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Gousto recipe box with colourful ingredients

Gousto recipe box review

Published: February 14, 2022 at 3:26 pm
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Interested in trying out Gousto? Read on for our review of the recipe subscription box, covering the quality of the ingredients, the recipes and delivery experience as well as value for money.

Gousto recipe box: pros & cons

Pros:

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  • Good choice of more than 60 recipes on a weekly changing menu
  • Ingredients measured precisely so there is no food waste
  • Wide selection of dietary options
  • Clear, easy-to-follow instructions on recipe cards
  • Meals were quick to prepare, all in under an hour with the quickest taking just 10 minutes.
  • Flexible subscription

Cons:

  • Quite a lot of plastic packaging, including small amounts of herbs, spices and sauces.

Overall rating 4.5/5

Cardboard box filled with vegetables and packages

What is Gousto?

Gousto is a recipe box company launched by Timo Boldt in 2012. The premise is to make it easy to create delicious meals at home, and boxes arrive with pre-measured, fresh ingredients and easy-to-follow recipes which you should be able to create regardless of your skill level. They claim to source their produce carefully, using 100% British meat and seasonal vegetables.

Gousto recipe choices

Gousto recipe cards

There was a wide variety of recipe choices on the website. Gousto offers a weekly changing menu of 60+ menu options to suit different diets and time schedules. From a speedy 10-minute stir-fry to a 45-minute curry or hour-long stew, there were plenty of options for busy midweek meals as well as more relaxed weekend catering. They also run seasonal specials around calendar events such as Valentine’s Day or Christmas.

Are there special diet options?

A range of dietary requirements were catered for from meat eaters and pescatarians to veggie and vegan. Gluten-free and dairy-free options were available as well as a healthy choices category which delivers at least one of your five-a-day per serving.

Can you customise recipes?

Yes, this is now offered on Gousto's weekly menu. Customers can choose to personalise the protein in a large portion of meals, for example there would be an option for customers to choose beef mince, lean beef mince or meat-free mince. In other recipes, meals can be made vegetarian, by swapping chicken for halloumi, for example.

How many recipes do you get in one delivery?

You can choose two, three or four recipes in one box.

What are your first impressions of the box?

The cardboard box appeared in good condition. We liked the red brand design and were impressed by its sturdiness and how well the ingredients inside had kept despite a lengthy delivery distance.

What’s in the box?

Ingredients inside Gousto box

The chilled ingredients such as meat and fish are contained within a cardboard chill box. Larger vegetables and other ingredients are loose in the box, whilst smaller store-cupboard ingredients such as herbs, spices and sauces are contained within smaller paper bags. These are labelled with the recipe ID number so that you can easily sort them upon opening. There are also four recipe cards and a free gift – in this instance, a Gousto-branded wooden spoon.

Are the ingredients good quality?

The ingredients arrived in good condition with all components present. All meat is sourced from trusted UK suppliers and we were particularly impressed by the quality of beef for one of our dishes. Vegetables were fresh and ripe to use and tight packaging of herbs allowed the flavour to be locked in. All ingredients had a sufficient shelf life which allowed us a week to enjoy four meals.

Are refrigerated ingredients kept sufficiently chilled in the packaging?

Cardboard box with a selection of groceries in one half, and eco chill box on the other

Ingredients arrived well refrigerated in the box. In April 2020, Gousto released the Eco Chill Box, a cardboard recipe box insulator which keeps the ingredients extra cool and fresh – the first of its kind in the UK.

What are the delivery options? If you weren’t in during time of delivery, was it left in a safe place?

You can choose which day you want the delivery to take place. Delivery is free for an all-day slot (between 8am–7pm). Delivery normally takes within five days.

Gousto operate via the Yodel delivery service which sends regular text updates, including an estimated two-hour delivery window on the morning. If not in, you can choose a safe place where Gousto can leave the box. We were out during the delivery and had not stipulated a place, but it was left in a sensible, sheltered area and all the ingredients were kept cool by the ice and insulation.

Can you customise your deliveries?

Yes, you can choose to have the boxes delivered on a weekly, fortnightly or monthly basis as well as halting them for a chosen period of time. The day of the week for delivery can be altered and time slots can be changed for a charge (an all-day slot is free).

Are the boxes available nationwide?

Yes, Gousto delivers to all of the UK.

The contents of the Gousto recipe box

How much packaging is there?

There seemed to be quite a lot of plastic packaging around the smaller food items and we felt some of the herbs and sauces could have been pooled together into one. However, Gousto have made great strides in this area over the past year, having recently reduced their amount of plastic for sauce packets by half and the packaging for herbs by 25%. They also now include potatoes and other large vegetables loose in the box and tomatoes come in cardboard punnets with just an outer layer of plastic. The new Eco Chill Box insulation is also reported to cut down on 74.5 tonnes of plastic from Gousto packaging.

Is the packaging recyclable?

Gousto state that ‘most of the packaging’ used in their recipe boxes is ‘fully recyclable, or biodegradable’. All the cardboard for the box and internal dividers originate from FSC™ (Forest Stewardship Council™) certified sustainable sources. In addition to these, recylable elements of the recipe packs include the plastic pots, tins, recipe cards and ice packs. We reused the ice packs by storing them in the freezer. Most of the plastic packaging they use (such as those used to package pasta and noodles) are made of simple plastic, making them suitable for recycling. Small liquid or paste sachets are not yet recyclable however in the UK as they have more complex layers of different plastics to hold liquids and prevent leakage. You can find helpful guidance on the Gousto website about how to recycle your recipes box.

Does it offer good value for money?

The price of a recipe box will depend on how many recipes you chose, and whether the servings are for two or four people. The more you order the better value it is per portion. A box of four meals for four people gives the lowest price of £2.98 per serving, making it an affordable option for families. Here is a breakdown of all the options you can choose with corresponding prices.

  • Four meals for four people – £47.75 (£2.98 per serving)
  • Three meals for four people – £42.75 (£3.56 per serving)
  • Two meals for four people – £31.75 ( £3.97 per serving)
  • Four meals for two people – £34.99 (£4.37 per serving)
  • Three meals for two people – £29.99 (£5 per serving)
  • Two meals for two people – £24.99 (£6.25 per serving)

Keep an eye out also for special introductory offers for new customers that offer discounts.

How easy are the recipes to assemble?

Recipes were easy to make as ingredients were all labelled clearly and pre-measured. Most recipes involved only one or two pans for preparation, thereby minimising washing up. Plating up was simple and we used the recipe card images for guidance. We managed to stick roughly to the estimated prep and cooking times, only going slightly over in some cases.

Are the instructions clear?

We found the recipe card instructions were clear, arranged in a logical order and easy to follow with images showing each of the steps. Prep time was maximised and often involved making one aspect of the dish whilst another was cooking.

Is there any food waste?

Ingredients are pre-measured out exactly so there is no food waste, which is a great bonus.

What are the finished recipes like?

We enjoyed all the finished recipes and found them very flavoursome. Our favourite option was an aromatic vegan chickpea curry with baked sweet potatoes from the Joe Wicks range. Portion sizes were generous, allowed for second helpings and we were left feeling satiated. We did add some more vegetables to the beef and orzo stew but this was out of personal preference. We felt that the recipes with a longer cooking time were of a slightly higher quality compared to a 10-minute prawn tandoori. This was by necessity a little bit more simplistic, but still delivered a well-rounded end result that would suit busy evenings after work. We enjoyed the extra garnishes such as herbs and seeds to finish off the dishes and feel that this attention to detail, along with the ingredient quality is what sets Gousto amongst the higher end of recipe boxes.

How many people does it serve?

Our recipe box served four people, but you can also get options for two (with either two, three or four recipes per box).

What utensils did you need to make the recipes?

A few basic kitchen utensils were used, including knives, spoons, peelers and graters. Some of the recipes require a microwave or oven-proof dish, but this is stipulated in the details on making your initial selection.

Who would the product be most useful for?

Busy professionals and families who don’t have time to go shopping or beginner-intermediate cooks looking for new recipe inspiration.

What’s your favourite thing about this product?

We liked the convenience of making a meal with all the ingredients pre-measured and ready to use, as well as discovering some new recipes to liven up our weekly repertoire.

What are the subscription terms?

The Gousto box can be delivered weekly, fortnightly or monthly, and there is an option to skip or pause the subscription any time you like. After initially signing up, you will be set up automatically for a weekly delivery, so you do need to remember to adjust the delivery schedule or 'pause' your subscription if wishing to receive this on a less regular basis. It is also easy to cancel the subscription from your My Gousto account.

Overall star ratings

  • Ease of cooking 5/5
  • Quality of the finished recipes 4.5/5
  • Delivery options 4.5/5
  • Packaging 3.5/5
  • Quality of ingredients 5/5
  • Value for money 4/5

Discover how to sign up for the Gousto recipe box

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This review was last updated in February 2022. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews or spot anything that has changed in price or availability please get in touch at goodfoodwebsite@immediate.co.uk.

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