Blue Apron Review: Meal Kits With a Gourmet Twist

I tried this highly-rated meal kit service, and here’s how it stacks up

We independently evaluate all recommended products and services. If you click on links we provide, we may receive compensation. Learn more.

Blue Apron Review Baked Chicken Dish

Food and Wine / Tori Marinet

Meal delivery services can help reduce the time and energy it takes to meal plan, shop, and cook every week. However, their dishes can also be a bit lackluster in the flavor department at times, and after a while, it can feel like you’re eating the same ol’, same ol’. Blue Apron believes its customers deserve better, offering chef-driven menus and top-notch ingredients for a delicious and exciting food experience at home. 

In order to see if Blue Apron really hits the mark in aligning flavor with functionality, I gave it a try. As a dietitian, professional cook, and meal delivery service expert, I know what makes a company great—and after a week of eating a variety of what Blue Apron has to offer, I’ll tell you if I think it cuts the mustard.

Blue Apron Ingredients

Food and Wine / Tori Marinet

Pros and Cons


  • A gourmet culinary experience
  • Variety among difficulty levels and effort
  • Very cost effective for the quality
  • Some health-focused options


  • Plastic packaging overload
  • Not ideal for dietary accommodations

What Is Blue Apron?

Blue Apron wants to bring something exceptional to the home cooking experience with its chef-curated menus, obsession with sourcing quality ingredients, and commitment to support the planet while doing so. Headquartered in New York City, there’s no shortage of promising culinary talent to help drive its mission forward.

How Does It Work?

The sign-up process with Blue Apron has all the usual components: account creation, addition of delivery information, and an opportunity to put in some meal preferences. Blue Apron delivers Monday through Friday, allowing you to choose which day you prefer to receive your meals, and it ships to zip codes in all of the 48 contiguous United States. Once you’re past the information entry point, you’ll have the opportunity to select your meals for the week. While some dishes will be populated based on your indicated preferences, you can always choose from the full menu and customization options. 

The menu does vary a tiny bit based on whether you’re on the two-serving or the four-serving plan, with slightly fewer options available in the latter. Once your meals are selected, you’re all set for the week—that is, unless you want to move on to browsing the wine selection.

Blue Apron ingredients with packaging

Food and Wine / Tori Marinet


The value proposition from Blue Apron truly is one of its unsung highlights. The company’s meals are very competitively priced, with a starting point of $7.99 per serving for the largest plan of four meals per week with four servings each, and ranging up to $11.99 per serving for the smaller plans of two meals per week at two servings each. Premium meals and protein customizations do come at an added cost, and shipping is a flat $9.99 per shipment. But at baseline, Blue Apron is one of the more affordable options in the marketplace, especially when considering the quality.

Meal Choices

For its smaller menu of fewer than 20 options each week, Blue Apron still manages to create a lot of variety. The meals have a good range of flavor profiles and dish compositions, so you’re likely to see a mix of proteins and cuisines. It’s all presented with a bit of restaurant-style flair and luxury, with offerings including a duck confit and coconut curry ramen or crispy skin salmon and Calabrian mayo with lentils, caramelized onions, and vegetables. 

Dishes that fall under categories like “Chef Favorites” or “Premium” and “Craft” have a more high-end feel, while options like “Family Friendly,” “Ready to Cook,” and “Fast and Easy” cater to busier folks. Additionally, meals in the “wellness” category are designed in collaboration with nutritionists, and those are no less enticing. You’ll also find an assortment of add-ons each week like premade single-serving meals, desserts, breakfasts, prepared proteins, and even specialty and seasonal items. 

What we tasted: 

  • Oven-baked chicken thighs and rice with snow peas and sambal-soy sauce
  • Pan-seared steaks and hot honey biscuits with glazed onion and sauteed kale
  • Shawarma-spiced cod and arugula salad with roasted potatoes


While effective at keeping the food cold and organized, the packaging from Blue Apron is perhaps not its strongest element. While this doesn’t necessarily distinguish it from other meal kit companies, it is a notable part of the Blue Apron experience. I had around 60 individual pieces of packaging in my week’s delivery of meals, including the box itself, insulated liner components, ice packs, “knick knack” bags which helped to separate ingredients for each recipe, and then the individually packaged ingredients themselves. 

Overall, about half of this was landfill-bound, with the remaining split evenly between curbside recyclable items and plastics that would need to be taken to a specialty facility to be recycled. Essentially, it’s a mountain of plastic to contend with each week and while it may be necessary for shipments of this kind or even similar to managing waste from your own groceries, it’s not the most feel-good part of the experience.

Blue Apron Packaging

Food and Wine / Tori Marinet

The Cooking Process

Overall, Blue Apron recipes are well-vetted and they provided all the guidance I needed to produce a quality meal. While each dish had differing levels of cooking skills, equipment used, and time required, the service makes no apologies for asking its home cooks to get to work. In fact, it’s designed for people who want to flex their culinary muscles (at least sometimes), and I thought it was a really enjoyable experience. 

There was one snafu, unfortunately, as the aluminum tray that was supposed to come with the oven-ready baked chicken dish didn’t arrive due to a supply chain issue. I would have liked to see some proactive communication on this from Blue Apron, but I reached out and easily obtained alternate cooking instructions through the website’s customer service chat as well as an account credit for the missing item. (Refunds are a no-go, apparently.)


It comes as no surprise that flavor and quality may be the strongest arguments for choosing Blue Apron. In each and every dish I enjoyed a distinctive yet balanced taste experience, always with an element of sumptuousness even in the simpler preparations. While the best of the bunch for me was the pan-seared steaks with hot honey biscuits (because, really, what can top a freshly baked biscuit?), the shawarma-spiced cod and arugula salad was a close runner-up. 

The cod dish fell under the parameters of the Wellness program picks but still managed to be hearty and satisfying, with a swoosh of creamy lemon tahini underneath the earthy-spiced cod, savory roasted potatoes, peppery arugula, and the crunchy, chewy goodness of currants, pistachios, and sweet drop peppers. Each dish was unique and an overall home run in its own right.

Blue Apron Recipe Cards

Food and Wine / Tori Marinet

Who Should Use Blue Apron?

Blue Apron is truly fit for foodies and really anyone excited by the prospect of getting in the kitchen to create a restaurant-quality meal, even if they don’t have all the time in the world to achieve it. This service is an excellent choice for singles, couples, or a smaller family, and it’s definitely not to be overlooked by the budget-conscious consumer, coming in at a similar starting price as some kits that simply don’t deliver the same flavor experience.

Final Thoughts

As someone who has tested nearly all of the top-grossing meal kits in the industry, I have never come across a flavor experience that is superior to Blue Apron. It is not the best choice for all palates and food preferences, but the menu feels like a siren song for the epicure who needs support during a busy week like the rest of us but still wants dinner to feel exceptional.


Are Blue Apron Meals Healthy?

Blue Apron has a varied menu of meals that run the gamut from health-conscious and nutrient-dense to fun foods that bring full-flavored joy. If you’re looking for options that lean more towards keeping less-desirable nutrients in check, look out for the “wellness” logo on the menu, which denotes meals that are designed in collaboration with nutritionists.

How Many Servings Are In Each Blue Apron Meal?

Meals from Blue Apron come in either two-serving or four-serving increments, and while we’ve found that portion sizes vary somewhat from dish to dish, you can pretty much depend on getting just that. If you’re looking for individual servings, there are some reheatable single-serving prepared meals on the menu, but if you want larger quantities, you may need to look elsewhere. 

Are Blue Apron Meals Easy to Cook?

Blue Apron doesn’t shy away from getting you moving in the kitchen, and some recipes can be quite demanding in terms of time and skill level. However, the menu also includes recipes that are sheet pan meals for easy cleanup, or oven-ready with pre-prepped ingredients so you can opt out of the effort on busy nights. There are also Fast & Easy options, labeled as such, that are true to their name.

Can You Get Blue Apron Recipes Without a Subscription?

You can preview the current menus and access recipe cards before creating a subscription, which means you can get the details on how to make chef’s favorites like pork belly tacos and pineapple salsa. However, you won’t be able to look back at previous menus or recipes like you can if you’re an account holder. And, of course, you also miss out on the advantages of having all your ingredients for the week packed up and shipped right to your door. 

Can You Freeze Blue Apron Meals?

If you’re looking for freezer-friendly options, I’d start with the single-serve, heat-and-eat meals that are individually packaged and would likely work well to stock your freezer. Aside from that, not much is billed as freezable, though there is always the option to freeze the proteins and certain other ingredients that come with kits if you aren’t able to get to them in a given week. You could also prep one of the oven-ready meals and freeze it prior to baking, but be warned—the instructions won’t cover this, so you’ll be striking out on your own. 

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles