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Stock Up on These $5 Premade Pasta Dishes for the Easiest Weeknight Dinners Ever

Daily Harvest's vegan rice and pasta meals taste great, cost between $2.50 and $5 per serving and take under 5 minutes to prepare.

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 the best way to cook bacon. Anything with sesame is his all-time favorite food this week.
Expertise Kitchen tools | Appliances | Food science | Subscriptions | Meal kits
David Watsky
2 min read
pasta dishes in bowl with bags on table

I've tested all the top meal delivery services and have yet to find a better value than Daily Harvest's family-style dinners. 

Daily Harvest

If I need a satisfying dinner but have approximately zero time to make it, I'll usually make a takeout or delivery decision that is questionable, both financially and nutritionally. But I recently found a foil for those busy weeknight dinner conundrums in Daily Harvest's exceptionally tasty and affordable family-style pasta and grain meals. 

pan with pasta dish on stove

As you warm the dish, the gluten-free pasta finishes cooking and the sauce cubes melt to join the other healthy ingredients in culinary matrimony. 

David Watsky/CNET

I stumbled upon the new offerings while testing the healthy vegan meal delivery service late last year. The frozen bags of plant-based, gluten-free pasta and grain bowls cost $9.79 each and include either two or four servings. 

rice dish on platform next to bag

The rice dishes are delicious on their own, but you can always mix in some cooked chicken, beef, shrimp or plant-based protein to round out this 5-minute meal. 

Daily Harvest

The best part? These partially premade meals take one pan and only 5 minutes to heat up. All the ingredients are par-cooked and flash-frozen, with cubes of frozen sauce that melt into the dish as you warm it. 

Daily Harvest meals in freezer

Daily Harvest has excellent vegan soups, smoothies and breakfast bowls, but I'm all in on the family-style pasta and rice dishes.

David Watsky/CNET

The pasta dishes were terrific -- some of the best I've had from any meal subscription or delivery service. The brown rice and quinoa-based ziti came to a perfect al dente after being gently heated in a nonstick pan. They were plenty filling, but the gluten-free pasta doesn't sit as heavily in your stomach as a traditional wheat-based noodle does.

daily harvest pasta dishes

Where else can you get a healthy, filling and delicious meal for two for under $10?

Daily Harvest

The grain dishes were equally impressive, with bold recipes featuring cilantro, onion and bell pepper and a yellow curry with chickpeas and cauliflower. I got a good caramelization on the rice by letting it sit still in the corner of a hot cast-iron or stainless-steel skillet before shaking it up and serving. All the recipes I tried were interesting, flavorful and packed with protein and superfoods in the form of kale, giant romano beans, spinach and garlic.

daily harvest

There are four family-style grain meals to choose from. They also cost $9.79 but come with four servings per bag.

David Watsky/CNET

So are these pasta and grain bowls as good of a deal as they sound? Daily Harvest lists each pasta dish as having two servings and the rice meals as having four per bag - about $5 and $2.50 per serving, respectively. For me, the pasta dishes were a true two servings but the rice dishes are more like two or three servings, not four. That's still under $5 for a thoughtfully prepared meal that takes almost no time to make.

How to order Daily Harvest's pasta and rice dishes

Daily Harvest functions as a subscription service, but you can choose as few as nine items and have your deliveries come every week, every two weeks or only every month. Your nine items or more can include smoothies, soups, flatbreads and snacks, in addition to the pasta and rice dishes. 

Daily Harvest allows you to pause or cancel anytime if you're not feeling it or need a break.

peach smoothie on counter

Daily Harvest has excellent soups and smoothies worth adding to your monthly box.

David Watsky/CNET

Those other meals are between $6 and $11 per meal -- still not a bad deal -- but not quite the same value as the pasta and rice dishes. If you want, you can choose only pasta and rice dishes, but the company does occasionally run out of stock on these popular new dinner offerings.

Read my full review of Daily Harvest for more.

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.