Blue Apron Meal Kit Review: Is It Worth It?

By Lydia Noyes
HighYa Staff
Updated on: Feb 27, 2020

Is planning for dinner the worst part of your evenings? For those looking for a way to put homemade food on the table without grocery shopping or meal planning, getting a box with pre-portioned ingredients can be a big stress reliever.

Blue Apron is a subscription meal kit service that sends the ingredients for creating original recipes to customers across the United States.

The company is named after the apron color of choice of beginning chefs, and it signifies their commitment to helping those who might feel intimidated by the kitchen be able to make home-cooked meals.

In this way, Blue Apron’s menu often focuses on ingredients and cooking styles you might not be familiar with to broaden your culinary horizons and make it easier to put dinner on the table.

Does Blue Apron have the advantage over other meal subscription companies? Our analysis should help you decide whether it makes sense to sign up.

Pros
  • Wide variety of meals to choose from
  • Slightly lower cost per meal than many competitors
  • Customer reviews praise the quality of recipes and ingredients
  • Optional wine program pairs with the meals
Cons
  • It might be difficult to cancel your account
  • Some customers were billed even after canceling
  • Meals may occasionally arrive missing ingredients
  • Not suitable for anyone with severe food allergies
  • No add-on options like competitors have

Menu Options

Blue Apron offers different menu options each week. Below is the full menu list of meals available for one week.

Signature Meals (fan-favorites):

  • Miso-Ginger Chicken with Sesame Rice & Roasted Broccoli
  • Shrimp & Sweet Potato Curry with Lemongrass & Coconut Milk
  • Creamy Spinach Beef Burgers with Roasted Potato Wedges
  • Pesto Chicken Pasta with Brussels Sprouts & Lemon Ricotta
  • Deviled Salmon with Zucchini & Tomato-Shallot Pan Sauce
  • Za’atar Beef & Freekeh Lettuce Cups with Lemon-Tahini Sauce & Mint
  • Mojo-Style Chicken Thighs with Cilantro Slaw & Garlic-Lime Pepitas
  • Mexican-Spiced Port Chops with Guajillo Barley & Cotija Cheese

Contents of the Blue Apron boxContents of the Blue Apron box

Vegetarian (meat-free dishes):

  • Udon Noodles and Spicy Peanut Stir-Fry with Mushrooms, Carrots and Bok Choy
  • Lentils & Lemon-Shallot Dressing with Roasted Vegetables & Fried Eggs
  • Creamy Risotto with Peppers, Tomatoes, & Romano Cheese

Signature for Four (designed to be family-friendly):

  • Cajun-Style Chicken & Cheesy Broccoli with Dinner Rolls & Spiced Honey Butter
  • Hoisin & Honey-Glazed Chicken Thighs with Garlic Rice & Spicy Cabbage Slaw
  • Harissa Pork Chops with Pistachio, Lemon & Feta-Dressed Sweet Potatoes
  • Mushroom & Bok Choy Ramen with Black Bean Sauce & Soft-Boiled Eggs
  • Zesty Beef & Gnocchi with Zucchini & Romano Cheese
  • Shrimp & Sweet Potato Curry with Lemongrass & Coconut Milk

Allergy and Nutrition Information

All Blue Apron ingredients are packaged in facilities where there is a risk of contamination with milk, eggs, wheat, soy, nuts, and other possible allergens. For this reason, the company suggests that those with severe food allergies avoid signing up, even if their allergen isn’t listed in the ingredients list.

You can look at the full nutrition facts for all Blue Apron meals both online before you order them and on the recipe cards included in your delivery. The company strives to offer at least one recipe with fewer than 48g net carbohydrates per serving each week (other recipes average about 64g net carbs per serving). You can identify these recipes by their “Carb Conscious” badge.

Jalapeno Burgers with Goat Cheese and Smoky Roasted Carrots from Blue ApronJalapeno Burgers with Goat Cheese and Smoky Roasted Carrots from Blue Apron

Pricing and Plans

What you’ll pay for Blue Apron meals depends on the number of meals and servings you want per week. You can choose between three main options:

2-Serving Signature:

  • Two Meals: $9.99/serving plus $7.99 shipping, $47.95 total
  • Three Meals: $9.99/serving, free shipping, $59.94 total

4-Serving Signature:

  • Two Meals: $8.99/serving, free shipping, $71.92 total
  • Three Meals: $7.99/serving, free shipping, $95.88 total
  • Four meals: $7.49/serving, free shipping, $119.84 total

2-Serving Vegetarian:

  • Two Meals: $9.99/serving plus $7.99 shipping, $47.95 total
  • Three Meals: $9.99/serving, free shipping, $59.94 total

Every week, you can sign in to your Blue Apron account and choose your preferred meals for the week. If you don’t make a selection in the allotted timeframe, Blue Apron will make it for you.

Note that you can’t change your menu options once the week is listed as “order processed.”

How to Cancel Your Subscription

Once you sign up for Blue Apron, there is no obligation to continue your subscription for any timeframe, and you can skip up to five weeks of deliveries in a row through your account settings.

You can cancel your subscription at any time by messaging the Customer Experience team at cancellations@blueapron.com. They will email you instructions for canceling soon after.

If you have other questions about your account of Blue Apron in general, direct them to contact@blueapron.com or (646) 891-4349.

Blue Apron’s recipe cardsBlue Apron’s recipe cards

Blue Apron’s Wine Service

Beyond meals, Blue Apron also offers a wine subscription service. You will receive six 500ml bottles (about 2/3 the size of a standard-sized wine) for $65.99 per order. Though you can’t choose exactly what wines you receive, it’s possible to choose all reds, all whites, or a mix of each.

Due to differing state laws, the Blue Apron wine program isn’t currently available in every state. You will need to have an adult 21 or older available to sign for the delivery when it arrives. If that’s an issue, you can send the deliveries to your place of work.

Blue Apron wine includes a wine pairing key that’s designed to help you match styles of wine to your recipes. The pairing key options include:

  • Floral & Aromatic: suitable for spicy, fragrant dishes
  • Light & Fresh: ideal for light flavors like salads, pasta, and pesto
  • Zesty & Tropical: often paired with cheeses, fish, and spring vegetables
  • Crisp & minerally: suitable for smoked fish, strong cheese
  • Lush & Fruity: opulent, buttery wines best with roasted chicken, pasta
  • Light & Bright: pairs with red meat, Mexican food
  • Fruity & Savory: suitable for herbal, smokey flavors like stewed lentils and roasted beets
  • Plush & Fruity: best with meat, fish, or meaty mushrooms
  • Bold & Spicy: spiced flavors suit braised meat, especially lamb
  • Rich & Decadent: pairs well with burgers, BBQ, and braised short ribs
  • Crisp & Minerally: best with seafood, light flavors
  • Lush & Fruity: suitable for poultry, salads, and grilled vegetables

Each Blue Apron recipe card includes at least one of these wine keys to give you guidance for what to serve with the dish. If you have further questions about the wine program or need to change your delivery date, get in touch with customer support at contact@blueapron.com.

Tomatillo Chicken and Rice Bowls with Roasted Vegetables and Orange Salsa from Blue ApronTomatillo Chicken and Rice Bowls with Roasted Vegetables and Orange Salsa from Blue Apron

Analysis of Customer Reviews

More than 20 HighYa readers have reviewed Blue Apron, for an average score of 2.6 stars. We looked through these comments, as well as ones left on Consumer Affairs (2.5 stars average), to see what customers are saying.

Common Compliments:

  • Delicious meals, fresh ingredients
  • The company replaces or refunds damaged ingredients
  • Exciting recipes with unique condiments and spice blends
  • Generous portion sizes
  • Makes it possible to experiment with new cooking strategies
  • Finished meals are restaurant quality

Common Complaints:

  • Expensive meals made with cheap ingredients
  • Charges continued after canceling accounts
  • Figuring out how to cancel an account involves lots of Google searches, calls and emails
  • Meals were too high in carbs for many people
  • Lots of single-use plastic
  • Poor customer service experiences

Blue Apron vs. HelloFresh and Home Chef

Three of the most prominent players in the subscription meal kit industry are Blue Apron, HelloFresh, and Home Chef. Though similar, each offers something different for subscribers.

Blue Apron HelloFresh Home Chef
Cost Per Serving $7.49–$9.99 $7.49–$10.99 $7.49–$12.95
Shipping Cost $7.99, free for orders over $50 $6.99 $10, free for orders over $49
Weekly Meal Options 11+ 20+ 15+
Add-Ons Wine subscription Quick lunches, sides and complements, desserts and treats, proteins, and wine subscription Lunches, salads, snacks, extra protein, and pre-made meals.
Available in Stores? No Yes Yes

This chart shows that each meal kit’s serving sizes are approximately the same price. What you pay for Blue Apron meals depends entirely on what plan you sign up for, but HelloFresh and Home Chef both offer add-on options like gourmet meals, lunches, salads, and desserts that can make your pricing change week to week.

All three plans also offer an ever-changing roster of meals, including vegetarian and family-friendly meals each week. Both Home Chef and HelloFresh also lets you select low calorie or low carb plans to ensure you meet your dietary goals.

Deciding which plan to sign up for might depend on whether you’re looking only for dinner options or would appreciate some of the extras offered by Home Chef and HelloFresh.

You will likely pay slightly more per serving with these plans, but the convenience of getting more types of food at once might be worth it if it stops you from going grocery shopping as often—and potentially spending more on impulse buys.

Home Chef is also the only plan currently available in stores. That’s appealing for those who don’t want to be locked into a subscription service or who wish to change how many meals they purchase in a given week. However, you lose the convenience of home delivery this way.

The Bottom Line

Blue Apron is considered by many to be the standard for a meal subscription service. The company has been around since 2012, and many customers have been subscribers for close to a decade.

It’s an excellent option for anyone who doesn’t enjoy meal planning or grocery shopping, or who wants to cook more and go out to eat less often. The meals feature simple instructions, though many include ingredients and cooking styles that aren’t necessarily familiar to the target audience.

If you’re looking for a way to get home-cooked food on the table faster, Blue Apron will help you succeed. Keep in mind that there are dozens of other meal subscription services available, and many are designed to appeal to niche interests rather than a broad customer base like Blue Apron.

Our ranking of the best subscription meal services of 2020 should help your research process.


Customer Reviews

Start your review of Blue Apron:
  • 24 Customer Reviews
  • 38% Recommend This Company
2.6 out of 5
5 star: 33% 4 star: 4% 3 star: 4% 2 star: 4% 1 star: 54%

 Our Promise to You

To safeguard you and ensure helpfulness and relevance, our compliance team manually assess every customer review before it goes live.

We have a zero-tolerance policy for fake reviews, and companies cannot control or alter any reviews at any time.

Sort reviews by:

  • Blue Apron is far from a scam.

    • By Tanya White,
    • California,
    • Oct 24, 2014
    Overall Experience:

    It's like eating at a gourmet restaurant every night. The ingredients are so fresh and you get all of the seasonings in the right measurements. My friend at work was able to get free food for her friends, I tried it and it's great. Now I can order whatever week I want. If you don't care for that weeks selection you can skip it. You can also adjust your order according to your eating lifestyle. So if you want vegetarian, carnivore etc. You can't mix and match but it works for me and my family.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Delicious food made simple!

    • By Kym,
    • San Francisco, CA,
    • Feb 24, 2015
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I definitely know my way around a kitchen, but started to get tired of having so many leftovers or wasting food because I had to buy more than I needed.

    Then, Blue Apron saved the day. I thought the price was a bit steep at first, but after thinking about how much I was spending on food that was going to waste, it made sense to pay about $10 a person per meal.

    The ingredients are super fresh, perfectly portioned (no guess work and hardly any measuring is required), and the recipes are easy to follow. They give every step in detail, so even if you're not completely confident in the kitchen, it will seem like you are! The ingredients come packed in ice packs, so if it's dropped off while you're at work, everything will still be chilled when you get home.

    It's helping me pair ingredients that I never would have thought of, and it's the perfect amount for two people. The dishes tend to be around 500-700 calories per serving, so if you're a calorie counter, make sure you save up earlier in the day for these. They're worth it!

    My only qualm? I wish there was a little more variety with their proteins, but I understand that they need to stay with things people are more familiar with. :)

    Note: My boyfriend actually said he wishes he had known about this before our first date so he would have seemed like a more talented cook, so if you're looking to wow someone, put down the takeout, steer away from the expensive restaurant, and try this.

    SO FAR from a scam!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Amazing

    • By Rhya ,
    • California,
    • May 26, 2015
    Overall Experience:

    I love Blue Apron. The way the subscription is set up is that you can cancel any week that you don't want or just aren't interested in the food. They even send you three weeks worth of meals to send to friends, which can be a blessing or a curse depending because the free week requires them to sign up and entering their payment info so that it can auto debit in case they decide to keep it. But on a positive note, it's also really easy to cancel. Customer service is always really timely and available to help.

    The quality of the food is great and the techniques are the type that you can use when cooking non BA dishes as well. Your food WILL look exactly like the food in the picture and you will feel like you are eating at an amazingly yummy restaurant. The portion size it actually perfect. My husband needs more food to be full but amazingly he's quite satisfied after each meal. Overall, really great buy with no complaints..

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Great ingredients, great meals

    • By Paprika Pink,
    • Sacramento, CA,
    • Oct 25, 2015
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    I got this for my 17 year old daughter who has decided to be vegetarian though no one else in our family is. I won't cook her separate meals, but I do want her to eat! Blue Apron is a very good solution for us. High quality ingredients, clear and detailed instructions, delicious results. She's eating well & learning a lot.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Great meals

    Overall Experience:

    I have been receiving meals for a few months now and have been very pleased. You CANNOT be a picky eater or hate greens as most meals have them included. I love trying them cooked in different ways and Blue Apron does a good job at that. Portions are usually enough but if it isn't enough for you, add an extra potato or a chicken thigh. Most recipes are something I have not tried before and they are wonderful. Blue Apron immediately credited my account for a meal when the chicken breast was of unsatisfactory quality. I have found them to be reliable and quality high. All packaging materials are recyclable.

    The prep work takes a little time which is to be expected when you use fresh food and vegetables. My experience has been great and my husband looks forward to the meals every week!

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • It's great.

    Overall Experience:

    I've read many of the reviews on this site and frankly I'm surprised. I've found the service and food to be excellent. Only once in 6 months have we not gotten everything in our delivery and it was a spice blend that I easily substituted with one I had on hand. The portion sizes are spot on and sometimes even a little large. We love that the meals are simple and flavorful. I usually do all the cooking and I can easily put it together in 30-45 minutes.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Great Service

    Overall Experience:

    I have loved Blue Apron since the first order.

    The ingredients are fresh and the recipes are delicious. Occasionally there are items are missing, but Blue Apron gladly and rapidly compensates with a partial refund, if everything is not as expected. I highly recommend this service.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Cannot cancel deliveries; Blue Apron adds fraudulent charges to your credit card

    Overall Experience:

    I canceled my Blue Apron account within 24 hours of receiving my first order. A few days later, I noticed a pending charge on my credit card for $60. I got in touch with Blue Apron's customer support and asked them to go ahead and void the unauthorized transaction, as my account had already been closed for days and I hadn't made any additional orders. They declined to void the transaction even though they admitted that my account had been closed for days.

    Blue Apron is clearly running a bad company, in which they fraudulently charge your credit card for orders you did not make, even if you close your account with them.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Great food, portions a bit small.

    • By Paul S,
    • Jul 22, 2015
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Everything arrives fresh and in good condition. The proteins are high quality. The recipes are usually tasty, and always interesting. I have learned a lot of cooking tips just from the few months I have been using the service. The only reason I didn't give it 5 stars is that I think the protein portions are too small. (And I am only a 160lb guy.) I always make a salad to go with the meals so I don't still feel hungry afterward. I also wish you could choose your menu like you can with Plated.com. However, having tried Plated, we have come back to Blue Apron because Plated was more like just an entree, whereas Blue Apron usually has some "side" item to go with the protein. As soon as Blue Apron offers "Hungry-Man" portions, they will be five-star for me.

    Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this to a friend


  • Gave it a Try

    • By Joanne,
    • Hershey, PA,
    • Mar 5, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Received two free weeks as a gift so I thought it would be great to try this type of service. On the plus side, the meals for 2 people were more than sufficient. The quality of the food is excellent and the combinations of seasoning, etc. makes for an excellent meal.

    On the down side, the prep time is WAY off and I have been cooking for 36 years. My children also use Blue Apron and have said the same thing. It is not fast, especially after a long day. The good thing is you know you will have all the ingredients. You have very limited menu choice and so it does not meet up with preferences or allergies to well. I do think the packaging is not clearly marked as how to recycle. You have to go on the website to get the information. Contacting them is also not very easy. I had a hard time cancelling my membership and received unwanted boxes.

    All in all, I may use Blue Apron again, but I am now using Hungry Root and like their system better.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


  • Too expensive and too frequent

    • By Drewes Kooi,
    • Columbus, OH,
    • Mar 24, 2016
    • Verified Reviewer
    Overall Experience:

    Our daughter gave us a trial membership for which she paid $59. After that it continues automatically, so before you know it you pay $59 each week for that food, too frequent and not sure it's worth the price. I would not recommend it for that reason. I canceled.

    Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend


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Blue Apron: Is It Worth It?