Blue Apron Subscription Box Review + Coupon – January 2019


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Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - UNOPENED BOX Closed Top

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.

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.)

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - All Products Front

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 Subscription Box Review January 2019 - OPEN BOX Front

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.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - INSIDE BOX VIEW Top

There were no advertisements or info cards in this month’s box, much to my surprise.

Anyway, let’s get these dishes started!

Meal #1: Panko-Crusted Chicken with Roasted Potatoes, Garlic-Sauteed Kale, and Cape Mayo

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

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - CHICKEN INGREDIENTS 1 TopBlue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - CHICKEN INGREDIENTS 2 TopBlue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - CHICKEN RECIPE BOOK FRONT TopBlue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - CHICKEN RECIPE BOOK BACK Top

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.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - CHICKEN WASHED VEGGIES Top

To start, I pre-heated the oven to 450 degrees, lined a sheet pan with foil, and washed and dried the fresh produce.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - CHICKEN POTATO WEDGES In Pan Top

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.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - CHICKEN POTATOES PAN Top

Here are the wedged potatoes, placed skin side down on half of the sheet pan. These roasted for 15 minutes.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - CHICKEN INGREDIENT PREP Top

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.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - CHICKEN CHOPPED KALE Top

Once all of the kale leaves were finally removed from their stems (grrrr) I gave them a rough chop.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - CHICKEN CAPERS Top

The capers also received a rough chop.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - CHICKEN CAPER MAYO In Bowl Top

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.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - CHICKEN PLASTIC WRAP Top

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.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - CHICKEN SEASONED Top

Each side was then seasoned with salt and pepper.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - CHICKEN EGG Pan Top

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.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - CHICKEN BREADCRUMBS Top

On a large plate, I combined the panko with half of the grated parmesan cheese.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - CHICKEN EGG DIPPED In Pan Top

Here is a seasoned chicken breast being dipped into the whisked egg…

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - CHICKEN BREADCRUMBS DIPPED Top

…then coated in the panko mixture.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - CHICKEN DRIZZLED PAN Top

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.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - CHICKEN GARLIC Top

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.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - CHICKEN KALE VINEGAR Cooking Pan Top

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.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - CHICKEN FINISHED In Plate Top

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.

Meal #2: Pesto Pasta with Broccoli & Lemon Ricotta

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

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - PASTA INGREDIENTS 1 TopBlue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - PASTA INGREDIENTS 2 TopBlue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - PASTA RECIPE Book FRONT TopBlue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - PASTA RECIPE Book BACK Top

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.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - PASTA WASHED BROC Top

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).

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - PASTA CHOPPED BROC Cut Top

At light speed with no injury to myself, I chopped through the broccoli.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - PASTA INGREDIENTS PREP Top

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.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - PASTA BROC PAN Top

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.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - PASTA BOILING In Pan Top

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.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - PASTA RICOTTA MIX Bowl Top

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.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - PASTA DRAINED Top

The pasta finished cooking before the broccoli, so I drained it and let it hang out.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - PASTA COMBINED Top

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.

Blue Apron Subscription Box Review January 2019 - PASTA FINISHED Top

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.

Check out all of our Blue Apron Reviews and find other meal boxes in the Meal Subscription Box Directory!

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

What do you think of the Blue Apron recipes I got this week?

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Written by Savannah Sprowls

Savannah Sprowls

Savannah spends her days testing the creative limits of an all-black wardrobe, rattling about years spent overseas, and whipping up carb-heavy meals at home. Degustabox was her first foray into the world of monthly subscription boxes, and she still gets wildly excited every time a package arrives.

Posted in Blue Apron Reviews, Food Subscription Boxes, Meal Kit Subscriptions, Subscription Box Reviews| Tags: blue apron | 8 comments

8 Comments

  1. I used to take my time with kale removing the stem with a knife, but that takes a lot of time. Now I just rip the leaves from the stem, two birds one stone. Stems removed and kale torn into smaller pieces.

    • Good tip, Jenny! That’s sort of what I wound up doing. Later that evening, I discovered a kale leaf ripper in my vast collection of kitchen gadgets, so maybe it’ll come through for the next recipe. If not, the tear method stands!

  2. “Pounded them with a cast iron skillet” I had to reread that a couple of times, that’s awesome! My husband would kill me as the cast iron skillet is his baby and he’s judgemental like that. Awesome review, btw, the details gave me a good idea what I could expect and candor is always fresh and appreciated, thanks.

    • I’ve heard about some pretty extreme cast iron purists out there—can’t relate! If you find yourself without a proper meat tenderizer like I did, the skillet works great, if you can get your husband to look the other way. 😉
      Also, thank you for your support of this review, Apricot! I’ll be sure to keep the candor a-coming.

  3. You should try a garlic press ! I have the one from oxo and I love it, I always hated chopping garlic.

    • I am sooo overdue for a garlic press. My pizza cutter and vegetable peelers are from OXO and they’re so, so good. Will keep my eyes peeled (lol garlic humor) for an OXO beauty to get me through those dark garlic chopping times in the future. Thanks for the recommendation, Jen!

  4. Lovely review! While I don’t sub to Blue Apron, I do sub to Home Chef and I have to agree that sometimes the cook and prep times are greatly exaggerated. Originally, I thought the meal sub would be great for weeknight dinners, but it takes way more than 30 minutes to cook each meal so I just use them on the weekends instead. What I find that helps me is cutting, mincing and chopping all the ingredients that needs that treatment before I follow the recipe and start the actual cooking. This way, at least the meal cooks faster. Other times, my husband and I do it together and of course this cuts the time in half! 🙂

    • Thanks, Anita! I’d been considering doing some mise en place with these meal kit subscriptions, but feared it wouldn’t play accurately into the given expectations of prepping the dish, per the recipe. I may experiment with it in the future, you know, for the sake of experimentation. We shall see!

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