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Blue Apron Subscription Box Review – October 2015

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Blue Apron Subscription Box Review October 2015 - Box

Blue Apron is a subscription meal delivery service. Every week, they send seasonal recipes created by their culinary team and all of the pre-measured ingredients you need to make them at home. Each meal contains 500-700 calories and takes about 35 minutes to cook.

Check out all of our reviews of Meal Delivery Services to see every meal kit subscription box option!

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review October 2015 - Inside

In addition to their 2-Person Subscription Plan, which features seasonally-inspired meals for two, Blue Apron also offers a Family Plan that features kid-friendly recipes and family-style meals for four. (Note that this is a review of the 2-Person Subscription Plan.)

Blue Apron also offers a monthly add-on wine subscription.

It’s easy to skip deliveries and cancel your subscription through the Blue Apron website.

My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review October 2015 - Contents

The Box: Blue Apron

The Cost: $59.94 for 3 recipes on the 2-Person Plan, $69.92 for 2 recipes on the Family Plan, $139.84 for 4 recipes on the Family Plan, and $65.99 for six 500 ml bottles of wine.

The Products: Fresh ingredients and recipes needed to make 3 meals.

Ships to: US

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review October 2015 - SignUp

I’ve been reviewing Plated for several months now, and I’ve received a few requests from readers to see reviews of other meal delivery services, too. Blue Apron has been on my radar for quite awhile, so I was very excited to sign up and try out one of their boxes. (FYI- I’ll also soon be reviewing a box from Hello Fresh.)

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review October 2015 - AllRecipes

When I placed my order with Blue Apron, I was automatically assigned 3 recipes; however, it was easy to go back into my account to pick new ones. Interestingly, though, Blue Apron restricts recipe choice. Certain combinations of dishes are not allowed, so depending on which recipe I selected first, certain other recipes became unavailable. For this box, I really wanted to pick both Southern Style Burgers and Mixed Mushroom Risotto, but I wasn’t allowed to choose both dishes. I’m not sure why certain combinations aren’t allowed, but it bothered me that I couldn’t pick whichever three dishes I wanted.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review October 2015 - MyRecipes

I ended up selecting the following recipes: One-Pot Shrimp Perloo, Southern-Style Burgers, and Seared Chicken & Autumn Vegetables. Blue Apron included a recipe card for each of my selected dishes.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review October 2015 - RecipeCards

They also included a newsletter, “From the Farm,” that features some information about the ingredients in the box.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review October 2015 - Newsletter

In this shipment, I also received a small card alerting me of an ingredient substitution.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review October 2015 - Substitution

The box was packed very carefully, with veggies at the top and meat at the bottom. Delicate ingredients were packed with additional care.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review October 2015 - TomatoPackaging

Each recipe had an accompanying bag of “knick knacks,” which included things like spices, condiments, and dried fruits.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review October 2015 - KnickKnacks

Southern-Style Burgers with Green Tomato Chow Chow & Old Bay Oven Fries

Calories: 700 per serving

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25-35 minutes

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review October 2015 - BurgerRecipe

I started my week of Blue Apron meals with Southern-Style Burgers. I began by preparing my ingredients.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review October 2015 - BurgerIngredients

I made the oven fries by drizzling olive oil over sliced potatoes, seasoning them with salt, pepper, and Old Bay, and roasting them in the oven at 475.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review October 2015 - BurgerFries

While the potatoes cooked, I began preparing the chow chow. I sautéed onion, garlic, and the provided spice blend in olive oil. When the mustard seeds began to pop, I transferred half of the mixture to a bowl and added green tomato, vinegar, sugar, and water to what remained in the pot. When it thickened, I removed it from the heat.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review October 2015 - BurgerAromatics

To make the burgers, I added the mixture I’d previously set aside to the ground beef, along with the remaining Old Bay. I formed the meat into patties and cooked them in a skillet.

When the burgers were cooked, I toasted the buns. When they were nicely browned, I constructed the burgers and plated them alongside the fries.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review October 2015 - BurgerPlated

I thought the burgers were okay. I was really looking forward to trying the green tomato chow chow, but I wasn’t a huge fan of its flavors. The burger itself was cooked well, but, again, I thought the flavor was just so-so. The fries were tasty, but, overall, this dish didn’t blow me away.

Seared Chicken and Autumn Vegetables

Calories: 685 per serving

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25-35 minutes

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review October 2015 - ChickenRecipe

Next up, I made Seared Chicken and Autumn Vegetables. Again, I began by preparing my ingredients.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review October 2015 - ChickenIngredients

Next, I cooked the chicken.

When the skin was nice and crispy and it was cooked through, I transferred it to a plate and added the turnip to the pan. I cooked it for about 5 minutes and then added onion, cabbage, and thyme to the pan. As soon as the vegetables softened, I added in chopped figs, mustard, demi-glace, apple cider, the cooked chicken, and some water. I cooked this for about 5 minutes and then finished it by adding a bit of butter.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review October 2015 - ChickenPan

I transferred the food to plates and garnished with some of the remaining thyme.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review October 2015 - ChickenPlated

I was really excited to try this dish, but I was disappointed with how it all came together. First of all, the pieces of chicken were really small. I could have overlooked this if the vegetables had been delicious, but I wasn’t really a fan. For me, the flavors didn’t work well together. The combination of thyme, dried fig, mustard, and turnip sounded okay on paper, but I didn’t like the way they tasted side by side.

One-Pot Shrimp Perloo

Calories: 665 per serving

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25-35 minutes

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review October 2015 - PerlooRecipe

I finished out my week of Blue Apron meals with One-Pot Shrimp Perloo, a Lowcountry rice dish that’s similar to jambalaya.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review October 2015 - PerlooIngredients

I started the perloo by cooking garlic, celery, bell pepper, onion, and scallion in a hot pan with some olive oil. I cooked it for a few minutes and then added in the bomba rice. I allowed the rice to roast in the pan for a few minutes, seasoned everything with salt and pepper, and then added in diced tomatoes and water.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review October 2015 - PerlooSimmering

I brought the mixture to a boil and then allowed the pot to simmer until the rice cooked, about 18 minutes.

When the rice was ready, I removed the pot from the heat and added in shrimp, lemon juice, and parsley. I let the heat from the dish cook the shrimp, and then I plated the perloo, topping it with chopped parsley and scallions.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review October 2015 - PerlooPlated

Again, I thought this dish was just okay. I liked the flavors of the rice, but I wasn’t a fan of the shrimp. It was fresh enough, but I didn’t think the quality was great- the shrimp was a little soft and almost mushy, not quite as firm as I’d expect.

The Verdict: I’m a big fan of the meal subscription box concept. Up until now, my experience has been limited to Plated, but I love picking out my meals in advance, receiving a box full of fresh ingredients, and trying new recipes. I jumped at the opportunity to try Blue Apron, and I couldn’t wait to see how the experience would compare.

First of all, I think it’s important to point out that Blue Apron costs $9.99 per serving, making it more affordable than Plated, which starts at $12 per serving, and Hello Fresh’s Classic Food Box, which starts at $10.75 per serving. (Though, if you’re looking for meat-free meals, the cheapest option is Hello Fresh’s Veggie Box, which starts at $9.08 per serving.) While the prices are all in the same ballpark, Blue Apron offers a $12 savings per week over Plated, which certainly adds up if you’re a regular subscriber. They also focus on recipes that can be cooked in 35 minutes or less. I have to give Blue Apron credit for their low prices and quick recipes. I think it’s great to see a meal delivery subscription that caters to those with limited time and budgets.

For me, though, the experience itself was a little disappointing. When it came time to select my meals, I was pleased with the week’s offerings; however, it really bothered me that I wasn’t able to pick all three of the dishes I wanted. The fact that certain meal combinations weren’t allowed made the menu feel limited. When the box arrived, I was happy with the quality of the ingredients I received and how they were packed and shipped, and the recipes were straightforward and easy to follow. The meals, however, didn’t dazzle me. There wasn’t a single dish that I’d describe as “restaurant quality,” and, as a capable home cook, I felt I could have made better dishes myself. To be fair, none of the meals I received were bad, but they didn’t wow me. It’s possible, of course, that I just got unlucky. This is my first box from Blue Apron, so I have to consider the possibility that my experience is not representative of the subscription as a whole. Still, after these meals, I’m not rushing to sign up for another box.

Do you subscribe to Blue Apron? If so, please share your experiences in the comments section below.

Written by Lindsey Morse

Lindsey Morse

Lindsey is a professional baker by day and a subscription box junkie by night. She first subscribed to Birchbox in 2013 and her addiction grew when she signed up for Graze, PopSugar, and Knoshy. Her favorite part about being a subscription box addict is discovering new products- especially gourmet goodies, beauty products, and kitchen tools!
All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.


  1. For anyone looking for a coupon/discount on Blue Apron – Gilt City has a deal going on right now.
    3 meals for 2 people: $39
    2 family style meals for 4 people: $45
    4 family style meals for 4 people: $89

    • Thanks for the heads up! I think I might take advantage of this since I don’t plan on sticking to the recipes but rather will use the items I receive to make dishes I like. Thanks again!

  2. We get blue apron and some meals are better than others.For us there isn’t much meat. We never have left overs very small portions .

  3. I’m a few weeks into a Blue Apron subscription. Everything has been good, and it’s been “forcing” me to cook at home instead of eat out, so it’s actually saving me money. There’s also no impulse buying at the grocery store.

    I’m not crazy about the limited choices I end up with on some weeks, and the portion sizes are too big for me. I’m single and I ate a pasta dish for 3 days and still didn’t finish it. I don’t like that I still end up wasting food, even if I did spend less money. If I only at my BA meals for lunch & dinner every day, I still wouldn’t finish all of the food they make, and I don’t have a schedule that allows for that–or the storage space for the leftovers.

  4. Thanks for this review! My husband and I use Hello Fresh, Plated and Blue Apron all on a regular basis. We like them all, but we have actually been MOST impressed with Blue Apron in terms of overall quality of ingredients sent and the taste of the finished dishes. (Plated is probably our least favorite, even though we still like it and have been using it the longest.) I LOVE these meal services, they have been a total lifesaver for us as we are a very busy couple but we still love to do our own cooking and eat healthfully — Plated, Blue Apron and Hello Fresh have made that possible even with our busy schedules.

    • I agree with you Becka. Blue Apron is my favorite of the meal subscriptions. Plated has never had any recipes that I’ve been blown away about and is a bit too expensive. On the other hand, Blue Apron can be hit or miss but there are some amazing recipes I have gotten, and I do find them to be more original. I did the burgers and chicken as well, but got the kale quesadillas and that was definitely my favorite for the week.

  5. Thanks for the honest and detailed review. I love it when you cook. Plated is definitely my favorite but I’ve been mixing in Home Chef as well. They are only $10 per plate and the menus are a bit more mainstream. Not as much of the wow factor as with Plated but the price and convenience are great. I find ordering these type of meals forces me to cook instead of ordering take out or eating something quick and not that healthy.

    • Thanks for this- I just signed up for a week of this one. The menus look more kid-friendly!

  6. I’m excited to see an honest review of Blue Apron on here. I was outside their area for a long time and have been considering trying them now that I can. My experiences with boxed to cook meals has been really uneven — even week to week on the same service. Plated was my first and I liked but didn’t love it. I agree with others, Hello Fresh was the definitely loser. I had a package come that had leaked all over and though they did credit the cost back to me, I wasn’t impressed with the replacement, either.

    I’m surprised no one has mentioned Green Chef which is by far my favorite of the services I’ve tried. My roommate and I loved every single dish both weeks, though I would prefer a 2 meal option with them because we invariably end up having to rush to prepare the last one after more than one vegetable is past its organic veggie prime.

  7. Theres another service for CA called Gobble that I’ve been enjoying. They send you recipes designed to be made fast in a single pan which is great when I’m home late from work/school and don’t have time to cook. They basically prepare many of the ingredients for you – so it’s much quicker. And it’s really delicious.

    I also have my eye on one called The Purple Carrot. They are newer I think, and they are Vegan. I’m excited to try them soon.

  8. I’ve been using Blue Apron pretty consistently for the past few years and usually love it. I’m kind of sad that this is the week that is being reviewed because it’s by far my least favorite menu in a long long time!

    I’ve done the burgers before and they were ok so I skipped them this week and got the vegetarian option: Kale & Monterey Jack Quesadillas. They were absolutely amazing and I am definitely going to make them again on my own. The chicken dish was a bit disappointing though and for the first time ever I received bad shrimp so had to throw that whole meal out. They did credit me $20 for the shrimp so I’m not out anything but the time I wasted cooking it.

    The price isn’t crazy cheap for the amount of food you get but as a single person living alone it lets me try all sorts of ingredients I’d never been able to find otherwise in small enough quantities to not go mostly to waste.

    I do agree about the lack of customization being an issue and people on their message boards comment about their frustration with it all the time. BA keep saying they are working on expanding options and hopefully that will come through soon.

  9. I agree with the other reviews. I have tried plated, hello fresh and blue apron. Plated came out on top in that list, but my all time favorite meal subscription plan is peach dish. They cost $50 for two meals for two, so a little pricey, but I am always happy with the quality of the ingredients and the taste.

  10. I really enjoy my Plated sub, and I’m glad to see some other alternatives out there. I might have to give them a try myself.

    To those concerned about the price… For me, it’s about making something I wouldn’t normally make myself. Sure, I can make good, healthy meals much cheaper, but I’ll also probably use the ingredients for other things and/or have them already on hand. The thing about Plated is that it helps me create things I don’t normally have ingredients for, and those ingredients are pre-portioned, which means I won’t be buying an expensive bottle of Ingredient X only to use 1 Tbsp of it. When I consider these things, it’s actually a savings for me. I also consider that 1 Plated serving is usually 2 Jen-size servings.

  11. We’ve been getting Blue Apron for a while now and we really like it. We’re a family of six, so we make a day of it when a box comes. We make all three meals in one day and split them up. It’s a lot of fun and makes for a special treat. We order the two person meals, but the portions they give you are big, so even splitting by six, there’s still enough food. I can’t imagine how only two people would eat that much without leftovers. lol I believe with the meal choices, you only choose between categories, like meat, vegetarian, etc. Then you get the meals within the category you chose. We live the skip option. $60 is a lot for us, so we usually skip a bunch and get a box every 1.5-2 months or so, if something catches our eye. I have to say, the customer service is excellent. We have hardly had any problems, but when we did, they were handled wonderfully. Twice we had a box get caught up in shipping because of bad weather and Blue Apron refunded the full box price. The convenience factor of getting exactly the amount of ingredients you need for the recipes is great. It’s nice to be able to try dishes we wouldn’t have thought of and then have nice recipe pages to make them again later, if we wish. We love this subscription and would greatly recommend it! 🙂

  12. We do Blue Apron in my house every other week and, except for a bad spot in September, we’ve really loved it. (The bad spot involved several boxes with moldy bread. I won’t order anything with bread products in high summer again…)

    The box has turned me onto eating fish, and made vegetables a much bigger part of my meals. The meat portions are what I should be eating, rather than what my very American appetite usually expects. 🙂

    I think their best recipes come during the winter/early spring. You may want to try them again on a week they’re not doing burgers, or a week when they have an Asian recipe. (For some reason, their Thai food is usually amazing. Many of their Mexican dishes are good too.) And if not, their recipe bank is accesible on the internet to grab some of the best recipes without subscribing again.

  13. I’ve tried all three as well and liked the price point with Blue Apron. Their meals are not as good as Hello Fresh in my opinion. However, the customer service experience I had with Hello Fresh made me switch to Blue Apron entirely. Plated was good as well but their meals didn’t seem to live up to the price. I liked that they gave you dessert options though.

  14. I tried Blue Apron once when there was some kind of deal. I don’t recall the menu limitations. However, what I really didn’t like was the fact that all the meals were very high calorie. Both my husband and I cook and we felt that we could make meals that were as tasty but better for our health.

  15. I’m never sure about these boxes. I realize there is a convenience factor if having everything delivered straight to your door, but the prices seems so high to me. Who can afford $10-$12 per plate when eating at home? Is it really worth it? I can cook and entire meal with leftovers for my whole family for around $3 per serving and that’s not hamburger helper. It’s fresh, healthy and tasty meals.

    • I agree completely. I love reading these reviews because they look so delicious, but I’ve never signed up because of the price. I’m a vegetarian, so my meals are even cheaper than most people’s. I can cook 5 lunches for the whole week and usually only spend about $10-12 total. The idea of spending that much per plate scares me lol. I’d be broke!

  16. Thanks for this review, Lindsey! I have received some great meals from Blue Apron, however I share your frustration with the limitations on the meal combinations – I wish they would reconsider that. All in all, Plated remains my favorite, but Blue Apron isn’t far behind. (I had a TERRIBLE experience with Hello Fresh – the box arrived damaged, and some of the meat had spoiled – their customer service was even more rotten than their food, however, and I would never order from them again even if their food was free!)

    • Same experience with Hello Fresh. HORRIBLE – brown, squishy, leaking rotten food and rotten customer service. Didn’t have a great experience with Blue Apron either. One thing that really bothered me about Blue Apron was the choice restriction. My first box, I ended up calling customer service because I don’t like the type of fish they were offering and I am deathly allergic to pine nuts. I was forced to pick one or the other because of the combo restrictions – I called and asked if they could override it and they said no, I had to either pick one of the meals I couldn’t eat, or skip that week and try again another week. It’s completely arbitrary – there were 4 meals I’d have loved that week but I couldn’t access them without choosing a meal I couldn’t eat. So ridiculous. The box we ended up getting a few weeks later was one of the most boring, bland sets of meals we’ve had, so we won’t get them again.

      We love Plated but it’s pricy – we get it whenever we have a super busy week and know we’d otherwise be getting expensive, unhealthy takeout for convenience. It’s cheaper than takeout or a restaurant, but more expensive than regular grocery shopping. We definitely use it as an occasional alternative when we want to stay on track cooking good meals and won’t have time for meal planning, grocery shopping, and meal prep/cooking.

  17. Aw…I’m sorry you didn’t like it! My husband and I have tried all three boxes ( Hello Fresh, Plated and Blue Apron ). We decided to stick with Blue Apron because we love it so much. Our least favorite was Plated.

  18. Interesting review, thanks, Lindsey!

    We subscribed to Blue Apron for a long time. Overall, it was a very good experience. Once in a while there would be a problem of some kind with an ingredient we received, but they always addressed this as soon as we mentioned it.

    Most recently we have been doing Plated occasionally. The main reason we prefer Plated a bit over Blue Apron is that our children also eat the meals and we thought that Blue Apron was starting to get a little too creative with their recipes for our children’s palates. Of course, some people may not feel this same way or may even prefer that.

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