Let me be honest. If Blue Apron had been the first meal kit company I had tried, chances are I would give it a more enthusiastic review. That’s because my expectations for meal kits when I started were very low. But having tried most of the meal kit companies out there, my expectations have risen considerably. Blue Apron delivered, but not enough to compel me to stay subscribed. It’s an OK choice, but not in my top three – though I probably liked it best in this price category. Which is just as well as, unlike other meal kit companies, they haven’t been begging me to come back with enticing promos. 🙂
Blue Apron offers plans for two and four servings. You can order either two or three meal 2-serving meal kits per week. Two will cost you $48 a week ($24 per kit, $12 pp) and three will cost $60 a week ($20 per kit, $10 pp). The 4-serving kits cost $72 for 2 kits ($9 pp), $96 for 3 ($8 pp) or $120 for 4 ($7.50 pp).
In addition to regular plans they have a Weight Watchers “freestyle” plan and a vegetarian plan, both only available for 2 servings, and costing the same as the regular plan.
Blue Apron offers 8 recipes a week, including 3 vegetarian ones – some of which can be turned into vegan. The recipes are mostly modern American food, which incorporates elements from other cuisines. I liked that they included ingredients that are not necessarily in my pantry – and that they didn’t skimp in the quality. I got ghee, rather than having to use my own butter, for instance, and creme fraiche instead of sour cream. Blue Apron doesn’t seem to offer steak, so perhaps that’s how they save money.
The ingredients were high quality and they came and stayed fresh (except for some wobbly carrots). The recipes were easy to put together.
Like other meal kits, Blue Apron comes in a recyclable cardboard box. The ingredients were individually wrapped, but otherwise tossed together inside the box. There were small bags with “knick knacks” for each recipe, however. Still, I prefer to have all the ingredients for each recipe in their own bag, so I can easily take them out of refrigerator rather than having to search for them.
I was happy that I was able to drain the freezer packs – once defrosted – in the sink rather than have to throw them in the garbage. They were a thick gel even when defrosted, but it thinned with hot water. The lining of the box, however, wasn’t recyclable or compostable.
Bánh Mì-Style Beef Burgers with Sesame-Roasted Broccoli
I loved the curry spiced beef and the bread buns.
Fontina-Smothered Chicken with Zucchini & Mashed Potatoes
Good but not remarkable.
Crispy Chicken Schnitzel with Mashed Potatoes & Creamy Mustard-Dressed Kale
Liked the schnitzel, actually loved the kale. Really.
All in all, I had fun cooking these meals and the results were perfectly fine. Blue Apron is priced the same as HelloFresh and HomeChef, and I feel it offers a superior experience to the other two. Cancelling was easy – but that has been true of all the meal kits I’ve ordered.