How much of a home cook are you? Are you eager to try every new ingredient you find, or are you more of a throw-it-all-in-and-hope-for-the-best type of person? Perhaps you don’t really know where to start, so you don’t really start at all.
Either way, you could benefit from one of the many recipe boxes available to keen, curious or don’t-know-where-to-start home cooks. Even if you haven’t ever cooked from scratch before, these boxes make things easy to manage, with step by step instructions and perfectly portioned ingredients.
As there’s many on the market nowadays, we thought we’d take two of the most well-known and put them head to head. So, who comes out on top between Simply Cook and Gousto? Here’s our verdict…
Simply Cook was founded by Oli Ashness after he became frustrated that his busy London lifestyle meant he couldn’t find time to experiment in the kitchen. His vision of being able to make healthy yet tasty, high-quality meals at home in a short amount of time has been fully realised in Simply Cook.
Each Simply Cook box contains four recipe kits accompanied by four recipe cards with full step by step instructions in letterbox sized packaging. These are chef-designed kits of flavour and as such, they contain cooking pastes, infused oils, garnishes and rubs. Choose any four recipes from meaty mains to lighter bites, and those on gluten free or vegetarian diets are also catered for.
Simply Cook kits are designed to be used alongside ingredients you already have in your fridge or kitchen cupboards. Simply Cook suggest that you’ll need around four to six additional items and these range from meat and fish to staples such as pasta, potatoes and vegetables.
Each box of four kits costs £9.99 which, according to Simply Cook, works out at between £3 to £6 per person per meal, inclusive of the cost of the additional shop bought ingredients.
Simply Cook offers a great range of hearty and healthy mains ranging from Thai green curries to soy and honey glazed salmon and crispy chilli tofu.
All Simply Cook kits contain specialist high quality cooking pastes, oils, stocks and blends of herbs and spices developed by chefs. They would be hard to come by or create by shopping for them yourself, making them unique and good value for money.
Simply Cook boxes are all about adding flavour to the ingredients you may think were bland. Think sweet, sharp Iranian Vegetable Stew and aromatic Balinese Chicken inspired by the hawker markets in Bali. If you’re already comfortable in the kitchen, then Simply Cook is a great way of adding some excitement. Even if you’re a novice, with Simply Cook’s guidance, you could be making authentic, home cooked meals in as little as 20 minutes.
If you’re looking for a recipe kit with everything included and measured out so you don’t have to wander the aisles of the supermarket wondering what paella rice looks like, then this probably isn’t for you. But practice makes perfect, so they say, so with a little bit of perseverance and practice elsewhere, you could be cooking up a storm with Simply Cook in no time!
Frustrated by lacklustre ready meals, the founders of Gousto, friends Timo and James, decided to launch their meal kits to satisfy the need for quality, but simple, home cooked meals in minutes. And they’ve certainly achieved that!
Each Gousto box, whether for two or a family, comes complete with everything you need to create a tasty home cooked meal, complete with step by step recipe cards. Each ingredient comes in the right-sized portion (for example chicken breasts, heads of broccoli or bagged salad fit for the meal box size) or is pre-measured for simplicity, in the case of dried herbs and spices, garnishes and sauces.
Each recipe also comes with its full nutritional breakdown, which is handy if you’re calorie counting, eating a low carb or high protein diet, or watching your salt intake.
From One-Pot Easy Chicken Biryani to Joe Wicks Satay Sweet Potato & Kale Curry, or 10 minute Sticky Beef Satay Wraps to Lemony Green Veg Gnocchi, all tastebuds are catered for. And what’s more, even the most complex-looking meal is easy to create!
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Boxes start at £24.99 for two meals for two people or £31.75 for two meals for a family of four to five.
From Cajun chicken with a crunchy slaw as part of the Lean in 15 range, to everyday favourites such as beef lasagne and fish and chips, Gousto is all about wholesome meals and fresh ingredients. Vegans are also covered, with choices ranging from meat free chilli to lentil stew.
Our favourite meals included:
- Italian bangers and mash with cavalo nero and red onion marmalade
- Jerk chicken with rice and peas
- Halloumi steak with celery, walnut and grape salad
- Yasai curry aubergine with raw carrot and coriander salad
- Beef noodle salad with toasted peanuts and zesty lime dressing
All meat contained in a Gousto meal kit is 100% British and all produce is high quality and sourced from Gousto trusted suppliers. Each meal cooked truly is a home cooked culinary masterpiece.
If you’re looking for a recipe kit that contains everything you need (bar perhaps a little salt and pepper and cooking oil), then Gousto is for you. These recipe kits are ideal for anyone starting out on their culinary journey of discovery, those finding it difficult to find time to cook healthy meals from scratch or keen cooks eager to learn more.
Each meal kit is well thought out and easy to follow, and since the ingredients are generally those that are found in supermarkets, the cards can be kept and used again and again. Recipes are varied and tasty, with quick ten minute meal options to brand new world cuisines to choose from each week.
Anyone looking to reduce their food and packaging waste will enjoy Gousto meal kits too. All portions are carefully weighed out to minimise food waste and kits are delivered in a plastic free Eco Chill insulated box made from recycled cardboard.
Recipe boxes definitely are a convenient option as I discovered while doing this Simply Cook vs Gousto review.
There’s less meal planning, no trip to the supermarket and also less time in the kitchen collecting all the ingredients together.
But which recipe box is the winner?
Both companies provide excellent quality ingredients and very tasty food but overall Gousto just has the edge.
Other Recommended Recipe Boxes…
Wiltshire Farm Foods
Delicious Frozen Meals Delivered
Finest Fitness Food