Cooking delicious, creative, healthy and interesting meals on the regular is HARD. Who has the time to pick out new recipes, source some decent (and often eclectic) ingredients and make sure it doesn’t double your weekly food bill?
Unsurprisingly, a lot of people agree with me; the massive boom in popularity of recipe boxes in recent years shows off a growing trend across the UK of people who want to cook fresh and healthy meals – without all that added hassle.
That’s why we wanted to write up a Gousto review, as this is one of the boxes that comes fully prepped and ready for you to create something wonderful – you pick your recipes, and are sent specific ingredients with exact quantities and detailed instructions in order to blitz through the prep, enjoy the cooking and eat some truly delicious food without the wastage and the exacerbated spend.
So, we took our chance to try out a Gousto delivery – me and Katie chose the box for a family (2 adults, three children) featuring four recipes and took two recipes each – to see if one of the most well known delivery boxes lives up to all the hype (and if we could capably cook some delicious food with the simple instructions offered to us…)
One of the unique elements of the Gousto offering is that you can pick and choose your recipes for each delivery – and the recipes refresh every week, so you’ll always have a chance to catch an old favourite or pick something new. The flexibility is also a massive attraction – you can pick between 2-4 dishes with 2 or 4 portions, select your ideal week for delivery and make your deliveries as regular or irregular as you like. With every purchase you make showing you your ‘cost per portion’, you can see quickly and simple just how much each dish, and each serving, is costing you.
The selection and array of recipes is always exciting and interesting though – and frankly makes any decision making a nightmare. You can, thankfully, click and read some detailed descriptions and insight, and view often thousands of reviews from dedicated Gousto-ites who have offered their opinion on the dishes they’ve tried. You’ve to narrow down those options *somehow*, after all.
We ended up opting for some truly tempting dishes, including Harissa Chorizo with white Bean Mash and Mexican Pork Chilli with Apple Salsa.
Upon delivery, your box isn’t organised by recipe, but by produce – meat, fruit and vegetables are appropriately cooled and stored, and any dry ingredients, herbs and spices and sauce pots are tucked away in bags of their own. It’s all designed to be easy to store -so everything for the fridge in one bag, dry ingredients elsewhere – which makes a lot of sense (though when sharing a box between two aspiring chefs like we did means that you then need to separate everything out!)
Mexican Pork Chilli with Apple Salsa – Ben
I am a big fan of meat in general, and am forever an advocate of pork in dishes where beef would normally dominate and turkey where chicken is the staple –
pork burgers are a wonderful thing, and turkey curries are fantastic. Those things added together meant that I was a sucker for the pork chilli long before I scrolled upon its delicious-looking glory.
One of the most notable claims of Gousto, and many other recipe boxes, is the quality of the ingredients, and this was one of the elements that excited me most about getting to cook these dishes. I’m a self-confessed okay cook normally (big talk, I know) but tend to stick to my staples rather than
explore new dishes, so this was also an opportunity to try some new flavour combinations, and the crunchy fruity apple alongside the warming chilli was something that really sounded good.
The ingredients were simple to bring together, and there was no extravagant prep to be undertaken – some chopping here and there and some rather simple cooking staples; there’s nothing overly difficult or time-consuming, which is exactly what you want for these kinds of dishes.
The meat was really, really good – you could tell it was quality, and considering it could have been something to skimp on, the portions were really healthy and the proportions appropriate. I half-expected to have loads of bulgur wheat leftover but was pleasantly surprised to see everything was incredibly well measured.
I was also a little confused to see that everything was to be served in one bowl too, rather than the salsa sitting on the side – but the combination of the warm and smokey chilli (a great chipotle BBQ-esque aroma is exactly what I love in a chilli) with the fresh and light bite of the apple, onion, celery and vinegar was really, really lovely. It was also nice to try bulgur wheat instead of simple rice or pasta – it isn’t something I’ve eaten a lot of or cooked with previously, but it’s a really nice and slightly-less-heavy-feeling alternative that I’ll definitely call upon again.
… I also love that Gousta’s chefs knew that cheese in an essential. Seeing the tiny portions of cheese to grate up was a joy, because those small details are the kind of thing that are first to go when the passion isn’t there.
The five star reviews on site are entirely appropriate for this one.
Harissa Chorizo with White Bean Mash – Katie
Although it was hard to choose, this dish of Spanish flavours immediately jumped out at me from the selection of Gousto recipes on offer. As the weather hasn’t been so great recently, getting some bright and vibrant food on the go seemed ideal to help put me in a better mood. Arriving home from work on a Monday, the last thing I wanted to do was think about what to cook and luckily enough I had this meal ready to go.
Not only is everything perfectly portioned, the recipe card is really clear and super simple to follow, so making this dish really was an absolute breeze. Step-by-step pictures on the recipe card walked me through making the meal, with the most strenuous task being to chop up the few potatoes, onions and peppers. All in all the dish took just over half an hour – not bad for a fresh weeknight dinner.
I absolutely loved the flavours of this dish – the sauce, a combination of stock and harissa, was a revelation and is something I will be picking up to use in future dishes. The bean and potato mash was also way better than I expected – I’ve made white bean mash before but have ended up with a quite grainy consistency. Mixing the potato and beans together resulted in a delicious mash that was smooth and well paired with the chorizo and pepper mixture. I really enjoyed having the perfect portion of fresh parsley to add into the dish and sprinkle on top –
Not only will I certainly be remaking my dishes from the Gousto box again (if you lose your recipe or cover it in food you can usually find it the week after in their online cookbook – this Chorizo dish can be found here) but I will also be signing up to receive some more to discover some easy to make, delicious meals as it’s great to be inspired and also it was just so easy.
So What Do We Think of Our Gousto Meals?
Both of us agree that our first experience of a Gousto delivery was a good one. The ease with which you can create delicious, new and interesting dinners was a great thing to discover and one we are likely to continue trying in the future. One of the only complaints was that it would be useful is for the recipe cards to give you a heads up of how many pots and pans are needed to create your dish, or how many chopping boards you need prepped, etc. Having this information clearly outlined at the start would make the whole experience a little more streamlined and mean no panic washing up halfway through the cooking – or leave you scrambling for the cupboards while you’ve got a pot of water on the boil and a saucepan sizzling!
All in all we’ve found that Gousto meals are an ideal, hassle free option for those who want to eat fresh homemade dinners. To see just how easy it is to create some delicious weeknight meals for you and your family, you can head on over to our Gousto page where you can pick up our latest Gousto vouchers – and make some savings on your next box!