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Dinnerly advertises itself as one of the most affordable meal kits on the market. But does it deliver on taste? We tried Dinnerly for 1 week to see if it’s worth subscribing to.
Dinnerly is a meal kit delivery service that’s popular for its low price and wide selection of easy-to-cook meals.
Featuring a rotating weekly menu with many recipes that are ready to enjoy in 30 minutes or less, Dinnerly is also a great option for those who are short on time but looking to add more home-cooked meals to their diet.
Healthline Nutrition Editor Kelli McGrane, MS, RD, put Dinnerly to the test to help you decide whether it’s worth subscribing to.
Healthline’s tester scored Dinnerly across 9 categories and allotted points from 0–5. The scores below reflect the average rating for each category.
- Overall: 3.5
- Sign-up, delivery, and cancellation: 4.5
- Meal variety: 4.5
- Nutrition: 2
- Sustainability: 4
- Ingredient quality and freshness: 2
- Ease of preparation: 4
- Taste: 3
- Affordability: 4
Learn more about our testing process.
Dinnerly is a subscription-based service that offers affordable, easy-to-cook meal kits.
In fact, Dinnerly claims to be the most affordable meal delivery service on the market, with meal kits starting at just $5.49 per serving. The service also regularly offers discounts to first-time subscribers, with prices as low as $2.99 per serving.
Using the service’s rotating weekly menu, you can mix and match your favorite meals to create a custom meal plan.
Dinnerly recipes require no more than 5 steps, and many take 30 minutes or less to prepare.
Each order includes a digital recipe card and the ingredients necessary to prepare 2–6 meals each week.
- more affordable than most other meal kits, with prices starting at $5.49 per serving
- frequently offers promotion codes for further cost savings
- offers meals requiring 5 or fewer steps and often 30 minutes or less to prepare
- encourages eating more home-cooked meals, which may improve diet quality
- includes labels such as “healthy” and “kid-friendly” to help you quickly identify recipes that fit your needs and preferences
- offers the option to skip as many weeks as needed
- may offer only limited options for those with certain dietary restrictions or food allergies
- provides few organic options
- offers a limited selection of low calorie meals for weight loss
- uses virtual recipe cards rather than printed ones
- does not offer the option to filter recipes based on dietary need or preference
- $11.99 shipping fee
- Name: Kelli McGrane, MS, RD
- Role: Healthline Nutrition Editor II
- Dietary needs and preferences: flexitarian
- Meal-time preferences: make-ahead, one-pan, and 30-minute weeknight meals and recipes that are toddler-friendly
In addition to being a registered dietitian, I’m also a cookbook author and previously worked as a recipe developer. As a nutrition editor, I’ve reviewed countless meal and grocery delivery services. I’ve also tried more than 25 of the most popular meal delivery services on the market.
Because I’m a working mom of two, I’m constantly on the lookout for quick and easy meals that are nutritionally balanced.
Sign-up, meal selection, and cancellation processes
Tester score: 4.5 out of 5
Signing up for Dinnerly was an easy process. I was first prompted to select either a two- or four-person box and 3–6 meals per week.
I opted to select meals from the weekly menu. However, you can also choose to only receive vegetarian options.
After choosing my plan, I entered in my delivery details, including my address and selected which date I wanted to receive my first delivery, and my payment information. Once my subscription was set up, I was able to select meals from the weekly menu.
The service offers a large rotating weekly menu with at least 45 recipes to choose from, including many low calorie, low carb, dairy-free, and kid-friendly options.
Dinnerly also labels meals that take less than 30 minutes to prepare, meals without added gluten, one-pot meals, and vegetarian meals.
While the labels were helpful, having to scroll through all of the options, rather than being able to filter by menu or diet type, made selecting meals a bit trickier than many other meal kit services I’ve tried.
Because Dinnerly is a contract-free service, you can skip as many weeks as you want. The service also makes it easy to change plan options, and you can pause your subscription indefinitely up to 6 days before payment is due.
To cancel your subscription, simply click on “Settings” and scroll down to the “Stop Subscription” button.
Tester score: 4.5 out of 5
Dinnerly features a rotating menu with more than 45 items to choose from each week.
Overall, I found there to be a good variety of cuisines and ingredient types offered.
While Dinnerly doesn’t offer any specific menus, it does label items that are suitable for various dietary needs and preferences, such as:
- no added gluten
- low calorie
- low carb
- under 30 minutes
- one-pot meal
- poultry, meat, or seafood
Still, as noted earlier, without a way to filter recipes, I found it difficult to quickly identify meals that fit my dietary needs and preferences.
Also keep in mind that options for those with specific dietary restrictions may be limited, as most weekly menus offer only a few selections for certain diets, such as keto, paleo, and vegan.
A note on allergens
Dinnerly labels foods without added gluten. However, these may not be suitable for people with celiac disease or another gluten-related disorder because of the risk of cross contamination.
Additionally, meals are prepared in a facility that processes many major allergens. This may increase the risk of cross contamination for those with severe food allergies or sensitivities.
Dinnerly is available throughout most of the contiguous United States and offers delivery once per week.
Delivery slots vary depending on your location. However, you can select your preferred delivery day when signing up.
Each order is shipped with ice packs and insulated liners, which help ensure that ingredients remain fresh during transit. My delivery arrived during a heat wave, and while the ice packs were starting to melt, all the items were still cold.
Unlike many other meal kit services, Dinnerly packages its ingredients loose in the box, with perishables located at the bottom under an ice pack.
I prefer having ingredients grouped together by recipe, as it’s a bit more convenient and helps keep my fridge organized. However, I assume having the items loose in the box helps cut down on cost.
Tester score: 4 out of 5
Most of Dinnerly’s packaging is recyclable or compostable. The company also provides detailed information on how to recycle or dispose of each component online.
Tester score: 2 out of 5
Dinnerly provides a full list of ingredients and nutritional information for each recipe on its menu, along with details on potential allergens.
The service also includes labels, like “Health” and “Nutritious” to make it easier to find healthier options. However, I found that most meals, including many with these health-related labels, weren’t nutritionally balanced.
Many meals contained few, if any, vegetables, while others, especially the vegetarian meals, were low in protein.
Ingredient quality and freshness
Tester score: 2 out of 5
All of my items arrived in good condition and appeared to be fresh, though I did notice that Dinnerly used more prepackaged or premade items than other services, such as ready-to-heat meatballs and canned tomato sauce.
According to the company, most of the fruits and vegetables it uses are conventional, which may not be good for those who prefer eating organic foods. It also doesn’t provide higher quality options for animal proteins, like grass-fed beef or sustainably sourced seafood.
Preparing and cooking the meals
Tester score: 4 out of 5
Compared with most other meal kit delivery services I’ve tried, Dinnerly stood out for several reasons:
- Recipe cards are virtual (con): While I know it helps cut down on cost (and is more eco-friendly), I found the recipes harder to follow on a smartphone. If I were to try the service again, I’d probably pull up the recipes on a laptop or tablet.
- There’s very little prep work (pro): Two of the three recipes I tried were incredibly simple to make. All I had to do was open a few packages and stir everything together in a pot or saucepan. This makes Dinnerly a good option for people who dislike or are new to cooking.
- You’ll need to provide more than just the basics (con): Like most other meal kits, Dinnerly requires you to provide a few basic cooking ingredients such as salt, pepper, butter, and oil. However, I was surprised that the recipes also asked me to provide more substantial ingredients, including flour, garlic, and eggs.
- Estimated cooking times are generous (pro): All the meals I tried were ready 5–10 minutes earlier than the recipe cards estimated. And because there’s very little prep involved, cleanup was a breeze.
Tester score: 3 out of 5
I was pleasantly surprised by how tasty all the meals were, though I did make a few changes to the recipes to make them a bit more nutritious. I also found the flavor combinations to be less exciting than some other services, like Sunbasket or Blue Apron.
Here are my thoughts on each dish:
Low Cal Ginger Rice Noodles: This was my favorite of the three because it featured fresh vegetables and was flavorful without being overly salty. With that said, the portion sizes were a bit small, and I decided to add pan-fried tofu for an extra boost of protein. I made this dish first and was so excited to get started that I spaced on taking a picture of the meal.
Swedish Meatballs with Egg Noodles and Peas: This dish was my husband’s favorite because the portions were generous and the meatballs were well seasoned. I ended up using about half the amount of butter called for in the recipe and still found the dish to be plenty rich.
Creamy Tomato Basil Tortelloni with Peas: It’s probably no surprise that this was a hit with the whole family. In particular, the basil pesto was well balanced and added a nice flavor kick. However, as with the Swedish Meatballs, the only vegetable was frozen peas, so I added leftover zucchini and peppers from my fridge to make the meal more nutritionally balanced.
Tester score: 3.5 out of 5
Dinnerly is a budget-friendly meal kit service offering family-friendly flavors.
Because many of the meals come with premade or premeasured ingredients, the recipes come together quickly and are a good fit for beginners or people who dislike cooking.
All the ingredients arrived in good condition, and my family — even my picky toddler — enjoyed the flavors of each dish.
With that said, many of the meals did not include enough vegetables to be considered balanced, so you may want to keep a stash of frozen vegetables in your freezer or pick up a salad kit while grocery shopping.
I also made other changes, including adding a protein source to one recipe and reducing the amount of butter in another.
I enjoy cooking and look forward to recipes with ingredients or flavor combinations that I haven’t tried before, so Dinnerly isn’t my top meal delivery service pick.
It’s also worth noting that once you factor in the cost of shipping and non-promotional prices, Dinnerly really isn’t that much cheaper than HelloFresh or Home Chef, both of which scored higher than Dinnerly during testing.
Dinnerly claims to be the most affordable meal kit service, with prices ranging from $5.49–$11.04 per serving. The company regularly runs promotional deals for first time customers, with prices as low as $2.99 per serving on your first box.
Promotional deals aside, here is the cost per serving on the two-person plan:
- 2 meals: $11.04
- 3 meals: $9.04
- 4 meals: $8.04
- 5 meals: $7.64
- 6 meals: $7.24
Here is the cost per serving on the four-person plan without promotional deals:
- 2 meals: $8.64
- 3 meals: $7.14
- 4 meals: $6.64
- 5 meals: $6.19
- 6 meals: $5.49
In addition to the price of your meal kit, there’s an $11.99 flat fee for shipping, regardless of which box you select.
Dinnerly says it keeps its prices low by using fewer ingredients, less packaging, and digital recipe cards in place of printed materials.
As of the time of publication, Dinnerly is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau and currently holds an F rating from the organization, which is based on factors like the company’s complaint history and business practices and how long it has been operating.
On Trustpilot, Dinnerly has an average rating of 3.9 out of 5 stars, which is based on more than 4,800 customer reviews.
Many reviewers on Trustpilot express satisfaction with the portion sizes and ingredient freshness. Some say they enjoy the convenience and flexibility that the service provides.
However, less favorable reviews mention issues with missing or damaged ingredients and delivery delays.
A few customers also report frustration with the responsiveness of customer service when issues with orders arise.
Several other subscription-based meal kit services are similar to Dinnerly.
|Healthline score (out of 5)
|Price per serving
|affordable, easy-to-prepare meal kits with 5 steps or fewer
|budget-friendly meal kits that are ready in 30 minutes or less
|large rotating weekly menu with more than 100 meal kits to choose from
|meal kits and oven-ready meals with multiple options for customization
Dinnerly uses packaging designed to keep food fresh at room temperature for up to 6 hours after delivery if unopened. However, the company recommends refrigerating ingredients as soon as possible once they’re delivered to maintain quality and freshness.
Dinnerly portion sizes vary by recipe. While some, like the Swedish Meatballs with Peas, are generously sized, others, like the Low Cal Ginger Rice Noodles, may not provide enough food to satisfy some people.
Though Dinnerly is not specifically geared toward weight loss, the service does offer several low calorie options, which contain fewer than 650 calories per serving.
That being said, whether you’ll lose weight with Dinnerly depends on several factors, including your daily calorie needs, the specific meals you select, how physically active you are, and how many calories you consume from other meals, snacks, and beverages throughout the day.
Dinnerly is an affordable meal kit service that provides quick and easy recipes and the ingredients you need to prepare them.
Starting at just $4.99 per serving, Dinnerly is a great way to start cooking more meals at home without breaking the bank.
However, it may not be a good option for people who have certain dietary restrictions, have severe food allergies, or prefer to eat organic.