Blue Apron Subscription Box Review + Coupon – July 2016
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.
Check out all of our reviews of Meal Delivery Services to see every meal kit subscription box option!
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.)
It’s easy to skip deliveries and cancel your subscription through the Blue Apron website.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
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
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
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.
Inside each box, Blue Apron includes their newsletter, “From the Farm.”
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.
Unfortunately, when I was unpacking this box I noticed that some of the produce I received was in less that ideal condition. I received some wilty cilantro and an eggplant that was way past its prime. (You can probably see in the above photo that it arrived with lots of bruises and bad spots.)
Recipe #1- Spiced Shrimp & Pearl Couscous with Sautéed Zucchini
Calories: 685 per serving
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15-25 minutes
Pearl couscous was produced in the 1950’s to help combat rice shortages in Israel. The tiny pasta-like balls are toasted, and they have a delicious, roasty flavor. I really enjoy cooking with peal couscous, and this dish looked great!
I prepped for this dish by slicing zucchini, mincing garlic, and chopping some parsley.
I cooked the zucchini and garlic in some olive oil, and then added tomato paste, verjus, and water to make a sauce.
While the dish simmered, I boiled the couscous in salted water.
After the sauce started to thicken, I stirred in shrimp and the provided spices. I finished the dish by adding a little butter, stirring in the cooked couscous, and a bit of the couscous cooking water. I seasoned the dish, transferred it onto plates, and topped each one with some chopped parsley.
I liked this dish a lot! The spice blend (ground fennel, turmeric, and Aleppo pepper) was flavorful, and it was kind of like summer comfort food- warming and satisfying without being too heavy.
Recipe #2- Brown Butter Gnocchi with Summer Squash, Almonds, and Soft-Boiled Eggs
Calories: 650 per serving
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
Gnocchi is another of my favorite ingredients. (Can you tell I have a major appreciation for carbs?)
Blue Apron sent everything I needed for this dish- even eggs! (Often, other meal boxes will ask that you provide your own because they can be difficult to ship.)
I began by cooking butter in a sauté pan until it started to brown and smelled rich and nutty. I then added the summer squash, cooking it until it softened, followed by chopped almonds and some lemon juice.
In a separate pan, I boiled the gnocchi. When it was ready, I strained it and stirred it into the squash mixture along with some creme fraiche. I split the gnocchi between two bowls and topped each one with chopped parsley, parmesan cheese, and a soft-boiled egg.
As I mentioned above, I absolutely love gnocchi. Unfortunately, though, this dish didn’t quite work for me. The tart flavor of the lemon juice didn’t complement the nutty caramel flavor of the brown butter, in my opinion. I love gnocchi with lemon and I love gnocchi with brown butter, but the flavors together worked in opposition, not harmony.
Recipe #3- Eggplant Tagine with Couscous, Chickpeas, and Feta Cheese
Calories: 785 per serving
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20-30 minutes
All of the bad produce I received was for this dish. I replaced the bad eggplant with one I had in my fridge, but I didn’t have any cilantro on hand, so I omitted it.
I sliced the eggplant, a shallot, garlic, and I chopped some almonds.
In a small dutch oven I sautéed shallot in olive oil with the provided spices.
While the shallot cooked, I boiled some water in a separate pot and cooked the couscous.
Blue Apron sent a can of chickpeas for this recipe, and I rinsed them thoroughly with water and smashed half of them with a fork.
After the shallot softened, I added in the eggplant and cooked it until it softened. I then added honey, vinegar, chickpeas, water, lemon juice and seasoning. I plated the eggplant mix over couscous and topped it with feta and almonds.
I really enjoy Moroccan-inspired flavors, and I thought this dish was tasty. I might make it again and add in some dried fruit, perhaps some chopped dates or golden raisins.
Verdict: This was a pretty good box from Blue Apron. My favorite meal was definitely the Spiced Shrimp with Couscous, but I liked the Eggplant Tagine, too. I’m disappointed that some of the produce arrived in bad shape, though. That’s never good to see. Value wise, Blue Apron is competitively priced (about the same cost per meal as Hello Fresh and cheaper than Plated), and I do feel that the ingredients they send are high quality. 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. I would love to see them offer a more diverse selection.
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