MamaSezz Review

Plant-based Meals at a Low Price

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Mamasezz

MamaSezz mac and cheese in bowl

Spruce Eats / Danielle Centoni

Pros
  • Fully prepared, plant-based food

  • Free of gluten and refined sugar

  • Generous family-style portions

  • Low price per serving

  • Free shipping

Cons
  • Dishes are bland

  • More like meal shortcuts than full meals

  • Relatively high minimum order

  • Not ideal for those with nut or soy allergies

  • Limited customer service

MamaSezz makes it easy for busy people on a budget to follow a vegan diet, with generously portioned plant-based meals and meal components that are ready in minutes.

3

Mamasezz

MamaSezz mac and cheese in bowl

Spruce Eats / Danielle Centoni

Going vegan isn’t easy for non-cooks, but the MamaSezz meal delivery service aims to make it so by offering an entire menu of ready-to-heat entrees, components, sides, and desserts made without any animal products whatsoever. The service delivers to all 50 states, shipping is free, and the portions are generously sized and affordably priced at about $6 per serving, making it a great option for families as well as busy couples who need lunch and dinner help every day of the week.

Customers can subscribe or order a la carte, and meal bundles aimed at weight loss goals or athletic performance make shopping even easier. Clearly, MamaSezz offers a good value in terms of price and portions, but that won’t count for much unless the food is tasty too, so we gave it a try. Keep reading to find out what we thought.

How It Works: Curated or Customizable

MamaSezz is really flexible, allowing customers to order a delivery of fresh, ready-to-heat vegan dishes a la cart or by subscription. The minimum order is $129, but shipping is free.

Preset bundles are organized according to goals like Guaranteed Weight Loss, Detox and Reboot, Protein, and Peak Performance. There are even bundles created with partner organizations that donate a portion of the proceeds to various causes, like People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). Customers can also choose to build their own bundle. Depending on the state you live in, you’ll get a choice of a small bundle (serves one or two people) or the larger Classic bundle, which can easily feed a family for a week. The company is located in New England, so states closest get both options, while those farther away can only get a large bundle.

After selecting the bundle, we were able to select the subscription frequency from every week, every two weeks, every three weeks, once a month, or make it a one-time purchase.

When putting together our custom bundle, we were able to choose any item from the menu. Every item is given a “Beet Bucks” value from 1 to 3, and we were given 28 total Beet Bucks to spend when we signed up for the Classic size. We could filter the menu according to the item’s Beet Bucks value, its type (i.e. dinner, breakfast, side dish, dessert, sauce), or whether it was nut-free, soy-free, or SOS (no salt, oil, or sugar). Once we used up all of our bucks, we could pick from the two date-sweetened dessert add-ons—cookies and rice pudding—or go straight to checkout and pay.

There aren’t any customizations or extra protein add-ons. But if you go the build-your-own-bundle route, you can buy as many of one item as you like. If you really need lots of protein strips, you can have them. If you order a curated bundle, you can swap out up to two items as long as they’re the same a la carte price of what you’re swapping out. Just indicate the request in the notes section of the shopping cart.

All of the meals are vegan—there's no meat, dairy, or animal products of any kind. Instead of refined sugar, dishes are sweetened naturally with dates, date syrup, or coconut sugar.

Choosing Meals: Family-Style Entrees and Components

There are over 45 fresh, fully prepared vegan products on the menu, but they’re not packaged like single-serving meals. Instead, they’re large portions of sides and entrees meant to be divided and served family style. The meals arrive fresh, but since they’re not previously frozen, you can freeze them whole (or just the leftovers) for longer storage.

About a quarter of the options are entrees like veggie loaf (a vegan “meatloaf”), gardener’s pie (a shepherd’s pie analog), mac and cheese, chili, and soups. Most of the other items are side dishes like baked beans or lentils, or proteins meant to be incorporated into your own dishes at home, like protein strips for stir-fries and sandwiches and meatless crumbles for tacos and bowls.

Click “learn more” on a menu item and you’ll be taken to a page with lots of additional details, including nutrition info, ingredients, reviews, and even serving suggestions. The high-protein burger, for example, offers tips for turning it into a french onion burger complete with onion caramelizing instructions.

All of the meals are vegan—there's no meat, dairy, or animal products of any kind. Instead of refined sugar, dishes are sweetened naturally with dates, date syrup, or coconut sugar. Many of the items include nuts or soy for protein, but not all, and you can filter them out when perusing the menu.

The order cutoff is 8 p.m. ET on Sundays for delivery that week. Deliveries arrive on Thursdays or Fridays.

What We Made

The Classic bundle that we customized came with a ton of food. For $169 we ended up with 11 items that served anywhere from two to six people. We used our Beet Bucks on as many fully prepared entrees as possible, rather than on components like sauce, so we could better evaluate how well these items worked as a centerpiece to a meal. We ordered:

  • Lentil dahl with quinoa (2 servings)
  • Veggie loaf (4 servings)
  • Garlic ginger protein strips (4 servings)
  • High-protein breakfast bars (6 servings)
  • Breakfast scramble (2 servings)
  • Mama’s burgers (4 servings)
  • High-protein burgers (4 servings)
  • Lazy lasagna (4 servings)
  • Millie’s chili (3 servings)
  • Mama’s mac (3 servings)
  • Gardener’s pie (3 servings)

Support Materials: Depends on the Bundle

Our Classic bundle didn’t come with much in terms of information. Even the packages themselves didn’t include ingredients labels or nutrition information. Of course, this information is online, but it would have been nice to have it on the packages too. We also would have liked to receive cards with recipe ideas and serving suggestions since most of these items aren’t meant to be eaten alone. Again, all of this is available online, but it’s a pain to navigate to the site and have to find that particular menu item in order to get those ideas.

However, if you order the Guaranteed Weight Loss bundle, you’ll get instructions and a menu plan for how much to eat of each item and when, so you can keep your calorie intake in check.

The company also maintains a robust blog that's updated with new posts at least weekly. The posts are a mix of newsy tips and inspirational stories of people who have lost weight and overcome health challenges.

Packaging: Effortlessly Recyclable

The meals were packed in a large cardboard box lined with foam insulation covered in mylar. Three large gel packs kept the contents cold. To make recycling easy no matter where you live, the company includes a FedEx shipping return label so you can ship the empty insulated box and gel packs right back. You can even schedule it to be picked up from your porch. However, either we didn’t receive our shipping label or we accidentally tossed it, because we couldn’t find it anywhere. We emailed customer service to see if we could get a replacement label and after waiting a day, we were emailed a new FedEx label to download and print.

The meals are often packaged in recyclable, oven-safe plastic trays covered in film plastic. Other menu items are packed in mylar zip-top food storage bags.

MamaSezz box

Spruce Eats / Danielle Centoni

The Cooking Process: Oven or Microwave

The trays are oven- (to at least to 350 degrees) and microwave-safe, so you can heat the items directly in the trays. The instructions say they’ll be warm in 15 minutes in a 350-degree oven, but some of our more dense dishes took a bit longer. We preferred the speed of the microwave, which took about 5 minutes for most items. The dishes in bags (pasta and chili) had to be decanted into microwave-safe bowls or heated in a pot on the stove.

Flavor, Freshness, and Quality: Fresh but Bland

MamaSezz prioritizes produce from local farms and the company says it uses organic ingredients whenever possible. We found that the ingredients in our dishes looked fresh and bright, and all of the food we received was of high quality. However, there wasn’t a single item that didn’t need a good deal of flavor help. The company prides itself on not adding salt, refined sugar, and oils, which results in food that was quite bland and boring.

We raided our fridge to doctor up our entrees with whatever flavorful condiments and toppings we had on hand and ended up fairly happy with most of the results. Most needed salt and acid of some sort, whether it was from tomatoes, vinegar, or hot sauce.

The burgers were fine, although they were a bit dry and overly nutty. Once tucked between buns and slathered with condiments, however, they hit the spot. The nut loaf was very oaty and dense, but tasty even on its own. Still, an extra dollop of barbecue sauce really helped. The breakfast scramble and chili both tasted far better with roasted chile salsa and guacamole on top. The quinoa and dahl cried out for some kind of chutney (or just some flavor in general). A drizzle of curry simmer sauce would have worked well if we had it.

The gardener’s pie was like a bed of mashed beans with corn, diced carrots, and peas on top. It needed a lot of help, which we found in the form of a vegan almond-based chipotle sauce. The mac and cheese and lazy lasagna were made with brown rice pasta, so the texture was borderline mushy but ultimately comforting. Their cashew-based sauces were bland and the “lasagna” was really just a tomato-spiked version of the mac and cheese. We poured jarred marinara sauce onto it, which really helped, and the mac we elevated with pesto.

The dishes are meant to serve as a plant-based pantry, not to stand alone on their own.

Nutritional Value: Very Healthful

MamaSezz develops its meals with nutrition and wellness in mind. Most items are sweetened with dates, and protein comes in the form of nuts, beans, and soy. Some things are free of nuts and soy, but those are usually soups and sauces.

The entrees are fairly low in calories, averaging about 350 per serving. Many are rich in fiber and protein, but also high in carbohydrates. However, these are complex carbs from beans and whole grains, not refined wheat flour. Keto and paleo folks won’t have the macros they need, but active people who want to eat a plant-based diet will find the meals to be a good source of fuel.

Here's the breakdown of our meals' nutrition:

  • Mama’s mac and cheese: 330 calories, 12g of fat, 50g of carbohydrates, 9g of protein
  • Nut loaf: 370 calories, 6g of fat, 69g of carbohydrates, 15g of protein
  • Ginger-garlic protein strips: 90 calories, 2g of fat, 12g of carbohydrates, 7g of protein
  • Millie’s chili: 200 calories, 1g of fat, 40g of carbohydrates, 9g of protein

MamaSezz Is Good For

Budget-conscious folks who want to eat a plant-based diet or lose weight without having to cook full meals from scratch will likely find the service a boon—as long as you have a solid collection of condiments to spice things up.

Every item is given a “Beet Bucks” value from 1 to 3, and we were given 28 total Beet Bucks to spend when we signed up for the Classic size.

MamaSezz Is Not Good For

Meat eaters will find these plant-based options too bland to satisfy. And customers who never cook won’t have the creativity or pantry supplies to turn the items into tasty, full-fledged meals.

Add-ons: A Couple of Desserts

Technically, since you can customize your own box, all of the items are add-ons. But the only items actually labeled “add-ons” are two plant-based, date-sweetened desserts. The "not-a-cookie" treats are made with chickpea flour, raisins, walnuts, almond meal, and walnuts. You get four for $12.99. The rice pudding is made with soy milk, cashew cream, and raisins and costs $6.99.

Customer Service: Spotty

According to the MamaSezz website, customer service is available via live chat from 1 p.m. to  4 p.m. ET Monday and Tuesday, and noon to 8 p.m. ET Wednesday through Saturday. Otherwise, customers can email anytime. However, we asked a question via live chat during business hours several times and never got a response. This was after the chat box automatically popped up with a message that read “Hi there, I won’t hover but I’m here to help :-)” Both times we immediately responded with our question and got no real-person response.

In the first instance, we got a prompt to type in our email address to get a reply later. We did so and never got an emailed response. In the second instance, we didn’t even get that. Instead, the status of the chat box changed to “Back Tomorrow.” Another time, we tried to use the chat during the specified hours, it still had the “Back Tomorrow” message. We also tried emailing directly during business hours and didn’t get a response until the next day—though much earlier than the company's posted business hours. However, the response was friendly and mostly helpful, although they only answered one of our two questions. There’s no phone number listed.

Making Changes and Canceling: A Bit Wonky

You can make changes to your order up until the cutoff time of 8 p.m. ET on Sundays. Oddly enough, you don’t need to create an account to sign up for a subscription; you just select a delivery frequency when checking out the first time. But that means if you want to pause it, skip weeks, or cancel, you will need to remember to create an account first. Once we did, the email to activate the account went into our spam folder. When we finally got logged into the account management area, we found that the subscription was actually many subscriptions—one for each item we added to our Classic box. Unsubscribing took five clicks on various links, and we had to do it for each item.

The Competition: MamaSezz vs. Sakara Life

Both MamaSezz and Sakara Life focus on plant-based meals free of gluten, dairy, and refined sugar, and both offer targeted plans for weight loss. Both offer all three meals of the day, and both prioritize local organic ingredients and deliver to all 50 states. But culturally, they couldn’t be more different. MamaSezz offers affordable, filling, comfort food that could work well for families. Sakara Life is very expensive ($26.50 per serving minimum), very chic, and aimed at young singles—it even has a weight loss special meal plan for brides-to-be.

While MamaSezz aims to keep people fueled up—even triathletes—and lets customers choose what they want, Sakara Life is all about detoxing, with set menus that rotate weekly and seasonally. Superfoods are incorporated into many of the dishes, which tend to be soups, salads, and vegetable-heavy bowls. Nutritional supplements and detox teas are an essential part of each of Sakara Life’s meal plans.

Final Verdict

Budget-conscious people who want to eat more plant-based meals and who aren’t averse to doing a little cooking or finessing will likely find MamaSezz a handy option. The fresh, fully prepared entrees, sides, and meal components are more like healthy dinnertime shortcuts than meals all on their own, but they’re generously portioned and a good value.

Methodology

We spent numerous 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.

The criteria we used to evaluate each company included:

  • The ordering process
  • Meal selection
  • Packaging and support materials
  • Recyclability
  • The cooking process
  • The flavor, freshness, and quality of each meal and ingredient
  • Nutritional information
  • Customer service

Specs

  • Product Brand MamaSezz
  • Lowest Price per Serving $5
  • Number of Diets Served 6
  • Number of Recipes 45
  • Delivery Area 50 states
  • Serving Sizes Available 2, 3, 4, 6