Plated Subscription Box Review + Coupon – May 2017
Plated is a weekly meal kit delivery subscription that delivers you pre-portioned ingredients and recipes to help you make chef-designed recipes at home. They offer different weekly menus and randomly pick recipes for you based on preferences you submit when you sign up. If you’d rather pick your own recipes from the weekly menu, it’s easy to hop in and change your order on their website or their handy-dandy app.
I’ve been using meal kits to help me get acquainted with my kitchen. I love food, but I’m super inexperienced at cooking. So far, I’ve really enjoyed how kits like Plated take the guesswork out of planning, shopping for, and cooking meals. The minimum plan Plated offers is 2 meals for 2 people per week. I’m usually just cooking for myself, so I chose that plan. 2 meals for 2 people means I’ll have 4 servings total to spread out across the week. Hooray, leftovers!
Plated is committed to using sustainably sourced seafood, seasonal produce, and meat that’s free from antibiotics and added hormones. Like most meal kits, Plated won’t include standard pantry items (think salt, pepper, olive oil). They will, however, email you to let you know what pantry items you should have on hand for that week’s box. Prep time and dietary details are listed with each recipe. And if you love a recipe, you can rate it and download a digital recipe card via your online account. (Highly rated recipes sometimes come back as “Encore” recipes for you to order again, so don’t forget to leave your star rating each week!)
Check out Plated Menus to see what’s coming in future weeks!
One thing Plated does differently is to use this jute-and-cotton material as insulation. I like when the materials involved in shipping meal kits are reusable, recyclable, or biodegradable like this neat invention!
Note that this review is for the vegetarian subscription option since I prefer to follow a vegetarian diet. If you’re a meat lover, though, keep reading! I think you’ll still get a good idea of what the Plated experience is like. Plus, I figure if Plated hits it out of the park with a special diet menu, it’s a good sign that their regular menu is really awesome.
My Subscription Addiction pays for this subscription. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
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).
- Dessert costs $4 per serving (available after your first order)
COUPON: Get your first Plated Night free with any subscription plan (up to $48 value)
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 U.S. (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.)
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
Just a quick FYI for other vegetarians out there: Plated does offer a vegetarian plan, but like most major meal kit services, the veggie plan isn’t as robust as the main meal plan. One of Plated‘s selling points is that you can pick and choose a menu that matches what you’re looking for, but I only found two or three veggie recipes per weekly menu. I also noticed that the third veggie item is often a Plated “Encore” recipe (meaning a popular, highly rated recipe that they bring back into the otherwise ever-changing menu). The only problem with that is that, for several weeks in a row, the third veggie choice can end up being the same thing. In other words, there really isn’t a lot of wiggle room for the veggie crowd.
Falafel-Spiced Chickpeas with Eggplant, Naan, and Israeli Salad
Calories per Serving: 860
Prep Time, According to Plated: 30-40 minutes
Actual Time It Took: About 45 minutes
While the ingredients aren’t all in one easy-to-grab bag, they are mostly bundled together.
There are a lot of DIY pizzas in the meal kit world—they supply a set of pre-made flatbreads, rather than straight-up dough, and the toppings you need to fix up a tasty, rustic pizza. But this is the first time I’ve seen a Middle-Eastern-inspired pizza! This recipe swaps tomato sauce for hummus and a tahini drizzle, and the core flavors come from roasted, seasoned chickpeas, eggplant, and zucchini.
Most of the cooking process is just roasting vegetables. There’s also an Israeli salad (tomato and cucumber) that you whip up to accompany the warm toppings and the aforementioned tahini drizzle. Chopping everything up took a good bit longer than it could have (I’m not the fastest with my knife quite yet), but I was overall really happy with how easy this recipe was to whip up!
There were plenty of veggies to go around in this recipe. I had trouble packing everything onto one baking sheet! Mine ended up being way more crowded than the sheet in the recipe card photo (despite the fact that I followed the directions), but I didn’t mind too much. It’s better to have more of something than not enough (especially when that thing is eggplant, which I love).
Ta-da! According to the recipe, you can serve a bit of the salad on the side, but I chose to use it all on top of the flatbread. Wow, was this ever good! I think the key was the bit of honey in the tahini sauce—it creates the slightest sweetness that complements the salty, savory veggies so well. The naan is deliciously soft and pliable, which contrasts with the veggies, which all have a nice bite to them (even the roasted eggplant, which is just tender). I loved this recipe (like, couldn’t-stop-talking-about-it-to-everyone-I-saw-the-weekend-after-I-made-it love) and can’t wait to make it again!
Sweet Potato Wild Rice Bowl with Spinach, Blue Cheese, and Portobello “Bacon”
Calories per Serving: 730
Prep Time, According to Plated: 30-40 minutes
Actual Time It Took: About 40 minutes
It’s probably a sign of laziness, but I love bowl dishes. There’s something about getting big scoops of all sorts of veggies, grains, and other flavors, all mixed together into a pile of deliciousness. From the photo, I thought this bowl would be more of a salad, but there’s definitely enough wild rice to keep it super hearty.
The trickiest part of this recipe is making the rice, but so long as you keep a close eye on the time, it’s not too tough a task. I did end up with a few grains stuck to the bottom of my pan, but that’s probably more of a sign that I could use some better non-stick tools!
The part of this recipe that’s bound to raise the most eyebrows is the portobello “bacon”. I know everyone assumes that bacon is always in the back of vegetarians’ mind—I can’t say I share that craving, but I was still curious to see how the flavors of bacon come through in veggie form! The trick is thinly slicing the mushrooms and dousing them in copious amounts of smoky seasoning and brown sugar. If I try this recipe again, I’ll probably leave the mushrooms in even longer than the recipe suggests—the most bacon-y parts were the ones that were so well done that they were almost burnt.
The salad was really filling, especially with the cubes of sweet potato thrown in. I could’ve used more dressing than they supplied, though. The rice seemed to suck most of it up right away. As for the “bacon”… well, I wouldn’t expect to trick any meat-eaters with it anytime soon. Don’t get me wrong! I found it really tasty but tasty for barbecue mushrooms, not bacon.
Verdict: I liked this round of Plated meals! Plated is about $12.00 per serving, which is a bit more expensive than most of the other major meal kits (Home Chef, Hello Fresh, and Blue Apron are all a bit more affordable). The recipes were a little gourmet, but not in a way that they were unapproachable. The flavors were really appetizing—I think they did a great job of balancing sweet, salty, savory, and even umami elements, so that each meal was really satisfying (not just surprising or “interesting”). I’ll probably hang on to these recipe cards and use them for summer potlucks. (I bet I could make the toppings for the flatbread and serve them as a big salad with pita wedges!)
Do you subscribe to Plated? What do you think?