Whether you’re planning to make a short-term switch to a vegan diet through a challenge like Veganuary, or have a lifelong swap from meat to plants planned, it’s not always easy to know what to cook when you first make the change. You might start with grand aspirations about the many interesting plant-based meals you’re going to make, but after a couple of weeks, when you’re chowing down on yet another plate of chips, you might concede that some help is needed when it comes to make a vegan diet healthy and varied.
Enter two types of subscription services: the recipe box and the meal delivery service. The former sends all the ingredients you need to make a healthy, easy and delicious plant-based meal to your door with clear instructions on how to put them together, while the latter sends prepared meals for you to reheat. Here are our favourites for you to try.
Vegan Recipe Boxes
Abel & Cole
If one of your main motivations for making the switch to a vegan diet is the hefty environmental impact of the meat industry then Abel & Cole’s eco-friendly recipe box service will be right up your street. Almost all the ingredients come in cardboard packaging that you can return to the delivery driver when your next box arrives and deliveries are planned to minimise driving by only visiting each area once a week.
Abel & Cole’s menu always includes three vegan options each week, so although your choice is limited to those three meals, you can be sure that there will be enough plant-based options to fill out your box. The meals use organic and seasonal ingredients, and we’ve found them to be both exceptionally tasty and easy to make. Abel & Cole also offers organic fruit and vegetable boxes if you’d prefer to just get the ingredients and go from there.
With Gousto’s recipe boxes you pick from a large selection of meals each week and there are always several excellent vegan options. The recipes are always easy to make and meticulously planned so you’re not rushing to get them done in the predicted prep time. Gousto’s boxes are also slightly cheaper than rivals like Mindful Chef, with the cheapest option for two people being £34.99 for four meals.
Mindful Chef caters to everyone: all its food is gluten- and dairy-free, and pescetarian and plant-based options available – you just have to be OK with its low-carb approach to meal times. Each week the menu includes several vegan options you can select to build your box, and while we’ve found Mindful Chef recipes to be slightly trickier than most in the past, they’re all, without exception, easy on the tastebuds.
Buy from Mindful Chef | From £5.25 per serving
The weekly line-up of recipes at Feast Box always includes several tasty vegan options, with the Asian and Middle Eastern menu offering legume-filled curries, tofu ramen and cauliflower steaks at the moment.
Buy from Feast Box | From £5 per serving
Vegan Meal Delivery Services
The extensive range of meal plans available from KBK includes a plant-based option, which offers two or three meals a day for six days a week. It’s a shame that KBK doesn’t offer vegan versions of its other plans, which include fitness-focused menus like one to help you get lean, as well as office-ready and student plans. The plant-based plan is also light on nutritional detail, aside from telling you the calorie count is 1,500 a day, which is pretty low.
We tried KBK’s meals, although not the plant-based plan, but we feel confident the vegan meals will be just as tasty as the animal-based ones. The meals come in microwaveable containers but lack nutritional info, which would have been useful to see on the label. You have to sign up for four weeks on the service if you opt for a KBK plan, but there are three-day taster plans, which we’d advise doing because the low-calorie approach won’t work for everyone.
Buy from KBK | From £15.75 a day (currently reduced to £10.24 per day)
The Transformation Chef
Balance is the name of the game for these microwave meals, which don’t go all-out to be healthy at the cost of flavour – instead, they aim to impress on both counts. They certainly tick the flavour box, being right up there with the tastiest ready meals we’ve tried, and they’re pretty low in calories: everything we ate was under 600 calories and there are many meals that are under 400.
The range of vegan meals isn’t extensive, but there are five options on the website at the time of writing, and they’re nice enough that you’d happily eat each two or three times. In order to avoid the traditional dryness that plagues microwave meals (especially healthier options), The Transformation Chef is pleasingly liberal with the sauces. The only real criticism we have about the meals is they don’t pack in as much veg as we’d like, and they’re sometimes a little on the small side, especially if you live an active lifestyle. Fortunately, both problems are solved by quickly whipping up a side dish of veg.
You can buy individual meals or create a bespoke menu with a nutritionist to suit your health and fitness targets.
Buy from The Transformation Chef | Meals from £5.75
This is probably the easiest and tastiest way to do Veganuary. Allplants makes the meals for you and deliver them in perfect portions to pop straight in the oven or microwave. As the name suggests, all of Allplants’s meals are vegan, and they are also all ridiculously tasty, with the creamy cashew mac (a vegan take on mac and cheese) being our favourite.
Buy from Allplants | From £4.99 per serving
Fresh Fitness Food
This meal delivery services has packages tailored to suit both fitness goals and dietary preferences. You can get your breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks delivered to your door each day if you really want to make your life easy. The meals all come packed in microwaveable containers and the menu is never short of plant-based options.
Buy from Fresh Fitness Food | From £23 a day