Meal subscriptions have gained in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. They ship with ready-made recipes and all the ingredients you need to make them. They can improve your cooking skills and introduce you to recipes you may not normally try. They are usually healthy, have a lot of options, and best of all reduce much of the hassle that can result from meal planning and making trips to the grocery store. While they are certainly not for everyone, they are an excellent option for people with hectic schedules and busy lifestyles. Here are the top meal boxes on the market from Plated, Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Chef’D and Purple Carrot

Top 5 meal box subscriptions

  • Plated
  • Blue Apron
  • Hello Fresh
  • Chef’D
  • Purple Carrot


The meals offered by Plated are often more technical than those offered by some other meal companies, but they are also generally more exotic and interesting. Subscribers can choose from a pool of eleven different meals each week. Unlike most meal subscriptions, you can also choose to order dessert with your meal. You can choose between plan options of two, three and four meals a week, and you can also customize how many servings are sent. There are options for both two and three servings for each meal.


  • Exotic and traditional recipes
  • Plenty of meal plan options
  • Desserts are available

Blue Apron

Like Plated, Blue Apron endeavors to bring high quality exotic and gourmet meals to the table. They offer wine pairings with each of their meals, but unlike other meal plans, they have a wine delivery plan that ships six hand-picked bottles a month. Blue Apron works directly with farmers and fisheries to source all of their meats and produce, ensuring that their customers receive high-quality ingredients. They offer two meal plans: three meals a week for two people or two meals a week for four people. All foods are shipped under refrigeration to ensure freshness.


  • Exclusive wine club
  • Locally sourced ingredients
  • Perishables shipped under refrigeration

Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh differs from the competition in that they offer two both a traditional meal plan and an exclusive vegetarian meal plan. The classic meal plan allows you to choose between two and four servings, and from three to five meals a week. The vegetarian plan is also available for two to four people, but there is only a three-meal plan. They also offer a family plan with reduced portions for children. Hello Fresh is partnered with celebrity chef Jamie Oliver, who provides exclusive recipes to try each week. Each recipe is graded on a difficulty scale so you have an idea of how much prep to expect for each meal.


  • Many different plans to choose from
  • Vegetarian-only options
  • Exclusive recipes from a renowned chef


Unlike other meal plans with hand-picked recipes, Chef’D picks their recipes from famous websites and magazines and Good Housekeeping, as well as recipes from chefs Melissa D’Arabian and Dominque Crenn. The result is that there is a far wider selection of recipes than other companies, and their availability is not limited on a week-to-week basis. They easily have the most flexible meal plans, allowing you to order for two or four people, and having meals shipped up to seven days a week. You can also customize your meal plans by indicating allergies and noting preferences in diet. Best of all, the price is determined by meal rather than a flat rate.


  • More recipes than other companies
  • More customization than other companies
  • Order up to seven meals a week

Purple Carrot

As the name suggests, Purple Carrot is all about building meals around plants. Purple Carrot is the premiere vegan meal-planning service. This may not be a plan for everyone, but even meat-eaters could discover new recipes and learn new techniques from this plan. Given the style of cuisine, they have a smaller sample of recipes to choose from, but portions are available for both two and four people. This is an excellent way to be introduced to foods you normally wouldn’t try. Purple Carrot works directly with local farmers to ensure only the highest quality ingredients are used.


  • All-vegan menu
  • Interesting recipes
  • Locally sourced ingredients


With such a wide variety of meal services available, there is something different here for everyone. Since they are available in a variety of subscription plans, they can even be used by families a couple times a week. Try a subscription out for meals ready to go!