurt and granola, desserts, lunches like grilled cheese and salad, to burgers, soups, additional meats, and even some ready-made meals. But this just scratches the surface; I urge you to explore the site personally for a complete overview.
With HelloFresh, you can preview up to 6 weeks of menus ahead of time. Notably, the meals typically rotate each week, a deviation from many competitors who often reuse meals from previous weeks.
While HelloFresh is cost-effective, it's not the most economical service on the market. For the absolute lowest per-serving costs, consider Dinnerly.
In terms of order size, the smallest HelloFresh order is 2 meals for 2 people per week. By opting for the maximum order of 6 meals for 4 people, you can achieve further savings, paying only $3.32 per serving.
Easy to customize your proteins
20+ recipes per week
Dietary options include vegetarian, and carb- and calorie-conscious
Home cooking can be fun and easy – which is what Home Chef’s goal is. It offers a variety of meal kits and oven-ready meals that don’t take much of your time to prepare. You can find out more about Home Chef’s offerings in our full review.
It has a handy <30-minute menu filtering option on the menu. This will populate the menu with the fastest options. You’ll find meals that are as fast as 15 minutes, like the Diced Chicken Gyro, or the Oven-Ready Dilly Alfredo Salmon, which takes 20 to 30 minutes in the oven.
Along with a selection of meat and fish dishes, you’ll find a good number of veggie dishes. However, sadly, the only dietary options include carb- and calorie-conscious, and veggie.
I do like the number of cuisine options, though. You’ll find everything from Japanese, Italian, French, Asian, classic American, Latin American, Greek, and much more. I’d say that Home Chef’s meals are a bit fancier than Blue Apron’s, but not as exotic as Green Chef’s – which happens to make it kid-friendly, too.
Also, with its Customize It feature, you can replace the proteins in many meals. For example, the Portobello and Pepper Sauté is usually veggie. However, it can be sent to you with filet mignon, NY strip steak, boneless skinless chicken breast, or boneless pork chops instead.
You’ll also spot some extras on the menu each week. These include salad and bread bundles, desserts, protein packs, and much more. Home Chef offers up a truly impressive selection of add-ons.
The minimum Home Chef order is 2 meals for 2 people per week, up to 6 meals for 6 people. If you choose the largest order, you’ll also only pay $7.99 per serving.
Ingredients come prepped, portioned and ready to cook
10+ easy prep meals per week
Dietary options include calorie- and carb-conscious meals
Fresh and Easy is a special collection of very fast meal kits found on the main Home Chef site. As a matter of fact, it’s actually a Home Chef brand. This means you get access to the entire Home Chef menu, which can be mixed and matched with Fresh and Easy. I like Fresh and Easy because the meals only take 15 to 20 minutes to make.
Our review states that it’s easy to have a homemade meal when you don’t have much time. Choose from a range of speedy meals, including 15-Minute Meal Kits, Oven-Ready meals, and Fast & Fresh prepared meals, plus entreé salads.
All you have to do is assemble the oven-ready meals in the pan and throw them in the oven. There’s no prep involved, which is super convenient. If you’re looking for these super quick Fresh and Easy meals, look out for the Express, Fast & Fresh, or Oven-Ready labels on the Home Chef menu.
If you have a bit more time, you can also click the < 30min menu filter on the Home Chef menu to only see those options. Lots of these options only take around 15 to 20 minutes to make, like the Diced Chicken Gyro.
Just like Home Chef, you can get a ton of add-ons and extras. These include canned coffee products like lattes, banana bread, sausage and egg croissants, garlic bread, smoothies, soups, mac and cheese, and even extra meats. There are also lots of salad options along with desserts and combo packs.
The minimum order here is the same as Home Chef at 2 meals for 2 people per week, up to 6 meals for 6 people. And again, with the largest order, you’ll only pay $7.99 per serving.
19+ meal kits and prepared meals per week
The company has Vegetarian and Wellness plans
Blue Apron is perfect if you want tasty, restaurant-style meals in the comfort of your own home. The recipes are gourmet, yet also don’t take too much time to prepare.
Meal kits take around 30 to 40 minutes to make, and you can get around 6 prepared meals per week as well. Find out more about Blue Apron’s many options in our review.
Overall, the meals are pretty simple to prepare, too. If you’re a novice cook, you’ll enjoy adding new dishes to your repertoire. Each dish comes with easy-to-follow recipe cards that come with your delivery.
In terms of actual cuisines, there are plenty to choose from. There’s everything from Latin American, French, Italian, Mediterranean, Asian, and lots more.
I’d say that most of the meals are kid-friendly as well since they’re not overly exotic. If you get the meal kits, it’s also easy to omit certain ingredients if anyone in your household doesn’t like anything in particular.
Speaking of which, it’s easy to customize some of your meals as well. Some meals allow you to replace the protein option. For instance, the Steaks & Garlic Mashed Potatoes will let you get bistro or tenderloin steaks, depending on your preference.
On top of that, you get access to lots of add-ons and extras. Blue Apron has one of the largest market selections out there. There’s everything from scones, soups, muffins, salads, and extra meat like bacon, chicken, shrimp, and more.
Every week brings new options, too. There may be some overlap in terms of options from week to week, but for the most part, the menu will rotate. This includes the main meals, sides, snacks, and add-ons.
Blue Apron’s minimum order is 2 meals of 2 servings per week, up to 5 meals of 4 servings. You can save a substantial amount of money per serving if you go for the largest order size. That way, you’ll only pay $5.74 per serving.
Doctor-approved weight loss plans
150+ choices including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks
Gluten-free, diabetic, heart-healthy, and more available
If you're targeting weight loss, BistroMD is a top pick. Its meals are scientifically crafted for weight reduction, and according to our reviewer, the flavor luckily isn't sacrificed for health benefits.
You can select from various specialized diet plans - Heart Healthy, Gluten Free, Keto Flex, Diabetic Friendly, and Vegan. Choose the plan that best aligns with your goals. Remember that these plans are exclusive and not mix-and-match like Factor's. You'll only receive meals from your chosen plan.
BistroMD's menu filtering system is also a pretty notable feature. It allows you to focus on your preferred ingredients. The choices range from chicken, seafood, turkey, pork, plant-based options, soups & stews, to even pasta.
Additionally, BistroMD offers a wide variety of meals, spanning breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks, and more. Menu items include delectable dishes like Meatloaf with Honey Bourbon Glaze, Chicken, Rice, and Cheddar Casserole, and Hickory Smoked BBQ Pork with Broccoli.
Every day brings a new meal to the table, keeping your diet journey exciting and far from repetitive. This avoids the fatigue that can set in from consuming the typical "chicken and broccoli" constantly.
However, remember that the menu lacks extensive international dishes. While the meals aren't "boring", don't expect a surplus of adventurous Asian, Latin American, Middle Eastern, or Mediterranean dishes. Most meals cater to a broader audience with a strong American influence.
Lastly, the smallest order you can place is for lunches and dinners for 5 days per week, but there are more configurations available. You can opt for lunches and dinners for 7 days, or go for the Full Program (breakfast, lunch, and dinner) for 5 or 7 days. The Full Program incorporates a "My Night" where you're responsible for your own dinner once a week.
Great for flexitarians, as well as vegans
20 meal kits and prepared meals per week
Dietary options include high-protein, gluten-free, and more
As a vegan-only service, Purple Carrot’s meals make it easy to stick to the vegan lifestyle, as our review points out. Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, or just looking to get more veggies on your plate, this company is your best bet.
The company’s menu features around 16 prepared meals and meal kits (combined) each week. Each meal is colorful, creative, and packed with good-for-you ingredients. The veggies are celebrated, and the company doesn’t rely on “fake” meats like Beyond products or meat analogs.
Every dish is inspired by international recipes. For example, the Chickpea Massaman Curry is a Middle Eastern classic, and only takes 30 minutes to prepare. But you can definitely still find some more classic American-style foods like the Creamy Mac and Cheese pictured above.
I also like that there are some breakfast, lunch, and snack items on the menu, too. It’s a great way to learn new plant-based recipes which you can cook again later on.
Aside from that, there are plenty of add-ons as well. For instance, you can get salad dressings, vegan cheeses, egg scrambles, soft baked cookies, chocolate, oatmeal, and plenty more.
Purple Carrot has 2 separate minimum orders – for meal kits and for prepared meals. If you go with the meal kits, you need to order at least 3 2-serving meals per week.
If you go with prepared meals, the minimum order is 6 single-serving meals, up to 10 per week. Also if you want to save the most money, go with the largest order. That way, you’ll only pay $8.50 per serving.
Martha Stewart-backed service
40+ recipes per week
Diets include vegan, vegetarian, low-carb, dairy-free, and more
Marley Spoon is great for those looking for delicious, family-friendly meals that are easy to get on the table. Most meals take less than 30 minutes, which is pretty impressive. On top of that, it has among the largest menus I’ve ever seen.
The menu offers a variety of meat and seafood dishes sprinkled with vegetarian, vegan, and low-carb options. There’s something for everyone, which our review discusses in greater detail.
Though the meals aren’t overly fancy or exotic, you do get an impressive number of cuisines. Choose from Italian, French, Asian, Greek, Mediterranean, Latin American, Middle Eastern, Indian, and of course, Classic American.
Marley Spoon is one of the most family- and kid-friendly services, too. Its meals are essentially what a stay-at-home mom might make for her kids without the use of fancy spices or excessive amounts of seasoning.
I also like the inclusion of a handful of prepared meals per week, like the Ready Made! Chicken Rigatoni Alfredo. It’s definitely not the largest selection of prepared meals, though – so check out Factor instead if you specifically want prepared meals.
Marley Spoon’s main focus is its large menu of meals, but there’s a handful of add-ons as well. You can find things like muffins, cookies, pancakes, breakfast sandwiches, roasted veggie pinwheels, pasta salads, cupcakes, smoothies, brownies, and more.
I love that this service is also committed to environmental friendliness. The company is both carbon-neutral and sustainable and is involved with a number of green projects around the world. There’s also a focus on seasonal, sustainable ingredients.
The minimum order is 2 meals for 2 people per week, up to 6 meals for 4 people. If you go with the largest order, you can save money and only pay $2.99 per serving.
Lots of meals can be cooked quickly (<30 minutes)
45+ recipes per week
Veggie, low-calorie, dairy-free, veggie, and more
Despite its cost-effectiveness, Dinnerly does not compromise on quality. Keep in mind, though, that the choices of ready-made meals are limited, usually around 3 to 4 per week. If you're seeking a broader array of pre-cooked meals, Factor is a worthy alternative.
What Dinnerly does boast is a diverse array of simple meal kits without any frills. Still, you can anticipate a variety of globally-inspired dishes, including Italian, French, Japanese, Middle Eastern, and others. The recipes are simplified, making them great for families and children.
For those seeking speed, there are many options ready in 30 minutes or less. Consider the Spring Tortelloni & Squash Salad, ready in no more than 20 minutes. Another quick option is the Easy Clean Up! Sheetpan Shrimp Fajitas, ready in 30 minutes. This service has an ample selection of such quick-prep meal kits.
Each dish has a difficulty level clearly stated on the official website. The meals mentioned above fall under the Easy category, as do most Dinnerly meals. However, the difficulty levels span from Easy to Hard.
Bear in mind that Dinnerly is light on add-ons and extras, aligning with its budget-friendly approach. If you fancy a variety of add-ons, consider exploring Home Chef.
The smallest order you can place with Dinnerly is 2 meals for 2 people per week, scaling up to 6 meals for 4 people. Dinnerly's unbeatable pricing can be further reduced by opting for the largest order size, costing you only $2.12 per serving.
$6.19 Per Serving
$9.99 Per Serving
$3.32 Per Serving
$7.99 Per Serving
$7.99 Per Serving
$5.74 Per Serving
$8.24 Per Serving
$8.50 Per Serving
$2.99 Per Serving
$2.12 Per Serving
6 prepared meals
3 meals for 2 people
2 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
2 meals for 2 people
3 meals for 2 people
30-minute meal kits
Meal kits, speedy kits, prepared meals
Kits, speedy kits, oven-ready
Oven- & grill-ready, kits, prepared
5 - 60 min. meal kits
Meal kits, prepared meals
30 min. meal kits
30-minute meal kits
Now that you have so many options, how do you go about choosing the best meal delivery service for your needs? To help you out, I’ve listed some of the criteria I used when compiling this list:
Prep and cooking times: If time is of the essence – why not look at trialing some speedy prepared meals? Factor dishes take just minutes in the microwave. If you like to spend more time in the kitchen as a way to relax after work or school, meal kits are a great way to cook without the time and effort of grocery shopping.
Specific dietary needs: Unless you’re the kind of person who is happy to eat pretty much anything, look for a service like Green Chef that can support several kinds of dietary needs. This is particularly important if you’re in a couple or family and you all have different preferences.
Customization options: If you’re able to adjust each dish or order to your liking, you’ll likely never get bored. Home Chef has some of the best personalization tools. If customization isn’t an option, make sure the menu is varied enough for you.
Flexible delivery: Choose a service that fits your schedule. While most services will keep your food well insulated, you don’t want it sitting on your doorstep for too long! HelloFresh offers delivery up to 7 days a week, depending on your location.
Dinnerly is the most affordable meal delivery service in Madison. To maintain its price of $2.12 per serving, Dinnerly offers simple, crowd-pleasing meals that don’t cater to specific dietary needs and aren’t too exotic or fancy.
The term ‘healthy’ is sort of a misnomer. If you mean “nutritionally dense foods”, then I recommend going with a service that takes pride in its ingredient quality. For instance, Green Chef offers a number of organic ingredients and easy-to-prepare meal kits. Plus, there aren’t very many items that contain high levels of fat, sodium, or sugar.
Yes, you can lose weight by eating any food known to man. However, the secret is in knowing how many calories you’re consuming vs. expending. For that, you’ll need to know your total daily energy expenditure, and subtract 25% from that number. Find out this information by searching Google for a “TDEE calculator”.
That said, Factor, for instance, can help you easily keep track of your daily intake. It offers prepared meals that are individually labeled with calorie information.