Blue Apron Review (Pros/Cons, Pricing, and More)

Blue Apron Review

My friends and clients have asked me for years about my professional opinion of food delivery services. Since I’ve been using Blue Apron for almost 3 years, and have become very familiar with their food delivery service, I didn’t have to go far to bring you this review. In this article, I’ll provide you with a complete review of Blue Apron that includes pros and cons, key features, nutritional highlights, and my personal experience.

Want to give Blue Apron a try? Save $60 on your first 3 boxes! 

What is Blue Apron?

Blue Apron is an ingredient and recipe meal kit delivery service. The company serves customers in the US and sends them all the ingredients they need to prepare and cook a fresh meal in your home. They partner with the foremost sustainability experts to create better standards for growing food and raising animals. This means better outcomes for the environment, guaranteed markets for their farmers, and higher quality ingredients for their home chefs.

A few of Blue Apron’s key features that stand out to me include their variety of recipes, easy meal customization, and outstanding cooking instruction. Let’s dive into each of these features.

RELATED: Home Chef Review

An example of a Blue Apron Meal (top down)

Blue Apron comes with a variety of meals

First off, I really liked the variety of meal options that Blue Apron provides each week. Honestly, I never got bored or cooked the same meal twice!

For starters, you have the option of a 3 meal menu with 2 servings each (6 servings total) or a 2-4 meal menu with 4 servings each (8-16 servings total).

The menu of 2 servings each has a signature collection with up to 8 meals to choose from each week or a WW Freestyle option with up to 6 meals to choose from each week. On the other hand, the menu of 4 servings each has a choice of up to 5 different meals to choose from each week. 

In the signature collection, there is always a vegetarian, fish, chicken, and beef (or pork) option. As you probably guessed, WW freestyle meals are lighter in calories and designate “point” values based on the WW Freestyle system.

The large variety of meal options alone was a fun and exciting feature that kept me coming back to Blue Apron for more!

Easily customize your account

When setting up your profile and when selecting your meals, there are multiple ways to customize your selections.

In your profile, you can designate types of food you do not want to receive. For example, if you are vegetarian, don’t eat pork, or if you have food allergies, you can specify this there.

When making selects, each option lists the estimated time to prepare the meal as well as if it is a special or customer favorite. Personally, I found the estimated time feature very useful. Especially since there are always multiple options that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less.

On the other hand, I have to be honest that some weeks I was overwhelmed by the various choices and didn’t want to spend much time searching through several options. This is when I relied on designated customer favorites. The feature helped me make quick, confident meal decisions that were reassured by other customers that enjoyed them.

Learning to cook with Blue Apron

Another feature that I found unique about Blue Apron is that it teaches you cooking skills!

Blue Apron Videos

In the Blue Apron app (available on apple and android devices), you can watch videos of specific cooking techniques. This is really cool if you want to improve or learn a technique that you have never tried before.

For example, one of the meals I recently tried contained mashed sweet potatoes and the cooking demonstration was how to dice sweet potato. It was a 28-second video that was informative and easy to replicate. In addition, all the demonstration videos I watched were less than 1 minute. This allowed me to learn new tricks without slowing down my meal preparation.

Other skills I have learned through Blue Apron videos are how to peel garlic and how to julienne peppers. Additionally, as a busy professional, it was important to me that the estimated time cooking each meal was always within 5 minutes of what Blue Apron published. Personally, I would consider myself a moderately experienced home cook. Therefore, this may vary if you consider yourself a beginner or an expert.

Lastly, I have recently noticed changes that are reducing the overall prep time. This includes almonds that are already chopped, olives that are already pitted, and garlic cloves with skin removed.

Blue Apron Meal Cards

Other notable Blue Apron features

The features I highlighted above are some of the things I found made Blue Apron different from its competitors. With this in mind, below are a few additional features worth noting!

Reduced food waste

My personal reason for trying Blue Apron was that I really enjoy cooking and trying new recipes, but I had a lot of food waste. I routinely discovered I was not able to use all the ingredients I purchased for a new recipe. As a result, I would have a weekly fridge clean out session before heading to the store for my next weeks’ groceries. The wasted food left me feeling guilty, so I started to eat the same foods over and over again.

Blue Apron solves this problem because it provides the perfect portion of foods for your meal. The only ingredients you need to provide on your own are olive oil, salt, and pepper.

Honestly, I really enjoy trying fresh herbs and spices, unique fruits and vegetables, as well as items I would normally have to go to a specialty grocer to find. With Blue Apron, I never have to eat multiple days of leftovers or worry about these items going to waste (something I feel great about).

RELATED: Easy Ways To Reduce Food Waste and Be Environmentally Friendly

An example of Blue Apron wine

Suggested wine pairings

If you enjoy wine, you’ll appreciate the fact that each meal has a suggested wine pairing! Therefore, if you have your own collection of wine, you can easily pick something that will go nicely with your meal.

Additionally, there is a Blue Apron wine delivery service so you can have the matching wine delivered with your meals. Personally, I did not try this service. However, I did use the wine pairing descriptions to purchase whites and reds that complimented each meal.

Informative and educational meal cards

The Blue Apron meal cards and app help you learn more about the ingredients and meals you are preparing.

Personally, I love learning about foods from different regions, cultures, and how these fit together when I am preparing them. I frequently found this feature got me excited about each meal!

On the app, you can find a featured ingredient for every meal as well as “tips and tricks” that contains more videos and a brief description of every ingredient in your meal. For example, I recently had a Mexican-spiced shrimp meal with creamy avocado slaw where I learned all about carrots.

As a dietitian, I was already aware of the nutrient profile of carrots (i.e. they’re rich in Vitamin A and carotenoids). Through the Blue Apron app, I learned so much more about the history of this vegetable, the varieties that exist, and how it has been used in meals since the middle ages. Even if you are an experienced chef, or consider yourself an advanced foodie, I am sure you will learn something new from Blue Apron.

High-quality ingredients

Quality food and ingredients are very important to me. I really like that Blue Apron works with small family-owned farms and highlights these farms in the descriptions of their meals.

Personally, I was excited to see that the honey they use is from a family farm in my hometown Bakersfield, CA! In addition, they use high-quality meats and sustainable seafood.

Blue Apron Nutritional Info

Blue Apron nutritional highlights

Of course, this review wouldn’t be complete without my analysis of Blue Apron’s nutritional content. Below are a few highlights that stood out to me.

Meal variety accommodates dietary restrictions

From a nutritional perspective, the first thing I noticed is that the meal variety offered by Blue Apron accommodates a wide range of dietary preferences. For example, if you have food allergies, you will not be limited as there are many options for you to chose from. Also, since you are in charge of the entire cooking process, you can remove any undesired ingredients. If you are vegetarian, pescatarian, or prefer meat in each of your meals, you are able to choose from many options without being restricted.

With that being said, there is little guidance if you have specific medical conditions, like hypertension or heart disease, or if you follow a specific diet like Paleo. Fortunately, the nutrition facts are provided, so you can easily find if the meals work with your eating patterns. I recommend working closely with your registered dietitian to make sure you are choosing meals that align with your health goals.

Recommended serving size

Blue Apron servings are close to recommended portion sizes for an average 2000 calorie meal plan. This can vary based on your age, activity level, and what else you ate throughout the day. Personally, I thought the meals were well balanced.

The vegetable servings are generally 1 cup but sometimes even more. For example, the cabbage and avocado slaw I recently had was over 2.5 cups for each serving. This left me with leftovers for lunch the next day.

Blue Apron Seared Chicken Thighs & Glazed Apple with Cheesy Mashed Sweet Potatoes

On the other hand, at times “one serving” is more like 2 for me. For example, the meal Seared Chicken Thighs & Glazed Apple with Cheesy Mashed Sweet Potatoes had 6 ounces of chicken, almost ¼ cup of grated apples, about 1 cup of kale, and about 1.5 cups mashed sweet potatoes (see photo above for reference where my fist represents a one cup portion). This is a larger portion of meat and grains than I normally have for one meal. During dinner, I ate half the potatoes, one of the chicken thighs, and all of the kale. The next day I had the leftover chicken and potatoes with some freshly steamed broccoli for an entirely new meal.

When it came to carbs, I enjoyed the variety of grains (such as faro, quinoa, and couscous). With this in mind, I would have liked more whole grain options for the rice and pasta dishes. Since the salt is added during the cooking process, it is very easy to make these dishes with less sodium. Personally, I never use the recommended salt and I didn’t think the meals were lacking flavor without it. As a result, this is a meal service I would recommend for someone monitoring their sodium intake.

How much does Blue Apron cost?

When it comes to price, Blue Apron costs $7.49 per serving. Therefore, the price varies based on the number of servings you select and the number of meals per week. Shipping is always free, which I was pleased about due to the quality of shipping. Also, the food is sent in an ice packaged, insulated box so the food stays fresh.

Honestly, this price point has worked really well for me because it is cheaper than the price I pay to eat out. It’s also less expensive than buying all my ingredients fresh to cook my own meals at home (especially considering no food waste).

Coupons

Canceling Blue Apron

If you decided you are done using Blue Apron, canceling is easily done online or via their mobile able. I like the fact that they do not require a monthly subscription or commitment. Also, you can make changes to your menu selections and cancel a delivery up to 6 days before the scheduled delivery.

Personally, I have a busy schedule and can’t always commit to cooking the 3 meals in one week, so I liked this opportunity to plan my deliveries up to 3 months in advance!

What people are saying…

From Blue Apron

  • Easy management – The Blue Apron app makes it effortless to manage your meals
  • Weekly reminders – They’ll always remind you before anything ships. No surprises here
  • Custom delivery dates – You get to pick which day of the week your shipment arrives
  • Track your box – They’ll send you a tracking number with every shipment so you can keep an eye on its journey from their home to yours
  • Flexible plans – Choose from recipes that serve 2 or 4, and choose how many recipes to get each week
  • Dietary options – Avoiding any or all meats? All weekly menus include vegetarian and pescatarian friendly recipes
  • Recipe variety – They have a broad menu, with easy 20-minute meals and more challenging recipes
  • Keep-cool packaging – Their boxes are cooled and insulated, so you don’t have to be home to receive them, with freshness guaranteed
  • No commitment – You can skip or cancel anytime. No jumping through hoops—they promise

Is Blue Apron right for you?

Pros

  • Gain experience cooking and learn many new techniques on your own
  • Prepare meals from a variety of cultures and cuisines
  • Taste many unique ingredients and seasonings in the comfort of your own home
  • Decrease your food waste by receiving exactly what is needed for the recipe
  • Cost effective for family size < 2 people

Cons

  • Unique flavors and ingredients may not be enjoyed by picky eaters
  • The time required to prepare and cook food (and also clean up the dishes!)
  • Less cost effective for family size > 2 people
  • Cooking tools required
  • Many items individually wrapped in plastic, so there is a large amount of trash accumulated for one meal

An example of a Blue Apron box

Final thoughts

Blue Apron is a meal delivery company targeted at health-conscious consumers who like to cook. Personally, I really enjoyed using Blue Apron because I was able to prepare restaurant quality meals with fresh ingredients without wasting food, spending time gathering the ingredients at the market(s), or the effort required to research and choose new recipes.

Furthermore, I am encouraged that I have seen Blue Apron make changes based on customer feedback through the years. They have added a vegetarian-specific option, more weekly choices with greater variety, improved their packaging, and pre-prepared more ingredients to provide meals with less than 30 minute cook times. I would like to see continuous improvements for environmentally-friendly packaging and more whole grain ingredients.

Overall, I recommend this meal delivery service to anyone who enjoys cooking or would like to improve their skills in the kitchen to create healthy and delicious meals.

Have you tried Blue Apron before? What did you think of it? Share your feedback in the comments below 🙂

Blue Apron Review $7.49
Overall
4.4
  • Cost
  • Taste
  • Nutritional Value
  • Variety
Comments Rating 0 (0 reviews)

Summary

Blue Apron is a meal delivery company targeted at health-conscious consumers who like to cook. Through this service, you’re able to prepare restaurant quality meals with fresh ingredients without wasting food, spending time gathering the ingredients at the market(s), or the effort required to research and choose new recipes.

Pros

  • Gain experience cooking and learn many new techniques on your own
  • Prepare meals from a variety of cultures and cuisines
  • Taste many unique ingredients and seasonings in the comfort of your own home
  • Decrease your food waste by receiving exactly what is needed for the recipe
  • Cost effective for family size < 2 people

Cons

  • Unique flavors and ingredients may not be enjoyed by picky eaters
  • The time required to prepare and cook food (and also clean up the dishes!)
  • Less cost effective for family size > 2 people
  • Cooking tools required
  • Many items individually wrapped in plastic, so there is a large amount of trash accumulated for one meal

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Amanda Haney (Legro), MS, RD, CNSC
Hi, my name is Amanda Haney (Legro). I am a registered dietitian and board-certified nutrition support clinician. I was born and raised in Bakersfield, CA. I later moved to Southern California to attend Cal State Long Beach where I obtained my undergraduate degree in nutrition and dietetics as well as my master's degree in nutrition science. I completed my dietetic internship at Cal State Long Beach as well. And I love my alma mater so much that I have since returned to teach undergraduate courses in nutrition. I practice medical nutrition therapy in the pediatric intensive care unit at Miller Children's and Women's Hospital Long Beach. As a clinical dietitian, I'm committed to providing my patients with high-quality nutrition care, to improve their well-being on their road to recovery. I became a dietitian because I love food and I love medicine. There is so much misinformation about nutrition in the media. My passion is to make nutrition simple and to make your health goals achievable. In my free time, I love soaking up the beauty at the beach, riding my bike, staying active, cooking, and, most of all, spending time with my family and friends!

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