February 24, 2024
Best Vegetarian Meal Delivery for 2024


What’s the best vegetarian meal kit service?

We tested more than 15 services to see which ones had the best offering of vegetarian meal kits. It turns out the one service that traffics only in vegetarian food, Purple Carrot, is also the best. (They say do one thing and do it well.) I’ve spent more than 100 hours testing my way through well over a dozen meal delivery services, most of which have meatless menus, but none that stack up to the original veggie meal kit operation in terms of quality and inventiveness, making it the best option for most people looking for vegetarian meal kits.

Purple Carrot is the only 100% meatless meal kit, but nearly every service offers some plant-based options. So if you’re a carnivore hoping to eat more veggies or a newbie in the kitchen trying to learn plant-based cooking, other services may be a better fit. There are also fully prepared vegetarian meal subscriptions in case cooking just isn’t something you’re interested in. Again, a service that traffics only in plant-based cooking, Mosaic Foods, came out on top as the best vegetarian premade meal subscription.

We’ve tested meal kits and meal delivery services from several angles — best vegan meal kits (no eggs or dairy), best cheap meal kits and best meal kits for eating healthily. This time we looked at which services provide the best quality, variety and value for vegetarian meal delivery services. I cooked and ate plant-based meals from each and did a deep dive into their weekly menus to curate this list of the best vegetarian meal kits and meal delivery services for 2024.

Best vegetarian meal delivery for 2024

Purple Carrot

Like

  • The best vegetarian recipes we tried
  • Good use of whole ingredients and not a lot of fake meats
  • Up to 15 recipe options per week
  • Ingredients arrived fresh

Don’t like

  • Expensive if you choose meals for two
  • You’ll be locked in to plant-based recipes only

I tested two weeks’ worth of Purple Carrot meal kits and found the recipes to be tasty, interesting and easy to make. I appreciate that Purple Carrot uses whole ingredients and not a ton of meat substitutes. This isn’t vegetarian food to satisfy a meat eater. It’s good, wholesome and unapologetic plant-based cooking. The ingredients for my green curry lentils with brown rice, butternut squash gnocchi, and peanut and avocado Buddha bowl were as fresh as any I’ve received from a meal kit service.

Purple Carrot costs between $11 and $13 per serving and is more expensive than some of the others on this list, but the service also uses a ton of organic ingredients and sources quality produce. You can see and taste the difference when your box of food arrives. Purple Carrot also limits its weekly menu to 15 options per week, all of them vegan. I found Purple Carrot to be deliberate with recipe curation. Sprawling menus of 50-plus recipes can be a chore to choose from, and often the overall quality is sacrificed.

Mosaic Foods

Like

  • Food is consistently good
  • Excellent use of meat substitutes such as jackfruit and tofu
  • Affordable, especially if your order family meals

Don’t like

  • Some meals were heavy
  • $10 shipping on orders of 12 items or fewer

Mosaic Foods is the best vegetarian prepared food we tried. These meals require no cooking at all, just heating and eating. I tried nine of Mosaic’s plant-based prepared meals, including veggie bowls, noodles, flatbreads and oat bowls. There wasn’t a true miss in the bunch.

Mosaic Foods incorporates meat substitutes such as jackfruit, beans, tofu and vegan meats to create flavorful meals that satisfy even this seasoned meat eater. While everything I had from Mosaic was at least good, some favorites were the jackfruit chili, jerk lentil and plantain bowl and tangy Thai noodles.

Aside from being the best plant-based prepared meal service I tried, Mosaic is also one of the cheapest meal subscriptions with family-style meals, starting at $6 a serving, although most single-serving meals are more like $9 or $10 per meal.

Read my full review of Mosaic Foods here.

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Green Chef

Like

  • Mostly organic produce
  • Substitutions are allowed to tailor meals
  • Meal kits are easy to make

Don’t like

  • On the expensive side
  • Don’t expect many leftovers

Green Chef bills itself as one of the healthiest meal kit companies, with mostly organic produce and features nine vegetarian meal kits per week, making it a solid choice if you’re looking to eat less meat or go completely meatless.

I tried Green Chef for a week, and you can read my full Green Chef review here. While it wasn’t my favorite meal kit experience, the results were solid, and it is certainly one of the healthiest meal kit options, whether you’re eating vegan or not. Green Chef actually offers more vegetarian meal kits per week than Purple Carrot, making it a clear contender for the best vegetarian meal kit service, especially if you want variety and eating organic is important to you. Green Chef’s veggie meals are also hearty, with lots of protein-packed chickpeas, nuts and lentils.

Dinnerly

Like

  • Affordable meal kits that don’t take long to prepare
  • As many as 15 meatless options per week
  • Good for kids and families

Don’t like

  • Meals are simple and some can be boring
  • ot many vegan options

Dinnerly meal kits aren’t fancy, but they get the job done and for a fair price, too. Dinnerly’s plans start at $6 per serving, which is ultimately less than if you were to buy all the groceries yourself. Dinnerly might cut corners in some places — simple recipes with basic ingredients — but even at that low consumer cost, the service manages to offer a massive menu with up to 15 vegetarian meal kit recipes per week.

A large portion of those meatless meals are kid-friendly, including a gnocchi bake with cream sauce, vegetarian tacos and basil pesto ravioli. Dinnerly also has about two dozen recipes with meat to choose from, in case you’re not bagging it altogether. Read our full review of Dinnerly here.

David Watsky/CNET

Like

  • Vegetarian meals were excellent
  • Great for those eating some plant-based and some meals with meat
  • Affordable if you choose a larger plan

Don’t like

  • Not a ton of vegetarian options per week
  • Some meals needed some extra spice

Fresh N Lean has several meal plan types including keto, vegan, vegetarian and protein-packed. I’ve tried most of them and have yet to be disappointed. Fresh N Lean meals are cooked well, made with healthy ingredients and are easy to freeze so you can order in bulk and save.

The vegetarian and vegan meal options are limited, but if you’re planning to order a mix of meals with and without meat, you won’t get bored with Fresh N Lean’s menu. This service is perfect for someone trying to eat healthy since recipes are packed with protein and low on empty carbs and unhealthy fats.

Meals are shipped fresh weekly or bi-weekly and cost between $9 and $13 each, depending on the plan you choose. Read our full review of Fresh N Lean here.

Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon

Like

  • Mostly organic ingredients
  • Produce is super fresh
  • Interesting recipes that are easy to make

Don’t like

  • Expensive
  • Only five vegetarian recipes per week

Marley Spoon is Martha Stewart’s meal kit operation and a perfect pick if you’re looking for some veggie meal kits, but not only veggie meal kits. Marley Spoon has as many as 15 plant-based options per week, which is fewer than HelloFresh or Home Chef, but still plenty of choices even for picky eaters, and the quality is excellent. Beyond the inventive vegetarian and vegan recipes, there are dozens of meal kits that have meat to add to your order.

Plans start at around $11 a serving. If you’re looking to incorporate vegan cooking into your diet, but aren’t ready to give up cheese, chicken and fish altogether, give Marley Spoon a try. Read our full Marley Spoon review here.

Daily Harvest

Like

  • Meals are made with mostly organic superfoods
  • Made without meat, dairy, soy or wheat
  • Easily frozen and stored for later
  • Pasta dishes are great and just $5 per serving
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Don’t like

  • Some smoothies are high in sugar
  • Flatbreads are just OK

Daily Harvest is another meal subscription that specializes in plant-based food. All the soups, smoothies, flatbreads, bowls and pasta dishes are made without meat, eggs, dairy, soy and gluten. They’re also loaded with superfoods such as sweet potato, acai, nuts, goji berries and leafy greens.

Daily Harvest makes some excellent dinner meals, particularly the new pasta and rice dishes, which cost only $5 per serving, most of the meals are better suited for breakfast lunch or snacks. Daily Harvest allows plenty of flexibility in meal plans, and it’s easy to cancel or pause a subscription. You can even order a one-time send if subscriptions aren’t your thing.

Most meals need only to be heated and eaten. Smoothies come frozen and assembled in one cup but must be blended with water, milk or a milk alternative. Meals range between $6 and $12 each, and there are more than 100 options to choose from every week. Read more in CNET’s full review of Daily Harvest here.

Other vegetarian meal delivery services we tried

  • HelloFresh: This popular meal kit service has loads of weekly options and is a fine choice if you’re looking for easy weeknight meal kits and tons of options.
  • Sunbasket: This service is comparable to Sunbasket in offerings and cost. It’s a solid pick for those seeking plant-based meal kits with options for meat too.
  • CookUnity: This is one of our favorite prepared meal services, but it’s on the expensive side and isn’t worth the money if you’re choosing mostly plant-based meals.
  • Territory Foods: This healthy meal service has only a few plant-based offerings on its menu, and they cost between $15 and $17.
  • BistroMD: These meals are intended to promote weight loss. The meals with meat are good, but the plant-based recipes are bland.
  • Home Chef: This meal kit service is good for families and has many plant-based meals. That said, there’s too much plastic packaging, and many of the recipes we tried weren’t exciting.
  • Rootberry:These plant-based meals were good but not great, and the menu is limited.
  • EveryPlate: This meal kit service is our favorite cheap meal kit service overall, but the plant-based offerings lack imagination.
  • Sakara Life: While all the food we tried from this trendy, organic, 100% plant-based meal delivery was great (and Instagram-ready), it’s just far too expensive.
  • Gobble: This meal kit service is solid and offers five or six plant-based options per week. That said, it’s also expensive with plans ranging from $12 to $15 per serving.

purple carrot recipes from website purple carrot recipes from website

Purple Carrot had the best meu of plant-based recipes each week.

Screenshot by CNET

Vegetarian meal delivery services compared

Service Veg options per week Subscription only Price per serving (entree) Shipping CNET rating (out of 10)
Mosaic Foods (prepared) 50+ Yes $9 Free if you order 12 meals 9.2
Purple Carrot 8 Yes $12 Free 8.6
Fresh N Lean (prepared) 12 Yes $9-$13 Free 9.2
Marley Spoon 5-7 Yes $11-$14 $8 9
Green Chef 10-12 Yes $13 $11 8.4
Daily Harvest (prepared) 50+ No $9 Free 8.8

How we test plant-based meal delivery services

meal kit ingredients meal kit ingredients

The before shot of my seared polenta cakes with veggies and marinara. 

David Watsky/CNET

To test each service, I tried at least five and sometimes as many as 10 or 12 meals from any given service. I chose a range of meals from the various menu and meal plan offerings. For instance, I mixed up the meal types to include pasta, rice bowls, soups, salads or any other vegetarian options offered by the brand.

When ordering, I took note of each meal delivery service’s website, including what information was provided (ingredients, nutritional info), how the menu was organized and how simple it was to pick a meal plan and order meals. When they arrived, I noted how securely they were packaged and checked whether each meal was still chilled or frozen.

polenta cakes polenta cakes

Easy and interesting. Gobble has some interesting plant-based meal kits to choose from.

David Watsky/CNET

Testing meal kits requires cooking, of course, and thus different practices and procedures for evaluation. Here’s more on how we test meal kits at CNET.

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To reheat prepared meals, I took a twofold approach. For some meals, I meticulously followed the heating instructions on the label. But since these are merely suggestions, I reheated other meals the way I would if left to my own devices. Often that meant warming them in a nonstick skillet or reheating them in my air fryer.

Factors to consider when choosing a vegan meal delivery service

Meal kits or prepared meals

hand holding lentil bowl meal hand holding lentil bowl meal

Prepared meals take almost no effort to prepare.

David Watsky

The first decision to make is whether you want vegetarian meal kits, which require some prep and cooking, or a prepared meal service that sends fully cooked meals that are ready to heat and eat. Meal kits will take more of your time and energy, but they’ll also cost a little less per serving and you’ll have truly fresh, plant-based meals.

Prepared plant-based meals require almost no time and energy to prepare, just heating, but typically run a few bucks more per serving. If you don’t enjoy cooking or need a break for a few meals each week, prepared meal services are the way to go.

Types of meals: 100% plant-based or a mix of meat and meatless

veggie bowl on table veggie bowl on table

Marley Spoon is a good option if you want a mix of vegetarian recipes and meals with meat.

Marley Spoon

Some vegetarian meal delivery services such as Purple Carrot and Mosaic Foods specialize in only plant-based foods. Other services have veggie options mixed in with the weekly menus containing recipes with meat. Decide if you want to go full force with your plant-based diet or give yourself the option of a few meals per week or month with chicken or salmon.

Most meal kit services allow for flexibility in deciding if you want vegetarian, meals with meat or a mix of both, even after you’ve signed up.

Cost and pricing

dinnerly veggie meal kit dinnerly veggie meal kit

Dinnerly’s vegetarian meal kits start at $6 per serving. There are typically more than 10 meatless options per week.

Dinnerly

Vegetarian meal kit delivery services range from around $6 to $13 per serving. If you want the most bang for your buck, choosing a budget-friendly meal kit such as Dinnerly or Blue Apron and selecting plant-based recipes will be your best bet. Mosaic Foods also has family-size meals that cost just $6 per serving, making it the most affordable vegan prepared-meal subscription we’ve tried. The more servings per week you order, the cheaper the per-serving price will be.

Speaking of which…

Number of meals and servings

Most meal services have a minimum number of meals you must order per week, but some are higher than others. For meal kits, you’ll want to order only the amount of servings you know you’ll cook and eat in a week since most of the ingredients can’t be frozen. Or choose recipes that freeze well so you can save leftovers for a rainy day.

Most prepared meals offer more flexibility since you can typically freeze them to thaw and eat later so you don’t have to worry about ordering too much. Although some, including Sakara life, send fresh salads and veggie bowls that may not be suitable for freezing.

Vegetarian meal delivery FAQs

Dinnerly and EveryPlate are the two cheapest vegetarian meal kit services with plant-based options starting at $6 a serving. Daily Harvest is the cheapest vegetarian prepared meal service with family-style meals for $5 a serving.

Yes. Purple Carrot meal kits are 100% plant-based and vegan. The recipes contain no animal products or byproducts.

If you’re trying to incorporate plant-based recipes into your weekly routine, a vegetarian meal kit is probably worth it. Some meal kits are as cheap or cheaper than buying the groceries yourself and will save you time shopping, meal planning and even with some of the ingredient prep.

Some services give you a discount for ordering only plant-based recipes. Most meal kits, however, have fixed meal plans that don’t vary based on the type of diet you’re following.