Freshly Vs. Frozen Meals- Which is Better?

Minding what we put into our bodies has never been as vital as it is now. With the majority of us spending more time inside compared to the past, not only are we burning fewer calories, but we’re more likely to resort to quick and easy restaurant meals or TV dinners bought from the supermarket, overspending the time to cook. 

With many meal kit delivery services- like Blue Apron or Home Chef – you can save time on meal planning and grocery shopping. We get it, but what if we were to tell you it was possible to get the convenience of pre-made frozen meals with the benefits of eating a fresh and healthy meal that feels like a home-cooked meal? With Freshly, that’s very much an option on the table. 

Unlike other meal kits, Freshly doesn’t send a box of pre-portioned ingredients. They send already cooked meals, made from fresh quality ingredients.

To create this frozen meals vs. Freshly review, we have researched for you and tried out the Freshly meal plan, comparing it to the conventional pre-made frozen dinner meals so that we can give you a first-person report.

Read more about Freshly is our Full Freshly review

How Does Freshly Works?

When we say that Freshly is healthy and convenient, we really mean it. It’s a prepared meal kit delivery service, meaning everything from planning and balancing the meal to cooking them – it is all done for you. All you have to do is choose your meal plan, choose your meals out of the many options, and heat the meals in the microwave when you want to eat. 

Freshly’s meal service is focused on eating healthy and delicious food! First, all the meals are 100% gluten-free. Second, the meals are designed to be low on carbs and relatively high on healthy protein choices. Lastly, the meals contain no reservations, much less processed foods, and less added sugar than most supermarket frozen foods.

With Freshly, You get to pick what meals you want with your meal plan, all of which are cooked fresh in one of the company’s massive kitchens in either Arizona, New Jersey, or Maryland. 

Your meals get delivered out to you all on one day of your choosing every week, and all you have to do is heat them. You can refrigerate or freeze the meals for convenience, too.

Summing all of that up, Freshly works based on three points of contact:

  • Pick your plan – You can decide what pre-made meals you want, as well as how many meals you get each week- 4,6,10,12 
  • Your fresh delivery – The meals get shipped out to you every week on your day of choice in a chilled packaging box that stays cool at your door for 12 hours. 
  • Heat, eat and repeat – Heat your meals for three minutes in the microwave whenever you’re in the mood for something quick. If you’re willing to wait, you can throw them in the oven for a slower but even healthier meal. 
Sausage and Peppers freshly
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Freshly Meal Delivery Service – Main Pros and Cons

There are many specific characteristics that Freshly meals offer over TV dinners that we can bring up:

Pros

  • Freshly offers prepared meal kits that you can heat in an oven, microwave, or even on a stovetop. While you can generally cook your frozen meals in the oven or the microwave, the level of additives and sometimes poor-quality ingredients can sometimes leave you feeling bloated and poor, whereas the Freshly meal kits help you feel good about what you eat, no matter how you heat it. 
  • Speaking of ingredients, everything used in the premade Freshly meals is with quality in mind, and the meals are never frozen unless you’re the one putting it in the freezer. Pre-made frozen TV dinners use whatever is cheapest for the manufacturer but Freshly operates with a different food philosophy – less sugar, less processed food, and more nutrients. Every meal is free from artificial ingredients and processed sugars. 
  • Health is only one part of the equation when it comes to freshly pre-made meals. It’s no good being super healthy if the food doesn’t taste good. Luckily, Freshly covers that, too. All of the company’s chefs are masters of the craft, and each meal has been especially chef-designed to deliver the ultimate balance of flavor and nutrition. 
  • Celiacs rejoice! Every single Freshly meal option is made in kitchens that are 100% gluten-free. We can confirm this, too, as the company is certified by the Gluten Intolerance Group or the GIG. 
  • For the athletes out there, Freshly offers the FreshlyFit service. This is a different ready-to-eat meal plan designed to deliver the perfect number of calories, carbs, fats, and proteins per serving, per meal, every time you sit down to eat. It works the same way as the regular Freshly service, except all of the meals, are designed for those on restricted diets. 
  • Some of you might want an easy meal subscription, with meals that involve NO cooking whatsoever. In contrast, others might enjoy cooking, meaning they don’t wish Freshly to completely replace their grocery store escapades. Being one or the other doesn’t mean you have to miss out, though, as you can skip weeks, cancel your service, or choose how many meals you want to receive in every delivery. It can all be easily done online from the Freshly website or app. 

Cons

  • It can’t all be good, though. Freshly meals are going to cost you a bit more than getting frozen easy meal kits from your local supermarket. The Freshly kitchens’ chefs make sure they source only quality ingredients, something that the team here can attest to, but that produce does come with a higher price tag. If you want to eat fresh and nutrient-dense meals every week for dinner or lunch, you need to be ready to pay more for them. 
  • As for now, the Freshly meal delivery service does not offer any vegetarian nor vegan meal options.
BBQ_PULLED_PORK by Freshly
freshly logo png
Get $125 Off Your First 5 Boxes

Freshly Vs. Frozen TV Meals – Is Freshly Better?

When we compared Freshly to frozen TV dinners we got from the supermarket down the street, the side-by-side comparison was like night and day. 

The ingredients, from the chicken, steak, sauce, and cheese all the way down to the pasta and vegetables, were infinitely better in Freshly’s meals. The veggies and meat in the pre-made frozen food we were looking at were full of preservatives, whereas there were none whatsoever in the Freshly products. 

This alone was enough to sell us on buying Freshly. Still, the fact that the meals get delivered straight to your front door in a box once a week was so comfortable, especially given that we could change how much we wanted and when we wanted them delivered every single week. 

When all of that gets put on top of the fact that Freshly offers meal options that are more than the typical ham, chicken, and turkey frozen TV dinners – it is better becoming a bit of a no-brainer. 

Are Freshly Meals Really Fresh and Healthy?

We feel like we’ve beaten you over the head with it at this point, but yes, Freshly meals are healthy. All the foods, from the steak meat to seafood and cauliflower are kept in the fridge. 

There are no artificial or processed ingredients, everything is kept out of the freezer, and all the meals are prepared in a 100% gluten-free kitchen. It would be difficult for Freshly to get any healthier or fresher. 

Through healthy swaps in the meals – like delicious greek yogurt to reach sauces, hidden vegetables in meatloaves, cauliflower rice-  Freshly make sure that every meal is nutritious and tasteful. The company also uses as many complex carbs, like brown rice pasta or wild & brown rice blends, in the meals.

Freshly every week’s meals are created with dietary guidance to make favorite meals balanced and with new healthful flavors. This way, you can discover and enjoy eating nutritious meals in the comfort of your home, with no cooking required.

If You Decide to Order Freshly Meals, Here is What You Should Know:

There are four different health-conscious meal plans

You have the option of four, six, 10, or 12 meal options per week, so you can have Freshly replaced all of your lunches and dinners, or only some of them, as you wish. The price per meal goes down as you choose more meals to be delivered every week.

Extensive Time-Saving

While we firmly believe that almost anyone can benefit from the health aspect of Freshly, this service is best suited to busy people that don’t have time to cook or don’t like cooking fresh meals for themselves. If you’re always on the go, having three-minute delicious and healthy meals that you can throw into a bowl to scoff down can make a massive difference in your health. You’re going to be ordering far less restaurant takeout like pizza or greasy hamburgers, in any case. You are also promised to spend much less time in the grocery store.

Freshly Has Something for Everyone

The Freshly menu offers 36 changing chef-designed meal options every week! the variety of food items is pretty much endless.

Whether you’re looking to lose weight with a calorie deficit, or you’re trying to eat less gluten, there is going to be a range of meal options that match your desire and taste. This is something that frozen dinners and even some other prepared meal delivery services sorely lack. 

You Can Choose Health-Conscious Meal Options Like:

  • Steak Peppercorn with creamy mashed potatoes, sauteed carrots, and green beans
  • Cauliflower Shell pasta with beef Bolognese sauce
  • Dijon sauce pork chop
  • Homestyle chicken with brown-rice macaroni and a cheese
  • Freestyle Beef Lasagna
  • Swedish-style meatballs with creamy sauce & a side of cauliflower and potatoes mash.
  • Wintery chicken pilaf with butternut gravy and a side of broccoli
  • Bistro-style onion chicken with potatoes mash & Roasted Vegetables
  • Oven-baked chicken with florentine spinach sauce
  • Citrus-orange Chicken and Veggie stir-fry  with basmati rice
  • Chicken tikka masala with vegetable rice
  • Chicken with potato gnocchi dumplings and hearty Veggie mix
  • Rutabaga with Vodka sauce, turkey Meatballs & Sautéd kale and white beans

Eco-Friendly packaging!

Freshly works hard to try and reduce the environmental impact of their packaging.  The delivery box, plastic #5 containers, and cardboard meal sleeves are 100% recyclable. You should also know that many researchers have proven that using a meal delivery service of pre-portioned food often results in less food waste, which is eco-friendly as well.

You Can Freeze the Meals For Longer Shelf Life.

That’s a lot of variety when it comes to Freshly meals, and sometimes you might not be in the mood for whatever meals you have there. Everyone deserves a takeout every once in a while, so Freshly has ensured that every one of its meals is freezable.  Your weekly Freshly meals might not come frozen, but you can put them in the freezer if you want to make them last longer.

The Final Notes

Every one of our team members says that Freshly is one of the best premade healthy meal delivery services they’ve ever seen, and they’ve seen a lot.

The convenience of being able to change the quantity and delivery date of your meals easily is something that you can’t overstated. 

Of course, a meal is only as good as its flavor but Freshly knocks it out of the park here, too. Every single dish is packed with taste thanks to the fresh ingredients that the chefs use in each kitchen. 

If you’re finding yourself ordering more takeout these days, you should consider a Freshly subscription. Our team absolutely loves them, so we’re confident that you’re going to, as well. 

There’s a lot of flexibility and variety on the Freshly menu, so there’s bound to be a range of options to suit your taste.

About the author

Heather Ryan
Staff Writer, TheMealKitComparison Heather is an author and an experienced food blogger. She loves and lives for food and new culinary experiences around the world. She’s been a heavy user for meal deliveries since 2016- if you need to ask something about ANY type of meal delivery- Haether’s here for you!
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