Meal kit with ingredients and recipes

(Photo by Rimma Bondarenko on Shutterstock)

Finding the time to cook can be a hurdle for many of us with busy lives. Between meal planning, grocery shopping, and the actual art of cooking, it seems there just aren’t enough hours in the day. Meal kit subscriptions have gained immense popularity over the last decade for people battling these very struggles. These food box delivery services help customers who are crunched on time, and offer a great way to avoid the poor health decisions that often go hand-in-hand with quick carryout or delivery options. If you’ve been thinking about giving one of these subscriptions a try, you may be wondering which ones the experts say are the very best meal kit delivery services out there.

One of the key factors in being the best meal kit service is quality of the grub. Many of the foods we get from restaurants or chain restaurants are highly processed, with a recent study revealing an increased risk of cancer, heart disease, and premature death linked to these items. 

Other research indicates fast foods like burgers and other takeaway items could be the cause behind many cases of anxiety and depression. Researchers from Florida Atlantic University’s Schmidt College of Medicine say they have found a connection between consuming too much junk food and adverse mental health affects on a daily basis, in other words: you are what you eat.

Meal kit delivery subscriptions are an excellent way to cut back on the amount of energy you put toward menu planning while still getting a relatively healthy meal at a low-cost per serving. As the meal kit industry boomed through the 2010s and 2020s, hundreds of companies began to swarm the U.S. market. With so many options, how do you know which food box subscription service to choose? 

For our findings, we visited 10 of the leading expert websites to see which meal kit subscriptions were rated the highest so you can eat better and stress less. Our list is ranked based on the most-recommended meal kits across these sites. 

Hello Fresh Meal Kit Food Delivery Service
(© Daria Nipot – stock.adobe.com)

The List: Best Meal Kit Services, According To The Experts

1. Home Chef

If you’re looking for endless options and customization with your meal kit delivery service, Home Chef is the way to go.

“There’s something for everyone at Home Chef. Each weekly menu includes at least 20 meal kits, all of which come with portioned ingredients and everything you’ll need to cook. You can choose from plenty of 30-ish-minute options, plus more premium recipes and 15-minute kits. As a bonus, you can filter meal options when you’re filling your box to see only low-calorie entrées,” Glamour writes.

Meals start at about $9-$10 per serving and vary based on ingredients and location.

“Before ordering, you’ll be prompted to take a quiz that personalizes your menu based on your taste, serving size and delivery preferences. When looking at individual menu options, each meal shows the estimated time it takes to make. The high customizability made this a standout service for our experts, who emphasized the ability to customize anything from portion sizes to the amount of protein,” NBC News writes.

>>>Get $35 Off Your First Order On HomeChef

2. Hello Fresh

Said to be America’s most popular meal kit, Hello Fresh is a great and affordable option for those looking for hearty, fuss-free, reliable meals.

“It has a lot going for it: There are plenty of options to choose from, the shipping is quick, and the meals are super easy to cook. I sometimes eat meat (the cuts of beef and pork I received were tasty, fresh, and high-quality) but was happy to see plenty of vegetarian and plant-based options to choose from,” Bon Appetit writes.

The meal kits cost about $70 per week for three meals that feed two people.

“Hello Fresh is great for folks who like to have a hand in cooking their own dinner. It comes with both fresh ingredients and easy-to-follow preparation instructions. They also allow you to choose recipes based on your dietary preferences, including veggie, classic, pescatarian, and calorie-smart, as well as quick-and-easy or family plans,” Runner’s World writes.

>>>Get $30 Off Your First HelloFresh Order

3. Daily Harvest

Daily Harvest is a great option for those looking for ready-to-go meals and snacks that are not only good for yourself, but good for the planet. The company prides itself on sustainably sourced produce, and its line of smoothies and sides are particularly popular among healthy eaters who are short on time.

“When you want to ditch your daily bodega bagel and get into healthier breakfast eating, look here. As long as you own a blender, Daily Harvest’s smoothies are an easy and nutritious choice. Beyond that, it also makes bowls, soups, lattes, and even ice cream options—all dairy free. Take you pick from the number of items and delivery frequency,” Esquire writes.

Items start at $6-$7 per serving and, impressively, 98 percent of the ingredients are certified organic. 

“Get your daily dose of fruits and vegetables with a weekly selection of chia parfaits, overnight oats, soups, smoothies, lattes, or grain harvest bowls from Daily Harvest. Each pre-portioned cup or bowl is packed with the best organic ingredients, requires barely any preparation, and can be stored in your freezer until you’re ready to eat,” Real Simple writes.

>>>Get $30 Off Your First Order On Daily Harvest

4. Dinnerly

If you’re wanting to get into the world of meal kit subscriptions, but not looking to invest a lot – Dinnerly is a great place to start. With prices as low as just $5 per meal, there’s no better value on the market.

“It uses the same quality ingredients as other brands, but is able to keep costs low by using digital recipe cards instead of printing instructions on paper and featuring meals that call for fewer ingredients—think one-pot tomato ravioli with pesto sauce and Thai coconut beef curry with rice,” Real Simple writes.

You may not be making a Michelin-starred dinner any time soon, but if you’re looking for simple, quality meals, this is the place to go.

“Our experts were impressed by the flavorful and creative meals. Testers really enjoyed them too, saying that they were ‘satisfying, filling and out of our normal realm of what we would typically choose,’” Good Housekeeping writes. 

>>>Save Up To 60% On Your First Dinnerly Box

5. Sun Basket

Healthy eats and chefs alike love Sun Basket for their high-quality, organic ingredients, and numerous options.

“The company is not only committed to sending the cleanest ingredients in each meal kit, but it offers 10 different plans so that you can find one that fits your lifestyle. It even offers microwave- and oven-ready meals that are ready in minutes,” Real Simple writes.

Meal kits start at around $12 per serving and $10 per serving for Fresh & Ready meals.

“With a plethora of different meal kit options catering to gluten-free, vegan, diabetic, and Mediterranean diets, there’s something for everyone with Sun Basket. They offer fresh, organic produce along with responsibly-sourced meats and seafood,” Women’s Health writes.

>>>Free Shipping On Your First SunBasket delivery

Editor’s Choice: Home Chef

“I’m glad to see that we use one of the best meal kit subscription services in our house. There are so many to choose from and we started using Home Chef because of the many options for meals that fit the various tastes in my home,” says StudyFinds Editor-in-Chief Steve Fink. “It’s great that there’s no obligation to buy meals every week nor do you have to spend a certain amount. It’s a la carte and they make it super simple not only to choose your meals, but to cook them to when the ingredients arrive in the mail. The products are shipped and packaged so that everything stays fresh, and we’ve really enjoyed using this service — particularly as a family with young kids.”

>>>Get $35 Off Your First Order On HomeChef

Sources

Note: This article was not paid for nor sponsored. StudyFinds is not connected to nor partnered with any of the brands mentioned and receives no compensation for its recommendations.

About Meaghan Babaker

Meaghan Babaker is a journalist and freelance writer previously based out of New York City while working for CBS New York, CBS Local and MSNBC. After moving to Geneva, Switzerland in 2016, she went on to write for Digital Luxury Group, The Travel Corporation and other international publications before joining the editorial team at StudyFinds.

Our Editorial Process

StudyFinds publishes digestible, agenda-free, transparent research summaries that are intended to inform the reader as well as stir civil, educated debate. We do not agree nor disagree with any of the studies we post, rather, we encourage our readers to debate the veracity of the findings themselves. All articles published on StudyFinds are vetted by our editors prior to publication and include links back to the source or corresponding journal article, if possible.

Our Editorial Team

Steve Fink

Editor-in-Chief

Chris Melore

Editor

Sophia Naughton

Associate Editor

1 Comment

  1. Carlos says:

    Hello Fresh vegetarian is delicious, but I’d also like kosher pescatarian. Alas, shrimp is often included. I’ll be checking the other 4 to see if they have a kosher option.