This is a review of the 2-person, 2-meal subscription plan ($9.99 per serving + $7.99 shipping, 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-serving plan or a four-serving plan.
For the 2-serving plan (Signature, Weight Watchers Freestyle, or Vegetarian):
- $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.
For the 4-serving plan (for families, get-togethers, or meal-prep):
- Starts at $71.92 ($8.99 per serving + FREE shipping) for 2 meals per week,
- $95.88 ($7.99 per serving + FREE shipping) for 3 meals per week,
- $119.84 ($7.49 per serving + FREE shipping) for 4 meals per week.
The Products: Fresh ingredients and recipes for delicious, chef-inspired meals at home.
Ships to: The U.S. only.
October 2019 Blue Apron Review
My July delivery featured a pretty cool box redesign, but for the months following (including this one), things are back to business as usual. I'd really like to see the redesign make another appearance, but who knows what the future holds.
It's back to the big silver cooler bag we go, which seals shut at the top with a little bit of adhesive. The top flaps are easy enough to pull apart. Inside, we find this month's ingredients. Speaking of ingredients, a lot of them come labeled in bags, 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 bags are also labeled with the coordinating recipe title. Well, those bags are usually titled. For some reason, this month, mine was not. The plastic bags are the same as the ones larger ingredients come in, and they are also recyclable.
A cardboard divider separates the ingredients from a nest of ice packs where the proteins rest, which is how they typically arrive. As I was unboxing my order, something felt off. The amount of ingredients seemed just a bit too sparse to constitute 4 servings of any dish, but I'm oftentimes surprised by how Blue Apron can turn a few simple items into a great meal, so I forged ahead with an open mind.
As it turns out, my suspicion was right—one of the two meals I ordered was missing! The recipe arrived, along with the chicken, but none of the other items were included. I'll get more into those details later, but for now, let's get into the dish I did receive:
Calories per serving (as prepared): 740
Total cook time according to Blue Apron: 35 minutes
Actual time: 46 minutes
I always take a minute to gather all the ingredients and place them in a plastic grocery bag for storage in the fridge so everything stays together and nothing gets lost.
Admittedly, not many of the recipes available for my Blue Apron delivery really had me feeling excited or inspired like they have in the past. I hoped I was in for a pleasant surprise!
Rather than cook rice on the stove and risk it sticking to the bottom of the pot, I once again enlisted the help of my trusty rice cooker. To this modern wonder, I added the rice, one cup of water, a big pinch of salt, and 3/4 of the spice blend. Usually with meal kits, I use all of the seasonings and ingredients included, but the seasoning blend was such a generous portion that I had reservations about using it all. I gave everything a quick stir, closed the lid, and flipped the switch.
For prep work, I washed and dried the zucchini and poblano, chopped them both, minced a generous mound of garlic (four cloves instead of the suggested two), and drained and rinsed the can of black beans. I also set my oven to preheat to 450 degrees.
To a large, non-stick skillet I had heating off to the side with a drizzle of olive oil, I let the zucchini cook on medium-high heat, undisturbed, for four minutes. Then, I added the chopped poblano and my mountain of garlic, and the aroma was so, so good. Everything was seasoned with salt and pepper and cooked for another 3 minutes until softened.
My rice finished up at record speed, so while the veggies were cooking, I placed it into a large mixing bowl and fluffed it with my rice scoop. To this beautiful rice, I added the veggies from the skillet, the black beans, half the sour cream, and some more salt and pepper before giving everything a generous stir.
This step almost slipped by me! I quickly grated the small block of monterey jack cheese. It was very soft and somewhat difficult to grate easily, but I got the job done, and treated myself to the last piece that wouldn't grate without threatening to tear my hands apart in the process.
The recipe instructed me to place two cups of filling into the bottom of a casserole dish. I looked at my bowl of mixed ingredients, confounded, as it only seemed like there were two cups of filling in total! So, to the bottom of my 9x13" dish I sprayed with canola oil, I placed what I thought to be a sufficient amount of filling. Before adding more, I filled my tiny tortillas with what wound up being way too much of the veggie and rice mixture. It's a good thing there was so much filling already on the bottom of the dish, because when I rolled the tortillas, the mixture was spilling out of both ends.
To the tops of the tortillas, I poured on the enchilada sauce and sprinkled the grated cheese on top. Everything baked in the oven until nice and melted for 9 minutes.
Here's the finished dish! I topped each serving with the last of the sour cream, and that's all she wrote. These enchiladas were good. Not impressive, not terrible, just somewhere in between. They were easy enough to put together, and the portion was great for both me and my dinner partner, but I think this particular dish lacked the sophisticated "wow" factor so many other Blue Apron dishes have. The seasoned rice was a nice touch, and the vegetables were flavorful with a variety of textures. I liked the smoky and spicy enchilada sauce with the creamy, melted cheese, but it all seemed a little obvious. Though I'm not exactly eager to recreate this dish later, I'd consider making it again if I already have everything on-hand.
Calories per serving (as prepared): 440
Total cook time according to Blue Apron: 25 minutes on the recipe card
Actual time: 0 minutes, as it didn't arrive.
As I mentioned earlier, as I was unboxing my delivery, I thought the contents seemed a little light. It wasn't until I was separating each meal to photograph their individual contents that I realized the only ingredient that arrived was the chicken. I called Blue Apron's customer service line but there were no available representatives due to a high call volume, so I sent them an email explaining the situation with an included photo of all the things I did receive.
Less than an hour later, I got an apologetic response and a $19.98 credit to my Blue Apron account. I was impressed with the expedient customer service and the quick solution, but still felt a bit disappointed that the funds were given as account credit instead of just being refunded. I was also somewhat surprised to see that the shipping charge wasn't included in the refund, and MSA covered shipping for an incomplete order. Lucky for me, I had plenty of other things at home to create meals for the rest of my week's dinners, but I couldn't help but think about those folks who rely on Blue Apron for meals due to a busy schedule, and what this experience would have been like for them.
Verdict: Blue Apron was a miss for me this month. Only receiving half of my order was a bummer, and although the veggie enchiladas were good, they weren't the exceptional dining experience I've come to expect from this meal kit. To Blue Apron's credit, their customer service was remarkably responsive and relayed a solution at light speed, so that was certainly appreciated. It's worth noting that I've had nothing but overwhelmingly positive experiences with this meal kit since I began reviewing it one year ago, so if you're having hesitations about trying Blue Apron after feeling ready to go for it and then reading this review, I still say it's worth a try. There's always room for improvement with any service, so I'm looking forward to seeing how next month pans out.
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 from a whole new crop of meals.
Value Breakdown: At $47.95 ($9.99 per serving + $7.99 shipping), you’re paying $11.99 per serving for a complete order. In this case, you'd pay $27.97 total after the $19.98 refund for the missing meal, which works out to $13.98 per serving, which includes shipping.
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What do you think of these Blue Apron recipes?