Thinking of signing up to Riverford Organic Farmers? We put its recipe delivery service to the test, covering the quality of the ingredients, recipes and delivery experience, as well as value for money.
Riverford Organic Farmers recipe box subscription pros and cons
Pros: Organic; easy recipes to follow; good-quality ingredients; quick to make; delicious end results.
Cons: Some recipes are very high in fat; multiple pots and pans used; a little expensive.
Overall score: 3.5/5
Read about how to sign up for the Riverford Organic Farmers recipe box
What is Riverford Organic Farmers?
Riverford is a Devon-based organic food delivery service best known for supplying fruit, veg, dairy, meat and seafood to homes around the country. Its extensive list of fresh delivery options includes the organic recipe box, which we tested out. Our box featured three recipes: Italian veg pie with mascarpone; hoisin beef and noodles; and tikka pork and lemon spinach rice.
Riverford Organic Farmers recipe choices
The Riverford organic recipe selection features an enticing mixture of cuisines, with richer and lighter options to choose from. Each week, there are 12 very different recipes to choose from (the dishes on offer change weekly). Even though there are plenty of meat options, it’s all very veg-focused, which I really loved. However, there were no fish options available the week I ordered my box, which was a real shame.
Are there special diet options?
There's a good selection of vegan and vegetarian options. However, there aren't any recipe boxes specifically tailored to those with a gluten or dairy intolerance. It’s difficult to work out if any of the available menu options are suitable for people with these intolerances without reading through the ingredients lists of each recipe.
Can you customise recipes?
No. The boxes feature everything you'll need to follow the recipe (excluding cooking oil, salt and pepper) and everything is exactly weighed out or portioned. This helps you to easily follow the recipe, but it does mean that deviating from the set steps doesn’t feel encouraged.
How many recipes do you get in one delivery?
I had three in mine, but you can pick as many as you’d like. Each recipe serves two people.
What are your first impressions of the box?
I liked the box a lot – it felt very natural and wholesome and had lovely illustrations printed on it. It was very large, so as soon as I’d unpacked it I quickly broke it down. The box felt well organised, with each recipe having its own individual compartment.
What's in the box?
Three recipe cards and a set of ingredients for each recipe. The meat was vacuum-packed, the veg was loose and there were a few small pots for herbs/spices.
What's the quality of the ingredients like?
The ingredients seemed to be of high quality. There were authentic, good-quality udon noodles, fresh veg and herbs, organic tins of beans and – most importantly for me – lovely, fresh, organic meat.
Are refrigerated ingredients kept sufficiently chilled in the packaging?
Yes. My box had been delivered a few hours before I got home and all the chilled goods were still freezing cold when I unpacked the box.
What are the delivery options?
When picking your boxes, you’re asked to choose a safe place for the package to be left if no one's home, which I thought was a nice, helpful touch.
To save on food miles, Riverford only delivers once a week to each area. I really appreciated the ethics behind this, but it could be an inconvenience to some people.
Can you customise delivery options?
No, you can’t customise your delivery options. I had to have my box delivered on a Wednesday as that's the only day Riverford delivers in my area.
Are the boxes available nationwide?
Riverford delivers to most of England and south Wales but you can get in touch to see if they deliver to your area specifically. The team are super-quick and efficient at responding.
How much packaging is there?
A fair amount of cardboard is used and a little plastic, too, but I felt they’d used minimal amounts. The fruit and veg were stored loose in the box, but the spices had the most packaging around them in relation to their size. The packaging is recyclable, however, and you can return any of the packaging to Riverford to be recycled or reused.
Does it offer good value for money?
It’s not the cheapest recipe box on the market but you're really paying for the quality of the ingredients. Because of how delicious the ingredients were, and how delicious the final dishes tasted, I’d say the box is good value.
What are the recipes like?
The recipe cards were incredibly easy to follow and super-quick. The instructions were also very clear. I would have liked the recipe cards to feature a higher-quality picture of the finished dish as I felt it could be quite hard to replicate. Time-wise, the dishes generally took the time stated on the cards.
Is there any food waste?
I had absolutely no food waste at all. Every scrap was used.
What are the finished recipes like?
I was impressed by how delicious the finished dishes were. They all seemed well balanced and thought out – although I did add a little extra lemon to one of the dishes and at times felt a little more cooking oil was needed to stop things sticking. I liked the fact that they were all packed with fresh vegetables, which made the meals feel filling and not too unhealthy.
How many people does it serve?
Each recipe serves two people. Two of the recipes were perfect in terms of portion size. The third, however, (veg and mascarpone pie) was a really large portion. It was very rich and comfortably served three of us.
What utensils did you need to use to make the recipes?
Very basic utensils – pots, pans, chopping boards, grater, knives and a colander. Two of the recipes required four pans, however, which felt like a lot for a quick dish for two people. I felt some of the steps could have used the same pan for ease and less washing up.
Who would Riverford organic boxes be most useful for?
Foodies who have firm beliefs in organic produce and want a quick and tasty weeknight dinner.
What’s your favourite thing about Riverford Organic Farmers?
My favourite thing about the product is the quality of ingredients used. I was really impressed by the fresh produce, meat and dairy, and I was also really happy with the storecupboard ingredients. The spices smelt fresh and aromatic, the tinned coconut milk was organic and creamy, and the herbs were so healthy looking and lasted for days.
What are the subscription terms?
You can set up regular orders or book a one-off order, whichever you prefer.
Overall star ratings
Ease of cooking 4/5
Quality of the finished recipes 4/5
Delivery options 2/5
Quality of ingredients 4.5/5
Value for money 3.5/5
Discover how to sign up for the Riverford Organic Farmers recipe box
This review was last updated in February 2019. If you have any questions, suggestions for future reviews, or spot anything that has changed in price or availability, please get in touch at email@example.com.