Freshly Is The Healthy Meal Service Cooked By Real Chefs

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Everyone wants to eat healthier, but work, school, kids, and every other daily distraction get in the way. In 2021, there’s no shortage of businesses trying to solve this problem, but Freshly may be the perfect combination of deliciousness and convenience.

Freshly was started in 2015 to make quality meals at home a more realistic option for everyone. Unlike other healthy-food delivery companies like Blue Apron or HelloFresh, Freshly requires almost no work. Instead of sending raw meats and veggies with instructions, Freshly’s cooks prepare each meal in nice, ready-to-eat packages. All you have to do is heat them up in the microwave. Think TV dinners, but with real, fresh, chef-driven food..

Personally, I’ve never understood the lure of meal kits. HelloFresh charges as much as $12.49 per serving for a meal you have to make the effort to prep yourself -- Chipotle, sweetgreen, and other fast-casual, healthier dining options can cost less than that, with little to no effort required. While I’m generally skeptical of meal delivery services, I was excited to explore Freshly offering because it hits a sweet spot in terms of effort, affordability, and nutrition.

Freshly offers several frequency options: four meals per week ($11.49/meal), six meals per week ($9.49/meal), 10 meals per week ($8.99/meal), and 12 meals per week ($8.49/meal). The menu rotates each week and has categories like Crafted Classics with homestyle favorites and FreshlyFit with low-carb or gluten-free options, among others.

I’m not the pickiest eater, so I chose to try a nice variety of Freshly’s meals: Homestyle Chicken, Zingly Buffalo Chicken, Pulled Pork Al Pastor, Keto-Friendly Chicken Bowl, K-Town Pork and Purple Sticky Rice, and Herbed Paleo Pork Chop. These were also a good balance of more traditional American favorites and trendier, specialized offerings.

Homestyle Chicken

Calories: 590

Carbs: 45g

Total fat: 27g

Protein: 45g

This is sure to be a classic, and I hope it earns a permanent spot on Freshly’s menu. While it’s hard to do anything too crazy with chicken, Freshly’s Homestyle offering definitely hits the mark. It’s covered with an almond flour batter that adds a nice crunch and tastes just like bread crumbs.

The mac and cheese really blew me away. It’s thick, creamy, and tastes like it was made the hard way, not from a box. The mac and cheese isn’t made with traditional, highly-processed ingredients but rather gluten-free brown-rice macaroni and cheesy sauce with butternut squash. The green beans also feel fresh, firm, and  real, not like the rubbery, just-popped-from-a-can type.

Zingy Buffalo Chicken

Calories: 470

Carbs: 15g

Total fat: 28g

Protein: 40g

I love any buffalo-covered food, especially chicken. The chicken is tender and juicy, but I was a bit disappointed in the lack of flavor. I don’t like when things are too spicy, but I found the buffalo sauce on this dish to be underwhelming.

However, the side is amazing. I fully  thought I was eating mashed potatoes -- but it turns out that the dish is actually made from cauliflower! It’s topped with turkey bacon bits and cheddar cheese and tastes like it was made just minutes ago.

Pulled Pork Al Pastor

Calories: 650

Carbs: 75g

Total fat: 30g

Protein: 28g

Al pastor is a great dish in general, and Freshly’s competes with restaurants and home cooking. What made it not as great for my tastebuds was its sweetness; there were  too many pineapple chunks on top, which I found to be overwhelming.

The rice was cooked perfectly, which is impressive considering it had probably been about a week since it was cooked. This was also one of the higher calorie meals.

Keto-Friendly Chicken Bowl

Calories: 340

Carbs: 13g

Total fat: 18g

Protein: 30g

While many find healthy food to be less than mouthwatering, I’d definitely eat this healthy meal again. As a huge pesto fan, I was happy to discover it as a prominent flavor in this dish. The chicken pieces are tender and the cauliflower rice isa nice addition. The best part is that this is high in protein and low in calories. The serving size is also perfect—I didn’t feel too full after eating it, but it still provided energy for the day.

K-Town Pork and Purple Sticky Rice

Calories: 590

Carbs: 53g

Total fat: 33g

Protein: 21g

Like the rice in the al pastor dish, this purple sticky purple rice was the perfect consistency. The chicken was savory and juicy, with a hint of sweetness. My favorite part may have been the broccoli and carrots, as they tasted like they came from a good Asian take-out spot.

Herbed Paleo Pork Chop

Calories: 490

Carbs: 29g

Total fat: 30g

Protein: 28g

I’m a fan of the FreshlyFit meals after trying two dishes. I’m not typically someone to order pork, but this was delicious and the garlic-and-shallot pan sauce was a nice topping. The vegetable mix was nutty and even had a little spice. Freshly also found a way to make mashed cauliflower craveable with this side. If you’re on a paleo diet, this one’s for you.

Final Thoughts

While eating Freshly every day could get pricey (about $100 for 12 meals) compared to buying groceries from the store, the time you save and the quality of the food could certainly make it worth the cost. I saw this ad on Instagram that sums it up pretty well:

Freshly probably isn’t the best for a small family, but if you’re living on your own, feeling overwhelmed by a busy schedule, and are somewhat health conscious, Freshly is a fantastic option. Not to mention—it really is like having your own personal chef for every meal. Once I start living on my own, a Freshly subscription will be among the first things I’m going to purchase.

5 More Reasons to Love Freshly

  1. Made for most diets: Freshly makes food for a wide variety of preferences and always has a gluten- and peanut-free menu.
  2. The food doesn’t last long—it’s actually fresh: Freshly recommends eating your meals within 3-5 days of receiving them, or putting them in the freezer to extend their shelf life.
  3. For the whole company: If you work in an office or manage a team, Freshly for Business is a great alternative to catering or delivery apps. You can set up an account and order specific meals for your co-workers.
  4. Hassle-free subscription: You set your ideal frequency and Freshly will deliver food every week. You can also skip or cancel any time.
  5. Savings for students: If you’re in school, Freshly will give you $80 off your first five orders.

Eat like someone who has a personal chef (without the high price tag): try Freshly today.

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