Best Meal Kits
Gluten-free, plant-based meal delivery services provide the best of both worlds by offering plant-based meals that fit with your gluten-free diet. We looked at plant-based and vegan meal delivery services to find the best gluten-free options. Splendid Spoon is the overall winner, but several others give them a run for their money.
Besides being gluten-free and plant-based, these meal delivery services have something else in common. They all take the stress out of meal planning, grocery shopping, and preparing healthy meals.
Starting with our winner, Splendid Spoon, here is how they all compared.
Splendid Spoon is a vegan meal delivery service that offers a variety of fully prepared meals that are also 100% gluten-free. All of Splendid Spoon’s meals are also non-GMO.
Because their meals are free of gluten, there’s no risk of cross-contamination, which is especially important for individuals with celiac disease.
With Splendid Spoon being plant-based, the meals are also dairy free, and they offer a filter to both choose special dietary needs and eliminate other ingredients you don’t want.
A few examples of filters you can use include high-fiber, low-carb, low-sodium, and low-sugar. Filtered ingredients include everything from bananas to caffeine, and you can also choose to eliminate spicy meals if a little heat disagrees with you.
On Splendid Spoon’s menu, you’ll find ready-to-eat meals like Roasted Tomato Risotto, Vegan Shepherd’s Pie, Creamy Korma, and Falafel. Along with this are a selection of soup & grain bowls, noodle bowls, smoothies, and cold-pressed juices.
Splendid Spoon is a subscription-based service with several meal plans available. Choose from just breakfast, just lunch, breakfast & lunch, or the complete reset package that includes breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
If you don’t want to subscribe, there is the option to purchase individual items from the marketplace, but you only have access to the best sellers and not the entire menu.
- Nutrient-dense, plant-based meals that are also 100% gluten-free
- Heat & eat meals are ready in minutes
- A diverse, globally inspired menu
- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner options are available
- Ships to the entire continental United States
Thistle is a close runner-up to Splendid Spoon as a gluten-free, vegan meal delivery service. Unfortunately, their delivery area is rather limited, delivering to California, including most major metro areas in the state, Nevada, Arizona, Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. They’ve recently expanded to a small delivery area on the east coast as well.
Thistle offers nutritious meals that are plant-based and free of gluten. They do include grains in their meals, but they use nutrient-dense, gluten-free grains that lean toward being high-protein as well as providing healthy carbs. What you won’t find in Thistle’s meals are processed carbs, including standard pasta and white rice.
Thistle’s menu is full of deliciously fresh food, and there is a set menu for each day of the week that includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a snack. You decide how many meals per week you want, and since they offer a rotating menu, you can get a sneak peek at what’s coming up next week. Customizing your meal plan to suit your dietary needs is easy.
A few examples of meals you’ll find on Thistle’s menu include a loaded baked potato salad, dirty chai oat bowls with oat latte cream, an enchilada bake, and an Okinawan sweet potato bar.
While Thistle offers a vegan menu, you can opt to have your meals a mixture of both plant and animal protein. This might be a good option for people who are avoiding gluten but also who are easing their way into a plant-based lifestyle.
- Prepared plant-based, gluten-free meals that require no prep time
- Meals feature mostly organic produce
- Quality, fresh ingredients really shine through when it comes to taste
- No gluten is used in any of their meals, so there is no cross-contamination
- Juices and sides are also available
BEST MEAL KITS
Purple Carrot is one of the few meal delivery options that offer both prepared meals and meal kits among their weekly meals. This makes them somewhat of a magical unicorn in the meal delivery service industry, especially once you add that they specialize in plant-based meals.
Not all of Purple Carrot’s meals are gluten-free, and they don’t operate out of a completely gluten-free facility. If you’re simply looking to avoid gluten or maybe have a sensitivity to it, the risk of cross-contamination is low enough that this might not bother you.
If you have Celiac disease, it’s definitely worth it to contact Purple Carrot directly to discuss whether their meal kits are safe for you to eat.
Purple Carrot indicates which of their meals don’t have gluten, so they’re easy to spot. All of their meal kits are available in either two or four servings, so they’re a good option for plant-based and gluten-free family meals. But even if you’re a single person, one meal kit would provide at least two meals, giving you delicious leftovers for the next day.
Overall Purple Carrot meal kits are simple and quick, requiring minimal cooking skills, so they’re a good fit even if you aren’t that comfortable in the kitchen. With each Purple Carrot meal kit, you get a recipe plus all the nutritious whole foods you need to craft a gluten-free meal that fits right in with your plant-based diet.
A few examples of plant-based meal kits that you might week on the weekly menus that are also gluten-free include almond butter tofu, mac & cheese with crispy cajun walnuts, and root vegetable sancocho.
There are also a few breakfast and lunch options on the weekly meal kit menu, but these options are few, and at most, you might find one of each that is gluten-free.
- Plant-based and gluten-free meal kits that are easy to make no matter what your skill level
- Both meal kits and prepared meals are available.
- Most meals contain at least some organic ingredients
- Choose from two or four servings, and then two or three meals per week (three two-serving meals is a popular option)
- Prices start at about $11 per serving
Pete’s Real Food Vegan Meals
Pete’s Real Food, which started out as Pete’s Paleo, is a meal delivery service that first and foremost focuses on eating for a healthy lifestyle. Pete’s Real Food is all about meals that are healthy and nutritious, made with whole foods and a level of standards that beat out many other meal delivery services.
Pete’s Real Food is neither a gluten-free nor plant-based meal service, but they do offer meals that fit both those categories. Considering the quality of the meals they offer, this is enough for them to make it onto our list.
Pete’s Real Food has a small selection of vegan meals, and all of their meals, no matter which meal plan you choose, are gluten-free. There are about ten vegan meals to choose from each week. If you’re someone who doesn’t mind eating animal protein once in a while, then the number of menu options you have is significantly more.
- Fully prepared meals with options that are free of gluten
- High-quality ingredients with no junk
- Kids’ lunch meals are also available
- A selection of vegan meals is offered every week
- Gluten-free, plant-based meals start at about $14 per serving
Daily Harvest is probably one of the best vegan meal delivery services for people that desire grab–and–go meals. Daily Harvest is fully plant-based, and their single-serve meals are all naturally free of both gluten and dairy.
Daily Harvest offers a tasty selection of smoothies that require nothing more than a little liquid of your choice and a blender, harvest bowls that are individually packaged and packed full of nourishing healthiness, harvest bakes that bring to mind home-cooked meals, and other options like forager bowls, soups, bytes, lattes, and “mylk.”
Daily Harvest uses mostly organic ingredients that come from certified organic farmers. The flavors are fresh, and the menu definitely gives you enough to choose from. The reason Daily Harvest didn’t rank higher on our list is that, for some, the portions are a little too light to qualify as a substantial meal.
- Completely gluten-free vegan meal delivery service
- Meals are made with mostly organic food
- Meals are individually packaged and stay good for up to five days in the refrigerator
- Easy grab-and-go options
- Prices start at $8.49 per serving for the smoothies
Mosaic Foods is a really good vegan meal delivery for both individuals and families that are looking for a quality vegan option for mealtime simplicity. Mosaic Foods creates meals using plant-based foods that are as nourishing as they are delicious.
We really like Mosaic Foods because they offer family-sized prepared meals, which is something not many other meal delivery services offer. Usually, you have to go with a meal kit if you want enough portions to feed a family. Mosaic also does a nice job of offering prepared meals that are high-protein, so they’re more filling and satisfying to the crowd around the table.
If you’re not interested in family meals, they also offer veggie bowls, oat bowls, pizzas, soups, and a category of restaurant-quality premium meals called Mosaic +.
However, the downside to Mosaic Foods is that their entire menu isn’t gluten-free. They definitely have a satisfactory selection of gluten-free options, but you definitely need to check the nutritional information on each meal individually.
- Family-sized portions available
- Several great tasting gluten-free options per week
- A rotating menu of weekly meals
- Premium, restaurant-quality meals are available
- Heat & eat – ready in minutes in the microwave or a bit longer in the oven
Cross Contamination Risk
One of the most important things to consider when choosing a gluten-free meal delivery service is whether there’s a risk of cross-contamination and whether or not you’re able to assume that risk. This is a more serious issue if you have celiac disease or have a more severe sensitivity to gluten.
The best way to avoid this risk is by choosing a meal delivery option that is completely gluten-free. Several on this list, including Splendid Spoon, Thistle, and Pete’s Real Food, are all completely free of gluten.
If you’re less sensitive to gluten, you have more meal options with companies that offer meals that are free of gluten, along with other meals that aren’t. Most companies do a good job of trying to minimize the risk of cross-contamination, but you really have to decide for yourself if this is a risk you can take.
Other Dietary Restrictions & Allergies
The focus here has been on plant-based and gluten-free, but you might have other dietary preferences that deserve equal consideration. While eliminating ingredients like dairy is pretty standard across the board in plant-forward meals, the same isn’t true if you’re looking for meals that are soy-free or nut-free. You might also require meals that are low sodium, low carb, or free of other food allergies and sensitivities.
Most plant-based meal delivery services are good about catering to people with many dietary restrictions and will offer a list of filters when you order meals to help you choose the best options. If you’re picky about certain ingredients, you might find that going with a meal kit offers the opportunity to just not include certain ingredients when you’re cooking versus prepared meals where you don’t have that option.
Plant-Based Vs. Vegan
If you’re familiar with plant-based eating, you might already know that the term isn’t necessarily synonymous with vegan or even vegetarian. Plant-based seems to have caught on in the food marketing industry as being one of the latest buzzwords, and it can indicate that a meal is “plant-forward,” but that still means it may contain some animal products.
All of the strictly plant-based meal delivery options on this list also qualify as being vegan. However, others, like Pete’s Real Food, offer meals with animal products, along with both vegan options and vegetarian options. With a meal delivery company like this, you might have the option of choosing a meal plan that’s plant-based or vegan, or you can simply choose plant-based meals from the larger menu.
On this note, know that a vegetarian meal delivery service that’s not vegan is likely to include animal-based ingredients as well.
Does HelloFresh have gluten-free meals?
HelloFresh does offer several meal kits per week that are gluten-free, but they are not a certified gluten-free company, and gluten-free meals are not their main focus.
Is HelloFresh vegan & gluten-free?
HelloFresh offers both vegan and gluten-free meal kits, but they are both more the exception rather than the rule. You’ll want to check the ingredients of each meal in your weekly order to assess if the meal kits contain gluten ingredients.
Does Blue Apron offer gluten-free?
Blue Apron does not focus on gluten-free meal kits. They may offer a couple of gluten-free options per week, but it’s not enough to really rely on. If you’re avoiding gluten, it’s best to avoid Blue Apron and seek out a meal delivery company that’s free of gluten in all its meals.
- Splendid Spoon is the overall winner for ready-to-eat meals that are both gluten-free and plant-based
- If you have celiac disease or severe gluten sensitivity, look for a meal delivery company that does not handle or process gluten-containing ingredients at its facility
- Consider how many meals per week you want and what your budget is before choosing a service
- Quality and ethical sourcing is even more important when it comes to the taste and integrity of vegan meals
- Prepared meals, and meal kits are both options for gluten-free, plant-based lifestyles