Purple Carrot Review
Everything You Need to Know About the Best Vegan Meal Subscription Box
If you follow a vegan diet, finding easy and convenient plant-based meal options can be tricky. It takes a lot of time to plan, prep, and cook menus that fit into a meat-free lifestyle, and sometimes a simpler solution is required. Meal delivery services can help streamline meal prep and make dinner prep a breeze, but most meal kit companies only offer a limited number of vegan-friendly meals (if any!). Luckily, Purple Carrot is designed exclusively for vegans.
We’ve reviewed all of the major meal delivery services here at My Subscription Addition, so we know a thing or two about meal kits. We started covering meal delivery subscriptions back in 2013, and we’ve been going strong ever since. We’ve featured reviews from writers who are vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, pescatarian, and more, and Purple Carrot has won fans across the board. The meals are all designed to fit into a plant-based diet, but our writers have found the meals tasty enough to garner mass appeal.
In this Purple Carrot review, we’ll use our expertise with meal kits to help you determine if Purple Carrot is the right meal kit for you. We’ll look at the cost, the recipes, the difficulty level, the convenience, and the taste to help you better understand what Purple Carrot has to offer. We’ll even check in with the MSA community to see what they have to say about this vegan meal delivery service before taking a peek at Purple Carrot’s competitors. Ready to learn more? Let’s dive into this Purple Carrot review!
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.)
Purple Carrot Pros & Cons
Purple Carrot Pros
- Purple Carrot is a meal kit delivery service designed for vegans. Every single item on the menu fits into a plant-based diet.
- There are 8 different meal choices available each week. In addition, breakfast, lunch, and grocery items are available.
- The menu features easy recipes that can be made in about 30-40 minutes.
- Every box contains all the fresh, plant-based ingredients you'll need to make delicious, healthy meals at home in your own kitchen.
- A Purple Carrot subscription helps you save time on planning, shopping, and prepping. What a way to cut down on mealtime stress!
- Easy-to-follow recipes list ingredients and outline nutritional information. Each delivery includes a booklet with all of the week's recipes.
- Different plans are available that are designed to feed two people or the whole family.
- It's easy to pause or cancel your subscription online.
Purple Carrot Cons
- Purple Carrot doesn't have a huge menu. If you're a picky eater who prefers to have a lot of options to choose from, another meal kit might be a better fit.
- Since Purple Carrot is a vegan meal delivery service, you won't find meal or dairy anywhere on the menu.
- While the price point is competitive, Purple Carrot is not the cheapest meal kit around. If affordability is a top priority, another box might be a better fit.
All About Purple Carrot
How did Purple Carrot get started?
Purple Carrot is the brainchild of Andy Levitt, who discovered the merits of plant-based eating after adopting a vegan diet in the wake of a Crohn's disease diagnosis. Levitt found that his new diet made him feel better while also limiting the progression of his illness, and he set out to share his newfound love of vegan food with the world. He launched Purple Carrot in 2014, and the plant-based meal delivery service has been growing in popularity ever since.
At MSA, we’ve been tracking Purple Carrot's every step of the way and reviewing Purple Carrot from very early on. Our very first Purple Carrot review was written way back in 2016, and we've checked in with the service periodically along the way.
How does Purple Carrot work?
In this Purple Carrot 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 Purple Carrot works. The first thing to know is that Purple Carrot 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 Purple Carrot:
- Choose your plan and personalize it: when you join Purple Carrot, you'll set up the details of your subscription. How many people do you need to feed? Do you want meals that are high in protein or gluten-free? 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, Purple Carrot will automatically pick meals for you each week that fit your style of eating. 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 Purple Carrot cost?
When you sign up for a subscription to Purple Carrot, 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.
Two Serving Plan:
- 3 meals per week (serves 2) costs $11.99 per serving with free shipping.
- 4 meals per week (serves 2) costs $11.99 per serving with free shipping.
Four Serving Plan:
- 2 meals per week (serves 4) costs $9.99 per serving with free shipping.
- 3 meals per week (serves 4) costs $9.99 per serving with free shipping.
Purple Carrot also offers smaller recipes for lunches and breakfasts that you can add to your weekly orders for an additional cost.
Does Purple Carrot have different plans available?
Purple Carrot is designed for vegans, and all of the menu items are meat and dairy free. When you sign up for a subscription, you'll tailor you plan to suit the size of your family. Just feeding a couple? The Two Serving Plan should work for you. Have more mouths to feed? The Four Serving Plan may suit you better. Purple Carrot also allows you to indicate a preference for meals that are high in protein or low in carbs.
Where and how does Purple Carrot ship?
Purple Carrot delivers to the contiguous U.S. You can confirm that Purple Carrot ships to you by entering your zip code at signup.
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 Purple Carrot delivery packaged?
Purple Carrot deliveries are packed in an insulated box and kept cool with non-toxic ice packs. Ingredients are individually packed in plastic and bound by recipe. The cardboard shipping box can be recycled. Box lining and packing materials can be recycled or composted (TemperPack Climacell), recycled (#1, #4, #5, #6, and #7 plastics), and reused (ice packs). Post-consumer recycled fiber box liner goes in the trash. There’s a page on the website that outlines how best to dispose of packaging materials, and there are even a quick few tips on composting and up-cycling.
What recipes does Purple Carrot offer?
Each week, Purple Carrot publishes a menu with 8 different recipes to choose from. (Keep in mind that if you're looking for high-protein or low-carb offerings, not all of the available recipes may work for you.) If you’re a vegan, you won’t find a box with more variety than Purple Carrot. Every single one of their 8 weekly recipes is vegan-friendly. There’s no filtering or sorting necessary, you can order anything you see. You’ll also have the option to add-on a la carte vegan breakfasts, lunches, and snacks. There really isn’t another mainstream meal delivery service that stacks up to Purple Carrot when it comes to meat and dairy-free menu options. The flip-side of this is that carnivores and omnivores might be left wanting; if you don’t want to eat every night like it’s meat-free Monday, you might find Purple Carrot comes up a little short. It might be obvious, but it’s worth calling out that if you tend to be most satisfied when your meals contain meat, seafood, or dairy, this meal delivery service might not be right for you. The recipes are creative and satisfying, and you can expect to see global-inspired, comforting meals like Mediterranean Stuffed Sweet Potatoes with Crispy Chickpeas & Cashew Cheese and Thai Chickpea Curry with Cashews & Zucchini Noodles.
Are Purple Carrot recipes hard?
Each delivery from Purple Carrot includes a booklet with all of the recipes for the week. In addition to guiding you through the meal preparation, the cards also provide nutrition & allergy information, alert you to any tools or items you’ll need to provide from your own pantry, list ingredients, and outline contact information. (If you run into any issues while you’re making dinner, there's a number you can call for help!) While none of the meals are hard, Purple Carrot doesn't shy away from multi-step recipes that require a variety of techniques. This approach means the recipes are exciting and innovative, but they may not be ideal for those who are brand new to cooking.
What ingredients and tools does Purple Carrot NOT provide?
When you sign up for a Purple Carrot subscription, you'll receive most of what you need to get dinner on the table. Meal kits include produce, spices, and sauces; however, there are a few things you'll be expected to provide yourself. Salt, pepper, water, non-dairy milk, 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 the following kitchen tools available:
- Small/medium saucepan
- Large pot
- Large non-stick skillet
- Large oven-safe skillet
- Baking dish/baking sheet
- Cutting board/set of knives
- Blender/food processor
- General kitchen tools (spatula, spoons, whisk, etc.)
- Heat safe mixing bowl set
Does Purple Carrot accommodate dietary restrictions like allergies?
Are you a vegan? If so, you won’t find another box that’s so specifically designed with your dietary needs in mind. Of course, Purple Carrot will also work for vegetarians who are okay skipping dairy and omnivores who don't mind meat-free meals.
If you are gluten-free or dairy-free, Purple Carrot will likely work for you. Their recipes are all dairy-free, and you can adjust your preferences to avoid recipes that contain gluten. That said, the food is processed in a facility that handles wheat, gluten, nuts, and nut products, so if you have severe allergies it’s probably best to exercise caution.
Is Purple Carrot's food tasty?
Vegan food sometimes gets pigeon-holed as boring or lacking in flavor, and that's simply not the case with Purple Carrot. The recipes are innovative and exciting, and it's not unusual to see less-than-commonplace ingredients featured, like jackfruit or liquid smoke. Our reviewers have sometimes found the balance of flavor misses the mark slightly, but overall we've been very impressed with the meals. More frequently than not, the recipes are delicious. Many of the meals would be right at home on the menu of a trendy vegan café. It's also worth noting that Purple Carrot's portion sizes are filling and generous. If you're used to meat-centric meals, you needn't fear that Purple Carrot will leave you feeling hungry or unsatisfied.
Is Purple Carrot convenient?
All meal kits bring a certain level of convenience to the table. They'll save you time meal planning and grocery shopping, and they definitely help streamline the cooking process. But Purple Carrot brings an additional layer of convenience. Vegan cooking can be challenging, and it tends to require even more planning and creativity than traditional cooking. Due to the restrictions necessary to maintain a plant-based diet, it's easy to rely on easy-to-prepare meal options or order up costly takeout when time is limited. Purple Carrot is a convenient and easy way to make vegan cooking a breeze.
What do MSA reviewers say about Purple Carrot?
We've had a variety of different writers step in to review Purple Carrot over the years, each with a different set of preferences and level of cooking experience. Curious about what they have to say? Let's take a quick peek back at some past Purple Carrot reviews.
Anna's Purple Carrot Reviews
- Review expertise: Anna has reviewed all kinds of different subscriptions for MSA, and she frequently shared her love of food and beverage with the MSA community. She reviewed Purple Carrot several times with the help of Emily, another MSA reviewer (and proud vegan!).
- Eating profile: She’s an open-minded eater who likes to show off the best of what meal kits have to offer. Anna often orders meals that skew healthy, but she’s not afraid to go all-in on comfort foods, either. She prefers vegetarian meals, and enjoys eating vegan.
- Thoughts on Purple Carrot’s meals: Let’s take a closer look at some of the meals Anna reviewed:
- Mongolian Seitan Lettuce Cups- This recipe had a lot to live up to, as both Anna and Emily are BIG fans of P.F. Chang's vegan lettuce wraps. Says Anna, "I was dishing about this dish (heh heh) with my MSA teammate and long-time vegan, Emily, when it arrived, and both of us were skeptical as to whether these lettuce cups would hold a candle to our reigning favorites—the P.F. Chang’s Vegetarian Lettuce Wraps." Luckily, Purple Carrot's wraps stood up to the competition! Despite being a teensy bit messy, Anna thought these were delicious. "I can’t say these were the most glamorous little bundles to eat (there was some fallout as I munched my way through each one), but wow were they ever good. The slight bit of heat from the peppers combined with the sweet sauce made these cups easy to crave. There’s enough lettuce and filling to make about three small or two medium sized cups per person, and they’re surprisingly filling. I ended up using a couple leaves of butter lettuce per cup, just to make them a little more structurally sound, but I think that also helped the dish fill me up faster, thanks to all the fiber. This is one of those recipes I’ll be hanging on to and remaking again and again, I just know it. The filling could be just as yummy by itself, on top of a rice bowl (maybe with some more veggies, like carrots and broccoli mixed into the stir fry), or even on a sandwich. Look out, P.F. Chang’s!"
- Mole Enfrijoladas- Purple Carrot does a great job of featuring surpring and unexpected menu items, like these vegan mole enfrijoladas. Anna had never made or eaten a dish quite like this one before, but it exceeded her expectations. The combination of tortilla, beans, avocado, and orange really worked for her! She says, "[this] is a really unique and unexpectedly simple dish. The tortilla ends up providing a tender, satisfying texture that’s filling and flavorful. The beans are warm and comfort-food-esque, and the combo of avocado and orange in the salad make for a refreshing complement. This dish was totally new to me, but I’d definately cook up these flavors and textures again!"
- Eggplant Moussaka with Tofu Bechamel and Escarole Salad - Anna had mixed feelings about this dish. First and foremost, the flavor was great, and she really enjoyed it. That being said, like quite a lot of Purple Carrot meals, this one required a lot of steps and dirtied a lot of dishes. I'll let Anna explain the components: "it’s not the most glamorous recipe to ever hit the plate, but wow, was it ever tasty! I let Emily indulge in this serving and I piled mine into a bowl. (It made it so I wasn’t chasing the tomatoey goodness all around the plate.) The bechamel is actually the perfect topping for the otherwise uber-juicy dish, as it provides a little more of that filling, a thicker consistency that you want from a casserole (and sops some of the flavor up, I think). The scattered walnuts help give some variety in terms of texture, and the garlic naan is a great complement—you need something to help soak up this dish. I was so-so about the salad, though it did provide a nice balance for this heftier food. It just felt SO simple (it’s basically escarole and an oil and lemon dressing) that I was a little surly about having to do the extra legwork to make it (in other words, the extra dishes). But I’ve already told several friends and family members about this dish and can’t wait to make it again."
- Ponzu Tofu with Kohlrabi and Tri-Colored Quinoa- Occasionally, Anna came across a recipe that didn't quite work for her, and this is one of those meals. For her, the flavors just weren't in balance. "This recipe missed the mark for me for a few easily remedied reasons. The main one is that the ponzu-rice-wine sauce that drives this dish ended up being suuuuper pungent. Emily and I were both a little overwhelmed. It was really vinegar-y, to a point where it was hard to appreciate the nuanced flavors in the dish."
- Verdict: In her reviews of Purple Carrot, it's clear that Anna loves the concept. The majority of the time, the dishes are a win for her, and she's a fan of how Purple Carrot builds flavors. But it's not all positive. She says, "the only concern I have for Purple Carrot, which I tend to have with every box of theirs, is that if you’re new to vegan cooking, some of these recipes might leave you thinking that it takes a lot of work to make something delicious." She also recogizes that it's not cheap. "The price is still a little steep, at $12.00 per serving—I’m lucky that where I live, I could easily get takeout or pop by a restaurant and get a similarly sized vegan entree for around that same amount (and not have to cook it myself)."
Christen's Purple Carrot Reviews
- Review expertise: Christen is a long time MSA writer who's reviewed everything from natural deodorants to meal kits.
- Eating profile: From Christen: "I’m not a vegan, but I do incorporate vegan meals into my diet multiple times per week and 70+% of what I eat is plant-based. As I’m sure many vegetarians and vegans can relate to, I struggle to incorporate enough protein into my diet, which is something I’m especially aware of as a runner and backpacker."
- Thoughts on Purple Carrot's meals: Christen reviewed Purple Carrot's TB12 Performance Meal Kits, a collaboration with Tom Brady that's designed for athletes:
- Zucchini Casserole with Fresh Basil and White Bean Arugula Salad- Christen enjoyed both the casserole and salad that came with this meal, and she found that the meal filled her up and kept her feeling satisfied. "I absolutely loved this meal and found it to be very satisfying. I felt well-fueled by this meal through my after-dinner yoga practice and sustained for a few hours after lunch the next day."
- Falafel Lettuce Wraps with Oregano Fries and Cilantro Chutney- In preparing this meal, Christen ran into some of the issues Anna called out in her reviews. This meal dirtied a TON of dishes! "I would say that despite having 9 more grams of protein in it, this meal left me feeling less satisfied fullness-wise than the zucchini casserole did. If I were to make it again, I might add some hemp hearts on top, or even make some lentils to have on the side. After eating my falafel wraps, I had a ton of dirty dishes waiting for me, between the food processor, the bowl in which I mixed the sauces, the cookie sheet on which I baked the fries (though I did cover it with foil to help move things along), and the oily pan for frying the patties. So, warning: this meal really isn’t a quick one."
- Cajun Roasted Broccoli Bowl with Wild Rice & Lemon Garlic Tahini- Christen shared this meal with her husband, and they didn't exactly see eye to eye about it. Here's Christen: "Between the stiff-ish kale, the crunchiness of the root veggies, and the coarseness of the rice, I felt like each bite kind of just sat in my stomach. Quite honestly, I didn’t feel awesome after eating it. My husband, on the other hand, absolutely loved it and said it was more or less his perfect meal; that it felt very balanced. He ate it before a long run and said he felt fantastic."
- Verdict: Christen enjoyed trying Purple Carrot, but ultimately, she wasn't all that impressed with the TB12 meals. She says, "while I didn’t absolutely love every single meal, I thought they offered great variety and unquestionably healthy ingredients. My assessment of the “high-protein” aspect of it is that it’s just so-so. My largely plant-based diet has taught me all kinds of tricks for sneaking extra protein in (like adding hemp hearts, chia seeds, beans, nuts, or eggs) that I felt this box could have easily done. With those little protein boosts, I really would have been convinced on performance spin on these meals. Otherwise, I’d say they’re good but not great for endurance athletes. I do, however, love how accessible these vegan recipes are to those who might be newer to the diet. These aren’t obscure recipes that are hard to access if you already keep a generally healthy diet. For this box, servings are $13.00 a plate, and given that we (my husband especially) generally have ravenous appetites, each meal truly did serve 2 without leftovers. I’d say the value seems spot-on for vegan meals you’d buy in a restaurant, but maybe a little steep for the same things made with ingredients bought at the grocery store."
What do MSA readers say about Purple Carrot 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 one user had to say about their experience with Purple Carrot:
"tried the high protein plan to get myself used to learning how to meal prep. I really like how thoughtful the meal plan and recipes are. Lots of variety, and delicious flavor combinations. Would order again.." -User
Purple Carrot currently has a rating of 4.0/5.0 with the MSA community. If you'd like to learn more about Purple Carrot or leave your own review, you can visit our Purple Carrot brand page here.
Are there alternatives to Purple Carrot?
If you like the idea of a meal kit delivery service, but you're not sure Purple Carrot is the right subscription for you, there are a few competitors that might be a better fit.
Purple Carrot vs. HelloFresh
Like Purple Carrot, 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: With 27+ recipes to choose from every week, HelloFresh has the biggest menu around. If you're looking for a meal kit delivery service with lots of menu options to choose from each week, you won't top HelloFresh.
- Special Diets: HelloFresh offers a lot of recipes to choose from, but there aren't a lot of vegan options. If you're looking for vegetarian or pescatarian, HelloFresh will have options that work for you, but if you're looking for plant-based meals that skip the meat and dairy, Purple Carrot is likely to be a better fit.
- Price: HelloFresh meals average $8.99 per serving. At $11.99 each, Purple Carrot's meals cost a few dollars more per serving.
Purple Carrot vs. Green Chef
Green Chef is an organic meal kit delivery service that can also suit a vegan diet. Green Chef offers a full selection of plant-based, keto, and paleo meals, and vegan meals are featured every week. Let's take a closer look at the differences between these meal kit subscriptions:
- Organic: If eating organic is a priority, Green Chef might be a better choice for you than Purple Carrot.
- Special diets: Do you eat keto, paleo, vegetarian, or vegan? Green Chef has dedicated menu plans to support these diets. That said, even though Purple Carrot's menu is smaller overall, there may still be more vegan meals available each week.
- Price: Price-wise, Green Chef and Purple Carrot are on par when it comes to the per-serving price, however Green Chef charges an additional fee for shipping whereas Purple Carrot ships free.
Purple Carrot vs. EveryPlate
EveryPlate is 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 more affordable than Purple Carrot.
- Special diets: EveryPlate does not support a wide variety of special diets. The focus is simply on tasty food that won't break the bank. If you need meals that are vegan, Purple Carrot is a better choice. Most of EveryPlate's meals contain meat and/or dairy
- Ingredient quality: 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. By comparison, Purple Carrot offers a wider variety of recipes with higher-quality ingredients.
Is Purple Carrot worth it?
We've covered a lot of info in this Purple Carrot review, but one big question remains: is Purple Carrot worth it?
Looking at what our writers and readers have to say about Purple Carrot, it's clear that there's a lot to consider. First of all, if you're a vegan, you'll be hard-pressed to find a better meal kit. Purple Carrot is designed to support a plant-based lifestyle, and the meal selections are created especially for vegans. Vegan food is often smeared as being "rabbit food," "boring," or "all salads," and that's simply not the case with Purple Carrot. The recipes are innovating and exciting, and the food is tasty and packed full of flavor. Not every dish our reviewers tried has been a winner, but overall they've been satisfied; however, the cost is on the high side, and the recipes are labor intensive. Still, if you're a vegan, Purple Chef offers unparalleled convenience that can help ease dinnertime stresses.
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.
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