Blue Apron is a popular meal delivery service that continues to expand its offerings. For those with busy schedules or limited cooking skills, Blue Apron’s meal kits and prepared meals can be a game-changer. But with so many meal delivery services now out there – is Blue Apron ultimately the right one for you?
I’ve reviewed this service, taking into account menu variety, ingredient quality, price, customization options, and more. I’ve also looked at how well it stacks up to its competitors in terms of ordering, delivery, customer service, and how well it caters to special dietary needs.
Blue Apron is great if you’re looking for an exciting and varied menu to choose from each week. Not only are the meal kits high quality, but you’ll have access to tons of add-ons, including wine bundles, sides, snacks, desserts, and more. You can even pick up seasonal boxes on certain holidays, saving you much-needed time that would otherwise be spent at the grocery store.
Great range of global recipes
Prices can be high for smaller orders
Wellness plan for healthier options
Doesn’t cater to niche diets like keto
Convenient prepared meals available
No option to exclude allergens
Current deal – Enjoy $150 off across your first 6 orders
Blue Apron offers 16+ meal kits each week, plus a great range of extras. Alongside its popular meal kits, you’ll find Heat & Eat prepared meals, tasty brunches, desserts, and salads, plus a selection of a la carte proteins like chicken breast pieces, tail-on shrimp, and smoked bacon.
The company is pretty transparent about its ingredient sourcing – promising only humanely-raised, hormone-free meats and sustainable produce sourced from small farms. You won’t find many organic ingredients on the menu, but everything is of high quality.
It has a global-inspired menu, which means you’ll find everything from classic American dishes (think gourmet burgers and barbecue pork chops) to Korean food, French-inspired dishes, Italian, Mediterranean, Indian, Middle Eastern, and more.
There’s a great range of items to choose from each week – but the menu isn’t overwhelming. The website is easy to navigate, with the option to view the meal kits weeks in advance. Or you can choose from the 5 main categories at the top of the menu to narrow down your choices. These include:
Signature – the full range of meat, fish, and veggie offerings
Vegetarian – meat-free dishes made with seasonal produce
Wellness – nutritionist-approved dishes, including low-carb meals
Signature for Four – family-friendly meals for larger groups
Add-Ons – appetizers, sides, desserts, and more
Keep in mind, however, that there’s some overlap between these menu categories. Some dishes will be visible across multiple categories.
Another cool feature is Blue Apron’s Market, where you can buy kitchen tools, Blue Apron spice mixes, seasonal celebratory boxes, and wine bundles – which leads me nicely on to the next section…
Blue Apron’s wine delivery is great for those who love to pair wine with their meals. In fact, it’s the only meal delivery service I’ve seen that offers this option. You can order bottles a la carte or sign up for a subscription, where you'll get access to exclusive flavor profiles, stories behind the wines, and pairing-sized (500ml) bottles perfect for two to share.
Blue Apron sources quality wine from all over the world and includes tasting notes to help you pick the bottles that best complement your meals. Simply match the symbol on the recipe card with a bottle of Blue Apron wine, and you’re guaranteed a flawless pairing. The company works directly with the vineyards, which is how it can offer top wines at affordable prices.
Somewhat confusingly, when you browse Blue Apron’s plans under the Pricing section, you’re presented with some different categories than the ones on the primary menu. These are:
Chef Favorites – the test kitchen’s ‘top picks’ and popular dishes
Wellness – nutritionist-approved meals
Family Friendly – suitable for children and picky eaters
Fast & Easy – convenient options and prepared meals
Veggies – meat-free dishes
These categories are just for the sake of organization and to help Blue Apron recommend the right dishes to you. You can state your preferences, but your subscription will give you access to the whole menu.
Each week, you’ll be able to choose from 5 to 7 different cuisines, including ingredients you might not have tried before. With such variety, Blue Apron’s meal kits are a great way to get dinner inspiration and introduce new cooking techniques. Look out for tasty-sounding dishes like the Soy-Miso Pork Belly and Kimchi Ramen (pictured) and Fettuccine Pesto Bolognese with Parmesan.
If you’re looking for prepared meals, there are around 6 options every week. It’s interesting to see that these are mostly internationally inspired, with options such as Sichuan-Style Beef with Yakisoba Noodles and Vegetables, or Indian-Style Vegetable Curry.
You’ll only find around 4 to 5 vegetarian meals each week, but the recipes get rotated frequently enough so you’ll rarely find yourself eating the same things week after week. In typical Blue Apron fashion, all the veggie dishes sound really appealing, with a mix of exciting flavor combinations and colorful, seasonal ingredients.
Tags on the menu will also help you find what you’re looking for. Ready to Cook recipes are those that come with prepared ingredients and a recyclable pan to assemble everything in, while Premium meals feature gourmet ingredients like rib-eye steak, shrimp, and scallops, and more complex recipes.
Overall, Blue Apron is a great choice for couples and families who want to put more exciting meals on the table each week. It’s also great for those who want to learn new kitchen skills and get to grips with new ingredients.
For those who are trying to stick to a specialized diet such as keto or paleo, however, there are no options – with limited choice for vegans, too.
Is Blue Apron Good For This Diet?
No, there are no options
No, there are no options
No, there are no options
Sort of, there are some options available
Yes, you’ll find 4-5 options each week
No, there are few-to-no options
No, all meals are made in the same facility
Blue Apron offers swaps and customizations on several recipes each week. With Blue Apron Customized, you can replace, add, or upgrade the ingredients in your box on both the Signature and Signature for 4 plans.
These customizations allow you to swap ingredients to suit dietary preferences, bulk up a recipe with more protein, remove the meat to make the dish vegetarian, or even “upgrade” the protein you receive. One specific example is the Baked Tofu & Creamy Tomato Curry, where you could opt for shrimp instead.
Other than these customizations, however, Blue Apron isn’t allergy-friendly. You’ll find that most of the meals contain gluten, dairy, and other common allergens, and all the meals are prepared in the same facility, so cross-contamination is always a possibility.
When you first open your Blue Apron box, you’ll see some basic info about how to store your ingredients. Then you can lift the insulated foil layer and check out your food for the week.
In addition to all the ingredients, you’ll find handy, clearly formatted recipe cards. You can also see the recipes on Blue Apron’s website if you prefer to use your phone or tablet in the kitchen.
Blue Apron still uses more plastic than many other meal delivery services I’ve reviewed, despite the company stating that it’s committed to waste reduction. It’s a big time-saver to be able to look at a packaged spice blend or tortilla wrap and know instantly which recipe it’s for, but personally, I’d prefer environmentally conscious packaging over convenience – but it’s also important to note that you don’t always have to choose.
Other services I’ve reviewed use paper instead of plastic to package most ingredients and eco-friendly, biodegradable insulation. However, Blue Apron does claim that more than 85% of its packaging is recyclable and has detailed information about how to dispose of these items on its website.
Blue Apron has meals to suit every skill level. The Premium recipes give you the opportunity to flex your culinary muscles with more complex dishes, but really, you don’t need to be experienced in the kitchen to enjoy any of Blue Apron’s meal kits. The step-by-step recipes and images make them easy to follow, and there’s even a Cook Along slideshow on the website or via the Blue Apron app (available on iOS, iPadOS, or Android).
Most of Blue Apron’s meal kits take around 25 to 35 minutes to make, which is pretty standard, but I’ve found some meals can take longer – especially for beginners. Some might take around 45-60 minutes, depending on how quickly you work.
The Fast & Easy recipes can be prepared quickly and often only require 1 or 2 utensils, such as a sheet pan. Blue Apron’s Heat & Eat meals are even simpler, and need only be microwaved for a few minutes.
As mentioned, the Ready to Cook recipes feature ingredients that have been chopped, washed, and portioned for you. These recipes even include a recyclable oven-proof dish, so all you have to do is assemble and bake.
The Garlic and Herb Pasture-Raised Chicken with Pancetta Potatoes and Green Bean Salad (pictured) is one of Blue Apron’s Premium meal kit offerings. This recipe calls for some extra care and attention – like loosening the chicken skin for extra crispiness – making it a great option for home cooks who want a challenge.
Blue Apron’s Premium meals come with a premium price tag, though (this particular dish is around $18.99 per serving). However, they’re ideal for dinner parties, date nights, or special occasions – especially when paired with Blue Apron’s wine offerings.
The Greek-Style Veggie Pitas with Lemon-Dressed Broccoli is a good example of a simple, tasty weeknight dinner that Blue Apron provides. All you need to cook this dish are a couple of sheet pans! This results in a 25-minute meal that’s easy to prep and clean up, without sacrificing on taste.
Blue Apron’s prepared spice blends make it a cinch to add a punch of flavor. Add to this some marinated feta and the prepared tangy tzatziki, and you’ve got yourself a crowd-pleasing dinner.
Even Blue Apron’s microwavable meals don’t skimp on flavor, and the Romesco Chicken Bowl is a great example. The Spanish-inspired dish includes bell peppers, olives, and romesco sauce. As a bonus, it’s also low-carb and part of Blue Apron’s health-forward Wellness menu.
One small critique I have is that the Heat & Eat meals are small portions compared to the meal kits. They generally come in at 300 to 500 calories per serving, which might be good for some but not so much for a hungry person like me! Thankfully, Blue Apron’s meal kits tend to have rather generous portions, so I’ll stick to the 600- to 800-calorie meals for dinner, and perhaps save the Heat & Eat meals for lunch.
Order Size and Price (Before Shipping)
$7.99 per portion
5 meals for 4 people per week: $159.80
$8.99 per portion
4 meals for 4 people per week: $143.84
$9.49 per portion
3 meals for 4 people per week: $113.88
$9.99 per portion
2 meals for 4 people per week: $79.92
$9.49 per portion
5 meals for 2 people per week: $94.90
$9.99 per portion
4 meals for 2 people per week: $79.92
$10.99 per portion
3 meals for 2 people per week: $65.94
$12.49 per portion
2 meals for 2 people per week: $49.96
Blue Apron’s pricing structure keeps it on par with major competitors, and I think this service offers a lot of bang for your buck. Its diverse menu and quality ingredients are comparable to much more expensive meal kits.
Blue Apron’s starting price of $5.74 per serving is based on the largest order of 5 meals for 4 people per week and any current discounts. But the price-per-serving on 2-person plans still comes in at a pretty reasonable $9.49 to $12.49.
As well as the shipping fee, there are a few things that might bump up your total cost. Firstly, the recipe customizations aren’t free. These swaps cost anywhere from $0.95 to $5.95 per serving. The Premium and Craft recipes also come with a higher price tag – from $13.99 to $19.99 per serving.
Blue Apron’s wine prices start at $11 per bottle. If you want to order a box of wine separate from your meal delivery, expect to pay around $75.99 (including shipping) for a case of 6 bottles.
Blue Apron delivers to all 48 contiguous states throughout the US (sorry, Alaska and Hawaii!), which comes as no surprise considering it’s one of the largest meal delivery services available.
Depending on your location, you’ll have a few different delivery date options. Many locations (particularly larger metropolitan areas) can receive deliveries 7 days a week – but you’ll need to enter your zip code when you sign up to find out just what your options are.
You can change which day you want to get your shipment from week to week. You’ll receive an email with tracking information when your Blue Apron box ships, and you can also track your shipment through the app.
If you need to make any changes to your order, editing it is super simple. You can also reschedule a delivery if you’re not going to be home. Every customer has their own cut-off date, so make sure to check this in your Account Settings (pictured).
Blue Apron’s subscription model is straightforward and easy to use. It’s particularly easy to start the process, too – you’ll see links to Sign Up peppered all over the website.
Click Get Cookin’ via the menu or Sign Up in the top right-hand corner of the homepage: You’ll then see all your dietary and plan options (seen in the next step).
Choose your meal preferences and order size: The price you pay will vary depending on your choices – the base prices and shipping fee will appear below.
Select your desired signup method: You can choose whether to sign up using your email, Apple ID, or Facebook account. Make your selection, choose a password, and move on to the next steps.
Enter your personal information: Once you enter all the usual stuff like your address and payment info, you’ll finally get to pick the meals you want in your first shipment.
Choose your meals: Now you can choose your meals for your first order!
Blue Apron makes it easy to skip a week or make changes to your deliveries. The Manage Delivery button gives you the option to skip or adjust your order. Not only can you skip deliveries up to 5 weeks in advance, but you can also change your delivery day or address. Once again, the Blue Apron app adds an extra level of convenience, as you can make all these changes from your device, too.
If you need to pause or cancel your account, you’ll need to go into Plan Settings. Blue Apron will likely prompt you to pause rather than cancel – with options to pause deliveries for 4, 6, or even 8 weeks at a time. If you do choose to cancel, you’ll be asked to share your reasons why in a survey.
There are several ways you can get in touch with Blue Apron, including chat, phone, and email. You can reach the company by phone at (646) 891-4349 or (888) 278-4349, or on the live chat, from Monday through Friday, 10am to 9pm ET, as well as on weekends from 11am to 6pm ET.
I was really happy when I tried the live chat feature. The person I chatted with replied in less than 10 seconds and gave me a more detailed answer than I thought they would.
Blue Apron also boasts an excellent FAQ section if you need immediate answers. The page is quite comprehensive, providing solutions to almost any query you might have about the service, be it pricing, altering your plan, finding your tracking information, or understanding more about the ingredients in your recipes.
Blue Apron vs. HelloFresh: Much like Blue Apron, HelloFresh offers a menu of crowd-pleasing meal kits that are great for couples and families. And though the customization options are also similar, the menu is actually much larger (we’re talking 50+ options per week), with many more veggie, vegan, and low-calorie options to choose from, too.
The price point and ingredient quality of these two services are also very similar, so which one is right for you may ultimately come down to the meal choices and your personal taste.
Blue Apron vs. Factor: Unlike Blue Apron, Factor’s dietitian-designed menu comprises only prepared meals, all of which are focused on specific diets such as keto, plant-based, and more. You’ll also find low-carb and low-calorie options on the menu.
The meals are made with high-quality ingredients – some of which are organic – and are free of preservatives and artificial sweeteners. Factor could be a great option if you find Blue Apron’s limited number of prepared meals don’t offer enough variety for you.
Blue Apron vs. Home Chef: Home Chef offers more recipes to its subscribers each week (around 30+) along with a selection of extras like salads, soups, sides, and protein bundles, but the menu perhaps isn’t as internationally inspired as Blue Apron’s.
Customization is where Home Chef really shines, with the option to swap, double-up, or upgrade the protein in almost every dish. You’ll also find a wider range of speedy meal types, including oven-ready options and Express meal kits.
I’m personally a big fan of Blue Apron. Its service is streamlined like a well-oiled machine, the prices are good value for the quality of the ingredients you receive each week, and the menu offers excellent variety. I’d say it’s one of the best meal kits on the market right now. Plus, you can get yourself an even better deal with our offer: Enjoy $150 off across your first 6 orders
It’s easy to see why Blue Apron suits a lot of households – but if you find it’s not quite working for you, be sure to check out our list of the best meal delivery services 2023 to see what else is out there.
Blue Apron’s meals start at $5.74 per serving, and shipping is an extra $10.99 per week. However, note that some things – like customizations and certain meal categories – can bump up the price since they cost extra.
Blue Apron is better known for its meal kits, where ingredients and recipes are delivered to your door each week. They allow you to plan your meals and exercise your culinary skills at home. You can also order extras like prepared meals, desserts, sides, and even wine. Once you sign up, it’s easy to pick and choose what you’d like to receive.
To cancel your account, you’ll need to visit the Plan Settings in your account. Blue Apron will ultimately do its best to get you to pause your deliveries, rather than outright cancel your subscription, but it is possible. You’ll also be prompted to give reasons why you’re canceling via a survey.
Our additional guide on how to cancel Blue Apron walks you through the process in 3 quick steps.