Soulara is a highly popular prepared meals delivery service that specialises entirely on serving plant-based meals. They promise to provide meals with plenty of ‘superfoods’ that contain “a myriad of vitamins, minerals, protective antioxidants, and polyphenols” using local produce sourced primarily in Australia. I’m a bit of a novice when it comes to the scientific makeup of food, so all I can say is that it definitely sounds good!
Whilst I’m not personally on a plant-based diet, I am consciously looking to reduce my meat intake thanks to environmental concerns and documentaries like The Game Changers on Netflix. That’s why I was excited to give Soulara a review, hoping to find out if it could expose me to some new plant-based recipes and an easy way to reduce the amount of meat in my diet.
Since being founded in 2017, Soulara have developed a really positive reputation in Australia. This includes earning a rating of 4.3/5 on Product Review with over 400 five star reviews.
Let’s see what all the fuss is about as I dive into my Soulara review.
Soulara Prepared Meals Review
Soulara produce a tasty range of plant-based meals perfect for vegetarians or vegans, delivered simple and easily. With a large range of regularly changing meals, they are the best meal delivery service in Australia for anyone on a plant-based diet.
Ordering - Website - 7/10
Food - Quality - 8/10
Ordering - Meal Choice - 9/10
Food - Taste - 8/10
Ordering - Delivery - 8/10
Value For Money - 8/10
- Every meal is plant-based (including dairy free).
- Fantastic company mission and service.
- No subscription lock-in.
- Delicious curries.
- Limited subscription and delivery options.
- Meals are occasionally disappointing.
- Small portions… which may not be a drawback!
Soulara was the first meal delivery service in Australia to cater specifically for the Vegan market, riding on the growing trend towards plant-based diets. As with any prepared meals service, you sign up to receive regular deliveries of pre-cooked meals that just need a quick few minutes in the microwave. No more need for weekly meal prep.
I pulled together some of the most common FAQ’s in my guide to prepared meals services.
Getting started with Soulara
Soulara have a really simple subscription offering, centred around the selection of 50+ seasonal dishes. They rotate a couple of meals each week to ensure you can always get some variety whilst still being able to order your favourite dishes again.
Each Soulara plan is based on the number of meals ordered, with options for 7, 9, 12, 15, 18, 21 or 24 meals per week. I find this a little restricting personally, with the industry generally trending towards a more flexible model with the only constraint being a minimum number of meals / price.
In 2023, Soulara launched the ability to choose between Regular (350g) and Larger (450g) meals. A fantastic addition that helps solve some of the issues with getting enough protein on a vegan diet if you’re looking to build muscle.
The menu is incredibly well designed, with a clean look and beautifully vibrant pictures of each meal. You also get detailed information about each meal option, including things like Dietary Fibre and Calcium content.
If you want to try Soulara without ordering home delivery, you can find a smaller range stocked in Woolworths stores across Australia, alongside meals from services like My Muscle Chef.
Soulara meal variety and options
Soulara’s offering includes Main Meals, Breakfasts and Extras with over 50 different products available each week.
Their main meals are fairly well varied (all ~35 of them) with plenty of curries, soups, pastas and bowls. I’ve found that Soulara aren’t lazy in their search for replacing meat in dishes, leveraging fantastic foods such as beans & pulses, mushrooms, eggplant, jackfruit and tofu.
Despite this, I still find the protein content is relatively low compared to meat based meal delivery services. If that’s important to you, you may still need additional protein supplements.
You’ll find that there are at least 2-3 new meals to discover each week as Soulara switch to recipes using in-season ingredients. With the range and variety, it’s definitely enough to keep you interested every week.
Breakfast is an intriguing mix of dishes based on oats, quinoa or chia seeds. This variety is actually better than most other prepared meal services I’ve tried, albeit Soulara do rely heavily on nuts / nut milks to add flavour and texture to their breakfasts.
The extras available include various cold pressed juices, kombuchas and snack bites. These can really add a few extra important antioxidants and vitamins to your diet, right in line with Soulara’s mission.
Special diets and food intolerance
Soulara meals never use any animal products, including eggs and dairy. This means they are perfect for anyone following a vegan or vegetarian diet. This also makes them perfect for anyone who has a dairy/lactose intolerance as these are not found in a vegan diet.
A vast majority of meals are also gluten free, although it’s important to be aware of the following caveat:
Made in a facility that also processes peanuts, tree nuts, soy, sesame, sulphites, lupin, gluten and wheat.Soulara Product Disclaimer
As with most meal delivery services, Soulara aren’t able to guarantee there is no cross-contamination of various allergens.
Soulara charges a flat fee of $12 for delivery on all orders. I like to see companies offering free / reduced price shipping on larger orders, although it’s easy to sympathise with the extortionate shipping rates in Australia.
Delivery areas are not made particularly clear on the Soulara website, although they do appear to serve a vast majority of towns / cities in Australia. Deliveries are made on specific days each week, which won’t give you a lot of flexibility. In my case, I was able to select from either Wednesday, Thursday or Sunday in Sydney. You might find fewer options if you live in a rural area.
Soulara only promise to deliver the box at some time between 7am and 6pm. You’ll receive a text the night before with a slightly more accurate delivery window which can help plan your day.
When your box is delivered, the courier (“Be Cool Couriers”) will take a picture of your box and send you a text advising that delivery has been made. This really helps reduce any potential issues with boxes being delivered incorrectly.
To make things even easier, boxes can be delivered even if you aren’t home. They are designed to last up to 12 hours (8 on a hot day) outside without needing additional refrigeration.
How much does Soulara cost?
Soulara’s meal plans cover both Breakfast and Main Meals, with subscription tiers between 7 and 24 meals.
|Meals Per Week||‘Regular’ Meal Cost Per Week||‘Larger’ Meal Cost Per Week|
This means that Soulara’s ‘Regular’ portions range from $12.30 per meal, down to $9.10 per meal with the largest order size. This puts them right in the middle of the market, neither budget or expensive from our investigation into the cheapest meal delivery services in Australia.
The ‘Larger’ meals actually present even better value, with the cost per meal ranging between $13.29 down to $10.10. On average, this is only $1 higher per portion than the ‘Regular’ meals. It’s hard to ignore the value of $1 for an extra 100g of food if your lifestyle/diet suits the larger meals.
The scaling of price based on the number of meals per week mean’s it’s $3 per meal cheaper to get a 24 meal box vs a 7 meal box. I highly recommend buying in bulk and freezing meals to save money.
My Soulara review box
I’ve had a couple of boxes delivered from Soulara, and the timings have varied quite considerably. Sometimes this is before 9am or my latest box arrived at 2pm. I have been receiving tracking details in the morning with a 2-hour delivery window which has really helped.
Although I would prefer the ability to narrow down the delivery times when ordering, I’ve had no issues with Soulara delivery. The box arrived in good shape and it looks highly professional.
Can Soulara boxes be recycled?
One of the most important things to consider is the potential for additional waste that meal delivery services create. Especially for planet-conscious consumers on plant-based diets.
Soulara deliver their food in 100% recyclable cardboard boxes, these can go into your normal weekly recycling collection. The freezer gel packs can be emptied into the sink with the packaging also fully recyclable.
Each meal comes individually packed in plastic containers, which Soulara claim are made with a process that is “30% cleaner” than other plastic manufacturing. These containers can also be fully recycled.
Concerned about the environmental impact? Check out my blog on the environmental impact of food boxes for more information.
Are Soulara Meals Enjoyable?
I’ve tried over 30 Soulara meals, enjoying many different types of meat substitutes and types of meal. Overall, I was impressed by the quality, taste and texture of the ingredients, albeit I was not blown away.
Most enjoyable were the curries, especially the Earthen Seer Curry that I could happily eat again and again. If you’re familiar with Tofu, you know this can be a challenging ingredient to use because of how easy it is to make it bland, rubbery and tasteless. I’m happy to report that Soulara really know how to make the most out of tofu, that allowed it to accentuate the flavours of whatever dish it was in.
There were no genuinely ‘bad’ meals although some tasted fairly average. In particular I wasn’t a big fan of the pasta based dishes such as the Puttanesca. I did find that most dishes tended to be quite watery, which is an easy trap to fall into with microwave meals and is perhaps hard to solve when mass producing meals.
I also found that meals tended to be fairly low in calories and protein compared to my goals (male, fairly active) so I needed to either have multiple meals or supplement with additional calories. I would have personally preferred slightly larger portion sizes. It’s likely you won’t have the same challenges as me, especially if you are looking to go onto a controlled diet.
Cooking the prepared meals
Every meal I tried had the same instructions, asking for 2.5 – 3.5 minutes in the microwave.
There’s slightly more effort involved as you need to lift up the corner of the plastic film, as well as removing any sauce sachets that might come with the meal. My advice is to always read the instructions as you don’t want an exploded sauce sachet all over your microwave!
I found that all meals heated up perfectly evenly with 3 minutes in my microwave.
Meals I loved
- Moroccan Freekeh Bowl
- Earthen Seer Curry
- Vegetable Sunset Curry
Meals I wouldn’t recommend
- Rainbow Pad Thai
- Black Rice Harvest Bowl
Extra Soulara products
I also ordered some of the Berry Smash Kombucha to enjoy. Soulara kombucha goes heavy on the green tea flavouring, which was a dominant flavour. I enjoyed it, but this might not be to everyone’s tastes. The cost was $10.50 for 3 x 350ml bottles, making it $10/litre and quite expensive compared to regular supermarket brands.
The other extras available include a wide variety of juices and some small protein bites, which I haven’t tried but do look tasty.
Soulara meal ingredients
It’s hard not to love the whole mission and ethos around Soulara’s meal service, delivering meals that are good for you and for the planet.
I particularly appreciate how much care and attention has gone into their ingredients list, even calling out the health benefits of those ingredients. Soulara always give you the full ingredient list even when they don’t need to. In the example below, they could easily have listed “Lemon Juice” but clearly it’s important to Soulara that every single ingredient is counted.
My Final Thoughts on Soulara
Despite not being on a plant-based diet, I really enjoyed my time on Soulara. They manage to produce some really exciting meals that make it easy to transition from a traditional meat-based diet.
If you’re a vegetarian, vegan or just looking to reduce your meat intake, I definitely recommend trying Soulara yourself. The convenience of a tasty 3-minute microwave meal cannot be understated, with Soulara being the best plant-based option in Australia. Overall, this helps me feel that Soulara does provide value for money, especially when ordering larger numbers of meals per week.
I wish they would free up the subscription options a little bit, giving people some more flexibility on the number of meals per week available. It would also be great if they added some larger meals (with more protein) for people with a more active lifestyle.
Found my Soulara review helpful? Let me know in the comments below!