Freshly review | How does the taste compare to Blue Apron?
A good option to skip prep and cleanup — but foodies might want to steer clear.
Looking for an affordable meal delivery service that does all the shopping, prep and cooking for you? Freshly serves up individually packaged, heat-and-serve meals to help you save time in the kitchen and spend more at the table.
- Easy prep — just heat and serve.
- Quality ingredients.
- Over 30 recipes to choose from.
- Everything is microwaved, so food can turn out mushy — especially meat.
How does it work?
With Freshly, you don’t have to worry about any prep work or cooking — just choose from over 30 healthy recipes each week, heat them up and serve.
This company currently delivers to all states in the continental US and accommodates a variety of special dietary needs, including gluten-free and peanut-free.
Box size and pricing options
4 meals per week
$11.50 per meal
$46 per week
6 meals per week
$8.99 per meal
$53.94 per week
9 meals per week
$8.99 per meal
$80.91 per week
12 meals per week
$7.99 per meal
$95.88 per week
Shipping, payments and cancellations
Can I get free delivery?
No. Freshly doesn’t currently offer free shipping options. Exact shipping fees are calculated at checkout and may vary by location.
Freshly accepts a variety of payment methods through its secure website:
- American Express
- Diners Club
- Apple Pay
Can I skip weeks with Freshly?
Yes! Freshly lets you skip up to three weeks in advance. To do this:
- Sign into your Freshly account and go to Deliveries.
- Find the order(s) you want to skip.
- Click Skip Week under the meal.
You can also change your delivery day. Head to Settings, then click Change next to Default Delivery Day to make your selection. Note that some days of the week are unavailable for Freshly delivery in some areas.
How do I cancel my subscription?
To cancel your Freshly subscription altogether, follow these steps:
- Log into your account and go to Settings.
- Click Cancel Subscription just above your account details.
- Answer the questions about why you’re canceling.
What sets Freshly apart?
Unlike most meal kit delivery services that send ingredients, Freshly provides you with fully-cooked, ready-to-eat meals — all you have to do is heat them up. So if you’re pressed for time and would prefer not to store and cook ingredients, this service could be a home run for you.
First-hand Freshly review
Between work, family and other commitments, most of us don’t have the time to cook wholesome meals night after night. That’s why Freshly piqued my interest. It delivers heat-and-eat meals made with fresh ingredients to your doorstep.
A loyal Blue Apron customer for the past four years, I tried out a week of meals to test for taste and convenience.
Freshly sent me this product for free so that I could try it out. I’ve tested it thoroughly before writing this review, and you can rest assured you’re getting my honest, unbiased opinion.
The Freshly box — about the same size as a Blue Apron box — included six single-serving meals. You can also opt for 4, 9 or 12 meals per week.
Zero prep and cleanup time make Freshly unique in a crowded food subscription space. All I had to do to “prep” was remove the paper wrapping from the plastic container, poke a hole in the plastic covering to create a vent and put the meal in the microwave for 2.5 minutes. When you’re finished eating, simply throw away the plastic container or rinse and recycle.
I picked six different meals, including pesto pasta, chili, Laredo shrimp, fusilli and meatballs and a chicken curry. The pasta and chili were by far my favorites, because they do well in a microwave or pressure cooker.
My initial reaction was simply how quick and easy the whole process is — literally zero prep and cleanup. But the food and packaging is similar in look and feel to frozen meals like Healthy Choice, so I wondered how great the food could be.
Freshly vs. Blue Apron
Blue Apron delivers farm-fresh ingredients and teaches you how to prepare the meal step-by-step — from chopping to zesting and sautéing, which can take an hour or so of prep work and cleaning.
Freshly doesn’t require all of that. Because of the ease of cooking a Freshly meal, it’s best for people who don’t have a lot of time or desire to cook and clean big meals, like college kids or busy working professionals.
Here’s an example of a Freshly pasta dish: Gluten- and grain-free cauliflower pasta shells and marinara sauce made with a touch of honey (instead of refined sugars), plus high-protein ground beef and sofrito of carrots, onions, celery, garlic and parsley topped with Parmesan and Asiago cheese.
And a Blue Apron pasta dish: Bites of chicken with roasted Brussels sprouts and onion, plus basil pesto over tube pasta with a dollop of creamy lemon ricotta.
Both meals sound lovely and use fresh ingredients. But keep in mind that the Freshly meal comes in a microwavable container, while Blue Apron comes with separate ingredients you must cook.
Taste differences are quite pronounced. Freshly meals I’ve tried don’t have any distinction in flavor, because everything melds together. But the Blue Apron meals I’ve had taste like restaurant-quality food with distinct flavor profiles — as long it’s cooked per the instructions.
Compare meal kit brands
Freshly is a good alternative to Blue Apron and other meal delivery services out there if you prioritize quick and easy meal cooking to exceptional food. As long as you stick to food that tastes good when microwaved — like pasta and soup — you should be just fine.