Meal delivery services come with lots of benefits, but many also carry the weight of a long-term subscription. And while it’s true that you can cancel or pause your meal plan at any time, there are still extra steps you need to take besides placing the order.
So what do you do when you just want to try a service out or want full freedom when it comes to how much or how little you order? You check my list of the best no subscription meal delivery services, of course!
I took the time and effort to find those services that have a no-subscription or an a la carte option without ramping up the prices or cutting down corners on quality. At the top of my list, you’ll find Balance by BistroMD, which I think it’s a great service altogether, but keep browsing if you want something else.
Balance by BistroMD – Best meal variety without minimums or memberships
Nutrisystem – Great for planning your weight loss
Splendid Spoon – Great for effortless meal planning
Home Bistro – Best no-commitment gourmet meals by celebrity chefs
The Good Kitchen – Great for healthy home-cooked meals
See 5 more no subscription meal delivery services
Healthy recipes designed by a team of Registered Dietitians
130+ unique recipes
9 dietary options including gluten-free, diabetes-friendly, and vegetarian
Current deal: Free shipping on orders over $99
With Balance, you get all the perks of a standard meal delivery service and none of the limitations. You have access to a diverse and rich menu, all the meals arrive prepared, and you can order as much or as little as you want whenever you want.
I like that the focus is on creating delicious, nutritious meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Plus, there’s a well-stocked selection of snacks varying from sweet to salty. If you check our detailed Balance review, you’ll see the company is all about healthy and well-balanced eating.
Balance’s culinary team cooks in small batches on demand (to keep the meals fresh) and uses only high-quality ingredients, free of chemicals and additives.
The only disadvantage may come from the price per meal, but there’s enough variety, so even people on a budget can find something to their liking. Prices can go as low as Price: Missing Product balance per meal depending on the ingredients, and the company runs discounts often enough to keep the overall menu affordable.
Dietitian-designed plans and recipes
150+ unique recipes
Dietary options include vegetarian, diabetes-friendly, low sodium, and more
Current deal: 50% off all plans + free shipping!
Weight loss starts in the kitchen, which is why Nutrisystem’s focus is on creating delicious and healthy meals that help you burn fat without starving yourself. The company offers both meal plans and the possibility to buy a la carte for those of us who don’t like subscriptions.
As my colleague states in their Nutrisystem review, this is a “weight-loss meal delivery service”. However, you don’t have to be on a diet to find the recipes alluring. Plus, each meal is designed with a high content of protein and fiber to keep you full and satisfied.
The menu includes even those with a sweet tooth since there are options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and snacks! It’s easy to find meals that fit your needs due to the advanced filtering system.
Focused on making healthy eating easier
50+ unique recipes
Dietary options include gluten-free, plant-based, low sodium, and low sugar
Current deal: Get $100 off your first 4 boxes of plant-based meals!
Eating healthy isn’t always easy, but with Splendid Spoon you can stock your fridge full of fresh smoothies, healthy veggie bowls, and delicious noodle soups for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The Splendid Spoon menu includes prepared plant-based meals that are gluten-free and fiber-rich, so anyone interested in a positive dietary change should try it. You can learn more about meal content, and other details from our well-detailed Splendid Spoon review.
Since Splendid Spoon’s main focus is trying to help users build healthy eating habits, there are several meal plans you can try. However, if you don’t like the idea of a subscription, you can always order an on-demand box (which comes as a fixed bundle) without making a commitment.
You can sort the meals by chef
50+ unique recipes
Dietary options include vegan, vegetarian, low sodium
Current deal: FREE SHIPPING ON ORDERS OVER $75
Sometimes all you want is a delicious gourmet meal cooked by a chef you know and love. Other times, you may feel adventurous and looking to try something new without making a long-term commitment. Home Bistro is the right meal delivery service in both of these scenarios!
As my colleague discovered while doing their Home Bistro review, this is a gourmet service focusing on meals prepared by renowned chefs.
So, whether you’re craving Braised Short Ribs or authentic Greek Lasagna, you can rest assured your meals will be cooked by the most skilled chef. And you can order as much or as little as you want! The menu even includes meal combos of five, six, seven, 10, or 20 meals in one order if you fall in love with the taste and quality.
Mostly organic ingredients, GMO-free, and raised nearby
20 unique recipes per week
Dietary options include primal, low fat, paleo, keto, and Whole30
The founder of The Good Kitchen (TGK) knows that good food and good living go hand-in-hand. As a result, the menu at TGK includes foods made from fresh, organic (where possible) ingredients that are sustainable and responsibly sourced.
To keep the level of quality as high as possible, the company only works with thoroughly vetted farmers and producers. Also, the kitchen is staffed with professional chefs who cook the meals with care for optimal nutrient retention. For more, make sure to read our impressive The Good Kitchen review.
However, there are a few limitations when it comes to how much you can order without a subscription. The system requires you to build boxes of 6 to 12 meals, but you can add as many boxes as you want to your cart without committing to repeated delivery.
All the recipes follow the “food is medicine” concept
150 unique recipes per week
9 dietary options including gluten-free, heart healthy, or diabetic friendly
Current deal: Free shipping on orders $99 or more
Silver Cuisine is a senior-focused meal delivery service where trained chefs take care of every aspect of cooking, and you just enjoy the results in the comfort of your home. The menu is varied, the portions are large, and the recipes use fresh and nutrient-rich ingredients.
Plus, as you can learn from my colleague’s thorough Silver Cuisine review, the company accommodates various dietary needs. Also, there are plenty of options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, so it’s difficult to get bored with the menu. Oh, and new recipes are added all the time.
Now, depending on your budget, you may find some meals a bit pricey, but there are lots of affordable options as well (prices start at Price: Missing Product silver-cuisine per serving). Also, there isn’t a limit to how much or how little you can buy per order, so you can start small to see if the meals fit your needs.
A gourmet food gift delivery service
52 mains recipes plus soups, side dishes, and deserts
11 dietary options including gluten-free, diabetes-friendly, vegetarian, low carb
Whether you’re looking to lose weight, have a gluten intolerance or are vegetarian, Magic Kitchen’s menu has some delicious meals for you. The company says it can accommodate every diet, but the offer covers only some of the most common dietary needs.
The menu is flexible and varied, so most people will find something to fit their needs. Plus, Magic Kitchen has special offers for seniors and family-sized meals. I also like that the offer includes options for breakfast, lunch, dinner, desserts, and snacks (learn more from our detailed Magic Kitchen review).
You can order a la carte, which is where you can mix and match main courses, side dishes, soups, snacks, and desserts as you like. If you don’t like doing that, there are complete meals available as well where everything is paired up.
GMO, dairy, gluten, and preservative free
40+ unique recipes per week
Focused on the paleo diet
Current deal: N/A
Ice Age Meals is a paleo driven food delivery service for the busy strength athlete or for the regular paleo eater. But I think it also works great for people who count calories and keep track of their macronutrient intake.
With Ice Age Meals, everything is clearly stated on the label (proteins, carbs, fat, and calories) and on the website, so you know what you’re ordering. The menu also includes spices and sauces plus snacks that are in tune with the overall tone.
To order, you have to decide what box size you want. Right now, you can choose between 12, 16, 30, or 60 food items per box to which you can add sauces and snacks. And, if you don’t want a subscription, there’s a one-time purchase option.
Dairy, soy, gluten, legumes, and seed oils free
50+ unique recipes per week
Dietary options including paleo, AIP, keto, low-carb
Current deal: Get $15 off your first order
Paleo on the Go (POTG) praises itself as being the only fully AIP-friendly meal delivery service in the world. While I didn’t have the chance to do a thorough global search, it’s a high-quality service that’s true to its word.
The meals are great for paleo diet followers and people who have food sensitivities and need to omit all potentially inflammatory foods from their diet (the AIP menu is great for this). Also, the menu is well-stocked, but it lacks diversity (more on this in our well-detailed Paleo on the Go review).
If you want to try things out without commitment, you can place a one-time order, but your box needs to include at least eight items. There’s no upper limit.
Flavorful dishes crafted by dietitians
29 unique recipes per week
10 dietary options including gluten-free, soy-free, vegetarian, diabetes-friendly
Current deal: 30% OFF your first order. code: TEXT30
Eat Fit Go is a prepared meal delivery service that puts the flavor in healthy eating. Its goal is to make healthy eating easy even when you’re extra busy. And, looking at the menu diversity and the fact that all the meals are under 600 calories, I think the company’s doing a great job.
The size of the portions is just right, and you can add breakfast, sides, and snacks to the main meals. Ordering is also easy. In fact, in their well-detailed Eat Fit Go review, my colleague thinks of Eat Fit Go as a company worth checking out if you’re always on the go.
Just keep in mind that if you choose to order online, your cart must be in increments of five (5, 10, 15, or 20). But you should also check if there’s a brick-and-mortar store nearby. If there is, you can pick up your order there and save yourself the time you would have to wait for the order to be shipped.
$8.54 Per Serving
$6.50 Per Serving
6 meals for 4 days
Prepared meals, shelf-stable food
Prepared Meals, Juices & Smoothies
Here are some of the criteria I used to identify the meal delivery services that made it on my top 10 list:
Option for buying a la carte: the a la carte option gives you complete freedom over what you order and how you pair various items. There shouldn’t be any restrictions on the process.
Check for limits for one-time purchases: In an effort to reduce the costs of order processing and shipping, some services will require you to buy a certain number of items if you don’t submit for a subscription. This isn't a bad thing, but if you only want one item, it can be a hindrance.
Good menu variety: Look for services that include international cuisine offers and regularly add new items. This way, you can enjoy the benefits of ordering without prior commitments.
Fits your budget: In most cases, buying a la carte means you pay more per serving. So look for services that are affordable and have good price variety.
It depends. If you travel a lot or you’re often switching between meal delivery and cooking at home, a subscription doesn’t really make sense. The same goes for the culinary adventurous who want to explore and try new dishes and tastes.
However, you should also keep in mind that a subscription isn’t something that’ll pin you down. Most subscription services can easily be canceled or paused after the first delivery. So, if you’re ready to try, check out our list of the 10 best meal delivery services!
The one that best responds to your needs. For instance, if you want ready-made meals, good menu variety, and an a la carte option, then Balance is a great fit. However, if you’re interested in the paleo diet, you should look into a service like Ice Age Meals.
Yes. If you don’t have the time or the disposition to go shopping for ingredients and then spend hours in the kitchen cooking, prepared meals are a great option. Plus, services such as Home Bistro help widen your culinary horizons by making it easy to try new cuisines and gourmet meals.
If you value your time and energy, yes. Services like The Good Kitchen or Splendid Spoon take care of every aspect of cooking so you can enjoy delicious, home-cooked meals without effort.