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One easy way to keep a close eye on what you’re eating and maintain a well-balanced healthy eating plan during the COVID-19 pandemic is to use one of the many healthy meal delivery services that offer premade dishes or meal kits. Whether you’re looking for a clean eating meal plan (Whole30
style), curious about low carb or keto, or just engaging in some good, old-fashioned calorie counting, healthy meal delivery services offer tailored meal planning with easy weeknight execution to fit just about any diet, picky eater or healthy lifestyle you can dream up — and that’s before we even start talking about premade meals. Even better, all of these healthy meal options from meal kit delivery services taste so good and are immensely satisfying.
Blue Apron may have been the first big player on the healthy meal delivery scene, but specialized kits and delivery services tailored with menu options for organic, vegetarian and vegan lifestyles followed close behind. Meal kit delivery startups like Green Chef and Purple Carrot offer vegetarian-friendly sustainable and organic meal kits. Other meal prep company options like Kettlebell Kitchen, Splendid Spoon and Freshly have taken things one step further, delivering delicious, healthy, fully prepared meals, soups and grain bowls on a weekly basis, taking all the guesswork out of lunch and dinner and helping protein-hungry athletes and everyday folks with a special diet or dietary restrictions stay on track.
Plant-based nuggets vs. the real thing
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Of the many healthy meal kit and meal delivery services now in the market, many have a unique health bent or diet specialty hoping to carve out a customer niche that might benefit most from their culinary and delivery offerings. There are meal delivery kits for keto and paleo lifestyles, organic or vegan diets, vegetarian meal options, low-calorie meal plans to aid in losing weight and much more.
Though we did not test each and every meal kit or service, we did dive into the specific meal option offerings and menus (as they relate to health and diet) as well as the plans and pricing details for some of the most popular services available in 2020 to help you find the best healthy meal kit or meal delivery for you. So if you like your ingredients sent straight to you fresh — and you like to make dinner from those fresh ingredients — read on!
These products and services are independently chosen by our editors and periodically updated.
Read more: The best store-bought keto barbecue sauces
With more than 38 meal kits and recipes to choose from on its menu in any given week, including convenient one-pan dinners and oven-ready meals, Home Chef is a good choice for having simple and delicious healthy meal delivery at home.
One thing to like about Home Chef is you can easily customize or sub the protein in your meal kit, so if a certain dish sounds tasty but you’re not a big pork person, you can swap in some chicken or fish as one of the ingredients. Home Chef also allows you to order double the protein in your meal without doubling the overall portion, so it’s a great low-carb meal kit option for keto or paleo diets. You can also choose to order antibiotic-free protein from the menu instead of the standard version for an added cost.
Pricing and subscription: Meals start at $7.99 per serving with additional premium Home Chef recipes and add-ons offered at market price. You can add fruit for a few extra dollars, for instance — the perfect defense against those 3 p.m. cravings or late-night snacking woes. If you order now, you can get $20 off your first four boxes.
Probably the most recognizable of the meal kit services, Blue Apron has a lot of healthy, fresh options on the menu — and just a lot of options, in general. Blue Apron recently teamed up with Weight Watchers for easy-to-cook healthy recipes that align with its point system, making it easy for those in the program to have a healthy diet meal plan and keep track. Blue Apron offers customers roughly 8 to 12 delicious meals to choose from per week including more than one vegetarian option as well as a few that were created for the Weight Watchers Freestyle program.
Separate from Weight Watchers meals, their vegetarian options get high marks in the reviews we read, but if you are full-on vegan or vegetarian, there are likely better vegetarian specialty meal kit and meal delivery services with more daily/weekly plant-based options and ingredients. Blue Apron also has one of the most user-friendly interfaces of all the meal kit services and optional wine pairings, too.
Pricing and subscription: Price per serving ranges from $7.49 to $9.99, with options to prepare two to four recipes per week and two or four servings per recipe. Keep an eye out for special offers.
Sun Basket’s healthy meal delivery service focuses on fresh ingredients with easy-to-cook recipes, many of which are designed specifically for various diets and dietary restrictions, including low-carb, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, keto, paleo and more. Each week starts with 18 dinner options on the menu — like shrimp paella or turkey meatballs with cashew crema — of which you pick two, three or four to be delivered the following week.
Sun Basket also has an entire menu of healthy food to add to your order in the form of snacks like red pepper hummus, miso broth, sous vide egg bites and coconut yogurt. Sun Basket is one of the meal kits with the best variety, and you can really customize your weekly order to your specifications.
Pricing and subscription: Each serving runs about $12, so three dishes per week (six total servings) will run you about $72. The family plan offers better value but less selection, with just six meals to choose from per week; however, the portions serve four adults (with leftovers). For the family plan, three fresh meals (12 total servings) costs about $132.
Freshly is a simple yet consistent ready-to-eat meal subscription (not a meal kit). And it’s fresh, like the name says. Freshly’s meals eliminate any prep needed for services like Blue Apron and HelloFresh, serving single-portion meals for the health-conscious person who may not have time or interest in cooking. Freshly’s meals come frozen, to be heated up in a microwave or conventional oven. The average meal option has about 500 calories per serving and is gluten free, all-natural and free of refined sugar. A few ready-to-eat meals from Freshly’s menu include a hearty penne Bolognese bake, chicken with coconut curry and turkey mushroom meatloaf. It’s even easier than getting the ingredients!
Pricing and subscription: Freshly meal plans start at $50 for 4 meals ($12.50 per meal) and get cheaper the more you order. If you go big with the 12-meals-per-week plan, each one breaks down to just $9.
Purple Carrot is one of the original plant-based meal delivery services. The 100% vegan meal kit service scores points for its inventive and interesting fresh meat-free ingredients and meal prep options like cauliflower and quinoa kofta or sticky apricot seitan stir fry. Purple Carrot makes it easy to sort its offerings into high protein or gluten-free meals that satisfy even nonvegetarians. Do be aware that some of its meals take some time and a little skill to put together, but if quality, homemade vegan meals are a priority for you, this is probably the best meal kit pick.
In addition to the tasty vegan meals, you can add extras like banana chia pudding or overnight oats with apricot, goji berries and cashew butter.
Pricing and subscription: Purple Carrot meals cost you roughly $12 per serving, which isn’t exactly cheap for vegan food, but you can choose between two plans designed for either singles or couples (three two-serving meals per week) or a family (two six-serving meals per week).
While it’s not a traditional meal kit or meal delivery, Hungryroot is an intersection of AI and grocery shopping delivery to send a curated heap (based on your preferences) of healthy groceries, snacks and preseasoned proteins for quick meals, or more intricate meal-making (if you choose). This is a good option if you like to cook and are looking for some healthy kitchen inspiration, but find meal kits but to be a little restrictive. Like, maybe you just don’t want tilapia tacos tonight.
Hungryroot is banking on the fact that you’ll love its expert suggestions for fun, high-quality grocery store products like wild mushroom chicken meatballs, Thai peanut sauce or a crunchy carrot-lentil mix. The initial consultation is actually pretty basic, just accounting for dietary restrictions and allergies. But don’t worry, you can fully customize your order after checkout, so if you hate beets, you don’t have to have beets. Hungryroot will also send recommended recipes that can be made with the items you’re getting.
Pricing and subscription: Small grocery deliveries are $69 and include groceries to make three to four two-serving meals, plus snacks. Medium deliveries are $99 and should make roughly four to five two-serving meals, plus snacks, while large deliveries go for $129 and are enough for five to six two-serving meals, plus snacks.
Green Chef is a healthy organic meal-kit delivery service that will tailor your plan to maintain a paleo, keto, vegetarian (plant-powered) or just a steady balanced diet. Roughly 90% of the ingredients included in Green Chef’s meal kits are certified organic and meats are sustainably fished, farmed and raised without hormones or antibiotics.
Like Blue Apron or Sun Basket, Green Chef provides all the organic ingredients needed to cook a fairly simple meal — generally in less than 30 minutes — and thoughtful recipe cards with photos make following instructions easy like with the simple teriyaki pork meatballs. There are some meal kit services on our list with more total options per week, but Green Chef definitely scores points for quality, healthiness and ease of use.
Pricing and subscription: Green Chef’s organic offerings start at around $8 per meal and allow you to customize or skip weeks when traveling, etc.
Eat Clean Bro
You can tell by the name, Eat Clean Bro, is after a particular segment of the population: Bros, of course. And where do bros hang out? Gyms. So this prepared meal service — as you might have already guessed — focuses on clean, healthy, protein-packed meals to support that gym life.
“Bros” who use the prepared meal delivery service (available in select markets only) pick a minimum of five prepared meals to be delivered on the next delivery day. The meals are categorized by protein type (salmon, chicken, pork, etc.) or into popular diet categories like clean, lean, under 400 calories, keto-friendly, vegetarian and more.
Pricing and subscription: Meals start at $8.50 and go up to $13 for dishes like salmon and steak.
This is definitely the best meal delivery for ready-to-go, healthy breakfast and lunches. Splendid Spoon is hoping to entice folks who want to keep it simple, easy and nutritious for breakfast and lunch with its ready-made smoothies, soups and grain bowls delivered to your door weekly.
Splendid Spoon puts an emphasis on nourishing ingredients, but doesn’t slack on taste because of it. Soups include cauliflower tikka and Mexican tomato, while smoothies come in tasty combos like almond butter and jelly, blueberry acai and a green matcha smoothie with spirulina, ginger and turmeric. Soups and smoothies are loosely categorized by their overall intended effect, like “heal,” “energize” and “refresh.” Splendid Spoon also offers a full-day soup cleanse add-on to “reset” your system.
Pricing and subscription: Splendid Spoon offers a few options, like a breakfast plan with five smoothies per week (most are relatively low in sugar) or a lunch plan, which is five days of veggie packed soups, stews or grain bowls for $65. Or get the whole shebang: an entire five days’ worth of smoothies and lunches (soups and grain bowls) for $135. It is a subscription, but you’re free to cancel anytime, including after the first week if you want to just try it out.
Prepped, frozen and vegetarian (no cooking or assembly required), Veestro’s meals are shipped and can be heated up in either a microwave or conventional oven. Veestro proves to be one of the more affordable meal delivery services, with 15 meals per week (three meals a day) clocking in at just $130 (with the current discount). Veestro has a truly massive selection of vegetarian meals, and you build a box of 10, 20 or 30 meals at a time to be delivered in bulk when you want.
If calorie-counting is important to your health goals, Veestro tries to keep the three daily meals in its “Weight Loss” program around or less than 1,200 calories with dishes like veggie red curry with tofu, seitan soba noodles, meatless shepherd’s pie and breakfast burritos. Once you get your first plan, you can start to customize, reordering dishes you liked and skipping those you didn’t.
Pricing and subscription: There are several options. A custom or chef’s choice plan of 10 meals cost $117. Twenty meals cost $217 and 30 meals will cost you $297. The weight loss plan, which includes three meals per day for five days, recurring, is $176 for five days of meals or $227 for seven days of food.
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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.