Pantry Boy Subscription Box Review – May 2017
Pantry Boy is a meal subscription that focuses on slow cookers to make home cooking simple and easy. Everything comes portioned, chopped, and prepped and ready to be thrown into your crock pot.
Pantry Boy offers weekly subscriptions, though it’s easy to log in and skip a week. For each delivery, you can be surprised by what they back from their menu or you can choose your three meals.
You can view their menu on their website here to get an idea of what they offer.
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: Pantry Boy
The Cost: Price varies on the options you choose. You can purchase 2-person boxes or 4-person boxes for carnivores, vegetarians, and omnivores. Check out this chart for pricing information:
The Product: Pantry Boy sends you everything you need for 3 home-cooked meals to be made in your slow cooker. Everything is portioned, prepped, chopped, and ready to be put together.
Ships to: Right now, Pantry Boy ships to the following areas:
My first meal was penne with meatballs”–an easy classic that everyone likes. The front of the recipe card shows a photo, overview, and ingredients.
The back of the recipe card has the instructions. One thing I really love is that they include instructions for fast cooking, too, even though it’s a slow cooker subscription. So helpful if you planned a meal for dinner and forgot to prep the slow cooker (that happens to other people too, right?).
Here’s all of the ingredients for the recipe, except for the half and half, which they mark as a “pantry must have” on the recipe card (meaning they expect you to have that on hand).
The first part of the instructions says to add the meatballs to your slow cooker. However, the seasoned ground beef came in a big lump, so I had to form the meatballs. No big deal, since that’s super easy, but they should have stated “form the beef into meatballs” on the recipe card. A minor gripe, really.
The meatballs, seasoning, some vegetable oil, and a bunch of diced onions were the only part of this recipe that went in the slow cooker. The sauce, pasta, and salad were made up separately.
The sauce was simple–half and half, parmesan, and a little seasoning! Inspired me to just make my own cream sauces now.
Here’s my finished meal! I ended up adding croutons to top off the Caesar salad. This meal ended up very tasty, but I have one big note about it: It really should be a fast-cooked recipe. First of all, I cooked the meatballs on the shortest time and high heat according to the recipe, and I ended up turning it to warm early because the meatballs looked overdone. Maybe my meatballs were too small, but since they skipped the part about forming the actual meatballs in the instructions, I wasn’t given a guide of how big to make them.
In reality, I wish I had followed the fast-cook instructions. Since I had the three other components to put together (salad, noodles, sauce), it didn’t seem like the slow cooker was really saving me any time. I could have spent 5 extra minutes at the beginning and sautéed the onions, seared the meatballs, then let them bake through while I boiled the noodles, made the sauce, and tossed the salad.
Overall, this dish was easy to make and tasty, though.
The next item was pesto chicken!
I have a note about this recipe, as well: Overall, it’s quite simple, but the instructions say to finish it off with some rice to serve and eat. Rice isn’t on the ingredients, nor even listed as a pantry must-have. Something to keep in mind–I’ll address this again later.
This dish was really simple–you literally just placed the vegetables and chicken in the slow cooker and let it cook!
So, back to the rice. The instructions say to “serve with some rice” and enjoy. But since they didn’t even have it listed as a pantry must-have ingredient, I didn’t pick up any in preparation for the meal. I did make some noodles to go with, but as it stands with just the ingredients Pantry Boy sent, it could have used a little something extra–even a salad or something.
There are potatoes in the vegetable mix, so it technically has a carb, and maybe I’m just being picky. The flavors for this dish were just okay. Not what I was expecting for a “pesto chicken” meal–the flavor of pesto wasn’t very distinct. It was well-seasoned, though, but everything sort of tasted the same since you cooked it all together. I was wishing for a little variation or something to break it up (hence, rice or noodles). Also, the eggplant in the veggie mix got super mushy in the slow-cooker.
The third meal I picked was a white bean medley (a vegetarian option).
Again, a very easy recipe! Just put the white bean mix and onions in the slow cooker and make up the basmati rice 15 minutes before serving.
The white beans were infused with parsley, tomato paste, and gochujang sauce–my house smelled great with this going in the slow cooker.
The rice was pre-seasoned with turmeric–you rinsed the rice before cooking until you no longer saw any yellow in the water and then cooked it normally. I topped it with the white beans and the kimchi vegetables and lime Pantry Boy included as a side.
The white beans and rice were good! A little tangy, and very filling. However, I have never had kimchi anything, and I have learned that it must really not be for me! And now I know.
The Verdict: All in all, I enjoyed my first Pantry Boy box, but it didn’t blow me out of the water, if I’m being honest. I love the concept they have! A slow cooker subscription? As a working mom with a toddler and a baby on the way, I am all about getting dinners to be as hassle-free and convenient as possible. The fact that everything is pre-portioned and prepped is really nice. I think they have some small things with their delivery that may need tweaked or refined, but as a whole this was a successful box for me. I didn’t fall head over heels for the meals themselves, but they were all eaten, and I’d love to try some more meals from them to get a better idea of the variety of different meals they send out.
What do you think about Pantry Boy?