Cooking family meals anytime during the year isn’t easy, but when it comes to summertime and the kids are home, it becomes a little more difficult. After running with the kids all day long and feeling like a constant short-order cook when they are hungry on a whim, my brain is fried on things to make for dinner for the family.
This summer we tried something different and it worked out fantastically. We decided that Blue Apron was going to be our go-to dinner option at home four days a week. Yep, remember when we told you we were trying out Blue Apron back in June but we’d only tried a few boxes at that point? We loved the idea and the recipes but it was just an intro to the service. We couldn’t really give you an in-depth account of our experience. Until now.
After 6 full weeks, 12 Blue Apron boxes and 24 meals, we can safely say that we know ALL ABOUT Blue Apron and are confident enough to share the ins and outs of this food delivery service! So let’s get to it.
What is Blue Apron?
Blue Apron is a food delivery service that delivers exciting, seasonal recipes created by their culinary team and renowned guest chefs. They send everything right to your door that you need to be the culinary dinner expert in your family.
The Blue Apron refrigerated box arrives with all the perfectly pre-measured, fresh ingredients that you will need to whip up a dinner masterpiece. They include the recipe and step-by-step instruction with photos. The ingredients are super fresh and the meats are naturally raised on antibiotic and hormone-FREE diets. Plus, with Blue Apron there are no repeated recipes in the same year!
Here is an example of what the contents of the boxes looks like. Look at all those colorful veggies!! Yep, that is a typical Blue Apron box stuffed with fresh ingredients that are good for your family.
Once the box was delivered, we normally put everything neatly in the refrigerator so that it was all ready for our next meals. Each box contains two full meals with ALL ingredients that you need to make the meals EXCEPT olive oil. That is the only ingredient that you will need on hand because almost every box requires it. No big deal because I always have olive oil.
When it is approaching dinner time, I suggest that you give yourself 30-45 minutes to make and complete each meal. These are not quick throw some chicken nuggets in the oven type of meals. These are HOMEMADE FROM SCRATCH recipes that will have you chopping, grating, slicing, boiling, mixing and more. They take a little time. It takes about 10-15 minutes just to chop all the ingredients up and get ready to cook with most of the Blue Apron meals.
Where the recipes hard to make?
The good thing that I found about the homemade from scratch aspect is that I could have my kids help and we could cook together. It gave me a chance to show them how to do something things in the kitchen and they loved helping (most of the time!).
The recipes were very easy to follow and the photos were super helpful for me since I’m not the best chef. Plus, Blue Apron had me cooking with ingredients that I have never cooked with before such as arugula, udon noodles, purple potatoes and ginger. I didn’t even know how to cut ginger or that purple potatoes existed!! Thankfully, it was all quite easy and helped to improve my mom culinary skills.
Did your family enjoy the meals?
That is the most important question, right?!
After 24 meals, we loved it. Sure, some of the recipes were better than others but for the most part, I was a big fan. My littlest guy who is 7 and a very picky eater struggled on some of the meals such as Saffron Shrimp & Gnocchi. In his defense, he was used to his mom “cooking” chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, meatloaf and spaghetti, so these new dinners were a whole new world for him. Some nights he loved it and some nights he just couldn’t get on board. LOL! It’s alright though because making him eat good healthy food improves character.
Was the food enough?
We had the Blue Apron Family Plan for 4 recipes a week and since my 7 year old eats like a half a person most nights, it was a perfect amount of food for each dinner. I split the dinner into 4 1/2 servings and we were good to go. Plus, I like that you can pick your delivery days (Sun-Friday – depending on your location) so our recipes get delivered twice a week (Sunday and Wednesday).
Another great perk is that even though it is a subscription-type service, you can skip any week and cancel at any time. So, when we went on vacation, I just skipped the weeks and didn’t worry that the food will go bad. You can also see which recipes are on the Blue Apron schedule by checking the calendar on their website. They have recipes planned for about 5 weeks out and that gives you ample time to skip a box that may contain a recipe or ingredients that you don’t care for. We skipped almost all seafood boxes because the rest of my family refuses to eat cod or salmon and I didn’t want it going to waste.
NOTE: You cannot just request a different recipe in place of one you want to skip. So, if you skip the seafood, you’ll just have to skip those deliveries altogether.
What about food allergies?
Yep, Blue Apron accommodates that too! They accommodate a variety of dietary preferences – e.g. vegetarians, pescetarians, or if you don’t eat red meat, fish, shellfish, pork, or lamb – and personalize your menu each week based on your preferences. All of the boxes are assembled in the same processing facility, so they don’t recommend ordering Blue Apron if you have a serious food allergy though.
Out of the 24 recipes, we wanted to show you some of our favorites.
The Soy-Ginger Pork Meatballs with Zucchini & Snow Pea Fried Rice was delicious. This was a recipe that was a homerun with everyone in the family.
These Southwestern Cheeseburgers with Guacamole & Sautéed Corn-Tomato Salad had members of my family who would never ever touch guacamole normally actually eat guacamole. Plus, that corn-tomato salad was SO easy but tasted SO good!
The Creamy Strozzapreti Pasata with English Peas, Zucchini & Mascarpone Cheese was a big hit with the kids and they didn’t even whine about eating the zucchini in the dish.
The Saffron Shrimp & Gnocchi with Cherry Tomatoes & Basil wasn’t a big hit with the kids (or Mr. Gizmo) but it was one of MY favorites. In their defense, they hate shrimp and I love it.
The Seared Chicken & Miso Udon Noodles with Sautéed Sugar Snap Peas & Pea Tips was our first time ever eating udon noodles but everyone loved it.
So, let’s break down the pros and cons.
- Improves your culinary skills.
- Introduces recipes to the family dinner that you may not have thought of. (No chicken tenders of mac and cheese here!)
- Delivered right to your door.
- The photo recipe cards can be saved so that you can repeat the recipe yourself later. You are basically creating a new book of tried and true recipes for yourself.
- The food is super fresh.
- No recipes are repeats in a one-year period.
- The food is good.
- It takes some time to make these recipes. These 30-45 minute recipes are not for the short order cooks.
- If you don’t like seafood, there is no alternative for that box. You just have to skip that shipment and there are a lot of seafood boxes!
- Can be pricey depending on how much you like to spend on your family food. (Works out to be around $64 per box – 2 meals for a family of four = $8 per person, per meal)
Overall, we had a great experience with our Blue Apron summer! A ton of good food and great recipes that I will be sure to be repeating myself this fall.
If you’d like to try out Blue Apron with us, you can sign up here:
*Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. As always, all thoughts, opinions and statement are our own.