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11 best meal delivery services, tested and reviewed by editors

These expert-recommended meal delivery services can help diversify your weekly meals.
We tried meal delivery services from popular brands like Blue Apron, Home Chef, Factor and CookUnity — here's what we thought.
We tried meal delivery services from popular brands like Blue Apron, Home Chef, Factor and CookUnity — here's what we thought.Purple Carrot; Sunbasket

When it comes to meal prepping, deciding what to make is usually half the battle. Or perhaps you have your heart set on a specific recipe only to realize you just tossed the last of your ingredients. If this is a weekly concern, you might benefit from a meal delivery service, which offers either a variety of pre-made meals that you can heat up in minutes or the exact ingredients you’ll need to whip up your ideal recipe, all delivered right to your doorstep. Outside of the overall convenience, meal delivery kits can help you explore new foods, refine your cooking skills, save money on groceries and cater to dietary needs like gluten-free or vegetarian, experts say.

To determine the best one for you, we spoke to chefs, nutritionists and recipe developers about what to look for in a meal delivery service. We also highlighted NBC Select editor favorites that we’ve tested and reviewed, plus expert-recommended options to try out. 

SKIP AHEAD Best meal kit delivery services | Best prepared meal kit delivery services | How to shop for a meal kit delivery service

Selected.Our top picks

How we picked the best meal delivery services

We talked to our experts about important features to keep in mind when shopping for meal kit delivery services. Here are the most important ones to consider when making your decision:

  • Serving size: Keep in mind how many people you’re looking to feed, and make sure the service offers multiple servings (if you need). If you’re only feeding yourself, a single-serve pre-prepared meal is likely best. If you’re feeding a family or partner, look for a customizable plan with multiple serving sizes (typically ranging from two to eight servings).
  • Dietary restrictions: If you’re gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan or follow any other specific type of diet, look for services that offer a variety of options to fit those dietary needs.
  • Customizability: Are you a picky eater or someone who gets easily bored of eating the same meals? Look for meal delivery services that provide a weekly rotating menu with several meal options, as well as customizable features like portion size and the amount and type of protein in each meal.
  • Pricing: The price of meal kit delivery services are based on the quality of meals and ingredients, the frequency of your deliveries, how many people you’re cooking for and the specific meal plan. Keep in mind that more budget-friendly services might not cater to all dietary restrictions or needs, while diet- and lifestyle-specific options typically cost more.
  • Delivery dates and times: Consider when you’re available to receive your meals to ensure they don’t go to waste. Most services will offer customizable delivery plans to choose what days you want to receive your kit. Most will also let you pause plans or skip weeks as needed.

How we tested meal delivery services

We’ve tested nearly a dozen meal delivery services, many of which are listed below. To pick the best ones, we looked at the following factors:

  • Serving size: We considered how many people we’re feeding, and whether the service accommodates multiple servings. For example, a few editors are feeding themselves plus a partner or families, while others are only cooking for one.
  • Prep time: We looked at how long it took to cook or heat up meals, and whether it was worth it for a busy schedule (all of the services we recommend have easy-to-follow recipes and take less than an hour to make, or under 10 minutes to heat up). 
  • Price: We tried options across various price points, though most fall within the $10-$12 per meal range.
  • Dietary restrictions: We tried services that catered to different diets, including gluten-free and pescatarian, and how that food actually tasted.
  • Shipping and packaging: We considered how meals are packaged, how that packaging helps (or hinders) meal preparation and whether the shipping is quick, easy and painless.

Best meal delivery services of 2024

With these above features in mind, we included NBC Select staff-favorite services that we’ve tried and loved. The chefs and nutritionists we spoke to gave us their recommendations for the best meal kit delivery services to try across a variety of budgets, tastes and diets. We separated them into two categories: meal kit services that send out individual ingredients and pre-made meal delivery services.

Best meal kit delivery services

These expert-recommended meal delivery services all have an option to send separate ingredients and allow shoppers to cook themselves.

Best meal kit delivery service overall: Home Chef

What we like
  • Large variety of options
  • Customizable features
Something to note
  • Doesn't cater to special diets

Home Chef’s rotating weekly menu includes more than 30 meals to choose from. You can also select from a variety of menu options catered to your preferences, including 15-minute meal kits, grill- and oven-ready kits and special occasion meals. Before ordering, you’ll be prompted to take a quiz that personalizes your menu based on your tastes, serving size and delivery preferences. When looking at individual menu options, each meal shows the estimated time it takes to make. The customizability makes this a standout service for our experts, who emphasize that you can easily choose the amount and type of protein in each meal. Ben Leonard, a chef and food educator with more than 15 years of experience, says the service is best for “families, kids or people with any dietary restrictions” due to its variety of meal selections and customizable features.

Cost: Starting at $10 per serving, with a minimum weekly order value of $51 (Home Chef Plan) or $83 (Family Plan) | Serving size: 2, 4 or 6 | Number of meals: 2 to 6 per week

Best for beginners: Blue Apron

What we like
  • Good for beginners
  • Single-serve available
  • Good variety of options

Something to note
  • Not for larger families
  • Doesn't cater to special diets

Blue Apron has a number of weekly menu items based on your selected meal plan. Meal plan options include a signature plan that comes with the service’s top chef-favorite recipes, a vegetarian plan and a wellness plan that offers nutritionist-approved, carb-conscious recipes. The prices will also depend on the plan you choose. While Blue Apron does require some cooking chops based on the difficulty level of its recipes, Leonard recommends the service for beginner cooks who hope to “learn from the beginning and hone their basic skills.”

If you’re strapped on time, Blue Apron also offers over 30 pre-made meal options per week. I tried the brand’s Prepared & Ready meals for a week and was impressed by how easy they are to prepare — the meals were ready in under five minutes when I heated them up in the microwave. Plus, there were plenty of meals to choose from, and they tasted so good that it felt like I was eating a homemade meal. Keep in mind, however, the brand does not cater to many dietary restrictions or specific dietary plans like gluten-free and keto. 

Cost: Starting at $8 per serving, with an additional $10.99 for shipping | Serving size: 2 or 4 | Number of meals: 2 to 5 per week

Best gluten-free: Sunbasket

What we like
  • Gluten-free options
  • Single-serve available
  • Weekly rotating menu
Something to note
  • Not for larger families

Sunbasket offers both ingredient-based meal kits and pre-made meals, all of which consist of high-quality ingredients and organic produce, according to the service. You can choose from 10 meal plans, including chef’s choice recipes and pre-made Fresh & Ready meals, as well as paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian and diabetes-friendly options. The Fresh & Ready option lets you receive single-serve meals to heat in the oven or microwave in just a few minutes. If you don’t feel like committing to a single plan, the service lets you mix and match with over a dozen meals from its weekly rotating menu.

Packaged ingredients laid out on a cutting board
Sunbasket sends the specific ingredients in the exact amount you need to make your recipes.Courtesy Zoe Malin

“Since I follow a gluten-free and pescatarian diet, I can usually only eat one or two offerings off a meal delivery service’s weekly menu. But that wasn’t the case with Sunbasket: There were almost too many delicious dishes to choose from, and each one I tried came with an easy to follow recipe,” says NBC Select associate updates editor Zoe Malin, who tried Sunbasket for a week. “And don’t sleep on the fresh and ready meals — they taste like homemade meals, but all you do is warm them up in the microwave.”

Meal prepared with almon, potatoes and green beans on a plate
Sunbasket has recipes that fit multiple diets, including plant-based eaters and carnivores.Courtesy Zoe Malin

Both Lisa Moskovitz, a registered dietitian and CEO of NY Nutrition Group, and Ariane Resnick, a special diet chef and certified nutritionist, recommend Sunbasket as their top choice for healthy meal kits. “It has a variety of options that can be modified for carnivores and strictly plant-based eaters alike,” says Moskovitz. Most of Sunbasket’s packaging is also recyclable or compostable, using sustainable material like recycled and virgin craft paper and 100% shredded recycled paper filling, according to the brand.

Cost: Starting at $12 per serving for meal kits and $10 for the Fresh & Ready meals, with an additional $6 for shipping | Serving size: 2 or 4 for meal kits, single-serve for Fresh & Ready meals | Number of meals: 2 to 5 per week

Best budget-friendly: EveryPlate

What we like
  • Easy-to-follow recipes
  • Good price point
  • Good variety of meal options
Something to note
  • Sometimes missing ingredients

Try Everyplate at $1.49 per meal and $1 steak with code NBCSELECT149 on EveryPlate’s website.

EveryPlate was my introduction to preparing real home-cooked meals when I got my first apartment, and at a great price point. The service has a weekly rotating menu with over a dozen options, including vegetarian, low-calorie and even quick meals that you can prepare in 30 minutes or less. The service then delivers a kit complete with ingredients and recipe cards for your selections. To me, EveryPlate’s meal options offer variety and fulfill most of my cravings for the week. And as someone without much cooking experience, the recipes are easy to follow.

When choosing your plan, you can highlight your specific dietary and meal preferences, including veggie, quick and easy, and family-friendly. Based on those preferences, the service will show you the most relevant recipes first (though you’ll still have access to all of the recipes on the weekly menu).

Cost: Starting at $5 per serving, with an additional $10 for shipping | Serving size: 2, 4 or 6 | Number of meals: 2 to 6 per week

Best for families: HelloFresh

What we like
  • Good price point
  • Ability to swap proteins
  • Easy to follow recipes

Something to note
  • Nothing to note at this time

HelloFresh is one of my favorite no-frills meal kit delivery services — the recipes are easy to follow (which, as a non-cook, is key for me), the meal options are varied and the food ends up tasting great. The popular service offers a great mix of dishes in its weekly rotating menu, which can appeal to everyone in the family (including kids), says Leonard.

Cooked chickpea meal in a ceramic bowl
HelloFresh has a variety of meal selections that fit different dietary restrictions, including vegetarian and pescatarian diets.Courtesy Zoe Malin

You can customize your weekly meal settings by selecting from six preferences: Quick & Easy, Pescatarian, Family-Friendly, Fit & Wholesome, Veggie and Chef’s Choice/Meat & Veggie. The service appeals to several dietary restrictions, which impressed our NBC Select editors. “I was pleasantly surprised by how many HelloFresh meals fit my gluten-free and pescatarian diet, although you definitely have a lot more options if you don’t have dietary restrictions,” says Malin, who tried the service for a week. “Overall, cooking the meals was straightforward and the portion sizes were filling.”

You’ll automatically receive meals that fall under your specific preferences, or you can choose the meals you want each week. You can also swap proteins and sides if the weekly recipes don’t quite fit your preferences. The service also offers 14 veggie meals (including up to two vegan meals) in its Classic Plan each week.

Cost: Starting at $10 per serving, with an additional $10 for shipping | Serving size: 2 or 4 | Number of meals: 2 to 6 per week

Best for adventurous cooks: Hungryroot

What we like
  • Personalized plan
  • Can experiment with meals
Something to note
  • More expensive than others
  • Pick specific ingredients

Technically, Hungryroot isn’t a meal kit service. Instead, the NBC Select editor-favorite service is a grocery delivery method that offers a lot of the same benefits and customizations as other meal kits on this list — you take an initial quiz on your preferences and dietary needs, and Hungryroot creates a personalized grocery plan. In addition to delivering fresh food for the week, it also sends you specific recipes based on the groceries you order. You can also edit your delivery every week in case you want a specific ingredient or food item.

With the ability to choose the type of meal you want (breakfast, lunch or dinner) and to customize the groceries you get, Hungryroot essentially “allows you to be a bit more adventurous and cook from the hip, or also follow the recipes exactly,” says Leonard. 

Cost: Starting at $65 for three two-serving meals (about $11 per serving) — shipping is an additional $7 for plans under $70 | Serving size: 2 or 4 servings | Number of meals: 2 to 8 recipes per week

Best vegan: Purple Carrot

What we like
  • Plant-based
  • Ready-to-serve meals
Something to note
  • Can't choose delivery day

Resnick calls Purple Carrot’s meal kits a “wonderful blend of familiar and innovative.” Because the meals are fully plant-based, the service can be an easy way for people to “add more plant foods into their diets without having to fully convert to veganism,” she says. Purple Carrot offers both prepared meals and meal kits, so you can choose whether you want to cook or simply heat up your dinner or lunch. In addition to plant-based meals, Purple Carrot provides several gluten-free recipes to choose from, as well as gluten-free pre-prepared meals. After selecting whether you want meal kits or pre-made meals, you can customize the number of dinners you get per week — these range from two to four meal kits and six to 10 pre-made meals. Deliveries take place on Mondays, Tuesdays or Wednesdays depending on your shipping location, and you can choose to skip a delivery on any given week.

Cost: Starting at $11 per serving for meal kits and $13 per serving for pre-made meals with free shipping | Serving size: 2 or 4 servings for meal kits and single-serve for pre-made meals | Number of meals: 2 to 4 for meal kits and 6 to 10 for prepared meals per week

Best prepared meal delivery services

These expert-recommended and staff-favorite meal delivery services are pre-made and ready to eat. Experts say you can heat them up for an easy and quick meal during the week.

Best prepared meal delivery service overall: Factor

What we like
  • Choice of 5 plans
  • Quick and easy
  • Seamless delivery

Something to note
  • Options can get overwhelming

Get $130 off, plus free wellness shots for life with code NBCSELECT130 through Factor’s website.

Factor is another favorite of mine that I’ve used regularly and love for its varied meal options, quick and easy prep time and detailed nutritional information cards. The service provides a rotating weekly menu of over 30 pre-made meals and caters to a number of dietary needs and preferences, including keto, paleo, low-carb, vegetarian, plant-based and high protein. You can choose from five plans, ranging from four meals to 18 meals per week. Factor also lets you schedule a complimentary consultation with a registered dietitian to answer nutrition questions or determine if a Factor subscription is the right choice for you.

Factor meal tray placed into an oven
Factor's meals are ready to eat in under 10 minutes and you can heat them up in the same disposable container they come in.Courtesy Mili Godio

“Factor is incredibly reasonably priced for the quality of health-oriented food they offer,” says Resnick. She especially likes that chefs design the meals but dietitians approve them, and the fact that they don’t cater to just one special diet. “I think a lot of people want to try eating plans like keto and vegan, but don’t know where to begin — meal options like this let them explore something new without overcommitting and discover if a diet suits their taste preferences, their individual dietary needs and their budget before diving too deep,” she says.

Cost: Starting at $11 per serving with free shipping | Serving size: Single-serve | Number of meals: 6 to 18 per week

Best with variety: CookUnity

What we like
  • Multiple available plans
  • Great for some dietary needs
  • Reusable packaging
Something to note
  • Nothing to note at this time

CookUnity is a favorite among several members of our NBC Select staff. You can choose from multiple plans depending on how many meals you want to receive per week, with subscriptions ranging from four to 16 meals. The service provides a rotating menu of ready-made options each week, or you can let CookUnity pick them out for you based on your preferences (like your choice of protein) or any dietary restrictions like vegetarian, vegan, low-carb and gluten-free. You can also flag any allergies or foods you don’t like, and the service will notify you if they appear in any meals on the menu.

Plate of broccoli and rice with protein.
Our reviewers found CookUnity's pre-made meals to be varied, delicious and fit several dietary restrictions.Courtesy Zoe Malin

“I started using CookUnity because I felt like I was spending so much money on groceries but still eating boring food everyday like sandwiches and salads,” says NBC Select social commerce editor Sadhana Daruvuri. “Now, I can enjoy a variety of delicious meals while still spending about the same amount I’d spent on groceries before.”

NBC Select SEO editor Nikki Brown is also a CookUnity fan and gets six meals delivered each week, so dinner is taken care of most days. “I’m sure there will be a time in my life when I am able to cook dinner every night but that’s not the case right now — I’ve tried switching up how I shop, rearranging my kitchen and meal prepping, all in hopes of cutting down on how much I spend on takeout but nothing worked until I got CookUnity,” she says. Brown loves browsing and picking her meals each week: "It feels like grocery shopping, except I don’t have to push a cart or carry bags,” she says.

Cookunity black bag on a windowsill
All CookUnity meals come packaged in a reusable bag that you can send back to the company to fill it back up. Courtesy Zoe Malin

It’s also one of Malin’s favorites: “The convenience is unbeatable — the meals show up at my door at the beginning of the week, and knowing all I need to do to cook dinner is pull the wrapper off a meal and warm it up makes my evenings totally stress-free," she says. However, Malin notes there is some more prep work involved than other services she's tried. "I did have to take out some components of meals before I microwaved them, like a kale salad or coleslaw, which was a bit tricky and caused me to do more dishes — normally, I’d reheat and eat meals out of the same disposable containers they came in," she says.

The meals also come in a small reusable bag that you can send back to the company instead of having to break down boxes every week. The meals come fresh and have a refrigerated shelf life of about four to seven days.

Cost: Starting at $11 per meal with free shipping | Serving size: Single-serve | Number of meals: 4 to 16 meals per week

Best for most dietary restrictions: BistroMD

What we like
  • : Snacking options available
  • Meets most dietary needs
Something to note
  • High shipping cost

If you’re looking for healthy, ready-to-eat meals, BistroMD lets you choose from over 150 chef-prepared meals based on your dietary needs. “BistroMD prides itself on being ‘doctor-designed’ and therefore is more medically therapeutic than most other companies,” says Moskovitz. 

You can choose from seven plans: signature (which includes chef-prepared meals for those with limited dietary restrictions), gluten-free, heart healthy (which offers meals containing less than 600 milligrams of sodium and 3.5 grams of saturated fat), keto, vegan, diabetic-friendly and menopause-friendly. Once you choose your plan, BistroMD gives you multiple selections for the number of meals you get per week. The service also offers an EATS (Essential and Tasty Snacks) program that provides healthy snacking options for an additional charge.

Cost: Starting at $7 per meal for the 7-day plan and $8 per meal for the 5-day plan, with an additional $20 for shipping | Serving size: Single-serve | Number of meals: 5 or 7 meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner per week

Best for healthy eaters: Splendid Spoon

What we like
  • Snack options available
  • Choose frequency of meals
  • Healthier options

Something to note
  • Can’t choose number of meals

Splendid Spoon offers over 50 healthy ready-made meals and snacks that include smoothies, soups, noodle bowls and dishes — and everything is gluten-free. Your cart automatically fills with the service’s bestsellers, or you can manually swap in your favorites.

“I recommend Splendid Spoon for anyone who wants healthy meals in a flash — they taste as healthy as they are, which is a downside for some and a bonus for others,” says Resnick, who was sent a few boxes by the brand to try out. She says she enjoys the selection of juices and smoothies and the convenience of thawing one at a time. While you can’t customize the number of meals you get per plan like you can with most other delivery services, Splendid Spoon does let you choose how often you want to receive your meals: weekly, every other week or once a month.

Cost: Starting at $10 per meal and $85 for the plan, with an additional $13 for shipping (free if you order 10 or more meals) | Serving size: Single-serve | Number of meals: 7, 14 or 21 per order

How to shop for a meal kit delivery service

Experts told us some of the biggest factors to consider include the price per meal, the quality of the ingredients, the amount of time you’re willing to dedicate and your own cooking ability. Below, we highlight what to keep in mind.


The price of meal kit delivery services vary based on several factors, including the quality of meals and ingredients you’re getting, the frequency of your deliveries, how many people you’re cooking for and the meal plan you choose. More budget-friendly services like EveryPlate and Dinnerly will typically cost around $5 per serving, while most other popular services like HelloFresh will cost anywhere between $8 and $11 per serving. If you’re looking at more premium or diet-specific services like Sunbasket and Green Chef, they will cost you approximately $12 to $15 per serving.

Take advantage of trial offers, says Daniel Shumski, a recipe developer and cookbook author. “So many meal kits and delivery services offer great introductory prices — it’s worth trying around to find one that fits your taste and budget,” he says.


The time you’re willing to allocate to preparing, cooking and plating your food can help determine which meal delivery service is right for you. If you’re choosing a plan that sends you all the ingredients, you should be prepared to take the time needed to prepare each dish, says Christine Wansleben, owner and culinary director at Mise En Place, which offers cooking classes, private events and more. You’ll also need to ensure you’re cooking the meals as soon as possible since the ingredients can be easily perishable, she adds.

For those who don’t have as much time during the week, ready-to-eat meal delivery services are typically the best option.

Quality of the ingredients

Generally, meal delivery services have specific rules and procedures in place to ensure their ingredients are high-quality and trustworthy, according to the experts we talked to. But if you’re extremely particular about the freshness and origin of your ingredients, you should likely skip these services and shop on your own.

For those looking to meet specific nutritional goals, Moskovitz recommends paying attention to the individual ingredients in each meal plan, the nutrition facts and the portion sizes. “Don’t just assume that because it’s homemade or marketed as ‘healthy’ that it’s the healthiest option for you,” she says.

Dietary restrictions

Certain meal delivery services will offer a variety of options for those with dietary restrictions. However, Resnick notes there’s one caveat: Those with medical issues, such as shellfish allergies or celiac disease, should be mindful of possible cross-contamination.

“Companies are usually forthright about shared equipment, but eaters with food intolerances should exercise caution,” she says. “That said, for special diets that are usually choice-based, such as veganism or low carb, I think these services are an excellent choice.”

Delivery dates and times

Before committing to a specific plan, you should consider when you’ll be able to receive these meals to avoid ingredients spoiling or not getting delivered, according to Resnick. Most services will offer customizable delivery plans to choose what days you want to receive your weekly delivery — if you know you won’t be there, most services will let you skip a week (but keep in mind there is usually a cutoff time to select this option).

Meet our experts

At NBC Select, we work with experts who have specialized knowledge and authority based on relevant training and/or experience. We also take steps to ensure that all expert advice and recommendations are made independently and with no undisclosed financial conflicts of interest.

  • Lisa Moskovitz is a registered dietitian and the CEO of NY Nutrition Group. She is the author of “The Core 3 Healthy Eating Plan,” a program that focuses on simple and sustainable ways to lose weight.
  • Ariane Resnick is a special diet chef and certified nutritionist. She’s also a recipe developer and has written about nutrition, health, wellness and identity for a variety of platforms, including The Kitchn, Livestrong and Simply Recipes.
  • Ben Leonard is a chef and educator for companies and brands nationwide, including Sur La Table, Greenpan and more.
  • Daniel Shumski is a recipe developer and author of several cookbooks, including “How to Sous Vide” and “Will It Skillet?
  • Christine Wansleben is a professional chef and the owner and culinary director at Mise En Place in Richmond, Virginia.
  • Britanny Saunier is the executive director of the Partnership for Food Safety Education.

Why trust NBC Select?

Mili Godio is an editor at NBC Select who has extensive experience covering meal delivery services, including prepared, gluten-free and vegetarian meal services. For this article, Godio spoke to six experts about what to consider when shopping for a meal delivery service and how to determine the best one for you. They also shared their favorite meal delivery services to try out.

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