Convenience has always been a selling point for fast-food outlets and restaurants. In recent years, however, health concerns have forced the food industry to come up with new solutions.
Healthy meal delivery services are gaining increasing popularity throughout the country. Even if you’re not Martha Stewart in the kitchen, you’ll find the instructions simple to follow, and before you know it, you’ll have dinner on the table. They contain everything you need, from beef to veggies like tomatoes and potatoes to herbs and seasonings. Preparing meals with these kits is easy, and they are generally wholesome.
Because the demand for these services is high, there are many providers with unique products. If you feel overwhelmed by the different options, preparation methods, and food items, you’re in the right place.
We carried out extensive research to find the healthiest nutritional subscription services. In this buyer’s guide, we take an in-depth look at the best ones to help you make an informed decision.
Table of Contents
- 1 Our Top Prepared Meal Delivery Services (2020 UPDATED)
- 2 FAQ
- 3 Which Meal Delivery Service Should You Choose?
Our Top Prepared Meal Delivery Services (2020 UPDATED)
1 - Sun Basket (Editor’s Choice)
Best match for: People with food sensitivities who don’t have time to plan meals
Sun Basket is a popular meal delivery service that combines wholesome living with convenience. Most ingredients that Sun Basket uses are organic, and there is a wide range of meals available to cater to various dietary restrictions. Preparing meals is also relatively quick, which makes this service ideal for people with busy lifestyles.
Sun Basket’s signup process only takes a few minutes, and the subscription is easy to use. Each week, you can choose from eighteen entrées, of which five are vegetarian or vegan. If you want Sun Basket to send you default recipes, you can adjust your preferences to filter out unwanted ingredients.
Check out our full Sun Basket meal service review.
2 - Freshly
Best match for: People who want ingredients of the highest quality
With Freshly, you get delicious gourmet meals that a chef prepared with fresh, high-quality ingredients. This meal-delivery service is also a viable option for people who don’t have time to prepare food, as the meals come in microwave-friendly containers.
Read Meal Matchmaker’s Freshly meal delivery review.
With the Freshly app, your meals are also quick and easy to customize. The plans you can choose from include market day meals, home bistro, feel-better food, and whole comfort.
Freshly delivers once per week, including to New York, and you can choose from four, six, nine, or twelve meals per week.
All your meals will arrive on the same day, depending on your zip code, and Freshly will bill you every week.
3 - Fresh n’ Lean
Best match for: Those who also want breakfast and lunch deliveries
Fresh n’ Lean is one of those delivery services that focus primarily on plant-based- and gluten-free diets. If you are a vegan, vegetarian, or paleo lover, this service may be ideal for you. Fresh n’ Lean pre-makes all meals and delivers them in a microwavable package for quick preparation.
Read our review of Fresh N’ Lean.
When ordering from Fresh n’ Lean, you have two options, namely a la carte or weekly.
The Fresh n’ Lean plans include ION Performance Protein +, ION Performance Paleo, Standard Plant-Based, and Low Carb Plant-based. You cannot customize these meal plans, which may be a drawback to some, but it allows for a user-friendly ordering process.
4 - EveryPlate
Best match for: Customers on a tight budget
With EveryPlate, you don’t get things like biodegradable packaging, organic ingredients, and fully customizable specialty menus. What you get with this delivery service, however, are dinners that are filling, simple, and delicious.
When signing up for this service, you can choose between two- and four-person plans. The menu also changes continuously, with eight new recipes per week.
All the ingredients are fresh, and preparing a meal can take up to 45 minutes. It’s easy to follow an EveryPlate recipe, and the company pre-portions all the kits, so you don’t have to measure the ingredients yourself.
Read our full EveryPlate review.
5 - Gobble
Best match for: Single persons or parents who like home-cooked food but not cooking
Gobble has a relatively simple dinner ordering process. After ticking your food preferences, Gobble will provide you with several meal options that you can customize with your personalized menu. After placing your order, Gobble will prepare and add all the food items you need to a box and send it to you.
You can choose meal plans for one, two, or four persons. Gobble delivers three times a week, and preparing your dinner takes no longer than fifteen minutes. In addition to dinner meals, you can order several add-on items, including soup, drink mixes, desserts, and salads.
Read our full Gobble review.
6 - Purple Carrot
Best match for: Non-meat eaters who are looking for creative recipes
Purple Carrot caters specifically for non-meat eaters with their wide range of vegetarian dinner options. Additionally, this delivery service goes the extra mile to provide its customers with a five-star culinary experience as well as all the macronutrients you need.
Apart from the meal kit contents, Purple Carrot is similar to most other services in this category. A Purple Carrot box consists of pre-portioned ingredients and recipe cards, and each food item is inside a labeled bag.
Purple Carrot is also fully committed to sustainable practices, and you can check their website for instructions on recycling your meal’s packaging.
Read our review of Purple Carrot to learn more.
7 - Dinnerly
Best match for: Families who prefer a home-cooked, environmentally friendly alternative to take-out
Dinnerly markets its meal kits as budget-friendly, earth-friendly, and friendly-friendly. Because most of the recipes only use seven or eight recipes, the meals are also time-friendly and ideal if you have to work meal prep into a hectic schedule.
With Dinnerly, you can choose between two-person and four-person plans, and three, four, or five meals per week. You can also opt for automatic delivery.
Dinnerly has an app that makes it easy to select three meals, choose a recipe, cancel service, or skip a delivery. However, you can do all of the above online as well.
Read our Dinnerly review.
8 - Veestro
Best match for: People who like traditional vegan meals without bold flavors
Following a vegan diet requires extensive planning and time, especially if you don’t want to eat the same meals every day.
With its meal delivery service, Veestro aims to solve these issues. Veestro delivers frozen vegan meals to their customers’ doors, and each dinner requires minimal preparation.
Read our full Veestro meal delivery service review.
When subscribing, you can choose ten, twenty, or thirty frozen meals that are fully prepared. You can also have Veestro deliver the kits once every week, every two weeks, or every month.
With Veestro’s A La Carte plan, you can select the food items yourself, but you can also let the Veestro choose them with the Chef’s Choice Plan.
9 - The Fresh Diet
Best match for: People who are looking to take the planning out of weight loss
The Fresh Diet works differently from regular services in that it provides subscribers with plans for three meals as well as a drop-off service.
To sign up for the Fresh Diet’s services, you have to provide the company with your target weight and other information about your lifestyle and food preferences. The Fresh Diet will then formulate a dietary plan around your requirements, prepare the food, and deliver it to your door.
The diet is easy to follow, but you have to combine the nutritional plan with an active lifestyle.
10 - Fresh Meal Plan
Best match for: Active people who need a balanced meal plan that is easy to follow
Fresh Meal Plan offers several types of meal plans to your door. These meals consist of gourmet-style recipes that the company prepared the day before. Because you can schedule delivery every three days, you never have to freeze your kits.
The meals contain a blend of proteins, complex carbs, and vegetables, and you can pick a meal plan that fits your nutritional requirements. The standard program consists of five dinners per week, and you can add breakfast, lunch, or snack deliveries to your plan. When signing up, the first step is to find out if Fresh Meal Plan delivers in your area.
11 - HungryRoot
Best match for: People who are looking for quick and easy food preparation
HungryRoot is one of the plant-forward food delivery services that deliver kit items that you can combine according to their recommendations. You can choose from items such as pea snaps, brown rice, sweet potato, and mango culture coconut cream.
Because the ingredients you receive from HungryRoot are easy to pair, recipe cards aren’t included with the kit. The recipes are also limited, which reduces food prep time. The meals delivered to your door are a substitute for grocery shopping, and you can schedule delivery once every week, but you can pick weeks that you want to skip.
12 - FreshDirect Meal Kits
Best match for: People who want reliable and practical meal delivery
FreshDirect has many different meal kits available, and all of them come with detailed instructions, and they are easy to prepare. Most buyers select the Standard Offer, but you can also choose a kit from the Stir-Fry or Smart & Simple Collections.
Along with your kit’s recipe cards and instructions, you will also receive information on its number of servings, cooking time, the equipment you need, nutritional information, and the pantry items you need.
The FreshDirect kits also include pairing suggestions, and you can choose one for all dietary requirements, including pescatarians and vegetarians. Food prep time ranges from ten to fifty minutes.
Traditionally, food options for delivery, such as pizza, have been unhealthy, which is why many people are still apprehensive about meal deliveries as a step in the right direction.
Ordering dishes for delivery at your home can potentially help you maintain a holistic lifestyle, but it is crucial to select the right service and meal kit options.
There are many more options besides Sakara Life, Green Chef, Daily Harvest, and Blue Apron, which you’ve probably already heard of. If the recipes you choose do not meet your nutritional requirements, the meal subscription can do more harm than good.
Additionally, you should maintain an active lifestyle. Drinking enough water and getting enough daily exercise is crucial to ensure optimal cardiovascular and respiratory health. You should also stay away from beverages that have high sugar content and limit your alcohol intake.
If you make the right choices beyond nutrition, a meal delivery service can help you to be healthy in several ways; below are 5 important features of ordering a meal delivery service:
By choosing meals that contain the right macro- and micronutrients, a delivery service can help keep you healthy. Before subscribing to particular meal kits, check the list of contents.
Eggs, meat, and fish are excellent sources of essential amino acids and proteins. If you follow a plant-based diet, select kit options that contain soy, nuts, and beans as sources of protein.
Your dishes should also include unsaturated fats. You’ll find heathy omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in fish, seeds, and nuts. Vegetable oils such as, olive oil, avocado oil, and flaxseed, are also rich in healthy fats. If you can, add options containing coconut oil to your menu.
Micronutrients that you should include in your customizable menus are essential vitamins and minerals. Fruits and vegetables, such as sweet potato and cucumber, are not only an excellent source of micronutrients but also water. In addition to helping with weight loss, these nutrients will boost your immune system, improve your concentration, and boost your physical performance.
Another way food delivery can help you to live healthier is by eliminating distractions. For example, if you have to go grocery shopping after a long New York workday and you are hungry and tired, you will be more likely to stock up on carbs and products that contain a lot of sugar.
If you eat ten cookies in the car on your way home, you may not feel hungry when it is dinner time. However, later than night, after your insulin drops your blood sugar, you will feel hungry again and go to the fridge, which puts you in the vicious cycle of feast and famine.
With food delivery, you don’t have to go grocery shopping, which means you avoid the temptation of unhealthy options. You go straight home, eat a healthy dinner that is high in fiber or low in sugar, and that leaves your stomach slowly. Your energy levels remain higher for longer, and you don’t feel hungry until the next day.
If you don’t have a background in nutrition, you may not be sure about what you may and may not eat. You may know that you need proteins, fats, and micronutrients, but what are your options when it comes to these nutrients? A dietician can provide you with a list of all the things you can eat, but incorporating all these items into your nutritional plan may leave you feeling more overwhelmed.
Planning healthy dishes yourself can be a frustrating endeavor. To reduce the uncertainty and organization, many people reduce their plans to the few options they know they can eat. However, after following the same plan for a few weeks, the repetitiveness may also cause you to give up.
Delivered foods eliminate the need to meticulously find a slot for every nutrient source. All you have to do is eat the prepped meals that you receive weekly without having to worry that you may be eating the wrong thing.
Healthy Eating Without Deprivation
Generally, when people want to lose weight, they reduce their portion sizes and start eating dishes that they don’t like.
However, with a subscription service, you don’t have to starve yourself or eat bad-tasting dishes. Companies have meals prepped by professional chefs that are not only healthy but also palatable and filling.
If healthy eating is not a punishment, you will be more likely to commit to a healthy lifestyle. You may also explore the different options there are available, customize your menu every week, and enjoy the benefits of healthy meal delivery.
Fewer Barriers to Healthy Living
Following a healthy nutritional plan requires extensive planning, time, and money. Delivered foods from a rotational menu and a wide range of dietary options eliminate many of these barriers, which makes healthy living easier.
Because there are so many options in terms of healthy meal delivery solutions and menu options, you can select one that fits your specific dietary needs.
Another barrier to healthy living is time. If you have a busy schedule, formulating a healthy menu, and sticking to it can be a challenge. Not only do you have to draw up the menu, but you also have to go shopping and spend a lot of time preparing three meals a day.
Some delivery food services offer weight loss options. All you have to do is enter your targets, and they will formulate a menu to help you reach your goals. If you don’t know where to start planning your new menu, these programs may be ideal.
We found that the subscription kit options from Sun Basket are the healthiest. This company’s ingredients not only include all the essential fatty acids and proteins that your body needs, but they are organic and free from antibiotics and added hormones.
Additionally, Sun Basket’s ingredients and servings are fresh, and the company sources and prepares all ingredients according to health and safety standards.
Purple Carrot’s subscription service will deliver foods that we recommend for weight loss. This company formulates all their meals to promote weight loss and a lower body mass index. Although Purple Carrot’s meal plans are plant-based, they have high-protein plans available to support your exercise routine. You can also opt for Purple Carrot’s gluten-free nutritional plans.
The prepared dishes from Sun Basket and Freshly are the ones that we found to be the healthiest. These meals are rich in proteins but free from gluten and refined sugars. The meals from some of these services are suitable for managing diabetes, and there is one for every dietary restriction.
Whether or not a meal-delivery kit is a healthy one depends on the delivery company and the recipes you choose. Meal kits are generally healthier than takeaway meals or eating out, but they may not be as healthy as home-cooked meals.
If you prepare your dinner at home, you can include more vegetables, reduce carbs, and use less salt. Before selecting a meal kit service, consider the list of ingredients carefully to ensure you make a healthy choice.
Which Meal Delivery Service Should You Choose?
When it comes to delivered food services, there are many providers to choose from. In addition to the services on our list, you can also order from Sakara Life, Green Chef, Daily Harvest, and Blue Apron—and Daily Harvest also provides smoothie delivery.
At Meal Matchmaker, we recommend Sun Basket as the best subscription service. Sun Basket not only provides the healthiest meals, but they work with suppliers such as farmers and seafood purveyors to ensure that their meals contain seasonal and sustainably sourced ingredients.
Additionally, Sun Basket’s packaging is either compostable or recyclable, and the company goes the extra mile to reduce food waste. These meal kits make it possible for you to dine sustainably.
Our #1 Recommendation