A good meal delivery service really is a lifesaver. Healthy meals delivered to your door saves time in the kitchen and at the grocery store. Meal services come in all types, from prepared meals to meal kits that you cook in your own kitchen. Oven-ready meals are dinner options that you just stick in the oven, sometimes with a little prep and sometimes with none at all.
Because oven-ready meals are in a category all of their own, we’ve looked at the most popular meal delivery services, tested them, tasted them, and found the best meals that are ready to eat with just a little time in your oven. Take a look at our top picks.
Sunbasket is one of the most respected names in meal delivery services. They’re known for their fresh, healthy, and delicious meals and their commitment to using high-quality ingredients and sustainable practices. Sunbasket is largely known for their meal kits, but we also love them for their selection of Fresh & Ready meals.
There are a couple of details that put Sunbasket above the rest in this category. The first is their selection. Each weekly menu offers more than twenty oven-ready, healthy meals with a range of dishes to please every appetite. A few samples of their nutritious meal options include Pork Chile Verde over Cilantro Rice, Shrimp Paella, and plant-based options like Kimchi Fried Rice.
Sunbasket’s Fresh & Ready prepared meals have a definite comfort food vibe but require none of the prep-work of a home-cooked meal. Sunbasket meals come in single-serving sizes, but many of the dishes are family-friendly, making it easy to please even picky eaters around the dinner table.
Finally, Sunbasket is great when it comes to offering options for those with special dietary restrictions. The menu of Fresh & Ready meals includes gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, diabetes-friendly, and vegetarian options.
A few more reasons why Sunbasket wins for oven-ready prepared meal delivery:
- Reasonably priced at $8.99 per portion
- Versatility between oven and microwave preparation
- Extras like snacks and a la carte options available
- No commitment subscription model
- They use organic ingredients, including produce, dairy, and tofu
- Best selection of fresh, oven-ready meals
- Customize your meal plan to include Fresh & Ready meals, meal kits, or both
Home Chef has been simplifying people’s lives with their meal delivery service since 2013. Home Chef is also known primarily for their meal kits, but if you scroll just a little further down on their menu options, you’ll find a selection of Easy Prep Meal Kits that include oven-ready meals with everything you need (even the pan!) included.
Granted, Home Chef doesn’t offer a large menu of oven-ready meals. On average, you’ll find about three meals per week in this category. Still, we have to give them the nod for best family options because of the traditional flavors and styles of dishes that will please an entire family any night of the week.
To give you an idea of what you’ll find on their weekly menu, featured dishes include Marinara Penne with Ricotta Meatballs, Lemon Florentine Shrimp Alfredo, and Goat Cheese Crusted Chicken with Green Beans and Almonds.
Home Chef meals require a minimum amount of prep work. The ingredients are delivered to you, and you basically just toss them together, place them in the provided pan, and stick it all in the oven. Keep in mind that you’ll be working with raw ingredients, so everything will need to be cooked thoroughly. On Average, these meals are done in about 30 minutes and save tons of time when making dinner.
Each oven-ready meal kit serves two, so depending on your family size, you’ll want to order more than one.
More reasons to choose Home Chef for family-friendly oven-ready meals:
- Meals are customizable, so you can swap out proteins and occasionally other ingredients.
- Economical, with prices starting at just $6.99 per portion
- Allows you to have a home-cooked dinner ready in about 30 minutes
- Extras like garlic bread are available to complete your meals
- Common allergens are listed on the main menu page and easy to spot
Hello Fresh holds the title of America’s most popular meal delivery service. Their claim to fame is their meal kit selection that takes all the work out of meal planning, eliminates trips to the grocery store, and surpasses other meal delivery services in terms of variety and meals per week.
While Hello Fresh specializes mostly in meal kits, we chose them as a runner-up in our list of oven-ready, delicious meal delivery services for their offerings in the Quick & Easy category. Hello Fresh Quick & Easy meals all take 35 minutes or less from start to finish. Not every meal in this category is technically oven-ready, but there are usually 2-3 each week that fit the criteria.
Hello Fresh has a reputation as a meal delivery service that pleases a wide range of tastes. Their meals are more on the traditional side but kicked up a little with interesting and flavorful spices. A favorite is their Oven Baked Chicken Parmesan with Garlic Bread and Roasted Garlic. These meals come with everything you need, including the pan.
A few more reasons to like Hello Fresh:
- They offer a student discount, and Quick & Easy meals are perfect for small kitchens.
- Good variety of meals if you’re looking for other options besides oven ready
- Well known and respected meal delivery service
- Priced between $7.49-$12.49 per serving
- Pricing varies depending on how many servings in your weekly box, giving you more budget control
- Nutritional information for each meal is available on the website
- Generous serving sizes
When you’re craving a nice tender, juicy steak, Omaha Steaks might be the first meal delivery service you turn to. They also might not be first on your mind for oven-ready dishes, but this is actually a category of meals they excel at.
Omaha steaks offers oven-ready packages that include a variety of prepared meals that are ready to go straight into your oven. Packages include options for family meals and individual portions. You can also order a la carte family-size servings of oven-ready dishes like Baked Beef Bourguignon, Lobster Mac & Cheese, and Beef Shepherd’s Pie.
The downside here is that Omaha Steaks can be a little pricey, especially if you’re a family on a budget just looking for some easy mealtime solutions.
Benefits of choosing Omaha Steaks:
- High-quality, elegant meals that can go directly from your refrigerator or freezer and into the oven
- Perfect for entertaining or holiday meals
- Packages or a la carte available
- No subscription needed
- Also offers slow cooker meals
- Lots of extras, like dessert and wine, to round out the meal
Meal Delivery Services Buying Guide
Oven Ready Vs. Heat & Eat
The lines between these two categories of meal options are a little blurred, and they sometimes cross over into each other. In most cases, oven-ready isn’t necessarily the same as ready-made meals, meaning they typically require thorough cooking in the oven and sometimes a little bit of prep work. Those in the heat & eat category are either fresh or frozen meals that are precooked and need only a few minutes in the microwave.
Some meal delivery companies offer meals for your oven that are already cooked, at least partially. Sunbasket, our top choice, is an example of a meal service that offers meals for the oven that are already cooked. Still, it’s always important to make sure the meals are heated all the way through and that the internal temperature meets food safety standards.
Special Dietary Considerations
There are a lot of differences between meal delivery companies when it comes to special dietary considerations. Some meal delivery services like Sunbasket do an exceptional job of offering meal options that are gluten-free, free of major food allergens, low carb, plant-based, or packed with delicious, healthy food that will help if you’re working on losing weight or focusing on clean eating. This isn’t the case for all, however.
Other services like Hello Fresh offer fewer options in the special diet category. Their focus is more on providing high-quality meals that taste great and include fresh ingredients but leave it up to their customers to assess whether any meal, in particular, is aligned with their dietary needs.
Prep & Cook Time
It’s safe to say that saving time is one of the main perks of prepared meal delivery services. If saving time is important to you, it’s always smart to check the prep and cooking time, even with meals that are labeled as being ready to go straight into the oven,
Some meals come fully prepared. The average cooking time seems to range from 25-30 minutes for these types of meals, but it can be longer if the meals are frozen or contain thick cuts of meat.
With other services like Home Chef, there’s a minimal amount of prep that also has to go into the dish. You might have to dice something or layer ingredients when you assemble the dish in the provided pan. This usually doesn’t take too long, but if you’re super tight on time, ten minutes can make a big difference.
Price & Variety
These two factors are important when choosing any meal kit or prepared meal delivery service., but especially when you’re looking for oven-ready options. One of the main reasons Sunbasket won our overall top spot is because of their variety. It would be difficult for even a picky eater not to find something on the menu, and there are lots of options for special dietary concerns, especially gluten-free.
Other companies have fewer options but offer up a meal plan that’s more budget-friendly. It often comes down to weighing these two factors against each other when making a choice.
Oven-ready meals are a bit different than your standard prepared meal or meal kit. They’re a great way to really bring home-cooked flavor to the table and get a nice aroma going in the kitchen without spending hours shopping, prepping, and cooking. They’re perfect for busy people and families that just want to enjoy a delicious, fresh meal without all the fuss.
Our top choice for oven-ready delivery goes to Sunbasket for their variety and quality, but the others on our list are great choices too. Pick one, try it out for yourself, and see just how easier mealtime can be.