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.
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.
Pricing: 2-Person Plan – $59.94 for 3 recipes. Family Plan (serves 4) – $69.92 for 2 recipes, $139.84 for 4 recipes.
The box is generally divided by meal, which reduces time needed to sort the ingredients. Nice! Though I am sometimes puzzled as to what goes into the bags (black beans, carrots) and what doesn’t (broccoli).
DEAL: Save $30 on your first order! Use this link – no coupon code required!
The meat is at the bottom, surrounded by still-frozen gel ice packs. The beef was not double-wrapped like the poultry usually is, but the seal was fine, so no leakage issues. The produce was all in good shape this month, as it has been for the last few. Great!
Pressed sandwiches and beans are high on the family favorite list, and so everyone was pretty stoked to see them together in one meal, the Black Bean & Cheese Tortas with Roasted Broccoli and Lime Sour Cream. We made these on Saturday to go with our college football (because that is what we do in the Fall).
As usual, all of the ingredients were included. Nothing too exotic here, except maybe the sweet piquante peppers, which were new to me. Tasty!
The meals come with nutrition info and ingredients. Know what you’re eating!
All of the directions are straightforward. This prep was easy and not very time-intensive. And, yes, that’s a Blue Apron wine subscription glass of wine over there.
One thing that doesn’t always work with these recipes is the “while x is cooking, do y.” In this case, the directions say to start the broccoli, make filling, pull out the broccoli, fill the sandwiches, and then make the sour cream sauce while they cook. Sure, you can do all that, but if you read through the directions before you start, you can see where you’ll save yourself some heartburn by getting things done ahead of time. For instance, I made the sour cream at the start, and had all my veg and bread prepped and ready before starting the broccoli. You’re the chef — you decide.
The filling for the sandwiches was just beans, onions, peppers, and spinach (which gets small quickly) with taco seasoning. This is something you can easily make on your own, now that you know how.
Roasted broccoli is a family fave.
I doctored up the bread with a bit of olive oil on the inside and outside, plus we put cheese on both sides of the filling.
These were good! We pressed them in our panini press to get those nice lines and crunch from a pressed sandwich. Filling, tasty, and easy. We had leftover broccoli for the next day. Thumbs up.
Our next meal was a nice treat for a Fall night, the Pipe Rigate Pasta & Beef Bolognese. This recipe is advertised as a 30 minute prepper, so I made it on Monday after soccer practice.
This is the first time we’ve gotten whole grain pasta with our Blue Apron recipes. I like a little nod to health when eating a bowl of pasta and meat sauce. (And, actually, the whole grain texture is a terrific fit for the heartiness of this recipe).
As usual, 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. Just look at that tiny bottle of cream.
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. Slice those carrots a little thinner than called for to be sure they cook in the same amount of time as the onion.
No eats a bowl of pasta because they thought about the nutrition facts.
This meal was straightforward to make. Make sure you really salt that water — whole grain pasta can come up bland.
After reading the recipe reviews online, I decided to punch up the flavor of this sauce with some dried oregano and thyme.
Unsurprisingly, this was tasty, though it definitely benefitted from the extra spices I tossed in. Do not skimp on the salt. I would have preferred a veg side instead of more carb. (We added salad). There was plenty leftover for Tuesday lunch.
That said, it was an easy meal for a busy weeknight, and definitely something you could add to your rotation.
Hey, did you know that Blue Apron has a wine program now? It’s super easy to match your wine to your meal, like the tasty Blue Quail Sauvignon Blanc I had with the tortas.
It’s nice to not have to decide “what’s for dinner” all the time. Overall, Blue Apron has been enjoyable and gets 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!
What else can I do with those piquante peppers? Let us know in the comments below!