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Blue Apron Subscription Box Review + Coupon – July 2017

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

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!

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.

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 normally cook for myself, but having meal kits delivered to my home has given me a way to lure friends over to help and enjoy the recipes with me. It’s so much more fun with a buddy, if you can spare one. 

Blue Apron really cares about sustainability, high-quality produce, responsibly raised meats, the success of smaller farmers, and reducing food waste—which are all important to consider when choosing a meal kit subscription to go with.

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 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 also has a wine subscription of bottles to pair with your meals, or of course, enjoy on their own. We reviewed that too, and you can check it out here.

The pamphlet includes a breakdown of what to choose based on how you’re feeling.

They also include a recipe for a tasty Strawberry-Rhubarb Crumble as dessert, though sadly, you are on your own to get the ingredients. Worth saving in case I’m feeling up to it one day, because it does look really good!

OK. Now, LET’S GET COOKING!

Soy-Marinated Chicken Thighs with Jalapeño Rice and Summer Squash

Calories per Serving: 640 (230 calories from fat)

Total Time According to Blue Apron: 45-55 minutes

Actual Time: About 50 minutes

Each meal card has the ingredients and an explanation of the dish on one side and the step-by-step directions on the other.

When you receive the box, all three recipes are thrown together, and you have to read each recipe card to figure out which ingredients are needed where. Although not a big deal, I feel like this was a little annoying, knowing that with other subscriptions, everything is color-coded with stickers for quick identification or bundled by recipe. Blue Apron does have small paper bags full of the “knick knacks” labeled for each recipe though.

The first thing I did was make the marinade for the chicken.

Then the raw chicken tenders went on in. The photos included pictured two large pieces of chicken, though I received several smaller pieces, and there seemed to be quite a bit of fat on them. I don’t usually eat thighs, so I’m not sure if that is normal for them. I went to trim the fat, but my friend Shadrach insisted I leave it to add flavor. Mmmkay.

After getting the meat marinating, we started to cook the rice.

Next, we washed and chopped all of the veggies.

Some of them went into a bowl to marinate.

After the meat had been fully marinated for 20+ minutes, they went into the pan to cook.

We then added the reserved marinade and spooned it over the chicken as it cooked some more.

Voila! The rice was done, and we added the jalapeño and sesame oil.

The only thing left to do was plate! My favorite part.

First I put the rice down, then the marinated veggies, and then added the chicken on top with scallions as garnish.

This tasted pretty good, although the flavor of the marinade wasn’t totally my taste. I think the Chinese Five-Spice Powder that was used in the marinade had some sweetness to it, which I normally avoid in savory meals. I actually loved the rice the most.

Cod & Tomatillo Salsa with Summer Squash & Sweet Potato Hash

Calories per Serving: 520 (230 calories from fat)

Total Time According to Blue Apron: 40-50 minutes

Actual Time: About 40 minutes

Even though the total time for these meals sounds like a lot, I’m busy running around my kitchen, chopping, mixing, and cleaning the whole time, even with help, so it doesn’t really seem like a long time. I like that the steps to make the meal are always timed well so that everything is done at the right time. That’s usually the hardest part of cooking for me.

Here are all of the ingredients for the Cod with Tomatillo salsa. I love tomatillo salsa, so I’m excited to make it for the first time. The package of pickled jalapeños unfortunately opened in transit, but there was no juice to get all over everything and it was inside the paper bag, so all was well. You may have noticed that Blue Apron has a separate nutrition facts sheets, as well, that come with each meal.

The first thing my friend Shadrach and I did was prepare the ingredients and make the lime sour cream. Easy peasy!

Next, we peeled and roasted the tomatillos whole in the oven, with a little oil, salt, and pepper. (Here they are after roasting)

We threw the chopped sweet potato and summer squash in a pan with oil, salt, and pepper to make the hash. Later we added the garlic, the bottoms of the scallions, and the roasted pepitas as well.

Cod time! These were cooked in a pan for four minutes on each side (after being salted and peppered, of course).

The roasted tomatillos were then turned into the gorgeous salsa you see before you. All we needed to do was add cilantro, lime, and salt and pepper to taste. Oh, and the pickled jalapeños, which it said to add “as much of as you’d like” which my answer is always “ALL OF IT!”.

Hash went on the plate first, followed by the cod, then the salsa, and we drizzled the lime sour cream on top. Very pretty!

I really enjoy all kinds of fish, but I’m not a huge fan of sweet potato. I’m sure this is supposed to be a healthier dish, but it left Shadrach still pretty hungry, and overall I didn’t love the flavors.

Fresh Mozzarella Pizza & Romaine Salad

Calories per Serving: 740 (270 calories from fat)

Total Time According to Blue Apron: 40-50 minutes

Actual Time: About 40 minutes

I was saving this pizza to cook last since I got a pizza in another subscription the week before and didn’t want to overload myself on crust. I really like when pizzas come with a pile of greens on top, so I was excited to try this.

I like that Blue Apron sent already made dough because other times I’ve tried to make my own, it’s been a disaster.

Why have I never made my own sauce before? It was SO EASY! I mean, I guess this is already made sauce in a can, but it was so quick to add the garlic, oil, salt, and pepper to it.

Next, I rolled out the dough, delicately transferred it to a foil-lined sheet, and assembled the pizza. I love that this recipe came with a big chunk of fresh mozzarella (my number one favorite food item). I chunked it up and tossed it atop the sauce that I had spread out on the dough.

While that was cooking, I made the dressing by combining the quark, ALL of the hot chili paste, and the vinegar. I chopped up the romaine and cucumber and tore the basil leaves to make the salad. Then I tossed the greens with the dressing to make the salad that will crown our finished pizza.

When the pizza first came out of the oven, I was worried because it looked a little…wet. I have this problem with pizza sometimes because of the cheese, I think. The directions didn’t say to pat down the mozzarella, but I bet I could have done a little bit of that. Thankfully, it firmed up once it started cooling on the cutting board.

I got a little too excited to eat and put the salad on top of the pizza before cutting, but it was totally fine.

This pizza was AMAZING! I’d be hard-pressed to choose between this one and the Plated Buffalo Pizza I had the previous week. The sauce was my favorite part because it was sooooo garlicky. The crust was cooked to perfection and the mozzarella was perfectly melted and browned. I also really loved the spicy flavor of the dressing on the salad.

I will point out that even though this is a meal for two people, the nutrition facts and plating directions mention that they count the full pizza as three servings, so beware of that. I did feel pretty full after two slices, but I ate this for lunch, so my appetite wasn’t as large as it is at dinner.

Verdict: This was my first Blue Apron experience, and I couldn’t help but compare it to the Plated and Green Chef meals I had tried in the past. I didn’t love the Blue Apron recipes as much as the others, but they were generally healthy and the price point is certainly a good bit cheaper ($9.99 per serving, or $59.94 per week). I don’t think I was well-versed enough to know I could swap out recipes when I first ordered this but realized today that I could, so that should help improve what I get. The pizza was by far the winner for me, and I’m excited to start making my own sauce more. 

How do you think Blue Apron stacks up against other meal kits

Written by Marne Orenich

Marne Orenich

Marne has been feeling the pull of subscription boxes ever since her first PopSugar Must Have. She currently enjoys discovering new beauty + skin care products, and drools over anything with FOOD!

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. We had the same cod, the honey-glazed peach chicken, and the soba noodles. The cod and the hash were good, but I felt like the sour cream and the salsa were unnecessary, so I’m glad those were left to the side. If I make it again, I’ll probably make it without those. The chicken was the big hit of the week, and I’m definitely making that again. So simple, and it was delicious! The soba noodles were a huge swing and a miss for us. The noodles themselves were bland, and the veggies were too big. The vinegar added too much acidity, I think. I want to try it again, but with cutting the veggies smaller and serving the cucumber/carrot salad on the side. I’ll probably also add a bit of soy sauce and sriracha to the noodles to kick them up a bit.

    • Ahhh what a shame, I love noodles! I think I chose a noodle dish next time to try it out. Thanks for your weigh-in, Jen!!

  2. Wow everything is played so beautifully. It looks delicious. I’m with you on the chicken fat. I don’t usually even eat dark meat chicken but it looked good. The cod looked great and the pizza 🍕 yummmmm

    Fabulous review!

  3. My mom taught me how to make homemade spaghetti sauce when I was young, and it is surprising how easy it is. We used tomato paste and water, beef broth, oregano, garlic, onions, salt and black pepper. Many years later, I graduated to making Italian gravy, by taking the tips from multiple you tube videos of Italian chefs sharing their recipes. My husband and I ad a blast experimenting and finally decide the combination of pork cheeks, Portuguese sausage and short ribs was the best. We would cook the sauce for hours and it would make the house smell wonderful. I guess what I am trying to say is that it is easy to make a tomato based pasta sauce and from there you can just blow it up with all different flavor profiles. Go for it! It was a lot of fun to learn how to make masterful ragu, marinara, Italian gravy, etc. We made only simple marinara since that time, because we had our fill. Now, I am figuring out the world of gluten free baking, due to necessity -not for kicks, so that my stomach will not ruin my life anymore. But the cooking aspect of it I find fun, because it is a challenge and it seems like magic and chemistry working together. Plenty of failures along the way, but the successes taste better that way.

    Thanks for the well written review. I really enjoyed your comments on the process.

    I like to read the food subscription box reviews, because they can give me some good ideas. Yet, I like cooking and , if I take the amount of time I want, I actually enjoy grocery shopping.

    • Thanks for telling us about your sauce adventures, Leslie! Sounds fun and delicious! Will you be my sauce guru? 😉
      Glad to hear you’re taking control of your stomach too and beginning a gluten-free chapter!

  4. The pizza was the only recipe that sounded good to me. Your plating was so nice though. It made me want to eat the other two dishes.

    • Thanks Katy! Plating is my favorite part (besides eating)! Maybe we have similar tastes?

  5. These dishes look really good to me!

  6. The chicken photo is definitely wrong – it shows breasts, not thighs. And, yes, thighs often have a lot of fat on them and I usually try to trim it off. And you are right about the 5-spice powder, it usually has cinnamon and other spices typically used in baking and is a bit sweet. I personally don’t care for the anise in it, so never use it.

    I don’t know how much cooking experience you have, but I find sometimes the meal is better when I go with my instinct and leave out what I don’t like. Sometimes, I think Blue Apron tries too hard to make things “fancy.” I also find Blue Apron meals sometimes leave me a bit hungry.

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