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I Could Get Hooked on This Salad Delivery Service

If you were once a frequenter of Au Bon Pain or Chop't for lunch, this salad delivery service is your fix for the at-home workweek.

Three Farmer's Fridge salad jars
Farmer's Fridge might be the easy fix for weekday lunches you've been searching for.
Farmer's Fridge

I've got my breakfast routine down to a bit of a science and dinner is always a mix of cooking at home, delivery and dining out. It's lunch, especially during the week, that always sneaks up on me and I'm never quite prepared. A revamped meal delivery service called Farmer's Fridge is taking aim at the issue with unfussy, preassembled salads and bowls to have stocked for the workweek ahead.

8.2

Farmer's Fridge

Like

  • Salads and bowls were fresh and stayed crisp even after a few days in the fridge
  • Reasonable prices and big portions
  • Some interesting recipes like truffle couscous and BBQ chicken ranch salad
  • No subscription required

Don't Like

  • The bowls, while not bad, weren't as good as the salads
  • Extra $6 for shipping
  • Delivery only available to 42 states as of now

If you're skeptical about (mostly) preassembled salads arriving fresh, I was too, but Farmer's Fridge pulls it off and for pretty affordable prices. I tested a week's worth of meals including the meal delivery brand's healthy salads, premade pasta dishes, grain bowls and breakfast parfaits. While we're not dealing with Michelin-level cuisine here, the food -- and the salads in particular -- was far better than I'd expected, making Farmer's Fridge an easy lunch fix during a busy workweek.

Read moreThe Best Cheap Meal Delivery Services in 2022

How Farmer's Fridge works

Farmer's Fridge makes and ships mostly assembled layered salads, noodle and rice bowls, wraps and breakfast parfaits. The company originally launched as a food vending machine operation, dispensing fresh salads at airports and on college campuses. During May of 2022, and at the height of the pandemic, the service saw an opportunity to expand to a new crop of work-from-homers and now offers national delivery of its quick and easy meals. 

farmer's fridge menu online

A snapshot of offerings from the online menu.

Screenshot by David Watsky/CNET

Ordering meals and pricing

There's a set menu to order from with salads and bowls clocking in mostly $9 or $10 each. There are smaller portions of noodle, pasta and rice bowls for under $7 each. Wraps are $8.79 each and breakfast parfaits are $6. The weekly has about 23 total options, most of them geared toward lunch. You can place a one-time order (no subscription needed) but you'll need to purchase a minimum of about five salads or bowls and can't order more than eight or nine so they can pack the jars securely in what I assume is a one-size-fits-all box. 

Delivery is currently available in 42 states and you can check your ZIP code here. Shipping for each box is $6, but there's no commitment or subscription required. You can cancel or adjust your order up until five days before the arrival date.

How my box looked: A little spillage but mostly in good shape

My meals showed up fresh, cold and packed well, save for a little leaking from one of the parfait cups. But even that dish was mostly intact and plenty edible. All the greens and vegetables looked vibrant and there was no sign of food that was past its prime. All the meals (except wraps) are housed in recyclable plastic jars with the ingredients to keep them from mixing up or getting mushy. Dressings and dry items for salads such as nuts and croutons are wrapped separately and tucked under the lid. 

Salads are meant to be mixed or shaken in the jar and eaten. Grain bowls, noodles and pasta meals should be heated up. You can use a microwave, but I opted to warm mine in a nonstick skillet for a couple of minutes on medium heat.

Read more: Don't Use a Microwave to Reheat Leftovers and Prepared Meals. Do This Insteadt

farmers fridge jars stacked on table

My food arrived looking good. Only some minor leakage (top left) courtesy of the chia and coconut parfait.

David Watsky/CNET

What I had and how I liked my Farmer's Fridge meals

Chicken Caesar salad with crispy chickpeas: I opted to eat the salads first since I figured they were likely to wilt or spoil the fastest. The chicken Caesar was a hit with fresh and crunchy romaine, tender bites of chicken, shaved parmesan and crunchy chickpeas (came wrapped in plastic). The dressing was also excellent with a good hit of garlic. It was a big portion too, almost more than I could finish after I shook it up in the jar and released it into a bowl.

caesar salad in bowl

The Caesar salad was simple but fresh with an excellent garlic-heavy dressing.

David Watsky/CNET

Cobb salad with toasted pepitas: The Cobb was a nice mix of romaine, carrots, cherry tomatoes, corn, cheddar and toasted pepitas. It tasted fresh even two days after arrival and was also quite filling, even without the standard bacon or chicken you might associate with a cobb.

cobb salad

The cobb salad was solid with crunchy pepitas and hard-boiled egg slices for some protein.

David Watsky/CNET

Harvest salad with balsamic vinaigrette: This was my favorite of the salads with some interesting mix-ins including goat cheese, pecans, sweet potato, cranberries and apple. Even without a meat protein, it satisfied my lunch craving in between Zoom meetings.

harvest salad in bowl

The harvest salad with goat cheese and sweet potato was my favorite of the bunch. It was still in great shape after three days in the fridge.

David Watsky/CNET

Truffle couscous with chicken, parmesan and mushroom: The warm truffle couscous bowl was solid but not exceptional. I was pleasantly surprised that the little wheat balls didn't get mushy and the truffle flavor wasn't overpowering.

Pesto pasta bowl with mozzarella and tomato: This pasta bowl wasn't as good as the couscous but not a total failure either. The pesto was underwhelming and a little tangy for me. I probably wouldn't order this one again. 

Yogurt with blueberries apple and granola. This was another meal I was sure wouldn't taste very fresh, but the blueberries weren't bruised, mushed or overripe at all. It was topped with pleasant granola featuring no raisins (always a win in my eyes).

yogurt parfait with blueberries and granola

The blueberry parfait was good but didn't blow me away. Although, I'm not sure a parfait ever really has.  

David Watsky/CNET

Coconut chia bowl with fruit: This fruit cup with coconut chia was a little sweet but the fruit seemed fresh. The whole dish had a punchy coconut flavor.

Who is Farmer's Fridge good for?

Farmer's Fridge is ideal for work-from-home salad eaters that don't care to craft lunch from scratch or order expensive delivery. The service delivered the goods when it comes to easy, filling salads and bowls that arrive fresh and stay that way even after a few days in the fridge. 

If you were once a frequenter of Au Bon Pain or Chop't back in your office days but are looking for similar lunch fare with the added convenience of home delivery, Farmer's Fridge is a good pick. At about $9 for most meals, it's more affordable than most of the salad shops I've eaten at. 

Farmer's Fridge Jars

The pasta, noodle and rice bowls are all pretty tasty but I thought the salads stole the show.

Farmer's Fridge

Who is Farmer's Fridge not good for?

Probably not a good pick for picky eaters since you'll have fewer options and no customization options. In fact, you're probably better off just making them at home if you have very specific criteria for your lunch. I also wouldn't recommend this for anyone looking for regular meal delivery of hot lunches or dinners. While the pasta and burrito bowls were OK, there are other services such as Fresh N Lean, (my top pick) Freshly and Mosaic Foods (vegetarian) that are better at those types of meals, and at comparable prices. 

Also, if you have an unpredictable schedule, you might end up wasting food since Farmer's Fridge meals aren't really meant to be frozen and probably won't fare well if you do. Plus, you have to order about seven meals per box so you'll want to ensure you're home to eat them.

Packaging and environmental friendliness

Farmer's Fridge only gets a solid B grade from me in this category. All of the meal jars can be curbside recycled or reused (they're pretty sturdy. The cardboard box and kraft paper can also be recycled in your curbside bin as are the insulated PET liners. Unfortunately, the ice packs must be disposed of in the trash and can't be drained down the sink like some others. 

farmers fridge box overhead view

Besides the reusable ice packs, everything in your box should be curbside recyclable.

David Watsky/CNET

Final verdict on Farmer's Fridge

Farmer's Fridge won me over with its simple, fresh salads that take about 15 seconds to prepare (shake). I wasn't as bowled over by the, um, bowls but don't be afraid to throw one or two in your order for some variety. The parfaits were also tasty, but your options are limited to about three, so you might tire of them. 

With hefty portions and reasonable prices, Farmer's Fridge is a solid option for a busy person looking to knock out weekday lunches or breakfast with almost no effort at all. 

More meal delivery recommendations 

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.