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Purple Carrot Review 2022: I Tested This Plant-Based Meal Kit

Written by: Joey Kendrick on Sep 13th, 2022

Purple Carrot Review 2022: I Tested This Plant-Based Meal Kit

Overview

Purple Carrot is a plant-based meal kit service providing high-quality ingredients and recipes for dinner, as well as extras like snacks, breakfast, and microwave-ready prepared meals. 

Unlike other vegan meal delivery services I’ve tried, Purple Carrot keeps its tasty veggies the star of the show, rather than relying on imitation meats – and it’s not just a hit with plant-based dieters. 

In fact, Purple Carrot’s menu is packed to the brim with such interesting flavors and ingenious recipes, it’s guaranteed to please even the fussiest of omnivores and anyone else like me who wants to learn how to turn veggies into delicious and satisfying meals.

Pros

Cons

  • No option to choose your own delivery day

  • Too much plastic packaging in the box

What’s on the Purple Carrot Menu?

A screengrab of part of Purple Carrot's dinner menu

Purple Carrot's menu is easy to navigate, with clear tags.

Purple Carrot’s menu is a delightfully diverse collection of recipes inspired by cuisines around the world. At the time of ordering, my options included dishes such as New England Lobster Rolls (made with hearts of palm), Korean-inspired Kimchi Mushroom Fried Rice, and Mexican Molletes. 

Each week the menu features recipes that are gluten-, soy-, and/or nut-free – and these are clearly labeled. Since the entire menu is plant-based, some common allergens and intolerances, such as dairy and shellfish, are already ruled out. 

While the main attraction is definitely the assortment of dinner options, Purple Carrot also offers light and easy-to-prep options for breakfast and lunch, including Matcha Overnight Oats and Protein Power Bowls. 

You can add these to your weekly shipments for an additional charge, along with some snacks like almond milk chocolate and cauliflower crackers. 

The company also offers Celebration Boxes for two, with all the ingredients for an appetizer, entree, and dessert. 

Author's photo of Purple Carrot's Tamarind Cauliflower.

This cohesive dish was delicious and deceptively easy to prepare.

Unlike Home Chef and some other leading meal kit services, Purple Carrot doesn’t offer any customization options. But this actually makes sense to me, because each dish is cohesive and has clearly been thoughtfully planned.

Take, for example, the Tamarind Cauliflower dish pictured above (prepared by yours truly). This perfectly balanced dish includes gingered fried rice, cashews, and roasted cauliflower florets tossed in a tangy tamarind sauce. Each ingredient perfectly complements the other so there’s no need for swaps. 

Unboxing

Author's photo of the contents of a Purple Carrot shipment

A bit too much plastic for my taste, but everything was nicely organized.

For me, the biggest challenge facing meal delivery services is their tendency to incorporate an inane amount of plastic and other non-recyclable materials. Some have started replacing plastic bags with paper versions, which I prefer.

I was hoping – and, frankly, expecting – a plant-forward, earth-loving service like Purple Carrot to incorporate eco-friendly practices and materials in its shipments. However, I found this not to be the case. 

Purple Carrot is far from being the most wasteful meal kit service I’ve trialed in terms of packaging, but it also wasn’t particularly impressive. 

A few days before my delivery was scheduled to arrive, I received an email with a guide to breaking down and recycling the packaging materials. I’d already found this on the website, but it was nice that the company made an effort to be proactive.

Screengrab of Purple Carrot's recycling instructions

I found these guidelines to be self-explanatory, but I'm glad they were included.

On the negative side, Purple Carrot still uses a number of plastics within its packaging, and the “how to recycle it” guidelines essentially boil down to “recycle this if your community accepts it.” 

If meal kits are going to be a sustainable long-term solution for hassle-free dinner times, we need to be better about packaging the ingredients in more easily recyclable materials.

Now that rant is out of the way: I actually don’t have any complaints as far as the actual contents and organization of the package are concerned. The well-insulated box contained three clearly labeled bags, each corresponding to one of the three meals I had ordered. 

Cooking (and Eating) with Purple Carrot

Author's photo of the prepped ingredients for Purple Carrot's Tamarind Cauliflower dish

I'm always this organized when I cook and not just when I'm taking photos for a review, I promise.

The ingredients I received were all high quality. The produce arrived at peak freshness – even the tomato and perfectly ripe avocado! With a plant-based meal kit, quality produce is key. It’s all the more impressive when you consider that Purple Carrot ships everything fresh, too.

Two of the recipes I tried – Tamarind Cauliflower and Mafaldine Pasta – were labeled as “Quick and Easy”. I’m not sure if I noticed a real difference in prep work compared to the Rajas Tacos I’d also ordered, though, despite the tacos lacking the “Quick and Easy” tag.

In fact, the Tamarind Cauliflower took the longest of the three, since the brown rice took 30 minutes to cook. Ultimately, though, none of the recipes felt overly complicated. Then again, I’m a pretty avid home cook.

Still, I can’t imagine anyone with even a basic knowledge of cooking would have trouble preparing these dishes. And if you do need a quicker or simpler option, Purple Carrot also offers prepared meals that just need to be heated in the microwave.

Shortlist of My Favorite Meals

I’ll cut to the chase here and say I thoroughly enjoyed all three of the Purple Carrot meals I tried, but I could definitely rank them in terms of yumminess as well as ease of prep.

Author's photo of Purple Carrot's Mafaldine Pasta

The Mafaldine Pasta was easily my favorite dish of the week.

My favorite dish, hands down, has got to be the Mafaldine Pasta. “Mafaldine” simply refers to the thick, wavy pasta that forms the base of this meal. Once cooked, it combines with arugula, walnuts, and a sauce made from sauteed leeks, garlic, lemon, and creamy vegan cheese. 

This dish was the easiest to make and the tastiest to eat, and I guarantee I’ll be recreating it. 

Author's photo of Purple Carrot's Rajas Tacos

This wasn't my favorite dish, but it was still delicious!

The Rajas Tacos were my least favorite. The flavors really worked – browned onions, roasted corn and peppers, creamy avocado – but it felt like it was lacking something cohesive to bring the dish together.

I think that an ingredient with more star power, like umami-packed mushrooms or shredded jackfruit, would have greatly improved these tacos.

Instead of the mushrooms, seitan or tofu that feature in many of Purple Carrot’s recipes, the primary filling was rice. And even worse, I received Jasmine rice in place of the flavored Spanish Rice listed in the ingredients.

Author's photo of a rice substitution in a recipe

 really feel bad for anyone who had to eat these tacos with plain white rice.

I understand substitutions happen fairly often, but there were no additional instructions on how to accommodate this change in ingredients. I decided to add my own seasonings (garlic, cumin, etc.) and ended up with something reasonably tasty.

Someone who doesn’t have the ingredients or know-how to improvise in that way, however, would be left with an inferior dinner. If I’d followed the recipe exactly, half of the filling in each taco would have been unseasoned white rice.

But this disappointment aside, I want to re-emphasize that I really did love almost everything about Purple Carrot’s meals.

Author's photo of all the ingredients in Mafaldine Pasta

I can easily find most of these ingredients at my local grocery store.

I love using meal kits as a way to learn new recipes, and I can definitely see myself recreating these dishes. The picture above shows all the ingredients it took to make the Mafaldine Pasta. It includes grocery store staples like leeks, arugula, walnuts, and pasta. 

Even if I have to get a different shape of pasta or another brand of plant-based cheese, I’d happily recreate this dish time and time again. Another great move by Purple Carrot? Each week’s recipes come in a sturdy booklet that I’ll keep with my cookbooks. 

Shipping & Delivery

I signed up for Purple Carrot on a Wednesday, and didn’t receive my first shipment until 10 days later (on a Monday). As it turns out, Tuesday is the weekly deadline for committing to a shipment, so it was a case of bad luck rather than poor service. 

Author's photo of a Purple Carrot package

I actually like Purple Carrot's simple branding on the box.

Once my shipment was in the mail, I received ample information via email from Purple Carrot regarding tracking, what to expect, and how to prepare. The service also offers a mobile app, but I found I didn’t need it to get any of the information I needed.

Though the delivery process was smooth, it would have been helpful to be able to pick the day I wanted to receive my delivery. 

This is an option with most of the big names in the meal delivery game – including HelloFresh and Blue Apron – so hopefully Purple Carrot can step up its game in this regard.

Subscription

Purple Carrot’s website makes it easy to both sign up and end your subscription. Here’s the step-by-step guide:

How to Sign Up

  1. Click Sign Up on the home page.

Screenshot of Purple Carrot's homepage

It's easy to find the "Sign Up" button.

  1. Create an account. You can use your email address or sign up via an existing Google, Facebook, or Apple account.

Screenshot of Purple Carrot's sign up page

urple Carrot gives you many options to create an account.

  1. Input your shipping info. Purple Carrot delivers across all 48 contiguous United States.

Screenshot of the address input page

You'll also be able to see any discounts or coupons applied to your order.

  1. It’s finally time to pick out your meals! You can also adjust your order to include extra servings or to add breakfast, lunch, and pantry items.

Screenshot of Purple Carrot's menu

Don't forget to check out the Plantry and breakfast options!

Managing Your Subscription

I’ve tested services that make you get on the phone with an agent just to close your account. I’m pleased to say this isn’t the case with Purple Carrot. You can easily pause or end your subscription from the account page:

Screengrab of the account settings page

Canceling Purple Carrot is easy enough.

Once you click Change, there are a couple more steps. For more info, I’ve pulled together a step-by-step guide on how to cancel Purple Carrot.

Customer Service

Screengrab of Purple Carrot's FAQs

Search for your answer or get in touch with a representative via chat.

The Purple Carrot website features a Chat With Us option in the bottom-right corner. Clicking on it opens up a search box where you can seek out information on just about any question you may have. 

If you can’t find your answer, there’s also the option to connect and chat live with a representative. Purple Carrot’s FAQs are surprisingly in-depth, however, and I never had any need to talk to a real person. 

Prices

Starting from

Minimum Order

Shipping Fee

$8.50 per portion

2 meals for 2 people per week: $79.50, plus shipping

$8, or free on orders over $85

Purple Carrot’s pricing varies based on how many meals you order, how many servings you require, and whether you choose meal kits or Purple Carrot’s prepared meals.

The cheapest possible price per serving (including our discount) is $8.50 when you order three meal kits serving four people, which makes it a great option for families. If prepared meals are more your speed, the lowest price you’ll get is $12.99 per serving, regardless of order size.

The Plantry is à la carte, with prices for individual items ranging anywhere from $4.49 for a bag of cauliflower crackers to $8.25 for avocado aioli. Prices and items available will change regularly, but keep in mind that these costs are in addition to your weekly subscription.

Shipping is a flat $8, but the fee is waived for orders over $85. Purple Carrot also offers unlimited free shipping once you surpass 20 orders. That’s a nice treat for consistent subscribers!

Even with free shipping, however, Purple Carrot is one of the more expensive meal kits out there and that’s because it caters to a niche diet. However, its pricing is on par with other specialized services like Sunbasket and Green Chef.

The Bottom Line: Is Purple Carrot Worth It?

I’m a huge fan of this service and in my opinion Purple Carrot is absolutely a meal kit worth trying. 

Vegans and vegetarians will enjoy the fully plant-based menu and access to high-quality ingredients. It’s particularly great for anyone new to the vegan diet who wants to learn new recipes or those who want to eat more plants for health reasons.

Even if you’re an omnivore like I am, you owe it to yourself to try Purple Carrot and see just how satisfying a plant-based dinner can be!

FAQ

What are the benefits of Purple Carrot?

Purple Carrot’s most obvious draw is the comprehensive and ever-changing menu of fully plant-based entrees. Purple Carrot is also a great resource for making healthy and approachable vegan-friendly recipes – I found its meal kits super easy to put together. For those who don’t want to cook, it also offers a range or prepared meals that are ready in minutes.

How much does Purple Carrot cost?

Purple Carrot’s two-serving plan starts from $13.25 per person. When I looked into the pricing structure for my review, I found that this goes down for larger orders (and it’s even less if you use our discount code!). 

Is Purple Carrot organic?

Purple Carrot claims that most of its “non-produce items” are organic (stuff like tofu, beans, and milk alternatives), but due to issues with sourcing and shipping, it doesn’t consistently offer organic produce. If organic produce is important to you, check out our list of the Best Organic Meal Delivery services.

How do you cancel your Purple Carrot subscription?

I found Purple Carrot’s cancellation process to be refreshingly simple. To cancel your Purple Carrot subscription, simply open your account settings, click to change your subscription status, then select the option to cancel your subscription. It’s as easy as that: no need to pick up the phone or write an email to customer support

About The Author

Joey Kendrick

Contributing Writer, Delivery Rank

Joey is a writer based in New York City. He has covered many subjects, but food is his true passion. With his two cats as research assistants, he creates content for clients all over the world.

Joey is a writer based in New York City. He has covered many subjects, but food is his true passion. With his two cats as research assistants, he creates content for clients all over the world.

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