Blue Apron has been in the news a lot in the last couple of years because of rapid growth. They were the largest meal kit delivery company until recently, but they’re still the 2nd largest in the country (right behind HelloFresh)—they’re obviously doing something right!
But even though they’ve lost their place in the #1 spot in terms of size, many people say Blue Apron is still the best meal kit delivery service. We wanted to find out for ourselves if that was true, so we ordered a few meals so we could conduct our own Blue Apron review.
We ordered our Blue Apron meals on our own dime, without being prompted by Blue Apron. This review is fair, no-funny-business review.
In this honest review of Blue Apron, we discover…
- How Blue Apron is different from Hello Fresh and other meal kit services
- If Blue Apron’s meals really are the best
- Who we think Blue Apron would be a great fit for
Up first: what makes Blue Apron different?
How Is Blue Apron Different?
Like most meal kit companies, Blue Apron uses fresh, organic, and GMO-free produce. All their proteins are antibiotic and hormone-free. Everything is responsibly sourced without animal cruelty or deceptive origins.The other thing we noticed about Blue Apron is that . It was easy to pick meals, look at ingredients and nutrition information, and skip deliveries.
One big noticeable difference is the price per serving. At just $9.99, each serving of Blue Apron is usually $1-3 cheaper than most other delivery services—and those extra dollars add up over weeks and months!
If you get the family plan, price per serving comes down to $8.74, making it one of the most affordable plans of any major meal kit company. We think they can achieve this because they’re so large, and therefore save money buying ingredients in larger bulk (compared to smaller services like Green Chef).the online experience is really smooth and user-friendly
Blue Apron vs Sun Basket, Hello Fresh, and Green Chef
Price / Serving
We Tried Two Blue Apron Meals... Here's How It Went
The unboxing experience for our Blue Apron meals was a little underwhelming. The packaging and insulation was as expected—thick and effective.
The ingredients themselves are what confused us. They looked amazing (super fresh and delicious), but they didn’t seem to be very well-organized in the box. We liked how Sun Basket separated ingredients by recipe in brown paper bags, but Blue apron didn’t do that.
There were a few “knick knack” bags that had some of the smaller ingredients wrapped together by recipe, but not all of the produce was included in there.
This wasn’t a deal-breaker though by any means. Everything was labeled correctly—we just weren’t able to keep a tidy fridge with little plastic bags spread across the shelf and produce laying loose in our vegetable drawer.
The instructional papers immediately caught our eyes. They looked incredible, were very easy to read, and the instructions were clear. Also included was a nutritional information sheet that had very detailed information on our two meals—a nice touch!
About 95% of the packaging was recyclable. The box, the insulation, and the plastic wrapping all went straight to the blue recycling bin. Once we squeezed out the gel from the ice pack, the plastic wrapping also was recycled.
Meal #1: Greek-Style Feta Burgers
Not going to lie—we weren’t sure about this one. Mixing feta cheese in with the ground beef patty to make a burger? It seemed odd to us, but Blue Apron has a great reputation, so we went along with the plan.
This is a recipe we’re going to be repeating for years.
Cooking up this meal was pretty straightforward. We sliced up the potatoes, tossed them in seasoning and lemon juice, and roasted them in the oven for ~20 minutes. When they were done, we tossed them with a bit more lemon juice for some extra tang.
For the burgers, we simply mixed the beef with the feta, made two round patties, and seared them on the skillet until they were brown and crispy. After we toasted the buns, we assembled the burger with the included tzatziki sauce (cucumber yogurt) and roasted red peppers.
The Greek influence on the flavors of this meal was a fantastic departure from the standard American burger. We ate up the entire meal as if it was our last—it was that good.
Meal #2: Tandoori-Style Roasted Chicken
We’ve never been huge on Indian cuisine, but this one just looked so tasty on Blue Apron’s website that we had to try it. The meal took a bit longer to make—about 45 minutes—but it was well worth it!
The meal instructions say to marinate the chicken breasts in the included tomato chutney and yogurt mixture for about ten minutes before placing in the oven. We started marinating the breasts about 24 hours in advance (by accident, started on the meal and then realized we had other dinner plans).
But wow—that extra-long marinade resulted in some of the most tender chicken we’ve ever tasted.
When we resumed cooking the next day, we chopped up the veggies, tossed them in oil and seasoning, and roasted them on a pan in the oven alongside the chicken.
Cooking the farro was a breeze because it seemed nearly impossible to overcook like rice (we hate mushy rice). It tasted like a rich brown rice.
Topped with some yogurt and lime juice, the chicken breasts, farro, and veggie medley tasted incredible.
PRO TIP: Make sure to salt your cooking water when you cook grains and noodles. The salt infuses into the food and seasons it from the inside out!
The Positives Of Blue Apron
Now we know why Blue Apron is considered one of the best, if not the best meal kit delivery company. These benefits really made the experience pleasant for us:
The Negatives Of Blue Apron
Like with any meal kit service, however, we did find some drawbacks we thought it important to be up-front about.
Overall, we think the main issue is the one about diet-specific meal plans. It makes it a bit difficult to pick out meals that work for you, but it’s not really a concern if you’re a flexible eater.
The Verdict: Is Blue Apron Really The Best Meal Kit?
Here’s the thing: we ate each of our Blue Apron meals as if they were cooked by an all-star chef in a nice restaurant. The food was that good!
We were bummed about not having leftovers, but the portions were really perfect for a single sitting. If we do Blue Apron again, we’ll make sure to order the meal kits for 4 people instead of 2 so that we can have extras the next day.
The biggest benefit, of course, is the convenience. It was so easy knowing we had all the right food—perfectly portioned—in our fridge, just waiting to be cooked.
We think Blue Apron is a great fit for people and families who want delicious food but aren’t overly concerned about following a specific diet plan.
There’s always a crazy discount for first-time subscribers, but it changes frequently. Head on over to Blue Apron’s website to see what the current special is.
Blue Apron Alternatives
With so many meal kit companies, it can be hard to pick one to go with. The good news, however, is that you don’t have to stick with only one—why not give two or three a try?
Blue Apron’s largest rival (and #1 in the country in terms of size) is Hello Fresh. This is probably the closest option to Blue Apron, offering a great price-per-serving, family plans, and highly-rated recipes.
If you follow a strict diet, like vegan, pescetarian, or paleo, you’ll love Sun Basket. They create meals specifically for health-conscious eaters and it’s really easy to find the meals that’ll fit your preferences.
If you want to see how Blue Apron fits your tastes and lifestyle, check out their current discount, cook up some food, and let us know how it goes!
Not all meal kit companies are equal, and Garrett’s on the hunt to see which ones have the freshest ingredients, the best tasting recipes, and the clearest cooking instructions.