Meal kits are a legitimate craze at this point — from Blue Apron to Plated to Hello Fresh, gourmet dinner-to-be boxes are turning households around the country away from take-out, and toward the kitchen.
That includes Nashville, naturally. On the personal front, members of our (Nashville) team have tried a bunch of kits, and we’re fans. But when possible, we also like to lean our buying habits toward local options, and luckily Nashville is home to a vibrant mix of meal-kit companies, offering delicious dinners, week after week.
Here are a few that you can choose from if you like the idea of having ingredients and recipes delivered to your doorstep, but also really like the idea of supporting local providers.
Nashville-area meal delivery companies
Are you vegetarian or vegan? East Nashville-based My Veggie Chef is definitely one to check out. They’re kind of OGs in this mix — the company launched in 2011, well ahead of the broad meal-kit boom. Their kits included frozen, plant-based ingredients, portioned and prepped for cooking. Even if your stove skills are seriously lacking, the recipes are easy enough to nail, and a much tastier alternative to a bag of Bertolli. You sign up for a week of meals (five dishes, four servings each, gluten-free options if you need), and your kits are delivered on Sundays (within 35 miles of downtown Nashville). Weekly price is $80, and recent menus have included pineapple coconut curry with rice, pinto bean casserole with crunchy tortilla chip crust and pasta with cauliflower alfredo sauce. Explore/order on the My Veggie Chef website.
Have locavore leanings and prefer organic? MEEL might be the one for you. Their kits are filled with locally grown organic produce and locally raised, grass-fed meats, and the recipes are globally inspired — Chinese potstickers, Saag Paneer with local greens and the like. With MEEL’s farm-to-front-door philosophy, you’ll get stuff like pasta from Nicoletto’s Pasta Co. (made in East Nashville), Bermuda onions from Centerville’s Beaverdam Creek Farm and more. Monthly subscriptions include two meals a week ($60 a week for two people, $100 for four people). To cut down further on wasted energy, MEEL kits (which, incidentally, are in really cute crates) are hand-delivered throughout town (they recently expanded to Franklin too). Learn more/order on the MEEL website.
A newer addition to the local meal kit landscape, Dinner Belle’s focus is on local/seasonal/organic ingredients. Owner/mom-of-two Laura Axelson also put her mind on ease and speed (her meals can be prepared in 30 minutes of less), plus nixing processed foods and the waste that tends to come with a lot of shipped meal kits, using reusable packaging (Mason jars, Pyrex) to portion/contain meal components. If you like when your local purchases come with an extra side of community spirit, there’s a social-good component to Dinner Belle’s business plan too — for every seven meals sold, one is donated to a new mother who’s come through Nashville’s Hope Clinic program, which helps local women navigate unplanned pregnancy/prevention and related issues, with medical and emotional care. Dishes can range from local blueberry breakfast parfaits to Moroccan chicken stew, and you can order individual meals based on how many people will be dining. Delivery to Nashville and Franklin is free for orders over $60. Info/ordering at the Dinner Belle website.
OK, so this one isn’t actually a meal kit — but if you like the idea of chef-led meal kits being delivered to your door, but don’t actually want to prepare anything… here you go. Green Table’s chef prepares gourmet, fully prepared meals, ready to heat/eat or freeze/save. Menus change on a biweekly basis and are updated on the Green Table website, and you can choose, order and wait by the door on Tuesdays for your already-done dinners. Recent options have included pan-seared salmon with Merlot gastrique, mango and spinach-stuffed pork loin and apple currant-stuffed chicken. It’s not cheap, necessarily — $120 for four two-serving meals/$208 for four four-serving meals — but it’s definitely a lot cheaper than actually going out for all those meals. Info/ordering on the Green Table Nashville website.
Have you tried any of these Nashville meal services? Experiences to share? We’d love to hear about your cooking/eating successes!