This is a review of the 2-person, 2-meal subscription plan ($9.99 per serving, or $47.95 per week).
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About Blue Apron
The Subscription Box: Blue Apron
The Cost: You can choose from a 2 person plan or a family plan:
For the 2 person plan, it’s $47.95 ($9.99 per serving + $7.99 shipping) for 2 meals per week or $59.94 ($9.99 per serving + FREE shipping) for the 3 meals per week.
Family plans start at $71.92 ($8.99 per serving + FREE shipping) for the 2 meals per week, $95.88 ($7.99 per serving + FREE shipping) for 3 meals per week, or $119.84 ($7.49 per serving + FREE shipping) for 4 meals per week.
The Products: Fresh ingredients and recipes to make healthy meals at home.
Ships to: U.S. only
January 2019 Blue Apron Review
Blue Apron ingredients come packaged in a big silver cooler 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. The produce was packed atop a cardboard divider, beneath which was a nest of ice packs.
A lot of the ingredients from Blue Apron come in bags, labeled, but you have to check out the recipe cards to know which meal they go to. Smaller items like butter or sauces come in a “knick knack” bag so they don’t get lost in the shuffle, and those are labeled with the meal’s name as well. The plastic bags are the same as the ones larger ingredients come in, and are also recyclable.
There were no advertisements or info cards in this month’s box, much to my surprise.
Anyway, let’s get these dishes started!
Calories per serving (as prepared): 660 calories
Total cook time according to Blue Apron: 30 minutes on the site, 25-35 minutes on the recipe card
Actual time: 1 hour and 19 minutes
After unboxing all of the ingredients, I separated each meal into its own plastic grocery bag for storage in the fridge, so nothing got lost or accidentally incorporated into another dish.
To start, I pre-heated the oven to 450 degrees, lined a sheet pan with foil, and washed and dried the fresh produce.
Upon cutting the potatoes into wedges, I tossed them in a bowl with a little bit of olive oil, salt and pepper, and a pack of Italian seasoning.
Here are the wedged potatoes, placed skin side down on half of the sheet pan. These roasted for 15 minutes.
The remaining ingredients required quite a bit of prep completion before the potatoes were finished roasting. It all took far longer than fifteen minutes as suggested by the recipe card, which was kind of frustrating. I grated the parmesan wedge on the small side of my box grater, peeled and chopped five cloves of garlic (rather than the recommended 2, because that was far too little for me), and spent forever stripping the kale leaves from their stems. That step easily took the longest, and the potatoes were done roasting the first time far before I completed that step.
Once all of the kale leaves were finally removed from their stems (grrrr) I gave them a rough chop.
The capers also received a rough chop.
Then, those capers were mixed into the mayo, along with a little bit of salt and pepper. I really recommend putting some salt and pepper into the mayo if you ever try this recipe for yourself, because it made a tasty difference. So, yeah, the recipe’s expectation was to have the cheese shredded, garlic chopped, kale prepped, and caper mayo finished by the time the potatoes were done, within 15 minutes. That did not happen. I wasn’t even close.
Also to be completed while the potatoes roasted for 15 minutes was the chicken prep. Yeahhh, right. Long after I pulled the potatoes from the oven, I removed the two chicken breasts from their packaging, placed them between two sheets of plastic wrap, and then pounded them with a cast iron skillet until about 1/4 - 1/3 of an inch in thickness.
Each side was then seasoned with salt and pepper.
In the same bowl as the one used to mix the potato wedges with the oil and spices, I cracked the egg, whisked it with a fork until smooth, and of course, added more salt and pepper.
On a large plate, I combined the panko with half of the grated parmesan cheese.
Here is a seasoned chicken breast being dipped into the whisked egg…
...then coated in the panko mixture.
The chicken breasts were then placed on the other half of the sheet pan and drizzled with olive oil on top. The sheet pan went back into the oven for another 19 minutes.
In a non-stick pan on medium-high heat, I warmed about a teaspoon of olive oil. Then, I tossed in the chopped garlic and the entire packet of red pepper flakes. Normally, I like my food to be about mid-level spicy, so I rarely use all of the red pepper flakes provided. The pack for this recipe was on the smaller side though and wound up being the perfect portion.
After a minute or two of the aromatics cooking in the pan, I threw in the chopped kale. Upon the kale wilting a bit after 3-4 minutes, I tossed in 1/4 cup of water, cooked it off while stirring frequently, and poured in the white vinegar after turning the burner off. I’ve never added white vinegar to kale before, so I interested to taste it.
And here’s the finished dish! Admittedly, I was pretty frustrated with how long it took me to complete. It wasn’t the length of time itself that irked me, but rather, how misleading the cook time was on the recipe. That said, this meal was so delicious. The chicken was cooked to perfection and was a little on the mild side, flavor wise. That’s where the caper mayo came in, and it certainly delivered a needed, interesting flavor. The white vinegar taste came through with the kale, and it was such a welcomed addition. I’ll be adding it to my sauteed kale dishes from now on! The potatoes were beautifully roasted, and a little sprinkle of extra parm brought it all together. I definitely plan to recreate this dish in the future, hopefully in less time.
Calories per serving (as prepared): 680 calories
Total cook time according to Blue Apron: 20 minutes on the site, 15-20 minutes on the recipe card
Actual time: 33 minutes
I’m always in the mood for pasta, and this dish was an interesting departure from my usual carb repertoire. Plus, after the chicken recipe, I took the 20 minute cook time as a personal challenge.
With a focused mind and blind determination to finish this in the suggested cook time, I got a pot of salted water covered and prepped for boiling, then prepped the broccoli by washing it, drying it, and cutting off the bottom 1/2 inch (but not discarding it, because it’s great for stir fry).
At light speed with no injury to myself, I chopped through the broccoli.
I peeled and chopped the rest of the garlic bulb from this month’s box (about five more cloves or so, instead of the recommended 2), quartered the lemon, and roughly chopped the roasted red peppers. Easy.
In my trusty non-stick pan, I heated a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high heat, added in the chopped broccoli, my small mound of garlic, and about half of the portioned red pepper flakes, then seasoned it all with some salt and pepper. I let it cook for about 7 minutes until it started to soften. Then, I added in a 1/2 cup of water and let it cook off.
While the broccoli was doing its thing in the pan, I tossed the bag of pasta into the boiling water and cooked it for about 7 minutes, instead of the recommended 8-10. I like my pasta to be pretty al dente, hence the shortened boil time. To ensure I wouldn’t forget later, I stuck a small measuring cup into the pot and reserved 1/2 cup of the pasta water. The recipe suggested 1/4 cup, but it’s always better to have more, just in case.
With the broccoli still going and the pasta cooking in the pot, I mixed together the ricotta, half of the parmesan, salt pepper, and the juice of two lemon wedges. Naturally, I snuck a little taste (or five) once everything was incorporated, it was so bright and creamy.
The pasta finished cooking before the broccoli, so I drained it and let it hang out.
In went the cooked pasta, fromage blanc (a bit like goat cheese), and 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, instead of half of the 1/4 as instructed, because I confused myself. Oops. Then, I added the package of basil pesto, the chopped peppers, more salt and pepper, and just a touch more pasta water to coat the noodles. At first, the sauce seemed kind of water, so I left it to hang out on the heat and continue to cook for about three minutes, killed the heat, and after a short while, the sauce thickened upon standing.
Here’s the completed meal! Isn’t it beautiful? I served it with a dollop of the lemon ricotta on top, and one of the remaining lemon wedges. The pesto flavor was a little on the mild side, but still very tasty. I had to put my bowl down about halfway through and take a breather because I was plowing through it so quickly. The lemon ricotta was what really made this meal special. I’ll definitely try to recreate this one down the line, as it was pretty easy and came together rather quickly, even though it once again took longer than the suggested cook time.
Verdict: My experience with Blue Apron this month was a-okay. Though I was pretty disappointed by how long it took me to get the panko chicken dish together, it wound up being worth the wait. I just wish the cook time more accurately reflected the experience of making the dish to better set expectations. Both dishes were a win for me, and I’m excited to recreate them in the future. Overall, I wouldn’t substitute Blue Apron for a weekly grocery trip, but I will continue to use it to shake up my meal rotation every now and again.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Recipes change every week, so these are gone for now, but popular ones always come back in the future. Sign up today to choose for a whole new crop of meals.
Coupon – New customers, save $50 off your first two boxes! No code needed, just use this link.
Value Breakdown: At $47.95 ($9.99 per serving + $7.99 shipping), you’re paying $11.99 per serving.
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What do you think of the Blue Apron recipes I got this week?