Too tired to cook from scratch, but still want to enjoy a flavourful meal that will satisfy your hungry stomach? Perhaps it's time you tried using a meal kit! Also known as recipe kits or cooking kits, you'll have an expertly prepared, home-cooked meal within minutes. Whether you're craving vegan Chinese bao buns, spicy Indian curry, Mexican rice or even falafel from the middle east, this article is here to take you on a journey of international cuisines.
We've included a detailed buying guide to help you choose the right cuisine to perfectly satiate your appetite, along with a ranking list of the top 10 best meal kits in the UK. All our favourites are available from ASDA, Tesco and Waitrose, so you can impress your friends and yourself with a variety of mouth-watering dishes.
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No doubt your choice of meal kit largely depends on the type of cuisine you're craving, but you'll also need to check which ingredients included, the serving size, preparation time and even dietary information to make the cooking experience as enjoyable and tasty as possible!
As you might have known already, there are various meal kits to choose from depending on the type of cuisine you're after. We've tried to include as many different cuisines as possible, so you'll be able to choose one that suits your current appetite the most.
Don't we all love a Chinese takeaway? Just as you thought you wouldn't ever be able to replicate authentic east Asian flavours yourself, using a meal kit can finally give you the confidence to challenge yourself to prepare such cuisine at home.
You'll easily be able to make even 'difficult' Chinese dishes, such as hoisin duck wrap or bao buns at home within 30 minutes! Or if you're curious of what Korean bulgogi taste like, the meal kit will include all the essential seasonings and sauces, so all that's left to do is buy the vegetables and meat.
Another favourite international cuisine, cooking Indian curry can be much easier than you first thought. Instead of panicking over what spices you might have forgotten to buy, the meal kit will contain all the necessary spices and pastes portioned out perfectly. Just fry them in hot oil to bring out their true aromas.
You might want to try making a delicious Vietnamese Phở at home, or perhaps Indonesian cuisine if you miss the unforgettable flavour of nasi goreng from when you were in Bali. Just prepare rice and some meat along with the meal kit's instructions and you'll have a strong and flavourful Indonesian fried rice to impress your guests.
Heading to the west, you might prefer the warm and comforting cuisine of the Americas. With a meal kit, you can make authentic South American food such as Mexican rice or cheesy quesadillas. Just make sure to prepare some guacamole o make your meal extra satisfying!
You may be surprised to learn that cajun jambalaya is actually from North America! The fried rice dish that reflects the history of Louisiana is a combination of Spanish paella and Caribbean spices brought over by the French. Traditionally meat, seafood and vegetables are added to the rice. With so many flavours, you'll happily fall into a food coma after eating.
Middle Eastern cuisine uses a combination of spices and herbs, which are perfect for those who love a warm spiciness and fresh flavours in their meals. For a filling yet healthy meal, why not try making falafel at home? You can always bake them if you would rather avoid deep fried foods.
Finish the meal off with a fresh salad including cucumber, onion and tomatoes, or even top it up with bulgar wheat. You've now unlocked a new skill; the ability to cook delicious middle eastern food!
Not all meal kits are vegan, but there are plenty that are! In fact, some meal kits cater to both vegan and non-vegan diets. The recipe is the same, all you have to do is to prepare alternative ingredients according to your dietary requirements.
So if you're hosting a dinner party, with a few modifications, you'll be able to prepare the same dish for all your guests. That way no one will feel left out!
Imagine preparing a meal wholeheartedly, only for it to be far too spicy for you to sit down and enjoy, how disappointing! To avoid such an experience, we suggest checking the chilli rating so you'll know exactly how hot the food will taste.
Chilli ratings start starting from mild, going up to medium, hot and even 'hell'. While we suggest you purchase a meal kit according to your tolerance for spiciness, if you would like to challenge yourself, have a glass of milk prepared by your dinner table to effectively ease the burning sensation inside your mouth.
You wouldn't want to cook too much food only to let it spoil in the fridge. On the other hand, if you're cooking a meal for your friends, you wouldn't want to see a portion coming up short! That's why you should always check the serving size of the meal kit you're planning to buy.
This kind of information is usually clearly stated either on the packaging itself, or on website you can buy it from. For example, if you like to have a large portion, a meal kit serving 2 will satisfy your stomach. However, if your dinner party guests only have light appetites, a meal kit serving 4 will be just right.
Meal kits are essentially designed to help you to make the tastiest food in the shortest amount of time by providing the most crucial ingredients - which are usually seasonings and condiments.
While you might be lucky enough to find that your quesadilla or hoisin duck wrap kit comes with tortillas or Chinese style pancakes, most meal kits won't come with fresh ingredients or those that can be bought easily.
A meal kit should clearly state the ingredients that are included. But don't worry, they will always come with a suggested recipe that recommends any other ingredients you'll need to prepare. For example, you'll need to buy beef and vegetables if you're planning to make Korean beef bulgogi with a meal kit.
Last but not least, you might want to check the cooking time of your chosen meal kit - especially if you prefer cooking your meal within a particular timeframe. Depending on the kit and the dish, the time can vary anywhere from 10 to 30 minutes!
We'd like to remind you that the cooking time is only a suggestion, so it might take you a bit longer if you're unfamiliar with the instructions. Even if it's not your first go using a meal kit, always leave some extra time for cooking to avoid any unnecessary stress and ensure your dish will come out from the kitchen smelling and tasting absolutely delicious.
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Lebanese Style Falafel Mix
Vegan Falafel and Salad Kit That Everyone Will Love
Vegetable Hoisin Duck Meal Kit
Your Favourite Chinese Dish From Famous Vegetarian and Vegan Brand
Tikka Masala Meal Kit
Cook Tikka Masala From Scratch
Vietnamese Pho Kit
The Authentic Taste of Vietnamese Soup Broth
Cajun Jambalaya Cooking Kit
Rich and Delicious Flavours in Every Spoonful
Korean Bulgogi Meal Kit
Serve this Korean Stir-Fry With Rice To Maximise Your Satisfaction
Nasi Goreng 3 Step Cooking Kit
Cook Indonesia's National Dish at Home
Quesadilla Meal Kit
All You Need is Diced Chicken and Loads of Cheese
School of Wok
BBQ Bao Bun Kit
Be a Dim Sum Chef Within 30 Minutes
Old El Paso
Mexican One Pan Chilli & Garlic Rice Meal Kit
Comforting and Delicious Mexican Rice at Your Dinner Table
We absolutely love this meal kit! It comes with a falafel mix and bulgar wheat for you to make a healthy Lebanese salad. It's enough to feed a family of four, all for a very affordable price. quick and easy to make, just add some water to the falafel mix and you're ready to fry or bake them!
Add mint, tomato and cucumber for a fresh salad, or serve it with flatbread and hummus. Either way, this vegan dish is guaranteed to be a favourite for everyone. Why not keep one in your cupboard, so you can have it on hand for a quick snack whenever you feel like it?
We all know Linda McCartney's vegan sausages and burgers taste amazing. That's why we're so excited to introduce their vegan version of your favourite Chinese dish - hoisin duck with pancakes! Literally everything is included in the kit, all you need to do is slice the cucumbers and spring onion.
Microwave the pancakes while you cook the vegetarian duck for 5 minutes, and your meal is ready! With 10 pancakes included, you'll certainly have more than enough to feel fully satisfied.
This meal kit will allow you to cook one of the nation's favourite Indian curries from scratch. It's so easy to follow, anyone would be able to make a rich, creamy and flavourful tikka masala. First, fry the whole spices to bring out their aromas, then add the spice paste and sauce. Store the curry overnight and it will taste even better the next day!
When it comes to spice, you can alter the ingredients according to your tastebuds. If you love some heat in your curry, add the whole red chilli. If you prefer a milder dish, just leave it out.
You might have always wanted to make Phở at home, but just didn't know how to properly replicate the rich and deep flavour of the soup broth. This meal kit will finally make your dreams come true! Simmer the herb and spice sachet for 3 minutes, and you'll have an authentic Vietnamese soup broth ready to be served.
Not only does it comes with the Phở broth and rice noodles, but pickled soybean and chilli sauce is included too. Available in a pack of 6, each kit can serve up to 3 people, so you won't have to worry about running out anytime soon.
If you like paella, then we think you should give cajun jambalaya a try. It's a rice dish with chicken, prawn, chorizo and green pepper cooked in a garlicky and peppery cajun seasoning. Every spoonful is filled with the rich flavour of the meat, with a hint of freshness from the pepper.
The kit comes with jambalaya stock, all you need to do is cook the rice, add your meat and veg and it's ready to serve. An ideal meal kit if you want a filling and comforting meal.
Suddenly craving the unique sweet and savoury flavour of bulgogi? With this kit, it takes less than 20 minutes for you to prepare this Korean-style stir-fry. Whether you prefer beef or tofu steak, your meal is guaranteed to turn out amazing. Make sure to serve it with rice to turn this dish into a delicious meal!
While it might be a convenient kit for those who crave for bulgogi once in a while, if you're a massive fan of the dish, it might be more economical for you to buy a bottle of bulgogi sauce instead.
If you ever been to Indonesia, then you'll likely be missing the flavours of nasi goreng (Indonesian fried rice). This meal kit contains all the Indonesian seasonings, including shrimp paste. So not being able to find the right ingredients is no longer an excuse!
The national dish of Indonesia is packed full of complex flavours like sweet soy sauce and the umami flavour of shrimp paste. Just be aware that these flavours might be too intense for first-timers.
This meal kit requires minimum effort to make, but tastes incredibly satisfying. All you need to do is to cook the diced chicken with the seasoning and wait for the cheese to melt into your quesadilla. You can even swap the meat with mushrooms and sweet potato for a vegetarian option that will taste just as good.
While the chilling rating is classified as mild, both the salsa and seasoning are closer to medium. If you have a low tolerance for spicy food, we recommend reducing the amount of both to enjoy your meal without the burn.
You might not have the skill to make bao from scratch, but with this meal kit, you can become a dim sum chef within 30 minutes! Follow the instructions and you'll have pickled vegetables and well-seasoned meat for your freshly steamed bao. Yielding 4 - 6 buns, you can eat as much bao as you want!
While it says you can complete the recipe within 30 minutes, we suggest giving yourself some extra time as steaming buns can be tricky.
While most meal kits would require you to prepare your own rice, this meal kit doesn't. It comes with seasoned rice, which ensures every grain is evenly coated with the Mexican spice mix. Add your choice of vegetables and meat, and your dinner should be ready in no time.
However, this meal kit is quite pricey. Especially as you probably would be able to cook a similar meal for a lot less if you already have rice stocked up at home. That said, if you want the authentic flavours of Mexican rice, you should give this product a go.
If you're looking to change up your usual Friday night dinner, why not try something new? From Swiss fondue to gourmet ready meals, preparing mouthwatering meals needn't be a chore. You could even have a go brewing your own beer to wash it all down! Take a look at the articles below to find out more.
Cooking can be so easy with the aid of the right meal kit. Just choose the cuisine you'd like to eat and you'll be able to prepare a delicious meal in no time. Be prepared to have your kitchen filled with the aromatic flavours of various world cuisines!
Author: Angina Chow
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