This Purple Carrot review will go through our experience as a customer, all the way from their ordering process to tasting their delicious food.
If you're looking for vegan meals or even just more vegetarian options for dinners, you'll want to listen up.
This plant-based delivery service has got the goods, and for less per week than you probably spend shopping and cooking on your own.
All About Purple Carrot
Purple Carrot is a plant-based meal kit service that focuses on simple, approachable, wholesome meals.
You can choose between different serving sizes and the number of meals you need per week, then they pack it all up into perfectly portioned kits along with easy to follow recipes to give you the best chance of success come dinnertime.
You can even add lunch, breakfast, and snacks as needed to really lighten up your workload when needed.
Is Purple Carrot the Best Vegan Meal Delivery Service?
They're colorful, creative, and delicious, but they don't typically require any great cooking skill, so they're very doable for any level cook.
While their food is vegan, they do have meal options with more protein and no gluten as well as other options, should you need them.
It's a very well-rounded service, so let's take a deeper dive to see if they'd be a good fit for you.
Different Type of Ordering Process
Of all aspects of the Purple Carrot service, I'd have to say their ordering process was the most frustrating point, and probably the aspect that they have the most opportunity to improve.
Thankfully it's quite simple to set up your account, which is a good first impression.
But when you go back to choose your meals after paying for your first box, that's when things get a little drawn out.
There's a survey before you can choose your meals.
I'm sure this is quite helpful if you're not sure what you should choose and you want help figuring out what's best for you.
For me, I knew exactly what types of meals I was looking for, so it was annoying. I think the survey would be best approached as optional instead of required.
That being said, once you get into the section to choose your meals, the setup is quite efficient.
With dinners at the top and the other add-on choices below, you can see all of your choices at a glance (or with a quick scroll down) instead of having to click through multiple pages.
I found the meal selection to be a bit odd in a couple of areas, and there are other aspects I found to be great.
On the odd side, I didn't enjoy the fact that their 2-serving plan has more options than the 4-serving plan; not only that but it doesn't even state that anywhere on the website, so you wouldn't even know if you didn't look at both.
Also frustrating was the fact that half of the items were sold out.
I'm not sure if this ‘sell-out' method is regular, or due to inventory issues created by the COVID-19 pandemic, so I'm mentioning it, but I'm not making it out to be a large factor here.
These two factors combined to create a frustrating situation, though.
When looking at my options, I only had 4 options for dinners and one was sold out, for lunch I had only 2 options and one was sold out, and the same case for breakfast options.
That being said, of the options I did have, I did appreciate the fact that they have a good balance of different types of meals.
Even looking ahead to the following weeks, it looks like they tend to do that well.
For example, they sometimes offer meat substitutes such as tofu, seitan, and tempeh, but not overwhelmingly so.
This factor I appreciated very much as a non-vegan who just wants to eat a little more plant-based in general, and I'm sure even strict vegans would appreciate the variance.
On a much more positive note, I absolutely love the fact that they even offer lunch, breakfast, and snack options!
If you're ordering a meal kit to begin with, you're probably too busy with too much to do and not enough time in which to do it, so dinner isn't most likely your only problem area.
Having options to help with other meal periods earns huge bonus points in my opinion.
Their meals are divided into 4 types, of which you can request a plan containing just that type or mix and match.
They aren't all dietary types, but then again the service is already vegan, and already eliminates many common dietary accommodation needs anyways.
The four types include quick & easy, high-protein, gluten-free, and chef's choice.
Personally, this feature really stuck out to me because one of the first thoughts I had, when we decided to try a vegan meal service, was about whether I'd have enough protein in my meals (I'm a fitness buff and need high-protein meals).
I also know that many vegans are also gluten-free, so this option probably appeals to many people who probably have a hard time finding meal kits that actually meet their needs.
The only serving sizes they currently offer are for 2 or 4 servings.
The 2-serving plan is said to be perfect for singles and small families and includes 3 meals, so a total of 6 servings.
The 4-serving plan is said to be great for families and meal preppers.
For this plan, you're given the option of 2 or 3 meals.
I was also quite enthusiastic about the fact that you can add-on a meal if needed without changing your plan.
Too many meal kits such as this are not flexible enough when it comes to add-ons, and it's something I frequently use as a consumer, so I was pretty happy with that feature.
For example, you can add on a breakfast one week, a lunch another, and a couple of snacks sometimes, without any commitment to a higher plan.
Fully Recyclable Packaging
I noticed right away when looking at the box that it says on the side that the entire box is 100% curbside recyclable.
This is a big factor for me personally, and it's important to a lot of consumers that companies like Purple Carrot and other meal kits make an effort to limit their use of plastics and offer recyclable packaging.
The insulation is safe to touch and fully recyclable, which is awesome.
The ice packs are even non-toxic. You can reuse them if you'd like, or you can cut a hole in the plastic, drain out the liquid and recycle the rest.
Meal kits have gotten somewhat of a bad reputation for their overuse of plastic packaging, so this recyclable mindset is refreshing to see.
Delicious AND Creative?
Plant-based meals and vegetarian options sometimes have a reputation for being not as exciting as recipes containing meat and cheese, however, Purple Carrot's meals are quite creative and definitely delicious.
My husband and I are in no way vegans, first of all.
We eat pretty clean compared to the average person, but we're not on the vegan level.
I'm also a former chef and avid foodie, so I really enjoy services that provide a healthy dose of creativity with their meals besides the same boring salads and wraps.
Wow, did Purple Carrot deliver!
Our dinners were their creamy tomato bisque and chickpea courgette (sort of like a stew), both of which were phenomenal.
The bisque, for example, was bright, flavorful, and had a great texture. I never would've guessed it was vegan had I not known that it didn't have a single drop of dairy in it, and we both took down every single bite.
The quinoa and roasted cauliflower garnish was a great touch as well, and that small dose of creativity took the dish over the top both in terms of taste and its nutrient profile (quinoa also added more of that protein I was looking for).
Easy to Follow Recipe Instructions
Having tried many meal kit delivery services, this is a pet peeve of mine.
Many meal delivery service companies will input 4 or 5 tasks into each recipe ‘step,' then say it only has 6 steps altogether, which is annoying and causes cooking delays because you need to constantly reread it to make sure you get it right.
I was SO relieved to see that isn't the case at all with Purple Carrot.
Their recipes are easy to follow, simple, and concise.
I didn't have to constantly re-read each section several times to make sure I didn't forget anything.
Considering we have 2 young children, it's important for dinner recipes to be easy to follow such as these (you never know when you'll have to break up a fight or heal an injury in the middle of sauteing the onions or roasting the cauliflower), so I very much appreciated this aspect.
Accurate Time Estimates!
As an extension of the previous section, I was surprised and pleased to discover that Purple Carrot recipes (at least the ones we tried) actually give an accurate time estimate.
I credit this to the fact that their recipes are concise and easy to follow.
Without having to re-read recipe steps and remind yourself of which part you're at, the recipes flow a lot better and take less time to make than with a more complicated one.
Fresh, Sustainable Ingredients
I always scrutinize the ingredients when I receive a meal delivery, so Purple Carrot is no exception.
Their ingredients were definitely impressive for the most part, and this is most definitely not always the case with every meal delivery company out there.
The produce all held up very well, with the exception of some bruised basil, but that's pretty understandable as basil is one of the most fragile ingredients in existence and frequently breaks down a bit in transit.
It still tasted great, so even that was a non-issue.
Many of the ingredients were organic, which was appreciated, and the others looked to be of high quality, such as the fire-roasted tomatoes and coconut milk (no additives or preservatives).
Not Too Expensive…High Value?
The prices for both plans are very reasonable, with meals costing $11.99 for the 2-serving plan and $9.99 for the 4-serving plan.
This basic cost is comparable to other meal kit delivery services, but these plant-based meals have seriously high value to boot.
As many other Purple Carrot reviews can attest to, this is a very worthwhile service.
Whether you're a strict vegan struggling for inspiration and/or time, or simply someone like me just looking to incorporate a few more plant-based meals into their lifestyle, Purple Carrot can help you achieve your goals.
To get fresh, sustainable, sometimes organic ingredients along with easy recipes and perfectly portioned ingredients for that low of a price is pretty awesome.
Good Customer Service
Purple Carrot's customer service options are pretty easy to find, which is a plus.
No one wants to have issues contacting customer service when they're already having other issues.
Their FAQ section is pretty good, so many issues could be solved with self-service by using that.
You can even skip a week or cancel your plan all on your own within your account portal on their website.
If you do end up needing assistance, they have options for email or chat support with a 1-2 day response estimate (this may be typically shorter but extended at the moment due to COVID-19 restrictions).
After our review, we did reach out to their customer service team via email and did receive a response within less than 24 hours.
What We Liked
I absolutely love this service overall!
The aspects that really stand out to me though, include the following:
- Ability to add breakfast, snack, and lunch options as needed
- Creative plant-based recipes that aren't boring at all (quite the opposite, in fact!)
- Recipe booklet that includes more recipes beyond what's included in that week's kit
- Easy-to-follow recipes that I can make easily & quickly while entertaining toddlers
See our Purple Carrot Review in video format on YouTube for additional details about the service.
What We Didn't Like
As is the case with most meal delivery services, there were some aspects of Purple Carrot that I could do without.
Thankfully, nothing was egregious enough to cause me to not want to order again, but if we're being honest these factors were a bit of a let-down:
- Not much variety, compounded by the fact that half of the options were sold out
- Meals are pretty high in carbohydrates and low in protein (even the higher protein meals aren't very high)
- Snacks don't seem to change from week to week
- Meal type preferences (quick & easy, gluten-free, etc.) are only available for the 2-serving plan