I was pleasantly surprised with Magic Kitchen’s flexibility, numerous meal plan options, and prices. Its frozen, ready to heat-and-eat meals cover almost any diet, and there’s no commitment or subscription required to start ordering meals.
11 diet options, including diabetic, vegetarian, and dialysis-friendly
Options for every meal, including desserts and snacks
Larger meal bundles available
Shipping costs can quickly add up
Low-sodium meals can be bland
Some meals come in small portion sizes
No-stress, hassle-free meals
Structured, niche diet plans like diabetic and renal
The first step is picking between the à la carte menu and the complete meals menu. The àla carte menu allows you to mix and match mains, sides, and desserts, as well as purchase meal bundles.
Caption: Magic Kitchen’s Most Popular Meal Bundles
The complete meals menu, on the other hand, has mains and sides packaged together and is geared more towards specific, structured diets. Unlike other frozen meal delivery services like Nutrisystem, Magic Kitchen isn’t solely focused on weight loss.
Once you’ve decided on your menu, you can go through the hundreds of meals and pick whichever ones you want. Magic Kitchen doesn’t require a subscription, but you can choose to sign up for auto-shipments which will knock a couple of dollars off your meal prices.
Caption: Magic Kitchen’s A La Carte and Complete Menu Comparison
Once you choose a menu, you can see all the meal options available and sort them. For the à la carte menu, you can filter by meal type (side, main, dinner, etc.) and you can organize the complete meal menu by dietary preference.
Magic Kitchen also has meal bundles that are designed for specific occasions, like holidays, and for a variety of lifestyles such as students, new parents, and seniors.
Magic Kitchen covers an extensive range of dietary needs, comparable to the range covered by Sunbasket, and you can see the full list in the table below.
Here’s a quick summary of Magic Kitchen’s pricing and the dietary needs it best accommodates:
From $9.49 per portion
Meal plan options available
Vegetarian, diabetic-friendly, portion-controlled, dialysis-friendly, renal diet (CKD 3&4), dairy-free, gluten-free, low-carb, low-sodium, low-fat, senior diet
Magic Kitchen delivers pretty much everywhere in the continental US, as well as major cities in Alaska and Hawaii. Orders are shipped out from the Magic Kitchen warehouse in Kansas City, KS. If you order before 2 pm CT, it’s likely that your order will be shipped the same day.
The average shipping time is 2-4 days. Unlike many other meal delivery services, like Sunbasket, Magic Kitchen does not ship only at weekly intervals.
Caption: Magic Kitchen’s Typical Shipping Timelines
Magic Kitchen ships at cost through FedEx, and because it uses insulated packaging with dry ice, shipping costs can be pricey, starting at $18.95 (much higher than comparable services like Freshly and Nutrisystem).
However, it does offer free or discounted shipping for regular customers. Free shipping is offered on your first order over $100, and on subsequent orders over $125.
Your food will arrive in a white, styrofoam box with a detachable lid. The packaging actually reminds me a lot of a cooler I used to take camping. To get the best out of your Magic Kitchen delivery, open it as soon as it arrives and put the meals straight into the freezer.
The first thing you’ll see when you remove the lid is a menu card with more of Magic Kitchen’s available meals and also gift ideas. There’s also a helpful piece of paper with detailed storage and prep instructions for the meals.
Magic Kitchen packs its meals in dry ice to keep them frozen in transit, which is the same method used by Nutrisystem. While the ice in most boxes will have fully evaporated, it’s possible that there may be some left in the package when it gets to you, in which case you should wear gloves and follow the instructions carefully to avoid burns.
In terms of the meals themselves, some, like the sous vide meats, come in a plastic bag, and others are packaged in a box sealed with a plastic sheet. The meals in a bag can be heated on the stove, while those in a box need to be heated in a microwave or oven.
Caption: Sous Vide Meats Can Be Boiled in Their Bag
Magic Kitchen has a feature to tell you which of its meals are the most popular, with bestsellers including the Cheese and Spinach Manicotti With Marinara Sauce:
and the Chicken Ana Luisa:
When it comes to the actual taste of Magic Kitchen meals, there’s definitely a little room for improvement. According to the customer feedback on Magic Kitchen’s website, most meals are rated around 3 out of 5 stars.
A common complaint is that the meals taste a little bland. One solution to this is to heat them on the stove or in the oven and add some of your own spices for an extra kick.
Of course, this kind of takes away the convenience of grab-and-go meals. That being said, many people reported that simply having the meals available as an easy option was enough to reduce stress around meal planning.
Customer support from Magic Kitchen can be accessed in three ways: mail, phone, and email. The fastest way to get a response is by phone.
You can call any time between 7 am and 9 pm during the week, 7:30 am to 3 pm on Saturdays, and 8 am to 3 pm on Sundays. Since the Magic Kitchen warehouse is located in Kansas, all these times are CT.
Canceling a meal plan is also fairly straightforward and, since the subscription is optional, you won’t be charged any additional fees. If you’re unhappy with a meal, you can also contact customer service and receive credit toward your next order.
Magic Kitchen prices are at the slightly higher end of the range for frozen meals. Mains on the à la carte menu are sold in packs of two, six, or eight servings and start at $9.49. They can go up to $55.99 for two servings and $59.99 for eight servings.
For the complete meals, you’re looking at around $10-$15 for an individual portion or up to $89.99 for a double portion (if offered). And that’s before you factor in the shipping cost of $18.95. However, if your first order is more than $100, or subsequent orders are more than $125, shipping is free.
Want more options? Here are some similar brands to Magic Kitchen, and how they compare.
Alternatives to Magic Kitchen
Prepared meals, meal kits
Magic Kitchen is a great meal delivery service for anyone looking for a hassle-free alternative to meal prep and cooking. It works especially well for seniors who struggle to get all their nutrients as well as diabetics and others with specific dietary needs and restrictions.
Your meals can be kept in the freezer for as long as six months. However, the best time to eat them is within 30-45 days of the day of delivery. Find out more about what’s on the Magic Kitchen menu.
Magic Kitchen has a large range of a la carte meals, including the Baked Tilapia With Brown Rice and Minted Carrots and the Beef Short Ribs. One of the best meals, according to Magic Kitchen customers, is the Beef Lasagna with Peas and Carrots.
Magic Kitchen delivery normally takes 2-4 days in mainland USA. Delivery to major cities in Alaska and Hawaii is available, but limited.