10 best food subscription boxes 2023
Recipe boxes bring new and exciting meals to your front door every week, and new subscription services seem to pop up all the time. Here are our top picks, plus the best introductory offers.
We all get bored of our usual repertoire of meals every now and then, but spending time discovering new recipes can be tiring if you're lacking inspiration – especially when you're not blessed with the necessary skills in the kitchen.
Fortunately, recipe boxes and meal delivery services are here to save the day. From presenting you with new culinary delights to try, to giving you the exact quantity you need of each ingredient, it's never been easier to bring some excitement to dinnertime. And giving you the exact quantities should also mean it reduces food waste.
Of course, this convenience comes at a cost and you'll often save more money cooking from scratch yourself. However, as a treat, recipe boxes are generally a healthier alternative to takeaways, and when you use the special offers we've listed below, they might just be cheaper too!
Best meal box delivery services UK
These are the best food subscription box services:
- Serves – Two to four
- Number of meals – Two to five meals a week
- Cost – £3.25 – £4.50 per serving
- Signup offer – £15 off each of your first four boxes.
HelloFresh is one of the most popular recipe box services in the UK, and it's just the ticket if you're looking to spruce up your arsenal of recipes with something new.
HelloFresh's recipe boxes contain exactly the right quantity of each ingredient, eliminating the risk of food waste and massively reducing the effort required when cooking. After all, who actually knows how much pasta to cook?
Each week there are dozens of recipes to choose from and, as with many other recipe boxes, you can also refine the selection based on your own preferences (just select one of 'Mostly Meat', 'Veggie', 'Family', 'Quick Cook', 'Calorie Smart' or 'Pescatarian' when you sign up).
What's more, HelloFresh also has an app available on both iPhone and Android, making it even easier to manage your upcoming meal delivery.
- Serves – Two adults ('Regular box') or two adults and two to three children ('Large box')
- Number of meals – Two to four meals a week
- Cost – £2.98 – £6.25 per serving
- Signup offer – 55% off first box and 25% off all remaining boxes for two months.
Alongside HelloFresh, Gousto is arguably the biggest meal delivery service going – and, with the price per serving starting at less than £3, it's one of the cheapest too.
Gousto boasts over 60 recipes each week and helpfully sorts them into different categories, from '10-Minute Meals' to 'Prepped in 5', and even a collection of favourites picked by the celebrity fitness coach, Joe Wicks.
Ingredients are, once again, measured to perfection, and you can even filter the recipes and find those that suit your dietary needs, be it plant-based, gluten-free, dairy-free or vegetarian.
If you'd like to give Gousto a go, use the code GAFFIL55252M to get 55% off your first box and 25% off all the remaining boxes you order in your first two months as a new customer*.
* expires 30th June 2023.
- Serves – Two to four people depending on portion sizes
- Number of meals – Four a week
- Cost – £9.99 per box
- Signup offer – Four free recipes, just pay £1 postage.
SimplyCook is a little different to most meal subscription services, in that rather than getting all of the ingredients in your delivery, you just get the 'flavour pots' instead.
In SimplyCook's own words, these pots aren't just straight herbs and spices – they're "unique flavour blends" with up to 18 ingredients in each. So, in theory, you'll be getting a much more intense taste than if you'd just made your own dressing, sauce, or whatever else.
Of course, the fact that you only get flavour pots, and not every ingredient, makes calculating the true cost of a SimplyCook meal that bit harder. They reckon each meal costs between £3 – £6 per person depending on portion sizes and the number of people you're serving, and with the cost of each meal's pots coming in at £2.50, this certainly sounds about right.
Fortunately, you won't need to use much brain power beyond calculating the cost. When you choose the recipes you want to make (there are hundreds – most of which have thousands of reviews each), SimplyCook will also tell you exactly how much of the remaining ingredients you need to buy too.
- Serves – One to four people
- Number of meals – Two to five a week depending on the number of people
- Cost – £6 – £10+ per portion
- Signup offer – 25% off your first four boxes.
As the name suggests, one of Mindful Chef's USPs is how socially and environmentally conscious the company aims to be. As well as using organic and free-range produce, plus having an extensive selection of vegan meal delivery options, this recipe box company will donate one meal to a child in poverty for every one you purchase.
What's more, Mindful Chef is one of the few meal delivery companies in the UK to offer one-person recipe boxes – perfect if you live alone, or don't fancy cooking with your flatmates (although it's worth remembering that cooking in bulk, particularly with our meal plan, is one of the best ways to save money on food).
However, all this comes at a cost. The single-person recipe box works start at £9 per portion, which isn't far off what you'd pay for a meal at some restaurants.
Separate from the recipe boxes, Mindful Chef also offers ready meal delivery bundles, all of which can be prepared in the microwave or oven, with some taking as little as eight minutes to cook.
If you're keen to try Mindful Chef's recipe boxes, use the code AFF25X4 to get £10 off your first four boxes.
* expires 30th June 2023.
- Serves – One or two people
- Number of meals – Six
- Cost – £6.75 per portion (single portions), £4.99 per portion (double portions)
- Signup offer – £20 off your first order with our code below.
When they say 'allplants', they're not lying – allplants' dishes are 100% plant-based, with veggie alternatives to all the most popular meat recipes and some vegan originals too.
Every single one of allplants' meals is prepared by chefs and designed by a nutritionist, which may explain how all of their dishes manage to achieve the holy trinity: being low in sugar, a source of protein and containing at least two of your five-a-day.
Although the price point is a little higher than some of the other recipe box services on this list, allplants only sells frozen ready meals which can be cooked in the microwave or the oven.
Right now you can get £20 off your first order using the code below!
- Serves – One to two people
- Number of meals – Unlimited
- Cost – £5.50 – £10+ per portion (varies weekly)
- Signup offer – 50% off your first order.
No prizes for guessing what Pasta Evangelists specialises in. But we must say, having tried this fresh pasta for ourselves, we can attest to it being as delicious as you could hope for.
Each week Pasta Evangelists offers a dozen or so different dishes for you to choose from, including vegetarian and gluten-free meals, plus some Italian desserts and starters. But, unlike other food subscription boxes, there's no limit to the number of meals you can add to a single order.
This may seem wasteful, but Pasta Evangelists' meals can be frozen, meaning you can buy several weeks' worth of food at once if you happen to like what's on offer in any given week.
Cheap and easy to prepare, pasta recipes are an all-time favourite for students. While this food delivery box is far from frugal, the meals are arguably some of the easiest to make of all the subscription services on this list.
Pasta Evangelists also offer a student discount, getting you 30% off plus a free cocktail with your order. However, even with the money off, it still works out pretty expensive – it may be best to keep this meal box service in reserve as a cheaper takeaway alternative or a date night treat.
And right now you can get 50% off your first order by entering the code SAVESTUDENT50 at the checkout.
Riverford Organic Recipe Boxes
- Serves – Two or four people
- Number of meals – Unlimited
- Cost – Approximately £5 – £9 per portion (varies weekly)
- Signup offer – None.
The clue is in the name – all of Riverford's recipe boxes contain organic ingredients, with a selection of meals that change every week.
Riverford's offering caters to a wide range of requirements, with vegan recipe boxes among the categories. You'll receive the exact quantity needed of each ingredient in your Riverford delivery, along with what they describe as "easy step-by-step- instructions" to cook your meal.
Buying organic is rarely an effective way of saving money on food, and the same is true of Riverford's recipe boxes. Although there can be discounts available for buying multiple recipes at once, the starting price of at least £5 per portion is pretty steep – and if you're buying anything other than a family recipe box, you're likely to be paying even more.
- Serves – Two to four people
- Number of meals – Unlimited
- Cost – Approximately £4.50 – £6.00 per portion
- Signup offer – 50% off your first and fourth organic fruit and veg boxes.
If you're looking for a recipe box that offers vegetarian and planet-friendly meals, Abel&Cole should be on your list. They state that, on average, the recipes in their meal kit emit 63% less carbon than the equivalent meat dish!
All ingredients in the Abel&Cole recipe boxes are 100% organically grown. The company also makes sure that they reduce unnecessary packaging and only work with independent producers to cut carbon emissions even further.
You can pick as many recipes per week as you like – even one is enough. Keep in mind that you do have to pay for postage, no matter how many recipes you order.
Apart from its recipe boxes, Abel&Cole also offer fruit & veg and meat & fish boxes, where you can order your weekly supply of organic food. It's also possible to order individual ingredients as well as cupboard essentials and organic household products.
Right now, you can get 50% off your first organic fruit and veg box by using the code VEGBOX50*.
* offer valid until 31st May 2024.
- Serves – One
- Number of meals – Between four and 12 a week
- Cost – Between £6.99 – £9.99 per meal, depending on how many you order
- Signup offer – None.
Most of the other recipe boxes on this list will save you time going to the shop, but you'll still have to spend time in the kitchen to prepare your meal.
Chefly takes it a step further – all you have to do is heat their meals in the microwave or oven. And, unlike most microwave meals, they're healthy and delicious.
Chefly doesn't use any artificial or chemical preservatives and all their packaging is recyclable. The only downside is that the meals aren't as cheap as your regular microwave meal.
Once you've learned how to make some new meals, save copies of the recipes and buy the ingredients for less at the cheapest online supermarkets.