In the vast meal kit marketplace, EveryPlate differentiates itself as the affordable, filling option, coming in at less than half the cost of other kits. The company's model is no mystery: Keep it simple without frills, and you keep costs low with easy-to-execute recipes. As an offshoot of HelloFresh, we expect that EveryPlate knows what it's doing.
The real question is, even with the backing of one of the most popular kits in the game, can EveryPlate deliver on flavor and quality while maintaining ultra-low pricing? Read on for details about our experience with this budget-friendly meal delivery service.
How It Works: Low Maintenance Model
With quick signup protocols and very few plan options, you can have a new account set up and your first order done in minutes. You’ll choose from the option of a two- or four-serving plan, and select either three, four, or five nights of meals per week.
There are no diets to choose from or special categories to pick, so the next step is just selecting your desired meals. EveryPlate will automatically add meals to your weekly plan, but users are able to choose any of the weekly offerings and add-ons.
Kits are delivered seven days a week and you can select which day of the week you want to receive yours. All delivery windows are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. You can provide instructions for where you want your box left, change your delivery date, and edit your plan details and weekly menu choices easily online without needing to contact customer service.
Choosing Meals: Comfort Food
EveryPlate’s model of simplicity for the sake of budget does not lend itself to the most eclectic or exciting menus. You quite literally get a lot of meat and potatoes, especially since there are no specialty diets or health-focused meal plans driving diversity in the company's offerings.
Each dish on the menu, of which you have 14 weekly options, includes some kind of starch, a budget-friendly protein, and a vegetable. Most dishes would likely fall into the comfort food category with a sprinkling of international flavor in the form of a taco or the use of sweet chili sauce.
Simply select your meals and, where available, customize your vegetables for an added cost. Be on the lookout for the “veggie” and “spicy” tags to help guide you, but most dishes seem pretty straightforward.
Allergens are listed for each dish, though they're not broken down by ingredient, and you have to navigate to each individual recipe page to view them. You’ll also see a few “premium” menu options that offer a nicer cut of meat, and these, of course, come at an upcharge.
EveryPlate only offers dinner items with the add-on of extra meat, making meal selection a very quick process since there’s not a ton to choose from.
What We Made
Our plan included dinner for two for five nights. We selected several different proteins as well as a vegetarian dish and ended up with 10 portions for a total cost of $58.89, including $8.99 for shipping.
- Pork and poblano tacos, pico de gallo, garlicky sour cream
- Honey chipotle pork chops, roasted potatoes, and broccoli
- Bacony chicken linguini, roasted tomatoes, garlic, and parmesan
- Greek pork meatballs, cucumber tomato salad, and garlic couscous
- ‘Shroom and pepperjack quesadillas, caramelized onion, spicy pico, and lime crema
Support Materials: Recipe Cards and a Basic App
Recipe cards are included with your EveryPlate weekly box—and ours arrived crisp and clean. Included on them is only what you need—ingredients, recipe steps, and a tip to make your meal more customized to your taste buds.
If you happen to misplace or muck up your cards while cooking, you can refer to EveryPlate’s app to guide you. There, you can do things like change your orders, track deliveries, view recipe cards, and view allergen information for each meal, which is not listed on the physical cards.
The meal kit comes in a cardboard box, with an insulated insert and a cooling element that can be drained and recycled.
EveryPlate does have a super useful and a little bit adorable cardboard insert that it refers to on social media as “tidy trays.” The tray basically serves as a little caddy for ingredients, making it easy to get them out of the box and into the fridge.
Aside from the cardboard packaging elements, most of the ingredients are packed in plastic or are loose in the tidy tray. These flexible plastic bags usually end up in the trash, making this not an ideal option for those who mind their plastic use.
Overall though, we felt the EveryPlate approach to packaging made sense, was a bit useful, and fell in line with the amount and type of packaging we’ve come to expect from these kits.
The Cooking Process: Easy and Relatively Fast
Most meals from Everyplate take around 30 to 40 minutes, and the company guarantees they will take six or fewer steps. We found this to be true and enjoyed that dinner was ready fairly quickly even though nothing comes prepped for you.
Most kits could be completed by a beginner-level cook who can follow a recipe. However, the true beginner may not have some of the base ingredients needed; while some kits ask you to just have things like oil or butter, salt, and pepper, EveryPlate assumes you have other pantry essentials like flour and sugar.
Flavor, Freshness, and Quality: Nothing Special
Overall, the quality and freshness of ingredients gave us no cause for concern. And, although everything felt fresh with no visible bruising or discoloration, we did feel some of the produce was a bit underripe. While this didn’t keep us from eating it, we weren’t thrilled by it either.
The same could be said for the meat options. EveryPlate uses cuts of meat that tend to be less expensive, and it shows. While everything tasted good, it was simply not the highest quality.
The seasoning of each dish was a bit of a mix—we felt the dishes had the right amount of salt, but in some cases, the seasoning packets of dried herbs had a bit too much salt and we would watch out for that next time.
The food tasted good overall, filled us up, and the quality was acceptable.
Nutritional Value: Not a Factor
While you can view the nutrition information for each dish prior to selecting, there is not much to consider if you’re looking for a more health-oriented option.
EveryPlate does not specifically accommodate any specialty diets, however, it does have vegetarian options, and there is allergen information available so you can be on the lookout for options that meet your needs.
Calorie ranges are a bit on the higher side, ranging from 600 to 1,000 or more for most items. Meals overall also tended to be high in protein, fat, and saturated fat, which is understandable given the cuts of meat used and their comfort food template. Carb counts also come in as expected given EveryPlate's tendency to menu potatoes and pasta, but we thought it would have been nice to see a whole grain somewhere.
If you are looking for the healthiest choices at EveryPlate, your best bet is to scope out options that are more focused on vegetables.
EveryPlate Is Good For
EveryPlate is for the budget-conscious, meat-and-potatoes crowd. We think it could be a great fit for students or those looking to control costs.
EveryPlate Is Not Good For
We don’t recommend this to the adventurous foodie type—or anyone looking to eat for a particular dietary pattern.
Add-ons: Proteins Only
For a meal kit service this simplistic, add-ons would be a useful way for EveryPlate to offer more variety without really expanding the menus.
True to form though, Everyplate sticks to the basics here too. The only add-on is the protein packs, of either six chicken breasts or two chicken breasts plus two ranch steaks, which cost $3.99 and $5.99, respectively. While we feel the price is fair, the options could stand to be improved.
Customer Service: 24/7
While you may never need to reach out to EveryPlate’s customer service team at 2 a.m. on a Saturday, you certainly could. We appreciated the 24/7 support that is offered through EveryPlate's live chat feature, and the team on the other end is friendly and responsive.
If you prefer to speak to someone over the phone, you still have a decent window of opportunity to do so—phone lines are open on weekdays from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET.
While you may never need to reach out to EveryPlate’s customer service team at 2 a.m. on a Saturday, you certainly could.
Making Changes and Canceling: All Digital
Customers can change delivery dates, skip weeks, customize meals, and even cancel their service on the EveryPlate website without ever needing to reach out to customer service. Some of these functions are also available on the app, though not everything can be done there. Changes are immediate and you’ll get a follow-up email for big edits like changes to your plan or if you choose to deactivate.
The Competition: EveryPlate vs. Dinnerly
Dinnerly may be a smidgen cheaper at $4.69 per meal compared to EveryPlate’s $4.99, but both are very affordable options for a subscription meal kit service. Both companies also come from well-known parent brands; HelloFresh launched EveryPlate and Dinnerly comes from the folks behind Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon. Both services also have a minimalist approach to meal plans and feature quite a bit of comfort food dishes, though we do think Dinnerly’s menus offer a bit more variety and interest.
EveryPlate has a leg up on Dinnerly in terms of the ability to customize the actual meals—you can often swap out one protein for another and the same is true for some of the vegetable sides if, for example, you want kale instead of carrots.
Both companies let you add extra protein to an order (for an upcharge of course) but Dinnerly also has breakfasts, desserts, and the occasional smoothie, plus the add-on beef is grass-fed. Dinnerly also denotes which of its meals are vegetarian, low calorie, low carb, cook with kids, one-pot meals, 30 minutes or less, and other useful tags, while EveryPlate only tells you what is vegetarian and what may be spicy.
EveryPlate serves all the basic purposes of a meal kit, and exactly nothing more. You’ll have meals to choose from, ingredients delivered, and a dinner for less than $5 per person. It may not be the most exciting, but the recipes can be quite tasty and it’s very wallet-friendly.
We spent countless hours looking through 48 meal delivery services’ websites, ordered meals and cooked them at home, photographed the process, spoke with customer service representatives from the companies, filled out detailed surveys about each company and their meals, and wrote in-depth reviews and comparison articles. Our expert panel includes dieticians, chefs, and longtime food writers. The one thing they all have in common is their love and knowledge of food.
Among the criteria we used to evaluate each company were:
- The ordering process
- Meal selection
- Packaging and support materials
- The cooking process
- The flavor, freshness, and quality of each meal and ingredient
- Nutritional information
- Customer service
- Product Brand EveryPlate
- Lowest Price per Serving 4.99
- Number of Diets Served 1
- Number of Recipes 14
- Delivery Area 48 states
- Serving Sizes Available 2, 4