Looking up recipes, doing a weekly grocery haul, portioning out ingredients, and then actually cooking most of your weekly meals requires some time and patience. Not to mention a ton of creativity and skill to go from an empty fridge to one that’s well-stocked with nutritious foods you can whip up into different dishes. Let’s be real — it’s much easier to hit ‘order’ on a food-delivery app.
We’re here to break down the rather overwhelming world of meal kits and plans. And to help you eat smarter, we looked at a variety of ’em: ones that offer vegetarian, vegan, and meat-based options, plans for kids, dessert deliveries, and more. From dishes you can quickly heat in your microwave to ones that take under 30 minutes to prep, we consulted Skimm HQ’rs for some reliable recs. Here are our faves.
These plant-based meals are frozen, so they don’t require any cooking. It’s a great option for people who don’t have time to prep or who want to take something to the office that they can quickly microwave. There are more than 50 meals to select from, which are all super tasty (we tried them). And if you don’t want to eat them right away, just keep ’em in your freezer til you’re ready to heat up. Some of our favorites include the soba noodles, enchilada casserole, and mushroom stroganoff. Everything is made with organic ingredients and is gluten-free and non-GMO. (Plans start at $9.90+/meal, Veestro)
Using whole fruits and veggies, this meal plan ships frozen, microwave-ready dinners straight to you. Meals are plant-centric and handmade by expert chefs, with ingredients sourced from farms and distributors around New York’s Hudson Valley. Aka no artificial ingredients or preservatives are used. For every box that’s sold, Mosaic works with the nonprofit City Harvest to reallocate 2 pounds of nutritious food to New Yorkers in need. One Skimm HQ’r highly recs this meal plan, also noting that 100% of their packaging is either curbside recyclable or made with post-consumer recycled fiber. They even have a full guide on how to correctly dispose of every component. Eat good, do good. (Plans start at $4.99+/meal, Mosaic)
This meal plan is focused on fresh dishes that are 100% vegan and plant-based. You’ll have to heat them once they arrive (max five minutes), but everything is cooked to be eaten the same week it gets delivered. And all meals are free of refined sugar, artificial preservatives, and gluten. Some of our personal faves are the veggie tikka masala and the bean-packed marina with gluten-free pasta. One thing to note: We love how each meal was clearly labeled with nutritional info. The dishes are high in protein and low in sodium, which means you can add additional salt to your liking. For those who are calorie-conscious, this is a great meal plan to help you keep track of intake. (Plans start at $109+/week, Sprinly)
One Skimm HQ’r has been using this 100% vegan meal-kit plan for over a year and has yet to get bored of the recipes. She repeats some of her favorite meals, but says there is more than enough variety each week to keep trying new things. If you’re in a time crunch, there are “quick and easy”-labeled options for meals that take less time to prep. There are also soy-free, nut-free, gluten-free, and high-protein options, along with dishes that come in under 600 calories. (Plans start at $51.94+/week, Purple Carrot)
Have trouble brainstorming new recipes to cook? Then Everyplate is for you. Each week you’ll get 18 delicious and affordable recipes to choose from. Once your selection is finalized, everything is delivered to your door. Each meal can be made in under 45 minutes and won’t call for a grocery run. To help you through prepping and cooking, each recipe has just six simple steps to follow. Dishes range from garlic rosemary chicken to Italian pork sausage gnocchi bake. Yum. (Plans start at $4.97/serving, Everyplate)
These nutritionally designed meals are packed with superfoods. Each week a new menu is crafted, and everything is both gluten- and dairy-free. Choose from dishes for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, including juices, snacks, and wellness shots. You can keep meals strictly plant-based or add meat. As a heads-up: Right now Thistle only covers California, parts of Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Utah, and Washington. A Skimm HQ’r tried it and found the meals to be very inventive and packed with a variety of veggies and nutrients. When it comes to sustainability, Thistle works hard to reduce their energy, water, and waste footprints across their supply chain. They donate the by-products of their pressed juices and meals to local farmers for composting. (Plans start at $11.50/meal, Thistle)
Probably the most popular meal plan on this list, Blue Apron delivers always-fresh ingredients, along with step-by-step instructions, so you can learn new skills and experience new flavors. What’s great is that all the ingredients are perfectly portioned. So you won’t have to think about food waste or portion control. Everything comes from farms, importers, and family-run purveyors. There’s also a special focus on protein, with seafood and sustainably sourced red meat (no antibiotics or hormones either). You can sub in Beyond Meat for regular meat dishes, choose from diabetes-friendly options, and there’s a handy market section where you can shop wine and kitchen tools. (Plans start at $7.49/serving, Blue Apron)
Another hugely popular option, Hello Fresh is all about taking the stress out of mealtime. It’s got a big focus on protein, whether that be from fish, meat, or plants. And it’s pretty low-commitment, so you can easily skip weeks or cancel. It works much like Blue Apron in the sense that ingredients come to you with easy-to-follow instructions. Nutritional info is clearly provided, things are pre-portioned, and 25 new recipes designed by chefs and nutritionists are created each week. The plans are pretty diverse: You can choose from low-carb and low-calorie options, go veggie-focused, or select family-friendly if you’re looking to feed kids. Meal options are also labeled as “easy cleanup” and “easy prep” to help you save time in the kitchen. (Plans start at $7.49/serving, Hello Fresh)
There’s a ton of flexibility with Fresh n’ Lean: You can select up to three meals per day or individually pick dishes you like. Based on your preferences, you can choose to go protein-heavy, low-carb, keto, Paleo, or vegan. You can easily note allergies, add additional snacks, or bulk-order sides. And if you need to exclude ingredients from meals for dietary reasons, your portions won’t be smaller. Meals arrive fresh so you can pop them in the fridge or heat them in the microwave. All of the containers are BPA-free and the packaging is recyclable. (Plans start at $7.93+/meal, Fresh n’ Lean)
What’s great about Territory’s meal plan is that you can really personalize it to your needs. The meals are already gluten-free, dairy-free, and without refined sugars, but you can tailor ‘em to your lifestyle — like if you eat a Paleo diet. Each dish is sorted by ingredient and macronutrient range, so you can get a bit picky if you have specific wellness goals. To get everything made, dietitians partner with local, independent chefs, small businesses, and restaurants to deliver you the best meals possible. We’ve tried this meal plan and found it to be very tasty, with full nutritional info provided. Meals are quick to heat and portions are more than enough to keep us feeling satisfied. (Pricing depends on location, Territory)
With tons of different options available, Little Spoon sends baby food or meals for toddlers and big kids right to your door. You can even add clinically researched vitamins, probiotics, and all-natural remedies to your selected meals. Little Spoon focuses on providing your kids with nutritious foods at a low cost. The new line of toddler and kids meals starts at just $5 per meal. You begin by picking your plan (baby food v meals), then choosing which dishes your kids would like most. There’s a rotating menu, so your little one will never get bored. (Plans start at $2.99+/blend and $4.99+/meal, Little Spoon)
It’s filled with delicious and nutritious options ideal for your toddler. Simply select the ones that work for your kid and get them delivered weekly. The meals come fully cooked and ready to heat. Ingredients are carefully sourced, and all the dishes are nutritionist-approved. There’s pizza pockets and broccoli parm, chicken mac ‘n’ cheese, and veggie bowls. Sigh of relief sold separately. (Plans start at $5.99/meal, Yumble Kids)
This baby-food delivery service is ideal for your rapidly growing little one. You customize the plan and Yumi does the rest. Everything is made from organic ingredients (which are also gluten-free, dairy-free, and non-GMO) and shipped to you. The plans are broken down by ‘stages,’ from 6+ months up to 11+ months. Jars start as single-ingredient purees and work their way up to nutrient-dense bites and food puffs. So your tot can discover new tastes and textures. (Plans start at $28/month, Yumi)
Hive makes it easy to order your favorite products, from pantry items to snacks to things for your pet. Everything is held to a high standard, otherwise known as the Hive Five: ingredient integrity, recyclable packaging, low carbon footprint, committed to social good, and rave-worthy. Foods have been tested, and tastiness is measured. Every shipment is carbon neutral, and 99% of the box is recyclable, compostable, or TerraCycle-able. For free shipping on your first order of $25+, use code THESKIMMFS at checkout. (Prices vary by shipment, Hive)
Or bake into cookies — the choice is yours. Deux is a woman-founded company and uses ingredients you can actually pronounce in its products. Like peanut butter, organic maple syrup, water, and organic coconut sugar. And since there are no raw eggs, you can scoop it from the jar. Your sweet tooth is screaming. Psst: Use code SKIMM to get 20% off your order. ($45/3 pack, Deux)
Introducing the chunkiest, gooiest, and (arguably) best cookies of all time. Based in New York City, this women-owned bakery creates one-of-a-kind cookies and breads. This pack ships nationwide and comes with chocolate chip walnut, dark-chocolate chocolate chip, dark-chocolate peanut butter, and oatmeal raisin. The cookies can also be found in the freezer section of Whole Foods Market stores. The biggest problem will be whether or not to share them. ($27+/4 pack, Levain Bakery)
Maybe you wanna send someone New York bagels; maybe you wanna give the gift of San Francisco sourdough. Whatever it is — Goldbelly has you covered. You can explore by region or browse gifts from top chefs. You can also go the route of a one-time delivery, or choose to do a subscription. We highly rec this babka from Breads Bakery or this deep-dish pizza from My Pi Pizza. Best gift-giver award, coming right up. (Prices vary, Goldbelly)
We’re bringing you products, recs, and suggestions that’ll make your life just a liiittle easier. It all starts with adding us to your inbox.
Skimm'd by Alexandra Napoli & Emmy Favilla
No leaks, no mess, no problem. We’ve got ways to store dry goods, liquids, and leftovers. Chef’s kiss.
This list has containers to keep your produce fresh, herb scissors, and a spoon designed for peanut butter jars. Dinner is served.
For when more time at home means you’re constantly wiping down the counter you literally just wiped.