Home Chef Review: Everything You Need to Know About the Meal Kit Service
From flavors and price to prep time and customization, find out if it's the right match for you.
Considering the go-go-go nature of our world today and the jam-packed schedules many of us are tied to, it’s no surprise that meal kit delivery services are more popular in the US than ever before—particularly in the era of COVID. They take the work out of both meal planning and grocery shopping, and offer a convenient alternative to take-out—ultimately saving people time, money, and a modicum of sanity while making cooking a lot easier and a little more fun.
And yet, with so many meal kit companies out there today, it can be overwhelming to navigate the sea of options for one that matches your lifestyle and preferences. Therein lies the appeal of a service like Home Chef, which aims to be the meal kit service for anyone, courtesy of affordable pricing and a slew of customization options. They’re a big reason why Home Chef is among the most popular meal kit services on the market today. But does it deliver on its promise to be a good fit for anyone? If you're curious how Home Chef stacks up against the competition, what it costs, how it works, and whether it's ultimately a good fit for you, we've got you covered. Read on for our full review of the popular service and what it brings to the table.
How does Home Chef work?
Unlike other meal kit services, there isn’t a set meal plan sent to your door every week. Instead, you’ll find the most extensive menu that any meal kit service has to offer, with over 30 meals to choose from each week. Then, at the beginning of a new week, they provide a fresh set of recipes to excite your taste buds and ignite your culinary genius. The company offers a wide variety of healthy and tasty meals to pick from across a plethora of cuisines and flavors—from American comfort food staples, to spicy Mexican cuisines and zesty Italian dishes—so you can settle on options that will satisfy the whole household, and even exceptionally picky eaters.
Home Chef makes sure you receive the best quality possible for every meal you choose. Their meal kits are completely free of preservatives, additives, and fillers so that you can have the fresh, clean eating you deserve. You can even customize it by choosing your protein for each meal with options to upgrade, double up, add-on, or swap out for antibiotic-free or organic alternatives when available.
If you’re thinking about having some friends over, simply adjust the serving sizes of each meal for two, four, six, or eight servings. Say goodbye to the days of wondering if you made enough food, and hello to conveniently pre-portioned and pre-prepped meals at your doorstep.
How much does a Home Chef subscription box cost?
Home Chef’s meal kits are about $9 per serving. You’ll get everything you need for a well-balanced meal, including sides like homemade fries or roasted veggies to pair with the entree. Meals with excellent cuts of beef or seafood recipes may be a bit more expensive at $11-$18 per serving, but it’s entirely up to you which meals you’d like in each order. If you’re looking for something a bit lighter or if you’re short on time, you can pick up a quick lunch, salad, sliders, or appetizers for as low as $7—not too shabby for making your life a bit easier. As a bonus, any order over $45 is eligible for free shipping.
Prices for the weekly boxes are dependent on the number of meals and servings. On average, for a family of four, three weekly meals will cost about $120, meaning you’ll have free shipping on almost any order you make. If it’s just you and your S.O., three weekly meals will run you closer to $60 (depending on the meals you choose and the type of protein included in them, of course). Compared to the rising costs of takeout and grocery shopping, that price is near impossible to beat. You even have options for meal-planning protein packs of raw meat—including beef, steak, chicken, and salmon—ranging from $60-$75.
Is Home Chef worth the price?
If schlepping to the grocery store is too much of a chore and a time suck for your tightly packed schedule, the convenience of Home Chef is likely worth its relatively modest price. Consider, too, that its pre-portioned quality ingredients mean you'll save time prepping and measuring (while reducing food waste), and it may seem like a pretty sweet deal.
Depending on your preferences, you can even choose between pre-prepped meals you cook yourself or oven-ready meals to heat up after a busy day. Whether you don’t know what to make, don’t have the energy, or simply because it’s one more thing to do at the end of a long day. Home Chef is designed to be easy, convenient, and fill the gaps when that trip to the grocery store seems like too much to bear.
The bottom line is Home Chef offers health-conscious meals that don’t skimp on flavor while saving you time by taking grocery shopping and meal-prepping off of your to-do list. If you have enough to stress about during the week, Home Chef meals might just be your helping hand. Each meal kit even comes packaged in reusable produce bags and recyclable materials to cut down on waste; so you can eat well and feel good about it.
Does Home Chef offer healthy meals?
Home Chef works hard to make sure you receive high quality options week after week. After all, 95% of the ingredients used are organic. When you create your subscription, you’ll be able to opt for options that align with low-carb or low-calorie diets depending on your needs. When you scroll through the menu, you’ll also find those handy stamps of approval (we take these as “green flags” from past customers) on each item listed when applicable. You can even exclude any common allergy foods you may want or need to avoid, like shellfish or peanuts. Gluten-free friends, this means you too.
Home Chef prides itself on offering the most extensive menu of any meal kit service available. Based on the selections you make, they’ll show you the best meals they have to offer that’ll fit your preferences (think Netflix, but edible). You’ll have plenty of healthy meal choices filled with fresh veggies and hearty ingredients to choose from. With Covid still looming in our communities, giving our bodies the high-quality fuel they need to seize the day is essential.
Dietary preference options
Home Chef has a wide variety of meals available on each week’s menu. So no matter what your dietary preferences may be, you’re sure to find something that fits your needs (and your taste buds). With the number of substitutions available for each meal, Home Chef can come in handy for a lot of people and their particular lifestyles. While they don’t provide specific selections for diet plans like Paleo or Keto, they do offer a variety of meals that correspond with them. You’ll also find at least three vegetarian meal options guaranteed in each week’s menu, as well as wheat-free meals to cut down on gluten intake.
The company also offers options excluding dairy products, honey, eggs, shellfish, mushrooms, tree nuts, peanuts, pork, beef, poultry, or fish. In other words, it really does cover all the bases. On each dish listed in the menu, you’ll be able to see which common allergy foods are included in the meal you’re looking at, conveniently located right next to the cook times.
[Editor's note: Since the facilities are not certified allergen-free, this may not be the best fit for someone with more severe food allergies.]
Different meals for every day of the week
With up to eight meals per week available in your box, you’ll have dinner each night and some to spare (everyone loves leftovers, right?). You can even adjust the serving size to fit two, four, six, or eight servings per meal. If the type of protein isn’t your style, swap it out for one of their other available options to suit your tastes. They even have snacks, sides, and easy desserts available right at your fingertips.
Home Chef meal kit delivery happens Monday through Friday. When you place your order, you have the option to select which day is best for you, depending on your location. If you don’t need to place an order the following week, you can pause or cancel your subscription at any time before the next order is processed—without any hidden fees or strings attached.
What makes Home Chef different from other meal kits?
Home Chef is one of the most customizable meal kits you’ll find, with options for up to eight meals per week and up to eight servings for each meal. It's tough to beat the variety and flexibility it offers. So whether it’s just you and your S.O. or you’re ready to have the neighbors over for some socially-distanced dining, these kits are sure to please the whole crowd. To top it off, many of the meals can be prepped in under 15 minutes, so you won’t have to worry about running out of time or letting ingredients expire in the fridge (no more accidental science experiments). So whether you have picky eaters, selective buyers, or just want the perfect complement to a busy lifestyle, Home Chef’s culinary collection is definitely worth giving a try.
When you open your weekly box, you’ll also find step-by-step cooking instructions and an elegantly designed recipe card to add to your collection. Home Chef is suitable even for people with little to no cooking experience, as you can choose to receive pre-portioned ingredients to cook yourself or oven-ready meals you can simply heat and serve.
Need to change or cancel your order?
Canceling your subscription with Home Chef is a breeze. You can skip orders or cancel your subscription service at any time for as long as you need. However, if you don’t want your order for the following week, you’ll need to cancel it before 12pm CST the Friday before. Once an order is processed, you won’t be able to cancel it. When you’re ready to pick back up where you left off, just log in. The site will prompt you to reactivate your subscription before setting up your next package.
How Home Chef meal kits can change your kitchen experience
Above all, they make it easy and fast to prepare healthy meals whether you’re an experienced chef, or someone brand new to the world of culinary creation. You’ll receive beautiful recipe cards with pictures and step-by-step instructions, estimated prep and cook times, and everything you need to prepare these dishes like a world-class chef. Experience new flavors and sensations, try dishes from around the world, and open up your tastebuds to the incredible variety that Home Chef has to offer.