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Blue Apron vs Hello Fresh vs Plated – August 2016


This month, I reviewed boxes from the top four meal subscription companies: PlatedHello Fresh, and Blue Apron. To get a sense of how the boxes compare, I’ve outlined all of the meals I received below. I’ve assigned each dish a score out of 5, and I’ve averaged the scores from each box together to get a total box score. Read on to see which box came out on top for me this month!

Check out all of our reviews of Meal Delivery Services to see every meal kit subscription box option!


Plated – 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), no coupon required, just use this link.

Check out the full Plated review here!

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


Meal #1-  Fresh Spaghetti with Heirloom Tomatoes and Burrata

Calories Per Serving: 890

Cook Time: 25-35 minutes

Score: 5/5 This dish was heavenly. The burrata was creamy and fresh, and the basil and fresh pasta really elevated this dish into something special.


Meal #2- Grilled Chicken with Romesco Sauce and Tomato-Green Bean Salad

Calories per Serving: 670

Cook Time: 35-45

Score: 4/5 This meal was fresh and tasty. Grilled chicken can get a little boring, I think, and I like how the romesco sauce helped jazz it up. I plan to make this dish again soon!


Meal #3- Cheesy Eggplant Parmesan Melts

Calories: 720

Cook Time: 25-35

Score:4.5/5 This meal was delicious. (Though, the sandwich was so big I had to eat it with a knife and fork!) I would eat this again any day!

Overall dish score: 4.5/5

Cost per plate: Meals start at $12 per serving. Dessert is $4 per serving.

Number of meals available to choose from each week: 9 meals + 2 desserts (7 standard dishes, plus 2 “Chef’s Table” offerings.)


Hello Fresh – The Classic Food Box (for omnivores) starts at $9.90 per person per meal. The Veggie Box (for herbivores) starts at $9.08 per person per meal. The Family Box (for families) costs $8.75 per person per meal.

COUPON: Save $40 off your first box with code HTCST2!

Check out the full Hello Fresh review here!

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


Meal #1- Summer Corn and Chicken Pizza with Tomatoes, Scallions, and Adobo Sauce

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Calories per Serving: 886

Score: 4/5 This pizza was pretty tasty. Full disclosure: I prefer traditional mozzarella/tomato sauce pizza, but I still enjoyed this version. It would have been even better, in my opinion, with a little ranch dipping sauce.


Meal #2- Steak Fajitas with Kiwi Salsa and Crispy Beans

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Calories per Serving: 774

Score: 4.5/5 At first, I was seriously uncertain about putting kiwi salsa on these tacos, but it was surprisingly delicious! The tangy lime flavor cut through the beef really well, and the hint of sweetness was a nice addition. I also enjoyed the subtle crunch from the kiwi seeds!


Meal #3- Chicken Gyro Salad with Tzatziki Dressing, Heirloom Tomatoes, and Cucumber

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Calories per Serving: 568

Score: 0/5 When I opened up the ingredients for this dish, I found that the included container of yogurt had burst open (probably while in transit), and the provided ingredients were all a mess. If I’d discovered the problem right after receiving the box, I might have been able to salvage the ingredients, but by day four everything was looking pretty gross. (I reached out to Hello Fresh to let them know about this problem, and I received a $15 credit.) Unfortunately, since I couldn’t make this dish, I think I have to give it a 0/5.

Overall Score: 2.83/5

Cost per Plate: Hello Fresh starts at $9.90 per serving (for The Classic Box).

Number of meals available to choose from each week: 6 meals


Blue Apron – $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: 3 Meals Free on Your First Order, no coupon required, just use this link.

Check out the full Blue Apron review here!

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


Meal #1- Chicken & Fresh Basil Fettuccine with Creamy Tomato Sauce

Calories: 730 per serving

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20-30 minutes

Score: 4.5/5 This dish was comforting and delicious. I served the pasta with salad on the side, and it was a wonderfully comforting (and filling!) dinner.


Meal #2- Porchetta-Style Sandwiches with Baby Kale Pesto & Marinated Cucumber Salad

Calories: 740 per serving

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 35-45 minutes

Score: 3/5 This dish was okay. The pork itself was delicious, but I’m not sure it paired well with the caper, lemon, and kale “pesto.” (Personally, I wouldn’t call it pesto.) Also, the raw garlic flavor in the cucumber salad was a little strong for my liking. I think I would have preferred the salad dressed more simply with something like lemon juice, olive oil, and parsley.


Meal #3- Summer Vegetable & Queso Tostadas with Fairy Tale Eggplants & Spicy Crema

Calories: 795 per serving

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20-30 minutes

Score: 3.67/5 This dish was alright. The flavors were good and I liked the spicy crema, but there was a lot of moisture in the veggies which caused the tortillas to get soggy almost right away.

Overall Score: 3/5

Cost per Plate: Blue Apron costs $9.99 per serving.

Number of meals available to choose from each week: 6 meals (Note: meal choice is limited by the fact that not all combinations of meals are available.)

The Verdict: This month’s hot weather provided a bit of a challenge, unfortunately. Usually, I review Hello FreshPlatedBlue Apron, and Home Chef, but I was unable to review Home Chef this month because my box arrived spoiled. (The ice packs used to preserve the food melted while in transit, and several of the ingredients in the box were clearly ruined. I reached out toHome Chef about this problem, and they issued me a credit for the full value of the box.) I also had a problem with Hello Fresh, and I was unable to make one of the Hello Fresh meals I ordered because my box arrived damaged. While I do occasionally receive a damaged ingredient in a box, these problems are far beyond any I’ve had before. While it’s good that these problems are unusual, it’s still disappointing to see so many issues in a single month. Since Home Chef and Hello Fresh are out of the running for best box this month, that means it’s between Plated and Blue Apron. Looking back at the meals I received in each box, I have to say Plated definitely came out on top for me.

Favorite box: Plated

Yummiest dish: Plated’s Fresh Spaghetti with Heirloom Tomatoes and Burrata

Most fun dish to make: Hello Fresh Steak Fajitas with Kiwi Salsa and Crispy Beans (I love that this dish incorporated a savory kiwi salsa. It was so unusual and super delicious!)

Do you subscribe to PlatedHome ChefHello Fresh, or Blue Apron? What were your favorite August dishes?

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Written by 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.

Posted in Blue Apron vs Hello Fresh vs Plated, Meal Kit Subscriptions| Tags: blue apron | HelloFresh | plated | 4 comments

Comments (4)

  1. I’m a loyal Plated customer! Favorite dish this week was the Orecchiette with Italian sausage in a brown butter sauce (with summer squash and sage… So good!).

    I researched the other recipe box options before I started with Plated… And the menus there appeared more customizable and more in line with my tastes. I really hate how Blue Apron limits menu options. With Plated, I’m on the 2 dish/ 4 “plates”plan by default; adding a dessert each week gets me into the free shipping option. But often, the weekly menus are so tempting I chose to add extra meals to my box. Plated customer service takes care of this for me with no trouble! The time or two I’ve had box delays, their customer service has always made things right! That’s what really keeps me from trying a different service at this point (well and the food is delicious!).

  2. Still drooling over the Plated three selections Lindsey, I feel like the others didn’t even come close!

  3. Bummed to hear your Home Chef box didn’t make it to you! I have a delivery coming tomorrow and I’m crossing my fingers that it arrives in perfect condition!

  4. We got blue apron and hello fresh this past week. The hello fresh was pretty good. The portions of fish were a bit small, but other than that I’d order again. Our blue apron came and 2 of the 3 recipes we have are the same as you reviewed. The bread for our pork sandwiches was moldy so I won’t be able to make the dish as intended but may make the pork and serve it with a salad. We are trying the pasta dish tonight.

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