If the ongoing pandemic is changing the way you’re eating (and shopping), we’re right there with you. Thank goodness for local (and not-so-local) companies that make delish meal kits and deliver food so busy parents can focus on all the other things they need to get done during the week. Want to find out what you’re serving for dinner? Keep reading.

FamilyMeals

Because eating out isn’t an option for most families in the time of COVID, and cooking dinner every night can be a chore, local Seattle chefs Jesse Smith and Maximillian Petty launched FamilyMeals. This dynamic chef duo (they're both parents, so they get it) work to create meals that excite parents, but are accessible for kids too, so families can enjoy restaurant quality dinners without leaving home. Variety is the key here. From the menu that changes daily, to the subscription offers and meal sizes, customizing your chef-prepared dinners is a cinch. Start with a la carte menu items or opt for a subscription of six, 12 or 20 meals to make it through the month. From there, families decide on meal sizes. If it’s just you two stick with the regular order or go all in with the XL. Whatever you order, it’s prepared fresh that day and delivered ready-to-heat to your doorstep by FamilyMeals' own delivery crew. All you have to do is set the table. Could it be any easier?

Cost: $35-$60/meal, including delivery

Online: familymeals.us

photo: Homegrown Goods

Homegrown Goods

Adding chef-created meal kits to their prepared meals and grocery delivery seemed a natural fit for this Seattle-based company, that kept hearing from customers that getting healthy, locally sourced meals to the table was a challenge during the pandemic. Enter Chef Michaela Skloven (Per Se, Gramercy Tavern and Franny’s) and some culinary creativity and the new dinner kits were born. Getting your is as simple as adding a meal kit, prepared meal or other kitchen provision to your cart and checking out. You’ll find your order on the doorstep the next day in a sealed box. Each kit is prepared daily, serves two and takes about 20 minutes to cook. Meals stay fresh for about three to five days, so there’s no pressure to cook it that night. Feel free to make your delivery a one time thing or make a weekly commitment to save 5% on all your purchases.

Cost: Around $20/dinner

Online: homegrowngoods.com

photo: courtesy Pick Me Up

Pick Me Up

If there’s one thing busy parents understand, it’s other busy parents who are trying to balance kids, school, work and childcare. When Seattle parents, Rachael and Phil encountered this eternal problem, they came up with a solution. They took Phil’s skills as a chef and Rachael’s as an organizer to create Pick Me Up, the chef-prepared meal service that lets Seattle and Eastside parents get dinner delivered to their homes or to a daycare partner. The system is streamlined through an app. All you have to do is set up an account, select your meals and portion size, heat and enjoy. Meals rotate weekly and each day has a couple of options to choose from; we love the kids meal variations offered for each too. From there, families can either choose to pick their meal up at a participating daycare or have it delivered to their doorstep, packed and chilled between noon and 5 p.m. the next day (order cut off is 10 p.m. the day before). While the kiddos set the table, you heat up the meal. Voila, dinner is served!

Good to know: When you set up the app, use the code 1111 for home delivery.

Cost: Around $12-$25/meal

Online: pickmeupseattle.com

FreshMeal

What started as a meal delivery service catering to people with specific fitness goals in 2016 has transformed into a healthy meal service delivering to nearly 80 different zip codes around Seattle. FreshMeal dinners are created for anyone who wants to get on a healthier diet and start eating fresh, never frozen meals. The meals are cooked by professional chefs out of their local commercial kitchen in the International District using fresh, locally sourced ingredients. To get started simply order your meals anytime before Thursday at 10 p.m. Then the FreshMeal team gets to work sourcing ingredients and cooking your meal just before delivering it on Sundays. It’s ready to be placed in your fridge to keep you fed for the week.

Cost: $10.99-$12.49/meal; $6.99 delivery fee

Online: freshmeal.com

photo: courtesy Dream Dinners

Dream Dinners

Dream Dinners usually provides a spot for parents to assemble meals using pre-measured, pre-cut ingredients to last them a while. Now, the company has re-imagined their services to meet new needs by offering the same delish ready-to-make meals assembled, then frozen, delivered straight to your door. Start online with the monthly menu, where you’ll get an overview of the meals being offered this month. Then it’s time to dig in and make your meal plan. You'll figure out how many Dream Dinners meals you’d like to serve each week and how many servings you need. Once your plan is complete, add meals to your online cart and schedule a delivery time too. Yep, it's that simple to feed the fam for a month. Each order has a minimum purchase of either 12 medium or six large dinners. Meals are assembled by the Dream Dinners staff and frozen before they head your way.

Good to know: If home delivery isn’t a deal breaker for you, you can pick up your ready-made meals curbside at the West Seattle or Mill Creek stores.

Cost: Prices vary; 15-$20/medium meal; $35-$50/large meals

206-938-5999 (Seattle)
425-316-8260 (Mill Creek)

Online: dreamdinners.com

photo: courtesy ACME Farms Kitchen

ACME Farms + Kitchen

Co-founder moms, Cara Piscitello and Joy Rubey, started ACME Farms + Kitchen in 2011 with a simple mission–to make access to local food easier. As busy working moms of toddlers, the duo found themselves searching for a simple way to get clean, local food into their homes without having to haul their little ones around. Signing up for an ACME box is as easy as clicking a button and choosing a curated box that's right for your family. You can go the traditional route with a Surf or Turf Box or combo, or make things family focused with either a large or small Family Classics Box. There are also options for those who are grain- and dairy-free, low-carb, vegan or veg. Each box is fully customizable and you can set delivery to meet your needs: once only, weekly, monthly and more. Inside each box you'll find everything you need to make your meals, including pre-made sauces and portioned seasonings, as well as pantry items like chicken broth and coconut milk. Orders are submitted by Thursday at 9 a.m. and delivered the next Wednesday or Thursday, depending on where you live.

Cost: $6-$8/serving

Online: theacmebox.com

photo: @cutomplatechef

The Custom Plate

A car crash in 2011 started the odyssey that brought Dean and Tamara Hobson from losing everything back to solvency and health. What started as a local food delivery service for about 30 neighborhood families has grown into a citywide meal delivery and catering business focused on nourishing people. Weekly breakfast, lunch and dinner options rotate and deliveries are made twice a week on Mondays and Fridays. Be sure to order by 3 p.m. on Thursday for Monday delivery, and by the same time on Tuesday for a Friday delivery. Food is delivered fully cooked, and ready to eat once you reheat it, and it gets dropped in the personal cooler you set out on your front porch (don’t forget the ice packs!). You won’t find a lot of carbs or grains in these meals, just a whole lot of meats and veggies, calibrated for optimal nutrition. Specialized meal programs are also available if you’re looking for help with Keto, Whole 30, cleanses and more.

Cost: About $9-$16/meal for dinner

206-486-5840
Online: thecustomplate.com

Fresh Chef Seattle

Chef Virginia Blashill runs a "virtual restaurant," delivering restaurant-quality meals to busy families, without the hassle of a brick and mortar building. It's a great option for those of us who crave home-cooked meals, but lack the time to make them. Head to the website to choose meals from the menu that rotates weekly. Orders are placed by Sunday for delivery Tuesday or Wednesday, depending on your delivery zone. Meals are delivered fresh not frozen, so this is a great heat-and-eat option, no cooking on your part. Each is made from scratch in small batches, using local suppliers whenever possible. You can choose from entrees, soups, salads and desserts that are customizable to your crew. Choose regular portion sizes for hungry adults (they're quite generous) and smaller ones for kids. Keep in mind each entree typically comes with two sides so you can customize meals in this way too. There are also low-carb, gluten- and dairy-free options available, but all foods are prepared in the same kitchen.

Cost: Around $10-$15/entree

206-214-5134
Online: freshchefseattle.com

photo: courtesy Maven Meals

Maven Meals

It was a bout of chicken pox a long time ago that led Maven Meals owner, Heidi Finley, to find her passion—food. Ever since she’s been studying nutrition, sustainable business and restaurant management to create flavorful, healthy meals for people who are too busy to cook them themselves. There’s no need to subscribe or meet a minimum order requirement here. With Maven Meals you simply place your food order Sunday by midnight, and Maven Meals delivers it on ice in an insulated cooler sometime between Monday and Wednesday of that week (delivery day depends on your zip code). They deliver as far north as Edmonds and as far south as Lakewood, as well as to the Eastside. A new menu is posted every Monday and it always comes with suggested pairings for entrees, and the ability to filter for food specificity (think: vegan, gluten-free, egg-free, etc.) so you know exactly what’s available to you. The best part? Everything is ready to eat with a quick reheat or as-is, with the exception of some fish dishes that take a minimal amount of cooking.

Cost: $12-$15/entree and one side

206-557-7985
Online: mavenmeals.com

photo: courtesy Yumble

Yumble

If dinner for your crew in two minutes or less sounds like a plan, check out Yumble's nutritious, ready-to-eat meals just for kids. They keep picky eaters in mind when they plan their menu, and meals come shipped in sustainably packaged boxes where you'll also find cute kid perks like stickers and activity sheets we know your kids will love. Yumble's lunches, dinners and snacks balance nutrition with flavor, so you can count on lots of fresh veggies and fruits in every meal. Simply choose your meal plan (six, eight or 12 per week), then wait for dinner to arrive at your door.

Cost: Plans start at $5.99/meal

Online: yumblekids.com

Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon

This cook-at-home food delivery service partnered with Martha Stewart to help harried families discover their inner Martha. The menu features 22 choices every week and the website tags meals as family-friendly, under-30 minutes, gluten-free and other categories. Favorites include: chicken fajita bowl, bacon-wrapped skillet meatloaf and lemon-brown butter salmon. The website provides big, colorful step-by-step photos for careless cooks and kids who want to help. 

Cost: Plans start at $7.99/portion + $8.99 shipping

Online: marleyspoon.com

Gobble

Say goodbye to grocery shopping, meal planning and prep, and all that cleanup! Gobble shops, chops and delivers gourmet three-step recipes for one-pan cooking with zero prep required. How about picky eaters? Try Pan-Seared Sirloin Steak with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes & Béarnaise Sauce or Crispy Chicken Sandwich & Napa Cabbage Slaw with Caraway Vinaigrette. What have you got to lose when it's just a one-pan cleanup?

Cost: Prices start at $11.99/serving

Online: gobble.com

Freshly

Freshly is a weekly subscription service delivering fresh (not frozen), chef-cooked meals that can be heated and served in three minutes. Unlike meal kits, all you need is a microwave, fork and plate (optional!) to get a satisfying lunch or dinner on the table. Think “nutritionist meets personal chef” vs. TV dinner when it comes to quality and flavor. 

With a food philosophy centered on less sugar, less processed and more nutrients, the menu features better-for-you versions of comfort foods with smart ingredient swaps. For example, Chicken Parm is coated in almond flour vs. bread crumbs and topped with marinara sauce sweetened with honey instead of refined sugars; Mac and Cheese is made with brown rice pasta and cheesy sauce blended with a purée of cauliflower and butternut squash; and Turkey Meatballs are packed with mushrooms and served over zoodles for a lower-carb alternative to pasta.

Cost: Customers can order 4 meals ($11.50/each), 6 meals ($8.99/each), 9 meals ($8.99/each) or 12 meals ($7.99/each) weekly.

Online: Freshly.com

Blue Apron

Blue Apron has been part of the meal delivery game for a long time and their expertise shows. Choose among two-serving, four-serving, wellness and vegetarian menus to pick the options that are right for you. We love that the meals typically take 40 minutes or less and include kid-friendly ingredients like baked chicken and pasta while exposing kids to different flavors like curry and chile-lime. With super easy-to-follow recipes, you can definitely get the kids involved in the cooking process. 

Cost: Meals cost $8.99-9.99/serving with free shipping

Online: blueapron.com

photo: iStock

Home Chef

Home Chef meal kits offer fresh, pre-portioned ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes delivered weekly. With a variety 19 different recipes that rotate on a weekly basis, most recipes include a "Customize It" option to accommodate any dietary needs or preferences. Skip a week any time you'd like, the meals are convenient and kid-friendly. The 15-minute meal kits include options like Honey Garlic Chicken with Broccoli and Carrots. Or, opt for more sophisticated meals from the culinary collection like Steak and Garlic Thyme Butter with balsamic Brussels Sprouts and Parmesan Twists. 

Cost: Meals start at $8.99/serving

Online: homechef.com 

photo: Hello Fresh

HelloFresh

The goal of HelloFresh is to bring the fun of cooking back into people’s lives by doing all the planning, portioning and shopping for in-season, sustainably-sourced, healthy and flavorful ingredients. HelloFresh prides itself on its delicious recipes with quick cook times; all your chopping, zesting and sautéeing will take less than 30 minutes. Family-friendly meals include Tomato Tortellini Bake, Ginger Plum Chicken and Pork Chops with Apple Rosemary Pan Sauce. 

Cost: Meals $8.99/serving. Delivery is free for all orders.

Online: hellofresh.com

photo: Dinnerly

Dinnerly

If your goal is to get a wholesome, easy meal on the table for your family, then Dinnerly is the meal delivery option for you. Each week Dinnerly customers choose from over a dozen options which change each week. The choices are totally kid-friendly with options like sweet and sour Swedish meatballs, turkey burgers and enchiladas. Each meal has only five prep steps and takes less than 30 minutes to get on the table, perfect for rushed weeknight dinners. Not interested in getting your box this week? No problem! You can skip any time. 

Cost: Meals start at $4.69/person

Onlinedinnerly.com

photo: iStock

Green Chef

Healthy eating at home is the name of the game with Green Chef. Choose from three plans: Keto + Paleo, Balanced Living and Plant-Powered. Set up your deliveries to come weekly or less frequently if you prefer. Menus change every week and you'll enjoy options like Steak & Cheddar Melts, Salmon with Creamy Chimichurri, and Creamy Baked Penne Pasta.

Cost: Meals start at $11.99/serving

Online: greenchef.com

Veestro

How about 100% plant-based, organic, non-GMO, chef-prepared entrees, soups, and juices that just show up at your front door whenever you want them to? Then look no further than this healthy bunch (bonus: they deliver nationally, too).

There are no, zero, zilch animal products of any kind, here, ever! Chick'n Nuggets with chipotle dipping sauce complete with veganaise will do the trick every time for your kiddos and no one will miss the meat. Veestro food is available a la carte, in full-on Meal Packs, and they also carry a surprisingly delicious weight loss menu plan. As with most vegetarian cuisine: most meals have nuts in them so be careful with a nut allergy, but all meals are completely dairy-free and don't contain other allergens.

Cost: Starting at $9.90/serving, free shipping on auto-delivery options

Online: veestro.com

photo: courtesy Splendid Spoon

Splendid Spoon

Bowls, soups and smoothies. Oh my! Splendid Spoon grew out of mom-preneur and French Culinary Institute-trained chef, Nicole Centeno’s desire to find quick and nutritious meals and snacks when she was pregnant with her first son. The service now delivers over 50 different meal options including soups (both hearty and light), smoothies, grain bowls, noddles and shots to busy families everywhere. Splendid Spoon's plant-based foods are totally fresh, gluten-free and were developed hand-in-hand by registered dieticians and chefs, so you know they taste great. To get in on the action, you need to hit the website, choose a plan and then customize it. Lunch is at the heart of each, and it builds from there. Add in breakfast five times a week at the second tier and a reset (think light soups for dinner) when you choose the full monty. You can skip delivery whenever you need to, and food is delivered straight to your door via FedEx, chilled, using dry ice. Bowls and soups keep for a week in the fridge or freeze them for up to a month.

Good to know: If healthy eating is one of your 2021 goals, consider Splendid Spoon's Breakfast, Lunch & Reset plan your partner.

Cost: $9-$13/meal, depending on plan

Online: splendidspoon.com

photo: courtesy Purple Carrot

Purple Carrot

Whether you're looking to eat more greens, add color to your plate or just plain love veggies, Purple Carrot is for you. Families can have dinner delivered two ways with Purple Carrot. If you go with the meal kit, you'll get a box delivered to your doorstep, filled with fresh ingredients and everything you need to make an amazing meal, from the good stuff to the recipe. If cooking isn't high on your list, try Purple Carrot's prepared meals. Like the meal kits, they come straight to your door. But unlike the meal kits, these are heat and serve, ready to eat in just five minutes. From there it's as simple as choosing your serving size (two or four) and how many meals you want each week (two or three). Then you sit back, relax and wait for your meals to deliver, freshly prepared, boxed and on ice, ready for you to enjoy.

Cost: Meal kits start at $9.99/serving and prepared meals start at $12.99/serving

Online: purplecarrot.com

photo: courtesy of Yumi

Yumi

Developed by two moms on a mission to create optimally-balanced baby food blends, Yumi is the latest meal delivery service to hit the PNW, and we couldn’t be more excited. Yumi’s baby blends come in over 50 flavors, and span baby's major food-related milestones. Expert Chefs use seasonal ingredients to whip up your baby’s food using diverse flavors and nutrient-dense ingredients like chia seeds, spirulina and flax, so your baby is exposed to a variety of flavors and textures. Then the blends are shipped to your doorstep in fully-recyclable packaging, using ice packs to keep it fresh. It’s easy to make substitutions or cancel an order any time, and you’ll receive text messages letting you know where your food is from the moment it ships out to the moment it delivers. 

Good to know: Finger foods and pinchables are available for babies over ten months who’ve outgrown blends and are moving on to solids.

Cost: $4.30/meal for 1 meal a day; $4.06/meal for 2 meals a day; $3.75/meal for 3 meals a day (less if you bill monthly).

Online: helloyumi.com

Meal Delivery Tips:

1. Once you find your favorite service, make sure you note your preferences, dislikes and allergies. Many services can accommodate these if they know ahead of time.

2. If you don’t have a cooler, buy one! The last thing you want is your delicious delivery spoiling in the sun.

3. Think about having your meals delivered to your workplace. This can give you instant lunch options, or can keep you from stressing out about your delivery waiting for you on your doorstep.

4. Order more than you need and freeze.

5. Did a friend just have a baby or is a parent recovering from surgery? Meal delivery is an awesome gift for anyone who might have more important things on their plate, or just as a time saver for a busy loved one.

—Allison Sutcliffe, Erin Cranston, Kristina Moy & Myriam Gabriel-Pollock

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