Tired of cooking? Hell, yes! Since the quarantine began in March, my kids have been home Every. Single. Day. And they eat and eat and eat. Tired of cooking, I decided to take a look at the meal delivery options to help me provide healthy meals and also trim my own calories because being home more has me eating and eating and eating (Sound familiar?). Here’s what I found:
For fully cooked meals that just need to be heated up, Freshly was my answer. These, as the name implies, are fresh meals — somewhat delivery just not from your local restaurant.
You can choose breakfast, lunch or dinner options, with each week a new rotation of choices of more than 30 dishes. Each meal is meant for one person with meals like Sicilian-Style Chicken Parm, Steak Peppercorn, and Coconut-Curry Chicken Bowl. Four meals per week are $11.49 per meal or you can choose up to 12 meals, which drops the price to $8.49 per meal. And, there are gluten-free options available.
I love: Just grab a meal from the fridge and set 3 minutes in the microwave. Boom! You’re done!
I wish: The meals were pretty heavy and I wished for some lighter options. And for the family? It would be great if I could order for the entire family instead of individual servings.
This meal-delivery service has bombarded my Facebook feed with ads so I had to give it a look. Rather than meals that come pre-cooked, this service provides all the ingredients needed and a step-by-step recipe that you can toss together and cook.
There are two- and four-person meal options, at $48 to $60 for two or three meals, respectively.
There are vegetarian and other dietary preferences available and personalized for you.
I love: There is a wine subscription option that can pair wines with your meals.
I wish: The average prep and cooking time is 45 minutes; the whole points was to avoid spending more time in my kitchen.
Since I wanted a better diet, Green Chef appealed to me for its Keto and Paleo menus. The delivery includes all of the ingredients, pre-measured, with recipes that feature photos for the step-by-step instructions. A new menu is unveiled every week.
The Paleo meal plan features dishes like Herb-Roasted Shrimp and Pineapple Teriyaki Chicken. The Keto plan offers dishes like Thai Ginger Beef Patties and Pesto “Risotto” with Fried Cheese.
Both are priced at $12.99 per serving.
There is also a plant-based menu available, with meals at $9.99 per serving, offering dishes like Black Bean & Sweet Potato Tacos and Edamame Rice Cakes. Carb-conscious and Balanced Living menus are also available.
I love: Diet-friendly food options with lots of creative menus.
I wish: The price wasn’t so high.
Fresh Direct is a grocery delivery service that happens to offer prepared foods so rather than running to the grocery for a rotisserie chicken and sides, you’ll have similar options delivered to your door.
You’ll find rotisserie, of course, along with deli salads, sandwiches and wraps, soups, and holiday dinner meals. But better yet, you’ll also find 4-minute meals, meal kits, and a la carte entrees. These are the better options, in my opinion, with items like Sustainable Lemon-Dill Salmon, Seared Scallops with Wild Mushroom Risotto and comfort foods like Beef Meatloaf in a Slow-Cooked Tomato Sauce.
There are far more choices available on Fresh Direct than on any of the meal plans I reviewed, with so many choices: You can see price, servings and ingredients to help determine what you want to order. Plus, you won’t struggle to find new dinner choices with so many options.
I love: Like your grocery store, the prepared meals are definitely budget-friendly and most don’t require any cooking.
I wish: It was a little bit overwhelming in offerings, but that’s not actually a bad thing.
Another big name in the meal delivery arena, Hello Fresh begins with a number of options. Are you looking for meat and veggies or just veggies? Do you want diet-conscious foods, fish-based, family-friendly or quick and easy? Then you can select whether you want it for two or four people and between two and five recipes per week.
There are 20 recipes you can select from each week and you’ll have to do the cooking with Hello Fresh. I really loved the family-friendly dishes offering kid-tested recipes that are “picky eater approved.” There are dishes such as Creamy Chive Chicken with Lemony Rice and a Dijon-Apple Salad and Chicken over Garlic Parmesan Spaghetti with Tuscan Roasted Tomatoes.
Meal prep varies and one thing that is great is you can see the prep and cook time when selecting your menu, so if you want quick meals you can find them. They even detail what utensils you need for prep!
I love: The prices are great: $8.99 for two or $7.49 for four. The nutrition values are extremely helpful, too.
I wish: This was my favorite of the options so I didn’t have any wishes to add.
Lissa Poirot is an award-winning lifestyle writer who covers health, wellness and travel. Her work has appeared on websites such as WebMD, FamilyVacationCritic and the New York Times, as well as print in magazines including Vegetarian Times and Arthritis Today.