Review: Blue Apron

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Disclaimer: I purchased this product on my own and have no affiliation with Blue Apron. This review is based on my personal opinion of my recent experience with this company.

After Christmas, I began getting my act together with my diet and got back to my weekly meal planning. I happened to open up an e-mail from Groupon that was offering Blue Apron at a discounted rate. One of my co-workers orders from Blue Apron regularly and raves about it, so I figured it was a good time to try it out.

Blue Apron is a meal delivery service. You choose from an assortment of recipes and can get three meals per week delivered to your door, based on a plan for a two person household. They have options for families where you can get more or less delivered each week. You receive all of the ingredients for each meal and the recipe, but it’s up to you to prep and cook the foods. Even with having to chop the ingredients, the whole process of prepping and cooking each meal was under 30 minutes.

The Groupon I came across was offering a weeks worth of meals for $39. I had a $10 off coupon for any Groupon, so I was able to purchase this for $29. $29 for three meals (each feeds two people) is pretty good, considering the types of meals I would be receiving (salmon, chicken, pork). It’s cheaper than eating out so I figured, “Why not?”. I know how to cook and meal plan on my own, so really this was about it being a good deal and something fun to try.

I wish I took more pictures, but my delivery was set for Saturday, January 16th. You could choose Monday-Saturday for your delivery and don’t have to be home to receive it. Your food comes packed neatly in a medium sized box. Inside the box is a silver insulated bag made of bubble wrap, and the bag contains all of your food plus two enormous ice packs (score!! I will re-use those for sure). If I wasn’t home to receive this, I would feel comfortable leaving it packaged this way for a whole day and not worrying about it spoiling. According to my shipping information sent to me via FedEx, they had my delivery early Friday morning (12am) and I opened the box on Saturday around 1pm. The ice packs had not even begun to melt when I received my food.

The recipes on the menu for the week were: Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches with an Endive and Blue Cheese Salad, Seared Salmon and Salsa Verde with Orange, Spinach and Farro Salad, and Korean Tteok and Spicy Pork “Ragu” with Baby Bok Choy. The protein comes in vacuum sealed bags, and every item is clearly labeled. Each recipe comes with a “knick knack” bag containing all of the little extras you may need, like random spices and seasonings. You do need to keep the basics at home, like olive oil, salt and pepper but they give you everything else.

Meal #1: Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches with an Endive and Blue Cheese Salad (610 calories/serving)

I didn’t take pictures of this one, but I wish I did! I chose to make the Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches for dinner on Sunday. It’s probably the least healthy of the three and I am more lenient with my diet on the weekend. I was concerned that it wouldn’t be enough food as I unwrapped the items: there were only two rolls for two sandwiches, and the portion of meat seemed small. Everything was measured out so I coated the chicken with the mixture provided, and pan seared according to the directions. I prepped the lettuce and the endive, and made the vinaigrette following the recipe provided.

First of all, my food looked exactly like the picture. It was perfect. And second of all, you put two pieces of chicken on each sandwich and it was a PERFECT portion. I was stuffed when I was done. There was one endive that was cut up and dressed with the vinaigrette and added blue cheese to – what a delicious, simple salad. The vinaigrette was a mixture of champagne vinegar, minced shallots, salt, pepper and olive oil. They gave you the champagne vinegar in the cutest little one serving bottle!

If I had to list a negative, it was the quality of the rolls. I expected something a little nicer, but these were just plain old potato buns. They were fresh and not squished, but I thought some nicer rolls would have put this meal over the top.

Meal # 2: Korean Tteok & Spicy Pork “Ragù” with Baby Bok Choy (700 calories/serving)

This was a super easy one, and I remembered to take pictures. I didn’t know what tteok was before this, so I was most excited to try this meal. Korean tteok is really just a chewy, steamed rice cake. It kind of reminded me of mochi – and I love mochi, so I loved this dish.

First, I assembled the ingredients:

Then, I opened the little knick knack bag…

Seriously, how cute is that little soy glaze bottle! All of the knick knacks are already measured out for you. It’s totally like cheating. The next step is to check out the recipe (the actual instructions are on the back):

image

And after prepping and cooking, about 20 minutes later, mine looked just like theirs:

Mine is on the left (my retro yellow countertops in my temporary kitchen, yeaaaahhhh!) and theirs is on the right. I think they used more of the Gochujang sauce because you can tell that theirs has a little more color, but I added a little while cooking and then added more after. It had quite the kick so I figured you could add more, but not take it away. This meal was outstanding, easy to prepare and clean up, and we really enjoyed it!

Meal #3: Seared Salmon and Salsa Verde with Orange, Spinach and Farro Salad (525 calories/serving)

Oh my gosh you guys. This was incredible. Every single bite I was going, “Mmmmm! Mmmmm!!” I love all of the ingredients in this recipe, but it’s not a recipe I would have chosen to make on my own. I would shy away from it because of the farro (trying to follow a Paleo-ish diet, this wouldn’t fit), the capers, and the orange. Not that I don’t like any of those flavors, I just don’t usually pick recipes with those items.

First, the ingredients:

image

The knick knacks…

The finished product (less than 30 minutes later)
imageI wish the picture did it more justice, because the spinach/farro/orange salad was actually a HUGE portion. And the quality of the salmon was spectacular. It seemed like it was a king salmon or a sockeye salmon, not the less expensive, farmed Atlantic salmon varieties. It. Was. AWESOME.

My husband liked the Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches the best, but I liked the salmon the best. Honestly, I would gladly eat any of the meals again and loved the convenience of this service. I deactivated my account because they will automatically charge you and ship you more food, but I plan to order from them again when I have busy weeks with little time for meal prep. And if I come across a coupon, I will absolutely be ordering up a week of meals. It was very simple to cancel the service, not like one of those charges on your credit card that will not stop showing up.

I really liked that it forced me to cook with ingredients that I usually pass up. It gave me some great ideas for sides during the week, which is what I usually struggle with. Even just a simple endive salad with quick homemade vinaigrette is a great idea, but something I wouldn’t think about. If you get the opportunity to try this service, I highly recommend it!

Have you ever tried a meal delivery service? What are your thoughts on this type of business? I’m obsessed!

 

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34 Replies to “Review: Blue Apron”

  1. It’s nice to read a review of Blue Apron that isn’t sponsored! I’ve been interested in meal services, but it’s never been worth the money to try it for me. The Groupon price isn’t bad at all. It looks like they use high-quality ingredients– would you guess that your discounted price was more or less than it would have cost to go out and buy those ingredients?

    Also, super helpful to know it was easy to cancel! That’s always my worry with trying things out for a discount.

    1. I think it was less than it would have costed me. For example, if I buy salmon, it ranges from $19.99-29.99 per pound, and I buy a pound of it. All of meats were hormone/antibiotic free, which I also normally try to buy but that stuff adds up! For $29 for a week worth of quality meals, so worth it. I think it’s more like $59 regularly – that is a little steep. I feel like if you are someone who eats out constantly and wants to save money, this is a great option because they are quick and easy recipes. If you pay full price, it comes out to being $20/meal which is cheaper than going out to eat (unless you do fast food, in which case it might not be cost effective). If you can find a coupon, I highly recommend. I have Hello Fresh coming to me in February, and I got that for $27/week on Groupon. I actually got two weeks worth of meals from that one! I’m excited.

      1. My boyfriend and I usually cook, but I am SO bad at meal-planning, so it’s usually him making the same three meals over and over again. With a discount, a meal delivery service might be nice for us to try. Maybe it would jump-start my (mostly non-existent) domestic nature…

    1. Same with me. My co worker doesn’t really know how to cook or enjoy cooking at all, so this was fabulous for her. She has learned so much and now enjoys cooking on her own, even without the service! I think that was a really good experience for her. For me, I never considered it because of the same reason – I love cooking and meal planning all on my own. But the price alone was too good to turn down, and it was really fun to try!

    1. Haha! My kitchen is so retro. Aluminum, powder blue cabinets and the yellow counters. It’s actually set up in our sunroom right now as our kitchen is gutted and in the process of being renovated! I will miss the yellow countertops for sure!

  2. I got a free week of Blue Apron over a year ago – the food was really good! However, when I made the meals, they took way longer than the recipes said they would take, and I had to use a lot of pans, which is a problem when my kitchen was super super tiny! (Maybe that was just the meals I happened to get that week.) Otherwise, I didn’t love all the waste that it seems to produce (even if it’s recyclable) between the boxes and ice packs, etc etc. I also find it to be pretty expensive, so I don’t think it’s in my budget for now. I do love that it takes the thinking out of meal planning!

    1. I do agree with you about the waste and the price. If you don’t get it on sale and you already enjoy cooking/meal planning, it is not a deal. But for people who don’t cook and eat out, it averages out $10/meal/person. I think that ends up being cheaper than eating out. But I like to cook so for me, the full price is more than I would be willing to pay! I didn’t have the problem with the lots of pans, but I think you are right about it being the meals you happened to get. My friend at work who gets it regularly says the same thing – it makes a mess for her!! LOL!

  3. I have to say, those all look really yummy! Unfortunately, I’m a really picky eater, and my husband is a bottomless pit, so I worry that a) the portions wouldn’t be enough to satisfy, and b) I wouldn’t like some of the ingredients/flavors. That being said, I loved seeing that the creme fraiche was from Vermont Creamery 😉

    1. My husband is also a bottomless pit and he was good after eating the meals, but had another serving been available he would have eaten it for sure. My friend at work is SO picky but she has been a customer of theirs since the spring and enjoys it – so you never know!!! I LOVE stuff from Vermont Creamery! I can get their products at Wegmans, my local market. Is that near you?

  4. This was a great review! I enjoyed reading it, which is saying a lot because I usually just skip past anything that has the word “review” in the title and isn’t about a race or a book.

    This service seems like it was made for people like me, because I’m lazy as hell, and terribly un-creative when it comes to food. It’s something I’d be willing to try but only as a once-in-a-while thing.

    1. Yay! I hope you check it out. Check Groupon or even Google “Blue Apron Promo”. Don’t pay full price for your first order! I would consider this service once in awhile when I am super busy or need some inspiration. I loved it!

  5. I’ve been dancing with ordering from there! I get emails from them and everyone I think… I should do that… And then I think ooooh look at that dress lol…. You’ve def got me thinking about doing it!

    1. Don’t pay full price! Check Groupon and even just try googling blue apron promotions! I’ve seen a lot of offers for at least $20 off! You should definitely try it, I loved it! I think I will pay full price in the future for a week of meals every so often!

  6. I am so glad I came across this. I have wondered if these are really all they are cracked up to be. That price point is pretty spot on for what I would want to spend. I think you have me convinced.

    1. Let me know if you check it out! I also bought a Groupon for Hello Fresh and will be trying it in February, so I will review that as well. I am dying to try Plated, but that one is more expensive and doesn’t have any offers out there. Grrr!

  7. Thanks for this post Allison. I’ve read a whole bunch of sponsored reviews and it’s hard to take them seriously. I like the idea of trying new foods that you may never have picked, and you got such a great price. I am such a planner that I have all meals planned out for the week but I could see this being super helpful when life gets hectic.

    1. That was what I liked about it. I knew I had a hectic week coming up, and it was good timing. I would definitely do another week with them, especially if I can find a discount again. I have two weeks of Hello Fresh coming up in February that I also bought on a Groupon, so I have high hopes that that one will be just as tasty!

  8. I’m so glad you purchased this on your own and reviewed it! I’ve side-eyed all the Blue Apron shills because most of the bloggers don’t even seem to like to cook that much. Plus, I had no idea it was easy to deactivate your account so you can just order when you want. That makes it a lot more appealing to me. Thanks for your review!

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