No clean-up required.

By Maya Gandara
May 27, 2020
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While I thoroughly enjoy takeout, there’s nothing quite like a home-cooked meal, and trying out new recipes and throwing ingredients together in a pan is all part of the fun. But lately, the effort it takes to cook several meals a day has burned me out. So last week, I decided to give myself a much-needed break and try out Freshly, a prepared meal delivery service that requires virtually no work. It claims to serve you a delicious chef-made meal in three minutes.

To put it simply, Freshly is just plain easy to use. The service sends pre-packaged meals your way weekly that are fresh, never frozen, and take a well-balanced diet into account. Processed foods and large amounts of sugar are left off the table, and calorie counts per meal range from 300 to 650.

Freshly
Credit: Freshly

The rotating menu features more than 30 gluten-free single-serve meals to choose from each week, from comfort foods with a healthy twist to nutrient-dense veggies and protein to takeout-staple replicas; dishes like Sicilian-style chicken parmesan and creamy cashew coconut chicken are up for grabs. Prices are $8 to $12 per serving, depending on whether you select a four-, six-, nine-, or 12-meal plan.

Freshly
Credit: Freshly

When my six-meal plan arrived on my doorstep (courtesy of the brand), I was admittedly hesitant. Perhaps the meat would taste rubbery, or the vegetables would be soggy after travel—but after trying my first meal, all my fears were resolved. After just three minutes in the microwave, the chicken was juicy and tender, the sauces were bursting with flavor, and the veggies tasted practically garden-fresh. Every bowl was completely inhaled.

Homestyle Chicken with Butternut Mac and Cheese

Freshly
Credit: Maya Gandara

Cauliflower-shell Bolognese with Ground Beef and Italian Cheeses

Freshly
Credit: Maya Gandara

Chicken Teriyaki with Brown Rice and Veggies

Freshly
Credit: Maya Gandara

Super Pesto and Sausage Penne

Freshly
Credit: Maya Gandara

Each packaged meal lasted in my fridge up to the five-day mark, but if you don’t think you’ll consume them all in that time frame, freeze what you won’t get to for a future date. If you do not own a microwave, or simply prefer the crispiness only an oven can provide, you can heat them up that way as well. And since plans can sometimes change (even in these times), Freshly lets you make changes to your delivery before each weekly deadline.

If you’re looking to switch things up, I recommend signing up for Freshly and seeing how much easier it makes your daily life. I’m warning you: You’ll definitely get hooked.