Dinnerly Review

Shake up your weeknight routine with meals from Dinnerly

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Dinnerly Meal Delivery Review

Peter Scherer / Real Simple

As a skilled cook who does most of the meal prep work in my little household, I never thought I had much need for a meal kit delivery service. Recipes? I rarely use them. I buy what looks good at the store and then let my skill and creativity do the rest. Still, like most people, I'm busy, so I rarely cook anything complex or adventurous. Most days, I'm modestly aiming for quick, tasty, and nutritious meals. If I were to use a meal kit service, I thought, I'd probably want one that met those same goals but better: meals that were super fast or premade, or wildly creative with novel ingredients, or organic yoga-level healthful, or some combination of the three. So when I recently got the opportunity to try Dinnerly—a budget service offering basic, crowd-pleasing recipes—I wasn't expecting to be enticed.

The five two-serving meal kits I received from Dinnerly really made me change my tune. I cooked three kits for lunch and two for dinner. I shared them with my wife and daughter and was surprised by how much we all enjoyed the experience. Overall, I was quite impressed by the value of the service delivered: I've never been this tempted to subscribe to a meal kit delivery service.

Pros and Cons


  • Quick and easy recipes
  • Low price per serving
  • Broad weekly selection


  • Not great for special diets
  • Limited organic options

What Is Dinnerly?

Dinnerly was launched in 2017 by parent brand Marley Spoon. It is primarily a meal kit delivery service but also offers prepared meals among its large selection of add-ons. The kits come in two- or four-serving sizes, and you can order up to six kits per week. The recipes are simple by design, with some requiring as few as three steps to prepare. Dinnerly boasts both the lowest price per serving and one of the largest weekly menus in the meal kit delivery market.

How Does It Work?

Dinnerly is a weekly service, but you can easily skip weeks if you prefer less frequent deliveries. The company delivers to most of the continental United States via three fulfillment centers—one on the West Coast, one on the East Coast, and one in Texas.

You can easily browse four weeks of Dinnerly's substantial menu without creating an account. Just click on "View Menu." If you decide to order, the process is simple. First, you'll choose how many meals you want and how many servings you require, and there's a box to check if you're vegetarian. (Don't worry, you can change your plan anytime.) Next, you'll enter your location, email address, and delivery address, then choose your delivery day. Then you'll enter your payment details. Finally, you'll choose the meals for your very first delivery.

Going forward, Dinnerly will automatically select your meals each week. In your account settings, there's a link that says: "edit taste profile." That's where you can alter the types of meals that Dinnerly automatically selects. You can choose the kinds of proteins you eat, whether to make your selections vegetarian, and whether or not you enjoy spicy food. However, if you want to avoid other ingredients, like gluten or dairy, you'll have to search for those tags on Dinnerly's menu page using your browser's "Find" function.

If you want to make your own meal selections, you'll need to do so within six or seven days (depending on your location) of your delivery date. Click "edit recipes," choose your meals, and then click "continue" to find yourself in Dinnerly's "Market" section. There, you can select up to 10 add-on items. Add-ons come in eight categories: bakery and dessert, breakfast and brunch, drinks and smoothies, fresh fruits and vegetables, lunch, meal shortcuts, pantry, and prepared meals and sides. You'll see items like mini cheesecakes, breakfast egg bites, wellness shakes, raw asparagus, soups, gnocchi, extra-virgin olive oil, and a ready-made meal variety pack.



Dinnerly's pricing is tied to order volume. The meals range in price from a high of about $8 to a low of around $5 per serving. Meals in the "PremiYUM" menu category carry additional charges ranging from 50 cents to a $7dollar increase over your base per-serving price. Add-ons range in price from around $1 (a head of garlic) to $43 (a four-pack of packaged prepared meals). My order of five standard meal kits (10 servings total) cost $76.39, including shipping. Personally, I felt like it was a good value.

Meal Choices

With around 100 different entrées per week, Dinnerly offers a larger menu than most meal kit delivery services. The menu is divided into nine categories for easy navigation. The company tags its kits with terms like vegan, low-calorie, kid-friendly, low-carb, gluten-free, dairy-free, one-pot meal, and more. You'll even find the occasional keto-friendly recipe. With that many dishes, you'd expect a pretty wide range, and Dinnerly doesn't disappoint. You'll find pizza, pasta, burgers, soup, tacos, salads, bowls, stir-fries, and standard protein-and-sides type entrées. Protein portions are modest, usually around four ounces. The recipes strike a good balance between filling yet light and healthful, and many are customizable. The chicken parm, for example, can come with broccoli, green beans, or zucchini. The chicken korma curry kit can include brown, jasmine, or ready-to-heat rice.

What We Tasted

  • Indian Veggie Masala with Rice and Yogurt
  • Za'atar Crusted Tilapia with Couscous Salad
  • Low-Carb Roasted BBQ-Glazed Pork Tenderloin with Buttery Corn and Broccoli
  • Ginger Chicken and Rice Noodle Soup with Homemade Chili Oil
  • Pastrami-Crusted Steak with Everything Bagel Baked Potato


My Dinnerly kits showed up in a standard, recyclable cardboard shipping box. A large ice pack and a silver bubble wrap insulator bag kept the ingredients cool during their time in transit. Dinnerly says that packaging varies by location, so you may receive an encapsulated cotton liner or a thermal liner rather than the bubble liner I received.

All ingredients arrive fresh. Proteins come in sealed plastic packaging, as do many of the vegetables. Thick-skinned produce items, like potatoes, tomatoes, and cucumbers, had no additional packaging. Just about everything else—seasonings, sauces, and so on—comes in single-use packaging, whether it be a plastic pouch, a can, or a plastic tub. Most plastic packaging is either #4 or #1. Recycling instructions for all can be found at the "recycling" link in the footer of the company's website.

The Cooking Process

The cooking process is an area where Dinnerly really shines. Overall, the task was marked by a sense of ease and simplicity. The recipes were easy to read and understand. Prepping my meal kits involved only light knife work, like chopping cauliflower and garlic. Cooking was simple as well, with a minimal number of steps and familiar techniques like pan-frying, oven-roasting, steaming, broiling, and sometimes microwaving. I had no trouble plating the meals within the estimated times.

Although quite simple, a few touches made a big impact on the finished dishes. The ginger chicken and rice noodle soup recipe, for instance, called for making an easy, simplified version of homemade Szechuan-style chili oil. The steak dish included a delightful pastrami spice crust. The recipes required a few things from my own pantry, including oil, butter, garlic, sugar, salt, pepper, and vinegar. One final note: Only digital recipe cards are provided. If you prefer a hard copy, you'll need to print it yourself.



Dinnerly was generally quite tasty. Moreover, the flavor-to-effort ratio was very strong. The service does a great job of ensuring that each meal is more than the sum of its parts. For instance, a steak and baked potato isn't the most novel idea, but the spices and the compound butter made it a very satisfying dish. My tilapia was fresh and flaky. The ginger chicken rice noodle soup was excellent, especially with the homemade chili oil. My wife and 8-year-old daughter very much enjoyed the Indian veggie masala. The BBQ glazed pork tenderloin was probably the weakest dish, but it was so simple to make that I didn't mind the somewhat pedestrian flavors. All things considered, Dinnerly's kits were more than worth the effort.

Who Should Use Dinnerly?

Dinnerly is for busy couples and families who enjoy a little light cooking but may not have the bandwidth for meal planning or complex recipes. If you enjoy a wide range of foods and have no major dietary restrictions, Dinnerly can provide substantial value. And there's such a broad range available that you can adjust your Dinnerly subscription to suit your life. When things get hectic, add on a few extra prepared meals. If things slow down, you can go the extra mile and dress up Dinnerly's basic recipes with the company's suggestions and your creativity. That said, Dinnerly is not a great option for people on more niche diets like keto or paleo. And people with allergies or sensitivities will probably prefer a service with more strict controls around ingredients like nuts and gluten

Final Thoughts

I was pleasantly surprised by Dinnerly. I'm a good cook—and a bit of a foodie—and I expected Dinnerly to be too boring to justify the time, money, and energy. Yes, the recipes were basic, but they were thoughtful, easy, tasty, and very affordable. During my week with Dinnerly, I felt more at ease knowing that a tasty meal was just a few simple steps away.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How Many Servings Is Each Dinnerly Meal?

    Dinnerly kits are available in two- or four-serving sizes.

  • Do Dinnerly Meals Include Meat?

    Yes, Dinnerly offers many different kinds of meat, including pork, beef, lamb, poultry, fish, and shellfish. If there are hundreds of different recipes, so you have plenty of options if you prefer to avoid certain proteins. Dinnerly also offers vegetarian and vegan meals.

  • How Often Do You Receive a Dinnerly Box?

    Dinnerly is a weekly subscription, but you can skip as many weeks as you like. For example, if you are going on vacation, it's easy to skip a couple of weeks as needed. You can then resume the service at your convenience.

  • Is It Easy to Skip a Dinnerly Shipment?

    Yes, just click on orders, then current orders, and then under delivery day, click "skip this order." You can do this as often as needed. It's easy to resume your orders once your schedule allows.

  • Can You Freeze Dinnerly Meals?

    You can't freeze the meal kits themselves. You could freeze some ingredients, like proteins. You could also freeze the leftovers (if there are any!). But Dinnerly's kits are intended to be used and cooked that week for optimal flavor and texture.

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