The Best Meal Kits for Every Type of Eater, Cook, and Lifestyle

The vast, ever-expanding universe of meal kits can be tough to navigate, so we compared a bunch to help you decide which are worth a try.

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Design by Chineme Elobuike for Thrillist
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Meal kits should streamline your cooking process, but navigating the vast world of delivery services can be overwhelming, to say the least. It seems like every day there’s a new one on the market, its name some permutation of kitchen-centric words like “fresh,” “plate,” or “chef.”

To make it all a bit easier to understand which one(s) you might be best suited to try, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to research the best meal kit for any type of eater, whether you’re looking to sharpen your cooking skills, expand your palate, or just get food on the table as quickly as possible.

Winners by category

Buying Guide

Our roundup below includes the most popular and highly rated meal kits on the market. Users rave about different programs’ tasty offerings and convenience, as well as their flexibility and customizability. Any of these kits is a reliable option, but the best choice for you depends on the specifics of your habits. How much time do you realistically have to cook each day? And more importantly, how much time do you want to spend cooking? There’s no shame if you’d prefer to pop a pre-made meal in the oven instead of spending forty minutes preparing something more elaborate, and you should consider what is achievable within the context of your lifestyle versus purely aspirational.

Another factor is whom you’re cooking for: Is it just you (and you love having leftovers for lunch the next day)? Is your partner vegan? Are your roommates gluten free? Are your kids vegetable-averse? A bunch of meal kits cater broadly to different eaters, but some zero in on specific diets and values, which can simplify the guesswork as you choose meals each week.


Are meal kits cost effective?

That depends. Some meal kits are more budget-friendly than others, and whether you’ll save money on meal kits depends on your current habits. If you have a tendency to buy expensive new ingredients then find yourself at a loss for how to use them, smaller portioned items might come in handy, letting you try new things without going over budget.

Are meal kits environmentally friendly?

Unfortunately, the plastic and cardboard use inherent with meal kits is mostly unavoidable. Some kits, like Blue Apron and Sunbasket, have made strides toward becoming more environmentally conscious by providing recycling and composting instructions for their packaging. That said, using meal kits can help you avoid food waste, since the meals are pre-portioned, so it’s less likely that you’ll forget about the produce in the back of your refrigerator.

Can I pause my subscription?

Most kits are quite flexible when it comes to skipping a week or pausing your subscription indefinitely. If you’re unsure if you’ll want to continue or you a have a vacation coming up, just make sure to check the policy on the individual meal kit’s website before you commit.

A closer look at the best meal kits in each category

Blue Apron

Best Overall Meal Kit Delivery Service: Blue Apron

Customers love: Easy-to-follow directions, fresh ingredients and unique recipes
Cooking skills needed: Intermediate
Best for: Anyone who feels ambitious in the kitchen, and wine lovers
Avoid if: You prefer simpler meals with little to no prep
Average price per meal: $7.49
Blue Apron was the first to popularize the meal kit trend, and sometimes you just can’t improve on the original. Creative, chef-developed recipes are broken down into six understandable steps, and meals take an average time of 45 minutes from unboxing the pre-proportioned ingredients to enjoying your dinner. Blue Apron also offers a wine-pairing program to help you channel your inner sommelier. [Read our full Blue Apron review]


Best Affordable Meal Delivery Service: EveryPlate

Customers love: Convenient, healthy meals with ample produce
Cooking skills needed: Beginner
Best for: Those looking to kick their takeout habit without breaking the bank
Avoid if: You have special dietary needs or allergies
Average price per meal: $4.99
Brought to you by the makers of Hello Fresh, EveryPlate is an affordable option that promises delicious, easy meals in six steps or under. EveryPlate’s recipes might not be as gourmet as some of its competitors’, but they’re perfect for anyone looking for healthy weeknight meals that will satisfy the whole family. [Read our full EveryPlate review]

Factor 75

Best Frozen Meal Delivery Service: Factor 75

Customers love: Personalized menus and pre-prepared meals that fit into various diets
Cooking skills needed: None
Best for: Anyone trying to change up their diet without dirtying any dishes
Avoid if: You want to improve your cooking skills or you don’t enjoy microwaved food
Average price per meal: $11
If you’re looking for a wide variety of breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options minus the effort of preparing meals, Factor 75 is a great choice. You’ll have the ability to personalize your weekly rotation of microwaveable meals according to a variety of dietary preferences, including keto, paleo, low-carb, plant-based, vegetarian, and high-protein. Factor also offers cold-pressed juices, carefully sourced animal products, as well as breakfast and snacks.


Best Organic Meal Delivery Service: Sunbasket

Customers love: Healthy, organic options that cater to every type of eater
Cooking skills needed: Moderate
Best for: Environmentally-minded eaters
Avoid if: You’re looking to cut costs
Average price per meal: $11
One common critique of meal kit services is the waste they produce with single-use containers. Sunbasket seeks to remedy this issue by using 100% recyclable and compostable and offering organic produce and antibiotic- and hormone-free meat. Even more, Sunbasket goes above and beyond with a full breakfast menu, ready-made meal options, and ten different meal plans that are sure to please any type of eater. [Read our full Sunbasket review]


Best Meal Delivery Service for One Person: HelloFresh

Customers love: Reliably tasty recipes and flexibility to skip a week or pause your subscription
Cooking skills needed: Moderate
Best for: Singles and smaller households
Avoid if: You’re looking for a more gourmet plan or have super-specific dietary restrictions
Average price per meal: $9
Lots of meal kits are developed to serve larger households, meaning that a single person might be overwhelmed with leftovers. But don’t fret—America's most popular meal kit has a solution. Even though HelloFresh doesn’t have a specific plan for singles, their two-person plan and flexible options for skipping a week, adding extra meals, or pausing your subscription make it the best option for anyone cooking for themselves. With chef-designed recipes, clear instructions, and meals that accommodate a range of dietary preferences, HelloFresh proves that it’s a popular choice for a reason. [Read our full HelloFresh review]


Best Meal Delivery Service for People with Strict Dietary Needs or Allergies: Freshly

Customers love: Nutritionist-developed recipes that can be filtered by allergen
Cooking skills needed: None
Best for: Individuals or households that need to avoid certain ingredients
Avoid if: You prefer homemade meals or larger meals
Average price per meal: $9
Freshly delivers individually portioned, chef-prepared meals that require just a few minutes to heat up. If someone in your household has a severe allergy, you can take comfort in Freshly’s precautions against cross-contamination of a number of common allergens. Many of Freshly’s meals are made in kitchens free from peanuts and wheat. While you choose your meals, you also have the convenient ability to filter your options by the allergens you’re avoiding, yet another useful and time-saving tool that Freshly provides. [Read our full Freshly review]

Purple Carrot

Best Vegan Meal Delivery Service: Purple Carrot

Customers love: Fresh, vegetable-centric meals with creative ingredients
Cooking skills needed: Moderate
Best for: Vegans, vegetarians, and anyone looking to supplement their diet with more plant-based foods
Avoid if: You think you can’t live without meat
Average price per meal: $12
Purple Carrot promises to introduce even the most seasoned vegans to new ingredients, flavors, and cooking techniques. Featuring ample seasonal produce, interesting sauces and garnishes, and a number of meal plans (quick-and-easy, high-protein, or chef’s choice), Purple Carrot will have you cooking filling and tasty plant-based meals with ease.


Best Pre-Prepared Vegetarian and Plant Based Meal Delivery Service: Veestro

Customers love: Plant-based meals that fit into any lifestyle or time constraint
Cooking skills needed: None
Best for: Getting your veggies in with minimal effort
Avoid if: You find chopping vegetables to be a soothing meditative practice
Average price per meal: $10
With Veestro you can choose a minimum of ten vegetarian meals per week, delivered to your doorstep with no prep required other than heating it up. If you’ve been looking to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet but the prospect of chopping a bunch of vegetables intimidates you, consider Veestro, which offers three organic plans: A La Carte, Chef's Choice, and Weight Loss.


Best Meal Service and Kit for Families: Dinnerly

Customers love: Affordable, easy-to-cook weeknight meals that will please even picky eaters
Cooking skills needed: Minimal
Best for: Convincing kids to try something other than chicken nuggets
Avoid if: You’re an adventurous eater or prefer something a little more gourmet
Average price per meal: $4.30
Dinnertime tantrums begone! Eliminate weeknight stress with Dinnerly’s meal kit, a budget-friendly option with a variety of filling meals designed to satisfy the whole family. With 16 recipe choices per week, you’ll find plenty of options that are easy to whip up in no time, even for beginner cooks.

Martha & Marley Spoon

Best Gourmet Meal Delivery Service: Martha & Marley Spoon

Customers love: High quality ingredients and delicious recipes from domestic goddess Martha Stewart
Cooking skills needed: Moderate
Best for: Elevated comfort-food classics
Avoid if: You have little to no cooking experience
Average price per meal: $7
Customers rave about Martha & Marley Spoon’s delicious menu, which offers family-friendly and healthy options in addition to an impressive vegetarian selection. Every recipe includes high-quality, pre-proportioned ingredients and takes 40 minutes or fewer to make. And if you don’t trust us, trust Martha Stewart!

Green Chef

Best Gluten Free Meal Delivery Service: Green Chef

Customers love: Organic, sustainably-sourced meals with flexible plans for gluten-free diets
Cooking skills needed: Moderate
Best for: Those with dietary preferences who want organic, healthy options
Avoid if: You have super-picky eaters to accommodate
Average price per meal: $11
Green Chef offers a wide array of delicious options, whether you’re gluten-free, keto, vegan, or pretty much anything else under the sun. As the first meal-kit company to offer gluten-free certification, Green Chef fulfills its promise of delicious wheat-free meals. With a focus on sustainable packaging as well as color-coded, easy-to-follow instructions, this is a great option for anyone looking to safely step outside their culinary comfort zone.

Snap Kitchen

Best Prepared Meal Delivery Service for Weight Loss: Snap Kitchen

Customers love: Flexible, build-your-own meal plans for different allergies and calorie needs
Cooking skills needed: None
Best for: Anyone looking to remove the hassle with dietician- and chef-approved pre-made meals
Avoid if: You want to expand your cooking skills or don’t live within a region where Snap Kitchen is available
Average price per meal: $10
With eight different plans catering to different food allergies and dietary restrictions, Snap Kitchen makes mealtime a breeze for any type of eater. You get to choose a menu and calorie goal, and leave the rest up to Snap Kitchen. Offering portioned meals packaged in microwave- and oven-safe containers, this service lives up to its name—you’ll have a delicious meal on the table in no time.

The Good Kitchen

Best Whole30 Meal Delivery Service and Kit: The Good Kitchen

Customers love: Ready-to-eat meals free of gluten, sugar, and refined ingredients
Cooking skills needed: None
Best for: Dedicated Whole30 followers who don’t have the patience to cook every day
Avoid if: You’re interested in learning new cooking techniques
Average price per meal: $14
Optimize your Whole30 journey with meals from The Good Kitchen, which offers ready-made meals for anyone who is committed to the Whole30 program but doesn’t have time to (or doesn’t want to!) cook. The Good Kitchen has partnered with Whole30 to streamline the transition to the Whole30 lifestyle, providing tasty meals with the freezer-section convenience.

Daily Harvest

Best Delivery Service for Healthy Breakfast and Snacks: Daily Harvest

Customers love: Healthy, easy-to-make smoothies, bowls, and bites
Cooking skills needed: Minimal
Best for: Anyone in a committed relationship with their blender
Avoid if: You’re looking for more substantial meals rather than snacks
Average price per meal: $7
If you’re looking for organic, nourishing snacks to tide you over until your next meal, look no further than Daily Harvest, which offers smoothies, sweet and savory bowls, bites, and beverages. Everything is packed with fruits and vegetables and requires just a quick blitz in the blender or simple reheat. [Read our full Daily Harvest review]

Home Chef

Best Delivery Service if You Want to Cook but Have Limited Time: Home Chef

Customers love: Recipes tailored to your schedule, and an expansive and customizable menu
Cooking skills needed: None to moderate
Best for: Those who want to cook but have with unpredictable schedules
Avoid if: You have more specific dietary preferences or allergies
Average price per meal: $10
Home Chef understands that your schedule’s flexibility might change week-to-week, which is why customers can select versatile meals ranging from oven-ready or fifteen-minute meals to more elaborate recipes for weeknights where you have more time. The brand also caters to a plethora of dietary choices, like low-carb and vegetarian, and offers optional add-ons for smoothies and snacks. Furthermore, Home Chef is one of the only meal kits that provides meals for six people, perfect for large families or leftover-lovers. [Read our full Home Chef review]

Sakara Life

Best Delivery Service to Satisfy Your Inner Gwyneth: Sakara Life

Customers love: Organic, plant-based meals aimed at boosting overall wellness
Cooking skills needed: None
Best for: Those looking to splurge on nutritious vegan meals
Avoid if: The steep price tag makes your eyes pop out of your head
Average price per meal: $25
If you’re really looking to treat yourself, consider Sakara Life’s meal delivery service, which promises to boost energy, improve digestion, and achieve a healthy glow. You’ll feel like an off-duty model with these ready-to-eat dishes that feature tons of produce and trendy superfoods. Choose from a variety of programs tailored to your wellness goals and designed to fit seamlessly into your lifestyle.

Caroline Curran is a Thrillist contributor.
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