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I tried Home Chef and found the meals quick and easy to prepare. Plus, my whole family thought they tasted great.
Home Chef is a meal delivery service that aims to help simplify home cooking.
With a rotating menu featuring a variety of meal kits, salads, and oven-ready dishes, it has options for nearly any palate or preference.
This article reviews Home Chef, including how it works, how much it costs, and who should try it.
Home Chef is a subscription-based service that delivers meal kits with preportioned ingredients and recipe cards directly to your door.
While most meals require around 30 minutes to prepare, the company also offers:
- 15-minute meal kits
- premade entree salads
- oven-ready prepared dishes
- prepared Fast & Fresh meals that only need to be heated in the microwave or oven
Each week, you can build a box by selecting meals from the full menu. The website says there are more than 30 weekly choices you can make, but it also says there are more than 20 recipes to choose from. This is because, for some of the 20 recipes, you can choose different proteins.
You can easily pause or cancel your subscription at any time on the company’s website.
I recently had the opportunity to try some meals from Home Chef. As a busy mom of two, I was excited to see whether these meals could make dinnertime a little less chaotic. Here’s how my experience went.
Recipes and menu selection
Home Chef offers about 30 meal options each week, so there were plenty of tasty-sounding meals to choose from. Even after I filtered down to the Carb Conscious options, there were several choices.
The two meals I selected were the Chicken Lorraine and the Turkey Burrito Skillet.
Delivery and packaging
Home Chef’s packaging is very organized, and my box arrived in good condition.
The ingredients are shipped in an insulating liner, and the meats are stored on the bottom of the box, nestled between ice packs. On top of the ice packs, the other ingredients were separated into plastic bags and sorted by recipe.
That made it really easy to keep the ingredients organized in my fridge. When I was ready to cook, all I had to do was grab the right bag and the meat.
However, Home Chef does seem to use more plastic packaging than some of its competitors, such as HelloFresh.
My ingredients all arrived in usable condition. As you can see from the photos, the lemon was slightly bruised and the green onions were a little wilted. But this didn’t affect the taste of the dish at all, and these ingredients were fine to use.
I was happy with the quality of all of the ingredients.
Ease of cooking and taste
Both of the meals we tried tasted excellent. My family — including two young children — approved.
I liked the addition of the cream sauce and slivered almonds to the Brussels sprouts in the Chicken Lorraine dish, and the Turkey Burrito Skillet was loaded with hidden vegetables that my kids happily ate.
It took me about half an hour to prepare each meal, and most of that was vegetable prep — washing, trimming, and slicing. I found that the recipe instructions were clear and helpful, and the photos were a nice touch, especially for Home Chef customers who may be inexperienced cooks.
I really enjoyed using Home Chef. There were plenty of meal options to choose from, including several that would appeal to my kids. I also liked that several Carb Conscious menu items were available each week, along with quick options such as Fast & Fresh and Express meals.
I could see us using this service again during busy seasons.
Healthline’s nutrition and fitness market editor Kelli McGrane, MS, RD, recently tried Home Chef’s new family plan. It’s sold in 4-serving increments instead of 2-serving and offers 10 family-style meals to choose from each week.
She found that each meal provided 5–6 servings, a little more than the four the plan promises.
“Overall, the flavors and textures were really good,” she says. “This was my first experience trying Home Chef, and I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Overall, I was impressed by the ingredient quality (particularly the chicken) and how easy the meals really are to make.
“The dishes were also packed with flavor yet still approachable for my picky toddler. My biggest complaint was the lack of vegetables.”
Here are the three meals she dug into:
One-Sheet Butter Cracker-Crusted Chicken Cutlet
This was her favorite of the three. She said the chicken was perfectly moist, the potatoes were tasty, and the green beans were well seasoned and had a great char. She appreciated how easy the meal was to make. She and her toddler could share one portion, so they ended up with plenty of leftovers for lunch the next day.
Cheesy Beef Enchilada Bake
She was able to prep this ahead of time and store the prepared baking pans (which came with the recipe) in her fridge until dinnertime. Her family of three made it through only one pan, so they froze the second for another night.
She says the enchiladas tasted the way you’d expect enchiladas made with canned sauce to taste. She added fresh diced tomato and avocado plus a splash of lime to lighten things up a bit.
One-Pan Pork and Broccoli Stir-Fry
She says she loved the flavor of the sauce and felt that it had just the right balance of salty and sweet. The only downside was the lack of vegetables. She would have liked to have had double the amount of broccoli or the addition of another vegetable, such as a bell pepper or a carrot.
“Overall, the meals were tasty, the proteins were good quality, and the recipes were simple to make,” she says.
Signing up for Home Chef is very easy. Once logged in to the site, you simply choose the plan that fits your needs: the Home Chef plan or the Fresh and Easy plan.
Home Chef allows you to customize for certain dietary preferences, such as carb-conscious, calorie-conscious, and vegetarian diets. You can also select any allergens or other foods you may want to avoid, such as:
While this is not an option in the main ordering process, the website says you can also order meals that are free from soy, wheat, and milk.
Although Home Chef allows you to choose meals without allergens, it’s important to note that all Home Chef products are packaged and shipped in one location, so cross contamination is possible.
Home Chef’s menu features more than 20 recipes each week, including vegetarian, carb-conscious, and calorie-conscious options. However, there is no vegan menu.
Each week, you can order 2–6 meals, each of which includes two, four, or six servings.
You can also select recipes from the full menu to create your own custom meal plan. Plus, many recipes allow you to customize your meal by swapping in other protein sources.
In addition to meal kits, Home Chef offers several meals that are oven-ready or require little to no cooking or preparation. Here’s a bit more information about the types of meals the service offers:
- Culinary Collection: premium meals that cost extra
- Meal Kits: standard recipes that are ready in about 30 minutes
- Express: prepared meals that are ready in 15 minutes or less
- Fast & Fresh: meals that can be baked or microwaved
- Oven-Ready: meals that arrive ready to bake in an oven-safe container
- Family: one-pot recipes that contain four servings (available for Meal Kits, Express, Fast & Fresh, and Oven Ready)
- Plus: meals with premium ingredients (available for Express, Fast & Fresh, and Oven Ready)
You can even order a la carte items such as desserts, side dishes, and breakfasts. Home Chef also offers bundles of various meals and snacks, such as a pizza and salad bundle, a smoothie and croissant bundle, and a cheesecake and cookie bundle.
Home Chef allows you to change your subscription plan at any time by going into your account settings. You can cancel your plan or postpone your meal shipments as long as you do so by noon on the Friday before your upcoming shipment.
You can download the Home Chef app and use it as you would use the website. From there, you can access your account and make any necessary changes.
Home Chef is part of the Kroger family. This means you can find Home Chef products at certain Kroger stores. You can find out whether this is an option for you on Home Chef’s website, using the Find a Store search.
Home Chef ships meal kits in biodegradable, insulated boxes sealed with gel packs designed to keep food fresh.
With its extensive rotating menu, Home Chef makes it easy to find recipes that fit your food preferences.
Meals typically contain a variety of herbs, spices, sauces, and condiments, which are intended to amp up the flavor of each recipe.
Home Chef strives to use the highest quality ingredients possible by partnering with trusted suppliers.
Although organic ingredients are not guaranteed for every meal, certain recipes may offer the option to swap in alternative protein sources such as organic or antibiotic-free chicken.
Home Chef also works with suppliers to ensure adherence to animal welfare standards defined by organizations such as the National Chicken Council.
Home Chef lists potential allergens, such as milk, wheat, soy, and shellfish, on its recipe cards. This can help you avoid recipes that include these ingredients. However, be aware that there is always a chance of cross contamination in Home Chef meal kits.
Some of the meals included on the Home Chef menu at the time of this writing are:
- Brown Sugar Balsamic-Glazed Pork Chop with Garlicky Carrots and Green Beans
- Pork Banh Mi Bowl with Quick-Pickled Vegetables
- Cheesy Salsa Chicken with Fajita-Style Green Beans
- Huli Huli Tofu Rice Bowl with Charred Pineapple and Teriyaki Glaze
- BBQ Shrimp Tacos with Jalapeño Ranch Slaw
Each recipe card comes with cooking instructions and information on how long you can store food before cooking it.
Cooking times vary depending on the type of recipe:
- Standard meal kits can take about 30 minutes to complete.
- 15 Minute Meal Kits take about 15 minutes to cook.
- Oven-Ready Meal Kits can take 40–50 minutes to bake.
- Culinary Collection Meal Kits can take up to 1 hour to prep and cook.
- Fast & Fresh Meals can be microwaved in 5 minutes or less or heated in the oven.
Each recipe card has a skill level written on it. You can choose from beginner, intermediate, and advanced meal options.
Home Chef offers a few options for specific diets, making it easy to find something that works for you.
In fact, you can easily filter the weekly menu to display options that are suitable for vegetarian, low calorie, or low carb diets.
Potential allergens are listed for each recipe, and you can opt to exclude certain ingredients, such as pork, shellfish, red meat, nuts, or mushrooms, from your weekly menu.
However, note that meals are produced in a facility that handles many major allergens, so this service may not be suitable for those with severe food allergies or intolerances.
Furthermore, Home Chef may not be ideal for those following restrictive eating patterns, such as vegan, ketogenic, or paleo diets.
Home Chef offers a selection of calorie-conscious meals, which typically provide 400–600 calories per serving, for those looking to lose weight.
Depending on your lifestyle and what the rest of your diet looks like, opting for these meals may aid weight loss.
Home Chef also makes it easy to prepare more meals at home, which may help support weight loss as well.
Home Chef is a moderately priced meal kit service, with prices starting at $9.99 per serving.
You can purchase extras, including protein packs with meat, fish, or poultry, for an additional fee.
Shipping costs are applied at checkout, depending on the plan you select. For two meals per week for two people, shipping costs $13.99 per box. For all other meal plans, shipping costs $10.99.
Note that Home Chef, like other meal kit delivery services, often offers discount codes for new customers. Discounts are available to healthcare workers, first responders, teachers, and military service members.
Several other meal delivery services also offer nutritious and delicious meal kits.
For instance, HelloFresh offers meal kits to fit a variety of dietary patterns, with plans starting at $8.99 per serving.
Blue Apron is another popular meal delivery service that provides preportioned ingredients and chef-designed recipes for families, including vegetarian and other health-conscious options.
Blue Apron starts at $7.49 for four meals per week with four servings each, and prices vary depending on the specific plan. The price per serving will increase if you choose a plan with fewer meals and servings.
Blue Apron also offers a range of meals that are approved by Weight Watchers (WW) and designed to promote weight loss.
However, Home Chef pricing is comparable, and Home Chef is the only service that offers both meal kits and oven-ready meals, as well as microwavable meals that require minimal preparation.
Home Chef is a widely used and recommended meal kit delivery service.
While there are some negative customer reviews, most of the reviews posted on third-party websites are positive and fall into the “Very Good” or “Excellent” category.
Some of the most frequently mentioned positives of Home Chef are its weekly menu variety, tasty ingredients, and easy-to-follow recipes.
Based on more than 3,000 reviews on Trustpilot, Home Chef has a rating of 3 out of 5 stars from customers.
However, some reviewers express frustration with customer service for issues such as canceling accounts, tracking down lost deliveries, responding to complaints about the quality of ingredients received, and billing.
Home Chef customer service is available via email, phone, and chatbot on the website. In case you don’t want to wait to speak to someone, the website includes plenty of FAQs to help answer common customer questions.
Plus, Home Chef has its own blog, called The Table, that acts as an additional resource for consumers interested in meal planning help and recipe ideas.
Home Chef can be an easy, affordable, and convenient way to enjoy more healthy home-cooked meals.
With an extensive menu of both meal kits and oven-ready meals, it has options for nearly everyone, regardless of how much time you have for meal prep.
Home Chef offers limited options for restrictive eating patterns such as vegan, ketogenic, and paleo diets.
Additionally, because the meals are not produced in an allergen-free facility, Home Chef may not be suitable for those with severe food allergies.
Is Home Chef cheaper than eating out?
Purchasing Home Chef is generally cheaper than eating out, especially if you like to eat out frequently. Home Chef meals are priced at just under $10 per serving, which is less than you would pay for most takeout meals today.
Are Home Chef meals already prepared?
The standard Home Chef meals require only 30 minutes of prep work. However, Home Chef offers certain types of kits that need even less preparation. For instance, you can order 15 Minute Meal Kits, which are prepped and portioned for you, requiring only 15 minutes to cook.
You can also opt for Oven-Ready meal kits, which are fully prepped and require only cooking. Additionally, Fast & Fresh Meals are prepared for you and can be popped in the microwave for quick 5-minute heating or heated in the oven.
Can Home Chef meals be frozen?
Home Chef meals are designed to be stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to prep and eat them. You may be able to store certain meals in the freezer if their ingredients are freezer-friendly.
Keep in mind that not all Home Chef ingredients or prepared meals will freeze and thaw well, so it’s best to prepare them to eat within a day or two for optimal freshness and quality.
Home Chef is a meal delivery service that aims to make it easier than ever to cook more healthy meals at home.
With a wide range of recipes and customization options available, Home Chef may be worth a try for those looking to cut down on their cooking time and add some diversity to their diet.
However, those who follow restrictive diets or have severe food allergies may benefit from selecting another service that better caters to their needs.