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HelloFresh is a meal kit delivery service that offers weekly shipments of recipes and groceries that allow 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 if HelloFresh is right for your household.
Keep reading to find out how HelloFresh works and whether I’d recommend it over similar services.
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 20 rotating recipes to build a custom menu.
You can also skip a week at any time.
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
- Calorie-Smart: meals that are 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 no other animal proteins
Within each of these categories, there’s also a bit of room for customization, such as choosing to avoid beef, pork, or seafood.
Additionally, you can select meals from other meal plans.
For example, if you’re on the Calorie-Smart 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.
With the exception of vegetarian, pescatarian, and reduced-calorie diets, HelloFresh does not cater to specialized diets.
It offers a variety of meals that may align with your personal dietary needs, but it 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 their 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 added extra time in the kitchen.
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.
While weight loss is no guarantee when using HelloFresh, one of the meal plans it offers is the Calorie-Smart option.
Each of these meals clocks in around 650 calories per serving, and according to the HelloFresh website, they are dietitian-approved.
If you’re eating at a calorie deficit, then you are likely to lose weight.
The calorie-controlled meals on HelloFresh’s Calorie-Smart plan may help you achieve this goal. However, weight loss is not a guarantee, even if you are receiving Calorie-Smart meals (
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 hormone-free chicken and pork, 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 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:
HelloFresh has a goal of promoting positive experiences in the kitchen. Any adult 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 they include:
- 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 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 “One Pot Wonder” meals.
HelloFresh costs about $8–11 per person, per meal. You can get the lowest price per serving by ordering the largest plan size: five recipes per week for four people.
HelloFresh’s most popular plan size is three recipes per week for two people. This works out to $8.99 per serving, or about $55 per week, plus the cost of shipping.
Speaking of which, shipping is a standard $8.99 per box.
However, HelloFresh regularly offers new users free shipping and a discount on their first shipment or several shipments.
Meals are delivered weekly and typically arrive 1 or 2 days after shipping.
Ingredients arrive in insulated boxes with ice packs to keep your ingredients 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.
Getting started with HelloFresh is simple, as the website walks you through the process.
First, you’ll select your desired meal plan and size. Keep in mind that regardless of the plan you select, you can always pick and choose recipes from other plans as well.
Next, you’ll enter your payment details and select your first week of meals.
Once all your information is entered, you’ll be assigned a weekly delivery day.
Just keep in mind that shipments arrive any time between 8:00 a.m. and 8:00 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 that 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.
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.
|HelloFresh||Home Chef||Blue Apron||Sun Basket||Green Chef|
|Estimated price per serving||$8–11||$9||$8–10||$11–13||$10–13|
|Shipping||$8.99||$6.99||$7.99 or free, depending on order size||$7.99||$7.99|
|Meal plans for special diets|
•some low carb, reduced-calorie, or diabetes-friendly meals
|Organic or sustainable ingredients||•some organic produce|
|•some organic produce||•some organic produce|
|•seasonal and organic produce|
•sustainable and wild-caught seafood
•meat from animals raised with “high welfare standards”
I really enjoyed my HelloFresh box, 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.
They also have 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 at a flat $4.99 per serving.
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 Sun Basket 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.