Vegan meal kits can be a timesaver for busy households, cutting out the time spent shopping and on meal prep, and recent studies show they can even be an eco friendly option by cutting down on food waste. If you’ve been thinking of getting a vegan meal kit delivery, but aren’t sure which to choose, I’ve got you covered!
If you’ve looked around, you may have noticed many (but not all!) meal prep delivery services don’t offer vegan options. Fortunately, more and more meal kit providers are putting out vegan options, and some all-vegan meal kits are out there now too. I combed through the menu of 24 meal kit providers, and chose the 7 best ones for vegan meal delivery nationwide (plus one in Canada). Read on to find out which vegan meal box is best, plus how the costs compare.
Note: this article compares US-based meal kits (and one Canadian option). To see the UK version of the article, click here.
Vegan Meal Kit Comparison Tablep
|Name of company||Price per serving||Special features||Buy|
|Purple Carrot||$7.99||All-vegan company|
|Sun Basket||$10.99||Organic. Dietitian approved.|
|PlateJoy||n/a, $8/month||Meal planner service|
|Takeout Kit||$6.75||Long shelf life. Global takeout style.|
|Hungry Root||n/a, $4.71 per item||Mix and match, make your own from ingredients|
|Peach Dish||$12.50||Southern style food|
|Plant Prepped (Canada)||CAD$11.66||All-vegan company|
What are vegan meal kits?
If you’ve ever looked for easy vegan meal prep, you’ve likely come across two different concepts: meal kits and vegan prepared meal delivery. What’s the difference between the two?
- Meal kits are boxes of pre-prepped ingredients, which you still have to cook at home. Usually they come with pre-measured spices and sauces and sometimes even pre-chopped veggies.
- Meal delivery consists of refrigerated or frozen vegan meals, delivered to your home. All you need to do is reheat and eat.
In this article, I’m going to be focusing on vegan meal kits, but if you’re interested in vegan meal delivery, I have an article devoted to that.
Unfortunately many of the biggest meal kit services, like Blue Apron and Hello Fresh, don’t provide vegan options, or they provide one only once every few weeks. In fact, on Blue Apron’s site, they advise vegan customers to buy vegetarian meal kits and just ‘don’t use’/throw away the non-vegan parts of the recipes, like cheese. This is completely unacceptable for most vegans, who don’t buy animal products out of ethical or environmental concerns, and even for those who are plant-based for health reasons, this is a really wasteful practice (environmentally and cost-wise). I was really unimpressed with this advice.
Fortunately, as you’ll see below in the vegan meal delivery reviews, more and more vegan meal prep companies are springing up, and meal kit providers are starting to offer plant-based boxes.
Why and when to order vegan meal prep delivery
Meal kits can be a great way to save time if you’re pressed for it, for example if you’re going through a busy period at work, are in the middle of a move, or have just had a baby. They still require some cooking time, but they cut out most of the food prep and shopping time required to make home-cooked meals.
A vegan meal prep service is the right fit for you if any of the following are true:
- You want to cook plant-based meals at home, but lack the time to shop and prep ingredients. Ideally you have around 15-30 minutes available to cook meals (as meal kits still require some cooking)
- You’re new to a vegan diet and don’t know what to make/need inspiration, or are looking for a vegan beginner meal plan
- You’re pressed for time because you just had a baby, moved house or are going through a busy time
If you are really busy and don’t have the 15-30 minutes of time to cook, I recommend looking at vegan meal delivery services. Click here to read my review of vegan food delivery services.
However, bear in mind they’re more expensive than cooking from scratch, while being less expensive than takeout or getting prepared frozen/refrigerated meals delivered. Plus, they create a lot of packaging waste (although the environmental effect of this vs food waste is debatable; see below).
Are meal kits eco friendly?
You may be wondering if there’s such a thing as an eco meal kit, and questioning the eco credentials of mainstream meal kit providers, most of whom talk about recycling on their sites while sending out ingredients packed in individual plastic packages. Most people (including myself) wonder how an industry that generate so much waste can ever be eco friendly.
However, looks may be deceiving. Recent studies indicate that in spite of the packaging waste generated many of these products, their average greenhouse gas emissions are LOWER than shopping for ingredients in a supermarket and cooking meals from the food you bought there.
Yeah, I was shocked too.
The reason for this is partly because of supply chains, and mostly down to food waste. Because meal kits send you the exact amount of food you need for a recipe, there’s no food waste. And food waste currently is currently a huge contributor to climate change. If food waste were a country, it would the third biggest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions on earth, after the US and China.
So, ordering a food kit just might reduce your footprint. If you’re already running a zero waste/low waste kitchen, that’s unlikely to be the case (so keep up what you’re doing!). However, if you’re like most people and throw away a lot of food that has gone bad every week, a food kit can help. If you’re switching from meals including to meat to incorporate a few plant-based meals a week using a meal kit, this will have an even bigger effect on reducing your eco footprint, as studies cutting meat and dairy from the diet can cut an individual’s carbon footprint from food by 73%.
However, other studies indicate that packaging is a major problem. I’ve noted which companies use compostable, biodegradable or recyclable packaging below.
Best vegan meal prep kits
If you’re trying to choose the right vegan meal service for you, you’ll want to consider what’s most important to you: price, range of vegan choice, whether ingredients are organic, etc. I’ve outlined the best vegan meal delivery services below, along with the key facts for each in terms of price, vegan options, special diets/allergies, etc.
Each company has its own distinct offering and some are quite unique! From all-vegan meal kit companies to a service that replicates takeout meals to a company that provides meal plans and allows you to do the cooking, there’s a wide range of choice! Read on for the vegan meal kit reviews.
Cost: from $7.99 per serving
Vegan options: 100% vegan
Special Features: Gluten-free options available on the TB12 plan
Exclusive discount: “carrot30″ to get $30 off your first order!
Purple Carrot is the only vegan meal plan delivery that’s a 100% vegan company. That means you won’t be relegated to choosing from just a small handful of options from a weekly menu; everything is plant-based!
You’ll be able to choose 3 or 6 meals from the menu each week (each making two servings). The menu varies, so you won’t get sick of having the same meals, and some of the dishes sound really inventive and delicious. You might get to choose from Japanese gnocchi with miso tomato butter, a chickpea quinoa bowl with roast broccoli and creamy almond dressing or seitan shawarma bowls with tzatziki sauce and a cherry tomato salad.
They state on their site packaging is recyclable, depending on what your community accepts, and they give a breakdown of each component used. It’s important to check what your local recycling program does and doesn’t accept.
Unfortunately, they’re not able to accommodate allergies but they do have gluten-free options on the TB12 meal plan. They also don’t offer organic ingredients (if you want a meal kit that’s organic, check out Sun Basket or Green Chef). I was a bit surprised that many of the vegetables require chopping and aren’t pre-prepared, and dishes use multiple appliances/pans (make sure your kitchen is well-stocked with the essential kitchen tools for vegans!). Another common complaint is that some of their recipes require the use of multiple pans. Who wants to dirty lots of pots and pans, especially when using a vegan meal kit delivery to save time? However, it can be a good way to try out recipes you wouldn’t otherwise try, as long as you don’t mind a bit of extra prep.
Discount: use “carrot30″ to get $30 off your first order!
vegan and healthy
Cost: from $10.99 per serving
Vegan options: Vegan options
Packaging: Recyclable and/or biodegradable
Special Features: Organic ingredients used. Dietitian approved.
Sun Basket's vegan meal subscription box uses organic ingredients and their vegan meal delivery box (like their other boxes) are dietitian approved. Their in-house dietitian ensures all recipes comply with the latest nutritional guidelines.
Plus, the recipes in their vegan food kit are designed to take less than 30 minutes to prepare, saving your time.
Sun Basket is a little more expensive per serving than other brands, but their ingredients are organic and seasonal, plus they have great reviews, with most poeple enjoying their meals and saying the food arrived in good condition.
They've upped their packaging game in the last year and worked to make all the components of the packaging either recyclable or biodegradable (of course, it may depend on what your local recycling center accepts, so always check).
On Sun Basket, can select the Vegan Plan and choose the recipes you want from there. The menu varies by week, but you might choose from recipes like BBQ tofu burgers with kale slaw or spicy chipotle red bean and sweet potato hash with tempeh.
If you'd like some additional sides or snacks, they have add-ons (with vegan options marked) in the form of salads and snacks (like crackers or veggies with dips).
vegan and organic
Cost: from $9.99 per serving
Vegan options: Vegan options
Special Features: Organic ingredients used. GMO-free.
Green Chef is perfect for you if you're looking for a vegan diet meal plan kit that's also completely organic.
One thing I'd like to see changed is how to filter/find the vegan delivery box on their site. Their vegan and vegetarian meal kit delivery services are grouped together under the Plant Powered menu section of their site, which means it's somewhat difficult to see which meals are fully vegan, and which are vegetarian, unless you click onto the individual recipe page and look at the labels.
On the plus side, Green Chef's recipes sound really creative and good, with past recipes ranging from vegan tempeh crab cakes with basil-lemon aioli and arugula slaw to a maple cauliflower power bowl with quinoa, kale, pecans, cranberries and a herby tahini-miso sauce. Plus, one that I've never come across in all my years of cooking and would love to try: apricot-glazed tofu (served with rosemary-roasted potatoes and salad).
Looking at their menus, they seem to have a decent number of gluten-free options on the vegan menu, but since it varies, it's not guaranteed they'll have vegan gluten free delivery kits available every week.
Green Chef's packaging is recyclable (depending on your local community) and they also offset all their carbon emissions as a company, which is a step in the right direction. I'd like to see other companies on this list do the same.
Cost: from $8/month
Vegan options: Vegan options
Special Features: Great for new vegans. A meal plan creator, rather than meal kit delivery service. Perfect if you want to save money. Gluten free options. Nut free options.
PlateJoy is completely different to the other vegan meal prep companies here. Rather than selling vegan meal kit services where pre-measured food is sent to you, PlateJoy offers a vegan and vegetarian meal plan service. They send you meal plans, and you do the shopping and cooking -- or if you prefer not to do the shopping, you can use the grocery delivery service they've partnered with.
Setting up PlateJoy is simple. You just tell enter some details, like your dietary requirements (they have a vegan option!), how many people you cook for and how much time you have available to cook, and they'll create a meal plan that meets your requirements and preferences.
The questionnaire is really thorough. You can add additional requirements, for example if you have allergies (you can select gluten free, peanut free etc.) or if you need to eat a low-sodium diet. You'll also be asked if you prefer seasonal ingredients or don't mind out-of-season ingredients. You can even note ingredients you prefer to avoid, like spicy food or cilantro for all those cilantro haters out there!
Other questions PlateJoy asks are whether you want budget-friendly foods or more variety that may cost more, whether you want to batch-cook (and save money) or make smaller amounts, whether you want to try new flavors or prefer familiar and family-friendly flavors and which appliances you have.
PlateJoy's algorithm actually takes 50+ data points into consideration to construction your personalized meal plans. If you don't like any of the dishes on your meal plan, you can delete them permanently.
You can also select how many of each meal of the day you're planning to cook this week -- I love the flexibility it gives, especially considering how often many of us change our mind last minute about eating out.
Once you've made a meal plan for the week, you have the option of printing out a shopping list or ordering ingredients through Instacart, which deliveries groceries in most major cities.
One feature I really love is that they ask you which ingredients you already have in your pantry, so you're not ordering more than you need or wasting any food! Another feature I like is that they combine recipes in the meal plans to minimize food waste.
PlateJoy is ideal if you want help planning meals, are just transitioning to vegan and aren't sure what to eat or you've been stuck in a food rut and need some new recipes and inspiration. It makes figuring out what to eat much easier, and saves time, while still allowing you to make fresh, home-cooked meals. It's also a much more budget-friendly option and it means if you're concerned about packaging waste you can shop for groceries as normal.
Plus, it's much more complete than many meal kits, which usually only provider dinner and/or lunch -- PlateJoy provides recipes for unlimited meals, including breakfast and snacks.
You can try the first 10 days for free. Find out more here.
Use discount code "THEVEGANWORD" to get $10 off!
Cost: from $6.75 per portion
Vegan options: Vegan options
Packaging: mostly recyclable
Special Features: Long shelf life. No subscription required. Available on Amazon.
Takeout Kit has a completely different take on vegan meal box delivery than the traditional meal kit service. Rather than being a vegan meal prep service that sends pre-prepared ingredients to your home weekly, Takeout Kit makes an alternative to takeout food, allowing you to eat your way around the world and explore new cuisines without having to buy expensive authentic bottles and sauces that you won't be able to use up.
I also think it would make a fun alternative to takeout with your family and friends. Each box serves 4 people so you could turn it into a fun night in, try a new dish and save some money in the process!
Their global takeout vegan delivery boxes contain enough spices, sauces and other authentic ingredients to make 4 servings of a takeout-style meal. You just need to add fresh ingredients.
Because they don't send fresh produce like the standard vegan meal subscription box, their boxes contain only shelf-stable ingredients and last a long time. You can always have ingredients on hand, and choose when to make a meal. The downside, of course, is you need to buy your own fresh ingredients.
Meals come together quickly, in 25-40 minutes, and boxes contain high-quality, hard-to-find authentic ingredients, pre-portioned for you.
Since they don't include fresh ingredients, it contains far less packaging than most meal kits. Most of it is recyclable.
They have some vegan boxes, all of which are available to order on Amazon, so if you're looking for an Amazon fresh meal kit with vegan meal delivery nationwide, here you are. The vegan options are:Vietnamese pho noodle soup kit Pad Thai meal kit Sichuan mapo tofu meal kit Ethiopian lentils (misr wat) & injera meal kit Indian chana masala meal kit
I think these would also make a good gift! Personally, I'd go for the Ethiopian lentils & injera meal kit -- Ethiopian food is SO good, but injera is almost impossible to find! I've tried many times and even in a global city like London, it's incredibly difficult to buy (I've never actually found anywhere to buy it).Click here for more information
Cost: from $4.71 per item (but some of these are sauces, not entire meals)
Vegan options: Vegan options
Special Features: Everything is pre-prepared and takes just minutes to assemble. Some organic items.
Hungry Root is probably the best vegan meal prep delivery service if you're really pressed for time, as you can assemble meals in 10 minutes or less. Unlike other vegan and vegetarian meal prep delivery services, which still require you to chop or cook, pretty much everything is pre-done for you with Hungry Root.
Hungry Root is different from other vegan and vegetarian meal subscription services in that it doesn't send you a meal kit, per se. Instead, it sends you a selection of healthy ingredients.
You'll be sent pre-cut veggies, prepared grains and proteins, and sauces and dressings, which you just need to mix together and assemble.
You can combine them how you like, although they do provide suggestions.
They say everything they send is either ready to eat right away, or can be assembled in minutes.
You can select vegan from your preferences, along with any allergies.
It's difficult to compare price-wise, since they price per item, rather than per meal. Packaging is recyclable (depending on your area) but since everything is pre-prepared, it does have more waste than other vegan and vegetarian meal plan delivery services.
Cost: $12.50 per serving
Vegan options: Vegan options
Packaging: Recyclable (at home, or for a small fee you can mail materials back to them to be recycled)
Special Features: Southern food
Southern food and vegan may not be the most obvious combination, particularly considering how meat-heavy a lot of Southern dishes can be. However, Peach Dish is busting that myth by providing vegan options! This Southern style meal kit service operates out of Atlanta, and they say they're a perfect way to "discover the farm-fresh taste of the South." And yes, they have vegan options! They provide at least one, but sometimes more, per week. You can easily filter dishes of the week by what's vegan on their site.
One thing I like about Peach Dish is that you can either order a subscription, or you can order a "guest box" (meaning no subscription or commitment). This is good because a lot of vegetarian meal prep service companies require you to get a subscription, and that means cancelling or skipping a week can be a bit of a pain. It's especially handy with Peach Dish, since the number of their vegan options varies by week. Some weeks, they may only have one option, and you might want to skip that week.
Vegan options might include roasted okra and peppers with a peanut vinaigrette over farro grains, a fresh corn, herb and potato soup with tomato-basil sandwiches or an ATL (avocado, tempeh bacon, lettuce) sandwich with Georgia peaches.
Packaging is recyclable and on their site they provide information on how to recycle locally or reuse. A feature I like is that they also offer the option of shipping packaging back to them for a small fee, so they can recycle it in the most efficient way.
Cost: from CAD$11.66 per serving
Vegan options: Fully vegan
Packaging: Recyclable and compostable
Special Features: Best vegan delivery service for those in Quebec/Ontario. Gluten-free and soy-free options.
Plant Prepped is an all-vegan meal kit service shipping to most of Quebec and Ontario. It's the best vegan meal delivery service in Canada (well, in fact, it's the only all-vegan meal kit service in Canada that I know of!).
Dishes vary by week, and might include a chickpea "tuna" melt, carbonara with smoky mushrooms and seared asparagus or a baked tofu Buddha bowl with brown rice, sauteed bok choy and a creamy peanut and ginger dressing.
They also have gluten-free and soy-free options available on request.
Plant Prepped's packaging is made out of 80% recycled content and is recyclable itself and the rest of packaging is mostly recyclable, biodegradable or compostable. The coolers food is shipped in are made out of corn and can be dissolved in water and used as plant food or even used as fire starters. Their large containers are made out of plastic and are recyclable and smaller containers are made out of corn and compostable. I like their use of compostable materials! They seem to have a greater proportion of compostable packaging than other companies in the space.
Plant Prepped works with local and artisanal suppliers and try to source local and organic ingredients as much as possible. For example, their soy products are made with soybeans that are grown in Canada and GMO free. Their tempeh is from a producer in Quebec.
Best vegan meal delivery services
If you don't have time to cook, you might prefer vegan food delivered, rather than a meal kit, which requires some cooking time. If you want vegan and vegetarian meals delivered to your door, I've put together a guide to the best meal delivery for vegetarians and vegans here.
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Still looking for some vegan cooking inspiration? Maybe instead of a meal kit, you'd prefer to take a vegan cooking class or look through some vegan magazines or vegan cookbooks for inspiration. Or, if you're just looking to try new foods, a vegan snack box subscription might be right up your street.
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