Recipe boxes exist to make your life easier. You get all the ingredients you need to make your evening meal and clear step-by-step instructions delivered to your door. The reason I mention this is because Gousto’s decision not to separate out the ingredients in its deliveries by meal seems a bit… strange.
I’m well aware this might seem precious given that all the food was delivered to my house, along with instructions, but other recipe box services divide up the ingredients and it does make things easier. Trying to sort through the vast array of spice sachets for four different meals in my Gousto box took a long time – especially when making one of the meals in the new Ten to Table range. Taking five minutes to find the ingredients for what should have been a ten-minute meal rather defeats the point.
However, petty concerns aside, I have nothing else negative to say about Gousto’s meals. Both the ten-minute and regular meals were simple to make and delicious. The recipes were the best-designed out of the six meal boxes I’ve tried, so I never felt rushed or had to juggle cooking several parts of the meal at once.
Both of the ten-minute meals I tried took closer to 15 minutes (plus the five minutes sifting through spice packets), but I took it fairly slow – ten minutes was within reach if I picked up the pace a bit. As you’d expect, these were simple meals – a prawn stir-fry and chicken fried rice – but I was impressed that you got a decent amount of vegetables in both, since sometimes veg are the first to go when designing rapid recipes.
The longer recipes were naturally a little more complex and interesting. I made pulled chicken for the first time, which was exciting, and learned what baharat chicken was.
Gousto changes up its recipe options regularly and has over 40 options to pick from each week. There are also options that cover most dietary preferences, including vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free. The latest addition to the roster is a series of ten Everyday Favourites, which includes the likes of spag bol, fish and chips, and chicken curry.
These classic recipes are as quick and easy to make as any other Gousto recipes, and guaranteed crowd-pleasers if you are cooking for the whole family. Per serving, they all also contain at least two of your five-a-day, though they are fairly calorific, ranging from 600-900 calories.
Those calories are put to good use, at least, because the recipes are delicious. I tried the Spicy-As-You-Like Chilli Con Carne and the Three Cheese Veg-Packed Pasta Bake and the latter in particular was sensational, probably the tastiest meal I’ve had from all the recipe boxes I’ve tried. The recipe card was instantly stashed away in my kitchen to be used again.
Another small thing I appreciated about Gousto’s meals was that, at least in the recipes I tried, there were no premade spice mixes – you got the individual herbs and spices you needed. This means slightly more work locating the correct sachets and opening them without spraying spices everywhere, but also means you can remake the recipe yourself easily. You don’t need to figure out what went in the spice mix; you just have to buy the ingredients.
A box with four meals for two people costs £34.99 from Gousto, which is the same price as HelloFresh for the same option, cheaper than Mindful Chef, where meals cost £5-£9pp, but more expensive than Morrisons’ Eat Fresh service, which costs £30 for four meals for two. I certainly found the recipes from Gousto more exciting and tasty than the Morrisons box, especially that outrageous pasta bake, but the latter does offer great value.