Freshly Review — Everything You Need to Know About This Prepared Meal Delivery Service
Everything you need to know about this prepared meal delivery service!
- Freshly is quick & easy
- Food is all-natural and free from preservatives
- Meals are fresh and never frozen
- There are 30+ recipes to choose from
- Not the cheapest meal delivery service
Freshly is one of the most popular prepared meal delivery services, and it’s easy to see why. The food is delicious and there’s a large menu to choose from. With healthy meals that are ready in 3 minutes or less, Freshly is one of the most convenient ways to get dinner on the table.
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If you’re looking for a way to get meals delivered to your door, the options can be overwhelming. There are good all-around meal kits, organic subscriptions, services designed for vegans, and even recipes made for kids. Our writers here at My Subscription Addiction have been reviewing meal delivery services since 2013, so we know the options inside and out.
Don’t have a lot of time to cook? Or looking for meals that you can heat and eat? Freshly is one of the most popular prepared meal delivery services around. But meal delivery services are not one-size-fits-all. Is Freshly right for you?
In this Freshly review, we’ll use our wealth of knowledge about meal delivery services to help you answer that question. We’ll look at the cost, plans, recipes, and convenience to help you determine if Freshly is the best prepared meal delivery service for you. We’ll even look at similar subscriptions and check in with the MSA community to see what they have to say about Freshly. Ready to explore this prepared meal delivery service? Let’s go!
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.)
Freshly Pros & Cons
- Freshly sends quick & easy meals that are ready to heat & eat in 3 minutes.
- A subscription to Freshly helps you save time meal planning, and saves you a trip to the grocery store.
- Freshly’s meals are all-natural and free from preservatives.
- This subscription lives up to its name: meals are fresh and never frozen.
- Plant-based meals are available.
- Freshly‘s menu is huge. There are 30+ recipes to choose from.
- It’s easy to pause or cancel your subscription online.
- Due to the nature of this service, meals are all intended to be served hot (don’t expect to see salads on the menu).
- If you’re buying for a family, the cost adds up quickly.
- Portion sizes are sufficient, but not always ample.
All About Freshly
How did Freshly get started?
Freshly was founded in 2012 by Michael Wystrach and Carter Comstock. Wystrach was looking for an easier way to eat healthy, and he started putting together meals for himself and his friends in the kitchen of his parents’ restaurant. Demand for the meals grew quickly, and Freshly was born. Over the years, Freshly has grown to dominate the prepared meal delivery market. In 2020, Freshly was acquired by Nestlé, and the company now ships over a million meals per week.
At MSA, we’ve been tracking Freshly’s progress every step of the way. Our very first Freshly review was written way back in 2015, and we’ve since reviewed dozens and dozens of Freshly meals.
How does Freshly work?
In this Freshly review, we’ll go over all the things you need to know about this prepared meal delivery service, but in case you’re new to meal subscriptions, let’s start with a quick overview of how Freshly works. The first thing to know is that Freshly is a recurring subscription. When you sign up, you’re agreeing to receive meals 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 Freshly:
- Choose your plan and personalize it: when you join Freshly, you’ll set up the details of your subscription. How many people do you need to feed? Do you have any special dietary restrictions? You’ll 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, Freshly 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 Freshly Cost?
- 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
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.
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Does Freshly have different plans available?
When you sign up, you’ll choose how many Freshly 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.
Where and how does Freshly ship?
Freshly delivers to all U.S. states except Hawaii and Alaska. However, there may be some areas in the lower 48 where delivery is not yet available. Type in your zip code on Freshly‘s website to confirm you are in the service area.
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 Freshly delivery packaged?
Freshly shipments are securely packed in a brown cardboard box. Food is sent cold and kept at a safe temperature with the help of insulated materials and ice packs. Most of the packaging is recyclable, and there’s a full recycling guide available in Freshly’s FAQ’s. Here’s a quick run-down:
- Denim insulation: can be recycled at a recycling facility.
- Gel packs: use scissors to cut a small corner and empty water soluble contents into the trash before recycling plastic outer packaging.
- Freshly box: break down cardboard boxes are recycle curbside.
- Meal containers and belly bands: 100% curbside-friendly.
What are Freshly’s meals like?
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 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. There are also plant-based meals to suit vegans and vegetarians. All meals are designed with the following principles in mind: less sugar, less processed food, and more nutrients.
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.
What are the preparation instructions for Freshly meals?
Meals from Freshly are packed in plastic trays that come sealed with a plastic cover. 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 offers a range of plant-based meals for vegans and vegetarians, but there aren’t many other special diets or dietary restrictions supported. 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.
What’s the typical nutritional value of a Freshly meal?
You’ll find a range of nutritional values across Freshly‘s menu. Most of the meals land 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.
Is Freshly’s food tasty?
We’ve been consistently impressed with the quality of Freshly‘s meals, and our reviewers have found that most of the meals are tasty! The recipes tend to center around homestyle classics and comfort foods, and this is where Freshly often shines. When compared to similar frozen meals that you’ll find in the grocery store, Freshly definitely comes out on top.
Is Freshly convenient?
Freshly is extremely convenient. When you receive meals from Freshly, you’ll save time meal planning and grocery shopping, and picking meals from an online selection helps streamline the weeknight dinner process. Signing up for a Freshly subscription will fill your fridge with meals that are ready in 3 minutes or less, and boxes will show up on your doorstep every week like clockwork. What’s more convenient than that?
What information is available in the Freshly app?
Freshly has an app that allows you to manage your account on the go. You can browse upcoming menus, lock in your meal choices, skip deliveries, and update your account information.
What do MSA reviewers say about Freshly?
We’ve had a variety of different writers step in to review Freshly over the years, each with a different set of likes and dislikes. Curious about what they have to say? Let’s take a quick peek back at some past Freshly reviews.
Eric’s Freshly Reviews
- Review expertise: As one of the founders of My Subscription Addiction, Eric is an OG of subscription box reviews. He reviewed Freshly back in 2016.
- Eating profile: Eric is an adventurous eater who will try pretty much everything.
- Thoughts on Freshly meals: For his first ever Freshly review, Eric sampled six different meals. Let’s take a look at some of what he had to say:
- Jerk Chicken– Freshly kicked things off on a high note with this meal. Eric writes, “This turned out to be my absolute favorite of the day!” The jerk-seasoned chicken and rice were served with a mango slaw, which Eric loved. “The mix of the spice and mango pieces was really a treat! It wasn’t too sweet, but it was just the right amount to cut the spice and make it super enjoyable. I highly recommend giving this meal a try for your next delivery!”
- Chicken Rustica– Compared to the jerk chicken, this dish was much milder, and Eric compared it flavor-wise to chicken parmesan. It struck a cord for him and appealed to his Italian heritage. He says, “This meal was perfect for me since I was raised in an Italian family! The cauliflower has a bit of sweetness that was a welcome surprise to me – it also kept a bit of its crunchiness even after 2 minutes in the microwave. The chicken really reminds me of an unbreaded chicken parmigiana meal. My surprise favorite inclusion in the sauce were the mushrooms – they were extra delicious!”
- Sweet & Spicy Chicken– Eric’s third meal choice was served with broccoli, which is one of his favorite vegetables. Says Eric, “The broccoli and rice was pretty basic – no added flavor or anything – which is alright with me, I enjoyed it! The chicken was incredible! The sauce was a perfect mix of sweet and spicy for me – and extra good when you could get a cashew in your bite of chicken. I think I’d add extra cashews to this meal in the future.”
- Verdict: From the very beginning of his review, it’s clear that Eric was excited to try Freshly. Not every single component of every meal blew him away, but overall he enjoyed the meals and loved that they were so easy to prepare. For Eric, Freshly is “a great way to have a quick and delicious meal without taking the time to prepare it.” He continues by saying, “it’s not the best looking meal in the packaging, but they were all above my expectations in taste – and that’s all that really matters for me! Each meal was easily plated and served for a more formal look, as well!”
Megan’s Freshly Reviews
- Review expertise: Megan reviews all kinds of boxes for MSA. You’ll most frequently find her lending her professional expertise to beauty reviews (Megan is an esthetician), but she’s also reviewed a lot of meal delivery services.
- Eating profile: Megan is an open-minded eater who enjoys the convenience of prepared meals. She first subscribed to Freshly when her husband was working nights and she needed simple dinners for one, and she’s remained a fan long after his schedule changed.
- Thoughts on Freshly meals: Megan has reviewed quite a few different Freshly meals for MSA. Let’s take a peek at what she has to say about a few of them:
- Super Pesto & Veggie Fussili– Megan is a fan of pasta dishes, and she liked that this dish was both healthy and delicious. She writes, “I love pesto and pasta loaded with veggies, so this dish was an easy choice! It was filled with bright pesto flavor and I appreciated the loads of mushrooms and even the hidden surprise cannellini beans which gave everything an earthy flavor and extra protein! The other veggies (squash and tomatoes) were cooked perfectly and I like how even though this was a microwave meal, all of the veggies still felt fresh somehow, and lacked that “too soft” texture that often plagues microwaved vegetables.”
- Slow-Cooked Beef Chili– This is a meal that Megan has ordered many times, though she warns that it might be good to have some sour cream on hand to tone down the spice level. In addition, she says, “this chili has a smokey sweetness that is perfect for a cold day. Instead of beans, you will find diced sweet potatoes, and this swap really works well, both texturally and taste-wise. There are large chunks of green peppers, celery, and onions too, creating a heavy texture that is wonderfully hearty. This is one of those dishes that doesn’t look like much until you are full before your bowl is even empty.”
- Cauliflower-Shell Bolognese– Like the fussili, this dish is deceptively healthy. The recipe is inspired by a hometyle classic, but the traditional pasta is swapped for shells made with cauliflower. Megan says, “You can’t really tell that these aren’t normal pasta shells, making them a much lower carb option for your pasta fix. The red tomato sauce is filled with beef, carrots, celery, garlic, and parsley, and the whole dish has a healthy layer of melty cheese on top! This dish was another winner, and one I would gladly indulge in regularly!”
- Verdict: Megan is a regular Freshly subscriber, and that comes across in her reviews. She knows the menu well and has her favorite dishes. Still, she’s always happy to try new meals, and she loves that Freshly delivers delicious food that’s also healthy. She says, “When I first tried this subscription on my own (pre-MSA) I remember being really amazed at how good the meals were and how I didn’t feel like I had to sacrifice taste at all for being “healthier.” I still feel this way! I know when I have tried to cook health-conscious meals from online recipes, I always left the table feeling like I had swapped a “bad” ingredient for a “good” one, and though the nutritional numbers were probably a lot better, I felt like I was sacrificing taste or texture. With Freshly, these swaps feel more like creative or adventurous cooking choices rather than just being solely for nutritional benefits.”
My Freshly Reviews
- Review expertise: I’ve been writing food reviews for My Subscription Addiction since 2014. I’m a professional baker, so I know my way around the kitchen. I love to cook, but I also appreciate the convenice of having prepared meals delivered.
- 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 Freshly meals: Not every meal I’ve ever had from Freshly has been a knockout, but I can safely say that most of the food is excellent. I’ve been impressed with the Tikka Masala and the accompanying rice. They’re both spiced beautifully, and the creaminess of the sauce is fantastic. I can’t say that Freshly’s tikka masala is better than my local Indian takeout spot, but it comes pretty darn close. I’m also a big fan of Freshly’s Deconstructed Beef Lasagna. The beefy bolognese is well-seasoned, meaty, and just yummy. It’s one of those dishes that’s like a hug on a plate. On the other end of the spectrum, I have had a few dishes (like the Traditional Beef Stew) that left me a bit underwhelmed.
- Verdict: I’ve tried a lot of meal subscriptions in my day, and Freshly is a great all-around prepared meal delivery service. I think most of the meals are tasty, and it’s a great option for solo diners looking for quick and easy meals. It can also work for families, but I think the cost adds up quickly if you’re feeding your whole tribe.
What do MSA readers say about Freshly 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 Caroline had to say about her experience with Freshly:
“I loved Freshly! The menu has a lot of options, the food was delicious and easy to prepare, and the value was worth it for the price. I personally wouldn’t have minded if the portions were a little bigger, but it’s still a good amount of food. I shared with friends and many of them now want to subscribe!” –Caroline
Kyla made a point of sharing how impressed she’s been with Freshly’s customer service:
“I subscibed to Freshly for about 3 months. I did have some meals come unsealed, the company credited me DOUBLE what the meal was worth. The food was flavorful. It may be hard if you already are not used to eating healthy. My significant other does NOT eat healthy in the least, but commented how good it smelled. I was using them for all 3 meals of the day. I lost 17 pounds in that time, my acne cleared up quite a bit and I feel more energetic. The turkey lasagne was awesome, I enjoy the chicken parm, the sweet potato mash was yummy! I enjoyed most meals I received (although none of the fish seemed right, the salmon was good, but oily). I would highly recommend.” –Kyla
Another user found the portion sizes to be very generous:
“We’ve been receiving meals for about 6 months. I have nothing but excellent things to say about the meals and this company. Due to health issues, preparing meals is more difficult so having these meals that require no grocery shopping or preparation have been a lifesaver!! We definitely have our favorites but we haven’t had a bad meal. They are all delicious and healthy. The portions are large enough for my 15 year old son. I generally can only eat half a meal. It’s super easy to make your selections for the following week or skip weeks. If you are even considering trying Freshly, you definitely should.” –User
If you’d like to learn more about Freshly and read even more reader reviews, you can visit our Freshly brand page here.
Are there alternatives to Freshly?
If you like the idea of a meal delivery service, but you’re not sure Freshly is the right subscription for you, there are a few competitors that might be a better fit.
Freshly vs. Home Chef
Freshly sends meals that are pre-cooked and ready to heat and eat, but if you’d prefer to do your own cooking, Home Chef might be a better fit. Home Chef is a meal kit delivery subscription that provides delicious, crowd-pleasing meal kits to cook at home. It’s highly customizable, and the recipes can typically be made in around 30 minutes. Let’s outline some of the key differences between these two subscriptions:
- Customization: Home Chef offers unparalleled customization. You can tweak the recipes to feature a different protein, double protein, or even meat-free protein. With Freshly there’s no tweaking the meals.
- Prep time: Freshly sends prepared meals that are ready to eat in 3 minutes or less. If you’d rather prep and cook dinner yourself, Home Chef’s meal kits are usually ready in about 30 minutes.
- Add-ons: If you’d like to receive more than just meal kits, Home Chef offers additional items you can add to your weekly order like extra protein packs, dessert, bread, and breakfast items.
Freshly vs. Sprinly
Want meals that are organic? Sprinly has you covered. Every week, Sprinly offers subscribers 6 meals to choose from. All are vegan, gluten-free, and organic. Let’s take a closer look at the differences between these meal kit subscriptions:
- Organic: If eating organic is a priority, Sprinly is likely a better choice for you than Freshly.
- Special diets: Do you eat vegetarian or vegan? All of Sprinly’s meals should work for you. Freshly offers some plant-based meals.
- Price: Sprinly offers high-quality meals that come at a premium price. Sprinly’s meals start at over $16.00 per meal. Freshly’s meals start at $8.49 per meal.
Freshly vs. Veestro
Counting calories? Veestro specializes in plant-based frozen meals that are designed around a 1200 calorie-per-day diet. You don’t have to give up delicious meals just because you’re on a weight loss journey. Unlike heat-and-eat meals of the past, Veestro’s dishes are all organic, plant-based, dairy-free, preservative-free, and non-GMO, and they offer a gluten-free option, too. Let’s see how these two subscriptions stack up:
- Organic: If you’re looking for organic meals, Veestro is a great pick.
- Veggie-friendly: Want to skip the meat? Veestro’s meals are all plant-based.
- Calories: Freshly’s meals contain 450-650 calories. Veestro’s come in around 250-350 calories.
Is Freshly worth it?
We’ve covered a lot of info in this Freshly review, but one big question remains: is Freshly worth it?
Overall, our writers and readers have great things to say about Freshly. It’s one of the most popular prepared meal delivery services, and it’s easy to see why. Most report that the food is delicious and appreciate that the large menu keeps things from getting boring. The customer service also gets rare reviews. If you have a problem with an order, you should be able to depend on Freshly to make it right.
More than anything else, though, our reviewers value Freshly for the incredible convenience this subscription provides. If you want healthy meals that are on the table in 3 minutes or less, you can’t go wrong with Freshly. 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 Freshly for yourself here:
COUPON: Limited Time Only! Use code LAUNCH15 to save $60 over your first four boxes.
Have you tried Freshly? Head to the comments section and let us know!