Meal kits are good for a cook who wants to shave some time off the meal-making process and learn new recipes, but you still have to cook the food. For meal delivery that requires no cooking at all, there are prepared meal delivery services, and Splendid Spoon is one of the more popular options in 2022. 

Like

  • Food is fully prepared, no prep required
  • Fresh-tasting food
  • Lots of options for healthy smoothies soups and bowls

Don’t Like

  • Some of the meals can be bland or boring
  • Expensive for what it is
  • Portions are on the small side

This healthy meal subscription will send premade vegan smoothies, soups and plant-based bowls to your door to eat throughout the week. Daily Harvest is a similar service, but even that company requires you to quickly cook the frozen ingredients or blend the smoothies with water or milk. Splendid Spoon’s food is truly ready to go: Just pop the top on a smoothie or nuke the soups and bowls for a few minutes and breakfast or lunch is ready. 

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While some meal delivery is suited for dinner, this meal delivery subscription feels more tailored to breakfast and lunch. I tried a week’s worth of Splendid Spoon’s offerings. While it wasn’t my favorite meal delivery, there’s certainly an appeal in having breakfast ready when you wake up or lunch sitting there when the clock strikes noon.

Here’s how it works and what I thought of the vegan meal subscription. 

My bright and colorful delivery of Splendid Spoon bowls and beverages. 


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How Splendid Spoon works

As with most meal delivery services, Splendid Spoon is a subscription service. That means you’ll pick a plan and that same delivery will keep coming every week unless you pause or cancel (which you can do at any time). You can choose from a menu of meals each week or keep the same stuff coming. You can choose between four plans with as few as five meals and as many as 20. Meals generally break down to about $9 each.

After you select your plan you’ll pick your meals, choosing smoothies, grain bowls, soups and noodle dishes depending on what your subscription includes. Meals are delivered to you chilled — not frozen — on either Wednesday or Friday each week. For Wednesday deliveries, you must place your order by 1 pm PT on Thursday. For Friday deliveries, the cutoff is 1 pm PT on Sunday.  As of now Splendid Spoon only delivers to the lower 48 states in the US.

Splendid Spoon pricing

Meal plan (per week) Price per meal Total price
5 bowls $13 $65
5 smoothies, 5 bowls $9.50 $95
5 smoothies, 5 bowls and 5 light soups $9 $135
5 smoothies, 5 bowls, 5 noodle bowls and 5 light soups $9.25 $185

If you don’t want a recurring subscription, there are On-Demand boxes, which function as one-time orders. You can pick from several bundles, including smoothies only, soups and bowls only, wellness shots and mixed bundles with a little bit of everything. The On-Demand boxes are generally more expensive per meal but there’s no commitment whatsoever. 

On any given week’s menu, you’ll have about 18 smoothies to choose from with sweet options like blueberry coconut and some more savory blends like carrot-ginger and power greens. There are also about 15 grain and rice bowls and 20 soups along with roughly 10 rice noodle bowls (noodles are a new offering). While not part of the base plans, Splendid Spoon sells 3-ounce wellness shots and protein-packed snack bars that you can tack on to your order or buy in bundles.

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Splendid Spoon has some interesting smoothie recipes. Some worked better than others. 


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What are Splendid Spoon meals like? 

All the food is 100% vegan (no meat, dairy or animal byproducts) and gluten-free. The recipes are made with lots of healthy fruits, vegetables and superfoods like kale, spinach, beans and whole grains. The website says about 95% of the food is organic and it’s 100% GMO-free.

Much of the food is what I’d categorize as healthy food with a good deal of global culinary influence. Think brown rice taco bowl with beans and tomato salsa or cauliflower tikka masala soup. You won’t find many soy-based meat substitutes; these are mostly whole ingredients. Portions aren’t huge but they aren’t skimpy either, in keeping with the idea of healthy eating.

Before choosing any item you can see the full ingredient list and nutritional information. You can also filter for more specific dietary needs, such as high-fiber, low-carb and high-protein foods.

splendid spoon soups on table

My Splendid Spoon bowls were a little hit or miss but most made for a satisfying lunch or light dinner. 


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What I had and how I liked it 

I’ll preface my critique of Splendid Spoon’s smoothies by saying I make a lot of smoothies at home and so can be particular. Because Splendid Spoon smoothies are preblended, they’re a bit more like juices to drink and don’t have that creamy, frozen texture I am used to. 

Beyond the main ingredients, each one is fortified with healthy superfoods like chia seeds, hemp seeds and pea protein. These additions don’t alter the flavor dramatically but deliver dense nutrients and antioxidants.

Strawberry and Goji Berry with Cashew Butter: This was just OK, a bit sour for my taste.

Carrot-Ginger with Mango and Dates: An excellent smoothie with savory and sweet elements in perfect harmony. No notes. 

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The carrot-ginger smoothie was one of the best I tried. 


David Watsky/CNET

Power Greens: This green-juice smoothie is loaded with good stuff, including organic hemp seeds, chia seeds, spirulina, pea protein and kale. The banana and coconut balanced all the vegetal components with just enough sweetness and not too much. 

Banana-Flax with Almonds: I make nut butter and banana smoothie most mornings. This was different and the lemon gave it a bright zing but I still prefer my freshly blended version.

Blueberry-Coconut with Acai and Cinnamon: Another very good smoothie. The cinnamon and vanilla made it sing.

Spiced Lentil and Chickpea Soup: Solid, but not terribly flavorful for a soup that bills itself as “spiced.”

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The curried lentil soup was good. It was even better with the crumbled feta I added.


David Watsky/CNET

Kale-Pesto Noodles with Roasted Tomatoes: A flavorful vegan pesto over al dente noodles. A very tasty meal. 

Dan Dan Noodles with Bok Choy and Peppercorn: This noodle dish was packed with Sichuan flavors and had good heat. The noodles were chewy and not mushy, just the way I like them.

Coconut Curry Rice Bowl with Kale, Chickpeas and Cashews: This was tasty and filling. A familiar flavor combination.

Fennel Consomme with Dill: The bright fennel was overpowering and the only thing I could taste. I didn’t enjoy this one very much.

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I found the fennel consomme flavor to be a bit one-dimensional. 


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Wellness shots: My order came with five free wellness shots. I especially liked the watermelon, beet and ginger “recovery” shot, but all of them were tasty and went down smoothly.

How I prepared my meals

The drinks come completely ready to drink. They’re also good to pop into the freezer if you need more time to get through them. The soups and bowls can be microwaved but I suggest reheating them gently in a saucepan or nonstick skillet. This method always produces more even heating and reduces the chance that you’ll overcook the food.

curry-bowl

The brown rice curry bowl with kale and chickpeas was good but a little boring.


David Watsky/CNET

Who is Splendid Spoon good for?

Because the food is truly ready to eat, Splendid Spoon is perfect for anyone looking to cut cooking — or even blending — completely out of the equation for a few meals per week. 

The food is vegan and gluten-free so it’s a good choice for anyone adhering to those diets. The portions aren’t huge, so if you’re trying to cut total calories per week, this meal delivery service might help. Splendid Spoon is also very Whole30-friendly if you’re looking to eat less processed food and meals with more natural ingredients.

This is also a good option for a habitual smoothie and juice drinker who wants to mix up their recipes and flavors but doesn’t feel like shopping for all the ingredients needed to make them.

Who is Splendid Spoon not as good for?

If you have a smoothie routine that you have down to a science, the Splendid Spoon smoothies might feel like a slight downgrade. Yes, you’ll taste new recipes and interesting flavor combinations but they’re more like juices in texture.

Since the food is all vegan, this isn’t a good pick for anyone who craves meat for breakfast and lunch or other dense protein foods such as eggs. Since a lot of the smoothies contain fruit (sugar) and the bowls have grains, beans and noodles, this isn’t the ideal meal delivery for someone keeping to a low-carb or keto plan, either.

How much does Splendid Spoon cost?

For every plan except one (five meals per week) the price per meal nets out to about $9 per serving. To me, that seems like a decent deal for the bowls but a bit steep for a smoothie. This pricing is on par with plant-based competitors like Daily Harvest and Mosaic Foods

If you choose the five-meal plan, you’ll pay $13 per meal, which you probably don’t want to do.

Packaging and eco-friendliness

The drinks, soups and bowls are all packaged in recyclable plastic. Splendid Spoon also uses dry ice instead of ice packs, which are rarely fully recyclable. The cooler box is also made from recyclable materials. Pound for pound this is one of the most eco-friendly meal delivery services I’ve tested. 

The bowl containers are also very reusable, with tight-fitting lids and sturdy plastic. They might not survive a hot dishwasher but are certainly good for a few hand washes.

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Splendid Spoon has some of the most eco-friendly packaging of the meal delivery services I’ve tried.


David Watsky/CNET

Final verdict on Splendid Spoon

There is something to be said for having fully prepared lunches and dinners around when you need them. Splendid Spoon offers over 50 or more options for healthy, plant-based meals. While most of them were pretty tasty, they weren’t terribly exciting. 

If you don’t mind a few minutes of smoothie prep, I might recommend Daily Harvest, which sends all the ingredients diced, frozen and ready to be blended with milk. If it’s just the soups and bowls you’re after, Splendid Spoon has a host of pleasant lunches or light dinners to choose from each week. They arrive fresh and ready to be eaten or popped in the freezer, saving you precious time during the morning and afternoon.

And for bigger eaters looking for full meals that are more dinner-friendly, there are better plant-based services out there. Mosaic Foods is my No. 1 pick featuring more interesting food for about the same total price per meal.

Editor’s note: On June 19, 2022, Daily Harvest issued a recall of its lentil and leek crumbles amid reports of serious illness. We continue to monitor the situation and will update you as we learn new information.

More meal delivery recommendations 

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.

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