Studies have revealed that a toddler can ask anywhere from one hundred to three hundred questions a day on average! That’s one of the reasons why outsourcing the inevitable, ever-present “what’s for dinner” dilemma is such a treat for busy, overstretched parents. We’ve found a bounty of quick prep and prepared meal delivery services in San Diego that bring meal kits right to your doorstep. Read on to feast your eyes on the best meal delivery services, and give yourself a well-deserved break.
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Ready for 100% plant-based, organic, non-GMO, chef-prepared entrees, soups, and juices that just show up at your front door whenever you want them to? Look no further than this healthy bunch (bonus: they deliver nationally, too).
There are no, zero, zilch animal products of any kind, here, ever! Chick'n Nuggets with chipotle dipping sauce complete with veganaise will do the trick every time for your kiddos and no one will miss the meat. Veestro food is available a la carte, in full-on Meal Packs, and they also carry a surprisingly delicious weight loss menu plan. As with most vegetarian cuisine: most meals have nuts in them so be careful with a nut allergy, but all meals are completely dairy-free and don't contain other allergens.
Cost: Starting at $9.90/serving, free shipping on auto-delivery options
Go local by choosing Territory for your meal delivery service. Choose from a variety of 35 meals, so you and your family never get bored with the option of adding, skipping, and pausing meals at any time. This community-based service has a roster of local, independent San Diego chefs who work with a registered dietician to craft wholesome and nutrient-dense meals—bonus; every dish is made with no gluten, dairy, or refined sugar.
Cost: Starts at $10.95+/meal
The goal of HelloFresh is to bring the fun of cooking back into people’s lives by doing all the planning, portioning and shopping for in-season, sustainably-sourced, healthy and flavorful ingredients. HelloFresh prides itself on its delicious recipes with quick cook times; all your chopping, zesting and sautéing will take less than 30 minutes. Family-friendly meals include Tomato Tortellini Bake, Ginger Plum Chicken and Pork Chops with Apple Rosemary Pan Sauce.
Cost: Meals $8.99/serving. Delivery is free for all orders.
Purple Carrot brings you plant-forward meals that are good for you and good for the planet. Choose from Quick & Easy, High-Protein, Gluten-Free or Chef’s Choice dinners and customize your choices to your liking. All meals are meat-free and easy to prepare. You can add on breakfast, lunch and snack items to get you through the week. Skip or cancel any time.
Cost: Plans start at $9.99/serving
If your goal is to get a wholesome, easy meal on the table for your family, then Dinnerly is the meal delivery option for you. Each week Dinnerly customers choose from over a dozen options which change each week. The choices are totally kid-friendly with options like sweet and sour Swedish meatballs, turkey burgers and enchiladas. Each meal has only five prep steps and takes less than 30 minutes to get on the table, perfect for rushed weeknight dinners. Not interested in getting your box this week? No problem! You can skip any time.
Cost: Meals start at $4.69/person
Healthy eating at home is the name of the game with Green Chef. Choose from three plans: Keto + Paleo, Balanced Living and Plant-Powered. Set up your deliveries to come weekly or less frequently if you prefer. Menus change every week and you'll enjoy options like Steak & Cheddar Melts, Salmon with Creamy Chimichurri, and Creamy Baked Penne Pasta.
Cost: Meals start at $11.99/serving
Home Chef meal kits offer fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes delivered weekly. With a variety 19 different recipes that rotate on a weekly basis, most recipes include a "Customize It" option to accommodate any dietary needs or preferences. Skip a week any time you'd like, the meals are convenient and kid-friendly. The 15-minute meal kits include options like Honey Garlic Chicken with Broccoli and Carrots. Or, opt for more sophisticated meals from the culinary collection like Steak and Garlic Thyme Butter with balsamic Brussels Sprouts and Parmesan Twists.
Cost: Meals start at $8.99/serving
Freshly is a weekly subscription service delivering fresh (not frozen), chef-cooked meals that can be heated and served in three minutes. Unlike meal kits, all you need is a microwave, fork and plate (optional!) to get a satisfying lunch or dinner on the table. Think “nutritionist meets personal chef” vs. TV dinner when it comes to quality and flavor.
With a food philosophy centered on less sugar, less processed and more nutrients, the menu features better-for-you versions of comfort foods with smart ingredient swaps. For example, Chicken Parm is coated in almond flour vs. bread crumbs and topped with marinara sauce sweetened with honey instead of refined sugars; Mac and Cheese is made with brown rice pasta and cheesy sauce blended with a purée of cauliflower and butternut squash; and Turkey Meatballs are packed with mushrooms and served over zoodles for a lower-carb alternative to pasta.
Cost: Customers can order 4 meals ($11.50/each), 6 meals ($8.99/each), 9 meals ($8.99/each) or 12 meals ($7.99/each) weekly.
Blue Apron has been part of the meal delivery game for a long time and their expertise shows. Choose among two-serving, four-serving, wellness and vegetarian menus to pick the options that are right for you. We love that the meals typically take 40 minutes or less and include kid-friendly ingredients like baked chicken and pasta while exposing kids to different flavors like curry and chile-lime. With super easy-to-follow recipes, you can definitely get the kids involved in the cooking process.
Cost: Meals cost $8.99-9.99/serving with free shipping
Say goodbye to grocery shopping, meal planning and prep, and all that cleanup! Gobble shops, chops and delivers gourmet three-step recipes for one-pan cooking with zero prep required. How about picky eaters? Try Pan-Seared Sirloin Steak with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes & Béarnaise Sauce or Crispy Chicken Sandwich & Napa Cabbage Slaw with Caraway Vinaigrette. What have you got to lose when it's just a one-pan cleanup?
Cost: Prices start at $11.99/serving
Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon
This cook-at-home food delivery service partnered with Martha Stewart to help harried families discover their inner Martha. The menu features 22 choices every week and the website tags meals as family-friendly, under-30 minutes, gluten-free and other categories. Favorites include: chicken fajita bowl, bacon-wrapped skillet meatloaf and lemon-brown butter salmon. The website provides big, colorful step-by-step photos for careless cooks and kids who want to help.
Cost: Plans start at $7.99/portion + $8.99 shipping
This meal-delivery service is focused on kids. Carefully sourced fruits and veggies, and perfectly balanced—lunches, dinners and snacks from Yumble are nutritionist-approved and kid-approved, too! Choose your kids' meals for the week and they'll be delivered free to your doorstep. The Bowl of Yays Pasta with veggie marinara and the Mighty Meatballs and Veggie Chili are crowd pleasers for sure. Each box comes with new activities for kids, making mealtime a breeze for you and a joy for them.
Cost: $5.99/meal and up
Hungryroot is an online grocery service that delivers modern, healthy food with recipe and meal planning support. Hungryroot’s mission is to help people feel their best by making it easier to shop for, cook, and love healthy food. Customers share their food needs and receive personalized weekly deliveries of healthy groceries along with 10-minute recipes to make fresh, delicious meals. All of Hungryroot’s deliveries are nutrient-dense and tailored to a variety of diets and food needs including vegan, vegetarian, soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free, pescatarian, tree-nut free, peanut-free, and egg-free.
Cost: Pricing plans average from $60 to $100 per week and orders over $70 receive free shipping.
Parents, take one thing off your plate by having Nurture Life put meals on your family table? Nurture Life makes the process super simple by delivering meals with ingredients that are focused on organic veggies, lean antibiotic-free proteins and whole grains. Additionally, their meals are developed by a team of registered dietitians and chefs and all are peanut and tree nut (except coconut) free—and their facilities don’t contain any peanuts or tree nuts. Bonus: Nurture Life meals are ready to enjoy in two minutes or less!
After signing up, you can choose the meals that best fit your kiddos' palate (or what you'd like them to try) based on their age group, and you can select the number of meals you'd like in your box. It's easy to skip weeks or add additional meals, and you can be worry-free with these veggie-forward, nutritious dishes. Food preferences include veggie, meat and fish, and meal plan age groups are: Baby (10-24 months), Toddler (1- 4 years), Kids (5-10 years) and Kids (11+ years). Family meals like mushroom and truffle ravioli are also a great option.
Cost: Plans start at $39 and you can skip weeks, pause or cancel services at any time.
Factor is a weekly subscription service with flexible management options. You can select from plan sizes of 4, 6, 8, 12 or 18 meals per week with the option to change your plan size at any time. You can also skip any weeks when they don’t need a delivery or turn the subscription off and back on at any time. Factor believes clean eating shouldn’t have to be so hard––and that healthy food should be readily available to everyone. They deliver chef-crafted and dietitian-designed meals nationwide; meals arrive fresh (never frozen) and are fully prepared. Simply heat in the microwave or oven and enjoy.
Their menu features a variety of different meal options for those that follow specific diet patterns such as keto, Paleo, low-carb, low-calorie, high-protein and dairy-free. Their dietitians and chefs create these meals to ensure that they reflect the standards of each diet. For example, keto meals are made with 70% fat or above, Paleo meals are dairy-free, and high-protein meals are made with 35 grams of protein or more.
Factor is also very strict about what they put in their meals, and their chefs use only the highest quality, freshest ingredients available. Every meal is free of gluten, soy, hormones, antibiotics, GMOs and preservatives.
Additionally, their dietitians are on-hand to provide an extra level of support. They offer free 20-minute consultations for all new or prospective customers.
Fresh and easy! Michaela’s meals are organic, gluten-free, and contain no GMOs. She’s known for answering the phone to take your order herself, and she shops at the local farmer’s market to source her ingredients. Michaela will customize meals to fit your needs––even catering to Keto and Paleo diets. You can order breakfast too! Half-pints will love the high protein cinnamon roll pancakes.
Delivery: San Diego Area
Cost: From $65 for 5 meals/week
Food Made Fresh
If you are looking to up your family's health quotient this year then Thistle is the meal delivery service for you. They offer fully-prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as juices, snacks, wellness shots and more. Choose what option works best for you with the price per item decreasing the more items you select. Every week there's a new menu and everything that is available is gluten and dairy-free. You can choose from vegan and non-vegan options.
While the majority of the Thistle menu appeals to greens-loving adults, our kid tasters loved the 24 Carrot Gold muffin and the nourishing green juice. Bonus for busy parents: the most you'll need is a few minutes to warm up the meals (if you desire) or eat them room tempinstead.
Cost: Fully-customizable packages start at $29.98/week.
Farm Fresh Delivery
Farm fresh goodness! We love that these meals are local, organic, farm-to-table meals that offer options like going grain-free. One of our faves is the orange basil Salmon with organic quinoa pilaf and organic heirloom ginger carrots. Even more, if you want to take a week off or not commit to a subscription, then this delivery service is for you. Further, you’ll enjoy large portions and get to choose from Keto or Paleo options too.
Delivery: North County San Diego
Cost: Minimum $45 order per delivery. Plus $7 delivery fee.
Eat Clean Meal Prep
Calling all vegans! This meal delivery service offers a selection of delicious meals that contain no animal products, and they arrive in plant-based containers too. The vegan meal plan offers dishes like kung pao “beef” (made with vegan beef substitute), steamed broccoli, snap peas and brown rice. Moreover, you can order a family subscription (it’s non-vegan) with dishes like maple BBQ chicken with potatoes if you want too. There are many choices to fit your family’s tastes.
Delivery: San Diego Area
Cost: Vegan from $53.55 for 5 meals/week; Family Plan from $54.99 for 5 meals/week
The Lean Machine
We love this local husband and wife owned meal delivery service with a focus on lean, healthy food. Firstly, if you call, there’s a good chance you will talk to Anthony, the friendly customer-oriented owner. From chicken breast bites with asparagus and brown rice to vegetarian chili, you’ll find plenty of options to fill your family’s dinner table. So what are you waiting for? Try them out today.
Delivery: San Diego Area
Cost: From $52.50 for 5 meals/week
Ingredients at your door! You’ll find organic, non-GMO ingredients that are pre-chopped and pre-measured ready to go. Make your nightly meals easy on you with these 30-minute meals from box to table. The meals are perfect for families and offer from two to six servings based on your choice. Even more, there is a pint-sized (kid’s) meal option. From the ground beef tacos to the many vegan and gluten-free options, we give this meal prep service a thumbs up!
Delivery: California (San Diego included)
Cost: From $59.79 for 2 meals/week; Plus $7.99 delivery fee.
Clean & Colorful Kitchen
All the hues of the rainbow! We love that this San Diego delivery service lives up to its name. So, expect plenty of healthy (and colorful!) food on a plate, from spicy shrimp and veggie pad Thai to rainbow veggie tacos. What’s more, you’ll find smoothies and sweet treats like vegan peanut butter cups.
Delivery: San Diego Area
Cost: From $33 for 3 meals/week
If your family wants clean protein, organic produce and delicious gluten-free meals, SoCalFRESH has got you covered. Grass-fed beef, pasture-raised chicken and wild-caught salmon mix with heart-healthy oil and Himalayan pink salt. What you won't see is any white sugar, dairy or wheat flour. With tasty dishes like Moroccan chicken or Beef Bolognese, we're pretty sure your family will want seconds.
Delivery: San Diego, Orange County and Riverside
Cost: From $67 for 5 meals/week
—Michelle Franklin, Nikki Walsh & Beth Shea
featured image via iStock
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