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Blue Apron Subscription Box Review + Coupon – June 2017

This post may contain referral/affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.

Check out my review of Blue Apron's vegetarian box for June 2017!

Blue Apron is a subscription meal delivery service. Every week, they send seasonal recipes created by their culinary team and 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!

Check out my review of Blue Apron's vegetarian box for June 2017!

In addition to their standard 2-Person subscription plan, which features three weekly seasonally-inspired meals for two, Blue Apron also offers a Family Plan that features kid-friendly recipes and family-style meals for four.

This is a review of the 2-Person subscription plan ($9.99 per serving, or $59.94 per week). I usually just cook just for myself, so I keep the extra servings as leftovers I can eat through the week.

This is also a review of Blue Apron‘s vegetarian option. I’m glad that this company has a veggie option, but be aware that the selections each week are much more limited. Each week’s menu has only 6 recipes in total, and only three are vegetarian. The veggie recipes, like other Blue Apron meals, feel like what I’d find at a gourmet restaurant or cafe. They’re tasty, but the combinations are a bit more outside-the-ordinary than other boxes I’ve tried.

If you want to make your meals even classier, Blue Apron also offers a monthly add-on wine subscription. (You can find a review of that subscription here.)

Check out my review of Blue Apron's vegetarian box for June 2017!

I really appreciate Blue Apron‘s commitment to the health of the larger food system (and therefore, the satisfaction and well-being of their customers). Blue Apron is really vocal about its commitments to sustainability, high-quality produce, responsibly raised meats, the success of smaller farmers, and reducing food waste—moreso than other brands I’ve looked at.

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.)

Blue Apron Vegetarian June 2017 - Spicy Korean Rice Cakes Recipe Card

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 three 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: U.S.

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

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!

Blue Apron Vegetarian June 2017 - Spicy Korean Rice Cakes Recipe Card

Those of you who’ve read my other reviews know by now that I’m super new in the kitchen. Part of my goal in trying out Blue Apron is to see if I can get a bit more comfortable with cooking and maybe even walk away with a few techniques I can experiment with in the future! So far, I’ve found this particular subscription to be the slightest bit more demanding on my burgeoning cooking skills (maneuvering between different pans and pots, versus one-pot projects), and a bit more sophisticated when it comes to flavors (it has more of a “foodie” flair that’s one or two small steps beyond the crowd-pleasing, familiar flavors that other boxes feature).

Blue Apron often includes some kind of bonus recipes or information about their food. This month, they’ve included an entire booklet of information about sustainable salmon fishing.

Blue Apron Vegetarian June 2017 - Spicy Korean Rice Cakes Recipe Card

While I don’t really eat salmon, I was really impressed by the thoughtful, educational articles in this little book. It’s really interesting, surprisingly engrossing, and it made me really glad for companies like Blue Apron that are conscious of these issues—and trying to do something about it.

Check out my review of Blue Apron's vegetarian box for June 2017!

Creamy Lucuma Rigata Pasta with Asparagus and Goat Cheese

Calories per Serving: 710

Total Time According to Blue Apron: 20-30 minutes

Actual Time: About 30 minutes

Check out my review of Blue Apron's vegetarian box for June 2017!

Okay, now on to the recipes! The first dish I tried was this pasta dinner. Pasta is probably my favorite food—it’s rare that I meet a pasta dish that I don’t like. The picture of the finished dish on the front of the recipe card looked pretty mouthwatering, too. I mean, just look at that big dollop of goat cheese!

Blue Apron Vegetarian June 2017 - Spicy Korean Rice Cakes Recipe Card

Blue Apron ingredients come packaged inside a big silver bag that’s a lot like bubble wrap. Along with the plastic-wrapped ice packs in the box, the bubble wrap bag keeps the ingredients cool while they travel. It’s starting to get legitimately hot (and humid—oof!) here in Pittsburgh, so when I got to this box, the ingredients weren’t quite as chilled as they usually are. They were still cool to the touch, but it was more of a sitting-on-a-kitchen-counter-with-the-AC-on-high than a just-popped-out-of-the-fridge kind of cool. Nothing seemed less than fresh, but still, I’d say you should try to get this box out of the sun ASAP in the summer months!

This recipe was surprisingly easy. I feel like Blue Apron always has an above-beginner-level cooking technique involved in at least one of the recipes I get. This week, it was blanching, which is essentially boiling vegetables for a few quick minutes, then transferring them to a bowl of ice water. The ice water stops the cooking process, so the veggies (in this case, asparagus) come out tender, but still perky. The recipe said to keep the asparagus in the boiling water for 2-3 minutes, or until they’re bright green. The asparagus I got in the box was already brilliantly green, so I found myself relying on the timer rather than the color to determine when to take the asparagus out of the water. I consider that a good problem to have—my asparagus was just too beautifully fresh for me to eyeball it!

Blue Apron Vegetarian June 2017 - Spicy Korean Rice Cakes Recipe Card

I don’t think I’ve had this shape of pasta before. They remind me of the elbow-like joints you’d buy for piping. I loved their bouncy, deliciously chewy mouth feel, and the way they caught the light touch of tomato sauce. At first I wished there was more sauce to go around (I’m the type that eats up leftover marinara sauce like it’s a meal unto itself—yum, yum, yum), but what I found was that the goat cheese, which you mix with olive oil to make it a bit looser—melts down into the pasta and blends with the tomato sauce to create the perfect amount of creamy, tangy deliciousness. The basil also goes a long way in cutting the heavier cream flavors with an herby lightness. And I daresay, I knocked it out of the park on my first-ever blanching adventure! That asparagus tasted delicious and just tender enough. I loved this well-balanced, comforting dish!

Check out my review of Blue Apron's vegetarian box for June 2017!

Caramelized Onion Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Summer Squash and Celery Salsa

Calories per Serving: 630

Total Time According to Blue Apron: 20-30 minutes

Actual Time: About 30 minutes

Check out my review of Blue Apron's vegetarian box for June 2017!

I’m so pleased by the quick, 30-minute recipes in this month’s box! I’ve done subscription box recipes that took almost an hour to make. Sometimes I have an hour to dedicate to cooking, but more often than not, I’m cooking because I’m eager to start eating! Much appreciation, therefore, for these recipes, which went quickly even for an amateur chef like myself!

Check out my review of Blue Apron's vegetarian box for June 2017!

This recipe is essentially a sandwich and a salad. The flavors are hearty enough that this could work for lunch or dinner. I will say, the recipe calls for bright yellow summer squash, but I got zucchini to use instead. Last time a swap happened, I got some cards pointing me towards the veggies I should look for instead. I didn’t see any cards this time. That’s not a huge deal, but it did make me nervous that I was missing a crucial item for a moment!

I’m a traditionalist with grilled cheese, so I’d never made it with olive oil before (nor without generously buttering the bread beforehand). Grilling the bread in olive oil didn’t result in as indulgent a sandwich (for better or for worse), but I was surprised by how deliciously crisp and even somewhat aromatic the bread became after sitting in the oil for a few moments.

Check out my review of Blue Apron's vegetarian box for June 2017!

I really loaded my sandwiches up with onions, simply because there were tons of onions to use. I might go a little lighter next time, but I was happy that they stayed put on the sandwich pretty well. (I thought they might all slip out with the first bite, but I think the cheese helped them stay put.) The sandwich had a light Swiss-cheese-ness about it, which I really enjoyed. I was surprised by how savory the caramelized onions were—I thought they’d be sweeter, given their namesake. The dimension and gentle crunch they gave the sandwich was still really delicious, though! I will say that the “salad” left me wanting more. This salad was essentially celery splashed with vinegar and sprinkled over roasted zucchini. The slightly warm zucchini was really tasty, especially once it caught some of the vinegar from the salad. But the celery salad seemed kind of slapdash—I wish there were some other ingredients (carrots, onions, tomatoes…) that would give it a bit more visual brilliance and help it feel a bit more satisfying and special alongside the fancied-up grilled cheese.

Check out my review of Blue Apron's vegetarian box for June 2017!

Spicy Korean Rice Cakes with Rhubarb and Asparagus

Calories per Serving: 630

Total Time According to Blue Apron: 20-30 minutes

Actual Time: About 30 minutes

Check out my review of Blue Apron's vegetarian box for June 2017!

When I first pulled the bag of rice cakes out of the bag, I thought they were veggies! They look like peeled, sliced up potatoes. They take just a sec to boil and end up being tender and chewy. The rest of the recipe is about chopping a whole slew of veggies and cooking them in the pan with delicious Asian-inspired seasonings. Again, I had to blanch some asparagus (I’m a pro now), so I guess asparagus season is upon us!

Check out my review of Blue Apron's vegetarian box for June 2017!

The rice cakes are almost like a very dense, somewhat chewy pasta. I liked them a bunch and found them super filling (one serving lasted me for two meals). My favorite thing about this recipe was just how many veggies were in each bite. The asparagus was, once again, deliciously tender, and the carrots added a bit of mild sweetness to the savory, spicy dish. I will say that, for being one of the stars of this dish, the rhubarb didn’t really do much for me. I think it got overwhelmed by the salty spicy flavors of the thick sauce so that I couldn’t really taste it in the end. Also, I added all of the available sauces and spices, rather than adding it “to taste” because I’m all about big flavors. But I do think the wealth of flavors ended up bringing a teensy bit of bitterness to the dish. So I’d say take your time with the gochujang, in particular, to make sure you’re not overdoing it. I will also say, however, that my version of the dish was still pretty darn good!

Verdict: I think this might’ve been my favorite week of Blue Apron so far! The flavors were a little more upscale than what I’d usually reach for, but they weren’t alienating or too off. Sometimes when I see pasta or Asian foods, my mind automatically gets excited for the familiar flavors I love. When the flavors are too far from the comfort foods I know and love, my taste buds end up feeling a little letdown. But these dishes, particularly the pasta and the grilled cheese, ended up being familiar enough that iI felt satisfied. I was happy to learn a new technique (blanching!) and to try some totally new foods (rice cakes!). The celery salad was a little bit of a miss for me, but otherwise, this was a great menu! In terms of price per serving, these meals were pretty middle-of-the-road compared to Hello Fresh (which is cheaper) and Plated (which is more expensive).

Do you subscribe to Blue Apron? Which meals have you loved?

Written by Anna Reilly

Anna Reilly

Anna loves collecting little treasures, be they pop-culture finds, handmade mementos, or new potions to put in her makeup bag. Beauty boxes got her interested in the subscription world, but now she’s swooning for all things kawaii!

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.

15 Comments

  1. That rigata pasta looks amazing. If you liked the Korean dish, there is dish called toppoki (classic Korean dish of rice cakes) that you may like, if you like spice. I appreciate the veggie food reviews, Anna! Keep em’ coming! 🙂

  2. I have had the WORST customer service from Blue Apron! My last order arrived damaged and missing an ingredient- I have emailed 3 time, Facebook messaged, commented and left a voicemail. 3 weeks later stilllllll no reply or refund.

  3. I LOVED the grilled cheese! I cheated and used butter, though. 🙂 BA has introduced me to my new favorite cheese: fontina! It’s in a lot if their dishes. I got a yellow summer squash and one that was totally different. The blurb describing the recipe on the front did point out there might be variation. For me it was a little too much squash…not my favorite!

    • Agreed about the Fontina, Serena! I’d heard of it before but never cooked with it myself. What an awesome flavor – and it melts beautifully. Yum! Thanks for reading and sharing your take!

  4. I love your veggie reviews and this one is making Blue Apron so tempting. I wouldn’t have known what the rice cakes are either – the dish looks so good. Thank you!

    • Thanks Max! I’ve been encouraged by the variety of veggie dishes they put together. The rice cakes were definitely something outside the ordinary – I’m going to have to go looking for them and try making them again! Thanks for reading 🙂

  5. Anna,
    I am trying to decide between trying Home Chef, Hello Fresh, or Blue Apron. While I appreciate your thoughtful and well written reviews, my husband and I are not vegetarian or vegan. I would love to see some reviews of these three boxes that include meals for those of us that do eat meat and fish.
    Thanks!

    • Good news, we have some additional food box reviewers coming up over the next month – there will be meat! 🙂

      • Thank you, Liz! I’m okay with some veggie dishes, but DH wants meat and fish 😉

    • I have tried all 3, also Plated, and my 2 favorite are Home Chef and then Plated!

    • Love Blue Apron!! I’ve also tried Terra’s Kitchen and Hello Fresh. I like Blue Apron the best because everything is seasoned to perfection. The other two aren’t bad, Blue Apron is just better, in my opinion.

      • Yes, we love Blue Apron also!

    • I do Blue Apron and Home Chef, and just pick whichever looks best that week. I think I slightly prefer HC because there are more options and you can change how many meals and/or servings you get each week, instead of having to change your whole account like BA. Alternating between the two means I’m always happy with what I get!

    • I use Home Chef and I have nothing but awesome things to say about them. I am not a veggie, but they have veggie options aplenty! Some of their meals have been the best dinners I have ever made!!

    • Been a Home Chef customer for 6 months. Hands down, they are great.

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