Dinnerly specializes in simple, affordable meal kits saving you hours of shopping, chopping, and cooking. They offer simple yet tasty recipes requiring fewer ingredients and less cleanup.
The company is a spin-off of the meal kit delivery giant Martha & Marley Spoon, co-owned by famous chef Martha Stewart. Dinnerly was founded in 2017 and is one of our favorite healthy meal delivery programs.
Pick your delivery day and recipes, wait for your box to arrive at your doorstep – then enjoy a new way of cooking with more fun and less fuss. Say goodbye to frustration, grocery shopping, excess food waste from buying more food than you can eat, and say hi to a weekly box of people-pleasing dishes mimicking the favorites on your diner place menu.
And if you fear commitment, Dinnerly is for you – skip weeks or cancel anytime.
In this Dinnerly review, we've covered everything you need to know to decide if Dinnerly is your perfect match. Let's get cooking! To learn more, read our review of monthly meal subscriptions you can make at home.
How Dinnerly Works
On their website, under Current Recipes, you can see what's cooking for this week. This monthly meal kit service does not send you recipe cards but instead lets you check the recipes online. The recipes are simple and never more than five steps.
Choose between selecting your meals each week or letting Dinnerly surprise you. You can still set your preferences when signing up to expect pleasant surprises rather than unwanted ones. Each week, you have 16 recipes to choose from. There are usually five vegetarian recipes and one fish dish.
It's very easy to sign up for Dinnerly. You need to give zip code, name, email, and a few additional things before selecting your meals and ordering your first food box. If there is one thing you want to change after placing your first order, contact customer service as soon as possible.
People and Portions
With Dinnerly, you can choose between a 2-people plan and a 4-people plan – each with either three, four, five, or six meals per week.
Read our full review of meal services for families.
Change Your Plan
It's also easy as pie to change how much food you receive. Review your current plan and perform any edits as follows:
- Log in to your Dinnerly account with the email address you used when signing up.
- Go to Settings.
- From there, click on Edit Plan.
- Select your new preferred food plan.
- Review your choices, and if it looks good, click on Save changes.
Note that orders already confirmed and paid for cannot be edited any longer.
Edit Your Order
You can edit your order until 6 to 7 days prior to delivery, depending on where you live.
This is how you do it:
- Log in on www.dinnerly.com and go to Orders.
- Click on the orange Edit recipes button at the bottom right.
- If you don't wanna receive a specific dish, click on Remove.
- Click on Add under the Dinnerly meal you wish to receive.
- Review your choices. When you're done, click on the orange Save button at the bottom right.
Note that orders already confirmed and paid for cannot be edited any longer.
You also have the possibility to change your meals through the mobile app:
- Log in to you Dinnerly account
- Head to Orders at the bottom of the screen. Browse to Upcoming orders.
- Tap the green button with the text Swap dishes.
- Tap add next to any recipe that you want to receive and tap the minus sign in front of any recipe you'd like to remove.
- Make sure to save your options.
Your dishes will be saved, and you will receive an email confirming your changes. You can always see the recipe selection for the coming 4 weeks before you sign up at Dinnerly.com/menu.
You're expected to have some basic ingredients like oil and salt to cook your Dinnerly meal. Exactly what you need is shown when you order, and you'll receive a reminder together with your shipping confirmation. Usually, you need to supply a few ingredients per meal when ordering meal kits with Dinnerly.
Fancy Something Extra?
While Dinnerly first and foremost focuses on dinners, they occasionally have special offers with brunches, desserts, and seasonal meals. Easter and Thanksgiving are examples of special occasions when you can expect something extra.
Skip Weeks or Cancel Anytime
Dinnerly lets you skip weeks ahead of time, pause your subscription, or change the number of portions you receive per week. You can skip up to two months at a time.
How to Skip a Dinnerly Order
Dinnerly offers you two ways to skip deliveries.
To skip one or a few deliveries:
- Log in to your account with your email address and password.
- Go to Orders. Then click Skip Order for each individual order you wish not to receive. Review your choices and click Save when done.
To skip multiple deliveries:
- Head over to the Settings tab.
- Scroll down to a link saying Edit delivery days. Click this link.
- Review your selections and save.
You are free to edit your orders up to 8 weeks in advance, and up to 6 days before a scheduled delivery.
To make sure your edits are taken into account, always remember to scroll down and click Save Changes. You will receive an email confirmation showing your updates.
Canceling Your Membership
It is easy to cancel your membership at any time – no need to contact customer service.
Depending on your shipping region, your Dinnerly menus can be canceled up to 5 or 6 days before delivery.
To cancel the subscription, click on Stop Subscription under the Settings tab in My Account. Click confirm and fill out the survey to help customer service understand what they could improve.
Once you cancel your account, a confirmation email will be sent to you showing that the cancellation has gone through successfully.
Dinnerly also comes with a mobile app, simplifying your life by letting you order your dinners from anywhere. It's also a handy tool to display your recipes when cooking. You can also find information about each recipe, such as nutrition per serving.
How Come They Are So Affordable?
Dinnerly uses a number of hacks to keep their prices well below the average market prices – sometimes less than half of what you pay for other dinner kits!
To do so, they use mostly cheaper ingredients, such as pasta and non-organic meats. As it's one of the cheapest meal delivery services, don't expect ingredients to be organic.
Contrary to many other services, Dinnerly doesn't provide pre-measured ingredients – meaning you need to pay attention during the preparation. You don't get the ingredients sorted by meal, either. This is good news for the environment since it saves some plastic packaging!
You're also expected to keep more ingredients than what's standard. While others may ask you to have salt and pepper, and a vegetable oil, Dinnerly sometimes want you to use your own eggs and other foods. You can be sure that the ingredients you need are indicated upon ordering.
Furthermore, you don't get recipe cards with your order but have to read the recipes on your computer or phone. If you use your phone, change your settings so that the phone screen doesn't turn black when you're midway through frying some green beans.
Who They Are Serving
For whom is a Dinnerly meal the best deal? Research conducted in March 2017 (by Nielsen) revealed that a whopping (46%) of US consumers claimed they would be more likely to subscribe to a weekly meal kit if it were less expensive. With a lower price per serving than any other meal kit company out there, Dinnerly was born as an answer to that quest!
The service is designed to help address the everyday cooking challenges of adults aged 25-55 – a generation of Americans who earn less than their parents but work longer hours every day. Dinnerly intends to offer convenience to the price-savvy shopper wishing to save time in the kitchen, without compromising on quality and taste.
What You Can Expect From Your Meal
A Dinnerly meal can quickly be whipped up with a maximum of seven ingredients, making Dinnerly the ideal service even for beginners behind the kitchen desk.
Dinnerly only works with trusted suppliers. That way, you can be sure to always get the freshest produce and the cleanest proteins.
Recipes are developed by recipe designer and well-renowned chef Jennie Perillo, with over 20 years of experience in the food business. Most recipes are ready in 30 or at the very most 40 minutes.
On the Menu
On the Dinnerly menu, the recipes are divided into three main categories: meat, fish, and veggie. They also have labels assigned to them, such as: Special, No Added Gluten, Dairy-Free, Kid-Friendly, Under 30 Minutes, and One Pot Meal. Special denotes meals available for special occasions and holidays such as Thanksgiving.
Meals are mostly familiar to Americans. There are few to none global influences or exotic ingredients.
At times, Dinnerly lets you choose a dessert instead of a meal. You can also order so-called protein packs, which are individual portions of meat or fish instead of a complete meal.
Allergies and Diets
Dinnerly doesn’t offer whole menus catering to allergies or diets. You can find a list of common allergens to easily adapt the recipe to your dietary requirements. However, bear in mind that all ingredients are handled in the same facilities, so there's always the risk of cross-contamination.
There are a few vegetarian options available per week. If you're into purely plant-based, look at the ingredient list for each recipe to see how you can make the recipe vegan.
Choose between 16 delicious recipes each week, together with some extras. Some favorites that make you drool for dinner at noon:
Recipes change on a weekly basis – head over to the Dinnerly website to see what's for dinner this week! Since you don't get any recipe cards, this is also where you go when it's time to cook your meals.
Dinnerly delivers to most of continental US. They currently ship to 93% of the country.
Delivery days and times depend on where you live. When you click Sign Up on their website and enter your personal details, you'll see a list of what days are available in your area. The one you choose for your first box will automatically be the one when you'll receive your boxes every week.
Your order arrives in a cold box with ice-packs to stay fresh the whole day. We recommend starting your weekly cooking adventures with seafood that lasts 1-2 days, then ground meat and chicken within 2-3 days, and other meat and veggie dishes within 3-5 days.
Edit Your Order
It's easy to update your order. To make any changes, simply log in to your account to adjust things like your delivery day, your address, and to add more meals, skip your weekly box, and edit your recipes. Depending on where you live, you can make changes up to five or six days before your scheduled delivery.
The Dinnerly box is easier on the environment than many of its competitors since the food ingredients do not come in separate bags. That way, your Dinnerly meal makes both the people in your household and the whole planet happy!
The box comes with paper-based insulation and gel freezer packs to keep the food fresh and cold until you come home.
Both the original box and their new purple box are SFI-certified, meaning that they are made of paper sourced from sustainably managed forests.
Both of the paper boxes can be recycled as you recycle cardboard, in any curbside paper recycling bin.
Gel freezer packs are plastic bags holding a frozen, non-toxic, slow-melting gel. They contain 98% water and 2% super absorbent polymer (SAP), a non-toxic, non-hazardous, oil-based polymer.
The gel freezer packs are recycled by cutting off a corner of the plastic bag and dumping the content into a trash bag – then rinse the leftover sack and recycle it as plastic waste (#4 plastic).
If your local curbside pickup doesn't accept #4 plastics, turn to your local recycling center.
The fiber liner protecting the content in the box is made from biodegradable and compostable natural fiber – primarily cotton – that is wrapped in a recyclable poly (thin plastic) film.
To discard, you need to pick the parts together by separating the film from the insulation. Place the clean, dry poly film in your plastic recycling bin. Place the natural fiber insulation in your paper recycling bin.
Bottles and containers for ingredients are made of #1 recyclable plastic, while the bags are made of #4 recyclable plastic – both of which can be disposed of in your plastics recycling bin.
Dinnerly and EveryPlate both specialize in affordable meal kits that are simple and quick to cook. Which one is best is a matter of taste. EveryPlate has the advantage of providing pre-chopped and sliced ingredients – so that the only thing you have to do is to throw it all in a pot or pan and get the heat up. You also get recipe cards with EveryPlate.
Dinnerly, on the other hand, offers up to six meals per box. You need to sign up for at least three meals, while many other meal kit delivery services (like EveryPlate) start at two weekly meals.
Dinnerly serves meals that suit the standard American formula: protein, starches, sauce, and maybe some veggies on the side. They do have vegetarian meals and low-calorie options. You can find detailed nutrition information per serving next to each recipe on their website.
One box contains your ingredients for the week, making it easy to prepare your first Dinnerly meal in no time!
There are many meal kit services out there. Which one is the best is ultimately up to you – that's why we provide you with this Dinnerly review so that you literally can get a taste of the service before deciding!
The companies offer meal kits with different servings and cost per meal. Some have meal options catering to allergies, diets, or that are suitable for the health-conscious. With many companies, you can try one first box and then decide if you want to continue.
Besides this review for Dinnerly, reviews for other meal companies can be found on our site.
HelloFresh is another meal delivery service with focus on quality ingredients and fresh ingredients. Their price point is slightly higher than that of Dinnerly, though they are not one of the most expensive meal delivery services. HelloFresh is worth it for people who want a meal subscription to cook their own food – with slightly more meal options than Dinnerly.
Pros & Cons
Dinnerly provides you with three to six easy recipes per week, requiring few ingredients and only basic cooking skills. As they also use fewer pots and pans, you're saved from mountains of dishes.
This meal delivery service comes with a lot of flexibility. Skip weeks easily from your account, change the number of meals you want to receive, and choose a delivery day that suits your lifestyle.
Dinnerly has minimal packaging, leading to less waste. You can expect the same amount of waste as when shopping at the grocery store – plus the recyclable cardboard box.
Another good thing with Dinnerly is their generous order sizes. You can order up to 24 weekly meals – a convenient option for families! Since you can change the number of servings you receive from week to week, the larger number of portions is also an excellent option if you have friends over for dinner and feel like cooking minus the stress and fuss.
And maybe the biggest advantage of them all – Dinnerly is the most affordable meal kit delivery service on the market. Plus, you get a lower price per serving – meaning meals get even cheaper – the more you order.
Prices are lower, but at a cost.
As a way of keeping prices low, ingredients do not come sorted per meal. From an environmental standpoint, though, this can be considered an advantage. We've thus dared to put it under both pros and cons.
You also have to supply more ingredients on your own than with other meal kit companies.
Dinnerly doesn’t currently offer free shipping.
Like many other meal kit companies, they do not cater to special diets or vegans. If you want your food gluten-free, there is the possibility of excluding certain ingredients. However, even though ingredients themselves are gluten-free, there is the risk for cross-contamination – so Dinnerly does not recommend ordering if you have celiac disease.
Food for Thought
In this review of Dinnerly, we've investigated who will most benefit from this service. The tl;dr version:
While Dinnerly brings you more joy and freshness per serving than your average takeout, in exchange for little effort and about as much time as you need to order and receive takeout food, it might not be the best choice for those wanting to enhance their cooking skills.
Expect few exotic and exciting flavors and kitchen techniques beyond the basics. Plus, you'll get to supply quite a few ingredients on your own and deal with the phone screen or laptop to see what's cooking instead of physical recipe cards. We didn't find those to be total dealbreakers, though.
Dinnerly is the perfect match for people on a budget and newbies in the kitchen, who want to swap takeouts for eat-ins and get (back) into the habit of making their own meals. So let's turn that oven knob up high and get the heat up – bon appétit!