Abel & Cole recipe box review

Everything you need to know about Abel & Cole recipe box subscription service in this nifty review...

Abel & Cole recipe box
(Image credit: Abel & Cole)
GoodtoKnow Verdict

"I can see why people opt for recipe boxes as they’re a great convenience - all the thinking and food buying is done for you, you just have to have a bit of extra time in the evenings to create your masterpiece, which is why it would be a weekend treat for us if we were to have Abel & Cole again in the future."

Reasons to buy
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    Good quality ingredients

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    Easy to follow recipes

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    Recyclable packaging

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    Cancel anytime subscription

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    Accurate cooking times

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    No food waste

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    No special equipment needed

Reasons to avoid
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    Limited delivery choices - no customisation

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    Food prep times are longer than stated

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Full-time worker Emily, 29, and her partner tested out the popular Abel & Cole recipe box to see how this meal prep delivery service compared to other leading recipe box brands.   

From packaging to recipe cards, from cooking times to the quality of food, Abel & Cole recipe box was rated one of the best recipe boxes for couples.

Abel & Cole started its organic food journey in 1988. Since then the company has moved on to selling organic produce and high-quality locally sourced ingredients online. They have become well known for their recipe box delivery service and are a favourite amongst healthy eaters and those looking for a truly passionate brand about what they produce.

How much packaging does Abel & Cole use and is it recyclable? 

Abel & Cole's recipe box arrived as stated promptly along with an SMS text notification of its arrival. The driver left the box in the designated safe place as requested. The recipe box came in two separate boxes - one with fridge products with insulation to keep them cool during transport, and the other box contained vegetables and dry ingredients such as spices and grains. 

"I initially thought as the recipe box arrived in two separate parcels that there would be tons of unnecessary packaging and unrecyclable materials but I was wrong," says Emily.

"The boxes were all made from cardboard as were the inner packaging too. The only plastic was the cooling insulation to keep halloumi, tofu, and other fridge products cool during delivery - which was successful. I also realised later when reading on their website that you can actually return the boxes too so they can be reused again which is a great idea."

Does Abel & Cole have special diet offers?

Emily and her partner chose two meals to try; turmeric crepes with tofu and halloumi and spinach curry with rice - both vegetarian options as both are vegetarian. "It's nice to try different vegetarian recipes every now and then, especially when we make the same thing each week - it can get a bit repetitive.

A recipe box is a great way to try something new and learn some new cooking skills in the process. Abel & Cole has a good variety of dietary choices when it came to recipes including vegan meals, light meals, and quick meals under 30 minutes too," added Emily. 

How easy are Abel & Cole recipes?

Along with an abundance of fresh, organic produce - all in great condition and with good use-by dates too, a recipe card was provided for each of Emily's chosen recipes.

"The recipe cards were super easy to follow - really simple instructions broken down into clear points. Each told you exactly how long it would take to make the recipe on average. All of the ingredients were clearly labeled so was easy to put two and two together. I cook regularly and love cooking so recreating these recipes was great fun," says Emily.

Abel & Cole recipe cards

(Image credit: Future)

She continues; "We found that the cooking times were spot on, the preparation times however took a little longer. As I said, I'm an avid cook so for beginners preparing these recipes may take a tad longer than it states - particularly if there's just one of you cooking." Emily told Goodto.com that the recipes looked pretty much on point to the recipe card photos which was a great feeling, "We'd obviously followed the instructions properly so it looked the part."

What do Abel & Cole recipes taste like?

As you would expect with organic food and fresh produce, Abel & Cole's recipes were packed full of flavour and there was no use of any other ingredients from Emily's kitchen other than a light seasoning on the pancakes. "The curry was delicious," says Emily. 

"I wouldn't think to put halloumi in a curry but it really worked. The sauce was creamy and spicy enough for us and the halloumi added a delightful saltiness to the overall dish. I would recommend it. The crepes however were not for us. The pancakes were too soft and the flavours didn't work for us but it was great to try something new. Next time however we'll be choosing one-pot meals like stir-fry, enchiladas, gratin, and so on." 

Is the Abel & Cole recipe box worth the money?

Abel & Cole recipe box is priced from £4.25 per plate. The minimum spend is £12 with a £1.99 delivery charge. On average you’re looking at around £6-£8 per portion. This of course depends on which recipes you choose, how many you’re catering for, and how many recipes are in your box. 

“Unfortunately we found Abel & Cole recipe box to be quite expensive. We loved all the fresh, organic produce, the food we created was spot on and everything was in our box that we needed to create a delicious meal, however, Abel & Cole for us would definitely be more of a weekend treat or an every now and then spontaneous buy (after pay day!)” says Emily. 


“It was great to not have to worry about the food shop. We both work full time so squeezing a food shop in between commuting into the office can be a faff," says Emily.

"I can see why people opt for recipe boxes as they’re a great convenience - all the thinking and food buying is done for you, you just have to have a bit of extra time in the evenings to create your masterpiece, which is why it would be a weekend treat for us if we were to have Abel & Cole again in the future."

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Jessica Dady
Food Editor

Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodtoKnow and has over 12 years of experience as a digital editor, specialising in all things food, recipes, and SEO. From the must-buy seasonal food hampers and advent calendars for Christmas to the family-friendly air fryers that’ll make dinner time a breeze, Jessica loves trying and testing various food products to find the best of the best for the busy parents among us. Over the years of working with GoodtoKnow, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create exclusive videos - as well as writing, testing, and shooting her own recipes. When she’s not embracing the great outdoors with her family at the weekends, Jessica enjoys baking up a storm in the kitchen with her favourite bakes being chocolate chip cookies, cupcakes, and a tray of gooey chocolate brownies