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Back-to-school chaos? These meal delivery services and kits will make your life easier

Updated ·4-min read
A home delivery meal kit can make it easy to eat healthy. (Photo: Canva)
A home delivery meal kit can make it easy to eat healthy. (Photo: Canva)

When it comes to feeding yourself, you probably know how to at least cook an egg or pour yourself a bowl of cereal. But being able to regularly whip up dishes you'll want to savor is a totally different thing. That's where the best meal delivery services come in.

These handy kits send recipes and ingredients straight to your door, taking the annoying question of what to make for dinner out of the equation. All you have to do is unpack your kit, follow the ingredients and enjoy — it's that simple. That's especially crucial now that back-to-school season is here. Many meal kits allow you to schedule deliveries as often as you'd like, and to even pause kits as needed. And, of course, the recipes are yours to keep, giving you inspiration for future meals.

Whether you're looking to eat healthier this year, want to go vegan or just need a hand in the kitchen, there's a meal delivery kit for you. Here are the best out there in 2022.

Home Chef Home Chef

$7
$7 at Home Chef

Home Chef has two major options: the standard kits, which take about 30 minutes to create, and special 15-minute kits that are prepped and pre-portioned, for those times when you're in a rush.

Home Chef lets you narrow down the field by choosing calorie- or carb-conscious meals, and you can also weed out options by foods you want to avoid, like shellfish or peanuts. Every Monday you’ll get an email with 20 or more seasonal meal options to choose from. Summer menu options include dishes like blistered-tomato salmon and cheesy poblano-stuffed chicken with chipotle lime crema. Home Chef says it delivers to 98 percent of the country (the company will let you know when you enter your zip code if they don't ship to your area).

HelloFresh HelloFresh

$10
$10 at HelloFresh

HelloFresh offers up meal kits with pretty recipe cards that help you see exactly what your dish is supposed to look like.

Choose from more than 25 recipe options each week, including pecan-crusted chicken, apricot, almond and chickpea tagine and gouda pork burgers. The company is also big on sustainability, and aims to get you your goods in as little packaging as possible. Choose from a range of plans that are easily narrowed down by categories like Meat and Veggies, Family Friendly, Fit and Wholesome and Pescatarian. HelloFresh delivers nationwide, except to Alaska and Hawaii.

Blue Apron Blue Apron

$8
$8 at Blue Apron

Blue Apron practically invented the meal kit delivery service, and the company remains a popular choice thanks to its low prices, cool recipes and fresh ingredients.

Blue Apron gives you plenty of options to narrow down your recipes, from different types of meat, vegetarian proteins like Beyond Meat, WW-recommended and diabetes-friendly options. Dishes include pancetta and beef bolognese, pan-seared scallops and caper butter, and spicy white bean and spinach shakshuka. Blue Apron delivers to all 48 mainland states.

Hungryroot Hungryroot

$70
$70 at Hungryroot

Hungryroot bills itself more as an online grocery store that happens to send ingredients and recipes you can turn into healthy meals.

You can choose whether you want your recipes in the form of two- or four-serving sizes and narrow things down by proteins and plant-based options. Hungryroot offers up a wide variety of dishes, including grain bowls, tacos, veggie noodles and roasts, and their sauces are next-level. Prices vary depending on the size of your order, but plans start at $70 per week for smaller grocery orders. Hungryroot doesn't deliver to Alaska or Hawaii.

Green Chef Green Chef

$13
$13 at Green Chef

Prefer to eat only clean foods? Green Chef is a certified organic company that specializes in sustainable ingredients.

You can choose from 10 recipes that change each week, including options like parmesan-crusted chicken, smoky pork and kale salad and Mediterranean chicken cutlets. There are also meal kits specially designed for people on a keto or plant-based diet. The kits come with ingredients pre-measured and prepped — all you have to do is cook them. Green Chef is unable to deliver to Alaska, Hawaii and parts of Louisiana.

Purple Carrot Purple Carrot

$1,100
$1,100 at Purple Carrot

Purple Carrot is a hit with vegetarians, vegans and people who just want to have more of a plant-based diet.

Purple Carrot lets you choose from a two-serving or four-serving plan, along with the number of deliveries you would prefer to receive each week. Plant-based recipes include options like creamy tomato bisque, spinach artichoke grilled cheese and Taiwanese tofu lettuce cups. Purple Carrot delivers nationwide, with the exception of Hawaii and Alaska.

Daily Harvest Daily Harvest

$6
$6 at Daily Harvest

Daily Harvest is big on plant-based meals that have minimal, easy-to-read ingredients.

The company originally focused on smoothies and bowls, but later expanded to do flatbreads and other dishes you can easily create at home. All meals are frozen and ready to go in just minutes. Sample dishes include mint and cacao smoothie, red lentil and cumin harvest bowl and kabocha and sage flatbread. You can also order one-offs, like the hazelnut and chocolate dessert bites and plant-based ice creams. Daily Harvest delivers to 95% of the U.S. (enter your area code on the company's "Get Started" page to see if your area is eligible).

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Originally published