Even since I stopped eating meat in 2019, I’ve wanted to try the Purple Carrot meal kit delivery service and then review it. Finally, finally, I got around to it.
As a blogger I was able to reach out to Purple Carrot and ask for a free box. So this review is based on a meal kit that I received but did not pay for. TL;DR–everything was so delicious that, after the holidays, I’ll definitely be signing up so we can use Purple Carrot more in our meal prep.
What is Purple Carrot?
Purple Carrot is a meal kit and meal delivery service that provides all plant-based options. When you sign up for Purple Carrot, you are signing up for one of two options it offers:
- Purple Carrot meal kit
- Prepared meals from Purple Carrot
Purple Carrot meal kit
If you decide to sign up for the Purple Carrot meal kit, here are the steps you can expect to go through. One, you’ll customize your plan size for that week. You’ll choose how many people you’ll be serving–that’s two or four.
Then, you’ll choose how many dinners you want. Your choices are three or four dinners.
Finally, select which plan works best for you. And, you’ll get a $20 discount on your first week.
Choose your Purple Carrot meal kits to cook
Purple Carrot changes up the menu of meal kit options each week. You’ll receive the Purple Carrot recipe booklet with your raw ingredients.
While writing this Purple Carrot meal kit review, there were eight options for the Purple Carrot menu for the week. That’s a huge selection.
Here is just a small sample of those options
- Kimchi Quesadillas with Sweet Potato Fries and Sour Cream*
- Agedashi Style Tofu with Soba Noodles and Snow Peas
- Italian Butter Bean Stew with Crispy Sausage* and Parmesan Kale
Purple Carrot meal delivery
With regards to the Purple Carrot meal delivery, the company refers to it as prepared meals. Unlike the meal kits that you cook for yourself, the premade meals just have to be heated.
Also, they’re not really designed for a family. That is, you’re not choosing between two and four servings. It’s just a serving for one.
However, you can order way more options for a week’s worth of dinners. With the meal kits, the most you can order is four dinners. With the prepared meal delivery from Purple Carrot, you can choose up to 10 meals.
Similar to the meal kits, you’ll get $20 off your first week’s order.
Purple carrot meal delivery menu
Also like the Purple Carrot meal kits, you’ll be able to preview your premade meals. And choose which ones you’d like.
With 10 possible dinners to order, I’m not surprised that the menu for the prepared meal delivery is more extensive. That is, during the week I was writing this Purple Carrot review, there are 15 choices. They ranged from a Creamy Mac N Cheese to a Cauliflower Walnut Chili to a Chickpea Pineapple Curry.
Questions about Purple Carrot
I know readers have lots of questions about Purple Carrot. So I’ve attempted to answer as many as possible here.
Is Purple Carrot vegan?
You’ll notice that there is an asterisk after some of the menu items I’ve mentioned, above. That’s because I wanted to point out that each of these items–the sour cream or the “sausage”–are all plant based and vegan.
For example, in one of my meal kits, I was supposed to make an aioli sauce. So, if you know anything about aioli, it involves mayonnaise.
Mayo is made from eggs–not so vegan. However, Purple Carrot didn’t send me mayo–they sent me something called Vegenaise.
FYI, you can buy vegan mayonnaise through Thrive Market. Sign up for Thrive Market and save 25% on your first order. Plus, you’ll get a free gift for subscribing.
Is Purple Carrot organic
For the most part, yes. When paying attention to labels while cooking, I did notice that everything said it was organic. Or, at least the prepacked stuff was, such as the salad that came with the Cauliflower Shawarma meal I made.
However, here is the word on organics, directly from Purple Carrot:
“We work with a variety of farmers and vendors across the country and strive to provide a consistent experience in each box. Most of our non-produce items are organic (Ex: beans, nut milks, tofu, tempeh, vegan cheeses and yogurts, etc.) but due to constraints with sourcing, shipping locations, and our desire to provide unique ingredients and recipes, we are sometimes limited in our options for organic (and non-GMO) products.”
Is Purple Carrot healthy?
I hesitated in answering this question, because defining healthy depends on who you are and what’s important to you. For example, do you define healthy as being low calorie or low carb?
Well, then you might not consider Purple Carrot the healthiest from a carb or calorie perspective. But that’s not fair to Purple Carrot.
Calories and carbs
For example, most meals ranged between about 500 to 700 calories per serving. Most were closer to 500 than 700 calories. In my opinion, that’s not very high in calories at all.
As far as carbs, well, when you’re not eating dairy, eggs or meat, you’re eating carbs. So from a keto point of view, a plant-based meal kit or prepared meal delivery service may not be the best for you. However, one of the specialized menu options you can choose is high protein.
Pros of Purple Carrot Menu
Now that I’ve addressed common questions, here is my takeaway from cooking with Purple Carrot this past week. For starters, one of the elements of the Purple Carrot menu that I really appreciate is this: when choosing your week’s worth of meals, you can click through on the website. Then, you’ll be able to see all of the ingredients that will be sent with your meal kit.
I love this, because you can identify ingredients you don’t like. Or, in my case, that you might have an allergy to.
Purple Carrot does a good job pointing out allergens
For example, I’ve recently developed an allergy to peppers. Not dried pepper or black pepper. But, fresh peppers of any sort leave me reaching for my EpiPen.
So, when my meal kit one night was for the Cauliflower Shawarma, I discovered that the harissa paste that came with it was actually a red pepper spread. Needless to say we did not use the paste as instructed. Nonetheless, the meal was delicious without it.
My pepper allergy aside, Purple Carrot does a good job identifying possible allergens in every single menu item. So if you have a nut, soy or wheat allergy, you’ll know ahead of time which meals to choose and which ones to avoid.
Purple Carrot recipe book
Each box comes with the Purple Carrot recipe book. It shows you how to make each of the meals in that week’s box.
This book or booklet also includes a recipe you can make on your own, outside of Purple Carrot. For example, the book I received had a butternut squash soup on the back page. I’m planning on making it this week with ingredients I’ll get from the grocery store.
I could see myself hanging on to this recipe booklet long after we’ve eaten everything from our box. Because we did enjoy some delicious dinners I’d like to make again.
Large portions of delicious food
I was pleasantly surprised at how big the portions of food were with our Purple Carrot meals. For example, one of our meals was a Japanese Gnocchi. The dish was supposed to feed two people only, but we had leftovers.
One of the other meals, the Cauliflower Shawarma was overflowing and bountiful. The flatbreads I used to serve this vegan Shawarma were gigantic. I actually couldn’t finish my portion.
In some of my other meal kit review posts, I’d marveled how the menus had my veggie-hating husband gobbling up vegetables. The same thing happened with the Cauliflower Shawarma.
He ate everything and never complained about being asked to eat cauliflower. In fact, he even remarked multiple times how delicious dinner was.
Cons of the Purple Carrot Menu
To be honest there really weren’t many cons with Purple Carrot. Perhaps my only complaint was one of the dishes–the Japanese Gnocchi–was fairly complicated to cook.
If I hadn’t read the cooking instructions from start to finish before starting, I think it would have been even harder. So always read start to finish before you begin cooking.
Limited options for specialized menus
If you’re looking for a specific kind of menu, Purple Carrot can only accommodate those looking for two servings each week. So, let’s say you’re a gluten-free family of four looking to use Purple Carrot for plant-based meals. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to request a gluten-free box for four–only two people.
The other menu preference you can request is high protein, good to know if you’re eating keto-friendly meals. However, like the gluten-free option, it is only available to those who order meal kits for two people, not four.
Purple Carrot vs Sun Basket vs Green Chef
For starters neither Sun Basket nor Green Chef were vegan. So, if eating vegan is important to you, Purple Carrot is your best bet for a meal kit or prepared meals.
As I mentioned earlier I’m not vegan–just vegetarian–but I’m not opposed to eating vegan. And as our Purple Carrot meals proved, they can be delicious and filling.
Organic: yes or no
Now as far as organic goes, I explained that Purple Carrot does its best to provide organic, non-GMO ingredients. However, that’s not always possible.
Sun Basket, on the other hand, is all USDA certified organic ingredients. With Green Chef, which Hello Fresh owns, you will get organic ingredients. But not for everything in your meal kit.
From a taste point of view, I can’t choose a favorite. Each of these meal kit companies offer delicious options.
Meal kit costs and prices
Finally, how do costs compare between Purple Carrot vs Sun Basket vs Green Chef? Here’s an easy breakdown of how much each one costs.
The price for Purple Carrot per servicing averages around $11.99.
With Green Chef, you’re paying about $10 per serving.
And the Sun Basket price is about the same as Green Chef–dinners start at $9.99 per serving.
Purple Carrot coupon code
If you’re interested in signing up for Purple Carrot, here is a coupon code to help you save. Use code CARROT30 to save $30 on your order.
Does Purple Carrot offer a discount for healthcare workers or students?
As far as I can tell, there is no specific discount for those working in the healthcare field or for students. However, you can share a free box with someone you know. This is how it works, according to the Purple Carrot website:
“For every 4 orders that a current subscriber receives, they’ll earn 1 free box to give to a new user! Share A Box free boxes can only be redeemed by first-time users and only one free box can be redeemed per household.
Note: If the free box credit is not redeemed by the recipient within 30 days, the free box will return to the subscriber’s account so it can be re-sent to someone new!”
So, it’s basically a refer-a-friend program. Also, that friend, who redeems their free box, is not required to sign up for a subscription.
Can I buy Purple Carrot prepared meals outside a subscription?
The answer to this question surprised me. I didn’t think that getting these premade, frozen meals was possible outside of a Purple Carrot subscription. I was wrong.
Apparent size difference between subscription and store-bought
To be honest, they are significantly less expensive per serving than ordering from the subscription. However, they’re also much smaller.
With the premade meals in the subscription, you’re getting a meal with two compartments. For example, one week Purple Carrot was offering a Tofu Tikka Masala. One side of the container was rice and the much larger other side contained the main dish.
When looking at similar kinds of prepared, frozen meals at Whole Foods or Target, you’re getting a one-dish container. Honestly, based on the size, they look more like side dishes than main dishes.
Final thoughts on my Purple Carrot Meal Kit Delivery Review
So, would I get Purple Carrot again? Absolutely. I mean, let’s say that you’ve made a New Year’s resolution to try eating in a vegan lifestyle. Signing up for three Purple Carrot dinner meal kits per week would be a convenient way to ease into that new lifestyle.
Again, I’m not vegan, just vegetarian. Also, I live with an omnivore who falls off the pescetarian wagon whenever we go out to a restaurant.
However, he loved everything we got in our Purple Carrot box. So, if he suddenly decided to turn over a vegan leaf, a Purple Carrot subscription would be a great gift for him.
Let me know if you have any additional questions about Purple Carrot. I’m so happy I was able to share this review with you.