Great news for frazzled, always-on-the-go couples who have next to no time to prepare meals from scratch! Yes, you can actually have convenient, healthy, and delicious meals – with minimal prep work and clean up, no food waste or scraps, and chef-quality results – thanks to today’s Meal Delivery or Meal Subscription Services.
Covering virtually all food preferences, developed by chefs, delivered right to your door on your pre-selected delivery days, in pre-measured serving portions with all the needed ingredients, packed in insulated boxes, these are truly ingenious! All you need to do is cook and enjoy.
As a special help to Los Angeles-based couples, we also suggest options for those times you truly have zero time to cook!
Our Picks of 5 Amazing Meal Delivery Services
Surveying the offerings of this phenomenal trend in food service, we noted that they all offer the same basics: high-grade quality ingredients, widely varied menu selection, highly flexible delivery and skipping or cancellation options, excellent packaging, and competitive pricing.
So we suggest that you visit the individual websites to get a closer look at unique features or offers, specialty cuisines, or even a company vision that may convince you to choose one Meal Delivery Service over another.
1 – PLATED
PLATED provides pre-assembled meal kits of 20 original chef-designed menu options that change weekly. They are great for every cooking level, from 20-minute quick prep recipes to full culinary adventures in under an hour. Their high-quality ingredients include responsibly sourced meats and sustainable seafood, as well as farm-sourced seasonal ingredients. Plus, you can tailor your recipe choices to your preferences: Omnivore, Vegetarian, Seafood lover, Dessert seeker – or simply make your own menu picks of meat or fish, a pasta dish, and a salad with meat option.
How it works: You can have pre-scheduled delivery of your choice of meal kits in 4 easy steps: (1) Sign up for Plated. (2) Pick your recipes. (3) Get your weekly box. (4) Cook amazing meals. You can cancel at any time or change your delivery day of the week.
Prices of meal plans vary depending on the number of servings, ranging from 2-4 servings per night (sample price range is $9.95-$11.95 per serving, with a discount for the first week). Shipping is free, except for weekly plans under $60.
Check for their FAQs here.
2 – HELLO FRESH
Hello Fresh allows you to choose from their Plans featuring 20 chef-curated recipes every week: Veggie Plan ($9.99/serving), Classic Plan ($9.99/serving), or Family Plan ($8.75/serving). For each choice of Plan, you get to see the Menu options for a range of dates so you can project your meals for weeks ahead.
How it works: (1) Pick a plan that fits your lifestyle. (2) Select from a variety of weekly recipes. (3) Get quality ingredients at your doorstep. (4) Access your account anywhere (from your computer or your Android phone). Their customer care team is ready to handle your questions or comments.
Hello Fresh delivers nationwide from independent producers. You can cancel your plan at any time, and you can skip a week of delivery if needed.
3 – PEACH DISH
At Peach Dish, classically trained chefs develop Southern-infused and seasonally inspired recipes for dishes that you can quickly and easily prepare at home. They source the freshest ingredients directly from hundreds of small-scale Southern farms and food artisans, pre-measure them for you, pack them in a special insulated box that is then shipped to your doorstep.
How it works: In each PeachDish box, you will receive recipe cards and all the pre-measured ingredients needed to prepare the week’s dishes. Each week there are at least eight dishes to choose from — four dishes that change weekly (two meat-based protein dishes and two vegetarian dishes) and four dishes that change seasonally.
A standard PeachDish box includes two servings of two of the week’s delicious meals. As a subscriber, you save $12 on shipping, you can opt in and out of your weekly deliveries as needed, and you may cancel at any time.
By visiting their Menu, you can view their selection of dishes for the current and succeeding weeks. You may filter your dish choices according to: Meat, Seafood, Vegetarian, Quick Fix, Super Food, Ribbon, Special Kits, Sweet, No Gluten Added, and Vegan. Prices average $25/2 servings (ranging from a low of $18.99/2 servings for a dessert, to a high of $46/4 serving kit).
from top to bottom right: herbed chicken with balsamic shallot sauce and Parmesan mashed potatoes, lemon shallot sole with roasted radishes, Cynthia Graubart’s Parmesan chicken
4 – BLUE APRON
At Blue Apron you get to choose from a variety of chef-designed, step-by-step recipes every week; receive fresh, seasonal ingredients delivered right to your door; and enjoy delicious meals, cooked from scratch.
The company’s Vision is “We’re building a better food system” by: creating better standards, regenerating our land, eliminating the middleman, and reducing food waste.
Visit their Menu page to select from their 2-Person or Family plans, and even specify your dietary preferences. You are able to see at a glance the sample recipes of dishes that will be available for the next 4 weeks.
Prices start at $9.99/serving (for more pricing info, go to this link, then sign in to proceed). The recipe ingredients are carefully packaged in a refrigerated box so food stays fresh even if you’re not home when the delivery is made. There is no commitment, meaning you get your delivery when it’s convenient for you, and you may skip or cancel at any time.
from top to bottom right: crispy catfish with coconut lime curry kale, spicy fusilli pasta broccoli with mascarpone, soy glazed meatloaf with miso mashed potatoes and sautéed cabbage
5 – HOME CHEF
Home Chef prides itself in offering “Home Cooking Made Simple” by delivering everything you need to bring more delicious meals to the table every day.
How It Works: Sign up for a meal kit delivery service, which allows you to control your deliveries, including easily skipping weeks or pausing your account as needed. Choose from 11 fresh recipes that change weekly, featuring steak, chicken, pork, fish, vegetarian and beyond. Each Home Chef box containing fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and easy-to-follow recipe cards is delivered directly to you, weekly, with insulated packaging and ice packs.
Visit their Menu to see their selection of recipes for the current and upcoming weeks. All meals are priced at $9.95/serving unless otherwise specified (ex: $19.95 for a premium dish, $7.99 for a no-cook salad). Add-ons are also offered for you to choose from (ex: smoothies, seasonal fruit basket, etc.)
Alternatives for L.A. Couples Who Still Don’t Have Time to Cook
Not quite ready to order meal kits online? Or truly have zero time for food prep and cooking? Here are alternatives of already prepared meals for those based in the Los Angeles area (surely available, too, in similar outlets elsewhere).
ChefBox claims to be “the very first chef-driven prepared meals store.” It offers a selection of over 50 prepared meals by 17 local chefs that can be delivered or picked up from their store in South Pasadena.
You can view their menu and meet their chefs — offering a fascinating array of cuisines from American classic to Southwestern to Asian to Puerto Rican to Caribbean to French; to fitness-focused, vegan, gluten-free, specialty soups, even to gourmet dog food!
Swing by their store anytime to pick up your choice of meal. Then, stock your fridge with a variety of chef-crafted meals for the week!
Whole Foods Market stresses that its first core value is to sell the highest quality natural and organic products available. And that extends to their very convenient, made-in-house prepared foods with ingredients that meet the strictest quality standards — no hydrogenated oils and no artificial flavors, colors, sweeteners or preservatives. Just look for their Health Starts Here® logo for meals that are made with naturally flavorful whole foods.
Every Whole Foods Market is different so, depending on the store, their prepared foods departments can include a deli, restaurant, salad bar, sandwich station, burger stand, pizza joint, BBQ shack, sushi venue, raw foods bar, taco bar, beer pub and wine bar.
Your favorite local supermarket, like Ralphs, most likely offers ready-to-eat boxed foods that you can stock up on for convenient meals in a pinch. Just search for their Prep-pared Meal Kits online to see what they are currently offering, or stop by the branch nearest you.
This is an example of Kroger’s Prep-pared Meal Kit for Vietnamese-inspired Spicy Lemongrass Pork with Coconut Rice and Cabbage Salad.