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Best prepared meal delivery services for 2020: Home Chef, Daily Harvest, Veestro and more





All through the continuing coronavirus pandemic, consuming balanced, nutritious meals is necessary to sustaining your total well being and properly being. Nonetheless, not lots of people have the time for meal prep, to not point out the endurance or ability within the kitchen to be cooking up gourmand meals seven occasions every week. Then what about dietary restrictions akin to a vegan or gluten-free weight loss plan? And going to the grocery retailer? What when you have meals allergic reactions and do not wish to account for each ingredient in each single meal? It sounds exhausting, fairly frankly.

That is the place a ready meal supply service is available in. With the assistance of a meal supply firm, all you need to do is pull absolutely ready, nutritious meals out of your fridge or freezer and heat them up — no precise cooking required for a satisfying and wholesome meal. And the menu choices are virtually infinite!

I started to analysis this listing of meal supply corporations earlier than COVID-19 hit, however since March I’ve change into a much bigger convert. I’ve actually loved having these ready meal choices shipped to my door and the menu choices supplied by these ready meal supply providers have been key to serving to me preserve a wholesome life-style throughout lockdown.

Now, I am glad to current this listing to you now in hopes {that a} meal supply program brings a bit reduction to your each day routine, no matter whether or not you are a foodie, a choosy eater or someplace in between. And, as a result of all the pieces is ready, you do not have to be knowledgeable chef or to eat one thing scrumptious from your individual fridge.

Earlier than we dive into the listing, let’s reply some questions. First, how are these set other than our favorite meal kit delivery services? Whereas the meal equipment revolution — which led to family names like Blue Apron and Hi there Contemporary — was all about offering you with the essential substances and directions on learn how to pull all of it collectively right into a scrumptious meal, we’re betting you not have the time or endurance to try this. Prepping and cooking your meals is de facto solely enjoyable once you’ve bought the time to develop your recipes, go to the grocery retailer to buy your individual substances and in any other case flex your chef muscular tissues. Not a lot when your journey to the market includes a masks and getting out and in as shortly as doable.    

That is why these oven-ready meal kits and wholesome ready meal providers have emerged as an answer once you want fast, simple and scrumptious meal choices however your funds for takeout is working skinny. Newer wholesome meal supply providers akin to Veestro and Freshly have taken observe of recent healthful consuming habits and provide ready menus tailor-made for each dietary desire, together with carnivores, vegetarians, vegan and others on a plant-based weight loss plan, in addition to these maintaining to a ketopaleo, low-sodium, gluten-free, natural substances, low carb, low-sugar or low-calorie weight loss plan. Regardless of your dietary restrictions — or if you happen to’re a choosy eater or have meals allergic reactions — there is a meal equipment service for you.

Whereas many of the meal plan providers we sorted are ready-made meals — that’s, ready, precooked and with substances able to pop into the oven or a scorching skillet to be heated — meals from meal equipment supply service choices akin to Home Chef and Gobble are not but cooked. These “oven-ready” meal supply plans, which fall someplace between a traditional meal equipment and meal supply, are raw however preassembled to be thrown collectively and baked, broiled or stir-fried with no main prep required for a wholesome meal. Briefly: Please do not eat any uncooked hen. You do not want meals poisoning on prime of all the pieces else that is occurring!

Most of those meal subscription corporations ship their preportioned and precooked meal choices frozen or partially frozen. For the reason that delivered meals arrive in shipments of 4 or extra, most meals are designed to be popped proper into the freezer so you possibly can defrost and eat them over the course of the week or longer. Even if you happen to do not plan to eat the absolutely ready meals on daily basis — and even each week — having a ready meal dish or two (and even snacks stashed away within the freezer for emergencies) may be useful once you you simply do not have it in you to even boil water for pasta. And let’s not even get began on what having a stash of meal choices does for our peace of thoughts.

Whereas I wasn’t in a position to strive each meal from each one of many meal equipment and supply providers listed, I did get an opportunity to strive not less than one meal choice from every. As you will learn, a few of these meal supply providers and meal kits are centered round a selected wholesome recipe meal idea. House Chef, as an illustration, has easy meal kits right down to a science with recent substances and recipes which are already prepped and may be completed in as little as 15 or 20 minutes. Others, akin to Veestro, focus on premade or ready vegetarian and vegan meals for these going meatless or dairy free in 2020, however nonetheless on the lookout for a substitute for cooking. Significantly, if you happen to’re on a particular weight loss plan you might want to take a look at the choices — there’s certain to be one for you.

There’s nonetheless nothing fairly like a home-cooked recent meal, however a few of these easy and reasonably priced meal providers simply is perhaps the factor to lighten your load throughout the difficult occasions we’re presently dwelling by way of. And, maybe most necessary, these meal supply corporations do not require a visit to the grocery retailer.

Learn extra: Wine, beer, alcohol delivery: How to get alcoholic beverages delivered to your door    

Word that able to eat meal supply equipment service Freshly is presently at capability and never taking new orders so I’ve moved them to the underside of the listing. I will work to maintain this listing of one of the best ready meal supply service choices up-to-date, however please examine every service to make sure they’re working usually and with affordable supply occasions earlier than inserting an order. I might additionally prefer to proceed to encourage you to support your local restaurants once you’re on the lookout for ready meals by ordering takeout when you possibly can, as so many eating places are struggling mightily.


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Here are the best prepared meal delivery services and oven-ready meal kits in 2020.

  • Best meal delivery that you still have to cook (a little): Home Chef
  • Best prepared meal delivery for quick lunches and dinners: Daily Harvest
  • Best meal delivery for vegetarians and vegans: Veestro
  • Best meal delivery for calorie counting and dieting: Freshology
  • Best for gourmet meal delivery: Home Bistro 
  • Honorable mention best meal delivery you still have to cook: Gobble
  • Best meal delivery for comfort food with a healthy edge: Freshly

Home Chef

Home Chef is a popular meal kit company and recently launched a line of oven-ready meals like cajun chicken with rice and beans, meant to take nearly all the work out of dinner but still delivering home-cooked food, technically speaking. 

If it’s oven-ready meal options you’re after you’ll want to choose Home Chef’s Fresh & Easy meals which are focused on no-fuss easy oven-ready options. Plus there are grill-ready meals for summer and 15-minute entree salads for those craving lighter fare or slow cooker meals that likewise require very minimal preparation and cleanup. This new category from Home Chef is designed to be low technical skill and is a good option if you’re wanting a home-cooked meal delivery plan but not interested in enlisting at a culinary institute to make it happen. 

Pricing: No matter how you slice it, Home Chef meal service breaks down to just under $10 per serving. Most people choose six to eight meals a week, so the average cost is about $70. But you can choose as few as six servings and as many as 12 and will save slightly more with a larger order. 

Daily Harvest

Daily Harvest launched in 2015 with an army of frozen and ready-to-blend smoothies, premade soups and hearty grain bowls to keep stocked in the freezer. Some of the bowls and soups could pass as dinner but I like these best for a no-fuss lunch or breakfast. Depending on the specific offering, you either drop it into a saucepan or skillet to heat and eat. Or add nut milk and blend it up, as with the protein-packed smoothies, oat bowls or lattes.

This is a great plant based meal delivery service if you want to simplify your week and keep to a healthy eating frozen meals plan. Daily Harvest uses lots of ancient grains, oats and superfoods in their recipes, which are all mostly satisfying and well balanced in terms of flavor.

Pricing: With so many different offerings and options you can really choose whatever you want but soups, smoothies and chia bowls can be had for as low as $5.99 per serving, if you order a subscription and in bulk. 

Veestro

If you are looking for a vegetarian option, Veestro offers a wide-ranging menu meal delivery plan of 100% prepared plant-based meals for those keeping to a vegan or vegetarian diet. Vegetarian meal offerings from Veestro include dishes like tofu with red curry sauce, carrot osso buco and country-fried chick’n. Veestro uses more meat alternatives than say a Purple Carrot in the meals, so if you like seitan, tempeh and other faux ingredient meats this is a good meal delivery service to check out.

The carnivore in me has to admit that many of the vegetarian options and plant-based meals I tried from Veestro were as satisfying as the food I’m used to. I would suggest this meal plan for anyone trying to cut back on meat but not going full-fledged vegetarian, as much of the food is designed to replicate a carnivore’s diet and makes for a soft landing.

Pricing: Veestro meal service breaks down to roughly $11.70 per meal for 10 meals, although it’s more expensive for a one-time order. This vegan meal delivery service gets less expensive, however, if you choose a 20-meal plan ($10.80 per meal).

Freshology

You might have guessed by the name but this healthy meal delivery service doesn’t specialize in creamy mashed potatoes or mac and cheese. Depending on your nutrition goals, you can focus on specific menus like vegetarian, low-carb or keto meals or to help manage diabetes. All the meal plan nutrition and calorie information is provided to help you meet those diet goals. Freshology powered by Diet-to-Go is intent on helping customers stay on track all day, too, with a full slate of breakfast, lunch and dinner options. 

There is less of an emphasis on delivering haute cuisine but rather hearty and nutritious fully prepared meals with good protein, and you’ll find lots of lean protein, whole grains and green veggies without a ton of pomp and circumstance. 

Pricing: Customizable meal plans start at $9.99 per meal. You can have as many as three meals per day delivered if you really just don’t want to cook. Ever. 

Home Bistro

Home Bistro is definitely the priciest meal delivery service on the list but that’s because the meals are of a higher caliber to be sure. You’ll find a bit less grilled chicken breast or simple pasta dishes but rather more complicated proteins like Chianti-braised short ribs, Peri-Peri pork tenderloins and chargrilled pomegranate salmon with Home Bistro. 

Though this takeout kit is more expensive — comparable to takeout — if you eat a lot of meat but don’t have tons of great prepared food or delivery options in your area, this is a good meal delivery service to try. And since you can order these prepared meals a la carte, you can always save it for special occasions. 

Pricing: Individual meals are between $19 and $27. You can order Home Bistro meals a la carte or packages of 7, 10 or 20 meals to be delivered weekly or bi-weekly.

Gobble

Gobble is also not technically prepared meals but with many of the takeout kit dinners taking as little as 15 minutes to cook, it might as well be. The team at Gobble does all the recipe prep work — chopping, dicing, measuring — so you can breeze right into a cacio e pepe with shrimp and asparagus or sirloin steak with mashed potatoes. Gobble is another great option for meal delivery if your goal is freshly prepared food with very little effort.

Pricing: Gobble meal kits start at $11.99 per serving but you can try your first six meals for just $36 as a one-time offer.

Freshly

Freshly delivers precooked meals (fresh, not frozen) to your door. While they have healthy recipe options a-plenty, Freshly is one of the better meal service options if you want the occasional cheat meal or comfort food delivered to your door (yes, please!). Penne bolognese, peppercorn steak with mashed potatoes and chicken casserole are just some of the heartier choices you can have at the ready. But there are also healthier, low-cal options to keep yourself honest. 

Pardon the word-play but Freshly did have some of the freshest tasting ingredient meals, likely because they didn’t arrive pre-frozen. Not everything felt restaurant quality but overall this company delivers a lot of crowd-pleasers including chicken tikka masala and chili-topped macaroni and cheese.

Pricing: The more you order the more you save with Freshly and the difference is significant. Four meals per week breaks down to $11.50 per meal but up that to 12 and the price per meal drops to $7.99.

More on food and healthy lifestyles

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.





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Author

David Watsky