Very little prep work
Dishes are flavorful
Lots of add-ons
Limited selection for dietary restrictions
Shipping isn’t free
No organic ingredients
We're continuing to monitor the COVID-19 situation with regards to whether or not some meal delivery services will be altering their operation schedules, geographic restrictions, and/or frequency of shipments. As of now, most meal delivery services seem to be operating under a normal schedule, expanding inventory to continue to provide meals, are complying with FDA regulations, and are monitoring CDC recommendations closely. However, there are a handful of companies (and we have noted them below) who have had to scale back deliveries and are having delays of one to two weeks.
A Note From a Medical Professional:
"I think it’s fairly safe to eat a delivered meal, but it would be reasonable to wash your hands before and after handling the packaging and after throwing it away. Remember to avoid touching your hands to your face while cooking. Finally, try to enjoy your meal! You’ve got to eat something, and these meals are probably as safe and as healthy as most of the other options."
– Andy Miller, MD, Verywell Health Medical Review Board Member
On the spectrum between heating up an already prepared meal and cooking one from scratch, Gobble falls just left of center — not quite as easy as nuking dinner, but almost. Most of the components come already prepped and mixed, requiring basic assembly and a few minutes on the stove. If you’re looking for a meal kit that can go from box to plate in about 15 minutes, Gobble might just be the one for you. But that convenience comes at a price. Gobble is about $2 to $3 more per serving than most other services, plus shipping isn’t free. We recently tried it out to see if it’s worth the extra bucks. Read on to find out what we thought.
How It Works: Kits for Two or Four
Gobble sends three meal kits each week that include everything you need except for cooking oil, salt, and pepper. The kits can serve two people or four, depending on the plan you choose. It’s possible to order just two kits per week, but the cost per serving goes up to $13.99. It’s also possible to order more than three kits if you’re planning to serve a crowd.
After you sign up, create an account, and decide between the two-person plan or four-person plan, you’ll have to decide between the Classic (i.e. omnivore) or Vegetarian meals. Next take a quick online poll to help Gobble understand your dietary preferences, which it’ll use when selecting your default meals each week. If you don’t eat, say, pork or fish, it’ll remember and make sure not to pick those meals for you.
Gobble delivers almost anywhere in the U.S. except Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska. Depending on where you live, you’ll have a choice of delivery days. We could choose between Wednesday, Thursday or Friday, and the delivery could arrive anytime between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Ours came in the afternoon, but we waited until after 6 p.m. to open it to make sure the ice packs really did their job. Sure enough, everything was still good and cold.
Choosing Meals: Mostly European Inspired
Each week Gobble offers at least nine and sometimes up to 11 dinners. Occasionally some of them are premium meals that include fancy ingredients like lamb shanks and scallops. But the price increases by a whopping $8 to $10 more per serving. Of the nine core meals, three are vegetarian and usually include proteins like tofu and paneer.
Although there are usually a few dinners that include some global influences, like Thai or Indian curries, mostly the offerings have a California-Mediterranean vibe.
Information tags on each recipe make it clear which recipes have dairy, nuts or gluten, and whether or not those ingredients are optional and packed separately (like a cheese topping). But none of the meals can be guaranteed to be free of those allergens. Other tags, like “seasonal favorite,” “kid-friendly,” “quick and easy,” or “600 calories or less,” are meant to help customers better navigate the choices. To find out exactly what’s in the meal and how it’ll need to be prepared, click on the meal’s photo to get a link to the PDF of the recipe card.
Although there are usually a few dinners that include some global influences, like Thai or Indian curries, mostly the offerings have a California-Mediterranean vibe, like Almond-Crusted Barramundi with Arugula and Tomato Olive Relish or Winter Squash Panzanella Salad with Arugula and Beets.
Jagerschnitzel with Spaetzle and Red Cabbage Slaw
Pollock Veracruz Stew with Crusty Bread
Pan-Roasted Chicken with Green Bean Casserole & Mashed Potatoes
Support Materials: Small Recipe Cards
There’s no app and the blog is mostly used for promoting the service itself or its new features, rather than offering instructional cooking tips and videos. But it does offer full-color recipe cards for each meal.
Most of the components come already prepped and mixed, requiring basic assembly and a few minutes on the stove.
The recipe cards are handy but their design is flawed. They’re much smaller than most other services we’ve tried and the type is a bit cramped and small. You might need your reading glasses to follow them.
Gobble also crams the recipe’s method into three steps, which actually makes it hard to follow. It would have been better to call them stages, as each “step” actually has several sub-steps within it.
And it definitely would have been better to make the cards bigger and break those stages up into real steps. It was hard for us to keep track at a glance. Whenever we looked away to do something we’d have to scan through several paragraphs of the tiny text in that step to find our place again.
Packaging: Plastic inside of plastic
There’s nothing different about Gobble’s packaging. Like every other service we’ve tried, it’s comprised of a cardboard box and lots of plastic. The insulating liner was made of what looked like mylar-coated bubble wrap instead of, say, recycled denim. This type of insulation isn’t recyclable in all areas. Neither are all of the plastic bags and screw-top containers the ingredients come in. You have to check your local restrictions.
There’s nothing different about Gobble’s packaging. Like every other service we’ve tried, it’s comprised of a cardboard box and lots of plastic.
Though we don’t love all the plastic, we do like being able to just grab the entire bag of ingredients when it’s time to cook, rather than hunt through the fridge for individual items. And we saved the screw-top jars for other uses.
The Cooking Process: Very Little Hands-On Work
Gobble aims to fill a niche in the meal kit space for people who really don’t want to spend much time cooking. As a result, most of the ingredients come already prepped and mixed. The mashed potatoes just needed to be reheated. The cabbage for the slaw is already sliced and just needed to be tossed in a bowl with the package of dressing. Prep work is practically nil, but there’s still time involved in cooking things such as potatoes and proteins and assembling the meal.
Prep work is practically nil, but there’s still time involved in cooking things like potatoes and proteins and assembling the meal.
Gobble says its recipes can be ready in 15 minutes. We found 20 minutes was a bit more accurate. Still, the recipes were very easy to execute, even for beginners, and resulted in a minimal amount of dirty dishes.
Flavor, Freshness and Quality: Not a Dud in the Bunch
Most of the ingredients were already prepped but the ones that weren’t (potatoes, mushrooms, green beans) looked fresh enough. The mushrooms were quite dirty, which isn’t a big surprise, and the cut ends of the green beans were dried out so we cut those off.
The dishes all turned out tasty, and the easiest — the Veracruz stew — was the best. With castelvetrano olives, marinated artichoke hearts, tomato-based sauce, and garlic-and-shallot confit, it was bursting with flavor.
The dishes all turned out tasty, and the easiest — the Veracruz stew — was the best and bursting with flavor.
The Jagerschnitzel with Spaetzle and Red Cabbage Slaw was a very straightforward rendition of the German comfort food dish. It didn’t offer any surprises, but sometimes that’s a good thing.
The Pan-Roasted Chicken with Green Bean Casserole and Mashed Potatoes was like a mini version of Thanksgiving. The green bean casserole, cooked in a skillet, was a fresher take on the usually baked side dish and the chicken turned out perfectly juicy inside and crispy outside. The mashed potatoes were a bit more gluey than fluffy because they were reheated, but they were well seasoned.
As a treat for being new customers, we were given two balls of cookie dough, which baked up into large, quite sweet, chocolate chip cookies.
As for the portion sizes, there was plenty of food for two people, though we didn’t have much in the way of leftovers.
Who It’s Good For?
Gobble is a great option for people who don’t want to spend much time in the kitchen, or who are very new at cooking and find prep work daunting.
Who It Isn’t Good For?
People watching their food budget will likely balk at the relatively high price.
Add-Ons: Lots of Options
Gobble offers an impressive array of add-ons, including fancy proteins such as rib-eye steaks, king salmon and responsibly sourced shrimp. It also offers seasonal dinner party meals with premium components that serve four (think Pan-Seared Ribeye Steaks with Truffled Potato Puree, Hen of the Woods Mushrooms and Brussels Sprouts).
Each week there’s also a selection of heat-and-eat breakfast items like mini quiches, oatmeal, and Belgian waffles, plus soups and sides like garlic bread and mac and cheese. And for dessert, there are a couple of cookie dough options.
Gobble offers an impressive array of add-ons, including fancy proteins such as rib-eye steaks, king salmon and responsibly sourced shrimp.
Customer Service: Quite Limited
There’s no online chat service and when we filled out an online form with a question in the morning, it took more than a day to get an answer. However, customer service reps are available by phone from Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. and until 4 p.m. on weekends Pacific Standard Time. Otherwise, you’ll have to rely on clicking through the frequently asked questions, which does have most of the answers we needed.
Making Changes and Canceling: Takes Some Navigation
Some services make skipping a delivery as easy as clicking one prominent button on the menu page. But with Gobble, we had to click a few links. First, we have to click “See Dinner Menu” then we had to click “Edit Delivery” and then we found the small link at the bottom of the pop-up window that says, “Skip this Delivery.”
Finding the link to cancel the service is hard as well. We couldn’t find a link anywhere on the site. We had to search the FAQ, which brought up a link to the cancellation page. Still, once we found it, it was as easy to cancel as other services. Just fill out a quick questionnaire and you’re done.
Changing delivery dates, or unskipping is far easier, as the buttons are prominently displayed on the menu page. And we appreciated that the company doesn’t hide the dates for when any changes must be made, which makes it easy to keep track.
Gobble releases its menus up to four weeks ahead, so planners can select their meals or skip weeks way in advance. To change other details about our plan, from the serving amounts to the address, just click the My Account menu.
The Competition: Gobble vs. Blue Apron
As one of the most popular meal kit services in the country, Blue Apron is practically a household name and its recipes are pretty speedy. We were able to get Blue Apron’s recipes on the table in an average of 25 minutes and the prep work wasn’t onerous. Still, Gobble’s recipes required less prep work and were quicker by 5 or 10 minutes.
Both services offer mostly Mediterranean or European-inspired recipes, but Blue Apron goes a bit deeper into more intriguing global flavors. However, we were sometimes disappointed by the lackluster results. By contrast, we enjoyed all of Gobble’s dishes. Blue Apron’s recipe selection is similar to Gobble — 8 recipes per week, while Gobble offers 9 to 11. But Blue Apron’s partnership with Weight Watchers gives it a slight edge for those watching their calorie and carb intake. Both companies offer quite a few add-ons, but Blue Apron’s is more tool-oriented while Gobble is more food-oriented, with things like breakfast items.
One of the biggest differences between the two is the price. Gobble costs $11.99 per serving plus shipping. Blue Apron cost $9.99 per serving and shipping is free if you order three or more recipes a week.
If you have the budget, it's worth it.
Gobble offers reliably tasty meals with most of the prep work already done, so dinner can be on the table in about 15 minutes and clean-up is a cinch. The meals cost several dollars more per serving than most kits, but for those who have room in their budget, Gobble really makes dinnertime a breeze.
- Product Name Gobble
- Price $78.93
- Shipping $6.99
- Cost per Serving $11.99
- Minimum Order Two dinner kits (two servings each) for $13.99 per serving ($55.96 total, plus $6.99 for shipping).
- Weekly Meal Options 9 to 11 dinner choices per week, plus upgrades and add-ons.