Gousto focuses on making cooking simple and enjoyable, with a varied menu that will suit all dietary preferences and levels of culinary expertise.
- Clear instructions
- Extensive choice
- Good value
- Slightly confusing website
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Recipe boxes exist to make your life easier and Gousto’s service makes it easier than most. The website is well laid out to showcase a menu of over 50 meals a week to suit different tastes, time restrictions and dietary requirements, and all your ingredients arrive at your door packaged up neatly (and mostly in recyclable materials) by recipe.
Those recipes are also clear and simple for all levels of cooking ability. I’ve tried Gousto several times now and never been left baffled by an instruction, or found myself juggling three pans at once.
The latest addition to the Gousto range is a selection of Lean In 15 recipes from Joe Wicks. Despite the name, these aren’t all 15-minute recipes, but they are all pretty quick and easy to make. The recipes are split into two categories: reduced carb (which avoid starchy carbs like bread, pasta or rice) and high carb. These are clearly labelled on the Gousto website, so you can be sure you won’t end up carbless by accident.
I tried four of the Lean In 15 meals, and all were tasty and easy to make, though the low-carb meals didn’t fill me up on a very active day. There are vegan options within the range too, and the low-carb options smartly use extra veg to replace starchy carbs – there’s a hoisin turkey recipe where lettuce is used instead of wraps, for example.
There are 15-minute recipes available in the range, if you do want a meal in next to no time, though if speed is your priority you might prefer one of Gousto’s ten-minute meals. Both of the ten-minute meals I tried took closer to 15 minutes, but I took it fairly slow – ten minutes was within reach if I’d picked up the pace a bit. As you’d expect, these were simple meals – a prawn stir-fry and chicken fried rice – but I was impressed that you got a decent amount of vegetables in both, since veg can be the first thing sacrificed when designing rapid recipes.
The longer recipes available from Gousto are naturally a little more complex and interesting. I made pulled chicken for the first time, which was exciting, and learned what baharat chicken was.
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Gousto changes the recipes available regularly and has more than 50 options to pick from each week, which cater to most dietary preferences including vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and dairy-free. There is also a series of Everyday Favourites, which includes the likes of spag bol, fish and chips, and chicken curry.
These classic recipes are as quick and easy to make as any other Gousto recipes, and are guaranteed crowd-pleasers if you are cooking for the whole family. Per serving, they all also contain at least two of your five-a-day, though they are fairly calorific, ranging from 600-900 calories.
Those calories are put to good use, at least, because the recipes are delicious. I tried the spicy-as-you-like chilli con carne and the three-cheese veg-packed pasta bake and the latter in particular was sensational, probably the tastiest meal I’ve had from all the recipe boxes I’ve tried. The recipe card was instantly stashed away in my kitchen to be used again.
Another thing I appreciated about Gousto’s meals was that in the majority of the recipes I tried there were no premade spice mixes – you got the individual herbs and spices you needed. This means you can remake the recipe yourself easily. You don’t need to figure out what went in the spice mix; you just have to buy the ingredients.
A box with four meals for two people costs £34.99 from Gousto, which is the same price as HelloFresh for the same option, cheaper than Mindful Chef, where meals cost £5-£9pp, but more expensive than Morrisons’ Eat Fresh service (temporarily suspended during the pandemic) which costs £30 for four meals for two. I certainly found the recipes from Gousto more exciting and tasty than the Morrisons box, especially that outrageous pasta bake, but the supermarket’s service does offer great value.
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.