Top5 Review

Blue Apron Review

Whether you’re just starting to learn how to cook or just don’t have the energy to plan and shop for your own meals every week, a meal delivery service is a convenient way to make cooking at home easier. Using a meal delivery service can also be a great way to experiment with new flavors and recipes you might not have thought to try on your own. Blue Apron has the widest variety of globally inspired recipes compared to other meal delivery services and has been around the longest. In fact, it was one of the first meal delivery services to hit the market.

About two thirds of the recipes are modeled after ethnic cuisines, while only about one third are more traditional American comfort food style. You can select from recipes with Greek, Asian, Mediterranean, Mexican inspired flavors and more. Blue Apron also promises to never send you the same recipe twice in the same year. Unless you want to see it in your meal kit box again.

According to a Consumer Reports taste test, Blue Apron didn’t score the highest when it came to flavor compared to other meal delivery services. But recipes were all rated as either “good” or “very good” and this meal delivery service has a long history of satisfied customers. The category Blue Apron did come out on top in was price. It’s the most affordable meal kit compared to other services like Hello Fresh and Plated. Individual servings in a family plan can go as low as $7.49 a serving. That’s almost $5 less per serving than Plated.

Blue Apron is also the only meal delivery service we reviewed that offers the option of including a wine subscription. Similar to their recipes, each wine comes with a card that breaks down the notes, flavors, and recommendations on which recipes to pair it with. You’ll also learn the story behind each wine, how it was produced, and how to taste it the right way. Wines are chosen to compliment the recipes you chose in your delivery box. It’s a great service to use when you’re cooking for a small dinner party.

Pros

  • Widest variety of global cuisines
  • Wine pairing subscription service
  • Cheapest cost per serving
  • Hearty portions compared to other meal delivery kits
  • Speciality diet options

Cons

  • Didn’t score higher than other meal delivery services for flavor
  • Ingredient quality is good but not superior quality
  • Some recipes take up to an hour to prepare
  • Nutritional information isn’t listed directly on recipe cards

Food Quality and Ingredients

Blue apron meal kit recipe box

Blue Apron sources fresh, seasonal ingredients from farms, importers, and family run purveyors. They use small batch artisans to source ingredients like pasta and tortillas. Ingredients are mostly locally sourced and delivered in pre-portioned quantities to reduce food waste. Meats are antibiotic and hormone free. The majority of beef is from grass fed cows and the seafood is sustainable caught, but not wild.

What’s in the box?

A meal kit box from Blue Apron includes all the ingredients you need to make the recipes you selected for the week. You’ll receive the exact amount of each ingredient you need to make the number of portions you chose. Although Consumer Reports did note that although one of their recipes called for 6 ounces of dried pasta, they only received 4 ounces. Ingredients are individually packaged in either paper bags, plastic bags, or individual containers. Everything is labeled, but ingredients aren’t grouped together by recipes. You’ll have to read through the recipe cards and select the ingredients you need to cook each meal.

The ingredients come in a box with insulated packaging and recyclable ice packs. This ensures that everything stays fresh for up to a few hours after delivery. No need to rush home right away to unpack everything. Like other meal delivery service, there’s no signature required to drop off your box. Meats are also vacuumed sealed to maintain freshness for up to two weeks.

Recipes and Cooking Skills

Blue Apron recipe box with ingredients and recipe card

If you want to stay creative in the kitchen, or enjoy ethnic flavors more than traditional American meals, Blue Apron is the best meal delivery service to order from. Although the quality of ingredients isn’t as high as Plated, they do offer the most innovative recipes. You can choose from 8 different recipes every week and the menu is continually updated.

A variety of meat, poultry, seafood, and vegetarian options are always included and you can preview the following week’s menu ahead of time. You also have the option to include a wine pairing with your weekly recipes! As of now the main downside to Blue Apron is that they don’t offer a lot of options for dietary restrictions. If you want gluten free, vegan options, or are worried about food allergies it isn’t the best meal delivery service to use. Although they can adjust recipes for allergies and food restrictions, everything is packaged in the same facility so there’s a chance your box could be contaminated. This can be dangerous for anyone with a peanut allergy.

Recipe cards are included in your meal kit box and have detailed, step by step, photo instruction. They’re easy to follow and include pictures of the right way to chop vegetables and meats for each recipe. Blue Apron also has a handy app you can download that has helpful cooking tips in the form of clear instructional videos. You can learn things like the best way to season as you cook, how to properly salt water, and get more nutritional information on each ingredient. Unlike other meal delivery services the nutritional information isn’t on the same card as the cooking instructions, instead it’s found on a separate card included in your box.

Cook time ranges from 30 minutes to an hour for most recipes. Although time spent cooking and prepping is dependent on how fast you work in the kitchen. Examples of recipes in this week’s menu are: cilantro beef tacos with fresh tomatoes and spiced rice, pasta in Italian salsa verde with mushrooms and grana padano cheese, and adobe style chicken with sautéed bok choy and jasmine rice. Yum!

Meal Plan Options

blue apron meal plan options and recipe index

Blue apron has two main meal plans. A 2 person plan and a family plan that includes 4 servings, although you can customize portions with customer service. The two person plan delivers 2 or 3 recipes per week and the family plan gives you the option of 2, 3, or 4 recipes per week. The two person plan starts at $47.95 per week and the family plan starts at $71.92 per week. Individual portion prices range from about $7.49 per person to $9.99, making it one of the cheaper meal delivery services on the market.

If you’re looking for a flexible subscriptions plan with a lot of customization options Blue Apron isn’t your best bet. It is a good service if you want a straight forward subscriptions with flavorful recipe options. Because they only deliver 2 or 3 recipes a week on the two person plan, it’s better used to make cooking easier half the week, or if you tend to eat out a lot.

You can choose your delivery date and skip a week or cancel any time. Blue Aprons is also running a sale right now that gifts new customers $60 to use over their next three orders. Delivery is free with the exception of ordering 2 recipes a week with the two person plan. The delivery fee for that plan is $7.99. Blue Apron delivers across the United States. You can check to see if they deliver to you here.

Final Verdict

If you’re a fan of flavorful, ethnic recipes Blue Apron is a great meal delivery service to try. It’s also best for anyone looking to order from one of the cheapest meal delivery services. The recipes are good, but the quality of ingredients isn’t as high as other services like Plated. Meats and produce aren’t certified organic or non GMO, but they are fresh and tasty.

Blue Apron is also best for omnivores and pescatarians. Although they offer some delicious vegetarian options every week, they don’t offer many vegan or gluten free recipes. It’s also not a good option if you’re trying to lose weight, cleanse, or eat mostly plant based meals. The calorie count tends to be on the higher side. This recipe has almost 1,000 calories a serving! Other services like Splendid Spoon or Daily Harvest are better for sticking to health goals or dietary restrictions.

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