I Tried Dinnerly’s Meal Kit, and Couldn’t Believe It Was Way Cheaper than All the Others

published May 25, 2024
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Left: photo ofDinnerly box on table, and Right: contents of Dinnerly box on table
Credit: Mackenzie Filson

As much as I love to cook an elaborate dinner, there are plenty of moments I side-eye my pots and pans with disdain. On those days, I always appreciate Past Me for thinking of Future Me and stocking my fridge with one of the many meal kit services out there. I thought I’d tried them all — that is, until I came across Dinnerly.

Why Dinnerly? Well, as I’m sure you’ve noticed, many meal kits can be on the pricier side, but Dinnerly markets itself as “the affordable meal kit.” Color me intrigued! I decided to give Dinnerly a try to see if it could help me (and my wallet) with meal planning for the week. 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

What Is Dinnerly?

In short, Dinnerly is a weekly meal kit service made by the same folks behind Marley Spoon (which is founded by none other than domestic goddess Martha Stewart). Like other meal kits, Dinnerly offers a wide range of meals each week, with options for add-ons like desserts like strawberry-raspberry galette, breakfasts like pancakes and bacon, and family-friendly big-batch recipes. You’ll also find ample options for those with dietary preferences, including vegan, Keto, low-calorie, and Mediterranean diets, as well as allergies, like dairy and gluten.

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

As for the recipe variety, I counted 61 different options total during the week I tried the service. These included traditional recipes as well as ready-made options, desserts, and breakfast. 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

How Much Does Dinnerly Cost?

While the total will largely depend on how many meals you opt for and your family size, Dinnerly has relatively flexible meal kit options compared to other meal kits. If you want to shave off a few more clams from your bill, Dinnerly even has lower-priced “Saver” recipes, which are often between $.50 to $1.00 less per portion than its standard recipes. 

When starting your plan, simply choose the number of people (two or four) and meals you’d like per week (between two and six). As is the case for when you buy in bulk at, say, Costco, the more meals you choose each week, the lower the cost per portion. For example, two recipes for two people per week (or four portions) will cost $33.96, with each portion shaking out to $8.49. If you scale up to four recipes for two people per week (eight portions) you’ll be charged $55.92 or $6.99 per portion (!). No matter the size, shipping is $11.99 per box. 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

For my box, I ordered three recipes (two servings each).

Three meals that serve two people typically cost $44.94, which comes to $56.93 with shipping. I customized the Easy Peas-y Gluten-Free Ravioli Alfredo by swapping in gluten-free ravioli for an extra $1.99 per portion, so my meal kit ended up costing $60.28 (including shipping), which breaks down to $10.05 per serving.

Hungry (or just want to make your box of meals more customized)? You can also swap out meal proteins, add desserts and breakfast options, and choose from Dinnerly’s many a la carte ready-made or already-prepped meal kits. 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

My Honest Review of Dinnerly

What immediately became clear with Dinnerly (as opposed to other meal kits I’ve tried like Hello Fresh and Home Chef, Hungry Root, and Blue Apron), is that there is little to no chopping for many of the recipes. So little chopping! I wanted to shout it from the rooftops — especially with the time I saved from the minimal dishwashing after making each of the three meals. 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

In fact, the tool I used most was a pair of kitchen shears (to open up the fresh peas for the Easy Peas-y Gluten-Free Ravioli Alfredo), and one knife (to make the tomato and cucumber salad for the Baharat-Spiced Beef & Hummus Bowl and slice the snap peas in half for the Thai Coconut Curry Chicken). Each meal’s components were relatively simple, too — only about four to five ingredients per meal kit. Plus, each recipe was easy to follow, and came together within 20 minutes. 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

That being said, this simplicity did transfer to the flavor of the meals as well. I felt the Thai Coconut Curry Chicken lacked the richness of a typical Thai curry (it’s made with powdered coconut milk rather than the liquid), and the Easy Peas-y Gluten-Free Ravioli Alfredo didn’t taste as cheesy as it could have. 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

The one meal I enjoyed and would make again was the Baharat-Spiced Beef & Hummus Bowl. The spiced beef had dimension and was well-seasoned, courtesy of the provided Baharat spice mix, and the onion-y garlic rice was a great foundation for the crunchy, bright tomato-cucumber salad and hummus. It made for excellent leftovers the next day too. 

My Final Thoughts

Overall, the meals are low-effort, requiring little to no chopping (or cooking know-how). Each one has a solid variety of quality ingredients, as well as plenty of options for those of us with dietary preferences or restrictions. Some of the recipes lacked that little extra something (more Parmesan for the ravioli, Thai basil and a bit more garlic for the curry) for a permanent spot on my repeat list. Still, I’d definitely reorder Dinnerly again to see if the depth of flavors were to change depending on the recipes.

Price-wise, it’s noticeably cheaper than other meal kits I’ve tried. Dinnerly orders start at $56.93 for three, two-portion meals (with no add-ons), while others start closer to $71 for the same quantity of meals.

I could definitely see this as a great kit for someone who wants to cook more or add more variety to the weekly meal plan. It’s also a solid option for people who are strapped for time and energy, like a young family or grad students. For a low-energy weeknight dinner, or if I was super busy, I’d say Dinnerly is a solid option — one I might make every few months to safe-guard myself at dinnertime.

Have you tried Dinnerly? Tell us about it in the comments below.