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Blue Apron Review – Meal Plan Pros and Cons

“Fresh food “and “interesting recipes”, those words had me all ears. My friend was talking about a weekly delivery of food–food and recipes that took her out of a dinner rut and made cooking fun again. You mean a box that comes with fresh food and interesting recipes, everything you need so you can you cook them yourself? Sign me up. That’s how I came to write this Blue Apron review.

Blue Apron Box unpacked with ingredients and recipe cards

Miss P, my friend, she’s been cooking with Blue Apron for a while. She had them email me an offer to try a box. Clicking on the link, I simply created an account and chose a convenient week. I think you guys will be interested to learn about our Blue Apron adventure. After all, we’re talking about delicious food and fun easy recipes.

Click here to PIN Blue Apron Meal Subscription Plan Review!

They have several plans, we ordered the vegetarian plan for 2 people. Jam-packed with fresh herbs and veggies, butter, cream, eggs, 3 kinds of cheese, plus ice packs to keep the perishables cold. Pulling the goodies from the shipping box, I felt like the birthday girl opening her presents! Inside was everything we needed to make the recipes except salt and pepper and olive oil. Plus, for each recipe, there was a 2-sided 8 ½ x 11-inch card with color photos and detailed directions.

photo of recipe cards from Blue Apron Box

Not knowing what to expect, both Robbie and I were genuinely delighted. Each meal was imaginative and damn delicious. The first night we made the Smoky Beluga Lentils, which was a Spanish-themed stew with an egg on top, plus Manchego cheese for sprinkling and a mini baguette for slicing into garlic toast.

Night two was a very flavorful and rich-seeming baked pasta and cheese with Brussels sprouts and sage breadcrumbs. Yes, shaved Brussels sprouts in mac and cheese. The pasta–a cute ruffled noodle called campanelle. I’ll be copying that one for later!

Recipe card and ingredients for Fontina Pasta from Blue Apron

Have you ever had a Salvadoran pupusa? I hadn’t even heard of them! From the recipe I learned how to prepare pupusas, which are thick handmade corn tortillas stuffed with spicy black beans and cheese. We sliced the cabbage, radishes, and red onion, and tossed that with the lime and cilantro to make a slaw called curtido to go with the pupusas.

Blue Apron calls their subscribers “chefs.” And you really are. This is not fast food in a box–you cook the food.

The recipes are uncomplicated and well illustrated. You could honestly say that a Blue Apron subscription is cooking school in a box–a way to teach budding chefs how to cook. Robbie and I picked up some new tricks as we prepared our 3 meals, and we’re not kitchen rookies!

Pupusa ingredients and recipe card from Blue Apron

Lest you’re thinking this is a sales pitch, I was not paid to write a Blue Apron review—I’m doing this all on my own. After our box was on its way I wrote to introduce myself and tell them I planned to write about our experience. After cooking and eating from our box, I decided I wanted to become a Blue Apron affiliate. 

Blue Apron always has some sort of introductory discount. Right now it’s $60 off for your first 3 meals. If you use this Blue Apron discount link (Affiliate) on those first 3 meals, I get a small commission, which helps me continue to provide free content on Letty’s Kitchen. Thank you for supporting Letty’s Kitchen!

Blue Apron also has their own blog, with recipes, tips and tricks, and interesting food articles.

The pros of Blue Apron subscription meal plans:

  • The ingredients are high quality and a little bit gourmet—e.g. tiny black beluga lentils. We think the servings are generous and leftovers could be stretched for lunch or dinner the next day.
  • There is something fresh in every meal—e.g. braising greens, Brussels sprouts, cabbage and radishes. I don’t know for sure, but I bet Blue Apron plans their menus to feature seasonal produce.
  • Like with a CSA subscription, Blue Apron gets you cooking at home, in my mind always the best option, good for conviviality and healthier eating. You do need to budget cooking and prep time; Blue Apron says no more than 35 minutes but we say about one hour per meal.
  • We think three meals a week is just right, not too many or too few, leaving nights open for dining out or just fixing a quick salad. We ordered the 2-person box, but they sell a family plan to feed a family of four, with the option to receive one or 2 deliveries per week.
  • You can put a subscription on hold for up to 6 weeks if you are going on vacation or if you’re ready for a break. (Once you’re signed up, the boxes come automatically, so if you want to cancel a delivery, you need to let them know at least 6 days ahead.)
  • The menus are inventive meals you might not make without Blue Apron inspiration. Our recipes were #566, #567 and #568—does that mean 1 ½ years pass before there’s a repeat?

The cons:

  • Everything is individually wrapped and labeled in clear zip bags, little plastic containers and brown paper bags—an awful lot of packaging, even though everything is recyclable. Did you know that to recycle frozen ice packs you cut them open and rinse out the water-soluble gel?
  • A subscription for 2 costs $60 a week—expensive when compared to actual ingredient costs. But you could look at the cost another way–$20 a meal, or $10 per person is probably less than dinner out, even take-out. And you don’t have to go to the store to buy a special bottle of vinegar when all you need is 2 tablespoons. (But I like having 7 different vinegars in my cupboard for vinaigrette variety.)

You might want to  check out my review of Sunbasket meal subscription plans too.

To get my latest recipe posts and exclusive monthly newsletters, subscribe here. (I hate Spam too and will never share your email with anyone.)

I am an affiliate with Blue Apron. When you try Blue Apron out, I earn a tiny commission, which helps me continue to provide free content here on Letty’s Kitchen. Thank you!!

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  • I agree. The waste seems to make this a little bit unattractive to me. But the recipes are so interesting. I may steal the Brussels spouts mac and cheese. In fact I know I will. GREG Reply · 1 April, 2015

    • Letty

      Brussels sprouts mac and cheese repeat in my future too. Fontina cheese is key. Reply · 2 April, 2015

  • i’m so pleased you reviewed this, I have been curious about Blue Apron for awhile. You answered a lot of my questions. Unfortunately an hour of prep time is not going to work for me, ha ha! But maybe when the twins are a little older and they can help. Reply · 2 April, 2015

    • Letty

      I’m glad the review helped you Tricia. I met 3 different families last night who subscribe to Blue Apron. But their kids are older…. Reply · 2 April, 2015

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