Article updated on September 12, 2023 at 6:15 PM PDT

For $5 a Serving, I Assumed EveryPlate Meal Kits Would Suck. I Was Wrong

I tried the budget-friendly meal kit service to see how it compared to more expensive options. Here's everything you need to know before trying EveryPlate.

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David Watsky
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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. Before, during and after earning his BA from Northeastern, he 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 tinkering with a toaster. Anything with sesame is his all-time favorite food this week.
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hand holding three recipe cards
8.8/ 10


Pricing Starts at $5/serving
Type Meal kits
Recipes per week 25+
Good for Healthy, family-friendly, comfort food, picky eaters, quick and easy

Score Breakdown

Taste/results 8/10Value 10/10Ease of recipes 9/10Recipe variety 8/10Healthiness 7/10


  • Simple, tasty meals at the lowest price per serving in the category
  • You can swap proteins and sides if you want
  • Uses less plastic than other meal kit services
  • Everything I made tasted great and was easy to execute


  • Not many low-carb or plant-based options
  • Some boxes of ingredients arrive a little disorganized
  • $9 extra for shipping

If you haven't checked in on meal kits in a minute, these fun and convenient subscriptions have gotten way more affordable than when they first hit the scene. In fact, I crunched the numbers and found that meal kits are often about the same cost or less than buying the groceries yourself. The cheapest service is EveryPlate with meal kits starting at around $5 per serving. It's also one of the best of the dozen or so services I've tried.

box of groceries

I restested EveryPlate and it's still my favorite cheap meal kit service.


EveryPlate has topped my hand-tested list of the best cheap meal delivery services for three years running. In the spirit of quality control -- something we take seriously here -- I took EveryPlate for another spin in 2023. The service's affordable offerings hold steady as the best cheap meal kits to buy, doling out simple and satisfying recipes for good, homemade meals that often cost you less time and money to make than doing it from scratch.

Below is a full breakdown of my most recent round of testing EveryPlate meal kits went and what you can expect if you sign up.

How EveryPlate works

EveryPlate is meal kit service so keep in mind that you'll have to cook your meals. (If you prefer not to cook, I suggest trying a service like Fresh N Lean, Mosaic Foods or CookUnity for fully premade food delivered each week.) This budget-friendly service is an offshoot of Green Chef, which was acquired by HelloFresh in 2018. While Green Chef offers a more gourmet approach to meal kits, EveryPlate aims to be the most affordable meal kit service. 

(If you're curious about EveryPlate's sister brands, I also tested and reviewed Green Chef and HelloFresh in 2023.)

website page for picking meal plans

The more meals per week you pick, the cheaper they get.

EveryPlate/Screenshot by CNET

Signing up for EveryPlate couldn't be simpler. First, you'll plunk in an address and contact information and then select a plan (number of meals) and payment option. For plans, you can choose either two, three, four or five meal kits per week with either two, four or six servings per meal. The more meals you pick, the cheaper the per-serving price gets. The plans start at $5 per serving and go about to $7.49.

EveryPlate recipes from website

EveryPlate recipes are simple and good.

EveryPlate/Screenshot by CNET

Then comes the fun part: You pick meal kits from a menu of roughly 13 to 16 recipes. The meals change weekly with favorites popping back into the rotation often. There is loads of information available about each one, including calories, nutrition and the time it takes to make. You can also substitute proteins and side dishes on most EveryPlate meal kits just in case you despise green beans or have had way too much chicken lately. You can even view the next two weekly menus in advance.

Shipping and delivery

ingredients for three meal kits in box

EveryPlate uses less packaging than other services by lumping most of the ingredients together in one box. You'll have to separate items before starting a recipe but it doesn't take long and didn't bother me at all.

David Watsky/CNET

EveryPlate delivers to most of the continental US with boxes arriving on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays (your choice). Meal kit deliveries come sealed with large ice packs and are meant to stay cold for up to 48 hours, just in case you're not home to receive them on a particular day.

What EveryPlate meals are like

hand holding three recipe cards

EveryPlate's recipe cards will guide you carefully through each meal kit.

David Watsky/CNET

EveryPlate is big on comfort food. On any given weekly menu you'll find options for meatloaf, pork chops, chicken pot pie, tacos and pasta recipes. Sides are equally hearty, including lots of mashed potatoes, roasted carrots, white rice and noodles. There are a few -- but not many -- plant-based options per week, and you won't find many trendy ingredients or superfoods in EveryPlate meal kits. The recipes were all mostly familiar to me, although the culinary team will mix things up with a hoisin (Japanese barbecue sauce) glaze on an otherwise traditional meatloaf or a sweet apricot and Dijon sauce to liven up a chicken dish.

steak with green beans and potatoes

Most steak and seafood recipes incur an upcharge of a few bucks per serving. 


EveryPlate has only a few seafood or steak options (one or two per week) and most of the ones available are considered "premium" and cost an extra $3 per serving. There are really only lunch and dinner meal kits and no breakfast or snack options, although you can select a protein pack of chicken breasts and ground beef for meal planning.

How easy are EveryPlate meal kits?

ingredients for fish meal kit

Most of EveryPlate's recipes are simple and fuss-free. I like that. 

David Watsky/CNET

Of the meal kit services I've tried, EveryPlate meals are some of the easiest to prepare. The most complicated recipe I made was meatloaf and even that took just 30 minutes. There are very few if any, overly complicated recipes that require advanced skills or fancy kitchen equipment, making EveryPlate a good option for new or amateur cooks. 

Each meal kit comes with a comprehensive recipe card fit with glossy images and directions to help you through. Each card also lists what you'll need that isn't provided -- cooking oil, butter, ketchup -- so you're not caught flat-footed. 

If you've chosen to swap a side or protein, there are little addendums up in the corner to address any slight changes to the recipe. For example, "Did you choose chicken instead of pork? Follow the recipe as written but in step 4, simply cook the chicken for 5-6 minutes per side."

Who is EveryPlate good for?

EveryPlate is perfect for anyone looking for a boost to their cooking routine, learn to cook or inject some new recipes into their rotation without breaking the bank. Busy people, too, since it's also a time-saver, eliminating trips to the store as well as time spent ruminating over what to make. If you like comfort foods and don't mind a few carbs, EveryPlate has them in spades but there are some healthier options, too. 

Who EveryPlate meal kits are not so good for

EveryPlate recipes are on the simple side so I wouldn't recommend it for very experienced chefs looking to further hone their skills. There are also fewer "healthy" options and even fewer plant-based meals on EveryPlate, so I also wouldn't recommend this meal kit service for vegans and vegetarians. As a way to keep prices low, EveryPlate doesn't cater to diet plans either such as keto, paleo or low-sugar.

EveryPlate pricing


EveryPlate is the cheapest of the major meal kit delivery services.

Screenshot by David Watsky/CNET

EveryPlate is $5 a serving if you choose meal kits for four and closer to $6 a serving if you only order recipes for two. By my count, it's the cheapest meal kit company available and it's even cheaper when you bag a special promotion like the one running now (just $2 per serving). Keep in mind that "Premium" meals like salmon and steak do incur an upcharge of $3 per serving and each box costs $9 to ship.

Are EveryPlate meal kits cheaper than buying the groceries yourself?

Last time I tested EveryPlate, I also did a cost breakdown to see how much it would cost to make the same meals if you bought the groceries yourself. In some cases and especially when you figure in gas to get to and from the market, EveryPlate was about the same as cooking from scratch but with the bonus of a whole lot more convenience and time saved. See the full breakdown here

What I cooked and how it went

Barramundi with chimichurri saucemashed cauliflower and green beans: This was the one premium recipe I made (extra charge alert), which means it'll cost you extra. It was simple, healthy and really good. The fish smelled and tasted very fresh, and didn't really even need the punch of chimichurri. I doused the filet in it anyhow. 

barramundi dish on plate

A simple spiced barramundi with mashed potatoes and roasted green beans.

David Watsky/CNET

Chicken sausage flatbread + tomato pasta: This unique meal kit is designed to be made as a pizza one night, then a portion of extra cooked pizza sauce and toppings are turned into a pasta dish the next day, for lunch or another dinner. The meal kit has all the ingredients for both recipes. I liked both meals and found this to be a rather clever idea.

flatbread on cutting board

This meal kit starts as a rustic flatbread for dinner. But then...

David Watsky/CNET
pasta dish in bowl on table

...on Day 2, the extra pizza toppings you put aside can be turned into a hearty pasta dish in about 7 minutes.

David Watsky/CNET

Sweet umami beef bowls: This is one of my favorite types of meal kits. It takes very little time or mental energy to prepare and is highly satisfying. It wasn't heavy but plenty hearty, with lots of complimentary flavors and textures.

umami beef bowl

This simple umami beef bowl with cucumbers and carrots was one of my favorites.

David Watsky/CNET

Hoisin pork meatloaves with wasabi mashed potatoes: This was another favorite of the EveryPlate recipes I cooked. It was simple to make but interesting and satisfying. Putting wasabi in mashed potatoes is definitely my new default. 


The meatloaf was my favorite of the recipes, but all of EveryPlate's meal kits passed the ultimate taste test.

David Watsky/CNET

Sweet potato and pepper quesadilla with fresh salsa and chipotle sour cream: This was a nice changeup for lunch, especially if you're looking for some plant-based options to sprinkle into your routine.

Spicy umami pork chops with ginger rice and roasted carrots: Another simple yet flavorful dinner. The hoisin and ponzu made good on the promise of umami and the fresh ginger made the rice really pop.

Is EveryPlate worth it?

As someone who reviews meal kits for a living, I often feel like I'm splitting hairs trying to find the nuance, but with EveryPlate the distinction is very clear. EveryPlate is the most affordable meal kit service but still delivers enjoyable recipes that are both interesting and satisfying. In three rounds of testing -- that's nine total meal kits -- EveryPlate recipes have not produced a single meal I didn't like. 

While EveryPlate turns down the gourmet dial just slightly compared with Blue Apron or Green Chef, the meals I made were all very solid and didn't look or taste "budget." At just $5 or $6 a serving, I also felt like I was getting a genuinely good deal. Plus, most boxes of ingredients from EveryPlate use less shipping materials than many of its competitors. 

If you've never tried a meal kit before and want to see if it's a good fit, I would absolutely recommend EveryPlate. In fact, I've been recommending EveryPlate to just about anyone looking to try meal kits, especially at those wildly cheap new-customer prices of just $1.50 per serving.