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Dinnerly Review 2023: Cheapest Meal Kits – at What Cost?

Written by: Joey Kendrick on May 21st, 2023


Dinnerly is possibly the most affordable meal delivery service on the market. Its meal kits are well-crafted and delicious despite the rock-bottom pricing, which starts as low as $2.12 per serving. Surprisingly, Dinnerly’s menu has more variety than many other, more expensive companies, allowing you to choose from more than 100 items each week.

There’s still a trade-off for Dinnerly’s low prices, though. Some of the dishes are overly basic, with very few ingredients, and there aren’t options for certain diets such as keto. There are also other compromises, like digital-only recipe cards, that I find to be more reasonable.

While the recipes are pared-back, Dinnerly’s menu is still varied and hearty. If you don’t have strict limitations on what you can eat, it’s a safe option for easy weeknight meals. Here’s what I found when I took a deep dive into Dinnerly’s offerings…



  • $11.99 weekly shipping cost

  • Recipes don’t include pictures

  • Limited support for allergies and special diets

What’s on the Dinnerly Menu

Dinnerly has 100+ dishes on the menu each week, which means it offers more choice than many of its pricier competitors. For a low-cost service, I was impressed by the number of recipes on offer.

The ingredients are also higher quality than I was expecting for this price range. Dinnerly promises to source only sustainable proteins and produce from its trusted suppliers, including antibiotic-free chicken and grass-fed beef. You’ll even get some organic fruits and vegetables on occasion. 

The menu features a healthy balance of American staples like Homestyle Chicken and Biscuits alongside internationally-inspired dishes like Pork Vindaloo or Veggie Gorditas. You’ll also find a selection of more expensive PremiYUM recipes, like the Miso-Glazed Salmon (pictured), for weeks when you want to splurge on fancier proteins and sides.

Stock photo of Dinnerly's Miso-Glazed Salmon with Sweet Chili-Roasted Broccoli & Carrots

PremiYUM meals offer deluxe ingredients for an additional fee.

Dinnerly’s menu also includes additional items like breakfasts, appetizers, and desserts. These extra options are often seasonal and make it possible to round out your weekly menu or stock up for special occasions. There are even some microwavable prepared meals for ultra-easy lunches.

Screenshot highlighting the tags on Dinnerly's recipes

Dinnerly makes it easy to see which categories each dish falls under.

If anything, the menu is almost too big. Between the entrees and the extra marketplace items like snacks and desserts, there’s a lot to sort through each week. If you generally have trouble making decisions on what you want to eat each week, you may be wary of Dinnerly’s extensive selection! 

However, a variety of tags makes it easier to sort through your options. You can see at a glance which dishes are kid-friendly, spicy, have no added gluten, and more.

Meal Options

Dinnerly’s menu is filled with crowd-pleasing meals and family-friendly favorites. There’s even a Kid Friendly tag for popular dishes like the Low-Cal Crispy Fried Chicken Tenders and General Tso’s Turkey Meatball Lettuce Cups. 

Some diets, such as vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free, are well-represented, but there are few options for specialized diets like keto and paleo. All allergens are clearly marked, but those with severe allergies should note that Dinnerly can’t guarantee against cross-contamination since every meal kit is prepared in the same facility. 

If you’re looking for more diet-friendly options, Purple Carrot or Green Chef cater to these needs. They’re both more expensive than Dinnerly, but that’s the unfortunate trade-off for special dietary needs.

Screenshot of a portion of Dinnerly's menu

These dishes represent just a portion of Dinnerly's large weekly menu.


Is Dinnerly Good For This Diet?


Yes, there are many options


Yes, there are some options

High Protein

Sort of, some meals could be high in protein

Low Carb

Yes, there are many options


Sort of, there are some organic upgrades


Yes, there are many options


No, there are rarely keto options


Dinnerly has an impressive number of customization options for a budget service. There are around 20+ customizable dishes on the menu each week, each one clearly marked with the Customizable tag.

You won’t have as many options as you get with a service like Home Chef, which gives you multiple protein choices, plus the option to double-up or upgrade. However, as expected, Home Chef’s more extensive customization options come with a higher price tag.

Dinnerly’s customization options range from protein upgrades to dietary swaps. For a small upcharge, you can add meat such as chicken to an otherwise-vegetarian dish for extra protein. A pasta dish may have a gluten-free pasta substitution available. 

Screenshot of the protein customization options for a Dinnerly meal

Burgers and other ground beef dishes are often available with many substitutions.

Other dishes have multiple custom options. The Everything Bagel Burger typically comes with ground beef, but for an additional $0.99-2.99 per serving, you can swap it out for ground turkey, organic ground beef, or a plant-based alternative.

Dinnerly’s low prices offset its customization upcharges. I find it’s easier to rationalize the cost when you’re already saving so much money. For most people, it’ll be worth it to be able to accommodate certain dietary needs or splurge on more premium ingredients.


As a low-cost meal delivery service, Dinnerly keeps its packaging minimal. More expensive services often divide their ingredients by recipe, but I actually prefer Dinnerly’s approach. There’s no more packaging than I would have coming back from a trip to the grocery store.

Fresh produce, like tomatoes, garlic, and cucumbers, is placed straight into the box. Many services will wrap each ingredient in plastic or other materials. While this can be more convenient, I think spending a few minutes sorting everything out is a small price to pay for reducing waste. 

Meats and seafood are delivered fresh and kept cool in transit with reusable ice packs. Dinnerly recommends consuming its fresh fish within 2 days and any meats within 3, or you can freeze them to extend their shelf-life. Besides the ingredients and the curbside-recyclable insulation, there’s nothing else in the box – not even recipe cards.

Examples of Dinnerly ice packs and plastic packaging

Bottles and containers are made of #1 recyclable plastic, and bags are made of #4 recyclable plastic.

Other items that need to be packaged, such as sauces, seasonings, yogurt, pasta, and rice, will come in #1 or #4 recyclable plastic, which can often be disposed of locally. Dinnerly has a whole page dedicated to this on its website. 

Cooking with Dinnerly

Dinnerly boasts simple recipes made up of just 6 ingredients. In practice, there are almost always more. Almost every dish calls for pantry staples like salt or oil, which you’re expected to have at home. Still, I found most of Dinnerly’s recipes to be beginner-friendly. 

Incorporating fewer ingredients is obviously a cost-cutting measure, but I think the scaled-back recipes are perfect for Dinnerly’s target audience. Weeknight dinners should be quick and easy, after all, so you don’t want meals that are too complex and take ages to cook.

Screenshot of the first 3 steps of a Dinnerly recipe

Dinnerly's step-by-step instructions are easy enough to follow – but I'd have preferred pictures of each step to help keep me on track.

My biggest complaint is that there are no photos to accompany the instructions. Kitchen newbies might find it frustrating to follow a step-by-step recipe without pictures. All you get is a photo of the completed dish, though I guess that’s better than nothing!

The lack of images is another compromise to keep Dinnerly’s prices low, but this will be a dealbreaker for many. The first time I make a recipe, I like to have photos to reference and make sure I’m doing everything right. 

Screenshot of the final 3 steps of a Dinnerly recipe

I'd rather see more steps than multiple actions crammed into 1.

The meals themselves are easy to make, but I think the recipes could be clearer. The service promises that its meals can be ready in just 5 or 6 “simple steps”, but I think that’s misleading. A single step will often include multiple actions.

The more actions you include in a step, the easier it becomes to make a mistake. The recipe pictured above has cheeky jokes for steps 5 and 6, but the earlier steps are densely packed. Personally, I’d prefer it if the recipe was better paced.

Screenshot of a Dinnerly recipe card.

Dinnerly makes it clear which utensils and pantry ingredients you'll need for each recipe.

Each recipe includes a breakdown of the equipment and ingredients you’ll need. Like most meal kits, Dinnerly expects you to provide some staples like salt, pepper, and oil. Occasionally, a recipe will call for something less common, so it’s good to check before confirming your order.

The recipe cards are only available online. The lack of hard copies may bother some if you prefer to keep phones and tablets away from kitchen mess. But you can always print the recipes yourself if you need to. Personally, I see the digital-only recipes as an eco-friendly alternative to putting everything on paper – but I’m used to looking up recipes on my phone. 

Most meals take around 30 to 40 minutes to get on the table. For extra-busy nights, look for tags like Under 30 Minutes. There are also recipes with time-saving hacks, such as the No Chop meals (which don’t require a knife) or One Pot recipes (that use fewer dishes).

Shortlist of My Favorite Meals

There are tons of appealing options on Dinnerly’s menu, with new additions every week.  This service has one of the largest and most diverse menus I’ve seen, despite having the lowest prices in the game.

Stock photo of Dinnerly's Grass-Fed Burger with Caramelized Onions

This grass-fed burger is elevated with tangy caramelized onions.

Burgers are a great example of a tasty and filling, cost-effective meal. Dinnerly’s Grass-Fed Burger with Caramelized Onions and Garden Salad is made with high-quality ground beef, and the sweet onions kick a basic burger up a notch.

Stock photo of Dinnerly's Crispy Gnocchi with Tomatoes, Mozzarella & Pesto

This Italian-inspired vegetarian dish is wholesome, hearty, and satisfying.

The Crispy Gnocchi with Tomatoes, Mozzarella, and Pesto is a hearty meal for vegetarians. The combination of carbs and cheese is livened up by vibrant and flavorful tomatoes and a savory basil pesto.

Stock photo of Dinnerly's Vegetarian Pad Thai

Some select pantry ingredients liven up this takeout classic.

Dinnerly’s Vegetarian Pad Thai with Carrots and Snow Peas is another excellent example of how much flavor you can get from simple ingredients. This combination of vegetables, peanuts, rice noodles, and lime is accentuated with tamari soy sauce and pantry ingredients like white wine vinegar.


Starting From

Order Size and Price (Before Shipping)

Shipping Fee

$8.04 per portion

2 meals for 2 people/week: $32.16


$7.04 per portion

3 meals for 2 people/week: $42.24


$6.54 per portion

4 meals for 2 people/week: $52.32


$6.44 per portion

5 meals for 2 people/week: $64.40


$6.24 per portion

6 meals for 2 people/week: $74.88


$7.14 per portion

2 meals for 4 people/week: $57.12


$6.14 per portion

3 meals for 4 people/week: $73.68


$5.89 per portion

4 meals for 4 people/week: $94.24


$5.59 per portion

5 meals for 4 people/week: $111.80 


$4.99 per portion

6 meals for 4 people/week: $119.76 


Dinnerly is the most affordable meal kit delivery service I’ve seen. Meals start at less than $5 per serving, though you’ll need to subscribe to Dinnerly’s largest plan size and get 6 meals per week for 4 people in order to bag this price.

However, Dinnerly’s other plans are still budget-friendly, so don’t worry if you don’t require 24 servings of food each week. In fact, even Dinnerly’s smallest plan – 2 meals per week for 2 people – is still cheaper per serving than most other meal delivery services. You can also get the service even cheaper if you use a discount code like Save 60% off 1st order + 15% off next 5 orders.

The $11.99 shipping fee is more expensive than some other services. Dinnerly isn’t the only service raising its shipping prices, but this could definitely eat into your budget. I was also surprised to see there’s no free shipping threshold: you have to pay for shipping no matter the size of your order.

Shipping & Delivery

Dinnerly delivers to most of the contiguous US states, though your delivery options may be more limited depending on your location. I could choose from 6 different days for my address in New York City, while my brother’s address in suburban Kansas only offered 4. Check your zip code to see what days are available to you.

A map of Dinnerly's delivery area

Dinnerly delivers throughout the continental US

As Dinnerly grows, so does its delivery map. The last time I reviewed Dinnerly, my brother’s address only had a single delivery day option. If this trend continues, Dinnerly’s delivery service will likely become much more flexible in the future.

Screenshots comparing Dinnerly's delivery day options in different regions.

Dinnerly's delivery options are limited outside of larger metro areas.

Dinnerly does a good job of making sure the food is delivered fresh and on time. You can’t choose a specific time slot, but the food is packaged in a well-insulated box and should remain at a safe temperature even if you can’t get to your box right away.

You can track your Dinnerly order via your account page or the app. The courier service used often depends on where you live, but you’ll receive a tracking number via email when your delivery is confirmed.

How Dinnerly Works

Signing up to Dinnerly and managing your future orders couldn’t be easier: 

How to Sign Up

  1. Choose your plan: Select either the 2-person box or the 4-person family box, and choose how many meals you want per week. Note that the more meals you order, the lower the cost per serving. 

Screenshot of the first step to Dinnerly's signup process.

Your price-per-portion will adjust depending on the size of your order.
  1. Enter your address and pick a delivery day: Your options will depend on your location.

Screenshot of the second step to Dinnerly's signup process.

Your delivery day options will depend on your address.
  1. Input your payment information: You can pay via PayPal or by credit or debit card.

Once you’ve gone through these 3 simple steps, you’re ready to pick out the meals for your first shipment. The website will tell you when your first delivery will ship.

You’ll also get the chance to modify your ingredient preferences. At any time, you can go to your Account Settings and click on Edit Taste Profile. You’ll see a list of ingredients with checkboxes for you to mark what you like. Dinnerly will stop recommending meals containing any ingredients you don't check off.

You can also easily add extras to your order. Just sign in to your account and head to Orders. Click the orange Edit Recipes link. You’ll find the Market next to All Recipes where you can choose any items you’d like to add to that week’s order of meal kits. 

Managing Your Subscription

Dinnerly is a great choice for anyone who needs a service that’s flexible. Orders are automatically placed each week, but it’s easy to skip them. In fact, you can skip deliveries as early as 4 weeks in advance or up to 6 days before a scheduled shipment.

Many services push you to get in touch with a representative in order to cancel your subscription, so we tested Dinnerly’s cancellation process. I’m pleased to report that canceling your Dinnerly subscription is easy to do through your online account.

Customer Service

Dinnerly's customer support holds up well for a budget service. Instant information is readily available either by browsing the FAQ page online or engaging Dinnerly’s automated chat. However, for immediate account-related queries, a phone call is probably your best bet. 

Dinnerly also offers an “automated support sous-chef”. This seemed like a useful feature to get information, but half the questions I asked seemed to stump the robot. Technology may one day bring us a flawless AI-driven chat, but I don’t think we’re there just yet! 

Screenshots of two interactions with Dinnerly's automated chat.

Dinnerly's Chatbot is programmed to answer some simple questions, but it is far from comprehensive.

After the chatbot fell short, the next thing I did was send an email. At the time of writing, I’d waited 2 weeks for a reply from Dinnerly. All I ended up receiving was an automated email apologizing for the delay and a code for $5 off my next order.

I decided to test Dinnerly’s phone line with a question about recycling. I got through to someone within 10 seconds. I was on the phone for less than a minute and was impressed with the professional and friendly way the agent handled my request. 

Based on my experience, I recommend calling Dinnerly for any information that isn't in the FAQ. The email service is unreliable, and the chatbot isn’t particularly sophisticated.

How Dinnerly Compares to Other Meal Delivery Services

  • Dinnerly vs Blue Apron: Blue Apron’s meals are more expensive, with prices from $5.74 per serving, and its menu is not as large as Dinnerly’s, but you can expect dishes of a higher quality. The menu is generally more gourmet and exciting, with tons of flavor and new ingredients. That, combined with its wine delivery service, makes it a great option for foodies. You can also pick up prepared meals each week.

  • Dinnerly vs HelloFresh: HelloFresh is quite similar to Dinnerly; both services offer similarly large menus, are great for families, and cater to the same dietary needs. HelloFresh is a little more expensive at $3.32 per serving, but you’ll get fresh, seasonal ingredients and more amenities, like highly-rated Hall of Fame dishes and recipe cards with high-quality photos for each step.

  • Dinnerly vs Marley Spoon: Marley Spoon is Dinnerly’s parent company, so it feels much like an upgraded version of the budget service. Marley Spoon is pricier at $2.99 per serving, but its Martha Stewart-approved recipes are impressively delicious and often a little more complex. The menu is also huge with 100+ dishes each week, including desserts, breakfasts, and prepared meals.

The Bottom Line: Is Dinnerly Worth It?

Dinnerly is a great choice for anyone in search of budget-friendly meals. If you’re looking for the most affordable meal kit, you probably expect to make some compromises on menu choice or ingredient quality, but you won’t have to with Dinnerly.

I think the trade-offs are worth the low price. These include things like fewer and more pared-back ingredients, digital-only recipe cards, and minimal packaging. I’d recommend Dinnerly to just about anyone who isn’t bothered by these kinds of compromises.

People with specific dietary requirements will likely prefer a different meal kit service. I encourage you to check out the menu to see what your options might be. If its meals suit your needs, I think Dinnerly is a real gem that can fit into almost any budget.

Dinnerly isn’t the only budget-friendly service out there, however. If you want more options, check out our list of the cheapest meal delivery services – complete with special deals! 


Is Dinnerly good value?

Dinnerly is the cheapest meal delivery service on the market, with prices starting at just $2.12 per serving. Dinnerly employs a few cost-cutting measures in order to keep its prices low, but I found that the quality of its meals and ingredients were still impressive for the price. By that metric, Dinnerly’s value is hard to beat.

Can Dinnerly be gluten-free?

Dinnerly offers a solid selection of No Gluten Added meals each week. However, you can’t automatically exclude gluten from your meals, and there’s no special gluten-free menu. Dinnerly doesn’t have a separate gluten-free facility, so there’s a risk of cross-contamination as well.

Dinnerly offers amazing value for people without dietary restrictions. If you have a serious gluten allergy – or any food allergy, for that matter – you may want to look elsewhere for your meal delivery needs, like Green Chef.

Are Dinnerly and EveryPlate the same company? 

Dinnerly is unrelated to EveryPlate. Both services offer amazing prices on meal kits but are separate companies. EveryPlate is owned by HelloFresh, while Dinnerly is a subsidiary of Marley Spoon.

How is Dinnerly so cheap?

Dinnerly keeps its prices low by simplifying its recipes, packaging, and more. Dinnerly doesn’t skimp on ingredient quality, though, ensuring your meals are delicious and nutritious as well as affordable.  

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