January 03, 2022
Whether it's through an app or via a subscription service, technology has made it easier than ever to order food right to your door. From healthy homemade meals to quick takeout to nutritious meal kits, food delivery services offer a variety of options for consumers with busy lifestyles, specific diets, and in some cases, no cooking skills.
Yes, the rise of food delivery has offered the ultimate convenience to those without the time or energy to prepare and cook meals for themselves, friends, or family, but how exactly does one choose the best meal kit delivery service for them? With specific dietary requirements, the desire for fresh ingredients, and a multitude of options to choose from, the selection process has gotten a bit more complicated than the days when you just ordered some takeout from a local restaurant. If you've been looking for a quality delivery service for meal kits or oven-ready meals that meet your dietary needs but aren't sure which one to choose, check out our guide to find the best meal kit delivery service for you.
How did we choose these 5 meal kit & pre-made meal services?
Paring down all of the pre-made meal and meal kit services to a list of the
five best was no easy task. We took into account a variety of factors that
consumers look for in a quality food delivery service, including:
• Dietary Preferences: Each option offers a little something for everyone. You'll find gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, and paleo options for meal or meal kit delivery services in addition to the more traditional delivery services that are available.
• Menu Options: We looked for meal kit delivery services that provide a wide array of meal options that won't be repeated frequently so that you won't get bored eating the same food regularly.
• Freshness: We wanted to ensure that each meal kit service provided ingredients that were healthy, fresh, and always available at their peak for consumption. With many items being sourced locally, these meal kit and meal delivery services are committed to providing the highest quality ingredients that are sure to please.
• Additionally, we took a look at the cost per meal, delivery time, and customer service as a few other important factors that played into our final verdict. At the end of our research, we narrowed down the list to the five best meal kit delivery companies that are sure to meet all of your dietary needs. Bon appetit!
• Meals for ten different dietary lifestyles
• Organically sourced produce
• Dietician-approved meals
• Full money-back guarantee
• Customizable delivery schedule
• Nationwide delivery not yet available
Why We Chose Sunbasket
Sunbasket sources organic, free-range, and hormone-free produce wherever possible. From plant-based to paleo and everything in between, Sunbasket offers the most extensive range of ready-to-eat meals and meal kits that are delivered fresh to your door for fast reheating or easy cooking.
Sunbasket’s two most popular meal options offer customers a way to meet their dietary needs on their schedule.
• Meal Kits - If you love cooking and are looking for new meal ideas, Sunbasket's meal kit services offer convenient meals that are ready in 30 minutes or less. The nutritious meal kits are pre-portioned and include seasonal ingredients. Each meal kit comes with 2-4 portions and can be ordered pre-prepped or as a classic meal kit where you can do the meal prep work yourself.
• Fresh & Ready - No time to cook? Not a problem with Sunbasket's extensive range of freshly prepared oven-ready nutritious meals. Simply pull one from the fridge, reheat, and start eating in as little as 6 minutes.
If you are looking for meal plans for a special occasion such as date night, anniversary, or a birthday check out Sunbasket's Chef's Table Meal Kits that include premium ingredients, unique flavor combinations, and are made using artisanal techniques.
How it Works
Sunbasket doesn't mess around when it comes to ordering. They make it easy to set up deliveries with their weekly menus or choose items a la cart to be delivered fresh to your door on your delivery schedule.
You only need to select your meal options, choose additional add-ons, and set the delivery frequency and date. Sunbasket even lets you change the delivery address should you be out of town or cancel if you won't be home at the scheduled time. There is a shipping fee in lieu of a delivery fee.
The Bottom Line
Sunbasket's process is streamlined to ensure that you have the best food options at your fingertips. No matter your dietary preferences, specific tastes, or daily lifestyle, Sunbasket has delicious and healthy meal kits as well as heat-and-eat meals available at an affordable price per serving.
• 100% vegan meals
• Fresh ingredients with no preservatives
• Powerful juice cleanses
• One-time delivery available
• No meat options
• Few breakfast choices
Why We Chose Vegin' Out
Vegin' Out offers fresh, 100% vegan meals planned by a nutritionist and delivered directly to your door. Their entire menu is plant-based without the use of any meat or animal products, making them one of the most authentic and affordable vegan meal delivery services available.
Vegin' Out's meals are specifically tailored to those on a strict plant-based vegan diet. But don't let the vegan approach fool you! Vegin' Out provides excellent quality vegan twists on classic traditional meals such as curries, salads, and pasta dishes where meats are replaced with tofu, seitan, or other plant-based proteins.
Weekly vegan meals are customizable as a single (9-10 meals) or double (18-20 meals) order that includes entrees, side dishes, and even yummy vegan cookies. Additionally, orders can be customized to include additional breakfast oats, snacks, and soups.
One of Vegin' Out's unique features is their one to three-week cold-pressed juice cleanses that can be ordered a la cart or added to weekly delivery.
How it Works
Vegin' Out has one of the simplest order processes in the meal delivery service game. Customers choose whether they want a single or double order delivered to their house as a one-time delivery or as a subscription every 1-4 weeks.
Pre-made meals are delivered fresh to your door in cold-packed boxes that keep food preserved for several hours after delivery. Shipping/delivery fee is included in the price. Meals can be stored in your fridge (up to 7 days) or freezer to be reheated whenever you are ready to eat.
The Bottom Line
Vegin' Out's entirely vegan menu of pre-made meals that are easy to reheat and serve makes them a perfect choice for those looking to save time and money by not shopping at a specialty grocery store or having to prepare food with a meal kit. Vegin' Out is an excellent option for special diets such as vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free.
• Meals arrive fully cooked
• Stringent food safety measures
• Pause or cancel subscription anytime
• Condiments included with each delivery
• No shipping to AK or HI
• $20 shipping/delivery fee on all orders
Why We Chose Diet-To-Go
Diet-to-Go offers delicious meals that are not “calorie-dense”. Meals are delivered fully cooked in cold packs (or flash frozen) to ensure freshness. So whether you are looking for a meal plan that is high protein or low calorie, Diet-to-Go has a meal plan that can meet almost any weight control need.
Diet-to-Go offers four different meal plans to accommodate customers' specific dietary needs: Balanced, Balanced-D (diabetic-friendly), Keto-Carb30, and Vegetarian.
Each menu comes with a weekly delivery of breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. In addition, the menu rotates every five weeks and includes restaurant-quality foods prepared in Diet-to-Go's commercial kitchens. Example customer favorites from each menu are:
• Balance : Breakfast pizza, Aztec rice bowl, Thai turkey
• Balance-D : Egg pot pie, tuna salad, baked salmon w/ pineapple vinegar sauce
• Keto-Carb30 : Sausage & gravy biscuits, baked chicken w/ goat cheese, beef tenderloin w/ red wine sauce
• Vegetarian : Whole grain pancakes w/ soy sausage, portabella meltover, Texas tofu chili
How it Works
Diet-to-Go's easy to use customer interface makes ordering and customizing meal deliveries easy.
Orders are set to auto-delivery, and customers' payment methods are charged each week. You can cancel or change your order at any time before the delivery cutoff. All foods have a shelf life of 7 days, and the oven-ready meals can be frozen for up to 6 months.
The Bottom Line
Diet-to-Go has a wide range of menu options emphasizing healthy balanced meals for customers looking to maintain their weight and control their caloric intake. With their fully cooked, ready to heat-and-eat meals, customers can have restaurant-quality meals tailored to meet dietary restrictions. quickly and easily prepared without the hassle of grocery store shopping, prepping, or cooking like you have to do with a meal kit service.
• Microwaveable containers
• Recyclable shipping materials
• High earning rewards program
• Phone orders accepted
• Delivery limited to the southeastern region of the USA
• Meals not suitable for freezing
Why We Chose ReBuilt Meals
ReBuilt Meals offers different meal plans to meet specific dietary needs, weight goals, or food preferences. Their menu is fully customizable, and order options are flexible in case you feel like changing what is delivered at the last minute.
Four different meal plans are offered at ReBuilt Meals. Each is made with high-quality ingredients prepared at ReBuilt's kitchen in Florida and delivered to your door in cold-packed boxes. Each meal is delivered fresh and ReBuilt Meals prides itself on being a 'heat and eat' food delivery service for those without the time to mess around with cooking a meal kit..
When ordering, customers can choose from:
• The Lifestyle Plan - Includes hearty traditional meals similar to what you would find in a fine-dining restaurant.
• The Performance Plan - For heart-smart eaters and those with specific allergies, this plan comes with meals that include lean meats, white or brown rice, fresh vegetables, and quinoa. Additionally, these meals are designed to be gluten-free as well as free from soy and dairy products.
• The Plant-Based Plan - Ideal for vegans and vegetarians looking for delicious plant-based meals. Note: Four out of the six meals delivered weekly are considered vegan.
• The Keto Plan - Low carb high-fat meals ideal for those who subscribe to a ketogenic lifestyle.
How it Works
What ReBuilt may lack in meal options, they make up for in order customization and flexibility. Customers can choose:
• The number of days they want meals for (5-7)
• The number of meals per day (1-4)
• The amount of protein with each meal (Single or Double)
• Daily breakfast add-ons
• Extra gluten-free doughnut add-ons
Each plan has a different set of pricing and they do charge a shipping/delivery fee, but all in all, ReBuilt Meals is by far one of the most affordable meal delivery services on this list.
The Bottom Line
At ReBuilt Meals, you can mix and match different meal plans to create the perfect food delivery service for your lifestyle. And with their flexible options, substitutions and add-ons, you can keep things fresh and exciting - an excellent choice for those with a busy life.
• Delivery 3x a week
• 16-week rotating menu
• Kids meal plans
• Reusable delivery bags
• Currently only available to south Florida residents
Why We Chose Jet Fuel Meals
Jet Fuel Meals' 16-week rotating menu of freshly delivered meals means that you never have to think about what you're going to eat. Additionally, their wide range of menu options, from traditional steak and potatoes to paleo-friendly quinoa and chicken, means you can have ready-to-eat dishes that you already love and expect.
Jet Fuel Meals offers six different meal plans to meet the needs of its customers. These plans include weight-reducing and weight-gaining meals, pescatarian and ketogenic-focused diets, and even a meal plan specifically tailored and portioned to kids. They offer breakfast, lunch, and dinner in their daily menu, and customers can set their preferences to 1-5 meals daily to include or exclude those meal options.
Jet Fuel is not a meal kit service per se; rather they deliver pre-made meals that are prepared the night before they are delivered and shipped fresh to customers' doors. Additionally, customers can add cold-pressed juices and health shots to their deliveries for an added boost of vitamins and nutrients.
How it Works
Ordering from Jet Fuel Meals can be a little complicated to figure out, but once you have set the meal plans you want, everything becomes a breeze. Simply log in to their website to create an account before selecting your order preferences, such as dietary restrictions, allergies, likes, and dislikes. These will help tailor the delivery service to your specific needs. Once you sign up, meal plans are automatically charged monthly on the customer's credit or debit card. Note: changes to subscriptions must be made before the weekly billing date (Friday).
Orders are delivered Monday, Wednesday, and Friday between 1-6am in reusable ice-packed bags that you leave out the night before delivery for collection and return for your next order.
The Bottom Line
If you need a way to get every meal of the day delivered fresh and ready to eat right to your door multiple times per week, Jet Fuel Meals is the right option for you. With their 16-week rotating menu, you'll never get bored of the food you're eating, and their variety of meal plans will meet any dietary preference.
When talking about meal delivery services in the modern age, many people assume the term refers to take-out delivery from a local restaurant or fast food joint. However, meal and meal kit delivery in the USA is so much more than getting a pizza or Chinese food delivered to your door. In the post-pandemic world we live in, meal delivery now means access to fresh food, diet-specific meals, and delicious twists on traditional classics delivered weekly to your door.
These delivery services for heat-and-eat meals and meal kits not only serve to keep us safe from the reemergence of COVID-19 but also to remove the hassle of going grocery store shopping or chopping vegetables. With the growing prominence of meal delivery service options, anyone can access the benefits of healthy foods that are ready to eat, cook, or heat up with just a few taps of a button.
If you have been wondering whether a food delivery service is right for
you, consider the following benefits:
Meal and meal kit delivery services are incredibly convenient. You can browse through different menus, customize your meal plan based on specific dietary needs, and make your order all with the click of a button.
Need to cancel for a week? No problem! Food delivery services let you choose when and where you receive your weekly orders. So have them put on hold while you are out of town, or have them sent to where you'll be to enjoy your favorite healthy meals while on vacation.
Food delivery services help individuals maintain the social distancing requirements that help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 and other seasonal flu and viruses. Furthermore, all foods are prepared in a clean and sterile environment, ensuring that you enjoy a delicious meal without compromising your health.
Pre-made and meal kit delivery services use only the freshest ingredients to create their meals. Most plans include organic ingredients, whole grains, lean meats, low-sodium options, and healthy snacks to help you stay energized and full throughout the day.
• Expertly Curated
When it comes to meal planning, choosing from a wide variety of options can be overwhelming. Each week, food delivery services are carefully curated to provide only the best options for your dietary needs, which means no more sifting through a long list of ingredients.
Along with this list of benefits that food delivery services offer, having access to delicious meals when you don't have time for grocery shopping or cooking also means fewer dirty dishes to wash when it's time to eat.
Delivery services provide customers with an array of meal options specific to their unique dietary needs. Whether your goal is to lose weight, maintain a balanced diet, or just eat healthier, you can customize a meal plan according to the desired results. For example, if you want to build muscle mass and gain weight, some food delivery services offer calorie-dense meals perfect for your goals. On the other hand, if you want to shed a few pounds, many food delivery services provide fresh and flavorful meals with fewer calories per serving – everything from seafood to vegetarian dishes.
As a result of the growing demand for diet-specific meals or meal kits that are healthy and easy to prepare, the options provided by meal delivery services have expanded to include those whose diets are:
• Lactose intolerant
With an ever-expanding list of meal delivery service options, there is no doubt that finding a plan that fits your unique needs is just a click away. Furthermore, as the interest in healthy eating continues to grow, so does service area coverage. This means that no matter where you live in the USA and what you eat, a meal delivery service can ensure you get vital nutrients and proteins needed to help your body function and stay healthy.
The many benefits that come with the best food delivery services don't make it any easier to choose the right pre-made meal or best meal kit delivery service for your particular dietary needs. For you to get the most out of a meal delivery service, it is important to consider:
Food delivery services price orders in a variety of ways. Some charge per serving, while others charge per meal. Sometimes a meal is several servings, and sometimes it is a single serving. Every reputable meal kit service makes it easy to understand how much you are buying and even breaks down the cost per meal (or serving) so you can fully understand the affordability of your purchase. Most meal services will charge $2-$10 per meal or serving, respectively. Some include a shipping/delivery fee in the price and others charge extra.
Not every service caters to the same dietary needs, and some ready-to-eat meal and meal kit companies don't hold the same core principles of a dietary lifestyle as the food they make. For example, if you are a vegan, the meal kit delivery service you order from may be able to provide you with meal kits that require little to no meal prep, but the ingredients for each meal kit may not be grown precisely as dictated by the vegan lifestyle in terms of organic produce, non-GMO, etc.
Additionally, some food delivery services will use ingredients not suitable for people with diabetes, high blood pressure, or cholesterol issues.
Therefore, it is vital to choose one of the ready-to-eat meal services or ready-to-make meal kit services that have a variety of options that align with your specific dietary needs or preferences to avoid a lack of options or risks to your health.
Guaranteeing freshness for a week's worth of food means that not every part of the USA is serviced by every food delivery company. Some operate locally, such as Jet Fuel Meals, which only services residents of southern Florida. Others, such as Sunbasket, service almost the entire USA.
Alternatively, if you prefer foods such as premium beef from the Midwest in
a meat kit delivery or organically grown produce specifically from
Washington or Oregon, you'll need to choose a meal delivery service that
sources its ingredients from those locations.
• Cooking Ability
Food delivery services offer meals that are delivered ready to eat (heat and eat) or provide meal kits where some or all of the meal prep work has been done for you. The only thing left to do for a meal kit is put the ingredients together and cook.
If you enjoy or prefer to cook your own meals with the added benefit of not
having to do the shopping, a company that offers a meal kit delivery
service is most likely the best for your needs. Alternatively, if you hate
cooking, aren't good at it, or simply just don't have the time for it, a
delivery service that offers pre-made, already cooked, ready-to-eat meals
is most likely the best choice.
Companies usually prepare or cook meals to be delivered the night before boxes are shipped out. This ensures ultimate freshness in the 1-3 business days it usually takes to receive an order. While the boxes are typically packed on dry ice or in cooling packs, the food you ordered may be at risk for thawing or spoiling if you aren't around for the delivery.
Fortunately, food delivery services make their weekly delivery times pretty
flexible by allowing customers to cancel or hold an order should they not
be home to collect the delivery. Additionally, delivery services will often
let the customer change the shipping address for the week to the location
they will be at should you be out of town or unable to make it home in
Food delivery services are often subscription-based. When you create an order, it will be auto-renewed every week, and the current week's meal selection will be sent to you, even if you don't need it. Before ordering from any food delivery service, ask yourself the following essential questions:
• How many people am I feeding?
• How much can I eat per week?
• Which meals do I want to order? (breakfast, lunch, dinner)
• Do I want fresh or frozen meals? (frozen will last longer than fresh meals)
• Do I want weekly delivery? One-Time? Every few weeks?
These answers will ensure that you don't order too much (or too little) food and that nothing will go to waste. NOTE: Most meal kits and pre-made meals delivered fresh, not frozen, have a shelf life of approximately five to seven days.
Additionally, frequency also includes how often a meal delivery service rotates its menus. It can get boring eating the same foods every week or two, so look for a company that offers several weekly menus that rotate every 2-4 months.
Allergies are one of the biggest concerns for people when it comes to food quality. Whether you are just trying a new food delivery service or enjoy cooking a complicated meal kit, make sure no one in your family has any severe allergies to gluten, dairy, tree nuts, soy, or other common allergens.
The best food delivery services store allergen information in their databases, making sure to substitute foods in weekly orders that you might be allergic to.
With all of the considerations that must be made when selecting the best food delivery service for your needs, it can be easy to wonder: Why don't I just go out myself and get something? Well, you could, and that is an option. However, if you are busy, don't have the time or ability to cook, hate spending money on food you won't eat, or just want to enjoy home-cooked meals without all of the work, a subscription-based food delivery service is probably your best bet.
Most people find that a subscription service provides meals costing up to 50% less per serving than restaurants do and can be cheaper than going to the grocery store to shop for a family of four.
1. Do I have to pay for the delivery?
That depends on the delivery service. Some offer free shipping/delivery over a certain order total, others offer free shipping on the first order, and others charge a separate shipping/delivery fee. In addition, many have loyalty rewards programs that earn points towards discounted orders or free shipping.
2. What if I cancel my subscription? How much notice must be given?
Most delivery services make canceling easy. Typically, customers need to cancel their subscription before the next delivery or billing date, whichever is the company's policy.
3. Can I get a refund if I don't like the food?
Refunds are possible, and money-back guarantees are standard in many food delivery services. Be sure to save any packaging that came with the order in case they require you to send it back to receive a refund.
4. What if I don't like the current week's menu?
You have a few options when you don't like the food coming for the week. Your first option is to contact the food delivery service and request a substitution. The second option is to cancel your order for the week until you like the menu that is available.
5. Can I send a food delivery to someone as a gift?
Absolutely. You can set up the delivery on your account to another address in most cases. If you are having trouble doing this online, contact the company directly and ask how you can set up a delivery to a friend or family member as a gift. Note: Meal delivery subscriptions make great gifts for college students, expecting moms, and families with newborn children.
Delivery services for pre-made meals and meal kits are becoming increasingly popular for busy families, college students, and single individuals who want to enjoy delicious home-cooked meals without the hassle of planning out each week's menu or spending hours in the kitchen cooking. By providing quality ingredients at an affordable price, these services ensure that anyone can access a steady diet of healthy foods and delicious snacks. Get your next meal from a delivery service today and start enjoying convenient, home-style meals without the hassle of grocery shopping or cooking.