- Locally sourced, high-quality ingredients
- Free shipping and pick up
- Packaging is recyclable, compostable, and made from recycled materials
- Recipes online
- Cook time 25-30 minutes and easy-to-follow instructions
- Very little waste
- Some veggies pre-cut
- Great value
- Large portions
- Cost is on the pricey side
- Only 10 weekly meals to choose from
- No single option
Fresh Prep answers the question, “what’s for dinner?” giving Western Canadians an easy way to cook healthy, chef-developed meals at home, fast. Founded in 2014, Fresh Prep’s philosophy is all about nourishing your body with high-quality ingredients, with a big focus on environmental-friendliness and sustainability. They offer a variety of meals to choose from each week, each developed and vetted by professional chefs and nutritionists.
But what else sets Fresh Prep apart from other meal kits? Do the meals actually taste as good as they say? How do they fulfill their sustainability promise? I gave Fresh Prep a try and have all my honest answers below:
You have 2 choices when selecting a plan: 2-Person Meals (2 servings per recipe) or a Family Plan (4 servings per recipe). Within each plan, you can choose how many recipes you want, ranging from 2 to 4. In your account settings, you can further customize your plan according to dietary and taste preferences. The 2-Person Meal plan can also be used if you’re a single individual—you’ll just end up with 2 servings per recipe, which isn’t a bad deal since the meals are so delicious you’ll be wanting seconds anyway.
You get to choose between 10 meals a week. This isn’t as much variety as other meal kits, but Fresh Prep prioritizes quality over quantity. You’ll get 10 excellent options, rather than over 20 okay options with a few stars and a few duds. If you don’t like any meal options you can easily skip the week.
You also get free delivery every week which is a nice bonus, and free pick up with their Zero Waste Kits (more on this below).
After you order, the meals come in a fabric reusable cooler bag and include pre-portioned ingredients for the recipes you selected. This was a pleasant surprise, as most other meal kits come packed in cardboard boxes. All the ingredients are separately packed, measured, and labeled, either in a Zero Waste Kit (see below) or in a paper bag. Along with the ingredients, there are recipe cards, with easy-to-follow, step-by-step directions. The recipes even include labeled pictures of all the ingredients, as well as nutritional information.
On top of the food, you can also order items from their Add-ons menu. These include things like healthy snacks and sweets, proteins, groceries, and ready-to-eat meals for days you’re really pressed for time, starting at $7.29. Their Add-ons follow the same principles of high-quality, sustainably-sourced, additive-free ingredients.
Menu and Recipes
You’ll get 10 meal choices every week, and can filter by Vegetarian, Vegan, Dairy Aware, and Gluten-Aware. Recipes are labeled according to difficulty level, time to prepare, and packaging.
For my options, I chose the ricotta ravioli in bolognese sauce and spicy red Thai chicken curry. Unlike many other meal kits that go heavy on the carbs and light on the protein, I found that Fresh Prep’s protein portions were large and well-balanced with the rest of the meal. The ricotta bolognese was restaurant-quality, filling, and definitely something I would never cook at home myself. The Thai curry was rich and tasty, and I had to stop myself from eating both servings in one sitting! With both recipes, I had enough food for 2 large portions. Going hungry definitely wasn’t an issue!
Fresh Prep works with nutritionists to develop their meals and accommodate a variety of dietary preferences so if you’ve been having a hard time finding a meal kit service that works with your dietary preferences or restrictions, Fresh Prep does its best to cater to you. You can filter your weekly menu by dietary preference, or you can tailor your Taste Settings according to vegan or vegetarian, and select specific ingredients you don’t want to include, like meat, lamb, pork, poultry, seafood, gluten, and milk. This way, your weekly plan will only give you options that align with your preferences. All allergen information is included on the recipe cards and online, so you can make choices that are right for you.
When choosing your recipes, you’ll see labels like Easy, Moderate, and Complex, denoting the recipe’s difficulty level. That said, the recipes are really difficult to mess up, even if you choose a complex one. There are labeled pictures of the ingredients included and step-by-step instructions with directions and timing—so anyone can cook them.
Ingredients are pre-portioned so you don’t have to worry about getting spice measurements wrong, and depending on the ingredient, they’ll come pre-diced, shredded, minced, etc., so you just have to throw it into the pan. For some ingredients that would stay fresher whole, you may have to do a bit of chopping, though, as I did with a couple of vegetables for the Thai curry.
The great thing about Fresh Prep is that all recipes take under 30 minutes to prepare, guaranteed. I actually timed myself when cooking and was quite pleased that they did in fact hold true to their promise. Both meals took about 40 minutes including clean-up time when it was all said and done, using only 1 pan and 1 pot each.
Cost and Delivery
Depending on which plan you choose, the price per plate will fluctuate slightly. The more meals you choose, the less you’ll pay per plate. For example, the cost per plate is $12.25 if you choose a 2-Person Meal with 2 recipes. The cost per plate drops down to $10 if you choose a Family Plan with 4 recipes. Now, it must be said that this is definitely on the pricier side when it comes to meal kits; however, one thing to note is that you’ll always get free shipping, and free pick up of Zero Waste Kits (more below). And besides, cheaper meal kit services tend to go light on protein to bring costs down.
As well, the food you’ll be consuming is of high quality and sustainably sourced from curated sellers. The higher price also reflects their commitment to delicious meals. Both meals I tried had a healthy portion of protein and were top-notch quality, better than most other meal kits I’ve tried before.
You can choose your meals up to a month in advance and schedule your delivery between Sunday and Tuesday of each week. Delivery time windows are different depending on the day, so you can choose a day that works for your schedule. I chose Sunday delivery with a time window between 12 and 5 pm, but my delivery didn’t arrive until around 6 pm.
You can also opt to get text message alerts about your delivery. I signed up for this option but didn’t end up getting any alerts—likely a glitch in the system, but my order arrived safe and sound regardless.
Sustainability and Recycling
This is where Fresh Prep shines, and why I don’t mind spending a little extra on their meal kits. Allow me to explain:
Reusable Fabric Cooler bags
The first thing I noticed when my meal kit arrived was that it came in a reusable fabric cooler bag (similar to those that Uber Eats and Skip The Dishes use), so they got extra points just for that.
My spicy red Thai chicken curry arrived in a paper bag with pre-portioned ingredients in separate little packages. All packaging was recyclable—pretty standard for most meal kit services these days.
Zero Waste Kits
My ricotta ravioli with bolognese sauce arrived in a Zero Waste Kit, which was an absolute dream in terms of sustainability and environmental-friendliness.
Fresh Prep’s Zero Waste Kits portion out ingredients into individual cups that fit into a larger, air-tight container. When the lid is placed on, each cup is sealed, so you don’t have to worry about spillage…and the whole thing fits nicely in the fridge. All you have to do when cooking is remove the lid, align the tray to match up with the ingredient pictures on the recipe card, and start cooking. The cups also double as measuring cups if need be, so you don’t have to dirty up more dishes.
Once you’re done cooking, you simply rinse everything off, put it back in the reusable bag, and Fresh Prep will pick it up when delivering your next kit. You can also schedule a pick-up at any time.
Zero Waste Kits are available for only some recipes, so if you want your meal kit to come in one, look for the ‘Packed in a Zero Waste Kit’ badge on the weekly menu.
Sustainability-Sourced, Free-Range Ingredients
Fresh Prep makes it a point to source only the highest quality ingredients, including meat, poultry, and fish, and work with local distributors and purveyors that support sustainable practices. Their meat is free from unnecessary hormones and antibiotics, eggs are free-range, and seafood is sustainably sourced. Chicken and turkey are certified Halal, and lamb is sourced from a free-range pasture in Southern Australia.
Conclusion: Is it worth it?
Fresh Prep is absolutely worth it. Yes, it’s a little pricier than other meal kits, but the price is reflected in the quality of ingredients, scrumptious recipes, and commitment to the environment. You can easily pause and resume your plan each week, and the free delivery and pick-up adds a delightful layer to their service.
Interested in giving Fresh Prep a try? Get 3 free meals with your first order.
Specification: Fresh Prep
Calgary, Edmonton, Metro Vancouver, Nanaimo, Red Deer, The Okanagan, Vancouver Island
|Dietary Plans Available:||
Diary Free, Gluten Free, Pescatarian, Vegan, Vegetarian
Two (Couple), Four (Family)
|Price per Plate||
$10 to $15
First 2 meals free
Zero Food Waste, Ocean Wise, Recycling, Sustainability