Disclaimer: I was sent one week’s worth of meals from Thistle to try risk-free, but this review is in no way sponsored by Thistle and all thoughts are my own.There are affiliate links included in this review as a way to support my blog.
When I came across Thistle, I immediately dismissed it as something that was not right for me. I don’t eat a plant-based diet, so I figured that a plant-based meal delivery service would be wasted on me.
Thistle reached out and asked if I wanted to try their meals with no strings attached, but I turned them down because I felt it wasn’t right for me.
They came back and told me that they offer meat protein options as well, which I had no idea about, so I figured it would be worth giving it a shot!
If you’ve been considering a meal delivery service, or simply want to eat more plant-based foods in your diet, read on.
How does Thistle meal delivery work?
It can be scary to commit to a meal delivery service, because how can you trust that you’re actually going to like the food they send you?
If you hate coconut, but then a coconut salad shows up on your doorstep, you’re probably going to be severely disappointed.
Luckily, Thistle put their entire weekly menu (with photos) on their website to see beforehand, and they even show you what’s on deck for the following week. Each listing contains a photo, reviews, description, and full nutrition facts, so you’ll know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.
When you signup for Thistle, you choose how many meals, snacks, and drinks you want to receive each week. Thistle assigns a menu for the week, but you can hop in and add or remove anything you’d like.
So, if a specific menu item sounds amazing to you, but another one does not sound appealing, you can double up on the meal that sounds better.
If you’re like me and don’t necessarily eat plant-based, then you also have the option to add a meat protein source to your meals! This is a huge bonus for me, and I’ll get into it a bit more below when I dive into the taste review.
Once the meals are selected, it’s as simple as waiting for your meals to show up. Each meal has a sticker right on the front letting you know what day it is for, so you’ll never have to worry about prepping your week or risk food going bad.
Each package also contains preparation instructions, which is awesome. In many cases, you won’t have to do any prep, but for some meals like this one, a quick reheat is required. I haven’t come across any meals that require more than 5 minutes of heat time, so it’s all still incredibly easy.
And maybe best of all: the meal deliveries are flexible, so you can cancel or skip deliveries super easily. Customer service is huge for me, so I really appreciate whenever a company makes that kind of thing painless.
Thistle Meal Delivery Price
The main downside to Thistle (and any meal delivery service for that matter) is that it can get expensive.
Keep in mind that you’re paying for high-quality ingredients, a very diverse menu that you’d otherwise have no access to, all the prep work done for you, and delivery costs.
Ultimately, with any meal delivery service, you’re paying a premium for convenience. Here’s how the price breaks down, taken directly from the Thistle FAQs:
Prices per meal start at $16.32 (vegan lunch or dinner), $18.77 (meat lunch or dinner), and $14.14 (breakfast). Prices will go down as you increase the quantity of meals in your plan and custom orders, and the price per meal may also be less depending on your area, due to our sourcing from local farms and purveyors. Please note that delivery fees may apply.
Prices start at $14 per meal (Vegan) or $16.25 per meal (Meat) — only available in a 2 day Essentials plan with 3 meals a day (6 meals total), with or without snacks. Our Cold-Pressed Juice Box (6 juices and 3 wellness shots) is $60/week and our Lite Bites Box is $76/week. There are no additional shipping fees.
The price breaks down to be very similar to if you were ordering takeout from a local spot, unless you live in the heart of a major city where prices are insanely high.
While not cheap, if you look up other meal delivery services, this is pretty much on par.
It’s tough to give a sweeping review of all the meals because they’re all so different, and it will depend entirely on your tastes. However, I can give you an overview of each type of meal and let you know how I enjoyed each…
Thistle Salads Review
When you think plant-based, one of the first things you think of is salad, and Thistle has no shortage of them. This is the Thistle Cobb Salad that I got with grilled chicken:
There was a ton of flavor in each bite, and the entire meal was surprisingly filling. As someone with a huge appetite (and who is used to eating snacks all day long), I wasn’t expecting a salad to fill me up, but this was one of the better lunches I’ve had in a long time.
For me, the combination of the chicken, sweet potato, and “bacon” pinto beans (however they make those) gave this one so much flavor.
However, when I tried a basic salad with no protein, I was slightly less impressed.
To be fair, I don’t love kale, so I’m not surprised I didn’t love this salad.
But, as someone who eats a high-protein diet, I also find that the salad is not very impressive (nutritionally) without any meat protein source. As a source of micronutrients it’s excellent, but in terms of macros, which I focus much of my diet around, the salad falls short for me.
For 500 calories, I would like more than 17 grams of protein, but it’s not surprising considering it is plant-based. But with 27 grams of fat also in the salad, it’s not a meal I’d be turning to often.
Overall, the salads are very fresh, but for my diet, I’d need to stick with options containing meat sources.
Thistle Drinks Review
I’ve never been one to “juice,” and I never fell into the craze of green drinks. So, to say I was nervous to try these drinks is a bit of an understatement.
Looking at the ingredients in the drink above, you may be wondering exactly what it might taste like.
Well… it tastes like all of those ingredients in juice form.
If you love green juice, maybe that’s amazing for you. But for me, I do not find drinking ginger, kale, and celery very appealing.
Thistle also offers flavor “shots” that you can see below.
They’re quite big for shots, and there’s no way you could down it all in a single gulp, but they’re tiny energizing drinks.
Much like the full-size juice, they are not for me. The “Glow shot is “Boost” shot contains cayenne, ginger, and apple cider vinegar, and man oh man can you feel that.
When I tried the shot, it quite literally hurt to consume. I suppose that gave me a little boost of energy, but it was far from enjoyable.
All of that being said, if you’re someone who loves green drinks and juice shots, these may be the perfect compliment to your meals. For me, I’d pass on the juice and stick with the food.
Thistle Hot Meals Review
I definitely enjoyed the hot meals the most, and there was so much amazing flavor packed into each meal.
The ground turkey was some of the best-seasoned turkey I’ve ever had. I must have been making it wrong all these years, because it was way better than any other ground turkey I’ve ever tried.
Much like the salad, when I tried a hot meal without any meat protein source, I found it lacking.
Since these meals are plant-based, the protein source is mostly from beans, so I find it to be too heavy on the beans. But when meat is mixed in, it strikes a great balance.
The fact that you only need to reheat for a few minutes is huge, and if you’re pressed for time during the week (let’s be real, who isn’t?) then these meals can be a life saver.
Thistle Meal Delivery: is it worth it?
If I were reviewing Thistle on strictly plant-based foods, I wouldn’t have been very impressed. That’s not to say that the food isn’t extremely fresh and diverse, it’s just that I personally focus on a high-protein diet, so the options fell a bit short for me.
However, considering there’s an option to add meat protein to these meals, that changes everything. Every meal I had containing a meat source was absolutely delicious, and I would absolutely order again.
As someone who works from home and loves to cook, I don’t necessarily find a meal delivery service necessary for my everyday life, but I’ll happily order the occasional meals to help me get more plants in my diet.
If you eat plant-based, then I don’t need to convince you to give Thistle a try. If you’re not, I can definitely recommend trying it and adding a meat protein source to your meals. It’ll help you eat more plants and keep you on track with your protein goals.
Not to mention, you can easily cancel at any time, so there’s really no downside to giving it a shot!
My Experience with Thistle Meal Delivery
If you eat a plant-based diet or simply want to eat more plants overall, Thistle makes some incredible meals. For someone focused strictly on eating high-protein and who isn't plant-based, I find that the meals aren't something I'd reach for every single day, but they are a great way to occasionally switch up my mundane meals.
Ease of Ordering
Ease of Prep
Variety of Options
Great variety of meal & snack options
Ability to add meat options to any meals for extra protein
As someone who isn't plant-based, it's a great way to eat more vegetables
Can be quite expensive if ordering on a regular basis
Many meals are not suitable for a lower calorie diet, especially if adding meat
Snacks are not protein-focused, which is a bummer for me