Best Prepared Meal Delivery Services 2022: Low-Effort Meals At Home

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Grocery shopping can be a time-consuming task, especially when you factor in travel time and meal planning. Luckily, prepared meal delivery services can help ease that burden. These subscription-based services tend to operate on a weekly schedule and can help you reduce meal preparation time, stick to specific diets, and simplify decision making. There are options for ready-to-eat meals as well as pre-portioned ingredients, both of which are low-effort ways to eat a delicious meal.

Prepared meal delivery services vary in the amount of customization, number of meals, and types of diets they offer. There are quite a few options out there, so picking the best one for you might seem overwhelming. To help you make an informed choice, we’re breaking down the best-prepared meal services below.

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The Best Prepared Meal Delivery Service - Our Top Picks

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  • Best Overall Prepared Meal Delivery Service: Fresh N Lean
  • Best Healthy Prepared Meal Delivery Service: Freshly
  • Best Prepared Meal Delivery Service For Singles: Splendid Spoon
  • Best Prepared Meal Delivery Service For Families: 518 Kitchen
  • Best Organic Prepared Meal Delivery Service: Green Chef
  • Best Paleo Prepared Meal Delivery Service: Pete's Paleo
  • Best Budget Prepared Meal Delivery Service: Home Chef
  • Best Vegan Prepared Meal Delivery Service: Hello Fresh
  • Best Prepared Meal Delivery Service For Active People: Trifecta

Best Overall - Fresh N Lean

Best Overall - Fresh N Lean

SPECS

  • Membership: Yes
  • Delivery frequency: 1 per week (Scheduled for Friday, guaranteed Saturday)
  • Customizable menu: Yes
  • Heating options: Microwave

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Fresh N Lean is our pick for the best overall meal delivery service because it offers plans that are compatible with a wide variety of diets. There are high-protein, keto, paleo, vegan, low-carb vegan, Whole30, and Mediterranean meal plans available through the company’s user-friendly website. These plans emphasize nutrient-packed proteins, fruits, and vegetables.

Fresh N Lean meals are delivered once a week on Fridays or Saturdays. Although these ready-to-eat meals are not delivered frozen, they can be kept in the freezer for up to six weeks. Heating up these meals is quick and easy; all it takes is three minutes in the microwave for a hot and tasty meal.

What We Like

  • A lot of variety while remaining healthy
  • Free shipping
  • Ability to purchase additional proteins, sides, snacks, and meals

What We Don't Like

  • Must call or email to change meal plan
  • Some meals are pricey

BUY: Fresh N Lean

Best Healthy - Freshly

Best Healthy - Freshly

SPECS

  • Membership: Yes
  • Delivery frequency: 1 per week, customizable delivery week
  • Customizable menu: Yes
  • Heating options: Microwave, skillet, oven

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Because Freshly meal plans are designed to have less sugar, real ingredients, and more nutrients, we believe it is the healthiest prepared meal delivery service. Their meal plans offer dishes made from nutrient-dense ingredients, choice proteins, and healthy fats. Freshly makes the case that healthy food does not need to be flavorless. The chefs at Freshly deploy their creative expertise to make robust, unforgettable dishes with vegetables and other lively ingredients.

Freshly has a selection of flexible meal plans that can easily align with your desired diet. Plans come with 4–12 meals per week, and the cost per meal decreases as the number of meals you order increases. Among the 50 rotating meal choices, there are plenty of gluten-free, dairy-free, plant-based, carb-smart, and calorie-conscious options.

What We Like

  • Sustainable packaging
  • Meals are delivered fresh
  • Rotating menu of 50+ meal options

What We Don't Like

  • Sides cannot be ordered separately from the meal plan
  • Shipping costs extra

BUY: Freshly

Best For Singles - Splendid Spoon

Best For Singles - Splendid Spoon

SPECS

  • Membership: Yes
  • Delivery frequency: 1 per week, on Wednesday or Friday
  • Customizable menu: Yes
  • Heating options: Microwave or skillet

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With a wide selection of smoothies, noodle bowls, and soups, Splendid Spoon is the best-prepared meal delivery service for singles. Why for singles? Well, each meal is single serve and can be eaten easily on the go. This service has a variety of plans that include a combination of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners, as well as reset plans. Some plans also offer meals for just one particular dining time, which is convenient for those who regularly skip out on breakfast, for instance.

One of Splendid Spoon’s advantages is that you are able to choose which meals you receive and how often you receive them. If you want to skip a week or two, you can. There are over 50 plant-based meal options to pick from. Meals are delivered fresh but can be frozen, especially the smoothies.

What We Like

  • Meals are non-GMO, gluten and soy-free, and vegan
  • Can be kept in the freezer for long periods of time
  • 50+ meal options

What We Don't Like

  • Smaller portions than other services
  • May not be good for those on keto or paleo diets

BUY: Splendid Spoon

Best For Families - 518 Kitchen

Best For Families - 518 Kitchen

SPECS

  • Membership: Not required
  • Delivery frequency: 3 days after order, Monday–Thursday
  • Customizable menu: Yes
  • Heating options: Heating instruct
  • ions on packaging

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For families, 518 Kitchen is a fantastic prepared meal delivery service option. Meal bundles and à la carte dishes are available for purchase, so you can always add more meals to feed your family if you need them. Meal deliveries come frozen, and each meal’s packaging includes specific heating instructions.

With keto, vegetarian, and gluten-free options, 518 Kitchen can help make sure members of your family with particular dietary needs don’t get left out. Meals are flash frozen to ensure flavor stays locked in, and delivery is quick. Your order will arrive three days after being placed. If you don't want to sign up for a subscription, you can still save with free shipping and other bundle options.

What We Like

  • Flavorful meals with no prep time
  • Keto-friendly
  • Free shipping

What We Don't Like

  • More expensive than other options
  • Not many meal plan options

BUY: 518 Kitchen

Best Organic - Green Chef

Best Organic - Green Chef

SPECS

  • Membership: Yes
  • Delivery frequency: 1 per week, Monday through Saturday
  • Customizable menu: Yes
  • Heating options: Specific instructions for each meal

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If you prefer to eat organic, Green Chef is the prepared meal delivery service for you. As the first organic certified meal delivery service, Green Chef's meals meet organic compliance standards, use only approved ingredients, and document organic practices to ensure their food is the highest quality possible. Because there are no artificial preservatives, these meals are fresh for just five days after you receive them.

Green Chef offers three different menus: Balanced Living, Keto and Paleo, and Plant-Powered. Each week, new selections are available on these menus. Meals arrive fresh and come with pre-prepped ingredients to simplify the cooking process. Still, you should allot about 30 minutes of prep time for each dish.

What We Like

  • Meals are certified organic and environmentally friendly
  • Gluten-free options
  • Easy to follow recipes with pre-prepped ingredients

What We Don't Like

  • Not many meal choices
  • More preparation is required

BUY: Green Chef

Best Paleo - Pete's Paleo

Best Paleo - Pete's Paleo

SPECS

  • Membership: Yes
  • Delivery frequency: Weekly, biweekly, bimonthly, or one-time
  • Customizable menu: Yes, with the "Eat What You Love" plan
  • Heating options: Microwave or sauté

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For those on a Paleo diet, consider Pete's Paleo. The entire purpose of this prepared meal delivery service is to cater to those who eat paleo. These fresh, flavorful meals combine lean meats with vegetables and come fully prepared. They can be easily reheated in the microwave or sautéed.

Pete's Paleo offers several plans, two of which do not allow you to customize your meals and one that allows a little more flexibility. The Pete’s Paleo Meals and Pete’s Paleo Lite Plan are fixed, so you just select and receive. For those who prefer a bit more control, the Eat What You Love plan allows you to pick any combination of five meals.

What We Like

  • Decent portion sizes
  • Full paleo menu
  • High-quality, sustainable ingredients

What We Don't Like

  • Meal plans can be confusing
  • Plant-based proteins are not available

BUY: Pete's Paleo

Best Budget - Home Chef

Best Budget - Home Chef

SPECS

  • Membership: Yes
  • Delivery frequency: 1 per week
  • Customizable menu: Yes
  • Heating options: Specific instructions for each meal

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Home Chef is the best prepared meal delivery service for those on a budget. Starting at $6.99 per serving, Home Chef’s plans are more affordable than other services. Their meal plans are highly customizable, allowing you to select the amount of people you will be cooking for, the number of meals you want per week, and which meals you would like to receive.

While Home Chef's meals are not ready-to-eat, their preparation steps are simple. Most of the included ingredients are pre-prepped, so the majority of meals can be made in 30 minutes or less. There are also quick-fire meals, which only require 15 minutes of prep time.

What We Like

  • Plans are very customizable
  • Many meal options
  • Meals are easy to prepare

What We Don't Like

  • Some meals have high sodium content
  • Limited vegan and other restrictive diet options

BUY: Home Chef

Best Vegan - Hello Fresh

Best Vegan - Hello Fresh

SPECS

  • Membership: Yes
  • Delivery frequency: 1 per week
  • Customizable menu: Yes
  • Heating options: Step-by-step instructions for each meal

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Because Hello Fresh has a veggie box, it is a suitable choice for those on a vegan diet. While the meals in this plan are not vegan by default, they can be made so by omitting the dairy. Hello Fresh's meal plans come with pre-portioned ingredients, which makes preparation straightforward. The service also offers options that can meet the needs of pescatarians and those on reduced-calorie diets.

Hello Fresh plans are a weekly subscription and usually arrive one to two days after being shipped. Meals are fresh, not frozen, and come in insulated boxes with ice packs. You are able to choose which day (Monday–Saturday) you would like to receive your weekly box. Each week you can choose from the service's 30-plus recipes.

What We Like

  • Meals are designed to serve 4
  • Vegetarian, pescatarian, and reduced calorie plans
  • Wide variety of meal options

What We Don't Like

  • No free shipping
  • Prep time is required

BUY: Hello Fresh

Best For Active People - Trifecta

Best For Active People - Trifecta

SPECS

  • Membership: Yes
  • Delivery frequency: 1 per week
  • Customizable menu: No
  • Heating options: Stovetop, air fryer, oven, or microwave

Check Price

Trifecta meal delivery plans are created by a team of medical and dietary professionals. For this reason, we believe it is the best option for active people. The company partners with trained chefs to provide nutritional meals that help you reach your health and fitness goals. In many ways, Trifecta is more than a meal delivery service, since a subscription gives you access to their fitness app, “real people” customer support, and nutrition coaches.

Trifecta meal plans include clean, keto, paleo, vegan, vegetarian, classic, and à la carte. Meals come with prepared, portion-ready ingredients that are made from scratch. Each meal consists of one protein serving, one vegetable serving, and one grain serving.

What We Like

  • Options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner
  • Free shipping
  • Access to registered dietitians

What We Don't Like

  • Not as customizable as other plans
  • More expensive than other options

BUY: Trifecta

FAQs About Prepared Meal Delivery Services


Are prepared meal delivery services worth it?

If you value ease, simplicity, and would like to save time when it comes to meal prep, planning, and grocery shopping, then prepared meal delivery services may be worth it for you. Because most services give you the option to customize your plan, you can choose foods that you would enjoy most without having to sift through aisles of options. Meals from prepared delivery services are typically very quick and easy to make.

Are prepared meal delivery services cheaper than groceries?

Prepared meal delivery services tend to be slightly more expensive than buying groceries. The increased price reflects the convenience provided by these services. However, it is also important to consider that meal delivery services reduce your preparation time, food waste, and fuel costs.

Are prepared meal delivery services healthy?

The majority of prepared meal delivery services have meals that can fit keto, paleo, low-carb, vegan, and gluten-free diets. Generally, these services’ meals are high in protein and have generous vegetable servings.

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