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What’s the best vegan, plant-based meal delivery service?
Want to cut out the meat but not the taste? Mosaic Foods is the best plant-based meal delivery service in 2023 — and we’ve tried most of ’em. In fact, Mosaic provided some of the best premade meals of all the services we sampled, plant-based or otherwise.
The meal delivery newcomer churns out excellent, healthy lunches and dinners for as cheap as $6 a serving, earning it CNET’s Editors’ Choice award and my pick for the best vegan meal subscription for your money.
But Mosaic isn’t the only service killing the plant-based meal delivery game, and there are other options available that may be better suited for you, including vegan meal kits that require a bit of cooking.
The best vegetarian meal subscriptions I’ve tried are ones that keep the meat-free recipes interesting and the ingredients fresh without busting the budget. I’ve tasted the offerings of just about every plant-based meal subscription service available, and I’m happy to report that there are some exceptionally tasty vegan and vegetarian meal delivery options that send premade meals or premeasured ingredients for fast and tasty lunches and dinners.
Read more: Best Cheap Meal Delivery Services in 2023
What about plant-based prepared meal delivery?
The same goes for prepared meal-delivery services, which require no cooking at all. There are a few strictly vegan meal services like Veestro, Mosaic Foods, Splendid Spoon and Daily Harvest to peruse, but even services that provide meaty meals (such as Fresh N Lean and Freshly) offer vegan and vegetarian plans with as many as 12 plant-based options a week to keep you well-fed, even when there’s no time to cook. These vegan meal services often send frozen vegan meals, but some will send their meals fresh, wrapped up with eco-friendly ice packs and recyclable coolers.
You may be wondering, with all these plant-based players in the game, which is the best meal delivery service for vegans and vegetarians? The answer varies a bit depending on what you’re looking for, and each meal kit or delivery operation takes a slightly different approach. For example, some vegetarian meal-kit companies use plant-based foods like Impossible Burger that imitate meat, while others emphasize whole foods in lunch and dinner recipes. There are also vegetarian meal kits that specialize in organic ingredients and produce, in case that’s important to you, while others aren’t organic but are able to offer more budget-friendly meal plans. Some meal kits are also more complicated to execute, aimed at chefs with cooking experience looking to hone their skills, while others are quick to prepare and help you get a healthy, no-fuss dinner on the table sometimes in as little as 20 minutes.
Best vegan meal delivery services of 2023
Other vegan meal delivery services we tried
Sakara Life: While all the food we tried from this trendy, organic and 100% plant-based meal delivery was great (and Instagram-ready) it’s just too expensive to long on our list.
Martha Stewart and Marley Spoon: This service is comparable to Sunbasket in both its offerings and cost. It’s a solid pick for those seeking plant-based meal kits with options for meat, too.
CookUnity: This is another great prepared meal service to try but it’s on the expensive side and is not quite worth the money if you’re choosing mostly plant-based meals.
Territory Foods: This healthy meal service only has a few plant-based offerings on its menu and they cost between $15 and $17.
BistroMD: These meals are intended to promote weight loss. The meals with meat are good but the plant-based recipes are bland and boring.
Home Chef: This meal kit service is good for families and has many plant-based meals. That said, there’s too much plastic packaging, and many of the recipes we tried weren’t very exciting.
How we test vegan meal delivery services
To test each meal delivery service, I tried at least five and sometimes as many as 10 meals from any given service. I tried to choose a range of meals from the various menu and meal plan offerings. For instance, I always mixed up the meal types to include pasta, rice bowls, soups, salads or any other various styles offered by the brand. Further, I made sure to test a variety of cuisines — Italian, Indian, Thai, Mexican — if they were offered.
I took careful note of each meal delivery service’s website, including what information was provided (ingredients, nutritional info), how clearly the menu was organized and how simple it was to pick a meal plan and order meals. When they arrived, I noted how well they were packaged and checked whether each meal was still chilled or frozen.
To reheat each prepared meal, I took a twofold approach. For some meals, I meticulously followed the heating instructions on the label. But since these are merely suggestions, I reheated other meals the way I would if left to my own devices. Often that meant warming gently in a nonstick skillet or reheating in my air fryer. Many of the meal delivery services offer a microwave heating option, but I almost always found that produced worse results than my trusted methods, even if they typically take a few seconds longer.
Testing meal kits requires cooking, of course, and thus different practices and procedures for evaluation. Here’s more on how we test meal kits at CNET.
Plant-based meal delivery compared
|Service||Plant-based options per week||Subscription only||Price per serving (entree)||Shipping||CNET rating (out of 10)|
|Mosaic Foods (prepared)||50+||Yes||$10||$8||9.2|
|Fresh N Lean (prepared)||12||Yes||$9-$13||Free||9.2|
|Splendid Spoon (prepared)||48||Yes||$12||Free||7.8|
|Sakara Life (prepared)||15||No||N/A||Free||7.6|
|Daily Harvest (prepared)||50+||No||$9||Free||8.8|
|Veestro (prepared)||50+||No||$14||Free for subscribers||N/A|
Meal kits or prepared meals: Which one should you choose?
The first choice you’ll have to make is between meal kits and meal delivery. Vegan meal kits still save time and effort over starting a recipe from scratch but they require some cooking. If you’re looking to hone your plant-based cooking skills or learn new vegan or vegetarian recipes, a meal kit service is the way to go.
Prepared meals are the other option and it just doesn’t get any easier. These services send freshly cooked individual meals that are packaged in cooler boxes and sent to you to eat or freeze for later. There’s generally no cooking involved so you’ll get all the benefits of a plant-based diet without having to do the work.