Best Meal Delivery Services for Busy Couples

Sunbasket has the best offerings for home meal delivery

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Brides / Designed by Amelia Manley

Say goodbye to Seamless and become the culinary mastermind your Pinterest board (or wedding registry) thinks you are! Whether you’re a busy nine-to-fiver or a side hustler extraordinaire, extra time to cook fresh homemade meals can be hard to come by. When you throw in wedding planning, fitness goals, maintaining a social life, and family responsibilities, it can feel impossible. Meal delivery services can help.

Thanks to advances in technology, distribution, local farming, and subscription services, easy meal delivery brings fresh ingredients, delicious food, and chef-approved recipes to your doorstep any day of the week. Whether you want to get busy in the kitchen or simply heat and eat, you can say goodbye to the grocery store and bon appétit thanks to these time-saving options.

Best Meal Delivery Services of 2022

Best Overall: Sunbasket

Steak with vegetables and side salad

 Courtesy of Sunbasket

Brides Star Rating: 5.0

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $9.99 per serving
  • Delivery Area: 46 states
  • Products Arrive: Fresh

Why You Should Try It

Sunbasket's weekly meals feature organic and non-GMO ingredients. With an understanding of individual dietary needs, the company offers gluten-free, paleo, and vegetarian options.

Pros
  • Both meal kits and prepared meals available

  • Organic ingredients

  • Recyclable and compostable packaging

Cons
  • Meals can get very pricey

  • Shipping costs extra after your first order

Overview

Sunbasket boasts a menu of nutritious recipes developed by award-winning chef Justine Kelly. Dishes are dietitian-approved and generally range from 500 to 800 calories per serving. Pick between two and four recipes per week; meals start at about $10 and increase from there. There are 10 subcategories to choose from, including diabetes-friendly and vegan plans. You can dine on options like steak with mushroom pan sauce and Brussels sprouts or chicken mole poblano tacos with cilantro-lime yogurt.

Pricing and Plans

  • Meal Kits: Start at $11.49 per serving (price varies depending on selection)
  • Fresh & Ready Meals: Start at $9.99 per serving (price varies depending on selection)

Meals We Tried

Meal Kits

  • Sea scallops over fresh fettuccine with sun-dried tomatoes and spinach
  • Snapper with romesco, vegetables, and almonds
  • Burmese chicken and sweet potato curry
  • Sirloin strip tacos with zucchini scallion salsa

 Prepared Meals

  • Broccoli mac and cheese
  • Chicken chow mein with broccoli, mushroom, and toasted garlic
  • Beef donburi rice bowl with edamame and kimchi-lime vegetables
  • Burrito bowl al pastor with plant-based Impossible Beef

Best Variety: HelloFresh

Plate with string beans, fish and potatoes

Courtesy of Hello Fresh

Brides Star Rating: 4.7

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $7.99 per serving
  • Delivery Area: 48 states
  • Products Arrive: Fresh

Why You Should Try It

If you’re the type of person who digs more dining options, HelloFresh is the meal subscription box for you.

Pros
  • Crowd-pleasing recipes

  • Over 50 different menu options

  • Flexible subscription

Cons
  • Shipping fee for all orders

  • Limited vegan options

Overview

HelloFresh has a selection of 50 menu and market items to choose from each week (including breakfast options). With an easy-to-use app, you can also pause or cancel your subscription at any time thanks to the “no commitment whatsoever” approach, and the meals are fresh and affordable throughout the six plans: Meat & Veggies, Veggie, Family Friendly, Fit & Wholesome, Quick and Easy, and Pescatarian.

Pricing and Plans

  • 6 meals with 4 servings each: $7.99 per serving
  • 6 meals with 2 servings each: $8.49 per serving
  • 4 meals with 4 servings each: $7.99 per serving
  • 4 meals with 2 servings each: $9.49 per serving
  • 2 meals with 4 servings each: $9.49 per serving
  • 2 meals with 2 servings each: $11.99 per serving
  • Shipping: $8.99

Meals We Tried

  • Crispy buffalo-spiced chicken 
  • BBQ cheddar burgers 
  • Tex-Mex pork with mango salsa 
  • Pork sausage rigatoni rosa

Best Budget-Friendly: Dinnerly

Rice, chicken and peas in a red sauce

Courtesy of Dinnerly

Brides Star Rating: 4.3

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $4.99 per serving
  • Delivery Area: 48 states
  • Products Arrive: Fresh

Why You Should Try It

The self-proclaimed “America's most affordable meal kit” and “picky-eater proof,” a Dinnerly meal kit is always 50 percent off, starting at just $4.99 per serving.

Pros
  • Flavorful, affordable recipes

  • Family-friendly meal options

  • Dishes can be made in only five steps

Cons
  • You have to provide several of your own ingredients

  • Shipping costs extra

Overview

With Dinnerly, skeptics can rejoice in the fact that taste and flavor aren't sacrificed for the price. The company uses the same quality ingredients as other kits but takes a simpler approach, enabling them to cut a few unnecessary costs. With digital recipe cards instead of paper, fewer ingredients per dish (which means less chopping and cleaning), simple packaging, and no fancy marketing campaign, this service is simplicity at its finest—and who couldn’t use more simplicity in their lives?

Pricing and Plans

  • 3 meals with 2 servings each: $6.39 per serving
  • 4 meals with 2 servings each: $5.99 per serving
  • 5 meals with 2 servings each: $5.89 per serving
  • 6 meals with 2 servings each: $5.79 per serving
  • 3 meals with 4 servings each: $5.69 per serving
  • 4 meals with 4 servings each: $5.49 per serving
  • 5 meals with 4 servings each: $5.29 per serving
  • 6 meals with 4 servings each: $4.99 per serving
  • Shipping: $9.99

Meals We Tried

  • BBQ cheeseburger with sautéed onions and smashed potatoes
  • Low-cal veggie drunken noodles with broccoli, peppers, and cilantro
  • Grass-fed ground beef and cheddar quesadillas with corn
  • Caramel chicken stir-fry with snow peas and jasmine rice

Best Vegan: Purple Carrot

Table with salads and a bowl of oatmeal

Courtesy of Purple Carrot

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Brides Star Rating: 3.9

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $11 per serving
  • Delivery Area: 50 states
  • Products Arrive: Fresh

Why You Should Try It

Providing both meal kits and fully-prepared heat-and-eat meals, Purple Carrot's fully plant-based menu will appeal to all types of home cooks.

Pros
  • Fully plant-based menu

  • Both prepared meals and meal kits offered

  • Flexible subscription

Cons
  • Menu is a bit small compared to other services

  • Individual servings can be pricey for smaller orders

Overview

With a focus on health, energy, and empowerment, Purple Carrot is a plant-based ingredient and recipe delivery service offering seasonally-inspired dishes that are as nutritious as they are delicious. Two plan options include meals of two or four servings.

Purple Carrot's diverse and wide-ranging menu features meals from cuisines around the world, like Yellow Curry Tofu bowls With Cilantro Lime Quinoa and Edamame and a Blond Puttanesca with Chickpeas & Lemon Caper Sauce. Free shipping and the flexibility to pause or cancel your subscription at any time make this innovative service perfect for busy vegetarians, clean eaters, and anyone willing to try something new.

Pricing and Plans

Purple Carrot’s pricing starts at $11 per serving, and the price increases from there depending on meal preferences and quantity. Shipping is $8, and there are discounts if you opt to subscribe to a recurring meal delivery service, which can be paused or canceled at any time.

Meals We Tried

Meal Kits

  • Sesame orange tofu with roasted green beans and sticky rice
  • Curry roasted cauliflower with masala chickpeas and ginger cucumber salsa
  • Rajas tacos with avocado and roasted corn salsa


Prepared Meals

  • Peanut noodles with gingered edamame and braised tofu
  • Creamy mac and cheese with peso peas and sun-dried tomatoes
  • Spelt risotto with summer vegetable caponata
  • Chilled curried chickpea salad with dates and quinoa red pepper pilaf
  • Tofu palak paneer with carrot biryani

Best Organic: Green Chef

Shrimp and vegetable stir fry with a fried egg on top

Courtesy of Green Chef

Brides Star Rating: 4.8

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $11.99 per serving
  • Delivery Area: 48 states
  • Products Arrive: Fresh

Why You Should Try It

A certified organic company, Green Chef works with farmers to source sustainable ingredients for its weekly menu selections.

Pros
  • Organic ingredients

  • Eco-friendly initiatives

  • Globally-inspired dishes

Cons
  • Shipping isn't free

  • Limited dietary needs accommodated

Overview

Couples who lead an organic lifestyle will appreciate that Green Chef is the very first USDA-certified organic meal kit delivery service. Everything from the facility and process to the ingredients themselves is certified organic. And with one of the most inclusive selections of dietary preferences (think plant-powered, keto, paleo, and gluten-free), there are options for almost every couple out there.

Most meals will take 30 minutes or less, so you have more time to enjoy each other's company. Veggies arrive already chopped and complex sauces are assembled ahead of time so there's less work for you and your hungry spouse.

Pricing and Plans

  • 3 meals with 2 servings each: $13.49 per serving
  • 4 meals with 2 servings each: $12.99 per serving
  • 2 meals with 4 servings each: $12.99 per serving
  • 3 meals with 4 servings each: $12.49 per serving
  • 4 meals with 4 servings each: $11.99 per serving
  • 3 meals with 6 servings each: $11.99 per serving
  • 4 meals with 6 servings each: $11.99 per serving
  • Shipping: $9.99

Meals We Tried

  • Harissa-spiced shrimp 
  • Sesame ginger bavette steak and shrimp 
  • Middle Eastern-style chickpea bowls 
  • Maple glazed carrots with figs

Best Gourmet: Blue Apron

Basket of vegetables, herbs and meat

Courtesy of Blue Apron

Brides Star Rating: 4.6

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $7.99 per serving
  • Delivery Area: 48 states
  • Products Arrive: Fresh

Why You Should Try It

With dozens of flavorful menu choices each week, available in both meal kit and heat-and-eat form, Blue Apron is the ultimate service for gourmet food lovers.

Pros
  • Rotating weekly menu

  • Both meal kits and prepared meals available

  • Recyclable packaging

Cons
  • Shipping costs extra

Overview

Under either a Two-Person Plan ($11.99 per serving, portioned for two people) or Family Plan ($7.99 per serving, portioned for four people), Blue Apron works directly with over 100 farms and “artisanal purveyors” to source the freshest ingredients. Delivering nationwide to most addresses, boxes arrive with insulation and ice packs to ensure your food remains fresh and ready to prepare. Customers can select from the weekly menu options in advance, so you’ll know—and have a say in—exactly what’s for dinner.

Pricing and Plans

  • 2 meals with 2 servings each: $11.99 per serving
  • 3 meals with 2 servings each: $9.99 per serving
  • 4 meals with 2 servings each: $9.49 per serving
  • 2 meals with 4 servings each: $9.49 per serving
  • 3 meals with 4 servings each: $8.49 per serving
  • 4 meals with 4 servings each: $7.99 per serving

Meals We Tried

Meal Kits

  • Togarashi shrimp and vegetable fried rice 
  • Space Ranger chicken enchiladas 
  • One-pan white bean and poblano shakshuka 
  • Baked meatballs and romesco mayo 

Prepared Meals

  • Sweet and spicy beef bowl with rice, peppers, and edamame 
  • Chicken alfredo pasta with peas

Best Pre-Made Meals: Freshly

Bowl of pasta with cheese and vegetables

Courtesy of Freshly

Brides Star Rating: 4.1

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $9.58 per serving
  • Delivery Area: 48 states
  • Products Arrive: Fresh

Why You Should Try It

Featuring a menu of over 40 gluten-free meals, Freshly provides tasty, nutritious prepared meals that only take minutes to cook.

Pros
  • Entire menu is gluten-free

  • Over 40 meals to choose from each week

  • Meals arrive fresh, not frozen

Cons
  • Few dietary preferences accommodated

  • Per-meal cost can be pricey for small orders

Overview

Freshly’s mission is to “make you happy, healthy, and freer to pursue your passions.” Yes, please! Not a fan of cooking or doing the dishes? These meals arrive freshly prepared (never frozen) and are ready in less than two minutes while always being gluten-free, low carb, high protein, and sans processed sugars.

With built-in portion control, Freshly is also environmentally friendly, with recyclable paper, plastic, cardboard, and insulation. There’s never a shortage of tasty options on the menu, from buffalo chicken with loaded cauliflower to turkey meatballs and linguine with spicy arrabbiata sauce.

Pricing and Plans

  • 4 meals per week: $12.50 per serving
  • 5 meals per week: $12.40 per serving
  • 6 meals per week: $11.33 per serving
  • 7 meals per week: $10.71 per serving
  • 8 meals per week: $10.37 per serving
  • 9 meals per week: $10.22 per serving
  • 10 meals per week: $10.00 per serving
  • 11 meals per week: $9.81 per serving
  • 12 meals per week: $9.58 per serving

Meals We Tried

  • Asian-style chicken and noodles
  • Steak peppercorn
  • Thai green curry
  • Pork chile Colorado

Best for Personalization: Snap Kitchen

Panko fried shrimp over rice and cabbage

Courtesy of Snap Kitchen

Brides Star Rating: 4.1

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $11.34 per serving
  • Delivery Area: Not specified
  • Products Arrive: Fresh

Why You Should Try It

Snap Kitchen boasts a flexible subscription with a menu of gluten-free prepared meals that can be filtered by protein amount, sodium content, carbs, calories, and common allergens.

Pros
  • All meals are gluten-free

  • Multiple filters for dietary preferences

  • Free shipping for weekly subscriptions

Cons
  • Few plant-based options

  • Must order a minimum of six meals

Overview

Snap Kitchen’s meal subscriptions are available in weekly six or 12 meal plans, with each day customized by the subscriber. After selecting one of their base plans (High Protein, Keto Friendly, Vegetarian, Low Carb, Balance, Whole30, or Paleo), you then pick the options that best suit your needs either by using the app or easy-to-navigate website.

Snap Kitchen is among the most personalized meal services, even asking about your daily calorie goal so that your subscription keeps you on track. Snap Kitchen’s meals arrive ready to heat in the microwave or oven. You can skip, change, or reschedule your delivery if needed.

Pricing and Plans

Snap Kitchen offers two subscription sizes:

  • 6 meals per week: $82.99 ($13.84 per meal)
  • 12 meals per week: $135.99 (11.34 per meal)

Meals We Tried

  • Baked ziti with Italian beef sausage
  • Stir-fry chicken and broccoli with garlic sauce
  • Chicken vermicelli bowl with Vietnamese dipping sauce
  • Herb butter steak with bacon roasted brussels sprouts
  • Shawarma chicken bowl with lemon tahini sauce
  • Peach BBQ brisket with loaded cauliflower

Best for Adventurous Cooks: Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon

Hand holding phone over table with vegetables on it

Courtesy of Martha & Marley Spoon

Brides Star Rating: 4.1

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $8.69 per serving
  • Delivery Area: 48 states
  • Products Arrive: Fresh

Why You Should Try It

With this meal kit service, you can enjoy Martha Stewart's best recipes right at home.

Pros
  • Over 45 recipes on the menu each week

  • Meals can be prepared in only six steps

  • Market add-on options available

Cons
  • Shipping isn't free

  • Not many vegan recipes

Overview

The cooking and lifestyle powerhouse that is the one and only Martha Stewart joined forces with Marley Spoon's service that offers more than 45 recipes each week. You'll be introduced to new ingredients that you might not already use. Try new and exciting flavors as a couple and choose from international dishes like Oven-Fried Fish and Chips, Harissa Chicken Sandwiches, and Croque Monsieur Panzanella with Tangy Greens, as you can cook your way around the world from the comfort of your kitchen for half the cost of takeout! Ingredients are sorted by recipe, so there's no rummaging through bags and boxes for what you need.

Pricing and Plans

  • 2 meals with 2 servings each: $12.99 per serving
  • 3 meals with 2 servings each: $10.99 per serving
  • 4 meals with 2 servings each: $10.49 per serving
  • 5 meals with 2 servings each: $9.99 per serving
  • 6 meals with 2 servings each: $9.49 per serving
  • 2 meals with 4 servings each: $10.49 per serving
  • 3 meals with 4 servings each: $9.49 per serving
  • 4 meals with 4 servings each: $8.99 per serving
  • 5 meals with 4 servings each: $9.99 per serving
  • 6 meals with 4 servings each: $8.69 per serving

Meals We Tried

  • Greek chicken gyro with chopped salad and garlic sauce 
  • Broccoli Reuben, Russian dressing wedge salad 
  • Oven fried beef taquitos, tomatillo salsa, and jalapeños 
  • Gochujang turkey ragu with fresh udon, cilantro, and scallions

Best for Comfort Food: Home Chef

Chicken and cheese stuffed peppers

Courtesy of Home Chef

Brides Star Rating: 4.1

Key Specs

  • Starting Price: $6.99 per serving
  • Delivery Area: 48 states
  • Products Arrive: Fresh

Why You Should Try It

With hearty meals including burgers, fried chicken, chili, and pasta bakes, Home Chef is the perfect choice for when you want a big plate of comfort.

Pros
  • Plenty of family-friendly meals

  • Dishes can feed up to six people

  • Add-on options available

Cons
  • Few dietary preferences accommodated

  • Limited sourcing info on the website

Overview

Thanks to its relationship with quality suppliers and professional chefs, Home Chef provides quality ingredients and weekly recipes that can be made into delicious, easy meals within 30 minutes. Each week's menu includes a variety of dinner selections, breakfasts, desserts, a fruit basket, and a smoothie, and is accessible to those with dietary guidelines, too.

Subscriptions are flexible, and at $6.99 per serving, it’s an affordable program for fresh and delicious food including options like the Piedmont Chicken Breast with fresh mozzarella, pesto, and balsamic reduction Caprese salad, or Teriyaki Ginger-Glazed Salmon with stir-fried bok choy and carrots.

Pricing and Plans

Pricing will depend on the size of your order and which meal options you choose. Meal kit prices start at $6.99 per serving.

Meals We Tried

  • Crispy sweet chili shrimp rice bowl 
  • Creamy tomato and steak penne 
  • Gnocchi and red pepper cream 
  • Moo shu pork lettuce cups

Final Verdict

Out of all the meal delivery services we tested, Sunbasket came out on top. Its flavorful meals, organic ingredients, and robust variety of add-on options scored big points with our testers. Plus, all of Sunbasket's packaging is either reusable, recyclable, or compostable, so you can feel good about ordering your meals.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Meal Delivery Services Expensive?

Price largely depends on which service you select. For example, Dinnerly offers servings as low as $4.99 each, while other companies like Sunbasket can be on the pricier end. Many services offer volume-based pricing models, where the per-serving cost goes down the more meals you order. For instance, if you buy four meals per week from Freshly, it'll cost you around $12.50 per serving, but ordering 12 meals per week lowers that price by almost three dollars to $9.58. And, of course, you'll need to factor in your personal budget to determine affordability.

Which Meal Delivery Service Has Premade Meals?

While some meal delivery services strictly offer meal kits, there are many companies that specialize in premade, heat-and-eat meals. Freshly and Snap Kitchen both have entire menus of premade meals, while Sunbasket, Purple Carrot, and Blue Apron offer a handful of prepared meal options in addition to their standard meal kit selections.

Do Meal Delivery Services Have Healthy Options?

The definition of "healthy" varies from person to person. But, with that being said, many meal delivery services include nutritious options on the menu every week. Companies may label certain meals as "carb conscious," "calorie smart," "fast and fit," or even simply "healthy," with the intention of guiding you to meals that are more health-focused. Some services also allow you to filter meals through different dietary preferences, such as low sodium, low sugar, and gluten-free.

Where Do Meal Delivery Services Source Their Ingredients?

This will vary depending on the specific meal delivery service. Some companies, such as Sunbasket and Green Chef, focus on sourcing organic ingredients from farmers and producers. With other companies, however, sourcing info might be a bit unclear. In many cases, you can check the company's website or contact customer support to learn more about ingredient sourcing standards.

Methodology

Our testers evaluated 40 different meal delivery services before determining the best companies for this list. After ordering and cooking meals from the companies, we carefully scored each one based on meal selection, nutrition, sustainability, and customer service, as well as the flavor, freshness, and quality of the food. Our tester panel includes dietitians, chefs, and writers who all share a passion for and knowledge of food.

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