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The 15 Best Meal Kit Boxes of 2021 – Readers’ Choice Awards

Every year, we ask you, our readers, to tell us your favorite subscription boxes. The 2021 Readers’ Choice Awards results are in! This list features our fellow subscription fanatics’ top choices for meal kit subscriptions.

Everyone loves a home-cooked meal! With a meal kit subscription, you can skip the menu planning and grocery shopping, and go straight to the magic-making. Meal kit delivery services send pre-measured ingredients for dinners, lunches, and sometimes even breakfasts and snacks that taste divine without taking up precious time for meal prep. Sound delightful? It truly is!

The meal kit subscription boxes on this list were nominated and voted on by our readers as the best of 2021. They span boxes with fresh ingredients and full meal options and recipes delivered weekly, to heat-and-eat lunches and dinners, and even blend-and-go smoothies for quick dietary breakfasts and snacks. Whether you’re new in the kitchen, have dietary restrictions in place, or striving to eat healthy with a full schedule, there is surely a kit with plenty of meal choices for you to love. Read on to discover your match among the top meal subscription services!

Most Popular Meal Kit Services for Dinner & More, Recommended by Our Readers

There are so many meal kits out there—which ones are worth trying? According to our readers, it’s these:

1. HelloFresh

hellofresh delivery showing box contents posed around box

Image from our review.

The Cost: From $7.49-8.99 per serving (depending on your meal delivery service plan) + shipping. Sign up here!

COUPON: Save $90 off your first 4 deliveries! No coupon needed - just use this link.

What kind of food do you get?: HelloFresh meals are largely crowd-pleasing classics, with a few unexpected options mixed in. Their ingredients are pre-measured and bundled by recipe, so following along step-by-step is easy, time-effective, and, honestly, fun. This meal kit subscription is great for families (even those with picky eaters!), couples, and solo diners alike.

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegetarian

Example recipes: Mozz-Stuffed Caprese Burgers, Rajas Quesadillas, Spicy Maple Chicken, Creamy Dill Pork Tenderloin, Mushroom & Chive Risotto

Check out our HelloFresh reviews to learn more! Ships to the US only.

 

2. Home Chef

Image via our review.

The Cost: Meals start at $6.99 per serving, and delivery is free for orders over $49. Sign up here!

COUPON: Save $80 off your first four boxes! No coupon needed - just use this link.

What kind of food do you get?: Home Chef takes familiar meals and inserts hints of excitement, making this a two-thumbs-up food delivery option for families! The flavors are familiar-meets-fun, and the portions are plentiful. We love that Home Chef offers protein packs, slow-cooker options, meals for a crowd, and smoothies with their food subscription box

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegetarian, Milk Free, Carb Conscious, Calorie Conscious, Soy-Free, Wheat-Free, Nut-Free

Example recipes: Rockefeller Salmon, Scallops with Lemon-Caper Pasta, Steak Frites and Marsala Sauce, Chicken Breast with Cilantro Butter, Wood-Fired BBQ Chicken Pizza, Sweet & Savory Butternut Squash Risotto

Check out our Home Chef reviews to learn more! Ships to most of the US (you can check to see if Home Chef delivers to your zip code at checkout).

 

3. Blue Apron

Image via our review.

The Cost: Subscriptions cost between $7.49-$9.99 per serving, depending on your meal subscription plan, plus shipping. Orders with three meals ship free. Sign up here!

COUPON: Limited Time Only! Get $80 off across your first 4 boxes! No coupon needed - just use this link.

What kind of food do you get?: Blue Apron is a meal kit company that commonly uses familiar ingredients to create exciting, unexpected recipes! Their balanced meals are globally influenced and use seasonal produce that comes pre-portioned. The company takes sustainability seriously and aims to use responsibly farmed meats and produce as often as possible. Blue Apron has also done fun, limited-edition menus with programs like Whole30, Weight Watchers, Chrissy Teigen, and Bob’s Burgers. 

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegetarian, Carb Conscious, Mediterranean Diet, Plant-Forward, Diabetes-Friendly, Weight Watchers Approved, 500 Calories or Less Diet

Popular recipes: Curry-Peanut Chicken, White Bean & Pepper Flautas, Mexican Turkey Meatballs, Mango Chutney Grilled Cheese, Steak and Brown Butter Sauce, Creamy Chipotle Chicken

Check out our Blue Apron reviews to learn more! Ships to the US only.

 

4. Butcher Box

Butcher Box Best Quarterly Box

Image via our review.

The Cost: $129 for the Curated Classic Box (24 meals), $238 for the Curated Big Box (48 meals), $149 for the Custom Classic Box (30 meals), and $270 for the Custom Big Box (60 meals). Shipping is free. Sign up here!

COUPON: Limited Time Only! Get 2 lbs of ground beef for FREE in every order for the length of your subscription! No coupon needed - just use this link.

What kind of food do you get?: Omnivorous protein-seekers will be pleased with the sight of the meat subscription kit from Butcher Box! Each delivery contains 8-11 pounds in the Classic Box or 16-22 pounds in the Big Box of grass-fed beef, heritage pork, and free-range organic chicken, depending on the preferences you set. They also offer a pick-your-own box where you can subscribe to any combination of steaks, bacon, and ground meats that you like. These exceptional, nutritionally rich products are perfect for paleo dieters and carnivore families looking for an easy source for grass-fed hormone-free meats! 

Which special diets do they cater to?: Keto Diets

Example products: USDA certified organic, certified humane, 100% grass-fed lamb, 100% antibiotic and hormone-free, pasture-fed beef, certified humane, antibiotic and hormone-free pork, cage-free, free-range, certified humane, USDA certified organic chicken.

Check out our Butcher Box reviews to learn more! Ships to the continental US.

 

5. EveryPlate

Image of Every Plate subscription with ingredients for multiple meals shown.

Image from our review.

The Cost: Meal plans from $4.99 per serving + $8.99 shipping. Sign up here!

What kind of food do you get?: EveryPlate meals are nothing fancy, and we think that can be a good thing! Simple and filling, they make dinner an uncomplicated delight, with emphasis on chicken, beef, sausage, and pork-centered comfort meals. This weekly meal subscription box is an awesome low-cost meal kit delivery option for those on a budget.

Which special diets do they cater to?: To keep costs low, EveryPlate doesn’t offer any preferences or special diet recipes, although they do offer one or two vegetarian recipes per week.

Example recipes: Chicken Sausage Orzotto, Crispy Bruschetta Chicken, Farmers Market Linguine, Easy Chicken Fajitas, Smoky Oven-Fried Tilapia

Check out our EveryPlate reviews to learn more! Currently ships to most zip codes in the United States for $8.99.

 

6. Green Chef

Green Chef November 2020 Contents

Image via our review.

The Cost: $9.99-$12.99 per meal (depending on your preferences) + shipping. Sign up here!

COUPON: Save $90 off your first four boxes! No coupon needed - just use this link.

What kind of food do you get?: Green Chef is all about using fresh, sustainable, organic ingredients in their healthy meals— and they don’t skimp on flavor, either! Their weekly menus include a variety of options from fresh twists on classics to globally inspired ideas. Rest assured that everything you get is GMO-free, USDA certified organic, sustainable and traceable, and best of all, designed with amateur cooks in mind. Even if you’re new to the kitchen, you’ll be able to make these flavorful dishes! 

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegetarian, Vegan, Ketogenic, Paleo, Plant-Powered, Balanced Living, Gluten-Free (Green Chef is actually Certified Gluten-Free, so it’s a fantastic option for celiac customers!)

Example recipes: Southwest Fajita Cheeseburger, Zesty Salmon with Wasabi Crema, Green Pea & Feta Falafel, Veggie & Bean Stuffed Peppers, Baked Penne with Sausage

Check out our Green Chef reviews to learn more! Ships to most of the contiguous US.

 

7. Daily Harvest

Daily Harvest box shown with 9 cups of frozen food.

Image from our review.

The Cost: From $5.99 to $8.99 per item with free shipping. Sign up here!

COUPON: Use code ADDICTION25 to save $25 off your first box!

What kind of food do you get?: You may know Daily Harvest for the smoothies, but this blender-friendly brand has become so much more like a meal service! Superfood categories include smoothies, harvest bowls, soups, lattes, oat bowls, chia bowls, and even plant-based gluten-free bites for a sweet treat. These healthy-ingredient cups come completely stuffed with fruits and veggies, and most simply require adding liquid and heating or blending. That’s it!

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Plant-Based, Dairy-Free, Paleo

Example recipes: Red Lentil & Cumin Harvest Bowl, Strawberry & Peach Smoothie, Kale & Sweet Potato Flatbread, Vanilla Bean & Apple Chia Bowl, Tomato & Zucchini Minestrone Soup, Apple & Cinnamon Oat Bowl

Check out our Daily Harvest reviews to learn more! Ships to the US only.

 

8. Freshly

Freshly prepared meal subscription.

Image via our review.

The Cost: From $8.49-11.49 per meal, available in plans of 4, 6, 10, or 12 meals per week + shipping. Sign up here!

COUPON: Limited Time Only! Save $60 over your first four boxes - automatically applied! No coupon needed - just use this link.

What kind of food do you get?: Freshly sends meals that cut down prep time by removing it entirely—these chef-curated dishes arrive fresh and ready to eat in 3 minutes or less! Microwavable oven-ready breakfast, lunch, and dinner are all available with zero meal prep, and you can expect simple, healthy, clean meals that are all gluten-free, protein-packed, free from refined sugars, and all-natural. 

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Peanut-Free, Dairy-Free, Low Carb, Low-Calorie

Example recipes: Due South BBQ Beef, Rutabaga Alla Vodka, Carb Smart Mojo Chicken, Savory Sweet Chicken Teriyaki, Zingy Buffalo Chicken, Three-Bean Ancho Turkey Chili Bowl, Protein-Packed Chicken Parm

Check out our Freshly reviews to learn more! Ships to most of the contiguous US. Check here to make sure they deliver to you.

 

9. Sun Basket

Image via our review.

The Cost: From $8.99-11.99 per serving for Fresh and Ready meals, and $10.99-13.99 per serving for Meal Kits (depending on preferences and selections) + $7.99 shipping per order. Sign up here!

COUPON: Get $35 off plus free shipping! No coupon needed - just use this link.

What kind of food do you get?: Those who know of San Francisco’s famed Slanted Door restaurant and its chef Justine Kelly may be familiar with her passion for sustainable eating. It’s Justine who created Sun Basket, and fittingly, the dishes are wholesome, fresh, and deliciously straightforward. Sun Basket features farm-to-table recipes with organic vegetables, antibiotic and hormone-free meats, and sustainable seafood, all of which come pre-portioned and ready to be cooked with each meal delivery kit! Meals are dietician-approved and typically fall into the 500-800 calories range. And for those in a time crunch, as an alternative to the classic meal kit, the Fresh & Ready heat and eat offerings make delicious meals!

Which special diets do they cater to?: Gluten-Free, Carb-Conscious, Paleo, Healthy Heart, Lean and Clean, Vegetarian, Mediterranean, Vegan, Pescatarian, Diabetes-Friendly, Seasonal Recipes, and Quick and Easy Meals

Example recipes: Chicken Marbella, Pork Sausages with Cabbage “Steaks” and Pineapple Slaw, Korean Beef Bulgogi Salad with Daikon and Cucumber, One-Pot Chicken and Spanish Rice, Filet Mignons with Roasted Garlic, Root Vegetables, and Lemon Aioli

Check out our Sun Basket reviews to learn more! Currently ships to most zip codes in the United States, excluding AK, HI, and parts of NM, ND, and MT.

 

10. Martha & Marley Spoon

Image via our review.

The Cost: $6.99-10.99 per serving (depending on preferences) + shipping. Sign up here!

What kind of food do you get?: By subscribing to the Martha & Marley Spoon meal kit box, you’re benefiting from Martha Stewart’s honed-in tastes! Sending high-quality, artisanal ingredients for some of her favorite dishes, this subscription offers a wide variety of classic and creative recipes to choose from.

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegetarian, other special diets occasionally

Example recipes: French Onion Chicken Breast, Roasted Citrus Pork with Date Herb Relish, Chile-Lime Shrimp, Take-Out Style Vegetarian Pad See Ew, Veggie Taco Pizza

Check out our Martha & Marley Spoon reviews to learn more! Ships to most of the contiguous US for $8.99

 

11. Dinnerly

Image via our review.

The Cost: $4.69 per adult-sized serving + $8.99 shipping. Sign up here!

What kind of food do you get?: With Dinnerly, it’s all about simple, crowd-pleasing meals built upon quality ingredients at affordable prices. Take a gander at their digital recipe cards and you’ll find that the meals are made with minimal ingredients, which means quick prep time for these family-friendly dishes.  

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegetarian

Example recipes: Pan-Roasted Chicken with Mashed Potatoes, General Tso’s Chicken Fingers, Steak Quesadilla, Lemony Chicken Linguine, Triple Chocolate Skillet Cake

Check out our Dinnerly reviews to learn more! Ships to the US only.

 

12. Purple Carrot

purple carrot plant-based meal kit with all items

Image from our review.

The Cost: $9.99-11.99 per serving (depending on preferences) + free shipping. Sign up here!

COUPON: Use code CARROT30 to get $30 off your first order!

What kind of food do you get?: Calling all vegans! Offering three new completely vegan meals per week, Purple Carrot might just be the most plant-based-friendly meal kit subscription out there. With meals ranging from dairy- and meat-free takes on staple dishes to adventurous fare inspired by worldly cuisine, this box is a great place to start for those considering going vegan.

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegan, Vegetarian, Plant-Based, Gluten-Free, High Protein

Example recipes: Sweet Potato Flatbread, Japanese Gnocchi, Tofu Peanut Stir-Fry, Coconut Chia Pudding, Green Goddess Bowls, Chili & Lime Lupini Beans

Check out our Purple Carrot reviews to learn more! Ships to the contiguous US.

 

13. Hungryroot

Hungryroot plant-based grocery delivery.

Image from our review.

The Cost: Starting at $59 per delivery (depending on preferences and selections). Shipping is $6.99, or free with weekly orders in excess of $70. Sign up here!

COUPON: Use code MSA20 to get 20% off your first two boxes!

What kind of food do you get?: Food shopping at the grocery store is so yesterday. Hungryroot is a personalized grocery service that “makes it easy to eat healthy.” There are three plan levels varying in cost and each issues credits which can be used to scoop up fully-planned meals or a la carte items in the grocery section. Each pre-set meal is designed to include a protein, pasta or grain, a veggie, and usually a sauce or dressing. There are also desserts, ready-to-eat snacks, sides, breakfast foods, and more that can be chosen.

Which special diets do they cater to?: Dairy-Free, Peanut-Free, Tree Nut-Free, Egg-Free, Soy-Free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, and Gluten-Free

Example recipes: Veggieful Curry Wrap, Fresh Start Salad, Peanutty Protein Power Bowl, Pesto Turkey Burger, Hearty Harvest Plate, Chickpea Pesto & Chicken Sausage Flatbread

Check out our Hungryroot reviews to learn more! Ships to most zip codes across the continental US.

 

14. Gobble

all contents

Image via our review.

The Cost: $11.99-13.99 per serving (depending on preferences) + $6.99 shipping. Sign up here!

COUPON: Get 6 meals for $36. No coupon needed - just use this link.

What kind of food do you get?: Does your schedule require a turn-around for dinner? No problem—Gobble offers 15-minute dinners made from fresh ingredients! Meals arrive with much of the portioning, chopping, and marinating already taken care of, so cooking is super-simple and doable in a time crunch. We love that their menu options can be sorted to show kid-friendly dishes to help plan for successful family dinners!

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegetarian, Low-Carb, Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Gluten-Free

Example recipes: Chimichurri Salmon with Broccolini & Saffron Rice, Pan-Seared Top Sirloin Steak with Loaded Baked Potato, Greek Pita Wrap with Roasted Vegetables & Hummus, Curried Squash with Coconut Rice and Burmese Style Salad

Check out our Gobble reviews to learn more! Ships to the continental US, excluding Montana, and limited service in Nebraska and New Mexico.

 

15. Smoothie Box

Image via our review.

The Cost: From $119.00 for 20 smoothies with free shipping. Sign up here!

COUPON: Save $15 off your first box! No coupon needed - just use this link.

What kind of food do you get?: SmoothieBox is the only Super Smoothie subscription company, brought to you by the ButcherBox team. Made with thoughtfully-sourced ingredients and free from additives and added sugar, Super Smoothies are delivered frozen, directly to your door, and contain the right nutrients to jumpstart your day! Each smoothie has a balance of complex carbohydrates from organic fruits and vegetables, healthy fats from seeds, and clean protein from grass-fed collagen, with no added sugar or fillers. Each of the three 3 amazing blends—banana cacao, citrus green, ginger clementine—are ready-to-blend with water or your favorite milk in under 3 minutes.

Which special diets do they cater to?: Non-GMO and Organic ingredients (with the exception of Mandarin oranges, where an organic version is not currently available).

Example flavors: Berry, Clementine, Cacao, and Green Smoothie Pouches

Check out our SmoothieBox reviews to learn more! Ships free to the US only.


That wraps up our list of the Best Cooking and Meal Kit Subscription Boxes for 2021! See any that strike your fancy?


Written by Samantha Sendor

Samantha Sendor

Samantha loves discovering new finds, whether through her travels to remote parts of the globe, or diving into the latest subscription box right from home! When she’s not creating content about all the things that make her happy, she can usually be found cooking, crafting, sketching, or goofing around with her daughter Penny.

Comments (237)

  1. I’m a user of Freshly and I have to say, I love it! I don’t have a lot of extra time and don’t really enjoy cooking. I also can’t stand fast food. The salt-bomb content and preservatives make me feel sick. Freshly is a little pricey but I’ve liked almost every meal on the 6 per week plan for several months. The meals show up already cooked, never frozen, and they don’t have super weird ingredients or outrageous salt content. 3 minutes and you have a home cooked style meal. There also isn’t a ton of trash. Almost all of it is recyclable. It will run around 10$ a meal, but the food is actually good and definitely more healthy than fast food trash. The chili and Italian dishes are great. Recommend the service.

  2. I’ve only tried Hello Fresh because it popped up in my Pinterest with a coupon.

    I like it but the first time I only subscribed for a month because I thought I could buy the ingredients myself and save money that way.

    I realized I was wasting time and money because I was throwing away food that had gone bad. Hello Fresh sent me an email with another offer so I took it. I have the 3 meals per week for two people.

  3. Could you update the coupon link for HelloFresh? It is expired

  4. I have used every plate, hello fresh, and home chef. I like the convenience of hello fresh by far. EveryPlate was cheaper but was a jumbled together. Staying with HelloFresh

  5. MSA the comments date back to May on a new post?

    • Hi Kristin – We revise these posts annually to show the new winners!

  6. Tried dinnerly but was not happy that all ingredients were dumped in the box together and had to read recipe from my computer. Just got Hello Fresh and like the individual meal packaging and the first dinner was delicious.

  7. @MSA is the coupon for Butch Box still active? I see it listed as the “active” one on another review, but the coupon link isn’t working.

    It keeps taking me to a weird sign in pop-up that won’t let me continue until I login-but gives no option to sign-up anywhere. If you close the log-in pop-up, it just takes you to a blank page.

    Please advise!
    Thank you!!! 🙏

    • Hi Candace! I just updated the coupon link so you shouldn’t run into that issue now. Hope that helps – thanks!

  8. We love green chef! We do buy all organic, so this is a win for us. The salmon is not wild caught, so that is my only complaint. I believe Hello fresh bought them out.

    We have tried Sunbasket (mostly organic), but don’t care too much for it. Food is very ethnic and missing carbs. I need a starch with my food to feel like I ate!

  9. I never sub any of these services. I just shop at Costco and cook my own meal. If I try it would be Butcher box. Rest of these boxes – I don’t know, so much packaging overwhelm me. Seems like every single grain of salt is packaged in its own plastic bag.

    • I worried about this too, but I realized that I waste far less food when I use the meal kits. I figure the wasted food savings is about equal to the extra packaging, so it’s fine.

  10. Your link for Home Chef where it says sign up here takes you to the hellofresh website ! Just wanted to let you know ! But seeing these boxes on here makes me really want to try one.

  11. I have tried nearly a of these. Right now I’m using Every Plate which is by farbtue cheapest. There’s not a ton of variety but ita definitely worth it and they’re simple. The memorable ones were blue apron and hello fresh, as well as hello fresh and freshly.
    I used to feel lame and like “surely I could save money by doing my own meal shopping” but having a meal delivery service is seriously a godsend when I’m meal prepping or I come home and don’t want to go to the store or waste money on unhealthy takeout.

    • I agree with you Robyn; I’ve tried several different ones and although people don’t like the way EveryPlate isn’t sorted, I appreciate that there is a lot less packaging waste. I get the subscription every other week, typically, and find that I can select options that fit my lifestyle at a very reasonable price.

  12. I did butcher box, the chicken breast were HUGE and the red meat was funky, no other way to describe it didn’t taste like the meat you’d get at the grocery store. One box was enough for me to decide not for us.

  13. Do you have the information on where the box ships from? So you could pick one closest to you and cut down on transit time? That would be super helpful, but difficult to track down information. Thanks!

  14. I’ve only tried Hello Fresh, and I really liked it. I would love to try the others too!

  15. I have tried both ButcherBox and Sunbasket and was very pleased with both. I would like to try Gobble.

  16. Blue Apron is really good!! I liked Hello Fresh too. Those are the only two I have tired so far, but I would love to try more.

  17. love to try the butcher meat box

  18. I would be happy to try any of them to be honest, but if I could pick it would be the butcher or Blue Apron or Hello fresh

  19. I’ve never tried a subscription meal box, the Blue Apron and Freshly sound good to me.

  20. I would love to try Freshly and HomeChef.

  21. No recommendations, but I’d love to try Blue Apron, Gobble Dinnerly!

    • *Blue Apron, Gobble, or Dinnerly

  22. Butcher Box sounds the best to me – I love meat and I’d love to try different cuts but I need a push to get me out of my comfort zone and Butcher Box sounds like it has a great assortment!

  23. I would be interested in trying Gobble and Hello Fresh

  24. I’ve tried Hello Fresh and Blue Apron, and I preferred Hello Fresh! I hope to try Daily Harvest soon!

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