Tuesday, July 23, 2024

15 Best Meal Delivery Services 2024, According to Bon Appétit Editors

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That said, CookUnity does offer a huge variety of options. It has one of the most robust weekly menus I’ve seen, and you can definitely find meals that’ll fit any kind of dietary preference, like vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free, and so on. I’ve found most of the meals I’ve tried to be hearty, flavorful, and well-seasoned, especially compared to other premade meal kits on the market. Some favorites? The grilled chicken yassa with jollof rice and plantains, the short rib with herb mashed potatoes, and the ginger salmon cakes with miso-sriracha sauce. For the best results, you’ll want to reheat the meals in the oven, but you can also reheat them in the microwave if you’re short on time. If you’re interested in a solid meal delivery service that does all of the meal prep and cooking for you, CookUnity is worth it. Just play around and try a bunch of meal options to learn what you like best. —T.H.


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I’m a big podcast listener, so I’ve been hearing about Hello Fresh—and its many, many coupon codes—for a long time. It has a lot going for it: There are plenty of options to choose from, the shipping is quick, and the meals are super easy to cook. I sometimes eat meat (the cuts of beef and pork I received were tasty, fresh, and high-quality) but was happy to see plenty of vegetarian and plant-based options to choose from, like black bean and corn tacos and bulgur grain bowls. My only caveat is that there was a lot of sameness to many of the meals I tried—repeat ingredients or the same seasonings used across disparate international cuisines. Still, portions were large, leftovers were plentiful, and I really enjoyed the convenience of knowing dinner was taken care of. Stick to more classic options—I loved the beef tenderloin with truffle mash—and you won’t be disappointed. —Alma Avalle, digital operations associate.


Factor

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Even the best home cooks can get a little tired of making dinner post-holiday cooking season. If you want to eat meals that are nutrient-dense but dead easy to prepare, Factor is probably the way to go. Factor is a little like a fancier, dietitian-approved TV dinner. It’s a prepared-meal delivery service that takes cooking completely out of the equation. Here are the steps: Take the meal tray out of its paper sleeve, poke holes in its plastic lid to let air out, and pop the tray in the microwave for two minutes. I’ve tried a variety of meat dishes, such as Creamy Tomato Pork Chop and Garlic Herb Salmon, but the real stunner was the Indian-Style Vegetable Rice, a richly seasoned vegetarian meal. The carnivorous dishes became a little repetitive, to be frank: Many of them consist of a small slab of meat sitting on a bed of some purée, accompanied by a couple dollops of different greens. But it’s precooked by “real chefs,” as Factor’s website puts it, and a prepackaged meal with generous portion sizes, so I can’t really complain. The meals are filling for a single person, the ingredients are whole and simple, and the nutritional information per serving is broken down on the label of each dish (and if you’re concerned about following a particular set of dietary restrictions or are carb-conscious, there are paleo, low-carb, and keto-friendly meal options too). All in all, a solid choice when you want to eat a cooked meal while watching a half-hour sitcom but don’t want to order takeout or do any of the cooking yourself. —K.Y.


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EveryPlate is all about affordability, and that’s a really good selling point for a meal kit, especially when some plans end up costing you about the same as a mid-range restaurant meal. Here a single-serving shakes out to about $5, with added discounts for students. Not bad for a ponzu chili steak bowl with charred snap peas and ginger rice. Meals marked as “premium” will run you an extra $3.99 a serving, but these typically include pricier proteins like scallops. Dishes aren’t revelatory but are tasty and relatively simple to put together, and the ones marked “30 minutes or less” made good on their promise. I appreciated the ease with which a surprisingly hearty chicken sausage and kale soup came together, though a little packet marked “chicken stock concentrate” was certainly pulling a lot of weight. I also appreciated the relatively low level of packaging with this kit, and the fact that there were plenty of comfort foods and vegetarian options. That said, healthy eating is not necessarily the name of this game: a dish of scampi-style scallop linguine included 4 Tbsp. butter for two portions and no vegetables save for a single shallot. But maybe that’s what I get for picking the scampi. —H.C.


Territory

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Territory Foods, another brand that solely provides premade meals, began in 2011 as a meal delivery service targeted at the cult of Paleo adherents. Now it’s expanded, thanks to a $22 million investment, into a more diet-agnostic but still Paleo-minded platform. The name “Territory” presumably references the fact that the company works with local restaurants and independent chefs in each of its markets—a cool feature. Because of that structure, menu options vary widely across locations and change frequently, though everything is always free of gluten, dairy, and refined sugars. If that sounds limiting, it really isn’t: In the three weeks that I sampled Territory, I didn’t notice those omissions until I read the fine print. Choose your delivery schedule (once or twice weekly) and number of meals (at least four per week). Each meal is priced individually, and you can skip weeks without penalty as often as you need to. I like how many filtering options there are when choosing dishes: Customers can limit by diet (Paleo, of course, but also vegan, vegetarian, keto, Whole30, low-fat, and more) or even specific macro amounts. Of all the different meals, miso pesto ramen with shrimp was my mainstay—the shrimp were large and tender, and the brown rice-and-millet ramen was delicious both hot and straight from the fridge. I also found myself returning to the Springbone chicken and rice, which came close to the halal cart I used to frequent near my office. The best part about all of them? The preparation doesn’t require any cooking, all you have to do is reheat them in the oven or microwave. Meals arrive in an insulated cardboard box. Except for the included ice packs, all the packaging is recyclable; the Paleolithic people would be proud. —Amanda Shapiro, contributor


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Whether you’re looking for an introduction to Indian regional cuisine or an easy way to put dishes you grew up with on the table, Cumin Club offers low-effort meals while delivering big on flavor. The company’s three cofounders, all of whom hail from the southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu, were looking for easy ways to get a taste of home. What I love about this meal kit service is that it’s basically an “add water, heat, and serve” type of situation. It’s great for days that I want a full meal but don’t have the time to make it from scratch. All the dishes are vegetarian, and I often use them as a base for my dinners or add a quick-cooking veggie—like frozen peas and carrots to the service’s upma—to call it a day. (You could also add meat.) My favorite meal was the dal makhani. It’s made from a short list of simple ingredients, has all the creamy richness you’d expect from the dish, and it takes seven minutes to prepare as opposed to overnight in the slow cooker. I ate this with a dollop of yogurt, chopped cilantro, and premade rotis. I also appreciate that Cumin Club offers dishes from distinct places of origin, like Kolkata and Chennai—both regions that represent my cultural identity but that often get overlooked when it comes to Indian food in the US. All the meals, which do not shy away from spice, come out to just under $5 a pop, which makes them relatively affordable even though it’s a subscription-based service. —Urmila Ramakrishnan, associate director of social media.


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Of all the meal kit delivery services I’ve tried, Sunbasket is perhaps the most premium. They predominantly focus on health and sustainability, striving to use 100% organic fresh produce, responsibly raised meats, and wild-caught or sustainably raised seafood. Here, you’ll find an abundance of delicious meals—like Korean rice bowls with sticky-sweet BBQ chicken skewers and kimchi, Burmese chickpea and tomato soup with lemongrass, and seared tuna and black rice with roasted sweet potato and nori—that extend beyond the more basic, “greatest hits” recipes you’ll find at other meal kit services. All of the dishes I tried were flavorful and well-seasoned, and I enjoyed the unmatched diversity of ingredients. Looking through the menus, I would routinely come across a dish or ingredient I’d never cooked before—like these hominy fritters, which are very much speaking to me. That’s why I’d recommend this meal kit service to anyone who could use a little inspiration in the kitchen. Not to mention, all of the meals are quick and easy. I appreciated that the sauces and dressings were premade (and actually tasted good) and that the protein choices for the meals were customizable. For example, when ordering the BBQ meatloaf with garlicky greens and potatoes, you can select either ground beef, ground chicken, or ground turkey. For other meals, you can even choose your preferred cut of steak or chicken. They also offer weekly fully prepared, microwave-ready meals (I can vouch for the turkey chili mac with cheddar). So, if you’re looking for culinary creativity and lots of flavor, Sunbasket might be the best meal kit for you. —T.H.

sakara reviews

BA’s commerce editor Carina Finn called her time testing Sakara Life’s healthy prepared meals her “week of wellness-girlie cosplay.” At $420 for 5 days worth of meals (breakfast, lunch, and dinner), this is one of the more outrageously expensive meal kits on the market. And the brand is definitely positioning itself in the luxury health space: It has been endorsed by a whole host of wellness influencers, and also, crucially, by Gwyneth Paltrow—so you get what you’re dealing with here.



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