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Blue Apron Subscription Box Review + Coupon – March 2016

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BlueApron-March-2016-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!

BlueApron-March-2016-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. You can find a review of that subscription here.

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

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

BlueApron-March-2016-Contents

The Subscription 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.

COUPON: Get two free meals on your first order! No code needed, just use this link

The Products: Fresh ingredients and recipes to make healthy meals at home.

Ships to: US

Check out all of our Blue Apron Reviews and find other meal boxes in the Meal Subscription Box Directory!

BlueApron-March-2016-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. Certain combinations of dishes are not allowed, though, so depending on which recipes I selected first, certain other recipes became unavailable. For example, my top two picks for this box were Cuban Sandwiches and Chicken Cacciatore. Once I selected those meals, the only available choice for my third meal was Cod Kedgeree. (This made me sad because I also really wanted the Kimchi & Barley Miso Ramen!)

BlueApron-March-2016-MyRecipes

When my box shipped, I received an email reminding me which dishes I’d picked.

BlueApron-March-2016-Newsletter

Inside each box, Blue Apron includes their newsletter, “From the Farm.”

BlueApron-March-2016-KnickKnacks

The box was packed very carefully, with veggies at the top and meat at the bottom.

Unlike many meal boxes, Blue Apron doesn’t group their ingredients by recipe. I like that this limits packaging, but it does slow down the meal preparation process slightly. (I also try to quarantine the Blue Apron ingredients in my fridge, so I don’t use a recipe ingredient for something else by mistake.) The “knick knacks” for each recipe are bagged together, though, which helps.

Cuban Sandwiches with Sweet Plantain & Kale Salad

Calories: 700 per serving

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 35-45 minutes

BlueApron-March-2016-CubanRecipe

I started my week of Blue Apron meals with Cuban Sandwiches. I love Cuban sandwiches, so I couldn’t wait to give this recipe a try!

BlueApron-March-2016-CubanRecipeBack

On the back of each recipe care, Blue Apron provides step-by-step instructions.

BlueApron-March-2016-CubanPrep

I began by quartering a lime, slicing a plantain and a cucumber, pureeing garlic, and cleaning and chopping kale.

BlueApron-March-2016-CubanPickles

First, I made the pickles by soaking sliced cucumber and a smashed clove of garlic in a warm mixture of vinegar, water, sugar, and salt.

BlueApron-March-2016-CubanSalad

While the cucumbers pickled, I set to work preparing the other components for the dish. I fried plaintains, made dressing for the salad (from garlic puree, lemon juice, and olive oil), and seared and roasted the pork.

BlueApron-March-2016-CubanAssembly

When the pork was cooked through, I let it rest for a few minutes and then thinly sliced it.  I then assembled the sandwiches by layering wholegrain mustard, pickles, sliced pork, and Swiss cheese onto sliced rolls. To cook the sandwiches, I placed them in a large oiled pot with another heavy pot on top. Pressing down on the top pot throughout the cooking process helped flatten them. Who needs a panini press?!

After the sandwiches were cooked (flat, gooey, and crisp), I plated them alongside the plantain salad.

BlueApron-March-2016-CubanPlated

The sandwiches were fantastic! The flavors layered together really well, and I didn’t leave a single crumb on my plate. The salad was a nice side dish, but I found the garlicky dressing to be a slightly odd choice. (I think I would have preferred a honey lemon vinaigrette.) That’s totally nitpicking, though. This dish was excellent.

Chicken Cacciatore with Fettuccine Pasta & Mushrooms

Calories: 575 per serving

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 30-40 minutes

BlueApron-March-2016-ChickenRecipe

Next up, I made Chicken Cacciatore.

BlueApron-March-2016-ChickenPrep

First, I minced garlic, cleaned and chopped mushrooms, and laid out the ingredients I’d need for the dish.

I then cooked the chicken and boiled the pasta.

BlueApron-March-2016-ChickenGarlic

While the chicken cooked, I sautéed the garlic and mushrooms and then added canned tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and a little bit of water.

BlueApron-March-2016-ChickenSauce

I brought this to a boil and let the flavors meld together. Next, I chopped and added the chicken and some butter.

BlueApron-March-2016-ChickenPasta

When it was ready, I seasoned the sauce and added the pasta. I finished it with some grated parmesan.

BlueApron-March-2016-ChickenPlated

This dish was another win! I probably could have easily made something similar on my own without a recipe, but it was quick and yummy.

Cod Kedgeree

Calories: 600 per serving

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30-40 minutes

BlueApron-March-2016-CodRecipe

I finished out my week of Blue Apron meals with Cod Kedgeree. As I mentioned previously, Blue Apron’s online ordering system limits which combinations of meals are available. Of all the meals that were available this week, Cod Kedgeree was the one I was least interested in, but in order to receive the Cuban Sandwich and Chicken Cacciatore (my top two picks), I was stuck with it.

BlueApron-March-2016-CodPrep

I began by prepping my ingredients, cooking the basmati rice, and frizzling the onions.

BlueApron-March-2016-CodFish

I then sautéed the cabbage in olive oil with some ginger, while I cooked the cod in a separate pan.

BlueApron-March-2016-CodAssembling

Next, I scrambled two eggs, flaked in the cod, and stirred in the rice, cabbage, seasoning, and lime zest.

To plate, I divided the kedgeree between two plates and topped each one with onions and a squeeze of lime juice.

BlueApron-March-2016-CodPlated

Kedgeree is a traditional breakfast dish in the UK. My husband is British, so, for him, this dish had a certain nostalgia factor. For me, though, it was just odd. I mean, eggs + rice + fish? I couldn’t get into it.

The Verdict: Overall, I enjoyed this box from Blue Apron. The Cuban Sandwiches and Chicken Cacciatore were great, but I wasn’t a fan of the Cod Kedgeree. All of the ingredients in this box arrived in great condition (though, I think I’d prefer if they were separated by recipe), and the recipe cards are well designed and easy to follow. Value wise, Blue Apron is competitively priced, and I do feel that the ingredients they send are high quality. (It’s rare, actually, to see cod and such large cuts of pork in meal boxes.) The biggest issue for me is with their meal variety. While they technically have 6 meals to choose from each week, not all meal combinations are available. That’s kind of a bummer, and it means that you occasionally have to settle for meals you don’t want in order to get the ones you do.

Do you subscribe to Blue Apron?

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.

9 Comments

  1. Well, I broke down and joined Blue Apron, thx to the coupon! This past week was my first week on the family plan, and our meals were broccoli calzones + chicken khao soup. I (vegetarian) am the primary weeknight cook for my family of 4, omnivore husband and 7 year old, and cheese-ivore 5 year old. I subbed in Beyond Meat “chicken” for the 12 (!) chicken thighs, which my husband froze for the distant future. I made kid-friendly variants both nights with basically no vegetables or flavors (!) – the kids liked the noodles and chickeny bites the first night, and loved the plain cheese calzones the second. I thought flavors were better blended in the khao dish – the tomato sauce for the calzones was really bland. But, overall, I liked being forced to try new dishes – I am 41 and never in my life before have I cooked kale! And, it didn’t kill me, lol. We will do at least another week. I was not wowed by the vast amounts of packaging, despite the recycling instructions it’s not available everywhere as they describe. I appreciated not having to measure ingredients. It didn’t really save me any grocery shopping time as I had hoped since, duh, I still had 5 other nights to plan and shop for. If you, like me, are an uninspired but competent cook, Blue Apron may be just the ticket!

  2. I’m not sure you followed the recipe correctly for the cod dish. You only needed half the onion and they should have been fried like onion things on top of a green bean casserole. They were more of a garnish. I have been using Blue Apron for 6 mos but not every week. It’s a great value and if you ever feel over whelmed check out their videos of the professionals preparing your meal.

  3. I have been VERY happy with this subscription! I agree that it kindof sucks that you can’t choose any combination that you want but I can still access the other recipes if I really want to make them. In the Cuban recipe that dressing is a cool adaptation of the mojito: the traditional dipping sauce used for tostones (twice fried green plantains). I thought it was an excellent way to incorporate greens into a traditional dish that would otherwise never be served with them!

  4. I had the Cuban, chicken and quesadilla as my default box. I am defaulted to “no fish”, but seafood is ok. The quesadilla was really good but I’m very onto mushrooms.

    • We have been thinking about this box but seeing her review that said she had to pick the cod completely made me change my mind. Glad I read this and know it’s an option for no fish besides seafood because although I love some fried crappie I am not a fancy of most other fish dishes.

  5. I used to get this box. I liked it except that each month there would only be one to two weeks where I wanted all three meals that went together. For example, if I’d pick one vegetarian dish I really wanted, it would usually force me to skip all of the meat options (not cool). Or if I wanted say a beef dish, then I usually would have to get like turkey or chicken as the other meals, regardless of if I wasn’t interested in those (due to meat fatigue or just the particular seasonings for those dishes for that week). I’ve heard other people complain that Blue Apron’s flavors aren’t interesting / complex enough, but I didn’t have that problem personally. I liked Blue Apron’s website, but it worked better for me on my desktop computer than on my iPhone. Over all, I was happy with Blue Apron. I plan on resubscribing when I have more time (because I’m a novice chef, the meals would take me a whole hour to prepare, and sometimes slightly more than that, like 1h10m). My coworker still gets Blue Apron and can’t say enough positive things about it.

  6. We purchased Blue Apron as a holiday gift for my 24 yr. old son who wants to learn to cook but has no idea where to start. (why didn’t he decide this when he lived at home, I have no idea) He loves it. He actually has made all the meals every week and has broadened his cooking repertoire. We even bought a second month for his birthday.

  7. I had the cod Kedgeree too but loved it! I couldn’t pick the Cuban sandwiches because I wanted the quesadillas, which were fantastic. I also enjoyed the ramen! There was so much in both the kedgeree and ramen that I got 3 meals each, so I had 8 meals, which I thought was awesome. I started getting Blue Apron in February but this was only my 2nd shipment because there usually isn’t 3 meals that interest me. I like that we can cancel weeks we don’t want.

  8. Weird, once you choose the meat and poultry dishes, they usually allow you to choose either the fish or one vegetarian dish. My account is defaulted to the meat, poultry, and vegetarian, since I’m not a fan of frozen fish. So technically you should have been able to choose at least one veggie dish! You should write to them to see what’s up with your account.

    PS – The cod dish looks like fish fried rice to me =p

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