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Last updated: July 2, 2024

Frive review: My honest thoughts on their meals

I’ve tried so many ready meals that I’ve been something of a connoisseur. Read my honest Frive review to find out why I think they are on to something with their fresh approach to meal deliveries!

Rating:

4.7 stars out of 5
Lucy holding a Frive meal in one hand and a heated up Frive meal in the other for this Frive review

I have a love-hate relationship with ready meals. I love the convenience they bring to my life but hate how mushy and tasteless the food can be.

This is why I was intrigued by the meal delivery service offered by Frive (formerly Lions Prep). They deliver a variety of fresh meals to your door twice a week. I’ve always dreamt of having my own personal chef and I guess this is the next best thing!

So I was really happy to be gifted a selection of their vegan meals to try out. In this honest Frive review, I will tell you all about my experience with their dishes.

Pros

  • Tasty and inventive flavours
  • Meals sync with MyFitnessPal
  • Food intolerances can be catered for
  • Plenty of vegan options
  • Weekly rotating menu

Cons

  • Short fridge life
  • Few low calorie snacks

My experience

Frive sent me a box of their vegan meals, including two breakfast dishes, two snacks, and four main meals to try out. They came packaged inside a well-insulated cardboard box with ice packs. All of which were easy to recycle (find out more in their FAQs). Thankfully, the meals are delivered fresh so you don’t need to worry about the package being delivered when you are out and all the meals defrosting before you get back.

All of the meals looked really fresh upon opening the box. I put them straight into the fridge and ate them over the next few days. I will now go into more detail about each aspect of my experience with Frive, including the quality, ingredients, ease of cooking, flavour, texture and nutrition. I hope you find this Frive review helpful!

A variety of Frive meals inside a box

Variety of meals

I love having variety in the food I eat, otherwise, I can get really bored with a dish. Frive offers a weekly rotating menu which means I can eat something different each week. But don’t worry, if you have a favourite dish you may well see it pop up again in the coming weeks.

They have around 15 main dishes (approximately 6 of them are vegan), 6-7 breakfast dishes, and 6-7 snacks to choose from each week. Their meals span many cuisines, including Korean, Greek, Italian and Thai food. You can order each main dish either as ‘Balanced’ or ‘Low Carb’, with the latter also typically being lower in calories.

My favourite thing about Frive is that you can request for them to cater to your dairy or gluten intolerance, or leave out an ingredient in the dishes they send to you. This is perfect if you have an ingredient you don’t like or that your gut is sensitive to. This ensures you can still enjoy the variety of meals they have on offer each week!

A close up of the ingredients list on a Frive tofu dish for this Frive review

The ingredients

Unlike most ‘fresh’ ready meals you pick up in the supermarket, Frive meals contain zero preservatives. This is because they operate as a subscription business which means you will get a delivery twice a week to replenish your meals. The meals have a short fridge life, around 3 days, so you should only order what you need for those few days.

This business model means that they can deliver fresh meals with no nasty ingredients! They also make sure to include a variety of different ingredients within the meals, which is great for the gut. For example, my Chilli Garlic Tofu Donburi dish (pictured below) had rice, tofu, sesame seeds, a sauce, and a salad made with carrots, cucumber, onion and beansprouts.

A cooked Frive tofu donburi dish next to the packaging, showing the freshness of the food, for this Frive review

Ease of cooking

I found all the Frive meals easy to cook and since everything was delivered fresh I could eat many of the breakfast dishes and snacks straight out of the fridge. Most meal delivery companies deliver their food frozen which does have the added benefit of a longer use before day, but does also mean you have to cook everything for longer.

Frive provides instructions on how to reheat their meals in the microwave which are very simple and quick (usually a matter of minutes). Typically, you will keep the food within the tray and slightly peel back the film. Salad pots will need to be removed and sauce pot lids should be opened.

They don’t provide instructions on how to cook your meals in the oven but that doesn’t mean you can’t cook them using this method! It is best to decant the meal into an oven dish and cook it until all of the ingredients are heated through. I have tested this method a few times and it took about 15 minutes to heat all the ingredients sufficiently at around 180 degrees (fan). It is a little bit more faff, but the food still heats up pretty easily.

Because the meals are delivered fresh, cooking times are much shorter than that of frozen ready meals. However, this does mean that the meals have shorter use-by dates, typically around 3 days.

Two of the breakfast options from Frive, including an overnight oats and a chia pudding

The flavour

I found each Frive dish had a distinct and unique flavour. They also manage to balance the flavours effectively without using excessive amounts of salt. I did add a little extra salt to one of the main dishes, but I am a bit of a salt fiend.

The Asian dishes all tasted pretty authentic and I loved the flavour of the tofu donburi dish. However, I could have done with more spice in the Thai dish I had. That being said, I have read tonnes of reviews of meal delivery brands online and discovered that spicing is a pretty difficult thing to get right for every single customer. They are probably trying to make their meals more accessible to everyone. So I added some chilli to my dish after cooking, which isn’t a problem for me!

I particularly enjoyed their breakfast dishes which were packed full of flavour. For example, the Forest Fruits Chia Pudding was incredibly well-balanced, both sweet and tangy.

A variety of Frive meals inside my fridge for this Frive review

The texture

My experience with ready made meals is that they normally go soggy and mushy during the cooking process. However, this wasn’t the case with the Frive meals. Because they aren’t frozen, all the textures remain quite firm after cooking. No mushy food here!

By delivering their meals fresh they can also add salads, which bring a nice crunchy texture to a dish. It also gives it that homecooked feel that you don’t get with frozen ready meals. I particularly enjoyed the way they had prepared and pre-cooked the tofu dishes. The tofu had a nice crisp outer layer and was soft and squidgy on the inside.

The meals don’t take long to cook in the microwave so it leaves fewer opportunities for the food to get soggy. However, when cooking in the oven you may find some ingredients like rice go a little crispy.

Two snacks from Frive that are healthy but high in calories

The nutrition

I could tell that Frive cares about providing balanced meals that are high in protein. Most dishes I tried contained between 10-30g of protein per portion which helped me to reach my daily protein goals.

I really enjoyed the snacks which helped curb my hunger mid-morning and -afternoon. However, the majority of the snacks are 300+ calories and when I am eating at a deficit this would stop me from being able to eat other healthy snacks like fruit throughout the day. However, for most people eating at a maintenance level, Frive’s snacks will fit in nicely!

You can even scan the meals using MyFitnessPal. I enjoyed using this feature since I was eating these meals whilst also counting my calorie consumption. It saved me a lot of time and effort. Although, sometimes the information is outdated, particularly when they update any of their recipes. If this is the case, you may want to input the information manually.

My verdict

I’ve had mixed experiences with meal delivery services. Usually, the thing that lets most down is how mushy the food gets during the cooking process. However, that has not been the case with Frive. All the dishes arrived looking fresh and vibrant, the dishes maintained a great texture throughout the cooking process, the ingredients were well thought out and nutritious, and the flavours were bold and exciting.

Their freshness does have a slight downside in that the meals have a shorter fridge life, but with their frequent deliveries, this shouldn’t be an issue as long as you don’t overorder!

I can see myself ordering a few of these meals twice a week just so I don’t have to think about cooking every night. For those of you who don’t enjoy cooking, there is a large enough variety of meals for you to enjoy eating Frive every day!

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Lucy the founder of Edible Ethics vegan food blog eating vegan noodles in a plant based restaurant

Lucy Johnson

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