Blue Apron Subscription Box Review + Coupon – July 2017
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: 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: U.S.
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?