Want the best recipe boxes to recreate restaurant food in your own home? Looking for DIY meal kits? Check out our pick below, then try our favourite vegetarian meal kits, best burger kits and dream about where you want to eat out next.
We have covered plenty of eat-at-home occasions, whether you want a simple, interactive meal or are looking for something a little more sophisticated for a special occasion. We’ve made things easier for you and split our meal kits guide into sections. Try “great-value nights in” for burgers, tacos, curries and more; continue to “weekend treats” for Middle Eastern meze, Sunday roasts and ingredient boxes; or scroll down to “special occasion menus” to find finish-at-home tasting menus and fine dining options.
Restaurant meal kits
“Great-value nights in”
Fried chicken kits, Chick ‘N’ Sours
This kit is a generous feast of juicy-on-the-inside, crunchy-on-the-outside chicken with everything you need except vegetable oil for deep or shallow frying – instructions and timings are given for both. Build your own chicken sandwich: choose from K-pop (Korean-style with sriracha sour cream and gochujang mayo) or The General with pickles and American cheese (secret ingredient: seaweed crack seasoning). Chicken wings and tenders come with easy-to-reheat hot sauce and tangy kung pao, and fried chilli peanuts and pickled chilli. Sides of bang bang cucumbers, ginger miso slaw and watermelon salad are refreshing and a good foil. A chicken dinner winner – two sandwiches, eight wings, four tenders. Be sure to download the spirit-lifting playlist, too.
£50 for two to four people, chicknsours.co.uk
Tel Aviv street-food feast, Shuk
Looking for a meal kit to cover you for the whole weekend? Borough Market’s Israeli street-food outfit Shuk has put together a bountiful Weekender kit covering everything from Saturday brunch to a Sunday night feast. We opted for the lamb kit (there’s also a pescatarian option with fish tagine and lemon and ginger marinated sea bass) – start with a brunch of shakshuka with Cacklebean eggs and a plump, glossy challah loaf to toast, before moving on to pillowy pittas stuffed with spiced lamb meatballs (we swapped for delicious sabich pittas stuffed with roasted aubergines, boiled eggs and pickled cucumber) in the evening. The finale is a Sunday night spread of fall-apart 12-hour braised neck of lamb, hummus topped with slow-cooked beef brisket and veggie side dishes such as sweet potato topped with chilli yogurt. Accompanying all of this is an array of moreish condiments and sauces, from spicy zhoug and harissa oil to creamy amba tahini. Special mention should go to the delicious DIY chocolate, hazelnut and oat cookie babka, which was as moist and chocolaty as you could hope for.
Dishes are easy to put together – most involve simple heating through and assembly, aside from the lamb which required a 90-minute session in the oven, and the babka, which needed to be rolled out, plaited together and proved before baking. Everything comes with detailed instructions (the babka’s will also direct you to helpful videos on Shuk’s Instagram account), but our one tip would be to take a few minutes to divide all the ingredients by meal in your fridge as there a lot of different components. Intricate, vibrant and packed full of flavour – this is easy, fuss-free feasting.
£150 for four people (or two with plenty of leftovers), shuk-london.myshopify.com
Venimoo burger, Mac and Wild
This kit provides all the ingredients and tips you need to create one of this Scottish restaurant brand’s most popular signature dishes at home; the deep, meaty Venimoo Burger. Caramelise the hand-sliced onions and toast the brioche bun, then build your burger with Mac & Wild’s unique redcurrant jelly and Dijon mustard sauce, zingy gherkin slices, shredded lettuce and a dollop of creamy tarragon hollandaise. Fry the HG Walter patties (one aged beef and one venison per burger) and add the cheese, then comes the secret chef’s tip… Follow the handy Youtube video in which co-owner, Andy Waugh, teaches you how to build the burger in the pan and sizzle under a lid so that all ingredients ooze into each other for a restaurant-quality finish.
£24 for two people, £32 for four people, restaurantkits.com (AC)
Try more finish-at-home burgers from Honest Burgers, Burger & Beyond, The Vurger Co and more in our best burger kits guide.
Mexican feast, Tacos Padre
Friday night in a box from one of the best new places to eat (and shop) in Borough Market. Arrives in a cute recyclable box, requires virtually no thinking or cooking, and packs a Mexican flavour punch. We tested the lamb barbacoa kit, deeply flavoured from being slowly cooked. Gently reheat shoulder of lamb, stuff it into warmed corn tortillas (10 in each kit), top with guac and jalapeño salsa, onions and coriander, with refried beans on the side. Cauliflower, pork and chicken kits are also available. Check out the margarita options, too. Easily serves two. Find more recipes from Tacos Padre here.
From £30, tacospadre.bignight.app (Image credit Clerkenwell Boy) (CH)
Sri Lankan feast, Kolamba
Kolamba is Aushi and Eroshan Meewella’s vibrant culinary hymn to the dishes they grew up eating in Sri Lanka’s capital, Colombo, and you can now enjoy the Soho restaurant’s aromatic, complex spicing at home, with multi-dish meal kits available. Choose between a Ceylon chicken curry feast and a vegan jackfruit curry feast (you can also order extra curries, pickles, chutneys, sambol and rice). We tried the latter, which arrived sleekly packaged and easy to prepare. A curry of meaty hunks of young jackfruit with fried onion and cinnamon is comforting yet boldly flavoured, while a red lentil dahl is soothingly creamy, and a green bean curry comes in a delicately spiced, coconut milk broth. Trimmings include a poky toasted pol sambol with coconut that delivers a punchy hit of heat, as does a Malay pickle, while date and lime chutney is deliciously sour and almost fudgy in texture.
From £36 for two people, restokit.co.uk (HG)
This OTT creation from Flank London founder and chef Tom Griffiths was inspired by the McRib sandwich (and the Terminator films) and was created by Griffiths especially for the at-home experience. The main element is the ‘rib’ –made up of different slow-cooked and smoked cuts of pork which have been compressed, chef-style, into a sandwich shaped slab which you brown in the pan, then finish off in the oven. This is then layered with BBQ glaze, smoky ketchup, puffed rice, crispy onions and crunchy pickles in a soft long brioche bun. The finished ‘ribinator’ looks a bit daunting – the rib is thicker than the bun – but on biting, it surrenders into soft, juicy meat and the other elements mean there are plenty of contrasting textures. One for meat lovers.
£25 for two people, restaurantkitsuk.com
Crispy piglet belly bao buns, Flesh & Buns
This home bao kit comes with all you need to create crispy suckling pig steamed buns, including a fun pamphlet of easy-to-follow instructions. Cook the generous piece of suckling pork belly until crisp, steam your hand-sized bao (there are cooking instructions for a bamboo steamer and also an alternative method), then build. Slather a spoonful of punchy karashiko mustard miso sauce on a pillowy-soft bun, add a handful of fall-apart shredded meat, and top with sliced pickled apple and delicate shisho leaves. There are six buns in the kit, with plenty of meat to go round – perfect to serve alongside a couple of sides for a Friday night feast.
£27.50 for two people, restaurantkitsuk.com (AC)
Philly LOVEbundles, Passyunk Avenue
Go full USA at home with a Philadelphia-inspired feed. Fill a thick, sub-style roll with prime rib-eye steak, oozy cheese sauce and onions; gnaw on wings with tangy, spicy buffalo sauce and blue cheese dip; and don’t forget the deli-style hoagie sandwiches. The kits (from £19.99) are called LOVEbundles, and we can’t think of a better way to deliver some love and culinary comfort to friends, family and, of course, yourself right now. Passyunk Avenue’s Cleveland Street branch reopened in July.
From £19.99 for two people, passyunk.co.uk (JC)
Dum biryanis, Empire Biryani
The brains behind London’s Gunpowder restaurants have launched a service that delivers hearty, pastry-topped dum biryanis straight to your door. Each biryani is steamed low and slow for several hours and features fillings of either lamb shank or shahi mushrooms, onions and spices. We tried the latter – expect tender mushrooms, perfectly cooked, fluffy, buttery rice and a bronzed shortcrust pastry lid. Accompaniments come in the form of dishes such as velvety paneer butter masala, and smoky achari aloo gobi (pickled cauliflower and potatoes). It’s all very easy to prepare – biryanis simply need heating through in the oven, as do side dishes (or in a microwave).
£35, empirebiryanigunpowder.slerp.com (Image credit Safia Shakarchi) (HG)
Iraqi Tepsi Beitenjan burger, Juma Kitchen
Philip Juma has been sharing his Iraqi cooking in London since 2012, most recently with a permanent site in Borough Market. This two-course meal kit celebrates some of the most popular flavours from the restaurant in an easy to assemble form. There is slow cooked aubergine to warm up and pile on the rich lamb patties along with crunchy potato chips and a sweet red pepper ketchup. The burger is finished with crisp lettuce, fresh parsley and crunchy pickled cucumber. Instructions are clear and concise and the whole thing comes together with ease. The knafa dessert is a revelation – double cream, mozzarella and shredded filo is layered and baked, then finished with blossom syrup and a rose and pistachio topping for a crunchy, creamy, sweet wonder.
£30 for two people, restaurantkitsuk.com
Malaysian laksa, Sambal Shiok
Mandy Yin grew up in Kuala Lumpur and has been sharing her Malaysian dishes with Londoners since 2013. She started on a street food stall, then progressed to a supper club and eventually opened her bricks-and-mortar restaurant; and now you can try her fragrant laksas at home. Order the special laksa – a rich coconut broth filled with plenty of plump prawns, chicken pieces, spongy tofu and slippery egg noodles. Or try a meal set from Mandy’s sister company, Nasi Economy Rice. Choose between five-spice ragu, assam prawns and soy-braised chicken, all served with fluffy rice, yellow veg curry and sweet ’n’ sour greens, as well as potato curry puffs to start and delicate cardamom chocolate cake for pud.
£34.95 for two people, pezu.com (AC)
Beef brisket burgers, Libertine burgers
Libertine has two outlets in the Midlands and has something of a cult following. Its home kit is far from average, featuring four beef patties made with flank, chuck and brisket with a deeply meaty flavour. Instructions are on the nice side of bossy, explaining exactly which order to load up each sesame seeded brioche bun with Heinz ketchup, French’s mustard, pickles (all provided) and iceberg lettuce. Cook burgers for four minutes on each side, add seasoning, American cheese slices, crispy bacon and boom. Dedicated burger flippers can supplement the kit with tools such as Hell’s Kitchen Grill Scarper (£25), also sold online.
£25 for four people, libertine-burger.myshopify.com (CH)
Roast Box, Soul Ride
Generously serving two (or three if you’re happy to share dessert), this Sunday lunch – given a Caribbean twist by Riding House’s Henry Omereye – is a delight. A whole ready-to-roast chicken arrives marinated in pimento, and cooks 75 minutes. Sides are imaginative and plentiful: pumpkin mac ‘n’ cheese, creamed sweetcorn, kale & chilli, crispy new potatoes and grilled cauliflower. And, as most can be reheated in their pouches or roasted, these don’t create too much washing-up. Soured cream dip, pineapple salsa, coconut yogurt, green sauce and port gravy elevate things further. Two individual ginger puddings come with caramel sauce. A great-value kit.
£60 for two people, ridinghouseathome.com
Contemporary Japanese, ROKA
This upmarket contemporary Japanese restaurant has released a selection of its signature dishes for a finish-at-home sharing feast. Pick and build your own menu from the likes of beef fillet medallions with bone marrow teriyaki sauce, lamb cutlets in a Korean spice marinade and Japanese mushroom and fresh truffle rice with mountain vegetables and shiso leaves. The standout for us was marinated black cod with yuzu miso sauce and pickled radish, served in a dried hoba leaf. Succinct recipe cards are complete with easy-to-follow instructions to finish on the BBQ, so you can recreate the robata grill experience (as well as pan and oven options), and include a photograph of the finished dish to replicate at home. Order by Wednesday for the Friday delivery.
From £12 per dish, slerp.com
Italian supper box, The River Café
Simple, seasonal, and a cinch to prepare. River Café is known for its excellent sourcing of high-quality Italian ingredients and this box set (we tried number six) doesn’t disappoint. Expect the best buffalo mozzarella, prosciutto di parma, Violetta artichokes, grissini and braised spinach for a mouth-watering starter. Super-thin tagliolini needs just three minutes max in boiling water, and is eaten simply with warmed-through, slow-cooked tomato sauce, with – transformatory! – a tablespoon of butter. Finish with cantucci almond biscuits – if you’d like to dip them in vin santo dessert wine (as they do in Tuscany), check out the wine tab in the online shop.
£100 for four people, shoptherivercafe.co.uk
Portuguese feast, Bar Douro
These beautiful London restaurants are all about contemporary twists on classic Portuguese dishes, served in an authentic, friendly environment. Through Restokit, you can order a neat set of small plates from Bar Douro to finish at home. Start with ‘petiscos’ or ‘snacks’, including 24-month cured Alentejo pata negra ham and the restaurant’s signature smoked Portuguese sausage croquetas (just plop into hot oil to crisp up). Next comes paprika-laced octopus or salt-cod hash, lamb shanks cooked for 12 hours in red wine and herbs, and garlic potatoes and hispi cabbage to roast in the oven and sprinkle with crispy shallots. To finish, indulge in a delicate Portuguese almond cake served with orange crème fraiche. There’s the option of adding a blistered custard tart to warm through in the oven, as well as a DIY white port and tonic to complete the typical Portuguese experience.
£60 for two people, restokit.co.uk
DIY steak kits, Hawksmoor
This feast from one of the UK’s most prestigious steak houses provides all you need to recreate the Hawksmoor experience at home. Start by cracking open crisp, malty Derbyshire-brewed session IPA, and get your starter of belly ribs and pickled slaw on the go (though there is a lot of food, so you can also save these for a light lunch the next day). The main event (we tried the t-bone option) comes with a handy “how to cook perfect steak” guide, to ensure you do justice to the prime piece of meat. Executive chef Matt Brown’s epic beef dripping oven chips come ready for you to complete the third and final cook at home, while rich peppercorn sauce and creamed spinach just need to be warmed through. There’s a generous portion of sticky toffee pud with a pot of Rodda’s clotted cream for an indulgent finish. A bottle of Hawksmoor’s annual full-bodied blend of Portuguese red is included, as well as a stylish bottle of pre-mixed sour cherry negroni to enjoy as an aperitif or to extend the evening.
From £135 for two people, shop.thehawksmoor.com (AC)
Middle Eastern feasts, Arabica
Get involved with these generous Lebanese feasts. Assemble your own beautiful meze dishes to start – top silky hummus with sweet peppers and roast chickpeas, sprinkle pomegranate over smoky baba ghanoush, fry squeaky halloumi pieces in Turkish dried mint and pop spiced squash pumpkin kibbeh (Lebanese croquettes) in the oven to warm and crisp up. Diners are encouraged to enjoy this spread as a starter before moving onto mains – slow-cooked beef short rib in a spiced red pepper stew served with crunchy, toasted vermicelli noodles and fragrant rice. The feast is finished with a dinky plate of buttery baklava and a pack of mint leaves to brew a refreshing mint tea. 5% of sale proceeds from this box will be donated to Red Cross Lebanon to support the city by which it’s inspired.
From £45 for two people, arabicalondon.com (AC)
Porchetta Sunday feast, Mortimer House
Mortimer House has done the impossible: challenged the traditional Sunday roast to a fight – and won!
A whole burrata makes a simple starter, arranged on top of a plate of capocollo (thinly sliced cured pork) and dotted with picked onions. The main event is porchetta which roasts in just over an hour yielding the fantastic crackling everyone loves. It comes with roasties, broccoli to be sautéd with garlic, chilli, pork and mustard jus, and a punchy salsa verde. A huge slab of tiramisu is spectacularly good. For four there will be leftovers, so the kit also includes ciabatta and onion jam for sandwiches the next day.
£120 for four people, slerp.com (CH)
Curry kits, Opheem
Aktar Islam’s Opheem restaurant in Birmingham was the first Indian restaurant outside London to be awarded a Michelin star, and now you can enjoy the creations of the former Great British Menu-winning chef in your own home for £60. Each week Aktar develops a menu of 10 dishes – more than enough for a banquet for four, several meals for two, or a whole week of dinners for one. The box we tried contained a spectacular sikandari raan (spice-marinated smoked leg of lamb), accompanied by an array of veggie curries and sides. The dishes come vac-packed, ready to cook, with a menu and step-by-step instructions. Great value.
£60 for two people, aktarathome.co.uk (KK)
Made in Oldstead boxes, The Black Swan
Chef Tommy Banks, of The Black Swan, is the man behind Made in Oldstead Food Boxes. Choose a standard or celebration box, and expect dishes such as beef wellington made with local salt-aged beef fillet. Locals can collect from either The Black Swan or sister restaurant Roots, and there’s also a national delivery service. Roots has reopened its doors with amended opening times, and The Black Swan plans to reopen in August.
From £54, tommybanks.co.uk (JC)
“Special occasion menus”
Michelin-starred tapas, Paco Tapas
This succession of superb dishes from Peter Sanchez-Iglesias’s Michelin-starred tapas restaurant in Bristol is a brilliant way to celebrate a special occasion. It’s relatively hands-on, but can be prepared and served in stages, as in the restaurant, so you can take your time and make an evening of it. Start with manzanilla olives, umami chorizo ibérico, charred bread cut into soldiers and crisp, intense jamón croquetas. Next comes the fish course – lay out salty pickled anchovy slivers and bathe in a golden pool of olive oil; thinly slice pre-seared tuna loin; fry huge Wild Atlantic prawns until sizzling and top with smoky ajillo sauce; and prepare a plump heritage tomato salad. Meat is next, with the sobrasada-stuffed quail being the trickiest to cook. The fat and tender meat on the aged Duroc pork ribs falls away beautifully from the bone, and two (intentionally) burnt leeks just need to be warmed through in the bag, then slathered in romesco sauce. There’s plenty of extra aïoli for dipping along the way, and a delicious Amedei chocolate mousse topped with crisp bread ‘scarves’ to finish. You can add a sherry pairing for £30 extra per person, or a pre-bottled sherry manhattan.
£100 (£120 for nationwide delivery) for two people, pacotapas.co.uk (AC)
Themed tasting menus, Home by Nico
Six by Nico’s kit reflects the concept of the restaurants where tasting menu themes change every six weeks. We tasted a four-course Bangkok-themed menu. There is very little prep to do, just reheat a garlic-forward hot and sour tom yum soup with prawn dumplings. Roast the chicken legs of panang red curry while warming through its sauce of sweet potato, baby corn and pak choi, finished with a sprinkling of roasted peanut, crispy shallots and Thai herbs. Serve with sides of jasmine rice and crispy pork pad Thai, eaten cold, with a punchy prik nam pla (fish sauce) dressing. The swish brochure suggests dessert before cheese: cardamom and toasted coconut rice pudding, with little pots of delicious salted bean curd caramel and exotic fruit compote. And finally, delicious Dutch cheese Landana 500 with pineapple chutney and crackers (it’s not clear what the Bangkok connection is here). A bottle of picpoul-style wine is also included. A very smart kit for the price, we look forward to trying the Burgundy themed kit, including ham terrine, beef bourguignon, pommes boulangère and Langres Petit cheese.
£60 for two people, home-x.com (CH)
Build your own bistro menu, Elite Bistros
Reacting to the ever-changing operational environment that came with the Covid-19 pandemic, Gary Usher, owner of the Elite Bistros group of restaurants (which includes the beloved Burnt Truffle and Hispi, located in the North West), launched Elite Bistros at Home during the summer of 2020. The pre-prepared restaurant kits come with a QR code that links to online recipe cards that show you how to finish off the dishes at home. Delivery is available nationwide, and the 16-item menu features classic Elite Bistros offerings, such as braised octopus and the signature eight-hour braised featherblade of beef. There’s free delivery for orders over £80, and bottles of wine can be ordered with the kit, starting at £12 for a bottle of vermentino white wine.
Starters from £6.50, mains from £11, elitebistros.com (CH)
Seasonal tasting menu, Lyle’s
As near to the restaurant experience of this pared back, fiercely seasonal Shoreditch restaurant as you can get. Chef James Lowe put this box together to support the farmers who would otherwise miss out on goose orders made by the restaurants over the winter months. While the goose element (one leg with carrots and smoked bacon arrives packed in stock jelly) is only available until early February, the other elements are still going strong. This is a no-nonsense, easy-to-assemble menu, with excellent cheffy touches. Mussels and brassicas in a buttery sauce with lovage oil and cider. Scallops served with raw and cooked artichokes are easy to sear and dust with fennel pollen. Rhubarb and blood orange tart with crème fraîche is a substantial pudding, so you might like to save the little brown butter cakes and salted chocolate honey chocolates for a next day treat. Homemade bread and butter also provided.
£140 for two people, lylesprovisions.com (CH)
“A little something extra”
Pleesecakes – DIY dessert kits for a celebration
Pleesecakes, famous for its fun, fully loaded cheesecakes, has created the DIY kit (from £28) that sweet-toothed home cooks have been waiting for. It’s new Build Your Own at Home (BYOAH!) range contains a ready-to-rock base with pre-made filling, along with a cake board, ganache and those signature decorations (choose from chocolate bars or pick ’n’ mix). A great shout for a friend with a celebration – you can get it delivered straight to them, wherever they live in the UK.
From £28 per cheesecake, byoah.com (JC)
(CH) Christine Hayes
(JC) Jessica Carter
(AC) Alex Crossley
(HG) Hannah Guinness
(JR) Janine Ratcliffe
(KK) Keith Kendrick
(LG) Lulu Grimes