I must have tried all the recipe boxes available in the UK by now (we’ve done Riverford, Abel & Cole, HelloFresh, Marley Spoon..), and I don’t mean to alarm anybody but I think I might just have found my favourite. They’re all pretty damn good, the competition is fierce out there, but Gousto have won me over on two counts.
I could be wrong (and please do correct me if I am), but in my experience so far of recipe boxes, you have to choose a set menu of sorts. There’s a veggie box (the obvious choice for me), a meaty box and sometimes a wildcard mix of the two. Three recipes per box is the standard, and if you don’t love the sound of one of them then you just sort of have to suck it up, order it anyway and hope you don’t hate it. What Gousto offer is the opportunity to browse their 10 recipes for the week and choose the ones you like the sound of most, almost curating your own recipe box and giving you all the control from the off. I was able to filter by veggie recipes and choose from four options, all equally original and worth getting excited about.
The right balance of simple and delicious
This is really hard to get right, and Gousto have nailed it. Bear in mind, of course, that I’m going off the basis of only two recipes, so I can’t account for every single cooking experience you might possibly receive with them, but it does feel like a safe bet. These recipes just ticked all of the right boxes for me. They took no time at all to come together (the panzanella, pictured above, was a legitimate 10 minute job) and didn’t involve any ballache processes that would feel unattainable or frustrating after work on a weeknight. They were recipes I was genuinely excited to get into the kitchen and try, and they came through on taste too.
If you’re wondering what it is I actually cooked, that would be fair, because I’ve gotten this far into a review without actually introducing the dishes. Good work, Cate.
Tuscan Panzanella Salad – a gorgeous salad with crispy crunchy toasted ciabatta, slightly sweetened crunchy red onion, mozzarella, olives, capers, all the good stuff. The portion sizes were enormous, far more than I might usually reach for (but ate it all anyway because.. just because). I can’t stress how great it was to have a meal come together in 10 minutes either, much as I adore cooking.
Mushroomy Woodland Pasta – gaaahhhh. I almost cried when I noticed that the calorie intake for one portion was 922(!!!) but it was worth it. Cream, thyme, garlic, mushrooms, spinach, caramelised onions. You just can’t argue with that. This one took about 30 minutes (10 less than the suggested 40 on the recipe card) and again was a bloody breeze.
Another win: neither used a billion different pans, which one or two recipe boxes are totally guilty of. So I think overall it’s safe to say that Gousto is legit my favourite recipe box, and the one that I will be confidently recommending when people ask “hey Cate, can you recommend a recipe box?”.
FYI: Gousto sent me this box free of charge for review