X

Article updated on Feb 20, 2024

Best Meal Delivery Services of 2024

I tested my way through more than 20 meal delivery services to find the best overall meal kits, best budget subscription, vegan service and best meal kit for families.

Our Experts

david-watsky-headshot
Written by 
David Watsky
Our expert, award-winning staff selects the products we cover and rigorously researches and tests our top picks. If you buy through our links, we may get a commission. Reviews ethics statement
david-watsky-headshot
David Watsky Senior Editor / Home and Kitchen
David lives in Brooklyn where he's spent more than a decade covering all things edible, including meal kit services, food subscriptions, kitchen tools and cooking tips. Since earning a BA in English from Northeastern in Boston, he's toiled in nearly every aspect of the food business, including as a line cook in Rhode Island where he once made a steak sandwich for Lamar Odom. Right now, he's likely somewhere stress-testing a blender or researching the best way to make bacon. Anything with sesame is his all-time favorite food this week.
Expertise Kitchen tools, appliances, food science, subscriptions and meal kits.

What to consider

Meal kit versus prepared meal delivery

Cost

Healthiness

Number of meals per week

Why You Can Trust CNET
12345
Years of Cooking
66676869707172737475
Meal Kits
102030405060708090100
Prepared Meals

Our Picks

See at Blue Apron
blue apron box on counter
Best for meal kits
Blue Apron
(9/10)
View details
$110 off first 5 boxes
View details
See at Fresh N' Lean
Fresh n' Lean meals
Best prepared meal delivery service
Fresh N Lean
(9.2/10)
View details
$20 off first box with code:
View details
See at Pete's Paleo
pete's paleo
Best gluten-free meal delivery service
Pete's Real Food
(9/10)
View details
See at CookUnity
meatloaf and sweet potato meal on plate
Best meal delivery for singles
CookUnity
(8.8/10)
View details
View details
See at Mosaic Foods
greek ragout meal
Best vegetarian meal delivery
Mosaic Foods
(9.2/10)
View details
See at HelloFresh
hello fresh bags on counter
Best meal kit service for families
HelloFresh
(8.2/10)
View details
First box ships free + 3 surprise gifts
View details
See at Factor
factor vegan meal
Best meal delivery service for weight loss
Factor
(8/10)
View details
$90 off your first 3 weeks with code:
View details
See at Purple Carrot
purple carrot meal kit on table next to box
Best vegan meal kits
Purple Carrot
(8.8/10)
View details
$30 off order with code:
View details
See at Green Chef
green chef salmon recipe
Best healthy meal kits
Green Chef
(8.4/10)
View details
$250 off + free shipping with code:
View details
See at EveryPlate
umami beef bowl
Best cheap meal kit service
EveryPlate
(8.8/10)
View details
View details
See at Home Chef
stuffed peppers
Best keto meal kit delivery
Home Chef
(8/10)
View details
View details

What's the best meal delivery service?

Steak dinner on table

Blue Apron serves up steak and seafood for as little as $8 per serving, depending on the plan you choose.

David Watsky/CNET

They call me "Meal Kit Guy" around these parts, and that's because I've tested all of them; many of them two or three times. Am I obsessed? Maybe, but testing and tasting is the only way to find the best meal kits and meal delivery services in a growing sea of options. I've spent more than 50 hours putting the top meal kit services through their paces to suss out the best meal kit for every diet preference, skill level and budget.

So which meal kit should you buy if you're just starting on your journey? After more than 50 hours of cooking kits and taking lots of notes, Blue Apron tops my list as the best meal kit overall. Blue Apron recipes all took less than 30 minutes and everything I made was great. Plus, the basic plan includes premium entrees like steak and salmon without the premium price.

Beyond meal kits, I dove deep into prepared-meal delivery subscriptions that send ready-to-eat food to your door -- no cooking required. Fresh N Lean is the best overall prepared meal service, with great-tasting and read-to-eat meals made with lean meats and vegetables to fuel your week.

But I have other picks, including thebest cheap meal kits. That'd be EveryPlate, with its menu of excellent recipes that cost as little as $5 per serving. I also found exceptional vegan meal delivery services to satisfy plant-based eaters. For folks looking to accomplish health or nutrition goals, there are options for keeping to a keto, paleo and low-calorie diet.

Below you'll find the best meal delivery services of 2024, all tested and reviewed by CNET.

Best meal delivery services of 2024

Filter by
Showing 11 of 11 Results
See at Blue Apron

Best for meal kits

Blue Apron

$110 off first 5 boxes

Why I picked Blue Apron: With tasty, premium entrees such as steak and seafood at some of the best prices in the meal kit category, Blue Apron represents the best overall value for any meal delivery service I tried. I also loved the oven-ready family-style meals which take about 5 minutes to prepare and make four or five servings.

Blue Apron is the granddad of meal kit programs in the US and the brand still manages to deliver excellent meals with easy-to-follow recipes all at a fair price. Weekly menu choices available range from simple pasta dishes to inventive global cuisine, with high-end recipes including those for steak and seafood at no extra cost. The value in Blue Apron is obvious, but the quality and ease of execution also makes Blue Apron a perfect choice for the meal kit-curious.

Read our full review of Blue Apron here.

Editors' choice
See at Fresh N' Lean

Best prepared meal delivery service

Fresh N Lean

$20 off first box with code:

Why I picked Fresh N Lean: With extremely high-quality meals, tons of healthy options and fair pricing, this service was an easy pick for best prepared meal delivery service. In several rounds of testing, I've tried well over 20 Fresh N Lean meals and nearly all of them were good or better.

Fresh N Lean ran away from the competition, ticking more boxes than any other with healthy food that is thoughtfully prepared, tastes great, looks appetizing and is fairly affordable depending on the plan you select. Fresh N Lean has five meal plans to help keep folks on track with their specific nutrition goals including low-carb, vegan, paleo and protein-plus options. The food was all cooked exceptionally well using simple, whole ingredients. 

See at Pete's Paleo

Best gluten-free meal delivery service

Pete's Real Food

Why I picked Pete's Real Food: While it's more expensive than other prepared meal services on our list, the quality of food doesn't get much higher than Pete's. The cuisine is designed to fuel those following the precise paleo diet, but even those not keeping to the plan should enjoy this grub.

Pete's Real Food (formerly Pete's Paleo) won me over in a week-long taste test of its healthy organic and paleo meals, earning a spot as one of the best healthy, organic meal delivery services. Pete's meals are all fully prepared and ready to heat and eat. The dozen or so Pete's Real Food meals I've tested were all cooked well: meats were tender, vegetables (mostly) cooked to proper doneness and all the flavors worked. If you're in training or keeping to a paleo plan and looking for lots of protein, healthy fats and nutrient-filled carbs such as sweet potatoes and beets, Pete's should hit the spot. Read our full review of Pete's Real Food here.

See at CookUnity

Best meal delivery for singles

CookUnity

Why I picked CookUnity: This is a prepared meal service aimed at those with refined tastes and an adventurous palate. The best thing about CookUnity is the sheer volume of meal options you can choose from, all originating from chefs -- some famous and some less so -- of different backgrounds and culinary styles. 

I liked almost everything I tried, with recipes ranging from very healthy to more comfort-style food. There are plenty of options for vegetarians, too, but note that the menu will vary depending on where you live since they pull from local chefs to create the weekly offerings. Use promo code CNET30 for a 30% discount on your first purchase. Read our full review of CookUnity here.

Editors' choice
See at Mosaic Foods

Best vegetarian meal delivery

Mosaic Foods

Why I picked Mosaic Foods: This plant-based service was one of the best prepared meal services I tried, and not just among vegan options. Every recipe was at least good, often better, and family meals start at just $6 a serving when you choose a family plan.

I sampled more than 10 of Mosaic Food's plant-based prepared meal offerings and the vegetarian prepared meal delivery service had an astoundingly high hit rate. Mosaic uses global flavors and employs creative use of meat substitutes such as tofu, jackfruit, cauliflower and vegan sausages to create tasty and satisfying vegetarian meals. While everything I ate from Mosaic was at least good, some standouts included the bean and jackfruit chili, tomato olive and feta ragout and a tangy Thai noodle dish. 

See at HelloFresh

Best meal kit service for families

HelloFresh

First box ships free + 3 surprise gifts

Why I picked HelloFresh: HelloFresh combines, convenience, selection and family-friendly options for an all-around excellent meal kit experience. 

HelloFresh has the most recipes per week of any meal kit service I tried making it a good pick for families and homes with picky eaters. This meal kit service's portion sizes are generous and there are meals to fir eating plans and diets of all sorts. It's also affordable, especially if you order larger meals. Ya know, for a family. HelloFresh recipes are mostly fast and easy to follow, even for beginner cooks. Plus, they'll allow you to make substitutions so you can always find a recipe that suits your taste. Reaf our full HelloFresh review here.

See at Factor

Best meal delivery service for weight loss

Factor

$90 off your first 3 weeks with code:

Why I picked Factor: With plans that cost as little as $11 a meal and options for a variety of diets and eating plans, Factor is a solid option for those looking to eliminate cooking from the to-do list.

Factor is a healthy prepared meal service and had some of the best meals I tried in all my testing of prepared meal services, including a zesty pesto salmon and a divine keto cheesecake. Among the hits, however, were the occasional misses, so you may have to learn the menu over time. Factor puts a focus on healthy meals with plenty of low-carb options, and all the nutritional information is listed on the website before you choose your meals each week. With all the keto and paleo meal options, it's certainly a solid choice for people keeping to either of those plans. Read our full review of Factor here.

See at Purple Carrot

Best vegan meal kits

Purple Carrot

$30 off order with code:

Why our testers picked Purple Carrot: For authentic, organic, plant-based cooking, Purple Carrot delivered big with a bounty of interesting recipes and fresh ingredients. 

Out of all the vegan meal kits I've tried, Purple Carrot's provided me with the best base for cooking vegan cuisine and its ingredient mainstays such as lentils and grains. There are about eight recipes to choose from each week. I tested a full week's worth of meals and enjoyed all of them. Read our full Purple Carrot review here.

See at Green Chef

Best healthy meal kits

Green Chef

$250 off + free shipping with code:

Why I picked Green Chef: This meal kit service uses almost all organic meats and produce, and offers interesting and healthy recipes for the discerning home cook. The recipes I treid were healthy, tasty and easy to make.

While it may be one of the pricier options, I like Green Chef for its versatility in the different specific diet plans available. The healthy meal kit service also boasts the most organic ingredients of any meal kit service including produce, meats and fish. Green Chef also offers paleo, keto, pescatarian, vegan and vegetarian meals as well as gluten-free meal kit recipes and meals. Read our full review of Green Chef here.

Editors' choice
See at EveryPlate

Best cheap meal kit service

EveryPlate

Why I picked EveryPlate: At just $5 per serving -- even cheaper with a sign-up offer -- and an emphasis on delicious, hearty meal options and generous portion sizes, EveryPlate is the best cheap meal kit service I've tried. 

EveryPlate keeps overhead costs low by offering just eight easy meal kit recipes to choose from weekly, which mostly excludes vegetarians and those on special diets, but the eight available meals are full of variety and flavor otherwise. You can expect a lot of comfort food from this meal kit service such as meatloaf, burgers and pasta dishes but everything I made was solid. Best of all, you can score meals for as low as $1.49, with free shipping on your first order. 

See at Home Chef

Best keto meal kit delivery

Home Chef

Why I picked Home Chef: Home Chef is a meal kit service with a sprawling menu that includes tons of low-carb options. Even if you're not going full keto, but just want to curb your carb intake, Home Chef offers 15 recipes per week with less than 15 grams of net carbs in each.

On balance, Home Chef meal kits weren't the best I tried, but the bulk of meals I made took less than 25 minutes and the portions were more than satisfying. That, coupled with its slew of easy, healthy low-carb options, makes Home Chef the best meal kit service for keto eaters.

Meal delivery services compared

ServiceOptions per weekService typeGood forCost per servingCNET rating (out of 10)
Blue Apron 16Meal kitsVegetarian, low-calorie, gluten-free, pescatarian$8-$128.2
Fresh N Lean 18Prepared mealsKeto, paleo, Whole30, gluten-free Mediterannean, vegan, vegetarian, high-protein$10-$159.2
Purple Carrot 8Meal kitsVegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free$11-$138.6
Mosaic Foods 80Prepared mealsVegan, vegetarian, healthy, low-fat, families$6-$129.2
HelloFresh 80+Meal kitsVegetarian, keto, paleo, gluten-free, diabetic, pescatarian$9-$128
Green Chef 30Meal kitsVegan, vegetarian, organic, gluten-free, diabetic, pescatarian, Mediterranean diet$12-$147.8
Factor 75 30+Prepared mealsHealthy, low-calorie, pescatarian, vegetarian, keto, paleo, diabetes-friendly, gluten-free, Whole30$11-$138
CookUnity 100+Prepared mealsHealthy, gourmet, low-calorie, pescatarian, vegetarian, keto, paleo, diabetes-friendly, gluten-free, Whole30$11-$148.8
Pete's Real Food 25+Prepared mealsHealthy, paleo, keto, low-calorie, diabetes-friendly, gluten-free, Whole30, high protein$14-$169
EveryPlate 25+Meal kitsFamily-friendly, comfort food, picky eaters, healthy quick and easy$5-$78.8

Factors to consider when choosing a meal delivery service

Meal kit versus prepared meal delivery

Salmon and roasted broccoli meal

Meal kits or prepared meals? It's the first decision you'll have to make. Some services offer both, however.

David Watsky/CNET

The first big decision you'll make is whether you want meal kits, which require some prep and cooking, or a prepared meal service that sends fully cooked meals that are ready to heat and eat. Meal kits will demand more of your time and energy but they'll also cost a little less per serving. Prepared meals require almost no time and energy, other than what it takes to actually eat the food, but typically run a few bucks more per serving.

Cost

steak meal kit ingredients

If you opt for a cheaper meal kit service, you might not get as many steak and seafood options.

David Watsky/CNET

After you've picked between meal kits or meal delivery, you'll want to find a service within your budget. There are meal kits with recipes for as cheap as $5 a serving with basic menus and no-frills recipes. More expensive services include recipes with more exotic ingredients, high-end cuts of meat and organic produce but can cost as much as $15 or $20 a serving. Here I've outlined all the best cheap meal delivery services for 2023

Healthiness

Daily Harvest meals in box

Daily Harvest is one of the healthiest meal delivery services we tried.

David Watsky/CNET

While most meal delivery services have healthy options, some are much healthier than others. If you're keen on eating low-calorie, low-carb, plant-based or pescatarian food, certain meal kits and meal delivery services will be better than others. Our list of the healthiest meal delivery services for 2023 is a good place to find all the most nutritious options. 

Number of meals per week

Fresh n' Lean meals

With most services, the more meals you choose per week, the cheaper the price per meal.

Fresh n' Lean

Lastly, you'll want to hone in on exactly how much food you'll want sent to you per week. If you can't imagine yourself cooking more than twice per week, don't order more than two meal kits because they typically won't last more than a week in the fridge. 

Most prepared meals either arrive frozen or can be frozen after unboxing. That means it's less of an issue if you order too many meals on your first go around. Most services allow you to change the number of meals or servings in your plan even after you've started.

With nearly every service, the more meals your order per delivery, the cheaper it is per meal. 

Show more

How I tested meal kit services

hello fresh bags on counter

Meal kits are judged on several factors as we cook our way through a box of recipes.

David Watsky/CNET

All the meal delivery services may look delicious in their website glamour shots, but that's certainly not enough to convince me. To settle on this list of the best meal delivery service I tried as many as we could get our hands on, noting everything about them from freshness and flavor to ordering, packaging and delivery.

Testing meal kits for CNET means rolling up our sleeves and cooking at least one week's worth of meals from each service, often more. How each meal kit tastes, how easy it was to prepare and the portion sizes are all considered. I also evaluate the website and how easy it is to navigate along with determining how easy it is to pause, cancel or change your order at any given time. To learn more, I have an in-depth look at how we test meal kits here at CNET.

How I test prepared meals

screenshot-2023-12-18-at-5-48-30pm.png

Some meal delivery services require cooking from scratch, while others offer dishes that just need to be heated up.

David Watsky/CNET

To test each meal delivery service, I tried at least five and sometimes as many as 10 meals from any given service. I choose a range of meals from the various menu and meal plan offerings and took note of the ordering process, recipe variety and information available.

I reheated meals according to the instructions. If there were none, I heated them the way I would if left to my own devices. Often that meant warming gently in a nonstick skillet or reheating in my air fryer. Many of the meal delivery services offer a microwave heating option, but I almost always found that produced worse results than my trusted methods, even if they typically take a few seconds longer.

Show more

Other meal delivery services I tested

dinnerly ingredients laid out on a table

Dinnerly meal kits are fast, easy and won't cost you an arm and a leg.

David Watsky/CNET
  • Sunbasket: This service has high-end meal kits, but the bloated cost keeps it off our list.
  • Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon: This is another meal kit service aimed at foodies. While the quality is high, the prices are too. 
  • BistroMD: These meals are intended to promote weight loss, but the cost is high, and the flavors aren't good enough to justify the price.
  • Daily Harvest: Daily Harvest's semi-prepared smoothies, bowls and soups are good and fairly affordable, but the meals are inconsistent and contain a lot of sodium.
  • Splendid Spoon: If you want premade smoothies, this is a good service to try, but be prepared to pay about $9 for each one.
  • Dinnerly: This meal kit service is one of the cheapest, but the recipes were inconsistent. 
  • Territory Foods: The food was some of the best I tried, and I found the recipes diverse and interesting. Ultimately the cost -- meals starting at $16 -- kept it out of the top.
  • Sakara Life: This fresh food service was tasty and good for a cleanse, but it's also one of the most expensive meal subscriptions we tried. 
  • Trifecta Nutrition: Trifecta's vegan meals are healthy and tasty but also very expensive.
  • Hungryoot: I liked this hybrid service but leans more toward grocery delivery than meal kit.
  • Snap Kitchen: Snap Kitchen has solid prepared meals, mostly under 450 calories. The portions were a bit small, and some meals were underwhelming.
  • FlexPro Meals: These frozen keto meals were some of the worst I tried.
  • Nutrisystem: Though it's affordable, I disliked most of the meals I tried from this frozen meal subscription.
  • Rootberry: This vegan meal delivery service is reliable but the food is not to the level of others on our list.
Show more

Who are meal kits good for?

egg dish on plate

Meal kits are best for those seeking truly fresh food.

David Watsky/CNET
  • Families seeking an easier way to make home-cooked meals. Meal kits help you avoid the nightly debate about what you're going to make for dinner and save a trip to the grocery store if you're missing breadcrumbs or flour. 
  • Those trying to eat healthier. Meal kit services all offer in-depth nutritional information, including carbs, calories, sugar, sodium, and protein. Many meal kit services even offer specific diet plans that filter out foods that don't fit a dietary preference or restriction, such as gluten-free, diabetes-friendly, keto or carb-conscious and paleo meals.
  • Anyone who wants to learn to cook. With all the ingredients sent along and easy recipe instructions, meal kits are a low-pressure way to learn to cook.
Show more

Who is prepared meal delivery good for?

modify health meals in box

Prepared meals are great for those uninterested in cooking.

David Watsky/CNET
  • Those looking to save time. Meal delivery is great for anyone who wants easy meals and fewer evenings spent cooking but doesn't want to pony up the dough for expensive takeout.
  • Those looking to eat better. Many prepared meal delivery services cater to Whole30, keto, paleo, vegan, vegetarian and organic eaters and can help you regulate fat, sugar, carbs and calories on a weekly basis. 
  • Families, in some cases. Certain meal kits with larger serving sizes are good for families. Mosaic Foods, for instance, has family meals that net out to just $6 a person. Meal kit services also have family plans that cost less per serving than buying meal kits for one or two people.
Show more

Meal delivery service FAQ

Are meal delivery services worth it?

If you're looking to cut some of the legwork out of dinner, meal kits and prepared meal services are definitely worth it. The most budget-friendly services cost about the same as buying all the groceries you'd need to make the same meal, with the convenience of having all the ingredients or a box of fully prepared meals sent to your home each week.

Are meal kits cheaper than buying groceries?

If you score one of the cheaper, budget-friendly meal kits you can get meals as low as $5-$8 per serving. That's definitely cheaper than eating out or getting restaurant food delivered, and about the same cost as buying the groceries needed to make the same meals. Most meal delivery services run in the $10 to $12 per serving range, while the more premium services, including Green Chef, Sunbasket and Pete's Real Food, cost more like $12 or $14 per serving. 

In a previous story, we crunched the numbers to find out how much meal kits cost versus buying the same groceries.

What's the cheapest meal delivery service?

EveryPlate and Dinnerly are the cheapest meal kits, with plans that start at $5 or $6 per serving. Blue Apron and HelloFresh are also affordable, with plans as cheap as $8 a serving. 

The cheapest prepared meal delivery service is Mosaic Foods, since it has family meals that cost just $6 per serving. 

What are the most popular meal delivery services?

In reviews and best lists, Blue Apron and HelloFresh are two of the most popular meal kit services for 2023. Fresh N Lean and Factor are some of the most popular options for prepared meal subscriptions.