The Best Pre-Made and Prepared Meal Delivery Services

Don't have time for a traditional meal kit? There's a whole new world of pre-made meal delivery services offering fully prepared options that are delicious, nutritious, and ready in minutes.

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Prepared meals have historically had a bad reputation: frozen entrées conjure images of freezer-burned beige TV dinners, whereas refrigerated packaged meals bring to mind bland protein shakes or mystery-meat deli slices. But before you click away, let us introduce you to a new world of pre-made delivery services—fully prepared meals that are delicious, nutritious, and ready in minutes.

Prepared delivery services often appeal to individuals looking to save time in the kitchen, since they allow people to streamline their routine and enjoy meals that require virtually no preparation or cleanup. Just follow the instructions to pop the meals into the oven, microwave or a saucepan. Pre-portioned meals and snacks come straight to your door, and different services offer rotating menus that appeal to various diets and preferences.

Whereas many popular meal kit delivery services offer ingredients that need to be prepared, chopped, and cooked, the options in this roundup are all ready to eat in mere minutes. What’s more, most of these plans offer meals in flexible bundles and a la carte, meaning you can select a service that fits seamlessly into your busy lifestyle.

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Buying Guide

When deciding which prepared delivery service is right for you, it’s important to keep in mind your current lifestyle. Individual prepared meals are most beneficial when they simplify the busier and more stressful parts of your daily routine. Maybe you’re all set with lunch but you can’t be bothered to cook after work. Or maybe you love getting creative for dinner but are bored with your office’s midday options. Whatever the case, it’s important to identify the areas you’d like to upgrade.

Another consideration is slightly more obvious: your food preferences and dietary restrictions. The options below adhere to various lifestyles, so you can feel free to try out a gluten-free dinner or experiment with a vegan lunch. Organic options abound, as do menus conscious of macronutrient requirements and food sensitivities. Importantly, you’ll want to pay attention to whether the meals come fresh or frozen, since they may require different reheating options. If you choose frozen meals, keep in mind that you’ll be slightly more limited in the types of foods you’ll receive, since things like salads and sandwiches don’t do well frozen.

Finally, you’ll want to consider price. As you might expect, fully prepared meals tend to be on the expensive side, since you’re paying for preparation and delivery in addition to the ingredients themselves. That said, many find that the time and energy saved is well worth the price.


How are fresh prepared meals packaged and delivered?

Services that deliver refrigerated meals package meals thoughtfully to ensure they arrive on your doorstep as fresh as possible. Some services, like Epicured, Territory, and Home Bistro, offer twice-weekly deliveries so that meals are never sitting in your refrigerator for more than a few days. Many services also ship meals with insulating liners and frozen gel packs, as well as cold chain transportation wherever possible. If you’re curious about specific services’ practices, check their website FAQs.

What about frozen meals?

Frozen meals are packaged to preserve taste and nutrition as well as ensure that reheating is safe and simple. The Good Kitchen’s TB12 Performance Meals, for example, use a cryovac process that reduces the amount of oxygen in the package, eliminating the need for preservatives. Services also go to great lengths to ensure temperature regulation during shipping; Veestro, for example, ships meals in an insulated shipping container with dry ice.

What is the advantage of subscriptions versus a la carte meals?

Different services have different plans that can fit a variety of lifestyles and needs, whether you hate cooking altogether or are just looking to replace an occasional meal. A la carte options are often more expensive than meals that are part of a bundle, but they’re a great option if you’re looking to test the waters without commitment.

A closer look at the best meal kits in each category


Best Overall Prepared Meal Delivery Service: Territory

Customers love: Delicious, hearty meals that save time and appeal to any type of eater
Fresh or Frozen: Fresh, and you can select weekly or twice-weekly deliveries so that you’re enjoying meals at their freshest
Best for: Those looking for flexibility and transparent nutritional information
Avoid if: You’re not located within the delivery region
Average price per meal: $11
Territory’s menu rotates weekly and seasonally and avoids ingredients like dairy, gluten, and refined sugars—but the meals don’t skimp on flavor. You can filter among a variety of dietary needs such as Paleo, Vegan, Whole30, Low Fat, Low Carb, Mediterranean Diet, and each meal is accompanied by transparent information like macronutrient ratios and exact ingredients. Ready after just ninety seconds of reheating, these convenient and filling meals require no subscription commitment and zero effort, making them a great option for anyone looking to streamline their mealtime.


Best Affordable Prepared Meal Delivery Service: Freshly

Customers love: Affordable, ingredient-conscious meals
Fresh or Frozen: Fresh
Best for: Those looking to save time and money without sacrificing quality
Avoid if: You tend to be hungrier than the average person
Average price per meal: $9
High quality ingredients, careful preparation free from allergens, and timely delivery can make fresh meal delivery an expensive habit. Fortunately, Freshly’s meals come in at around $9 each, making them a more budget-conscious choice for any type of eater. Choose from a certified gluten-free menu of fresh meals ready in seconds. Personalize your delivery with additional options from the multi-serve Proteins & Sides lines designed to simplify meal prep. [Read our Freshly review]

Sakara Life

Best Organic Prepared Meal Delivery Service: Sakara Life

Customers love: Vegan meals abundant in superfoods
Fresh or Frozen: Fresh
Best for: Wellness fiends or those looking for a short-term diet cleanse
Avoid if: You’re looking for a more affordable service for the long term
Average price per meal: $25
Looking to splurge on nutritious meals or recover from a wild vacation? Sakara has you covered with a menu of organic superfoods that promise numerous health benefits in addition to time saved in the kitchen. Sakara offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks, as well as “detox” teas and advice from wellness coaches. Meals like Anti-Inflammatory Veggie Masala and Classic Superfood Granola with spirulina-infused green goddess mylk are sure to have you feeling glowy in no time. One thing to note is that while many fresh delivery services can be frozen for later consumption, Sakara’s meals won’t handle freezing well.

Fresh N Lean

Best Low Carb Prepared Meal Delivery Service: Fresh N Lean

Customers love: Time-saving meals adhering to special diets
Fresh or Frozen: Fresh
Best for: Low-carb eaters looking to streamline meal planning and cooking
Avoid if: You’re looking for more creative meals that aren’t centered around certain diets
Average price per meal: $11
Fresh N Lean offers a wide variety of plans for different diet preferences, especially for carb-conscious eaters. You can subscribe or select a la carte meals from menus like Protein+ (for high-performance athletes), Keto, Paleo, Low-Carb Vegan, and Bulk. Avoid the hassle of counting macronutrients with fresh meals catered to your lifestyle. Organic ingredients, flexible plans, and satisfying meals make Fresh N Lean a service unmatched in convenience for low-carb lifestyles.


Best Vegetarian Prepared Meal Delivery Service: Veestro

Customers love: Delicious plant-based meals that save time and energy
Fresh or Frozen: Frozen
Best for: Transitioning to a plant-based diet with minimal effort
Avoid if: You prefer plant-based meals without meat alternatives
Average price per meal: $10
If you’re looking to increase your vegetable intake but you’re overwhelmed at the prospect of planning and cooking meals, consider Veestro. This service offers three organic plans—A La Carte, Chef's Choice, and Weight Loss—no chopping vegetables required. Ready to serve after a quick defrost, Veestro’s frozen meals incorporate meat alternatives and vegan proteins that can help omnivorous eaters easily transition to a less meat-centric diet.

Splendid Spoon

Best Vegan Prepared Meal Delivery Service: Splendid Spoon

Customers love: Plant-based, gluten-free meals from a rotating menu
Fresh or Frozen: Fresh
Best for: Vegans who want to eat healthy without stress
Avoid if: You prefer more protein-heavy vegan options
Average price per meal: $9
Vegans and vegan-curious eaters will appreciate the ease and flexibility of Splendid Spoon’s delivery service. A versatile menu of over fifty ready-to-eat meals means you’ll never get bored of these plant-based meals and snacks. Customize your order according to your lifestyle and flavor preferences, choosing among breakfast smoothies, grain bowls, soups, and noodle dishes, all of which are vegan and gluten-free. With a rotating menu, seasonal options like the Pumpkin Spice Smoothie and Roasted Brussels Sprouts Grain Bowl, and a full selection of delicious soups, Splendid Spoon is making it easier than ever to eat vegan.

Home Bistro

Best Gourmet Prepared Meal Delivery Service: Home Bistro

Customers love: Chef-prepared entreés that bring restaurant-quality meals to your doorstep
Fresh or Frozen: Fresh
Best for: Those looking to upgrade their mealtime
Avoid if: You’re on a budget or don’t want meat-heavy meals every night
Average price per meal: $25
Ever wished you had a professional chef whipping up delicious, personalized meals in your kitchen? When it comes to prepared meal services, Home Bistro is your best bet. Home Bistro’s gourmet meals are prepared by world class chefs—including famous names like Iron Chef’s Cat Cora and Daina Falk from Hungry Fan—and delivered fresh to your doorstep. You can select restaurant-quality dinners like Mediterranean Chicken with Orange Honey Labneh Sauce, Israeli Couscous and Honey Roasted Carrots a la carte or as part of a larger package, and choose weekly or biweekly delivery with no commitment.


Best Gluten Free Prepared Meal Delivery Service: Epicured

Customers love: Gluten-free and low-FODMAP meals that don’t skimp on flavor
Fresh or Frozen: Fresh—but if you need to freeze some meals, check for “freezer-friendly” items
Best for: Those looking to enjoy fresh meals that are conscious of various GI disorders
Avoid if: You don’t have specific dietary needs and prefer a more diverse menu
Average price per meal: $13
If you’re dealing with a GI disorder, you can take comfort in Epicured’s precautions against cross-contamination and low-FODMAP and gluten-free meals. Chefs and dieticians have collaborated to design a menu that caters to those with irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s, Colitis, SIBO and Celiac. With thoughtful portion sizes, interesting flavors, and wholesome ingredients, Epicured’s weekly deliveries are a great option for people with specific dietary needs.

Farmer's Fridge

Best Delivery Service for Prepared Lunch and Snacks: Farmer’s Fridge

Customers love: Healthy on-the-go lunches and snacks
Fresh or Frozen: Fresh
Best for: Anyone needs a fresh, convenient midday meal
Avoid if: You’re looking for slightly more filling meals or have very specific dietary preferences
Average price per meal: $9
Sad-looking desk lunches are a thing of the past with Farmer’s Fridge, a delivery service that specializes in flavorful midday meals and snacks. The menu features a variety of salads, grain bowls, and wraps that cater to a variety of preferences including vegan and gluten-free diets. In addition to lunches like the Shawarma-Spiced Cauliflower Salad or Chicken Tikka Masala, Farmer’s Fridge offers snacks and breakfast options too. Unlike some other delivery services, these meals are super portable, since they come in convenient, reusable jars.

Proper Good

Best Delivery Service for Prepared Soups, Stews, and Broths: Proper Good

Customers love: Portable, convenient soups that make healthy eating easy
Fresh or Frozen: Fresh—these soups are shelf stable
Best for: Those who want a healthy, comforting meal anytime
Avoid if: You’re looking for solid meals or live in a warm climate and don’t want hot soup
Average price per meal: $8
Proper Good’s stews and broths have you saying *Adam Driver voice* good soup all day long. These shelf-stable soups use whole ingredients, limit salt and sugar, and also include options for keto and vegan diets. The portability of these wholesome soups makes them a great option for an office lunch, camping meal, or weeknight dinner, since all you have to do is heat up the pouch and you’re good to go. With options like classic chicken noodle, butternut squash, and Southwest chili, Proper Good makes healthy eating a breeze.

The Good Kitchen

Best Prepared Meal Delivery Service for Athletes: The Good Kitchen TB12 Performance Meals

Customers love: Wholesome meals centered around an athlete’s nutritional needs
Fresh or Frozen: Frozen— ready in just three minutes in the microwave
Best for: Casual gym-goers to intense athletes looking to save time in the kitchen
Avoid if: You prefer fresh meals over frozen
Average price per meal: $13
Peak athletic potential requires careful nutrition and thoughtful preparation. With the TB12 Performance Meals from The Good Kitchen, you can follow a regimen inspired by Tom Brady without stressing about ingredients, preparation, or recipes. These frozen entrées are customizable, nutrient-rich, and fit seamlessly into a variety of dietary preferences. Meals like Chicken Satay with Cilantro and Broccoli and Citrus Shrimp with Quinoa and Spiced Cauliflower are tailored to support an athlete’s nutritional requirements while also prioritizing taste and convenience.

Magic Kitchen

Best Prepared Meal Delivery Service for Older Adults: Magic Kitchen

Customers love: Classic meals that adhere to special dietary and nutritional needs
Fresh or Frozen: Frozen
Best for: Seniors with specialized diets
Avoid if: You follow a plant-based diet or prefer more modern flavor profiles
Average price per meal: $14
Magic Kitchen caters specifically to the dietary needs of senior citizens, with options including low-sodium, renal, and diabetic. A far cry from nutritionally lacking freezer-aisle meals, Magic Kitchen’s healthful menu offers peace of mind to ensure that you or your loved ones are receiving wholesome, quality meals without the stress of grocery shopping or cooking. Tasty meals like Beef Short Ribs, Chayote Black Bean Succotash, and Oaxacan-Inspired Mole offer a balanced, convenient dinner designed by chefs and dieticians.

Snap Kitchen

Best Prepared Meal Delivery Service for Food Sensitivities: Snap Kitchen

Customers love: Flexible meal plans that cater to different allergies, diets, and nutritional needs
Fresh or Frozen: Fresh
Best for: Those looking to avoid certain ingredients
Avoid if: You have severe allergies or are looking for plant-based or gourmet meals
Average price per meal: $10
If you want fully prepared meals delivered to your doorstep but worry your allergies make that impossible, consider Snap Kitchen. You can select meals from one of eight menus—including high protein, balance, Whole30, and low carb—and view the full nutritional profile of the dish, including macro counts, ingredients, and common allergens. All of Snap Kitchen’s meals are free from gluten, artificial preservatives, antibiotics, added hormones, artificial colorings, and flavorings.

Caroline Curran is a Thrillist contributor.
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