Ordering from a fresh meal delivery service is a great way to take one thing off your plate (while keeping great food there at the same time!).
While many meal delivery services use foods that are flash-frozen after chefs prepare and portion them, fresh delivered meals are a great alternative. They maintain their full nutritional content, taste great, and even last up to a week in your fridge.
Fresh Prepared Meals
Freshly is arguably the top choice for anyone looking for a great fresh prepared meal service. They feature over 30 menu items, each of which is comprised of all-natural ingredients. Every meal you select is ideally portioned for a single person to enjoy at one sitting, so it’s great for singles. All their meals are ready to eat in just three minutes, and you can select subscription plans ranging from 4 meals per week all the way up to 12 meals per week.
- 4, 6, 9, and 12 meal option
- $7.99-$11.50 per meal
- 35 dishes in total
- Menu partially rotates every week
- Shelf life of 4-5 days
This is a relatively unique fresh prepared meal delivery service, as it’s geared entirely toward kids. The plans use regionally sourced and nutritious ingredients that are all further nutritionist-approved. Ingredients are never frozen and are delivered refrigerated to last throughout the week. To make things better, the plans use post-recycled packaging that’s all 100% recyclable after you’re done with the containers. There’s plenty of variety to accommodate pickier kids.
- 20 meal choices each week
- Uses recyclable packaging
- $5.99-$7.99 per meal
- Customizable boxes available – good for kids that have favorites
- Good for up to seven days
Factor75 is a meal delivery service that’s perfect for those looking to maintain their fitness and health. They use grass-fed and pasture-raised animals for meat and also incorporate gluten-free, non-GMO plant products for the rest of their ingredients. Some diets, like soy-free, are accommodated within this service as well. Meals can be selected through several packages and the menu changes at least somewhat every week.
- 31 menu items
- $11-$15 per meal
- Complimentary nutrition coaching included with plans
- Food lasts up to 7 days
Fresh n Lean
Fresh N Lean provides organic meals delivered to your door. Each dish uses locally sourced and organically grown ingredients without gluten or artificial preservatives. The meals are ready in just three minutes and there are new menus every week, so there’s always plenty of variety. Even better, Fresh N Lean uses non-BPA and fully recyclable containers and packaging.
- $11-$16 per meal
- Good for paleo, plant-based, low-carb, keto diets
- 56 dishes total
- Lasts up to 6 weeks when frozen
- Free delivery nationwide
Trifecta allows you to maintain your fitness and health goals thanks to their nutritionally balanced meals. Every dish is macro balanced to help you hit your nutritional needs with fats, proteins, and carbs. Every meat product is 90% lean or greater. Furthermore, you can customize your service because every plan allows you to choose your food items à la carte. It’s a great fit for those who want to get in shape and lose weight.
- 6 premade plans to choose from
- $109-$119 in total for each plan
- A la carte options are $6 per meal with $119 for delivery
- Good for paleo, keto, vegan, vegetarian diets
- Lasts between 6 and 10 days
This meal delivery service is low-FODMAP, which means all the meals don’t have a series of short-chain carbohydrates that are usually difficult for your small intestine to absorb. Thus, it’s a great choice for those with sensitive stomachs, and their meal plans also accommodate those with gluten sensitivity. You can choose from a preset meal plan or select your foods yourself from their easy-to-use website – in fact, it’s set up to help you figure out which foods are difficult for you to digest.
- Good for gluten-free diet/sensitive stomachs
- All meals are low-FODMAP
- Dietician consultation available for $150
- $7.90 per meal or $165 per week, free shipping
- Good for 7 to 10 days
This meal delivery service provides gut-friendly and low-FODMAP meals straight to your door. They also provide gluten-free delivery. You can choose a delivery schedule up to four weeks or on a more temporary basis, plus you can have your food delivered either to your home or office. You get to pick all your meal favorites each week, of which there are dozens to afford plenty of meal variety.
- 57 items not counting snacks
- Low as $3.99 for side dishes up to $19.99
- Good for Low FODMAP or gluten-free diets
- Variable delivery schedules available
- Last for 3 to 5 days
Icon Meals offers chef-prepared meals that you can select either in premade plans or à la carte. Every meal passes rigorous food and safety inspection tests and is prepared fresh. The service uses cryo- vacuum sealed technology, plus 100% recyclable containers. This ensures optimal nutrient retention and environmental friendliness. Extra purchases include snacks and seasonings.
- 24 premade menu items (not a la carte)
- All containers are recyclable
- Can build your own box
- After received, can last up to six months frozen
FreshDirect is an online grocery store, but you can order premade meals, too. There are over 40 options to choose from in total. Selecting meals for your diet is easy via the filtering buttons on the side of the interface. You can select either premade meals with several portions or add individual food items à la carte to your list.
- Guaranteed fresh up to 3 days
- Vegetarian, low-fat, no-sugar, high-fiber options
- Prices range from $4.49-$11.99
- 42 meals to choose from
- Can select items à la carte
Meal Pro provides customized meals with one of the most unique menus you can find. You get to choose food items à la carte, even down to changing different ingredients or adjusting the portion sizes you’ll receive. Meals are cooked fresh daily and delivered to your home or office in a special thermal box that is vacuum-sealed for extra freshness. All the ingredients used are sustainable, natural, and high-quality with no GMOs, antibiotics, and the like.
- 20 or 24 meals per box
- Can customize the nutrients and portions
- $9.99-$15.99 per meal
- 26 items available
- Good between 4-7 days
Caveman Chefs is a meal service based on providing for those following the paleo diet, characterized by simple ingredients with nonetheless tasty recipes. You can select premade meal plans or build your own menu à la carte. Their menu options retain lots of flavors because they are created with 100% grass-fed animals and similar organic ingredients sourced from local providers.
- Prices from $41.25 per day to $2500 for a month
- Good for paleo, vegetarian, keto diets
- Meals delivered in 10, 24, 48-meal packs or ala carte
- Each meal lasts up to seven days
Pete's Real Food
This is another paleo-diet-focused service. It provides meals using seasonal and organic ingredients, and every meal is cooked fresh by chefs on the day that you order them. The menu changes on a weekly basis because of seasonal ingredient availability. It’s also optimal for those with sensitive stomachs or intolerance to gluten, soy, etc. Different plans following these requirements are available for easy meal selection.
- $79.95 per week
- Meals change every week
- 5, 10, 14-meal subscriptions choices
- 4 full menus browsable by season
- Food stays fresh up to three weeks in the fridge
Eat The 80
Each meal delivered by this company is gluten-free and chef-prepared. You get to select exactly how many meals you want and how often you want them delivered. Meals are prepared fresh and daily, and without preservatives or other synthetic elements. All their products are hormone-free, grass-fed, and so on, while produce is sourced from local farmers who follow organic practices.
- Good for up to 10 days
- 5, 7, 10, 14-meal plans
- Keto, paleo, vegetarian, whole30 options
- $9.59-$10.95 per meal
- 30 menu items
Cooked provides chef-crafted meals that are created with pure ingredients, each of which are great for anyone following the “Whole30” diet. Gluten-free, vegetarian, and kid-focused meals and plans are also available. You get dozens of options on a partially rotating menu that can be seen ahead of ordering via their website. They also allow you to choose up to one protein substitution per meal package.
- Can use meals in a plan or à la carte
- $12.50 for most meals
- Last between 8 and 10 days from time of delivery
- 44 menu items
- Whole30, gluten-free, vegetarian menus
Thistle provides plant-focused and delicious meals, juices and snacks. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are all represented with both plant and meat protein options to accommodate a variety of diets. Every meal is prepared fresh, and it’s easy to skip a delivery or pause while you’re on vacation. The menu is globally inspired and rotated at least partially every week based on what is currently in season.
- $11.50-$13.75 per meal
- 24 menu items every week, including snack
- Menus rotate weekly
- All meals 100% gluten and dairy-free, with some vegan options
- Meals good for between five and seven days
This company provides plant-based meals for whole food nutrition. The options are all ideal for vegan diets and premade to be delivered the week after placing your order. Containers can be recycled by shipping them back to the distribution center with your shipping label. Both bundles and à la carte food products are available – the bundles are great if you want to target a particular nutritional benchmark or lose weight.
- Free shipping on bundles but not a la carte
- 35+ menu options available
- $6.99-17.99 per mealAll options are great for vegans
- Good for between 10-18 days from delivery
Splendid Spoon provides plant-based meals (comprised of smoothies, green bowls and soups) for breakfast and lunch alone. All the meals are gluten-free, and you can select either premade weekly menus or pick your meals individually. Several food schedules are available to help you accomplish specific dietary goals, like resetting your digestive system or meeting certain nutritional benchmarks.
- $9.00-$13.00 per meal
- 48 menu items
- All meals made with plant-based, gluten-free and non-GMO
- Lunch, breakfast+lunch, breakfast+lunch+reset plans available
- Good for up to one week in the fridge
Fresh Meal Prep Kits
All the above options are tasty alternatives to putting together your own homecooked meal. But what if you enjoy the art of cooking and just need a little help grabbing the right ingredients?
Fresh meal prep kits are the perfect solution. These provide you with the same benefits that fresh meal delivery services do – namely excellent nutritional content and flavors to savor – but don’t give you your meals pre-cooked and ready to eat. Instead, you’ll get pre-portioned ingredients and fresh food to throw together and cook yourself. Meat, of course, might be frozen for safety, but everything else is delivered fresh!
You can still eat healthily and avoid going to the grocery store while getting to complete your meals yourself. For those who consider cooking to be part of the fun, this is the way to go.
Fresh Food Delivery
You can also look into fresh food delivery services. Basically, these are grocery stores that offer to deliver fresh food ingredients and raw items (fruits, vegetables and the like) straight to your door. Don’t have time to go to the supermarket yourself? Not a problem. This is an ideal solution if you want to do even more of the cooking yourself and just need a little help putting the pieces in place at your kitchen counter.
Hungryroot provides a modern way for people to shop for fresh food products without having to go to the store themselves. Users can set up a profile detailing their dietary needs or preferences, then let Hungryroot do the rest. They’ll handpick several brands and ingredients for your meals, then deliver those with easy to follow recipes you can finish at home.
- Plans available for 1, 2, or 3 people
- Priced between $69-$129 for 11-21 items
- All packaging is recyclable
- Only picks high-quality food brands and ingredients
- All recipes take around 10 minutes to complete
In addition to being a place to get freshly prepared meals, FreshDirect also let you buy healthy ingredients online. Not only can you get food, but you can get other household necessities or products whenever you need. Select everything you like from the online menu, then set a delivery window of up to 2 hours and pay for your stuff. Everything should arrive in a container at your door in no time.
- Can buy groceries and other household items
- Foods and such are delivered within 2 hours of a window you select
- Huge shopping menu
- Easy to search for specific products
- Mostly organic, good brands and products offered
Fresh vs Frozen
As you choose a fresh meal delivery service, consider whether the company prepares every meal fresh before shipment or if they freeze some ingredients before putting your dish together. For instance, many top meal delivery services freeze their meat products before adding them to a meal plan. If you want the freshest tasting ingredients (and possibly the best nutritional quality), go with the service that never freezes any part of their meals before shipment.
Additionally, think about how a meal delivery service packages its products. As an example, Modify Health always vacuum seals its meals, allowing them to last between 7 and 10 days in your fridge. Epicured, on the other hand, doesn’t seal its meals this way, resulting in a 5-day limit for meal freshness.
Quality of Ingredients
Lastly, be sure to think about the ingredient quality each company uses. Certain companies place a high priority on ingredient freshness and quality, focusing on organic plant products and grass-fed or wild-caught meat and fish. Better ingredient quality always translates to better flavor and better nutrient concentration.
All in all, fresh meal delivery services are a great way to keep a healthy lifestyle without having to stress about putting a meal together yourself. Best of all, most of the options above are pretty easy to try, then cancel if you want to give another service a shot. We’d recommend Freshly overall, but it has several tough competitors that might be a better choice depending on your needs.
Think carefully about what menus you like, consider your diet, then take the plunge!