Plated Subscription Box Review + Coupon – January 2018
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.
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 in 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!)
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
This review is for the 2 recipes (4 plates) plan, which cost $48.00 per week (+ $6.00 shipping). I chose the vegetarian option.
The Subscription Box: Plated
The Cost: Recipes begin at $12.00 per plate:
- 2 recipes (4 plates)= $48.00 per week (+ $6.00 shipping)
- 3 recipes (6 plates)= $72.00 per week (with free shipping)
- 4 recipes (8 total plates)= $96.00 per week (with free shipping)
- Dessert costs $4.00 per serving (available after your first order)
Shipping is free, except on weekly plans under $60.
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.)
Good to know: Plated was recently purchased by Albertsons.
Plated January 2018 Vegetarian Review
My first box came with this fold-out pamphlet that details a lot of what Plated is all about.
Side one addresses The Box, Your Plan, and Your Menu: how you can expect your box to arrive and your ingredients’ packaging, the ins and outs of each flexible meal plan, and meal options.
The other side tackles how to use the Plated app as well as frequently asked questions.
Plated sends each meal’s ingredients mostly packaged together in a singular plastic bag, but larger items (like this hefty acorn squash) get their own plastic wrapping. Each individually wrapped item is marked with the meal it belongs to so you can organize them in your refrigerator upon unpacking. Super appreciated in keep an often chaotic fridge tidy.
Harissa-Roasted Acorn Squash with Kale Salad and Marinated Feta
Calories per Serving: 770
Total Prep and Cook Time (listed): 35-45 minutes
Actual Time to Cook: 40 minutes
Plated recipe cards come with a short description on the front and include the estimated prep and cook times as well as calories per serving.
On the opposite side, you’ll find an ingredients list, what you’ll need from your kitchen (additional staple ingredients, like olive oil, as well as tools), and recipe tips. Directions are straightforward and each step comes with an accompanying photo.
As most meal prep begins, I started by chopping up veggies and herbs. This included the acorn squash — super daunting!! It wasn’t as tough as I thought it would be, though. The key was all in the recipe tip. I pierced the squash several times with a fork and steamed it by cooking in the microwave for one minute. After allowing it to cool, it sliced right in half (with a good knife — that seemed to be the other big trick). I was then able to scoop out the seeds and cut into 1/4 inch ‘half moon’ slivers. I also rough chopped my oregano and parsley, cut my lemon in half, and tore my kale into bite-sized pieces.
The squash definitely took a bit of force to get through but halving it was the hardest part.
Next, I drained and rinsed the chickpeas and sprinkled them into a foil-lined baking tray to dry. I LOVE crispy chickpeas. They’re so easy to prepare, and always add a special crunch and heartiness to salads and side dishes.
After coating my squash moons with the included harissa, olive oil, and salt and pepper, they went on a lined baking sheet as well.
The chickpeas were tossed in za’atar, olive oil, and salt and pepper in preparation for roasting as well. Each tray went in the oven for 25 minutes.
While the chickpeas and squash roasted, I stirred feta in with the herbs and olive oil. There was some leftover harissa in the bowl from the coating I mixed together for the squash pieces, and that’s totally okay.
Ah, the final component of the dish: the kale salad. I’m all too familiar with these, but I’ve never made a dressing quite like this one. It involved tahini, lemon, honey, olive oil, a splash of water, and salt and pepper. I waitressed at a Middle Eastern restaurant all through college, so these are flavors that I know well and love. The tanginess of tahini is wonderful, and it’s one of the most overlooked ingredients to add some easy zest to your meals (IMHO!). I massaged the dressing into the leaves for about a minute in order to naturally soften them. Dried cranberries are added for even more tang!
What a pretty and composed plate, right? The kale salad acted as a base, but the squash was the real body of this dish. Lightly roasting it made it soft enough to cut through with a fork. The oven had the opposite effect on the chickpeas, however, which came out delightfully crunchy. The herbaceous, salty feta and zip of the cranberries really balanced out the flavors of this plate. This dish somehow felt healthy and decadent at the same time, and I was surprised by how much I truly loved it! Aside from figuring out how to effectively hack into the squash, it was extremely, extremely easy to cook.
Greek Horiatiki with Marinated Feta, Za’atar Naan, and Toasted Chickpeas
Calories per Serving: 950
Total Prep and Cook Time (listed): 30-40 minutes
Actual Time to Cook: 35 minutes
My second dish of the week actually looked similar to the first, ingredients-wise. I replaced this meal with one that Plated had originally included in my box (a nice perk of the service — you’re able to manually switch out meals that don’t appeal to you as much as others do). For a vegetarian like me, there were only a couple swap-outs available for each week, but I appreciate the option given that many other meal subscription boxes don’t allow substitutions. I guess I know what I like, and that’s Mediterranean flavors! However, Plated would have curated a more varied assortment if I chose to stick with their plan.
After setting aside the pre-made hummus packs that came with the box to soften at room temperature, I chopped my parsley and oregano. The herbs are whisked together with red wine vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper.
I then broke the block of feta into chunks and combined it with about half of the herb vinaigrette. The recipe card referred to this as ‘marinated feta,’ but, to mix, it’s more of a feta… salad?
Okay, this is definitely a salad. I halved, de-seeded, and chopped my cucumber before slicing it, and the tomatoes, bell pepper, and red onion were chopped as well. A package of olives was incorporated, and the remaining vinaigrette was tossed in. Again with the gorgeous colors!
More chickpeas! These, however, were prepared in a pan. I tossed them in za’atar and olive oil to lightly toast, but they never really developed the crispy shell that I was anticipating. I used the same large pan and more of the za’atar oil to quick-fry the included naan bread. Naan is similar to pita, but it’s thicker, denser, and has a softer texture due to the addition of dairy.
As you can see, this dish is sort of a well-composed plate of dips, sides, and salads with a scooping vessel (the spiced naan!) — my favorite way to eat. I love that you can grab a little of the hummus, add some marinated feta on top, and then top each bite with the veggie of your choice. It’s a really fun way to enjoy dinner! Again, everything was well balanced and deliciously flavorful in this dish. The produce was fresh, and the prepared hummus was tasty. My only issue is that the hummus AND the toasted chickpeas were perhaps a little too much chickpea overall. Really amazing dish, though!
Verdict: I enjoyed my first Plated box so much! After receiving other meal subscription kits like Hello Fresh and Terra’s Kitchen for quite some time now, I was incredibly impressed with the quality of the ingredients as well as the final dishes here. While these recipes were pretty simple, they still involved more steps than I’m used to with most other meal subscription box recipes. I’m okay with that. After sampling the AMAZING squash dish that my husband and I worked on together, we looked at each other and said, almost in unison, “Plated is what’s up.”
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No. The Plated menus change weekly and must lock in orders before shipments go out.
Value Breakdown: This box cost $47.80 + $7.95 shipping, which is $13.94 per meal. Note: Plated lists their shipping as $6.00 on the website (for weekly orders under $60), but shipping cost is based on region.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
Would you eat the meals I cooked from Plated this week?