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Written by: Kenaz Filan on Jul 6th, 2021

10 Best Meal Kit Delivery Services 2021: Dinner Made Easy

With everything you’re juggling, it can be difficult to keep up with meal planning, grocery shopping, and meal prep. Come Wednesday or Thursday, that takeout menu starts looking like the best solution for dinner. 

Meal kit delivery services cut out the stress of making fun and healthy home-cooked meals. They can help you meet your health goals without having to survive off of pre-cut frozen veggie mixes from your grocery store.

We’ve curated this list of the best meal kit delivery services to provide you with the best options out there for customizability, organic ingredients, vegan kits, family-friendly recipes, and more. Get more free time, and stay on track with your nutrition with the help of one of these meal kit delivery services.

Short on time? Here are the best meal kit delivery services of 2021

Our Best Meal Delivery Services Reviewed

1. Home Chef – The Best Overall Meal Kit Delivery Service

Home Chef Best Features 

  • Home Chef meal kits available at Kroger grocery stores

  • 15-Minute Kits and Oven-Ready meals offer quick dinners on busy nights 

  • Culinary Collection kits let you cook gourmet meals at home

Home Chef in a Nutshell 

Home Chef’s unique Customize It feature lets you, for example, tweak your Chicken with Bacon Spinach Cream recipe and make it with salmon, pork, ribeye steak, or even free-range/antibiotic-free meat instead. See the full run-down in our in-depth Home Chef review .

Not only does Home Chef give you 30+ menu items to choose between and plenty of customization options, but it also lets you fine-tune your menu to avoid certain ingredients and order extra servings of things you love.

The detailed cooking directions guide you through every step of preparing your chef-designed meal kits. Home Chef also offers low-prep meal kits for less confident cooks or busy nights. Assemble a Fast & Fresh entrée like Roasted Red Pepper Pesto and Chicken Penne Bake with Crispy Onions, toss it in the oven or microwave, and supper is served!

Home Chef meal kits are also available at your local Kroger, so you can try them out before committing to a subscription. 

2. Blue Apron – Best Gourmet and Diet Meal Kits

Blue Apron Best Features 

  • Sophisticated meal offerings at a reasonable price

  • Blue Apron’s partnership with WW means excellent options for dieters

  • Wine subscriptions available in select states

Blue Apron in a Nutshell 

If you have some cooking experience, Blue Apron’s meal kits will help you prepare dishes like Crispy Skin Salmon and Romesco Lentils with Sweet Peppers and Lemon Yogurt. For those who like to sip a glass of wine with dinner, Blue Apron also offers wine subscriptions (to selected states). Foodies will find a lot to like with their Blue Apron subscription. 

Dieters can take advantage of the partnership with WW (formerly Weight Watchers). WW-approved recipes offer lower-calorie entrees and ingredient substitutions that will help you eat well and keep up with WW’s weight-loss plan. And Blue Apron’s Wellness360 campaign offers online tips to support holistic health through home-cooking. 

You might think all these perks come with a cost, but with entrees starting at $7.49 per serving, Blue Apron is one of the most reasonably priced meal delivery services on our list. You can read all the details in our full Blue Apron review .

3. HelloFresh – The Best Healthy Meal Kit for Families

HelloFresh Best Features 

  • As the world’s biggest meal kit delivery service, HelloFresh has meal kits down to a science

  • Humanely raised and sustainably sourced meat and seafood 

  • Great selection of family-friendly recipes and meal plans

HelloFresh in a Nutshell 

HelloFresh offers at least 20 meals to choose from each week. The different plans include Veggie , Family Friendly , Calorie Smart , Quick and Easy , and Pescatarian . It’s easy to mix and match by selecting the variety plan to see all your options.

Through partnerships with organizations like Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch and Compassion in World Farming, HelloFresh ensures its meat and seafood ingredients are sourced responsibly. Its eco-credentials stretch beyond food, too, with an effort to use sustainable, recyclable packaging. 

HelloFresh is the world’s biggest meal kit delivery service. The customer service representatives are widely known for their friendliness and excellent knowledge ( our expert’s review confirms this). For those new to meal kit delivery services, HelloFresh offers a tasty and reliable alternative to grocery shopping. 

4. Sunbasket – A Completely Organic Meal Kit Delivery Option

Sunbasket Best Features 

  • Includes all responsibly sourced ingredients

  • Meal kits ready in 15-40 minutes

  • Add-on options for breakfast, lunch, and snacks

Sunbasket in a Nutshell 

Sunbasket is a completely organic and healthy meal delivery service. There are 10 different diet plans available to cater to vegetarian , paleo , gluten-free , and more

Find out more about the menus available in our full review of Sunbasket

In addition to meal kits and prepared meals, Sunbasket also offers a large selection of grocery items. If you’re craving sustainably sourced lobster tails or gluten-free sourdough, Sunbasket can send these items along with your weekly meal kits. 

Sunbasket’s kits feature seasonal, organic produce sourced directly from local farmers, and hormone- and antibiotic-free meat. The meal-kit packaging is also completely recyclable and compostable. 

Because of the focus on healthy food and the best quality ingredients, the price tag is a little higher for Sunbasket than some of its competitors. But if you want the freshest organic ingredients, this is a great option to consider.

5. Purple Carrot – Plant-Based Meal Kits

Purple Carrot Best Features 

Purple Carrot in a Nutshell 

If you’re vegan, you’ll know how time-consuming it can be to check food labels and menus for animal products. With Purple Carrot, that’s never an issue, as all of its offerings are 100% plant-based

And if you’re not strictly vegan, meals like Thai Tempeh Khao Soi and Curried Chickpea Bowls will show you that plant-based food can be more varied than soy burgers or sprouts. You can learn more about Purple Carrot’s exotic menu in our expert review .

Purple Carrot offers a weekly selection of eight completely plant-based dinner choices. You can filter by categories including gluten-free, under 600 calories, and high-protein to help you narrow down your choices. You also have the option to add in the breakfast or lunch options available, which are cheaper than the dinners.

Purple Carrot’s mission is to help spread the word about plant-based diets and make healthy, plant-based eating more accessible. With more than 20,000 edible plants on this planet, it’s no wonder Purple Carrot’s weekly menu is always filled with new and creative recipe ideas. 

6. Green Chef – Healthy Meal Kits That Anyone Can Cook

Green Chef Best Features 

  • Organic farm-fresh produce sent with every box

  • Easy to recycle packaging that doesn’t harm the environment

  • Options for paleo and keto diets

Green Chef in a Nutshell 

Every week, Green Chef offers 27 meals across its Plant-Powered (vegetarian and vegan), Balanced Living (omnivore), and Keto + Paleo plans

Meals are made with high-quality, organic ingredients, though you can only choose from the nine meals on your chosen plan. Other meal delivery services offer greater flexibility, but a more restrictive policy on mixing and matching can actually help you stick to a certain diet.

Green Chef’s kits are nicely organized, with sauces and marinades fully prepared and many vegetables pre-chopped. If you have limited kitchen skills, the pre-prepped and sorted food will make your cooking easier and the recipes are easy to follow even for inexperienced cooks. 

If you’re following a specialized diet, Green Chef may be a good fit for you. Our full-length Green Chef review has more information on plans and pricing. 

7. EveryPlate – A Budget-Friendly Meal Delivery Service

EveryPlate Best Features 

EveryPlate in a Nutshell 

At $4.99 per serving, EveryPlate is one of the most affordable meal delivery services on the market. A subsidiary of HelloFresh Group, EveryPlate focuses on family-friendly comfort food. There are no vegan offerings or many choices for other specialized diets such as paleo or dairy-free. While there are veggie options on EveryPlate’s menu, strict vegetarians will find more variety with other services.

Typical entrees are simple but tasty fare like Gravy Lover’s Meatballs and Bacon Mac and Cheese. You’ll find lots of pasta dishes and meat/vegetable/starch combinations that you can cook in just six simple steps. Our full review takes an in-depth look at EveryPlate’s meal kits and menus. 

Those with more refined palates may find the offerings a bit pedestrian. On the other hand, parents feeding picky eaters and folks craving hearty food may discover that EveryPlate is just what they were looking for.

8. Marley Spoon – Meal Delivery Service with the Best Variety

Marley Spoon Best Features 

Marley Spoon in a Nutshell 

Every week, Marley Spoon picks your meals thanks to the automatically curated menu. Or, if you like to be in control, you can choose from the 29 meals sorted into Vegetarian & Vegan, Meat & Fish, Health & Diet, Under 30 Minutes, and Family-Friendly categories. 

Recipes like One Pan Caprese Chicken with Balsamic Sauce are easy to follow but assume that you have balsamic vinegar around your kitchen and can reduce a sauce. If that makes you nervous, our reviewer noted that Marley Spoon’s step-by-step instructions were “some of the easiest meal kit instructions I ever followed.”

While meals start at $8.49 on the two-person plan, Marley Spoon’s $6.39 four-person starting price is lower than HelloFresh, Home Chef, or Blue Apron. Martha Stewart may be a symbol of upscale tastes, but Marley Spoon’s prices won’t break your wallet. 

9. Dinnerly – The Most Affordable Meal Delivery Service

Dinnerly Best Features 

  • Offers dessert options alongside dinner meals for something extra

  • All recipes clearly marked as meat, fish, or veggie

  • Flexible subscriptions make it easy to change the number of meals and serving sizes each week

Dinnerly in a Nutshell 

At $4.69 per serving, Dinnerly squeaks in below EveryPlate for the cheapest meal delivery service. When you’re targeting the budget meal delivery market, margins are thin and every penny counts. So how does Dinnerly do it? 

Dinnerly cuts out some of the extra costs by keeping its plans simple. The recipe cards are online only and the meals contain just a few ingredients. It’s great for anyone who’s new to cooking and doesn’t want complicated recipes but loves dishes like Two-Cheese Veggie Calzone with Peppers and Onions.

There are 18 different meal options available each week along with some protein add ons and a breakfast and dessert option. While tags on the menu page make it easier to see what’s gluten or dairy-free, search capabilities are limited. But for the price, it’s worth trying Dinnerly to see what you think. 

10. Fresh and Easy – Quick and Simple Meal Delivery Service

Fresh and Easy Best Features 

  • Get all the same features as parent company Home Chef

  • Available at some local grocery stores if you forget to order meals

  • 15-Minute Meal Kits get dinner on the table in a flash

Fresh and Easy in a Nutshell 

Home Chef’s Fresh and Easy meals were so popular, they became a brand in their own right. On the Fresh and Easy plan, you’ll find all of the quickest meal kits on Home Chef’s menu for people who don’t have much time to cook. Read our in-depth review to see how our reviewer got on.

Each week, Fresh and Easy offers ten recipes across five different cooking styles: 15-Minute Meal Kits, Oven-Ready, Grill-Ready, Fast & Fresh meals, and Entrée Salads. The meal kits come with fully prepped ingredients to make cooking as simple as possible

The Grill and Oven Ready kits just need to be assembled before being grilled or baked and the Fast & Fresh meals and Entree salads are ready in minutes. Home-cooked meals have really never been easier. 

Best Meal Delivery Services: Comparison Table

Meal Delivery Service

Starting Price

Dietary Preferences Offered

Delivery Frequency

Shipping Fee

Meal Types


Home Chef

$6.99

Low-carb , low-calorie , dairy-free , and vegetarian

Weekly

$7.99 on orders over $50, $13.99 on all others

Meal prep kits

Get Started

Blue Apron

$7.49

Vegetarian, healthy, low-calorie, Diabetes-friendly

Weekly

$7.99 (free with minimum order)

Meal prep kits

Get Started

HelloFresh

$8.99

Healthy , vegetarian , low-calorie , family-friendly

Weekly

$8.99

Meal prep kits

Get Started

Sunbasket

$10.99

Paleo , pescatarian , vegan , gluten-free , dairy-free , soy-free , diabetes-friendly

Weekly

$7.99

Meal Prep and Prepared meals

Get Started

Purple Carrot

$9.99

Vegan , gluten-free , soy-free , high-protein

Weekly

Free

Meal prep kits

Get Started

Green Chef

$9.99

Keto , paleo , vegan , vegetarian

Weekly

$8.99-26.97 

Meal prep kits

Get Started

EveryPlate

$4.99

Balanced, vegetarian

Weekly

$8.99

Meal prep kits

Get Started

Marley Spoon

$6.99

Balanced, vegan and vegetarian

Weekly

$8.99

Meal prep kits

Get Started

Dinnerly

$4.69

Vegetarian, kid-friendly, dairy-free, low calorie

Weekly

$8.99

Meal prep kits

Get Started

Fresh and Easy

$6.99

Carb-conscious and calorie-conscious

Weekly

$7.99 for three recipes/week or more, $13.99 for two recipes/week

Prepared meals

Get Started

What We Look For in the Best Meal Kit Delivery Services

When we rate our meal kit delivery services, some of the things we look at include:

  • Customization options

  • Different options like premium entrees, snacks and desserts 

  • Recyclable packaging

  • Recipes geared towards a variety of diets, like vegetarian, or gluten-free

  • Quality ingredients that’s responsibly sourced

How the Best Meal Delivery Services Work

The Difference Between Regular Meal Plans & Meal Delivery Services

Regular meal plans come with recipes and meal ideas, usually to help you stick to a particular diet. For example, if you’re following a weight loss meal plan, the recipes will have less fat and lower calories.

Meal delivery services take it up a notch by providing all the necessary ingredients to make the meals on your plan. It saves even more time as you don’t need to go to the grocery store. Services like Fresh and Easy take it one step further by having all the ingredients prepped and ready to assemble and heat.

Meal Kits v.s. Prepared Meals: Which is Right For You?

Choosing between meal kits and prepared meals is all about deciding how much time and energy you want to put into cooking. 

Meal kits, like those from Blue Apron , require a bit more time prepping the ingredients and cooking the meals. Whereas prepared meals, like those from Freshly , just need to be heated up and they’re ready to eat. Prepared meals can save a lot of time in the kitchen, but usually come at a higher cost.

Most meal kits will send you all the ingredients in a big box, ready to be put away until it’s cooking time. Prepared meals arrive pre-made in trays ready to refrigerate or freeze.

Meal Kit Delivery Service Plans Explained

The best meal kit delivery services break down their offerings into different plans. When you sign up, you can select how many people you’ll be feeding and how many dinners you want to order per week. Most options range from 2-5 meals for 2-4 people

Once you’ve selected the quantity, you can choose what type of food you’d like. If you’re looking for veggie or low-carb, many services have specific plans for that. Sunbasket , for example, has eight different plans to choose from based on dietary needs and restrictions. 

Meal Kit Delivery Service Prices

Meal delivery services range in price depending on the variety and quality offered. Dinnerly and EveryPlate come in under $5 per serving but offer the least amount of customization and simple ingredients. Sunbasket and Green Chef start around $10 per serving and offer the highest quality ingredients and many different diet plans.

How Meal Kit Delivery Service Shipping Works

Each meal delivery service provides shipping in a similar way, but there are a few key differences to look out for. When you sign up, you’ll be able to select your delivery day. Some plans offer a full range of Monday-Sunday and others have only one or two days to pick from. With some services, shipping can be free with a minimum order, but many add a charge to each order.

Boxes are usually well-insulated so you don’t have to worry about being home when it’s delivered. Each company uses slightly different packaging and you can usually find a dedicated section on the website about the packaging and how best to recycle it.

How to Pause, Skip, or Cancel Your Orders

With any subscription, the continued enrollment is automatic until you make the choice to pause or cancel. Many services offer the option to cancel or pause right on the website without having to call customer service or email anyone. We’ve written a step-by-step guide on how to cancel Home Chef – which shows you how easy the process can be.

Many services also offer the option to skip a week. This is perfect if you’re heading out of town for a few days or just need to use up some of your own pantry items.

When is a Meal Kit Delivery Service NOT Right For You?

If you or someone in your household has a severe allergy, it’s important to look into the options from each company. While some might offer meals without the ingredients you avoid, it might still be packaged and prepared in a warehouse where there’s exposure. The best course of action is to contact the company directly for clarification.

If you’re feeding a large family with more than 2-3 children, meal delivery services might not be the best choice. Many of them only offer four servings per meal and it would be hard to try and make them stretch, especially with older children who eat close to adult portions.

Bottom Line: Do Meal Kits Save Money?

Absolutely.

Meal kits are a great way to cut down on the amount of food that gets wasted therefore saving you money. It also helps reduce the number of trips to the grocery store where things find their way into your cart even though it wasn’t on your list.

In addition to saving money, these services save time and that might be our most valuable resource. Do yourself a favor and take a few weeks off from planning meals and shopping for ingredients and try something new. You won’t regret it. 

FAQ

Are meal kits cheaper than buying groceries?

They absolutely can be. Meal kits allow you to receive only the amount of each ingredient that you need so you don’t have to purchase a spice or sauce that you won’t use up before it expires. This can save money and waste. 

EveryPlate and Dinnerly bring you meals at under $5 a plate. And if you’re looking for other budget meal delivery options, check out our list of the best cheap meal delivery services.

Which meal kit delivery service is best?

Home Chef is the best meal kit delivery service out there. It’s healthy, easy, and offers a good variety. Read our in-depth review to find out why it’s usually our top recommendation.

Purple Carrot’s plant-centered menu makes it the best meal kit delivery choice for vegans, while paleo and gluten-free dieters will enjoy Sunbasket’s specially tailored menus. Our expert Purple Carrot and Sunbasket reviews go into more detail.

If you’re eating on a budget, both EveryPlate and Dinnerly are excellent options. To learn more, read our comparison of the two

What is the most affordable meal delivery service?

Dinnerly is the most affordable meal delivery service with servings starting at just $4.69. EveryPlate is a close second, with prices starting at $4.99 per serving. 

What is the easiest meal delivery service?

Fresh and Easy offers low-prep meal kits that arrive with all the ingredients prepped. All you have to do is throw them in the microwave, oven, or grill and it’s ready to enjoy. 

If you’re looking for something even easier, prepared meals that just need heating might be a better choice for you than meal kits. Freshly or Sunbasket are both good options for prepared meals.

About The Author

Kenaz Filan

Contributing Writer, Delivery Rank

Based in New Jersey, Kenaz has decades of experience writing on many subjects and sampling the many cuisines his neighborhood has to offer. Working from home, Kenaz is writing a book between reviewing meal delivery services and raising a family.

Based in New Jersey, Kenaz has decades of experience writing on many subjects and sampling the many cuisines his neighborhood has to offer. Working from home, Kenaz is writing a book between reviewing meal delivery services and raising a family.
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