When searching for the right meal delivery service, you want to find recipes that look appealing. Both Marley Spoon and HelloFresh offer healthy, good-quality options, so what makes them different?
Marley Spoon partners with Martha Stewart to create incredible recipes that you can make at home. It’s like picking up one of her cookbooks, but with everything you need to prep and cook.
HelloFresh, on the other hand, sends easy-to-cook meal kits with good-quality ingredients. The recipes are easy to follow but don’t come with a celebrity name. Does that make a big enough difference? Let’s dive in and see.
Vegetarian, low-calorie, vegan, dairy-free, low-carb, gluten-free
Balanced, pescatarian, veggie, calorie-smart, beef-free, pork-free, seafood-free, family-friendly
29 options per menu
25 options per menu
20 to 45 minutes
20 to 45 minutes
Marley Spoon meets the needs of several diets. It breaks down its offerings into five categories – Vegetarian & Vegan, Meat & Fish, Health & Diet, Under 30 Minutes, and Family Friendly. Within each category, you can see clear labels for meals that are dairy-free, no added gluten, low-calorie, and low-carb.
The ingredients are sourced from providers that have been screened and researched. You can deep-dive each ingredient on the website. You’ll also get to enjoy some of Martha Stewart’s exclusive spice blends that are used in the recipes.
Each meal has its own page that includes nutritional and allergen information. While there are options for “no gluten added,” there’s no option for completely gluten-free because the products are packaged in a facility that deals with some gluten products.
With HelloFresh, you can choose from a variety of plans as well as excluding specific ingredients. For example, you can filter for beef-free, pork-free, and seafood-free dishes. There are specific plans for vegetarians and pescatarians as well.
All ingredients are sourced from environmentally friendly, sustainable suppliers. They’re also pre-measured to help cut down on any food waste and save you prep time.
The menu page has simple tags and icons for quick browsing. You can find the allergen information and any pertinent tags by clicking on each recipe. Like Marley Spoon, there are options with no gluten added, but it’s not certified gluten-free.
Both companies offer a basic selection of meal plans for different dietary needs, but it doesn’t cover specialty diets like keto or paleo. Ingredients and allergen information can be found in each recipe, but neither allows you to filter by allergen on the main menu.
Winner: It’s a tie. Both Marley Spoon and HelloFresh offer some dietary accommodations, but none of the special diets.
Marley Spoon’s weekly menu offers 29 different recipes, which is one of the highest numbers of recipes I’ve seen. These are Martha Stewart-inspired dishes, so the recipes have a healthy mix of basic ingredients and unique flavors. There are even breakfast, dessert, and protein add-on options.
If you need a restock of meat for your freezer, check out options like the Salmon and Tilapia protein pack or fun, festive options like the Oktoberfest pack. The add-ons change each week and feature seasonal produce and flavors.
There are some adventurous options inspired by different global cuisines like the Indonesian Vegetable Nasi Goreng or the Char Siu Pork with Grilled Broccolini and Ginger Scallion Sauce. You’ll also find a collection of classic American recipes like Manhattan Fish Chowder with Garlic Bread and a Grilled Turkey Cheddar Burger.
HelloFresh offers around 25 different recipes each week and has a few different categories to help narrow down your choices. My favorites are the Takeout Favorites. These dishes recreate popular takeout meals like Coconut Curry Chicken.
HelloFresh also has multiple burgers, pasta dishes, and family-friendly meals. There’s a good mix of red meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetarian recipes.
In addition to dinners, Hello Fresh’s new market feature allows customers to add groceries to their weekly orders. The Market stocks items like coffee, wellness products, and even chef-curated bundles that make it easy to put together a meal from your pantry items.
Winner: Marley Spoon
Let’s compare the prices between the two options and break them down to help you see the full picture.
Marley Spoon has the option of ordering 2-6 meals per week for either two or four people.
Let’s take a closer look at three meals for two people. The total price including shipping is $71.93, which works out as $10.49 per serving. If you order six meals for two people the price is $122.87, which breaks down to $9.49 per serving. The maximum number of meals is six meals for four people (24 servings), which comes to $212.75 or $8.49 per serving. As with many other meal delivery services, the more you order, the less you’ll pay per serving.
These weekly totals include the shipping fee, which is fixed at $8.99 per order.
HelloFresh has a similar price structure based on the number of servings you order. For six servings (three meals for two people) each week, it costs $9.49 per serving, which totals $66.93 (including shipping). If you increase to the maximum 24 servings (six meals for four people), the serving price goes down to $7.49.
HelloFresh has an $9.99 shipping fee, which is slightly more than Marley Spoon’s fee. Overall, however, HelloFresh is cheaper than Marley Spoon no matter how many meals you order.
Marley Spoon delivers to most cities in the US and offers delivery days based on your zip code. You’ll receive an email that allows you to track your delivery so you know exactly when it’s dropped at your doorstep.
Another exciting thing about Marley Spoon is the carbon offsetting, so you can feel better about getting your food delivered. Most of the items in the box are recyclable but there are still some plastic items used within the packaging, so it’s not perfect.
HelloFresh offers delivery seven days a week, which is a great feature that’s rare with meal delivery services. Exact dates may vary depending on your location, though. Once you choose your date and select your meals, you’ll receive an email that allows you to track your order.
The packaging includes a bit more plastic with some of the individual ingredients wrapped in it. While you’ll get information to help you figure out what you can recycle and how, I definitely think HelloFresh could do better.
Both services are working on including more recyclable materials and reducing their carbon footprints. HelloFresh edges out Marley Spoon in this category thanks to the fact that you can choose your delivery date.
Marley Spoon has been in the game as a meal-kit-only service until recently. Now, in addition to the classic kits where you pick your recipes and receive the ingredients, there are READY TO HEAT! Meals.
These new prepared meals come with two servings, so they’re not ideal for just one person unless you want leftovers. They’re super convenient, though. Just put one in the microwave for a few minutes and it’s ready to eat.
For each meal kit, Marley Spoon lays out the time it’ll take and the level of skill required. You’ll also be provided with a list of any pantry items or equipment you’ll need to make sure you’re prepared.
Maybe it’s because Martha Stewart has her stamp of approval on all the recipes, but some of them are pretty complicated.
HelloFresh offers standard meal kits. There are some dishes tagged as One Pan or Lightning Prep to help you find a couple that might be a little easier to prepare or clean up.
You can also select Oven-Ready meals that don’t require any preparation, but you’ll still need around 20-30 minutes to heat the food. All of the recipe instructions are pretty simple to follow, and they include step-by-step photos.
HelloFresh’s recipes are much easier than Marley Spoon’s. If you’re brand new to the kitchen, you might have to google a few terms, but most of them are foolproof to follow.
Marley Spoon wins this category thanks to its offering of ready-to-heat meals. Being able to mix up kits with prepared meals is the most flexible option for all schedules.
Winner: Marley Spoon
This comparison ended up pretty close! HelloFresh wins in the price category and offers a little more convenience on delivery, but Marley Spoon makes up for it by offering a slightly wider selection of recipes and both prepared meals and meal kits to choose from.
Both services are lacking options for special diets like paleo or keto, and vegans would struggle, too. If you’re looking for a meal delivery service that caters to more specific dietary needs, check out our list of the best keto meal delivery services or our round-up of the best vegan options.
Overall winner: Marley Spoon
At a starting cost of $2.99 per serving, Marley Spoon is a bit more expensive than HelloFresh, which comes in at $3.32.
While both HelloFresh and Marley Spoon offer excellent, reasonably-priced meal kits with fresh produce and sustainable proteins, we gave Marley Spoon the gold medal in our match-up between the two services.
Marley Spoon and HelloFresh both use fresh ingredients and offer low-calorie, carb-conscious, and vegetarian options, but neither service is well-suited to vegans or those on specialized diets like keto or paleo.