The best healthy meal kit delivery services for 2023

Whether you’ve been over-indulging or simply want to start cooking and eating more nutritious meals at home, ordering healthy prepared meals delivered to you can help you be more mindful about what you eat, instead of just grabbing what’s handy. The best healthy meal delivery services offer an easy plan to help you address your needs, whether you want to lower your calorie or carb intake, go organic, or just eat more veggies.

A meal kit delivery service is surprisingly affordable, some for as little as $5 per serving, and they make cooking nutritious meals a no-brainer. Review weekly menus, select your recipes and a mail-order healthy meal kit box will arrive on your doorstep within a few days. And just like that, you’ll be ready to cook a delicious meal that you’ll feel good about and that doesn’t require a trip to the grocery store or too much forethought.

There are so many different meal kits on the market, it’s tough to decide where to start. That’s where I come in. I’ve been eating for a living for many years now, have a degree from the French Culinary Institute and have worked for various food publications. I’m also a mom, with an active teen and tween I cook for daily.

For this review, I personally tested the six most popular meal kits at dinner with my family — the ones you’ve probably already heard of — and evaluated them based on the following criteria:

  • Menu choices/nutritional value, because you want a good variety of recipes and quality ingredients that fit your dietary needs (such as plant-based, keto or gluten-free concerns) and can help you stick to your healthy eating goals.

  • Subscription price, because everyone has different budgets.

  • Ease of use, because you’re getting a meal kit to make your life easier, so you don’t want anything too complicated or time-consuming.

  • Taste, because above all, you want your dinner to be yummy!

  • Packaging: Is there too much? Too little? Is it putting out too much waste into the world? We factored this into our reviews.

In selecting the top picks, I considered feedback from other on-staff meal kit testers in order to get a variety of opinions — from a family with both an infant and a tween, to a family of three vegetarians, to a family of five. I also received input from Facebook Groups devoted to meal kits, along with expert advice from Jaclyn London, a New York City-based registered dietitian.

Meal kit in a pan with shrimp and noodles

Meal kit delivery services can make it easier to eat healthfully. (Photo: Getty Images)

Every healthy meal kit we reviewed has different strengths and weaknesses. Some are very easy, others offer more variety, some are great for families, and others are geared toward vegetarians.

Before I share my picks, though, let’s learn a little more about meal kits and answer some commonly asked questions:

What are healthy meal kits?

Meal kits are meals that are delivered to your home in a box. They contain premeasured ingredients and an accompanying recipe, enabling you to create a fresh-cooked meal at home without having to run to the supermarket or measure your own ingredients. You can usually order a meal kit to come between one and seven days per week, and you’ll find services that offer meals for two, four and, with a few services, even more people.

What can I expect from a healthy meal delivery service?

A weight lifted off your shoulders! With each delivery of pre-portioned ingredients and recipes that may feed two, four, or more people, you won’t have to worry about what’s for dinner. There are healthy food options to suit every budget, cuisine, and dietary need. These companies generally allow you to filter meals by your dietary preferences (omnivore, vegan, gluten-free, pescatarian, carb-conscious, etc.), ease of use, and time constraints. You can usually choose your delivery day and even add extras like portions of protein, breakfast foods and quick lunches.

What’s the best healthy meal delivery service for me?

With the market flooded with meal kits, choosing the right one can feel overwhelming. Don’t worry — we tested loads of them so we could recommend the best meal kit of 2023 that’s just right for you. Because each brand has its own points of difference and offers kits for people focused on everything from allergies to wellness to weight loss, you’re sure to find one that suits your needs. Some services even let you swap out the protein in a particular dish.

Are you nervous about taking the meal kit plunge?

Most meal kit companies offer major discounts to first-time customers, making it very affordable to try a bunch before you commit (or don’t) to any one meal plan. All you have to do is take advantage of any one of these offers and then mark your calendar with an alert for the date by which you must cancel the subscription.

Best all-around nutrition-conscious meal kit: Blue Apron

I felt very efficient using a Blue Apron kit for weeknight dinners. Plus, I liked the variety of the weekly menu options, which could be tailored to a specific dietary restriction. In terms of flavor, I found these meals to be average overall, with the proteins rating lower in quality than expected. But I really appreciated the easy and clear instructions — and the fact that I was able to put dinner on the table relatively quickly.

  • Subscription: $8.49 per serving if you order meals for four people. Three meals per week for four people cost $102, plus a $9.99 shipping fee.

  • Ease of use: The instructions were easy to follow and execute. For the most part, I was able to prepare the meals in the time suggested. This kit is appropriate for cooks of all skill levels and any home chef.

  • Menu choices: There are 50-plus weekly options that range from Fast and Easy to Vegetarian to Wellness and beyond. The weekly menus also include add-on items like breakfast kits, à la carte proteins, and party-friendly appetizers and desserts. You may order a maximum of four servings per meal and up to four meals per week.

  • Taste: 7/10. We found the proteins provided to be only average in quality and taste, and therefore the meals themselves were bland.

  • Packaging: Over 85% of Blue Apron packaging is recyclable by weight, and its website provides easy-to-understand recycling instructions for specific components. However, I wished the packaging had featured allergen and ingredient labeling, rather than directing me to the website.

Best customizable healthy meal kit: HelloFresh

HelloFresh was our overall favorite healthy meal kit service for its variety of flavorful recipes. The Fit & Wholesome plan offers a selection of dietitian-approved meals that are about 650 calories each. We also appreciated the ability to customize meals for dietary preference. For example, if you prefer shrimp to fish, you can swap out the protein. Plus, the generous portion sizes mean you can (and will want to!) eat the leftovers for lunch the next day.

  • Subscription: $10.42 per serving if you order meals for four people (or less if you can lay your hands on a promo code). Three meals per week for four people cost $125.

  • Ease of use: Some meals took longer to prep than what the recipe cards estimated and were occasionally too much work at the end of a long day. However, some of the portion sizes were generous and could be saved for lunch the next day. We recommend this kit for cooks with at least some experience.

  • Menu choices: There are 35 options per week, with the ability to filter recipes by the following categories and dietary restrictions: Omnivore, Vegetarian and Plant-Based, Pescatarian, Quick and Easy, Family-Friendly and Under 650 Calories. A notable meal option feature is the ability to swap or upgrade proteins and some side dishes. You may order a maximum of four servings per meal and up to six meals per week.

  • Taste: 8/10

  • Packaging: Most of the packaging is recyclable, plus the company determines each order’s most efficient ice levels and box sizes to ensure that each delivery vehicle can carry more boxes and produce fewer carbon emissions.

Most flexible meal kit: Home Chef

Home Chef is very solutions-oriented. It’s certainly the meal kit delivery service we would turn to when faced with a variety of weeknight schedule quirks. With roughly 35 or more kits available each week, you’ll be able to choose from dishes that come together in as little as 15 minutes and some that are more elaborate and take up to 60 minutes to prepare. Across the board, the recipes were easy to follow and the meals were flavorful, if not adventurous.

  • Subscription: Starting at $7.99 per serving (depending on the type of kit) if you order meals for four people (less if you use a promo code). Three meals per week for four people costs $131.

  • Ease of use: Most meal prep times were accurate and none of the steps were particularly complicated. Even novice cooks could make any of the meals we tested.

  • Menu choices: There are about 35 menu options to choose from each week with familiar flavors inspired by global cuisine (Italian, Tex-Mex, Greek, American classics, etc.). They do not cater to specific dietary restrictions, though some vegetarian/plant-based recipes were available. There was an option to filter recipes by the following categories: Calorie-conscious, Carb-conscious, Vegetarian and Under 30 minutes. You may order a maximum of 6 servings of up to 4 meals per week.

  • Taste: 7/10. All three meals we tried seemed reasonably healthy and tasty. One tester said the Japanese-Style Steak Tacos were the best meal that they had cooked in awhile. We tried the Souvlaki Greek-Style Chicken one night, which is a version of a dinner I make two or three times a month anyway, which is to say that many of the options are perfect for newer cooks and perhaps a bit too familiar to more experienced ones.

  • Packaging: Most of the packaging is recyclable or reusable and also keeps the food at a safe temperature during the entire journey from their facility to customer’s homes. You can learn more about how to recycle each component of packaging here.

Best nutritional info in a meal kit: EveryPlate

EveryPlate’s recipes may not be super-sophisticated or feature 12 ingredients in each dish, but that’s exactly what you want when you have to feed a crowd of hungry people who are looking for familiar flavors. You’ll save time and money and will likely have leftovers. Full nutritional estimates per serving on a Nutrition Facts Panel can be downloaded five days before the products arrive by clicking on “View complete nutritional info” on each recipe detail page as well as allergen information on recipe cards and/or ingredient packaging.

  • Subscription: $5.49 per serving if you order meals for four people (or less if you use a promo code). Three meals per week for four people cost $66.

  • Ease of use: Some prep times turned out to be longer than advertised, but there are only six steps in any given recipe, making EveryPlate a good choice for even the most reluctant cooks.

  • Menu choices: With 21 dishes to choose from each week, you’re bound to find a few that appeal. They do not cater to specific dietary restrictions, though some vegetarian options were available. You may order a maximum of four servings per meal and up to six meals per week.

  • Taste: 7/10. Some dishes were too creamy and didn’t seem healthy enough to eat frequently.

  • Packaging: Most of the packaging is recyclable.

Best organic and sustainable meal kit: GreenChef

I preferred GreenChef’s vegetarian meals to the omnivore dishes I tried, and I found them appealing enough to continue eating them for lunch the next day. I appreciated the California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF) designation. After consulting with registered dietitian Jaclyn London, I was left wondering about the nutritional value of some of the marinades and sauces. She advises that in order to make choices that match your goal, you must carefully review the nutrients of packaged marinades, glazes and sauces in meal kits for high sodium levels and added sugar.

  • Subscription: $12.49 per serving if you order meals for four people (or less if there’s a promo code). Three meals per week for four people cost $150, including shipping.

  • Ease of use: The directions were clear and easy to follow, though I would have liked a tip on which size pan to use. The protein provided for the chicken dish we tried was cut into small, uneven pieces, which resulted in overcooking. However, this kit is good for cooks of all levels.

  • Menu choices: There are 24 recipes to choose from each week across categories including Keto + Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Fast & Fit, Mediterranean and Gluten-Free. GreenChef also offers a high-protein plan. The weekly menus also offer a couple of 10-minute lunch kits. You may order a maximum of six servings per meal and up to four meals per week.

  • Taste: 9/10. The meals my family tried were a mix of vegetarian and omnivore recipes (all featuring organic produce). We loved the taste of both and found that the flavors were much more complex than our usual weeknight go-tos.

  • Packaging: Green Chef boasts a 100% offset of the direct carbon emissions and plastic from every box sold. Most of the packaging components are recyclable, depending on what types of items your community recycling system supports. We found the allergen labeling clear and helpful.

Best vegetarian/vegan meal kit: Purple Carrot

For vegan meals, Purple Carrot’s pricing seems a bit high, but the quality, freshness and variety of recipes were better than that of other meal kits we tried — and the meals packed in all the fresh produce we were looking for. Overall, Purple Carrot helped my family get out of our weeknight dinner rut, and we would probably try it every few months for that reason.

  • Subscription: $11 per serving if you order meals for four people (or less if there’s a promo code). Three meals per week for four people cost $132 (including shipping).

  • Ease of use: These recipes took a bit longer to cook than the instructions suggested but could easily be prepared by most home cooks.

  • Menu choices: There are roughly six to 10 menu choices per week, ranging from breakfast to dinner. There are also categories based on dietary restrictions such as Soy-Free, Gluten-Free and Nut-Free. You may order a maximum of four servings per meal and up to three meals per week.

  • Taste: 8/10. We loved the flavors and textures and found the recipes to be a nice change of pace from our usual home-cooked dinners.

  • Packaging: The majority of the packaging components are recyclable, depending on what types of items your community recycling system supports.

Best budget calorie-conscious meal kit: Dinnerly

Dinnerly meal kits are ideal for even the most inexperienced home cooks, and while you can’t filter out the meals according to dietary restrictions, you can quickly scan the options for low-calorie and low-carb labels. With few ingredients and simple instructions, these budget-friendly meals are very easy to prepare and feature familiar flavors. Most recipes are ready in under 30 minutes.

  • Subscription: $6.14 per serving is the cost of three meals per week for four people. Three meals per week for four people will cost $74, plus a shipping fee of $11.99.

  • Ease of use: Teenagers could probably get these meals on the table. That’s how easy the recipes are to follow and execute, none with more than six steps. Most dishes came with only five ingredients, making even the newest home chef feel like a professional.

  • Menu choices: There were more than 100 meals to try each week across categories like Kid-Friendly, Dairy-Free, Under 30 Minutes, Vegetarian and more. The weekly menus also include breakfast options as well as party-friendly appetizers and desserts. You may order a maximum of four servings per meal and up to six meals per week.

  • Taste: 7/10

  • Packaging: Dinnerly does not include recipe cards but rather directs you to a digital recipe card for instructions. Most of the streamlined packaging is recyclable.

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