GOUSTO MEAL BOX REVIEWS

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If like me, you find yourself eating the same meals over and over again, Gousto is a pretty cool concept. Cooking brand new meals from scratch can be frustrating because they’ll typically be 2-3 ingredients that you don’t have in your cupboard meaning you either omit those ingredients and end up with something tasting nothing as it should, or you go out and spend £15 on ingredients for one meal that you’ll likely never use again.

Enter Gousto; Gousto is a meal subscription service in the UK where you can pay a fixed amount each month for meal boxes tailored to recipes of your choice.

You pick the recipes online in advance (typically 1 week) and Gousto will send out a box containing all the ingredients you need – most of them already weighed out and chopped!

There are tons of recipes available to suit all tastes (low calorie, vegan, vegetarian etc) and most of them take between 10-40 minutes to make from start to finish.

With each individual meal, you get a recipe card with easy to follow instructions on how to make it and a nifty little folder you can keep them in.

HOW MUCH IS IT?

This all depends on how many meals your order each time, the more you order, the cheaper each meal will be

The price also depends on the type of meals you go for, some have additional surcharges (like the Paella Fest for example).

You’ll typically end up paying between £3-5 per meal though, which is more expensive than buying food from a supermarket, but a lot cheaper than a takeaway.

IS EVERYTHING INCLUDED?

Not quite, basic store cupboard stuff like sugar, flour, salt and pepper aren;t included in the meal boxes, but who doesn’t have those things in their cupboard?!

THE PROS AND CONS

Pros:

  • Forces you to try cooking meals you wouldn’t have otherwise, or that you might not have even heard of before
  • The cooking process is actually a bit of fun
  • On the whole, most of the recipes taste really good

Cons:

  • It’s not cheap
  • The portions are pretty small, I’m an 80kg+ man and I could easily eat double the amount of a single portion
  • Occasionally they miss out ingredients 

WHAT ABOUT ALL THE DIFFERENT RECIPES?

CHICKEN BIRIYANI

Biryani is one of my favourite curries, so when I saw that on the Gousto site I added to cart straight away – curries have so much flavour, but most takeaway curries pack so many calories, and lets’ be honest – who can avoid adding all the extras 

(Onion Bajis anyone)? 

A Biriyani is tomato-based and less ‘saucy’ than most other curries, while still being very tasty.

This recipe was really easy, the thing that took the most time was cooking and chopping the chicken; everything else (curry powder, tomato paste onion, green beans) took seconds (ok, minutes) to prep and add to the mixture.

My favorite thing about this recipe was that the rice didn’t need cooking separately – you just throw it in with everything else once the chicken is cooked and some water, then wait about 15 minutes.

This honestly has all the flavour of a restaurant curry without all the stodge – the green beans and sultanas give it a nice bit of texture too.

8/10

BBQ CHICKEN AND SWEETCORN FRITTERS

Luckily I wasn’t hugely hungry before rustling this one up, which was just as well as this recipe contains very carbs (it’s a Joe Wicks collab recipe).

This involved coating chicken in Chipotle sauce (it was meant to be chicken thighs but they gave us breast instead) and putting it under the grill for 20 minutes.

The real star of the dish was the sweetcorn fritters which were a mix of sweetcorn (obvioulsy), flour, corn flour, egg, feta cheese and chilli flakes – these took about 5 minutes to fry in a pan.

This also came with a ton of salad – baby gem lettuce and a massive tomato.

The chicken was disappointing; because it wasn’t fried before going under the grill it didn’t have that crispy, crunchy char on the outside which I love. The fritters were different though, although I wouldn’t say they were particularly flavourful.

Not massively impressed.

5/10

CHICKEN TERIYAKI

I love Asian food so I was pretty buzzed about trying this one – Teriyaki contains what I think are some the best ingredients going – ginger, chilli and lime.

This recipe comes with more components than most of the others, but despite that, it doesn’t take too much longer to rustle up. The bulk of the comes in chopping the ginger and zesting the lime but it doesn’t feel like too much of a chore.

The sauce tastes great – although I could have done with a bit more to make sure all the chicken was thickly coated.

The addition of sesame seeds and spring onion as garnish also makes this one look appealing and (vaguely) professional once it’s done.

7/10

LAMD KEEMA SAAG

Another curry dish – this time one made with Lamb mince which is something I rarely have in a curry so this was an intriguing dish for me.

This dish has a LOT of ingredients including

  • Garam Masala
  • Chicken stock
  • Nigella seeds
  • Chill flakes
  • Tomato paste

So I was expecting to pack a lot of flavour as most dishes with multiple spices do. Sadly it was a letdown in this respect, it was tasty but just not like a curry you get in a good restaurant. This is probably because most curries cook for hours which tends to intensify the flavours.

The fact that it has a lot of ingredients means it takes a bit longer to cook than most other dishes – it took us a good 45 minutes. 

I have the same old complaint about the size of the dish as well. 250g of mince is not a lot between two people, and although this dish is bulked out with spinach and tomato it wasn’t filling enough for me.

6/10

CHICKEN PAD THAI

I love Pad Thai and stir fry dishes in general so I guess this one didn’t need to do much to impress me, but even ignoring my bias, this was a really impressive dish.

Despite having loads of ingredients, most of which go towards making the Pad Thai sauce, it’s one of the quickest Gousto meals to make. The recipe card says 10 minutes – I’d say it was more like 15 but that’s still amazing for something so much flavour.

The Pad Thai sauce includes Soy sauce, Tamarind paste, Garlic paste and lime amongst other stuff so you can imagine it packs a real punch in the taste department.

The noodles are good quality and the amount of veg is generous and it was very fresh and crunchy, my only complaint is the amount of chicken.

I’d say this was on a par with some of the Pad Thais I’ve had in restaurants before. Very very good.

9/10

BBQ PULLED PORK, CHEESY POTATOS AND SLAW

At 40 minutes prep time, this is one of the recipes which takes longer than most, however, the effort levels are pretty low since 30 minutes of that is just cooking the pork and potatoes in the oven.

The flavour combination here is very good – the sweet, tender pork contrasts really well against the white wine vinaigrette in the slaw and the rich salty cheese on the potatoes.

Again I think the quantities here were pretty poor, not just for the meat but also the potatoes. I really can’t fault the quality and taste though.

8/10

LAMB TABOULEH

I’ve never actually had this dish before (maybe close variations from Turkish restaurants but this specific dish) and I have to say I was very pleasantly surprised.

This is pretty much made up of minced lamb, bulgar wheat, lemon and parsley and the flavour and texture combinations were fantastic. 

The freshness of the parsley and lemon provided a fresh contrast to the fatty richness of the lamb and the bulgar wheat made a welcome change from rice.

The only improvement I’d make to this dish would be to use pulled lamb instead of mince but regardless it was one of my Gousto faves.

9/10

KOREAN YANG NYUM FRIED CHICKEN

This was actually a pretty messy dish because it requires about 4 different bowls for mixing up ingredients.

Overall I’d say it was worth it though, the coating on the chicken was very good texture-wise, although it could have done with a BIT more sweetness and stickiness (I don’t think there was quite enough sauce).

The carrot we got with this also went off pretty quickly so we couldn’t use that in the salad.

The rice was also pretty bland – it coold have done with some soy.

It sounds like I’m slating this one but I did actually really enjoy it, I just feel it could be even better with a few small tweaks.

8/10

SALT AND PEPPER CHICKEN

Hands down my favourite Gousto meal.

REALLY flavourful chicken with a cool fried texture (thanks to the cornflour) and fried rice that was bursting flavour from the chillies and had a really interesting texture with added peas and fried egg.

I can’t say too much more about this one with that it was delicious.

10/10

BEEF UDON NOODLES

I’m torn on this dish.

I’m a big lover of Pho and Ramen so I was pretty excited about making this one and it was actually a lot of fun to make but I feel it was a little bit of a case of style over substance.

Although the broth had lots of ingredients it didn’t quite pack that flavour punch you get with a good bowl of Pho. The other issue was I think think it really worked with mince beef – this kind of needs Brisket.

The noodles were very good though and when it’s finished it looks like a work of art – verging on restaurant-level presentation. I’d probably get it again but it’s not a top for me.

6/10

PAELLA FEAST

Sometimes on Gousto, you can pay a bit extra for a meal that’s slightly more substantial or has more components. The Paella Feast is one of them. This dish consists of

  • Paella rice with chicken
  • Garlic prawns
  • Olives
  • Patatas Bravas
  • Paprika chicken strips

Probably not strictly a Paella if you ask a Spaniard but it’s close enough.

Despite the variety, I actually found this dish a little bland, but I am more of a fan of Asian type dishes with very bold, spicy flavours.

My favourite part of this was the Paella rice which was really zingy with the added Saffron and Lemon. The garlic prawns were pretty good too, the potatoes could have done with something else (don’t ask me what) and the Paprika chicken was way over-seasoned.

Overall not a bad dish, but ‘feast’ is pushing it a bit.

7/10

NASI GORENG

Nasi Goreng is one of my all-time favourite meals, I didn’t really know it existed until I went to Bali in 2019 and had it every day, and while no version of it in the UK has ever compared (including anything I’ve made myself) – I think this is mainly because there are so many ingredients that go into it and every recipe you look up is very different.

I was trusting Gousto to have nailed the recipe through trail and error, and it seems like they’ve really thought through the ingredients with this one, but sadly it just lacked the flavour punch that the genuine version of this dish has.

I think this could be because I accidentally picked the vegetarian version, which meant it didn;t include fish sauce, which is an ingredient that most recipes have.

The other thing I wasn’t keen on was the fact that Kale played a big role in this dish. I actually like Kale but I don’t think it worked here.

Disappointing because Nasi Goreng is good when you get right!

5/10

CHICKEN PATATAS BRAVAS

I wasn’t expecting big things from this one but it surprised me, it’s pretty simple consisting of just chicken and potatoes as well as a few onions and peppers. But the seasoning and extra garnish really set it off.

The chicken is seasoned with Paprika and some other good stuff, and the cubed potatoes are cooked in a chopped tomato mix. There’s a garlic mayo which goes with the potatoes and some parsley for the veg.

It sounds boring as hell but it all works together really well.

8/10

SUYA CHICKEN SKEWERS WITH YOGHURT

This recipe wasn’t bad as such, it just felt a bit disjointed, and like it was trying to use the fact that the chicken was on skewers as a gimmick to distract from the lack of flavouring in the seasoning.

The seasoning used a good mix of spices and crushed peanuts but it just wasn’t that flavourful. The chicken thigh instead of the usual breasts made a nice change in terms of texture but there was nothing that really bought this dish alive or gelled all the components together. 

The yoghurt made a nice garnish but it was a bit bland, and the rice which was just flavoured with chicken stock and curry powder felt like an afterthought.

Just ok.

6/10

IS GOUSTO WORTH IT?

If you have a bit of extra cash to spend on dinner, I would highly recommend at least trying Gousto for a couple of weeks. The ingredients are high quality, most of the meals are really tasty and don’t take that long to make. If you have a big appetite however you might run into problems; the portions aren’t huge so you may either need to upgrade to the larger family-sized boxes, or bulk up the meals with extra meat and/or veg.

Even if you only do Gousto for a couple of weeks and decide to stop I’d say it was still worth as you’ll have a ton of new recipe cards you can keep and just make your favourite recipes on your own from scratch.

Joe is an online weight loss coach and qualified personal trainer of 15 years who helps busy, professional men and women lose fat and build muscle.

Having a 9-5 desk-job, Joe understands the struggles of juggling a hectic life with trying to maintain a good physique.

If you want to know more, check out the about page, or get in touch

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