Plated Subscription Box Review + Coupon – February 9, 2016
Plated delivers a weekly box of pre-portioned fresh and seasonal ingredients, everything you need to cook their chef-designed recipes at home in your own kitchen. Each week, they offer a different menu, and you can select which dishes you’d like to make, how many plates of each dish you’d like to serve, and when you’d like to receive your delivery. You can skip a week at any time.
Three of the dishes offered on every menu are vegetarian. Plated also regularly rotates in vegan and dairy-free options. They’re committed to using sustainably sourced seafood, seasonal produce, and meat that’s free from antibiotics and added hormones.
Plated also makes it easy to pick recipes that suit your lifestyle. Each recipe clearly lists calorie content and prep time.
Check out all of our reviews of Meal Delivery Services to see every meal kit subscription box option!
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The Subscription Box: Plated
The Cost: Recipes begin at $12 per plate. 2 recipes (4 plates)= $48 per week (+ $6 shipping). 3 recipes (6 plates)= $72 per week (with free shipping). 4 recipes (8 total plates)= $96 per week (with free shipping).
COUPON: Free dinner for two with purchase of 3-dinners plan ($24 value), just use this link!
The Products: All of the pre-portioned fresh and seasonal ingredients you need to make chef-designed recipes at home in your own kitchen.
Ships to: 95% of the US. (Currently, Plated does not ship to Hawaii and Alaska, and there are also a few cities in Texas, including San Antonio, Corpus Christi, Laredo, and Midland, where they don’t yet ship.)
Each week, Plated offers a different menu with at least 7 dishes to choose from. For this box, I selected Spaghetti and Meatballs with Ricotta, Pecorino, and Marinara Sauce, Red Wine Risotto with Thyme-Roasted Beets, Creamy Orzo with Pecorino Cheese and Brussels Sprouts, and Apple-Cherry Cobbler with Flaky Biscuit for dessert!
When my box shipped, I received an email letting me know that I would need to have the following “pantry items” on hand: olive oil, black pepper, kosher salt, water, and an egg.
As always, the box was packed with extreme care. Ingredients were bundled by recipe, and each item was in its own container.
The meats were sealed and packed at the bottom of the box, safely away from the produce and surrounded by cool packs.
Recipe #1- Creamy Orzo with Pecorino Cheese and Brussels Sprouts
Calories Per Serving: 540
Cook Time: 35-45 minutes
I decided to make the Creamy Orzo dish first.
The Brussels sprouts were pre-sliced, so prep for this dish was easy. I minced garlic, stripped thyme leaves from their stems, and sliced onion and mushrooms.
I began by sautéing the onion and then added the Brussels sprouts and mushrooms.
When the veggies were cooked, I transferred them into a bowl and set them aside. In the same pot, I toasted orzo with garlic and thyme. After the orzo developed a golden color, I added water and salt and cooked the orzo until the water absorbed.
To finish, I stirred in pecorino and the sautéed veggies.
Brussels sprouts are one of my favorite veggies, and I really enjoyed them in this dish. The pecorino made this dish seem indulgent, but with lots of veggies (and only 540 calories per serving) it was surprisingly healthy.
Meal #2- Spaghetti and Meatballs with Ricotta, Pecorino, and Marinara Sauce
Calories per Serving: 690
Cook Time: 35-45
The next day, I made Spaghetti and Meatballs. Spaghetti and meatballs is a dish I’m perfectly comfortable making myself, but I’ve never made meatballs with ricotta before, so I thought I’d give Plated’s version a try.
Again, prep for this dish was very light. Before cooking, I only had to chop parsley and mince onion and shallot.
To make the meatballs, I first sautéed minced shallot and garlic in olive oil. When they softened, I transferred them to a large bowl with ricotta, breadcrumbs, beef, some parsley, 1 egg, salt, and pepper. I mixed everything together with my hands and then formed the mixture into about 8 small meatballs.
While these baked at 375, I cooked the pasta in salted water.
When the pasta was al dente, I drained it and then mixed it with marinara sauce, some of the pasta cooking water, and the meatballs.
I then separated it into two bowls and topped each one with pecorino and the remaining parsley.
This was pretty good! To be honest, I think I’ve made better meatballs myself before, but these were nothing to scoff at. (My husband really enjoyed them, so it’s probably just a matter of personal preference.)
Meal #3- Red Wine Risotto with Thyme-Roasted Beets
Cook Time: 35-45
Last up from Plated was Red Wine Risotto with Thyme-Roasted Beets.
To prep, I minced shallot, stripped thyme leaves from their stems, and sliced red and golden beets.
I tossed the beets with olive oil, thyme, salt, and pepper and roasted them in the oven at 425.
While they baked, I heated vegetable stock in a pot on the stove. In a separate pan, I sautéed shallot and thyme with olive oil and butter. When the shallot softened, I added the risotto rice to the pan and allowed it to toast.
I stirred in some red wine and then the warm vegetable broth and some salt. I allowed this to simmer until the rice was tender and the rice absorbed all the liquid.
Next, I added pecorino, stirred in the roasted beets, and plated the risotto.
Unfortunately, I had a few issues with this recipe. First of all, the card instructed that the beets should roast for 15-20 minutes. I roasted them longer than that, probably 25 minutes or more, but I still think they could have used more time. They were a little tough, and I ended up eating around most of them.
Additionally, I don’t think the cooking method for the risotto was very successful. Typically when cooking risotto, you add broth one ladle at a time, allowing each addition to absorb before adding more. Plated instructed that the broth should be added all at once, and I think this resulted in an unappealing texture.
The flavors of the dish were nice, but given the odd texture and hard beets, I wasn’t really able to enjoy this meal.
Dessert- Apple-Cherry Cobbler with Flaky Biscuit
Calories per Serving: 440
Cook Time: 30-40
I also opted to add a dessert to this box. There are two desserts to choose from each week, and desserts can be added for $4 per serving.
Since I cooked the meals this week, my husband offered to make dessert.
To prep for this dessert, he diced apples and cubed cold butter.
He made the cobbler filling by combining cherries, flour, sugar, and apples, and then made the topping by stirring together baking powder, flour, sugar, and salt. He worked in the cold butter, and then added warm water. The recipe called for just a splash of warm water, but he mistakenly added a bit more than that. As a result, the dough ended up a little wetter than it should have been.
He assembled the cobbler by arranging the fruit along the bottom of a disposable tin and topping it with globs of biscuit dough.
The cobbler baked at 425 for about 25 minutes.
This didn’t turn out quite the way it was supposed to. The apples were a little dry, so they didn’t produce as much juice as the cobbler in the photo. Also, the biscuits were a little off. Still, it was tasty and we happily gobbled it up.
Verdict: This box from Plated had some hits and misses. I enjoyed the orzo and spaghetti dishes, but, unfortunately, the risotto dish was a disappointment. It’s very rare that I receive an unsuccessful dish from Plated (my last few boxes have been great), so I’m a little surprised this one slipped through the cracks. Still, I really enjoy cooking with Plated’s recipes. After a busy day at work, I sometimes can’t muster the brain power to pull together a meal, and, on those nights, I think Plated helps me avoid the temptation of ordering takeout. The perceived value of a box like Plated is subjective, but, for me, it’s definitely worth the cost.
Have you tried Plated yet?