Food

Blue Apron Review: an honest look at the pros & cons

An honest review of the Blue Apron meal delivery service, with pros and cons, and why I like it again after quitting for about a year. There’s a promo link for $30 off your first order at the bottom, so don’t miss that! 

Blue Apron has been around for a while and I used it about a year and a half ago, but I quit after about 6 months. When Blue Apron reached out and offered to send me a week of meals to try out, I was hesitant since I wasn’t in love with it the last time I used it. But, I’m really glad I gave it another shot.

What is Blue Apron?

Blue Apron is a fresh ingredient and recipe delivery service that helps people cook at home, regardless of their cooking experience. It’s meal planning + grocery shopping in one. Their ingredients are locally sourced and sent in pre-measured quantities so you only have the amount you need for the recipe. You do all the chopping, dicing, sautéing, everything — all the cooking. But they guide you with a recipe card, that includes pictures of each step.

Pros

Blue Apron sends you all the ingredients, and it’s so well organized! I love the little baggies for the smaller ingredient knick-knacks.

blue apron ingredients

Their recipes and instructions teach you to cook. A lot of things I know in the kitchen I take for granted since I’ve been cooking for myself for 12+ years. If you’re new in the kitchen, I really think you can learn a lot from Blue Apron. And even if you’re comfortable in the kitchen, you’ll likely learn new things depending on the recipe (like I did with flank steak and getting more comfortable cooking white fish!).

It shakes things up. I get in total ruts with meals and recipes, so it’s nice to have something new without giving it much thought.

blue apron gluten free

I’m inspired to make something similar on my own afterwards. For example, I RARELY think to make flank steak since red meat tends to intimidate me in the kitchen. After making their flank steak dish last week (which Tommy said was one of the best things I’ve EVER made and definitely the best Blue Apron meal we’ve had), I bought flank steak and made a similar recipe this week.

Their meat really is high quality. When I made flank steak again this week, with meat purchased from Whole Foods, Tommy and I both agreed it wasn’t nearly as good as the Blue Apron meat. And we missed the green peppercorn sauce! (I couldn’t find them.)

Their fish has NEVER smelled fishy to me. If your fish is fishy, it’s likely gone bad or wasn’t fresh when it was frozen.

 Cons

There are set meal combos. While you can select your meals from 6 options, they are grouped. So you can’t pick any 3 of the 6…certain meals come together. So it can be hard to find a combo where you like all the options that come in your bundle.

Limited accommodations for dietary restrictions. They have a vegetarian meal plan, but nothing beyond that. I can’t have gluten and can only tolerate certain kinds of dairy, so I have to pick meals that most closely align with that, knowing that I’ll have to sub some stuff out. It’s not hard since I know substitutions after making substitutions for years, but it’s a little annoying to pay for stuff I can’t use.

The meals can be time-intensive. This is really a pro or a con, depending on your goal. If you want to spend time in the kitchen — learning how to cook, spending time with your family prepping a meal, or just enjoying the process of making a meal that you didn’t have to plan — Blue Apron is great for you. If you want dinner on the table in 20 minutes, that won’t always happen with Blue Apron. BUT, sometime it does. That flank steak dish was on the table in 20 minutes. (After my oven pre-heated, which takes 30 minutes…that’s crazy, right?!) When you’re selecting your meals, it gives you an estimated time to make the dish so pay attention to that.

Why I like Blue Apron now when I didn’t before:

I SWEAR their recipes are better than before. Tommy agreed. Maybe they just have more in rotation now?

The quality of the produce seems higher. Everything looks and tastes fresher than I remember.

I have a better sense of my schedule now than I did 1.5 years ago! I know which weeks that it’ll be a good fit for me, whether I have 20 minutes or an hour to cook, and can plan for a Blue Apron shipment that week. (You can skip any week you want without penalty…you just have to remember to skip!!)

It helps me get out of my comfort zone. I’ll cook salmon everyday, no issues, but any other fish gives me pause since I don’t really know how to prepare it. I intentionally select Blue Apron fish dishes to help me get more comfortable with fish since they guide me through it! And look how beautiful this cod turned out!

Blue Apron fish recipes

I loved cooking the fish in the little parchment packets. I hadn’t done that in years! And it turns out, I like cod. 🙂

Bottom line:

Would I recommend Blue Apron? YES

Would I spend my own money on it? YES. I’ve already scheduled my next delivery. 🙂 On the menu: Beef tacos with radish salsa, West African Peanut Chicken, and Orange & Mirin Glazed Cod.

If you want to try out Blue Apron, you can get $30 off your first order! Click this link and then click the orange “Redeem Offer” button.

If you’ve tried Blue Apron, I’d love to hear about your experience so share in the comments!

This post was sponsored by Blue Apron, but per usual, all opinions are 100% my own and I shared my honest feedback. Thanks for supporting the brands that help me keep this blog going! 

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  • Christina Orso
    at

    It is not an exaggeration when I say that I have tried almost EVERY single meal subscription kit… not to mention I work for one haha! TBH, I like Blue Apron the least out of all of them, but you guys are right — their meals have gotten substantially better over the past couple years. And by better, I mean less basic/more creative. 🙂 And you’ve reminded me I need to post about the rest of my reviews.

  • Trisha
    at

    I love the idea of all of these! I have honestly mulled over and read so many reviews of these different programs. I could never decide so I ended up on HelloFresh, simply because my friend had a free box giveaway. I do enjoy it, but like you, have some cons. I can’t justify it weekly, but for many of the same reasons; gets us out of a rut, learning new recipes/techniques, I do like getting a box every few weeks. Perhaps I need to give Blue Apron a try too!