Blue Apron Review: Menu options, plans, and costs [2020]

Blue Apron Delivery box

This article contains affiliate links.  Please see our affiliate link disclosure here

Blue Apron is one of the largest meal delivery service companies on the market. What sets them apart is their attention to detail. Are they right for you? Read our full Blue Apron review to learn more.

Our Score: 4.3/5

Our Take

While Blue Apron is on the pricier side and they only accommodate vegetarians and the people who follow a standard diet, the food was rather delicious. It felt like restaurant quality meals, especially the Summer Vegetable Gnocchi with Romano Cheese. We would recommend this meal kit to others, if they can afford it. However, as a downside to the tastiness, we had to order nearly an entire month in advance before receiving our first meal.

The pricing, the long wait and the lack of accommodating specific dietary needs is what cost them a star in our rating. However, let’s get into specifics about Blue Apron, so you know what to expect if you order from this company.

In This Review

Who is Blue Apron Best For?

Best For People Who Want...

  • Restaurant quality meals
  • Vegetarian options

May Not be Best For...

  • People who follow specific diets.
  • People looking to start a meal kit subscription service immediately.

Blue Apron In-Depth Review

You probably know how meal kit subscription services work. You sign up, pick your meals and then they get delivered to you. How they come varies from service to service, but, hopefully at the end of the day, you’re left with a delicious home cooked meal. 

 

However, there are certain things that set one service apart from another. In this particular case, we would say what sets Blue Apron apart is their attention to detail. Take their name for instance, the name Blue Apron is an homage to chefs around the world who wear blue aprons while learning to cook. Today, the blue apron is a symbol of lifelong learning within the culinary field. Their hope is that the name inspires others to discover new elements of preparing and cooking food. 

How It Works

When you order from Blue Apron you get fresh ingredients and recipe cards that are designed to help chefs of all levels cook incredible meals at home. This cuts out the menu planning and shopping, so all you have to do is cook and enjoy.

As previously stated, you simply go online and pick your plan and your meals, then you wait for your delivery. It’s very simple.

Blue Apron website

Blue Apron Plans and Costs

Blue Apron isn’t the cheapest meal kit around, but they’re very straightforward about their pricing. Plus, the shipping is free. Not many meal delivery kits offer free shipping. Some of them charge as much as $8.99 for shipping. Bonus points to Blue Apron for this.

Blue Apron offers three different plans. Here are the specifics of the various plans and the pricing.

Signature Plan for 2 – $9.99

  • The Signature Plan for 2 is your choice of 2 or 3 recipes in each weekly delivery that are perfectly portioned for two people.
  • You’re able to select 2 or 3 recipes out of the 11 unique options created by Blue Apron’s Culinary team each week. Unless you pick, Blue Apron will make selections for you based on your dietary preferences.

Signature Plan for 4 – $8.99

  • This plan is perfect for feeding a family of 4.
  • Blue Apron’s Culinary team creates 6 delicious recipe options for this plan each week, and you can choose to receive 2, 3 or 4 recipes per delivery.

Vegetarian Plan for 2 – $9.99

  • These are their meat-free dishes that celebrate the best of seasonal produce.
  • Blue Apron offers between 3-4 vegetarian recipes every week that are portioned for 2 people to enjoy. If you select this plan, they’ll automatically default you to vegetarian recipes each week.

Regardless of your plan, Blue Apron is designed to teach you how to cook new recipes you may not have tried before, introduce you to seasonal, farm-fresh ingredients and reduce food waste. However, there are a few “Premium” recipes that can cost more. We’ve seen meals as high as $19.99 per serving. 

Blue Apron Ordering Process

When you are creating your Blue Apron account, they ask you to choose your menu. These are their plans, such as the Signature Plan for 2 or the Vegetarian Plan.

Then, they ask you questions about your dietary preferences, like whether you’re a vegetarian or prefer a certain type of protein. 

Finally, you’ll get to choose your meals from the menu you picked. The recipes that are available seem like something you’d order off the menu at a fancy restaurant. However, this is no surprise because actual chef’s created them. Famous chefs even, like Amanda Freitag, most notably of “Chopped” fame. You can even find Chrissy Teigen recipes too. This is something that’s definitely unique to Blue Apron.

Something else that sets Blue Apron apart from other meal kits is that they offer an app. Not every service offers an app. However, on Blue Apron’s app, you’ll be able to easily manage your account on the go, plus learn seasonal recipes and cooking recipes. You’ll even find incredibly helpful how-to videos.

Delivery

The delivery of our Blue Apron meals was top notch. While the insulation was thin and something akin to tin foil coated bubble wrap, it did its job well. Everything was fresh and still cold to the touch when we unboxed it.

Each meal was packaged individually and there were full 8×11 recipe cards for each meal inside our box.

What we didn’t love was the fact that we had to order Blue Apron nearly an entire month in advance. Plus, if you’re planning on skipping a delivery, you need to know a full FIVE weeks ahead of time. 

This is rather inconvenient. Most people looking to start a meal kit delivery service have made the decision that they want to cut down on meal planning and grocery shopping, so making them wait almost a month before they can do this is less than ideal. 

Additionally, it seems unlikely that every person will know five weeks in advance that they might be out of town for a delivery.

Our Experience with Blue Apron

Aside from this delivery inconvenience, overall our experience was positive. The order process was much easier than the wait and the food was restaurant quality delicious. 

Conversely, the cancellation process is a little annoying. You have to email their customer service for them to provide instructions about how to cancel.

However, the instructions are simple and it honestly doesn’t make sense why they wouldn’t include them in the FAQs section of their website. But lucky you, here’s the inside scoop on how to cancel if you so feel the need, no email necessary:

To proceed with the cancellation:

  1. Sign into your Blue Apron account
  2. Head to the ‘Account Information’ section of your ‘Account Settings’ and click ‘Edit’
  3. In the pop-up window click on the ‘Manage Status’ link, then follow the cancellation instructions

Ingredients

This section is going to be broken down into categories, with my comments on each so you know exactly what to expect if you order Blue Apron.

Produce

  • The produce was decent. Aesthetically, our zucchini was a bit banged up. However, there was no softness or rottenness to it. It just was a bit ugly looking. 
  • There was nothing wrong with the rest of our produce.

Meat

  • The meat was high quality. However, our steak packaging was leaking just a smidge.

Spices/Toppings

  • Interestingly, Blue Apron tends to make more use of sauces and whole ingredients for flavoring, rather than packets of ground herbs and spices. 
  • These flavoring components were high quality and contributed to their restaurant quality feel.

Cooking

The cooking of the Blue Apron meals was rather interesting. When you read the recipes, they feel fancy, like they’re not for your average ameteur chef. However, they’re easy to make. You don’t need to have special equipment. Furthermore, if you do find you have questions, you can easily find a tutorial for that meal to follow along with on Blue Apron’s website. 

One area in the cooking that wasn’t ideal was the amount of prep work. This might not apply to every Blue Apron recipe, but definitely did to the meals we received. One recipe called for us to remove the husks and silks from corn before cutting the kernels off…..the kernels were hard to keep track of… they go everywhere. Plus, after that, you have to chop other ingredients.

In general though, even if you can’t read, you can totally make these meals. The video tutorials take all the guesswork out of the cooking process.

Taste

Alright, taste is subjective. We know this. In our humble opinion, these meals are delicious and on par with something that can be ordered at a restaurant. However, if you’re a picky person and are particular about eating vegetables or eating specific kinds of meat, you’ll have trouble with Blue Apron.

Our secondary taster isn’t one for most vegetables, he’ll eat things like broccoli and corn, but the texture of tomatoes and zucchini (and other gourds) doesn’t sit well on his palette. This resulted in him not loving two or the three meals, whereas our primary tester is literally open to eating everything and thoroughly enjoyed all three meals.

This is just something to keep in mind if you have picky family members or don’t like specific foods yourself.

Recipes You Can Get

Blue Apron is perfect for families that don’t follow any specific diets. For instance, if you’re vegan, keto or paleo, this isn’t going to be for you. However, if you’re just looking for restaurant quality, well balanced meals, Blue Apron’s definitely an option. 

Here are the meals we received in our first box.

Summer Vegetable Gnocchi with Romano Cheese

Ingredients:

  • Gnocchi, grape tomatoes, sweet peppers, 2 garlic cloves, zucchini, butter, grated romano cheese.
  • The produce was all very ripe, though our zucchini was a little beat up.

How It Cooked:

  • This recipe was the easiest to cook. You boil your gnocchi in one pot, saute part of your veggies in another pan and combine everything at the end. This meal took about half the time as the other two.

The Taste:

  • It was very delicious. Who doesn’t love the comfort of pasta? We overcooked the gnocchi just a bit so the texture was slightly off-putting. It was kind of smushy, but that’s on us. The meal as a whole was worth eating again.

Seared Tilapia & Ancho-Honey Glaze with Toasted Pepita & Jalapeno Salsa

Seared Tilapia & Ancho-Honey Glaze with Toasted Pepita & Jalapeno Salsa ingredients
Seared Tilapia & Ancho-Honey Glaze with Toasted Pepita & Jalapeno Salsa

Ingredients:

  • Tilapia fillets, lime, 2 ears of corn, grape tomatoes, zucchini, sliced pickled jalapeno pepper, ancho chile paste, raw pepitas, honey.
  • The most annoying part of this dish was dealing with the husks and silk on the ears of corn and cutting the kernels off the cobs. 

How It Cooked:

  • Overall, this recipe wasn’t challenging to cook, but the prep work wasn’t our favorite. After dealing with the corn we still had to cut up zucchini, tomatoes, lime and peppers. Plus, you had to make a sauce too. 

The Taste:

  • Taste wise, this was the weirdest meal. Pairing pepitas, which are pumpkin seeds, with fish is odd. Plus, adding pickled jalapenos to the mix is unexpected. However, at the end of the day, this meal was surprisingly delicious. It all worked. It was like spicy and sweet and nutty and crispy and crunchy, all at once. 
  • The uniqueness of this meal might be off-putting to picky eaters.

Seared Steaks & Hot Honey Biscuits with Glazed Shallot & Roasted Broccoli

Seared Tilapia & Ancho-Honey Glaze with Toasted Pepita & Jalapeno Salsa
Seared Steaks & Hot Honey Biscuits with Glazed Shallot & Roasted Broccoli

Ingredients:

  • Steaks, biscuit mix, broccoli, vegetarian worcestershire sauce, shallot, fromage blanc, crispy onions, sweet piquante peppers, honey, crushed red pepper flakes.
  • The produce for this recipe was fresh and ripe. However, the steak packaging was leaking

How It Cooked:

  • This recipe was quite easy to make. There was minimal prep work. You mostly just had to deal with breaking down the broccoli into florets and slicing the shallot. Then you end up cooking half the meal in the oven and the other half in the same skillet on the stove. Not too shabby, and it results in minimal clean up.

The Taste:

  • It was very delicious. In our opinion, this is the meal that’s most accessible to all customers, unless you’re vegetarian. Steak and onions served with a vegetable is a very classic dinner combination. 

Something we loved about Blue Apron is the fact that they aren’t super in your face about how they’re such a “healthy” meal kit delivery service, but if you take a look at these meals and know you’re going to be eating quite well during the week. The meat to veggie recipe makes sense. Plus, the variety of vegetables is remarkable and they’ve even managed to incorporate nuts and seeds into some meals.

Final Thoughts

While Blue Apron is on the pricier side, it’s definitely not the most expensive meal kit delivery service. Yet, the food is still restaurant quality. At any rate, about $10 a meal isn’t unreasonable, fast food meals tend to cost more these days, but Blue Apron meals are definitely more satisfying. However, take note that some of their “Premium” meals can be double this price. 

Blue Apron doesn’t cater to specific diets like keto or vegan. However, if you’re someone that’s not picky and just likes high quality food, Blue Apron is worth trying. The shipping is free and the recipes display an excellent attention to detail. Who would have thought combining tilapia with pumpkin seeds and pickled jalapenos would be so delicious?

Plus, we think it’s super cool that you can try recipes created by food celebrities like Amanda Frietag and Chrissy Tiegan. 

Blue Apron FAQs

Here are some Frequently Asked Questions about Blue Apron.

What delivery days are there in my area?

When you sign up to receive Blue Apron and enter your zip code, you’ll have the option to select your First Delivery Date from a list of available options in your area. You’ll continue to receive deliveries on the day of the week that you choose, unless you decide to change it later in your Account Settings.

How does Blue Apron’s wine program work?

When you sign up for the Blue Apron Wine program, you get exclusive access to delicious wines from renowned winemakers. By working directly with acclaimed vineyards and eliminating the middleman, they are able to send you high-quality wines at great prices. 

You can select the reds and whites from the high-quality, curated selection — you can mix and match your favorites with each shipment! Each wine delivery comes with a booklet that highlights tasting notes, pairing tips, and the story behind every wine.

The bottles are 500 ml which is ⅔ the size of a standard-sized bottle. This provides just the right amount of wine for two people to share. The wines are specially chosen to complement your Blue Apron recipes, so you just uncork, pour and enjoy.    

Are there membership fees?

There are no membership fees associated with our meal or wine plans.

Is there a minimum duration required for the Blue Apron meals subscription?

There’s no minimum commitment required for our subscriptions. All orders can be skipped or cancelled by the cutoff date and time, reflected on your Upcoming page and your Account Settings page. A friendly reminder that any orders identified as ‘Order Processed’ or ‘Shipped’ in your Upcoming page haved processed, and can’t be changed or cancelled.