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Prepared meal delivery services ship ready-to-eat meals directly to a person’s home. These may be a good alternative to eating out or ordering takeaway while still eating nutritious foods.

A quick look at 11 of the best prepared meal delivery services

This article will discuss what these services are, who may find them useful, and reviews some of the best prepared meal delivery services available to subscribe to online.

Meal delivery services are increasing in popularity as they provide a healthy alternative to eating out or ordering takeaway, especially for those who do not have the time to cook meals from scratch at home.

These companies send ready-to-eat meals directly to a person’s home on a specified delivery day. Some companies may offer fresh meals, whereas others provide frozen food that people can heat in a microwave or oven.

Learn more about the best frozen meal delivery services here.

Most companies offer a variety of menus for different dietary requirements, the number of people in a household, and how many meals a person needs per week.

Prepared meal delivery services may be most suitable for people who do not have the time to source and cook healthy, nutritious foods.

These services may be less expensive than eating out or ordering takeaway regularly. Most companies offer a variety of food that meets different dietary requirements and may offer more choices than restaurant menus.

Medical News Today chooses meal delivery services that fit the following criteria:

  • Nutritional value: MNT chooses meal delivery services that meet the average person’s nutritional needs and promote healthy eating habits.
  • Ingredient quality: MNT chooses meal delivery services that use fresh, high quality ingredients. Some also use organic produce or sustainably sourced ingredients.
  • Variety: MNT chooses meal delivery services that feature a range of flavors and ingredients to suit different taste preferences and diets.
  • Price: MNT chooses meal delivery services with different price points to suit a range of budgets.
  • Availability: MNT chooses meal delivery services available throughout most of the United States.
  • Sustainability: MNT chooses meal delivery services that reduce their environmental impact by employing recyclable packaging, carbon-neutral shipping, local ingredients, and other sustainable practices.
  • Reputable: MNT only chooses brands that adhere to industry best practices and have passed our medical vetting process.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Best for varied eating patterns: Fresh N Lean

  • Price per serving: from $8.99
  • Meals per week: up to 21 meals
  • Dietary options: keto, paleo, vegan, gluten-free, Protein+, Mediterranean, and Whole30 Approved
  • Pro: has a range of dietary options
  • Con: some meals may not taste as good after freezing

Fresh N Lean offers a variety of options for different dietary requirements, such as vegan, paleo, and keto. Other meal plans include Protein+, Mediterranean, and Whole30 Approved.

The company ships the meals through UPS or FedEx air service. It provides a tracking number for each customer, and the meals stay fresh for up to 12 hours when traveling.

The company delivers meals each Friday. People can choose to either receive their food weekly or bi-weekly. They can skip weeks and cancel their subscription through their account or call customer services the Sunday before their next delivery.

West African Jollof plant-based chicken rice bowl

The nutritional facts of this sample meal are:

  • Serving size: 320 grams (g)
  • Calories: 320
  • Total fat: 7 g
  • Saturated fat: 0.5 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 milligrams (mg)
  • Sodium: 630 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 42 g
  • Dietary fiber: 1 g
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 22 g

Best for weight loss: BistroMD

  • Price per serving: from $8.24
  • Meals per week: up to 21 meals
  • Dietary options: Signature, Gluten Free, Heart Healthy, Keto Flex, Diabetic, and Menopause
  • Pro: offers doctor-designed meal plans and support from registered dietitians
  • Con: does not offer as many program options as other companies

BistroMD offers breakfasts, lunches, dinners, and snacks. The company aims to promote weight loss and healthy eating without dangerously restricting a person’s diet.

Read our review of BistroMD here.

People can choose from several programs, some of which aim to help with specific conditions, such as diabetes, menopause, or heart health.

The company charges $19.95 shipping and states FedEx will deliver the meals within 6 days of ordering.

People can cancel their subscription or skip a week via their account on the website.

Barramundi seabass with mango coconut salsa

The nutritional facts of this sample meal are:

  • Serving size: serves one
  • Calories: 340
  • Total fat: 8 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 80 mg
  • Sodium: 300 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 31 g
  • Dietary fiber: 3 g
  • Sugar: 11 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 37 g

Best for plant-based meals: Veestro

  • Price per serving: from $9.90
  • Meals per week: up to 30 meals
  • Dietary options: gluten-free, plant-based, or under 500 calories
  • Pro: offers a large number of meals per week
  • Con: not suitable for people who wish to eat meat or animal by-products

Veestro is a vegan-friendly plant-based brand. People can only filter by calories, with the company offering meals above and under 500 calories per serving.

The company uses UPS to deliver its meals. Shipping starts at $7.95.

People can cancel or skip weeks through their accounts on the company’s website.

Chilaquiles cassarole

The nutritional facts of this sample meal are:

  • Serving size: 15 ounces (oz)
  • Calories: 584
  • Total fat: 12 g
  • Saturated fat: 4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 775 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 101 g
  • Dietary fiber: 18 g
  • Sugar: 15 g
  • Protein: 19 g

Best for minimal cooking time: Freshly

  • Price per serving: from $8.99
  • Meals per week: up to 12 meals
  • Dietary options: Purely Plant, Proteins & Sides, Signature Collection, and FreshlyFit
  • Pro: changing the menu weekly prevents becoming bored of eating the same food
  • Con: charges variable shipping depending on the number of meals a person orders

Freshly aims to provide healthy and nutritious meals that people can heat in three minutes or less in a microwave. The company offers various menus, including plant-based, calorie-conscious, and gluten-free meals.

Read our review of Freshly here.

Freshly charges $9.99—$11.99 shipping, depending on how many meals a person chooses. People can skip or cancel weeks through their accounts on the company’s website.

White bean turkey chili bowl

The nutritional facts of this sample meal are:

  • Serving size: 369 g
  • Calories: 540
  • Total fat: 17 g
  • Saturated fat: 4 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 65 mg
  • Sodium: 590 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 69 g
  • Dietary fiber: 6 g
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 26 g

Best for bowls and smoothies: Daily Harvest

  • Price per serving: from $5.99
  • Meals per week: up to 24 meals
  • Dietary options: plant-based
  • Pro: no dairy, gluten, gums, fillers, or artificial ingredients
  • Con: may not be as filling as some other meal services

Daily Harvest is a plant-based delivery service that offers frozen smoothies, flatbreads, bowls, and more. All of its meals are gluten-free.

Read our review of Daily Harvest here.

The company determines a person’s shipping date on their location. However, Daily Harvest does not advertise how much it charges for shipping.

People can skip or cancel weeks any day until the Sunday before a delivery is due. People can edit their plans through their accounts on the Daily Harvest website.

Kalamata and artichoke fonio

The nutritional facts of this sample meal are:

  • Serving size: 260 g
  • Calories: 340
  • Total fat: 18 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg
  • Sodium: 690 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 37 g
  • Dietary fiber: 7 g
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 10 g

Best for freezer fillers: Mosaic Foods

  • Price per serving: from $6
  • Meals per week: up to 18 meals
  • Dietary options: plant-based
  • Pro: all meals arrive frozen
  • Con: a person must have access to a freezer to use this service

Mosaic Foods provide frozen plant-based wholefood meals such as pizzas, smoothies, and soups. It also provides family-friendly meals that may suit people with children.

The company states that it offers frozen food to reduce food waste, preserve nutrients, and ensure its food is always accessible.

Mosaic Foods delivers meals within two days of ordering. A person can log into their account or call customer services to skip a delivery.

Broccoli cheddar mac

The nutritional facts of this sample meal are:

  • Serving size: 286 g
  • Calories: 420
  • Total fat: 20 g
  • Saturated fat: 9 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 40 mg
  • Sodium: 640 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 43 g
  • Dietary fiber: 4 g
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 18 g

Best for paleo meals: Pete’s Real Food

  • Price per serving: from $14
  • Meals per week: up to 17 meals
  • Dietary options: paleo and vegan
  • Pro: rotates food seasonally to ensure fresh ingredients
  • Con: does not offer as many dietary options as other brands

Pete’s Real Food offers paleo and vegan meals with optional add-ons such as bacon and broth. The company also sells children’s lunches that it states are healthy and nutritious.

Learn more about the best paleo meal delivery services here.

All meals that a person orders by Sunday will arrive the following Friday. The company ships via FedEx.

People can skip or cancel their orders through their accounts on the company’s website.

Pork cabbage stew

The nutritional facts of this sample meal are:

  • Serving size: one container
  • Calories: 370
  • Total fat: 21 g
  • Saturated fat: 6 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Cholesterol: 60 mg
  • Sodium: 750 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 17 g
  • Dietary fiber: 3 g
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Added sugar: 0 g
  • Protein: 29 g

Best for global cuisines: Cook Unity

  • Price per serving: from $11.09
  • Meals per week: up to 16 meals
  • Dietary options: vegetarian, vegan, low carbs, gluten-free, dairy-free, low sodium, keto, paleo, and low calorie
  • Pro: offers a wide range of dietary options and meals from around the globe
  • Con: one of the more expensive options available

Cook Unity allows people to pick their protein preferences and recommends food from worldwide that meets their dietary requirements. It delivers fresh meals, which it recommends people refrigerate immediately.

Depending on a person’s area, FedEx or UPS will deliver the meals. People can skip or cancel their meals through their accounts on the website.

Middle Eastern eggplant parmesan

The nutritional facts of this sample meal are:

  • Serving size: 454 g
  • Calories: 730
  • Total fat: 39 g
  • Saturated fat: 17 g
  • Sodium: 1360 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 62 g
  • Dietary fiber: 14 g
  • Sugar: 14 g
  • Protein: 37 g

Best for oven-ready meals: Home Chef

  • Price per serving: from $8.99
  • Meals per week: up to 6 meals
  • Dietary options: calorie conscious and carb-conscious
  • Pro: offers oven-ready meals that aim to be similar to flavorful home-cooked meals
  • Con: not suitable for people who require more than 6 meals a week

Home Chef aims to deliver home-cooked style food to a person’s home. People can choose their preferences, such as which ingredients they wish to avoid, and then choose up to 6 meals per week.

One of Home Chef’s menu plans is oven-ready meals. These take less than 30 minutes to cook in the oven.

Read our review of Home Chef here.

The company states that sales tax depends on a person’s location, and a person’s zip code changes when the company delivers the meals.

People can cancel or skip weeks through their accounts on the company’s website.

Santa Fe-style turkey meatloaf

The nutritional facts of this sample meal are:

  • Serving size: 412 g
  • Calories: 540
  • Total fat: 28 g
  • Saturated fat: 11 g
  • Trans fat: 0.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 140 mg
  • Sodium: 1290 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 38 g
  • Dietary fiber: 4 g
  • Sugar: 6 g
  • Added sugar: 1 g
  • Protein: 36 g

Best for portion control: Trifecta

  • Price per serving: from $11
  • Meals per week: up to 21 meals
  • Dietary options: keto, paleo, clean, Whole30 Approved, vegan, and vegetarian
  • Pro: all meals are organic, gluten-free, low sodium, and low in saturated fats
  • Con: a more expensive option that some companies

Trifecta offers organic and gluten-free meal delivery services. The company states it focuses on calorie and portion control.

Read our review on Trifecta here.

The company does not deliver to Alaska or Hawaii. Shipping is a flat fee of $9.99 to all contiguous states.

To pause or cancel deliveries, a person must contact customer services or update their account on the website the Friday before their delivery.

Vegan meal plan

The nutritional facts of this sample meal are:

  • Serving size: 370 g
  • Calories: 430
  • Total fat: 15 g
  • Saturated fat: 3 g
  • Trans fat: 0 g
  • Sodium: 465 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 55 g
  • Dietary fiber: 13 g
  • Sugar: 10 g
  • Protein: 21 g

Best for a large menu: Factor

  • Price per serving: from $11
  • Meals per week: up to 18 meals
  • Dietary options: keto, vegetarian, vegan, protein plus, chef’s choice, and calorie smart
  • Pro: offers over 30 meals on a weekly rotating menu
  • Con: limited options for vegetarians and vegans

Factor aims to provide chef-cooked, nutritious, fresh meals that people can simply heat in the microwave in minutes.

Read our review of Factor here.

The company offers keto, vegetarian, vegan, and calorie-smart options. However, it does not offer as many plant-based meals as some of its competitors.

Factor delivers on a Monday, Tuesday, or Wednesday, depending on a person’s state. People can skip or cancel their deliveries through the website as long as it is before the Wednesday before their delivery day.

Tomato and roasted vegetable risotto

The nutritional facts of this sample meal are:

  • Serving size: one serving
  • Calories: 440
  • Total fat: 20 g
  • Saturated fat: 2 g
  • Sodium: 690 mg
  • Total carbohydrate: 56 g
  • Dietary fiber: 3 g
  • Sugar: 5 g
  • Protein: 10 g

The following table compares the services in this article.

Price per servingMeals per weekDietary options
Fresh N Leanfrom $8.99up to 21 mealsketo
paleo
vegan
gluten-free
Protein+
Mediterranean
Whole30 Approved
BistroMDfrom $8.24up to 21 mealsSignature
Gluten-Free
Heart Healthy
Keto Flex
Diabetic
Menopause
Veestrofrom $9.90up to 30 mealsgluten-free
plant-based
under 500 calories
Freshlyfrom $8.99up to 12 mealsPurely Plant
Signature Collection
FreshlyFit
Protein & Sides
Daily Harvestfrom $5.99up to 24 mealsplant-based
Mosaic Foodsfrom $6up to 18 mealsplant-based
Pete’s Real Foodfrom $14up to 17 mealspaleo
vegan
Cook Unityfrom $11.09up to 16 mealsvegetarian
vegan
low carbs
gluten-free
dairy-free
low sodium
keto
paleo
low calorie
Home Cheffrom $8.99up to 6 mealscalorie conscious
carb-conscious
Trifectafrom $11up to 21 mealsketo
paleo
clean
Whole30 Approved
vegan
vegetarian
Factorfrom $11up to 18 mealsketo
vegetarian
vegan
protein plus
chef’s choice
calorie smart

People may wish to consider the following when choosing a meal delivery service:

  • Dietary requirements: People should ensure that the company they choose caters to their dietary requirements, including any allergies. Some companies allow people to filter menus by dietary needs.
  • Family options: If a person shops for a menu for adults and children, they may wish to choose family-friendly meals. Several companies offer meals that children may be more likely to enjoy.
  • Meal amount: People should ensure that the company offers enough meals for the people in the household.
  • Subscriptions: People may wish to choose a company that allows them to cancel or skip deliveries if they need to. Additionally, people may wish to choose a company that makes canceling subscriptions easy.
  • Budget: Meal delivery company prices vary considerably. Often, the more a person orders, the less it costs per serving.

Meal delivery companies often market themselves as a more affordable option than grocery shopping. However, any savings a person may experience depends on how much the company charges.

A 2021 study found that meal kits may be affordable for people on a lower income to eat three healthy meals per week, so long as the companies sell the meals at cost.

Learn more about the cheapest meal delivery services here.

Another study found that meal delivery services are more expensive than shopping for ingredients and cooking at home. However, these services are less expensive than eating out.

Here we answer some common questions about these services.

What is the difference between meal delivery services and frozen dinners?

There is no guarantee that frozen meals from grocery stores are nutritionally balanced or contain whole or non-processed foods.

However, meal delivery services often claim that they use the freshest produce in meals nutritionists design to be healthy and balanced.

Are prepared meal delivery services healthy?

All prepared meal delivery services offer foods that are healthy in moderation.

A person should check the nutritional facts of the meals they wish to try before making a purchase. This way, they can ensure that the meal they choose fits their nutritional requirements.

How do prepared meal delivery services work?

Prepared meal delivery services send ready-to-eat meals directly to a person’s home. People can choose their dietary requirements, how many meals they want for the week, and then choose their menu.

The company will then deliver the entire order on a specific day. People can skip deliveries, update their account details, or cancel their subscriptions.

Meal delivery services provide meals specified to a person’s diet of choice. A person generally can choose what meals they get and how many they have for the week.

Most meals deliver weekly or bi-weekly. Most companies allow people to skip or cancel deliveries as long as a person does this before the cut-off time the company dictates.