One of the most common byproducts—and complaints—of adult life is being too busy for food. You know: Shopping for it, preparing it, finding time to eat it. That’s where meal delivery services like Sakara come in.
These services come with meals already prepared, ready to eat as is, or heat in the microwave or oven. I’m a registered dietitian who works in wellness and nutrition, and I wanted to know if these meals actually deliver on the health, convenience, and satiety they promise—so I tried a whole bunch of them. Trendy, plant-based Sakara proved to be one of the best options, but not without cost. (In this case, I mean its literal price tag.) Here’s what I loved about Sakara, what I didn’t, and why it’s our favorite luxury meal delivery kit.
Best Luxury Meal Delivery Kit
- 100% plant-based meals
- Elite delivery service focusing on fresh, quality ingredients
- Buying options:
- Breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner for 2, 3, or 5 days OR 2 or 4 weeks
- A weekly subscription of breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner for 2, 3, or 5 days.
The Evidence Test Score: Healthy
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- Provides ample amounts of fruit, vegetables, and whole grains
- Mostly organic
- Tasty meals
- Very expensive
- No nutrition facts available
What Is Sakara?
Sakara is a plant-based meal delivery service that was made popular by the coterie of models, Vogue staffers, and Instagram followers who promote it. Founded by co-CEOs Danielle Duboise and Whitney Tingle, Sakara focuses on a holistic approach to food and nutrition by encouraging plant-based eating. Dubois says this diet helped her recover from digestive disorders, and Tingle says it helped resolve her decade-long battle with cystic acne.
Sakara’s main selling point is that plant-based diets lead to a better quality of life. For the most part, science backs this up. Numerous studies have shown that eating more plant-based Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine “Plant-based diets and cardiovascular health” View Source foods can have a positive effect on cardiovascular health. Plant-based foods are also naturally high in fiber, which helps regulate blood sugar and hunger Harvard School of Public Health “Fiber” View Source and is a boon to overall gastrointestinal health Nature reviews. Gastroenterology & hepatology “Dietary fibre in gastrointestinal health and disease” View Source .
On the flip side, vegan diets can lead to some deficiencies in nutrients like vitamin B12, omega-3, calcium, zinc, iron, and magnesium, which may cause health trouble later in life. It’s also worth noting that vegan diets that contain a high quantity of ultra-processed foods aren’t healthy Harvard School of Public Health “Not all plant-based diets are healthy” View Source —but that’s not an issue with Sakara. All its meals are rife with fiber- and vitamin-rich fruits and veggies.
Is Sakara Vegan?
Sakara brands itself as plant-based, not vegan. (There’s a slight difference—plant-based diets may occasionally integrate animal products; vegan diets do not.) But all of its meals are vegan, so it’s suitable for anyone who prefers to avoid animal products in their diet.
How Much Does Sakara Cost?
Here comes the punch. My four meals—two breakfasts and two lunches—cost $114, which comes to $28 per meal. You can get up to a 15% discount if you opt for a subscription, but still, that’s pretty steep. Your location doesn’t seem to change the price, so you’ll pay the same in Beverly Hills, California as you will in Fargo, North Dakota (two random locations I plugged into Sakara’s menu preview). Prices also vary slightly depending on the meals you choose. A one-off order of two breakfasts (the smallest order you can make) is $63, an order of two lunches is $67, and an order of two dinners is $75. Based on these, I’d say that lunch is the best investment, but your mileage may vary. Shipping is free for orders over $95. Otherwise, you can add $10 to your cost.
How Sakara Works
Sakara offers a weekly subscription and a one-time program. I opted for the one-time order, which also meant I didn’t need to cancel it. Deliveries come on Sundays between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. and Sakara ships to all 50 states. Because I opted for the ad-hoc program, I didn’t need to cancel.
Ordering Sakara is extremely simple thanks to its preset menu. You can check it out before you make your order—it’ll ask for your zip code, but meal options don’t seem to change based on your location. You can order up to 60 meals at a time.
What Kind Of Meals Can You Expect With Sakara?
Every meal is 100% plant-based and centered on a variety of fruit, veggies—especially greens!—nuts, seeds, and whole grains like oats. For breakfast, you have options like parfaits (not just any parfaits, but fancy parfaits), tea cakes, muffins, bread, smoothie bowls, and gluten-, dairy-, and refined sugar-free donuts. Lunch offers items like brassica salad bowls and plant-based burgers made out of beets, sweet potatoes, and chickpeas. For dinner, you can get a variety of soups and salads, pho, chili, flatbreads, and pasta.
I think a huge factor that separates Sakara from other meal services is the unique flavor pairings that you get with the meals. I ordered four with my first box: A ginger-almond salad, a brassica bowl, a sweet potato chia bread with cacao creme, and my favorite item by far, a Neapolitan parfait containing chickpeas, cocoa nibs, strawberries, maple syrup, and almond milk. Everything comes individually wrapped in #1 PET recycled plastic, which can be recycled again after you’re done. Its box liners and ice packs are also recyclable.
On first impression, I thought the meals looked miniscule, especially compared to portions I’m served in restaurants and fast food places. But surprisingly, they were quite filling! The parfait kept me full for about three hours and the salad and brassica bowl were perfectly satisfactory for lunch. The sweet potato chia bread was the least filling and would probably serve better as a snack in between meals or after a workout.
In addition to my meals, my box contained all kinds of extra goodies, including a few samples of coffee “nibs,” detox herbal teas, an energy bar, and a probiotic supplement. I was really interested in the probiotics since studies show that probiotic intake may help maintain a healthy gut microbiome National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health “Probiotics: What You Need To Know” View Source and help relieve some digestive issues.
There is, however, a lot to be wary of with so-called “detox” teas, particularly ones that contain potent laxatives. But Sakara’s tea contains herbs that may help support digestion, like rooibos, rose petals, lemon peel, lemongrass, and orange peel, but don’t have an immediate and intense effect. Many of these herbs have been associated withhigher levels of antioxidants and stronger immune response Journal of traditional and complementary medicine “Herbal beverages: Bioactive compounds and their role in disease risk reduction - A review” View Source , too. I enjoyed the tea’s natural sweetness (and that it didn’t make me have to run to the bathroom all the time).
What Ingredients Does Sakara Use?
It’s a tough to find nutrient-specific facts on each meal, but you can access an ingredient list for all meals on the website. The ingredients are made from whole plant foods and contain minimal amounts of preservatives. We already know that Sakara’s meals are packed with fiber, but they are also protein-rich with ingredients like pumpkin seeds, chickpeas, beans, sunflower seeds, nutritional yeast, lentils, and a variety of nuts. Extra virgin olive oil is the base of most of its salad dressings, and many of the meals use lemon juice to reduce the amount of salt. Meals are seasoned with a wide range of herbs and spices including turmeric, black and white pepper, cardamom, cinnamon, chile powder, paprika, and cumin. Overall, I was impressed.
What I Like About Sakara
I like that Sakara provides ample amounts of visually pleasing fruits and veggies. I also like that Sakara gives lots of exposure to some plants that don’t always get the spotlight, like radicchio, delicata squash, and wild mushrooms.
Eating Sakara felt like giving my body all the best yummy nutrients without a ton of added sugars, saturated fat, and sodium. You definitely get your recommended two to three servings of fruits and veggies and two to three servings of veggies daily, and then some.
What I Don’t Like About Sakara
You probably guessed it… the cost. At more than $25 per meal, Sakara is one of the most expensive meal delivery services out there. Ordering breakfast, lunch, and dinner for five days will cost you $440 with a subscription. This might not be feasible for some people, especially those interested in meal services for their families.
Another potential downside is that Sakara has a “no calorie counting” nutrition philosophy. It claims that its signature meal plan contains 40 to 60 grams of plant protein, 37 grams of fiber, and a whopping 75 plant ingredients each day, but there aren’t any meal-specific nutrition facts on its website. (Based on the ingredients and portion sizes, I’d estimate that calories for most meals range between 500 and 700 to follow dietary guidelines for most adults.) This is great for someone who avoids counting calories or whose main goal is to increase their fruit, veggies, and fiber intake. But for someone who wants to increase or decrease the calories they’re eating or monitor a specific nutrient, it’s tough to keep track.
Is Sakara Worth It?
Sakara is delicious, convenient, and decidedly chic way to eat more plant-based foods. Its main downside is the cost. But if you’ve got the funds, Sakara will be right up your alley.
- “Dietary fiber in gastrointestinal health and disease,” Nature reviews. Gastroenterology & hepatology (February 2021).
- “Plant-based diets and cardiovascular health,” Trends in Cardiovascular Medicine (October 2018).
- “Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2020-2025,” USDA.
- “Probiotics: what you need to know,” National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (August 2019).
- “Herbal beverages: Bioactive compounds and their role in disease risk reduction-A review,” Journal of traditional and complementary medicine (October 2018).
- “Not all plant based diets are healthy,” Harvard School of Public Health (no date).
- “Research Shows Vegan Diet Leads to Nutritional Deficiencies,” Saint Luke’s (September 2022).