There are few things better than good home-cooked delicious meals. As much as many of us love to test out our culinary skills and wow the whole family, the time commitment can be a little much to make it an every-night event.
After you combine the time spent driving to the local supermarket, grocery shopping, chopping, and cooking, preparing a meal from scratch is no mean feat. It can also end up pretty costly, and leftover ingredients can go to waste.
Luckily, there is another way. Meal delivery services are a fast, easy, and efficient way of eating healthy, fresh meals no matter how short of time you get. Try different meals every night and expand your taste buds' horizons with minimal effort, time, and food waste.
Australia has one of the best selections of pre-made meal delivery services and meal kits. No matter what allergies, dietary requirements, or culinary preferences you have, there is a service out there for you! There are so many, in fact, that it can be impossible to choose. To help narrow it down, check out our breakdown of the top meal delivery services in the country, depending on what you are looking for.
The Difference Between Prepared Meal Delivery Services and Meal Kits?
Meal delivery services fall into two categories: pre-made meals and meal kits. Both are excellent alternatives for hungry but time-strapped people who still want to eat well, but they work a little differently.
Pre-made individual meals are essentially classy takeaways. You receive fully prepared meals, either fresh or frozen. Enjoy the benefit of good, healthy dinner options with none of the fuss.
On the other hand, meal delivery kits give you the tools to easily create fantastic food yourself. Meal kits come with pre-portioned ingredients and a recipe card. They are ideal for someone who still wants to cook but wants a head start; or for people who want to try out new recipes without having to traipse around the grocery store picking up ingredients.
Meal kit services and the ready-made meal delivery service industry are both parts of the future of home cooking. Fresh meals created in a fraction of the time- what's not to love?
Benefits of Meal Kit Services
Even if time is not your best friend, you may still enjoy cooking. Completely removing the need for any kitchen action whatsoever may not appeal to you, although ending those inconvenient supermarket runs might!
A meal kit is the happy medium between cooking from scratch and having the finished item delivered. You still get the enjoyment of creating a meal yourself and expanding your recipe knowledge at the same time. It also gives you the satisfaction of sitting down at the table and watching happy faces enjoy something that you made.
What it takes away, other than the shopping, is the wasted food from excess ingredients, confusion over portioning, and excessive non-recyclable packaging. Sometimes what takes the longest is deciding what to cook! Boxes come with set recipes that you select online in advance, removing yet another problem.
If you are really strapped for time, this may not be the best choice. There is still a level of prep involved so you can't just pull it out of the fridge. While that may be the appeal for some, for others it is a deal-breaker.
You need to have a few pantry staples at home to add to the ingredients in the box. It's usually pretty basic items such as eggs, milk, and salt, but it can be frustrating if you don't realize it until you are halfway through.
There is also a clean-up involved since you have cooked the meal yourself, which is definitely a downside.
Benefits of a Pre-Made Meal Service
Convenience is the name of the game here. Little to no prep, no fuss, minimal cleanup... it's like a takeaway but for a healthy balanced diet! When spare time is non-existent, nothing can beat a ready-made meal.
Unfortunately, store-bought meals are often packed full of additives and preservatives, so are not as healthy as you might think. Subscribing to a good-quality meal delivery service gets around this issue, as they use fresh ingredients designed to last naturally.
You can usually freeze meals so you have them on hand whenever time runs away from you so you need never compromise on quality.
Additionally, this type of service can be used as part of a set diet, be it for weight loss or bodybuilding. Coming up with an effective meal plan alone can be difficult, but some of these services can do the work for you.
Some may view this as an expensive way to do things, as far as upfront cost is concerned. Many of these services require a subscription, which some people may not feel comfortable committing to. You can end your subscription whenever you like, in most cases, but the inconvenience bothers some potential customers.
Even with the best of intentions, it is possible to fall out of your planned eating routine. You could order a week worth of freshly prepared meals then get side-tracked and forget what is waiting in the fridge. The idea is to minimize the amount of food wasted, but if you don't stick to the plan it could end up costly.
Best Meal Kit Delivery Service
HelloFresh has been repeatedly voted Australia's best meal kit delivery service, so it is only fitting that it be the first on our list. The varied meal kits use fresh pre-measured ingredients and are fully customizable to fit in with all your dietary needs.
The menu caters to weight loss and general healthy eating, depending on what you are interested in. The sheer variety makes HelloFresh the best meal delivery service in many people's eyes.
Flexible meal plans and one of the best user-friendly apps in the industry add to the ease of HelloFresh, not to mention the company's dedication to carbon-neutral practices. What's more- deliveries are possible in every mainland state! It truly is one of the best meal kits Australia has to offer.
Get $90 OFF Your First Four Boxes - CLICK BELOW
Nowhere supports local quite like Pepperleaf. This Aussie-owned meal delivery service is all about the little guy and sources almost all its fresh ingredients from small-time local farmers. Delivering to addresses in Victoria, NSW, South Australia, and ACT, Pepperleaf has a huge range of meal choices that can be searched for by cuisine type or main ingredient.
Dietary-wise, there is an excellent selection of vegetarian meals but not many that can cater to other needs and restrictions, including gluten-free options. You can choose three meals to begin with then customize your order from there. Pepper leaf uses 100% recyclable packaging, making it a good choice for the environment as well as your taste buds.
Make Out Meals (Only Victoria)
Victorians' culinary lives were changed recently thanks to the new kid on the block: Make Out Meals. This Melbourne-based meal kit service does things a little differently. Every recipe kit has been created by top chefs working in some of the most popular restaurants in the city, including Bomba, Fancy Hank's, ISH, and Babajan. Now, you can recreate the eat-out experience in the comfort of your own home.
You can even find video tutorials hosted by the chefs themselves, talking you through each step to make sure your meal is perfect every time. Right now, the meal choice is limited, but it is sure to grow in time. Sign up for a two or four-person subscription or test the waters with a one-time meal kit.
So far, it is only Victoria that gets to benefit from this unique new meal kit delivery system, but who knows what could happen in the future of Make Out Meals.
Dinner Twist (Only Western Australia)
Let's head over to the West Coast, where the best meal kit service is, without a doubt, Dinner Twist. Not only does this ultra eco-friendly delivery service seek out locally sourced produce at every opportunity, but it also caters to every age, skill set, and dietary need.
Dinner Twist offers four types of meal kits:
- Express Box: Speedy meals with easy recipes everyone can follow.
- Family Box: More meals for more mouths with meal kits catered to the little ones.
- Wholesome Box: Healthy meal options with low-carb, nutritional fresh ingredients.
- Plant-based Box: The non-meat eaters' choice, packed full of vegan-friendly meal kits and new, exciting recipe suggestions.
Subscriptions to Dinner Twist are flexible and can be sent out weekly or fortnightly to Western Australia addresses.
A firm favourite amongst Australians everywhere, Dinnerly is one of the most popular meal delivery services offering a meal kit option. This brand likes to keep things simple. The smaller menu choice, basic packaging, and minimal ingredients make Dinnerly the most affordable and easiest meal kit choice.
The menu may be smaller, but the variety is impressive. It is one of the best meal kit choices for dairy-free meals and has a great range for families. The best part is, you have complete control of what gets put in the box, so people with allergies need not worry.
Healthy Meal Delivery Services
Lite 'N' Easy
Lite 'N' Easy tackles healthy eating on all fronts. Of all the healthy meal delivery services available in Australia, this one has the most impressive variety. You can opt for specialized meal plans aimed at weight loss, smaller portioned healthy meals aimed at the elderly, or choose from a selection of freshly prepared meals available every day.
Every meal on the menu has been created by chefs and dieticians to create one of the best food delivery services in the country. Perfectly portioned and with almost no meal-prep needed, Lite 'N' Easy truly lives up to its name.
Marley Spoon has arguably the best choice of meals of any Australian meal delivery service. Specializing in meal delivery kits, Marley Spoon is one of the best in the food industry.
Using deliciously fresh produce to create 27 different healthy meal choices in each of the weekly menus, the Marley Spoon chefs have nailed the meal kit service. Although they do not specifically tailor meals to fit dietary requirements, the vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free choices are plentiful.
The best thing about the Marley Spoon meal kit service is the simplicity of the recipes. You can create healthy, balanced, fresh meals in perfect portions with zero food waste- in just six steps! Choose how many meals you receive each week (two to five serving for either two or four people) and can take a break whenever you choose.
Best Frozen Meal Delivery Services
The Dinner Ladies
Created by two NSW mums who know first-hand the importance of a good family meal, The Dinner Ladies has quickly grown over the last decade. These talented ladies saw the need for a more simple, time-friendly way for busy friends and family to keep up with the demand of dinner time and were inspired to make it happen.
They make home-cooked meals and freeze them immediately, using no preservatives or other funny additives found in many shop-bought ready-made meals. With a menu aimed at keeping the whole family happy, using ethically sourced Australian ingredients and halal-certified meat, there is something for everyone.
What started as a two-woman operation hand-delivering to friends has become a multi-state meal delivery service. They provide excellent delivery reliability to suburbs in NSW, VIC, and ACT with a varying minimum spend for each area.
A freezer full of these ladies' ready-made meals is a life-saver for busy parents or anyone else who just does not have the time to cook.
ChefPrep (Only New South Wales)
This Sydney-based food service works with top-class restaurants to recreate your favourite dishes. Bring the dining experience home with frozen dishes from restaurants including STIX, Delhi 'O' Delhi, Albi's Tavern, and Huxton's at Bronte.
The menu offers options for all the main dietary restrictions and can be searched based on ingredients for convenience. You can also search by price range if you are trying to stick to a budget.
Choose your favourite meals to put in a weekly box and store in the freezer for up to three months. Simply defrost and enjoy a professionally prepared meal in the comfort of your own home.
ChefPrep delivers to several areas in New South Wales. Although on the higher end of the price range, it is easily the best dinner delivery service in the state.
Best Pre-Made Meal Delivery Service
Chefgood is one of the leading meal delivery companies for ready-to-eat meals. Health-focused, the menu has over 50 different restaurant-quality meals to choose from. The meals are created and cooked by real Melbourne chefs before being delivered across the country three times a week.
With zero meal prep, time is no issue. Simply choose your meal options and how many servings you require, then look forward to the delivery. Most meals by Chefgood last up to a week in the fridge and are suitable for freezing, so none of that delicious food goes to waste.
There is no greater endorsement for Youfoodz than the fact it has been awarded the Product Review title of Australia's Best Meal Delivery Service three years in a row. Delicious and healthy ready-made meals delivered to over 3,000 Australian locations, excellent promo deals, next-day delivery, and zero lock-in contracts, it's no wonder Aussies love it.
Youfoodz menus offer breakfast, protein snacks, fresh fruit drinks, and an impressive selection of main meals- many of which are gluten-free! Meal delivery doesn't get much better than this.
CLICK THE BANNER BELOW TO GET YOUR YOUFOODZ DEAL
Best Meal Delivery Service for Weight Loss
People trying to lose weight and want help with a meal plan are sure to love Thr1ve. The low-carb healthy meal selection is just the beginning. Choose a plan based on what works best for you: count calories, intermittent fasting, keto, or fat burning.
Thr1ve promotes a healthy balanced lifestyle, starting with the way we eat. You can find suggested recipes to help you create meals to keep the weight loss going. One of the best options for weight loss is the eight-week transformation plan.
Delivery is available to NSW, VIC, QLD, and ACT metro areas several times a week.
Best Meal Delivery Service for Fitness Fans
My Muscle Chef
My Muscle Chef is all about fuelling your body in the best possible way. Choose a meal plan that suits your needs and get healthy meal boxes sent straight to your door. No prep, just eating. The freshly made meals and ready to eat, high in protein, and come with vegan or gluten-free options.
Created by two brothers from Sydney who wanted to boost their workout game, My Muscle Chef has grown into one of the biggest meal delivery services in the country, serving more than 4,500 suburbs.
Choose the meals or snacks you want under one of the flexible subscription plans and keep them in the fridge for up to a week. Check out our detailed My Muscle Chef review.
CLICK BELOW AND USE CODE "WELCOME20" TO GET $20 OFF YOUR FIRST ORDER
Best Meal Delivery Service for Vegetarians
Macros caters to just about every kind of diet, but plant-based meals are amongst the best. Creative fresh meals- not frozen- delivered to your door with no need for meal prep or time-consuming trips to the store.
Vegans and vegetarians are sure to love the Macros menu. They have an entire plan for plant-based meals, so you never have to struggle to think of what to eat ever again. Delivery is available to most metro areas.
Entirely dedicated to plant-based eating, Soulara is the best healthy meal delivery choice for vegans. The rotating fortnightly menu covers everything from cauliflower rice to black bean curry to wonderful vegetable stews.
Based in Sydney, Soulara works with chefs and nutritionists to give its subscribers the best possible diet, all shipped fresh in 100% recyclable packaging.
Are These Services Worth the Money?
The price range varies between services and is largely dependent on what type of plan you follow and how many portions you order. To determine whether a service is "worth it" or not, you should consider several factors.
How much money do you normally spend on groceries?
You may look at the cost of a box and think it seems pricey, but consider what you get out of it. The average Australian grocery bill is almost $600 a month. When you then factor in how much gets wasted or thrown away, it gets a bit scary.
If you try to cook more varied, interesting food then this bill could be higher, particularly if you are shopping for specialty health foods. Buying a special herb for one meal to use only a pinch then perhaps never use it again seems very uneconomical.
When you look at the price of a pre-prepared meal box or a meal kit, try to compare it to what it would cost you to make everything from scratch.
How much is the convenience worth?
Of course, it's not just monetary value in question: time is equally valuable. Maybe that meal kit seems a little steep, but you don't need to walk to the store to pick up ingredients or pay for fuel to drive over. You don't need to do anything other than put the pieces together.
Frozen or pre-made fresh meals cost a little more, but they save a lot more time. How valuable is that hour when you get home from work? How much would you pay to relax with your partner after dinner rather than washing up all the cooking equipment? What is your limited free time worth to you?
In a perfect world, we would all eat beautiful fresh home-cooked meals every night. However, that perfect world does not include grocery shopping, hours of preparation, or stressing over unevenly chopped vegetables. Time is not always on your side, but that doesn't mean the dream is over.
Using a meal delivery service or meal kit services allows you to eat a healthy meal as often as you choose. Replacing one or two meals a week- or more- with fresh food sent straight to your door via a food delivery service is a game-changer.
Subscribe to a healthy meal plan to get in shape, save time with ready-made meals, or expand your kitchen skills by using a meal kit. Whatever route you take, meal delivery kits and subscriptions are amazing.
There are only two things you need to decide: what service to choose, and what to do with all the extra time!