This post is sponsored by Blue Apron
Thomas and I made Blue Apron‘s Curry-Spiced Cod & Summer Squash with Ginger-Lime Raisins and Garlic Naan together the other night.
We always divide the tasks so that one person does the “entree” part (the fish or meat usually) and the other works on the sauces and sides. When we sat down to eat, we remarked that this was one of the more exotic dishes we’d made from Blue Apron, but that was also what we loved about it. We would never have chosen these flavor combinations or put in as much effort as we did if we’d just gone to the grocery store and prepared some cod and rice.
When I first met Thomas, he had a subscription to Plated that we cooked together every other week or so at his house. The Blue Apron team asked if I’d like to do a compare and contrast post, since I have had a lot of experience with Blue Apron but have tried a few other similar companies too. (I have also tried Hello Fresh and Marley Spoon, but did the most with Plated.)
Let me start by saying that I have really not had any bad experiences with any of the food box companies. So really, I think that the biggest differences between them are based on what goals you have for your own meal planning and cooking style. What is a pro for one person might be a con for another! That said, here are the main similarities and differences from both Blue Apron and Plated.
+ Offers 2-person (3 recipes for two people) and Family Plans (2 recipes for four people)
+ Plans accommodating vegetarians, pescatarians, or if you don’t eat red meat, fish, shellfish, pork, or lamb
+ Ranges from $8.99 — $9.99 per serving, depending on your box choice
– Less choice of recipe options each week — up to 6
+ Focus on sustainable seafood, pastured meat, working with small farms and non-GMO
+ Full recipes available online to make favorites again
+ Offers wine option!
We found the Blue Apron meals to be a bit more exotic and restaurant-like with new-to-us ingredients and techniques. Generally, there were more ingredients in each recipe, which made it more complicated but also more delicious in the end. The Blue Apron meals took a little longer to prepare and were more involved, but they tasted better because they felt like extra special meals we couldn’t have come up with on our own. A bit more suited to date nights and weekends.
+ Offers 2, 3, and 4 serving plans for 2,3, and 4 recipes a week (=a lot of options!)
+ Meat, seafood, vegetarian plans
+ Ranges from $9.95 — $11.95 per serving, depending on your box choice
+ Offers a lot of recipes to choose from, 13 each week, plus Encore recipes that stay up all month
– Free shipping not offered on smallest serving options for the 2- and 3-day plans
+/-Poultry without antibiotics, sustainable seafood efforts, sometimes organic
+ Offers dessert option!
We found the Plated meals to be very tasty and a bit quicker and easier to prepare because they were less focused on gourmet ingredients and techniques. This might be a pro or a con, depending on what kind of cook you are! They were still very tasty though, and a bit more appropriate for weeknights, when time is of the essence.
Here’s another great comparison of meal kit services from Gina!
*All notes were taken from the Plated website, so don’t quote me if I got something a little wrong!