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My Freshly Review — Tasty Meals in a Hurry

Freshly Review

Prepared meal delivery that's quick and delicious!

Pros: 

  • Quick & easy meals arrive ready to heat & eat in 3 minutes.
  • When meals are delivered to your door, you can skip the grocery store.
  • Meals are all-natural, free from preservatives, and fresh, never frozen.
  • The menu is huge and features 30+ recipes to choose from.

Cons: 

  • Due to the nature of this service, meals are all intended to be served hot. (Don’t expect to see salads on the menu.)
  • There are no vegan or vegetarian options.
  • If you’re buying for a family, the cost adds up quickly.
  • Portion sizes are sufficient, but not always ample.

My Verdict: 

When it comes to convenience, Freshly is hard to beat. The meals arrive prepped and ready to be microwaved, and they’re on the table in under 3 minutes. There are over 30 different meals to choose from, and most are seriously crave-able. You’ll pay a little bit more per serving than you might for most meal kit delivery services, but I think the convenience makes it worth the extra splurge.

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

by Lindsey Morse, Meal Delivery Superfan
April 9, 2021| 4 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.)

About Freshly

Image via Freshly.

Plans & Pricing

  • 4 meals per week: $45.96 + $5.99 shipping
  • 6 meals per week: $56.94 + $5.99 shipping
  • 10 meals per week: $89.90 + $9.99 shipping
  • 12 meals per week: $101.88 + $11.99 shipping

When you sign up, you’ll choose how many meals you’d like to receive each week. There’s no set 2-person or 4-person meal plan; you just order however many single-serving meals you need to feed yourself and your family.

Minimum Order Quantities: The smallest plan available from Freshly delivers 4 meals per week (each meal serves 1), but if you order 10 or 12 meals per week, you’ll receive a reduction in the per-meal price.

Freshly’s Menu

Image via Freshly.

Each week, Freshly offers over 30 different meal choices. There aren’t specific meal plans to sign up for when you subscribe, but with so many meal options on each weekly menu, there’s a fair amount of choice to accommodate different styles of eating (like low-calorie, high protein, and low-carb). Every week, you’ll find 8-10 dairy-free meals, 8-10 meals with fewer than 35 grams of carbs, and 20+ meals under 500 calories. Every single meal is gluten and peanut-free. Currently, no meals are vegan or vegetarian. All meals are designed with the following principles in mind: less sugar, less processed food, and more nutrients.

Menu image via Freshly.

In addition to the standard menu offerings which tend to feature comfort classics (like stews, pasta, and traditional “meat and veg” entrees), you can also choose from a selection of Freshly Fit meals. Freshly Fit offerings are “designed by nutritionists to strike the perfect balance between calories, carbs, and feel-good flavors.” Freshly Fit meals are available alongside Freshly’s standard offerings, so you can fill your box with whichever meals look best to you.

About the Meals

Preparation Instructions

Meals from Freshly are packed in plastic baking trays. Everything is shipped fresh and never frozen, and once the meals arrive you can keep them in the fridge if you’re planning to eat them within the use-by date or you can freeze them if you need to prolong the shelf life. Cooking instructions are provided on the label, and cooking time varies by meal. If you want a little bit more information about the dish (ingredients, flavors, that kind of thing), you’ll find a little write-up for each dish on the website.

Will Freshly work with my special diet?

Freshly does not design their meals to specifically suit any special diets or dietary restrictions. That said, all of their food is gluten-free and peanut-free, and most meals are low-calorie. You won’t find specially-designed diabetic, paleo, or keto menus; however, with so many different menu options available, you might still find meals that work for you. (You can set your dietary preferences to automatically filter meals.) Currently, all of Freshly’s meals contain meat, so they won’t work for vegetarians or vegans.

Nutritional Info & Calorie Content

You’ll find a range of nutritional values across Freshly‘s menu. Most of the meals I’ve received have landed in the 450-650 calorie range, but if you’re looking for low-calorie meals you can filter by “meals under 500 calories.” Nutritional information is printed on each meal’s outer packaging and can also be found online.

My Freshly Review

 

For this review, I sampled two different boxes from Freshly: one full of their standard menu offerings and one dedicated to Freshly Fit. In both cases, my meals arrived cold (thanks to ice packs) and well-packed in protective packaging.

 

Here’s a full list of the Freshly meals I received:

  • Homestyle Chicken with Masterful Mac & Cheese
  • Chicken Tikka Masala with Seven-Spice Vegetable Biryani
  • Brilliant Beet & Chicken Risotto with Roasted Rainbow Carrots
  • Freestyle Beef Lasagna with Cauli Pasta Ribbons & Three Cheeses
  • Traditional Beef Stew with Carrots & Pearl Onions

Here’s a full list of the Freshly Fit meals I received:

  • Protein-Packed Chicken Parm with Mozzarella & Garlicky Broccoli
  • Rutabaga Alla Vodka with Turkey-Mushroom Meatballs & Kale Sauté
  • Oven-Baked Chicken Florentine with Creamed Spinach & Parmesan
  • Sausage & Peppers with Carb Swap Cauliflower Rice
  • Wholesome Chicken Sauté Bowl with Pad Kee Mao Sauce

 

I’m a firm believer that we eat with our eyes first, so I’m not really a big fan of eating out of microwavable plastic trays. I ate my first week of Freshly meals for lunch over the course of a week, and I plated each one before digging in. (They’re pictured in the same order listed above.) Picking a favorite dish from this box was tricky, and I dare say it was a three-way tie between the Homestyle Chicken, Chicken Tikka Masala, and Freestyle Beef Lasagna. Let’s start with the Homestyle Chicken. Despite being heated in the microwave, the chicken was a little crunchy. It was served with mac and cheese (which is always welcome on my plate), and I enjoyed the generous portion of green beans. Next up, I was impressed with the Tikka Masala and the accompanying rice. They were both spiced beautifully, and the creaminess of the sauce was fantastic. I can’t say that this tikka masala was better than my local Indian takeout spot, but it came pretty darn close. Rounding out my list of favorites was the deconstructed lasagna, which was hearty and comforting. The beefy bolognese was well-seasoned, meaty, and just yummy. I’m pretty sure I ate the plate of food and then sat for a moment, staring into space with a satisfied smile on my face. On the other end of the spectrum, I wasn’t crazy about the chicken and risotto. The risotto was too thick and clumpy for my liking, and there were a couple of small pieces of rainbow carrot scattered on top, which didn’t feel like a fully-realized part of the dish. Flavor-wise, it was all okay, but texturally and conceptually it lost me. The Beef Stew was also a miss. The flavor was very oniony, almost like onions had been added to the stew raw and the flavor never mellowed. I would not order it again.

 

The following week, a box full of new meals arrived. This time my lunches were all Freshly Fit selections, and it was interesting to see how they compared with the standard fare. All of the healthy meals I received from Freshly Fit were under 500 calories (the Freshly meals, on average came in slightly higher around 500-600), and they ranged from 320 (Wholesome Chicken Sauté Bowl) to 460 (Rutabaga Alla Vodka and Sausage & Peppers). Overall, the meals were very tasty, and even though they were lower-calorie than the standard offerings, they felt similar— many of the recipes were inspired by classic comfort foods. My favorite meal from this box was the Oven-Baked Chicken Florentine, hands down. The creamy topping was utterly delicious, and the veggie mélange was full of flavor. I also enjoyed the Protein-Packed Chicken Parm, which still felt indulgent despite being low-cal, and the Sausage & Peppers. I’m not usually a fan of cauliflower rice, but the version that accompanied the sausage & peppers was delicious: well-seasoned, interesting, and nicely spiced. The Rutabaga Alla Vodka, on the other hand, while tasty, left me wanting more. I’ve never had noodles made from rutabaga before, but I loved them. I was disappointed there weren’t a few more! My last meal, the Chicken Sauté Bowl, I did not love. Visually, it was the least appealing dish in this box, and the flavor followed suit. It was okay, but it didn’t wow me. I ended up adding a bit of soy sauce to punch up the flavor. 

Is Freshly worth it?

Let’s take one final look at Freshly and revisit some of the key things to consider about this subscription:

Did it taste good?

Overall, yes! I tried a total of 10 different menu offerings for this review, and I greatly enjoyed the majority. There were a couple of misses, but for the most part, my meals were great. My favorites were the Homestyle Chicken, Tikka Masala, Beef Lasagna, Chicken Parm, and Chicken Florentine. I wouldn’t order the Beef Stew or Chicken Sauté Bowl again.

What about the portion sizes?

The portion sizes I received varied between meals, but they were all perfectly suitable for lunch. If you’re a big eater or require over 600 calories per meal, you might struggle with Freshly. On the other hand, if you’re counting calories or looking for meals under 500 calories, the meals are likely to work for you. (And you’ll have plenty of meals to choose from!)

Was it convenient?

Absolutely, 100%. Ready to heat meals that are on the table in under 3 minutes? Delivered to your front door? It doesn’t get more convenient than that.

Is it easy to skip a week or cancel?

It is! Order cutoffs depend on where you live, but you’ll have 5 or 6 days before your delivery date to make changes or skip your next order.

Should YOU try Freshly?

I’d recommend Freshly to anyone who:

  • Is looking to skip cooking (and grocery shopping) with fully prepared meals.
  • Wants to save time with delicious meals that are ready to heat & eat.
  • Enjoys homestyle recipes and comfort classics.
  • Doesn’t mind paying a little extra for convenience.

Ready to try Freshly for yourself? Save on your first order here:

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

Or if you’ve tried Freshly already, tell us about your experience! Share your thoughts in the comments section below.


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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.

Comments (4)

  1. I have been enjoying Freshly for 6 weeks now! I have to say they are not your average convenience meal and I haven’t had one I totally disliked. I too use them as a warm, nutritious lunch that I don’t need to think about. I find them very satisfying and keep me full for longer than I would have expected. I really enjoy this service 😊

  2. I finished up a 4 week promo with Freshly recently. It’s my busy season at work and I wanted good, convenient meals. It was a great experience. The Homestyle Chicken was a favorite which I ordered multiple times, as well as the Freshly Fit turkey meatloaf with cauliflower mash and creamed spinach. It really was a lifesaver to have yummy food ready in 3 minutes. I found the portions better than the frozen meals I often buy for lunches. But at full price, I’m not sure it would be worth it. For me, the 4 meal plan would be ideal. At $13 a meal with shipping, for someone who very rarely orders takeout for lunch or eats out for dinner, the cost is hard to swallow. 50 bucks for 4 meals is way over my budget.

  3. As always, I love the concept and though expensive I don’t think it’s outrageous – the problem for me is portion size. I’m not overweight but I love food and there is no way these portion sizes would satisfy me.

  4. I’ve been subscribing to Freshly off & on for a while now! In fact, I had the chicken & beet risotto for lunch today (it’s one of my favorites — it’s hearty & filling)! I use the service to meal plan for weeks when I know I’m not going to want to worry about prepping meals for my work lunches (for example, we had last week off work, so I knew ahead of time that this week would feel more hectic to me).

    I had a really good experience with customer service a couple of weeks ago, too: I forgot to skip a week! As soon as I got the notification that my order went through, I emailed customer service to ask if it was possible to cancel the order, & they got back to me quickly & refunded me immediately. Definitely not something I would try to do on the reg, but I’m grateful for the exception this time!

    I agree with a lot of your pros & cons, and I have a couple of my own to add:
    – Pro: the dishes definitely have an emphasis on healthy eating, so I’ve gotten to try some things I wouldn’t have otherwise (for example, I never would have gone through the effort of making a potato-cauliflower puree as a substitute for mashed potatoes, but it makes an appearance as a pretty solid side in several Freshly dishes)
    – Con: the meals expire very quickly. Mine are always dated less than a week from when they’re delivered to my door.

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