Freshly Meal Delivery Service Review for 2022
If you're going to use a meal delivery service, have an idea of what your needs might be in the future. If you're just getting started with something like keto or paleo, for instance, you'll be searching for keto food delivery or paleo food delivery options. If you want a family option that's optimal for picky eaters (read: everyone), focus on that instead. There are tons of options available and not all are right for everyone. In fact, few are right for most people — but they do exist.
Freshly does have a meal plan option for subscribers that are looking for more of a meal delivered in one swoop versus the individual product choices. The Freshly meal plan covers everything from sandwiches, salads, and beverages to soups and desserts. It's intended to serve as an on-ramp to the curated assortment of eight seasonal options — or your choice of four regular meals each month. Each month's menu is born out of a seasonally inspired theme, with a different type of cuisine featured each month. You'll be able to pick one main course, two secondary items (such as sides), two desserts and at least one drink.
The Freshly meal plan offers a very curated experience, in contrast with the more healthy, personalized options out there. It also accommodates a wide range of food preferences and food allergies and even diet restrictions. If you're looking to be more flexible than the individual item plans that are so popular they can break the bank, Freshly is absolutely a good option.
- Varied reviews on the food quality
- Some meals are a bit simple; others need some doctoring to taste great
- Freshly doesn't offer meal plans or an option to select meals each month
Freshly may be one of the best-known meal delivery services, but is it one of the best?
The idea behind meal delivery services is a brilliant one: give people delicious, ready-made meals they can just heat and eat, while providing them with enough variety that they don't completely lose interest in the health and performance benefits of a healthy diet. While many companies try to claim the throne, only a few have truly refined their craft. Will you find that at Freshly?
Is Freshly any good?
The first dish that I pulled together was a stirfry, which is a staple of any healthy diet. While it's not an overwhelming amount of food per serving, you have the option to customize everything ranging from the amount of protein to the amount of vegetables needed and even to add in some hot sauce or other spices.
To start things off, I chose four vegetable options (broccoli and cauliflower -- one red pepper and one yellow pepper) with three different proteins -- tofu, chicken breast and shrimp. The provided recipe said to cook everything separately with coconut oil (I use olive oil), garlic powder, ginger, cayenne pepper and white wine vinegar -- which I did on my own.
How does Freshly work?
The problem with the frozen meals is that they are rather expensive. They're a bit tighter on time and suggest to commit to an entire month or so at a time.
If you are seeking out organic, non-GMO, and high quality online vegan meal delivery service, it is not there. The company claims that it is one of the best because its meals are 100 percent vegan & healthy and that the diet does not require special food preparation nor does it restrict ingredients.
Online food delivery is growing in popularity and has been in operation for several years now. But even still, one wonders if most companies are legitimate and what are their motives?
With the vast amount of options available to eat out these days, it can be difficult to pick a place to go. When we began researching meal delivery services in 2016 we thought, "Why order lunch when you can have it delivered right to your door?" We just didn't expect such robust selection and quality.
Freshly comes with a lot of promise: they offer dishes that range from vegan appetizers to full-on entrées. The site has over fifty different options, with everything from fresh fish to vegetarian fare.
The company was founded in 2013 by a pair of Stanford grads who grew up with a grandmother who cooked for them. The founders were inspired to create a healthy and convenient meal delivery service, as well as answer the question of "What if we could eat healthy all the time?"
The Freshly meals are designed by well-known chefs from some of the best restaurants in San Francisco. Each menu is influenced by seasonal eating, which can include ingredients such as produce, herbs, and spices. The company uses organic and local ingredients wherever possible.
Freshly is one of the top online meal delivery services in 2022. They deliver meals based on your own unique dietary needs or restrictions to ensure that you get only the healthiest meals possible.
The Freshly team works very hard to ensure that your meal is delivered safely. Each meal is inspected by a chef prior to delivery, so if any food is damaged or spoiled due to transport, it will be immediately removed from the order and replaced.
They make sure that all the ingredients are clean and completely free of pesticides and other harmful chemicals. So what are you waiting for?
How much do Freshly meals cost?
Depending on the plan you choose, Freshly meals clock in between $9 and $11.79 per meal. It's certainly more expensive than cooking at home, overall, but it's cheaper than takeout and healthier, generally speaking. There are shipping costs as well that vary somewhat but generally don't exceed $10 per box.
Environmental impact and packaging
The company is also environmentally conscious in a number of ways. For starters, they only deliver what you order so that you aren't paying for excess packaging, and since their food is delivered fresh, it doesn't have to sit on a truck or plane in transit which reduces the carbon footprint left by the delivery service itself.
Delivery frequency, plans, and holidays
Freshly delivers on most weekdays but not over weekends.
Is Freshly meal delivery any good?
I also appreciated that the menu was set up so that you could add more or less food to your plan. Most plans let you pick from one to three meals out of a list but with Freshly you can choose from a variety of recipes, from those with lots of protein to ones that make better use of vegetables and less meat. I've never had any trouble getting an order on time but in case I did, I'd just contact Freshly customer service for help.
Review for each of the Freshly meals I had
Mexican steak bowl: This was closer to a salad than a bowl, though it has the same toppings as an Asian-style grilled chicken bowl. The black beans and cilantro-lime vinaigrette were excellent, but I would have liked more vegetables with my steak.
Fiesta quinoa burrito: I like that Freshly offers little twists on traditional dishes, and this burrito is no exception -- it's hearty, filling, and flavorful with just the right amount of spice. It comes with guacamole which is nice when you're in the mood for something a little different.
Turkey wrap: Turkey is a meat that I am not usually a fan of eating, especially in a wrap. But the Freshly turkey wrap is really good, and I can see myself wanting to eat it again. The cranberry barbecue sauce isn't overbearing and the wrap is complete with all the fixings -- lettuce, tomato, cheese, turkey, avocado aioli -- and tastes great with the fresh green salad that comes with it.
Tandoori fish wrap: I do love a good tandoori-style, so this was one of my favorite recipes. The fresh salmon is quite tasty and moist and the spices, especially the garam masala, are just right. I'm never a fan of avocado but I enjoyed it in this wrap. The greens are also good for an added crunch and flavor.
Butternut squash bowl with pumpkin seed dressing: This was one of my least successful Freshly meals because it lacked enough flavor that complemented the squash. Though it was healthy -- both the squash and the quinoa are good for you -- some spice would have really helped this meal out.
Creamy kale and brown rice bowl with shiitake mushroom and ginger dressing: This was a complete winner. The creamy sauce is rich and flavorful, yet the brown rice and the shiitake mushrooms offer a healthy side to this meal. I loved the crunch from the salad greens topped with pine nuts. The ginger dressing also did quite a nice job of bringing out that flavor in this dish.
Wild Alaska salmon bowl: This was one of my favorite bowls for its variety of ingredients, especially because it had salmon and an asparagus side that wasn't overpowering. This was a meal that I would want to order again.
Chipotle chicken bowl: I like chipotle sauce and sometimes enjoy it on rice, so the combination of chipotle and chicken really appealed to me. The sour cream, cilantro, and cheddar cheese were certainly tasty additions to this recipe as well.
Pumpkin seed walnut pesto chicken wrap with kale and roasted sweet potato: Like all of Freshly's wraps, this was made for an easy meal that can be eaten at work or school. It's quick to heat up in the microwave or oven and delivers a lot of flavor in a few minutes or less.
5-grain and brussels sprouts bowl: This was one of my favorite recipes. I love the healthy ingredients and the taste they bring to a meal. The dish may not look like much but it's rich in flavor from the nutty grains and dressing, which packs a punch with its mix of spices.
Skillet shrimp bowl: Shrimp cooked in garlic, red pepper flakes, onion, and spices is always quite tasty. Though this recipe uses artichokes as the main ingredient, I would have liked it better if it had come with more vegetables.
Secrets to making your Freshly meals even better
How to make it not-so-bad for you: Swap out the cheese or swap in a nut butter (like almond or cashew). Some of the Freshly meals have dairy, but that can be swapped out with soymilk or a nut milk. You will have to check food labels to make sure no dairy is used in the meal. Also, if you order your dish with bread and make this swap, you'll get much more for your money because bread is loaded with sodium. I like to use almond butter wiped on slices of whole grain bread.
The verdict on Freshly meal delivery
Freshly meal delivery is geared towards busy people who don't have time to cook, and I can understand that. If you're someone who likes a variety of new and healthy foods, this isn't the way to go. For those of us who are less than crazy about cooking, I'd recommend Freshly as a good source for what it's lacking in flavor.
The meals are healthy and filling and are the way to go if you like the convenience of not having to plan your food around a busy schedule. I could see myself ordering Freshly again and I probably will because it's just so easy.
Richard is a Consumer Advocate and amateur chef who enjoys trying fun recipes and writing about them. His reviews are from an everyday perspective to help consumers make the best meal delivery choices.