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Between commuting to work, spending time with family or friends, going to the gym, and getting a solid night of sleep, finding time to meal plan, grocery shop, and cook balanced meals may seem nearly impossible.
Ready-to-eat meal delivery services such as Fresh N Lean aim to reduce stress by delivering nutritious precooked meals right to your doorstep.
Fresh N Lean specializes in chef-cooked, organically sourced meals that are suitable for a variety of dietary needs.
Before you press the subscribe button, you may be wondering whether this service is worth the monthly cost.
This article provides all the details you need to know about Fresh N Lean, as well as our hands-on review of the service, to help you decide whether it’s right for you.
Fresh N Lean is a meal delivery service that was founded in 2010 and is currently located in Anaheim, California.
It specializes in freshly prepared, ready-to-eat, single-serving meals that can be stored in the refrigerator and quickly reheated in the microwave when you want to eat them.
Meals are delivered weekly, and you can choose to receive either 5 or 7 days’ worth of meals at a time. You can also select the number of meals you want per day.
Fresh N Lean stands out from many other prepared meal delivery services because it prioritizes higher quality ingredients, including organic produce, grass-fed beef, free-range poultry, and sustainable seafood. Additionally, everything on the menu is gluten-free.
The sign-up process
To sign up for Fresh N Lean, you’ll first need to decide if you want to choose a specific meal plan or if you prefer the Meal Prep option — an a la carte experience that allows you to mix and match meals, bulk foods, and snacks each week.
Just keep in mind that, regardless of which plan you choose, your order must come to at least $85 per week.
If you select the meal plan option, you’ll be prompted to choose one of seven available plans:
- Protein Plus: high protein meals made for performance athletes
- Keto: meals that are less than 15% carbohydrate
- Paleo: meals that contain grass-fed beef, follow paleo diet rules, and are less than 22% carbohydrates
- Vegan: plant-based meals that are free from animal products
- Low-Carb Vegan: vegan meals that are less than 28% carbohydrates
- Whole30: meals that are approved for the Whole30 diet
- Mediterranean: meals that follow the Mediterranean diet and are rich in healthy fats and high in fiber
Note that each meal is a single serving.
Whether you select a meal plan or the a la carte option, you’ll need to choose the number of meals you’d like to receive each week.
You can select any combination of breakfasts, lunches, and dinners. You’ll also be able to decide whether you want 5 or 7 days’ worth of meals each week.
Each Fresh N Lean meal consists of a single serving. While the company doesn’t offer family plans, you can add bulk food options to your order to create meals large enough to serve more than one person.
The meal selection window is open every Wednesday evening through Friday at midnight Pacific Time.
During this window, you can choose the meals you would like from your meal plan, along with any a la carte choices, to be delivered the following week. If you miss this window, you’ll receive preselected meals from the plan.
Meals are delivered fully prepared. All you have to do when you’re ready to eat one is poke a few holes in the plastic wrap for ventilation and microwave the meal for 2–3 minutes, or until heated through.
Delivery is available throughout the United States. However, orders must be shipped to a residence and cannot be shipped to P.O. boxes.
Boxes are shipped weekly on Fridays with a guaranteed Saturday delivery. For an additional fee, you can change your delivery day by contacting the company’s customer service team.
You can also choose to skip up to 2 weeks at a time or change your delivery frequency to every 2, 3, or even 4 weeks.
Meals arrive in insulated cardboard boxes with ice packs to ensure proper temperatures.
Once the meals arrive, place them in your refrigerator within 24 hours. According to the company, Fresh N Lean meals should be eaten within 7–10 days. For longer storage, you can freeze them for 6–8 weeks.
To change your delivery frequency, skip weeks, or cancel your account, you can simply call the company’s customer service team.
Fresh N Lean offers seven meal plans that cater to various diet patterns: Protein Plus (71% protein), Keto, Paleo, Mediterranean, Whole30, Vegan, and Low-Carb Vegan.
While none of the meal plans are designed specifically for people with conditions such as diabetes or kidney disease, there are plenty of meals to choose from that could fit into these specialty diets.
Fresh N Lean accommodates some food allergies but not all. When signing up, you can select up to three food allergens, including sesame, tree nut, and soy. However, because all meals are produced in the same facility, there is a risk of cross contamination.
Fresh N Lean meals are suitable for people who follow a gluten-free diet — all meals are gluten-free and produced in a gluten-free facility.
Fresh N Lean stands out from many other prepared meal delivery services in three key ways:
- Specialty menus: Offering seven plans designed to suit specific dietary needs, the service makes it easy to adhere to these dietary patterns. Additionally, every item is gluten-free and produced in a gluten-free facility.
- Availability: Fresh N Lean is available to residences throughout the United States.
- Ingredient quality: The company prioritizes sourcing high quality ingredients, including mostly organic produce, grass-fed beef, free-range poultry, and sustainable seafood.
According to the company, all of its wild-caught seafood is certified by the Marine Stewardship Council, and the farm-raised seafood it uses is certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, an organization that ensures socially and environmentally responsible seafood production and sourcing.
Fresh N Lean meals start at $9.99 each, though the final cost depends on the meal plan you select, the number of meals you receive each week, and whether you add snacks or bulk options to your order.
The cost per meal is highest if you order just one meal per day and lowest if you order three meals per day.
Keep in mind that there’s an $85 minimum order requirement, regardless of which and how many items you purchase.
Shipping is free throughout the United States.
Editor here! I’ve tried more than 25 meal delivery services, including several prepared meal delivery services. As Fresh N Lean advertises itself as “The #1 Prepared Meal Delivery Service,” I was excited to put it to the test.
Recipe selection and delivery
Because the company agreed to send me a press box, I wasn’t able to select my meals. Instead, I received a mix of options from different meal plans.
With that said, after spending some time clicking around on the website, I did find it intuitive to use and could see it being easy to find meals that fit your dietary needs.
However, the number of options each week is a bit more limited than some other services on the market — unless you choose the a la carte option.
My meals arrived on time and in good condition.
Ingredient quality and packaging
I appreciated that most of the packaging materials were recyclable or compostable. In fact, the only item that wasn’t was the gel filling inside the ice pack.
The meals themselves were compactly packaged and easy to stack in my fridge without taking up too much room. And, as noted earlier, they all arrived in good condition — no pierced film, dented trays, or strange odors.
I received the following meals:
- Spinach and Cauliflower Enchilada with Salsa Verde (Vegan menu)
- Cilantro Mint Salmon with Turmeric Spiced Cauliflower and Almonds (Paleo menu)
- BBQ Chicken Sausage Meatloaf (Mediterranean menu)
- Shrimp and Chicken Sausage with Mushrooms (Keto menu)
- Romesco Quinoa with Tofu and Roasted Kabocha (Vegan menu)
The company also sent me a bag of its Butter Cups to try.
Cooking and eating
As advertised, the meals were very easy to reheat. All the meals were piping hot after just 3 minutes in the microwave. However, I did struggle to remove the plastic film on top after heating them.
While some customers complain about the portion sizes, I found them to be just right: I definitely didn’t have leftovers, but I wasn’t left hungry either.
In terms of texture, all but one of the meals were pleasant: I didn’t experience overly soggy vegetables, the fish was tender, and the tofu had a good firmness. The shrimp dish was the outlier, as the shrimp was a bit too rubbery.
In terms of flavor, I found some of the meals, especially the two vegan ones, to be bland and underseasoned. I ended up adding salt, hot sauce, and other seasonings to both of them.
In contrast, the BBQ Chicken Sausage Meatloaf and the chicken sausage in the shrimp dish were both too heavily seasoned for my taste, and I found it hard to get the taste out of my mouth for the rest of the day.
The Cilantro Mint Salmon dish was the one exception, as I found the vegetables to be tasty, and the sauce helped balance out the fishiness of the salmon.
Overall, while there’s no doubt that the meals tasted fresh and had good textures, I didn’t love the flavors of most of the meals I tried.
Would I try it again?
Personally, no. Especially as I don’t follow a special dietary pattern, I didn’t like the taste of the meals enough to justify the cost.
Plus, there are other prepared meal delivery services that I’ve tried and enjoyed more.
With that said, the company has many rave reviews. Even if I didn’t love the dishes, that doesn’t mean they won’t appeal to others.
Fresh N Lean could be worth trying if you’re following a special diet and don’t want to spend time or energy on meal planning, shopping, and preparing every meal.
Because the meals are single-serving, the service is geared toward single people or those looking for easy lunches to take to work.
While McGrane didn’t love the flavors of the meals, she noted that the quality of the ingredients and the convenience that the service offers may still make it worth trying for some individuals — especially those who don’t mind adding seasonings or condiments.
Still, Fresh N Lean may not be a good fit for some people, including families and those on a budget.
It’s also not a great fit if you’re hoping to improve your culinary skills, since the meals are already prepared.
Fresh N Lean was founded in 2010 and is located in Anaheim, California. It has a Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating of A+ and is BBB accredited. We could not find any lawsuits involving the company.
Customers rave about the quality of the food, the value it has added to their lives, and the responsiveness and care of customer service.
Most complaints relate to the lack of delivery day options and the small portion sizes.
There are several prepared meal delivery services to choose from.
Here is a quick look at how Fresh N Lean compares with three of its main competitors — Factor, Freshly, and Trifecta Nutrition:
Who owns Fresh N Lean?
Founder and CEO Laureen Asseo owns Fresh N Lean. She started the company in 2010 as a solo project out of her apartment. At time of publish, the company has 225 employees who have helped deliver more than 7 million meals.
Are Fresh N Lean meals fully cooked?
Yes. The meals are prepared fresh by chefs, packaged, and shipped to your home. The only “cooking” required is reheating the meals in the microwave.
Can I freeze my Fresh N Lean meals?
Yes. According to the company, Fresh N Lean meals can be frozen for 6–8 weeks. The company recommends thawing the meals in the refrigerator and microwave as directed.
Fresh N Lean provides freshly prepared meals made with high quality ingredients. It offers seven meal plans to choose from, including keto, paleo, vegan, and Mediterranean options.
While it is more expensive than planning and cooking your own meals, Fresh N Lean may be worth the cost if you’re short on time and want help following a special diet.
However, if you’re cooking for a family or looking to brush up on your culinary skills, a meal kit delivery service, such as Home Chef or HelloFresh, might be a better fit.