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Dinnerly Review – Everything You Need to Know About the Best Affordable Meal Subscription Box

Lindsey Morse
ByLindsey MorseJul 2, 2021 | 2 comments

Dinnerly Review - Everything You Need to Know About the Best Affordable Meal Subscription Box

Dinnerly Review

Everything You Need to Know About the Best Affordable Meal Subscription Box

Meal kits offer an easy and convenient dinner solution, but not all of them are wallet-friendly. Those that feature organic ingredients or cater to special diets can cost well over $10.00 per serving, and that can be tricky if you’re on a budget. Luckily, meal kits don’t have to break the bank. Dinnerly is a meal kit delivery service that cuts costs way down and offers meals for less than half the price of some of the more expensive subscriptions.

Here at My Subscription Addiction, we know our meal kits, and we’ve published reviews on the most expensive meal delivery subscriptions as well as the more affordable options. We’ve seen great options at every price point, and Dinnerly is one of favorite low-cost meal kit subscriptions. But is Dinnerly right for you?

In this Dinnerly review, we’re going to use our years of meal kit expertise to help you answer that question. We’ll take a look at Dinnerly’s claims that they’re they have “easy recipes,” that their meals are “great tasting,” and that “picky eaters approve.” We’ll consider things like cost, recipes, difficulty level, convenience, and taste to help you determine if Dinnerly is the best meal kit for you. We’ll even look at competitors in the space to see if there’s another meal kit that might be a better fit. Now, let’s take a look at Dinnerly!

COUPON: $60 Off For Your First 4 Boxes (15/15/15/15). No coupon needed - just use this link.

by Lindsey Morse, MSA Reviewer, Meal Kit Pro
July 2, 2021| 2 comments

This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out our review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)

Dinnerly Pros & Cons

Dinnerly Pros

  • Dinnerly is a meal kit delivery service that sends you all the tasty ingredients you need to make meals that are quick and easy.
  • If you’re on a budget, Dinnerly is one of the most affordable meal kits on the market.
  • There are 16 easy recipes to choose from every week.
  • Each recipe contains only five simple steps.
  • Dinnerly’s meals are designed with picky eaters in mind, so they’re kid-friendly and great for families.
  • A Dinnerly subscription helps you save time on meal planning, cuts down on food waste, and helps ease mealtime stress.
  • You can add additional protein to your weekly order.
  • It’s easy to pause or cancel your subscription online.

Dinnerly Cons

  • Dinnerly doesn’t offer a ton of accommodation for those with special diets, but subscriptions can be made vegetarian-friendly and recipes are labeled with tags like “no added gluten,” “low-calorie,” and “dairy-free” which help identify recipes that may work for some people with certain dietary restrictions.
  • While there are vegetarian options, Dinnerly is probably not the best pick for vegans.
  • Ingredients are fresh and tasty, but don’t expect to see organic ingredients pop up too frequently.
  • For some, recipes may occasionally feeltoo streamlined, and certain meals might feel like they’re missing an additional side dish.

All About Dinnerly

 

How did Dinnerly get started?

Dinnerly launched in 2017 to provide easy weeknight meals designed to appeal to picky eaters. It is owned by the same company that owns and operates Martha & Marley Spoon, another meal kit delivery service that features recipes from celebrity chef Martha Stewart. While both meal kits are priced towards the lower end of the market, Dinnerly is the more affordable option.

At MSA, we’ve been tracking Dinnerly’s progress every step of the way and reviewing Dinnerly from almost the very beginning. Our very first Dinnerly review was written back in 2017, not long after it was launched.

How does Dinnerly work?

In this Dinnerly review, we’ll go over all the things you need to know about this meal kit delivery service, but in case you’re new to meal kits, let’s start with a quick overview of how Dinnerly works. The first thing to know is that Dinnerly is a recurring subscription. When you sign up, you’re agreeing to receive meal kits on an ongoing basis. You’ll enter your credit card information when you join, and you’ll continue to be charged until you decide to cancel. Here are the steps you can expect to follow when you sign up for Dinnerly:

  • Choose your plan and personalize it: when you join Dinnerly, you’ll set up the details of your subscription. How many people do you need to feed? Do you want vegetarian meals? You’re invited to personalize your plan to make sure it works for you.
  • Set your weekly delivery day: most subscribers will have several different delivery days to choose from. Some people prefer to receive meals at the very start of the week, while others like to receive deliveries mid-week. You can select your preferred weekly delivery day when you join.
  • Pick your meals for the upcoming week: after you enter your dining preferences, Dinnerly will automatically pick meals for you each week. However, you can always log in, override your auto-picks, and hand-select your own meals.
  • Check back regularly to skip weeks or set your menu for upcoming deliveries: don’t want to receive a box every single week? No problem. Log into your account to manage your upcoming deliveries. In your account portal, you’ll be able to skip shipments, pick out what meals you’d like to receive, or cancel your subscription.

How much does Dinnerly cost? 

When you sign up for a subscription to Dinnerly, you’ll first need to decide how many people you want to serve with each meal and how many meals you’d like to receive each week. The cost of your subscription will vary depending on how many meals you order each week. Here’s a breakdown:

  • Two-Person Box
    • 3 meals per week costs $40.73 ($5.29 per portion + $8.99 shipping)
    • 4 meals per week costs $48.91 ($4.99 per portion + $8.99 shipping)
    • 5 meals per week costs $58.89 ($4.99 per portion + $8.99 shipping)
    • 6 meals per week costs $67.67 ($4.89 per portion + $8.99 shipping)
  • Family Box (Meals for 4)
    • 3 meals per week costs $68.87 ($4.99 per portion + $8.99 shipping)
    • 4 meals per week costs $88.83 ($4.99 per portion + $8.99 shipping)
    • 5 meals per week costs $106.79 ($4.89 per portion + $8.99 shipping)
    • 6 meals per week costs $121.55 ($4.69 per portion + $8.99 shipping)

COUPON: $60 Off For Your First 4 Boxes (15/15/15/15). No coupon needed - just use this link.

Does Dinnerly have different plans available? 

With Dinnerly, there are two main plans to choose from: the Two-Person Plan and the Family Plan. The Two-Person Plan sends meals to feed two people, and the Family Plan sends enough to feed four. When you sign up, you’ll have the option to indicate a preference for vegetarian meals, but there aren’t a lot of additional options available.

Where and how does Dinnerly ship?

Dinnerly delivers to most of the contiguous U.S. You can check to see if Dinnerly delivers to your zip code while signing up.

Good to know:

  • Delivery days vary by area, but most subscribers will have several options to choose from. You can change your preferred delivery day at any time.
  • A signature is not required, and you don’t have to be home to accept the box.
  • Food is kept cold in transit with insulated liners and frozen gel packs.

How is a Dinnerly delivery packaged?

 

There’s a full page on Dinnerly‘s site dedicated to recycling info, but the gist is this: the outer Dinnerly box, plastic ingredient packaging, parts of the box liner, and outside plastic part of the ice pack can call be recycled.

What recipes does Dinnerly offer?

 

Dinnerly‘s menu has 18 different menu options to choose from each week. You’ll find a few veggie options on every menu (you can sign up for the vegetarian plan to ensure your meals are meat-free), and you’ll find recipes tagged with things like “kid-friendly,” “under 30 minutes,” “one-pot meal,” “dairy-free,” “no added gluten,” “healthy,” and “nutritious.” In addition to your weekly meals, you can purchase add-ons like ready-made desserts and additional proteins.

Want some specific examples? Here are some recent meals we’ve spotted at Dinnerly:

  • Smoky Pan-Roasted Steak with Classic Baked Potato
  • Pan-Roasted Chicken & Gravy with Roasted Potatoes & Green Beans
  • Crispy Gnocchi with Tomatoes, Mozzarella & Pesto
  • Steak & Udon Noodle Stir-Fry
  • Shrimp Boil Packets with Corn & Potatoes
  • Hoisin-Teriyaki Chicken & Snow Pea Stir-Fry
  • Refried Bean & Cheese Tostadas with Fresh Tomato Salsa
  • Lemon Cupcakes with Raspberry Frosting

Are Dinnerly recipes hard?

Dinnerly‘s recipe cards are digital, so you won’t receive any paper recipe cards. You can access the recipes for your meals by logging into your account. Each recipe is has only 5 steps, and they are designed for beginners. The recipes are written in a way that can sometimes feel a bit clunky, but the steps are straightforward and do not contain any advanced cooking techniques.

What ingredients and tools does Dinnerly NOT provide?

When you sign up for a Dinnerly subscription, you’ll receive most of what you need to get dinner on the table. Meal kits include produce, meat, spices, and sauces; however, there are a few things you’ll be expected to provide yourself. Salt, pepper, water, eggs, and oil are not provided, and we recommend checking recipes after ordering to check for additional items you may need to provide yourself. In addition to these basic ingredients, you’ll also be expected to have essential kitchen tools available like cutting boards, knives, bowls, baking trays, vegetable peelers, zesters, measuring cups, and pots and pans.

Does Dinnerly accommodate dietary restrictions like allergies?

Dinnerly is very upfront about potential allergens: some recipes are adjusted to omit major allergens (and will be tagged “no added gluten,” “dairy-free,” etc.), but you won’t find full menus that are allergy-friendly. Additionally, ingredients are all processed in the same facility, so there’s a chance of cross-contamination.
If you have food allergies, make sure you read through recipes thoroughly and use your best discretion, especially if your allergies are severe.

Is Dinnerly’s food tasty?

 

A lot of the meals on Dinnerly‘s menu are kid-friendly (think meatballs, pasta, tortellini, tacos, stir-fry, and meat & potatoes), but you’ll also find recipes inspired by global flavors (like Turkey Za’atar Meatballs with Couscous Tabbouleh and Vietnamese-Inspired Steak Bahn Mi Bowls). Overall, the food falls into the category of “modern American classics.” Dishes like Pan-Roasted Chicken & Gravy with Rosemary Homefries, One-Pot Tortelloni Florentine with Quick Marinara Sauce, and Seared Steak with Scalloped Potatoes are good examples. Desserts are also available. (Like the giant skillet cookie pictured above.) When it comes to portion sizes, Dinnerly meals can vary greatly. Some dishes simply pair a protein with a vegetable (like Lemon Pepper Chicken with Roasted Broccoli), while other meals offer “double the servings,” i.e. twice the food for the same price. So, if you like a big dinner, it’s absolutely possible to choose meals that won’t leave you hungry.

Is Dinnerly convenient?

Dinnerly is definitely convenient. When you receive meals from Dinnerly, you’ll save time meal planning and grocery shopping, and picking meals from an online selection helps streamline the weeknight dinner process. If you ever struggle to plan a menu for the week, feel like you need new recipe inspiration, or don’t feel like hitting up the grocery store, Dinnerly will most certainly add convenience to your routine.

Does Dinnerly have an app?

Dinnerly has an app that allows you to manage your account on the go. You can browse upcoming menus, lock in your recipe choices, and skip deliveries. Recipes are also available through the app.

What do MSA reviewers say about Dinnerly?

We’ve had a couple different writers try Dinnerly. Curious about what they have to say?

Marne’s Dinnerly Reviews

  • Review expertise: Marne is a writer and esthetician who’s written a lot of beauty reviews for MSA, but she’s also something of a foodie. As an adventurous eater, she’s always happy to step in and cook up a meal kit, and she’s certainly tried her share of them. She’s reviewed dozens of meal kits for MSA, and she tried Dinnerly right after it launched in 2017.
  • Eating profile: Marne eats anything and everything, though she’s not always the biggest fan of vegetables. Her food choices tend to skew towards comfort foods. She says, “I tend to eat a lot of heavy foods like lasagna, pizza, hoagies, etc.”
  • Thoughts on Dinnerly meals: In her Dinnerly review from 2017, Marne picked out meals that appealed to her love of comfort foods. Let’s take a look at what she had to say about them.
    • Grass-Fed American Chop Suey with Corkscrew Pasta- Marne’s first meal pick was a one-pot pasta meal, and she ran into some issues with the preparation because the pan nearly wasn’t large enough to contain the entire recipe! After some troubleshooting, Marne got there in the end, and while this didn’t turn out to be the most beautiful of recipes, Marne thought it was delcious. She says, “All in all, this was a one-pan meal which was awesome.”
    • Harissa-Spiced Chicken with Potatoes, Onions, and Spinach- For her next meal pick, Marne picked out this spiced chicken dish. She had a bit of a snafu during the cooking process and forgot to add in the spinch, but even without the greens, she and her friends thought this was a tasty dinner. Says Marne, “Even without the spinach, this meal was a hit with my friends. I normally don’t eat chicken with the bone in, so it was a treat to prepare something a different way.”
    • Griddled Onion Turkey Burger with Pepper Jack & Sweet Potato Fries – Last up, Marne went with a recipe for turkey burgers that ended up being a real winner. Here’s Marne: “This was the first time I’ve made turkey burgers and I think it went well! I’m also not normally a fan of sweet potato, but these fries were hecka dope. The burger had a lot of onion (some which I pulled off after the photo and before eating), but it added a TON of flavor. I gobbled this down super fast.”
  • Verdict: Marne tried Dinnerly right after launch, and she was impressed with both the cost and the meals. “Dinnerly is by far the cheapest meal kit I’ve heard of at $5.00 per person, per meal, as most of the others start at $9.99 per person, (like Blue Apron). The meals I received weren’t cutting edge with tons of ingredients, but they were still super tasty and made everyone happy. (…) The only downfall was my interpretation of some of the directions, but the more meal kits I try, the more I learn.”

My Dinnerly Reviews

  • Review expertise: I’ve been writing food reviews for My Subscription Addiction since 2014, and I know my way around the kitchen. I’ve tried a lot of meal kits over the years, and I tend to approach meal kits with a critical eye.
  • Eating profile: I eat anything and everything, though my favorite meals tend to feature global flavors and interesting techniques. I’m also a sucker for comfort foods like pizza and tacos.
  • Thoughts on Dinnerly meals: I received a box from Dinnerly in preparation for this review, and I selected the following meals: Skillet Chocolate Chip Cookie with Brownie Crust, Low-Cal Cilantro-Lime Grilled Chicken with Rice Pilaf, and One-Pot Spinach & Ricotta Ravioli Florentine with Marinara Sauce. The first thing that struck me when I received my dinnerly box is that it wasn’t as full as I’m used to. Ingredients aren’t bundled by recipe, and there aren’t very many ingredients per recipe, so unpacking and putting away the ingredients is pretty quick. I found the recipes fairly straightforward, but some of them were written in a way that could have been streamlined. Flavor-wise, everything was pretty tasty, but the flavor profiles were simple. This isn’t a negative thing, in my opinion, but I will say that the meals are a bit simpler than what I frequently make for dinner.
  • Verdict: As someone with an adventurous palate, the Dinnerly might not be the best choice for me, personally, but I think it’s a great option for families and picky eaters looking for quick and easy low-cost meals. The price point is really great.

What do MSA readers say about Dinnerly in their reviews?

At MSA, we don’t just publish our own in-house reviews. We also invite our readers to rate and review the meal kits they’ve tried. Here’s what Kelley had to say about her experience with Dinnerly:

“I am LOVING this box. This is a very easy affordable way for my family to try new recipes without having to do any research or legwork. All the ingredients come to me in the right amounts and I’m not left with random leftover spices or whatever that won’t get used.” –Kelley

Amber made a point of sharing how Dinnerly works with her budget:

“I have tried many meal subscription services and Dinnerly is my favorite. with only 2 adults in the home, traditional cooking almost always means wasted leftovers. For the price, Dinnerly is the best value around. You can’t eat McDonalds for $5 a person…with Dinnerly you get a home cooked meal for $5. Their customer service is outstanding. My FedEx delivery guy was leaving my boxes on the porch of an abandoned nearby home and every week I called Dinnerly to complain my box had not been delivered and I was promptly given a refund. Once we got it figured out, things are now back on track but they were amazing in handling my complaint. The meal selections are simple with ingredients most people will readily eat. I love Dinnerly and have been a weekly subscriber for many months now.” –Amber

Melissa is also a fan of the low price:

“Dinnerly is definitely the cheapest option I’ve found, and they have a good variety of options each week. It’s helped me branch out and learn some new recipes, nothing earth-shattering but different spins on ingredients I already use and have around. Their produce isn’t the greatest (I have stopped getting meals with spinach, for example, because their spinach always wilts the day I receive my box), but they do have good quality pastas, cheeses, and canned ingredients.” –Melissa

If you’d like to learn more about Dinnerly and read even more reader reviews, you can visit our Dinnerly brand page here.

Are there alternatives to Dinnerly?

If you like the idea of a meal kit delivery service, but you’re not sure Dinnerly is the right subscription for you, there are a few competitors that might be a better fit.

Dinnerly vs. HelloFresh

Like Dinnerly, HelloFresh is a meal kit delivery subscription that provides delicious, crowd-pleasing meal kits to cook at home. It’s one of the most popular meal subscription services out there, and the weekly menu is huge. Let’s outline some of the key differences between these two subscriptions:

  • Menu size: Dinnerly’s menu is sizable, but HelloFresh’s is even larger. With 27+ recipes to choose from every week, HelloFresh has the biggest menu around.
  • The food: Both companies send tasty meals that our reviewers love, but the “vibe” is a little bit different. Dinnerly recipes tend to skew a bit more traditional, while HelloFresh is more likely to feature international dishes and global flavors.
  • Price: HelloFresh is priced competitively, with meals that average $8.99 per serving, but Dinnerly costs less. (Dinnerly starts at $4.69 per serving.)

Dinnerly vs. Home Chef

Like Dinnerly, Home Chef often features recipes that are homey and good for picky eaters, but these meal kits differ quite a lot. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between these meal kit subscriptions:

  • Customization: If you’d like to have the flexibility to swap out proteins or add addtional meats to your meals, Home Chef might be a better meal kit for you.
  • Recipe complexity: Home Chef’s recipes aren’t expert-level by any means, but compared to Dinnerly’s easy recipes, they’re a bit more challenging.
  • Price: Most Home Chef meals cost $9.95 per serving, roughly twice the cost of Dinnerly.

Dinnerly vs. EveryPlate

If affordability is a must-have, check out EveryPlate, another a wallet-friendly meal kit delivery service with crowd-pleasing meal options and kid-friendly entrees. EveryPlate cuts out unnecessary expenses to keep their per-meal price low, and it’s a great choice for those on a budget. Let’s see how these two subscriptions stack up:

  • Price: EveryPlate meals cost $4.99 per serving, so it’s almost the same price as Dinnerly.
  • Menu size: EveryPlate features 14 different recipes each week, so slightly fewer than Dinnerly.
  • Meals: EveryPlate meals are tasty, but low-cost ingredients are often included to keep costs down. Expect to see lots of rice, potatoes, and carrots on the menu. Dinnerly also features simple ingredients, but you’re more likely to see handhelds like sandwiches and taquitos.

Is Dinnerly worth it?

We’ve covered a lot of info in this Dinnerly review, but one big question remains: is Dinnerly worth it?

Let’s cut to the chase: if you’re looking for tasty, kid-friendly recipes that won’t break the bank, Dinnerly is a great choice. The menu is large and full of options that will work for picky eaters, and the crowd-pleasing recipes can work for kids and adults alike.

Not every dish is a winner, and the food can sometimes feel a little basic, but the meals are tasty. Both our writers and the MSA community have given Dinnerly their stamp of approval, and quite a few people have called out the impressive low pricing. If you’re looking for a meal kit that’s tasty and low-cost (and don’t need a lot of bells and whistles), you really can’t go wrong with Dinnerly. If you’re ready to sign up, just make sure you understand that you’re signing up for a subscription. You’ll be charged every week (unless you skip) until you decide to cancel.

Ready to subscribe? Make sure to sign up using our coupon below to ensure you get the best deal.

 

You can try Dinnerly for yourself here:

 

COUPON: $60 Off For Your First 4 Boxes (15/15/15/15). No coupon needed - just use this link.


Have you tried Dinnerly? Head to the comments section and let us know!



Dinnerly brings recipes and ingredients to your door for unfussy, affordable weeknight meals.
Lindsey Morse
Lindsey Morse
Lindsey is a professional baker, cold brew coffee addict, and rosé aficionado who loves writing about food and wine. When she’s not sharing her love of subscription boxes with the world, you’ll find her in the podcasting studio, perfecting her cake decorating techniques, or cursing her way through the New York Times daily crossword puzzle.

Lindsey Morse
Lindsey Morse
Lindsey is a professional baker, cold brew coffee addict, and rosé aficionado who loves writing about food and wine. When she’s not sharing her love of subscription boxes with the world, you’ll find her in the podcasting studio, perfecting her cake decorating techniques, or cursing her way through the New York Times daily crossword puzzle.
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2 comments

Carol

I love reading the reviews, but the new format for meal delivery isn’t great. It use to be done so we can see the ingredients and it plated. Now it’s just a list of pro and cons. Hardly a review of the food.

Mary L.

I agree. The reviews of all boxes seem far and few between nowadays too. I count more than 30 posts on the homepage and only one (Lilypost) seems to be a regular review.

Our reviewers research, test, and recommend the best subscriptions and products independently; click to learn more about our editorial guidelines. We may receive commissions on purchases made through links on our site.