The Good Kitchen
100% free of gluten, peanut, and soy
Little to no added sugar
Responsibly sourced ingredients
Selections often out of stock
Dishes sometimes lackluster in looks and flavor
Unresponsive customer service
The Good Kitchen
The Good Kitchen is all about food that's good for you and the planet. The company offers 18 fully prepared, heat-and-eat meals each week built on mostly seasonal and primarily organic ingredients, and responsibly raised or harvested meat and fish. You won’t find any grains, gluten, soy, or refined sugar, and there's very little dairy, making it a great option for those who want to eat clean and reduce their consumption of inflammatory foods, or for those who have food allergies.
Some prepared meal delivery services have a single set menu that doesn’t change, but The Good Kitchen’s meals rotate weekly. The company also allows customers to subscribe for weekly, biweekly, or monthly deliveries, or just order one-off shipments whenever they need. We wanted to know if The Good Kitchen’s meals were more than just good in name, so we ordered a week’s worth to try out. Read on to see what we thought.
We spent four months researching, ordering, testing, eating, and writing about 40 meal delivery services. Our testers wrote in-depth reviews and filled out detailed surveys about each company, which we used to assign an overall score to each one.
Learn More: Read Our Full Methodology
How It Works: Healthful Meals With Zero Effort
The Good Kitchen offers fully cooked single-serving meals that require zero prep. They’re shipped fresh via overnight delivery and require just a few minutes in the microwave to heat through. And the site makes it easy to shop around before you commit. The current week’s full menu is easily accessible, so we could scroll through the options and click on each one to review the ingredients and nutrition information. We could also filter the selection according to dietary preferences, so we could see at a glance which meals were vegetarian, keto, Whole30 approved, or even pork-free.
All of the meals are free of gluten, peanuts, and soy. Many options are Whole30 approved and ingredients are responsibly sourced, including pasture-raised meats, sustainable fish, and produce from independent farms. According to the site, most ingredients are organic and the company follows the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen and Clean 15 guidelines when sourcing.
We had the option of ordering a la carte or subscribing. A la carte meals are priced according to the protein, but they generally cost $11.50 to $15.00. The minimum a la carte order is six meals or $98.87, and shipping costs extra. Subscriptions start at six meals but we could select as many as 12.
To go the subscription route, we first had to select any dietary preferences and allergies. We liked how we could see immediately how the number of meals and the frequency affected the pricing, so we knew what we were getting into before we went through the work of selecting our meals.
In addition to the single-serving meals, The Good Kitchen also offers bulk orders of its proteins and sides, like beef barbacoa and spiced cauliflower. Each one serves four so you can serve your meals family-style or mix and match the items with other ingredients at home. And for active folks who want to eat like pro football player Tom Brady, The Good Kitchen offers heat-and-eat single-serving meals for his TB12 brand, all inspired by Brady’s eating regimen.
Choosing Meals: Plenty of Seasonal Options
Each week there are 18 single-serving meals to choose from, and the selection rotates to keep things interesting as well as take advantage of what’s in season. Two of the options are usually breakfast, like a vegetable frittata with Yukon gold potatoes. The rest are appropriate for lunch or dinner.
We could scroll through the options and see pictures of each dish, then click on the photo to get in-depth information like ingredients, nutrition information, and a little note about flavor. When we wanted to zero in on a type of food, we could use the previously mentioned filters, as well as indicate our preferences and allergens like dairy, eggs, nuts, nightshades, and even garlic.
Meals are recognizable to anyone familiar with a paleo or Whole30 diet—think bowls of lean proteins and vegetables with some kind of sauce, no simple carbs, and no bread. Rice comes in the form of riced cauliflower. Spaghetti squash stands in for pasta. Even the vegetarian dishes don’t default to some variation on pasta and cheese. Although, since the meals are all soy-free, this means there’s no tofu or soy sauce either. Not only are Asian dishes not well represented, but many of the vegetarian dishes were also light on protein, aside from the one that incorporated eggs.
The meals are strongly influenced by classic Americana, the Mediterranean, or Mexico, with lots of tomatoes, chilies, herbs, and spices. Think chicken cacciatore with spaghetti squash, beef pot roast with sweet potato mash, chile-lime chicken with fajita vegetables, and cilantro-lime cauliflower rice.
New customers can select their meals up until 8 p.m. ET on Sundays for delivery by Wednesday. Any orders after the cutoff will ship the following Wednesday. Returning customers and those with subscriptions can choose their meals up until 5 p.m. ET on Thursdays and they arrive a day or two later.
What We Made
We aimed for variety when selecting our dishes, including a vegetarian option, so we could try as many proteins and preparations as possible. Several times, the items we selected ended up being out of stock even though they weren’t labeled as such when we were shopping. It wasn’t until we were checking out that we were alerted and had to start the process over, only to find the new dish we selected was out of stock too. It was both annoying and disappointing. In the end, we chose:
- Beef shepherd’s pie
- Bison and beef sloppy joe with potato leek gratin
- Chicken satay with cilantro rice and broccoli
- Chili lime chicken with fajita vegetables and cilantro cauliflower rice
- Miso glazed wild boar meatballs and hibachi zucchini
- Tomato, asparagus, and spinach frittata with Yukon potato hash
Support Materials: Not Needed
There’s no prep needed with these meals. An adhesive label on each tray includes the ingredient list, nutrition information, heating instructions, and expiration date. You can also freeze the meals by the date listed and extend the shelf life by up to a month. The fine print says thawed meals must be consumed within 72 hours.
Packaging: Mostly Recyclable
Considering that the meals have to be kept cold and shipped overnight, we expected them to be packed with lots of styrofoam. Instead, we were happy to find the cardboard box was insulated with Green Cell Foam; because it dissolves in water, it was wrapped in plastic to keep it from getting wet. Gel packs kept the contents chilled and our meals arrived still cold. We were able to recycle the box, and the plastic from the gel packs and the liners, in our curbside recycling, and the Green Cell Foam we popped in our curbside yard waste bin.
The meals themselves come vacuum-sealed and packed on a single-serving, microwave-safe plastic tray. Each tray is encased in a cardboard sleeve that has ingredients, instructions, and other info printed on it.
In total, our shipment from The Good Kitchen included a total of 26 individual pieces of packaging. Of those 26 pieces, 20 were eligible for recycling, either curbside or at a special facility. The remaining six pieces had to be thrown in the trash and sent to the landfill.
The Cooking Process: 5 Minutes Tops
To heat each meal, all we did was remove the cardboard sleeve, peel back the plastic film from one corner of the tray, and pop the meal in the microwave. The dishes we ordered were all ready in under five minutes: three minutes on high and a minute of resting before digging in.
Flavor, Freshness, and Quality: Fresh but Somewhat Bland
Most of us eat with our eyes first. When a dish looks good, we want to dig in. However, some of the dishes we tried looked less than appealing—lots of brown and orange mush. Flavor-wise, the dishes we tried tasted pretty good, but a couple of them could have benefited from a little more salt (like the beef shepherd's pie, for example).
The chili lime chicken with fajita vegetables and cilantro cauliflower rice was by far our favorite. Combining moist and juicy chicken with savory sautéed peppers and onions, this was a hit, and we'd happily order it again. Coming in second was the bison and beef sloppy joe. It was like a fresher, healthier version of the classic American sandwich, with a lot less sauce and a side of potato leek gratin in lieu of a bun.
On the other side of the spectrum, the beef shepherd's pie, as we mentioned above, was a bit bland. Additionally, the presentation of the dish wasn't what we expected it to be. Rather than a traditional beef and vegetable mixture topped with a pillowy layer of golden-baked mashed potatoes, this simply consisted of a pile of ground beef and a side of mushy potato mash that needed a bit more seasoning.
Overall, the dishes we tried were mostly satisfying. Big eaters will likely still be hungry, but those with smaller appetites will find them filling. Aside from the vegetarian dish, they each included a decent amount of meat, so we didn’t feel hungry for hours, but also didn’t feel stuffed or bloated.
Nutritional Value: Very Healthful
The Good Kitchen is a great go-to for those who want to limit their intake of wheat, dairy, sugar, and soy. And customers can even filter their choices further for things like nightshades, nuts, and eggs.
It’s also great for those eating paleo or Whole30. You won’t find simple carbs or added sugar, just lots of protein and vegetables. If you have diabetes, are active, or are looking to lose weight, these meals are great options.
The dishes we tried weren’t stunners in looks or flavor, but they were mostly satisfying.
The servings weren’t skimpy but weren’t generous either. Still, we never felt hungry after eating. Calories usually hovered around 350 to 400 per meal. The pork and collards was the highest calorie option out of the choices that week, and for the 11-ounce serving, it offered 650 calories, 38g of fat, 20g of carbohydrates, and 58g of protein. The chicken, pork loin, and beef hash all clocked in at around 400 calories, 25g of fat, 30g of protein, and 20g to 30g of carbohydrates.
The Good Kitchen Is Good For
The Good Kitchen works best for singles or couples who want to lose weight or maintain a healthy weight, want to avoid certain foods for allergy or inflammatory reasons, and care about where their food comes from.
The Good Kitchen Is Not Good For
Even though The Good Kitchen offers family-size bulk portions, the selection is more limited than their single-serving meals and, for the price, a little too basic. Who wants to pay $11.50 for four servings of cooked brown rice? It’s just not the best service for feeding a crowd. Also, vegetarians don’t have many protein-rich options.
Add-ons: Bulk Portions
There aren’t any snacks, desserts, broths, and smoothies to add on as some other services offer. But customers can add bulk servings of several prepared proteins and side dishes under the family-style menu. It’s a great way for big eaters and athletes to add extra meat or veggies to their meals.
Customer Service: Mixed Reviews
The Good Kitchen’s e-blasts are helpful. For example, when our order shipped, we got an email with the UPS tracking number. We received another email recapping the cooking, freezing, and recycling instructions. And when it was time to select our meals again, we got an email on Monday, giving us several days before the cutoff to choose our meals for the next shipment.
However, at one point we received an email about menu changes with 243 other customers CC’d rather than BCC’d, making everyone’s email address available to each other. Not a good look. The message was also a bit confusing. We were very relieved that no one hit “reply all.”
There’s no chat service, but customers are encouraged to reach out via email and phone during business hours. However, we emailed a simple question during business hours and never received a response. When we called during business hours we got voicemail. Even after leaving a message we still never got a response.
Making Changes and Canceling: Fast and Easy
To select meals, change your address, payment info, delivery frequency or cancel completely, customers just log into their account online. The cancel button isn’t hidden and hard to find; it’s just part of the delivery frequency options. You’ll get a request to tell them why and an email asking for feedback, but otherwise customers aren’t guilted or made to jump through hoops to cancel.
Busy singles and couples who struggle to find the time to cook healthful meals that adhere to paleo or Whole30 diets can benefit from The Good Kitchen. The meals are nutritious, responsibly sourced, and take just minutes to heat up. Flavorwise, they could use some help from a few pantry additions. They’re a little pricier than a homemade meal or frozen dinner from the supermarket, but on par with takeout—and a lot healthier, too.
Our testers ordered from, cooked, and rated 40 different meal delivery services. We carefully scored each one based on meal selection, nutritional information, sustainability, and customer service, as well as the flavor, freshness, and quality of each meal and ingredient. Our Spruce Eats tester panel includes dietitians, chefs, and longtime food writers. The one thing they all have in common is their love and knowledge of food.
- Product Name The Good Kitchen
- Starting Price $11.50 per serving
- Delivery Area 50 states
- Products Arrive Fresh
- Customers Can Choose Delivery Date? No
- Free Shipping? No