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With easy-to-follow recipe kits and ready-to-heat dishes, Purple Carrot takes the fuss out of innovative, nutritious plant-based meal planning.
For people who prefer plant-based eating, meal delivery services can sometimes be a challenge. Purple Carrot bucks the norm, with 100% vegan meals featuring innovative flavor combinations and classic dishes with a plant-based twist.
Plus, with both meal kits and prepared meals to choose from, Purple Carrot makes tasty, nutritious, plant-based meal planning easier than ever.
This article takes a closer look at this service, including how it works, who should try it, and what our tester thought after eating Purple Carrot for 1 week.
Meal Delivery Scorecard
Our tester scored Purple Carrot across 9 categories, allotting points from 0–5. The scores reflect the average rating for each category.
- Overall: 4
- Sign-up, delivery, and cancellation: 3
- Meal variety: 3
- Nutrition: 5
- Sustainability: 3.5
- Ingredient quality and freshness: 5
- Ease of preparation: 4.5
- Taste: 5
- Affordability: 3
Learn more about how we test meal kits.
- offers a rotating menu of vegan entrees
- assortment of snacks and add-ons available
- uses a variety of seasonal ingredients to add diversity to your diet
- creative flavor combinations
- includes both meal kits and fully prepared meals
- may be unsuitable for those with certain dietary restrictions or food allergies
- conventional produce used in some meals, which isn’t ideal for those who prefer to eat organic
- might not be ideal for larger families or households
Purple Carrot specializes in providing tasty and nutritious plant-based dishes to help streamline meal prep. All meals include a variety of fresh, high quality ingredients like fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, herbs, spices, and sauces.
Each week, you can select from up to 12 dinner recipes made from fresh pre-portioned ingredients, with mostly organic non-produce items like tofu and beans. For a separate fee, you can also include several lunches, breakfasts, and snacks to create your own custom menu.
If prepared meals are more your speed, the service offers eight single-serve options to choose from, all of which are delivered refrigerated and ready to reheat and enjoy.
In addition to meals and snacks, you can order a variety of add-ons, such as dried fruit, nut and seed mixes, and pantry staples, such as pistachio nut milk, seed crackers, and instant cup-of-lentils. Desserts are also available.
Most dishes provide 500–800 calories per serving and the service labels the recipes that are high protein, low calorie, gluten-free, and nut-free. If you have certain food preferences or dietary restrictions, this makes meal selection a breeze.
According to Purple Carrot, most of its non-produce items are organic, including nut milk, beans, tofu, and tempeh. The company says that it prioritizes organic fruits and vegetables that are free of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). However, these options are sometimes limited by shipping constraints and availability.
In addition to including a nutrition breakdown, each recipe lists all its ingredients and notes whether meals are gluten-free, high protein, nut-free. This can be useful for those with food allergies or intolerances. Still, the food is processed in a facility that handles allergens like wheat, gluten, and nuts. So it may not be suitable for those with severe food allergies.
Orders are packaged and protected in insulated liners and ice packs, to ensure that they stay cool during transit and are delivered fresh.
Purple Carrot offers a selection of meal kits and prepared meals on a rotating weekly menu. The number of recipe options varies by plan. For example, the 2-serving meal kit plan offers 8 menu items to choose from, whereas the 4-serving plan generally has fewer.
Examples of recipes include:
- Romesco Grain Bowl
- Smoky Peach & Farro Bowl
- Smoky Portobello Tacos
- General Tso’s Tofu
- Creamy Peanut Noodles
Meanwhile, prepared meals are individually portioned and cost $13 per serving. Examples of prepared meals include:
- Indian “Butter” Tofu
- Pesto Corn Skillet
- Italian Pasta Bowl
- West African Peanut Stew
If you decide to try Purple Carrot, the first step is selecting your plan type: meal kits or prepared meals.
You’ll also need to select the size of your orders. Meal kits contain 2 or 4 servings, with 2–4 dinners per week. The prepared meals are designed for 1 person, and you can order 6, 8, or 10 dinners per week.
After selecting your plan, you’ll be prompted to select your preferred delivery day.
Once you’re signed up, you’ll be able to look through 4 weeks of upcoming menus. This makes it easy to swap out meals or skip weeks to suit your schedule and taste buds.
Purple Carrot also makes it easy to skip weeks, cancel your subscription, or pause your deliveries for up to 10 weeks using the online customer portal. Be sure to make any changes by the Tuesday of the week prior to your next delivery.
Prices for Purple Carrot vary depending on how many servings and which specific meals you select.
Dinner meal kits are available with either 2 or 4 servings and start at $11 per serving.
Breakfast recipes contain 4 servings each, priced at $4.50 per serving. You can also choose from 2 lunch recipes per week with 2 servings each for $9.00 per serving.
The service also offers fully prepared dinners, which start at $13 per serving.
Prepackaged snacks range in price from $3.50–$15.99.
Healthline nutrition editor Kelli McGrane, MS, RD, gave Purple Carrot a try and enjoyed the flavor and convenience that the service offered.
She sampled three recipes, including:
- New England “Lobster” Rolls
- Romesco Grain Bowls
- Spicy Almond “Butter” Noodles with Bok Choy and Red Pepper
“I enjoyed the flavors and textures of each dish I tried and loved that the service introduced me to new ingredients (or uses for ingredients) and flavor combinations.”
— Kelli McGrane, Healthline nutrition editor
Here are more of Kelli’s thoughts after trying Purple Carrot:
Packaging: The order included all of the ingredients she needed, which were grouped into each recipe. Unlike some other meal kits that provide individual recipe cards, she notes that her order came with a small recipe booklet instead.
“Personally, I prefer the booklet, since you don’t have to worry about being sent the wrong recipe card,” she said. “Plus, [Purple Carrot] provides you with a mini-cookbook for trying other plant-based recipes on your own.”
Preparation: All of the recipes were easy to prepare. “With the exception of one recipe, cooking them didn’t create a huge stack of dishes to clean afterward.”
Taste: Kelli was impressed by the unique flavor combinations of the meal kits she tried. One recipe that she enjoyed was the New England Lobster Rolls, which used heart of palm in place of lobster meat.
“As someone who has eaten their fair share of lobster rolls, I was pleasantly surprised at how the flavor and texture hit all the right notes — just what you’d expect from this New England staple.”
“I also tried the Romesco Grain Bowls, which included pan-roasted mushrooms and butter beans. Again, I found the dish to be brimming with flavor, and I appreciated the variation in textures.”
Verdict: Kelli says that she would recommend Purple Carrot to people who are vegan, vegetarian, or simply trying to eat more plant-based meals. She felt that Purple Carrot’s recipes were among the most unique of the meal kits she’s tried and loved that the service introduced her to new ingredients and flavor combinations.
A few similar meal delivery services on the market also make it easy to enjoy plant-based meals at home. Here’s a closer look at how Purple Carrot compares with Sunbasket, Daily Harvest, and HelloFresh.
|Purple Carrot||Sunbasket||Daily Harvest||HelloFresh|
|Price||$11+ per serving for meal kits|
$13 per serving for prepared meals
|$9.99+ per serving for oven-ready meals|
$11.49+ per serving for meal kits
|$7–$10 per serving||$8.99+ per serving|
|Customization options||weekly rotating menu||weekly rotating menu||build your weekly box from the full menu||weekly rotating menu|
|Subscription options||subscriptions include 2–4 meal kits or 6–10 ready-made meals per week||subscriptions include 2–5 meal kits or 4–10 oven-ready meals per week||subscription includes 9–24 items per week||subscription includes 2–6 meal kits per week|
|Ingredient quality||some organic ingredients, including non-produce items||99% organic ingredients||95% organic ingredients||limited organic ingredients|
|Dietary focus||all items are vegan, and high protein, low calorie, gluten-free, and nut-free options are available||vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free, low carb, pescatarian, diabetes-friendly, and Mediterranean options are available.||all items are vegan and gluten-free||vegetarian, Mediterranean, pescatarian, low calorie, and low carb options are available|
|Availability||continental U.S.||most of continental U.S., except for Montana, North Dakota, and parts of New Mexico||95% of continental U.S.||continental U.S. and select zip codes in Honolulu, Hawaii and Anchorage, Alaska|
Purple Carrot is a great option for those wishing to transition to a more plant-based diet while learning to prepare fresh and healthy meals at home. It can also be a good choice if you’re interested in experimenting with unique and interesting ingredients like seasonal fruits, vegetables, herbs, and spices that you may not be familiar with.
However, as the meal kits provide limited selections and serving sizes for lunch and breakfast, it may be challenging for larger families or those wanting to include even more plant-based recipes in their weekly diet.
Purple Carrot’s prepared meals come in single servings, so are most appropriate for one person.
All Purple Carrot meals are plant-based and feature a range of nutrient-dense ingredients, including fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.
Though Purple Carrot meals can be a nutritious addition to a balanced diet, some of the offered meals are relatively high in calories and carbs. Be sure to select dishes based on your personal needs and preferences.
You can easily cancel your Purple Carrot subscription by logging in, navigating to Account Settings, and clicking “Change” next to your subscription status.
Make all changes and cancellations by the Tuesday that is 1 week prior to your next shipment.
Purple Carrot doesn’t currently offer a low sodium meals and some of its selections are relatively high in sodium. In fact, the sodium content for the meal kits can range from around 500–1,500 milligrams of sodium per serving.
If you’re following a low sodium diet, be sure to check the nutrition label carefully when creating your weekly menu to find options suitable for your needs.
Purple Carrot is a plant-based meal delivery service offering meal kits with pre-portioned ingredients that you cook following a recipe, and also fully prepared meals.
It offers a rotating weekly menu that features nutritious and flavorful recipes.
The service may be a good fit if you’re looking to transition to a plant-based diet and enjoy more home-cooked meals. It may not be ideal for those who prefer eating mostly or only organic or those with certain dietary restrictions.