quinoa bowl with fresh vegetablesShare on Pinterest
Photo Courtesy of Thistle

Thistle is a meal delivery company that focuses on providing chef-prepared, nutritionally balanced entrees, snacks, and side dishes.

Its menu includes a variety of complex carbs, healthy fats, and lean proteins. All meals are delivered fully prepared. Plus, Thistle offers a range of subscription plans, making it easy to find an option that works for you.

This article reviews Thistle, explaining how it works and whether you should give it a try.

Pros

  • offers breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snack options for both vegans and omnivores
  • uses locally sourced ingredients in each meal
  • provides meals free of gluten, dairy, eggs, refined sugar, and artificial ingredients
  • may support weight loss

Cons

  • offers weekly menu customization only to customers within local delivery zones
  • more expensive than similar services
  • not yet available throughout the United States
  • provides limited options for those with certain dietary restrictions or food allergies
  • doesn’t guarantee the use of organic produce
  • uses single-use plastic packaging
  • some customer complaints about meal quality and freshness, as well as the promptness of delivery

Thistle is a subscription-based service that provides ready-to-eat meals that are flavorful and nutritious.

The company claims that its meals help boost energy levels, fine-tune focus, decrease bloating, and improve skin health. However, these claims haven’t been endorsed by any health organizations or evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Thistle’s extensive weekly menu incorporates a variety of nutrient-dense ingredients. All dishes are free of gluten, dairy, refined sugars, artificial sweeteners, and preservatives.

Plus, the company provides options for vegans and omnivores alike and lets you customize your plan by selecting how many meals to receive per day and week.

To get started with Thistle, you sign up by entering your email address and zip code.

Next, you select the number of breakfast, lunch, and dinner entrees you would like to receive per week to create your custom plan.

The website displays the price for each meal and notes that adding more meals to your plan can decrease the price per serving.

You can then choose your protein preference: plant-based protein, meat only, or a mix of the two.

Additionally, you can select any food allergies or ingredients that you’d like to avoid, including:

  • shellfish
  • fish
  • coconut
  • peanuts
  • soy
  • pork
  • tree nuts

Next, you check out and enter your shipping and payment information. During this step, the website provides information on your order total, your first delivery date, and when you will be billed.

If you are located within one of Thistle’s local delivery zones — certain locations in California, Oregon, Washington, and Nevada — you can select the specific meals you’d like to receive after checking out.

Customers outside these zones receive a preset selection of meals based on their plan.

Thistle’s rotating menu is suitable for both vegans and omnivores and features a variety of breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes.

All meals are gluten-, dairy-, and egg-free. The ingredients are clearly listed for each dish.

Here are a few of Thistle’s dishes and snacks:

  • Sweet Potato Satay Noodle Bowl
  • Sprouted Brown Rice Pudding with Cardamom
  • Crimson Grape & Curried Quinoa Salad
  • Superfood Ashwagandha & Seed Bar

Several juices, sides, soups, and salads are also available for an additional fee.

Keep in mind that although some of Thistle’s meals may be suitable for paleo or low carb diets, the company doesn’t offer any plans specifically for these eating patterns.

The price of Thistle varies depending on the number of meals you receive.

Here is a closer look at how much each meal costs:

  • 3 meals per week: $14.50 per serving
  • 4 meals per week: $14.25 per serving
  • 5–6 meals per week: $14.00 per serving
  • 7–19 meals per week: $13.25 per serving
  • 10–12 meals per week: $12.50 per serving
  • 13–15 meals per week: $12.00 per serving
  • 16–30 meals per week: $11.00 per serving

Keep in mind that prices may vary depending on the types of meals you choose, as dishes that contain meat cost an additional $2.25 per serving.

Delivery fees and shipping locations

The delivery fee for each plan is calculated upon checkout.

Customers in local delivery zones are eligible for local delivery, meaning that meals are delivered directly from Thistle rather than through its regional shipping partners.

Shipping is available throughout California and in select areas in Utah, Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho.

However, several customers have reported issues with the promptness and reliability of local delivery in online reviews. Some have also expressed concern about the amount of single-use plastic in the packaging.

Although Thistle is working to develop compostable and reusable containers to support sustainability, its current practices may be a deterrent for eco-conscious consumers.

Thistle strives to use locally sourced, organic ingredients whenever possible. It also partners with local farmers and suppliers to support sustainability. Plus, the company lists the nutrient content and ingredients for each item on its menu, which you can view online.

However, many customers have reported issues with freshness, taste, and quality in online reviews.

Furthermore, the use of organic produce is limited based on availability, which may be an important consideration for some.

Thistle claims that its meals are designed to help you reach your ideal body weight while improving several other aspects of health.

Most meals contain 400–600 calories per serving, which may help replace higher calorie meals in your diet to support weight loss (1).

The meals are also rich in either animal or plant protein, depending on the plan you select. Increasing your protein intake has been shown to aid weight management and appetite regulation (2).

What’s more, Thistle provides a variety of meals and snacks suitable for those following a plant-based diet, which may be linked to increased weight loss (3).

In addition to Thistle, there are several other meal delivery services that offer nutritionally balanced, plant-based meals.

Here is a closer look at how Thistle compares to some of its competitors:

ThistleFreshlyDaily HarvestPurple Carrot
Meal typefully prepared refrigerated mealsfully prepared refrigerated mealsfully prepared frozen meals• meal kits
• fully prepared refrigerated meals
Price• $11–$14.50 per serving, plus $2.25 per serving for meals that contain meat
• shipping fees vary
•$8.99–$11.79 per serving
• shipping fees of $9.99–$11.99
• $5.99–11.99 per item
• free shipping
• $11–$13.25 per serving for meal kits
• $12.99 per serving for prepared meals
• $8 shipping fee for orders under $85
Diets supported• vegan
• vegetarian
• dairy-free
• egg-free
• gluten-free
• vegan
• vegetarian
• gluten-free
• dairy-free
• low carb
• low calorie
• vegan
• vegetarian
• dairy-free
• egg-free
• gluten-free
• vegan
• vegetarian
• gluten-free
• dairy-free
• nut-free
• high protein
Availabilityavailable throughout California and in certain parts of Nevada, Arizona, Oregon, Washington, and Idahoavailable throughout the continental U.S.available in 95% of the continental U.S., according to the companyavailable throughout the continental U.S.

Thistle may appeal to people who are hoping to fit more nutritious meals into their daily diet while saving time on cooking.

It’s especially convenient for those following a vegan diet or hoping to eat more plant-based foods, especially since it offers breakfasts, lunches, and dinners.

However, it costs more than some similar services and offers shipping to only select areas in the western United States.

Several customers have expressed concerns about the freshness and quality of meals, as well as the promptness and reliability of local delivery.

Additionally, Thistle may not be worthwhile for those with specific dietary preferences or food allergies, as only customers within the company’s local delivery zones can customize their meal plans.

Finally, Thistle offers limited options for many eating patterns, including paleo, keto, and low carb diets.

As of the time of publication, Thistle is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau and holds an F rating, which is based on factors such as the company’s business practices and history of customer complaints (4).

However, on Trustpilot, Thistle has an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars, which is based on 664 customer reviews (5).

Customers who have left positive reviews on Trustpilot say the service is convenient and offers a variety of nutritious plant-based meals that are tasty and filling.

Many say they’re satisfied with the ease and flexibility of ordering and the simple, user-friendly interface of the app.

On the other hand, some reviewers report experiencing issues with deliveries, missing add-ons or ingredients, and order errors.

A few reviewers also note that many meals contain similar ingredients — such as leafy greens, chickpeas, and quinoa — which can start to feel repetitive over time.

Can you lose weight with Thistle?

Thistle meals usually contain 400–600 calories per serving. As such, they can be used to replace higher calorie meals in your diet to support weight loss.

However, whether you will lose weight with Thistle depends on a number of factors, including your activity level and what the rest of your diet looks like.

Which is cheaper, Thistle or Daily Harvest?

Daily Harvest is cheaper than Thistle, with prices of $5.99–$11.99 per item. Daily Harvest also offers free delivery, whereas Thistle charges a delivery fee for each order.

Who shouldn’t try Thistle?

Thistle may not be a good option for people with certain dietary restrictions, including those following a low carb, ketogenic, or paleo diet. It can also be very expensive and might not be suitable for people on a tight budget.

Are Thistle meals easy to cook?

Thistle meals are delivered fully prepared and ready to enjoy. Though all meals can be eaten cold, you can also opt to reheat them using the stovetop or microwave.

Take a look at alternative meal delivery services

Still interested in getting meals shipped to your door? Check out some of the best meal delivery services of 2022.

Thistle is a meal delivery service that provides fully prepared meals to some areas of the western United States.

The service may be worth a try for people who are hoping to add more plant-based foods to their diet or enjoy a variety of nutritionally balanced dishes.

However, it’s relatively expensive and offers limited customization options. Additionally, customers have expressed concerns about freshness, flavor, and quality.

Keep these considerations in mind before trying Thistle.