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Dining in is one of the safest ways to eat during the coronavirus pandemic, and for those spending most of their time at home, meal delivery services are becoming more popular. They're also a great gift option for the holidays.
When it comes to picky eaters, clean eaters, food allergies, and other dietary restrictions, having the ability to customize your food selections is one of the many perks of meal kits. From Blue Apron and Home Chef to Purple Carrot and Daily Harvest, there are a bunch of affordable and pricey subscription-based meal delivery companies whose fun and easy menu options make for a restaurant-style dining experience without leaving the comforts of home.
Holiday shoppers looking to try out a creative and thoughtful gift idea will find a vast selection of healthy recipes to chose from, including keto meals, gluten-free meals, low-carb meals, plant-based meals for vegans and vegetarians, kid-friendly meals, and meals made from organic ingredients.
Below, find our picks for the best meal delivery kits for the holidays, and be sure to check back with ET Style for more deals!
Home Chef is one of the best meal delivery companies because you can completely customize your experience to fit your diet, food preferences and hectic schedule. Each week, you'll select recipes from categories as specific as slow cooker meals, oven-ready meals, entree salads and meals for those conscious of calories -- all are made with pre-portioned fresh ingredients, and you can upgrade, swap or leave out items like meat. (New dishes are added every week to keep things exciting.) Once your special delivery arrives at your door, use the step-by-step recipe cards to cook and plate your meals. You can select the delivery dates that work best for you and even skip shipments or pause your account. For extra convenience, Home Chef is also available in select grocery stores.
Freshly is all about keeping it simple. Every fully prepared meal is delivered fresh and ready to eat in three minutes -- just pop it in the microwave. But these aren't your typical microwave meals. Each dinner is full of fresh ingredients that are nutrient-rich: complex carbs, healthy fats and quality proteins. Current delicious-sounding meal options include Sicilian-Style Chicken Parm with Broccoli, Turkey-Mushroom Meatballs and Almond-Chicken Ginger Bowl.
Go green with Purple Carrot! Whether you’re new to plant-based diets, or a pro at meatless meals, Purple Carrot offers affordable meal kits, and already prepared meals, for breakfast lunch, and dinner -- plus snack options.
The plant-based company serves up a wide variety of tasty and creative menu items like lemon braised chickpea, Bali bbq tofu sandwiches, fettuccine arrabbiata with roasted broccoli and basil pesto, and superfood bowls. You can customize the number of weekly meals, which serves up to four people. Each delivery contains 2-4 recipes.
Blue Apron offers a constantly changing lineup of meat, fish, Beyond Meat, WW-approved dishes, diabetes-friendly recipes and health-conscious offerings. Choose from a signature 2-serving meal, signature 4-serving meal or vegetarian 2-serving meal.
If you’re looking to spend a little more on a healthy meal delivery service, Daily Harvest is a great option. With a selection of harvest bowls, soups, smoothies, ice creams, energy bites, and flat breads, made from organic, gluten-fee, and dairy-free ingredients, the subscription meal delivery company offers appetizing recipes that are fast and easy to make.
You can choose between weekly or monthly plans, or purchase a gift card of up to $250. Daily Harvest also offers a nine item gift box that allows the recipient to pick which items they want to try.
Whether you want keto, paleo, gluten free or vegetarian meals, Sun Basket will ship healthy dinners packed with organic ingredients and delicious flavors straight to your door. Select at least two weekly dinner meal options and then add on items for breakfast, lunch, snacks and more (you can even get specialty meat!). All recipes come with simple cooking or heat-only instructions, making Sun Basket a top contender for those who want to spend more time at the dinner table and less time in the kitchen.
Dinnerly is an affordable meal kit service with simple, easy to cook meals, and kid-friendly recipes. The company offers digital recipes (instead of recipe cards), fewer ingredients per recipe to shorten chopping and cleaning time, and small packaging. There’s even an option for vegetarian meals.
Every week, EveryPlate debuts 11 new delicious meals to choose from -- think Garlic Rosemary Chicken or Balsamic Steak -- for two or four people. Once you receive the ingredients and six-step recipe cards, you can cook the dishes in 30 minutes or less. Not only are you saving time, but at under five dollars per serving, EveryPlate saves you money, too. Order three, four or five dinners per week -- you can skip a week or cancel your subscription up to five days before your next delivery is scheduled. As of right now, EveryPlate does not cater to special diets, such as a plant-based eating.
Looking to add a taste of luxury to your meal delivery? Sakara offers a variety of healthy meal programs that focus on organic, plant-based, gluten-free meals -- all ready-to-eat. Their most popular service includes three or five days of one, two or three prepared meals (breakfast, lunch and dinner), plus daily tea and functional supplements and access to holistic health coaching. It's pricier compared to the other services we love, but we can totally see why celebs like Chrissy Teigen and Lily Aldridge are fans.