Although having to choose between two all-around great meal delivery services is not really a problematic predicament to find yourself in, making the final decision can still be tough. Both Blue Apron and Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon make it their mission to bring delicious, affordable meal kits to customers around the US.
As a general rule, Blue Apron offers simple yet tasty, family-friendly meals. With Martha Stewart at the helm, Marley Spoon promises an incredibly wide selection of adventurous recipes.
After weighing up the pros and cons of each, we’ve drawn up an in-depth comparison that covers everything from cost and quality to variety and delivery.
If you find that neither of these is right for you, see more meal delivery services by browsing our list of the best companies out there right now.
Vegetarian, Low-Calorie, Vegan, Dairy-Free, Low-Carb, Gluten-Free
Around 14 recipes per week
Around 29 recipes per week
$5.74 per serving
$2.99 per serving
$7.99, or free on orders of three or more meals per week
20 to 50 minutes
20 to 40 minutes
With a simple menu of balanced recipes, Blue Apron meets the needs of the average American family. The company has both Signature and Vegetarian plans, alongside many recipes that are certified as diabetes-friendly.
Blue Apron also offers a Wellness plan, which includes low-carb recipes that have received the stamp of approval from nutritionists and WW (formerly Weight Watchers).
Marley Spoon caters to a wider variety of diets, with meal plans that include Health & Diet, Vegetarian & Vegan, Meat & Fish, and more. If you have particular restrictions, you’ll appreciate that each meal is clearly tagged with labels such as Dairy-Free, No Added Gluten, and Low-Carb. Its Nutritious tag refers to meals that are high in whole foods and low in fat and processed ingredients.
Both companies allow you to exclude a short list of ingredients, such as pork or shellfish, but neither can commit to keeping those with serious allergies 100% safe.
Winner: Marley Spoon
With around 12 to 14 meals on the menu each week, sometimes of which only a few are vegetarian, Blue Apron doesn’t offer a ton of choices compared to some other meal delivery services.
Most of the meals are a mix of classic American-style recipes, with an added gourmet touch, but you’ll also find some international influences, including Italian pasta dishes and Asian-inspired stir-fries.
Every now and then, Blue Apron partners with world-renowned chefs to deliver a series of limited-edition recipes. For example, at the time of writing this review, there’s a recipe each week from award-winning chef Roy Yamaguchi, known as an innovator of Hawaii-inspired cuisine.
Meanwhile, Marley Spoon offers a staggering 29 or more recipes each week – perhaps the most we’ve seen in a meal delivery service. With dishes inspired by Martha herself, there are tons of great options for adventurous eaters. Though even if you have picky eaters at home, you can rest assured there are plenty of family-friendly options, too.
While both companies focus on dinner recipes, Blue Apron also has a monthly wine subscription service and an online market where you can purchase kitchen utensils, branded spice blends, and fun extras like a Blue Apron cookbook.
In addition to its meal kits, Marley Spoon sells Protein Variety Packs that include extra meat and seafood to keep on hand in your fridge or freezer.
Winner: Marley Spoon, for its far wider variety of weekly dishes to choose from
As is the case for most meal delivery services, the more recipes you order each week, the less you will pay per serving. For example, if you sign up for Blue Apron’s Signature For 4 plan, and order four meals per week, you’ll pay just $5.74 per serving. This relatively low price makes Blue Apron one of the most affordable meal kit delivery services on the market right now.
On top of that, Blue Apron’s $7.99 shipping fee is waived when you order three or more meals each week.
With meals starting at the low price of just $2.99 per serving, Marley Spoon appears to offer better value for money than Blue Apron at first glance. However, this price is for four people ordering six meals per week. For four servings of four meals per week, you’ll pay $7.99 per serving, plus an $8.99 shipping fee as standard, making it quite a bit more expensive than Blue Apron.
Winner: Blue Apron
Blue Apron ships to locations all over the US up to seven days a week, while Marley Spoon ships to most American cities Monday through Friday. Simply fill in your zip code to see if Marley Spoon makes it to your hometown.
Both companies have entire sections on their website instructing you on how to responsibly dispose of the packaging and materials included in your meal kits. While the majority of the packaging used by both services can be recycled, both use some plastic that may not be recycled in your area.
While there is always room for improvement, Blue Apron appears to be a little further on when it comes to making eco-friendly choices, having teamed up with How2Recycle to implement an industry-approved, easy-to-identify recycling label program.
Winner: Blue Apron
For both companies, the meal kits are expected to take an average of 30 minutes to prepare, with Blue Apron’s meals ranging from 20 to 50 minutes and Marley Spoon’s taking between 20 to 40 minutes.
Blue Apron clearly displays the expected prep time required for each recipe as you scroll through the menu, while Marley Spoon only labels those ready in less than 30 minutes and One-Pot Meals. To see how long other meals take to prepare, you need to open up each recipe individually.
Both Blue Apron and Marley Spoon deliver your meal kits with conveniently packaged and portioned ingredients and recipe cards with step-by-step instructions.
On the website, Marley Spoon includes a list of the cooking utensils and additional store-cupboard ingredients you’ll need. This is not only helpful, but also important because some of the meal kits require ingredients that not everyone has in their pantry all the time.
If you don’t have a lot of experience in the kitchen, some of Blue Apron’s directions may be a little vague for your liking. While the recipes themselves are not complicated, you might not feel confident that your ground beef is properly browned or your water is adequately salted.
Given how impressive and varied Marley Spoon’s meals are, they’re surprisingly easy to prepare, with each meal rated on a scale of Easy to Difficult depending on what level of expertise is required.
If you want the option to prepare meals in advance, you may be interested in Blue Apron’s specialty Meal Prep Plan, which includes all the ingredients you need to prepare eight servings of a meal in less than two hours.
Winner: It’s a tie!
Both Blue Apron and Marley Spoon offer high-quality meal kits at a great price, and both services do some things better than the other. While we love Marley Spoon’s extensive menu and dedication to catering for various dietary requirements, Blue Apron has shown its commitment to making sustainable choices and can offer better value for money.
If you want to check out some more options, read our list of the Best Meal Delivery Services of 2023. You’ll also discover some services that deliver prepared meals – an offering that neither Blue Apron nor Marley Spoon has.
Overall winner: Tie