Thistle can be right for so many people for so many reasons; there’s no denying that. They serve a great variety of not just meals but also snack options. You can add your choice of meat to all meals for boosting your protein intake. So, you don’t necessarily have to be on a plant-based diet to choose Thistle. However, for meat lovers, it’s a superb way to consume more veggies!
But Thistle has its drawbacks as well, such as its relatively more expensive price per meal and its lack of lower-calorie dishes. This is when you need to have options in the form of Thistle alternatives.
So first, let’s find out what’s so great about Thistle and get to know some of the best alternatives in case you’re not convinced!
Meal prep is probably the last thing on your mind at the end of a long and busy week. But for eating healthy and clean, it seems as though meal planning and nutrition tracking are prerequisites, right?
Thistle, a fully plant-based meal delivery service, offers ready-to-serve meals that are both nutritious and delicious to eat. Their menu is personalized by expert nutritionists and chefs, including not just main meals but breakfasts, juices, salads, and soups.
Offering two separate menus for the West Coast and East Coast, Thistle provides a well-organized breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert eating routine for every day of the week. You will receive a new recipe daily, made from all plants and no processed ingredients.
The meals are fully prepared and cooked, taking less than 5 minutes to unpack and eat. It’s especially suited to people looking for more plant-forward flavors with little to no heating required. Simply build your plan, add any add-ons like juices or sides, and place your first order.
The meals are packed in transparent BPA-free plastic containers that you can recycle after emptying. Thistle encourages customers to upscale their plastic packaging, using them as plant potters, pen stands, pantry storage containers, etc.
Wet ingredients like soups, stews, or curries are dishwasher-safe and microwave-friendly. The smaller packaging used for storing dressings, sauces, or toppings is compostable, which you can either use to compost on your own or drop them at a local composting facility.
How Much Does Thistle Cost?
The meal plans start from $11.50 per meal, and if you order more meals per week, you can pay as low as $42 per week. Select the meals you want, and Thistle displays the price per serving for each meal based on the number of meals you add.
The shipping fee may vary depending on the zip code you enter.
- Diverse menu with nutritious meals.
- All meals are free of gluten, dairy, and eggs.
- Tons of great meal recipes for vegans.
- Locally sourced and organic ingredients.
- Great for weight loss and calorie-deficit diets.
- Healthy juices, wellness shots, and snacks are included.
- Packaging is minimal with plenty of recyclable insulation.
- Restricted to only a few areas in the USA.
- Not an allergy-friendly service.
- Fixed meal plans for the week.
- The portion size may be small for some people.
What’s the Thistle Menu Like?
The entire Thistle menu is gluten-free, dairy-free, and plant-based. The variety of meals includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, snacks, and juices. The menu is location-based with two different options: the East Coast menu and the West Coast menu.
When you order a meal box for the first time, you have to order a preset plan which includes 6 meals per week. You can opt for more meals as per your preferences and spruce up your plan by selecting add-ons like wellness shots, juices, soups, and salads.
After entering your zip code, you will be shown a whole week’s menu including breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert from Monday to Saturday – 6 days of the week. You can even view the current week’s and next week’s menu.
Thistle does offer a limited delivery area in the USA. That is why entering your zip code is so important. It lists out all your delivery options so you can make an informed decision about the delivery frequency and value.
On their current week’s menu, Thistle offers the following recipes:
- Chocolate Covered Strawberry Overnight Oats
- Passion Fruit Colada Smoothie with Toasted Coconut
- Sprouted Brown Rice Pudding with Cardamom
- Miso Squash Bowl
- Waldorf Salad
- Banh Mi Salad Bowl
- Lemon Pea Pesto Pasta
- Jamaican Jerk Bowl
- Pineapple Fried Rice
- 24 Carrot Gold Muffin
- Reishi-Chocolate Chunk Cookie Dough Balls
- Fig & Hazelnut Bar
Furthermore, Thistle uses organic ingredients in all their plant-based meals, including snacks, desserts, and juices. You can read the nutrient facts and ingredients list of each recipe before signing up. Some meals are vegan for a more restrictive, plant-based diet.
Overall, the meals are very diet-friendly and health-conscious. The caloric value of most meals falls between 350 and 600 calories per meal. They are a good substitute for highly processed meals, especially when you want to eat more plants in the form of salads, healthy bowls, soups, and more.
Thistle Alternative #1 – Snap Kitchen
Snap Kitchen is a Texas-based meal delivery service that not only delivers fresh meals to your doorstep but is also available in stores across Dallas, Austin, and Houston via Whole Foods Market.
So, unless you live in these areas, Snap Kitchen is the ideal choice for you because they serve fresh, ready-to-eat meals that can be customized by diet, allergens, calorie count, and protein type.
The “snap” in Snap Kitchen refers to how quickly they deliver the meals on time and how easy the meals are to serve. The meals are freshly cooked and packed, not frozen, allowing you to store the meals either in the freezer for weeks or in the refrigerator for days.
Snap Kitchen is an excellent choice for people on a weight loss or a calorie-deficit diet. If you’re also limiting how much you eat every day, by controlling the portion size, Snap Kitchen is for you.
Select your meal plan by adding 6 or 12 meals per week. Their menu changes often and boasts over 30 different types of meal recipes. It’s a good blend of light and heavy meals that suit a variety of meal preferences and dietary needs.
Apart from the minor drawback of delivering only to restricted areas in the USA, everything else about this gourmet meal delivery service is incredible.
They pack their meals efficiently using insulation, ice packs, cardboard liners, and correct food labels. The BPA-free meal containers are stacked one on top of the other and can be stored that way too after unpacking. On the plus side, the single-serve containers are microwave-friendly to speed up the heating process.
Snap Kitchen Price
Snap Kitchen lets you pick from 6 or 12 meals per week. If you want to add up to 18 or more meals to your order, you will have to place more than one order at a time. It’s easy to manage multiple orders without haste.
Here’s what you pay per 6 and 12 meals for their single-serve meals:
- For 6 meals – $75.99 per week ($12.67 per serving)
- For 12 meals – $125.99 per week ($10.50 per serving)
Snap Kitchen Pros and Cons
- Good for portion control and weight loss.
- High protein and low calories per meal.
- No preservatives, antibiotics, artificial ingredients, etc.
- Wholesome and delicious gluten-free meals.
- Meals heat up in less than 3 minutes.
- Affordable price per serving.
- Allergens are mentioned for each meal.
- Shipping is free.
- Not the best choice for families.
- Not for a vegan diet.
- Limited delivery location.
Snap Kitchen Menu Variety and Options
Right off the bat, the first thing you’ll find out about Snap Kitchen is that they serve gluten-free meals designed by both dieticians and chefs. Next, the meals are free from any preservatives, additives, artificial sweeteners, antibiotics, and hormones.
Through their physical Snap Stores or Whole Foods Market stores, you can quickly pick up the meals you prefer every week or have Snap Kitchen deliver the meals to your doorstep.
Each of their meals comes with proper labels including allergy information, ingredients list, macro breakdown, and heating instructions. The meals are a blend of healthy proteins including animal-based protein and some vegetarian options.
They offer other dietary preferences, such as low-carb meals, soy-free, keto, paleo, whole30, and high protein. You can choose from different cuisines such as Mediterranean, Indian, Asian, and Mexican, and classic American dishes.
What Thistle is for vegans and vegetarians, Snap Kitchen is for people who eat meat but still would prefer some vegetarian options in every order. If you’re strictly a vegan or vegetarian, Snap Kitchen may not be the ideal fit for you.
Thistle Alternative #2 – Green Chef
Green Chef is for people who want to try their hand at cooking effortlessly. It’s for those who don’t want to do the complex prep work involved but want to keep the cooking process simple and approached. It offers a variety of interesting meal kits that are healthy.
Green Chef is a certified organic meal kit delivery service. They offer 7 distinct meal plans:
- Protein Packed
- Fast & Fit
Each meal kit option consists of 2 servings minimum, and you can order anywhere from 6 to 24 meals per order.
Another incredible feature is that you can view the menus for the upcoming weeks, which allows you to plan your meals way ahead of time. You can view all this before signing up. Each meal kit recipe is equipped with proper nutritional facts, an ingredients list, cooking instructions, and estimated cooking time.
Green Chef, in comparison to Thistle, is more widespread as it delivers across the continental USA, excluding Alaska, Hawaii, and Louisiana. If you live in Louisiana, some areas may be available to you – just enter your zip code to quickly find out.
Most of the prep work necessary to prepare a Green Chef meal is already done. The ingredients are preportioned and packed. All that is required of you is to unpack the ingredients and follow the cooking instructions.
Meal order tracking and delivery frequency are accessible and consistent. You don’t have to unpack all the meal boxes right away. Simply transfer each meal kit package to a refrigerator and take one out as and when you need to.
The packaging is organized neatly and in good condition. Ice packs, insulation, liners, etc. occupy some room inside every cardboard box to keep the meal kits cold and fresh during transit. Wet ingredients, including meat, are packed individually to avoid accidents. Plus, all the recipes are color-coded to make the unpacking and cooking process smoother.
Green Chef Price
Green Chef’s meal plans range from $12 to $13.49 per serving, depending on the selected plan and the number of meals and servings per week. While the pricing may be slightly higher compared to other meal kit delivery services, the extra cost is because of the use of organic, ethically sourced ingredients.
Boxes are delivered Monday through Saturday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. local time, and Green Chef ships to all states in the USA, except Alaska, Hawaii, and parts of Louisiana.
Green Chef Pros and Cons
- All their ingredients are certified organic.
- Lots of gluten-free and paleo options.
- Nutrition facts and guidance for each meal kit.
- You can pick between 5 different meal plans.
- Quick, pre-prepped ingredients.
- Balanced calories and more proteins in every meal.
- No antibiotics, preservatives, or GMO ingredients.
- Costs more per serving than other meal kits.
- Basic cooking skills are required.
Green Chef Menu Variety and Options
Green Chef is a total game-changer for beginners to try their hand at cooking delicious and USDA-certified organic meals. Green Chef caters to a variety of meal plans across different dietary preferences and lifestyles.
When comparing Green Chef and Thistle, it’s essential to consider your preferences and priorities. If you enjoy the process of cooking and want more control over your meal preparation, Green Chef’s meal kits may be a better fit. However, if you’re looking for a quicker, ready-to-eat option that still prioritizes health and sustainability, Thistle may be the right choice for you.
If you’re considering trying Green Chef, take advantage of their current promotions and discounts to make the most of your organic meal delivery experience.
With their diverse meal plans, easy-to-follow recipes, and commitment to sustainability, Green Chef is a fantastic option for both beginners and experienced home cooks looking to simplify their meal planning and preparation while enjoying delicious, wholesome meals.
Offering a diverse menu of meal plans catering to different needs, their plans include the following:
- Vegetarian – Plant-based and meatless recipes that focus on more plant protein and fewer carbs.
- Keto + Paleo– Low-carb, high-protein recipes that are free of gluten, grains, soy, and legumes.
- Mediterranean – Mediterranean meals that are nutrient-packed and delicious. People who prefer to eat more whole foods than processed ingredients will appreciate their Mediterranean plan.
- Fast & Fit – The goal is to incorporate more low-calorie recipes that can be prepared in 30 minutes or less.
- Vegan – Plant-based recipes featuring delicious vegetables, grains, and proteins.
- Gluten-Free – These recipes are prepared without gluten, ideal for people with gluten sensitivity or mild allergies. Plus, some of the recipes do not contain soy.
Thistle Alternative #3 – CookUnity
A subscription-based meal delivery service, CookUnity features healthy meals, global cuisines, local specialties, and seasonal dishes. The portion size options include 4, 6, 8, 12, and 16 servings. The meals arrive with fresh, high-quality ingredients and chilled in ice. A point to be noted here is that these are not frozen meals but rather freshly, fully prepared meals.
Selecting meals from the CookUnity menu is the best part because of the inclusion of various filters, such as vegan, low-calorie, gluten-free, and other diet plans. Every meal comes with its own heating instructions, which include the quick-heat option and the chef’s recommendation.
CookUnity meals are utterly delicious; it’s like restaurant-style meals but much healthier. It’s certainly a premade meal delivery service you have to try if you want some really creative dishes or if you have specific dietary preferences and/or restrictions.
Let’s just say that CookUnity is not the most affordable food delivery service, nor is it the most expensive. It’s somewhere in the middle where what matters more is that you’re getting highly nourishing meals (already prepared) with fresh ingredients.
|4 meals per week||$12.69 per serving|
|6 meals per week||$11.39 per serving|
|8 meals per week||$10.89 per serving|
|12 meals per week||$10.49 per serving|
|16 meals per week||$10.39 per serving|
As the meals per week increase, the cost per serving of the meal decreases. So, just 4 weekly meals from the CookUnity menu have the highest price per serving, while the 16-meal plan has the lowest cost per serving.
Also, the CookUnity shipping cost is zero, that is, free shipping!
CookUnity Pros and Cons
- Quick-to-prepare premade meals.
- The menu is designed by big-name chefs.
- A good variety of filters for dietary preferences.
- Diverse menu and tasty flavors.
- Detailed macros and nutrition information.
- Inconsistent portions of food
- Limited delivery locations
- Only single-serve meals, thus not for families
- No meal customization
CookUnity Menu Variety and Options
The CookUnity menu is a combination of dishes (both plant- and meat-based) from the East Coast, West Coast, Texas, and Midwest. There are different professional chefs from each region. Now that’s something that’s bound to create a unique, diverse menu. These are all talented, award-winning chefs by the way!
On the CookUnity menu, you’ll find not only entrees but also breakfasts, cold-pressed juices, and sweet treats. Everything is already made for you, so you only have to do the heating bit. Speaking of which, you get oven-friendly packaging (another huge benefit along with the simple, clear, and quick heating instructions).
As for dietary preferences, the CookUnity menu accommodates those really well. Common allergens are properly listed, which works if you have even the slightest allergies to ingredients like gluten, nuts, dairy, etc.
The weekly rotating menu features over 30 options suitable for plant-based, low-calorie, diabetic-friendly, paleo, keto, and dairy-free lifestyles –add to that low-fat and low-sodium levels and also vitamin-rich superfoods!
Seasonal and organic produce is used whenever possible. Many of the ingredients are sourced by the local chefs themselves, sometimes from their own gardens. You instantly know that CookUnity meals are top-notch quality because of the wide range of flavors that appeals to the senses just like restaurant-grade food.
Thistle Alternative #4 – Veestro
Just because it’s a plant-based meal delivery service doesn’t mean Veestro doesn’t offer variety. They also have an extremely helpful weight loss meal plan subscription. 10, 20, or 30 meals once in 2 weeks – that could be an option for you. These weight-loss meals are designed in such a way that your calorie count won’t exceed 1,200 calories per day.
Veestro meals are not only plant-based but also gluten-free, dairy-free, and organic (with non-GMO ingredients and no preservatives either). Whatever meals you choose, they’re freshly prepared and then frozen.
Signing up and ordering on Veestro is very straightforward. As for one-time orders, there’s the convenient à la carte experience too. But you should think about subscribing because of the 5% discount.
At Veestro, there are no pre-set meal plans. Instead, you can select anywhere between 8 and 15 meals based on your needs and preferences. It’s this particular à la carte option that’s unique in Veestro, which is quite refreshing since most meal delivery companies require a subscription.
Veestro’s vegan meals are surprisingly very flavorful. This really works for plant-based eaters who don’t want to get tired and bored of eating bland, repetitive dishes week after week. Veestro is perfect for both vegans and vegetarians looking to incorporate more delicious and healthier meals into their weekly diet.
|Number of Meals||Cost Per Serving||Total Cost|
|10 meals (subscription)||$12.82 per serving||$128.25 (shipping included)|
|10 meals (à la carte)||$14.25 per serving||$142.50 + shipping|
|20 meals (subscription)||$11.93 per serving||$238.50 (shipping included)|
|20 meals (à la carte)||$13.25 per serving||$265 + shipping|
|30 meals (subscription)||$11.03 per serving||$330.75 (shipping included)|
|30 meals (à la carte)||$12.25 per serving||$367.50 + shipping|
Veestro Pros and Cons
- Vegan premade meals that you can order à la carte.
- Offers lunch/dinner and breakfast options.
- Easy, quick prep, and extensive menu.
- Multiple diet filters.
- Freshest, organic ingredients in every meal.
- Weight loss and gluten-free meal plans available.
- Only single-serve meals.
- Meal customization is missing.
Veestro Menu Variety and Options
The Veestro menu is quite large and also equipped with easy filtering. By large, it means more than 50 options, which includes lunch, dinner, and breakfast, and every option is filling and flavorful. You add your choice of plant-based meals to your cart, just like regular meals. Basically, fill the cart till the selected plan size is reached and then you check out.
Along the way, you can filter the options in case you have any specific dietary needs, nutrition preferences, or food restrictions, for example, high protein, kosher, nut-free, gluten-free, etc. – there’s no shortage of menu filters for this very purpose.
There is one complaint though – you cannot customize Veestro meals, plus there are no add-ons. But the good part about this is that it keeps the selection process simple. Also, the large menu compensates for both the lack of meal customization and add-ons.
About the all-vegan menu, it provides you with a very appetizing variety – from pizzas and pastas to Middle-Eastern delicacies and fajitas. All of the meals are frozen and available in a single-serve portion size only.
Why Choose These Alternatives Over Thistle?
For saving money per serving:Snap Kitchen offers an incredible variety of prepared meals. Theirs is a more pocket-friendly meal subscription plan starting from $10.50 per serving. There’s a slight price margin, but you end up saving a lot if you order more meals.
For organic ingredients:Green Chef is one of the first USDA-certified organic meal kit companies. They are committed to using high-quality, ethically sourced ingredients and collaborating with eco-friendly farmers. Their sustainability also extends to their packaging, using recyclable, reusable, and compostable materials.
For special chef-curated meals: In the case of CookUnity, you pay slightly more for the menu variety offered by their award-winning chefs. Unlike standard meals, these chef-crafted dishes come from all over the world; the global cuisines included are Thai, Japanese, Mexican, Indian, South American, Moroccan, and more.
For meal selection flexibility: What’s really amazing about Veestro is its à la carte meal selection. It’s an entirely separate plan that you can choose to decide the number and type of meals you want instead of settling for a pre-decided plan size and menu – all vegan (frozen) meals with vegan, organic ingredients!
Health Benefits of Subscribing to a Meal Delivery Service
A meal delivery service can do wonders for your health and quality of life by saving you time (no grocery store visits!), providing nutritious meals, and reducing stress.
First and foremost, a meal kit service takes the hassle out of meal planning and grocery shopping, freeing up hours every week! This extra time can be spent on hobbies, exercise, or simply relaxing.
Research shows that taking time for yourself and avoiding chronic stress are vital for both physical and mental well-being.
Secondly, meal kits ensure you have healthy, balanced meals at home. They provide recipes and preportioned ingredients (so no food waste) specifically designed by nutritionists. This means healthy food with no more excessive calories from eating out or oversized restaurant portions.
You’ll get the right amount of lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables in every meal. Over time, this can lead to weight loss, more energy, and a lower risk of diet-related diseases.
Finally, cooking from a meal kit is less stressful than starting from scratch. There’s no need to browse countless recipes or make a long grocery list. Everything you need arrives at your doorstep with simple instructions.
This reduced mental burden translates to lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, helping your brain and body stay in better shape.
In summary, a meal delivery service can dramatically improve your quality of life by saving you time, providing nutritious recipes, and reducing stress around meals and cooking. The health benefits, from weight management to better sleep, can start adding up quickly.
So, if you’re looking for an easy way to eat better and live healthier, signing up for meal kits may be a great first step.
Thistle falls short when it comes to offering a broader range of plant-based meals and even high-protein meals. Luckily, there are enough Thistle alternatives that you can pick for a better meal delivery service experience. Now this doesn’t mean that Thistle is a bad option; it’s just that some people would rather choose another company for another set of benefits.
Those on a plant-based diet for healthy eating will still not need to be convinced to go for Thistle. But if you have preferences like high protein, low calorie, and greater menu and meal diversity, you could be better off with Snap Kitchen, Green Chef, CookUnity, or Veestro.