Gone are the days of uninspired ready to eat frozen meals. Home delivery meal services have boomed in recent years, with more households subscribing to delicious and affordable meal plans now more than ever before.
In the past, pre-made meals were notorious for unhealthy ingredients and bland options.
However, a new age of prepared meals is thriving—with everything from fully vegan, ketogenic, and paleo meal programs to gluten-free and diabetic-friendly services that address health challenges and food allergies via thoughtfully curated menus .
These ready to eat meals, some fresh and others flash frozen, take the hassle out of food prep, cooking and cleaning.
If you’re considering buying or even subscribing to a meal delivery service, read on to learn everything you need to know, including the best home delivery meals on the market.
Table of Contents
- 1 Our Top Prepared Meal Delivery Services (2020 UPDATED)
- 2 Real Talk: What is a Prepared Meal Delivery Service?
- 3 Are Prepared Meals a Good Match for You?
- 4 What to Look for in a Prepared Meal Delivery Service
- 5 Which Meal Delivery Service Should You Choose?
Our Top Prepared Meal Delivery Services (2020 UPDATED)
1 - bistroMD (Editor’s Choice)
Curated by Dr. Caroline Cederquist and a team of dietitians, bistroMd meals are carefully prepared using only fresh ingredients and healthy recipes.
Read our closer look at bistroMd review to get service details or continue reading for an overview.
Each box is customized to your individual needs, taking your dietary needs and weight loss goals into consideration.
In addition to serving delicious meals, the company also takes a holistic approach to weight loss, offering weekly diet and fitness tips.
When you sign up for your program, you receive a free diet analysis, which gives you guidance on what types of foods you should include in your diet, and which foods you should avoid.
Each plan also comes with full support from their registered dietitian, information on metabolic correction, and more.
Your menu will depend on the type of plan you choose. Some of their options include the standard plan, gluten-free, heart healthy, diabetic, and menopause. Yes! They offer meal programs for menopause!
BistroMD has earned praise for their tasty meals that are backed by both science and taste buds.
Their sister companies, Balance by bistroMD and Silver Cuisine by bistroMD are on our roundup of best senior meal delivery services.
Ordering from Balance by bistroMD will also help you eat and take off the pounds! Read our top rated weight loss meal delivery services review.
Thanks to bistroMD’s team of dietitians and chefs, they are able to offer a balance of nutrition, weight-loss, and mouth-watering taste that we know you’ll love.
BistroMD meals are most compatible with people looking for a meal delivery plan that is designed by doctors and based on science versus diet trends.
2 - Trifecta Nutrition
Trifecta Nutrition meals are designed to power you through your day.
Whether you’re striving to achieve a weight loss goal, or simply want to take control of your diet so that you can better enjoy your life, Trifecta wants to help you prepare for success.
Read our full review of Trifecta for more details of Trifecta's meal program.
Their in-house celebrity chef, Scott Leibfried—known for his role in the Food Network’s Hell’s Kitchen—prepares exclusive recipes that are micro-balanced and backed by science.
Trifecta offers weekly rotating meals that keep your taste buds happy so that you never get bored or hangry.
They feature a number of menus catered to various dietary needs, including:
Meals are delivered on a weekly basis with colored labels to distinguish breakfast, lunch, and dinner items. The box will arrive at your home in an insulated package to keep your food fresh.
Trifecta Nutrition services are most compatible with people looking for fresh, organic, and gluten free meals, who also seek community support and advice in meeting his or her nutritional goals.
3 - Snap Kitchen
If the above diets are not a priority, there is also the option to customize your own full menu with the “Total Custom” program.
Breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, and “components” are available. Components are meat, poultry, and veggie add-ons such as gourmet mac and cheese, grass fed burgers, and roasted sweet potato to name a few.
The company ethos is to use organic ingredients as often as possible. Snap Kitchen “attempts to obtain the highest quality food using ingredients that are sourced as close to us as possible” with the belief that “the food that has been minimally processed, thereby maintaining the most nutrients.”
All meals can be easily heated in the microwave or oven.
Snap Kitchen is most compatible with people who desire their food to be sustainably sourced; and without artificial preservatives, antibiotics, and hormones.
4 - Freshly
Freshly’s meals are fresh, never frozen.
Requiring less than 3 minutes of prep time Freshly offers a convenient way for busy eaters to stay healthy and satisfied.
Freshly’s entire menu is gluten-free and peanut-free, and you have the freedom to choose and customize your meals each week. They have a rotating menu with new dishes added each week.
Freshly is as simple as it is convenient. All you have to do is pick a plan and then you will be able to customize which meals you want to receive each week.
All meals are prepared by their team of chefs to ensure excellent taste and quality.
The meals are delivered in an insulated box packed with ice, in order to keep your food cool in case you are not home when it arrives at your doorstep.
Once delivered it takes less than 3 minutes to prepare your healthy meal, and the rest can be stored in your fridge until ready to eat.
Freshly is a fantastic option for those who want to choose custom meals each week. Their healthy ingredients and tasty dishes allow you to make smart food choices with minimal prep and clean up time.
They also offer a rotating menu which constantly brings something new to the table, making them a strong runner-up.
Freshly is most compatible with people who are looking for freshness and convenience but don’t want to skimp on nutrition or variety. Our details of Freshly's meal program can tell you everything you need to know.
5 - MamaSezz
There is no meat, no refined sugar, no GMOs, no dairy, no gluten, and no preservatives in any of their meals, yet full of taste.
They do have nuts, soy, and seeds in some of their products and all their products are made in a facility that makes items with tree nuts and soy so if you have these food allergies, please be warned.
MamaSezz offers subscriptions, automatic deliveries, on all bundles. You can choose to have a bundle arrive every week, every other week, every three weeks, or every month. Not looking for a commitment? No prob. MamaSezz doesn’t lock you into anything. You can edit, change, pause, or cancel your subscription at any time.
If you aren’t quite ready for a subscription just select “one-time purchase” when you add a bundle to your cart and you’re set.
MamaSezz meals are the perfect match for people looking for a whole food, plant based diet.
6 - Home Bistro
Don’t let Home Bistro’s name fool you – their meals are not simply bistro fare.
Home Bistro delivers Mediterranean-diet style meals with the convenience of many of the brands on this list. Yet these meals are elevated- we’re talking meals like chianti-braised short ribs with pilaf, and this unparalleled.
It’s not all decadence though. You can certainly find healthy meals here and a plethora meal programs that speak to one’s lifetsyle and dietary needs.
There’s Mediterranean, Paleo, Heart Healthy, Vegetarian, Diabetic-Friendly, and Body Shred programs that let you eat well and eat good food.
There are no subscription commitments. You can reorder at any time, and as much or as little as you’d like.
Home Bistro is perfect for people looking for well-balanced gourmet meals. Take a look at our Home Bistro full review.
7 - Fresh N’ Lean
Fresh N’ Lean is fresh, never frozen and locally sourced. Their meals have organically grown ingredients free from GMO, gluten and artificial preservatives.
While we’re on the subject of what their meals DON’T, we should we point out Fresh N Lean meals are also dairy free and made without sugar, processed ingredients, and artificial flavors.
Now let’s talk about what their meals DO have.
Fresh N’ Lean meal programs run the gamet with everything from weekly meal plans consisting of specifically Keto, Paleo, Vegan Standard, Vegan Low-Carb, and Protein + meals.
There’s also an option to buy meals A La Carte, which is a one time order. These meals have entrees and bulk and sides. This is a wonderful feature to have in that you can try out their meals and see if you like them (which we’re pretty confident you will!) and you can then sign up for their weekly meal plan.
Fresh N Lean provide free nationwide delivery and you can cancel anytime.
Fresh N Lean meals match perfectly with people looking for meals with ingredients locally sourced, organically grown, and without GMO, gluten and artificial preservatives. Check out our Fresh N' Lean meal plans review to learn more.
8 - Fresh Meal Plan
Fresh Meal Plan offers five distinct meal plans that are designed with different nutritional goals in mind.
You’ll get to choose the number of meals you want to receive each week after you select a plan.
Meal program options include Traditional, Paleo, Keto, Vegan and Lean and Mean. Buying meals A La Cart is also an option.
The actual meals pull from a variety of cuisines which make for a line of delicious and diverse meals that prevent menu fatigue.
Fresh Meal Plans are ideal for people who seek a lot of variety and options in fresh meal delivery programs.
9 - Diet-to-Go
Diet-To-Go’s portion-controlled meals allow you to enjoy some of your favorite foods, while reaching your weight loss goals.
As part of the Diet-to-Go community, you will not only have access to the precooked meals, but you will also receive support from a team of health professionals, including a Certified Health Coach, a Nutritionist, and a Dietitian.
All of their meals are calorie-controlled, heart-healthy, and include everything you need right out of the box.
You can easily customize your order to pick your favorite menu items, change your plans, or pause your subscription.
In addition to the meals, you will also have access to a support Diet-to-Go community that can help you along your weight loss journey. Learn more about the details of Diet-to-Go's meal program in our full review!
Diet-to-Go’s services are compatible with people looking to lose weight with the support of a reliable meal program and built in community.
10 - Factor_
Factor_ meals are are non-GMO and gluten-free as well as being void of refined sugars, soy, antibiotics, and hormones.
There are many diet specific meals which include low-carb meals and more specifically, of the Paleo and Ketogenic variety.
Read more about our favorite low carb meal plan delivery services. And be sure to hit up our review of the best prepared meal delivery services for bodybuilders. You’ll find an array of dishes high in protein, both animal and otherwise.
There are also vegetarian, dairy-free, and even spicy meals for those of you who like to eat heat.
All meals arrive with a printed label indicating expiration dates which is another useful bit of information as you plan your weekly menu and when to eat what after receiving your chosen meals.
As a subscriber, you will receive a complimentary 20 minute consultation and you can always ask questions to Factor_ team of in-house dietitians.
You can also sign up for session with their Nutrition Coaching Team which will share their expertise with you on issues such as gut health, mental performance, geriatric nutrition, weight management, food intolerance and much, much more.
Factor_ meal order service is best suited for people who want their weight loss and/or nutritional journey to go beyond food.
Real Talk: What is a Prepared Meal Delivery Service?
You know which prepared meal delivery services are the best if you’ve gotten this far down but what are you really buying and what do services entail?
In short, prepared meals arrive fully cooked and ready to eat – no chopping, slicing, or dicing required. Just heat and eat!
These home-cooked meals are ready to eat with minimal to no prep time required and you’ll get the homemade taste without the mess.
Who said you couldn’t have your cake delivered and eat it, too?
Unlike popular companies such as Blue Apron or Plated, where ingredients are measured, packaged, and mailed for you to cook per recipe requirements, prepared meal delivery services come to your door fully cooked and ready to eat.
There’s seldom prep work aside from having to thaw meals if you choose the frozen track.
Depending on the meal delivery service you choose, weekly, bi monthly, or monthly deliveries are available options.
Some companies will provide meals for the entire day, from breakfast, lunch, and dinner and sometimes even snacks depending on what you order. Other programs have more a la carte menu from which to choose.
Are Prepared Meals a Good Match for You?
Do you like healthy and delicious food? Or maybe you’d like to explore buzzy diets like Paleo or Keto to get lean or lose weight.
Maybe you don’t want to keep relying on those pitiful frozen meals from the freezer section of your grocery store. Instead, maybe you’re looking to save a trip and have delicious and innovative frozen foods delivered to your door!
Or does life, with all its intricacies of work, family, and socializing, and other myriad projects leave you with little time to cook for yourself or your family?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, prepared delivery meals may be the perfect match for you. Prepared meal deliveries come cooked and ready to eat with everything you need.
The only thing you need is a microwave, stove, or oven (not all three) to heat and eat. The best meal delivery service can help you achieve real weight loss and nutrition goals with easy to follow plans that will satisfy your hunger with sensible proportions and nourishing ingredients.
Some meal plans can appear pricey, but that’s where we recommend you reviewing your budget and seeing what plans fit into your lifestyle. If you’re eating out a lot anyway, often times patrons of these programs have found these meal delivery services cheaper than eating out.
Think of these services akin to having a private chef who cooks with your specific lifestyle and dietary specifications in mind without the hefty price tag of actually having a private chef.
What to Look for in a Prepared Meal Delivery Service
There are many different options for home delivery food plans. One thing to consider is how many meals you’ll need.
Some companies offer individual and family plans, allowing you to customize the number of meals per day and the frequency of delivery.
In addition, most plans allow you to note your allergies and diet restrictions online. Another point to consider is if the company delivers to where you live.
Most of the companies we’ve reviewed do nationwide delivery, but not all.
You’ll also want to consider whether there are shipping fees on top of costs associated with your plan or meals.
This differs from company to company but we have outlined, in each of our reviews, which companies have additional shipping costs.
Finally, budget and value are other things to consider and what bang you’re getting for your buck.
Which Meal Delivery Service Should You Choose?
After much consideration, our choice for the best prepared meal delivery service is bistroMD!
With brands like bistroMD, Trifecta Nutrition and Diet-To-Go bringing healthy and delicious foods to the table, why waste time in the kitchen?
The prepared meal delivery services above allow you to enjoy chef-prepared meals from the comfort of your home, without dirtying a pan or cracking an egg.
These programs make it easier than ever to set up auto delivery and meet your dietary needs without feeling hungry throughout the day.
Let someone else do the cooking for a change and a great place to start is by trying our top pick bistroMD!
Our #1 Recommendation