No cooking required
Large selection over meals (over 50)
Weight-loss plan available
Lacking in vegetables
Pretty bland in flavor
As of August 28, 2020, Veestro wants to reassure customers that despite the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the service is continuing to deliver meals to customers as scheduled, though there may be shipping delays due to FedEx. Visit the Coronavirus FAQ on their website for more details.
Veganism was once a fringe diet, but these days it’s been embraced by eaters of all types. According to GlobalData, the years between 2014 and 2017 saw a 600 percent increase in the number of people in the U.S. who identify as vegan, and that doesn’t even include the people who simply want to eat more plant-based meals without going vegan full time. As scientific studies continue to show the health and environmental benefits of eating less meat and dairy, and increasing our intake of grains, legumes, and vegetables, more people are opting to go the vegan route at least part of the time.
But cooking a well-balanced meat- and dairy-free meal isn’t always easy for the uninitiated and time-crunched. That’s where Veestro comes in. With a box of 10, 20 or 30 frozen vegan meals delivered right to your door, it makes going vegan nearly effortless. But at a minimum of $9.90 each, they’re far more expensive than a frozen meal from the supermarket. We gave Veestro a try to see if it was worth the price. Read our full review below to see how it stacked up.
How It Works: Prepared from meals in bulk
Veestro offers subscriptions of 10, 20 or 30 fully prepared frozen meals. The meals serve one person each and just need to be reheated before serving. Subscriptions can be changed or canceled at any time.
Customers can choose to receive their meals either every week, every two weeks or every four weeks.
Customers can choose to select their meals themselves with the A La Carte Plan, or let the company choose for them with the Chef’s Choice Plan. With Chef’s Choice, you can still slightly customize your options by choosing the Customer Favorites, High-Protein or Gluten-Free menus.
There’s also a Weight Loss Plan that provides three meals per day for either five or seven days. The meals are meant to average 1,200 total calories per day and there’s a gluten-free option.
It’s not possible to choose a delivery date. To estimate when our delivery would arrive, we had to visit the Shipping and Delivery Times page, look at the map to see which zone we were in, then consult a chart that listed estimated delivery days based on when the order is placed. The geographic zones are divided into 1-day, 2-day, 3-day, and 4-day categories. However, that doesn’t necessarily translate to the actual day the delivery will arrive, and it doesn’t count weekends. For example, we are in a 3-day zone and an order placed on Thursday wasn’t supposed to arrive until Thursday or Friday the following week. It actually arrived a day early. It’s all quite confusing, so it’s best to just consult the chart and not get hung up on receiving the shipment on a particular day.
Choosing Meals: Plant-based versions of classics
Veestro offers the same 44 entrees and 7 breakfast dishes at all times. We found this to be a much larger selection than the weekly meals typically offered by cook-it-yourself meal kit companies, but since this collection of meals never changes, you’re bound to see repeats at least every few weeks. Most meal kit delivery companies have a larger database of recipes to pull from, so repeats aren’t as inevitable.
The meals all have icons showing if they’re free of allergens. And customers can filter the menu choices by gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free Kosher, high-protein and low-calorie. According to the FAQ section, Veestro aims to avoid cross-contamination in its facilities, but it can’t guarantee it won’t occur.
The dishes are mostly plant-based versions of familiar favorites, things like Pasta Bolognese with mushrooms instead of ground meat, Pad Thai, and Enchilada Casserole. There are a few kid-friendly options, too, like pizzas and nuggets.
The lineup seems geared toward those who want vegan replacements for popular comfort foods, not for those looking for creative culinary endeavors.
There also doesn’t seem to be any attempt at authenticity. For example, a meal called Moroccan Melange didn’t look even remotely like a North African dish from its photo. When we clicked on the photo we could see the ingredients list, which included millet and quinoa with peas and carrots, and a sauce made with Thai green curry paste and coconut milk. The addition of coriander, cumin, cinnamon, and allspice, apparently, was the only nod to Moroccan flavors.
Proteins come in the form of beans, tofu or soy-based faux chicken. There’s usually a carb component, such as pasta, pastry/pizza dough or rice. The meals didn’t seem as vegetable-centric as we expected. Sure, there are vegetables incorporated into each meal but they almost seemed like an afterthought.
We signed up for the six-meal trial offer and didn’t get to choose our meals.
- Red Curry with Tofu
- Country Fried Chick’n
- Enchilada Casserole
- Tuscan Calzone
- Pasta Bolognese
- Breakfast Burrito
Support Materials: Just the label
Since there’s no cooking involved, there aren’t any recipe cards or video tutorials. Each meal comes wrapped with a large paperboard label with the cooking instructions printed on it. Although all the meals could be microwaved and ready in minutes, the labels always recommended oven or stove-top preparations.
Veestro’s website offers a regularly updated blog with articles pertaining to health, wellness and environmental sustainability. Those relatively new to eating vegan will likely find useful information in the articles.
Packaging: Very eco-friendly
The meals are all packaged in compostable trays. Any plastic pouches (for sauces) are BPA free and recyclable in areas that accept film plastic.
Since the meals come already prepared, there isn’t the usual onslaught of plastic bags and tubs associated with cook-it-yourself meal kits.
The meals are shipped in a cardboard box that’s easily curbside recyclable. To keep the meals cold, they’re packaged with plastic bags of dry ice. Once the dry ice evaporates, the bags can be recycled if your area accepts them.
The Cooking Process: Virtually effortless
The meals can all be microwaved and ready in minutes, but the company makes it clear on the labels that it recommends oven or stovetop methods of reheating. We followed this advice, so of course the meals took far longer to cook, usually 25 to 35 minutes. Reheating them conventionally also meant they had to be removed from their tray and placed in oven-safe vessels or in skillets on the stove, which results in one more thing to wash after dinner.
Compared to cooking a meal from scratch, it was pretty hands-free, and even someone who has never cooked before would be able to reheat these dinners.
However, some of the cooking instructions lacked a bit of detail. For example, for the Red Curry, it wasn’t clear if the rice should be reheated separately from the sauce, since the label only offered instructions for the sauce. But these details won’t make or break a dish.
Flavor, Freshness and Quality: Just OK
We certainly like that 96 percent of Veestro’s ingredients are organic, at least according to its FAQ page. And the ingredients used in the dishes we tried seemed to be of good quality. Generally, though, we were fairly disappointed by the bland flavor of the meals. Overall, we felt like we’ve had better vegan meals from the freezer section at the supermarket for a far cheaper price.
The Red Curry with tofu, broccoli, carrots and cauliflower on brown rice was rich and coconutty, but it had zero spice or complexity. It skewed a bit sweet and could have used more vegetables.
The Pasta Bolognese was fine. It combined wide spinach green spinach pasta with a deeply savory red sauce packed with mushrooms and eggplant. The firm bits of mushroom offered a nice meaty texture but the noodles were flabby. Portion-wise, this was on the small side, while all the other entrees we tried seemed generously portioned.
The Country Fried Chick’n went down easy, like a classic TV dinner. The sides were a bit disappointing, though. The mashed potatoes were dry, and the tiny pile of broccoli, carrots, and cauliflower was paltry, dry and basically unseasoned.
The faux chicken had a good crispy texture and didn’t have any off-flavors.
The Tuscan Calzone wasn’t even remotely Italian in flavor. The pastry was very soft and sweet. It even had a distinct floral note as if it was sweetened with a very floral honey, though it certainly wasn’t or else it wouldn’t be vegan. The sweetness of the pastry could have been overlooked, except the filling was completely unlike any calzone we’ve ever had. It was like a zucchini and carrot pot pie swimming in cream sauce. The tomato sauce for dipping had a strong carrot aftertaste and no discernible herb or even garlic notes.
The Enchilada Casserole was probably the most disappointing dish of all. It baked up into a soggy, mushy mass with only a vague hint of Mexican flavor. The corn tortillas were indiscernible from the layers of sauce and crumbled tofu. The red sauce was very heavy on roasted sweet red pepper flavor.
So what did we like? The breakfast burrito was actually quite good and generously sized. The whole wheat tortilla held up well in the oven while reheating, without getting dried out or tough. The filling of potatoes, tomatoes, black beans and scrambled tofu had a good amount of flavor. Again, the red sauce for dipping was heavy on roasted sweet red pepper flavor, but in this context it worked and it had a bit of spicy heat from jalapenos.
Who It Is Good For?
People who want to eat vegan versions of familiar comfort-food meals, but don’t have any time or interest in cooking, might enjoy Veestro.
Who It Isn't Good For?
Vegans who want meals that emphasize fresh vegetables, bold flavors or creative inspiration will likely be disappointed.
Veestro only offers frozen one-serving meals. However, there are breakfast selections in addition to lunch and dinner entrees.
Customer Service: Limited
To contact a representative at the company, customers can call Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific Time. Otherwise they can e-mail or fill out an online form and expect an answer within 24 hours, except weekends. The FAQ page answers most questions, though.
Making Changes and Canceling: No trouble
If customers decide to change the number of meals they receive, the frequency, the plan or the actual meal selection, it’s easy to do in the “Manage Subscriptions” section of the Accounts tab.
In order to get free shipping and a discount of 10 percent, customers have to sign up for an auto-delivery subscription once a week, every two weeks or every four weeks. Luckily it’s easy to pause or cancel in the Manage Subscriptions section, too.
All changes must be made before the payment for the order is processed. Customers get an e-mail announcement before payment processes for the upcoming order and they have three days to make any changes. The company will not refund or make changes to any order after the payment has been processed.
The Competition: Veestro vs. Fresh N’ Lean
Fresh N’ Lean is another prepared meal delivery service that requires no cooking. The company offers meat-heavy plans in addition to its two vegan plans, so that may be a concern to some customers who want their food prepared in a 100 percent vegan facility.
Fresh N’ Lean offers refrigerated instead of frozen meals for $8.40 per meal compared to Veestro’s lowest price of $9.90. And Fresh N' Lean has add-ons like vegetable side dishes and snacks. Fresh N' Lean has far fewer meal choices — just 13 entrees plus three oatmeals and granola for the breakfast options. All of the entrees tend to be variations on grain and veggie bowls rather than composed entrees. In that sense, Veestro’s meals seem much more interesting.
To be frank, Veestro’s vegan meals don’t taste any better than a frozen vegan dinner from the supermarket, but they cost quite a bit more. For those with a generous budget who really don’t want to think about cooking, shopping or even choosing their own dinner, Veestro fills a niche, but others will likely be disappointed by the high price and lack of flavor.
- Product Name Veestro
- Price $117
- Standard Plan 10 meal plan with auto-delivery
- Shipping Free for auto-delivery orders, or $9.99 for one-time orders
- Minimum cost per Serving $9.90
- Minimum Order 10 meals