If you haven't already noticed, a large number of dinner kits have hit the market in the past year offering us a more convenient way to get food on the table. Taking the time to shop for and cook a healthy homemade meal has become a luxury these days (and all the delivery charges and meh meals we keep getting are proof). While investing in a meal plan is a great option for those on the go, there are way too many to choose from. We decided to put a few popular options to the test to see which would turn out to be our fave. Scroll ahead to read our reviews.
Dinner Kit: Blue Apron
What It Offers: Blue Apron acknowledges that the food industry is complicated, and aims to simplify the process by providing fresh, clean, and already measured ingredients. The food and recipe delivery company partners with farmers to establish an easy-to-use distribution system, and eventually, they hope to improve food practices everywhere. Additionally, Blue Apron promises to deliver food that's better for you than what's available at most grocery stores.
Why You’ll Love It: For starters, the idea of being part of something that pledges to improve the existing system is very enticing for me. It wasn't until I actually researched why use Blue Apron that I was fully onboard. If you are a conscious consumer, you'll love the fresh, progressive approach of Blue Apron. Oh! And the food. It's delicious, healthy, and fun to make yourself.
One of my first thoughts upon hearing about the food-delivery phenomenon was, well if I have to make this myself, why wouldn't I go to the grocery store myself? The reason is this: these ingredients promise top-notch quality, and a contribution to a greater good.
Upon receiving the perfectly-portioned packaged goods, I recognized the freshness of the ingredients. The only other place I could find foods with this quality of cleanliness is at the farmers market, where I need to arrive with recipes in mind in order to avoid wasting ingredients. Even then, it's hard to ensure you're getting the exact right amount of food. With Blue Apron, there is a guarantee that you'll enjoy a delicious meal, nourish yourself with clean ingredients, and maybe even help save the planet.
Overall Rating: A+
Dinner Kit: Freshly
What It Offers: Freshly’s meals are pre-packaged and already cooked upon receiving. You just have to heat up and you’re good to go. The company has worked hard on delivering meals that are rich in nutrients, fully organic, and cater to any dietary restrictions you might have. It also has created a list of 85 "banned" ingredients that you’ll never find in any of Freshly’s meals. In addition to providing beyond-easy, microwaveable meals that feel healthy, all of the packaging is recyclable. You can choose from four to 12 meals a week to be delivered to your front door.
Why You’ll Love It: When I think about dinner or meal kits, I typically expect some sort of prep work to be involved. But, with Freshly, it really took everything (like all the work!) out of dinner — so that was a change and really refreshing. As a working mom and busy family, that honestly was one of the best parts of the program. You really don't have to lift a finger (okay, maybe to lift it to reheat, but that's it). It was so nice to come home from work and know that dinner was taken care of. The totally recyclable box comes with your selections from the week's menu and as mentioned, it has offerings for specific dietary restrictions (I received the gluten-free meals). But, it also has paleo and veggie-friendly meals, too. I don't have any restrictions, but I do love that they really made that a core element of the options, I feel like I don't see that as much with kits. I definitely pass this information along to my busy, dietary-conscious pals.
All of the ingredients are sustainably sourced (when taking something out of a package this is always a concern) and it tasted super fresh and light. But, the one thing I didn’t love was popping them in the microwave. I’m not someone who loves that method of reheating, so that definitely was a change for me. Also, I do see Freshly's meals maybe being for people that are on-the-go versus looking to sit down and enjoy with your family? My husband and I ended up eating different things (which was kind of fun) but also there were times I liked his meal more and made him trade me. But, Freshly's options could be a great way to bring your lunch to work and feel good about what you're eating and make the reheating process swift. I definitely would recommend Freshly.
Overall Rating: B-
Dinner Kit: Sakara Life
What It Offers: Sakara Life is an easy way to give your body a holistic switch to an organic, plant-based diet. With its Signature Program, you will receive already prepared meals for breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with teas, beauty waters, and detox drinks. Created with doctors, top chefs like Bobby Flay, and nutritionists, Sakara Life aims to fully nourish you with healthy and delicious gourmet dishes with sustainably sourced ingredients that require minimal preparation.
Why You’ll Love It: When I heard about Sakara’s meals that are supposed to give you a goop-worthy glow and take the guesswork out of vegan eating, I had to give it a try. Running down the stairs at 6 a.m. on Monday to find a bag full of healthy — and beautifully packaged — goodies at my front door totally gave me Christmas morning flashbacks. After taking apart my Sakara tote, I had my first sip of Beauty Water. Filled with healthy minerals like rose, silica, trace minerals, and phytoceramides, it wasn’t anything like what I drink from the lovely San Francisco tap. In fact, it made me feel like I was drinking my Glossier Rose Balm Dotcom.
I was so excited to eat every single meal. Not only were they super healthy, but they really were delicious. Strawberry Maca Shortcake for breakfast? Yes, please. I technically didn't have to cook anything, however a few items had a flame graphic on the packaging with instructions how to heat it up for the yummiest results.
Another thing that surprised me? How full I felt throughout the week. I often struggled to finish an entire packaged meal. One of the best parts of the Sakara plan is the founders recognize you are a human being. I knew I couldn’t cut out coffee so I scoured the Sakara website and found this lovely phrase: "So does coffee go on the NO! list? Trick question: there is no NO! list." Bless. However they did recommend transforming your coffee into a morning ritual. I added a dash of turmeric to my cup to "send my adrenals and hormones some love."
At the end of my five-day program, I felt lighter, healthier, and my skin felt clear. I loved not having to think about what I was eating for my next meal and definitely felt some jealous stares from my roommates as I took out my dinner each night. The only drawback to Sakara Life is the price tag. It costs $255 for three days and $410 for five days of all three meals and special drinks. But if you are looking to invest in a healthy revamp, I definitely recommend you go for it.
Overall Rating: A
Dinner Kit: Good Eggs
What It Offers: The San Francisco-based grocery service committed to delivering locally produced food to your door, recently launched their Weeknight Dinner Kit with the same mission in mind — to bring local food to you but in meal form. For $69.99, Good Eggs will send you three meals with three servings each. The dinner kit arrives at your home the same day it's created, so you can count on the food being fresh and ready to eat.
Why You’ll Love It: Before trying out Good Eggs' Weeknight Dinner Kit, I had never ventured into the world of ready-to-make meals. To me, they always seemed like something people with too much extra money and too little time would use. However, when I received the box full of cutely labeled fresh ingredients, recipe cards, and a handy Good Eggs tote bag, I was very intrigued. I am a sucker for brands that pay attention to the tiny details and Good Eggs is one of those brands.
I grew up in a home where my mom made basically everything from scratch, so I'm not averse to cooking. However, I honestly don't spend a lot of time in the kitchen on weeknights and I was interested to see if Good Eggs could get me excited about making dinner. And guess what — the first meal I prepared was a literal joy to make and it tasted absolutely delicious. The recipe was easy to follow, and with all of the ingredients neatly labeled it was a breeze to find everything I needed for the meal.
What I enjoyed most about the dinner kit was how it got me out of my comfort zone. I made dishes that I had never even considered making before and through following the instructions on the recipe card, I even learned some tips on how to prepare the food. Moreover, the amount of food I got was incredibly satisfactory. Not only did my boyfriend and I get seconds with every meal, but also, we had food leftover to take for lunch the next day. The three meals ended up lasting an entire work week, so the cost felt totally justifiable.
Since testing out the Good Eggs Weeknight Dinner Kit I have tried others from different companies and I have to say, Good Eggs remains my number one. The only drawback for me is that they don't offer a vegetarian option yet. But if you're an omnivore looking for tasty meals that are fairly quick to prepare at a great value (and let's be honest, who isn't?) this dinner kit is for you.
Overall Rating: A