Some people spend way more time than they want cooking dinner every day and resent it, while others regularly eat unhealthy food and feel bad about it afterward. Does this sound familiar? That’s why millions of people across the country have signed up for meal subscription services that deliver fresh and healthy food to their doorstep each week.
However, with so many new companies popping up all the time, it can be overwhelming to find the service that suits your dietary needs, budget, schedule, and more. That’s where we come in: we’ve carried out extensive research to bring you the ultimate round-up of the 10 best meal subscription services and boxes out there today.
We’ve reviewed everything from price and packaging to menu and meal type. Want to personalize your plate? Check out Home Chef. On a budget? Try EveryPlate. Dig into all the delicious details below.
Home Chef – Best overall meal subscription service
Blue Apron – Diverse chef-designed meal boxes
HelloFresh – Most family-friendly meal kits
See 7 more meal delivery services
1. Home Chef – Best Overall Meal Subscription Service
Highly customizable – easily swap or upgrade ingredients
Tons of protein – double up your main dish and buy extra to keep on hand
Excellent variety of meal types – choose from a wide range of prep times
If you’re looking for a meal subscription service that you can truly make your own, look no further. From its customizable menu to the range of prep times, Home Chef gives you tons of choice. Learn more about how this works in our in-depth Home Chef review.
Home Chef offers everything from Grill/Oven Ready Meals and 15-Minute Meal Kits to the Culinary Collection, full of gourmet dishes that take around an hour to get on the table. All the kits come with easy-to-follow instructions plus extra guidance for those who are less experienced in the kitchen. In addition to the subscriptions available online, there’s a large range of Home Chef prepared meals available in many Kroger stores.
If you’re on a specific diet, Home Chef offers Vegetarian options, along with Calorie-Conscious (up to 625 calories per serving) and Carb-Conscious (up to 35 grams per serving) menus. You can order two, four, or six servings delivered Monday-Friday in eco-friendly packaging.
2. Blue Apron – Diverse, Chef-Designed Meal Boxes
Twists on tradition – comfort food, but better
International cuisine – adventurous flavors from around the world
Wellness Plan – designed for low-carb and calorie-conscious diets
Wine and dine – optional wine deliveries, complete with pairing instructions
One of the most popular meal kits on the market, Blue Apron offers four plans including Signature and Signature for 4 (healthy, balanced meals, including many diabetes-friendly options), Vegetarian for 2, and Wellness for 2, in collaboration with WW (formerly Weight Watchers).
Blue Apron’s meal kits incorporate exciting flavors and ingredients into classic dishes you’re sure to love. These gourmet dishes come with easy-to-follow instructions, including options labeled Easy Prep & Cleanup as well as Premium menu items that take around an hour to prepare.
Get all the details about Blue Apron’s different plans in our full-length Blue Apron review.
You can indulge in these tasty meals 2-4 times a week, with free delivery on three or more meals per week.
3. HelloFresh – Most Family-Friendly Meal Kits
High-quality ingredients – including produce straight from the farm
Lots of choice – 25+ menu items every week
Eco-friendly – environmentally conscious packaging and a mission to reduce food waste
With Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Calorie Smart, Family Friendly, and Quick & Easy plans, HelloFresh takes into account both your dietary needs and your busy lifestyle. You can enjoy two or four servings 2-5 times per week, more than many other meal subscription services.
Get all the details in our expert HelloFresh review.
HelloFresh is even more attractive to families because of its many kid-friendly recipes, tried and tested many times over for both tastiness and simplicity.
With meals starting at $7.49 per serving, HelloFresh is on the more affordable end of the meal subscription spectrum.
Caters to many diets – paleo, pescatarian, vegetarian, gluten-free, diabetes-friendly, and more
Eat healthy all day long – breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks available
100% organic produce – plus hormone and antibiotic-free meat and wild-caught seafood
Prep as much or as little as you want – meal kits and prepared meals
Unlike many meal subscription services that just do dinner, Sunbasket offers meals for the whole day, many of which are healthy versions of super quick meals you can pick up at local grocery stores. Think smoothies and overnight oats for breakfast, empanadas and grain bowls for lunch, plus extra meat, poultry, and seafood to beef up any meal.
Sunbasket’s meal kits take around half an hour to prepare, with a selection of 20-minute dishes and one-pot meals that are super easy to throw together. You can also opt for Fresh & Ready meals that take up to six minutes to heat up.
All of these meals are as delicious as they are healthy, with an adventurous menu featuring Indian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, and Asian cuisine. Sunbasket also provides really generous serving sizes and a Family Menu for fussy eaters.
Regardless of your dietary needs, Sunbasket probably has a dietitian-approved meal plan perfect for you, whether you’re looking to drop a few pounds or have food sensitivities. See all of your options in our thorough Sunbasket review.
To top it off, Sunbasket is also one of the most environmentally friendly meal subscription services we’ve seen, offering responsibly sourced ingredients packaged in completely recyclable and compostable materials.
5. Freshly – Best Ready-Made Meal Subscriptions Services
Simply heat and eat – prepared meals ready in three minutes
100% gluten- and peanut-free – allergen-friendly meals
Order four, six, 10, or 12 dishes per week – individually packaged, single-serving meals
Paleo and keto inspired plan – full of low-carb, high-protein options
If you don’t want to spend a long time in the kitchen but still want to eat healthy, delicious food regularly, Freshly is made for you. Freshly delivers fresh, prepared meals in microwave-safe containers, to get you eating well fast.
Most of the Freshly menu is made up of healthier versions of the comfort food you love, including a menu called Takeout Twists, which swaps out the more indulgent ingredients in greasy fast food for whole-grain or veggie alternatives. Learn all about Freshly’s other menus in our expert review.
Freshly offers dairy-free, low-carb, and low-calorie options, but if you’re a vegetarian, look elsewhere, because there are very few and sometimes absolutely no meat-free options on the menu each week.
6. Green Chef – Healthy & Sustainable Meal Kits
High-quality ingredients – clean, organic, and responsibly sourced
Specialized plans – for keto, paleo, and plant-based diets
Eco-friendly packaging – made from innovative materials
Great for large families – order up to six servings
Green Chef has three meal plans, each catering to a different diet: Balanced Living, full of healthy food, Keto + Paleo, featuring dishes that are high in protein and low in carbs, and Plant-Powered, a dedicated vegan and vegetarian plan.
Dig into all the details of each plan in our thorough Green Chef review.
Made from healthy, high-quality ingredients, the meal kits are colorful and exciting, incorporating lots of international flavors. Each creative meal takes between 20-40 minutes to get on the table, and the recipes are clear and easy to follow.
The starting price for a Green Chef meal kit is $9.99, with many of its meal kits costing even more making Green Chef one of the more expensive subscription services out there. However, if you’re looking for organic ingredients that suit your specific diet from a company that puts sustainability first, it may be worth it for you.
7. EveryPlate – America’s Most Affordable Meal Kits
Simple recipes – meals prepared in no more than six steps
Cheap as can be – meal kits starting at $4.99 each
Protein packs available – order extra portions of chicken and beef
In contrast to the pricey Green Chef, EveryPlate caters to those looking for simple, budget-friendly meal kits. By using basic ingredients, offering fewer meal choices, and keeping the packaging down, EveryPlate can fill your belly without emptying your bank account.
EveryPlate has one menu with 14 tasty and balanced meals to choose from each week. Vegetarian and spicy dishes are clearly labeled for your convenience. You can order for two or four people 3-5 times each week. If you have specific dietary preferences or restrictions, EveryPlate’s simple meals might not be the answer for you but you can find all the info you need to decide in our EveryPlate review.
While thousands of families across America eat with EveryPlate, it’s also a favorite meal subscription service for students – with a special discount to just $3.99 per meal!
More than dinner – enjoy three meals a day plus snacks
Free shipping – no matter how much you order
Creative, healthy meals – enjoy the bounty of Mother Earth
Gone are the days where being vegan meant spending all your time searching for food to suit your lifestyle. Purple Carrot’s entire menu is completely vegan – including dinners that take up to 40 minutes to prepare, breakfasts and lunches that are ready in 5-15 minutes, and sweet treats when you need a pick-me-up.
You can order meal kits for two people 3-4 times a week or meal kits for four people 2-3 times a week. Allergens, prep time, and the number of calories are clearly listed for each meal, plus other useful categories like Chef’s Choice, High Protein, or Quick & Easy. Find out all the details in our thorough Purple Carrot review.
The starting price-per-meal of $9.99 may look high, but remember that shipping is free...and you’re getting hassle-free vegan meals delivered to your doorstep!
9. Veestro – Plant-Powered Prepared Meals
Convenient, vegan food – just heat and eat!
Premium ingredients – non-GMO and 96% organic
Special weight-loss plan – three meals and approximately 1,200 calories per day
Caters to many diets – high-protein, gluten/nut/soy-free, kosher, and more
While Purple Carrot is a dream come true for a busy vegan who loves to cook, if you follow a plant-based diet but want to stay out of the kitchen, Veestro is heaven-sent. You can enjoy healthy, prepared meals, flash-frozen to preserve freshness.
Veestro uses a different model than all the other meal subscription services on this list. You can order a box of either 10, 20, or 30 frozen meals that can be stored in your freezer for 10 weeks and in your fridge for up to five days. You order any meal you want a la carte, including 50+ entrees and seven breakfast options. Find out exactly how it works in our detailed Veestro review.
If you have non-vegans or picky eaters in the family, no need to be scared away! Veestro has lots of kid-friendly options, including very convincing “meat” balls, “chicken” nuggets, and mac and “cheese.”
Veestro’s love of plants extends to the environment. All meals are delivered in completely compostable trays and recyclable pouches. The meals are designed to be heated up on the stovetop or in the oven, but they can also be microwaved if that’s more your speed.
10. Factor – Chef-Prepared Meals for Every Diet
Order as much or little as you want – four, six, eight, 12, or 18 meals per week
Fun extras – including shakes, desserts, protein packs, picnic packs, soups, wellness shots, and more
As easy as it gets – let Factor choose your meals
Factor delivers prepared meals, fresh to your door, ready to heat and eat in the microwave or oven in just a few minutes. For this incredible convenience, you’ll pay between $11-15 per meal, depending on how many you’re ordering each week. Learn more about how it works in our expert Factor review. Your meals are packaged to stay fresh in the fridge for a full week.
You can sort through the approximately 23 meals each week using convenient filters, including ketogenic, paleo, high-protein, low-calorie, low-carb, dairy-free, plant-based, and more. If you’d rather be surprised, you can allow Factor’s expert chefs to craft your order based on your meal history and taste preferences. We haven’t seen any other subscription service that offers this option.
Meal Subscription Service
Dietary Preferences Offered
$7.99 to $13.99
Meal kits, ready-made meals
Vegetarian, wellness, diabetes-friendly, family-friendly
Free to $7.99
$8.99 for prepared meals, $10.99 for meal kits
Paleo, gluten-free, carb-conscious, diabetes-friendly, vegan, vegetarian, pescatarian, Mediterranean, organic, family-friendly
Prepared meals and meal kits
Gluten-free, peanut-free, dairy-free, high protein, low carb
$3.99, $6.99, or $12.99
Keto, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, organic, gluten-free
Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, high-protein, soy-free, nut-free
Weekly, biweekly, monthly
Free with auto-deliveries or $9.99 for a one-off order
Ketogenic, paleo, high-protein, low calorie, low carb, dairy-free, plant-based, vegetarian
Within the wide world of meal subscription services and boxes, there are two main categories: meal kits and prepared meals. Companies that deliver meal kits, such as Blue Apron, bring you all the pre-portioned ingredients you need along with a step-by-step recipe card to easily cook your own meal.
Services that focus on prepared meals, such as Freshly, bring you ready-made meals that you just need to heat and serve. And for those who like choice, there are also services, like Sunbasket, which offers both.
If you love cooking but find yourself short on time and inspiration, meal kits, like those offered by Home Chef and HelloFresh, are a perfect solution.
Keep in mind the following factors when choosing the meal kit service that’s right for you:
Prep time – Meal kits take anywhere from five minutes to an hour to get on the table, with most hovering around half an hour. Make sure the prep time required is clearly labeled for each meal and suits your busy schedule.
Difficulty level – Some meal kits are easy enough for anyone who can read the recipe, while others are better suited to those with some prior experience in the kitchen. Consider whether recipes are clearly ranked for difficulty, and browse through the recipe cards to see if you’re up for the culinary challenge.
Convenient packaging – Make sure the ingredients come clearly labeled and neatly packaged so you don’t find yourself fumbling and guessing when dinner time arrives.
If your goal is to stay out of the kitchen, prepared meals are an absolute dream come true. With services like Freshly and Veestro, all you need to do is heat and eat – it’s the height of culinary convenience.
When selecting your service, consider these points:
Fresh or frozen – Some services deliver your meals freshly cooked and ready to eat, while others flash freeze them to preserve freshness. Consider which option will be more convenient for you.
Heating process – Some prepared meals are meant to be eaten at room temperature, but most need to be heated. The majority are designed to be heated in the microwave, but if you prefer to use the oven or stovetop, double-check whether this is possible before signing up.
Packaging – Some prepared meals come in microwave or oven-safe trays, while others need to be transferred. Also, if you are going to be storing the meals in your fridge or freezer, make sure you have the space.
Whether you decide that meal kits or prepared meals are a better fit, there are some important details to look into before making your final decision:
Menu variety – Pick a service that offers the types of cuisine you like or has enough choice that you’ll find something no matter what.
Meals offered – Whether you’re looking for a break from cooking dinner twice a week or three meals a day plus snacks, make sure the service you choose caters to your needs.
Flexible plans – Read the fine print to double-check that you can pause, skip, or cancel your order without hassle.
Dietary restrictions – If you have food sensitivities or are trying to stick to a particular diet, consider how easy it is to avoid specific ingredients or if there’s a service that caters to your unique needs.
Cost – Of course, all this delicious convenience has its price. Browse the plans to compare the price per plate, taking into account whether or not shipping is included.
While there are lots of factors that may make one meal subscription service the best fit for you and another a total no go, they all work off the same premise: hungry, busy people who want to eat healthy food without all the work, sign up for a specific plan, and receive food to their door.
Of course, the nuances are endless: Blue Apron offers only meal kits, while Sunbasket offers meal kits and prepared meals. Freshly’s prepared meals come fresh, while Veestro’s come frozen. EveryPlate is cheap, Green Chef is more expensive. However, no matter which service you choose, you’ll be taking a huge load off when it comes to meal planning, grocery shopping, meal prep, and clean-up.
There are several different ways in which meal delivery services set up their subscription models. For most, you sign up for a plan based on a combination of your dietary preferences and the number of meals you want per week.
For example, Green Chef invites you to choose between three meal plans (Keto + Paleo, Balanced Living, and Plant-Powered), and then select two, four, or six servings three or four times a week. Once you’ve chosen your plan, you choose the meals you want each week from the menu.
Other services, such as Veestro’s, start by simply having you sign up for the number of meals you want, and then you choose what looks tasty. Most menus have filters based on dietary preferences, allergens, prep time, and more to help narrow down your choices.
While the price tag is not the only consideration when choosing a meal subscription box, it’s definitely an important factor for all. There’s a significant range, starting at the budget-friendly price per plate of just $4.99 at EveryPlate and climbing to companies like Green Chef and Factorwhere meals can cost upwards of $11 per meal.
As a general rule, specialized diets, high-quality ingredients, and an abundance of options are going to drive your prices up. Also, prepared meals are usually more expensive than meal kits. If this is what you need, however, it very well may be worth the extra money. Because each company is trying to encourage you to buy more, the price per meal generally drops as you add more meals to your cart, and the service may even throw in perks like free shipping.
When doing your calculations, make sure you factor in the cost of the precious time and energy that you’re used to spending on meal planning and grocery shopping, as well as all the wasted leftovers that end up in the trash.
When choosing a meal subscription service, the first step is to make sure the service delivers to your area and at a convenient time for your lifestyle. For example, if you like to cook for the upcoming week over the weekend, choose a company that offers Friday delivery. Some meal subscription services allow you to choose your own delivery day, while others have pre-set days when they deliver to specific areas.
When it comes to shipping costs, each service has its own model. Purple Carrot, for example, offers free delivery on every order, while Blue Apron waives the fee once you order more than three meals per week. Home Chef lowers your delivery cost as you increase your order, but HelloFresh has a flat rate.
Most companies use an external delivery carrier such as UPS or FedEx to get your food to you safely. You can usually track your order via the meal subscription service app or the delivery company.
In most cases, your meal or meal kit will be delivered in an insulated box with ice packs to keep the ingredients as fresh and well organized as possible. If environmental sustainability is important to you, go for one of the many companies committed to using compostable and recyclable materials, such as Sunbasket, HelloFresh, and Green Chef.
In most cases, you can pause your service, skip a week, edit your order, or completely cancel your subscription pretty easily.
Most companies let you make changes via the app or website, while others ask you to send an email or call the customer service phone number. That being said, don’t wait until the last minute! Most meal subscription services require you to make any changes at least five days before your next scheduled delivery.
If you suffer from severe allergies, diabetes, or another medical condition that affects your diet, you need to make sure the meal subscription service is certified to cater to your needs. While many list allergens and allow you to avoid them as much as possible, most can’t guarantee that no cross-contamination has occurred.
Some companies, however, are very allergy-friendly. For example, if you have celiac disease, there are companies like Freshly that are officially certified as gluten-free. If you have diabetes, there are services like Sunbasket that allow you to filter for meals that will be safe for you. Of course, make sure you check with your healthcare professional before signing up.
There are other factors, too. For example, you might not like the food on the menu, the company might not deliver to your area, or the price might be out of your budget.
Imagine yourself blissfully playing with your smiling children instead of dragging them around the grocery store, sipping an iced coffee on your way to yoga instead of scouring your freezer for tonight’s dinner, or simply finishing another busy day at work with the knowledge that dinner is taken care of. If you sign up for a meal subscription service, this could be your life.
If it sounds like I’m exaggerating, track how much time you spend meal planning, grocery shopping, cooking, and cleaning up for one week, and you’ll be convinced. If you find you’re actually not spending much time doing those things, calculate how much money you’re spending on take-out or whether or not you’re eating food that’s as healthy and high quality as you want. So yes, it’s worth it!
Home Chef is the best overall meal subscription service, offering really good value for money with lots of options to customize everything from your meals to your delivery schedule.
That being said, if you have specific dietary needs, you may be better off with Sunbasket, and if you want to stick to prepared meals, Freshly is our #1 choice.
EveryPlate is one of the most budget-friendly options on the market, with each meal costing you just $4.99. While the meals are pretty basic and there isn’t a ton of choice, they are healthy, tasty, and convenient enough for more than 9,000 families across America!
If you require just a little more choice and customization, check out Home Chef. Meals start at just $6.99 each, but your price may rise if you swap out or upgrade your ingredients.
Get the full scoop on our list of today’s cheapest meal subscription boxes.
There’s a wide price range when it comes to meal subscription services, ranging from less than $5 a meal at EveryPlate to at least $11 at Factor. Of course, your weekly price also depends on how many servings you’re ordering and how many times a week. Also, if you’re on a specific diet, are committed to eating only organic or high-quality ingredients, or want a lot of choices each week, be prepared to pay a bit more.
While most meal kits take around a half hour to prepare, many offer much quicker and easier options as well. Home Chef, for example, has a collection of 15-Minute Meal Kits as well as Grill/Oven-Ready Meals that require little to no preparation. All meal kits come with easy-to-follow recipe cards with step-by-step instructions.
If you’d rather avoid cooking altogether, consider a service like Freshly that delivers prepared meals that you just need to heat and eat!