What’s For Dinner? Blue Apron Review

I have a new crush….and my new crush makes me feel like Wonder Woman!

BA Box

Blue Apron!  We met a month ago.  Oh, I had heard how wonderful it was from friends but when we were finally introduced in August, I was smitten after one date together.  Want a little help in the kitchen?  And  some ideas and direction?  And the ingredients to be healthy and delicious?  And handed to you? Then Blue Apron could be your new crush too.

BA Box on counter photo

Blue Apron is a dinner/recipe delivery service that sends the ingredients and instructions for dinner right to your door.

In August, I decided to sign up and give it a try.  Not just for one time and then blog about it, but for a month and then tell you my real, honest thoughts.  And my real honest thoughts are that I love it.  No, I mean I really love Blue Apron.  But not everybody will so let me tell you about it.

So, you go online and sign up/subscribe and schedule your family size and delivery dates.  I signed up for the family of four plan that delivers dinner ingredients twice a week but there is a Two Person Plan also.  If you are larger than four people you can buy two accounts and combine them….but they are working on some packages that allow for more flexibility there.  I would call them to discuss it to understand the intricacies there and watch for updates on their new packages.

BA Box with Freezer bag

It comes in this box with an insulated lining and cold things are packed well next to frozen cold packs in a bottom area.  Even in Houston August heat, everything showed up cold and fresh.  All of the ingredients are there, measured for each recipe….along with Recipe Cards and very clear instructions.

BA Box spread out

It was a little overwhelming the first time I opened my box…so everything just came out onto the counter.  Now, I know what to expect so I pull it out and separate it a little better than this photo but you can see all of the bits. The small brown bag on the right with the sticker on it has small packs of spices or butter or vinegar.  The egg carton is there with one egg in it.  Large tomatoes come that way too. The stickers also tell you the recipe that each thing goes with.

Here are the recipe cards…the front is an overview.  I get my two recipes and all of the ingredients for both at 5pm on Tuesday.  The four person plan costs $8.74 per person or $69.92 a week. The two person plan is $9.99 per person or $59.94 per week for three dinners.  My family loved this one….who knew they would eat purple potatoes?

BA Crispy Cod dinner page

The cooking instructions are on the back and very clear.  I’m a visual person so I love the photos too.

BA Instructions

I designated one lower drawer in my fridge for all the ingredients and the cards so that my family doesn’t go grab something for a recipe later in the week.  I’ve been cooking these on Tuesday and Thursday.  All of the ingredients are premium and most (if not all) are organic.  Suppliers use sustainable growing practices and high standards in healthy animal welfare.  Their website lists their suppliers so you can check that out there.

Ok, so the downside is there is a fair amount of chopping because you are still the chef here.  For me that’s actually relaxing if I plan for it at the right time of day.  I try to get an apron on and the bowls, knives, and cutting board out in time for the evening news so I can watch and chop.

BA2

The OTHER downside is I really think it takes longer than their prep time says; now that could be because the doorbell rings or I need to stop and send a text or go talk to the guitar teacher or one of my kids but….they should have added that in already, right?  I’m not a professional chef or anything.  So, I’m going to tack on 15 minutes more to their prep times.  I’m looking at one of my cards for Crispy Chicken Tenders and Roasted Potatoes and the Prep time is 15 minutes Cook Time: 30-40 minutes.  I would set Prep at 30 minutes and Cook at 35-45 minutes.  These dinners take me an hour to make usually.  With all of the ingredients measured for each thing….like soy sauce or red wine vinegar or butter….it makes assembling after chopping pretty fast but you are still following a recipe and looking back to see what to do next or sautéing or moving things from stove to colander etc.

BA tomatoes

My first dinner was Lamb and beef patty Gyros with Faro and vegetables.

BA chopped in bowls

I cooked the patties as they told me to….

BA Lamb patties cooking

I sautéed the zucchini in the same pan per their instructions….they try to keep you from using a thousand pots and pans which is really nice for cleaning up.  But this is also mostly active cooking.

BA Zucchini cooking

It turned out great ….here’s the Faro, which I never cook and was so happy to learn how to make.

BA Farro finished

Delicious!! My kids ATE IT UP! And the Gyros?  YUM!

BA Dinner Lamb Gyro and Farro

That is a Feta and creme fraiche sauce with lemon and cilantro and the tomatoes that were in olive oil, seasonings and white wine vinegar.  The calorie count and some breakdowns are on the card too.

I know some of you are thinking, “my kids won’t eat that”, You can switch your recipes around.  They populate the choices but I can go in and choose other things if its a recipe we won’t like.  They can also accommodate Gluten free and other specific diet needs.  I have been really pleased with the produce and all of the food that we’ve made.  I’ve learned some new techniques and we’ve tried some new things.

So to sum up:

  1. My grocery bill has gone down signficantly because I’m not over buying random ingredients that then just sit in my pantry.
  2. I’m going to the grocery store less.
  3. I can have a full day, come home and grab my box to make dinner…all there, nothing forgotten and everything measured out.
  4. Our sit down family meals have gotten a lot better and more consistent.  We are out of the rut and throwing things together randomly less.
  5. I’m continuing on and really love it.

I hope you enjoy this review.  Have any of you tried Hello Fresh or any other ones?  Feel free to share your thoughts on Blue Apron or any other recommendations in the Comment Box below!

Happy September!  Don’t forget to share Ivy and Sprig with your friends so they can be encouraged in their busy lives too!

Best,

Ivy

BA tomatoes

 

14 thoughts on “What’s For Dinner? Blue Apron Review”

  1. Wow! I am going to try it! I hadn’t thought about the potential waste you eliminate by receiving just the amount of ingredients you need to make the recipe. And the food looks great!

  2. The Blue Apron meals are very good. But after several months, I too found that the prep time was longer than stated on the card and there was SO much chopping! I tried Hello Fresh for a couple of months, then moved to Home Chef at the suggestion of a friend. Both are the same concept and similarly priced to Blue Apron.

    We really like Home Chef. There are more menu options each week than with Blue Apron and generally less prep work. I also like that they have add-ons like breakfast dishes or fresh fruit or smoothies that you can choose on one-off basis and they don’t have to be part of your subscription. The only downside I have found is that for our family of 4, they send us two 2-serving meals, which means I have to remember to double the amount of everything on the recipe card (so if it says, “add 1/4 tsp. salt,” I have to remember to add 1/2 tsp.).

    I don’t mean this comment to be at all disparaging to Blue Apron, though. Everyone’s preferences are different. This whole concept of pre-portioned, fresh ingredients delivered to your doorstep is a busy mom’s dream come true!

    1. No I really like that you gave us your opinion on this! That is what this blog is for! To help each other out and share. Thank you for this. I hadn’t heard of Home Chef. I also just saw that Martha Stewart is starting one like this too….maybe it’s called Silver Spoon? or something like that.

  3. I just signed up! I received a $30 gift card weeks ago, so you inspired me to put it to use. Will keep you posted – I seem to throw away too many vegetables after poor planning – so hope this helps! Yay Ivy!

  4. I have been using Blue Apron since April. I love it for all the reasons you mentioned. Like you, it has really upped my dinner game. The meals have all been huge hits and everyone loves the exposure to new foods., textures and tastes. The prep time can be deceiving, I agree. I have found that the prep gets easier and faster after using it for a few months. (Probably a combo of familiarity and using some short cuts 🙂 I also like how you can cancel a delivery if you know you will be traveling. We took advantage of that feature over the summer.

    1. Ah yes good point… I moved a delivery date after Labor Day. It’s helpful to be able to cancel if you travel or have a busy week of events out at night. Thanks for your thoughts!

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