How to Find the Best Meal Delivery Service

Sometimes, I feel like I blinked, and the meal delivery service industry exploded. There used to be one or two niche companies that would send recipes and meal kits to your door and a small handful of diet-specific (and not very tasty) companies that would sell subscriptions for pre-packaged weight-loss meals or shakes (most of which looked and tasted like cardboard).

I can’t say that I’m surprised at how many meal delivery services there are on the market these days—meal subscriptions are extremely convenient, they’re fun, and their quality has never been better. However, the fact that there are so many options can make it a challenge to determine which meal subscription is the best for you.

Luckily, I love meal subscriptions, and I feel like I’ve tried them all at this point. (I haven’t, but I’m also not slowing down!) Below, I’ll cover some tips for how to find the best meal delivery service for you, as well as some of my favorites and which lifestyles I think they’re best for. 

Bottom Line Up Front

Meal subscriptions aren’t a one-size-fits-all service. The one that works best for you won’t necessarily be the one that best suits someone else’s lifestyle. If you’re looking for a meal delivery service, the most important thing to do is consider:

A) The ways in which you want it to improve your life (convenience, health, creativity, etc.), and

B) What you want to eat.

Ultimately, these are the two most important things you should consider when choosing a meal delivery service.

How to Find the Best Meal Delivery Service

1. Think About Your Needs

What you hope to gain from subscribing to a meal delivery service should be one of the biggest factors in determining which service is best for you. Are you hoping to simplify (or eliminate) your meal prep? Do you want to reduce your food waste? Are you interested in learning new recipes and cooking techniques?

To some extent, most meal subscriptions will cater to several of these needs, but none excel at all of them. Figure out which are your priorities and go from there.

2. Choose a Provider that Caters to Your Diet and Lifestyle

With so many options available on the market, food delivery companies have started to specialize in one or a few things while targeting specific groups of clients. Maybe you need a plant-based meal delivery service, or perhaps you want one that’s focused on helping you lose weight.

Do you need to consume diabetic-friendly meals, or do you suffer from certain food allergies? All these should be seriously taken into consideration before deciding to subscribe to a meal delivery service. I would strongly suggest you choose healthy options as much as possible.

After all, no one wants to gain convenience and comfort from receiving their meals at home but harm or affect their overall well-being by eating unhealthy foods. Check out our guide to the best healthy meal delivery services to learn more.

3. Establish a Budget

Meal delivery subscriptions are significantly cheaper than ordering takeout regularly, but they might be more expensive than your regular grocery budget, depending on where you shop and how often you cook at home.

However, one of the major benefits of meal subscriptions is the reduced food waste. If you’re an over-shopper at the grocery store (guilty as charged!), you may actually save yourself some cash in the long run by signing up for a meal delivery service.

Regardless, it’s always a good idea to figure out what you can afford before signing up for a plan.

4. Consider Your Skill Level and Available Time

Some meal delivery kits are suited for beginners, while others work better for more experienced cooks, but there are options that match all culinary skills and abilities. Many of the kits listed below can actually help improve your cooking abilities if that’s something you’re interested in.

There are also meal subscriptions that will send you prepared meals that don’t require any cooking skills at all! This is where I would recommend not only considering your skills in the kitchen but also your available time.

If one of your biggest reasons for exploring the idea of a meal delivery service is to save on time, you might be better off with a prepared meal service or quick and easy kits.

5. Research Meals and Recipes

Besides costs and health needs, the most important thing regarding a meal kit service is that it offers recipes you want to eat. It’s true, however, that this factor is highly subjective, and it all comes down to personal preference.

Some people are more courageous and are willing to try new cuisines, while others are conservative and like to stick to recipes they’re familiar with, like traditional foods. If you’re looking for variety, then you should opt for those services that combine or alternate creativity and traditionalism.

Whatever you choose, make sure the meals you’re about to order suit your tastes.

The Best Meal Delivery Services

The Criteria I Used to Select These Meal Delivery Services

  • Healthy food: While their nutritional values and calorie counts aren’t the same across the board, the meal delivery services on this list only offer minimally processed healthy meals and meal kits. 
  • Taste: Every individual has different preferences when it comes to taste, so I made sure each subscription’s available selection contained enough variety to satisfy different palates.  
  • Easy-to-make recipes: I think that to be one of the best meal delivery services, a subscription has to be easy to use and accessible. I only chose meal kits that could be easily prepped (though some are more challenging than others) and only required basic kitchen utensils. I also chose “heat-and-eat” prepared meal subscriptions that only need to be reheated in the microwave, oven, or stovetop.
  • Packaging: My biggest gripe with meal delivery services, especially meal kits, has always been how much packaging they use—and I highly doubt I’m alone there. While some amount of packaging is necessary to ship food across any distance (especially for food safety reasons), I focused on meal subscriptions that use recyclable packaging whenever possible.

1. Blue Apron – The Best for Teaching Cooking Techniques

blue apron

Blue Apron is one of the most popular meal delivery services on the market. It was one of the first meal kit services, and its brand recognition and quality ingredients have led to its sustained popularity.

Blue Apron’s recipes are a bit more challenging than some of their competitors, but their instructions are still very easy to follow. They’re perfect for anyone ready to learn some new techniques in the kitchen and level up their cooking skills—they even post video cooking tutorials on their website and app.

In addition to meal kit subscriptions, they also offer a wine subscription, add-ons, and a la carte meal kits, including family-style holiday meals!

Key Features:

  • Standout Features: Quality ingredients, great for improving your cooking skills.
  • Meal Types: Meal kits with some ready-to-cook options.
  • Dietary Restriction Options: Vegetarian, carb-conscious, “wellness,” low-calorie.
  • Meals Per Week: 2 to 5 
  • Servings Per Meal: 2 or 4
  • Price Per Serving: $7.99 to $12.49


  • They have inspired recipes made with quality ingredients.
  • They offer fun add-ons like kitchen utensils and wine, which makes Blue Apron great for gifting
  • The average price per meal is around $10, which makes this one of the more affordable meal delivery services.


  • Blue Apron doesn’t have as extensive a selection of meals available each week as other services. 
  • They’re not a great option if you have dietary restrictions or allergies. 
  • Blue Apron might be challenging for new cooks. Some of the recipes require you to already be familiar with basic cooking techniques. However, it’s an excellent option for anyone looking to hone their skills.

Check out how Blue Apron compares to other meal deliveries and more related guides below:

2. Hello Fresh – Great for Families

HelloFresh is one of the greatest meal delivery services for families. Their boxes come with easy-to-follow instructions, and many of the meals can be prepared in 30 minutes or less.

They have one of the largest selections of meals available each week, and many of them are customizable with different protein options. The meals tend to be simple, family-friendly crowd pleasers and comfort foods. 

Key Features:

  • Standout Features: Family-friendly, large selection, customizable meals. 
  • Meal Types: Meal kits, some heat-and-eat meals. 
  • Dietary Restriction Options: Vegetarian, pescatarian, “fit and wholesome.” 
  • Meals Per Week: 2 to 6
  • Servings Per Meal: 2 or 4
  • Price Per Serving: $8.99 to $12.49


  • They use very high-quality ingredients, especially for their price point. 
  • They’re one of the most cost-effective meal subscriptions. 
  • They strive to be eco-friendly. HelloFresh is committed to reducing both their packaging and emissions. 
  • I love their meal variety. They have a wide selection of meals and types of cuisine available each week, so you won’t get bored and or feel like you’re stuck in a rut.


  • They’re not the best option if you have allergies, dietary restrictions, or follow a specific dietary lifestyle. 
  • You can’t browse their add-on selection before signing up for a subscription. 

Check out how Hello Fresh compares to other meal deliveries and more related guides below:

3. Sun Basket: Most Flexible Organic Option

Sun Basket is all about sustainability and organic food. They use at least 98% organic produce, and all the meat they serve is free from hormones and antibiotics. Moreover, their seafood is wild-caught, and the eggs they offer are pastured.

I especially love how varied and flexible their menu is. You can combine regular meal kits, “speedy” meal kits, and prepared meals all on one subscription. 

Key Features:

  • Standout Features: Organic.
  • Meal Types: Meal kits and prepared meals. 
  • Dietary Restriction Options: Vegetarian, pescatarian, paleo, gluten-free, Mediterranean, keto, carb-conscious, diabetes-friendly. 
  • Meals Per Week: 2 to 5
  • Servings Per Meal: 2 or 4 
  • Price Per Serving: $11.50 to $14 for meal kits, $9.99 for prepared meals. 


  • All meals are organic, and they have received a certificate from the USDA that proves that.
  • You will benefit from healthy and nutritious recipes made with healthy ingredients, including organic meat.
  • The company collaborates with a team of award-winning chefs and experienced nutritionists.
  • Their packaging is entirely recyclable and compostable.
  • You can choose from both meal kits and prepared meals for your subscription.


  • Despite the many dietary restrictions they cater to, Sunbasket isn’t great for individuals with food allergies due to risk of cross-contamination. 
  • Unlike most meal subscriptions, you can’t cancel Sunbasket from your account page. You have to submit a form to cancel your subscription.

Check out how Sun Basket compares to other meal deliveries and more related guides below:

4. Green Chef: My Favorite Organic Meal Kit

Green Chef is a USDA-certified organic company. They’re owned by HelloFresh, and they provide similar restaurant-quality meals with easy-to-follow recipes. Green Chef’s meals are simple yet elevated.

I prefer them slightly over Sunbasket’s meals, though their subscription doesn’t offer the ability to combine meal kits and prepared meals. 

Key Features:

  • Standout Features: Certified organic
  • Meal Types: Meal kits
  • Dietary Restriction Options: Plant-based, gluten-free, keto, Mediterranean, calorie-smart, protein-packed. 
  • Meals Per Week: 2 to 4
  • Servings Per Meal: 2, 4 or 6
  • Price Per Serving: $11.99 to $13.49


  • All the meals are tasty and use high-quality, organic ingredients
  • Many of their meal kits are customizable, just like HelloFresh’s. 
  • Their recipes are easy to follow
  • I love that you can order plans that serve six people—it’s great for larger families


  • Shipping is not included. 
  • They don’t offer prepared meals.

Why Go With Green Chef?

Green Chef is a meal kit service that delivers boxes filled with fresh ingredients on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis to make chef-curated meals. Diet and allergen friendly options, are one of the reasons I love Green Chef. Save big with $250 off and enjoy free shipping using code VENT250

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Check out how Green Chef compares to other meal delivery services:

5.  Purple Carrot: Best Vegan Meal Kit

Purple Carrot is a 100% plant-based meal kit subscription service. While other companies, like Green Chef and HelloFresh, have worked to increase their vegan options, Purple Carrot is still the standout meal service if you want a company that’s 100% plant-based.

Their meal kits and prepared meals are simple, colorful, and fresh, with globally inspired flavors and seasonal comfort foods. Purple Carrot is an excellent option for vegans—you can choose from the whole menu available each week!

Key Features:

  • Standout Features: Plant-based.
  • Meal Types: Meal kits, prepared meals. 
  • Dietary Restriction Options: Vegan/plant-based (which includes dairy-free), gluten-free, soy-free, nut-free, high-protein, high-fiber. 
  • Meals Per Week: 2 to 4 for meal kits, 6 to 10 for prepared meals. 
  • Servings Per Meal: 2 or 4 for meal kits, prepared meals are single-serve. 
  • Price Per Serving: $11 to $13.25 for meal kits, $13 for prepared meals.


  • I like that there’s a subscription that allows vegans to choose from the entire menu, rather than just a few meals each week. 
  • They have an assortment of plant-based breakfasts, lunches, and pantry items that you can add to your order each week. 
  • Choose from meal kits, prepared meals, or both. 


  • While I love that a plant-based meal subscription exists, I actually prefer some of the plant-based meals from other not-strictly plant-based companies (like Green Chef and Thistle). 
  • Some meals are only available for two-serving plans, not those serving four. 
  • Their recipes don’t include preparing the vegetables in the steps. They expect you to peel/chop vegetables to their specifications (listed in the ingredients section) before you begin step one of the recipe.

Better Vegan Alternatve
Why Go With Purple Carrot?

Choose from meal kits OR ready to go "heat and serve" prepared meals, Purple Carrot has premium ingredients (100% plant based, vegan). I love that I can get delicious vegan dishes, without having to "think" about how to do it.

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Check out how Purple Carrot compares to other meal delivery services below:

6.  Factor: Keto Prepared Meals

Unlike many of the subscriptions on this list, Factor strictly delivers prepared meals and not meal kits. The meals are each a single serving and are delivered fresh, not frozen.

While they do offer meals that are vegetarian, vegan, and calorie-smart, where Factor really shines is their keto meals. Many of their meals are low in carbs and high in protein, and a huge portion of them meet the target macros for those following the keto diet, with most of their calories coming from protein and good fats.

Key Features:

  • Standout Features: Great for Keto or any high-protein, low-carb diets. 
  • Meal Types: Fresh (not frozen) prepared meals. 
  • Dietary Restriction Options: Keto, vegetarian, vegan, protein-plus, calorie-smart, carb-conscious. 
  • Meals Per Week: 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, or 18. 
  • Servings Per Meal: One. 
  • Price Per Serving: $10.99 to $13.49


  • There’s no prep, cooking, or dishes involved—just pop a meal in the microwave or oven and enjoy! 
  • Each subscription comes with a complimentary 20-minute consultation with a nutritionist. 
  • The meals are healthy, but taste like meat and potatoes-style comfort foods. 


  • I found the meals to be pretty high in sodium. 
  • Factor is great for those on the keto or a low-carb/high-protein diet, but they only offer a few meals each week for those who aren’t. I think they should either go fully keto/high protein or add more variety. (For example, there are only two or three vegetarian meals available each week). 
  • Many of the vegetable sides I tried felt like afterthoughts.

Check out how Factor compares to other meal delivery services and much more

7. Thistle: Fresh, Plant-Forward Meals

Thistle is another meal subscription that only sends prepared meals—many of which are meant to be eaten fresh with no reheating necessary. They specialize in plant-forward meals and have plant-based or meat-added variations of each of their lunches and dinners.

Thistle is my favorite fresh meal delivery service, especially for their lunches—their entree-sized salads are crisp, delicious, and very satisfying.

Key Features:

  • Standout Features: Plant-forward, with plant-based and omnivore options. 
  • Meal Types: Prepared meals
  • Dietary Restriction Options: Vegan, omnivore. All of their meals are 100% gluten- and dairy-free. 
  • Meals Per Week: Up to 6 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 6 dinners, & 6 snacks. 
  • Servings Per Meal: One
  • Price Per Serving: Breakfasts: $12.50, Lunches/Dinners: $14.50 to $16.50, Snacks: $6. 


  • Everything was super fresh (seriously—even the baby spinach and leafy greens). 
  • I like that they make light, plant-forward meals interesting and filling. 
  • I like that you can choose between a plant-based or meat-added version of each lunch and dinner, and especially love that meat is treated as a component of a dish, but never the main component. 


  • They only offer one option for each meal for four “meals” a day, six days a week. If you want to order all six days’ worth of food, you won’t have any alternate options to choose from. 
  • They’re more expensive than many other meal delivery services.

Check out how Thistle compares to other meal delivery services and much more:

8. EveryPlate: Best Budget Option

EveryPlate is another meal kit company that falls under the HelloFresh umbrella. They’re a budget-friendly option with simple, family-friendly recipes. EveryPlate is more affordable than other subscriptions because they stock their meal kits with more affordable ingredients.

For example, you’ll see a lot of simple sides like roast carrots and potatoes and more affordable proteins like chicken thighs, ground meat, and beans.

None of the ingredients I received from EveryPlate were spoiled, but some weren’t as pretty as the ones featured in other meal kits. (If you’re familiar with Misfits Market, you know what I’m talking about; if you’re not, check out our Misfits Market review here).

The fact that EveryPlate’s recipes are so simple and contain a minimal amount of ingredients actually makes them an excellent choice for picky eaters. Plus, you can’t beat their prices.

Key Features:

  • Standout Features: Budget-friendly
  • Meal Types: Meal kits
  • Dietary Restriction Options: Veggie, “nutrish and delish.” 
  • Meals Per Week: 3 to 6
  • Servings Per Meal: 2, 4, or 6
  • Price Per Serving: $4.99 to $7.49


  • Very Affordable. 
  • The recipes are easy to follow and are great for teaching novices how to cook. 
  • Meals are family-friendly and great for picky eaters. 


  • The ingredients aren’t as high-quality as more expensive meal kits. 
  • It’s not a great subscription for anyone with dietary restrictions. 
  • The low-cost sides accompanying many of the meals may start to feel redundant after a while. 
  • Because meal kits are filled out with inexpensive proteins and simple carbs, EveryPlate isn’t as healthy as many of the other meal subscriptions on this list. 

Check out how EveryPlate compares to other meal delivery services and much more:


Question: What are the benefits of a meal delivery service?

Answer: Meal delivery services can be a great way to save time and energy, try new things, eat healthier, and practice portion control, among other things. 

Question: What are the disadvantages of meal delivery services?

Answer: Meal delivery services can cost more than buying and preparing groceries yourself. Other than that, lack of options and the fact that you need to make/eat the meals before they spoil are the main disadvantages of meal subscriptions. 

Question: Are meal kit subscriptions easy to prepare?

Answer: Although some kits are easier to prepare than others, in general, most meal kits are designed to be convenient and easy to prepare at home. 

How to Find the Best Meal Delivery Service: Drawing to a Close

All the tips mentioned in this article will help you choose a meal delivery service that matches your needs, personal preferences, and budget. Make sure to do your research and choose one that provides the right meals for you and your lifestyle, but don’t worry if the first subscription you try doesn’t work out—the beauty of having so many options is that you can keep trying new ones until you find the one that’s best for you. 

Meal delivery services can save you time, energy, and reduce your mental load. They can be a great way to relax and unwind in the evening and can even teach you to be a better cook.

Some will save you time, others will save you money, and some will help you stick to your health or nutritional goals. Check out our in-depth reviews and comparisons to find the meal delivery service that works best for you! 

Other Meal Subscription Guides:

Special Diets

Vegan and Vegetarian Meal Delivery Guides


Meal Delivery Services for Families