After you choose your meal plan on Freshly.com, you pick a delivery date and make your meal selections. Your week’s worth of meals arrives at your door in a big insulated box. All the packaging is recyclable, biodegradable, or reusable, and the food containers are microwave-safe. Keep the meals in the fridge until you’re ready to eat, at which point you can heat them up in the microwave for three minutes, in a skillet for five minutes, or in the oven for about 30 minutes.
But…are they good?
For the most part, yes. I was satisfied with most of the dishes but not blown away by any of them. The best meal I tried was a vegetarian option, the Indian-spiced chickpea curry bowl with basmati rice, which had a surprisingly complex depth of flavor. I could taste the turmeric, ginger, coriander, and garam masala—and I can confirm that it beats any store-bought frozen version I’ve had. My second favorite was the chicken teriyaki bowl, which also had an appealing balance of sweet and savory. Unlike many other premade chicken teriyaki meals, I appreciated that Freshly’s didn’t taste like a mouthful of corn syrup.
Other dishes, like the steak peppercorn, were lacking in the flavor department. The steak was tender, had a nice char, and was cooked somewhere between medium-well and well-done. It wasn’t bad—just underseasoned. But after fixing it up with a little salt and pepper? A solid seven out of 10. The mashed potatoes and sautéed veggies that came with it were well-seasoned and tasty. Was it better than a homemade steak cooked to your liking? No, but pretty decent for a steak dinner in three minutes.
My least favorite meal was the country chicken stew, which was bland beyond repair. I tried amping it up with a little salt, pepper, and garlic powder to no avail. Since it was called “stew,” I expected it to be on the heartier, thicker side. Instead, it was watery and thin. I didn’t finish it.
A note on the portion sizes
On average the meals contain about 13 ounces of food—not super tiny, but light. Instead of having my Freshly meals for dinner, I opted to eat them for lunch as I worked from home. Sometimes they were enough to leave me satisfied, and other times I was hungry by 3 p.m. They are, needless to say, single servings.
Are Freshly meals healthy?
Freshly prides itself on creating balanced meals that all include a portion of protein, seasonal veggies, and whole grain starches. According to the company, Freshly chefs also implement ingredient swaps to make the meals more nutritious. For example, they’ll add creaminess to a dish by using puréed squash or cauliflower instead of butter or heavy cream. They’ll often use nut butters to thicken sauces instead of leaning on flour, and they use honey instead of corn syrup or artificial sweeteners.
If you’re like me and like to know what’s in your food and keep tabs on your macros (shout out to all the weight lifters), Freshly is appealing because you can see the full ingredient list and nutrition facts of every meal prior to ordering. Do you have dietary restrictions that require you to eat gluten-free, dairy-free, low-carb, or low-calorie? If so, they’ve got options for you—and filters that can help you find what you’re looking for.
So, is Freshly worth it?
If you’re looking for reasonably healthy meals that offer instant convenience, Freshly is a great option within the meal delivery space. This is especially true if you follow a restricted diet or simply want to know exactly what’s in your food. That said, over the course of the Freshly review process I learned that you should be prepared to not love every single meal you try, and you’ll want to add your own seasoning sometimes. But all things considered, adding a little salt is a lot less work than cooking a whole meal.