Marley Spoon and Dinnerly are two meal delivery subscription services that deliver meal kits directly to your door. Each meal kit has all the ingredients necessary to create a simple, easy, and delicious recipe. However, they each offer something unique, so we thought it would be fun to compare the two head-on. We compared them regarding dietary options, taste, quality, variety, and more. Check out our Dinnerly and Marley Spoon comparison reviews to see how they compare.
Table of Contents
It doesn’t matter if you have severe food allergies or are following a special diet – having access to healthy meals that meet your dietary needs is necessary. When choosing a meal delivery service, you need to know that their meal kits are designed with your needs in mind. Dinnerly and Marley Spoon both offer meals for a variety of dietary preferences,
Dinnerly meals are designed with simple recipes that are easy for most people to make. Dinnerly offers meal kits specially created for people following a low-calorie diet to lose weight, those looking for gluten-free or dairy-free meals, health-conscious meals, vegetarian meals, and meals that keep picky eaters in mind, including kids.
If you have a severe food allergy or are stringent in your efforts to avoid a certain ingredient, it’s important to know that Dinnerly prepares and packages all of their meal kits in the same facility. This means that the risk of cross-contamination is always present.
Likewise, Marley Spoon also builds their meal kits and recipes with special dietary needs in mind. Many of the meals that Marley Spoon offers fall into the health-conscious category. However, they also offer meal kits aligned with low-carb, low-calorie, and vegetarian lifestyles. You’ll also find some gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan meals on the weekly menu at Marley Spoon, but these selections are a bit more limited compared to the other categories.
One thing to keep in mind is that with meal kit delivery services, if there’s an ingredient you want to exclude, you’re free to simply not add it when cooking. You can also substitute certain ingredients or add extra with food that you have in your own pantry or refrigerator. We know that this sort of goes against the entire point of ordering meal delivery, but those of us with special dietary needs are all too familiar with needing to modify meals.
Meal Prep & Variety
Unlike other meal delivery services that deliver a box of fully prepared meals, Dinnerly and Marley Spoon are meal kit services. The key difference between the two types of meal delivery is that with Dinnerly and Marley spoon, you actually get to take part in the creation of each dish instead of just popping a heat-and-eat meal into the microwave.
Marley Spoon offers hassle-free recipes that are perfect for beginning culinary artists (aka home cooks). Marley Spoon considers that their customers are working with a range of cooking abilities and time to spend in the kitchen. By clicking on the digital recipe cards offered with each recipe, you can see exactly how long the dish should take to prepare and the approximate cooking skill level needed.
We also like that Marley Spoon recipes include a collection of one-pot meals. Since Marley Spoon provides all the ingredients you need, all you have to do is grab a single pot or pan and spend a few minutes cooking. So simple and delicious, too!
Dinnerly’s meal prep is pretty much identical to Marley Spoon. They provide the ingredients. You might need to do some simple prep work, but the digital recipe cards tell you everything you need to know before choosing which meals to include in your upcoming box. Also, like Marley Spoon, Dinnerly helps you save time by including the total time to prep and cook, plus the skill level suggested for a successful meal.
So, with meal prep being about equal between the two, how do they compare in terms of variety? Since most of us like to mix things up a little and not eat the same thing every day when planning meals, variety is key.
Dinnerly offers a good-sized menu of about forty entree choices each week, plus a small selection of desserts. The menu also changes weekly on the Dinnerly website, so you always have a fresh selection of recipes to fill your meal box with.
Regarding the variety of flavors, Dinnerly meals tend to lean toward classics that everyone, including picky eaters, will enjoy. They occasionally dip their toes into spice and international cuisine, but they never go overboard. These are meals that even the pickiest eater at your table will enjoy.
Likewise, Marley Spoon also offers about forty meal options each week, plus a small selection of desserts. Their menu also changes weekly, so you never have to worry about getting bored with your meal boxes. There is a bit more variety in terms of flavors and styles of dishes with Marley Spoon. We like how their menu includes dishes that feel classic and rustic while also including some newer, exciting flavor profiles, like their Beef Omurice.
With a meal kit service, the ingredient quality is evident as soon as you open the box. There is no ability to hide inferior ingredients like you can behind prepared meals and sauces. According to our experiences and customer reviews, these two services seem to do a great job in terms of quality, but we did notice a few differences.
Some main features customers are looking for when choosing a meal kit service are whether a service includes organic, non-GMO, and ethically sourced meat in their meal kits. Both companies are focused on the highest quality food items, but neither is really committed to using organic or working directly with farmers and food suppliers who hold high ethical standards.
With Dinnerly, they’re really focused on freshness and how super delicious the ingredients taste, especially in the end product that lands on your dinner plate. Dinnerly is one of the more affordable meal kit services, and overall, their customers seem quite pleased with the quality of ingredients they receive for the price.
Marley Spoon is also about freshness and quality rather than focusing strongly on using mostly organic or sustainably sourced ingredients. What Marley Spoon does do differently from Dinnerly is build their rotating menu around produce that’s available seasonally. This means that the ingredients in your meal kits really are the freshest and that you get to enjoy them at their peak of flavor.
Taste & Sample Meals
Ok, now it’s time to get into the nitty-gritty of how these meal kits taste! After all, if a meal kit delivery service doesn’t meet your expectations in the taste department, it’s a waste of your time and money.
One of the things that we enjoyed when we tried a Dinnerly box was that they managed to create meals that taste really good but are “safe” enough to appeal to the masses. Dinnerly recipes are very reminiscent of what you’ll find on the typical American dinner table.
A few examples of dinnerly recipes that you’ll have access to each week include dishes such as Feta & Sundried Tomato Meatloaf. This one had that classic meatloaf texture and taste that’s so well loved, but the feta and sundried tomatoes really offered something different. Meals like the Pulled Chicken Mac & Cheese and the Cheesy Enchilada Verde are some examples of meals that even the pickiest eaters won’t be able to resist.
Marley Spoon extends their range of flavors beyond what Dinnerly offers. Some Marley Spoon meals are tried and true classics, like the recipe card for the 20-Minute Beef & Bean Chili. However, we really enjoyed how Marley Spoon allowed us to play with some new spices and flavors while we cooked. A few favorites were the Herbed Baked Shrimp Casino, the Hot Honey Glazed Barramundi with a peach and tomato salad, and the Sriracha Butter Ranch Steak — so delicious.
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Dinnerly meal kit delivery stands out against other meal boxes for its affordability. It has been our experience that many feels like meal kit delivery is not accessible to them due to being too expensive. We’re here to tell you that Dinnerly is a super affordable meal subscription service, even if you’re on a really tight budget.
Dinnerly’s pricing structure is based on how large of a meal box you order each week. The largest box, which is six servings for four people, comes in at a super-economical cost of $4.99 per serving. With today’s grocery prices, you’re lucky to achieve that even if you do all the shopping and meal planning yourself! Even their smallest meal box, which is three meals for two people, is priced at a very reasonable $6.30 per person.
Marley Spoon is priced more in line with what you expect from a meal delivery subscription service, although its pricing is still quite reasonable. Like with Dinnerly, the large box you order, the less you’ll pay per serving.
At the lowest end of the spectrum, you’ll pay $8.69 per serving, which is for six meals per week for four people. The most costly box is two meals per week for two people, which costs $12.99 per portion.
Packaging & Recycling
Packaging is an often overlooked detail when choosing a meal delivery company, but it’s really a very important one. Your meal delivery requires quality packing to keep your food fresh and at a safe temperature from the moment it departs on a truck until it arrives on your delivery date.
Dinnerly does a good job of reducing packaging and using recyclable packaging while making sure that the ingredients in each recipe you order are kept at a safe temperature during transit. We like how they offer a guide on their website detailing how to recycle all of their packaging, including the ice packs. If you happen to live in a warmer climate, or you order your next box in the middle of a scorching heat wave, Dinnerly takes steps to keep your food fresh by using an extra insulated liner in each box.
Marley Spoon is equally committed to using recyclable packaging materials and reducing the overall amount of packaging they use. Most Marley Spoon customers are quite happy with the minimal amount of packaging, but they do tend to include more little, separate packages of ingredients in each kit.
In the battle of Marley Spoon Vs. Dinnerly, it only makes sense that we crown Marley Spoon as the winner. They were our top choice for the variety, taste, quality, and more. Plus, we haven’t found a recipe of theirs that we haven’t enjoyed cooking. That said, we also enjoy Dinnerly for what it is, and that’s a very cost-friendly option for a meal delivery that you can cook in your home with just a few minutes of your time.
We think both services are great and have a place on dinner tables around the country. If you still can’t decide, here are a few things to consider.
Choose Marley Spoon If:
- You enjoy simplified recipes (all are six steps or less)
- You enjoy a variety of flavors and like to try new things
- You appreciate that you can order just four meals per week
- You’re following a special diet
Choose Dinnerly if you:
- You’re looking for a budget-friendly solution to meal delivery
- You like classic, comfort food style dishes
- You have picky eaters at your dinner table
- You appreciate reduced packaging