As much as we all love dining out at our favourite restaurants, sometimes you might want to whip up a feast at home instead. Most of us aren't Michelin star chefs though, so you may need some help - that's where recipe boxes come in! Thanks to one of these subscriptions, you can munch on healthy, delicious meals designed by top chefs and nutritionists in the comfort of your own kitchen.
The problem is, there's such a wide variety of recipe boxes to choose from online, so how do you know which one will be the best option for you and your family? In this article, we’ll explore the main factors you should consider before hitting that subscribe button. Plus, we'll review some of the most popular UK services, including Gousto, Pasta Evangelists, and Mindful Chef. Ready to get cooking?
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Without further ado, let’s take a look at the different aspects you should consider when deciding on a recipe subscription box. We'll be looking at everything from the type of cuisine to the number of mouths you to want to feed!
First up, a quick note on the kind of ingredients you can expect in a recipe box. Most companies source the freshest ingredients they can and in some cases, they're organic too. So while it might feel like an indulgent treat getting these kits delivered to your door, the likelihood is that you'll still be tucking into a rather nutritious meal!
After the ingredients, the most important factor is the type of cuisine. Usually, companies offer an assortment of different cuisines, so you can chow down on Italian and Japanese food one week, then Pakistani and Spanish the next. After all, variety is the spice of life!
Prefer to eat the same thing regularly? That's okay too! Some companies specialise in just pasta or baked goods so you know exactly what you'll be cooking in the coming weeks. However, as these companies clearly cater (see what we did there!) for a specific type of culinary experience, don't expect them to have loads of recipe options.
Another thing you might need to think about is what the meals contain, especially if you have any allergens or dietary requirements.
Typically, companies will show you a breakdown of the ingredients, with common allergens highlighted in bold. Some recipe box websites will even let you search for meals using a filter, so you can identify which ones won't be suitable for your diet.
To give you a helping hand, we'll be mentioning in our reviews and the specification tables whether the companies we've selected offer vegetarian, vegan, or gluten-free meal options.
Once you've got the food sorted, there's another factor to consider: how many people you plan to cook for. Whether you live alone or in a big household, there's no need to worry about food waste - most boxes will specify how many mouths they can feed and will contain exactly the right amount of ingredients.
Companies tend to offer three options when it comes to the number of people: boxes for individuals, couple boxes, and family boxes. The latter contains enough ingredients for two adults and two or three children, depending on their size. All you need to do is select the right option when you subscribe and you'll be good to go!
When it comes to payment, businesses like to show how much you’re paying per serving, which can come in handy when it comes to budgeting. Certain meals will work out more expensive than others, so a beef wellington and red wine sauce dish will cost more than some chicken fajitas, due to the pricier ingredients.
On the plus side, the more you order, the cheaper your dinner works out per serving. For example, if both a couple and a family of four order the same meal, the couple will end up paying slightly more for theirs. Hence, larger families may find recipe boxes much more cost-effective in the long run!
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A Superb Subscription That'll Cater to the Whole Family
Nothing Says Indulgent Quite Like Fancy Pasta
Little Cooks Co.
Why Not Get the Kids Involved?
The Best Option for Those With Allergies
Modern Persian Kitchen
Brilliant Boxes for Special Occasions
The Baking Club
Bakers of the World Unite!
An Ethical Company With Plenty of Appetising Options
Enjoy a Variety of Culinary Landscapes From Your Kitchen
Honeywell Biscuit Co.
Expand Your Baking Knowledge and Pick up New Techniques
What's on the Menu?
Perfectly Plant-Based Curries and Sides
Gousto has been making big strides over the past few years - not only have they been endorsed by the nation's favourite P.E teacher Joe Wicks, but he's even come on-board as a brand ambassador! It's all because of their cooking philosophy: healthy food can and should be tasty.
With options for adventurous adults as well as picky pre-teens, Gousto provides something for everyone. Comforting cottage pie, smoky fish curry, cheesy veggie enchiladas - take your pick! Each box contains precise ingredients that so that there's never any waste, plus the produce all comes from UK-based suppliers. This really is a superb recipe box that's definitely worth subscribing to!
It might not be the most exotic option out there, but if you're passionate about Italian grub then you're going to love Pasta Evangelists! These fantastic boxes are easy to transport, letterbox-friendly, and they're simple to whip up due to all the sauces being pre-made - no need to spend ages in the kitchen after a hard day at work.
There are plenty of tantalising options, including vegetarian and vegan dishes such as pesto tagliatelle, conchiglie alla puttanesca, and roasted red pepper orecchiette. Furthermore, the company is currently donating £5 per package sold to the UK's largest mental health charity Mind, so you can enjoy restaurant-quality food while helping out your fellow humans - what's not to love?
If you're looking to spend some quality time with your children and spark their interest in baking, you need a Little Cooks Co. subscription! This company goes that step further to make sure the kids are involved in the kitchen, with collectable recipe cards, stickers, seeds to grow, and a record book that your youngster can track their progress in.
In addition to being weighed out, all ingredients are organic and they're carefully packaged in compostable bags. Best of all, these boxes are shipped through Royal Mail and are just the right size to fit through your letterbox, so you don't even have to wait in for a delivery!
This company was founded and run by three truly inspiring women who are all experts in creating fresh, home-cooked food that pays homage to their heritage. The result is a huge range of recipes from India, Italy, Japan, Pakistan, and Spain - you won't know which one to pick first!
One factor that sets this subscription box apart from the others on our list is the "free from" drop-down menu on The Cookaway's site. This feature makes it incredibly easy to search for dishes to suit your dietary requirements, so it's ideal if you need to avoid any specific ingredients.
Modern Persian Kitchen has a wonderfully diverse array of Middle-Eastern meals, from saffron chicken to tofu sabzi. Unlike most other recipe subscriptions, the goods arrive prepared so you're not required to do much more than heat your food up!
As well as weeknight meals, you can order special occasion options like the "Date Night" box for couples or a full three-course meal for the whole family. If you fancy some extra sides or desserts, you can add these too, making sure everyone gets exactly what they want!
BakedIn is here to revolutionise the world of home baking! Before you start rolling out that dough, you have the choice of signing up to either their usual baking club that focuses solely on sweet treats or their bread baking club that will throw in a few savoury recipes.
The sweet boxes contain recipes for dreamy delights like cakes, muffins, and cookies, while the savoury option will have you making flatbreads and loaves. The lovely folk at BakedIn will even provide handy accessories alongside the ingredients, such as baking paper, skewers, or a butter measure, to make your experience as smooth as possible.
Another company with astonishingly good ethics, Mindful Chef not only care about the meals you cook but also where those ingredients come from. That's why before they strike a deal with any supplier, they make sure that both businesses share the same values. Moreover, they focus on working with small, family-run British farms that produce top-quality ingredients.
The recipes on offer range from fiery Mexican chicken huevos rancheros to warming classics like venison with braised red cabbage, and everything in between! With a great range of vegan choices and even frozen ready meals to buy, there's no chance you'll get bored with the selection available.
Feast Box is part of the Red Rickshaw brand, an online grocery store that's well-known in the UK for stocking authentic Asian ingredients. So, when we heard that they were setting up a subscription box, we knew it would be a tempting adventure for the palate!
While their dishes are predominately South Asian and Middle Eastern, they also feature mouthwatering recipes from China, Japan, Brazil, and Thailand. Plus, they even throw in some sound advice about wine pairing, helping you to pick the right bottle to enjoy alongside your meal.
Honeywell Biscuit Co. started out at the founder's kitchen table in 2012, and since then they've grown into a team of fifteen self-confessed baking connoisseurs. When it comes to their subscription boxes, you'll receive all of the ingredients perfectly weighed out and an easy-to-follow recipe card that'll guide you through everything.
There are a few different subscription boxes available, such as the "Bread Bakers Club" which will teach you how to whip up wasabi steamed buns, pumpkin rolls, and pretzels. There are also sweet baking boxes as well as ones designed for children aged 3-12. Unfortunately, you can't choose what you'll be making each time, but you'll always learn new techniques!
The first feast option in our ranking is DabbaDrop, a service that produces delightful plant-based Indian, Pakistani, and Sri Lankan meals for you to enjoy. Okay, they're not technically recipe boxes - instead, they're basically a healthy, subscription-based takeaway! The food, prepared by home cook Anshu, is delivered either ready to eat or it can be warmed up and eaten later.
While they do things a little differently in comparison to a regular recipe box, this company have such a good ethos that we just had to feature them. They're totally free from plastic, waste, emissions, and stress - each delivery arrives in a stainless steel container that can be reused, via a good old-fashioned bicycle. Sadly, this option is strictly for London folk only, to ensure that your meals arrive as fresh as possible.
That's your recipe box sorted - but do you have the right tools in your kitchen to help you rustle up a feast? Check out our recommendations below if you're in need of some new culinary equipment!
As you can see, the options for recipe boxes are a little more varied than you might have first thought. However, we think it's nice to know that whatever your cuisine preferences, be they adventurous or traditional, there's a recipe box out there for you. Here's to having delectable dishes delivered to your door!
Author: Lewis Clark
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