Cooking with Blue Apron + Beer Pairings

We're going to jump right into the "bites" portion of the blog with today's post recounting my experience with the home-delivery meal kit service, Blue Apron.

blue apron homepage

Screenshot, Blue Apron homepage.

Note: This is not a sponsored post. I pay for my subscription. I'm just sharing my experience – good and bad – with the company. 

Jason and I have been cooking with Blue Apron for just over a year. And what a year it's been: meals have been mostly good but there's been some bad – and ugly.

How Blue Apron works

For those who don't know, Blue Apron is a subscription meal kit delivery service that ships a box of pre-portioned ingredients to your doorstep. There are a few plans to choose from. We get the 2-person, pescatarian plan.

For ~$60 a box, we receive three vegetarian or fish-centered meals. The portions are generous and each meal makes two dinners and usually one lunch. It's a pretty good deal, but we only get a box about every six weeks (you can pause delivery whenever you'd like by skipping a week's box). Obviously, you still need to shop for the rest of the week's dinners, breakfast, lunches, and snacks, so cooking with Blue Apron boxes isn't a money-saving hack. It's just fun to mix things up every now and then.

blue apron skipped delivery

I've skipped a few Blue Apron boxes. Photo: Blue Apron screenshot.

The boxes also contain meal cards for each recipe. The cards list the ingredients needed to for each dish, the estimated prep and cook time, and step-by-step instructions. The cards also suggest wine pairings, but we don't care about those because this is a beer blog.

Blue Apron hacks

The most important thing you should know about cooking a Blue Apron meal is READ THE DIRECTIONS ON THE RECIPE CARD. You would be surprised how quickly things go wrong when you start to go on auto-pilot. One time I was cooking farro for a recipe, and I was backtracking on the suggested order of events, and all of a sudden the farro bubbled up and exploded all over my gas stove. The boiling water leaked all over the stove and extinguished the gas lights.

We ended up ordering takeout that night.

It is also really important to prep the vegetables as suggested. Don't think you can just chop as you go, because a recipe that's meant to take 40 minutes box-to-table will take two hours. Trust me.

Finally, people living in small apartments may have trouble finding space for all this prep work. You have to be creative, and organized, otherwise you'll be cooking all night (usually worth it, but quite the time suck). My biggest failure was not recognize how my apartment-size stove (no, I don't have a regular size stove) and the small baking sheet I usually use would affect a pizza recipe.

Blue Apron pizza

I was so disappointed when this pizza didn't work out. Photo: Blue Apron screenshot.

Long story short, I didn't have enough room to spread the crust dough thin enough for it to bake. It was undercooked beyond reason and we couldn't bake it any longer lest the toppings burn. It would have taken probably an hour for this crust to bake through, it was so thick.

We got takeout that night, too. (In fact, this was from the same box as the farro).

(In hindsight, I should have split the recipe into to two pizzas instead of trying to bake one on my small baking sheet).

Now that you've been informed and warned, here's a look at some Blue Apron recipes we've enjoyed recently.

Blue Apron meals and beer pairings

We got a box a few weeks ago with these three recipes:

blue apron cod

Orange & mirin-glazed cod with barley and broccoli salad.

blue apron strata

Creamy strata with endive salad!

So that's been our experience with Blue Apron. Of all the deliveries we've received, I think my favorite meal was the Potato Chowder with Cheddar Cheese Toasts. It was easy and I felt like I was eating at an old English pub. It was incredible!

Have you tried Blue Apron? What was your favorite meal? 


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