We’ve covered everything from keto to comfort cuisine and everything in between. We tested the leading subscriptions to determine the finest prepared food delivery services in 2022.
Prepared meal delivery services are far more widespread than just a few years ago, bringing high-quality food and easy-to-make dinners into homes all over the country. They’re not just for novice cooks; they’re also ideal for people who lead hectic lifestyles and don’t have time to prepare a nutritious and tasty supper at the end of the day. That is why meal kit delivery services are so beneficial.
Unlike the Swansons and Hungry Mans of the past, modern meal delivery is prepared right before it’s given to you, eliminating the need for harmful preservatives. We’ve had some meal deliveries that rival restaurant takeaways, but it’s all delivered in bulk to your door, ready to enjoy or freeze for later.
There’s a prepared meal delivery outfit to serve you and your crew, whether it’s vegan meal delivery, keto food, low-calorie dinners, or homestyle classics to give you time back during the week. It was no easy task to test (and taste) the best meal subscriptions and compile this list, as there are dozens of services that will keep you fed without having to cook. We’ve done the legwork for you because we don’t want you to waste time and money searching through the garbage.
In 2022, what we love about food delivery
Dinner preparation can be pleasurable, but dinner exhaustion can set in very quickly. Because most restaurants charge a premium for delivery and meal prep can chew up valuable work hours, a simple meal plan from one of these services can help lighten your daily load without breaking the bank. If the idea of meal delivery makes you think of overly salted instant mashed potatoes and mystery meat, rest assured that prepared food, both fresh and frozen, has come a long way in recent years. I’ve tried over 20 of the best meal delivery services, and several of them produce healthy meals that only take a few minutes to prepare and will even help you stick to your dietary goals.
An oven-ready meal kit delivery service will take care of the prep, shopping, and planning for folks who still want to cook but need a little help. However, if you want an utterly prepared dinner, there are services for that, and we’ve put some of the most well-known meal delivery services as well as a few newcomers to the test to see which ones hold up and which ones require a lot of ketchup just to be eaten.
Searching for the perfect meal to eat while watching How I Met Your Father @HIMYFonHulu on Tuesdays?— HelloFresh US (@HelloFresh) February 1, 2022
We’ve got delicious dish pairings that’ll have you falling in love at first bite. ???? #Sponsor @hulu
Check out the perfect dishes for dishing: https://t.co/6pMS9bBhGH pic.twitter.com/Qg6Krou78q
How much does dinner delivery cost?
Meal delivery does not have to be expensive. We found some low-cost meal delivery businesses with servings as low as $5 per serving, but most are between $9 and $11 per meal. Apart from harmful fast food, finding restaurants or takeout services that would feed you nutritious and delicious food at such a low price is difficult. And several of these low-cost meal subscriptions served food on par with the more expensive options.
Is food delivery good for you?
The prepared meal subscription sector has flourished, with new chef-led firms offering ready-to-eat meals to match every taste preference, diet plan, lifestyle, and budget. You can find healthy, pre-made meals for vegetarians, vegans, keto dieters, paleo dieters, and just about everyone else. Finding the best healthy meal service depends on your personal nutrition goals. Still, to help you narrow it down, we’ve been testing and tasting our way through a few popular prepared meal delivery categories, highlighting which ones are the healthiest. Another advantage is that you can quickly view the nutritional information for each meal, which isn’t always possible when cooking from scratch or eating out.
Let’s return to the why before moving on to the which. Even if you’re not trying to change your entire diet, even committing to eating healthier a few times a week can make a big difference in your overall nutrition intake and help you develop good eating habits. It also helps if the healthy food you’re eating tastes delicious. However, if you don’t have the time to start meal-planning and macro-counting or acquire a new set of healthy cooking techniques, eating healthily may seem onerous. Finding a convenient and healthy prepared meal delivery service to help you achieve your healthy eating goals could be a simple way to get started.
Deliveries of prepared meals
What is a ready-to-eat meal delivery service? This food delivery will bring you fully cooked, often healthy dishes created with organic products. From then, it’s as straightforward as it gets: Warm up a great meal from your fridge or freezer, no cooking required, and you’ve got a filling lunch or dinner on the table.
There are endless menu options, and some prepared meal delivery services, such as Freshly and Veestro, have taken notice of everyday healthy eating habits, offering set menus and healthy meals tailored for almost any dietary preference, including carnivores vegetarians, flexitarians, vegans, and other plant-based diets. They can also accommodate people on a keto, low-sodium, gluten-free, organic, low-carb, low-sugar, or paleo diet. With many prepared meal alternatives, even picky eaters will find something they enjoy.
You might wonder how meal delivery recipes differ from frozen meals or traditional TV dinners in the grocery store, and you’d be right. For starters, most are prepared shortly before being shipped to you, ensuring that each meal is fresher, which you can often detect. Most are free of toxic preservatives and piles of salt because they don’t sit on grocery store freezer shelves. Finally, on average, these ready-to-eat meal delivery businesses employ higher-quality products and become a little more creative with their rotating recipes, though this varies by brand. Depending on the service and meal plan, prepared meals might cost anywhere from $8 to $15 per meal.
Meal kits for the oven:
You might be wondering how these services differ from other meal kit delivery services. While the meal-kit revolution, which gave birth to brands like Blue Apron and HelloFresh, was all about giving you the basic materials and instructions for putting together a delicious dinner, you might not have the time or patience to do all the cooking. Another alternative is to order oven-ready meal kits, which must still be prepared but require very little preparation, effort, or technical competence. Oven-ready meal kits are exactly what they sound like: a fresh meal ready to assemble and cook without the need for intricate recipes or time-consuming preparation.
These “oven-ready” meal delivery plans, which are a cross between a traditional meal kit and a meal delivery, are uncooked but preassembled to be put together and baked, roasted, stir-fried, or dropped into the slow cooker with no actual prep for a healthy, fresh-cooked meal. Simple recipes such as roasted chicken breast with precut veggies and a delicious sauce come to mind. Many of Home Chef’s meal packages even include a cooking tray, so there’s no need to clean up afterward.
Just a reminder: while many of the meal plan services we looked at are already prepared, meal-kit services like Home Chef and Gobble aren’t yet cooked, so keep that in mind when you switch on the oven. Please refrain from eating any raw chicken.
After trying offers from every company on this list (and many more), I’ve identified the most exemplary prepared meal service for each sort of diner, from vegans to those looking for a more restaurant-quality experience. Fortunately, there’s a meal delivery service for practically everyone, with budgets ranging from modest to extravagant.
Some of these meal delivery services and meal kits are oriented around a specific concept, as you’ll see. Simple meal packages, for example, are science at Home Chef, with fresh ingredients and recipes that are completely packed and ready to cook in as little as 15 minutes. Veestro, for example, specializes in prepackaged or prepared vegetarian and vegan meals for folks who are going meatless or dairy-free but still want to avoid cooking.
I’ll admit that nothing beats a home-cooked dinner, but some of these simple and inexpensive services might be just what you need to lighten your cooking load and cut down on trips to the store this fall and winter.
By fearlessly testing the most popular services in 2022, we came up with this list of the best-prepared meal delivery services that money can buy.
- Fresh n’ Lean is the best overall prepared meal delivery service.
- Home Chef is the best food delivery service when you still have too little time to cook.
- Pete’s Paleo is the best paleo and clean-eating meal delivery service.
- Mosaic Foods is the best vegetarian food delivery service.
- Veestro is the best vegan food delivery service.
- Every Day’s Harvest is the best meal delivery service for quick breakfasts and lunches.
- The best organic meal delivery service is Nutritional Trifecta.
- Home Bistro is the best gourmet meal delivery service.
- Freshly prepared comfort cuisine with a healthy twist is the best meal delivery option.
Overall, the best-prepared dinner delivery.
After testing all the top prepared meal delivery services, Fresh n’ Lean came out on top, checking off more boxes than any other. The food is nutritious, intelligently cooked, delicious, visually appealing, and reasonably priced, depending on your chosen plan.
Fresh n’ Lean offers five meal plans to assist people in sticking to their nutritional objectives, including low-carb, vegan, paleo, and protein-rich options. All of the cuisine I tried was delicious and created with simple, natural ingredients. Except for one dry chicken breast, everything I ate was at least decent, if not excellent, with some dishes bordering on restaurant grade. A delicious braised beef with carrots and a coconut-cilantro sauce was my favorite.
Meal prices vary substantially depending on your plan and the meals you get each week. If you order 10 or more meals per week, the cost is around $8 to $10. If you only order lunch or dinner, the cost per meal will be less than $15. It’s not the cheapest, but it’s also not the most costly, and it’s well worth the extra money, in my opinion.
Chef de Cuisine: The best oven-ready meal kit that still requires little cooking
Home Chef is a popular meal delivery service that just debuted a line of oven-ready dishes, such as Cajun chicken with rice and beans, designed to take practically all of the work out of dinner while still delivering home-cooked food.
This new Home Chef category is meant for low technical talent and is an excellent alternative if you want a home-cooked meal delivery plan but don’t want to enroll in a culinary school to prepare a delicious dinner. If you’re looking for oven-ready dinner options, look no further than Home Chef’s Fresh & Easy dishes, which focus on simple oven-ready options. In addition, this meal delivery service offers grill-ready meals for the summer, 15-minute entree salads for those looking for something lighter, and slow cooker dinners that take very little preparation and cleaning.
Pricing: A Home Chef meal delivery package costs under $7 per dish, no matter how you slice it. Most people eat six to eight meals per week, resulting in an average cost of around $70. However, you can purchase as little as six servings or as many as twelve, and a larger order will save you a little more money.
Pete’s Paleo (Pete’s Paleo): Paleo and clean-eating meal delivery at its finest.
After a week of tastings, Pete’s won me over, earning a spot among the most fantastic healthy, organic meal delivery services I’ve yet to try. While it isn’t the cheapest service we’ve tried, it is less expensive than other meal delivery services that use organic foods and high-quality meats. It is also superior to the majority of them. For $121, you can get a 10-pack of healthy dinners.
The Pete’s Paleo meals I tried were well-prepared: the meats were soft, the vegetables were (usually) cooked to perfection, and the flavors were well-balanced. The cuisine wasn’t too seasoned, and the recipes were light and possibly even safe, but that’s nothing a few shakes of hot sauce can’t cure.
Pete’s Paleo should hit the mark if you’re in training or following a paleo diet and want a lot of protein, healthy fats, and nutrient-dense carbs like sweet potatoes and beets. Pete’s offers a variety of ordering options, and the meals are freezer-friendly, so even if you don’t want to subscribe, you can keep a stock on hand for those times when you need something quick.
Foods with a Mosaic Pattern: Vegetarian dinner delivery at its finest.
I tried nine of Mosaic Food’s plant-based prepared meal options, and the vegetarian prepared meal delivery service had an incredibly high success rate. Mosaic creates great and gratifying vegetarian meals, even for this omnivore, by combining huge and interesting foreign flavors with innovative use of animal alternatives like tofu, jackfruit, cauliflower, and vegan sausages. There are some vegan meals, but many contain dairy products; thus, vegans must be more selective when choosing their Mosaic meals.
While everything I tried at Mosaic was beautiful, the bean and jackfruit chili, tomato, olive, feta ragout, and a zesty Thai noodle dish stood out. All the food is delivered frozen, but when defrosted and eaten, it tastes remarkably fresh.
With a clear, concise website and no excessively intricate programs, Mosaic meals are simple to order. You select the meals you want with a minimum order of $70 (about eight meals) and specify how often you want them delivered: weekly, bimonthly, or monthly. At any moment, you can change the meals, suspend, or cancel your membership.
Veestro: Vegans’ favorite food delivery service
If you’re strictly vegan, Veestro offers a wide-ranging menu meal delivery plan of 100% cooked plant-based meals for folks who follow a vegetarian or vegan diet. Tofu with red curry sauce, carrot osso buco, and country-fried chicken are among Veestro’s vegan lunch options. Veestro’s meals include more meat substitutes than Mosaic or Purple Carrot, so if you enjoy seitan, tempeh, Impossible Beef, and other faux meats, this is a beautiful meal delivery service to try.
Even the carnivore in me has to confess that several of Veestro’s vegetarian and plant-based meals were just as satisfying as the meat I’m used to. This meal plan is ideal for anyone seeking to reduce their meat consumption without becoming a full-fledged vegetarian, as most of the cuisine is meant to mimic a carnivore’s diet and provides a smooth transition.
Veestro’s prepared meal delivery service costs $12.82 a meal for a 10-meal order, while it’s more expensive for a one-time order. This vegan meal delivery service becomes less expensive if you choose a 20-meal plan ($11.93 per meal).
Daily Harvest: The best meal delivery service is available for quick breakfasts, lunches, and snacks.
Daily Harvest debuted in 2015 with a freezer-friendly army of frozen and ready-to-blend smoothies, readymade soups, and substantial grain bowls. While several bowls of soup may be served for dinner, I prefer them for a quick lunch or brunch. Depending on the dish, you may heat it in a saucepan or a skillet and consume it. Add nut milk and blend for Daily Harvest’s protein-packed smoothies, oat bowls, and lattes.
This plant-based meal delivery service is ideal for those looking to simplify their week while maintaining a healthy diet. Daily Harvest’s meals include a lot of ancient grains, oats, and trendy superfoods like chia, avocado, and kabocha squash, all filling and usually flavor-balanced. I was not too fond of flatbreads; snacks and sweets like low-calorie ice cream and protein bites were recently added to the brand’s menu.
Pricing: There are so many different choices and features that you can customize a box to your liking. Smoothies and chia bowls cost as little as $6 per serving, and whole-grain bowls, soups, and flatbreads cost between $8 and $9. Look out for Daily Harvest’s new-customer discount, which usually includes $30 or $40 off your first order.
Nutritional Trifecta: Best organic ready-to-eat meals
Trifecta provides nutritious prepared meals that cater to various nutrition plans or diets: keto, paleo, and low-calorie. Trifecta primarily uses organic products, including ethically grown chicken and grass-fed beef. Still, its selling point is the high quality of its products, as do other services.
You’ll find plenty of clean, lean meats and vegetables in Trifecta meals. While I didn’t enjoy every dish, there were a few standouts, and everything tasted incredibly fresh. Trifecta’s pesto salmon with quinoa and sautéed vegetables was my particular favorite.
However, all of these high-quality foods come at a cost, and the Trifecta Clean Meal Plan will set you back $119 every week. This is the food delivery service to try if organic is essential to you.
Home Bistro: Best for delivering exquisite meals
Home Bistro is the most expensive meal delivery service, but that’s because the gourmet dishes are unquestionable of higher quality. With Home Bistro, you’ll find more complicated entrees like Chianti-braised short ribs, Peri-Peri pig tenderloins, and chargrilled pomegranate salmon, as well as less easy grilled chicken breast or traditional pasta dishes.
Though these meals are more expensive than any other we’ve tried, comparable to takeout if you consume a lot of meat and don’t have a lot of prepared food or delivery alternatives in your region, this is a beautiful meal kit service to try. You can even store these prepared meals for special occasions because you can purchase them a la carte.
Individual dinners range in price from $19 to $27. Home Bistro meals can be ordered a la carte or in bundles of seven, ten, or twenty meals delivered monthly or biweekly.
Freshly: For comfort cuisine with a healthy twist, the best meal delivery service
Freshly delivers fresh, not frozen, pre-cooked meals to your door. Freshly is one of the better alternatives if you want the odd cheat meal or comfort food delivered to your house. While this meal delivery service includes plenty of healthy recipe options, it is also one of the better options if you want the occasional cheat meal or comfort food delivered to your door. Penne bolognese, peppercorn steak with mashed potatoes, and chicken casserole are just a few heartier options you can have delivered and ready to go. Still, there are also healthier, low-calorie Fresh meals to keep you on track.
Please excuse the pun, but Freshly has some of the freshest tasting food. Although not everything tasted as if it came from a restaurant, this company has many crowd-pleasers, such as chicken tikka masala and chili-topped macaroni and cheese. The Freshly meal options aren’t dieting food, but they’re also not particularly harmful, and many of them are exactly what you need after a long day.
Pricing: With Freshly, the more you order, the more you save, and the difference is substantial. Four meals a week cost $11.79 per meal, but if you order 12 meals, the cost per meal reduces to $8.50, making it one of the market’s most cost-effective meal delivery services.
- Best Vegetarian and Vegan Options: HelloFresh
- Best Customizable Meal Kit: Home Chef
- Best Meal Kit for Beginners: Blue Apron
- Best Meal Kit for Adventurous Cooks: Hungryroot
- Best Meal Kit for Healthy Eaters: Sunbasket
- Best Meal Kit for Dietary Restrictions: BistroMD
- Best Affordable Meal Delivery Service: Factor
- Best-Tasting Meal Delivery Service: Freshly
- Best Gluten-Free Meal Delivery Service: Splendid Spoon