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Simply Cook Review (2024)

It’s easy to get stuck in a rut of cooking up the same recipes each week.

I’m always on the lookout for inspiration for new recipes to try.

Food subscription boxes are a great way for us to experience recipes that we might not always think about making.

Recently we’ve been trying Simply Cook – initially via their £1 trial (you can grab that offer here) – and we’ve since ordered another box to test out some more recipes.

But first, a quick note about this review. This review is based on my personal opinion from using the Simply Cook subscription service that I pay for. It is not a paid promotion. All views are my own. If you choose try Simply Cook via any of the links below I may earn a small commission which comes at no extra cost to you (thank you!)


Simply Cook Review – A Quick Overview

Cost£9.99 per 4 recipes (dry ingredients only)
Discounts£1 for first box (4 recipes)
Recipe Choice149
Recipe Cuisines19 (including Mexican, Thai, Chinese)
Dietary NeedsYes (Vegan, Vegetarian and Allergens)
DeliveryLetterbox
FrequencyWeekly, Fortnightly, Monthly or One Offs
Subscription OptionsSkip, pause, cancel

How To Order A Simply Cook Trial Box

Trying out Simply Cook using their trial box offer is a no brainer. You only pay £1 to receive 4 recipe boxes, and there is no obligation to stay locked in to any subscription.

You just need to remember to pause or cancel your account if you decide it’s not for you (more on that below).

£1 TRIAL
Simply Cook
  • 1st box free (only pay £1 postage)
  • 4 recipes per box
  • Choose from more than 140 easy-to-follow recipes
  • Letterbox delivery
  • Gluten-free, vegetarian and under-600-calorie options
  • Choose from a weekly or fortnightly subscription and change, pause or cancel anytime
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Start by heading over to Simply Cook and you will see the £1 trial sign up button.

Simply Cook Free Trial

After signing up you will arrive on a page where you can pick the 4 recipes for your trial period.

At the time of writing there are 149 recipes to choose from. It’s super simple to use the filter allowing you to choose the cuisine as well as filter for any dietary requirements or allergens.

picking recipes on Simply Cook

Once you have chosen your four recipes you will arrive on the payment screen.

Within your account you will also have the option to set your delivery frequency.

Simply Cook frequency options

Just remember that after your trial box, the next one will cost you £9.99 plus £1 postage. You don’t have to continue after your trial if you decide it’s not for you, simply head into your account to cancel – more on that below.

Now, all you need to do is wait for the postman to pop the recipe box through your letterbox!

£1 TRIAL
Simply Cook
  • 1st box free (only pay £1 postage)
  • 4 recipes per box
  • Choose from more than 140 easy-to-follow recipes
  • Letterbox delivery
  • Gluten-free, vegetarian and under-600-calorie options
  • Choose from a weekly or fortnightly subscription and change, pause or cancel anytime
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

If you like to meal plan for the week ahead you can hop on the Simply Cook website and look at the recipes you have ordered and buy the ingredients you will need to make them.

Ingredients list Simply Cook Dan Dan Sichuan Noodles

How To Manage Your Simply Cook Account

I will keep this section fairly short as Simply Cook have done a great job of making the account dashboard easy to use and fairly self explanatory.

Below I will run through the main things to you can do from your account.

To manage your account, once you have logged in, head to the top right corner and click on this icon:

You will then have the following options:

I’ll go through each of them.

Simply Cook Back Up Box

If you forget to choose your recipes in time, the meals you pick here will be automatically sent to you. If you don’t make any choices you will be sent recipes chosen for you by Simply Cook.

Simply Cook Preferences

It’s a good idea to make sure your preferences are up to date, that way, if you do forget to preselect any recipes you will only be sent ones that meet the criteria you have picked.

You can choose between 2 and 4 people recipes.

Simply Cook Dietary Requirements

As well as if you have any dietary requirements such as vegan or vegetarian.

You can limit your recipes to low calorie, spice ratings as well as let them know about any food allergies.

Manage Simply Cook Subscription

Although you will have already set your delivery frequency during the set up phase, you can still come back in and change it as and when you need to.

This is really useful if you are going to be away or have other plans.

How To Cancel Simply Cook

If you decide that Simply Cook isn’t for you, it’s easy to cancel. On the same screen as above (Manage Subscriptions) if you head right to the bottom you will find the link to cancelling your account.


Simply Cook Recipes

Now on to the fun part – the Simply Cook recipes!

There are currently 149 recipes to choose from. They range in cuisines from many locations around the world.

They are really easy to filter through, the hardest part is narrowing down the ones you want to pick 😉

Recipes from Simply Cook

For our trial box we chose;

  • Balinese Chicken
  • Bang Bang Chicken
  • Firecracker Chicken Noodles
  • Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles

You can see how the Balinese Chicken turned out here.

£1 TRIAL
Simply Cook
  • 1st box free (only pay £1 postage)
  • 4 recipes per box
  • Choose from more than 140 easy-to-follow recipes
  • Letterbox delivery
  • Gluten-free, vegetarian and under-600-calorie options
  • Choose from a weekly or fortnightly subscription and change, pause or cancel anytime
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

Receiving Simply Cook Recipes

From ordering the recipes to receiving them only took a couple of days (I ordered them on a Thursday and got them on the Friday).

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The delivery fits through most letterboxes so there is no need to worry about anything being left outside. They are only ever dry ingredients (spices or pastes) and so there is never the risk of foods spoiling if they are not kept cool.

Simply Cook Recipe Kits

You will receive your chosen 4 recipes boxes which consist of 3 flavour pots per dish as well as a recipe card for each one.

The recipe card even comes with a handy tear off strip with the shopping list that you can take to the supermarket with you.

The recipes we’ve tried so far have been very straight forward to make and really not taken much time.

The first recipe we made were the Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles.

The recipe instructions were really simple to follow and the ingredients were cheap and easy to buy (more on costs below).

It comfortably fed 4 of us – 2 adults and 2 teenage boys (who have adult appetites!) and it tasted really good.

Side note: if you try this one go easy on the chilli oil – only add a few drops to your plate at a time to make sure it’s not too hot for you!


The Cost Of Making A Simply Cook Recipe

Unlike other food subscription boxes, Simply Cook doesn’t supply all the ingredients.

For each recipe you will receive 3 flavour pots but you still need to go out and buy the main ingredients.

I actually quite like this way of doing things as it allows us to pick the actual food, substituting where necessary, and have more control over the cost.

But does it work out cheaper than say a recipe box like Hello Fresh or Gousto? Or, skipping the subscription box completely and buying all the ingredients from the supermarket?

Let’s break down the costs based on the above Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles recipe. Your prices might vary according to where you shop and if you manage to get any offers!

For this recipe we needed:

  • 500g pork mince
  • 1tbsp honey
  • 6 spring onions
  • 4 medium egg noodle nests
  • 300g tenderstem broccoli

We bought it at Tesco at the following prices:

  • Pork – £2 (Clubcard price)
  • Bunch spring onions – 49p
  • Egg noodles – £1.50
  • Tenderstem broccoli – £1.80

Ingredients Cost: £5.79

Side note: we already had the honey, if you need to buy this too you can currently get it for 72p (Tesco own value brand). There were extra noodles (2 nests) and spring onions, these will go in another meal.

To add the cost of the recipe from Simply Cook I have used the regular price (£9.99 + £1 postage divided by 4 – the number of recipes)

Simply Cook Cost: £2.75

Side note: you can get the boxes cheaper and even free in some cases, more on that below.

Total Cost: £5.79 + £2.75 = £8.54

Cost per serving (based on 4 people) = £2.14

£1 TRIAL
Simply Cook
  • 1st box free (only pay £1 postage)
  • 4 recipes per box
  • Choose from more than 140 easy-to-follow recipes
  • Letterbox delivery
  • Gluten-free, vegetarian and under-600-calorie options
  • Choose from a weekly or fortnightly subscription and change, pause or cancel anytime
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

How Does This Compare With Buying Everything From The Supermarket?

It’s quite hard to do an exact like for like as Simply Cook use 3 different flavour pots. The closest I could find was;

  • Tesco Szechuan Inspired Sweet Chilli Sauce – 80p
  • Chilli oil – This you could make yourself, or, buy a bottle or jar, currently £3 but you get 34 portions, so 35p for 4 servings

Sauce/Paste Cost: £1.15

Total Supermarket Cost: £5.70 + £1.15 = £6.85

Which would equal £1.71 per serving.

So, yes, 43p more expensive per serving (£1.72 more in total) if using Simply Cook, but there are many variables that make it tricky to account for (discounted Simply Cook boxes, supermarket costs, comparing sauces like for like etc).

How Does The Cost Compare To Hello Fresh or Gousto?

I have used both Hello Fresh and Gousto in the past (full and updated reviews coming soon) and in terms of pricing this is how they measure up.

Gousto works out as £3.14 per serving when based on 4 recipes for 4 people. With this you get all the ingredients delivered so there is no need to go out and shop.

Gousto price summary

Hello Fresh works out as £3.25 per serving when based on 4 recipes for 4 people. Again, like Gousto, you receive all the ingredient needed to make the meals.

Summary of Costs – Hello Fresh vs Gousto vs Simply Cook

NameCost Per MealTotal Cost (4 people)
Simply Cook£2.14£8.54
Gousto£3.14£12.56
Hello Fresh£3.25£13
Based on 4 people, 4 recipes1 recipe with 4 servings

Simply Cook vs Other Food Subscription Boxes

  • Simply Cook is the only one I know of that provides just the recipe card and ‘flavours.’
  • The cost of Simply Cook works out cheaper than using a service such as Hello Fresh or Gousto, but you don’t have the convenience of having all the ingredients arriving on your doorstep.
  • Simply Cook currently has a choice of 149 recipes to choose from whereas Hello Fresh has 37 and Gousto has 75.
  • All 3 of these food subscription services are flexible with pausing, skipping and cancelling.

How To Get Free Or Discounted Simply Cook Boxes

After your £1 trial with Simply Cook you can go on to recommend the service to other people and earn free boxes and even a lifetime discount.

Getting A Free Box

When you have an account with Simply Cook you can share a unique link with anyone you know. If they sign up using your link you will then get a free box.

According to the Simply Cook website “You can claim up to four free reward boxes per month. They will not expire and can be claimed in the future.”

Pretty cool huh?

And better still, if you refer 5 people and they all sign up, any future boxes will only cost you £7.99 – and that’s forever.


The Verdict – Is Simply Cook Worth It?

Trying out the Simply Cook trial for £1 is most definitely worth it.

At the very least you’ll get to try out 4 new recipes that you can make again (assuming you can replicate the flavour pots).

For me, Simply Cook is worth using long term. I love the convenience of recipe boxes through my letterbox and so far the meals have been tasty and quick to make.

My preferences are set at the moment to receive a box every 2 weeks, so we get to try 2 new recipes a week.

£1 TRIAL
Simply Cook
  • 1st box free (only pay £1 postage)
  • 4 recipes per box
  • Choose from more than 140 easy-to-follow recipes
  • Letterbox delivery
  • Gluten-free, vegetarian and under-600-calorie options
  • Choose from a weekly or fortnightly subscription and change, pause or cancel anytime
We earn a commission if you click this link and make a purchase at no additional cost to you.

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