Meal kits continue to be a hit with consumers looking for an easier way to eat healthy, varied meals at home without relying on delivery or spending hours in front of the stove. And Freshly is a meal kit option designed for the super-fast eater who doesn’t want to sacrifice flavor or nutrition at dinner.
Freshly is a subscription meal service that ships fully prepared, ready-to-heat meals to customers nationwide. Unlike other major meal kits like Blue Apron and Purple Carrot, there’s no prep work involved with Freshly Meals. Instead, you simply put the fully cooked chilled meals in the microwave for a few minutes and voila: you have a tasty, nutrient-dense meal ready.
Meals to heat up and eat
Dinner and lunch options
Weekly plans up to 12 meals
Choose your delivery day
Easy to pause or cancel
The menu includes complete meals and sides
Low Calorie Options
High quality ingredients
Freshly is one of the best meal delivery services for busy people who don’t want to cook or order takeout every night. The meals are very varied, cater for all dietary needs and couldn’t be easier to prepare.
We tested a week of meals from Freshly to see how the service compares to competitors and if it delivers on its promises. In particular, we took a close look at how easy it is to sign up for the service, the costs, including how far in advance you can view menu options, the delivery experience, and packaging. , what the meals look like and of course, how they taste.
Here’s how our Fresh Meals week went and what you need to keep in mind if you’re looking for a new meal delivery service.
Fresh Review: Fees and Delivery
Freshly offers five plan options, ranging from four meals a week to 12. The smallest box, with four meals, costs $47.16 plus $11.99 shipping, which works out to $14.79 per serving. A fully loaded 12-meal box costs $107.88 plus shipping, or $9.99 per serving. Shipping is a flat rate of $11.99 per box. Menus are available three weeks in advance on the Freshly website.
Freshly offers more than 50 meal options each week, including sides such as refried green beans and stand-alone proteins such as baked turkey meatballs, in addition to standard meals.
The menu caters to a wide variety of dietary needs, including gluten-free, plant-based, dairy-free, and low-calorie options. Each menu item has readily available nutritional information, making Freshly one of the best meal kits for people on specific diets.
Fresh Review: Using Meal Delivery Service
Because all Freshly meals arrive fully prepared and ready to heat and eat, using the kit really couldn’t be easier. The box comes with plenty of ice packs to keep things cool. Then all you have to do is put the dishes in the fridge until dinner time.
Each meal has clear heating instructions on the package. Typically, you’ll need to peel off one corner of the plastic wrap on the meal container and put the dish in the microwave for two to three minutes, then let the meal sit for a few minutes. That’s it! You can eat straight from the plastic dish or cook your own dinner (which Freshly recommends, and so do we). We found that every meal was perfectly hot after the allotted cooking time.
It’s certainly easier to reheat dishes in the microwave, but if you don’t have one, you can reheat them in the oven. Of course, this will take longer, as the oven has to preheat and the food cooks slower than a microwave. You will also need to transfer the food to an ovenproof container, as the plastic dish will melt in the oven.
Fresh Review: Taste and Nutrition
We received three different dishes in our Freshly box. We first tried the house chicken with masterful mac and cheese, which seems to be a favorite as it is a staple on the menu. We were surprised by a few things with this dish. First of all, the chicken coating wasn’t a total mush and actually had a nice texture, even after microwaving. The chicken was incredibly tender and juicy and didn’t even require a knife to cut it. We were also impressed with the portion size of the green beans, which was far from meager.
The macaroni and cheese sauce was creamy and very flavorful. We thought the beans needed a little flavor, so we added hot sauce (which Freshly recommended). The meal was satisfying and had impressive nutritional value (560 calories, 35g carbs, 27g fat, and 46g protein). Plus, since the macaroni and cheese sauce was made with butternut squash, you also get an extra dose of vitamins.
Then we tried a vegetarian meal: Middle Eastern Falafel with garlic tahini sauce and whole grains. To be specific, the whole grains in question are quinoa and rice. This dish was not as tasty as the chicken; the tahini sauce was good but separated a bit when heated which gave the dish an odd texture. The falafel was quite tasty, but lost its crispiness in the microwave. The grains and vegetables (mainly roasted onions) were our favorite part of the dish. It also didn’t serve as well as the chicken, mainly because of the sauce issue.
Finally, we sampled the Bistro French Onion Chicken with Creamy Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Vegetables, which is labeled as a high-protein, gluten-free, and soy-free option. It was the highest calorie meal on our menu, with 630 calories, 42g carbs, 34g fat, and 40g protein. Again the chicken was just as tender as the Homestyle Chicken. The sauce was good and there was a good amount in every bite. There were lots of vegetables too. These were a little overcooked in the microwave, but they were good nonetheless. It was a hearty meal that didn’t feel too heavy.
Freshly review: customer reviews
Freshly scores an impressive 4.9 out of five stars on Trustpilot (opens in a new tab), based on over 12,000 reviews. Customers rave about the convenience factor of the meal delivery service. They say meals help eliminate stress and time to plan and prepare a healthy lunch or dinner. According to one satisfied customer, “With Freshly, I don’t have to think about what I’m going to eat for lunch each day and I feel good knowing I’m eating a healthy meal. I like the convenience!”
Negative reviews tend to be unhappy with the meals’ nutritional values, with one customer citing that they would like to focus more on vegetables and fewer refined carbohydrates.
Should I use Freshly?
If you’re looking for a super-simplified meal solution that lets you skip the grocery store, chop, and even fire up the stove, Freshly is a great solution. Not only are the meals ready in minutes, but they are also tasty and of high quality. On the other hand, if you’re someone who likes to cook, you might be better off using a meal delivery service that sends you single-portioned ingredients and recipe cards to follow, so you can prepare the meals yourself. That being said, Freshly is not an old fashioned dinner show; the meals are healthy, nutritious and, well, fresh!
If this product is not for you
If you still love the ritual of cooking at home, don’t own a microwave, or want a meal kit that will help you hone your cooking skills, consider Marley spoon. You’ll receive pre-measured ingredients and easy-to-follow recipe cards for gourmet recipes inspired by cuisines from around the world.
On the other hand, if you follow a plant-based diet or are trying to eat more vegan meals, Purple Carrot makes it easier to cut back on animal products. You will cook the meals yourself with pre-portioned ingredients and the service includes breakfasts, lunches and dinners.