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Best Meal Delivery Services of 2023, According to Dietitians
Last Updated on December 26, 2022
Medically Reviewed by Ana Reisdorf, MS, RD
A meal delivery service can save you time and energy with meal prep and make it easier to meet your health goals. We narrowed down the top meal delivery services out there to help you make the best choice.
Meal prep delivery services are becoming increasingly popular among those looking to improve their diet quality but don’t have the time, skills, or desire to cook healthy meals. These meal kit companies deliver prepared meals or boxed meal prep kits with pre-portioned ingredients to your doorstep.
You have the option of choosing how many meals you would like to order per week, which meals you’d like to have, and the number of servings that you need.
Eating healthy is not always easy, and the culture around us doesn’t always support healthy living. We are surrounded by high-calorie, convenience foods that call out to us for comfort after a busy day.
In order to eat healthy, your meals have to be convenient and fit your schedule. If you find yourself not consistent with meal planning or cooking at home, leading you to order more takeout, you may want to consider a meal kit delivery service.
Meal delivery services are companies that provide pre-made meals or meal service kits where you are told how to prepare the meal yourself. These boxed meals and kits are ordered in advance and mailed directly to your doorstep.
The meal kits that need to be prepared come with clear instructions, recipe cards, and pre-portioned ingredients.
There are many meal delivery subscriptions to choose from, but as a Registered Dietitian, I can tell you that some are definitely better than others when it comes to nutritional value and quality.
So whether you’re following paleo, keto, or just want to eat healthier, here are our top recommendations for the best meal delivery services in 2023.
Summary of Our Picks
- Best Overall: Sunbasket
- Best for Weight Loss: BistroMD
- Best Tasting: Home Chef
- Best Fully Prepared: Factor
- Best Budget-Friendly: Dinnerly
- Best for Families: HelloFresh
- Best for Singles: Freshly
- Best Vegan: Purple Carrot
How We Chose These Brands
Ingredient Quality and Nutrition: In searching for the best ingredient quality, we considered if meals contained organic ingredients and used locally sourced or sustainably sourced ingredients. We also looked for Chef or Dietitian involvement for the best ingredient quality. For example, wild-caught fish is preferred to farm-raised, as wild-caught is naturally higher in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fats. Nutrition is also a key factor that we assessed in our selections. While some meal delivery programs taste delicious, they don’t all prioritize health-conscious meals. This list contains many programs that offer organic or locally sourced ingredient options, as well as meals with high nutritional value.
Flexibility and Sustainability: If you are going to use a meal delivery service, the options and recommendations must be flexible and sustainable. For example, it’s helpful when the meal options are suitable for different diets. This will help reduce boredom so that you can be more consistent with your eating plan. This list contains meal delivery services that offer a larger number of options that are flexible to different dietary needs.
Taste: No matter how healthy a food may be, the truth is that you probably won’t eat it for long if it doesn’t taste good. According to research, taste is one of the primary factors that influence our food choices. (1) Therefore, this list contains brands of meal kits that are rated highly for taste.
- Large amount of meal choices
- Customers report great taste
- Recipes approved by Registered Dietitians
- Flexible subscription terms and option to “skip” your delivery
- May not be suitable for those with food allergies or celiac disease
- Limited options for vegans
Sunbasket is good for someone looking to improve their diet quality, who wants the option of both healthy prepared meals and meal kits. If you’re on a budget, you’ll get more value from ordering more meals per week.
An important note regarding those with food allergies. Even though Sunbasket offers gluten-free options, there is a disclaimer that their processing facility is not gluten-free.
Therefore, there may be cross-contamination and trace amounts of gluten present in their food. They also state that if you have other major food allergies, you should not use Sunbasket.
If you’re looking for the best meal delivery company overall, Sunbasket wins the prize.
Sunbasket is a popular meal delivery service that offers meal options containing whole, delicious, nutrient-dense ingredients, with many of them being organic. They create many health-conscious meals and employ Registered Dietitians to create and approve their recipes.
Sunbasket is a certified organic handler and uses all organic produce, wild-caught fish, and organic eggs and meats.
With Sunbasket, there are ready-made "Fresh & Ready" meal options available, as well as "Meal Kits" with pre-measured ingredients that you prepare.
How It Works
You start by selecting how many meals you’d like to order per week. They have breakfast, lunch, and dinner meal kits available.
Next, you customize your meal order for 1, 2, or 4 servings. Their prepared meals (Fresh & Ready) are only available in single servings. Meal kits are available in 2 or 4-serving sizes.
Then, you select your diet preferences. There are many meal options suitable for different diets:
They even have a diabetes-friendly filter when sorting through recipes. You also have the option to add market items to your order, like snacks, on-the-go meals, and specialty meats.
I use Sunbasket myself for both the prepared meals and the ones I have to prepare myself. The prepared meals take less than 3 minutes to warm up, and I particularly appreciate the “Speedy” meal kits that take less than 20 minutes to make after a long day.
I really like the taste, variety, and nutritional content of the meals, as they all contain adequate protein and fiber to keep you full and support a healthy weight. (2) It helps give me fresh ideas for easy meals and a break when I just want to heat something up.
I often order from the less than 600-calorie meal category. My husband and I find them very filling and flavorful, and my kids love the cauliflower mac and cheese.
- Breakfast: Vanilla Bean Overnight Oats
- Lunch: Chipotle Chicken Empanadas
- Dinner: Turkey Chili Mac With Cheddar
- Fresh & Ready Meals: $9.99–$14.59 per serving.
- Meal Kits: $11.49–$17.99 per 2-person serving.
This price point is a bit higher than the average for meal delivery, but you are getting good quality food approved by Registered Dietitians.
- Unlimited support from dietitians and private community
- Large customizable menu and variety
- Suitable for many diets and health conditions
- Fully prepared meals - no cooking required
- High price point
- Not vegan or paleo-friendly
- Limited organic ingredients
BistroMD is good for someone who wants to lose weight but lacks the desire or time to prepare their own meals. It is also for someone looking for more guidance and accountability.
Given the price point, it may not be best for those on a tight budget.
If weight loss is one of your goals, BistroMD is our top choice for the best meal delivery service for weight loss. BistroMD is a doctor-designed weight-loss meal delivery program that delivers fully prepared meal packages to your doorstep.
The program was created by Dr. Caroline Cederquist, a board-certified bariatric and weight-loss expert with over 20 years of experience. This program combines the nutrition expertise of a dietitian along with the culinary creativity of a personal chef.
BistroMD partners with local farms whenever possible. Environmentally responsible seafood, rGBH-free beef, and hormone-free chicken are all available.
How It Works
The first step in signing up for BistroMD is to select your diet plan. Depending on your weight loss goals and diet preferences, there are several plans to choose from:
- Signature: Variety of low-calorie dishes.
- Gluten Free: Free of gluten-containing ingredients.
- Heart Healthy: Low in salt and fat.
- Keto Flex: Low-carb metabolic reset.
- Diabetic: Low in carbs.
- Menopause: Low in carbs.
The meal plans are completely personalized based on your age, height, weight, and weight-loss goals.
The meals are designed for weight loss and typically have the following macro distribution (combined percentage of daily calories from protein, carbs, and fats):
- 40% of these calories from lean protein
- 30% from complex carbohydrates
- 30% from healthy fats
Once you’ve selected your plan, the next step is choosing how many meals you’d like per week. You can order as little or as much you’d like, as well as breakfast, lunch, and dinner for every day of the week.
BistroMD offers over 150 different meal options, the highest I’ve seen in a meal plan subscription.
For those who choose not to purchase all of their meals from BistroMD, the company provides the following diet guidelines to follow:
- No more than one fruit per day paired with a lean protein source.
- Limit alcohol to 3 drinks per week for women and 5 drinks per week for men.
- Limited caffeinated drinks to 2 per day.
- Snacks should contain approximately 150 calories and 10–15 grams of protein.
You can also add on their signature snack program, EATS (Essential and Tasty Snacks), where you receive healthy snacks designed for weight loss.
Additionally, you have unlimited access to Registered Dietitians, as well as weekly accountability check-ins to keep you engaged and on track.
There are a variety of member-only online support tools and a private community forum to ask questions and get support.
This enhanced level of support is vital when it comes to weight loss. My most successful weight loss clients are also the most engaged and accountable during our sessions.
- Breakfast: Italian Style Omelet
- Lunch: Southwest Taco Bowl
- Dinner: Grilled Salmon with Creamy Pesto
- Snack: Strawberry Cream Shake
BistroMD meals cost $10.99–$14.99 each, depending on how many you order.
You can choose between:
- Full Program (breakfasts, lunches, and dinners): 5 days (15 meals) or 7 days (20 meals)
- Lunches & Dinners Only: 5 days (10 meals) or 7 days (14 meals)
You can also add snacks to your meals for an extra fee. Sometimes there are discounts offered, which will be posted on the website if available.
New customers receive 25% off their first order and free shipping. Otherwise, the standard shipping cost is $19.95 to the continental US.
- Meals are customizable
- Vegetarian and carb-conscious options available
- Some meals are high in sodium
- Not allergen-friendly
- No nutrition expert available
Home Chef is good for those who prioritize taste in a meal delivery service. It is also good for picky eaters, as there are a large number of meal options.
If taste is a priority, Home Chef is the way to go. Home Chef is a popular meal delivery service highly rated for taste. I also surveyed my nutrition clients and mom friends, and Home Chef won the prize for best tasting.
Home Chef offers both oven-ready meals and meal kits with pre-portioned ingredients for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
How It Works
The first step with Home Chef is selecting whether you want meal kits or oven-ready Fresh & Easy meals. Then, you select any dietary preferences or food allergies.
Home Chef features over 30 recipe options each week, with calorie-friendly, 30 minutes or less, vegetarian, and carb-conscious options available. You have the ability to order anywhere from 2–6 meals per week, which includes 2, 4, or 6-serving options.
They have several home meal kits as well as oven-ready meals, depending on your preference and the amount of time you have dedicated to cooking.
- Meal Kits: Box meal plans that can be made in 30 minutes or less.
- 15-Minute Meal Kits: Recipes that can be made in 15 minutes or less, with pre-chopped ingredients.
- Oven-Ready: Pre-portioned recipes that come in an oven-safe tin. Instructions are provided on cooking directly from the tin in the oven.
- Grill-Ready: Fresh ingredients that cook in a grill-safe bag.
- Culinary Collection: Meals with premium ingredients for the adventurous foodie.
- Fast & Fresh: Fresh, easy meals that cook more quickly in the oven or microwave.
Home Chef meals are fully customizable. For example, you have the ability to adjust portions of certain foods, such as doubling your protein serving or substituting a plant-based protein.
They also offer extra add-ons such as side salads or “protein packs” like lamb chops, chicken breast, or burgers.
- Breakfast: Quiche Lorraine
- Lunch: Chicken and Pablano Corn Chowder
- Dinner: Lemon Garlic Shrimp Risotto
Your order cost will vary depending on the size of your order and the meal options you select.
Standard meals start at $8.99 per serving, which is reasonably priced compared to many others. Meal types may vary in price, and they require a minimum weekly order of $49.95. Meals can be customized as well, which may change the cost of the meal.
A few Home Chef meal kits are available in stores, which may be sold at different price points than through the online subscription.
- Dietitian-approved recipes
- No cooking or prep required
- Accountability provided
- Suitable for many different diets
- Some meals are high in sodium
- Doesn’t teach you how to prepare meals
- Higher price point
Factor is a dietitian-approved meal delivery service designed for those who don’t have the time or desire to cook. It provides healthy prepared meals as well as accountability from nutrition experts. If you want healthier meals that you don’t have to make yourself, Factor may be a good fit for you.
If you don’t like to cook or simply don’t have the time, Factor is the best meal delivery program that is fully prepared. Many of their meals are also designed to support weight loss.
Factor provides fresh, never frozen, chef-inspired nutritious meals that are all fully prepared. All recipes are designed and approved by Registered Dietitians, with 34 weekly options to choose from.
According to Factor’s website, their meals should remain fresh in your refrigerator for up to 7 days.
How It Works
You start the process by selecting meals based on your preferences. Factor will show you the meals matching your preferences first; however, you will still have access to all the meals each week.
The choices are:
- Chef's Choice
- Calorie Smart
- Vegan & Veggie
- Protein Plus
After you’ve made your initial meal selections, you can choose to have Factor staff craft your orders going forward to save you time. This means they’ll handpick your meals based on your meal history, preferences, and diet restrictions.
Then, you select how many meals and servings you’d like per week. Depending on your plan, you can choose between 6–18 meals per week.
Factor meals are suitable for a wide range of diet plans and preferences that you can choose from, such as:
Factor provides enhanced accountability compared to most other meal delivery services. One free 20-minute coaching consultation with a dietitian is offered upon purchasing the meal service.
Additional coaching is also offered at a fee (1-month and 3-month) by dietitians for $139 and $297, respectively. These sessions serve as a place to receive guidance on the best meal plan based on your goals, as well as any additional nutritional support and accountability that may be needed.
- Breakfast: Gingerbread Spiced Pancakes with Cream Cheese Drizzle & Chicken Sausage
- Lunch: Jalapeno Popper Burger with Cauliflower Popper Rice & Roasted Zucchini
- Dinner: Creole Shrimp with Chicken Andouille Tomato Gracy & Wild Rice Pilaf
- Snack: Keto Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies
The cost ranges from $11–$13 per meal. The more meals you order per week, the less you spend per meal.
- 6 meals per week: $12.99 per meal
- 8 meals per week: $12.49 per meal
- 10 meals per week: $11.99 per meal
- 12 meals per week: $11.49 per meal
- 14 meals per week: $11.19 per meal
- 18 meals per week: $10.99 per meal
You also have the option to include add-ons for an extra charge, such as smoothies, desserts, and sides.
Factor’s pricing is a bit above average compared to other prepared meal delivery programs out there. However, all recipes are created by trained chefs and approved by dietitians. Therefore, the price is still fairly reasonable for nutritious, high-quality meals that are already prepared for you.
- Affordable pricing
- Simple recipes with minimal ingredients
- Environmentally-friendly packaging
- Dairy-free and no-added gluten options
- No dietitian or trained chef involved
- Some meals lack enough vegetables
- Some meals are reported to be bland
Dinnerly is a solid meal delivery option for those who want to eat healthier, make meal prep easy, and are on a tight budget. The meals are affordable for couples and families compared to most other programs and are generally easy to make.
If you’re on a tight budget, Dinnerly is one of the top-rated meal delivery services when on a budget. Many of the meals are also easy to make and contain minimal ingredients, for those who want to keep it simple.
Dinnerly prides itself on being the most affordable, and many customers report that the quality is not sacrificed.
According to the Dinnerly website, they are able to keep their prices lower by using minimal ingredients in their recipes, digital recipe cards instead of paper, simple packaging, and limiting fancy marketing campaigns.
I noticed their website is also very simple but easy to follow and navigate.
How It Works
You start by choosing a meal kit option (a 2-person box or a family food delivery pack). Then, you can choose anywhere from 3–6 meals per week. There are 16 meals to choose from that rotate each week.
Like its name implies, Dinnerly provides dinner boxes only.
Once you choose your meal kit option and delivery frequency, you can select from dairy, low-carb, vegetarian, dairy-free, no added gluten, and healthy options.
It’s important to note that “no added gluten” does not necessarily mean the meal is 100% gluten-free. It means that there is no gluten directly in the food, but it may have been cross-contaminated with gluten-containing foods during processing.
If you’re a planner, you can choose your meals up to 4 weeks ahead of time to ensure you don’t forget. This can be particularly helpful if you’ve ever missed the boat on ordering your weekly meals on other programs.
The day before your delivery, Dinnerly sends an email on what’s coming with clickable recipe cards and guidelines on when you should cook and eat your meals.
- Tamari-Butter Steak
- Brown Butter & Corn Ravioli
- Ground Beef Gyro
The price varies depending on how many meals you order per week, and whether you’re getting a 2-person or a family 4-person box. Like other meal delivery services, the price per portion goes down when you order more meals per week.
You also save a bit more per serving by ordering the family box, so you may want to add them to your plan if you have kids. This will also make dinnertime easier since you’re all eating the same thing.
- 3 meals per week: $7.04 per serving, $54.23 per week
- 4 meals per week: $6.54 per serving, $64.31 per week
- 5 meals per week: $6.44 per serving, $76.39 per week
- 6 meals per week: $6.24 per serving, $86.87 per week
4-Person Family Box
- 3 meals per week: $6.14 per serving, $85.67 per week
- 4 meals per week: $5.89 per serving, $106.23 per week
- 5 meals per week: $5.59 per serving, $123.79 per week
- 6 meals per week: $4.99 per serving, $131.75 per week
Shipping is $11.99, which we have included in the prices above. Even with this, the pricing is still lower than most other meal delivery programs.
- Simple recipes
- Variety of recipes available
- Meals have to be prepared
- Not allergen-friendly
- No meal plans for certain diets like low-carb, keto, or paleo
HelloFresh is a meal delivery service ideal for families. Meal services like HelloFresh offer recipes for the health-conscious individual and picky eaters in your family. Additionally, if you are a novice cook or just seeking simple recipe ideas, HelloFresh is a good option.
If you have any food allergies in your household, be sure to filter the recipes accordingly to ensure they’re safe.
If you’re feeding a family and want to make mealtimes easier, HelloFresh is one of the best meal kits for families.
Many of their recipes are conducive to family life, such as quick and easy one-pot or one-pan meals. Their recipes are also kid-friendly and picky-eater-approved.
Their easy recipes are particularly designed for novice cooks who need more meal ideas and want to expand their family’s palate.
HelloFresh contains all locally sourced, farm-to-table ingredients, with many of them being organic.
All of their meals are meal kits that you have to prepare; they don’t offer pre-made meals.
How It Works
You start the HelloFresh process by picking a plan and your preferences. You have the choice of six different meal plan options based on your goals and preferences. All recipes are dietitian-approved.
- Meat & Veggies: A variety of meals that include meat and vegetables. Good for those seeking more variety and a flexitarian-style diet.
- Veggie: Plant-based meals that are vegetarian but not necessarily vegan. For those who want to incorporate more plant-based meals into their diet.
- Family Friendly: Quick, easy-to-prepare, kid-approved options. For those with kids who don’t want to prepare multiple meals.
- Fit & Wholesome: Meals that are around 650 calories or less per serving. Great for those seeking to reduce their calorie intake or lose weight.
- Quick and Easy: Meals that can be cooked in 30 minutes or less. For the more novice cook or someone who doesn’t want to spend a lot of time cooking.
- Pescatarian: Meals featuring seafood but no other animal proteins. Suitable for the pescatarian who gets most of their protein from seafood.
There are 50+ different menu and market items to choose from. Market items are grocery items and add-ons you can order online, such as salad, bread, soup, and coffee.
Then, you select meals for either 2 or 4 people, and between 2–6 recipes per week. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner options are available, and they are very easily sorted as such on the HelloFresh website.
I just started my first week with HelloFresh, and absolutely loved my first meal already. It was an “un-fried” chicken with veggies that were delicious and didn’t require much brainpower to make while the kids were playing in the kitchen.
- Lemony Spaghetti with Brussels Sprouts
- One-Pan Mango Salsa Pork Tacos
- Smoky Barramundi with Brown Butter, plus Mashed Potatoes & Roasted Broccoli
The cost varies, depending on if you’re ordering for 2 or 4 people and how many recipes you’d like per week. It is similar to other programs in that you save more per serving if you order more meals per week.
- 2 meals per week: $12.49 per serving, $60.95 per week
- 3 meals per week: $9.99 per serving, $70.93 per week (the most popular plan)
- 4 meals per week: $9.79 per serving, $89.31 per week
- 5 meals per week: $9.79 per serving, $108.89 per week
- 6 meals per week: $9.79 per serving, $128.47 per week
- 2 meals per week: $9.79 per serving, $89.31 per week
- 3 meals per week: $9.49 per serving, $124.87 per week
- 4 meals per week: $9.29 per serving, $159.63 per week
- 5 meals per week: $9.29 per serving, $196.79 per week
- 6 meals per week: $8.99 per serving, $226.75 per week
Shipping is $10.99 per box, which we have included in the pricing above. HelloFresh’s pricing is about average compared to other programs, and they are always running specials, especially on first orders.
- No cooking required
- Made in certified gluten-free kitchens
- More than 30 meal options each week
- Free of artificial flavors, sugars, and preservatives
- Does not offer breakfast or snack options
- May be too low in calories for some people
- Limited specialty diets available
Freshly is a meal delivery service ideal for those who are single, as their meals are designed for one serving. If you’re looking to eat healthier meals but don’t have the time or desire to cook, all Freshly meals are fully prepared.
Most of the meals are 500 calories or less, so if you are very active or have higher calorie needs, their meals may not be enough to fill you up. If that’s the case, but you like the meals, you can try adding an extra cup of veggies to your meal for fiber to increase fullness.
If you are single or are cooking for one, Freshly is an excellent dinner box delivery designed for single-serving meals.
It can often feel daunting or not worth the effort just cooking for yourself, but the good news is that Freshly meals are all prepared for you. They are designed for busy people, as they can be heated and ready to eat in as little as 3 minutes.
Freshly prioritizes nutritious, low-sugar, and minimally processed meals that are Chef and Dietitian-approved. Many of the meals are 500 calories or less, which can also support weight loss if that is one of your goals.
How It Works
The process starts by choosing how many meals you’d like per week, your diet preferences, and your recipes. There are more than 30 meal options each week to choose from, and you can choose anywhere from 4–12 meals per week.
There are 4 signature meal categories to choose from.
- Purely Plant: Vegetarian recipes
- Signature Collection: Popular customer favorites
- FreshlyFit: Meals designed to enhance athletic performance
- Proteins & Sides: Healthy sides and proteins to build your own meal
You can also further filter for gluten-free, dairy-free, plant-based, and low-calorie meal options.
The FreshlyFit meals are a relatively new line of Freshly meals that contain a balance of healthy fats, lean protein, and high-fiber carbs to fuel athletic performance. If you’re an athlete or an active person, these meals may be a good choice for you.
All Freshly meals are produced in a gluten-free facility, which is an added assurance if you have a gluten allergy.
Freshly offers lunch and dinner options but does not currently have breakfast, snacks, or the ability to customize your meals. However, customization is typically more limited for any prepared meals since they are already made.
- Cauliflower Shell Beef Bolognese
- Zingy Buffalo Chicken
- White Bean Turkey Chili Bowl
Depending on how many meals you order per week, pricing starts at $9.58 per meal.
Here is the breakdown, not including shipping:
- 4 meals per week: $12.50/meal, $50.00 per week
- 5 meals per week: $12.40/meal, $62.00 per week
- 6 meals per week: $11.33/meal, $68.00 per week
- 7 meals per week: $10.71/meal, $75.00 per week
- 8 meals per week: $10.37/meal, $83.00 per week
- 9 meals per week: $10.22/meal, $92.00 per week
- 10 meals per week: $10.00/meal, $100.00 per week
- 11 meals per week: $9.81/meal, $108.00 per week
- 12 meals per week: $9.58/meal, $115.00 per week
Shipping charges range between $6.99–$11.99. The more you order, the more you save on shipping.
The pricing is pretty consistent with other prepared meal delivery services. Prepared meals tend to be a bit more expensive than meal kits in general since you are paying for convenience and time savings.
- Unique plant-based meals
- High in fiber and nutrient-dense
- May support heart health and weight loss
- Not allergen-friendly
- Time commitment to prepare meals may be too long for some
- Not many prepared meal options
Purple Carrot is an excellent choice for a plant-based meal delivery service that’s 100% vegan, especially if you’re looking for dinner options.
If you love to cook and don’t mind spending 30–40 minutes in the kitchen, Purple Carrot may be a good fit for you. For those who want really quick meals, you may find Purple Carrot’s meals too cumbersome.
If you have any food allergies, it’s always important to look at the ingredient list for each recipe to see if a meal has any relevant allergens. If you have questions about allergens, the support team can help answer them. The culinary team can also suggest alternative ingredients to be used in delivered meals.
People with severe allergies should be aware that Purple Carrot’s foods are processed in distribution facilities that process wheat, gluten, nuts, and nut products.
This plant-based meal delivery service is best for vegans or those interested in plant-based dinners who like to cook at home. When I asked friends about their favorite plant-based meal delivery service, this was their top option, and I agree!
If you follow a vegan diet or are looking to add more plant-based meals into your rotation, Purple Carrot is one of the best vegan meal delivery services that offers both meal kits and prepared meals.
I tried the meal kits myself for several weeks and found the meal options to be very tasty, unique, and filling.
Once your meals are delivered, you receive a handy recipe booklet with all the recipes and step-by-step pictures.
I am not a vegetarian, but I like to incorporate plant-based meals a few days a week. I particularly liked Purple Carrot’s meals because they filled me up and curbed my hunger for a long time, which is not always the case with some other vegetarian meals I’ve had.
Most of their meals are high in plant-based protein and fiber, which is key when it comes to feeling satisfied.
Purple Carrot provides 100% plant-based breakfast, lunch, and dinners. They try to use organic ingredients when possible but acknowledge that some ingredients may not be organic or non-GMO.
Purple Carrot is unique in that it is one of the few plant-based meal delivery services with direct clinical research to support its health benefits, particularly in regards to its heart health and weight-reducing potential.
A clinical study presented at the American Heart Association’s 2020 Annual Meeting detailed the effects of plant-based delivery service (Purple Carrot) on cardiovascular risk. (3)
At the end of four weeks of having Purple Carrot dinners or a standard omnivorous box meal kit, individuals who had Purple Carrot had significantly decreased LDL cholesterol and experienced an average weight loss of 3.82 pounds.
How It Works
You start by selecting your plan type (meal kits or fully prepared meals). Then, you customize the number of servings and meals per week to be delivered.
For the meal kits, you can order 2 or 4-serving meals and between 3–4 meals per week. For prepared meals, you can only order one-serving sizes of 6–10 dinners per week.
For the meal kits, you have the option to choose High Protein, Quick & Easy, Gluten-Free, or Chef’s Choice meals.
Purple Carrot offers 8 plant-based dinner options weekly that you can choose from, with a selection of meal kits or prepared meals for your convenience. This is the one downside of Purple Carrot; it has more limited meal options to choose from.
There is also a limited selection of plant-based breakfasts and lunches, plant-based snacks called “Plantry” offerings, and desserts.
All of the recipes are developed by a culinary team headed by a chef to provide a variety of unique and flavorful meals. I really liked their one-pot meals, like tofu stir-fry and Thai noodles with peanut sauce.
- Pesto Flatbreads
- Crispy Tofu Burritos
- Creamy Miso Risotto
Here is the cost breakdown for Purple Carrot dinners, as most of the meals are for dinner.
- 2 servings, 3 dinners per week: $13.25/serving, $79.50 per week
- 2 servings, 4 dinners per week: $13.25/serving, $106.00 per week
- 4 servings, 2 dinners per week: $11.00/serving, $88.00 per week
- 4 servings, 3 dinners per week: $11.00/serving, $132.00 per week
- 1 serving, 6 dinners per week: $13.00/serving, $78.00 per week
- 1 serving, 8 dinners per week: $13.00/serving, $104.00 per week
- 1 serving, 10 dinners per week: $13.00/serving, $130.00 per week
Purple Carrot’s pricing is comparable to other vegan home meal delivery kits. The prepared meals are not that much more costly than the meal kits, which may be worth it for the added convenience.
Before we go into detail about our picks for the best email delivery services, let's discuss the benefits of using such a service.
Meal delivery services can:
- Give you meal ideas.
- Take the guesswork out of cooking.
- Make meal prepping more effortless.
If you’re like many of my clients, you may find meal planning to be daunting. Maybe you’re super motivated to do it for a few weeks, but then you start to get tired and lose motivation.
But if you simplify the process so that you don’t have to use as much brainpower, it can help make it easier to cook more at home. And research shows that people who cook more at home consume fewer calories and eat healthier overall. (4)
The best meal prep companies can simplify the meal planning process, so you start cooking more at home.
In addition to improved health and diet quality, there are other benefits to subscribing to a meal delivery service:
- Money: It can save you money compared to traditional grocery shopping since you only receive the exact ingredients you need.
- Food Waste and Portion Control: You’ll have less food waste, and it will be easier to maintain portion control. A big reason why many people overeat is that there is simply too much food in front of them. If you only have a pre-portioned meal from a meal delivery kit, it will make it easier to stick to a healthy portion that won’t leave you feeling stuffed.
- Time and Energy: A meal delivery program saves you time and energy in having to search for healthy recipes yourself and trying to figure out if they’re actually healthy.
If you’re considering a meal plan subscription, here are a few things to look for to find the best one for your needs. To make your selection easier, you may want to think about your top 3 priorities out of this list.
The cost of meal delivery programs can vary widely depending on the company, how many meals you choose, and whether you’re opting for prepared meals or meal kits that you make yourself.
Setting a budget goal can help you narrow down which programs are the most feasible for you.
Subscription Terms and Flexibility
It’s important to look at the terms and flexibility of the meal delivery subscription.
- Can you do a test run and order for just one week, or do you have to commit off the bat?
- Can you change how much or what you order every week, or is it set for you?
- What are the terms if you decide to cancel, and is there a cancellation fee involved? Are you locked into a contract?
These are all important questions to ask if you’re unsure if it will be a long-term commitment.
In order for a meal prep subscription to be sustainable, there should be enough options to choose from that match both your food preferences and diet restrictions, if any.
If you follow a specific type of diet, such as keto or paleo, it’s helpful if the meal service specifically states they offer keto or paleo-friendly fare.
Prepared Meals vs. DIY Meal Prep Kits
If you like to cook and are just looking for more easy, fresh ideas, a DIY option where you receive pre-portioned meal kits to prepare the meal yourself may be best for you.
Alternatively, if you hate cooking or just want it already done, you may want to choose a meal delivery service that also offers prepared meals.
Time Commitment Required
Determine how much time you realistically have to prepare meals and how many meals a week you can cook.
Being honest with yourself will help you determine how many meals or meal kits to order and which ones, as many meal delivery programs offer super simple and fast recipes to prepare.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are meal delivery services?
Meal delivery services are companies that provide pre-made meals or meal kits where you are told how to prepare the meal yourself. These boxed meals and kits are ordered in advance and mailed directly to your doorstep.
What is the difference between prepared meals and meal kits?
Prepared meals are pre-cooked meals that just have to be reheated in the oven or microwave. Meal kits include pre-portioned ingredients for meals you have to prep yourself.
What are the benefits of using a meal delivery service?
It can save you time and money, control portions, and reduce food waste.
Who are meal delivery services for?
Meal delivery is for anyone looking for an easier way to eat healthier.
Who are meal delivery services not for?
Meal delivery is not for someone who changes their mind frequently on what they want to eat because many of the meals are ordered in advance. If the fresh ingredients are not used within a few days to a week, they can go bad.
How do I choose the best home meal delivery service?
To find the best meal delivery for your needs, your health goals, preferences, and schedule need to be addressed.
Meal delivery services can take the overwhelm out of meal prepping and serve as a tool to make healthy eating easier.
Choosing a top-rated meal delivery service can help make your life easier and support your healthy eating goals.
Before signing up for a meal delivery service, it’s helpful to understand your preferences and goals and seek the expertise of a registered dietitian to guide you in your decision to more healthy eating.
At WellnessVerge, we only use reputable sources, including peer-reviewed medical journals and well-respected academic institutions.
- The Influence of Taste Liking on the Consumption of Nutrient Rich and Nutrient Poor Foods:
- Fiber Intake Predicts Weight Loss and Dietary Adherence in Adults Consuming Calorie-Restricted Diets: The POUNDS Lost (Preventing Overweight Using Novel Dietary Strategies) Study:
- Abstract 14055: Impact of a Boxed Meal Facilitated Plant-based Diet on Cardiometabolic Endpoints: A Clinical Trial:
- Frequency of eating home cooked meals and potential benefits for diet and health: cross-sectional analysis of a population-based cohort study: