Blue Apron restaurant quality meals at home

This post is sponsored by Blue Apron, and includes a giveaway opportunity from yours truly at the end. As always, all opinions.. and foodgasms… are my own.

For quite a while, we found ourselves in a bit of a dinner rut. We were rotating through the same things (hey, they were easy and we all liked them), and I found myself getting bored with our dinner routine. Even with weekly meal planning, I had a tendency to fall back on the same five or so recipes. When Blue Apron reached out to see if we’d be interested in trying some of their meals, I knew it was something that our family would enjoy.

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Here’s how Blue Apron works:

-You book your shipment through their website, and indicate how many servings you will need (2, 4 or 6) plus any dietary requirements. 

-You receive a shipment of pre-portioned ingredients to make the recipes for that week. Each week’s shipment makes three full recipes. 

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-You enjoy a restaurant-quality meal at home each time, using various cooking techniques and flavor profiles. For our two weeks of recipes, the meals were DELICIOUS. Bonus: Liv loved them, too! Also, for one week of meals, the Pilot’s mom was here staying with us, so it was fun to make a recipe while she was here.

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Each week, receiving the shipment felt like such a fun surprise. Also, even though I don’t mind grocery shopping, it was pretty amazing to have a large majority of it done for me, using fresh and whole ingredients.

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Hearty servings. I picked the four serving option, and was hoping that it would be enough to feed a hungry Pilot (2+ servings) + Liv and myself (1 1/2 servings). The servings were extremely generous, and we ended up having leftovers or the perfect amount for an additional dinner guest. 

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Cost-effective through less waste and unnecessary purchases. At around $10 per person per meal, this isn’t a bargain dinner option. But, for the type of food and meals, I think it’s a reasonable amount to spend. Many of the dinners we enjoyed would have easily been $20 at a local restaurant, and for comparison sake, one Pilot meal at the drive-thru is $7. These were fresh and beautiful dinners, and while we did have to prepare them ourselves, I found the $10 per person price to be reasonable for the quality of food. I also liked that they sent the exact amount of the specialty ingredients. For example, a full bottle of Tonkatsu sauce would sit mostly unused in the pantry; Blue Apron sent me just the amount we needed for the Chicken Katsu (which was GLORIOUS).

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Specialty ingredients. Speaking of Tonkatsu, Blue Apron gave me the opportunity to use and experiment with some new ingredients that I haven’t tried, and those that might be difficult to find without shopping at a specialty market. Also, all of the pasta we received for the pasta recipes was fresh and homemade pasta; a treat from the usual boxed fare.

Sustainable suppliers. As someone who intentionally seeks out sustainable and organic foods, I was excited to see that Blue Apron partners with a variety of family-run purveyors, which an emphasis on environmentally-conscious operations.


Time-intensive. The recipes state that they taste a maximum of 35 minutes to prepare; however, if you’re new to certain techniques, or take eighteen years to chop and seed a tomato (cough, guilty, cough), then they may take a little longer. We found that the meals became much faster to prepare as we got used to the process: prep everything, then start cooking. (Usually, I’m a “prep as I go” kinda girl.) By the end of our last week, I finished cooking the meal in 25 minutes, which as long I usually spend.

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The packaging. There is quite a bit of packaging, but a vast majority can be recycled or reused. I only ended up throwing away the tiny plastic baggies that the herbs came in; everything else was recycled (the boxes, small plastic containers, paper bags) or reused (the gel ice packs; love them for packed lunches or picnics).  With their packing strategy, the ingredients arrived insanely fresh and in great condition (nothing was bruised or browning).

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(For the turkey burger, I nixed the bun for my serving)

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Check out the menu for the upcoming week before booking. One week, ours had three corn recipes. I don’t hate corn, but that’s… a lot of corn. I probably would have chosen a different menu that week.

All in all, we enjoyed the meals, the opportunity to try something new, and I’d love to use the service again in the future. It’s perfect for the weeks when you need extra convenience, or want to escape a dinner rut.

Blue Apron kindly offered two free meals to the first 100 readers to sign up. Here’s the link!

What’s your favorite quick weeknight dinner? Try any new ingredients or recipes lately?



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  1. Lindsey @ Simply Lindsey on November 10, 2014 at 4:43 am

    My favorite quick week night dinner is either tacos or a curry dish (using one of TJs simmer sauces)! 🙂

    • Fitnessista on November 10, 2014 at 7:26 am

      love those simmer sauces!

  2. Joanna @Makingmine on November 10, 2014 at 4:57 am

    What a neat concept! I like the idea of only getting the food you will actually use – it makes me a little crazy to see the amount of food waste we have every week!

    • Fitnessista on November 10, 2014 at 7:26 am

      yeah! all of the extra bottles of specialty ingredients get to me. (like the GIANT bottle of fish oil i use for thai food like twice a year haha)

  3. Erin @ Her Heartland Soul on November 10, 2014 at 5:01 am

    I want to try Blue Apron so badly! Sadly they don’t deliver to Omaha yet. 🙁

  4. Cara's Healthy Cravings on November 10, 2014 at 5:02 am

    My fav weeknight meal is roasted sweet potato stuffed with a quinoa black bean salad, topped with lots of salsa and guac., of course!

    • Fitnessista on November 10, 2014 at 7:25 am

      that sounds amaaaazing

  5. Amanda @ Slimplify Life on November 10, 2014 at 5:09 am

    I also default to roasted veggies and some lean protein. It definitely gets boring fast but half the battle is finding the time to get creative!

  6. AR on November 10, 2014 at 5:11 am

    How do you feel about the calories per serving with Blue Apron? I’m not a calorie counter but I do try to be mindful of my portions and I’m wary of accidentally eating a 600+ calorie dinner with something like this. Do they have reasonable options for people trying to eat lean or in weight-loss mode? Or do you think it would be easy to scale back the portions with the way it’s currently set up? Thanks!

    • Fitnessista on November 10, 2014 at 7:25 am

      for some of the meals, the calories were a little high, but usually ate the meals after teaching a class, so i was hungry and ready to refuel. 🙂 they’re also easy to lighten up; since the portions are pretty huge, you can easily skimp on some of the bread and cheese.

  7. Kaila @healthyhelperblog! on November 10, 2014 at 5:24 am

    What a cool concept! I love that they actually SEND the ingredients straight to you! And I am all for experimenting with new to me foods. Would love to try this! 🙂

  8. Britt@MyOwnBalance on November 10, 2014 at 5:37 am

    I tried Blue Apron earlier this year and liked it. My only issue is that you can’t pick and choose exactly what meals you want, you have to pick a category and you get the meals in that category. I actually like Plated, which is very similar but you can pick your meals a la carte!

  9. Cassie Vaughn on November 10, 2014 at 5:55 am

    I love lo mein or pancakes for a quick dinner!

  10. jodie on November 10, 2014 at 6:08 am

    this would be great but they don’t deliver to TX, can you share some of the recipes? Is that allowed? Everything looks so good. Have a wonderful week.

    • Fitnessista on November 10, 2014 at 7:23 am

      they have quite a few recipes on their website! i think i linked to the chicken katsu one above. there are quite a few!

  11. Priya on November 10, 2014 at 6:18 am

    can you change the # of meals per week? and say if 1 person is veg?

    • Fitnessista on November 10, 2014 at 7:22 am

      i’m not sure if you can change the amount of meals per week. if one person is veg, i would probably order the veg option. for the meat dishes, the meat is the main component of the meal. even with our chicken options, we had a lot of vegetarian dishes in there too.

  12. cait @pieceofcait on November 10, 2014 at 6:45 am

    blue apron has always been intriguing to me AND fun!! 🙂

  13. Carrie (This Fit Chick) on November 10, 2014 at 7:37 am

    These look delicious! I still want to try blue apron!

  14. Lauren @ The Bikini Experiment on November 10, 2014 at 7:40 am

    My favorite fast dinner is throwing everything in a bowl. Lol. Burgers are also easy and fast on a busy night.

  15. Laura B @ FitMamaLove on November 10, 2014 at 7:56 am

    I love this idea–so convenient and healthy! Bummer about the cost.

  16. Emma @ Life's A Runner on November 10, 2014 at 8:01 am

    I really love this idea! It’s also great to spark inspiration for your own cooking, even if only receiving a few shipments!

  17. Megan @ Skinny Fitalicious on November 10, 2014 at 8:18 am

    My favorite go to dinners are scrambled egg white, turkey sausage on English muffins

  18. laura johnson on November 10, 2014 at 8:35 am

    Hi Gina,
    Have you tried Plated or Hello Fresh? They are also like Blue Apron. Great ideas for dinners and, like you, enjoy the “no waste” concept 🙂 There are also great promo’s if you are a first-timer.

  19. Charlotte on November 10, 2014 at 8:44 am

    I have been wanting to try Blue Apron! My go- to dinner is a stir fry of brown rice, whatever veggies I have, and tempeh.

  20. Ashley @ A Lady Goes West on November 10, 2014 at 8:59 am

    I know so many people who are happy with Blue Apron but I still haven’t tried it. I’m worried it would take too long. I get home late in the evening after teaching classes and don’t want to spend too much time prepping. But it seems like the outcome is worth it. Great photos!

  21. april on November 10, 2014 at 9:34 am

    love this idea! my favorite weeknight meal is shrimp, quinoa, and roasted veggies 🙂

  22. Amy S on November 10, 2014 at 10:06 am

    My go-to easy weeknight meals are parmesan crusted tilapia if I’m cooking for my husband and me, and a salad over quinoa/brown rice with grilled chicken if I’m just making a meal for myself. My husband, sadly, is not much of a salad person!

  23. Crystal on November 10, 2014 at 10:14 am

    Uh, my favorite quick weeknight meal is an almond butter and jelly sandwich, lol! Or maybe scrambled eggs. I’ve always wanted to try something like Blue Apron…good to know that at least one person recommends it!

  24. Hillary on November 10, 2014 at 10:34 am

    I would love to try a meal planning service like this – it is so easy to get stuck in a food rut. Our go-to weeknight meal is stir-fried veggies with rice noodles and a spicy peanut sauce!

  25. Alex on November 10, 2014 at 10:58 am

    Blue apron is really tasty and definitely helps you get out of a cooking rut. I tried them after discovering the service on Julie’s blog and it definitely introduced tasty combos I never would have thought of! My favorite side as of late has been pumpkin cornbread and whipping up some homemade chicken broth to enjoy as the base of a soup.

  26. Jennifer @ Show Me the Yummy on November 10, 2014 at 11:07 am

    What a fun idea! I probably wouldn’t do this often, but it’s a much better option (healthier and cheaper) for those days when you really don’t want to cook!

  27. Kay on November 10, 2014 at 11:17 am

    Blue Apron is so cool, I’ve seen them around a bunch more lately. I love that they give you small amounts of rare ingredients. I always feel bad buying a big bottle of something I’ll only use a tablespoon or two of.

  28. Rhiannon @ Bound to be a Buckeye on November 10, 2014 at 12:36 pm

    I think this sounds like a great idea for those busy weeks when you don’t have a ton of time to shop and prepare your own meal plans.

  29. Lizzie @ The Magic Tree on November 10, 2014 at 1:09 pm

    I have a bunch of go-tos, but also get bored with them easily. One of my faves that I NEVER get sick of is the Pioneer Woman salmon + honey sesame brussels.

  30. Asha Lee on November 10, 2014 at 1:59 pm

    Oh man! These meals look awesome. 🙂 I want to eat all of that stuff. Thanks for posting about this service. I’m always looking for healthy things to cook for dinner.

  31. Pua on November 10, 2014 at 11:15 pm

    I, too, have been stuck in a cooking rut! So this week I tried a few new things… like breakfast calzones and crockpot enchiladas (both hits!), but I?m always looking for new recipe ideas.

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