Cooking at home is one of the things we're looking to do more of now that are kids are getting older. My lovely wife and I consider ourselves pretty good home cooks. We can make a lot of different dishes from memory, rarely have a complete inedible failure (which might say more about our palates!), and enjoy the cooking process.
My lovely wife and I like to treat our cooking time together as a little date. It's a fun way to work towards a common goal and spend quality time together. It's also healthier for you than ordering takeout!
Blue Apron is one of the oldest of the meal delivery services and one we'd tried many many years ago when they first launched. I don't really remember the experience, besides that it was remarkably convenient, so I wanted to give them another try. We have a friend who tried all of the different plans in our area… and I thought it'd be fun to do the same. And then write about it. 🙂
When I signed up this time, I chose the 2-Person Plan which gives you 3 Recipes (6 servings) at $9.99 per serving for a weekly price of $59.94. There is also a Family Plan that serves four and you can 2 or 4 recipes each week – total price is $69.92 for 2 recipes, $139.84 for 4 recipes ($8.74 per serving).
My delivery date was for November 6th, here are my three recipes:
We happened to like the three defaults but here is the full list you can pick from:
All six looked good but our feeling was that the three we chose had proteins we knew we liked. Who doesn't like crispy chicken, seared salmon, and pork meatballs? 🙂
Delivery & Package Contents
The package arrived on November 6th, as scheduled, and it came in a cardboard box. Inside the box was a metallic bubble wrap bag, which contained the ingredients, along with two massive ice packs.
Every ingredient was individually wrapped except for the non-leafy produce and the proteins, which were already in their own packages. Each recipe also had a “knick knack” bag which contained the smaller items, like spices and herbs, which made things a lot easier. The knick knack back also has the nutritional information.
Oh, and they gave us two KIND bars as a little bonus. Nice!
Earlier that day, I received an email that said we weren't getting the Pork Meatballs and instead getting Pork Chops. The entire recipe was the same but we'd be making pork chops rather than pork meatballs. To me, it seemed like an upgrade.
Spiced Pork Chops with Beet & Cranberry Agrodolce
We made the pork chops the night the package was delivered. The quality of the meat was great. There was zero odor on the pork chops when we cut into the package, they were very fresh.
Overall, it was a good dish. The photo was taken from my phone and I'm not a food photographer, so the photo is darker than it appeared in real life. The pork chop looks burned (it wasn't) and you don't get the rich reddish purple of the Beet & Cranberry Agrodolce.
Seared Salmon with Glazed Carrots & Saffron-Yogurt Sauce
The salmon was fresh and the saffron-yogurt sauce was delicious. We weren't sure about the saffron-yogurt sauce, we've never tried something like that on salmon, but it was delicious. The lemon and the yogurt combination was clever and something we'll try again in the future.
One of the features of Blue Apron is the simplicity of recipes. There's no measuring, except to use half of a container or a third, but sometimes it leads to a little oversight. For example, this recipe called for a potato. Another recipe called for a potato… and I chopped up both potatoes for this recipe. Not a big deal, we just won't have it for the chicken, but something that wouldn't have happened if I was paying closer attention.
Crispy Chicken with Mashed Potato & Spicy Collard Greens
Like the rest, the ingredient quality was top notch. The chicken sides were tender but I felt we could've done more with the breading. I knew going into it that just breading it with flour was going to result in a pedestrian fried chicken.
The collard greens were good, only one leaf had any yellowing, and splashing it with a little vinegar gave it a nice sour flavor. If the quantity of mashed potato looked small, it's because we had to remove some from the last recipe. 🙂
On price, the three meals cost $59.94 – resulting in a price per serving of $9.99. On most of the recipes we had leftovers of the sides (like some yogurt and carrots and potatoes) but the proteins were all eaten (the exception is the pork chops but they gave us 4 as a substitution for the meat balls).
We chose the 2-Person Plan but they also have a Family Plan. 2 recipes that serve 4 for $69.92 ($8.74 pp) or 4 recipes that serve 4 for $139.84 (still $8.74 pp).
For what you get, the price is great. $10 for all your ingredients portioned out and delivered to your door? You could get it cheaper if you bought it yourself but it wouldn't be portioned out. You wouldn't get exactly the amount of that spice you needed in one recipe. You will not have any waste on the meals you get from them which is a nice perk.
For a limited time, Blue Apron is running a $30 off your first order for new members. Click this link and look for the orange REDEEM OFFER at the top of the page.
I won't judge Blue Apron on whether or not I liked the food (I did), that's on me to pick the things I enjoy, but the quality of the ingredients was very high. Every bit of produce was fresh with the exception of some yellowing of one collard green leaf and one clove of garlic had a chunk taken out of it. Minimal non-issues.
Any cons? I felt the protein portions might be on the smaller side but some of that is personal preference. Maybe I'm eating too much! (I'm definitely eating too much)
I think from selection to delivery to ease of execution on the recipes, it's a a solid service. We weren't expected to do too much in preparation (some peeling and chopping) or on the cooking side and the instructions were clear (except for the potatoe misstep on our part).
Another nice feature is that you can pause or skip weeks whenever you want. They tell you what your options are ahead of time and if you don't want them, skip it. Seems pretty straightforward.
If you're struggling to cook more and want to cook more, Blue Apron is a good way to do it. You get everything pre-portioned out. All you need is to set aside some time to chop up produce and cook the food.
Have you tried Blue Apron? What are your thoughts?