If I were to tell you that ready meals can be really tasty, nutritious and exciting then you probably wouldn’t believe me and to be honest, I wouldn’t quite blame you. I have eaten many horrific ready meals during my time, enough to put me off them completely. That was until I tried out Planty.
Planty is a fully vegan meal delivery service. They are on a mission to reinvent the ready meal, making convenient healthy dishes that are both tasty and exciting.
They offered to send me a box to try and after hearing loads of great stuff about them I had to accept and find out whether my ready meal embargo could be lifted.
I even had to locate a microwave, especially for this Planty review, since it isn’t a piece of kitchen equipment that I tend to use. But spoiler alert, I may have to get myself one so I can keep on heating these plant-based convenience meals up…
See also: my vegan cooking guide
So, get yourself and your microwave (and maybe even your oven) ready, grab yourself a fork, and tuck into this honest Planty review. I’m going to be covering everything from the flavours of the dishes, their nutritional credentials, the portion sizing and the overall quality of the vegan ready meals.
If you’ve got this far then I guess you too are intrigued by Planty and their vegan ready meal offering. So, keep on reading to find out more about the positive aspects that I really enjoyed when eating these meals, as well as some areas of improvement that I believe could be made. Since nothing is perfect.
Packed full of flavour
I never thought I’d be saying this about a ready meal, but these were really quite tasty! Each dish draws upon a different cuisine and has a unique flavour profile. No indescribable bland microwave food tastes here.
Their plant-based meals are both inventive and exciting, like their creamy nduja stew which has lovely umami smoky flavours and their BBQ beef enchilada which is wonderfully meaty. This is probably down to their clever use of plant-based ingredients, like vegan mushroom meat, and spices.
On top of this, Planty takes part in regular collaborations with other tasty food brands, like Heura and THIS, meaning you get to try out loads of other wonderful flavour creations.
In order to create these dishes with these flavours in your own kitchen you would need a well-kitted-out spice drawer and pantry, making it even more convenient to just buy these ready-made options from Planty.
My favourite flavourful ready meals from Planty include:
Great portion sizing
Portion sizes are a concern for many people, myself included. More often than not, a ready meal will come out looking the size of a kid’s dinner but with all the calories of a huge portion. This is mostly down to their poor choice of ingredients and cooking processes.
Thankfully, Planty uses all-natural ingredients to add sustenance and flavour to their meals. These natural ingredients include vegetables, legumes, and grains which are occasionally mixed with some vegan meat substitutes. All of which are substantial and filling.
Therefore, when it comes to serving up your vegan ready meal you will be pleasantly surprised by the size of it on the plate and by how filling it is.
I personally found them to be at my upper limit of portion sizes with an ideal amount of calories. My partner who tends to eat larger portions than me was even pleasantly full. If you pair it up with one of their delicious side dishes and vegan desserts then you’ll have enough for a feast!
Impressive nutritional credentials
Ready meals aren’t normally synonymous with nutritional food, but in this case, they are! Planty makes it really clear what food they use to create their plant-based meals along with some really impressive nutritional credentials to go alongside it.
On the packaging of each meal, you will find some really clear messaging about the nutritional values of the dish. So you can find out how much protein and fibre you’ll get from it, alongside any other additional nutritional benefits.
See also: my vegan nutrition guide
The majority of the dishes are high in fibre thanks to their use of plant-based ingredients as well as many having high protein contents, which is great for anyone who likes to work out a lot!
I found that all of the dishes were really well balanced, including a good mix of grains, protein and fruit and vegetables. This means that you can rely on their vegan ready meals to give you a nutritionally complete meal. No need to work it all out for yourself. It doesn’t get any more convenient than that!
My main concern when buying any sort of convenience food is the packaging. It often means hoards of plastic, a lot of it being unrecyclable. But this isn’t the case with Planty, you can tell they are really conscious about providing an eco-friendly option to consumers.
Let me unpack the eco-friendly Planty box for you.
- The box: the meals come delivered inside a cardboard box which is super easy to recycle.
- Inside the box: in order to keep your frozen meals chilled they use recycled denim insulation. This can be returned to them very easily using the provided returns label, which means they can continue to reuse it! This is one of the best insulation options I’ve seen. They also use dry ice packs which come in a recyclable packet.
- The meals: the ready meals themselves come inside a plastic-lined paperboard tray (which is separated during recycling) with a film to seal it and a cardboard sleeve with all the product information on it. All of this can be recycled at home. Just make sure to rinse it all before putting it into your recycling bin!
- Other dishes: some of the other dishes are delivered inside glass jars with aluminium lids. These just need to be rinsed, separated and put in your household recycling.
It is great to see how transparent they are about their packaging and they provide a lot of advice about how to recycle it. It isn’t perfect, since it still requires plastic, but they are making an effort to provide something much more sustainable than you normally see!
My thoughts on Planty
Is Planty any good? In a nutshell, I believe that Planty is one of the best plant-based meal delivery services that you can buy from. The positives are pretty much endless, including their great variety of flavourful food, the nutritional credentials of the meals, the portion sizes and the quality of the cooking.
You would be hard-pushed to find vegan ready meals this good elsewhere! But if you are looking for 2-person meals of a similar quality, then you should check out allplants – read my full allplants review here.
Areas of improvement
My main drawback with Planty’s plant-based meals is more to do with ready meals in general. No matter how well prepared and cooked they are, they can have a tendency to turn to mush when reheating them. Now, it definitely doesn’t happen to all of the dishes. Especially the ones which only need cooking for 7 minutes in the microwave. But the ones that need to be cooked in the oven do suffer somewhat.
That being said, it doesn’t take away from the taste at all, nor the nutritional benefits of the food. All of the ingredients still had a good bite and chew to them, so they definitely weren’t at all overcooked. Which suggests they have a great cooking process!
Some of the dishes just may not pass as homecooked food on a plate if you were to try and serve it to your friends or family and pretend it was your own.
When it comes to convenience, taste and nutrition, Planty completely hit the ball out of the park! Their food is flash-frozen after cooking to preserve the ingredients and to increase the meal’s lifespan, which really helps to make their dishes taste almost homecooked (since there are no preservatives).
The portion sizes are perfect, leaving you feeling pleasantly full. And their choice of high-quality plant-based ingredients helps you to feel energised for the rest of the day.
I would not at all hesitate to recommend Planty to anyone looking for help with their vegan cooking. It would be perfect for anyone who works a lot, for people with kids, and for people who just don’t like cooking. I also think they are perfect for anyone who, like me, gets lazy every so often and wants to just pop something in the oven (or microwave) and sit back and relax whilst it cooks.
Where can you buy Planty meals?
Planty’s vegan meals are available directly through their website where you can sign up for a convenient subscription. It is very easy to pause it and even cancel it if you no longer require their meals.
Here are some frequently asked questions regarding Planty.
Is Planty vegan?
Planty is a fully vegan ready meal company meaning that all of their dishes, including their mains, sides, desserts, and breakfasts, are made purely from plant-based ingredients. They make sure to include a range of plant-based protein sources, as well as grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits to ensure all of their dishes are highly nutritional.
They are a vegan company, but their meals are suitable for absolutely everyone!
What is the best premade meal delivery service in the UK?
In my opinion, when it comes to convenience, nutrition, and flavours, Planty is quite easily the best meal delivery service in the UK.