If you purchase via links on our site, we may receive commissions. Learn more.

Best Meal Planning App in 2023: Top 5 Apps Reviewed

Meal planning apps are applications that incorporate various practices aimed at helping individuals achieve a greater awareness of their nutrition and their diets. Meal planning apps have proven to be effective in supporting healthy food purchases, improving dietary quality, increasing adherence to nutritional guidelines, promoting food variety, and reducing the odds of obesity.

Additionally, they address barriers such as time scarcity or food provision, assisting individuals in developing better habits in their relationship with food.

In this article, we have selected the best meal planning apps, accompanied by comprehensive information to help you choose the most suitable one based on your specific needs.

Best meal planning apps: a shortlist

  • Noom — best meal planning app for weight loss
  • FuelFood — best app for fitness enthusiasts
  • Prep Dish — best meal planning app for families
  • Paprika — best budget friendly meal planning app
  • Emeals — best accessibility and user experience

How we compiled our list of the best meal planning apps

UtilityImprovement of quality of life and introduction of healthy habits
CustomizationFlexibility on meal options and ingredients
PriceCost of subscription (from free to $70/month)
FeaturesTools, resources, and integrations
WellnessIncludes nutritious meals by health professionals
  • Utility. Success in addressing barriers towards healthy habits like food supply, time constraints, or meal planning and preparation.
  • Customization. Flexibility in food preferences and dietary requirements like gluten-free or veganism. Ability to personalize recipes and shopping lists.
  • Price. Comparison of different subscription fees based on app features. Review premium services and additional tools.
  • Features. Review of key features of the apps and their accessibility for users. Determine the best characteristics of the services and explore user feedback.
  • Wellness. Focus on the nutritional value of recipes and meal recommendations. Evaluate the involvement of registered nutritionists and other health professionals.

Best meal planning apps: an overview

We have reviewed different apps to provide you with a clear understanding of the key features of each one, including pricing, flexibility, variety, promotion of healthy habits, and usability.

Our goal is to equip you with all the necessary information to choose the app that best suits your nutritional needs, allowing you complete freedom to download and adapt to the plan that you believe is the best fit for you.

Within this comprehensive guide, you will find an overview of the most relevant meal planning apps in the market and a detailed breakdown of what each one offers in 2023.

1. Noom — best meal and diet planning app for weight loss


Noom prioritizes psychological and behavioral aspects to promote habits for a healthier lifestyle and a more nutritious diet.

It stands out as the best meal planning app for weight loss addressing factors associated with weight gain and obesity. By combining nutrition guidance with behavior change courses and coaching, the app aims to support users' progress.

Noom offers a range of features, including specialized programs for specific health conditions such as diabetes. The effectiveness of their type 2 diabetes prevention programs has been recognized by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

In addition to nutrition guides and coaching the app provides the following features:

  • Weekly challenges and educational content
  • Progress tracking
  • Group and individual coaching
  • Biometric tracking

Noom is available on both iOS and Android platforms, and their monthly auto-renewing subscription plan costs $70, while the annual plan is priced at $209.

2. FuelFood — best app for fitness enthusiasts


FuelFood is a meal planning app designed for fitness enthusiasts who want to personalize their meal plans according to their training needs.

To enhance nutritional intake and improve energy levels, FuelFood offers a customizable meal plan that considers training performance and creates programs aimed at improving fitness and overall health.

Customization is a key feature of FuelFood, allowing users to build their meal plans based on their preferences, such as ingredient exclusions, diet choices, and other requirements.

The app generates a meal plan based on the user's daily and weekly training, offering a variety of options to align with individual eating preferences and physical performance.

Additionally, FuelFood provides a shopping list that includes all the ingredients needed for the week. It connects with local groceries and offers online delivery services through the app.

The monthly subscription costs $10, or users can opt for a yearly subscription at $8 per month. There is also an option for a one-year subscription priced at $12.

3. Prep Dish — best meal planning app for families


Prep Dish is a family-oriented meal planning app founded by registered dietitian Allison Shaaf. Its focus is to help families adopt healthier habits and overcome time constraints when it comes to nutrition.

Prep Dish capitalizes on the benefits of meal preparation by providing weekly recipes directly to users via email, accompanied by a comprehensive shopping list.

Users have the flexibility to choose from four different menu options, including Paleo Diet, Gluten-Free, Low Carb, and Super Fast. These menus can be prepared within a few hours, ensuring convenience and efficiency.

Additionally, users have the option to explore different diets each week, and with an additional cost, they can access a premium database of past meals.

It is important to note that Prep Dish is not available as a standalone app; it can only be purchased through the website.

Pricing options include a weekly fee of $7 for a month’s subscription, a weekly fee of $3.10 for a year’s subscription, or a fee of $3.75 for a week, which provides access to extras, free bonuses, and challenges.

4. Paprika — best budget friendly app

Paprika is a comprehensive meal planning app that was created in 2010 with a strong emphasis on recipe management and collection.

One of the standout features is its user experience, which offers a great deal of freedom. Users have the option to import their favorite recipes from various websites or add their own customized recipes to the app.

Paprika aims to provide support during the critical stages of shopping and cooking. Users can benefit from pre-made shopping lists that correspond to their saved meals, as well as other helpful tools to streamline the process.

Another key feature is the Pantry, where users can add ingredients and organize them based on categories such as purchase date, expiration date, and quantity. This helps to keep track of pantry items more efficiently.

During the cooking process, the app offers an interactive recipe presentation. Users can utilize timers, check off ingredients as they go, and scale recipes to accommodate the number of guests.

Paprika is available on various devices and has a free version and a premium one with more features for a one-time fee. The macOS and Windows versions are priced at $29.99, while the Android and iOS versions cost $4.99.

5. eMeals — highly intuitive

eMeals is one of the best recipe and meal planning apps for users seeking a healthier lifestyle without the added effort of thinking and shopping.

The app is incredibly user-friendly and offers a comprehensive recipe database. Users can select meals from 15 categories, including different diets such as plant-based, paleo, and diabetes-friendly options. The chosen recipes can be added to a weekly plan, which then generates a shopping list with all the necessary ingredients.

One standout feature of the app is its integrated grocery delivery service. Users can conveniently order their shopping lists directly through the app, connecting with various supermarket providers. The list is customizable, allowing users to add or remove ingredients based on their preferences.

It's important to note that the app primarily focuses on dinner preparation. If users wish to incorporate lunches and breakfasts into their meal plans, an additional fee applies. Additionally, eMeals does not allow for recipe customization.

The app is available for both iOS and Android devices, with pricing starting as low as $4.99 per month for a 12-month subscription or $9.99 per month for a 3-month subscription.

Comparison of the best meal planning apps

AppPriceAccessibilityUse-CasePositive ReviewsNegative reviews
Noom$70/monthlyHighly Intuitive Weight lossBehavioral courses, support and coachingCalorie deficit, not budget friendly
FuelFood$10/monthlyModerately IntuitiveFitnessHighly customizable, integration of sports appsRequires knowledge of nutrition, interface not user-friendly
PrepDish$7/monthlyModerately intuitiveMeal prepDiet variety, pre-made and ready to go plansLack of flexibility, Costly groceries
Paprika $4.99Moderately intuitiveRecipe databaseFlexibility, great management systemNot embedded features, Lack of meal plans, Absence of health related tools
eMeals$4.99/monthHighly intuitiveMeal planningGreat variety of recipes, Grocery shopping embeddedOnly focused on dinner plans, lack of customization, additional costs

Choosing the right meal planning app for you: what to look for?

When selecting the best recipe and meal planning app, it’s essential to evaluate its features to ensure they align with your routine. For example, certain apps may prioritize family meal planning, while others are focused on fitness enthusiasts. The following factors can help you determine which app best suits your needs:

Diet preferences

Before subscribing to any apps, it's important to understand how flexible they are concerning ingredients, dietary preferences, and meal variety.

For instance, apps like Prep Dish focus on food planning and streamlining food preparation. As a result, they do not allow ingredient swaps or the selection of alternative meal options. On the other hand, apps like Paprika are completely open to user input and offer ingredient and even pantry management. Therefore, those who prefer variety should lean towards apps that allow more personalization in planning and shopping.


An app should integrate into your lifestyle without requiring radical modifications to your routine and habits. As such, meal plans, shopping lists, and other features should be easily accessible, minimizing the time and effort needed to use the app. Moreover, selecting an app that aligns with your budget is crucial for ensuring its compatibility with you.

Additionally, a user-friendly support system that addresses any doubts or inquiries plays a pivotal role in enhancing your overall experience.

Support from specialists

Another crucial factor in choosing an app is the support from researchers and nutrition experts. Variety in ingredients, inclusivity of all types of foods, and personalized metrics like weight, height, or physical activity should be key considerations when selecting the best fit.

Furthermore, particularly in the case of dietary requirements or health conditions, it’s important to have access to coaching services or easy access to specialists.

Tools and resources

Features are a critical consideration when choosing the right meal-planning app. Depending on your needs, tools like shopping lists, recipe databases, or pantry management can contribute to easing up your routine and enhancing healthy habits. The possibility of connecting the app to other devices like Apple Watch can also facilitate more effective use of the apps.

Furthermore, additional resources like coaching or educational courses can also make a difference when selecting the best healthy meal planning app for you.

What is a meal planning app?

Meal planning apps play a vital role in cultivating healthy relationships with food and adopting beneficial behaviors, such as home cooking and reducing food waste.

These apps have proven to be highly valuable in terms of organization and time-saving, benefiting both individuals and families. They provide excellent support in day-to-day life, motivating individuals to make healthier choices even when facing tight schedules.

The wide range of dietary practices, such as keto or paleo, is another significant advantage of meal planning apps. They cater to a diverse spectrum of dietary preferences, making it easier to align plans with different lifestyle choices.

In addition, the availability of meal planning apps on various devices enables users to track their daily habits and develop self-awareness regarding essential vitamins, nutrients, and other practices crucial for maintaining a healthy body and mind.

Benefits of meal planning apps

Meal planning apps offer numerous advantages, addressing issues such as food waste, weight gain, budget constraints, and time limitations. By utilizing these apps, users can establish healthier habits, such as mindful eating and involving children in meal preparation.

Here are five key benefits that make subscribing to a meal planning app a worthwhile decision:

1. Avoid food waste

Meal planning encourages reducing food waste as users plan their meals based on portion sizes and tend to finish all the food. By calculating portions and specific ingredients, meal planning apps help minimize overconsumption by calculating the exact ingredients needed for each recipe. Many apps also incorporate shopping list features, providing users with precise portions for daily or weekly intake.

2. Promote healthier habits

Meal planning apps raise awareness of unhealthy eating patterns and assist users in making better choices through pre-established meal options and coaching tools. They also foster healthier relationships with food and family by involving children in the meal planning process, educating them about the importance of a nutritious diet, and equipping them with the necessary tools to grow up as healthy adults.

3. Reduce weight gain

Meal planning plays a crucial role in weight management and controlling health risks. Those who engage in meal planning tend to cook more often and benefit from fresh ingredients, as opposed to relying on fast food options. Meal planning is associated with lower odds of being overweight or obese due to its emphasis on nutritional variety and increased awareness of nutrition.

4. Enhance cuisine enjoyment

Meal planning apps eliminate time constraints associated with meal preparation, allowing individuals to have a more enjoyable experience in the kitchen. By easing up the planning and shopping list aspects, users can fully engage in the preparation and savoring of food. Home cooking with fresh ingredients becomes an entertaining activity that improves cooking skills and introduces new flavors and culinary techniques.

5. Problem-solving

Meal planning apps improve efficiency in meal preparation, promote budget-friendly options, and reduce mealtime stress. By planning meals in advance, time constraints are resolved, and the likelihood of missing items is minimized. Additionally, purchasing only what is needed in advance helps avoid overpriced meals resulting from an unplanned diet and lack of time. Many apps offer budget-friendly menus and quick meal plans, allowing users to enjoy a healthy and nutritious diet.

Our conclusion about meal planning apps

Based on our evaluation, we have concluded that all the apps included in the list have unique features that can help individuals achieve their goals and foster healthier practices in their everyday lives.

Whether they are centered on weight loss, like Noom, or meal planning and preparation for families, like PrepDish, each app provides valuable resources to overcome time constraints and other barriers associated with unplanned eating habits. Moreover, these apps offer flexibility to accommodate various dietary requirements, enabling users to track their habits and input their meal preferences.

In summary, meal planning is an excellent method to establish healthy habits and promote overall well-being for individuals. However, the choice is yours to select the best healthy meal planning app or just one that adjusts to your needs.


Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked