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EveryPlate vs. Dinnerly — What's the Difference?

EveryPlate vs. Dinnerly

Battle of the Budget Meal Kit Subscriptions

There are a lot of different meal kit delivery services on the market, and they’re wonderfully convenient. You’ll save time on meal planning and grocery shopping, and these boxes will help you streamline the process of getting dinner on the table. But they’re not always known for being easy on the wallet. So, today, I’m going to zero on two that are: EveryPlate and Dinnerly.

Most meal kit services cost around $8-$10 per serving, but EveryPlate and Dinnerly cut that price nearly in half. How are they able to keep their prices so low? What’s the food like? Where do the ingredients come from? In this article, I’ll tackle these questions and more. Join me as I take a look at the food, recipes, packaging, cooking process, and more. Let’s see how these subscriptions compare!

by Lindsey Morse, Taste-Tester Extraordinaire
December 3, 2020| Leave a comment

EveryPlate vs. Dinnerly

I’m going to work my way through several different aspects of these subscriptions. Feel free to navigate using the table of contents on the left, or you can read on for the full story. Let’s start with the food!

The Food

Completed Party Thyme Steak meal on plate

Image from our review.

The food from EveryPlate reminds me of the dishes I used to eat at home growing up: comfort classics that are homey and kid-friendly. You’ll sometimes see flavor combinations that are a tad adventurous (like Sweet ‘n’ Tangy Cherry Meatballs), but for the most part, the dishes feel familiar. The portion sizes are generous, and I rarely find I’m left wanting more. One thing to call out is that it’s not unusual for dishes to contain rice, potatoes, or pasta. Which makes sense. Inexpensive, filling ingredients are bound to be a staple in an affordable meal kit. Still, I sometimes find myself thinking, “rice, again?” This small issue aside, I’m typically pleased with the variety of meals on offer. Most menus contain kid-friendly options like pasta, burgers, sandwiches, quesadillas, tacos, and stir-fry, and you can expect to see dishes like Chicken Sausage Orzotto with Roasted Tomatoes & Parmesan, Garlicky Soy-Glazed Chicken Tacos, and Apricot Pork Chops.

Image from our review.

On the surface, Dinnerly‘s food is similar. Like EveryPlate, you’ll usually see a lot of kid-friendly meals (like meatballs, pasta, tortellini, tacos, stir-fry, and meat & potatoes), but I think you’re slightly more likely to see recipes inspired by global flavors (like Turkey Za’atar Meatballs with Couscous Tabbouleh and Vietnamese-Inspired Steak Bahn Mi Bowls). Overall, though, 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. When it comes to portion sizes, I’ve found that Dinnerly meals can vary greatly. Some dishes simply pair a protein with a vegetable (like Lemon Pepper Chicken with Roasted Broccoli), and I’ll sometimes add potatoes or a side salad to round out the meal. On the other hand, there are usually a few meals that 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.

If you’d like to check out upcoming menus for yourself, hop over to my weekly menu roundup! Every Monday, I take a look at what’s coming up on the menu for EveryPlate, Dinnerly, and more (including Home ChefBlue Apron, HelloFresh, and Green Chef)!

The Menu & Meal Plans

Image via EveryPlate.

EveryPlate releases a new menu every week that’s full of kid-friendly meals and homestyle classics, and there are 11 different meal options to choose from. There’s not a lot of customization when it comes to the menu, though. You’re likely to see a couple of vegetarian meals each week, but this is not a subscription that caters to vegetarian diets. When you sign up, you can pick how many meals you’d like to receive each week and whether you want meals for two people or enough to feed a larger family.

Image via Dinnerly.

Dinnerly‘s menu is a little bit larger, with 18 different menu options to choose from. 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.

The Recipes

Party Thyme Steak with Garlic Ciabatta and Roasted Green Beans recipe card

Image from our review.

EveryPlate includes a recipe card to accompany every dish in your box. The cards contain step-by-step instructions that walk you through the process of cooking your meal, and they also list ingredients, kitchen basics you’ll need to have on hand (like oil, salt, and pepper), cooking times, and allergen info. In my experience, the recipes are well-written and easy to follow.

Image via Dinnerly.

Dinnerly‘s recipe cards are digital, and you can access them by logging into your account. They provide the same information as EveryPlate‘s printed cards, and if you’re used to looking up recipes online you might already be comfortable reading one off your phone or computer. Personally, I’m fine with using a virtual recipe, but if you prefer a paper copy you can always print one out at home.

Image via Dinnerly.

Regardless of which subscription you choose, I think you’ll be satisfied with the way the recipe cards are designed and organized. I’ve always found the instructions to be clear and straightforward. One tip: whether you’re a seasoned cook or a kitchen newbie, I always recommend taking a peek at the full recipe before adding a meal to your box.

Plans & Pricing

In the subscription meal kit universe, EveryPlate and Dinnerly are two of the most affordable options you’ll find. EveryPlate costs a flat $4.99 per serving. You’ll pay $4.99 whether you’re feeding four people or looking for a two-person plan. Dinnerly also starts at $4.99 per serving, but the price decreases as your order size increases. So, for example, if you’re feeding two people and ordering three meals per week, you’ll pay the same for a box from both companies; however, if you order five meals per week, you’ll pay less for a box from Dinnerly.

Both EveryPlate and Dinnerly ship to most zip codes in the contiguous United States (you can find out if they ship to your delivery area by entering your zip code at signup). Neither company ships to Hawaii or Alaska.

Here’s a full outline of all the available plans with pricing:

EveryPlate Plans & Pricing

Image via EveryPlate.

  • 2 Person Plans:
    • 3 meals per week, 2 servings each, for $29.94 + $8.99 shipping
    • 4 meals per week, 2 servings each, for $39.92 + $8.99 shipping
    • 5 meals per week, 2 servings each, for $49.90 + $8.99 shipping
  • 4 Person Family Plans:
    • 3 meals per week, 4 servings each, for $59.88 + $8.99 shipping

Save on your first order with our EveryPlate offer!

EveryPlate 

Dinnerly Plans & Pricing

Image via Dinnerly.

  • 2 Person Plans:
    • 3 meals per week, 2 servings each, for $29.94 + $8.99 shipping
    • 4 meals per week, 2 servings each, for $39.12 + $8.99 shipping
    • 5 meals per week, 2 servings each, for $47.90 + $8.99 shipping
    • 6 meals per week, 2 servings each, for $55.08 + $8.99 shipping
  • 4 Person Family Plans:
    • 3 meals per week, 4 servings each, for $59.88 + $8.99 shipping
    • 4 meals per week, 4 servings each, for $75.04 + $8.99 shipping
    • 5 meals per week, 4 servings each, for $89.80 + $8.99 shipping
    • 6 meals per week, 4 servings each, for $102.96 + $8.99 shipping

Save on your first order with our coupons! Don’t forget to use them when signing up!

Dinnerly 

Dietary Restrictions

Do you follow a special diet? Have food allergies? If so, finding the right meal kit can be challenging, and I’m sorry to report that this is one area where low-cost boxes seem pretty bare-bones.

Neither company offers a lot of accommodations for those who follow special diets. Vegetarians will find a handful of options with Dinnerly (and one or two with EveryPlate), but those who eat keto, Paleo, gluten-free, pescatarian, high-protein, low-carb, low-calorie, or vegan are likely to come up short. There are no dedicated menus for these diets on either subscription, but there may still be recipes that work. You’ll just need to check the menu to make sure.

When it comes to food allergies, EveryPlate lists allergen information online (on every recipe detail page) as well as on the printed recipe cards; however, there’s no mention on the website about possible cross-contamination risks in the production chain. With this in mind, I think it’s best to err on the side of caution. I’d advise those with food allergies to do their homework and proceed with caution.

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!

The Ingredients

Sourcing

ingredients for Gravy Lover's Meatballs with Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes and Broccoli in a group

Here’s what EveryPlate has to say about their ingredients: “Our suppliers vary by week and region. When we choose our suppliers, our first priority is to get to know them and ensure the highest quality of all ingredients.” To translate this through the lens of my own experience, you’re likely to receive fresh, tasty produce and meat, but don’t expect organic ingredients. (To be fair, at under $5 per serving, I wouldn’t expect to see organic ingredients.)

Image from our review.

Dinnerly‘s messaging is similar: “We work with folks we trust so you’re always cooking with the freshest fruits and veggies and highest quality proteins.” Again, you’re likely to see fresh ingredients that taste good, but you won’t see a lot of organic produce or gold-standard, ethically-raised meats in a low-cost subscription like this.

Use-By Dates

When your shipment from EveryPlate arrives, you should unpack it and refrigerate the perishable items, but don’t worry if the box is delivered while you’re away from home. Shipments will stay fresh in the box for up to 48 hours. Once received, you should cook and consume everything within the first week.

Dinnerly recommends prioritizing seafood dishes, and eating them first, within the first 1 or 2 days. Chicken and ground meat dishes should be consumed next, within 2-3 days. Other meat and veggie dishes should stay fresh up until day 5.

The Packaging

Packaging is a necessity in the world of meal kit deliveries. (It’s essential that perishable ingredients are kept chilled and safe in transit.) Thankfully, recyclable packaging that limits environmental impact is becoming the norm.

Perks coupons on top of open box

Image from our review.

You can recycle the outer shipping box from EveryPlate, and the separators and outside plastic wrap of the ice packs is recyclable, too. (Just make sure to drain the gel filling from the cool packs into the trash first.) Parts of the box liners are also recyclable (just make sure to discard the cotton lining before recycling the outer plastic film).

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.

Modifications & Cancellations

It’s easy to adjust your delivery schedule, make changes to your order, skip a week, or stop your subscription with both EveryPlate and HelloFresh. Each allows you to make updates on the website, and you even cancel your subscription online.

Deadlines for Order Changes:

Want to make changes to your menu or change your delivery day? Both subscriptions allow for order changes up until the week before delivery. Here are the specific cutoff deadlines for making changes to your upcoming deliveries:

With EveryPlate, all changes must be made by 11.59 pm EST 5 days prior to your next scheduled delivery date.

With Dinnerly, your order cutoff depends on where you live, but you’ll have 5 or 6 days before your delivery to make changes.

The Final Verdict

Ready to take one final look at these boxes side-by-side? Here we go!

Price? EveryPlate and Dinnerly are two of the most affordable meal kit subscriptions out there, and they both offer seriously low prices. EveryPlate meals cost a flat $4.99, regardless of how many servings you order per week. Dinnerly also starts at $4.99, but there are savings to be had with greater order quantities. (Shipping is $8.99 with both subscriptions.) With all this in mind, I think Dinnerly wins this category by a hair.

Taste? Both of these subscriptions serve up homestyle cooking that’s simple and tasty, but I think the food from EveryPlate is just a little bit better (and the portion sizes are more consistent).

Recipes? I have to call this category a tie. Both EveryPlate and Dinnerly send recipes that are clearly written and easy to follow. You’ll also get essential info like cooking times, ingredient lists, and allergen info. You really can’t go wrong here, and it really comes down to whether you prefer a paper recipe (EveryPlate) or a digital one (Dinnerly).

Ingredients? You’ll receive fresh produce and tasty proteins from both EveryPlate and Dinnerly. You won’t see organic ingredients with either subscription, but I think that’s to be expected. Since both of these boxes are wallet-friendly, this is an area where you won’t see a lot of bells and whistles.

Convenience? When it comes to convenience, it’s hard to pick a winner. Both subscriptions offer pre-portioned ingredients that are grouped by meal, easy to follow recipes, and user-friendly online portals. They’re both extremely convenient and will save you the time it takes to do your weekly meal planning and go grocery shopping.

 

Final Thoughts: Both of these subscriptions will save you time and go easy on your wallet, and they both offer tasty comfort classics that are family-friendly. If you’re ordering for a larger family and price is your primary driving factor, you’ll save a little bit of money overall with Dinnerly. But when it comes to the food, I think the slight edge goes to EveryPlate.


Ready to skip takeout this week and give one of these boxes a try? Check out our EveryPlate and Dinnerly offers to score some free meals and save on your first box!

Dinnerly 

EveryPlate 


Want to explore other meal kit subscriptions? Click here to see which ones came out on top in our 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards! Have you tried one of the boxes featured in this article? Share your experience in the comments!

Written by 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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