Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Review: Blue Apron

Reviewer – Jackie Snider 

“In France, it is an age-old tradition for young chefs to wear a Blue Apron while they master the art of cooking.  In America, master chefs such as Julia Child and Thomas Keller have adopted the Blue Apron to symbolize the importance of lifelong learning.  We named our company Blue Apron to remind us that amateur and expert chefs alike can always learn something new.”
There is an abundance of meal delivery subscription boxes. There are various ones that deliver meals that are completely made and just need  to be heated. There are boxes that come with an assortment of spices along with recipes. For me, Blue Apron completely takes the cake on this market! Blue Apron delivers three full recipes along with all of the ingredients needed to make them all by yourself!

I am far from an experienced chef. There are many basic techniques I still stumble around. My husband, Danny, certainly picks up where I lack in the kitchen. There are a few things, such as chicken or even frying an egg, that have been completely deemed his territory. We were quite excited for this box to arrive and get to try it out together!

We were home when the box arrived, however just getting ready to head out. I remembered reading on the website that if you were gone when it arrived it would sustain on your porch for many hours until your return. Even though we were only leaving for an hour, I decided to test that theory. When we returned home, everything in the box was still cold or frozen, respectively.

We are such ‘foodies’ so opening the box was like Christmas! The box itself was huge, and you could feel the cold emanating from it. When the lid was opened we could see that the entire box was lined in a thick, sturdy insulation. We could see that toward the bottom of the box the raw meat was under cardboard, contained with two giant gel ice packs.

The first night it came, I already had meat thawing (for skillet enchiladas) for dinner so we weren’t going to be starting the new recipes until the following day.

Inside the box was also a very friendly welcome letter. In the letter is a small introduction to the meals and a small tip for each, (how to know when the avocado is ripe, how we will learn about different ways to deal with butter, and how to cut the multicolored carrots artistically.)

I just couldn’t believe how much the box contained. The further I dug, the happier I got. There were fresh herbs, fresh produce, small containers of cheese and butter and a small bag that said Knick Knacks. Inside the bag were small items that I assume they didn’t want rolling loose in the box.
Much of the fresh produce in the box was completely foreign to me. I had to look up where a lot of it should be stored. After placing everything that needed refrigerated into the fridge, we decided that we wanted to try the ‘Pan roasted pork tenderloin with brown butter-spaetzle, roasted brussels sprouts & Granny Smith Apples. We left the Pork in the fridge to stay thawed and froze the cod and chicken.

 The next day we pulled out the pork recipe and started to gather all the ingredients.

Honestly, I didn’t know what a shallot was so the pictures on the recipes were really helped. The only thing I was confused about was that the recipes called for specific portions (2 tablespoons butter, a tablespoon apple cider vinegar, etc.) and the ingredients did not have amounts listed on them. I had to assume that what I was given was exactly what I needed. I knew that they would not give me less, but wasn’t sure that they were not more than needed.

The website boasts itself as being designed to be prepared in 35 minutes or less. The first recipe took us roughly an hour. We aren’t the biggest connoisseurs of cooking meals from scratch, so it took us a bit longer to get in the swing of things. There was A LOT of chopping causing prep time to take an awful lot longer than we expected. We ended up having to tag team the shallots, as we both are quite sensitive to the evils of onion fumes.

 I loved how the meat was already cut into the equal portions. I felt like they really did everything they could to make your job as simple as possible!
The meal was great. It wasn’t the most flavorful meal but the textures were rich and heavy and an all around perfect German meal for the cold weather we have been having! My husband even took the opportunity to make a hot batch of Gluhwein (German hot wine) to go along with it.


The Spaetzel was unlike anything we have had before and I’m definitely a fan. This 700-calorie meal got an A+ from us all!

The next night we decided to have the Seared Cod with Kaffir lime butter sauce. I loved all the colors in the meals. I didn’t even know that purple carrots existed!

I took the cod out of the freezer and put into the fridge early in the day but it still didn’t fully thaw which caused it to take a little longer than suggested to cook.

All in all, it took less time than the night before but still was about 10-15 minutes longer than advertised. This also came with Israeli Couscous that was so incredible!

The kaffir lime sauce was very interesting! It’s something I will absolutely be making again for fish.

Another interesting thing in this meal was the Tatsoi. We have never even heard of this vegetable. They were like tiny little baby cabbages that had a natural sour taste. My husband (who is a big fan of sauerkraut) was over the moon for these little gems.

We enjoyed this meal with a nice glass of Moscato and really loved it! This meal was the healthiest of those included and came in at only 575 calories! Despite the smaller-than-used-to portion it was extremely filling!

 The final meal to make was Chicken & Poblano Chilaquiles with escarole & avocado salad.

While the end result was quite tasty, there were many disappointments while making it.  For starters, there wasn’t a shallot for it. Each of the meals calls for a shallot, yet they only provided two.

The lime was bad, but it was only for squeezing over top of the shallot and the avocado, which was also bad, so it wasn’t needed. The avocado was placed into the fridge two days previous as soon as it reached its peak ripeness, as instructed. However when cut into, it was completely brown inside. As I didn’t have any other vegetables I decided to forgo the salad altogether since all that was left was the escarole.
Again though, the end creation was more than tasty and filling all on its own without the salad. It just really stinks to have that much go bad after 4 days of arriving. This meal was 700 calories per serving.

This box was for a 2-person family. We are slightly more than, as there is two adults and a four year old. Not once did we run into an issue of not having enough to feed us all. The only one that didn’t have leftovers was the cod!

They have plan options to include 2,4 or 6 family members, costing $9.99 per person, per meal. Each box includes three meals. In other words the plans will cost roughly $60, $120, or $180. To me, that is about the same as enjoying a decent meal out at a restaurant a couple of times.

You can choose from either a vegetarian meal box, or a box that includes poultry, meat, and fish. It would be nice to see them make a combination box with a mix of the two. Another thing I would love to see is maybe a dessert recipe included.

While the price is a little steep, I will definitely be doing this again in the future. We do tend to budget for eating out so I'd much rather the money go to something like this. It gives you great healthy meals you probably wouldn’t have tried otherwise. It gives you some cooking skills you may not have had before. For my family, it also gave us a quality bonding experience. We don’t tend to cook together, and for that week, we were both in the kitchen, phones off, learning something new.

The beautifully printed recipe cards are definite keepsakes that we will visit again!

Also, the box it came in was perfect for an upcoming eight-hour road trip. We refroze the ice packs, and packed sandwiches and drinks and when we arrived on the other end, the ice was still frozen and any food left was still cold.

I highly recommend this box to absolutely anyone. I can’t wait to do this again with my family.

Blue Apron on Facebook
Blue Apron Website

This post was originally posted at WAHM Review and is being cross posted here by the original author.  I received no monetary compensation for this review, however I was provided with the product for free for purposes of review.  All opinions are my own. Click here see our full disclosure policy.


  1. We have done a few of these recipes again, and they remain winners! I love the new cooking techniques we have adopted!

  2. This is very interesting! I love to cook and consider myself a bit of a gourmet foodie but I had never heard of tatsoi. They look like baby bok choy. I love the packaging on this. Its great that it arrived, intact and still cold out here in the desert. I wonder how it would hold up in the summer? I might have to give this a try. Great job on the review! I love that it got you and Danny together in the kitchen!

  3. The activity aspect is what I loved most. And yes the Tatsoi look like BABY baby bok choy. haha!

  4. Those ingredients look incredibly fresh! My problem in the kitchen is that I am usually tired and don't want to think at the end of the day of something creative or what ingredients I need. This is perfect for days like that! What can be better than ending the day with a lovely meal :)

  5. We don't cook a lot, because I'm not gonna lie. I still don't understand grocery shopping. We've done it once, where i made sure to get specific ingredients that I knew we needed. it took forever. I feel like we need to try this.