By now, chances are you’re probably sick of your own cooking, and as the months of quarantine drag on, you may even be finding your local restaurants that offer delivery or takeout to be a little lackluster… And even if you live in one of the states where restaurants are fully open for business right now, you might not feel comfortable being seated in a communal dining room just yet.
So, what to do if you want that dining-out feel, but you don’t want to put yourself or your family at risk? Enter meal delivery services — Today, there are tons of options out there to satisfy just about any budget and every dietary preference. Some meals are cooked and ready-to-eat, some just need to be popped into an oven or a blender, while others require donning your nicest chef’s hat and apron, and following a recipe.
“The advantage of a meal kit service during these times is that it enables social distancing,” says Julie Marchant-Houle, U.S. CEO of meal delivery kit company Martha & Marley Spoon. During the pandemic, more people have been cooking at home and that trend is expected to continue for some time, explains Linda Kozlowski, CEO of Blue Apron. “Our meal kits are a time-saver in the kitchen, and help to eliminate the decision-making process of what to eat for dinner.”
If you’ve been considering trying out meal delivery, but weren’t sure where to look for healthy ingredients and a price point that won’t break the bank, look no further than this rundown.
Daily Harvest started out delivering pre-made smoothie mixes and have since started to offer more pre-made goodness including harvest bowls, flatbreads, soups, oat bowls, chia bowls, scoops (ice cream), bites, and lattes. Menu items include the chocolate + blueberry smoothie, artichoke + lemon harvest bowl, the kale + sweet potato flatbread, and so much more. Their products require minimal heating or quick preparation in a blender to provide you something quick – and healthy – on the go.
Cost: Approximately $7-$10 per meal
Freshly meals come individually wrapped for one person, and are fully-prepared and delivered fresh, not frozen. Most of them are ready to eat in about three minutes, with heating. Meals are customizable to a variety of dietary preferences, and the company advertises meals as having less sugar and being less processed. Recent menu items include Sicilian-style chicken parm with broccoli, turkey-mushroom meatballs with zoodles and spring pesto, and springtime chicken pilaf with tarragon peas.
Cost: Approximately $8-$12 per meal
Top Chef Meals
Top Chef Meals are flash frozen as soon as they’re cooked — you just pop them in the fridge or freezer when you get them, and follow the directions to reheat. Their website offers a huge selection of entrees, breakfast, soups, shakes, and desserts. They also offer lo- carb, paleo, and keto options. Recent menu items include chicken cacciatore, shrimp and grits, and roast turkey breast.
Cost: Meals with an entrée and two sides start at $8.25
Snap Kitchen offers a fully customizable menu of pre-cooked meals. They offer low carb, high protein, paleo, vegetarian, Whole30, keto-friendly, and other options, all of which incorporate whole ingredients and superfoods. Recent menu items include chicken butternut macaroni, bison quinoa hash, and chicken satay bowl.
Cost: Approximately $10-$12 per meal
Factor (Factor 75)
Factor meals are delivered fresh, never frozen, and specifically portioned according to nutritional needs. Recent menu items include pesto pasta primavera, Korean ground beef bowl, and BBQ pulled chicken. Meals can be heated in the microwave or oven, and every Factor subscription comes with a complimentary 20-minute consultation with a registered dietitian.
Cost: Approximately $11.50-$15 per meal
Meals You cook Yourself
Blue Apron is one of the original meal delivery services that kicked off a meal home-delivery revolution. Blue Apron is perfect for the slightly more adventurous home cook who wants to try cooking with a variety of ingredients. The company’s basic meals feature a changing mix of meat, fish, and Beyond Meat, and they also have diabetes-friendly recipes and a vegetarian selection. Recent menu items include orecchiette pasta and cauliflower with garlic breadcrumbs, black bean and caramelized onion tacos with roasted zucchini, and seared steaks and green beans with sour cream and cheesy scallion potato cakes.
Cost: Approximately $9-$10 per meal
Martha & Marley Spoon
Choose from 22 weekly recipes, and get them delivered on your own schedule. Martha & Marley Spoon offers seasonal ingredients, with recipe cards that offer precise instructions for easy cooking. Recent menu items include garlicky chicken with dilly beans and corn on the cob, sirloin steak and caramelized onions with garlic-knot potatoes and broccoli, and honey-glazed pork tenderloin with grilled apricots and broccolini.
Cost: Approximately $6-$11 per meal
Choose from options including: family, veggie, low calorie, or meat and veggies, and then HelloFresh will deliver enough food for as many portions (and as many dietary restrictions) as you’ve requested. Recent menu items include parmesan-crusted chicken with creamy lemon tomato spaghetti, gouda vibes burgers with tomato onion jam and potato wedges, and sweet chili pork bowls with bell pepper and peanuts.
Cost: Approximately $7.50-$10 per meal
Sun Basket provides ingredients and instructions for to whip up gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian options for dinner. The company offers options for breakfast, lunch and snacks, and also delivers groceries such as proteins, pasta, and more. Recent menu items include turkey chili with kidney beans and cheesy quesadillas, chicken and hummus flatbread tacos with Greek kale salad, and Mediterranean turkey meatballs with red pepper–cashew crema.
Cost: Approximately $10-$12 per meal
Home Chef delivers fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes that anyone can cook. You can select your meals, and then customize ingredients within those meals. The company offers options for all manner of dietary restrictions, and options specifically for the grill and the oven, for nights when you want to cook, but maybe take it a little easy. Recent menu items include mahi mahi and caper aioli with crispy artichokes and fingerling potatoes, chicken breast and herbed gravy with bacon-braised kale and corn muffins, salmon with brown-butter tomato relish and wild rice.
Cost: Approximately $7-$10 per meal
Author’s Note: Almost all of the companies mentioned above offer options for people with dietary restrictions and allergies, and many meals are completely customizable. None of these companies lock you into long-term commitments, and you can decide the frequency of your meal delivery, and put your subscription on “pause” when you head out of town, etc. For the most part, each company offers a healthy discount to get started on their plan, making it easier to try more than one and find the one that’s perfect for you. Happy cooking (or heating, or blending)!!
More mealtime tips on HerMoney:
- I Tried to Eat Healthy on $4 a Day for One Week
- 9 Things Most of Us Don’t Do at the Grocery Store But Could Save Us $100 or More
- 8 Quarantine Cooking Essentials And Chef-Recommended Substitutes To Spice Up Your Meals
- Podcast: The Lazy Woman’s Guide to Cooking With Melissa Clark
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