My Plated box

A couple of weeks ago, I got the chance to try out Plated. (If you click that link, you will get two meals free with an automatic coupon code. It also gives me “credit” for referring you, which makes it an affiliate link of sorts.)

Plated recipes

Plated recipe cards

I’d heard about Plated, but I wasn’t sure if it was worth it for us. When I got an opportunity to try it for a lot less than regular retail price, I jumped at the chance. I chose two recipes: Chinese Chicken Salad and Swordfish with Mango Salsa. I placed the order over the weekend, and everything arrived by Wednesday afternoon.

The idea behind Plated is that you choose recipes, and then receive almost everything that you need to cook the recipe yourself. Standard pantry items (salt, pepper, common oils) are on you, as are cooking utensils. Fresh ingredients and more unusual items, such as sesame oil, arrive with your Plated box. You also get a full color recipe card with a picture of the finished dish on one side and detailed instructions (with pictures) on the other side.

When you look through the menu choices, there are options for vegetarian and gluten-free meals. I love that, because there are times when I want vegetarian recipes, but I don’t want to go through the hassle of finding a recipe, finding the ingredients, and storing them all. And gluten-free can be a completely different headache altogether. It’s nice knowing you can just hit that filter, and those recipes are all either vegetarian or gluten-free.

Plated box

Unpacking the box

Everything arrived in a large box that had an insulated cooler insert inside, along with two large ice packs. The meats seemed to have weathered the trip well, as did the mango, the orange, and some of the other items. The herbs seemed a smidge on the wilty side, but I chalked that up to the trip. I put everything in the fridge right away.

The next day, I decided to make the Chinese Chicken Salad for lunch. Hubby isn’t a fan of “yard bird,” and he’s not much into salads, either, really. So it made sense for me to try out the recipe for lunch.

One thing that I really liked about the ingredients is that they are packaged pretty much together for each recipe. Most of the chicken salad ingredients were in a bag, and every single item was labeled, so there wasn’t any guessing about whether something was cilantro or parsley or something else entirely.

The time estimate on the recipe was fairly accurate, although I wish that sometimes these folks would pad the time a little bit. The time is usually accurate for folks who cook all the time and do not need to stop and check the recipe 53 times to make sure they’re doing everything correctly. Cooking times were accurate, though.

The flavors were great, and I actually managed to end up with a plate that looked awfully close to the picture. I’m planning on cooking the swordfish in a couple of days, so I’ll be interested in seeing if the experience is the same.

Plated Chinese Chicken Salad

The finished dish and the recipe card

Overall, I really enjoyed my experience with Plated, but I’m on the fence about whether or not to order again. They have a fantastic selection of recipes, and there’s a lot of flexibility in your delivery date. I’m just not sure yet how to factor it in to our regular menus. One option may be to use Plated menus for weekend meals, since Saturday is one of the delivery days. Then, the meal ingredients are incredibly fresh and you wouldn’t have to plan a menu for the weekend.

Chinese Chicken Salad from Plated

Chinese Chicken Salad from Plated

Honestly, it all depends on a lot of different factors, but I love that this option is available. If I were single, this would probably replace grocery shopping for me entirely. The ingredients come to your door, and there’s minimal prep. For the two of us, there seems to be more juggling to fit it in to the menu, and I still have to brave the grocery store.

Again, if you’d like to give Plated a try for yourself, keep in mind that you can get two free meals if you use the link I’ve provided here.

Note: I did not receive any compensation for either ordering the box or for posting a review. These are all my own opinions, and I just decided to be mouthy and share them. There is an affiliate link of sorts, though, but I warned you about that.