Healthy home-cooked meals are essential to a balanced diet. Hectic lives and busy days can prevent that from happening as often as we would like. Whether it is hard to find inspiration, a lack of know-how, or a shortage of time and energy, cooking dinner can become a stressful chore.
It doesn’t have to be this way, though. Meal delivery services make the process of grocery shopping and cooking much easier. We like the inventive and exciting recipes as they are easy to follow, so you don’t need to be an expert in the kitchen. They take away the pressure and the hard work of delivering tasty and high-quality meals for our family.
There are lots of good options to choose from when it comes to meal delivery services. They each have different benefits, so it is just a case of finding the right one for you. We tried out Dinnerly to see what it has to offer and hope it helps you choose the best service for your needs.
Dinnerly focuses on making evenings easier, so they provide the ingredients and recipes for home-cooked meals without any fuss. They keep things simple with fresh ingredients and digital recipe cards. Each meal in their selection contains different tags, so you can search based on dietary requirements, kid-friendly, one-pot meals, and the time it takes to cook.
The first step is to choose your box; there is a two-person box or a family box for four. There is a choice for the number of meals per week. Once you have picked the number of meals you would like per week, you complete your sign-up information and choose your meals.
Each week there is a range of interesting and tasty meals to choose from. You’ll find lots of nutritionally balanced meals. We like the seasonal ingredients, which kept the meal choices fresh. There are several different cuisine types, meaning Dinnerly will suit many tastes.
Just reading the descriptions of the Dinnerly recipes made our mouths water. The range of ingredients and flavours included impressed us. In fact, everything sounded so good that we found it hard to make our selection. It was very easy to be healthy, with tasty low-calorie and low-carb meals.
Compared to other meal delivery services, it isn’t as straightforward to search and find recipes as there isn’t a cookbook or recipe search function. You can, however, easily browse through the options for the coming weeks, using the appetizing pictures to make decisions.
The menu displays meals with helpful icons and tags to help you choose. We found it useful to glance at the top corner to find out what the main ingredient of the dish was. There are symbols for meat, fish, and vegetarian meals. Colourful tags tell you whether the meal is fast, better than takeout, and whether it can be cooked in one pan.
We loved the idea that we would receive just enough to make the dish, so there would be no waste. One of our favourite things about Dinnerly is the handy information they provide on the online menu. We knew exactly what we were getting, whether we needed oil and salt and pepper, and which kitchenware we would need.
Here are some of our favourite meals:
Pumpkin Spice Tortelloni with Baby Spinach. This meal was quick to make, we had it ready in 20 minutes, and the results were great! There weren’t too many ingredients or complicated processes, but the flavour was much more refined than our usual attempts at cooking. We would definitely choose this again!
Crispy fried shrimp with garlic butter broccoli and fries. We didn’t think we had this in us; in fact, we felt sure something would go wrong. That made us even more impressed when we delivered delicious crispy shrimp. There was an option to cook in the oven to make it easier, but we decided to be bold, and the recipe instructions really helped us. We now feel confident to add more fish and seafood recipes to our repertoire.
Everything bagel burger with home fries & creamy chive schmear. This meal was a favourite with everyone at the table. We picked it as a takeout alternative, and we’re so happy we did. The extra touches in the instructions, like toasting the buns, were things we wouldn’t have thought of, and really made a difference. The flavour combinations were spot on.
Caramel chicken stir-fry with snow peas and jasmine rice. This sweet and sour dairy-free dish livened up our evening. We were cooking with ingredients that we weren’t familiar with, but they were incredibly tasty. The ginger, garlic, and teriyaki sauce made us realize we could successfully blend strong flavors.
Plans & Pricing
There are two boxes to choose from at Dinnerly. The two-person plan, which serves two, or the family plan, which serves four. Depending on the number of meals you want to be delivered each week, you can opt to make your box vegetarian.
The two-person box has the option to receive 3, 4, or 5 recipes a week. With the family box, you can also choose 3, 4, or 5 recipes a week. The boxes are helpfully broken down into price per serving as well as the weekly total including shipping.
The two-person plan costs $4.99 per serving, if you choose 3 recipes a week, $4.89 for 4 recipes, and $4.79 for 5 recipes per week. The weekly totals are $38.93, $48,11, and $56.89, respectively.
The family box also costs $4.99 per serving for 3 recipes a week, $4.69 for 4, and $4.49 for 5 recipes. That makes the weekly totals $68.87 for 3, $84.03 for 4, and $98.79 for 5 recipes a week.
There is a flat rate for shipping, so whether you choose the two-person box or the family box, you will pay the same price. You will also pay the $8.99 shipping fee if you choose 3, 4, or 5 meals per week.
Dinnerly was an easy and efficient service to use. We could pause our deliveries if we didn’t need our box that week, and the insulated packaging meant our ingredients always stayed fresh. We didn’t run out of tasty or balanced meals to choose from, and it didn’t challenge our cooking abilities too much.
All of that meant that cooking in the evening was fun rather than stressful. We loved the prices of the portions but were a bit put off by the shipping cost. Overall, we were impressed with what Dinnerly had to offer.
Pros & Cons
We really enjoyed receiving and cooking our Dinnerly boxes. They were filling meals, but we noticed some downsides to the service, too.