The dairy-free diet is an up-and-comer in the world of dietary alternatives. In addition to its use by people who have dairy allergies, it is also gaining traction for people who want to clean up their diets or experience the health benefits of cutting out all forms of dairy.
Our reviews of the best dairy-free meal delivery services will help you see whether this option is right for you. After all, we don’t want you crying over spilled milk. Ha. See what we did there?
Table of Contents
- 1 Our Top Dairy-Free Meal Delivery Services (2020 Updated)
- 2 Understanding the Differences Between Dairy-Free, Non-Dairy, Lactose-Free, and Vegan before Ordering
- 3 What are the Benefits of a Dairy-Free Diet and is it a Good Match for You?
Our Top Dairy-Free Meal Delivery Services (2020 Updated)
1. Balance by bistroMD (Editor’s Choice)
The bistroMD meal service is pretty much our favorite prepared meal delivery companies across the board. That’s why it’s #1 on this list!
If you’ve perused our site, it shouldn’t be a surprise that we’ve rated bistroMD’s Balance as our top pick here, too. This choice isn’t without good reason.
No cooking is required with any Balance meal. Designed by dietitians and executed by professional chefs, Balance delivery comes straight to your door without any memberships or minimums.
Balance by bistroMD offers numerous specialty diet meal plans. Their prepared meals address the following diets:
- Heart Healthy
- Low Sodium
- Low Carb
- (and what you’ve come for!) Dairy-Free
All meals with this classification are free of dairy products.
As they state on their site, Balance states, “Lactose intolerance is on the rise. Almost half of the calories in whole milk come from fat, and nearly all of its carbohydrates come from sugar which some people can’t properly digest.
Balance chefs prepared a wide variety of great-tasting meals without dairy for you to enjoy without the hassle.”
Balance expertly combines the right balance of macro-nutrients you require, all free of dairy products.
All of their dairy-free entrees are made with fresh, all natural ingredients by Balance chefs. Their recipes have been tried, tested, and executed by experts. These prepared meals are all portion-controlled meals to help you live a healthy, dairy-free lifestyle.
Balance by bistroMD, though not completely dairy-free, has plans which offer many MANY dairy-free prepared meals to choose from and they taste good, too.
Read our full Balance by bistroMD review or keep reading on to learn about it’s dairy-free program highlights.
What’s on the menu
You are able to filter Balance meals to find dairy-free options galore and you’ll find that even with a rotating menu, there are always dairy-free food for breakfast, lunch, dinner and even snacks.
Options include, but certainly are not limited to, a variety of dairy-free offerings such as:
- Homestyle Waffles with Scrambled Eggs and Maple Syrup
- Roasted Tofu with Charred Red Pepper Sauce
- Pork Vindaloo
- Jerk Spiced Chicken with Mango Chutney and Brown Rice and Pigeon Peas
Balance meals are each within the calories range from 240-400, unlike other programs that range from 500-800 calories per serving.
Each meal you order has the ingredients and nutrition facts listed on the meal page. They use the FDA food labeling standard, and adopts the Recommended Daily Allowances from the average USDA 2,000 calorie dietary guidelines.
How it works
Balance by bistroMD’s prepared meal service is extended anywhere in the continental United States that FedEx ships but unfortunately, as of now, delivery is not available to Alaska and Hawaii.
They ship from their frozen distribution center Monday – Wednesday. Orders placed after 11:59 PM ET on Wednesday will ship the following Monday.
Once processed, most orders will arrive within 2-5 business days via FedEx Ground and you, dear reader, will be on your way to that #DairyFree life!
With Balance, there are no membership fees, contracts or commitment which makes this company and food delivery a winner in our book!
2. Trifecta Nutrition
First lets get something straight – ALL Trifecta meals are dairy, gluten and soy free making it a go-to for people with dietary restrictions.
Trifecta Nutrition provides you with various trifectas which is their namesake.
They offer three very important things for you to meet your goals and they are:
- healthy food
- community support
Another valuable trifecta they give through their services is:
- meal planning
They gives you all this so, as they state on their site, “you can focus on everything else!”
All Trifecta recipes and meal plans are executed by their executive chef Mario Limaduran. He has Michelin-level experience and a degree in culinary nutrition, plus he’s an avid gym goer which all accounts for Trifecta producing some of the tastiest and well rounded meals delivered.
They are known to fuel workouts, help people in their weight loss goals, and address dietary restrictions with their plethora food options. Its also why they are consistently rated as some of the best meals delivered.
Another huge promise that sets Trifecta Nutrition apart from other prepared meal services is that they offer a 100% money back guarantee on your first order for up to 10 meals or $119 of a la carte food if you’re not completely satisfied. No one else does that!
You just have to contact their customer service within 10 days of your delivery via call, chat or email and they’ll take care of the rest.
But we’re pretty confident that you’ll be satisfied. Let’s explore Trifecta Nutrition as a whole and more specifically, their dairy-free meals, plans, and options.
What’s on the menu
Every healthy meal is made from scratch. Meals also consist of organic ingredients, grass-fed meat and wild-caught seafood.
Trifecta accommodates a variety of dietary preferences and their entire program is free of gluten, dairy, and soy except for the Keto menu which does include some dairy. If a keto meal does have dairy, you are clearly told so, ensuring transparency in all your meals delivered.
Trifecta can accommodate up to 2 food preferences to avoid giving you duplicate meals.
You can easily hit your macronutrient goals (fat, protein, carbs) with lean protein, complex carbs and veggies in Trifecta meals.
All meats are 90% lean or greater, so you get more protein per calories.
Their recipes and meals are also perfect for those of you looking for help with weight loss and portion controlled serving.
Your weekly menu options depend on what meal delivery plan you choose.
Organic and premium pre made meal options include:
Some examples of their delicious dairy-free meal options are
- Butternut Squash And Kale With Chickpeas
- Ahi Tuna And Almond Pasta
- Santa-Fe Peppers And Flat Iron Steak
- Portobella Mushroom Pasta
… and so much more.
You also have access to a bevvy of flavor-packed snacks which are dairy-free. Unfortunately options are not free of nuts.
We do find the snack options the one category that is lacking in that it consists entirely of nuts. But they are so delicious– with flavor profiles such as lemon chili, garlic rosemary, and cinnamon maple almond–s that we’re able to overlook diversity. Though if you allergic to nuts, Trifecta snacks are not for you.
Perhaps one of favorite features from Trifecta is their a la carte offerings. You’re able to purchase proteins, carbohydrates and vegetables–all dairy-free– in bulk.
Their protein options offer meats you’d be hard pressed to find with any other company.
Unique options include bison, elk, and venison along with more conventional animal proteins such as chicken, egg, fish, shrimp and beef.
For those of you seeking non animal protein meals, Trifecta now offers The Beyond Burger burger patties!
Carbohydrates options are tasty and chock full of options such as brown rice, quinoa, sweet potato, muffins and more.
Vegetable options include healthy food options such as baked and lightly seasoned cherry tomato, squashes, asparagus, broccoli and more.
How it works
You will receive a variety of new meals each week and you can choose up to two preferences when you add the plan to your cart.
All Trifecta food comes entirely pre-cooked with instructions on the label for proper re-heating in the microwave, oven or stove-top. We advise cooking most of their animal proteins in an oven so it doesn’t dry out. The vegetables taste better heated/sauteed in a pan.
Because Trifecta recipes are healthy, fat and preservatives or heavy creams, butters, and oils aren’t used in cooking, which many starting out with their programs may find lacking in taste.
Trifecta Nutrition advises the following:
For more seasoning and flavor variety, add any of the following seasonings to give an extra kick to your meals without messing with the nutrition:
- A light finishing salt – once the food is warm and ready to eat, this will help open up the flavors (flaky finishing salts like Maldon will do the best job).
- Lemon pepper, paprika, chili flakes, or any other seasoning you like – this will add even more complex flavor to the dish.
- Fresh herbs – adding fresh ingredients can make the dish taste more vibrant and homemade.
The packaging of each individual meal is color coordinated so that you don’t have to spend time sorting through your meals once you receive them. You food will be labeled as:
- Blue: Breakfast
- Green: Lunch
- Orange: Dinner
Whether you are looking to reach your weight loss goals, gain muscle or just maintain a healthy diet, Trifecta Nutrition meals is for you.
This company excels in providing convenient food delivery services, myriad options which address various dietary needs, and except for their Keto program, all meals are dairy, soy, and gluten free, and some of the best meals delivered!
Their pricing you seem higher than others but you really do get a bang for your buck with the delicious and organic, dairy-free meals and options that come with Trifecta.
Factor_ isn’t completely dairy-free either. Still so, they do provide some prepared meals that follow dairy-free diet approaches.
Icons are used to distinguish dairy-free items, making selection on their site easy when you’re buying your meals.
They don’t provide as many dairy free options as Balance but what they lack for in quantity they certainly make up for in taste.
Factor meals are delicious! Read our full Factor_ review.
What’s on the menu
If you’re following a dairy-free diet and ordering from Factor75, here are some options they offer :
- Pork au Poivre
- Moroccan Beef Tenderloin
- Turkey Ragu Butternut Lasagna
- Cashew Crusted Salmon
- Teriyaki Chicken
These are just a few examples as the menu of their offerings.
How it works
On their FAQ page, Factor_ addresses their accommodation of specific diets and allergies. They advise that you do the following:
When you first sign-up for our service we ask you to fill out a taste profile with details on the types of ingredients you don’t (or can’t) eat. These cover the larger allergens like dairy, eggs, fish, nuts and legumes. We then use that information to filter out meals containing those ingredients from your weekly order.
So be sure to do as they say and put that you want to be dairy-free so meals that you can’t or shouldn’t have will be filtered out.
4. Pete’s Paleo
Pete’s ain’t playing around y’all. On their site, they straight up say the following:
If you’re looking for 100% allergen (gluten, soy, dairy, egg, nut) free, restaurant quality meals that come prepared and shipped directly to your door, Pete’s Paleo is going to be the one for you.
We like the confidence! But do they delivery in the figurative sense (they certainly do in the literal sense!)? Let’s break it down.
What’s on the menu
Now full disclosure and spoiler alert: you do get tasty, gourmet–dare we say fine dining farm to table service. However, this premium comes with a cost as we’ll discuss.
First we’ll show you what you’ll be getting. In the past, dairy-free meal options included items like listed below:
- Mediterranean Chicken with Roasted Cauliflower and Spaghetti Squash
- Grass Fed Beef Chili with Kale and Butternut Squash
- Curry Braised Pork Cheeks with Roasted Bell Peppers and Atkilt
- Mango Glazed Chicken with Sauteed Greens and Red Beets
- Rosemary and Thyme Crusted Turkey Breast with Garlic Collards and Roasted Yams
- Korean Braised Pork Butt with Boniato and Mushrooms, Bell Pepper, and Carrot Stir-Fry
- Grass-Fed Black Pepper Tri-Tip with Spring veg medley and Yukon Potatoes
- Garlic Pork Kabobs with Sorel, Sautéed Spinach and Beets
- Berbere Duck Confit with Asparagus and Sweet Potato Mash
- Adobada Braised Chicken Thighs with Cilantro Spring Squash and Roasted Rainbow Carrots
Wowza! So see, we’re talking real gourmet, well thought out and executed meals here. This isn’t your sloppy meat and starch meal delivery service. These are well portioned meals sourced from the best ingredients and one of the tastiest meal programs we’ve tested.
What’s more, all meals on this Pete’s Paleo menu are packed with 5 ounces of protein and 7 ounces of veggies.
If you want to choose which meals you receive, their “Eat What You Love” line is perfect for you in which you’re able to pick any combo of meals BUT with a minimum purchase of 5 meals.
How it works
You place your order online and your meals are shipped directly to your home via FedEx (within 1-2 days of ship day), nationwide. Meals are shipped in biodegradable insulated boxes with custom frozen gel packs which are reusable.
You should plan on refrigerating the food as soon as you can after delivered. Remember, the food is already completely cooked so you’re just left with the responsibility of heating it! You’re instructed on how to properly heat them.
For most meals, you can microwave them for 1–2 minutes but Pete’s Paleo preferred method is that you sauté meals in a pan for 5–6 minutes.
If you’re spending money on such well procured ingredients cooked professionally, we advise you bust out the saute pan and reheat food their preferred way! Trust us, it tastes better.
5. Sakara Life
If Pete’s is a meal delivery service that excels in offering high quality animal protein-centric meals that can be dairy free too, well, consider Sakara to be it’s just as pricey but stellar plant-based alternative.
You can read our full Sakara Life review or continue on for program highlights.
What’s on the menu
Sakara Life offers 100% plant based and organic ready to eat meals. The vast majority of their meals and drinks are “gluten-free, dairy-free, and sourced locally where possible.” The reason they don’t label themselves vegan is because they’re not– though 100% plant-based, they occasionally use honey and bee pollen.
Sakara meals are both cooked and raw. You’ll find lots of raw leafy greens in our meals, along with cooked veggies and grains.
As they explain on their website, “some foods, such as carrots and tomatoes, are actually healthier for you if they’re lightly cooked because they are easier to digest and their nutrients are more readily available for absorption in your body. Moreover, eating completely raw isn’t the most accessible or sustainable lifestyle for the majority of people, and our goal is to help you learn healthy, easy, fun wellness habits that you’ll want to stick to.” We like it!
How it works
You cannot cancel your first week, but there is no commitment beyond that.
You can manage your subscription calendar, including skipping weeks, to reflect your schedule. All changes must be made by Wednesday at midnight EST for your program the following week.
Sakara’s organic meal delivery program is currently available across the continental United States.
Freshly tries to accommodate a variety of dietary preferences. Each dish has an individual ingredient lists on the Freshly website or you can contact the company at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need their help in selecting dairy-free meals. Read our Freshly review in its entirety here.
On their website, Freshly states,
On average, our weekly rotation of 30+ dishes includes:
Under 500 calories: 20+ meals
Under 35 grams of carbs: 8–10 meals
Dairy–free: 8–10 meals
Paleo–friendly: About 4 meals
Vegetarian: About 4
What’s on the menu
Meals include delicious and varied options such as Low Country Boil, seen above, Spring Garden Chicken Bowl, Turkey with Sweet Jalapeno Relish, Korean Style Vegetable Bibimbap and so much more.
Dairy-free meals are indicated with icons for your easy referencing on Freshly’s site.
How it works
Once you sign up for your subscription, you’ll get a weekly delivery of your dairy free meals.
Every meal has a “use by” date on the back nutrition label and have a refrigerated shelf life of three to five days. You can certainly freeze your meals if not consumed by their “use by” date.
A word of caution– though Freshly offers dairy-free options, they manufacture meals in a facility that uses milk (along with egg, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, and soy) so meals are not made in a completely dairy-free facility.
7. Magic Kitchen
Not all Magic Kitchen meals are dairy-free BUT they have a plethora menu items that fall under this category which provides you with numerous options.
What’s on the menu
Dairy-free menu items include a bevy of choices such as crab cakes, artisan flatbread with kalamata olives, chicken drumsticks and brussel sprouts, breaded pollock with vegetable medley, beef bourguignon and much, much more.
They don’t just have a handful of novelty, dairy-free items on their menu. It’s clearly something the company has thought through resulting in solid and varied options galore.
In fact, on their FAQ page, this is what they first address:
Question: Hi there, I have an allergy to milk and cheese products. I noticed that ingredients aren’t listed to tell whether products are dairy-free or not. Are there plans to make this available?
Magic Kitchen: If you click directly on the item or the product name, it will give you the specific information that you are looking for. There will be the ingredients of the product and also the nutritional information for that product on a per serving basis. Additionally, we have a special dairy-free page.
How it works
If you go the a la carte way, there are several mains, sides, soups, and desserts. You can also buy full meals consisting of 1 entree and 1 to 2 sides.
You can place a single order or set up a meal program, which we love because there are no commitments or contracts. Once you construct your dairy-free order, your delivered flash-frozen meals to your door!
What really stands out about Magic Kitchen compared to other meal delivery services is that its services are dedicated to providing meals that adhere to special dietary needs. And they’re not new to the business. So this tells me that they have spent the time and resources to curate a menu that truly meets the need of each respective diet versus putting out dishes that speak to trends.
Understanding the Differences Between Dairy-Free, Non-Dairy, Lactose-Free, and Vegan before Ordering
At its most basic, a dairy-free diet is one that eliminates milk and foods derived from milk, such as butter, yogurt, cream, ice cream, sour cream and cheese.
In addition, casein and whey proteins must also be eliminated as they come from milk as well.
Most times, individuals will also cut out goat and sheep milks and their derivatives.
Going dairy-free is not as simple as avoiding the dairy aisle at the grocery store, however, because many processed and packaged foods have dairy hidden in them.
You will have to watch out for soups and sauces of all types as well as dips, meal mixes and chocolate.
You will want to know the variations among the terms dairy-free, non-dairy and lactose-free. You may see each of these terms on food packages while shopping, and you need to know their differences if you hope to make smart food choices for this lifestyle.
Although dairy-free is a term not regulated by the FDA, non-dairy is FDA-regulated.
The non-dairy label allows for milk proteins, such as casein, whey and their derivatives to be present in the food. This label was created so that dairy substitutes would not be confused with true dairy products.
On the other hand, lactose-free is even less of a dairy-free food option than non-dairy is.
Lactose is the type of sugar found in dairy products. Lactose-free means that this special sugar has been taken out of the food to aid digestion. Only products made directly from milk can be lactose-free. Such products as sour cream and buttermilk can never be completely lactose-free.
Dairy-free is the most specific and narrow definition of these three and is the best choice if you are truly hoping to eliminate dairy completely.
It’s also important to note the difference between dairy-free and veganism as you may very well be wondering why we don’t just direct you to our best vegan prepared meal delivery services. That’s because there’s a difference!
A vegan avoids all animal products, which includes eggs and dairy. However, someone leading a dairy-free lifestyle isn’t necessarily vegan.
They may want to consume animal products but refrain from dairy due to being allergic to either dairy proteins casin or whey or both.
A strict paleo diet does not allow dairy products (this includes milk, butter, yogurt, sour cream, and cheese) unless grass-fed. Point being, there are many diets and lifestyles in which people may find it beneficial to omit dairy which doesn’t automatically make them vegan.
What are the Benefits of a Dairy-Free Diet and is it a Good Match for You?
Although some people choose a dairy-free diet because of a food allergy, many more people these days are choosing this diet to enjoy some of the benefits that often come along with consuming dairy-free food.
While the health benefits of dairy-free vary based on a person’s health concerns, they most often fall into the following categories.
- Improved digestion:Many people have found that they have digestive issues, such as stomachaches, bloating and gas, when consuming dairy. Going dairy-free can also reduce irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.
- Improved skin: Dairy has been associated with acne breakouts for many people. A dairy-free diet can help clear up breakouts by decreasing insulin spikes and eliminating the hormones from milk that may cause acne.
- Improved lung health: Going dairy-free can get rid of the extra mucus production in the respiratory tract that is associated with asthma and similar chronic diseases.
Beyond these three benefits, some people have found that their headaches have cleared up, inflammation and pain have been reduced and chronic infections stop. The reason you choose to try dairy-free will be as unique as you are.
The good news is that today there are many healthy dairy-free alternatives to most of your favorite foods and meals with numerous companies looking to provide these options.
When it comes to relying on meal delivery services you can trust to be dairy-free, there are not only several options, but good options at that. Our favorite – Balance by bistroMD!