I was contacted by the lovely people at SimplyCook and asked to review one of their boxes of 4 recipe kits.

I have reviewed other recipe delivery services where they send you all the fresh ingredients to make a meal – that’s wonderful, but if your plans for the week go out of the window, as ours often do, then the fresh ingredients can easily perish.

SimplyCook  box

SimplyCook has a different idea. They supply the instructions and the spices and seasonings you need to create some lovely food. The four recipe kits come in a small box that fits through your letterbox, and then you add the ingredients and make the dishes at your convenience. This also allows you to substitute items if your family doesn’t like or can’t eat some of the suggested ingredients, or just to mix things up a bit.

Here’s a review of the four recipe kits we chose, and at the bottom there is a giveaway where you can also receive a free box of four kits from SimplyCook.


What’s in the recipe kit?

  • Paella Garnish
  • Saffron Seasoning
  • Paella Paste

What other ingredients are needed?

  • prawns
  • chorizo
  • onion
  • paella rice
  • red pepper
  • chopped tomatoes
  • olive oil
  • chicken thighs (optional)
  • lemon (optional)
  • frozen peas (optional)
Simply Cook Paella

The recipe says that it serves 2 but we are a family of 4 adult-sized appetites. I doubled the ingredients, added all of the optional extras and wondered if the spices would be enough to flavour the larger portion. I needn’t have worried – not only were the spices more than up to the job, but the total portion size was almost excessive. It took between 30-40 minutes to cook and all in one pan. Everyone said the paella was absolutely delicious and we will definitely have this again. I think this one was the family favourite.

Pork Tacos al Pastor

What’s in the recipe kit?

  • Al Pastor spice blend
  • Frijoles paste
  • Habanero hot sauce base

What other ingredients are needed?

  • pork fillet
  • red onion
  • black beans
  • tortilla wraps
  • fresh pineapple
  • olive oil
  • coriander (optional)
  • lime (optional)
Tacos al Pastor Simply Cook

This takes a little bit longer to prepare as the pork needs to be marinated in the spice blend before you begin, but after that, it was simple to cook. This was definitely my favourite of the four recipes and the rest of the family loved it too. My husband was very pleasantly surprised by the black bean “frijoles” – he said he usually finds the bean element of a Tex-Mex meal to be the least satisfying element but this time it was lovely. I really loved the pineapple which went very well with the spicy pork, and I also surprised myself with the coriander – I’m not normally a fan, but it really worked with this meal. We added guacamole too, which wasn’t on the spec, but it worked nicely too.

Louisiana Linguine

What’s in the recipe kit?

  • Southern Spice mix
  • White wine reduction
  • Garlic Chicken stock

What other ingredients are needed?

  • chicken thighs
  • linguine
  • red onion
  • green pepper (we substituted orange pepper as we don’t like green ones)
  • baby tomatoes
  • crème fraiche
  • spring onions (optional)
  • parmesan (optional)
Louisiana Linguine Simply Cook

This was another big hit – a cheesy, creamy, white wine-flavoured pasta sauce that went really well with the spicy chicken and vegetables. It was a little bit fiddly cooking all the chicken bits and then putting them aside, but the recipe was straightforward and the results were amazing. It was nice to be able to cook with wine without having to buy a bottle, as we don’t generally drink at home and it would go to waste

Crispy Chili Beef

What’s in the recipe kit?

  • stir fry seasoning
  • honey soy sauce
  • chilli and garlic sauce

What other ingredients are needed?

  • jasmine rice
  • thin cut beef steak
  • carrot
  • spring onions
  • cornflour
  • sugarsnap peas (optional)
  • sesame seeds (optional)
Crispy Chili Beef

This was the last one of the four we did, and in my opinion it fell a little bit short compared to the other three, although the rest of the family said it was also delicious. I think this one did suffer from not quite enough spice to go round after I had doubled the portion size – this is not a fault of Simply Cook as the kit did clearly say it was for two and I used twice the recommended ingredients but if I got these kits regularly, I would collect 2 of these ones and use them together for four of us.

Overall opinion of SimplyCook

I’m sure I’m not the only one whose cooking has fallen into a bit of a rut over the lockdown period. In normal times we only eat together as a family a couple of times a week – for the last six months this has been every night, and my repertoire is starting to get a little bit repetitive.

This week, where we had four dishes that were completely new to us and very easy to cook, did us all good, and everybody enjoyed the change. I’m definitely going to look into subscribing to SimplyCook, maybe not all the time, but every so often. The boxes containing four recipe kits (12 different herb, spice and ingredient blends) cost £9.99 each, much cheaper than buying all of the different herb ingredients separately, then having them languish in your cupboard.

The giveaway

So now it’s your turn – you can also win one box containing four SimplyCook recipe kits of your choice.

Please fill in your details below (UK residents only) and SimplyCook will be in touch with the winner to deliver your prize.

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