Blue Apron is a subscription box for making great meals at home. If you’re like me, you periodically find yourself in a serious cooking rut. You make the same things every week, but the thought of researching a recipe and acquiring all of the ingredients is just too much work. Blue Apron is the solution! Each week, Blue Apron sends you a refrigerated box with all the fresh ingredients you need to make the included recipes. You can select the 2-person plan–3 meals a week of 2 portions each–or the family plan–2 to 4 meals a week of 4 portions each. The menus are set, but you can ask Blue Apron to avoid ingredients you don’t eat–shellfish and lamb, in my case.
Pricing: 2-Person Plan – $59.94 for 3 recipes. Family Plan (serves 2) – $69.92 for 2 recipes, $139.84 for 4 recipes.
We got the Family Plan for 2 meals. I set the delivery date and it arrived right on time, securely packaged in a heavy-duty box. All of the ingredients are wrapped in an adorable insulated blanket and cooled with ice packs. Mine took a day to arrive and sat on my porch for 3 hours, and everything was perfectly cool inside.
The meat is at the bottom, surrounded by still-frozen gel ice packs. I didn’t worry for one second about the temperature of the food. It was cold to the touch when I pulled it out. Most of the packing materials (and there are a lot) are recyclable or reusable.
This month, my box fell on (U.S.) Independence Day weekend, so the meals were cookout-themed. Cookouts are ‘merican, ya’ll. The first recipe in our box was the Shredded BBQ Chicken Sandwiches. A slow-cooker version of this is in my regular recipe rotation, so I was interested in how BA’s version would compare. This box’s veggies, I’m happy to say, were all in terrific condition. As you can see, everything was included, even teeny cups of mustard and mayo.
Blue Apron does a great job of sending you just the amount you need for the recipe, so you don’t waste anything; nor do you have to think about how much to add to the recipe. Easy peasy.
Each recipe comes with these easy-to-follow instructions. Even if you are new to knife skills, you will be able to do everything on this list. This recipe did a good job of estimating the prep time, though I misread the recipe and didn’t start two pots boiling. It added time, but it was Friday and I had a glass of wine on hand, so no big deal. Nothing complicated here–this recipe is very much something you could do from memory at a later time, which is a nice thing to put in your cooking arsenal. It’s never occurred to me to poach chicken for a recipe, but it’s not a bad idea. No mess and everything cooks evenly.
This all came together pretty well. I’ve never made slaw from scratch, and I’m here to tell you that it is super easy. No need to buy those weird bottles of dressing again. The BBQ sauce had a terrific smokey flavor–I went to college at a big state school surrounded by country, and this sauce reminded me of a sketchy-yet-delicious BBQ shack we frequented. So good! The potato salad was equally straightforward, tasty, and definitely something I’ll make again. The chicken sandwich itself was pretty standard, but that is not a bad thing when it comes to BBQ.
There was plenty to have for GYO (“Get Your Own”) night on Sunday. Two thumbs up. On to the next recipe!
Our next recipe was Fontina Cheeseburgers on Ciabatta. We saved this for the Fourth of July, because, ‘merica. Even if it was on Italian bread with fancy cheese.
Blue Apron partners with farmers who practice sustainable agriculture and treat their animals humanely. The ground beef in this recipe was humanely raised and vegetarian fed. The recipe card had straightforward instructions that were easy to follow.
This recipe had a lot of “do this while this is happening,” which I appreciate when I’m crunched on time. We had the luxury of a holiday, so we were able to be a bit more leisurely in the order of things. It was all pretty straightforward. I was really impressed with the quality of the ground beef–it was in great shape and was finely ground, so the patties were a cinch to put together. The only change we made this time was to add olive oil to the bread before toasting it–only 1/4 of the family likes mayo, so it added a nice flavor for the 3/4 who didn’t use (the delicious) mayo sauce.
This was a delicious meal! The potatoes were perfectly roasted (at 425 in my hot oven instead of the 475 called for), and the fried-garlic-and-rosemary topping (what was left–I ate a bunch of it out of hand before it reached the table) is something I’m still thinking about. The kale didn’t really add anything besides a patina of healthfulness to the burger. We don’t eat a ton of red meat, so this was a treat. Good stuff.
This month’s box was a big win. The ingredients were in good shape, the recipes were delicious, and the prep was fun and not too difficult. Overall, these boxes are really enjoyable, and get us out of our boring dinner routine. Honestly, you can forget how fun cooking can be. Interesting ingredients, easy recipes, and delicious food. We can’t wait to see what we get next time!
The Description: Get healthy delicious ingredients ready to be made into a meal! Each meal is 500-700 calories per serving and takes about half an hour to prepare. Each box has 3 meals per week for 2. Blue Apron only assumes you have olive oil, salt, and pepper, and basic pots & pans.
The Price: $59.00 every week