These Food Kit Options Are Not Only Healthy, but Cut Down Your Kitchen Time in a Major Way

Photo: Ben Fink Productions
When Blue Apron and Plated first launched a few years ago, people were understandably pumped. Organic food delivered right to your door? Sweet! The downside? Making the meals take a big chunk of time (AKA lots of veggie cutting).

Now, not only have a whole new crop of food delivery services popped up, but they were designed for eaters who are short on time—and want everything ready to eat in under 30 minutes (and in many cases, less than five). Love cauli rice and zoodles but want someone else to do the prep work for you? Done. Another perk of Meal Kit Delivery 2.0? No matter what type of eater you are, there's one created specifically with you in mind. Paleo? Vegan? Low-FODMAP? Yep, you're covered.

Here, we round up the buzziest meal kit options in New York City to help you find your perfect plan, based on how many people you're cooking for and what type of eater you are. And of course, very minimal chopping required.

Keep reading for the newest crop of food delivery services that won't have you stuck in the kitchen for hours.

hungry root
Photo: Instagram/@hungryroot

If you're sick of salad but still want veggies, try Hungryroot

Starting at $9 a meal

Chances are, you've probably already spotted Top Chef Masters alum Franklin Becker's Hungryroot line at Whole Foods, where a whole slew of zoodle options are offered up. (Besides zucchini, there's also carrot, turnip, and sweet potato noodles—to name just a few—all packaged with corresponding sauces and toppings.) Now, the plant-based line can be delivered straight to you—including the cookie dough (made with chickpeas, natch). "The reason why people love it so much is because we take simple, everyday foods and reinvent them to have a vegetable focus in a way that's still delicious," Becker says.

The zoodles work in two ways: You can either eat them as is, or use them as a foundation, adding your own meat, seafood, or other add-ins. For example, "the carrot zoodles with Sriracha peanut sauce make a great base for pad Thai if you add in scrambled egg and shrimp," Becker notes. Best of all, there's no need to deal with spiralizer clean-up duty after dinner.

If you're obsessed with pasta-inspired veggies, Hungryroot has a Just Noodles subscription—or you can go big and with your order, adding things like its maple chickpea pancake batter, cheesy roasted sweet potato wedges, and cauli-beet hummus.

terra's kitchen
Photo: Terra's Kitchen

If you still want to cook—without spending all night in front of the stove—try Terra's Kitchen

Starting at $9.99 per meal

If cooking is a great way for you to de-stress—but you're not that into deciding what to buy and finding time to grocery shop —this meal plan offers a great solution, especially if you're trying to feed a family. All the meals (like sugar and spice salmon, avocado mash and black beans, or the Terra bowl) can be made in 30 minutes or less.

You can pick out exactly what you want, plus how many servings of it—essentially never having to worry about what to cook for dinner again. Plus, sustainability is a key part of the line's mission, so the meals are delivered in an eco-friendly container that can be used up to 100 times. 

Photo: Sun Basket

If you want a meal delivery kit for more than just dinner, try Sun Basket

$11.49 per meal

This organic, nutritionist-customized food delivery service can be adjusted for vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free, and Paleo eaters. But that's not all: Unlike anything else out there—including, yes, Blue Apron—it is the only meal delivery service to cover breakfast as well as lunch and dinner.

Inside each box, you'll find non-GMO ingredients that are measured out and ready to be easily assembled, based on the recipes they come with. An added bonus: The packaging is 100 percent recyclable.

Photo: Ben Fink Productions

If you want to ensure absolutely nothing on your dinner plate will make you bloated, try Epicured

Starting at $75 for one meal a day for five days

Even if you aren't among the one in five Americans who has IBS, following a low-FODMAP diet can weed out sneaky foods that lead to bloating and inflammation. But keeping track of what is and isn't on the no-bloat list—and crafting meals without dairy or gluten—can be tricky. This just-launched food delivery service does all the meal planning (and cooking) for you: Every single Epicured item is 100 percent low-FODMAP and gluten-free. And no, that doesn't mean you have to skip out on Thai, Indian, and Italian—score!

Photo: Instagram/@so_ripe

If you want to feed the whole office, try Ripe

Starting at $10 per meal

If your office's go-to meal for big meetings is a stack of pizzas, this healthy food delivery service will be a total game-changer (and hey, it never hurts to earn some popularity points around the office).

Curated by nutritionists, Ripe delivers organic, good-for-you meals like roasted squash and mesclun salad. And if your office is a big mash-up of vegans, vegetarians, and Paleo eaters—plus those who have gone dairy-and gluten-free—the program can be adjusted accordingly.

Photo: Josephine Rozman

If you're throwing a dinner party but don't feel like cooking, try Feastive

$120 for a complete meal kit

Hearing your friends laughing in the next room while you're stuck in the kitchen is the worst. Thankfully, that won't happen with this meal service, where the whole idea is for everyone to get in on the fun of cooking by delivering ready-to-prep party food meal plans. As the hostess, you can choose the type of dinner party you want to throw—a sampling of offerings include a hot pot (two base soups with farm-fresh veggies and handmade dumplings), DIY sushi hand rolls, and Vietnamese chicken vermicelli bowls, loaded with vegetables. Your guests know what they can and can't eat better than anyone, so this way, they can take dietary matters into their own hands (literally), leaving you off the hook.

Changed your mind and feel like cooking for your friends, even though they all have different food needs? Here's what to put on the menu. And if you're eating out, check out this list of New York City's buzziest health-minded restaurants

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