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Avoiding Gluten? These 7 Meal Delivery Services Make It So Easy

Certified holistic nutrition consultant

By Lindsay Boyers

Certified holistic nutrition consultant

Lindsay Boyers is a nutrition consultant specializing in elimination diets, gut health, and food sensitivities. Lindsay earned a degree in food & nutrition from Framingham State University, and she holds a Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting from the American College of Healthcare Sciences.

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September 2, 2022

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As more and more people are looking to ditch gluten, whether for health or personal reasons, many meal delivery companies have stepped up to make things way more convenient. A decade ago, finding delicious, gluten free foods was not an easy task. But these days, you can get gluten-free meal kits and/or prepared meals delivered right to your door–and for way cheaper than you may think.

The best gluten free meal delivery services don’t only eliminate gluten, they also prioritize high-quality ingredients and sustainable sourcing and packaging practices. There’s also enough variety on their menus to keep your palate happy so your gluten-free diet doesn’t feel like a sacrifice.

What is a gluten-free diet?

Celiac disease, an autoimmune reaction to gluten, affects around 1% of the population, but it’s estimated that another 6% have non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), a less severe adverse reaction to gluten. Since gluten reactions can be so non-specific–they can trigger everything from gut issues to migraines–it’s likely that many more people have undiagnosed issues with it.

A gluten-free diet is an eating plan that completely eliminates the protein, which is found in wheat, barley, rye, triticale, and contaminated oats. While there are more obvious sources, like breads and cereals, gluten is often hiding in packaged and processed foods, too. (For example, soy sauce is one unlikely culprit). Because of this, transitioning to a gluten-free diet can be an undertaking.

As such, healthcare providers don’t globally recommend that all individuals restrict gluten, according to Jessica DeLuise, MHS, PA-C, CCMS. However, if you have an allergy, sensitivity, or autoimmune disorder, following a gluten-free diet is essential for managing your symptoms and feeling your best.

“The benefits of doing so would be less gastrointestinal distress, avoiding micronutrient deficiency, and damage to intestinal lining, among other negative consequences of Celiac disease, and less risk of allergic reaction and possible complications,” she says.

How we picked:

Variety

Gluten-free diets don’t have to feel restrictive. We chose meal delivery services with plenty of variety.

Quality

Food quality is vital to getting the proper nutrition, so we highlighted companies that use organic ingredients and/or source ingredients from local suppliers.

Specialized diets tend to cost more, but the price doesn’t have to be exorbitant. These services cap out at $12 per serving.

Availability

Some gluten-free meal delivery services don’t deliver nationwide yet. We prioritized those that do, but will update the list as delivery areas change.

Our picks for the best gluten-free meal delivery of 2022:

Best prepared: Fresh n’ Lean

Fresh n’ Lean

VIEW ON Fresh n’ Lean

Pros:

Organic ingredientsCaters to an array of dietary considerations (on top of staying gluten-free)Entirely gluten-free company (though not certified)

Cons:

Expensive with smaller plansCustomers can’t select exact meals

Dietary Considerations: Gluten-free, Vegan, Low-carb, High-protein, Mediterranean, Keto, Whole30

Meal Type: Fresh entr?e

Max Meals Per Week: 21

Shipping Fee: Free

Price: From $9.75 per serving

Fresh n’ Lean offers eight different meal plans, all of which are completely gluten-free. Each offering caters to a different dietary consideration, whether that’s keto, paleo, vegan, low-carb vegan, high-protein, Whole30, or mediterranean–and new menus drop weekly with more than 100 pre-cooked meals.

The simplest plan only sends dinners your way, but you can also add on breakfasts and lunches to drop the overall price per meal. If you prefer to throw your own meals together, there’s also a bulk option, where you can choose from various pre-cooked proteins and sides like seasoned salmon, bison, and mashed sweet potatoes.

The only caveat of Fresh n’ Lean is that you can’t choose which entr?es are sent your way with the curated meal plans. If you’re a picky eater, opt for an ? la carte order; it gives you full control over your meals with a minimum $85 spend.

Example Meal:

-Tomatillo shrimp fajitas with white rice and black beans

-Southwest turkey chili with roasted cauliflower

Sustainability & Quality: Fresh n’ Lean’s meals are built around locally grown and seasonal produce, which boosts nutrition and contributes to sustainability. Most produce is organic, beef is grass-fed, and fish is sustainably sourced whenever possible. Most of the packaging, including the trays and plastic wrap, is recyclable with the exception of the insulation, which is biodegradable.

Best for weight loss: BistroMD

BistroMD

VIEW ON BIstroMD

Pros:

Crafted by registered dietitians50+ gluten-free optionsBatch test ensures FDA standards of gluten-free (less than 20 ppm)

Cons:

Limited organic ingredientsHigh shipping cost

Dietary Considerations: Gluten-free, Low-fat, Low-sodium, Low-carb, Low-calorie, Keto

Meal Type: Frozen meal

Max Meals Per Week: 20

Shipping Fee: $19.95

Price: From $10.99 per serving

While you can potentially lose weight with any healthy meal delivery service, BistroMD’s meals and menu plans are carefully crafted by registered dietitians to ensure you’re getting maximum nutrition. There are six curated meal plans, including a gluten-free program that has one of the most robust menus of any meal delivery service.

You can pick and choose from over 50 entr?es, plus almost two dozen breakfast options and plenty of health-conscious snacks, like dried chicken breast and honey mustard pretzels. While the company isn’t certified gluten-free, a batch from each meal is tested after cooking to make sure that it meets Federal Drug & Food Administration (FDA) standards of less than 20ppm (percents per million) of gluten before the meal makes it onto the official menu.

Example Meal:

-Blackened chicken with creamy smoked paprika sauce

-Mediterranean quinoa salad

Sustainability & Quality: BistroMD equally values your health and the health of the environment. Ingredients are sourced from local, family-owned farms whenever possible, and animal proteins are free of antibiotics and hormones. All packaging, from cardboard box to the plastic trays (as long as they’re clean), is recyclable.

Best affordable: Freshly

Freshly

VIEW ON Freshly

Pros:

Certified gluten-free kitchensNo processed ingredients

Cons:

Minimal organic ingredientsShorter shelf life

Dietary Considerations: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Peanut-free, Low-carb, Low-calorie, Plant-based

Meal Type: Fresh entr?e

Max Meals Per Week: 12

Shipping Fee: $9.99

Price: From $7.99 per serving

Gluten-free foods often come at a premium cost, but Freshly starts at a reasonable $7.99 per serving. To keep the prices lower, the company doesn’t use all organic ingredients, but the meals are made without artificial ingredients or processed sugars. Although a few Freshly recipes contain gluten, all gluten-free options are made in certified gluten-free kitchens, so you don’t have to worry about cross-contamination.

There are three main meal plans–the signature collection, vegetarian, or calorie-conscious FreshlyFit–but you’re not forced to stick with one menu of offerings. You can mix and match meals from all plans to build a box with up to 12 meals per week. New meals also drop weekly, so you’ll never get bored.

Example Meal:

-Steak peppercorn with saut?ed carrots and French green beans

-Cauliflower shell beef bolognese with Nonna’s soffritto and Italian cheeses

Sustainability & Quality: Because Freshly uses certified gluten-free kitchens, the company is constantly being monitored to ensure safe food practices. While there’s not a big focus on organic or local ingredient sourcing, all of the packaging is recycling, which contributes to the company’s sustainability. Heads up: You may have to drop some items off at a local recycling center if they’re not eligible for curbside pickup.

Best for families: Green Chef

Green Chef

VIEW ON Green Chef

Pros:

Up to six servings per recipeCertified organic

Cons:

Gluten-free meals packaged in the same facility as regular menuOn the pricier side

Dietary Considerations: Gluten-free, Vegan, Vegetarian, Low-calorie, Mediterranean, Keto, Paleo

Meal Type: Meal kit

Max Meals Per Week: 4

Shipping Fee: $9.99

Price: From $9.99 per serving

Green Chef sets itself apart from other meal delivery companies in a few ways. Not only is it a certified organic company, it is also one of the few meal kit services to offer recipes with enough servings for up to six people. As a result, it’s ideal for families or those who just want leftovers for the next day.

Sign up for a dedicated gluten-free plan, which lets you choose from about 14 meals per week. If you have gluten-eating family members, you can also mix and match meals from other meal plans, which include keto and paleo, vegetarian, mediterranean, vegan, and fast and fit. FYI, Green Chef uses the same facility to package all of its meals though, regardless of allergens, so if you have a severe intolerance, it may not be suitable for you.

Example Meal:

-Harissa-spiced sweet potato and mushroom bowls

-Garlic-thyme pork chops

Sustainability & Quality: All produce and eggs in Green Chef’s meals are 100% organic. Proteins aren’t organic, but they’re sourced from farmers and ranchers that are committed to humane treatment of their animals. Green Chef is also a true eco-friendly meal delivery company, offsetting 100% of its carbon footprint from operations and shipping. Most packaging is made from recyclable, compostable, and/or reusable materials, with the exception of some of the plastic wrap on the ready-to-heat meals.

Best frozen: Magic Kitchen

Magic Kitchen

VIEW ON Magic Kitchen

Pros:

Flexible subscription optionsFrozen meals have longer shelf life

Cons:

Limited organic ingredientsHigher cost per servingNot certified gluten-free

Dietary Considerations: Gluten-free, Dairy-free, Vegetarian, Low-fat, Low-sodium, Low-carb, Diabetes-friendly

Meal Type: Frozen meal

Max Meals Per Week: Unlimited

Shipping Fee: Varies

Price: From $12 per serving

Magic Kitchen offers gluten-free, heat-and-eat meals that arrive frozen, which significantly increases their shelf life (and reduces food waste). But don’t mistake frozen for lower quality; as soon as meals are finished cooking, they’re flash frozen to retain flavor and nutrition. The gluten-free menu offers five dozen options, including entr?es, breakfast, desserts, and snacks.

There are several options for ordering. You can browse an ? la carte menu, or sign up for a 3- to 6-month flex subscription that lets you commit to a specific monthly price and fill your box as needed. You can also try out a 15-meal trial kit before committing to a bigger order. Just note that gluten-free meals are not tested and are packaged in the same facility as other meals.

Example Meal:

-Classic short rib (sous vide)

-Cheese omelet and salsa, broccoli, and hash browns

Sustainability & Quality: Magic Kitchen uses organic produce whenever possible; all other ingredients are hormone-, antibiotic-, and pesticide-free. The biggest downfall is that the brand uses non-recyclable packaging, including the coolers. However it recommends repurposing these elements or donate to organization in need of them, like Meals on Wheels.

Best for prepared meals & kit: Sunbasket

Sunbasket

VIEW ON Sunbasket

Pros:

Certified organic companyOffers both prepared meals and meal kits

Cons:

Meals aren’t packed in gluten-free facilityCan’t mix and match meal types

Dietary Considerations: Gluten-free, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Low-carb, Mediterranean

Meal Type: Meal kit, Fresh entr?e

Max Meals Per Week: 5 (meal kits); 10 (prepared meals)

Shipping Fee: $9.99

Price: From $9.99 per serving

Sunbasket is a certified organic company that offers tons of gluten-free variety. Each week, you can choose from about 12 different gluten-free meal kits or 8 prepared meals from the regularly rotating menu. While you can’t mix and match meal types, you can switch it up from week to week. You can also add on breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and various bulk proteins, like organic ground turkey and grass-fed organic NY strip steaks.

One important note: While Sunbasket is careful not to add any gluten-containing ingredients to its gluten-free meals, they are packaged in the same facility as the other meals. Because of that, this meal plan may not be a good fit for anyone with gluten allergies or Celiac disease; it depends on your level of tolerance.

Example Meal:

-Chili-spiced tofu biryani with cauliflower, brown rice, and raisins

-Smokehouse sausage jambalaya

Sustainability & Quality: When preparing meals, chefs aim to include at least 99% USDA-certified organic produce, eggs, milk, and yogurt, sourcing as many ingredients as possible from small, local farms. All packaging is made with recycled materials and is either reusable, compostable, or safe to recycle again.

Best without subscription: Epicured

Epicured

VIEW ON Epicured

Pros:

100% gluten-freeNo subscription required

Cons:

More expensive mealsMenus don’t change weekly

Dietary Considerations: Gluten-free, Low FODMAP, Dairy-free, Egg-free, Fish-free, Soy-free, Treenut-free, Peanut-free, GERD-friendly, Vegan, Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Low-fat, Low-sodium, Low-carb, Low-calorie, High-protein

Meal Type: Fresh entr?e

Max Meals Per Week: Unlimited

Shipping Fee: $10; Free for orders over $100

Price: From $8 per serving

Epicured has a 100% gluten-free menu with rigid safety protocols in place to make sure there’s no cross-contamination. Not only is every ingredient gluten-free (and low-FODMAP), all appliances, equipment, surfaces, and tools are cleaned and sanitized before and after each use. After cleaning, equipment is tested for gluten traces by a registered dietitian who signs off that the food is good to go.

As far as ordering goes, you have the option to choose from curated bundles, or you can build your own box from various entrees, soups, bowls, salads, breakfasts, and snack items. Each meal is freshly prepared by Michelin star chefs and arrives at your door ready to heat.

Example Meal:

-Lasagna alessandra

-Chicken cacciatore with polenta

Sustainability & Quality: Epicured sources organic versions of all produce that’s on the Dirty Dozen list. All other ingredients are non-GMO and locally sourced whenever possible. Meat is the highest quality available, too; beef is grass-fed, poultry is organic, and fish is wild caught. All animal proteins are free of antibiotics and hormones. Most of Epicured’s packaging–including the plastic cups, containers, and lids–are safe for curbside recycling.

How do I know if I have a gluten allergy?

The only surefire way to know if you have a gluten allergy is via clinical testing. You can get a celiac blood panel, which measures antibodies to gluten, or a colonoscopy, which includes an intestinal biopsy to test for the presence of celiac sprue (signs of a gluten allergy in the intestines), according to digestive health dietitian Jenna Volpe, RDN, LD, CLT. “When getting tested for a gluten allergy, it’s important to do this before cutting gluten out of the diet to avoid getting a false negative test result,” she says.

Even if you don’t have a gluten allergy, it’s possible that you have a non-celiac wheat or gluten sensitivity. “In this case, a celiac test will come back negative, but they may still have noticeable reactions when eating wheat or gluten,” says Volpe.

What are the benefits of eating gluten-free?

“The people who benefit most from a gluten-free diet are those with a gluten allergy (celiac disease) or a non-celiac wheat/gluten sensitivity,” says Volpe. She explains that In these cases, eliminating gluten can alleviate digestive symptoms like pain, gas, bloating, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting as well as more widespread symptoms like migraines, acne, eczema, and fatigue.

For others, going gluten free can naturally eliminate a lot of processed foods, also upping your intake of lean proteins and fresh produce in the process.

FAQ

Are there negative side effects of a gluten free diet?

A properly balanced gluten-free diet doesn’t come with any negative side effects, but it can be more restrictive and difficult to follow. Finding a gluten-free meal delivery service that has plenty of variety and delicious meals can help keep you on track (and make life a little easier).

How much do gluten free meal delivery services cost?

The cost of gluten free meal delivery services can vary depending on the food quality and the quantity you order at once. The options on our list start at $7.99 to $12 per serving.

The takeaway.

Following a gluten-free diet doesn’t have to feel like a sacrifice. The best gluten free meal delivery services offer high-quality meals with plenty of variety to keep you happy. Keep in mind that while some of the services on this list are certified gluten-free, others package items in the same kitchen as gluten-containing meals, so they may not be suitable for those with severe allergies or celiac disease. If you don’t have to follow a strict gluten-free diet, but want to limit your intake, you can also check out our favorite keto meal delivery services.

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