Blue Apron's New Meal Plans Emphasize Convenience

Even if you love to cook, there are just some nights when shopping for, chopping, stirring, and serving a from-scratch meal is way too much effort. Enter meal kits with their packages of ingredients, along with detailed instructions. They entered the American marketplace in the early 2000s, first with the U.S.'s largest meal kit company (via Bloomberg Second Measure), HelloFresh, starting U.S. deliveries in 2012 (via Vator News) and then with Home Chef, which is the country's second-largest meal kit company, in 2013 (via Supermarket News).

If you've ever taken meal kits for a spin in your own kitchen, then you know that the dishes they create can come together with much less effort and time than a fully homemade dish. Meals from Blue Apron, another popular option in the meal kit category, take between 25 and 35 minutes from start to finish, for example (via CNET). But for meal kit fans who have even less time and effort to spare, the company has just introduced a new line of kits whose ingredients aren't only labeled and organized, they're also pre-portioned and pre-chopped, making cooking and cleanup even faster and easier.

Ready to Cook meals are a breeze

If you've enjoyed meal kit offerings from Blue Apron — such as the company's recent line of specialty summer boxes including recipes for Maine-style lobster rolls and creamy potato salad — but have been looking for recipes that require even less time and kitchen work, then its new Ready to Cook meals might be for you. As announced today in a press release, Blue Apron has introduced a new array of streamlined meal kit dishes, which arrive with pre-portioned and pre-chopped ingredients that simply need to be assembled in an included recyclable aluminum tray, then baked.

The four initial recipe options, available through Blue Apron's website and app starting on Friday, include cheesy tomato gnocchi with Calabrian chile and spinach; chorizo and black bean tacos with jalapeño and Monterey Jack; sweet chili udon and vegetables with coconut chips and sesame seeds; and pesto chicken and orzo with spinach, tomatoes, and ricotta. Requiring no knife work, peeling, or chopping, the meals are especially geared towards busy families who don't want to order takeout but don't have much time to cook, Blue Apron Chief Product Officer Josh Friedman wrote in the press release.

"Our customers' desire for easier meal options on days when time is limited has led us to introduce Ready to Cook recipes," Friedman wrote. "After exploring and testing dozens of options, our culinary team created delicious meals, without compromising on quality of ingredients for convenience."