We Tried Blue Apron's Thanksgiving In A Box. Here's How It Went

For many folks, Thanksgiving is one of the most wonderful days of the year. This secular holiday invites Americans of all types to join together with friends and family, to reflect on all they have to be thankful for, and perhaps to score some great shopping deals. But, really, Thanksgiving is all about the food. Whether your Thanksgiving Dinner is centered on turkey or Tofurky, as long as there's a surplus of food on the table, you're doing it right. Of course, before you can tuck into all that food, you need to get cooking. That can get seriously daunting, what with menu planning, grocery shopping, prep work, and all of the cooking that such a meal entails. 

This year, one way to dramatically reduce the culinary challenges that can come with Thanksgiving dinner is to have that meal delivered to your doorstep by Blue Apron. No, we're not talking about heat-and-eat meals that are completely prepared for you (though the company does offer some of those). 

Instead, with this box, you'll still get to make and enjoy a real home-cooked dinner. What you won't have to do is plan a menu, find recipes, shop for groceries, measure ingredients, and all of those other little things that can add up to real holiday stress. To see how easy Blue Apron can make Thanksgiving Dinner prep — not to mention how tasty — we tried out one of the company's Thanksgiving boxes for ourselves.

What's in Blue Apron's Thanksgiving boxes?

You'll find quite a lot of food in that box from Blue Apron! The Classic Thanksgiving Box comes with a whole turkey breast plus ingredients you need to make savory garlic and herb gravy, a fresh take on cranberry sauce (including ginger and spicy maple syrup), roasted Brussels sprouts, brown butter and white cheddar mashed potatoes, and fresh apple crumb pie, including caramel and almonds. It all makes enough for six to eight diners, depending on how you portion things out.

That's just one box — there are two other options as well. In Blue Apron's Vegetarian Holiday Box, you'll find all the ingredients you need to prep a three-cheese Cascatelli Pasta Bake with mushrooms, roasted Brussels sprouts with brown butter vinaigrette and walnuts, arugula and orange salad with pistachios and creamy date dressing, smoky delicata squash with pepitas and almonds, and a chocolate mousse pie with whipped cream and candied peanuts. 

You could also order the Holiday Ham Box, which comes with the same ingredients as the Vegetarian Holiday Box but adds brown sugar and honey-glazed ham. Both of these boxes feed eight to 10 people. Want more holiday eats? There are plenty of sides you can add to your order, like sweet potato load cake with cinnamon and pecans, persimmon salad with fig and shallot vinaigrette, and several more options.

How much do Blue Apron's Thanksgiving boxes cost?

According to the Farm Bureau, in 2021, Americans spent an average of $53.31 on Thanksgiving dinner for 10 diners, which comes out to less than $6 per person. Keeping in mind that inflation has caused price surges since last year, the fact remains that Blue Apron's Thanksgiving boxes are still on the pricier side compared to what you'd pay if you hunted down the best deal on each ingredient needed for your feast. You might already have plenty of these ingredients at home, too. In part, you are paying for convenience with this box, but you're also paying for higher-quality ingredients than what you may find in your local store.

The Classic Thanksgiving Box is priced at $139.99, though you'll likely have to tack on tax to that number. Still, taking $140 as our base price, that's $17.25 per person for a party of eight. The Vegetarian Holiday Box costs $124.99, so that's $12.50 per person for a party of 10. The Holiday Ham Box costs $164.99, spelling $16.50 per diner if 10 people come to dinner. Prices for the "Thanksgiving-Inspired Add-Ons" (that is, the side dishes) vary. Still, if you want to add anything to your meal, your Thanksgiving dinner costs will naturally go up even more.

How long are Blue Apron's Thanksgiving boxes available?

If you are reading this article after noon eastern time on Thursday, November 17, 2022 — that is, one week before Thanksgiving Day — then we're sorry to tell you that it's too late to order a Blue Apron Holiday Box. That's the moment these curated seasonal meal boxes cease to be available for Thanksgiving 2022. But if you're reading it any time before then, you're in luck! Depending on the time, you may be able to dictate the box's shipping, too. You can have the Classic Thanksgiving Box and the Holiday Ham Box delivered to you during the weeks of November 7, November 14, or November 21. Of course, that last date is the week of Thanksgiving, thus making that the wisest choice, as not all of the ingredients in these boxes will last that long. But hey, it's nice to have all those options anyway.

When it comes to the Vegetarian Holiday Box, you can order it throughout the year. For delivery before Thanksgiving, you still must order by noon ET on November 17, but you can get that box delivered any week after the holiday including the last week of the year. However, please note that the sides (or "Thanksgiving-Inspired Add-Ons," as Blue Apron calls them) will only be available for delivery the week of Thanksgiving.

How do the Holiday Boxes compare to Blue Apron's other offerings?

If you are even passingly familiar with Blue Apron, then there will be no surprises for you here. The included side dishes are just the kinds of things you'd find yourself making in a standard non-holiday Blue Apron kit. Want some examples? At the time of this writing, the featured meals of the month include "One-Pot Tomato and Parmesan Risotto," "Seared Duck and Balsamic-Grape Pan Sauce," and "Oven-Baked Butternut Squash Chili," all of which would fit into a Thanksgiving feast menu quite well.

As for the process, the only way these Holiday Boxes differ from most Blue Apron meal kits is in size and scope. These kits come with enough food to feed eight or 10 people, whereas most Blue Apron kits are for couples or families of four or so. This means that, in terms of scope, there is indeed a bit more time and effort involved in the preparation of the big meal.

The good news? It's all about the time you need, but not necessarily the effort. You will have to prep the turkey a day in advance, for instance, making sure that it's thawed and seasoned. You'll also need to bake the turkey for up to an hour and 20 minutes and let it rest for 20 more. The pie takes a while, too. Overall, there's a lot to do here! But take heart, as all of the steps are relatively simple.

What's the nutrition info in Blue Apron's Holiday Boxes?

First, we'll look at the Classic Thanksgiving Holiday Box, which Blue Apron breaks down into six servings. Each portion of the turkey, when served with the herb gravy and cranberry sauce, packs in 740 calories, 29 grams of fat, 1,180 milligrams of sodium, and 82 grams of protein. A serving of the roasted Brussels sprouts and mashed potatoes, with the two sides measured as one, nets you 580 more calories, 37 grams of fat, 1,010 milligrams of sodium, and 18 grams of protein. As, for the Apple Crumb Pie with Caramel and Almonds, that's 550 more calories, 33 more grams of fat, 330 milligrams of sodium, and five grams of protein.

Next, we move on to the ham. When served with its brown sugar-honey glaze and portioned out to eight people, that's a more modest 330 calories, five grams of fat, a savage 1,320 milligrams of sodium, and 46 grams of protein. Next, we have the Three-Cheese Cascatelli Pasta Bake with (across eight servings) 720 calories, 44 grams of fat, 970 milligrams of sodium, and 21 grams of protein. 

The roasted Brussels sprouts and squash dish comes in at 350 calories, 26 grams of fat, 900 milligrams of sodium, and eight grams of protein. And for the arugula orange salad and the chocolate mousse pie, which Blue Apron lumped together in its nutrition info section, that's 600 calories, 45 grams of fat, 290 milligrams of sodium, and 11 grams of protein.

Did we enjoy Blue Apron's Classic Thanksgiving Box dinner?

We thoroughly enjoyed the early Thanksgiving dinner we prepped using the Blue Apron Classic Thanksgiving Box. The food was delicious — the mashed potatoes in particular get a chef's kiss — and the selection was excellent. Those rich, savory potatoes were well balanced by the roasted, herb-rich Brussels sprouts, the gravy made the turkey pop (the meat buttery and flavorful), and the cranberry sauce was easy to make and bursting with flavor. The pie was a hit, too, especially considering how easy it was to prepare compared to other pies.

We do have to say that, despite how well Blue Apron portions things out and how clear the instructions are, these meals are still a lot of work. We had three cooks in the kitchen and it went just fine, but anyone who sets out to prep this feast alone is either bold or nuts — or both. Word of advice: get your mise en place game solidly in place.

Plus, it doesn't hurt to have a good glass of wine at the ready while you cook and for the meal after. To that end, pairing the meal with a 2019 bottle of The Prisoner, one of the finest red wines you'll find south of $50, as we did? That's a wise move. You can go ahead and order wines through Blue Apron, too. But we're just sayin': this one worked pretty darn well for us!