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Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review + Coupon – September 2016

Lindsey Morse
ByLindsey MorseSep 29, 2016 | 5 comments

blue-apron-september-2016-box

Blue Apron
4.5 overall rating
26 Ratings | 17 Reviews

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!

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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.)

Blue Apron also offers a monthly add-on wine subscription. You can find a review of that subscription here.

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.)

blue-apron-september-2016-review

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: Limited Time Only! Get $80 off across your first 4 boxes! No coupon needed - just use this link.

The Products: Fresh ingredients and recipes to make healthy meals at home.

Ships to: US

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-september-2016-allrecipes

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.

(Check out the weekly Blue Apron Menu to see what’s coming up!)

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Inside each box, Blue Apron includes their newsletter, “From the Farm.”

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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.

Recipe #1- Korean Pork Tacos with Spicy Red Cabbage Slaw

Calories: 840 per serving

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15-25 minutes

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Spicy pork tacos? Yes, please! The photo of these tacos looked too good to pass up!

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I cleaned and washed the veggies for this dish, and then I made the spicy red cabbage slaw by combining cabbage, sesame oil, sugar, garlic, scallions, vinegar, gochujang, and salt & pepper. I stirred everything together and set the slaw aside to marinate while I cooked.

In a large sauté pan, I browned some ground pork in a little olive oil and then stirred in ginger, garlic, scallions, gochujang, a little water, and salt & pepper. When the meat was done, I heated up the tortillas and then assembled the tacos by layering on the meat mixture, the spicy cabbage slaw, some tangy sour cream (made by combining sour cream and vinegar), radish slices, and scallions.

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I first discovered gochujang thanks to a meal subscription box (I can’t remember if it was Plated or Blue Apron…), and it’s since become a staple in my kitchen. I love how it adds bold flavor and subtle heat to food, and it worked extremely well in this dish. The tacos were delicious, and the combination of different components all worked together extremely well. The meat was rich and a little spicy, the slaw was crunchy and flavorful, the radishes were fresh and crisp, and the sour cream was cool and creamy. Perfection!

Recipe #2- Brown Butter & Thyme Gnocchi with Maitake Mushrooms, Corn, & Swiss Chard

Calories: 650 per serving

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 15-25 minutes

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My next pick for this box was Brown Butter & Thyme Gnocchi. I love gourmet and exotic mushrooms, so this jumped out at me right away.

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My husband and I made this recipe together, and he did the majority of veggie washing and chopping.

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The mushrooms were carefully packed in their own cardboard clamshell. Aren’t they beautiful?

I began cooking by sautéing the maitake mushrooms in a little olive oil. When they started to get crispy, I added a big knob of butter and allowed it to brown. Next, I added shallot, corn, chard stems, thyme, and salt & pepper to the pan, followed by the chard leaves.

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While the veggies cooked, I boiled the gnocchi. When it was ready, I stirred everything together and plated the dish.

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I love gnocchi, and I had high hopes for this dish. I liked the mix of veggies and the flavor of the brown butter, but, unfortunately, I thought this dish was missing something. (I can’t quite put my finger on what, though.) Brown butter is delicious, but maybe the gnocchi would have been a little tastier with some kind of sauce? Or maybe some additional herbs? 

Recipe #3- Blackened Chicken with Zucchini Rice, Corn & Cherry Tomatoes

Calories: 710 per serving

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25-35 minutes

blue-apron-september-2016-chickenrecipe

My last pick for this box was Blackened Chicken with Zucchini Rice, Corn & Cherry Tomatoes.

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I prepped my ingredients, and then immediately started making the zucchini rice. I began by sautéing garlic and zucchini in a large pot. When the zucchini softened, I added in rice and water, and I boiled everything until the water was absorbed and the rice was soft. I finished the rice with a few squeezes of lime and then set it aside.

In a separate pan, I cooked the chicken breasts in olive oil with ancho chile powder, salt, and pepper.

blue-apron-september-2016-chickensalad

When the chicken was done, I set it aside to rest and cooked some corn, tomatoes, scallions, and garlic in the same pan. When the veggies softened slightly, I stirred in cilantro and scallions.

To plate, I divided the rice between two plates, layered on the veggies, and topped each plate with sliced blackened chicken. The recipe called for serving the dish with a side of lime crema (made by mixing sour cream with some lime juice), but I decided to drizzle it on top of each plate.

(Tip: if you want to drizzle thick sauce cleanly on top of a dish, you can use a ziplock bag like a piping bag. Just transfer your sauce to the bag, twist the top of the bag so the sauce doesn’t leak out the top, and snip the tip off of one of the bag’s corners.)

blue-apron-september-2016-chickenplated

This dish was really tasty. I love blackened chicken, and the combination of rice, veggies, chicken and lime crema made this dish taste a little like a burrito bowl.

Verdict: I enjoyed this box from Blue Apron. The tacos were delicious, and I also really enjoyed the blackened chicken. 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.

Do you subscribe to Blue Apron?

Blue Apron (starting at $47.95 per week) is one of the most well-known meal kit delivery service subscription boxes. Blue Apron creates bistro-inspired recipes (for 2 or 4 people) and sends members the pre-portioned ingredients and easy-to-follow instructions they need to complete up to 4 of them pe... read more.
Lindsey Morse
Lindsey Morse
Lindsey is a professional baker, cold brew coffee addict, and rosé aficionado who loves writing about food and wine. When she’s not sharing her love of subscription boxes with the world, you’ll find her in the podcasting studio, perfecting her cake decorating techniques, or cursing her way through the New York Times daily crossword puzzle.

Lindsey Morse
Lindsey Morse
Lindsey is a professional baker, cold brew coffee addict, and rosé aficionado who loves writing about food and wine. When she’s not sharing her love of subscription boxes with the world, you’ll find her in the podcasting studio, perfecting her cake decorating techniques, or cursing her way through the New York Times daily crossword puzzle.
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5 comments

Cassie

YUM!! Lindsey, those tacos look so good! Great photography. I couldn’t agree more about the individual meal labeling. We always have to sort the meals first and then re-bag them in the fridge. Otherwise, my husband ends up using my Blue Apron ingredients!!

Stephanie

We get Blue Apron and love it. I feel just like you on the meal selection limitation though, Lindsey – sometimes I have to skip the week because I can’t get the combo of meals I want. I wonder what the rationale is for that?

Sunny

These photos were gorgeous and looked delicious! We picked the same three recipes as well! Unfortunately, there was a shipping issue with our box this month. The tracking never updated after being packed, and when we called at 6pm on our scheduled delivery date, the customer service lady assured us that Fedex had until 8pm that evening and that it was on track to be delivered. It didn’t show up that day or the next. While Blue Apron was very prompt in refunding our money, we were disappointed that the shipping snafu meant that we missed out on these recipes for this week, plus the inconvenience of scrambling for a late dinner two nights of the week after expecting and waiting for the box to show up. Would have really liked to try these!

Anna R.

For the 3 meals free on your first order, is that 3 servings or entire meals?

Dani

3 meals, 2 servings a piece.

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Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.