Healthy and delicious recipe options
Available in most states
Strong customer support
Requires a fair amount of cooking time
Very few pre-prepared ingredients
Imperfect vegetables and fruits
Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon
Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon is a multi-national company founded in Germany, and the U.S. branch of this meal delivery service ships to 48 states. The service offers 29 meals that can be selected each week and customers can choose two or four servings of each meal and receive up to six meals per week.
This service focuses on providing ingredients for customers to prep and cook meals that fall into various buckets, including vegetarian, keto, dairy-free, and more. We ordered several meals to see how they measure up.
How It Works: Great User Experience
Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon starts the signup process by asking how many meals you would like per week and how many people are in your household. Once that basic structure is established, the service asks you for any dietary restrictions you have and what kinds of protein you prefer. Then it gives you some sample meals and you can select ones that you like.
Once you have your first delivery scheduled, which you will receive the following week, you can edit the meals that are recommended and choose from the roughly 30 that are available that week. The interface is intuitive to use and we had no problem selecting meals or changing upcoming ones.
Choosing Meals: The Algo Works
Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon has a simple algorithm that recommends meals to you each week based on previous rankings you input into the site. If you do nothing, you’ll receive new boxes each week on your delivery date and each box will have the number of meals you selected during your initial signup.
The site does a great job of giving you a preview each week of what you will be receiving in future deliveries and you can very easily edit those meals and choose from alternative lists.
What We Made
- Keto steak with pesto & marinated zucchini-green bean salad: We received individually portioned steaks with basil sauce for marinating the steaks and also as a topping on the cooked steak. There was also zucchini and green beans to mix together in a low-carb vegetable salad. The vegetables had to be cooked in two separate methods (blanching and grilling) so even though the meal appears simple, there was a fair amount of cooking involved.
- Grilled salmon & tomato-peach salad with creamy feta: We received pre-portioned salmon filets for roasting in the oven. There were ingredients for a creamy feta sauce, which just had to be stirred together, including opening several tiny packages of sour cream. The salad was a mix of tomatoes and peaches. The peaches didn’t travel well and were a bit beat up, so we had to discard two of them. We were able to trim off enough of the bruised areas on the remaining two to make the salad.
- Filipino-style chicken tacos with red cabbage slaw: This recipe came with four chicken breasts that were right at their expiration date, so we cooked this recipe quickly. The chicken needed to be pan-seared and then shredded and tossed with a marinade that came in raw ingredients. To top the tacos, there was some red cabbage and sour cream.
Support Materials: Professional and Thorough
The supporting materials for Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon are very professional and easy to use. Each recipe includes printed recipe cards on sturdy, high-quality paper. This makes it easy to hang onto them and pull them out at a later date to make one of the recipes from scratch.
Beyond the printed cards, which you can opt-out of receiving, instructions for preparing each recipe along with a full list of equipment you’ll need to make them, ingredients you’ll need from your pantry that aren’t included in your box, and basic nutritional information are on the company's website.
Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon does run a blog as well that is occasionally updated. There is also a robust FAQ section where you can find answers to common questions.
Each recipe includes printed recipe cards on sturdy, high-quality paper which makes it easy to hang onto them.
Packaging: Smartly Packaged
We were impressed with the Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon packaging. The larger box, box liner, and ice packs can all be recycled in one way or another (the ice packs need to be emptied and rinsed). Regarding the ingredients, while the meat was mailed in vacuum-packed plastic, much like you would see at the supermarket, the fruits and vegetables were sent in plain paper bags that were divided for each recipe.
The packaging looked similar to what you might get from the store if you forgo using plastic bags. Most of the produce was in paper and the meat was in plastic, which can generally be recycled in areas that accept #1 and #4 recyclable plastic.
The one downside of this method for shipping the produce is that ours ended up a little banged up. We had a few peaches that were very bruised and were not worth using for the peach salad.
The Cooking Process: Few Shortcuts
We tried three different recipes and enjoyed all of them. There was almost nothing premade; everything was intended to be cooked fresh.
The first recipe we made was the steak with a zucchini-green bean salad. The recipe involved blanching green beans (which were less than perfect in our box) and then grilling or cooking in a skillet both the steak and the zucchini. The basil pesto was premade, but otherwise, the recipe required a fair amount of cooking and skill. We cooked the zucchini and steak in the same cast-iron skillet to save some dishes. The flavors in the dish were really good and we liked how light the meal ended up. As an aside, any leftovers from this recipe would make a delicious weekday lunch.
The second meal we tried was the salmon dish and peach salad, which was the easiest meal to make in our box. It came together quickly and had great flavors. The feta sauce that the salmon is supposed to be served with is a mix of feta cheese and sour cream.
The last recipe we tried, the Filipino-style chicken tacos, was delicious but also the most challenging of the recipes. It required a lot of chopping and cooking, including a from-scratch marinade for the chicken that was really good but might have been more work than some might be willing to do during the week. The recipe had great flavors, but there was nothing time-saving about what was included in the box. Also, we found a few steps in the recipe to be a bit technical, and they would have been challenging for a beginner cook to follow.
Flavor, Freshness, and Quality: Mostly Good
The quality and freshness of the ingredients that we received were, for the most part, positive. As mentioned, the fruit was in rough shape likely because of how it was packaged. And the chicken was at the end of its shelf life, although it wasn't spoiled. Aside from that, everything was fresh and tasted good. The steak and salmon did not have any issues and preparing them was straightforward.
Nutritional Value: Just the Basics
Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon provides basic nutritional information in the online portal for each recipe. The calorie information is printed on the recipe cards as well. Here are the details about the three meals we cooked, according to the company:
- Keto steak with pesto & marinated zucchini-green bean salad: 480 calories, 28g fat, 44g protein, 16g carbohydrates
- Grilled salmon & tomato-peach salad with creamy feta: 660 calories, 43g fat, 37g protein, 30g carbohydrates
- Filipino-style chicken tacos with red cabbage slaw: 910 calories, 52g fat, 51g protein, 67g carbohydrates
Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon Is Good For
A skilled home cook who has a hard time coming up with recipes and would like to save time from going to the store, but who does have time to cook regularly, might benefit from using Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon.
Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon Is Not Good For
A beginner cook or someone who doesn’t have time to cook regularly or someone who is looking for pre-prepared meals that they can reheat and serve immediately may not find Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon to be a good fit.
Add-ons: Some Basics
Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon does offer a few add-ons that can be tacked onto any weekly delivery, including extra proteins like steak, salmon, or chicken. These aren’t particularly different than what you might find in a store, but the convenience may make it worth it. You can also add more complete courses like baked oatmeal and a few dessert options like cheesecake.
Customer Service: Still Waiting
Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon offers an online form and a phone number for customer service. We reached out to a general company email address to ask about the freshness of some of the produce but didn’t hear back. After we canceled the service, we did hear from the company's customer team, which offered us a $20 credit to re-join, but nobody answered the original question we submitted.
Making Changes and Canceling: All Online
The Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon website is very intuitive to use and making changes to your basic plan and/or making meal adjustments each week is very easy. There’s no need to contact support to do so. You can also pause your subscription for any number of weeks, skip a week, or cancel your account without contacting support. Downgrading or upgrading the number of meals you receive is also very easy and intuitive. Just keep in mind that the deadline to make changes is five or six days before your scheduled delivery, based on your location.
The Competition: Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon vs. One Potato
These two meal delivery companies have similar price points and both have very easy ways to select meals and change plans via their websites. One Potato has more pre-prepared items and doesn’t deliver to all states. It’s a smaller company with fewer meals to choose from, but the focus is on organic food. Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon has more meal options but requires more cooking and prep and the company does not disclose specific sourcing for ingredients. Out of the recipes we tried, we thought the Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon meals were more interesting and healthier even without the organic sourcing, but they required much more cooking than the One Potato recipes.
If you have the budget and are in a meal rut, Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon could be a good way to change up your meal routine for a few weeks. The recipes are inventive and if you collect a few recipe cards that you enjoy, you can always source the ingredients yourself. We would not recommend this company if you are short on time or have limited cooking experience.
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
- The cooking process
- The flavor, freshness, and quality of each meal and ingredient
- Nutritional information
- Customer service
- Product Name Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon
- Lowest Price per Serving $6.99
- Number of Diets Served 5
- Number of Recipes 29
- Delivery Area 48 states
- Serving Sizes Available 2, 4