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Cook Unity Reviews

Sexy Nerd and I finally gave one of those ready-made, mail-order meal services a try. We were skeptical, afraid we'd receive what's basically an expensive TV dinner, but now we're hooked.

Cook Unity Reviews

Cook Unity meals are gourmet restaurant-quality. With the $60 off your 1st order promotion, which is DOUBLE their typical discount, you can taste these meals for yourself practically for free! This blog post has not been sponsored in any way by Cook Unity or any other meal delivery service. We just really love the meals!

Cook Unity Mushroom Cavatelli

The Cook Unity Mushroom Cavatelli with Mascarpone and Chives pairs nicely with Cook Unity's Mixed Green Salad with Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese (1 out of 2 plates because we split each meal to share)

Over the past several months, we have tried most of Cook Unity's meals. Their site features a helpful ratings and reviews feature, so you can limit your meals to only the most popular.

Finally, a meal service that arrives ready to eat!
Cook Unity's Salmon with Avocado Sauce and Cucumber Salsa paired with their Creole Braised Vegetables with Black Mushroom Rice

We love our private chef
Easiest date night ever.

Creating your own 16-pack? Here are our favorite Cook Unity meals:
  1. Chicken Schnitzel with Dijon Smashed Potatoes (our favorite so far)
  2. Lamb Ragout with Cheese Ravioli (our second favorite so far - some meals, like this one, have a small surcharge because they cost more to make, but the surcharge is waived with your 1st order)
  3. Mushroom Cavatelli with Mascarpone and Chives (our third favorite so far)
  4. Mixed Green Salad with Roasted Beets and Goat Cheese (our fourth favorite so far)
  5. Blackened Salmon with Creamed Leeks (our fifth favorite so far)
  6. Pork Tenderloin with Caramelized Onion with Gorgonzola Sweet Potato Gratin (6th favorite)
  7. Patarashka-Style Redfish with Bok Choy and Quinoa
  8. Creole Braised Vegetables with Black Mushroom Rice (so tasty, especially the plantains, but my carnivorous SN was still hungry afterward)
  9. Thai Basil Chicken with Shiitake Mushrooms and Green Beans (good but the chicken was a bit too pink for my comfort - SN said it was perfectly fine and was probably right)
  10. Thai Green Curry with Chicken and Jasmine Rice (we love curry and the ones from Cook Unity do an impressive job of competing with our local favorites)(shout out to Albuquerque's The Orchid and Thai Street)
  11. Panang Curry with Beef (told you we love curry - SN had never tried it before he met me, omg)
  12. Thai Red Curry with Chicken (time to start winding down these comments)
  13. Salmon Ginger Cakes
  14. Pork Caribbean Stew with Red Beans and Rice
  15. Beef Bourguignon with Buttered Egg Noodles
  16. Cod en Persillade with Lemon Orzo
Meal service with gourmet chefs
Mushroom Cavatelli with Mascarpone and Chives - easy to see why this is one of our favorite Cook Unity meals, right? So cheesy and flavorful!

What Makes Cook Unity the Best Meal Kit Service?

There's a lot to love about Cook Unity. Almost everything we've tasted has been phenomenal, courtesy of recipes designed and prepared by professionally trained chefs. Another plus is that Cook Unity encourages you to look through the available choices before providing your payment information, which almost no other service allows. What are they trying to hide? This has always felt suspicious to me, like a bait-and-switch.

These are important, but there is one thing I especially love about Cook Unity, something that blows all the competing meal services out of the water. Remember my complaints about Hello Fresh?

Every meal arrives ready to eat! Why would I want to spend my money on a meal kit service that makes me pay to ship a bunch of carrots to my house? I can buy my own groceries. These days, they'll even be delivered to my house for free. Everyone posts their favorite meal service recipes online, so if you love to cook, save yourself a bunch of money by removing the ingredients and delivery part from the equation.

SN and I work hard, often arriving home too exhausted to put effort into boiling pasta. These premade meals have changed our life.

Mail Order Meal Delivery: The Process and Returns

What happens if my mail order meal arrives damaged?

Our first Cook Unity box arrived a bit smashed, but the meals inside were fine. I instructed Olive and Bernadette to pose for a photo next to the box. In hindsight, I suppose it is asking a lot for a dog to hold still next to a box of food. They did a better job than Biscuit, who wouldn't even humor me.

We placed our initial Cook Unity order in March, 2022. Now that we've been happy customers for such a long time, we have had a few run-ins with delivery mishaps. It has never been Cook Unity's fault, always the shipping company. For example, UPS once delayed our Friday delivery due to weather, but the package still made it to our distribution center on the delivery date. The box was clearly marked as being perishable meals, yet UPS opted not to deliver the package Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. By the time we received the package at the end of Monday, left out in the summer sun, considering eating any of it seemed foolish.

Still, it broke our hearts to throw away those chef-prepared meals. Creole Spaghetti and Smoked Sausage! Thai Basil Chicken with Shiitake Mushrooms and Green Beans! Luckily, Cook Unity insures every delivery and receiving a free replacement took no effort at all. 

Cook Unity Meals: Before and After

Cook Unity Reviews

Detailed cooking instructions, nutritional information, and ingredients are included with every meal. My favorite part of the box is the chef. As you try new meals, you learn which chefs are your favorites. Whenever Chef Nahika Hillery releases a new option, I order it without hesitation, even if it doesn't have any reviews yet. Everything she makes is packed with unique flavors.

Photos of Cook Unity meals

Cook Unity meals cook right in their container, so there's no cleanup to worry about. Well, unless you like to be fancy like us and transfer your meals to dishes. SN and I enjoy pretending to have our own private chef. We clink our wine glasses and let out our best snooty rich person laughs.

In the Before photo above, we were skeptical that the salad would be edible. It doesn't look great, does it?

Mushroom Cavatelli with Mascarpone and Chives

Not only was the salad excellent, we enjoyed it so much that we include it with the majority of our orders.

Green dining room

Food Blogs
5 stars! With two of my favorites combined into a single meal, my private chef has outdone themself.

Compare meal kits
Yellow Curry with Shellfish - Before

Yellow Curry with Shellfish
Yellow Curry with Shellfish - After

Only SN ate this one because I don't do shellfish. He loved it.

Cute dog
Biscuit has a Cook Unity complaint. There should be meals available for dogs, obviously.

Meal kit reviews
Posing with the Thai Basil Chicken meal, looking quite the professional-yet-unofficial spokesperson, if I do say so myself.

Best meal delivery service
Insert your favorite celebrity chef catchphrase here.

“You’re like a blackjack dealer at the Flavortown Casino.” — Guy Fieri

Cook Unity Reviews
So much for my professional attire. SN zoomed out a little too far in this one. Surprise - slipper socks!

Can You Freeze Cook Unity Meals?

For our bargain 1st order, I ordered the 16-pack. My plan was to go with a smaller quantity, but there were too many choices to resist. This provided 8 dinners, as SN and I like to share.

Can You Freeze Cook Unity Meals?

SN and I have maintained our 16-pack plan but stretched out to be every 2-3 weeks instead of weekly. The majority of meals freeze beautifully, despite Cook Unity's recommendation to eat them fresh, so it makes sense to order the largest plan. By purchasing in bulk, you receive the lowest cost per meal.

When deciding what to freeze and what to enjoy fresh, some good options are obvious, like poultry and lasagna, which you probably already have in your freezer. We prioritize keeping ingredients that are not meant to be cooked fresh, such as salads and meals that contain raw cucumber and tomatoes as part of a side dish. We also try to eat fresh salmon immediately. It's still okay after being frozen, but it seems a shame to freeze such high quality seafood.

How Much Does Cook Unity Cost?

Prior to embracing the meal service lifestyle, SN and I went out for dinner almost every weeknight. We were too tired to cook and, let's face it, tired people don't prepare the tastiest food. When our schedules didn't align for restaurant plans, it wasn't uncommon for me to work a 14+ hour shift without breaks, eat cereal for dinner, and collapse into bed so I could wake up early and do it all over again.

The point I'm trying to make is that Cook Unity is much less expensive than going out to eat. I suppose I'm also making the point that it's more expensive than cereal.

Okay, I can be a bit more specific with pricing than that:

How much does Cook Unity cost?
Ready to try Cook Unity for yourself? As you can see from the prices above, the $60 off your 1st order promotion makes it a no brainer.

Eating Healthy with Cook Unity

There are options for every dietary preference, including but not limited to Keto, Paleo, and Vegan. The nutritional information is easy to see when choosing your meals.

A neat trick we've discovered is to bring Cook Unity meals with you on trips. SN's job often has him traveling for a week or longer. He sometimes finds himself in a food desert, unable to find healthy options. He throws a few frozen dinners in an insulated bag with an ice pack. For really long business trips, we just have the meals delivered to his hotel.

Cook Unity Photos
Bon appetit!