“The majority of the recipes on Riverford are for two people. We did notice a couple that fed more but we'd be very limited for our family of four if we were to go with Riverford again. It was the perfect choice for a date night dinner for me and my husband though. We both love cooking, and cooking together made the prep and cook time even quicker."
Fresh, organic ingredients
No food waste
Accurate prep and cooking times
No food waste
Limited delivery choices - no customisation
Limited dietary options
Why you can trust GoodTo. Our experienced Consumer Editor & parent reviewers spend hours testing products to help you make the best choice. Find out how we test and review products.
We put the popular, organic Riverford recipe box to the test to see how this meal prep delivery service compared to other recipe boxes on the market.
Riverford recipe box was rated one of the best recipe boxes for healthy eating in our most recent roundup. Originating in 1986, Riverford Organic Farmers has been producing organic veg and inspiring people to cook with fresh produce for years. They are very passionate about environmentally friendly ways to deliver - particularly home compostable packaging.
From quality ingredients to recyclable packaging, from meal prep times to delivery options, here's everything you need to know about Riverford's recipe box subscription service.
How much packaging does Riverford use and is it recyclable?
Riverford recipe box was presented neatly with all ingredients and cold products in just one recyclable box. “Within the box were two cardboard ‘trays’ which had all the vegetables and dry ingredients for each recipe we’d chosen,” says Goodto.com’s Senior Content Editor, Jessica Dady. “I really liked the trays as not only did it make unpacking super easy, I could then leave the trays on the kitchen side all ready for action come dinner time.”
Cold produce was successfully stored in a chill bag with a wool liner, which kept the fridge products cool during transport. “I didn’t get a chance to unpack our recipe box until after the school run, and even then the chicken and other fridge ingredients were still cold.” Some ingredients arrived in plastic packaging or plastic pots. “Some plastic packaging was used in our Riverford box, however, the plastic pots for the pine nuts and couscous were kept and used again,” adds Jessica.
Riverford’s meal prep delivery service has quite limited delivery options. This is for good reason though as they offer a ‘save on food miles' delivery service which means just once a week drop off to each specific area. Jessica says; “I completely understand why Riverford have limited their delivery options. It goes hand in hand with their environmentally friendly approach to recipe boxes and delivery. It does however limit customers. We were lucky enough to find a time to suit our hectic schedule.”
Riverford does however have the option of choosing a safe place for your recipe box. This is ideal if you are out and about at the time of delivery. “This was a great little touch as our box arrived during the early hours of the morning and was left outside our door as we specified,” says Jessica.
Does Riverford have special diet offers?
Riverford Organic Farmers' recipes are sectioned into four categories: Guest Chef, Plant-based, Vegetarian, and Meat. You can choose from 12 recipes each week. The recipe tags help you to narrow the recipes down further with quick, low calorie, or seasonal recipe options for example.
"Not the best recipe box subscription for meat-eaters as there were only a few meat recipes to choose from. This didn't faze us however as we don't eat red meat in our house. The chicken and fish options were perfect, and plenty of seasonal veg options too were appreciated. You definitely feel like you're getting at least one of your five-a-day in each recipe, which is great," comments Jessica.
Diets such as gluten-free or dairy-free are unfortunately not addressed.
How easy are Riverford recipes?
With each recipe, you get a recipe card or leaflet with step-by-step instructions on how to prepare and cook your chosen recipe. The method is easy to follow, with simple, clear directions.
"We chose to make Vietnamese sweet potato and ginger stew and the poached chicken blood orange and couscous. Both recipe cards were easy to follow, with each stage of the recipe broken down into step-by-step points," says Jessica. "The timings were spot on for us - both the prep and cooking time. We didn't spend hours in the kitchen either which was great. We actually spent more time eating and enjoying the meals instead."
What do Riverford recipes taste like?
As you would expect with organic, fresh produce, Riverford recipes were full of flavour. "Riverford recipes were delicious, with well-balanced flavours, and what we cooked looked pretty much the same as the photo on the recipe card,” says Jessica.
“The Vietnamese stew was our favourite. It was bursting with flavour from the soft sweet potato and the cashew nuts. The blood orange chicken was super tender and the citrus orange worked really well with the meat. I personally wasn't a massive fan of the blood orange as it was too sharp for my taste buds but I gave it a go. That's the great thing about recipe boxes - they're an opportunity to try ingredients and recipes you wouldn't usually go for.”
Is the Riverford recipe box worth the money?
Riverford recipe boxes are priced at a minimum of £12.75 per meal for two. It can go up to £17.95 per meal for two for meat-based meals. "Despite the high price tag, you're paying for organic, quality ingredients and that's exactly what you get - with no spoiled ingredients, and all good use-by dates," comments Jessica.
"The portion sizes are generous and there was no food waste with the recipes we made. Everything was used up and on our plates at the end of preparing and cooking. On average you're looking at about £6.37 per person - which is much cheaper than eating out."
“The majority of the recipes on Riverford are for two people. We did notice a couple that fed more but we'd be very limited for our family of four if we were to go with Riverford again,” says Jessica.
“It was the perfect choice for a date night dinner for me and my husband though. We both love cooking, and cooking together made the prep and cook time even quicker."
Video of the Week
Parenting advice, hot topics, best buys and family finance tips delivered straight to your inbox.
Jessica Dady is Food Editor at GoodTo and has over 11 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 GoodTo, Jessica has had the privilege of working alongside Future’s Test Kitchen to create how-to videos exclusively for GoodtoEat - 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.
Claudia Winkleman admits the real reason she’s cutting back her workload, and it’s a growing trend among parents
The Strictly co-host is making a huge change to her workload
By Selina Maycock Published
Kate Middleton reveals how she copes with ‘nerve-wracking’ hospital trips with Prince George, Charlotte and Louis, and it can help you too
The royal mum has shared how she gets through her kids' worrying hospital visits
By Selina Maycock Published
Julia Roberts shares her 'simple rules' for parenting teens - and her trick for helping her family stay 'so deeply in love'
Julia Roberts has shared how technology positively allows her family to stay 'so deeply in love.' The actress also has one strict rule about its use.
By Lucy Wigley Published