Daily Harvest Review: The Popular Vegan Subscription Now Has Meals for Under $5



Pricing

Starting at $8/meal


Type

Pre-made


Regional Availability

95% of continental United States


Number of Meal Options per Week

40+


Menu Options/ Diet Types

Organic, whole fruits and vegetables, dairy-free, gluten-free

Score Breakdown

Taste/results 8/10Value 8/10Recipe variety 8/10Healthiness 10/10

Pros

  • Healthy meals made from high-quality ingredients
  • Takes minutes to prepare meals
  • Pastas (new) were excellent and budget-friendly
  • Great for breakfast and lunch
  • No subscription required

Cons

  • On the expensive side for smoothies and soups
  • Flatbreads were hit or miss
  • Some meals are high in sugar or sodium

Daily Harvest caught a bad break earlier in 2023 when an apparent outbreak of bad tara flour that the company sourced for meals caused customers to become sick. The brand recalled all food made with the obscure flour and hasn’t had any incidences since. With a revamped menu of enticing new recipes and additional meal types, I gave Daily Harvest another spin. The healthy, vegan meal delivery service impressed me in my first trial and it’s only gotten better. Particularly, the addition of hearty gluten-free, dairy-free pasta and rice recipes that are filling, delicious and cost around $5 per serving.  

Daily Harvest’s new pasta dishes alone are enough for us to recommend this service for someone seeking a fix for meals on busy days. Daily Harvest also has loads of other tempting recipes to choose from, including smoothies, soups, grain bowls and power bites making it one of the best plant-based meal delivery services for 2023. 

If you’ve seen Daily Harvest advertised on social media or noticed the boxes of foods lining a friend’s freezer, you may be wondering if Daily Harvest is any good and worth the cost. After two rounds of testing, Daily Harvest vaults to the top of the pack as one of the best vegan, meal delivery services available in 2023. For newbies, Daily Harvest lets you try its food at a deep discount Save $35 off your first order of 24 items with code FRUITVEG

For more, read on and see how Daily Harvest works and what I thought of the service in my full review of the semi-prepared meal delivery service. 

How does Daily Harvest work?

daily harvest box on coffee table daily harvest box on coffee table

Daily Harvest food is full of healthy ingredients and buzzy superfoods. 

David Watsky/CNET

Daily Harvest delivers boxes of preassembled or premade frozen vegan meals, smoothies and snacks to be kept thawed or stored in the freezer until you’re ready to whip them into quick meals and eat. Most Daily Harvest meals take no more than three or four or four minutes to prepare. Smoothies are blended with milk before serving, but everything else needs only be heated, either in a skillet, toaster oven or microwave. 

Prospective customers start by choosing a plan from the company’s website — either nine, 14 or 24 items per shipment — and then build a box, selecting a combination of smoothies, harvest bowls, flatbreads, pasta, grain dishes, soups, breakfast-oriented oat and chia bowls and protein bites. 

daily harvest boxes daily harvest boxes

A selection of meals from our first round of testing.

David Watsky/CNET

Each meal type is priced differently so your total cost will change depending on how many of each type you’ve selected. Daily Harvest is a subscription and you can have meals delivered weekly or monthly. It’s easy to skip a week, pause or cancel with no finicky long-term contracts to sign. 

Ordering

meal filters for dietary needs meal filters for dietary needs

David Watsky/CNET

Ordering is easy and intuitive with all the information for each meal — nutrition, ingredients, culinary inspiration — available before you add to your bag. There are also user reviews and ratings linked to individual Daily Harvest items, which I found helpful. Selections are added and removed every so often, but most items and especially the bestsellers, are always available. 

You can easily filter the options by your dietary needs, including low-sugar meals, keto- and paleo-friendly meals. You can also sort by flavor preferences, so if you don’t like vanilla or sweet potato, for instance, you can filter out meals with those ingredients. 

What Daily Harvest meals are like

daily harvest meals from website daily harvest meals from website

Daily Harvest meals are all vegan and gluten-free.

Screenshot by David Watsky/CNET

In a word, healthy. Daily Harvest smoothies, bowls, flatbreads, and grain bowls all contain loads of healthy superfoods, grains, fruits, vegetables, greens, legumes, berries and nuts. If it’s been a trending health food in the past decade — avocado, acai, kale, turmeric, maca, kabocha squash, reishi — you can likely find them in Daily Harvest creations. 

Daily Harvest food is all vegan and gluten-free, even the pasta dishes. If you prefer dairy-based smoothies, you can add yogurt or dairy milk to the frozen ingredients before blending, instead of nut, soy or oat milk.

peach smoothie on counter peach smoothie on counter

This peach-strawberry smoothie was tasty but not very filling. 

David Watsky/CNET

While Daily Harvest food may technically be frozen meals, they are a big step up from the high-in-sodium, low-in-nutrient frozen dinners of decades past. 

How much does Daily Harvest cost?

The smoothies, bowls, soups and flatbreads are between $5-$10 per meal. You can find a more inexpensive lunch or dinner — especially if you make it yourself from scratch — but this service offers considerable value, especially factoring in that Daily Harvest uses expensive, high-quality and often organic ingredients such as avocado, chia seeds, organic ancient grains and nuts. 

Daily Harvest pricing

Item Harvest bowls Pasta Flatbreads Soups Smoothies Oat and Chia Bowls Bites Lattes
Price $9.79 $9.79 $9.79 $8.49 $6.79 $6.79 $8 for 7 $6 for 2

The best value is in the grain bowls and pasta dishes. The pasta recipes come in bags with two decent portions and cost around $10 each. There are also new family-sized rice dishes that are packaged similarly to the pasta and also cost just under $10. Daily Harvest advertises the rice and grain bags as having four servings, but for me, it was closer to three.

Are Daily Harvest meal kits easy to make?

pan with pasta dish on stove pan with pasta dish on stove

Daily Harvest’s new pasta recipes were all excellent and cost less than $5 per serving.

David Watsky/CNET

Daily Harvest provides several prep and heating methods for all meals. None of the Daily Harvest I made took more than five or six minutes to prepare, except for flatbreads which must be baked for around 20 minutes (or faster in an air fryer).

Some Daily Harvest meals arrive ready to heat while others require one step such as blending frozen smoothie ingredients with yogurt or nut milk. Pasta, rice bowls and grain bowls can be microwaved but I suggest warming them in a skillet for about five minutes. Forager (oat and chia) bowls and protein bites are ready to eat out of the package.

What I made and how I liked it

I tried several meals from all of Daily Harvest’s categories and enjoyed most of them. The Daily Harvest culinary team makes a clear effort to mix up the spice blends, veggie and fruit combinations and grains to keep things interesting. Everything tasted fresh and mostly balanced with nothing ever turning out way too sweet, salty, spicy or bitter. 

Pasta

The biggest surprise came in tasting Daily Harvest pasta recipes, which were added since I last tested the service. I found them excellent, interesting and easy to prepare. Not to mention these meals clock in at under $5 a serving. 

pasta pasta

This gluten-free pasta with spinach, zucchini and white beans in a creamy (but vegan) garlic sauce was a pleasant surprise.

David Watsky/CNET

Gluten-free penne with white beans and spinach pesto: Fresh and light but still perfectly filling. The pesto sauce was terrific.

Tomato basil and portobello bolognese: This hearty pasta made with gluten-free ziti was one of the best things I tried. The already-cooked pasta stayed firm even after several minutes in the pan. 

Pasta with spinach, zucchini and white beans in a creamy garlic sauce: All three pasta dishes I tried were excellent and this was no exception.

Harvest bowls

The harvest grain bowls ($9.79) typically include a base grain such as rice or quinoa, vegetables and mild spice or sauce for flavor. They were filling and mostly tasty.

harvest bowl harvest bowl

This harvest bowl has chunks of avocado which do not taste particularly good when warmed.

David Watsky/CNET

Sweet potato and wild rice hash: Not the most exciting meal but not bad, either. It had chunks of avocado which tasted funny when heated so I picked them out. 

Broccoli and cheez: This classic side dish gets a healthy spin with vegan cheese, sweet potatoes and cauliflower. It’s as quirky as it is delicious.

Cauliflower rice and pesto harvest bowl with cashews, organic spinach and basil: Yes. Pesto on anything and everything for me. This Daily Harvest bowl was zesty, light and flavorful and I could see myself eating this once a week for lunch, at least. 

Brussels sprouts and lime pad Thai with carrots and jalapeno over kelp noodles: This one was solid, albeit very spicy. I like a good amount but I can see this having a bit too much jalapeno for the average eater.

Smoothies

Daily Harvest smoothies ($8.49) are solid and with 30 recipes to pick from, you’re bound to find at least a handful you like. You can blend the frozen ingredients with any milk of your choosing.

smoothie on counter smoothie on counter

Daily Harvest gets a lot of good stuff packed into one smoothie.

David Watsky/CNET

Cold brew, banana and almond butter smoothie: This is similar to a smoothie I make often at home and was excellent, perhaps my favorite smoothie of them all. I mixed it with almond milk, as suggested, and it was like a healthy version of a Starbucks frozen coffee.

Chocolate blueberry smoothie with greens, organic banana and almond butter: I also liked this one a lot. I wasn’t sure how the greens would play with cacao and blueberry, but they mostly faded into the background. It felt as if I’d tricked myself into eating a salad for breakfast.

Vanilla and cacao with chickpeas, apples and coconut cream: I liked but didn’t love this one as much as the first two and quickly decided that perhaps garbanzo beans don’t belong in a smoothie. 

Flatbreads

I thought the flatbreads ($9.79 each) were good but not great. The gluten-free crust is made from cassava flour and never got as crispy as I want a flatbread to be.

daily-harvest-flatbread daily-harvest-flatbread

Tomato and cremini flatbread.

David Watsky/CNET

Tomato and cremini flatbread: This flatbread was like ratatouille but on pizza. While my air fryer oven (use an air fryer for these if you have one) crisped the sides and crust to perfection, the middle was a bit soggy.

Kale and sweet potato flatbread: While I didn’t mind the flavor, I found this flatbread dry and not the best of the bunch. Some grated Parmigiano Reggiano over the top helped.

Tomato basil flatbread with spinach: Classic Italian flavors worked well on this mini pie. 

Portabello and pesto flatbread: Daily Harvest has an excellent pesto sauce so this one was a win for me.

Soup

Soups cost $8.49 each. The 8-ounce servings are big enough for lunch or a light dinner.

soup soup

If you’re trying to eat healthy, green food in your bowl is a good sign.

David Watsky/CNET

Edamame and wild rice green curry: This green curry soup was just the thing on a chilly afternoon.

Lentil and cremini soup: A nice earthy yet light soup with good flavor balance. I liked this soup a lot and would order it again.

Tomato and zucchini minestrone: This simple minestrone could have had more flavor but it wasn’t altogether bad.

Snacks and lattes

Cocoa nib and vanilla protein bites: These snack balls come in packs of seven. They were fine and handy to have around when that bag of cookies starts staring you down around 3 p.m. on a workday.

Daily Harvest lattes: While the ginger and turmeric and coffee and almond lattes weren’t bad, they didn’t quite seem worth it to me. They come as small frozen cubes that you blend with hot milk or nut milk and, for me, were mostly underwhelming.

bowl bowl

Brussels sprouts and lime pad thai.

David Watsky/CNET

What makes Daily Harvest different from other prepared meal delivery services?

Daily Harvest meals are incredibly consistent — probably more so than any other of the prepared meal services I’ve tried — but remain interesting and with meals full of nuanced flavor. It’s probably the healthiest meal delivery service of the lot, using only vegan ingredients and mostly those that are high in nutritional value. Because you prepare them at home (this rarely takes more than five minutes) they have a homemade feel the way some other precooked food delivery services don’t.

Daily Harvest versus the competition

Daily Harvest Splendid Spoon Mosaic Foods
Overview Fully prepared, frozen meals and snacks that require just one step for prep Ready-to-eat plant-based meals and snacks Frozen meals ready in 5 minutes or less
Meal selection • smoothies • chia bowls • oat bowls • forager bowls • soups • flatbreads • harvest bowls • scoops • bites • lattes • smoothies • soups • grain bowls • noodles • wellness shots • veggie bowls • soups • oat bowls
Price $6–$9 per item plans range from $9–$13 per meal $6–$12 per item
Shipping Free Free $8 free shipping for orders over $100
Specialty diets • vegan • vegetarian • dairy-free • gluten-free • vegan • vegetarian • dairy-free • gluten-free • vegan • vegetarian • dairy-free • wheat-free

Who should try Daily Harvest?

If you struggle with finding a quick and healthy breakfast or lunch out in the world and don’t love the idea of making them yourselves, Daily Harvest is a natural fit. Daily Harvest is great for saving time around meals and keeping nutrition goals on track since the food is made from healthy, whole and often organic ingredients. Daily Harvest food is all gluten-free and dairy-free so it’s good for anyone avoiding those foods. 

Who should skip Daily Harvest?

If you’re trying to go high protein or are the carnivorous type, Daily Harvest meals may not be a good pick for you. While a lot of the smoothies and bowls get a protein punch from things like lentils, beans, nuts and kale and most are all chock-full of vitamins and antioxidants, there are no meats, fish or alt-meats to be found.

Some of the savory recipes include spices and other ingredients that might not appeal to younger eaters.

Daily Harvest packaging and environmental friendliness

daily harvest meals daily harvest meals

Daily Harvest meals arrive in recyclable packaging with very little excess plastic waste. 

Daily Harvest

All of the Daily Harvest items are packed in recyclable paper containers with plastic lids, which are not recyclable but very thin. Besides the pasta and rice dishes, which come in plastic bags, everything else is contained in cardboard or paper-based packaging with only minimal plastic, making Daily Harvest one of the more eco-friendly services we tested.

Changing or canceling your Daily Harvest order

You can cancel your order or subscription anytime and at no charge as long as it’s before the cutoff — Sunday, 3 p.m. PT (6 p.m. ET) of the previous week.  

The final verdict 

If your goal is to eat a healthier breakfast and lunch on the regular but suffer a lack of discipline, Daily Harvest is one of the best ways to save yourself from, well, yourself. For healthy meals that take almost no effort to prepare and taste darn good, Daily Harvest offers as good of a value as any service we’ve tried. 

Speaking of value, Daily Harvest has barely raised prices in the few years we’ve been tracking it and recently added family-sized pasta and rice recipes that clock in at $5 a serving, making it one of the most affordable meal delivery services for 2023. 

I appreciated the quality of ingredients and diversity of flavors and I genuinely liked most of what I made, save for some of the snacks and flatbreads. I don’t know that I’d aim to eat these meals daily, as the name suggests, but having a stash on hand for healthy and quick breakfasts or lunches certainly takes the heat off, especially during busy times.  While every smoothie and grain bowl didn’t blow me away, they were all pretty tasty, healthy and incredibly easy to make. 

Daily Harvest lets you try its food for cheap. Save $35 off your first order of 24 items with code FRUITVEG.



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