This meal kit is super affordable—but is it any good?
EveryPlate meals cost less than a latte.
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There are two kinds of people: Those who love to cook and those who don't. I like to think of myself as part of the first category—but even so, I have to admit that constant grocery shopping and meal prepping can be exhausting, especially when it's part of an already busy week. And sometimes those steps take the fun out of cooking, leading me to reach for takeout as an easier (albeit, more expensive) alternative.
Meal kits, ideally, fill that gap. We’ve tested a dozen of the best meal kits on the market, many of which claim to save you time, money, and stress when it comes to preparing dinner (and sometimes lunch) each day. But some kits aren’t as affordable as advertised—we’ve seen meals climb to $13 or more per serving, which starts to rival take-out prices. And during lean times, it can be hard to justify that investment.
Enter: EveryPlate. The HelloFresh-owned meal kit brand prides itself on affordability, with most meals priced at just $4.99 per serving. But is “the affordable meal kit for everyone” too good to be true? We tested it in our own kitchens to find out.
How does EveryPlate work?
EveryPlate is a meal kit subscription service like most others—once you register for an account, you’ll have a plan with a fixed number of recipes and ingredients delivered straight to your door every week. Currently, EveryPlate offers two-person and four-person plans. Both plans can choose to have three, four, or five meals delivered per week. Users can change their plan at any time, and skip weeks when they don’t want shipments.
EveryPlate is focused on no-frills affordability and not specific diet plans, which means their meals may not suit everyone. Their weekly menu has 12 rotating options to choose from, with one or two “premium” options included.
When we initially tested in 2020, EveryPlate offered two vegetarian meals per week, with no promise of vegan meals. But two years later, they've upped their vegetarian menu and now offer at least five options every week (still no vegan or other dietary options, though). As a result, we retested the service to see how its vegetarian meals measured up to our previous EveryPlate experience.
Many of the more established meal kits we’ve tested offer upwards of 20 meals per week, many for vegan and other specialty diets, so EveryPlate can’t yet compete with their meal variety. However, EveryPlate did promise very quick cook times, claiming most meals take about 30 minutes to prepare.
How much does EveryPlate cost?
The main draw of EveryPlate is its budget friendly pricing, with the lowest average cost of any meal kit we’ve tested. Most EveryPlate meals cost just $4.99 per serving, with some premium meals closer to $6.99. For a couple ordering three, four, or five meals per week, they would pay $29.94, $39.92, or $49.90, respectively, as well as an additional $9.99 for shipping. For a family of four, the standard cost is $59.88 for three dinners, plus shipping.
Although shipping is included past a certain price point for many other meal kits, the average cost of EveryPlate meals means they still have competitors beat on price. The top-performing meal kits we’ve tested cost anywhere from $7.99 to $11.99 per serving for two-person meals, with an average weekly cost of about $60 for three meals. Compare that to EveryPlate’s $39 weekly cost including shipping, and the winner is obvious.
We cooked with EveryPlate for a week—here’s what happened
Hi, I'm Cassidy Olsen, Reviewed’s former kitchen editor who covered her fair share of meal kits—along with countless other kitchen gadgets—between the years of 2018 and 2020.
And I'm Monica Petrucci, Reviewed's current kitchen staff writer. I consider myself somewhat of a flexitarian, so I was excited to learn that EveryPlate has revamped its vegetarian options since our initial review. I was eager to try them out for myself.
To see if EveryPlate’s meal quality was actually as good as their pricing, I ordered a week of dinners for myself and my partner to cook at home. I chose Hibachi-Style Steak Rice Bowls with Zucchini, Onion, and Spicy Special Sauce, Apricot Dijon Chicken Legs with Roasted Carrots and Lemon Garlic Couscous, and Creamy Peppercorn Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Carrots. Including shipping, the box came out to $38.93.
I couldn’t choose my meals until after I had already subscribed, which I thought was a little odd—the EveryPlate menu is otherwise available to anyone on their website. There were also a lot of carrot and chicken recipes on that weekly menu (hence my chicken-heavy selections), but I didn’t mind. I ordered, waited for the delivery, and got to cooking.
My box was delivered right on time via FedEx, and it arrived intact and undamaged, with the ice packs still well-frozen. I was pleased to see that there wasn’t a lot of wasteful packaging inside—the vegetables were packaged in a sort of half-carton made of cardboard, and the loose ingredients were kept in one plastic bag. Each cardstock recipe card included helpful images for every step in the recipe.
However, this did make it harder to figure out what I needed for each meal, as some other meal kits package everything besides meat in special meal bags. (It’s hard to balance sustainability with usability).
The meat was packaged separately, closest to the freezer packs. While I was pleased with the quality of most ingredients, the zucchini for the rice bowls was split in half and looked dried-out and inedible. It went in the trash, while the rest of the ingredients went in the fridge.
Here’s how each of the meals actually turned out. Full disclosure: Because of my weird quarantine schedule, I opted to prepare these meals for lunches instead of dinners.
Creamy Peppercorn Chicken with Roasted Potatoes and Carrots
I began with the creamy peppercorn chicken recipe because it seemed straightforward enough for a weekday lunch. Every step of the recipe was familiar to me—roasting vegetables in the oven, pan-frying chicken breast, and making a pan sauce were all easy as pie. It took 40 minutes to make exactly, which is the same time listed on the card.
The only step I got caught up on was crushing the peppercorns for the sauce. The recipe advised smashing them in a bag with a rolling pin or mallet, and this was much harder than I anticipated. I didn’t have the patience to crush the peppercorns as finely as was probably recommended, so my sauce was much too peppery and crunchy to fully enjoy.
I also would have opted to bake rather than fry the chicken, as the oven was on anyway and pan-fried plain chicken tends to dry out. Yes, I know the searing was important for the pan sauce, but that’s how I would have done it were it my own recipe.
I was also disappointed by the small portion sizes on the chicken. Ultimately, I rated this meal 6 out of 10 stars, while my partner gave it a 7 out of 10.
Apricot Dijon Chicken Legs with Roasted Carrots and Lemon Garlic Couscous
Unlike the middling peppercorn chicken, I was really blown away by this balanced, yummy recipe. Because bone-in chicken tends to stay much more moist than breasts, these chicken legs weren’t dry at all, and the couscous was really flavorful. It took about 40 minutes to make altogether.
I also loved apricot-dijon dressing that added sweetness and depth to an otherwise simple meal. I didn’t struggle with any of the steps, either, save for my oven not getting quite hot enough to fully brown the chicken (I don’t have a top-broiler, unfortunately).
I don’t make couscous much on my own, but I think I will more now! My one complaint is that, like the other meals, the portion sizes here were small. They suited lunch well, but if I were making dinner, I would want leftovers. Otherwise, 9 out of 10 stars for both of us.
Hibachi-Style Steak Rice Bowls with Zucchini, Onion, and Spicy Special Sauce
My partner was the least excited about this recipe, so we saved it for last—but I think we were both pleasantly surprised by the results. I wasn’t sure what “hibachi-style” really meant before cooking, but it referred to everything being pan-fried over high heat.
This recipe called for the zucchini we had to toss upon opening the box, so I doubled the onion instead (in the future, I would probably replace it with carrot or another hearty vegetable). It was a lot of chopping—so you’ll need patience or a food processor.
The final bowls (which took about 35 minutes to make) were a bit oily for my liking. However, the flavors were strong and the portions were better than they were for the other meals in this box. I was also happy with the quality of the beef, which is something meal kits tend to skimp on. Overall, we both gave this recipe 7 out of 10 stars.
We also tried EveryPlate's vegetarian meals for a week—here's what we thought
Roasted Bell Pepper Flatbreads
This comfort food meal was a cinch to put together, taking only 30-ish minutes and a handful of steps. The flatbreads themselves were the perfect texture—crispy on the edges with a soft bite on the inside. And the spice packet EveryPlate provided gave the sauce a satisfying heat. It's no surprise that this meal was labeled as a "customer fave."
I was also pleasantly surprised to see that each serving provided a whopping 19g of protein, even without any meat or a clear meat alternative.
Charred Zucchini & Tomato Melts
This one didn't feel much like a formal recipe per say, as much as it was just grilling veggies to put in a grilled cheese—but that doesn't mean it wasn't tasty. The portion sizes here were huge, with generously portioned sourdough slices and enough leftover veggies to make additional sandwiches afterwards (if you have more bread and cheese on hand—which I did).
The only qualm I had with this meal was the extremely small potatoes EveryPlate sent, which made for some sad-looking wedges (and an overwhelming seasoning-to-potato ratio). It also took 45 minutes to put this grilled cheese together—a lot of which was spent over my stove waiting for the superfluous produce to grill.
Lemony Asparagus & Tomato Linguini
This was probably my favorite meal of the bunch—even though my box was short two tomatoes for the week, which meant I could only use one instead of two in this recipe. Nevertheless, this dish felt like I was eating at a restaurant. It was packed with flavor, from the creamy, lemony sauce that coated the linguine to the perfectly sauteed asparagus. I was even able to bring it all together in 32 minutes—three whole minutes under the predicted prep time—which made me extra happy.
Sweet Potato & Coconut Curry Soup
This was the only vegan meal option in the bunch, and I found it absolutely delicious. The flavors married well together—like the sweet coconut milk offsetting the salty soy sauce and spicy curry powder—and the addition of rice and sweet potatoes made it extra hearty. I would've been happy to see a protein component added here—like tofu or chickpeas—because that probably would've made that full feeling last longer (I found myself craving a snack a few hours after having this for dinner).
Charred Corn & Poblano Rice Bowls
This might've been my least favorite meal of the bunch: It took almost an hour to put together (with an estimated time of only 35 minutes), required a lot of prep work and multitasking, and resulted in a dish that was lacking flavor. The rice was bland and would have benefitted from something like cilantro or citrus juice, while the charred corn—meant to be the star of the dish—only had cumin for seasoning and was also lacking flavor. The pre-made guac was disappointing, too; even if it meant spending more time in the kitchen, I would've preferred making a batch from scratch. And as I mentioned earlier, my box was short on tomatoes, which meant I had to scrounge for the cherry tomatoes I had left in the fridge to replace the Roma one that the recipe called for.
And I know I sound like a broken record with regards to nutritional information, but considering the fact that protein is one of the most common reasons folks eat animal products, I feel like it's an important standard in vegetarian recipes. So when I realized this Mexican-inspired dish was made without any beans or meat-alternatives, I found it especially odd. And again, I noticed myself getting hungry not long after finishing a portion.
Is EveryPlate worth it?
If you’re looking to dive into meal kits for the first time or just take a break from your usual dinner routine, EveryPlate is a solid option—especially if cost is your primary concern. Other meal kits can become prohibitively expensive, and EveryPlate’s affordable, no-frills approach is certainly refreshing.
Each meal we tested had high-quality ingredients, and the company has flexible plans and an easy-to-navigate website. Their recipes are also easy to follow and typically don’t take too much time out of your day.
However, EveryPlate’s limited meal variety means their plans aren’t great for those with dietary restrictions, save for vegetarians (who don't prioritize high-protein meals). Their portion sizes are also sometimes small for people who need more than the average calorie intake. If you’re looking for more variety, you’d be better off trying Home Chef, Sun Basket, or another one of the best meal kits we’ve tested.
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Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.