Blue Apron Meals Review

by Kelli on May 22, 2013

A new trend that I’ve noticed popping over the past year or so, here in NYC (and likely elsewhere) is the increase of companies offering ready-to-cook meals.  I’m not talking about dinners that are already prepared & require re-heating.  These companies are delivering all the ingredients you need to cook dinner, typically in under 40 minutes, right to your doorstep.  No deciding what to make for dinner.  No trip to the grocery store.  Everything you need, is delivered right to you.

Box-kitchenImage via Blue Apron

The New York Times also picked up on this trend, earlier this year.

Needless to when Blue Apron contacted me a few weeks ago about sampling their dinners, it took me about 0.1 seconds to answer with a big fact YES!

How does it work?
* Select the type of plan you want – meat/fish or vegetarian – and the number of people
* New menus are posted in advance
* Free delivery via FedEx (afternoon delivery) or courier (evening delivery)
* You’ll get all the fresh ingredients you’ll need to make 3 meals
* The only things you’ll need are salt, pepper, olive oil and basic cooking equipment
* No commitment – you can cancel anytime before the weekly cutoff

Unfortunately, Blue Apron isn’t available nationwide just yet, but it looks like they’re expanding.  Here’s a list of their current delivery zones, which covers a good part of the Eastern U.S.

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My experience
It was a tough choice, but I went with the meat/fish option (the vegetarian meals also looked really delicious!) and opted for courier delivery in the evening.  I didn’t totally know what to expect, and was so excited to see what was inside my box!  I was given a 4 hour window in which to expect my deilvery, and it arrived, all neatly packaged in an insulated cooler box with cold packs, within the first hour.

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Each dinner came with a large recipe card that included some interesting info on the recipe, a list of all ingredients and detailed, step by step cooking instructions.  I’m a visual person, so I loved that the recipe cards had photos of the raw ingredients, photos of each step of the cooking process and a photo of the finished plate.

The cooking
I found the recipes really easy to follow, and everything was explained really well.  You really don’t have to be a skilled cook to make any of these meals.  As long as you know some kitchen basics, you’re good to go.  All of Blue Apron’s recipes are designed to be cooked in 35 minutes or less.  I found this to be accurate for all of my dinners (they were on the table in 30-35 minutes).  Who doesn’t love a meal that comes together quick!

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The food
I have to be honest, when I first unpacked all of the ingredients I really questioned whether the meals would provide a solid dinner for two people, let alone two hungry runners.  It didn’t look like a lot of food, but that was because everything was already portioned!  There was one dinner that L would have liked a little more to eat, but for me, all the dinners were just the right size.  And, it wasn’t surprising that fresh, great quality ingredients made for really delicious dinners!

All three of these meals were absolutely delicious!  I was most surprised by the Salmon Roll Sandwich.  At first L wasn’t sure he would like it, which got me thinking I may not like it.  And, we didn’t like it, we LOVED it, and we’re still talking about it!

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Dinner 1 – Flank Steak au Jus with Creamy Dijon Cauliflower, Pickled Baby Turnips and Watercress

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Dinner 2 – Roast Cornish Hen with Mini Baked Potatoes and Spring Vegetable Saute

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Dinner 3 – Salmon Roll Sandwiches with Baby Beet & Pea Tendril Salad

Just when I thought my week of Blue Apron dinners were finished, another box arrived at my apartment!  It felt a little bit like Christmas morning.  Our second week of dinners included:
* Chili-Rubbed Porgy with Lime Butter & Vegetable Quinoa
* Moussaka with Lemony Parsley Salad
* Lemon-Thyme Turkey Cutlets with New Jersey Asparagus, Brussels Sprouts & Crispy Fingerlings

I really loved my two weeks of dinners from Blue Apron!  For starters, the convenience factor is huge!  I didn’t have to think about what to cook for dinner and I got a reprieve from battling the post-work crowds at the grocery store.  Life has been really busy lately, so not having to put much thought into dinner and still eating a healthy, balanced, tasty meal was really great.

One of the big highlights was that it got me cooking some different things (like, porgy and moussaka) that I normally wouldn’t think to cook during the week.  On busy nights it felt great to go into the kitchen having limited prep to do and knowing I’d have a meal (read, not delivery, a bowl of pasta or cereal) on the table in just over 30 minutes.  I think this is also a terrific option if you’re cooking for one!

As far as cost ($9.99 per person, per meal), Blue Apron is really reasonable.  It’s probably slightly more than if you were to do your own grocery shopping, but definitely less than a restaurant meal.

Want to try it for yourself?!  The nice folks at Blue Apron are offering a 20% discount to Corner Kitchen readers!  Put away your grocery list and stop thinking about what to make for dinner…head over to www.blueapron.com/cornerkitchen and let them take care of the hard stuff!

I’d love to hear what you get delivered in your next box!

Enjoy!

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

Tieghan May 22, 2013 at 8:54 AM

Wow! How cool! This sounds awesome!

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Kelli May 23, 2013 at 1:42 PM

Yea, it’s really cool. I think I got spoiled have everything planned and portioned out for me :)

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craig February 25, 2014 at 4:28 PM

the worst thing about this though is they should have meals a week not 3 its kind of silly

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Kelly @ HIdden Fruits and Veggies May 22, 2013 at 10:58 AM

That’s so neat! I’m also really excited that I’m in their delivery zone — no one ever includes Michigan when they’re just starting out! yay!

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Kelli May 23, 2013 at 1:40 PM

Yay! You should totally give it a try, Kelly. I’d love to hear what you think!

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Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking May 22, 2013 at 4:11 PM

Wow, what a great service! All the meals look so delicious and fresh. Thanks for sharing, Kelli!

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Kelli May 23, 2013 at 1:44 PM

The meals were really great! I will definitely be using this for weeks I know will be busy!

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Monet May 22, 2013 at 11:36 PM

This is such a great service! We’re having a baby in a few weeks, and I can only imagine how helpful it would be to have this option. Thank you for sharing it with us, Kelli!

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Kelli May 23, 2013 at 1:38 PM

First of all, congratulations!!! And, yesss…Blue Apron is so perfect for new parents! The last thing you’ll want to be thinking about is what to do for dinner, but you still want to eat a good meal. This is a win-win.

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LauraGMG July 18, 2013 at 2:06 PM

I just tried Blue Apron and I loved it! I agree with you that one great benefit is the new recipes you wouldn’t otherwise try. You can read my review, if you’d like:

http://greenmountainglobetrotter.blogspot.com/2013/07/blue-apron-meals.html

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Kelli July 19, 2013 at 10:02 AM

So glad you liked it! Thanks for sharing your review!

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Col Mosby August 19, 2013 at 10:35 AM

At $20 per small meal, I’ll pass. Very few nutrients in those meals – designed for dieters, I suppose.

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Kelli August 22, 2013 at 1:56 PM

Sorry to hear it’s not for you, Col. I will say, having eaten a few week’s worth of Blue Apron dinners, it’s not geared towards dieters. The meals are not heavy, but are certainly filling, wholesome, nutritious and offer a nice variety.

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thussaiththewalrus September 6, 2014 at 4:27 PM

We DO NOT eat the same amounts of food!!!! How in the WORLD can they know how much of anything to send? I guess we are all FORCED to eat the same amount, even if we are a 240 pound dock worker, or a retired grandma who weighs 130 pounds with minimal exercise!

What is “filling” for you might be starvation for me (and I will have to raid the fridge and cupboards to get filled up (or call for a pizza).

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Carolee September 30, 2013 at 1:16 PM

The meals were delicious and a fun way to enjoy gourmet at home, or a nice way to send a gift to someone who likes to cook. I did not however like their business practices. In order to recieve a gift you have to submit your credit card and then they take the liberty of sending you more meals and charging your account. They claim they need a week to cancel your order but good luck trying to cancel!! Their business practices are very suspect. I would not order from them again. My whole family has reported the same problem. Too bad, great product; lousy business practices.

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Phyllis October 14, 2013 at 10:35 PM

I totally agree with Carolee. I received the meals as a gift from a friend. I live in florida and the only delivery day was Wednesday. Too close to the weekend for me to eat all those meals.
Anyway, I tried to cancel for the following week, and they told me that it was too late! They needed 6 days advance notice. I sent them an email explaining that I did not even get to eat the first meal prior to the deadline for the following week. They responded ” too late, the food is already on the way”.
I felt as if they had taken my credit card, but had never really asked me if I would like to join up. Therefore, I will be canceling my membership at the earliest time they will let me.
The food was good and interesting, but I felt as if I was tricked into a subscription.
My friend who sent me the free trial is going to cancel too because now she is embarrassed that I had to pay for a subscription I did not want.

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Rosemary December 16, 2013 at 11:23 AM

I am totally with Phyllis and Carolee. I sent an email to the cancellation email on line and it was returned as undeliverable! And I can’t find a phone # for Blue Apron. If anyone knows how to reach them to cancel, I would appreciate that info

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Kelli December 16, 2013 at 11:34 AM

What a bummer, I’m really sorry to hear about your experience, Rosemary. I don’t know a phone number for them, but maybe try the email, contact@blueapron.com, or send them a message on Facebook (Blue Apron Meals) or Twitter (@blueapronmeals).

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Blue Apron December 16, 2013 at 11:48 AM

Hi Rosemary- sorry to hear that you were unable to get through to us- we are looking into what could have happened. You can always reach us at contact@blueapron.com for anything related to your account. If you ever want to speak with us directly, you can reach us at (888) 278-4349. Again, our apologies for any trouble. Thanks for reaching out.

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Carolann December 19, 2013 at 2:09 PM

Kelli, thanks for your review. And thanks for the recent commenters sharing their cancellation experiences.

Has anyone on here that has tried Blue Apron also tried Plated? I’ve been looking more at Plated because you can select fewer meals.

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Kelli December 19, 2013 at 2:20 PM

Glad it was helpful, Carolann. Unfortunately, I have not tried Plated so I couldn’t comment on their service.

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Mai January 1, 2014 at 2:47 PM

Be careful with Blue Apron! A friend sent me a free week of Blue Apron as part of a promotional effort. I was surprised when Blue Apron asked for my credit card information even thought they said it was a “free week of meals”. I was duped! I got my week of meals but they charged me for that month. To make matters worse, they’ve been charging me for the last three months and now I’m trying to get Blue Apron to give me my money back!!

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Allison February 24, 2014 at 5:03 PM

Just wondering why did it take you three months to try to cancel your membership? Did you try to reach them for 3 months without success? Just want to see how difficult it is to cancel or skip a delivery.

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craig February 25, 2014 at 4:30 PM

sorry the worst thing about blue apron is only being able to receive 3 meals per week that’s a joke at least 5 cmonnnnnnn

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Emily Nottingham April 15, 2014 at 3:50 AM

Is the nutrition information included in the recipe card? I couldn’t tell for sure from the pics you posted. Sounds like a great way to try some new foods and shake up the dinner routine.

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Kelli April 23, 2014 at 6:42 PM

When I last used Blue Apron, the recipe cards didn’t have nutrition info. Not sure if that has since changed or not.

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Tara July 16, 2014 at 2:37 PM

I’ve had excellent service and am surprised to read the complaints about cancellation 1. if you’re giving your credit card read all instructions for cancellation and/or contact the company first. 2. I see people occasionally complain on the BA facebook page and their complaints are almost immediately acknowledged and rectified for the entire world to see. Not everyone is going to have a perfect experience and companies do make mistakes

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Scott Friedenthal July 25, 2014 at 6:48 PM

I enjoyed the food, but let me say this is the most environmentally irresponsible product I’ve ever seen and that’s saying something. There is a lot of padding in the box and loads of icepacks and each item is individually wrapped, plus the cardboard boxes. People that do this on a regular basis should be forced to live near a landfill. A GIANT garbage bag of packaging for one meal. Buy a cookbook and go to the grocery store. It’s not that big a deal.

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Louise September 17, 2014 at 7:54 PM

Grocery shopping IS a big deal if you have disabilities!! Please, consider those who may not be as able as you are. These services can be very helpful to some. Personally, I think they are too expensive but after 19 surgeries I certainly understand the desire for them. I am just tooooo Scottish! I will go through the pain rather than spend the money! haha! And, by the way, I recycle EVERYTHING so I understand that concern as well.

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Ali November 19, 2014 at 2:47 PM

I just received my first Blue Apron box, and i was SHOCKED at the packaging. I looked it up on their website and essentially everything in the box can be recycled, including the ice packs. They also provide some creative ways/ ideas for “upcycling” the box and other bags etc. I’m looking forward to trying the meals!

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Solina November 22, 2014 at 10:58 AM

Although the meals like nice and I’m sure they do turn out awesome I don’t like the fact that everything is packaged separate there’s alot of excess garbage and doesn’t seem very environmentally friendly? Are all those little packages biodegradable? Doesn’t seem as so..

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