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HelloFresh is a meal kit delivery service that offers weekly shipments of recipes and groceries, allowing you to make easy and appealing meals at home.

The service is a great way to reduce the burden of meal planning and grocery shopping. It’s also a good option if you enjoy cooking but simply don’t have enough time for extensive meal prep.

What’s more, the service is reasonably priced and offers family-friendly recipes. However, it may not be ideal for those with special dietary needs.

As a registered dietitian and mom of two, I tried 1 week of HelloFresh to better help you decide whether HelloFresh is right for your household.

Keep reading my full review to find out how HelloFresh works and whether I’d recommend it over similar services.


  • meal kit service that delivers groceries and recipes directly to your door
  • offers a variety of flavorful, easy-to-prepare meals
  • offers vegetarian, pescatarian, and reduced-calorie meal plans
  • priced similarly to or lower than many competitors


  • may not be as convenient as meal delivery services that eliminate the need to cook
  • no exclusively gluten- or allergen-free meal options
  • no meal plans for stricter diets like keto, paleo, or vegan
  • $10 shipping fee per box

HelloFresh is a meal kit delivery service that ships weekly boxes of fresh ingredients along with recipes to help make mealtime easier.

The boxes contain pre-portioned ingredients for preparing your meals, including sauces, seasonings, and garnishes.

You can choose a meal plan and allow HelloFresh to choose which meals you receive, or you can select from more than 40 rotating recipes to build a custom menu.

You can also skip a week at any time.

Meal selection

HelloFresh offers six meal plans to choose from:

  • Meat & Veggies: a variety of meals that include meat and vegetables
  • Veggie: plant-based meals that are vegetarian but not necessarily vegan
  • Family Friendly: quick, easy-to-prepare, kid-approved options
  • Fit & Wholesome: meals that have around 650 calories or less per serving
  • Quick and Easy: meals that can be cooked in 30 minutes or less
  • Pescatarian: meals featuring seafood but not red meat or poultry

Within each of these categories, there’s also a bit of room for customization, such as choosing to avoid beef, pork, or seafood. HelloFresh also offers a HelloCustom option on several meals, allowing you to swap out sides or proteins for one you prefer more.

For example, the Golden Chicken Schnitzel meal allows you to choose potatoes or broccoli, and the Hoisin Honey dish allows you to choose shrimp or chicken.

Additionally, you aren’t limited to only the meals offered in your chosen meal plan. You can choose from the full menu of 40+ options each week.

For example, if you’re on the Fit & Wholesome meal plan but see a Family Friendly dish you’d like to try, you can easily swap out a meal to include that recipe in your shipment.

HelloFresh also discloses allergens, including gluten, but does not currently offer dedicated gluten-free or allergen-free menus.

Diet friendliness

With the exception of vegetarian, pescatarian, and reduced-calorie diets, HelloFresh does not cater to specialized diets.

The service offers a variety of meals that may align with your personal dietary needs but leaves it up to you to decide whether each recipe is a good fit.

Additionally, HelloFresh is not ideal if you’re strictly following a vegan, paleo, or keto diet, because many of the recipe options don’t meet the requirements of these diets.

For instance, I generally follow a low carb or keto diet.

While HelloFresh does offer some lower-carb options, many of its meals feature rice, potatoes, or pasta.

I was able to replace these with keto-friendly alternatives, like cauliflower or zucchini noodles, for myself, but doing this required planning and spending extra time in the kitchen. The HelloCustom option may make this easier too, on meals that give you the option to swap out a carb for an extra non-starchy vegetable.

Additionally, if you follow a gluten-free or allergen-free diet, you may prefer a meal delivery service that caters specifically to these dietary needs.

Is HelloFresh a good way to lose weight?

While weight loss is no guarantee when using HelloFresh, one of its meal plans is the Fit & Wholesome option.

Each of the meals on this plan clocks in at about 650 calories per serving, and according to the HelloFresh website, the meals are dietitian-approved.

If you’re eating at a calorie deficit, then you may lose weight.

The calorie-controlled meals on HelloFresh’s Fit & Wholesome plan may help you reach this goal. However, weight loss is not a guarantee, even if you’re receiving Fit & Wholesome meals (1).

According to its website, HelloFresh focuses on sourcing high quality ingredients. The company includes fresh produce with most recipes, and some of the items are organic.

According to the company’s website, HelloFresh also sources meat and poultry from suppliers that adhere to federal safety regulations, as well as sustainable, “ocean-friendly” seafood.

What’s more, HelloFresh features appealing and interesting flavors across a variety of regional cuisines.

Here are some examples of recipes on its weekly menu:

  • Pork Sausage Rigatoni in a Creamy Sauce
  • Zucchini and Mushroom Bibimbap Bowls
  • Salsa Verde Enchiladas
  • Pork Schnitzel
  • Buffalo-Spiced Chickpea Bowls
  • Caramelized Apple Cheddar Melts

Many of the ingredients are sent completely fresh, so you’ll need to prep the veggies and prepare simple sauces using the ingredients you receive.

When I received my HelloFresh box, I took a look at all the produce. The green onions were a little wilted but still very much usable, and some of the baby potatoes were slightly bruised but also still usable. The meat all looked fresh.

Here are the ingredients for the Cheesy Smothered Mushroom Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Carrots, along with a picture of the prepared meal:

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Cheesy Smothered Mushroom Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Roasted Carrots

Are HelloFresh meals actually good?

I think so, and my family agrees. We really enjoyed each of the HelloFresh meals we tried.

I’ve even taken a few of the sauces and meal combinations I was introduced to through HelloFresh and added them to my regular rotation of meals, including the cheesy mushroom sauce from the Cheesy Smothered Mushroom Chicken.

I also appreciate the huge assortment of meals HelloFresh offers each week, which includes lots of kid-friendly options.

HelloFresh has a goal of promoting positive experiences in the kitchen. It claims that adults of any skill level can cook the recipes it provides using relatively simple methods and common kitchen items.

I was really impressed with the recipe cards in particular, as HelloFresh includes:

  • large, full-color step-by-step photos
  • a list of the kitchen tools and staple ingredients you’ll need
  • one or two helpful tips for prep
  • an estimated prep time

I consider myself a pretty advanced home cook, and I found that I was able to prepare the recipes in the time stated on the recipe card.

However, some HelloFresh recipes require a bit of multitasking — veggies in the oven while both rice and meat are cooking on the stovetop — which may be difficult or overwhelming if you’re new to cooking.

Plus, because you’re using multiple pots and pans, some recipes require a good amount of cleanup time.

Luckily, HelloFresh has a solution for both of these concerns with its “Easy Cleanup” meals.

HelloFresh meals cost about $9–12.50 per person, per meal. You can get the lowest price per serving by ordering the largest plan size: six recipes per week for four people.

HelloFresh’s most popular plan size is three recipes per week for two people. This works out to $10 per serving, or about $60 per week, plus the cost of shipping.

Speaking of which, shipping is $10 per box.

However, HelloFresh regularly offers new users free shipping and discounts on their first or several shipments.

Meals are delivered weekly and typically arrive 1 or 2 days after they have been shipped.

Ingredients arrive in insulated boxes with ice packs to keep them safe and cool for several hours. Therefore, there’s no need to worry if your box arrives while you’re at work or running errands.

Except for meats, the ingredients for each meal are neatly packaged in paper bags inside the insulated cooler. The meats are underneath the bags, separated from the rest of the food by a piece of cardboard and ice packs.

The recipe cards are outside of the insulated liner, so they don’t get wet.

HelloFresh is a great fit for families or households with no specific dietary needs like gluten-free or strict vegan.

The service offers a wide variety of dishes each week, with at least a few that are likely to appeal to picky eaters or children.

HelloFresh is also a great choice if you want to learn how to cook. The recipes are fairly simple and typically come together in about 30 minutes.

The recipe cards are extremely detailed and include photos, so it’s likely that you will be able to successfully cook the meals even if you’re totally new to cooking.

Getting started with HelloFresh is simple, as the website walks you through the process.

First, you’ll select your desired meal plan and size. Remember that regardless of the plan you select, you can always pick and choose recipes from other plans.

Next, you’ll enter your payment details and select your first week of meals.

Once you have entered all your information, you’ll be assigned a weekly delivery day.

Remember that shipments arrive weekly between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., so your box may arrive after dinnertime.

It’s also worth noting that if you don’t skip the week or choose your meals by 5 days prior to your next delivery day, HelloFresh will automatically select your meals for you.

While this may not be a downside for some, it can be helpful to set a reminder to check your account before this deadline each week so you can pick your own meals or avoid unwanted charges.

Similarly, while it’s easy to cancel your subscription online, make sure to do so at least 5 days prior to your next shipment.

Customers are generally happy with HelloFresh. In cases where there has been an issue with an order or with its ingredients, reviewers say customer service at HelloFresh is extremely helpful and responsive.

According to HelloFresh reviews on Yelp and Reddit, the meals taste good, but the ingredients can be fairly basic, the recipes may be excessively complicated, or the ingredients may arrive damaged.

What are the negatives of HelloFresh?

The most common HelloFresh complaints are:

  • produce arriving in poor condition
  • missing ingredients
  • difficulty canceling the service

HelloFresh offers weekly meal kits for two or four people. You can select 2–6 recipes each week.

The six meal plans are:

  • Meat & Veggies
  • Veggie (vegetarian)
  • Family Friendly
  • Fit & Wholesome
  • Quick and Easy
  • Pescatarian

But you don’t have to stick strictly to your chosen meal plan. You can select from the full menu each week.

This table compares and contrasts HelloFresh with four other popular meal kit delivery services.

Note that this table includes only meal kit delivery services, not services that deliver fully prepared meals.

Several potential competitors will ship completely cooked and assembled meals to your door, including BistroMD, Fresh n’ Lean, and Freshly.

Some services — including a few below — also offer both meal kits and prepared meals, such as Blue Apron, Sunbasket, and Purple Carrot.

HelloFreshHome ChefBlue ApronSunbasketGreen Chef
$9–$12.50 per serving$9+ per serving$8–$12 per serving• $11.50+ for meal kits
• $10+ for prepared meals
$12–$14 per serving
$10 shipping$10–$14 shipping$10 shipping$10 shipping$10 shipping
40+ recipes per week to choose from20+ recipes per week to choose from15+ recipes per week to choose from• ~20 recipes per week to choose from
• 10+ Fresh & Ready heat and eat meals for one
20+ recipes per week to choose from
2–6 recipes per week; 2 or 4 servings each2–6 recipes per week; 2, 4, or 6 servings each2–4 recipes per week; 2 or 4 servings each2–5 recipes per week; for 2 or 4 people3–4 recipes per week; 2, 4, or 6 people

• vegetarian
• reduced calorie
• pescatarian
• vegetarian
• pescatarian
• reduced calorie
• low carb
• vegetarian
• some low carb, reduced-calorie, or diabetes-friendly meals
• paleo
• low carb
• gluten-free
• reduced calorie
• diabetes-friendly
• vegetarian
• pescatarian
• Mediterranean
• keto
• low carb/paleo
• vegetarian
• reduced calorie
• gluten-free
• Mediterranean
• some organic produce
• sustainable seafood
some organic produce• some organic produce
• sustainable seafood
• seasonal and organic produce
• sustainable and wild-caught seafood
• organic produce
• sustainable seafood
• meat from animals raised with “high welfare standards”
HelloCustom allows you to swap out side dishes or proteins on certain dishesCustomize It options allow you to swap out proteins on certain dishesBlue Apron Customized allows you to swap out proteins or side dishes on certain recipeschoose your preferred protein for every meal

Some delivery services even offer additional items à la carte.

Home Chef• salads
• extra proteins
• bread
• desserts
• breakfasts
• snacks
Blue Apron• wine
• seasonal meal kits
• spices
• kitchen tools
• side dishes
• extra proteins
• breakfasts
• desserts
• bread
Sunbasketsmall selection of grocery items, including:
• extra proteins
• bread
• desserts
• breakfasts
• lunches
• snacks
• pantry staples
Green Chef

Is HelloFresh worth it for a family? My entire family and I really enjoyed trying HelloFresh, and it’s definitely something I’d try again during a busy season. It saves a lot of time on meal planning and grocery shopping, which may be a big plus for a lot of households.

There are tons of options to choose from each week, so you’ll probably find something that appeals to your family.

HelloFresh also has several kid-friendly recipes — the Meatballs with Bulgogi Sauce was particularly a hit with my 5-year-old.

However, if your household follows a specific diet, like keto, paleo, or vegan, it may not be the best fit. Instead, Green Chef, which is owned by HelloFresh, may be a better option.

Additionally, if HelloFresh is out of your budget, you may want to look into EveryPlate. It’s also owned by HelloFresh and offers meals from $5–$6 per serving.

Is HelloFresh worth it for a family?

If your family doesn’t have any specific dietary needs, and you can afford to pay more than grocery store prices for the convenience of HelloFresh, then it may be worth it for your family.

HelloFresh offers plans for up to four people each week, and it also provides more than 40 meal options to choose from every week. This includes several kid-friendly options that may appeal to picky eaters and younger children, too.

How much does HelloFresh actually cost?

HelloFresh prices per serving vary based on how many servings you order each week. Larger orders have a lower price per serving.

For example, 2 meals for 2 people costs $50, or $12.50 per serving. However, 6 meals for 4 people costs $216, or $9 per serving.

Shipping is $10 per week.

Can you cancel HelloFresh after the free trial?

HelloFresh does not offer free trials, although it offers promos for new users. You can cancel your account anytime, regardless of whether you used any promotional offers.

Can you cancel HelloFresh after 1 box?

Yes, you can cancel your HelloFresh subscription at any time.

Can I cancel HelloFresh after the first order?

Yes, you can cancel your HelloFresh subscription at any time.

Does HelloFresh charge when you skip a week?

No, you will not be charged for weeks that you skip. However, you must skip before that week’s deadline to edit your order or you will be charged and your box will be shipped.

HelloFresh is a moderately priced meal kit service that delivers appealing recipes with a focus on fresh ingredients, simple cooking methods, and bold flavors.

It’s a solid option if you enjoy cooking but also value the convenience of a meal kit.

While HelloFresh is more affordable than many of its competitors, including Sunbasket and Green Chef, it’s not a great fit if you have strict dietary needs or preferences.

Overall, I recommend HelloFresh if you’re looking for easy and flavorful meals delivered to your doorstep.