Meal Kit Monday: A Review Of Dinnerly

Meal kit services have been around for years, but there are so many options that it can be overwhelming to figure out which one to choose. To help cut through the noise, I tried nine different meal kits that cater to various types of home chefs so you don't have to. I'll be posting an honest review about my experience with a different meal kit every Monday.

People sign up for meal kit services for a plethora of reasons: to improve their cooking skills, cut down their grocery bill, or simply because cooking dinner every night gets old. But no matter the reason, it's not always easy to find the right one for you. Sure, there's the classics like HelloFresh and Blue Apron, but those can be expensive, especially if you're trying to budget in the New Year. Enter Dinnerly. The meal kit service prides itself on being affordable and fuss-free. Dinnerly sends ingredients and recipes straight to your door for a weekly cost and you can cancel at any time. I recently tried one week's worth of Dinnerly's meals; this is what I thought. 

Dinnerly Details

Dinnerly advertises itself as the go-to meal kit delivery service for affordable, fuss-free weeknight meals. The zero-commitment service is one of the most affordable meal kit options available. Kits start at $38.93 per week, which includes shipping and three meals that serve two people. The service also provides a family meal plan option that serves four people. Customers can opt to receive up to six recipes per week.

Customers choose from a selection of 18 new recipes each week. Sometimes the menu even has recipes for breakfast and dessert. Dinnerly offers a few vegetarian options per week but doesn't have specific meal plans for restricted diets.

Dinnerly Experience

With the usual suspects like pasta dishes, burgers and tacos, customers may not be particularly wowed by the selection of Dinnerly's recipes.

After browsing the week's options, I decided on the Greek meatballs with tomatoes and orzo, pumpkin French toast with candied walnuts and the Indian veggie masala with rice and yogurt.

The box arrived in good condition, and its contents were still cold upon opening. To limit packaging, the ingredients for each recipe were placed in the box together rather than in separate bags. This made it difficult to figure out which ingredients belonged to each recipe.

To keep costs lower, Dinnerly doesn't send recipe cards with its boxes; users have to look up the recipes online, and there aren't photos on the website that show what each step of the cooking process should look like. These things, paired with somewhat vague instructions, made the recipes hard to follow at times.

Be sure to read the recipes thoroughly before cooking. For example, when I made the Greek meatballs, the instructions told me to mix the beef and scallion whites together but didn't instruct me to reserve some of the scallion whites, which I ended up needing in another step of the recipe later on. Despite some bumps in the road, the recipes were simple to make and never took longer than what was listed on the recipe cards.

It's also important to note that you'll need more than just olive oil, salt and pepper for Dinnerly's recipes. For the pumpkin French toast, I had to provide five of my own eggs, as well as a decent amount of sugar. Be sure to read the "What You'll Need" section on each recipe before adding it to your cart for the week.

Because Dinnerly's meal kits are more affordable, the recipes are simple and require few ingredients, making it difficult for the dishes to stand out. So, Dinnerly isn't great for people looking to create new, dynamic dishes. But, if you're someone who wants to try an easy and affordable meal kit, Dinnerly is more than satisfactory.

For more meal kit inspiration, also see my review of Purple Carrot.

Disclosure: The meal kit was provided by the company, but all opinions are honest and belong solely to the reviewer.

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