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Purple Carrot Review 2024: Is It Any Good?

Our Top Choice For 2024
New For You! $100 Off Your First 4 Boxes. Code: Routine100
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Author Jessica Bain
Jessica Bain
Updated on Feb 14th, 2024
Fact checked by Deborah Leigh

Overview

Purple Carrot is a plant-based meal kit service providing high-quality ingredients and recipes. It has dinner and lunch options, 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. In other words, it doesn't rely on imitation meat ingredients.

I discovered that the menu brims with interesting flavors and ingenious recipes. It's not just for those on a strict plant-based diet. The innovative recipes are sure to please even the fussiest of omnivores. You’ll also learn how to turn veggies into delicious and satisfying meals.

You should find Purple Carrot a suitable option even if you don't have time to cook. Besides meal kits, it has various quick-prep options for customers with busy lifestyles. So, whether you're a cooking enthusiast or someone who doesn't prepare meals from scratch, I recommend giving this meal delivery service a try.  

Pros

Cons

Creative vegan recipes

No option to choose your delivery day

Meal kits and prepared meals

Too much plastic packaging

Top-quality produceOnly pantry items are organic

Current deal – New For You! $100 Off Your First 4 Boxes. Code: Routine100

What’s on the Purple Carrot Menu?

Photo of 4 recipe ingredient bags, prepared meals and other ingredients in front of a Purple Carrot delivery box
Purple Carrot has meal kits you can prepare in around 30 minutes. But if you're really pressed for time, make use of its prepared meals you can heat in just 2 or 3 minutes. The company also has some Less Prep meal kits on offer that include pre-made sauces and pre-chopped veggies. They often use fewer pots and pans, so the clean-up is faster. 

Meal Options

Purple Carrot’s menu is filled with 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 Blood Orange Poke Bowls. 

Screenshot of Purple Carrot's menu

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.

There are handy tags to identify which dishes are high-protein and low-calorie. If you want to try dishes that have been highly rated by customers, look out for the Fan Fave icon on the image. Some of these favorite dishes include Mac N’ Cheese, Buffalo Cauliflower Bowls, and Peanut Pad Thai Noodles.

Screenshot of some Plantry items including cheeses, oatmeal, and snacks

Purple Carrot uses organic ingredients where possible, although it's not 100% organic due to sourcing and shipping constraints. You’ll find that most non-produce items are organic, such as beans, nut milks, tofu, tempeh, and vegan cheeses. Most ingredients are also non-GMO.  

Diet

Is Purple Carrot Good For This Diet?

Vegan

Yes, the whole menu is vegan

Vegetarian

Yes, every dish is suitable for vegetarians

Low-calorie

Yes, there are some low-calorie options

Carb-conscious

Yes, there are some low-carb options

Diabetic-friendly

Yes, many meals are suitable for diabetics

Omnivorous

No, there are no meat or fish dishes

Keto

No, there are no dishes for the keto diet

Gluten-free

Yes, there’s a gluten-free plan

Dairy-free

Yes, the whole menu is dairy-free

Customization

The main attraction is definitely the assortment of Dinner options. But 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 Chocolate Glazed Donuts, crackers, soups, and beverages including health shots and kombucha.

Purple Carrot doesn’t offer any customization options, unlike HelloFresh and some other leading meal kit services. But this actually makes sense to me because each dish is cohesive and has clearly been thoughtfully planned. If there is an ingredient that doesn’t suit you, you can omit it when creating the meal kits. The full list of ingredients and allergens is on every recipe.

Photo of the Red Lentil Soup dish in front of the recipe in the Purple Carrot recipe booklet

Each ingredient perfectly complements the others, and I wouldn’t have wanted to swap anything. Take, for example, the Red Lentil Soup dish pictured above (prepared by yours truly). This balanced dish tasted delicious with the tangy tamarind chutney and bright cashew yogurt, but the crispy parsnip ribbons were the ingredient that took it to the next level.

Unboxing

My Purple Carrot delivery box arrived in good condition and was well insulated. Everything still felt cold, and it was easy to see which items required refrigeration. The prepared meals were clearly labeled with storage and heating instructions.

One of the standout features of Purple Carrot is the recipe booklet included in each delivery. This includes ingredients and recipes for all the meal kits on the menu that week, not just the ones you order. It’s essentially a quality printed booklet of vegan recipes that you can keep in your collection. It’s not something I’ve seen from any other company before, and it's definitely my favorite. Open Purple Carrot delivery box with a recipe booklet on top of the insulation layer

My biggest gripe with meal delivery services is all the plastic and other non-recyclables. Other services I’ve tried use paper bags, which I find preferable. Photo of plastic recipe bags and ingredients wrapped in plastic

Plastic bags were used to separate the smaller items for each recipe. These are #4 plastics, so you’ll have to check whether they’re recycled in your local area. The delivery box itself and the Climacell insulation are curbside recyclable, so it’s pretty eco-friendly in my view.

Screenshot of Purple Carrot's dedicated Recycling page

My main problem was the ice packs Purple Carrot uses, which have to be put in the trash. As someone who lives in an apartment in the city, I’d prefer those that can be disposed of down the drain.

All of the ingredients arrived fresh, and the veggies showed no sign of deterioration. There weren’t any best before dates on the packaging, but Purple Carrot recommends you eat all your dishes within 5 days for maximum freshness. Unfortunately, the bag containing the spinach had split, but after a quick chat with customer service, credit was applied to my account.

Cooking and Eating With Purple Carrot

The ingredients I received were all high quality. I was slightly disappointed to receive a substituted prepared meal, as I was really looking forward to the dish I’d actually ordered. Also, 1 recipe was missing the cilantro (and I’m a big cilantro fan) and another recipe included broccoli instead of the advertised gai lan (a type of leafy Chinese broccoli). Despite this, I really enjoyed my meals from Purple Carrot, and it definitely has some of the most exciting veggie-based meals around.

If you don’t follow a vegan lifestyle, you may be surprised by how much vegetable chopping is involved in Purple Carrot’s recipes. I’m a pretty avid home cook, and I felt my skills stretched a little. However, it’ll definitely expand your palate and introduce you to new combinations and techniques.

Screenshot of the Carrot Burgers recipe from Purple Carrot with a 25 minute prep & cook time

I’d say that the recipe timings are an underestimate of the total time it will take you to prepare a meal. I found I needed an extra 15 minutes to prep my veggies in addition to the prep and cook time stated on each recipe. In fact, the listed ingredients are described as chopped, sliced, or grated, but you need to do this yourself, which is probably what created the additional prepping time. 

I can't imagine anyone having trouble preparing these dishes, as long as you have a basic knowledge of cooking. The steps are detailed enough to understand, even though there aren’t images for each step. And if you need a quicker or simpler option, you can try Purple Carrot’s prepared meals that just need to be heated in the microwave.

Shortlist of My Favorite Meals

I enjoyed all of my meals from Purple Carrot. Here are my top 3 favorites.

Roasted Broccoli Flatbreads

Photo of the Roasted Broccoli Flatbreads dish served on a plate

I have to say that the Roasted Broccoli Flatbreads meal kit was my favorite recipe. It’s basically a veggie-filled take on a pizza with a flatbread base. I really enjoyed the flavors involved in this dish. As I’ve said before, Purple Carrot does a great job of creating innovative and exciting veggie dishes, and this 1 was a winner.

The cooking process is relatively straightforward, and there are no tricky techniques involved. I roasted the broccoli in the oven, then baked the flatbreads. The rest of the preparation involved making a vinaigrette for the arugula, then topping the flatbread with hummus, cashew cheese, and the rest of the ingredients.

Photo of the ingredients for the Roasted Broccoli Flatbreads recipe on a board in front of the recipe in the booklet

The best part of the dish was the satisfying cashew cheese and sumac. Sumac is a lemony-flavored spice that I haven’t used much in the past. It really worked well in this dish to highlight the roasted broccoli and fresh arugula, which was a tasty contrast too.

Red Lentil Soup

Photo of the Red Lentil Soup dish in bowl ready to serve

This dish didn’t look as appetizing in the bowl as it tasted. The lentil base was like a warm and comforting curry, thanks to the Madras curry powder. This is also a dish that ticks all the boxes if you’re looking for a gluten-free, soy-free, high-protein, high-fiber, low sodium meal. 

Preparation took longer than I expected. The estimated time for prep and cooking is 30 minutes, which is reasonable for an evening meal. But peeling all those parsnip ribbons was quite a chore to create the topping.

A photo of the peeled raw parsnip ribbons before cooking next to a photo of the crispy parsnip ribbons after cooking

However, hard work aside, the parsnips added an extra dimension that rounded out the dish in an impressive way. The other topping of chopped cilantro was missing from my shipment. A sprinkling of this herb would have been a really tasty addition. 

Pesto Portobello Tortellini

Image of the cooked Pesto Portobello Tortellini in the microwaveable container

This wasn’t the Louisiana Style Red Beans I originally ordered, but it was a tasty mistake. As I enjoy both pasta dishes and portobello mushrooms, I was excited to try it. Considering I froze the dish rather than refrigerating it (against Purple Carrot’s recommendations) the pasta reheated well and had a lovely texture and consistency.

Heating the dish was a breeze. The microwaveable safe tray means you can just pop it straight in to heat after peeling back the plastic film a little. I decided to put it back in for an extra minute so it reached the desired temperature.

Photo of the Portobello Tortelloni prepared meal in the microwaveable tray next to the cardboard sleeve displaying heating instructions, ingredients, and nutrition details

The pesto was delicious, but the broccoli wasn’t very yummy. Although not recommended, I froze this dish rather than keeping it in the refrigerator. This may have been what affected the taste of the vegetable sides. But I still very much enjoyed the meal, and the quality was similar to the Thai Peanut Noodles – the other prepared dish I ordered.

Recipes Summary


Difficulty Level

Estimated Cook Time

Actual Cook Time

Calories Per Serving

Best For

Roasted Broccoli Flatbread (meal kit)

Easy

25 minutes

35 minutes

620 calories

A weeknight meal

Red Lentil Soup (meal kit)



Medium

30 minutes

50 minutes

650 calories

A healthy lunch

Pesto Portobello Tortellini (prepared meal)

Very easy

2 minutes

3 minutes

620 calories

No prep

Prices

Starting From

Order Size and Price (Before Shipping)

Shipping Fee

$11 per serving

3 meal kits with 4 servings; $132 


$10 for orders under $99

$11 per serving

2 meal kits with 4 servings; $88 

$13.25 per serving

4 meal kits with 2 servings; $106 

$13.25 per serving

3 meal kits with 2 servings; $79.50 

$13 per serving

6, 8, or 10 single-serving, prepared meals

Purple Carrot’s pricing varies based on how many meals you order. The cost per recipe also depends on whether you choose meal kits or prepared meals. The cheapest possible price per serving is $8.50 when you order 3 meal kits serving 4 people (plus current discounts), which is a great option for families. The price per prepared dish is a bit higher but remains the same whether you order 6, 8, or 10 servings. 

Remember that you can mix and match meal kits and prepared meals in the same order. Plus, you can score significant savings by taking advantage of our special deal. It tends to vary from time to time, but it's currently New For You! $100 Off Your First 4 Boxes. Code: Routine100!

The Plantry is à la carte, and the items and their prices change regularly. At the time of my research, prices for individual items ranged from $3.50 for a cup of Blueberry & Vermont Maple Oatmeal to $8.99 for Asian Ginger Salad Dressing. Keep in mind that these costs are in addition to your weekly subscription.

A minimum order is $50 and shipping is a flat $10 but is waived for orders over $99. Purple Carrot also provides free delivery for first-time customers.

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

Shipping & Delivery

It took me pretty long to get my first order because of bad luck, not poor service. I signed up for Purple Carrot on a Wednesday and received my first shipment 10 days later (on a Monday). As it turns out, Tuesday is the weekly deadline for committing to a shipment. 

Photo of A Purple Carrot delivery box on a table

I received ample information via email regarding tracking once my shipment was in the mail. I also learned 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.

It would have been nice to pick the day I wanted to receive my delivery, even though the delivery process was smooth. This is an option with most of the big names in the meal delivery game – including HelloFresh. So hopefully, Purple Carrot can step up its game in this regard.

How Purple Carrot Works

Purple Carrot’s website makes it easy to sign up with its streamlined process. Here’s my handy step-by-step guide:

How To Sign Up

    1. Click Sign Up on the home page. You can find it in the top-right corner of the page. 

    Screenshot of the pop up to create your Purple Carrot account

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

        3. Choose your preferred meal typeYou have to pick one when you sign up, but you can mix and match later on.

        screenshot of meal types and number of meals screen on Purple Carrot's sign up process

          4. Enter your shipping address and payment details. You can pay by PayPal, credit card, or Google Pay.

          Screenshot of shipping address screen on Purple Carrot

          5. Choose meals from the menu. You can adjust your order here to include prepared meals, breakfast, lunch, and pantry items.

          Screenshot of the Purple Carrot menu and add to cart buttons

          As Purple Carrot is a fully vegan service, you don’t choose any dietary options during the signup process. You’ll be able to see every dish when you choose your meals. Just check for any sensitivities, such as soy or gluten, when selecting your options.

          Managing Your Subscription

          You can easily pause or end your subscription from the account page. 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. I love that you can pause your deliveries for up to 10 weeks, which is not often offered by other companies and makes it very convenient.

          Once you click Change, there are a couple more steps. You will need to answer 1 quick question, but it’s pretty straightforward, and there’s no pressure to change your mind. For more info, I’ve pulled together a step-by-step guide on how to cancel Purple Carrot.

          Customer Service

          The FAQs provided by Purple Carrot are unexpectedly comprehensive. If you're unable to find an answer, you also have the choice of starting a live chat by clicking on the Chat With Us icon from any page. The chatbot quickly connects you to a live agent, which makes it much better than trying to explain things to a bot.

          Screenshot of live chat with a customer agent resolving a query about damaged spinach packaging

          I contacted an agent about my burst spinach packaging. I also wanted to ask why I had some missing ingredients and substitutions. I was assured that these issues would be dealt with, and I received credit to my account for my trouble. Everything was resolved very quickly and generously, which I really appreciated.

          How Purple Carrot Compares To Other Meal Delivery Services

          • Purple Carrot vs. Home Chef: Where Purple Carrot doesn't allow any ingredient customizations, Home Chef has plentiful options. For example, you can exclude various types of meat, such as beef and pork, and common allergens, like sesame and tree nuts, from your meal plan. Home Chef has dozens of weekly meals on its menu, many of which you can personalize to include Impossible meat thanks to its Customize It tool.

          The Bottom Line: Is Purple Carrot Worth It?

          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.

          I recommend you to give it a try even if you’re an omnivore like I am. I was really impressed with the flavors of both the meal kits and the prepared meals. I like that you can mix and match these in each order if you wish.

          Purple Carrot isn’t the most budget-friendly service but that’s not unusual for a service that caters to a niche diet. If you want to check out some alternative options, Purple Carrot features on our list of top 10 vegan meal delivery services

          FAQ

          What are the benefits of Purple Carrot?

          The comprehensive and ever-changing menu of fully plant-based entrees is Purple Carrot’s most obvious draw. The service 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 of prepared meals that are ready in minutes.

          How much does Purple Carrot cost?

          The price per meal depends on the type of meal and the number of servings. Purple Carrot’s 2-serving plan starts from $8.50 for larger orders. And it’s even less if you use our discount code offering: New For You! $100 Off Your First 4 Boxes. Code: Routine100

          Is Purple Carrot organic?

          Purple Carrot claims that most of its non-produce items are organic (stuff like tofu, beans, and milk alternatives). However, due to issues with sourcing and shipping, it doesn’t consistently offer organic produce.

          How do you cancel your Purple Carrot subscription?

          I found Purple Carrot’s cancelation process to be refreshingly simple. To cancel your Purple Carrot subscription, simply open your account settings, click to change your subscription status, and 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.

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          We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.Advertising DisclosureThis is a user-oriented comparison website, and we need to cover hosting and content costs, as well as make a profit. The costs are covered from referral fees from the vendors we feature. Affiliate link compensation does not affect reviews but might affect listicle pages. On these pages, vendors are ranked based on the reviewer’s examination of the service but also taking into account feedback from users and our commercial agreements with service providers. This website tries to cover important meal, coffee and pet food delivery services but we can’t cover all of the solutions that are out there. Information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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