This page was updated in March 2022.
SimplyCook recipe box pros and cons
Pros: Fits through letterbox, long shelf life, great for trying new recipes
Cons: Ingredients must be purchased separately
Overall rating: 4/5
Read about how to sign up to the SimplyCook recipe subscription box
What is SimplyCook?
SimplyCook is a recipe kit service that was founded by Oli Ashness out of a desire to get even the busiest people cooking new and interesting recipes at home. Unlike other recipe boxes that come with all the ingredients required to create a dish from scratch, SimplyCook is a letterbox-sized delivery. So it contains four ‘recipe kits’ – dry ingredients in pots, to which you add your own fresh ingredients.
SimplyCook recipe choices
The SimplyCook recipe list features a good mix of cuisines (everything from Iranian- to Mexican-inspired dishes), the majority of which are satisfying hot meals such as stews, curries and bowl food. There are plenty of special diet options, including light, gluten-free and vegetarian recipes.
The recipes are customisable, because the box is just recipe cards, pastes and seasonings. All of the other ingredients you buy yourself from the shops and suppliers you like/have access to. There are optional garnishes and additional serving suggestions too, should you want to customise further.
How many recipes do you get in one delivery?
Four per box.
What is in the SimplyCook box?
The SimplyCook box contains four recipe cards and four smaller boxes, each containing three plastic pots of ingredients. The ingredients include flavourful spice blends and pastes to use in the recipe.
Are the ingredients good quality?
We found the spice blends to be powerful and loaded with bold flavours. The kits also include concentrated stock pots, which add depth and richness. The rest of ingredients are purchased by the user, so the quality is in your hands.
What are the delivery options?
The boxes are designed to fit through a letter box, so there’s no need to be at home to accept the delivery. However, you can’t customise delivery options. The boxes are delivered via Royal Mail and aim to arrive within four working days from when you order. They are available nationwide.
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How much packaging is there?
An outer cardboard box, four inner boxes, 12 plastic pots with film lids. Most of the packaging can be recycled. The only thing not currently recyclable are the film lids from the plastic tubs.
Does SimplyCook offer good value for money?
It’s a great option if there are new cuisines you want to try, but you're not keen on investing in a whole new set of ingredients just yet. The portions are generous – perfect for sharing between two people.
The only major con is having to purchase your own ingredients separately. But because the ingredients called for are not overly complicated, it would be easy to add them into a weekly shop. Some customers will enjoy being able to control the price point, but if you're looking for a super-convenient recipe box subscription service, SimplyCook might not be for you.
How easy are the recipes?
All very straightforward – no complicated techniques required. On average we found the recipes took about 10 minutes longer than stated.
It’s easy to tip out dry spice mixes, but some of the pastes needed a bit of encouragement from a teaspoon to make sure the full quantity was used.
The instructions are clear, but for some recipes it would have been helpful to add in the pan or dish sizes/dimensions.
Is there any food waste?
There is no food waste from the kit itself, because the full contents of each of the tubs goes into the recipe. There may be some food waste from the ingredients you have to purchase separately, depending on the amounts required.
Is there any excess packaging around the food?
No – it feels like a lot of thought has gone into using as little packaging as possible, while still ensuring a well-organised and easy to use product.
What are the finished recipes like?
The finished recipes were good – they looked like the images on the recipe cards and didn’t require additional seasoning.
We appreciated the wide range of dishes available, making it a great service for those looking for new cuisines to try.
How many people does it serve?
The recipes are for 2-4 people – we found the portion sizes to be very generous.
What utensils did you need to use?
Chopping boards and standard utensils such as knives, saucepans, wooden spoons/spatulas, frying pans... nothing specialist.
Who would SimplyCook be most useful for?
Busy people who are interested in trying new cuisines; and those with small kitchens or limited storage space. SimplyCook would also be brilliant for self-catering holidays, where you want to cook but would rather not pack all your spices, jars and seasonings.
What’s your favourite thing about this product?
You’re not tied to it if your plans change. The sachets have a long shelf-life, so there's no pressure to cook the recipes within a limited time frame.
Delivery is stress-free, as the packaging is letterbox-friendly.
We also loved how easy it is to shop for the additional ingredients (each recipe card has a tear-off strip that acts as a shopping list), but if you forget the paper copy you can always download the app instead. Or get the info from the website. All-in-all, SimplyCook has been really well thought out.
What are the subscription terms?
You can receive a box every week, two weeks, four weeks or six weeks, and your plan can be easily amended or cancelled via their website.
Overall star ratings
Ease of cooking 4/5
Quality of the finished recipes 4/5
Quality of ingredients 4/5
Value for money 4/5
Discover how to sign up to the SimplyCook recipe box
This review was last updated in March 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 email@example.com.