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Best meal delivery services for families 2023

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The daily barrage of to-dos as parents seems insurmountable — which is where the best meal delivery services for families like yours swoop in and save the day.

One of the original meal kit veterans, Home Chef, works perfect for families because it provides an unmatched level of customizable options tuned to what works best from your family from protein options to time spent cooking.

Money Under 30 usually helps you make financial decisions for your family, which is why decided to branch out and cover topics like meal delivery services. We want to help you make informed decisions, rather than wasteful ones, when spending your hard-earned money at the dinner table.

Overview: Best meal delivery services for families

Meal kits provide a convenient alternative to drive-thrus and grocery shopping. But which service, among the dozens available today, is best for you and your fam?

  • Our Pick: Home Chef
  • Best for aspiring chefs (or little chefs): HelloFresh
  • Best for affordable entrees: EveryPlate
  • more health-conscious, gluten-free, and veggie best-for services that are also great

Home Chef: Best for customizable meals

Photograph of herb butter filet mignon with mashed potatoes and asparagus from Home Chef.
Herb butter filet mignon with mashed potatoes and asparagus, from Home Chef.

One of the many features that makes Home Chef so popular, especially among families with picky eaters or dietary restrictions, is their level of customization options. When you sign up for Home Chef, you’ll complete their “taste profile” and note any dietary needs or preferences you may have.

Our favorite meal kit
Home Chef

Rated #1 in customer satisfaction and our favorite meal delivery company.

Home Chef offers multiple meal choices each week with ample variety to meet dietary needs. While not the most adventurous or customizable meal box out there, Home Chef delivery fresh, quality ingredients and tasty recipes consistently.

Offer: Save with our link and get 18 free meals (50% off your first 4 boxes)!
  • Recipes are easiest to follow
  • Customize meals with your favorite protein
  • Super fresh ingredients, all measured out
  • No vegan option (vegetarian only)
Choose Your Meals

For individual recipes with Home Chef, you can use their “Customize It” option to swap out one protein, like steak, for another, like organic chicken breasts. You can even choose the ingredients you want to avoid, like nuts and mushrooms!

Home Chef also lets you decide how much time you want to spend cooking, by providing simple options like “15 Minute Meal Kits” all the way up to their “Culinary Collection.” And instead of offering traditional “meal plans,” you’ll pick the number and type of meals you want as well as the number of servings for each. You can choose from 30+ meals every week and select two, four, or six servings for each.

Finally, if you (or your kiddos) aren’t happy with a meal, Home Chef offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee.

Details about Home Chef you may want to know for your family.

  • Price per serving on meal kits: $9.99+
  • Shipping cost: $10.99
  • Number of options each week: Usually 30+, plus extras
  • Number of servings/meals: 2, 4, 6 servings/2-6 meals
  • Estimated prep and cook time: Around 30 minutes
  • Special diets: Vegetarian, low calorie, low carb, Customize It feature lets you switch out protein to fit your diet

» MORE: Try Home Chef or read our full Home Chef review

HelloFresh: Best for aspiring chefs

Photograph of creamy shrimp tagliatelle with heirloom tomatoes, garlic, and chili from HelloFresh.
Creamy shrimp tagliatelle with heirloom tomatoes, garlic, and chili, from HelloFresh.

HelloFresh is growing fast and probably the name you hear most often for a number of reasons, but among them is their deliberate effort to create family-friendly dinners. With their Family Friendly Plan, you can receive four healthy, tasty meals, created with little palates in mind.


HelloFresh offers over 30 different meals to choose from that can accommodate a variety of different diets and preferences. The recipes are easy to prepare with simple step-by-step instructions that anyone can follow, and the ingredients provided are always fresh.

Offer: Get 16 free meals + free shipping + 3 surprise gifts!
  • Easy meal prep
  • Meals are diet-friendly
  • Eco-friendly and convenient packaging
  • More expensive than some competitors
  • Not allergen-friendly
  • Delivery window can be inconvenient
Select Plan

HelloFresh has been around for nearly a decade, and they’ve staked their claim on the meal kit delivery empire. In fact, the HelloFresh Group owns four major meal delivery services, including Green Chef and EveryPlate (featured later in this article).

HelloFresh is a great choice for novice chefs (or little chefs), because they let you select the “level” of cooking you want. For beginner cooks, level one requires just a couple pots and pans (if that!), while level three recipes cater to culinary artists who want a little extra time in the kitchen. Kiddos who like to help may enjoy the level one meals, and they’ll love the brightly colored recipe cards and photos with clear instructions for every step of the process.

Details about HelloFresh you may want to know for your family.

  • Price per serving on meal kits: $8.99+
  • Shipping cost: Varies, around $10
  • Number of options each week: 35+ recipes
  • Number of servings/meals: 2 or 4 servings; 2-5 meals
  • Estimated prep and cook time: About 35 minutes
  • Special diets: Vegetarian with customizations to make certain meals vegan, pescatarian, and more

» MORE: Try HelloFresh or read our HelloFresh review

EveryPlate: Best for affordable entrees

Photograph of Italian crispy chicken sandwich with herb potato wedges from EveryPlate.
Italian crispy chicken sandwich with herb potato wedges, from EveryPlate.

EveryPlate isn’t trying to be the best at everything or provide luxury ingredients for the bougie chef or the diet-conscious cook. Their aim is to offer tasty, affordable options for frugal families.


EveryPlate is an affordable meal kit company focusing on simple comfort food recipes that are easy to make and tasty. The budget-friendly options with EveryPlate are up to 56% cheaper than top meal kit services and can save you up to 30% on your groceries.

Offer: For a limited time, get your first box with our link for as low as $1.49/meal — saving you up to $126!
  • One of the lowest cost meal kit services
  • Easy meal prep
  • Minimal plastic packaging
  • Somewhat limited menu
  • Few vegetarian and gluten-free meals
Select Plan

In addition to being one of the meal delivery services providing prices that are almost half that of competitors, EveryPlate aims for simplicity and convenience, without sacrificing taste. Select super-easy smashed burgers one night, then step it up a notch and go with pork sausage stuffed peppers or hotel butter steak later in the week. The focus here is filling comfort food for an affordable price.

EveryPlate uses simpler packaging and recipes to give you a better price. This means fewer ingredients, fewer steps when cooking, and you spending fewer dollars per meal. Other meal kit services might have more unique dishes (that shrimp from HelloFresh does look good…), but EveryPlate focuses on keeping prices low with tasty meals that cost less to produce and deliver.

Details about EveryPlate you may want to know for your family.

  • Price per serving on meal kits: $4.99+
  • Shipping cost: $9.99
  • Number of options each week: 25+
  • Number of servings/meals: 2, 4, or 6 servings, 3-6 meals
  • Estimated prep and cook time: Average about 30 minutes
  • Special diets: N/A, but they provide notes about certain allergens you may need to stay away from

» MORE: Try EveryPlate or read our full EveryPlate review

Also great

Whether your family is looking to be gluten-free, shedding a few pounds, or want to focus on making sure you’re incorporating high-quality ingredients into your diet, there’s a meal kit delivery service that’s best for your family. Here are some additional options we’ve pinpointed with a best-of focus that may also work for what your family is looking for.

Green Chef: Best for gluten-free families

Photograph of lemon teriyaki glazed salmon roasted broccoli, cashews, sesame rice from Green Chef.
Lemon teriyaki glazed salmon roasted broccoli, cashews, sesame rice, from Green Chef.

Green Chef is not only the first USDA-certified organic meal kit service, but Green Chef is the first meal kit company to receive gluten-free certification through the Gluten Intolerance Group’s Gluten-Free Food Service program. They’re a little more expensive than some peers on the list as we cover in the but their credentials, especially families focusing on gluten-free options, makes them stand out.

Green Chef

Green Chef stands out as one of the best healthy meal delivery services using certified organic ingredients. It’s ideal for people who want nutritious dinners made with organic food and those looking for a variety of flavors and ingredients to fit their specific diet.

Offer: Enjoy a total up to $370 OFF throughout your first 5 boxes! Plus FREE nutrition coaching after your first box!
  • Meals for paleo, a vegetarian, or gluten free
  • Certified organic ingredients
  • Eco-friendly sourcing and recyclable packaging
  • Higher cost per a serving
Select Plan

Green Chef, as we mentioned, isowned by the HelloFresh Group. Both still operate independently so while there may be some similarities there’s also some differences we cover in our Green Chef vs HelloFresh comparison. One is that Green Chef has a number of meal plans for the most popular diets of the day, including vegan, keto and gluten-free.

Their plant-based plan has vegetarian and vegan recipes, while the Mediterranean plan provides nutritious recipes with good-for-you fats and ample veggies.

Green Chef also makes concerted efforts to protect the environment through recyclable packaging and partnerships with leading sustainability organizations. In fact, Green Chef is “the only meal kit company that offsets 100% of its direct carbon emissions and plastic packaging in every box!”

Details about Green Chef you may want to know for your family.

  • Price per serving on meal kits: $11.99+
  • Shipping cost: $9.99
  • Number of options each week: Usually 50+
  • Number of servings/meals: 2, 4 or 6 servings with 2-4 meals a week depending on serving size
  • Estimated prep and cook time: About 35 minutes
  • Special diets: Vegetarian, vegan, pescatarian, keto, gluten-free, grain-free

» MORE: Try Green Chef or read our full Green Chef review

Sunbasket: Best for health-conscious creatives

Photograph of sausage shakshuka with eggs, artichoke hearts, and kale from Sunbasket.
Sausage shakshuka with eggs, artichoke hearts, and kale, from Sunbasket.

Sunbasket works for families looking for health-conscious creatives because it caters to those who value organic, sustainably sourced ingredients. 


Sunbasket is the meal kit to choose if you're looking for the freshest ingredients and the healthiest recipes.

Although more expensive than competitors, Sunbasket has menus for every diet and lifestyle, whether vegan, paleo, gluten-free, keto-friendly and more.

Offer: Get $90 off across 4 deliveries + 1 free gift! Your first order ships free when you order today.
  • Meal options for most dietary needs
  • Fresh organic ingredients
  • Neat, recyclable packaging
  • Pricier than other services
Order Now

They are a USDA-certified organic handler, and more than 99% of their produce is organic. In addition, their meats and poultry are responsibly raised, their seafood is exclusively wild-caught, and their in-house dietitian reviews and approves every recipe that heads out the door.

However, Sunbasket does a lot more than source from environmentally friendly suppliers; when those high-quality ingredients arrive, Sunbasket’s chefs produce some of the most creative, globally inspired meals in the industry. For parents who want to expose their kids to a wide variety of foods, Sunbasket is a great asset. In fact, their recipe booklet includes ways kids can help during the cooking process!

In addition to their range of flavor profiles, Sunbasket provides meals for every time of the day. You can purchase a probiotic smoothie for breakfast, a sesame ginger salad for lunch, then round out the day with pepper and onion-smothered Black Angus steaks with kumquat salad. You can also add snacks, proteins, pasta sauces, desserts, and more.

Details about Sunbasket you may want to know for your family.

  • Price per serving on meal kits: $11.49+
  • Shipping cost: $9.99
  • Number of options each week: 24+
  • Number of servings/meals: 2 or 4 servings, 2, 3, 4, or 5 meals
  • Estimated prep and cook time: most 30 minutes or fewer
  • Special diets: Paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, vegan, diabetes-friendly, keto-friendly, and more

» MORE: Try Sunbasket or read our full Sunbasket review

Purple Carrot: Best for veggie lovers

Photograph of sweet potato black bean tacos with peach kimchi and citrus aioli from Purple Carrot.
Sweet potato black bean tacos with peach kimchi and citrus aioli, from Purple Carrot.

Plant-based recipes have grown in popularity in recent years, and Purple Carrot is one meal delivery service that’s capitalizing on the movement as an option that’s best for veggie-lovers.

Purple Carrot

Purple Carrot is veggie-centric – delivering plant-based vegan meals every week. The meals don’t include meat or dairy products but still strive for a balance of proteins, starches, and veggies. Their portions are generous, and the recipes are easy to follow. 

Offer: For a limited time get $100 off your first 4 boxes!
  • Healthy options that are filling and delicious
  • Veggie-centric meals
  • Step-by-step recipes
  • Pricier than other meal options
  • Not much price transparency
  • Limited customization for food allergies
Sign Up

Purple Carrot specializes in veggie-centric meals, but their audience is much wider than vegans and vegetarians. Recognizing scientific evidence that links plant-based foods to health benefits like a decreased risk of heart disease and diabetes, Purple Carrot’s mission is simple: make America more “pro-plant.” They use a wide variety of fresh produce and find creative ways to use simple ingredients like cashews and black beans.

A family of four can choose two or three meals per week, but you can also add dishes for breakfast and lunch as well as some snacks.

The price is a little steeper for Purple Carrot than some competitors, but shipping is free, which cuts down the total cost.

Details about Purple Carrot you may want to know for your family:

  • Price per serving on meal kits: $11.00+
  • Shipping cost: $100+ worth of items will get free shipping; $10 otherwise.
  • Number of options each week: Usually 10+
  • Number of servings/meals: 2 servings for 3-4 meals or 4 servings for 2-3 meals
  • Estimated prep and cook time: Average about 30 minutes
  • Special diets: Vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free

» MORE: Try Purple Carrot or read our full Purple Carrot review

Blue Apron: Best for quality ingredients

Photograph of pan-seared scallops and red rice with charred corn and peach salsa from Blue Apron.
Pan-seared scallops and red rice with charred corn and peach salsa, from Blue Apron.

There’s a fine line between Thomas Keller-level entrees and an average Joe dinner, and Blue Apron has found it. Their chefs are clearly both knowledgeable and inventive, but the recipes, which are full of quality ingredients, aren’t too complicated for the mediocre cook.

Blue Apron

Blue Apron offers both meal kits you prepare yourself and heat-and-eat meals that are already fully cooked. Ingredients are sourced directly from family-run farms to ensure freshness and quality and recipes are curated by a team of professional chefs.

Offer: Enjoy $180 off across 6 orders —plus, your first order ships free!
  • Highest-quality ingredients
  • Adventurous recipes foodies will love
  • Plenty of menu choices
  • Not allergen-friendly
  • Excessive packaging
See Plans

Select the Signature meal plan for four and choose from options like cool cajun chicken lettuce wraps and Tuscan pork pasta. Kids will love Blue Apron’s flavor-filled dishes, but moms and dads get a tasty treat too. Blue Apron has a wine subscription service with unique pairings to go with the meals. For just $75.99 a month (+ shipping), Blue Apron sends six bottles, which complement the recipes on that week’s menu.

Blue Apron also has dishes for specific diets, like vegetarian and diabetes-friendly, as well as some WW (formerly Weight Watchers) meals.

Details about Blue Apron you may want to know for your family.

  • Price per serving on meal kits: $7.99+
  • Shipping cost: $10.99
  • Number of options each week: 70+
  • Number of servings/meals: 2 or 4 servings, 2-5 meals
  • Estimated prep and cook time: Average of about 35 minutes
  • Special diets: Vegetarian, WW meals

» MORE: Try Blue Apron or read our full Blue Apron review

How we picked the best meal delivery services for families

In the last decade, dozens of meal delivery services have sprouted, each with their own specialties and niches. Some are uniquely curated for the vegan diet, while others cater to families in search of 15-minute meals; however, a majority of these companies are crafting their dishes with the average American family in mind.

Here are some factors we looked at to consider when choosing for your own family:

  • Size. Some meal delivery services are better suited for singles or couples, but each of the companies listed above offers a wide enough selection to meet the needs of an average family of four — and some even more!
  • Speed. Our list features services with quick dinners for busy families. Most of these companies provide meals that take roughly 30 minutes to make; however, some dishes can travel from the box to the table in half or even a fraction of that time.
  • Variety. You may be the lone vegetarian, or perhaps your son has peanut allergies. The meal delivery services we picked provide categories that cater to a wide variety of needs and wants.
  • Price. Most meal delivery services are priced by the serving, and that little number becomes especially important when you multiply it by the mouths you need to feed. Our picks provide servings for as little as $4.99, with EveryPlate being the most affordable.
  • Ingredients. Our picks offer in-part organic, sustainably sourced, healthy options since not every meal delivery service priories healthy ingredients.
  • Quality customer service. As you’re testing out new recipes, you may stumble upon a dish that’s not quite to your liking. When that happens, you’ll want a customer service department that’s willing and able to help. Some companies, like Sunbasket, may even offer a full refund when customers aren’t happy with their order.

Who are the best meal delivery services for families for?

No matter your relationship status, family size, or like/dislike of cooking, meal delivery services provide a lot of benefits.

One of the greatest perks these companies offer is they save a lot of time. For many of these companies, you still need to do the work of preparing your dinner, which typically takes an average of 30 minutes; however, you’ll bypass the time spent meal planning, rifling through cabinets to see which ingredients you do or don’t have, and, of course, shopping for ingredients.

Meal delivery services are also great for families who want to make delicious, healthy meals, but don’t have the slightest idea how. Not only do these companies often use healthy ingredients for their recipes, but the meals are created by professional chefs who understand how to use ingredients well.

Finally, meal delivery services are a huge asset for families with a diverse set of tastes and dietary needs or preferences.

However, even with all this said, meal delivery services aren’t the best option for everyone. If you’re strapped for cash, meal planning, and grocery shopping may be a more cost-effective solution. Additionally, if you’re especially environmentally conscious, most meal delivery services package small servings of spinach, teriyaki sauce, spices, and so on, so you’ll probably have much more trash to pitch at the end of each week.

What are meal delivery services?

First of all, let’s distinguish between a meal delivery service and food delivery.

Food delivery is what companies like Grubhub and food delivery apps provide — local food, whether it’s from a favorite restaurant or even a grocery store, brought right to your door.

A meal delivery service, on the other hand, sends ingredients, recipe cards, and a predetermined meal plan to your home, for you to create your own meal. The best meal delivery services provide an easy, home-cooked meal without the hassle of meal planning and prep or grocery shopping. The best healthy meal delivery services are specifically designed for your dietary needs and preferences.

Menus can be quite diverse and are typically on a rotating schedule so you don’t get tired of options and can still look forward to your favorites staying around. They may also cater to dietary preferences and restrictions, with dishes for veggie-lovers, gluten-free folks, and more.

Summary of the best meal delivery services for families

For the working parents with a toddler in daycare, the fast-paced families in after-school programs, the household full of picky eaters, and more, just getting dinner on the table at the end of the day is a massive feat, let alone one everyone will like!

The companies mentioned above, including our top pick Home Chef, provide wide meal selections for a diverse set of tastes and dietary requirements that are geared or can even be customized for your family.

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