This “Legendary” Grocery Delivery Service Is So Satisfying, I Immediately Ordered a Box for My Mom

updated Jan 24, 2024
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Ingredients on the countertop.
Credit: Mackenzie Filson

As I type this, it is a brisk and exact one degree Fahrenheit outside. In my book, that’s solidly “I don’t want to cook” weather. But even when it isn’t so cold outside, there are still those days where I just can’t even with cooking. During these moments, I typically wish so hard that a Willy Wonka-esque Chef’s Table-to-my-house pneumatic-tube invention existed already. 

That day has yet to come, so instead I’ve made my rounds with all of the handiest of grocery and meal delivery services to save me from takeout apps (and all those sneaky fees) or neverending grocery runs.

As I’m always in the market for a new way to sneak in some vegetables and variety into my life, online grocery service Hungryroot has long been on my radar. A recent TikTok caught my eye, where user KC Davis describes how her weekly Hungryroot orders have helped her assemble and cook meals while living with chronic fatigue, and that vote of confidence more than won me over. 

The model of Hungryroot also seems to mimic a happy medium between my usual weekly Misfits Market order (in terms of convenience, variety, and standalone grocery items) and easy-to-assemble meals (like you might find in popular meal kit services). So, it had me wondering: Could Hungryroot keep me from the grocery store and the takeout apps? 

What You Should Know About Getting Started with Hungryroot

First, new shoppers will start their journey by completing the Hungryroot quiz to help determine their taste and preferences (like gluten-free, low-carb, vegan eaters, and even down to the types of cuisines you like). With questions like “What are your goals?” (I chose “waste less food” and “try new things”), “What are your nutrition preferences?” (where you can choose from immune-boosting, gut-friendly, carb-conscious, and even anti-inflammatory options), and “How many snacks do you want each week?” (a very important question, TBH) it has all the fun of a Buzzfeed quiz. 

From there, you can browse through the selections, which are split between two categories: recipes (the meal kits) and groceries (standalone items, like pantry staples, snacks, breakfast-friendly items, and more). 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

How Much Does Hungryroot Cost?

The smallest plan starts at $70 and gives you “credits” to use across the sections, with the lowest plan including three (two-serving) lunch and/or dinner entrées — plus some extra “credits” you can use for grocery items or swap for other entrées worth higher credits. You can tinker with the plan to add more or or fewer meals and groceries and can use credits as you like.

I ordered a bit more than the base plan to get a wider swath of recipes, snacks, and breakfast-y type items to try. Here’s what I ordered.

  • Shrimp + Asparagus Alfredo Pasta: Banza rotini (8 ounces), Egg Harbor Seafood wild-caught shrimp (8 ounces), Mann’s asparagus (8 ounces), and Hungryroot classic Alfredo sauce (11 ounces)
  • Chile Chicken + Black Bean Tacos: Maria & Ricardo’s organic corn tortillas, Butcher’s by Roli Roti Chile Limon chicken (9 ounces), one red bell pepper, Hungryroot Cuban-Style black beans (10 ounces)
  • Curry Tofu + Broccoli Jasmine Rice Bowl: Hungryroot Braised Lemongrass tofu nuggets (8 ounces), Hungryroot baby broccoli (8 ounces), Hungryroot organic seasoned rice (8.5 ounces), Hungryroot coconut curry sauce (8 ounces)
  • Roasted Salmon + Asparagus Over Rice: Egg Harbor Seafood Atlantic salmon fillets (10 ounces), Mann’s asparagus (8 ounces), Hungryroot organic seasoned jasmine rice (8.5 ounces), Hungryroot sesame ginger sauce (8 ounces)
  • Tucson Tamale Breakfast Sausage & Cheese Tamale (5 ounces)
  • Siggi’s Blueberry Drinkable Yogurt (240 mL)
  • Hungryroot Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Shake (12 fluid ounces)
  • Simple Mills Sea Salt Almond Flour Crackers (4.25 ounces)
  • Penn Valley Homestyle Rotisserie Chicken Salad (4 ounces)
  • Three Little Pigs Sous Vide Spinach Feta Egg Bite (2.5 ounces)
  • Three Little Pigs Sous Vide Broccoli Parm Egg Bite (2.5 ounces)
  • Brekki Banana + Maple Overnight Oats 2-pack (10 ounces)
  • Hungryroot Almond Chickpea Cookie Dough (9.7 ounces)
  • Blueberries (6 ounces)

All in all, this set me back $138.98 and more than filled my fridge for the week. In fact, I was still eating through the entrées and some snacks into the next week. For reference, I typically spend around $60 to $75 per week on groceries for myself and might eat out once or twice a week (one sit-down meal and another quick, fast-casual type meal). 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

My Honest Review of Hungryroot

In my box, I aimed to get a wide swath of both categories with four different entrées — all of which yielded me about 2.5 servings. I also opted for gluten-free recipes (gluten has not been my friend lately). Even with the dietary restriction and preferences, there were still tons of options and substitutions to be made within the recipe itself, including different types of pasta shapes, vegetables, and proteins.

Hungryroot filled up my fridge with such a fun array of foods and it is one of the most satisfying feelings. If a fridge could smile, mine absolutely would after I filled it with all my Hungryroot goodies for the week. 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

Hungryroot Recipes

Flavor-wise, the meals were on the simpler side, and great right out of the pan or for adding your own flourishes for when you have a bit more time. Did I absolutely add more fresh Parmigiano Reggiano to my shrimp and asparagus Alfredo? You bet. Sour cream to my tacos? Of course. I’d saved some time and cut some corners, so why not add a bit of razzle and/or dazzle? That being said, the tofu bowls needed no embellishing. 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

While Hungryroot is a bit more expensive by my accounting, I also believe time = money, and, spoiler: It saved me a lot of time. All you really need is a pan (and maybe the microwave or some cutting board time) to ready each component. Then, you’re ready to plate your homemade meal and feast upon your bounty. The meals really, truly do not take more than 15 minutes to prepare (or utilize too many pots and pans or other tools). 

To know that this grocery service (unlike others I’ve tried) did not otherwise add extra tasks to my proverbial plate, but still filled my dinner plate? Delightful. 

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

Hungryroot Groceries

As a prolific “grazer,” the Hungryroot groceries were so perfect for my particular eating style. There were plenty of drinkable yogurts, overnight oats, and even a breakfast tamale (with sausage and cheese) that made sure I didn’t do my typical morning routine (drinking only coffee and forgetting to eat until 1 p.m.). I also got crackers and pre-made chicken salad for a quick lunch, and some snacks to keep me going until I’d eventually get to cooking my Hungryroot meals come dinner time. 

Plus, there’s the legendary chickpea cookie dough — it’s Hungryroot’s “free gift” option for each week’s order and I highly suggest you give yourself the gift of this treat. I’m already scheming about how my next box needs to come with double the chickpea cookie dough.

At the end of the week, I ate way more regularly and with a whole lot of variety and more fresh produce than I might from my grocery shops alone. I call that a “win-win.”

Credit: Mackenzie Filson

My Final Thoughts

All in all, I love how accessible and all-encompassing the Hungryroot service is — especially when many meal kits and pre-made meals I’ve tried are either overly elaborate and require tools I don’t have, heavy on the packaging (it’s pretty easy to recycle most components of the box), overly salty, or just plain tricky to customize for my dietary needs or taste.

If I’ve yet to convince you to try Hungryroot, consider a very objective second source: my mom. She’s had some health issues as of late, and has found it hard to get to the grocery store (plus, she is culinarily challenged — this is no insult, she would agree with me!). Then it dawned on me. I knew the perfect thing to gift her this week: A Hungryroot box full of kits to make vegetarian salad and bowls, plus snacks that are easy for her to assemble and go, no matter her energy level.

Not 10 minutes after she popped open her box of goodies she texted me the following (along with a rainbow of colorful emojis): “I just wolfed down the black bean cilantro salad … tomatoes are perfect 🍅👍as are the baby cucumbers 🥒 and baby lettuce. I’m totally impressed 🥬.” 

Buy: Hungryroot, grocery plans start at $70 (with free shipping)

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

A version of this story was first published on February 18, 2020 by Ariel Knutson