Best meal prep delivery services: cooking kits for easy, delicious meals

The best meal prep delivery services on the market will make dinner a breeze

Best meal prep delivery services. Sweet potatoes sandwich avocado, egg, tomatoes and asparagus served on green kitchen table with ingredients: fresh vegetables, seasonings, olives oil and cutlery. Top view. Healthy lunch.
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Has juggling a 9-to-5, your social life and grocery shopping left you wishing there were eight days in a week? Browse our list of the best meal prep delivery services and you could find an option that makes your life easier. 

With *gestures wildly* everything going on these days, we understand if you want more time to socialize and less time spent in the kitchen. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with meal prep or fall into a rut of making the same uninspired dinners. Recipe boxes reduce stress and eliminate the need to slog down supermarket aisles searching for gourmet inspiration. 

In each of the recipe boxes we’ve tried, you receive ready-portioned ingredients or meals, which helps reduce your food waste. Plus, with clear step-by-step instructions, the likelihood of a flustered cooking frenzy is almost completely eliminated. Convenient right? 

Meal prep delivery services are a great option for those who love food and like to cook but sometimes struggle to think of healthy meal prep ideas or apply portion control to their daily diet. Some boxes go one step further and deliver oven-ready meals or all the food you need for a day—including snacks!

The Gousto box remains the cheapest meal prep subscription we have tested and continues to offer the most variety of meals in terms of cuisine and dietary options, from gluten-free to no-meat plans, a great vegan for beginners hack. The recipes are flavorsome, exciting and easy to follow, so we also crowned it the best overall meal prep delivery service.

A relative newcomer to the UK market is Green Chef which has been popular in the US since it first launched in 2014 thanks to the keto-specific meal plan options. We found this to be a good option for those looking to follow the popular low-carb, high-fat diet. But with flexitarian and balanced options too, it appeals to those who are health-conscious but still crave variety and exciting flavors. 

Some other noteworthy contenders include Pasta Evangelists and Nonna Tonda for the pasta fanatics and COOK’s oven-ready frozen meals are a total game-changer if you’re craving some homemade-tasting classics but simply don’t have the time or patience to make them from scratch.

The best meal prep delivery services to try:

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1. Gousto Recipe Box

Best meal prep delivery service for most people AND those on a budget

Specifications

Cost: from £24.99 per box, £6.25 per serving (two meals for two)
Delivery options: Nationwide, any day delivery (delivery fee: £1.99)
Dietary options: Dairy-free, gluten-free, plant-based, vegetarian, heart health-focused, high-carb and low-carb Joe Wicks options

Reasons to buy

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Budget-friendly
+
10-min options

Reasons to avoid

-
Two is the smallest portion
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Maximum four meals per week

Gousto has the best recipe selection, allowing your taste buds to travel without leaving home. In fact, there are over 75 recipes to browse a week. 

Choose from two, three or four recipes a week, to feed two adults (or one with leftovers) or one adult and up to two children.

Alternatively, you can now opt for a Large Box subscription which is suitable for four adults (or two-three with leftovers) or two adults and two-three children, ideal for bigger families or groups of students. 

The menu changes weekly and includes speedy 10-minute meals, which really do only take that long to prepare.

Plus, with dishes like Paneer Jalfrezi With Buttery Cardamom Rice, you can satisfy your takeout cravings and it will be cheaper and healthier.

Recipe instructions are clear and easy to follow, with an abundance of tips and tricks on the website, too. There are Joe Wick’s "Lean in 15" recipes for the health-conscious, plus low-calorie options and recipes that target heart health.

Gousto is now also a certified B Corp which demonstrates its determination to be more sustainable. A recent survey showed that buying a Gousto box instead of shopping at the supermarket reduced a customer’s carbon footprint by 23 per cent! 

2. Riverford Organic Recipe Box

Best meal prep delivery service for organic and premium recipes

Specifications

Cost: from £6.36 per serving (one meal for two people)
Delivery options: Most of England and some areas of Wales, set days depending on the area (free delivery)
Dietary options: Vegan, vegetarian

Reasons to buy

+
100% organic
+
Quick options

Reasons to avoid

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Expensive
-
Limited choices

The recipe selection in the Riverford Organic Recipe Box remains limited compared to competitors, but ingredients are noticeably high-quality and the box has a charming farm-to-fork aesthetic. (Who knew de-husking corn was so satisfying?)

It’s the only recipe box that’s 100% organic with the exception of wild fish because the sea can’t be controlled or regulated! 

For a full week of meals, you’ll need to opt for a mix of meat, veggie and vegan recipes but with options like chipotle, corn and cheese baked rice, you’re not compromising on flavor. Plus, reducing your meat consumption is an easy way to help the environment. 

Deliveries are made on specific days to reduce food miles and there’s minimal plastic in the packaging. Before your first delivery, you'll get a friendly phone call from the Riverford team to confirm your address, answer any questions and thank you for your purchase. It was a lovely touch that made us smile. 

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3. HelloFresh Recipe Box

Best meal prep delivery service for cooking for friends

Specifications

Cost: from £28.49 per box, £4.75 per serving (three meals for two people)
Delivery options: Mainland UK, The Isle of Wight, The Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey (Excluding Herm) and Northern Ireland, six days a week (delivery fee: £4.99)
Dietary options: Vegetarian

Reasons to buy

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Rapid 10-min options
+
Precise ingredients
+
Free delivery

Reasons to avoid

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Smallest portion is two
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Minimum order of three recipes

As one of the first recipe boxes to the market, HelloFresh remains one of the most recognizable brands and is still very popular. Recipes are exciting, easy to follow and perfect for those who need some inspiration in the kitchen.

The portions are generous and could sometimes stretch to three if you added a few extra ingredients. This is a great option for those who like to cook for friends, without the stress of finding a recipe you know will impress them. 

We loved that you can choose premium meals for special occasions and add-ons to your order, like dessert, bread and, most importantly, wine! While the menu is more limited than competitors (only 37 recipes to browse each week) there are still plenty of options to choose from. Unless you have specific dietary requirements, we don’t think you’d struggle to find something you like here. 

4. Pasta Evangelists Fresh Pasta Recipe Box

Best meal prep delivery service for special occasions

Specifications

Cost: from £5.85 per single serving (subscription)
Delivery options: Nationwide, next-day available if before 2pm (delivery fee: free next day delivery on orders over £25 or £3.50 for standard orders under £25)
Dietary options: Gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan

Reasons to buy

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Restaurant-quality
+
Ready in five mins
+
Kids' options
+
Starter, side and dessert options

Reasons to avoid

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Expensive
-
High cals
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Delivery fee

We were shocked—and thoroughly impressed—with just how quick the recipes from the Pasta Evangelists Fresh Pasta Recipe Box were. Simply reheat the sauce with a splash of water and cook the pasta until al dente in three minutes flat! The recipes fully deliver on flavor, comfort and style. (The handmade ravioli is charming enough to distract any eye from chipped bowls and mismatched cutlery).

It’s by no means a cheap option but the Pasta Evangelists box is perfect if you’re celebrating or want restaurant-worthy food without the service charge. If you opt into a subscription, you can save 15%; if you choose double portions, you save another 15%.

The meals are quite calorific so you might not want a delivery every week but subscription options are flexible, with once every other week and once a month among the most popular choices. This is a great choice if you’re looking to create an easy three-course meal at home with minimal fuss and maximum flavor. 

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5. Mindful Chef Recipe Box

Best meal prep delivery service for dietary requirements and single portions

Specifications

Cost: from £28 per box, £7 per serving (two meals for two people)
Delivery options: Nationwide, 7 days a week 8am-7pm (free delivery)
Dietary options: Dairy-free, gluten-free, high protein, low-cal, low-carb, vegan, vegetarian

Reasons to buy

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20-min options
+
Health-focused 

Reasons to avoid

-
No carbs
-
Expensive

Mindful Chef is the only recipe box service to offer a 100% gluten-free and dairy-free menu, as well as a single-portion subscription. It’s the perfect box for those with dietary requirements and those focused on their health.

The menu is varied and exciting with 16 choices a week. Example meals include sesame chicken, egg-and-spinach rice, pork barbecue beans with sweet-potato fries, and sticky tamarind and ginger tofu with snow peas. 

Quality is important to Mindful Chef, which is why all meat is 100% grass-fed, the chicken is free-range, and the fish landed fresh in the UK. Plus, for every meal Mindful Chef sells, they donate a school meal to a child living in poverty—to date, over one million meals have been donated. They’re also a certified B Corp, which means they meet the highest standards of verified social and environmental performance, as well as public transparency and legal accountability.

6. Balance Box Healthy Meals Delivered To Your Door

Best meal prep delivery service for minimal cooking

Specifications

Cost: from £80.97 per box or £26.99 per day (three days of food for one person)
Delivery options: London, Mondays and Fridays. Rest, Tuesdays and Fridays (delivery fee: £4.95 in London and £9.95 elsewhere)
Dietary options: Pescatarian, vegetarian, free-from (without meat, fish, gluten and cow’s dairy)

Reasons to buy

+
Food for the day
+
Calorie counted

Reasons to avoid

-
Expensive 
-
Set menu (no substitutions)

The Balance Box is the ultimate meal prep delivery service for those who want a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet with zero stress. All your meals for the day are covered - including snacks! 

You choose from two calorie plans to choose from—1,200 and 1,800—depending on your health goals.

Breakfast options include free-range eggs with avocado butter and rye bread and we tried the smoked salmon with boiled eggs, avocado and rice cakes. For lunch, we enjoyed a lentil, carrot and feta salad and chicken with leek-and-mushroom risotto for dinner. Snacks include fresh fruit and nuts, and in the afternoon you can choose a bar, or keep it for dessert!

With Balance Box, calorie counting doesn’t feel like a chore and the food is microwavable or ready-to-eat, so there’s no time for temptation to creep in. 

This certainly isn’t a budget option but the meals are genuinely tasty, and interesting and save you time on food shopping and meal preparation.

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7. COOK Frozen Ready Meals

Best meal prep delivery service for oven-ready meals

Specifications

Cost: from £6.50 (meal for two)
Delivery options: Nationwide, seven days a week (delivery fee: variable but free on orders over £85)
Dietary options: Dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, vegetarian, low-calorie and indulgent

Reasons to buy

+
B Corp certified
+
Cook from frozen

Reasons to avoid

-
Need freezer space
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Minimum order £40

As one of the UK’s founding B Corp members, not only does COOK provide a fantastic service, but it’s also run to the highest of standards.

Meals are handmade using high-quality ingredients, so if you’re craving homecooked-tasting food all you need to do is grab the meal from your freezer and pop it in the oven or microwave to heat.

Many recipes, including the Moroccan spiced lamb tagine and the beef bourguignon, have a prestigious and well-deserved Great Taste Award. There is a good selection of recipes for those with special dietary needs with plenty of gluten, dairy and meat-free options to choose from. 

The meals don’t automatically come with sides, but you can add a la carte things like mashed potatoes and rice to your order. Plus, we liked this flexibility and didn’t mind using pasta we already had in the cupboard!

8. Nonna Tonda Recipe Box

Best meal prep delivery service for quick comfort

Specifications

Cost: Prices start at £14.50 for 2 portions with max cost of £33 for 6 portions
Delivery options: Nationwide, excluding Highlands and Islands, delivery day depends on postcode (free delivery)
Dietary options: Vegetarian

Reasons to buy

+
Fits through the letterbox
+
Ready in 5 mins
+
Flexible subscription, skip deliveries or cancel at any time
+
Free delivery (unlike Pasta Evangelists)

Reasons to avoid

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Less choice than competitors
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Not good for fussy eaters

On the table and ready to eat in five minutes, these pasta kits are perfect for nights when you know you’ll have little enthusiasm or time to cook but still want a flavor and comfort-packed dinner. Plus, you only need two pans, one for cooking the pasta and another for warming your sauce so there’s minimal washing up—winning! 

If you’re not adventurous or have specific dietary requirements you’ll likely find the menu a little restrictive. Each week there is only one vegetarian recipe and one meat or fish recipe. The recipe cards have freezing instructions, so if you ordered the maximum of six portions (or three meals for two) you could save the repeated meal for another week. 

We tried the rich pork shoulder and nduja pappardelle garnished with grated Pecorino and the vegetarian option was a triangle-shaped ravioli called pansotti, which was stuffed with spinach and ricotta. Both were flavorsome, well-seasoned and generously portioned. We were impressed with the minimal plastic/single-use packaging and everything that could be recycled or composted was clearly labelled. 

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9. Green Chef Recipe Box

Best meal prep delivery service for healthy eating

Specifications

Cost: from £39.69 per box, £4.70 per serving (three meals for two)
Delivery options: Nationwide, including Jersey, Guernsey, Isle of Man and Isle of Wight but excluding Northern Ireland, Northern Scotland and the Scottish Highlands (variable depending on postcode
Dietary options: Vegan, Vegetarian, Keto, Lower Carb

Reasons to buy

+
Keto options
+
British, high-welfare meat and certified sustainable fish 

Reasons to avoid

-
No gluten-free options
-
 Max 4 meals a week

Green Chef launched in the UK last year but was founded in Boulder, Colorado in 2014 and is part of the HelloFresh Group.

It’s the only recipe box service explicitly targeting the keto diet with meals containing 20g of carbs or less per serving. All recipes are nutritionist-approved so for those focused on healthy eating but have no specific fat, carb or protein targets, you can select the Balanced plan. 

Most of the meals we tested said they took between 20-25mins to cook and prepare but we found it was often on the latter end of the scale. Some recipes, such as the honey Sambal pork with chili cauliflower rice would have been quicker to prepare if you had a food processor to blitz the cauliflower versus grating it. One of our favorite recipes was the whipped feta flatbreads with pickled onion and cucumber salad which we made for a satisfying work-from-home lunch. 

Ingredients weren’t as high quality compared to competitors targeting the health and diet-conscious foodies of the market as the chicken was only red-tractor certified and a lot of the pastes and sauces were HelloFresh own brand. However, this is to be expected given Green Chef costs less.  

With 17 recipes to choose from a week, Green Chef sits somewhere in the middle in terms of variety of choices compared to competitors. It has more to offer than Mindful Chef but a lot fewer than Gousto. 

How to pick the best meal prep delivery service for you

Some of the best meal prep delivery services mean you can cross a supermarket trip off your to-do list altogether, while others will require you to stop in for supplemental breakfast, lunch and snack supplies. 

If you have dietary requirements or restrictions, your options may be limited with some services. All of the services we reviewed catered to vegetarians, but vegan and gluten-free options were sometimes scarce. 

Some boxes offer single portions but most of the services provided recipes for a minimum of two. (If you're cooking solo, you can always save the second portion for lunch the next day!)

If you regularly find yourself having scrambled eggs for dinner because you can’t muster the energy to cook anything else, or haven’t picked up ingredients for a more adventurous supper, it’s likely a meal prep delivery service is going to cost more than you’re currently spending. However, this is a good thing if it means eating more balanced, wholesome meals, but the price is a consideration nonetheless. 

Think about how much time you want to spend in the kitchen. Most of the boxes reviewed deliver pre-portioned ingredients. So while they definitely save you time thinking of recipes and going to the supermarket, you still have to cook. There are ready-to-heat options and services that plan your food intake for the whole day, but the convenience comes at a cost.

Jessica is a senior food writer at Future and works across the Life & Style portfolio writing recipes and curating food and drink content. When she’s not cooking, Jessica loves to dine out and travel in search of new inspiration. Her saved posts on Instagram mostly consist of burgers and craft beer or brunch spots. She also likes to keep fit and chill out with yoga after a long day.