Blue Apron Review: 2 Free Meals For Readers!


I’ve seen so many great reviews, celebrities preaching about it on their social media accounts, and success stories with Blue Apron customers and now I understand why. I’ve always been curious on how it works, if the food is fresh, and if it’s really worth the money, so I contimplated on making the purchase. When Blue Apron reached out to me to try their box, I was super excited because it put the contemplating to an end and gave me a verdict! I love the Blue Apron meals and I cannot wait to sign up for my next box.

Blue Apron is giving my first 50 readers 2 FREE MEALS with their first order!


I use a lot of basic ingredients, stuff you’d find in almost anyone’s house. I get comfortable with the same foods and find it hard to venture out, which is why Blue Apron is perfect for me. In the meals I cooked below, you’ll see how the chefs introduce me to so many new ingredients that I’ve never cooked with before, and they taught me how to cook some familiar ingredients differently. I never knew that radishes tasted so good cooked and never heard of celeriac, but I’m already planning new recipes with it as the base! I actually ate mushrooms! You all know how much I hate them and I didn’t even mind that they were in the dish because they tasted so good!

My boyfriend and I are out and about a lot and it makes it hard for us to cook meals when we are together. We don’t have time to plan meals, time to run to the grocery store, and time to actually do the cooking on top of all of that. Blue Apron takes away the hassle of deciding what to make, grocery shopping, and lets you enjoy the fun part, cooking! It’s a great date night idea, or teaching kids how to cook, perfect for bonding with your mom on mother’s day, or for just a regular ole dinner night!

I absolutely love that the ingredients are farm fresh and you don’t have to run to the grocery store for anything, unless you don’t have oil in the house!


If you’re worried that it’ll be too complicated to follow, don’t! It’s almost like having a personal chef in your kitchen with you. You’ll get recipe cards that cover everything you need to do! They explain a little bit about the dish, tell you which ingredients you’ll be using, and the instructions. They also have picture tutorials which are perfect for people like me who need visual directions. If you’re struggling in the cooking department, this may be your key to success!


They sent me their two person plan! It has three meals for two people every week at only $9.99 per meal per person! I spend way more than that grocery shopping or dining out. They also have family plans at $8.47 per person per meal for a family of four. I also can’t believe their shipping is free and send their boxes to almost 80% of the country! (shipping map). A man in a van pulled up Friday morning and dropped off a refrigerated box with all the ingredients inside. I waited about three days before making any of the meals and they all stayed fresh.

Not only do I like to cook, but my mom loves to cook. I knew she’d get a thrill out of helping me make all the meals, trying them out and taking pictures for the post. We also had two of the best taste testers, an Italian man who loves food, my boyfriend Nick, and a Scottish Irish New Yorker, my father! They both aren’t shy about telling you how it is.

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First up on the menu, Laotian Larb Gai with Sticky Rice, Peanuts, and Mint.

Laotian larb gai is a well known dish in Northern Thai cuisine, but I had never heard of it! I haven’t been introduced to many Thai foods, so this box was kind of a blessing. It reminded me of the lettuce wraps at PF Changs, but much healthier.


After you pick out all the ingredients for the recipe, flip the card over and follow the directions! The first step has you prepare your ingredients by washing, defrosting, chopping, zesting, or peeling.


Ingredients: 10 Ounces Ground Chicken, ½ Cup Sushi Rice, 1 Lime, 1 Persian Cucumber, ½ Pound Green Cabbage, 1 Red Onion , 1 Bunch Mint, 2 Tablespoons Golden Mountain Sauce, 1 Tablespoon Coconut Palm Sugar , 1 Serrano Chile Pepper, and ¼ Cup Peanuts.

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1. COOK THE RICE: In a small pot, combine the rice, a big pinch of salt and 1 cup of water; heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, cover and reduce the heat to low. Simmer 15 to 17 minutes, or until the water has been absorbed and the rice is tender. Remove from heat. Fluff the finished rice with a fork.

2. PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS: While the rice cooks, wash and dry the fresh produce. Using a peeler, remove the green rind of the lime, avoiding the white pith; mince the rind to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter the lime. Peel and thinly slice the onion. Thinly slice the cucumber on an angle. Pick the mint leaves off the stems; discard the stems. Cut out and discard the cabbage core; slice the cabbage into 1-inch-wide strips. Roughly chop the peanuts. Cut off and discard the serrano pepper stem; thinly slice the pepper into rounds. (For a milder dish, remove and discard the ribs and seeds of the pepper, then thinly slice.) Wash your hands and cutting board immediately after handling the pepper.

3. COOK THE CHICKEN: In a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one),While the rice continues to cook, in a medium pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of oil on medium-high until hot. Add the ground chicken. Cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 4 to 6 minutes, or until lightly browned and cooked through. Transfer to a bowl and set aside. Wipe out the pan.


4. MAKE THE LARB GAI: In the same pan used to cook the chicken, heat 2 teaspoons of oil on medium-high until hot. Add the onion and as much of the Serrano pepper as you’d like, depending on how spicy you’d like the dish to be. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until softened. Add the lime zest, palm sugar, Golden Mountain sauce, cooked chicken and the juice of 2 lime wedges; season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring constantly, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until thoroughly combined. Remove from heat.


5.PLATE YOUR DISH: Divide the cooked rice and larb gai between 2 plates. Top with the peanuts andmint. Serve with the cabbage and cucumber on the side. Garnish with the remaining lime wedges!

The cooking steps are so simple and quick. This recipe only took about 45 minutes to make, not that time mattered to me, because cooking is meant to be an event. My boyfriend comes from a very Italian family; cooking is sacred to them. Cooking is about spending time with family, tasting all kinds of foods, and making memories. We need to remember to not let busy schedules stand in the way of our lives. I loved cooking these meals with my mom as a way to bond and enjoy the moment.

Preparing the plate and styling the ingredients is so fun and my favorite part! You can use your own creative style instead of making it look just like their image, although theirs is pretty too.


I’ve never cooked with sticky rice before and now I’m a fan. It’s so much better than brown rice and I love the texture of it paired with ground chicken.


Overall this dish was so rich with flavor, citrusy, sweet, and spicy! It was one of the favorites of the three.


With the leftover lime, cucumber and mint, I made an infused water to go with the meal.


This was far from anything I would have ever made or chose from a cook book, and I’m so happy I’ve been introduced because I’m looking forward to making it again.

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The next meal on the menu was the Dukkah-Spiced Salmon with Spring Vegetable & Oyster Mushroom Ragout. 

This recipe taught me so much! It made me a fan of celeriac and taught me a new way of cooking my salmon. It was created by Executive Chef and restaurant owner in San Francisco, Melissa Perello. This is the dish that made mushrooms tolerable for me. This recipe was very earthy, fresh, and powerful.


Ingredients: 2 Skinless Salmon Fillets, 1 Fennel Bulb With Fronds, 1 Stem Green Garlic, 1 Lemon, ½ Pound Celeriac, 1 Tablespoon Pistachios, 2 Tablespoons Crème Fraîche, 1 Bunch Parsley, 5 Ounces Mixed Oyster Mushrooms, 1 Red Onion, 1 Teaspoon Dukkah Salmon Spice Blend (Za’atar, Coarsely Ground Coriander Seeds, Coarsely Ground Fennel Seeds, Coarsely Ground Cumin Seeds, Coarsely Ground Black Sesame Seeds & Fennel Pollen)


1. PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS: Wash and dry the fresh produce. Remove the salmon from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Cut the mushrooms (including the root ends) into bite-sized pieces. Pick off and reserve the fennel fronds. Cut the fennel stems and bulb crosswise into ½-inch-wide pieces. Cut off and discard the root end of the green garlic; thinly slice. Using a peeler, remove the rind of the lemon, avoiding the pith; mince to get 2 teaspoons of zest (or use a zester). Quarter and deseed the lemon. Peel and medium dice the onion and celeriac. Pick the parsley off the stems; discard the stems. Finely chop the pistachios; place in a small bowl with the spice blend.


2. COOK THE MUSHROOMS: In a large pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes, or until browned and crispy; season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer to a large bowl and set aside. Wipe out the pan.

3. COOK THE VEGETABLES: In the same pan used to cook the mushrooms, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the celeriac; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the fennel stems and bulb, green garlic and onion; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened. Stir in the lemon zest. Transfer to the bowl of cooked mushrooms; set aside in a warm place. Rinse and wipe out the pan.

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4. COOK THE SALMON: Pat the salmon fillets dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper on both sides. In the same pan used to cook the vegetables, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned fillets and cook 3 to 5 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked to your desired degree of doneness. Remove from heat.

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5. FINISH THE MUSHROOMS & VEGETABLES: Add the crème fraîche, half the parsley and the juice of 1 lemon wedge to the bowl of cooked mushrooms and vegetables. Stir to thoroughly combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.



In a medium bowl, combine the fennel fronds, remaining parsley and the juice of 1 lemon wedge. Divide the finished mushrooms and vegetables and cooked salmon fillets between 2 plates. Top with the pistachio-spice blend mixture andherb garnish. Serve with the remaining lemon wedges.


For my plate style, I topped the spring vegetable and oyster mushroom ragout with the cooked salmon and sprinkled the spice blend on top with a chunk of lemon and parsley.


The outside of the salmon was so crispy and the inside was so moist; just the way salmon should be! I’ve never actually panfried salmon before: I usually bake or grill it. This was so much quicker!


I loved loved loved the celeriac! It tasted like a potato! Great for those low carb meals!


The flavors in this dish meshed so well together. They were seasonal and complimented the salmon perfectly, so heart-healthy!


I paired the dish with some leftover lemon, mint and strawberry infused water!



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The last meal on the menu was the Sirloin Steak Tips with New Potato, Asparagus, & Radish Hash.

This dish was very unique! I never would have thought of pairing Parmesan with steak, but it works! The Italian salsa verde was my favorite part of the dish. It was simple and I’ll be making it more!


Ingredients: 2 Sirloin Tip Steaks, 3 Cloves Garlic, ½ Bunch Asparagus , 3 Ounces Radishes, 1 Lemon, 1 Red Onion, 6 Ounces New Potatoes, 1 Large Bunch Parsley, 2 Tablespoons Capers , 2 Tablespoons Sliced Almonds, ¼ Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese


1 PREPARE THE INGREDIENTS: Wash and dry the fresh produce. Remove the steaks from the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Peel and thinly slice the garlic. Snap off and discard the tough, woody ends of the asparagus stems; cut the asparagus into 1-inch pieces on an angle. Quarter and deseed the lemon. Peel and large dice the onion. Quarter the potatoes. Finely chop the parsley leaves and stems. Roughly chop the capers and almonds. Trim off and discard the stem ends of the radishes. Cut the radishes into wedges.

2. COOK THE STEAKS: Pat the steaks dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium until hot. Add the seasoned steaks and cook 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium, or until cooked to your desired degree of doneness. Transfer to a cutting board, leaving any browned bits (or fond) in the pan. Loosely cover the steaks with aluminum foil and let rest for at least 5 minutes.


3. START THE HASH: While the steaks rest, heat the pan of reserved fond on medium-high until hot. (If the pan seems dry, add 1 teaspoon of olive oil.) Add the potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 6 to 8 minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the radishes and cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the radishes and potatoes are tender when pierced with a fork.
4. FINISH THE HASH: Add the asparagus, onion and garlic to the pan of potatoes and radishes; season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, 5 to 7 minutes, or until the asparagus is bright green and the onion is softened. Remove from heat and stir in the juice of 2 lemon wedges. Season with salt and pepper to taste.


5. MAKE THE SALSA VERDE: Combine the parsley, capers, almonds and Parmesan cheese. Slowly stir in 2 tablespoons of olive oil to create a paste; season with salt and pepper to taste


6: PLATE YOUR DISHFind the lines of muscle (or grain) of the rested steaks; thinly slice against the grain. Divide the finished hash and sliced steak between 2 dishes. Top with the salsa verde. Garnish with the remaining lemon wedges.


Instead of mixing everything together, I topped the hash with sliced steak and salsa verde!


I’m not used to cooking steak on the stove top and it was crisp, tender, and cooked to perfection! Sometimes the grill gets all the credit! The radishes were an awesome touch to this recipe and I’m so glad I was introduced to cooking them this way!

I was so impressed with all three dishes and it’s hard to really choose a favorite because they were all delicious in their own unique way. I do know that I had such a blast making the meals and Blue Apron made it easy! I learned so much!


Whether you’re trying to impress a mother in law, a boyfriend, or just to make the house smell like a top chef restaurant, Blue Apron is the way to go! I give it my five stars!

Learn more about Blue Apron on their website & social media accounts!
Blue Apron Website

*Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post provided by Blue Apron but all opinions and photos are my own. 


  • Olli

    Thank you for introducing me to Blue Apron!

    Reply to Olli
  • Wendy

    Great post!!

    Reply to Wendy
  • Rebecca

    I am now officially a Blue Apron customer because of this post! Thanks so much for introducing it to me! I work two jobs and my fiancé doesn’t eat the same meals as me so this will be perfect for my lunches and dinners! After awhile I feel like I get in a rut because I need some new ideas and this service is perfect!

    Thanks again!

    Reply to Rebecca
  • Jessica

    I don’t think anyone in disagreement was being rude. Not only that but I think that it is SO important to express opposition and to challenge others because it keeps us all on our toes and thinking. (Especially when the others being challenged are huge companies or corporations.) And as anyone making a living in the creative arts, it’s important to take criticism well.
    Anyway, with that being said, I just wanted to say that i love your blog, Taralynn, I pop on here all the time for meal ideas, but I am not a fan of this particular post. I think it’s awesome that blue apron came to you and sent you free meals in return for a review on their product, that’s a seriously sweet perk. I just would have liked this more if it read like one of your other blog entries and less like an advertisement.

    Reply to Jessica
  • Kristin C

    This all looks delicious. I am super hungry now 😉
    Also, I just wanted to take a minute to say how proud I am of you lately, Taralynn. You have really developed the art of noble comments to those who are rude. I feel like a year ago, your response may have been a little different (not bad, just maybe not as calm), and I love seeing that growth 🙂

    Reply to Kristin C
  • Jessica

    This is such a unique idea! I had never heard of Blue Apron before….thanks for sharing!

    Reply to Jessica
  • katie

    Hi! I love your blog. And this post was awesome! I’ve been looking for a delivery system like this that not only sends fresh and heathy ingredients to my door, but we get to cook for ourselves too! So many of us are too busy to shop so specific, planned, and healthy so it’s wonderful you are acknowledging that. Thanks for the post, my box is ordered and will be here next week! Can’t wait!!

    Reply to katie
  • Amanda

    Thank you for this beautiful review of Blue Apron. My husband and I are both military (AF and Navy)and would love to be able to take advantage of service like this, too bad they don’t ship to Hawaii. I have followed you for years and never posted, but the snarky comments above made me angry. This was a post about great food and the joy you got from preparing it…not about being a recycling fanatic. Which trust me, in Hawaii they don’t even pick up recycling and I have to drive it there myself so I am an avid proponent. Regardless, keep posts like these coming. I have enjoyed following you since the “beginning” with undressed skeleton and really think you are a lovely person with a great heart. Take care of those sweet pups, and feed on the positivity of your followers, not the ones who wish to chastise. I feel bad that they have wasted their day with negativity.

    Reply to Amanda
    • Lena

      Snarky comments are a part of life. People are never, ever going to agree on something 100 % of the time. If you are seriously expected readers to always agree with a blogger, you are an idiot.

      Reply to Lena
      • Lisa

        No one is saying that we expect everyone to agree 100% with a blogger, but the way quite a few people seem to seek out Tara’s blog waiting for an opportunity to say something nasty with every single post is pathetic. If you don’t like a blog/blogger, don’t follow them. It’s sad how anonymity makes people feel powerful. I enjoyed this post and it made me feel inspired to try out some of the recipes on their site. They don’t deliver to my area but if they did I would consider trying it for 1-2 weeks a month as a way to branch out and learn to cook new recipes.

        Reply to Lisa
        • Snark?

          Where are the snarky comments here? A few people asked a legit question about packaging and shipping, and used phrases like “I politely disagree with you.” One lady gave her opinion with lots of smiley faces. Everything here seems pretty respectful.

          I’m sure Tara gets awful comments from time to time, anyone writing online does, but people are being incredibly polite expressing their concerns here.

          Reply to Snark?
  • Olivia

    Just wanted to encourage you to take into consideration the environmental cost of shipping fresh ingredients (both the fuel and the packaging) when you could be supporting your local food system! CSA shares often include unique ingredients that you normally wouldn’t use as well (even though they don’t have easy recipes to follow or all of the ingredients in the meal.) I’m sure you’re well aware of intersection between environmental issues and food, but I just wanted to throw that out there 🙂

    Thank you for doing the work you do and inspiring so many people 🙂 🙂

    Reply to Olivia
    • me

      Oh, but some CSAs will help you out with recipes! Two that are local to me will put recipes on their websites that correspond to the produce that week.

      CSAs are awesome.

      Reply to me
  • Dani

    Actually Laotian Larb is from Laos which is right next to Thailand. (I’m sure they eat it in Thailand too) I live in Laos though and have larb a lot so I just had to throw that out there.

    Reply to Dani
  • Laura

    This really is a wasteful process…wasted gas for delivery, packaging for every single item, and where the heck is your food even coming from?! Go to the market, bring a reusable bag and a recipe card, and make FRESH, LOCAL food.

    Reply to Laura
    • Taralynn McNitt

      For a lot of people, this actually reduces waste. I tend to go to the grocery store almost every day when I need to make a meal because I usually plan the meal the day of. That’s almost 4-6 grocery trips in one week. If I don’t plan a meal, we drive to go out to dinner or have someone deliver it to us. If I have six meals delivered once in the fridge that cuts all the driving out. When people, go out to eat, or order take out, the waste tons of boxes and packaging. Also, those bags can be saved and reused. I put some of my nails in the garage in them to organize. Their food is farm fresh, and not everyone has farm fresh food available to them. It’s a lot of fun too! Gotta live a little 😉

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Cathy

    Laotian Larb Gai is from Laos.

    Reply to Cathy
  • Marisa

    This is a lovely post with beautiful pictures and excellent content! The work you put into it definitely shows and is appreciated! Congrats 🙂

    Reply to Marisa
  • Lauren

    I might have to try this…I hate grocery shopping, and this would be convenient for those weeks when I don’t get to it…these meals are definitely a better option than ordering a pizza.

    Do you get to choose which meals you want? I noticed that there were 6 options on the website, but you have to enter all your payment info in before you actually order.

    Reply to Lauren
    • Taralynn McNitt

      Not only is it better for you, it’s really fun! You get to choose what foods you eat such as meats and your diet needs before choosing your plan, but they choose the meals according to that! I think it’s kind of fun to get a surprise in the box, it forces me to eat foods I would have never imagined!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • ML Bishop

    Thanks for reviewing this- I live in a crowded urban area where it can be inconvenient to get groceries, and I see Blue Apron boxes in the trash room all the time! I have wondered forever if it’s actually good- and now I know.

    Reply to ML Bishop
  • Abbey

    I just signed up for my first box through your link! So excited to try it out, thanks 🙂

    Reply to Abbey
  • Cassie

    Thai food FOR LIFE! Blue Apron sounds like a lovely and delicious line of fresh food!

    Reply to Cassie
  • Kelly

    Looks awesome! Does it come with nutrition facts?

    Reply to Kelly
    • Taralynn McNitt

      It doesn’t come with exact, the meals are usually 400-700 calories BUT since all the ingredients are listed, you can enter them into a nutrition calculator 🙂

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Emily

    The pictures are beautiful and all and the meal looks delicious but this post doesnt exactly do what it is supposed to. If the entire recipe and cooking directions are posted it sort of defeats the purpose of having a sponsored post. The sponsor wants your readers to buy their product. but why would people buy the blue apron stuff if you already tell them exactly how to make the same product with local/cheaper groceries?

    Reply to Emily
    • Lena

      I think the point of Blue Apron is to have the ingredients sent to you so you don’t have to do the shopping/run around trying to find everything. And it lets you try a recipe without investing in larger portions of supplies.

      Reply to Lena
    • Taralynn McNitt

      It was just something special for my readers from Blue Apron. The recipes are here to show how fun it is to receive and make the meals they offer. Their meals are different in each box, too. You could go to the grocery store and buy groceries, but for some people, Blue Apron is more convenient and fits their crazy lifestyles.

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
    • Marisa

      I politely disagree with you. I had never heard of Blue Apron before and because Tara posted the detailed recipes, cooking instructions, pictures, etc. it makes me more inclined to try the product. The point of sponsored posts is to convince readers to try new products based on a blogger’s opinion (assuming they trust and value the blog, which I do). 🙂

      Reply to Marisa
      • Emily

        I see no problem with the Blue Apron post in general. I think it is one of the best posts Taralynn has had in a while!! I just think posting the whole recipe will lead people to make the dish on its own without using BA (seeing as that is what I am doing right now haha). I think maybe linking to the recipe on BA’s site instead of typing the whole thing here would be a more efficient way to get readers over to the website and perhaps even go ahead and buy their food packages!

        Reply to Emily
  • Jodi Maddy

    Hi, Taralynn! I really enjoyed reading this and am anxious to try Blue Apron sometime soon. However, I especially enjoyed the fact that you did this with your mother – someone I love and miss dearly at work. I literally could see the two of you working together and having a blast doing this meal. Give her a big hug for me!:) Jodi

    Reply to Jodi Maddy
  • Sherry

    Thanks for posting! Looks so tasty and I love Thai food. I’m very skeptical about spending that much on one meal, so I’ll try this recipe that you posted before making the plunge!

    Reply to Sherry
  • Rebecca

    Seems like a lot of wasteful packaging since everything is individually wrapped. How does Blue Apron explain this?

    Reply to Rebecca
    • Taralynn McNitt

      You don’t have to throw away the plastic baggies. I actually saved mine because they were in great condition. Just reuse them for snacks and storing things!

      Reply to Taralynn McNitt
  • Linda @ The Fitty

    Beautiful and creative subscription box.

    Reply to Linda @ The Fitty
  • Monica

    Everything looks DELICIOUS. Im definitely going to have to try some of these out, especially the salmon 🙂

    Reply to Monica

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