Best Prepared Meal Kits to Save Time on Busy School Nights

Everyone is headed back to school, so I’m looking for easy to make dinners. This summer I discovered home delivery meal kits, which come in really handy when you’re short on time. I love that my husband can use them to make meals for the kids when I’m traveling, and I don’t feel guilty for leaving him without food! We tried out several different meal kit services, and here’s our choices for some of the best prepared meal kits for back to school.

We tried several prepared meal kit delivery services so you don't have to. These are great ideas for how to make dinners that the whole family will love! They come in a box and everything is prepared so it is super easy to prepare dinner for your family! - Kids Are A Trip Prepared Meal Kits That Save Time

1. Green Chef

Green Chef was one of the easiest meal kits we tried. This organic meal delivery kit comes with everything pre-chopped, separated, measured, and ready to go. Other meal kits require you to chop and prep the ingredients. We found this to be a HUGE time saver. Plans are organized according to diet type: Keto, Vegetarian, Paleo, Vegan, Carnivore, Omnivore, and Gluten-Free. The Carnivore plan was perfect for us as we all love meat in our house.

Our choice was the family plan that serves four, but we were able to make it work for five of us by adding an extra chicken breast. We tried the Citrus Turmeric Chicken and the Fennel Herb Shrimp. Both were well received in our house and the prep time was minimal since everything was pre-chopped.


Subscription cost: There’s a two person plan and a family plan. The 2-person plan has 3 dinners (6 meals), the Family Plan has 2 dinners for a family of four (8 meals). Costs for 2 person meals start at $11.99/meal with the exception of Paleo and Keto which are $12.99/meal. Families can choose the omnivore or carnivore meal plan at $10.99/meal.

Dinner is just a few steps away with Green Chef! 

2.  Sun Basket

Sun Basket is all about organic produce and clean ingredients. They cater to all dietary needs, including Paleo, Lean & Clean, Gluten-Free, Vegan, and more. All the major components of the Sun Basket box are compostable or recyclable which I love. It also has reusable jars for smaller condiments (these are great for lunchbox snacks) which I thought was a very smart packaging idea. 

My husband tried the Speedy Lettuce-Wrapped Turkey Sliders with Asian Slaw which he said had great flavor and were easy to prepare (I was traveling, so I missed out). I cooked the Spanish-style Chicken and Quinoa with fire-roasted tomatoes. The dish was very similar to a paella or arroz con pollo (chicken and rice). The flavor was very good and directions were easy to follow. I love how each recipe has ideas for how kids can help cook the meal, and how to make the meal leaner if desired.

Spanish-style Chicken and Quinoa with fire-roasted tomatoes

Subscription cost: The Classic Menu offers three meals per week from 2-4 people. The cost is $11.99/serving and there are 18 recipes to choose from. The Family Menu offers 2, 3, or 4 meals per week. The cost is $10.99/serving and there are 6 recipes to choose from. Obviously, The Family Menu is what we would use, so I kind of wish there were more than six choices, but what are you going to do?

What is Stollen Bread?

Choose from 18 healthy & delicious recipes a week from Sun Basket!  Save $45 if you order today! 

3. Plated

Plated has a diverse menu with 20 different recipes each week. There are options for all types of diets from vegetarian to gluten-free to low-calorie and low-carb diets. Packages arrive in a well insulated box with all ingredients pre-sorted. We sampled the Vietnamese Chicken Thighs, which is something we would never make on our own. The results were delicious and I love that the ingredients were proportioned to exactly what we needed. I mean, when’s the next time I’ll use samba oelek? We also tried the Cuban Beef Bowls, a recipe we would definitely make again. It had this amazing avocado pineapple salsa. My mouth is just watering thinking about it.

Subscription cost: 2 serving meals start at $11.95/serving, 4 servings start at $9.95/serving, and you can choose the option for 2, 3, or 4 nights per week.


Here’s where you find out more about Plated!

4. Hello Fresh

Hello Fresh is one of the original meal kit services and they seem to have everything well organized. They deliver to your house on the day of your choosing and have a variety of recipes to choose from. Everything is well sorted and packaged for easy meal prep.

We tried the One Pan Pork Carnitas Tacos and Chili Lime Steak. These are both very similar to recipes we’ve prepared at home before, which probably explains why my kids liked both of these meals. We loved the cream sauce made for the tacos and have actually made it again on our own. This is a good solid choice in our opinion.

Subscription cost: The Classic Plan and the Veggie Plan are available 2, 3, or 4 days a week  for 2 or 4 people and start at $8.99/serving. The Family Plan is for 4 people only, and you can choose 2 or 3 recipes each week. This is $7.87/serving and all plans have a $5.99 shipping charge.

What is Stollen Bread?

Try Hello Fresh with your family today!


5. Home Chef

Home Chef features 15 recipe choices each week. This meal kit delivery service works for various dietary needs, and comes with easy recipe cards to prepare each dish. Next week we’ll be trying the Italian Sausage Pesto Cavatappi with asparagus and mushrooms and Chicken Ranch Taco Salad with homemade tortilla bowl. Out of all the kits we tried, these were the ones we loved the most. They were easy to prepare and the flavors were fabulous. *Note: be sure to set up your subscription, from the beginning. If you don’t make note, they will automatically begin shipping dinners every week.


Subscription cost: Meals are $9.95 per serving unless stated, and I love how the website shows food allergy information for each dish. Once you select the food you want delivered, simply select the number of servings and schedule it on the delivery calendar. 

See what Home Chef has to offer your family!

6. Amazon Meal Kits

Never one to be left behind, Amazon has many meal kits to offer. Put together by the company Takeout Kit, these dinners serve four people and range from $8.75 to $10.00 serving. I’ve yet to try them out, but I’m hoping to do so in the near future and will update this page with what I find.

Try Takeout Kit Dinners from Amazon!

7. Freshly

What I love about Freshly is that the work is already done. Meals are cooked and then delivered to your doorstep, you just have to heat them in the microwave or oven. They have different options including: Gluten Free, All Natural, Free From Sugars, and Packed with Protein. You select the meal plan and everything arrives packaged in its own container, ready to go. I thought every option I tried was delicious and my son tried a couple of them as well and really liked them. Favorites were the Moroccan Chicken Tagine and the Steak Peppercorn. Learn more about Freshly HERE.

Subscription cost: The cost decreases according to the number of meals you order per week. So 4 meals are $12.50/meal, 6 meals are $9.99/each, 9 meals are $9.99 each, and 12 meals are $8.99 each.