Food recipe boxes have come a long way in the last few years. They can offer a range of fresh, organic, healthy and nutritious food, alongside quick step-by-step recipes – all delivered to your door for you to cook at home. They even cater for specialist diets such as vegans, vegetarians and gluten-free and dairy-free. And with meals costing from around £5 per person, you may find them an affordable – as well as a convenient – option.
Food recipe boxes – what’s on the menu?
We looked at five food recipe delivery boxes (Gousto, Hello Fresh, Mindful Chef, Riverford and SimplyCook). This is what we found (in alphabetical order):
Gousto delivers fresh ingredients and easy-to-follow recipe cards.
How it works: You can choose from up to 40 recipes a week and either a two-person box (meals for two) or a family box, which has meals for two adults and two to three children.
What if I have a particular diet? Gousto has meat (100% British fresh meat), fish and vegetarian, gluten-free and plant based recipes to choose from. They also offer family classics, ten-minute meals and Fine Dine In. The ingredients are measured, so there should be no food waste.
Subscription: You can pause, skip and cancel your subscription at anytime. If you don’t want any more boxes for the time being, you don’t have to delete your account. As long as you pause your subscription (and haven’t ordered any boxes since), they won’t send or charge you for any more boxes. If you do want to delete your account for good, you can do so by logging onto your account on gousto.co.uk or via the app.
Delivery: Gousto has free delivery. They deliver seven days a week and you don’t need to be home when they deliver.
Cost: A two-person box with three recipes per week costs £5 per serving (£29.99. Delivery is free).
TrustPilot rating: 8 out of 10.
SAVVY TIP: You can get 50% off your first box and 30% off all other boxes in your first month. Find out more on gousto.co.uk.
Hello Fresh delivers fresh ingredients and step-by-step recipe cards to your door.
How it works: Each week, Hello Fresh delivers easy-to-follow recipes from around the world alongside pre-measured high quality, fresh ingredients. The boxes are deigned to fit in your fridge.
You choose from a weekly menu of recipes and decide how many meals you’d like and for how many people.
There are three box types to choose from: Classic, which has the widest variety of recipes; Family, which has easy to cook meals that will cater for all the family; and Rapid, which has recipes that you can cook in under 20 minutes.
What if I have a particular diet? Hello Fresh says they have recipes for everyone – meat eaters, vegetarians, gluten-free, families, couples, those on low calorie diets and those who want quick, easy recipes.
Subscription: It’s a rolling weekly subscription, which you can skip a week or stop at any time. To cancel your subscription, you must do so by midnight on the Wednesday before the following week’s delivery. You cancel by logging into your account online or via the app.
Delivery: Delivery costs depend on the type of box you order and the meals or add-ons you select each week. You can choose your delivery time, though there is an additional fee for some time slots. You don’t have to be home when they deliver.
Cost: A Classic, Family or Rapid Box for two people with three recipes per week costs £5 a meal (£29.99 a week, plus delivery of £1.99).
TrustPilot rating: 7.9 out of 10.
Mindful Chef delivers healthy, nutritious recipe boxes. They are all nutritionist approved.
How it works: Mindful Chef sources all their ingredients from small British farms. The recipes are all low carb and gluten-free. It’s the only recipe box in the UK to offer one-person boxes.
There are 16 new recipes to choose from every week and all meals are designed to be cooked in less than 30 minutes – some much less.
They encourage customers to return the insulation and ice packs that the food is delivered in to them so they can reuse them.
SAVVY TIP: Every meal that you buy, they donate a school meal to a child in poverty.
What if I have a particular diet? They cater for vegans, as well as offering meat (100% grass-fed animals) and fish recipes. They also offer 100% gluten and dairy free recipes.
Subscription: Mindful Chef is a recurring service – the default setting when you sign up is to receive a box every week unless you specify something else. You can change this in your account on mindfulchef.com or by emailing them.
Delivery: Delivery is free and you don’t need to be in when they deliver. You can choose to have a delivery once a week or twice a week. They deliver nationwide on Sunday, Monday, Thursday and Friday.
Cost: Prices depend on what you order, but for a two-person box it’s around £5.50 per person per meal (so for three recipes a week, it will cost around £33 a week).
SAVVY TIP: Enter TRUST10X2 to get a £20 off (£10 off your first box and £10 off your second box). This means you can try meals from £2.50.
App: There isn’t a Mindful Chef app.
TrustPilot rating: 9.4 out of 10.
Riverford delivers fresh, 100% organic recipe boxes. They have been farming organically for 30 years.
How it works: Riverford delivers around 47,000 boxes a week to homes around the UK from their regional farms.
Their organic recipe boxes include seasonal recipes with simple step-by-step instructions and 100% organic ingredients. They deliver exact quantities of every ingredient, so there’s no waste. The meals are for two people.
Sustainability and the environment is really important to them. They encourage you to leave out your boxes for the delivery person to reuse and to also leave out any plastic bags that aren’t recycled by your local council as they will recycle them at the farm if they have a high enough return rate.
What if I have a particular diet? Riverford offers the following boxes: simple, light, foodie, vegan, vegetarian, meat and prime cuts. They also offer gluten-free recipes.
Subscription: You don’t have to place an order every week. You can set up a regular order to be delivered weekly or fortnightly, or you can place one-off orders as and when you like.
Delivery: There is no delivery charge, however Riverford don’t currently deliver to the whole country. You don’t need to be at home when they deliver.
Cost: Meals costs from £12.45 for two people (for three recipes a week it costs £33.60). You save 5% when you buy two recipes, and 10% when you buy three or more.
App: You can download the Riverford app on the App Store.
TrustPilot rating: 9.7 out of 10.
SAVVY TIP: You can follow their blog Wicked Leeks, for latest news and articles. They write about, amongst other things, plastic, climate change and organics.
SimplyCook delivers authentic flavour ingredients and over 100 easy-to-follow 20-minute recipes.
How it works: SimplyCook will send you a letterbox sized box which contains four recipe kits (for four meals) and step-by-step recipe cards. You combine their recipe kits with four to six items of fresh food from your home. This could include fish and rice or chicken. SimplyCook says that this means their recipes usually cost between £3 and £6 per person per meal including the kit and ingredients which you supply.
Their chefs create unique culinary pastes, infused oils, garnishes, rubs, specialist stocks and herb/spice blends that contain up to eighteen different ingredients.
What if I have a particular diet? SimplyCook has meat, fish and light recipes as well as gluten-free and vegetarian recipes.
Subscription: Depending what plan you subscribe to, you will be charged either once every week, two weeks, four weeks or six weeks. You can change the frequency of deliveries – or pause or cancel your subscription – in your account section on simplycook.com
Delivery: Free delivery.
Cost: Each box contains four kits and costs £9.99.
SAVVY TIP: You can get a trial box with four recipe kits for £3 and free delivery, but we’ve secured a special £1 trial box offer at SimplyCook.
TrustPilot rating: 9.2 out of 10.
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