The 12 Best Meal Delivery Services Even Picky Eaters Will Enjoy
Did you know that eating dinner together as a family has science-backed benefits for a child's development, including improved self-esteem and strong communication skills? In a perfect world, every family would practice this tradition. However, finding the time to plan recipes, grocery shop, and prep and cook food is easier said than done. The good news? There are family-friendly meal delivery services available that simply require you to throw ingredients in a pan or heat up dishes in the microwave.
A majority of food subscription boxes produce quality dinners that the whole family can enjoy. Plus, meal delivery companies offer a range of shipment options, which allows you to create a plan that works with your budget and schedule. They also let you skip deliveries when you're out of town or pause your membership if you need a break.
The Best Meal Delivery Services of 2021
- Best Overall: Home Chef
- Best Variety: Sunbasket
- Best for Foodies: HelloFresh
- Best for Novice Cooks: Blue Apron
- Best Plant Based: Splendid Spoon
- Best 15-Minute Meals: Gobble
- Best for Kids: Yumble
- Best Pre-Made Meals: Factor
- Best for Fruit and Veggies: Daily Harvest
- Best Organic: Green Chef
- Best Recipes: Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon
- Best on a Budget: Dinnerly
With so many different meal delivery options available, it can be hard to decide which company to try. Luckily, we've done the research for you and highlighted each brand's plan options, menu offerings, and pricing. Some of them are great choices to feed your whole family, while others offer individual servings perfect for you and your partner's work lunches. If you have a baby at home, plenty of menus feature soft foods—such as salmon, pasta, and cooked vegetables—for your infant to enjoy using the baby-led weaning method.
Read on to learn more about each company in order to choose the best meal delivery service for you and your family.
Best Overall: Home Chef
This meal delivery service helps you determine which meal plan to choose with a short quiz. If your goal is to save time, Home Chef's Fresh and Easy plan features 15-minute recipes. Past examples of these speedy meals include Tzatziki Salmon With Mediterranean-Style Salad and Chipotle Pork and Rice Bowl. For those who have certain eating habits or want to become better home cooks, the Home Chef Meal Kits are your best option. Aspiring home chefs can select meals from the Culinary Collection, which incorporates advanced cooking techniques and experimental flavors. The Classic Meal Kits are great for people who have specific dietary preferences, such as low carb or vegetarian. These meal kits have vegetarian dishes like Cheesy Red Pepper Lasagna and carb conscious entrées like Fig-Glazed Rosemary Chicken and Vegetables. Most of the entrées are customizable so you can swap protein sources. Home Chef has plans suitable for two, four, and six people that come with two to six recipes each week.
Our Review: "I honestly enjoyed everything I ate, which, coming from a picky eater, is saying something," says ecommerce food writer Madison Yauger. "The delivery arrived on time, and all of the ingredients were fresh and in good condition. I was missing one meal kit, but I contacted Home Chef and it was replaced almost immediately with something that ended up being even more mouthwatering."
Best Variety: Sunbasket
When it comes to a versatile menu, Sunbasket can't be beat thanks to its 10 meal plans. You can mix and match recipes from the Paleo, Carb-Conscious, Gluten-Free, Lean & Clean, Diabetes-Friendly, Chef's Choice, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Mediterranean, and Fresh & Ready plans so that everyone in your family is happy. The best part? Sunbasket uses mostly organic ingredients and responsibly sourced meat and seafood in every dish. Examples of past meals: Roasted Garlic-Herb Pork Chops and Pork Tacos With Pickled Onions.
Our Review: "If you can't decide between prepared meals and meal kits, Sunbasket offers the best of both worlds," says ecommerce food writer Bridget Degnan. "The meal kits are fun to make on nights when you feel like cooking, and the Fresh & Ready meals are ideal for speedy lunches or last-minute dinners. Plus, there are so many interesting options on the menu that I would never think of myself."
Julia Dennison, Parents's digital content director, also loved the dishes she made using Sunbasket. "It made me feel like I was doing something good for the planet and myself," she says. Overall, she found the convenience and quality to be top-notch and worth the price.
Best for Foodies: HelloFresh
There's a reason HelloFresh has over two million active customers: It provides a diverse menu, quality ingredients, and easy-to-follow recipe cards you can keep and reuse again and again. The popular meal kit company has six meal plans that offer two or four adult servings for each dish: Meat & Veggies, Veggie, Family Friendly, Carb Smart, Quick & Easy, and Pescatarian. The Family Friendly plan consists of kid-tested recipes, such as Sausage and Roasted Bell Pepper Pasta and Beef and Black Bean Chili.
Our Review: "As someone who used to be self-conscious about my cooking abilities, I now feel empowered to take creative liberties with the recipes I receive," says ecommerce food writer Leah Channas. "After a few meals, I was able to test the waters and determine what worked for me (and what didn't). My favorite part: I never have to worry about what to do for dinner again."
Best for Novice Cooks: Blue Apron
Blue Apron's meal kit recipes are designed by professional chefs and take anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes to prepare. The kits come with pre-measured ingredients and step-by-step instructions, so the whole family can participate in making the meals. The popular meal delivery service has four plans to choose from—Signature, Vegetarian, Wellness, and Signature for Four—so you can order meal kits with two or four adult servings. As a bonus, the Wellness plan has Weight Watchers-approved meals for people familiar with that program. Examples of past entrées include Roasted Cauliflower and Lemon Pasta and Shrimp and Spaghetti Squash.
Our Review: "I'm not exaggerating when I say Blue Apron changed the way I cook," says ecommerce food writer Samantha Jones. "As a beginning chef in every sense of the word, I was skeptical about how helpful a meal delivery service would be if I still had to prepare the meals myself. In reality, the instructions were super easy to follow and the recipes made me way more confident in my abilities in the kitchen."
Best Plant Based: Splendid Spoon
Similar to Daily Harvest, Splendid Spoon offers plant-based drinks, snacks, and meals that are ready to eat in minutes. There are more than 50 recipes on the menu, including a Strawberry Chocolate Smoothie for on-the-go breakfasts and a Roasted Cauliflower Grain Bowl for a balanced lunch. You can also add "wellness shots" to your order for days when you need an extra boost of superfoods. Splendid Spoon has five plans available, which provide up to four meals a day.
Customer Review: "When returning to work from maternity leave, I needed something convenient," one reviewer writes on the brand's website. "Splendid Spoon has helped me to have fast, fresh meals while on the go. And they taste amazing. I highly recommend!"
Best 15-Minute Meals: Gobble
Whip up dinner in just 15 minutes (or less!) with Gobble's chef-prepared meal kits. Offering two meal plans, this delivery service is ideal for comfort food lovers and those looking to eat healthier. The Lean & Clean plan provides under-600 calorie dishes with lean proteins and healthy fats. Examples of Lean & Clean meals are Chicken Lettuce Wraps and Pesto Salmon. The Classic meals are a little less calorie focused and a little more gourmet. Sample dishes on the Classic menu include Swedish Meatballs With Maple-Glazed Carrots and Casareccia Pasta With Herb Truffle Buttered Mushrooms and Butternut Squash. Each meal kit has two or four servings, and there are also side dishes, desserts, and breakfasts available.
Customer Review: "Gobble is the best," says one customer. "We are a busy family of six, and I was so tired of all the chopping and prep work most of the other meal delivery services offered. We are huge Gobble fans. Easy and delicious!"
Best for Kids: Yumble
If you have some picky eaters in your family, you're not alone. Yumble was founded by a mom of three who uses her expertise to make mealtime as painless as possible for other parents. The entire menu is approved by nutritionists, featuring both no-heat and microwavable meals made with organically grown produce and sustainably sourced proteins. Top-rated entrées include Veggie Pot Pie Pockets with cheesy brown rice and Gluten-Free Chicken Nuggets with Fusilli Pasta. Depending on your needs, you can have four, six, eight, or 16 Yumble meals delivered to your door every week. Note: The dishes are recommended for children between the ages of 1 and 12 years old.
Customer Review: "We love Yumble! Reasonably priced, great food and variety," says one reviewer. "My toddler always asks if he's going to have his Yumble meal. It actually inspired me to join a couple delivery services. We're all eating healthier and saving money—not eating in restaurants so much."
Best Pre-Made Meals: Factor
The goal of meal prepping is to have healthy prepared meals readily available in your fridge for quick lunches and dinners. If you find the "prep" part to be time consuming, look no further than Factor. This meal prep delivery service keeps your nutrition goals in check without taking hours away from other tasks (and making your kitchen a mess!) because the dishes are microwavable. Whether you follow a certain diet or not, there is a meal plan to suit your needs, including Calorie Smart, Keto, and Chef's Choice, which means meals that fall under a variety of diets. With more than 23 recipes available every week, Factor has a wide variety of seasonal dishes, like Creamy Parmesan Chicken and Garlic Pork Tenderloin. Pop these meals in the microwave for two to three minutes and you're good to go.
Our Review: "Factor meals are lifesavers when it comes to quick work lunches and weeknight dinners," says ecommerce food writer Bridget Degnan. "I recommend this service to busy individuals and couples who want to eat healthy meals but don't have a lot of time to cook. And the meals are not only packed with protein and veggies, but they also taste absolutely delicious. I'm talking lick-your-plate-clean delicious."
Best for Fruits and Veggies: Daily Harvest
Cleaning up your diet doesn't mean you have to eat boring meals. Just place an order from Daily Harvest and you'll see exactly what we're talking about. The vegan meal delivery service makes it so easy to get your fruits and veggies in every day thanks to its menu full of smoothies, nutrient-rich bowls, and flatbreads (made with vegetable crust!). Each item contains only a few ingredients, all of which are mostly organic so you can feel extra good about feeding these snacks and meals to your little ones. Daily Harvest offers weekly deliveries and one large monthly package of goodies. Bonus: It's a frozen delivery service, so your meals will stay fresher for longer.
Our Review: "If you're trying to improve your eating habits, Daily Harvest is a must," says ecommerce food writer Bridget Degnan. "Every meal and snack is loaded with superfoods, so you feel energized after you eat instead of sluggish. I'm obsessed with the smoothies for breakfast and harvest bowls for light lunches."
Best Organic: Green Chef
Green Chef is the first USDA-certified organic meal kit, which covers synthetic pesticides, growth hormones, antibiotics, and GMOs. The company sends health-conscious recipes and organic ingredients to subscribers, who can choose from three different menu types—Keto + Paleo, Balanced Living, and Plant-Powered. Each kit includes three or four recipes and ingredients (in color-coded packaging) for two or four people. Look forward to entrées like Cheesy Pesto Burgers and Creamy Broccoli and Potato Soup.
Our Review: Parents Editor in Chief, Julia Edelstein, says Green Chef delivered "high-quality ingredients and delicious recipes" that allowed her to cook healthy meals she could feel good about. The ingredients she received were largely prepped, with vegetables chopped and marinades mixed. "I got to cook, but it was much less messy and time-consuming!"
Though she opted for family recipes, Julia didn't find the meals particularly well-suited to very young children and the portions seemed small. All told, she found the service to be quite expensive, even given the convenience and quality of ingredients.
Best Recipes: Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon
Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon delivers all the ingredients necessary to prepare a full meal that is as luxurious as lifestyle guru Martha Stewart. Meals are designed to be ready in under 40 minutes. Each week, customers choose the number of people they want to feed (two or four), the number of meals (two, three, or four) they want delivered, and then choose from 29 different dishes. Popular meals include Beef Lettuce Cups, Vietnamese Pork Tacos, and Crispy Chicken Sandwiches.
Our Review: Jenna Helwig, former food editor at Parents, enjoyed the meals offered by Martha & Marley Spoon. Her take on the food, like the kid-pleasing Taco Pasta: "Unfailingly delicious." Portions were generous and the recipe cards were clearly written and beautifully photographed. On the downside, many of the meals were a bit too fussy for busy weeknights, which is when she would typically rely on a meal kit.
"Grating carrots and pickling radishes are steps I would like a meal kit service to do for me or just skip altogether," she says. "But you can easily just omit some of the extra flourishes." Helwig found that the online process to choose recipes was simple and the pricing seemed reasonable to her, considering the quality of ingredients.
Best on a Budget: Dinnerly
Starting at less than $5 per adult portion, Dinnerly is the best meal delivery service for those wanting to save money. But don't worry: It doesn't skimp on quality to make things cheaper. Instead, the company uses digital recipe cards, simpler recipes and packaging, and a no-frills marketing approach. Featuring veggie and meat dishes, the menu provides something for everyone. Past meals include Crispy Tofu Fried Rice and Honey-Dijon Glazed Steak. You can choose from two- or four-person boxes that contain between three and six meals per week.
Customer Review: "Dinnerly is an exceptional service, providing excellent, top-notch ingredients that come together for excellent meals," says one reviewer. "My family rarely has any waste. Most recipes are loved by my three children, and best of all, we are eating healthy meals while saving money. I highly recommend this service to everyone I know."