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- Best for weight loss: BistroMD, Diet-to-Go
- Best vegan: Daily Harvest
- Best gluten-free: Freshly
- Best for keto or paleo diets: Paleo on the Go
- Best for older adults: Magic Kitchen
Frozen meals are convenient meal options that require very little meal prep or cooking.
However, many store-bought frozen entrées aren’t the healthiest or best tasting. Oftentimes, these meals are heavily processed, containing artificial preservatives, flavors, and colorings.
Furthermore, it can be difficult to find options that fit your specific dietary needs.
Still, there are frozen meal delivery services that offer the convenience of frozen meals but contain higher quality ingredients and great flavors.
Plus, unlike many other food delivery services, frozen meal services come fully assembled and cooked. So, rather than chopping and cooking, all you have to do is pop one in the microwave or oven.
The frozen meal delivery services on this list were chosen based on the quality of their ingredients, variety of food options, and ability to cater to specific diets.
Here are the 6 best frozen meal delivery services of 2020.
Best for weight loss
Founded in 2005 by Dr. Caroline Cederquist, a board certified bariatric surgery specialist, BistroMD has been helping people lose weight for over 15 years.
Unlike other meal delivery services that simply offer one reduced calorie meal plan, BistroMD offers both a men’s and women’s weight loss program, as well as diabetic-friendly, menopause-friendly, gluten-free, and heart-healthy weight loss plans.
If you’re unsure which plan is right for you, BistroMD provides guidance. Based on some basic information you provide about yourself, BistroMD’s staff of registered dietitians will work with you to help select a plan and calorie goals to fit your weight loss objectives.
While the service is geared toward people looking to lose weight, you can also work with one of their dietitians to customize your plan for weight maintenance.
In addition to choosing a plan, you have the option to decide between five or seven days of the full program, which includes all three meals for the day, or a plan that includes lunch and dinner only.
Regardless of which option you go with, you can choose to customize your meal selections each week. With over 150 meals to choose from, BistroMD makes it easy to enjoy variety week to week.
In addition to a gluten-free menu, BistroMD states that it can accommodate other food allergens.
After signing up, alert customer service to your food allergy, and a team will remove any items that contain the allergen from your plan.
However, it’s important to note that all of the meals are prepared in the same kitchen. Therefore, due to potential cross-contamination, it may not be an ideal fit for those with severe food allergies.
It’s also important to note that BistroMD isn’t a good option for those who are vegan. While they offer a vegetarian menu, they don’t currently have many vegan-friendly meal choices.
For those on low carb diets, the diabetes plan limits net carbs to no more than 25 grams per meal and 15 grams or less per snack. However, the meals are not designed for very low carb diets like the keto diet.
Each flash-frozen meal is designed by doctors and registered dietitians and prepared by chefs before being shipped to your doorstep. All you have to do is reheat your meals for 5 minutes or less in the microwave.
Meals arrive in a recyclable container with a biodegradable and compostable insulation liner. Each meal comes in a microwave-safe and bisphenol A (BPA)-free plastic tray.
Seven days of the full program, which includes 7 breakfasts and lunches plus 6 dinners, currently costs around $142, coming out to about $7 per meal.
If you prefer to receive 7 lunches and dinners and no breakfasts, it costs $120, or about $8.50 per meal.
While BistroMD is one of the most affordable options per meal, there’s also an additional $19.99 shipping fee for any orders within the continental United States.
Founded in 1991, Diet-to-Go delivers frozen meals that are designed by registered dietitians and chefs to create healthy and delicious options that can help you lose weight.
All meals are free of preservatives, prepared in a United States Department of Agriculture (USDA)-certified kitchen, frozen, and delivered weekly to your doorstep.
Customers receive a set menu that changes week to week. However, you can substitute meal selections once an order is placed. Depending on your plan, you can receive five or seven days of food per week and two or three meals per day.
The meals arrive fully cooked and can be reheated using a microwave, toaster oven, conventional oven, or steamer. Plus, unlike some other services, Diet-to-Go also provides all of the side dishes and condiments that you need for each meal.
When signing up, customers can choose from one of four plans.
The Balance Menu, Diabetes Balance Menu, and Vegetarian Menu are all nutritionally balanced and calorie-controlled.
Furthermore, these three menus are also controlled for sodium, carbs, and cholesterol according to guidelines from the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, American Diabetes Association, and Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
The fourth plan is the Keto-Carb30. It’s also calorie-controlled and replaces carbs with healthy fats to provide no more than 30 grams of net carbs per day.
However, it’s important to note that Diet-to-Go currently doesn’t offer gluten-free or vegan options.
It’s also not the best option for those with severe food allergies, as all of the meals are prepared in the same kitchen, and allergens can’t be filtered out when selecting menu choices.
Finally, while some organic ingredients are used, it’s unsuitable for those who prefer to eat exclusively organic.
The cost of Diet-to-Go varies depending on the plan, number of calories, and amount of food per week, with discounts for larger orders.
Depending on your plan and the number of meals, each Diet-to-Go meal costs $8.50–$14. There’s also an additional $19.98 shipping charge for all weekly orders.
Currently, Diet-to-Go is offering $20 off your first delivery.
Daily Harvest is a 100% plant-based, gluten- and preservative-free frozen meal delivery service with over 80 options to choose from.
Initially founded as a frozen smoothie delivery service, Daily Harvest has now expanded to include a variety of oat bowls, chia bowls, lattes, harvest bowls, flatbreads, snack bites, and even plant-based ice creams.
All of their items comprise a base of fruits and vegetables and include other high quality plant-based foods, such as nuts, seeds, whole grains, and legumes.
The company works directly with farmers and describes its ingredients as being thoughtfully sourced. Currently, 95% of the ingredients are organic, and all items are free of preservatives, additives, and fillers.
Unlike other services, there isn’t a set menu that’s sent to you every week. Instead, customers choose how many and which items they would like to receive on a weekly or monthly basis.
Current plans include weekly delivery of 9, 12, or 24 options, or a monthly delivery with 24 items. As a result, Daily Harvest is a good option if you’re looking to add a few plant-based meals into your regular rotation.
However, it may not be the best option if you’re looking for a delivery service to provide all of your meals for the day.
As most entrées contain fewer than 400 calories per serving, depending on how many items you order, you may still need to purchase additional food to meet your daily calorie and nutrient needs.
It’s also important to note that customers need to provide their own liquids to prepare some of the items, including the smoothies, lattes, soups, and oat and chia bowls.
While nutritional and allergen information is available for each item, you currently can’t filter items based on dietary needs or preferences.
Currently, the cardboard delivery boxes, cups, insulated dry ice bags, and bowls are recyclable and/or compostable. Plus, as of April 2020, Daily Harvest announced that they’re working toward making 100% of their packaging recyclable.
The cost of Daily Harvest depends on which items you choose and how many items you order, with discounts for larger orders and monthly subscriptions.
Current item prices range from $5.99 for chia and oat bowls to $8.99 for flatbreads, harvest bowls, and ice cream pints.
Shipping costs and taxes are included in the base price for each plan, so you don’t have to worry about any additional costs at checkout.
Freshly stands out from other meal delivery services, as it provides only gluten-free meals and has been certified as a gluten-free meal service by the Gluten Intolerance Group.
As a result, Freshly states that no gluten is ever in their kitchens, greatly reducing the possibility of cross-contamination.
The company is also committed to providing nutritious meals that are low in sugar and free of highly processed ingredients.
In fact, it has a list of over 85 ingredients that are never used in its products, including high fructose corn syrup, artificial colors and flavors, and nitrates and nitrites.
Each meal is designed to have a high quality protein source, vegetables, healthy fats, and complex carbs for an overall balanced meal.
There are also filters to help you select meals that best fit your dietary needs.
While the meals arrive fresh, not frozen, they can be stored in the freezer and quickly reheated — no thawing required.
Options include dairy-free, soy-free, protein powerhouse (at least 25 grams of protein per meal), carb-conscious (less than 35 grams of carbs per meal), sodium-smart (less than 600 mg of sodium per meal), and curb calories (fewer than 500 calories per meal).
Depending on how much food you need for the week, you can order 4, 6, 10, or 12 Freshly meals, all of which are quickly reheated in the microwave or oven.
Delivered in 100% recyclable packaging, you can also manage and track your orders using the Freshly app.
Freshly costs $8.50–11.50 per meal, with lower prices for larger orders. There’s also an additional shipping fee of $5.99–$12.99, depending on the size of your order.
For students, Freshly current offers a 15% discount for the first 4 weeks of meals.
Best for keto or paleo diets
Paleo on the Go provides frozen meals to fit a variety of specific low carb diets, including paleo, Whole30, keto, and the Autoimmune Protocol (AIP).
Each week, you can mix and match meal choices based on your dietary needs to create a custom menu.
As ingredient quality is an important aspect of the paleo diet, all of the meats and animal products used in Paleo on the Go’s meals are humanely raised and free of hormones and antibiotics.
What’s more, the fish is all wild caught or organic, and the beef and lamb are grass-fed and grass-finished.
While Paleo on the Go uses some conventionally grown produce, it does select organic produce for items on the “Dirty Dozen” list — the Environmental Working Group’s list of fruits and vegetables that are highest in pesticide residues (1).
Entrées cost $17–29, with discounted rates for bundles and recurring deliveries. There’s also a shipping fee, which varies depending on location and order size.
Note that there’s a $99 minimum on all orders, which means you’ll need to order at least 4 to 6 meals, depending on the entrées you select.
Best for older adults
Frozen meal delivery services can be a good option for older adults who have difficulty grocery shopping and cooking.
Plus, as appetite often decreases with age, having frozen meals available helps remove at least one barrier to getting adequate nutrition.
Magic Kitchen is the best delivery service for older adults, as they offer registered-dietitian-designed meals that are lower in sodium and meet this population’s unique nutritional needs.
In addition to being low in sodium, Magic Kitchen offers meals for those with certain chronic conditions, such as heart disease, diabetes, or kidney disease.
Meals can be ordered à la carte, allowing individuals to choose exactly how much food they want to order. Entrées and sides can be ordered on their own or as complete meals, which include one entrée and one to two sides.
As some older adults may have difficulty remembering to place their order every week, there’s the option to sign up for the Seniors Meal Program, which features meals that are auto-shipped weekly, every other week, or monthly.
Furthermore, Magic Kitchen offers the option to order over the phone. This may suit people who have difficulty with the internet, as well as those who prefer to avoid it.
The meals are delivered frozen in recyclable packaging and can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months. While most meals can be microwaved, there are a few, such as the chicken pot pie, that require reheating in the oven.
When ordering, keep in mind that while most delivery frozen meals provide single servings, Magic Kitchen’s meals are designed to serve two to four people.
In addition to meals for older adults, Magic Kitchen offers frozen meals for any adult with special dietary needs, as well as one-time gift bundles, including new parent, get well, and housewarming packages.
While the price varies by menu item, most meals cost $11–13 per serving. There’s an additional charge for shipping depending on the location and order size.
There are many factors to consider when choosing a frozen meal delivery service.
It’s most important to choose a company with a variety of options that fit your specific dietary needs.
For example, while some companies may have a few vegan entrées, it’s best to go with a service that specializes in or offers a large selection of vegan-friendly meals if you follow this eating pattern.
This will make it easier to stick with your diet and provide you a greater diversity of foods and nutrients.
You also want to consider the quality of ingredients used. Some individuals may prefer a service that is free of preservatives or uses mostly organic ingredients to reduce their exposure to pesticides (
If you’re ordering meals containing meat or animal products, you may want to opt for a service that’s transparent about where it sources its meat from.
As frozen meals are often packaged in single servings inside of an insulated cooler, the amount of materials can quickly add up. For sustainability purposes, look for companies that use recyclable packaging.
Additionally, for food safety purposes, it’s important to find out how the company ensures that your meals stay frozen during transportation and delivery, especially given that your box may arrive while you’re at work during the day.
Finally, cost is another important consideration. In addition to calculating the price per meal, you’ll want to factor in any additional costs, such as shipping or minimum order amounts.
Frozen meal delivery services make it easy and convenient to enjoy a nutritious meal that fits your nutritional needs without spending time cooking or prepping food.
As there are many services to pick from, it’s important to look for a company that provides a good variety of meals that fit your specific dietary and food preferences.
In addition to the types of meals provided, be sure to consider the quality of ingredients, sustainability, packaging, and price when choosing the best frozen meal delivery service for you.