9 meal kits that can help with entertaining
Dinner parties should be fun, not stressful
Recommendations are independently chosen by Reviewed’s editors. Purchases you make through our links may earn us a commission.
Everyone likes the idea of having a dinner party. At least, until the inevitable stress kicks in over what to serve. Should you pull a recipe from the web? But what if you have to run to three different stores to grab ingredients? And what if after all that, it still somehow disappoints?
Meal kits can help take the risk out of entertaining. You can use them to whip up a special main course, lay out ingredients for a make-your-own-pizza mixer, or even take a crack at a new and interesting dessert you’d never before considered.
Here are nine of the best meal kit services that can help with entertaining this year.
Just want to have a couple of friends over for a nice meal? Consider HelloFresh, which lets you order meals for up to four people. The cost-conscious service ships everything from family-friendly fare to veggie and pescatarian options.
You can swap out different proteins and sides, and there are premium meals available if you’re looking to make something a little more impressive. You can even take your guests on a bit of a global adventure: One of our reviewers tested the service’s bánh mi burger, calling it “absolutely out of this world.”
Cost: Prices vary depending on how often you’re ordering and for how many people, but you could get away with meals for four people twice a week for under $90, including shipping.
EveryPlate isn’t the most glamorous meal kit service, but that’s okay: Sometimes you just want to have some buds over to watch TV on a Friday night. In that situation, simple is always welcome.
EveryPlate’s meals start at $4.99 a serving, which is remarkably low in the meal kit space. Dishes are notoriously quick and easy to prepare and would help get the job done for a small dinner party. There are 17 rotating options to choose from weekly, including a couple of “premium” options and at least five vegetarian dishes. Portion sizes aren’t huge, but invite your guests to bring a dessert or something and you’ll be good to go.
Cost: Again, prices vary depending on your plan, but generally meals cost about $4.99 a serving, plus $9.99 for shipping. New subscribers get an ample discount, as well.
3. Blue Apron
Never have to ask your guests to bring booze again with Blue Apron’s pairing service. The original meal kit service has a wine-pairing option built into its program. For an additional fee, Blue Apron subscribers can order a sharing-sized bottle of wine to accompany their order.
One bottle is the perfect size for a one-on-one romantic rendez-vous, but if you’re looking to serve a slightly larger crowd, don’t worry: Blue Apron-approved wines come in six packs, meaning you’ll be able to give people options.
Cost: Meals range from $9.49 per serving for two people to $7.99 per serving for four people ordering four meals a week. You can add on six bottles of wine for an additional $75.99, including shipping.
4. Home Chef
Our favorite meal kit service Home Chef helps customers become experts in their own kitchen. Ingredients are fresh and high-quality, and recipes are well-written, breaking down challenging cooking techniques into easy-to-understand steps.
There are 20 dinner options every week, including some that come oven-ready, meaning you can just heat and go. There are also lunch and snack add-ons, and subscribers are always welcome to swap out proteins.
The best thing about Home Chef might be the fact that it doesn’t cap its meals at four people. Instead, you can choose a dinner for six, meaning your party just got a little more lively.
Cost: Meals start at $6.99 a serving, regardless of how many people you’ll have at your table.
Everyone knows that old rom-com trope where a guy, looking to impress his wife or new girlfriend, orders dinner from a restaurant and just throws it on plates in his house when he gets home. Yes, he says, he whipped this up by himself and the girl is suitably impressed.
Now you can re-enact that with Gobble, which ships its ingredients all pre-prepared, meaning all you need to do is throw them together and, bang, in 15 minutes you’ll have food on the table. That includes sauces, produce, protein—everything. It’s a great way to make dinner if you’re not incredibly confident in your kitchen skills—or if you’re just too darn busy to do the work that some people think dinner parties really require.
Cost: Meals start at $11.99 per serving, regardless of the group size.
For non-meat eaters, the thought of having to come up with a vegetarian dinner party option can cause a certain degree of panic and dread. There’s always pasta, of course, but is that enough?
Sunbasket can help diffuse that dread with its wide variety of meat-free meals that come in both vegetarian and vegan-friendly options. All its offerings are certified organic, and subscribers can skip weeks at any time. (Also, don’t worry, meat eaters: Sunbasket isn’t exclusively vegetarian. They also have meat options.)
Our reviewers raved about the service’s fresh pappardelle verde with sweet pea pistou and sugar snap peas, saying it was “bright,” “well-balanced,” and “filling.” Plus, it sounds fancy, which can really count for something if you’re trying to impress a guest.
Cost: Meals start at $9.99 a serving.
CookUnity is a relatively new player in the meal kit game, but it has an intriguing twist: All of its meals are created by famous chefs like Ludo LeFebvre, Esther Choi, and Ruben Garcia. All of their meals are crafted with sustainable ingredients and pre-packaged, too. Just heat them up and serve.
They also have a huge range of options. When we looked, we saw well over 100 meals to choose from, including short ribs with root vegetables, rack of lamb with peas and asparagus, and catfish with collard greens. Some meals like the rack of lamb cost a little more, but imagine how expensive it would be if you ordered them in a restaurant.
Cost: Meals start at $10.69 per serving, but depending on your choice of protein, you can end up paying a little more.
8. Good Eggs
If you’re looking to mix things up and go beyond just a traditional sit-down meal, Good Eggs could be for you. The service offers not just traditional meal kit fare like spring carbonara pasta with lemony arugula, but also dishes aimed at special events, like chocolate crepes with strawberries and hazelnuts. There’s even a category for boards and platters, so you can put out a tray of deviled eggs or a curated cheese board you can be proud of.
Good Eggs is great because it lets you throw together a meal in courses. There are salads, mains, and dessert to choose from, so if you want to go hog wild, you really could. You could even add on a mimosa or spicy margarita kit, if you’re looking for that kind of hang.
Cost: Good Eggs’ prices vary widely based on what you’re ordering, but main courses start at about $9.99 a serving.
9. BāKIT Box
Obsessed with the Great British Baking Show but too scared to turn on your own oven? The BāKIT Box could help you whip up something sweet and special for your next dinner party. The service ships subscribers pre-measured ingredients for a rotating selection of desserts two or three times a month.
Options this month include jalapeño cheddar cornbread, matcha mousse cake, rainbow bagels, Persian love cake, and churros, so there’s something for everyone. You’ll have to go to the store for anything dairy or egg-related, but that’s a small price to pay for being able to plop something down at the end of the meal and proudly say “I made this.”
Cost: The price of each box can vary depending on ingredients, but most dessert kits run about $27.99.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.