The Best Meal Delivery Services for 2020

 digitaltrends.com  04/06/2020 17:58:50 

Lets face it. On some days, the last thing you want to do after a long day at work or school is stand over a pot of spaghetti boiling on the stove. Cooking can be exhausting, and creating healthy, well-balanced, and tasty meals takes up a lot more time each day than we might realize. Sure, you could pop some instant mac-and-cheese in the microwave or order a pizza for delivery, but long-term consumption of processed and fast foods likely wont do any favors for your health. So how do you eat healthy, homemade meals without spending several hours a week on meal preparation, cooking, and clean-up? Meal delivery plans have taken off in popularity, and for good reason. They save customers tons of time by sending recipes and ingredients straight to your doorstep. Simply follow the instructions, toss the ingredients together, and voil  dinner is served. Weve rounded up some of the best meal delivery services on the market.

Plated

The best training ground for amateurs

Plated
Plated

Why you should buy this: Meals from Plated are sophisticated and impressive without breaking the bank.

Who its for: Interested in learning how to cook more complex meals? This is your ticket.

How much itll cost: $48/week for 2 dinners for 2 people; $72/week for 3 dinners for 2 people

Why we picked Plated: Plated meals are more complex, and youll find yourself doing more chopping and searing than you might do with other meal delivery services. For amateur chefs who are looking to up their game, Plated is the perfect way to practice putting together more sophisticated meals and mastering the art of meal preparation. It could also be a great option for a date night at home or a special occasion meal with the family. Its worth noting that all the prepping and roasting may be too much to handle for working parents or busy students. But if you can spare the time, the meals are always fresh and tasty, and youre bound to add some valuable skills to your cooking knowledge arsenal.

Cook with Plated

HelloFresh

The well-balanced and flexible option

HelloFresh
Why you should buy this: HelloFresh places an emphasis on well-balanced meals.
Who its for: Busy professionals, singles, or anyone who appreciates eating tasty, balanced meals.

How much itll cost: Meals start at $9 to $10 per person per meal.

Why we picked HelloFresh: Each HelloFresh meal comes with a main entree, a side, and a vegetable, meaning youre getting a balanced meal with a variety of nutrients. Other meal kit delivery services tend to focus on one-dish meals, many of which dont prioritize vegetables. When you sign up, you choose between a meat-and-veggies focus, a veggie focus, a family-friendly focus (meals that kids will like and that are generally faster to prepare), and a low-calorie focus (under 650 calories for a serving). You then customize the number of people and the recipes you want per week. Finally, you curate and build your menu every week from 20 different rotating recipes. The company has famously said it tests every recipe 45 times to make sure its worth including.

Cook with HelloFresh

Blue Apron

A great option for healthy and vegetarian meals

Blue Apron
Why you should buy this: Blue Apron provides easy-to-prepare meals with emphasis on healthiness.
Who its for: Those who want easy-to-cook, great-tasting meals will love Blue Apron.

How much itll cost: Meals start at $9 to $10 per person per meal.

Why we picked Blue Apron: Blue Apron offers an all-vegetarian plan. It is even starting to offer Beyond Meat products, such as plant-based patties. Additionally, the company can provide options for those who dont eat fish or red meat, and it even teamed up with Weight Watchers Reimagined to create healthy recipes for the Weight Watchers Freestyle plan. Blue Apron says on its website that it works with more than 100 family-run farms that use sustainable farming practices and that many (but not all) of the ingredients they provide are organic. Thanks in part to the high-quality ingredients, Blue Apron makes it easy to create fresh, excellent-tasting meals.

Cook with Blue Apron

Purple Carrot

The best option for vegans

Purple Carrot
Why you should buy this: Purple Carrot offers delicious meals that cater to vegan diets.
Who its for: Vegans will love how many delicious meal options are available with Purple Carrot.

How much itll cost: $68/week for 3 meals for 2 people; $74/week for 2 meals for 4 people

Why we picked Purple Carrot: Purple Carrot offers delicious vegan recipes that will teach you something new every time you cook. Prepare to work with ingredients you may not have used in the kitchen before, like chayote and jackfruit. The recipes all turn out impressive dishes, which is not surprising, considering the fact that they are created by Mark Bittman, food columnist for The New York Times. Keep in mind that Purple Carrot will better suit the lifestyle of those who want to learn more about cooking and have the time to spare every day. Dishes can take 45 minutes or longer to prepare, and recipes include several steps that can get complicated for amateur home cooks. But if youre interesting in learning more about vegan cuisine and want to create some delicious vegan meals, this will be your go-to meal kit delivery plan.

Cook with Purple Carrot

Green Chef

The one-stop-shop option

Green Chef
Why you should buy this: Whatever diets your family members adhere to, Green Chef has meals for them.
Who its for: Vegetarians, omnivores, Paleo dieters, gluten-free eaters, vegans, and pretty much everyone else.

How much itll cost: Meals start at $11.99 per person.

Why we picked Green Chef: Every single dish offered by Green Chef is 100 percent organic, right down to the sauces and dressings that you sprinkle over your home-cooked meals. The variety of dishes is also impressive, with meals catering to nearly every diet preference, from gluten-free to Paleo to vegan. No matter what kind of diets your loved ones follow, youll find meals catering to them at Green Chef. This makes it easy to feed any family member or dinner guest. The recipes can get complex, but many ingredients come ready-made, and most of the work involves chopping, sauting, and finishing up the recipe. Portions are well-sized, so even the biggest appetites in your house should feel full after a Green Chef meal.

Cook with Green Chef

Dinnerly

The most affordable option

Dinnerly

Why you should buy this: Dinnerly offers good meals at an affordable price.

Who its for: Dinnerly was created for people who like to cook at home, but dont like overpaying.

How much itll cost: Meals start at $4.49 per person.

Why we picked Dinnerly: Dinnerly uses the same quality ingredients as the other kits but take a simpler approach, which allows the company to charge less. For example, instead of paper recipe cards, Dinnerly provides digital recipe cards. Dinnerly also sends fewer ingredients per dish, which means less chopping and cleaning for you. It also means slightly more simplistic meals, which can be great for kids or picky eaters.

Cook with Dinnerly

How we test

There are many meal kit delivery services on the market nowadays, all of which are a little different from their competitors. In rounding up our favorite services, we looked for plans that consistently offer tasty, healthy meals at cost-effective prices. We included services that we could see becoming go-to dinner options on busy days when cooking is the last thing customers want to do.

For some people, the best meals are the ones that are the easiest and quickest to put together. For others, the art of meal preparation is a skill theyd like to learn more about through meal kit deliveries. We made sure to include a variety of options on this list, so that theres something for just about everyone.

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