Cooking for one often feels like more work than it’s worth, but eating out every day quickly gets expensive (and unhealthy). Thankfully, the best meal kit deliveries for singles offer a third option: delicious food, fresh ingredients, conveniently delivered.
It’s difficult, however, to get out of the habit of eating out—even when you know it’s not good for your health or budget. But there are a bunch of reasons single people are switching over to meal kits, despite the challenge:
For more questions and considerations about buying meal kits as a single, scroll on down to the bottom for a quick buying guide.
If you’re ready to see our top seven picks for the best meal kits for singles, let’s hop right in.
Our Top Pick
Best Value for Money
Plated seems to get everything right, between stunning recipes—like Chorizo-Spiced Beef Tacos and Grilled Chicken Tikka—a website that’s easy to use, and flexible meal plans that work for all kinds of leftover-lovers.
The Top 7 Best Meal Kit Deliveries For Singles
1. Plated (Our Top Pick)
With 20 weekly recipe options, include “made to share” meals, Plated’s a great pick for eating alone or with a friend.
- 20 weekly recipe options
- “Made to Share” recipes
- Starts at $9.95/serving
A slimmed-down meal kit without bells and whistles, Dinnerly’s the perfect pick if you’re on a smaller budget.
- 8 weekly recipe options
- Only 6 ingredients per dish
- $4.99/serving + $8.99 shipping
For the extra-busy, Freshly’s pre-cooked and never frozen meals provide a fast, healthy alternative to traditional meal kits.
- 30 weekly recipe options
- Pre-cooked, never frozen meals
- Starts at $8.99/serving
4. Blue Apron
A favorite around the country, Blue Apron’s known for stellar recipes, great cooking instructions, and a refined experience.
- 15-20 weekly recipe options
- Weight Watchers meal plans
- Starts at $8.99/serving
5. Hello Fresh
America’s most popular meal kit has a diverse recipe catalog, fresh ingredients, and the best customer service reviews.
- 17 weekly recipe options
- #1 rated customer service
- Starts at $7.87/serving
6. Purple Carrot
This meal kit specializes in plant-based recipes, and you’d never know—the creative use of plants is delicious.
- 6 weekly recipe options
- 100% plant-based
- Starts at $7.99/serving
7. Home Chef
With customizable recipes that target various diets, this is a great pick for those who need a wider selection of meals.
- 26 weekly recipe options
- Very intuitive online interface
- Starts at $9.95/serving
1. Plated — Our Top Pick
“Fresh and healthy ingredients and recipes delivered to our house each week! Best part is…No waste!”
Plated was one of the first meal kits around, getting popular from the hit TV show “Shark Tank” (though they didn’t actually get a deal on the show). They’ve since grown into a well-respected meal kit service that offers 20 weekly recipe options—quite a bit more than normal.
You can choose between 2-4 servings of each meal, 2-4 nights per week—so as a single eater, you can have anywhere from 1-3 servings of leftovers (easy lunches).
Here are some of the meals they’re serving now:
- Indian-Style Fish and Chips, with cilantro-lime sauce
- Gochujang Grilled Cheese, with peanut-kale salad
- Seared Steak, with Israeli salad, cauliflower, and tahini butter
They also have two dessert options per week, and some of the recipes are “Made to Share” for if you decide you’d rather not eat alone after all.
At $9.95 per serving, it’s competitively priced among meal kits and restaurant dishes.
What Kind Of Single Is Plated Best For?
You really can’t go wrong with Plated. The dishes, online experience, and cooking instructions are all well-crafted. But if you like the idea of whipping up something impressive for when you have company, you can’t beat Plated’s “Made to Share” meals.
2. Dinnerly — A Great Budget Pick
“When we got the box I didn't think the portion sizes were enough for my husband but I was wrong! Everything has been delicious and well portioned!!”
Designed for the super budget-conscious, Dinnerly offers meal kits for just $4.99 per serving—which is just a little more than you’d pay for groceries from the store. When you add the $7.99 shipping fee, the price is still lower than other meal kit deliveries on this list.
With just eight weekly recipe options, you don’t have a ton of choice. But the recipes you can pick from, however, are great:
- Spinach & Cheddar Skillet Rice, with spiced chickpeas
- Mexican Grass-Fed Beef Burger, with seasoned oven chips and sauce
- Mediterranean Grilled Chicken, with spinach and potato salad
Dinnerly’s truly a minimal meal kit company. You don’t get physical recipe cards. Meals aren’t separated into neat baggies. And each recipe only contains six ingredients. The experience doesn’t feel as fancy as other meal kits—especially the big player like Plated and Blue Apron—but the price is unrivaled.
What Kind Of Single Is Dinnerly Best For?
If $10 per serving sounds like too much, but you’re still wanting to try out a meal kit, Dinnerly is the obvious pick. You can test the waters with a minimal service that offers great food at an unrivaled price.
“With Freshly, I don’t have to think about what I’m going to eat for lunch each day and feel good knowing that I’m eating a healthy meal.”
Departing from the usual meal kit delivery model, Freshly offers pre-cooked meals that only need to be microwaved—and no… they’re not like terrible TV-dinners you’d find at the supermarket. They’re chef-crafted, never frozen, and taste delicious.
With 30 recipe options, you won’t have a hard time finding something you’ll love. Here are some examples of what they’re serving up now.
- Three Bean Ancho Turkey Chili, with cheddar cheese
- Pork Carnitas, with spanish rice and beans
- Korean-Stye Veggie Bibimbap, with brown rice
Plans go from $8.99 per meal for 12 weekly meals up to $12.50 per meal for just 4 weekly meals.
What Kind Of Single Is Freshly Best For?
If speed and convenience are key, you can’t beat Freshly. We imagine this is the best meal kit delivery service for singles who have zero time to cook, don’t spend much time at home, and want to control their portions
4. Blue Apron
“Best week ever! Thank you Blue Apron. Fish tacos, beef baguette, and sweet & spicy chicken were all delicious.”
One of the biggest meal kits around, Blue Apron’s had a lot of time to refine their service—and it shows. With 15-20 weekly recipe options, exceptional cooking instructions, and competitive prices, Blue Apron’s a great all-around pick.
Here’s a look at some of the recipes Blue Apron is offering at the moment:
- Seared Chicken & Ginger-Peach Sauce, with ponzu broccoli & jasmine rice
- Sweet & Spicy Beef Stir-Fry, with mushrooms, cabbage, and zucchini
- Summer Peach & Farro Grain Bowl, with goat cheese & sugar snap peas
At $9.99 per serving for most plans, Blue Apron is priced competitively and sticks out as a frontrunner.
What Kind Of Single Is Blue Apron Best For?
Blue Apron is a great pick for the single who wants to go with a tried and true, competitive meal kit company, and isn’t too concerned about sticking to a specific diet plan.
“We love the menus, I have a blast preparing the meal, we are eating healthier, and we’re losing weight!”
Like Plated and Blue Apron, HelloFresh is one of the bigger players in the meal delivery space—actually they’re currently the biggest, largely due to their #1 ranking in excellent customer service.
The weekly catalog usually has 17 recipe options, like…
- Lemony Cheese Tortelloni, with bacon, peas, and zucchini
- Sriracha Sesame Shrimp, with cucumber salad and jasmine rice
- Steelhead Trout, over basil parm risotto with burst tomatoes
Meals come down to $7.87 per serving for larger bundles, making it one of the more affordable options if you like to have lots of leftovers (good for meal planning).
What Kind Of Single Is HelloFresh Best For?
HelloFresh is another stellar pick for someone who just wants a nice, refined, and consistently high-quality meal kit delivery experience. It’s also a fantastic pick for the weekly meal planners, thanks to the lower per-serving cost with bulk orders.
“Super excited for my Purple Carrot deliveries! They have the tastiest vegan recipes and the freshest ingredients.”
Every meal kit on this list is creative with recipes, but Purple Carrot takes it to a new level with 100% vegan-friendly, plant-based meals. The only issue is that the recipe list is very limited, featuring only 6 recipe options per week.
Even if you’re not vegan, you may love the kinds of dishes they come up with, like:
- Japanese Gnocchi, with miso tomato butter & nori spice
- Tamarind Cauliflower, with gingered fried rice and cashews
- Rainbow Salad, with BBQ tofu & blood orange balsamic vinaigrette
Eating healthy tastes delicious with Purple Carrot, and they don’t skimp on portions. You can get meals for as low as $7.99 per servings if you get the larger bundle, but you’re limited to just 2 recipe options per week (no choice). More likely, you’ll opt for the smaller package, landing at $11.99 per serving.
What Kind Of Single Is Purple Carrot Best For?
It’s hard to beat Purple Carrot on delicious food if you’re a vegan eater—or if you just want to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet. Plus, if you’re an omnivore, these recipes are great for helping you learn to cook great food without meat or dairy.
7. Home Chef
“Another express meal win! This was super fast to throw together. Solid, low calorie meal we both enjoyed!”
Home Chef stands out by enabling you to customize their 18 weekly recipes to create a whopping total of 26 weekly recipe options. Some can be made in 5-minutes or less (no cooking necessary), a handful are “oven ready” and light on effort, and others are grillable.
With the ability to make any meal vegetarian (or add meat, or change the meat, or switch veggies around), there’s really something for everyone from Home Chef, like:
- Greek Spinach and Feta Chicken, with zucchini and yellow squash
- French Onion Steak Risotto, with two cheeses and croutons
- Chicken and Smoked Gouda Sandwich — no cooking required
Unlike most meal kits, there aren’t specific “plans”. You can order as much food as you want, often coming out to $9.95 per serving. But if you order a bunch of food for leftovers you can knock it down to $7.99 per serving.
What Kind Of Single Is Home Chef Best For?
If you want to have more control over your meal kit each week, Home Chef is a great pick. You can order as much food as you need, customize most recipes, and even get 5-minute and “oven ready” options for busier weeks.
3 Things Single People Need To Consider About Meal Kits
I get it. There really are many great choices. How do you narrow it down to just one? Let’s go over some considerations that may help.
Leftovers… how do you feel about them?
Cooking for one almost always leads to leftovers. This can be great because it means you have ready-made, healthy food to take to the office or heat up after a long day at work. Most meal kits send you 2 servings of each recipe (unless you order more), so some leftovers are inevitable.
But if you don’t like leftovers, you’ll probably be ordering less food, which will likely mean higher prices. Of course, with less food, your total bill is lower as well.
So it’s a toss up: more food at a lower cost per serving, or less food and a higher cost per serving? It really depends on your lifestyle and how valuable ready-made leftovers are to you.
Want to stick to a specific diet?
If you eat vegan, paleo, keto, or some other specific diet, not all of these meal kits will work for you. That knocks several off the list right off the bat. Even though companies like Blue Apron and HelloFresh do have diet-specific recipes, they don’t always have very many of them.
Purple Carrot is the king of plant-based eating, Freshly’s 30 recipe list is quite good for diets, and Home Chef’s customizable recipes may also work for you.
Do pre-cooked meals sound better for your schedule?
Most of our top meal kit deliveries for singles are meal kits where you still have to cook the meal and do the dishes, but Freshly is different. Their meals are pre-cooked—you only have to microwave them for 3-5 minutes.
If you’re willing to pay a bit more for that level of convenience (maybe you want food for work specifically or just never have time to cook), Freshly’s a good pick.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the questions we keep getting about meal kits for single people.
How long are leftovers really good for?
No two recipes will behave the same in your refrigerator. Things like pasta and rice-based dishes do extraordinarily well a few days later. But burgers? Nope. When choosing recipes, it’s best to think ahead about how long it would actually take you to cook and eat your food, since you’ll undoubtedly have some leftovers.
Also, the USDA recommends eating food within four days of cooking it to completely eliminate the risk of foodborne illness (though, realistically, that’s overly cautious to most people).
What’s the best way to reheat leftovers?
The microwave is easy and good for most dishes, but here are some other ways to reheat your food to preserve its A+ quality.
- Pasta — saute on the stove with a little extra of the sauce’s base (usually either milk or oil) to keep it nice and creamy
- Roasted Veggies — definitely stick them back in the oven and re-roast for 10-15 minutes to experience those crispy outer surfaces again
- Stir Fry — on the skillet, just like the first time
- Soups — in a small pot on low for 5-10 minutes
These reheat tricks don’t take long at all (max 15 minutes) and are mostly hands-off, but they lead to dramatically better leftovers.
But isn’t cooking for one lame?
Who told you that?
They are 100% wrong.
Cooking is an awesome, gratifying life skill that everyone should have.
We truly believe these are the best meal kit delivery companies for single people—but we also want to know what you think. Prefer one that’s not on this list, or love one of these? Let us know!