15 Best Meal Boxes of 2019 – Voted by Readers


This post may contain referral/affiliate links. If you buy something, MSA may earn a commission. Read the full disclosure.

The Best Meal Subscription Boxes

Voting for our 4th annual readers’ choice awards is now closed. Stay tuned: our updated list of winners will be announced in January 2020!


Updated: November 14, 2019

Make cooking for your family easy, convenient, and fun! These meal kit subscription boxes promise to replace your typical dinners, lunches, and even breakfasts with wholesome restaurant-quality meals. Not only do these boxes make cooking for your family easy and delicious—they’re also great for helping inexperienced chefs learn to cook, giving busy families more time to connect, or just getting your out the door faster every morning.

Summary – Our 2019 List of The Best Meal Kit Delivery Services

These are the best subscription boxes for cooking & meals according to our readers, including everything from fresh ingredients and full meal recipes delivered weekly, to heat-and-eat lunches and dinners, and even blend-able smoothies for breakfast on the go. Click a brand name to jump to more information, and compare boxes to find one that is right for you:

  1. Hello Fresh: Best Overall Meal Kit
  2. Blue Apron: Best for Classic Recipes With A Twist
  3. Home Chef: Best for Dinner + No-Cook Lunches
  4. Plated: Best Choice If You Never Skip Dessert (Plated subscriptions have ended as of November 13, 2019)
  5. Sun Basket: Best for Sustainable Eating
  6. Purple Carrot: Best for Vegans
  7. Freshly: Best for Fully Prepared Meals
  8. Green Chef: Best for Organic Produce
  9. Gobble: Best for Families (& Fastest Prep)
  10. Hungryroot: Best for Plant-Based & Clean Eating
  11. CrateChef: Best for Food Network Fans
  12. Martha & Marley Spoon: Best for Modern Homestyle Meals
  13. Butcher Box: Best for Grass Fed Beef & Healthy Meats
  14. Daily Harvest: Best for Breakfast On The Go
  15. Dinnerly: Best Affordable Meal Kit

Our Readers’ Favorite Home Meal Kit Services for Dinner & More

Meal kits have made a lot of news in recent years, but which ones are really worth it (and have recipes worth repeating)? Our readers weigh in:

1. Hello Fresh – User Rating 4.2 out of 5 Stars

hello fresh example meal kit box and ingredients

The Cost: Subscriptions cost between $8.74-$9.99 per serving depending on your plan, plus shipping. Sign up here!

Here’s what readers had to say about Hello Fresh:

“First (and only) box subscription I use. It is great!” – Sherry

What kind of food do you get?: Hello Fresh serves up classic, crowd-pleasing flavors, plus a few fun twists to help expand your palette! We love that their ingredients come bundled by recipe, so that you can easily take them from the fridge to the countertop and get started. We think the approachable, yet interesting recipes would be great for families! Check out our Hello Fresh reviews to learn more!

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegetarian

Example recipes: Gorgeous Greens Farro Bowl, Korean Beef Bibimbap, Pineapple Poblano Beef Tacos, Chicken Sausage Pizzas

Ships to: US only

 

2. Blue Apron – User Rating 4.4 Out of 5 Stars

blue apron box and example ingredients

The Cost: Subscriptions cost between $7.49-$9.99 per serving, depending on your plan, plus shipping. Sign up here!

What kind of food do you get?: Blue Apron meals put flavorful twists on classic fare, sort of like what you might expect from a hip neighborhood bistro. Each week, you’ll get pre-portioned ingredients for balanced, seasonal recipes that cook up quickly and reflect a myriad of global flavors. 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. Check out our Blue Apron reviews to learn more!

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegetarian, Mediterranean Diet

Popular recipes: Provolone Cheeseburgers and Marinated Kale, Baked Rigatoni and Creamy Tomato Sauce, Brown Butter Gnocchi, Spiced Fish Tacos

Ships to: US only

 

3. Home Chef – User Rating 4.2 Out of 5 Stars

home chef example box and ingredients packaged up

The Cost: Meals start at $9.95 per serving, and delivery is free for orders over $45. Sign up here!

What kind of food do you get?: Home Chef recipes are always yummy and family friendly. The flavors are familiar, yet fun, plus the portions are always filling. Home Chef also offers add-ons like fruit, snacks, no-cook lunches and smoothies! Check out our Home Chef reviews to learn more!

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

Example recipes: Teriyaki Ginger Glazed Salmon, Parisian Bistro Steak, Wood-Fired BBQ Chicken Pizza, Brussels and Brown Butter Risotto

Ships to: Most of the US (You can check to see if Home Chef delivers to your zip code here.)

 

4. Plated – User Rating 3.8 Out of 5 Stars (UPDATE: Plated Subscriptions have ended.)

plated meal kit box ingredients

The Cost: Recipes begin at $12.00 per plate. Get free shipping with 3+ recipes per week plans. Sign up here!

What kind of food do you get?: Plated meals put a trendy, hip spin on popular flavors. Their ingredients include antibiotic-free meats, seasonal produce, and other quality ingredients. Everything is bundled by recipe for your convenience, too! They also offer incredible desserts for just $4 per serving (available after your first order). Check out our Plated reviews to learn more!

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegetarian

Example recipes: Seared Steak with Bell Pepper Panzanella, Buffalo Chicken Pizza with Greek Yogurt Ranch Dressing, Fontina and Brie Grilled Cheese with Fig Compote and Frisée Salad, Salmon Burgers with Chive Aioli and Mâche

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.)

 

5. Sun Basket – User Rating 4.3 Out of 5 Stars

Sunbasket meal kit subscription box example ingredients

The Cost: Most plans are $11.99 per meal + shipping ($6.99 shipping fee per order). Sign up here!

What kind of food do you get?: Sun Basket was created by Chef Justine Kelly of San Francisco’s famed Slanted Door restaurant. The recipes in the subscription reflect her passion for sustainable eating. The dishes are wholesome, fresh, and deliciously uncomplicated. Their simple recipes feature organic vegetables, antibiotic and hormone free meats, and sustainable seafood, all of which comes pre-portioned and ready to prepare! Check out our Sun Basket reviews to learn more!

Which special diets do they cater to?: Gluten-Free, Paleo, Lean and Clean, Vegetarian, Mediterranean, Vegan, Pescatarian, and Diabetes Friendly.

Example recipes: Thai Turkey Lettuce Cups, Seared Albacore Tuna Steaks with Green Beans and Soft-Cooked Eggs, Spicy Shrimp Diablo Tacos with Pickled Cabbage and Lime, Korean-Style Tofu Burgers with Quick-Pickled Cucumber and Kimchi

Ships to: Currently shipping to most zip codes in the United States, excluding AK, HI, MT, and parts of NM.

 

6. Purple Carrot – User Rating 3 Out of 5 Stars

Purple Carrot

The Cost: $12.00 per serving. Sign up here!

What kind of food do you get?: Vegans, this one’s for you! Purple Carrot offers three new completely vegan meals per week. They’re dairy and meat-free, but each recipe is overflowing with flavor. Vegan eaters love the yummy dishes in this box, which range from familiar to just adventurous enough. Curious about going vegan? This box might be the place to start! Check out our Purple Carrot reviews to learn more!

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegan, Vegetarian

Example recipes: Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos, Eggplant Moussaka, Peruvian Jackfruit Torta, Sushirito, Spaghetti and Beet Balls

Ships to: Contiguous US

 

7. Freshly – User Rating 3.2 Out of 5 Stars

stack of freshly pre-made meal subscription box

The Cost: Ranges from $49.99 for 4 meals per week to $197.989 for 12 meals per week, with free shipping. Sign up here!

What kind of food do you get?: Not a fan of cooking? Freshly’s meals arrive fresh and ready to eat in 3 minutes or less! The chef-curated dishes, which include entrees and breakfasts, are simple, healthy, and clean—they’re gluten-free, protein-packed, free from refined sugars, and all natural. Check out our Freshly reviews to learn more!

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

Example recipes: Three Bean Ancho Turkey Chili, Steak Peppercorn, Chicken Tikka Masala, Southwest Veggie Bowl

Ships to: Most of the contiguous US (they’ve been working on expanding their delivery area in 2019!). Check here to make sure they deliver to you.

 

8. Green Chef – User Rating 4.6 Out of 5 Stars

Green Chef example box and ingredients

The Cost: $11.49-$12.99 per meal, depending on your preferences. Sign up here!

What kind of food do you get?: Green Chef connects you with fresh, sustainable, organic ingredients and delicious, healthy recipes. Their menus include everything from fresh twists on classic comfort foods to globally inspired cuisine. Plus, 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! Check out our Green Chef reviews to learn more!

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

Example recipes: Coconut Shrimp Curry, Mustard-Balsamic Chicken, Vegan Crab Cakes, Saag Haloumi

Ships to: Ships to most of the contiguous US

 

9. Gobble – User Rating 4.3 Out of 5 Stars

Gobble October 2017

The Cost: $11.99 per serving + $6.99 shipping. Sign up here!

What kind of food do you get?: Gobble’s 15-minute dinners help you get from the kitchen to the dinner table fast. They do much of the portioning, chopping, and marinating for you, so cooking is as simple and easy as can be. Their meals come with a healthy balance of flavors and fresh ingredients, helping you create classic, familiar flavors for you and your family. Check out our Gobble reviews to learn more!

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegetarian

Example recipes: Parmesan Crusted Chicken with Basil Orzo Salad, Beef Bourguignon with Mashed Potatoes, Meyer Lemon Gnocchi with Asparagus Tips and Artichoke Hearts, Potato Pierogies with Caramelized Onions and Sautéed Spinach

Ships to: Continental US only

 

10. Hungryroot – User Rating 3.5 Out of 5 Stars

My Hungryroot Review

The Cost: $69.99 – $129.00 depending on your subscription level  + free ground shipping. Sign up here!

What kind of food do you get?: Anyone looking to incorporate more plants into their diet will love this ultra-simple plant-based food subscription. Choose your dietary restrictions, and you’ll receive the pre-prepped ingredients in grocery-style packages. Use Hungryroot’s suggestions to mix and match your items to create flavorful and healthy meals with handful of ingredients, in 15 minutes or less. They also have pre-made sweets and snacks worth checking out! Hungryroot was formerly vegan, but have since introduced meats and other products to their ever increasing product line-up. Check out our Hungryroot reviews to learn more!

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, nut-free, low calorie.

Example recipes: Sweet Potato Pad Thai, Black Bean Brownie Batter, Fluffy Maple Chickpea Pancakes, Cheesy Butternut Squash Fries, Sweet Barbecue Chili Jackfruit, Vanilla Bean Snickerdoodle Dough

Ships to: Contiguous US only

 

11. CrateChef – User Rating 4.9 Out of 5 Stars

CrateChef chef curated kitchen gifts

The Cost: $45 a box (plus $6 shipping per box) or $44 a box when you choose a 3-month subscription. You may also purchase a one-time gift box for $49 a box (plus $6 shipping). Sign up here!

What kind of food do you get?: Unlike some other meal kits on this list, CrateChef sends you a selection of a celebrity chef’s favorite kitchen goodies that you can use across a myriad of recipes. Think cookbooks, tools, and pantry items. If you’re a more experienced cook who likes to design their own recipes, then you’ll love the inspiration in this box! Check out our CrateChef reviews to learn more!

Which special diets do they cater to?: None.

Example products: High-quality ice cream scoopers, alphabet cookie cutters, organic tahini, cookbooks like Whitney Miller’s New Southern Table and Knife: Texas Steakhouse Meals at Home, artisan jerky and sausage, specialty salts, and more.

Ships to: US only

 

12. Martha & Marley Spoon – User Rating 3.5 Out of 5 Stars

martha stewart and marley spoon meal kit box

The Cost: Meals start at $8.20 per serving + free shipping. Sign up here!

What kind of food do you get?: Marley Spoon sends you the quality, artisanal ingredients and recipes to make some of Martha Stewart’s favorite dishes. Choose your favorites from a wide variety of classic and creative recipes, then schedule and receive your box at your convenience. Check out our Martha & Marley Spoon reviews to learn more!

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

Example recipes: Broccoli Cheddar Soup, Cheesy Baked Pinto Beans, Kimchi Spiced Pork Burgers, Sumac Grilled Chicken

Ships to: Most of the contiguous US

 

13. Butcher Box – User Rating 4.5 Out of 5 Stars

butcher box meat subscription box example products

The Cost: $129 a month + free shipping. You can also save $20 by doubling any order, or pay $149 to choose all your own meats. Sign up here!

What kind of food do you get?: Butcher Box is a subscription just for the meat lovers out there! Each box contains 8-11 pounds 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 families looking for an easy source for grass-fed hormone-free meats! Check out our Butcher Box reviews to learn more!

Which special diets do they cater to?: None.

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.

Ships to: Continental US

 

14. Daily Harvest – User Rating 3.4 Out of 5 Stars

Daily Harvest

The Cost: Ranges from $7.75 per cup for 9 per box, to $6.99 per cup for 24 per box.

What kind of food do you get?: Daily Harvest started as a smoothie brand, but they’ve expanded into lots of other superfood categories since: Smoothies, Harvest Bowls, soups, lattes, oat bowls, chia bowls, and even plant-based gluten-free cookies! They’re all designed to fill you up with healthy fruits and veggies with minimal prep work (most simply require adding liquid and heating or blending). Check out our Daily Harvest Reviews to learn more!

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, plant-based, dairy-free, paleo

Example recipes: Strawberry + Peach Smoothie, Spinach + Shiitake Grits Harvest Bowl, Ginger + Turmeric Latte, Cacao Nib Cookie Dough

Ships to: US only

 

15. Dinnerly – User Rating 2.8 Out of 5 Stars

Dinnerly meal kit subscription box ingredients

The Cost: $4.99 per portion + $8.99 shipping. Sign up here!

What kind of food do you get?: Dinnerly is all about simplicity. Their recipe cards are digital, so there’s less paper to keep track of, and their crowd-pleasing, affordable recipes tend to use fewer ingredients. That means less time between you and a yummy dinner for yourself or your family! Pick between 3-5 meals per week. Check out our Dinnerly reviews to learn more!

Which special diets do they cater to?: Vegetarian, but not consistently.

Example recipes: Tomato Soup and Grilled Cheese Croutons, Creamy Gnocchi with Spinach and Fried Scallions, BBQ Fried Chicken, Grass-Fed Beef Sloppy Joes

Ships to: US only

 

That wraps up our list of the Best Cooking and Meal Kit Subscription Boxes! Did your favorites make the list?

Written by Anna Reilly

Anna Reilly

Anna loves collecting little treasures, be they pop-culture finds, handmade mementos, or new potions to put in her makeup bag. Beauty boxes got her interested in the subscription world, but now she’s swooning for all things kawaii!

227 Comments

  1. @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!

  2. 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!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!

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

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

  10. 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.

  11. love to try the butcher meat box

  12. 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

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

  14. I would love to try Freshly and HomeChef.

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

    • *Blue Apron, Gobble, or Dinnerly

  16. 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!

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

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

Post a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Remember to post with kindness and respect. Comments with offensive language, cruelness to others, etc will not be approved. See our full comment policy here.

Please do not enter your email address in the Name field or in the comment content!

*