I also love the high-quality of the gourmet food they use in their recipes, and they do an excellent job with seasoning and spices, far better than other services I have tried.
Lastly, no prepared meal is over $10, which automatically makes them a good value. In fact, meals average around $8. I would like to see some more beef on the menu, but they have a significant selection, and the Italian meals are my favorite category.
FreshDirect is one of my favorite meal delivery services. They service the NYC area, but they just opened service to Philadelphia. If you live in any of these areas, I highly recommend you check them out.
Fresh Direct video on their chef prepared meal delivery service.
I'll start my review with the Moroccan Lamb, which comes with mixed vegetables and couscous. I received 4 generous sized chunks of lamb which was perfectly prepared.
It was tender and flavorful. The mixed vegetables were fresh and blended well with the slightly spicy seasoning. The couscous might have bordered on the dry side, but it was good and plentiful. I thought it was a great value at $8.99.
Overall, FreshDirect has an amazing menu of delicious prepared meals at very affordable, if not below average, prices. The two lasagnas I ordered, as well as the Enchiladas and the Beef Bourguignon was tops on the list, in my opinion.
The frozen prepared meals didn't score as well with me, but I only tried three out of twenty on the menu.
Even so, I highly recommend FreshDirect for their prepared meals if you live in the NYC or Philadelphia areas.
Porcini Mushroom Risotto
Next on my menu was the Porcini Mushroom Risotto with Porcini Mushrooms, Asparagus, Peas, and Parmesan Cheese. Risotto is a very difficult prepared meal to have come out correctly by the time it gets to the customer.
They did a very good job with this, but it is not like a fresh risotto you would have in a restaurant. The mushrooms are few, but the broth is excellent, as is the texture. It just lacks some of the creaminess, but still is a good value at $7.99.
Lamb and Vegetable Curry
I followed that meal up with Lamb and Vegetable Curry with Sweet Potatoes, and Chickpeas, Kale. It was one of my least favorite meals, only because of my tastes.
I liked the lamb, which was again tender and well seasoned. The vegetables were also high-quality, but I felt there wasn't enough sauce. If you love lamb and curry, I'm sure you will find it a good value at $9.99.
Next, I had the Chicken Marsala with Mushrooms and Marsala Wine Sauce and Penne Pasta, which was a great meal in my opinion. The chicken breast was smaller than most other meal delivery services, but it was delicious and moist.
The Marsala wine sauce was flavorful and was absorbed into Penne Pasta. The pasta had a perfect texture too. I would have like to see a side green vegetable with the meal, but it was a good value at $8.99.
Beef Short Rib Enchiladas
My first sampling from Mexican menu was the Short Rib Enchiladas, which I devoured like a man rescued from a deserted island. Wow, was that good! First, perfectly cooking braised short ribs is a time-consuming process, and not only did they do it correctly, they stuffed their enchilada with it. Right there, they had me at hello. The pickled cactus, Jack Cheese, and Chili Sauce were all home runs that complemented the beef perfectly. It's a great value at $9.99, so order a case!
Not expecting to have that meal out-done, I next had the Beef Bourguignon, which was braised in red wine and tossed over egg noodles with thick bacon bits, pearl onions, and wedges of carrots. I was wrong; this meal was perfect. Braising meat in this manner is a lost culinary skill in this country.
It takes a while to cook, then you refrigerate for a day, peel away the grizzle and take the meat off the bone, then you make the sauce with the vegetables. Do it right and you will be rewarded. FreshDirect took no short cuts here, and the meal is well worth $9.99. In fact, I think it could be a lot more. Have a bite and you'll agree.
Turkey Bolognese Lasagna
Lasagna is a passion of mine, so I was trying to save Turkey Bolognese Lasagna until last, but I couldn't resist. In my opinion, this is the second best lasagna you can buy from a prepared meal delivery service. The sauce is awesome, as is the lasagna, because it's all made with fresh ingredients. Notice the cheese on top of it, that is fresh mozzarella, a detail not practiced by other companies. It is small, but all meal delivery lasagnas are, but the size is made up for with great flavors. I would certainly buy this again for $8.99.
Beef Bolognese Lasagna
Once temptation had me, I quickly went to the Beef Bolognese Lasagna next. In my opinion, this is the best lasagna you can buy from a meal delivery service. Again, it has all fresh ingredients, but it is the Bolognese sauce that makes it stand over the competitors.
In this county, Bolognese means ground meat in tomato sauce. Wrong! The traditional recipe is made with cream, and it makes a difference. And yes, cream is one of the ingredients on the label. A great value at $8.99.
Then I went back to Mexico for the Chicken Enchiladas, which were outstanding. The shredded chicken is perfectly seasoned and plentiful. The spices and sauce are all excellent too. The spice is not too hot, and can be enjoyed by anyone in the family.
I highly recommend them at $8.99.
Chicken and Cheese Cannelloni
with Pesto and Spinach
I wanted to keep things rolling so I had the Chicken and Cheese Cannelloni with Pesto and Spinach next. This is basically an Italian version of an enchilada, and very good.
I thought the pesto sauce was a hint on the strong side and made the flavors of the spinach and chicken a little hard to find, but it was very good, and I would recommend it at $7.99.
I love your American Cottage Pie, but in this county, you call it Shepherd's Pie. A Shepherd's Pie is made with lamb; a Cottage Pie is made with beef.
The one I tried from FreshDirect was one of the best I had from a meal delivery service, making it a good value at $7.29 for a full pound of pure deliciousness.
Garganelli Pasta with Portabella Mushrooms
My first disappointment came from the Garganelli Pasta with Portabella Mushrooms. I thought it was just okay because I found the sauce to be a little dry, and I didn't care for the marinade of the mushrooms, which took away from their great natural flavor.
The quality and fresh ingredients were fine, but I wouldn't order it again at $8.99.
Shrimp with Thai Peanut Sauce
I also didn't care for the Shrimp with Thai Peanut Sauce. It had just a few pieces of small shrimp, which I could have looked past, but the sauce had a strong lime flavor which overpowered any peanut sauce I have every had.
Thai usually means spicy and mine didn't have any. I found the sauce to be watery and not cling to the pasta. I wouldn't order this meal for $7.99.
Salmon and Vegetable Couscous
I order three frozen meals too. Normally, all the meals I have enjoyed from this company were fresh. The Salmon and Vegetable Couscous was very good. I especially loved that the salmon came with a very pink center, which allowed me the freedom of reheating it without it turning a solid pink all the way through. You may like it that way, but I loved the extra thought from the chef. The couscous also came out perfectly and wasn't dry at all. I little bigger piece of Salmon would have been nice, but it's hard to say this not a good value at $8.99.
My second frozen meal was the Bistro Chicken, which I found to be fair at best. The chicken was fine, but small in portion size. The sauce didn't melt evenly over the meal, and the spiced potatoes didn't have any spice to me.
They were a little in the mushy-soft side too. The green beans were great, but I wouldn't this meal again at $5.99. There are many other meals from this company I would rather have.
Linguine with Red Clam Sauce
My last frozen meal was the Linguine with Red Clam Sauce. This might be one of my all-time favorites, so I saved it for last. The fresh-styled pasta was outstanding, but a little on the skimpy side. And that was it; the meal was tossed after one bite. There were some chunks of tomato, but no sauce. For a company that specializes in "fresh," the canned whole baby clams were a disappointment. Two or three fresh clams would have been better, and if you are going to use baby clams, use a lot more. I also didn't get the flavor of any garlic. I wouldn't order this meal again at $8.99, or if it were on sale for 50% off.
This page was last updated: 1/20/2014
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FreshDirect Review by Chef Piquanti
The first thing I like about them is that their prepared meals are all based on recipes of established area chefs, such as Michael Stark, Floyd Cardoz, Terrance Brennan, and Tina Bourteau. The FreshDirect kitchen then produces these meals for delivery to your home.
Next, I really like their packaging. These trays are the most microwave-friendly trays I have ever seen. They always guarantee your meal will be hot and not dried-out from reheating in the microwave. I have not had any heating issue putting two or three meals in the microwave at once. That saves me time.
Below you will see some of the products I have tried from this supplier. My review scoring is simple: I give each meal a thumbs up or a thumbs down based on the quality of the meal at the price I paid for it. A thumbs up means I would buy it again at the posted price.
I also take into consideration everything I think would be important to a consumer, including the shipping process, the condition of the goods received, the packaging, and the ease and quality of the reheating process. Below is my FreshDirect review based on the prepared meals I have tried.
Click on each picture to see a close up of the meal.