Marley Spoon Food Delivery Review

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Marley Spoon Food Delivery Service

Marley Spoon

Marley Spoon

Marley Spoon Box

Figure 1: Marley Spoon Box

Marley Spoon is a food delivery service that is designed around not only teaching a love of cooking but also about making your weekday cooking easy.   Every recipe reflects their love of fresh seasonal ingredients and delicious flavors.  Martha & Marley Spoon claims to be a small business that is sustainable and supports saving time for everything else you want to do in life. They claim to only use grass-fed beef, Berkshire pork, American-caught shrimp, artisanal cheeses, and quality produce.

How does it work?  Martha & Marley Spoon has ten recipes each week.  The user selects two to four meals per week for two to four people.  The recipes are from a diverse list of recipes and they send the recipes of your choice and the fresh, pre-portioned ingredients you need to cook them.  The ingredients arrive at your door organized and ready to prepare for cooking.  You will need to prepare the raw ingredients but they are proportioned for you.  

Marley Spoon Recipe Cards

Figure 2: Marley Spoon Recipe Cards

The food delivery service is based on the recipes of Martha Stewart.  Marley Spoon claims to have over 18,000 recipes from the Martha Stewart archives to draw from and in my experience, there are plenty to choose from.  The menus featured on their site contain dishes that range from classic to creative.  The recipes come printed on cardstock for reuse.  You can enjoy something new and delicious or a classic dish you remember from your childhood any night of the week.  You get to choose the delivery day and the box can be delivered any day Monday through Thursday.  TheThe well insulated and chilled box keeps food fresh when you’re not home as long as you arrive home that evening to put it in the refrigerator.  

I decided to try Marley Spoon after receiving a coupon for a discount on a box of their food.  I had already tried Blue Apron, Sun Basket, and Home Chef prior to Marley Spoon.  I decided to try more of the food delivery services to do a review.   I ordered my first box in August, and I decided to write this article to review my experience.  I have ordered 8 boxes over the last four months.  This article is an honest review of the Marley Spoon meals and delivery.  I have not received any payment from Marley Spoon outside of the discount on my first box that they give every new customer. 

Summary of my review

Quality Of Ingredients
Organization of Ingredients 
Price / Value
Ease of Cooking
Recipe Selection     
Taste / Deliciousness 
Nutrition:
Website
Packaging  
Shipping
Customer Service
Overall Rating

Pros

  1. Simplicity – When learning to cook, it is essential that the recipes come with the food and they are detailed so you can learn to cook.  The recipes are easy to understand and follow as you learn to cook.  These meals come all ready to go and no shopping trips are required. 
  2. Less meal planningYou will be able to reduce planning by letting Marley Spoon do it for you.  
  3. Less shopping – Less shopping is my favorite thing about meal delivery services in general.  I have the meals shipped to me so I can avoid most of the grocery store.  I buy only a few essential items and water.  Out in less than 30 minutes. 
  4. Health and Nutrition of the Recipes –  Marley Spoon uses whole foods with minimal processing.  The recipes do not require added salt so you can use it or not.  
  5. Organized Ingredients – Each meal, except the meat, is in a separate paper bag.  This method is convenient but is not quite as good as the ziplock method of Home Chef.  
  6. Portion control and less food waste – Portion sizes of vegetables and seasoning lead to less waste and better portion control.  Portion control will lead to weight loss if you do not snack between meals.   The recipes are higher in calories on the average than other companies so you may need to further divide portions for weight loss.  
  7. Recipe Variety – The variety is less than Sun Basket but the recipes were more of types of foods I would eat.  Marley Spoon has fewer options for those on a restrictive diet but there are some options.  It would not be my first choice if you are a vegetarian.
  8. Quick to make – Marley Spoon’s recipes are all made in 30 minutes or less.   
  9. Smaller ice packs – The ice packs are a more usable size, and the gel is made of cotton so it is biodegradable.  They are too large for most to reuse.  
  10. Nutritional Information – The nutritional information is readily available online, but it lacks the fiber content. 
  11. Website – Marley Spoon has an easy website to use, but you have to cancel by calling.  There is a mechanism to cancel online and restart online.
  12. Mobile app – Marley Spoon has a mobile app that it is easy to use.  

Cons

  1. Recipe selection is limiting – If your diet is VEGAN, Gluten-free, or low carbohydrate, Marley Spoon is no the service for you.  
  2. High Calorie – It also is rather high in calories so you may need to reduce the portion size to lose weight.   
  3. Portion sizes are small –  If you are trying to lose weight, they might be ideal for some people who are active and require more calories.  I found this ideal for my weight loss plans.   
  4. Cost – The cost per meal is a bit on the higher side, but it is still cheaper than buying the ingredients at the grocery store.    

Packaging: Unboxing Marley Spoon

Marley Spoon Box Contents

Figure 3: Marley Spoon Box Contents

When I opened my first box of Marley Spoon, the most impressive thing was the with insulated packing and the quality of the ingredients.  Marley Spoon is superior to Blue Apron and on par with Home Chef.  I will continue to compare as I order from even more companies.  Marley Spoon is a clear number 2 with Blue Apron and Sun basket pulling up the rear.   A typical box is shown above in Figure 1 with the contents in Figure 3.  

In the box, you will find your recipe cards the top of the box.  The card holding flaps is a nice touch.  The cards are perfectly illustrated and the photos and instructions are clear.  Once you fold back the insulation, you will notice that the ingredients are included in their own paper bag.  Once you remove them, you will find large size ice packs with the meat in the bottom.  The meat is not contained in a ziplock baggie.  I would have preferred this to keep the meat juices off the bags and box.  The meat is kept cold by two layers of ice large packs.  Everything remained nice and cold during shipping as long as you get them on the day of delivery.  Often, the meat remained frozen.  

Marley Spoon Ingredients

Figure 4: Marley Spoon Ingredients

Quality of the Ingredients

The ingredients are delicious, wholesome, and were in good condition with every shipment.  Marley Spoon delivers top-quality produce.  They also include a whole head of garlic so you will have extra left over.  The one problem I have is recipes often need sugar or flour and these are not included.  The vegetables were rarely bruised.  The meat is top quality cuts of meat with minimal gristle and fat (see Figure 3 and 4).  The meat was not contained in a ziplock baggie to prevent liquids from meat from getting all over the box (see Figure 6).  

Organization of the Ingredients

The ingredients are well organized in paper bags (see Figure 3).  The meal and ingredients are separate which avoid getting meat juice on your non-meat ingredients.  I would prefer the meat in zip baggies but their method worked.  

Price / Value

  • For Three meal for 2: $61.50 ($10.25 per serving) for three meals, six total servings with free shipping.

Ease of Cooking

Marley Spoon Recipe Cards with Spoon

Figure 5: Marley Spoon Recipe Cards with Free Spoon

Marley Spoon’s recipes come printed on card stock (see Figure 5).  The recipes provide simple step-by-step instructions on how to make the meals.  The recipes are easy to follow as long as you pay attention to the directions, but there is a slight learning curve if you have never cooked before.  If you are unsure of a certain step, there are YouTube videos to help if you search for them.  Heck, the recipes even contain some helpful photos to guide you along.   

Recipe Selection

Marley Spoon’s are perfect.  I found the recipes enjoyable and had no issue finding 3 recipes most weeks.  

Taste of Recipes

Marley Spoon Meats

Figure 6: Marley Spoon Meats

The recipes are simple and delicious when I could find three that met my tastes.  I really liked the recipes I ordered from Marley Spoon.   

Nutrition

Marley Spoon has done a good job making sure there is a good mix of protein, starches, and vegetables.  There are plenty of options but the calorie content is a little on the high side.  There is not a lot of choices for those on a special diet.  The nutritional information is easily found on the website, but the fiber content is missing.   The recipes typically have 500-1000 calories.  My only beef is the nutritional information for fiber content is hard to find.  

 

Website

The website and app are easy to use and it is easy to cancel or skip meals online.  

Packaging

Overall, the packaging is near perfect.  Like Sun Basket, The ice packs were a bit large to reuse.  The ice packs are approximately 8″ x 12″.  I often disposed of them.  Two insulation pads are folded in a C shape to insulate all six sides of the box and they are completely recyclable.   Unlike Blue Apron, the ingredients did not drift all over the box during shipping.  

Shipping

Out of the 8 weeks that I have received meals, all arrived on time and in good condition.   

Customer Service

In general, customer service was perfect.    

The Bottom Line

Marley Spoon scored 49.5 out of 55 total stars for an averaged of 4.5 stars.  One plus is they sent me a free wooden spoon (see Figure 5).  I will continue to use Marley Spoon.  My only complaint is they are relatively high in calories.  Marley Spoon’s recipes could fit into your weight loss or maintenance plans if you chose wisely of adjusting the portion size. The ingredients are unsurpassed in quality and the packaging is near perfect.   I would recommend Marley Spoon to anyone who loves to cook or wants to learn to cook but you need to be a little adventurous in your food choices.    

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About the Author

ChuckH
I am a family physician who has served in the US Army. In 2016, I found myself overweight, out of shape, and unhealthy, so I made a change to improve my health. This blog is the chronology of my path to better health and what I have learned along the way.

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