We include products we think are useful for our readers. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here’s our process.

Healthline only shows you brands and products that we stand behind.

Our team thoroughly researches and evaluates the recommendations we make on our site. To establish that the product manufacturers addressed safety and efficacy standards, we:
  • Evaluate ingredients and composition: Do they have the potential to cause harm?
  • Fact-check all health claims: Do they align with the current body of scientific evidence?
  • Assess the brand: Does it operate with integrity and adhere to industry best practices?
We do the research so you can find trusted products for your health and wellness.
Was this helpful?

Home Chef meals proved to be quick and easy to prepare and still delivered on taste — they’re even children-approved. But the service doesn’t cater to all diets.

Home Chef is a meal delivery service company that’s popular with busy families, thanks to its focus on easy-to-prepare and oven-ready meals.

We put Home Chef to the test to see if it lives up to its promise of beginner-friendly meals that still deliver on flavor.

Meal delivery scorecard

One Healthline tester scored Home Chef across 10 categories and allotted points from 0 to 5. The scores below reflect the average rating for each category.

  • Overall: 4.3
  • Sign-up, delivery, and cancelation processes: 4.5
  • Meal variety: 4.5
  • Nutrition: 5
  • Sustainability: 4
  • Ingredient quality and freshness: 4
  • Ease of preparation: 4.5
  • Taste: 5
  • Affordability: 3

Learn more about how we test meal kits.

Disclaimer: Home Chef provided press boxes for free, but our opinions are ours alone and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by Home Chef.

Home Chef’s meal delivery servicestands out for its easy-to-prepare offerings, including:

  • 30-minute meal kits
  • 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

We found the meals lived up in the taste department and were simple to prepare. We had one instance where not all ingredients arrived in perfect condition, but overall, the ingredients arrived in good condition and all meals appealed to the taste buds.

Recently, the company debuted their Family Plan, which includes meal kits and oven-ready dishes that are designed to feed a family of four.

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.

Pros

  • rotating weekly menus with more than 20 recipes to choose from
  • option to customize the protein source of select recipes
  • offers several dishes that are oven-ready or require minimal preparation
  • moderately affordable, starting at about $10 per serving
  • easy-to-follow recipe cards
  • flavorful meals suitable for adults and kids

Cons

  • not suitable for people with severe food allergies or restrictive diets
  • organic ingredients not available for all meals
  • some ingredients arrived bruised or wilted
  • many meals with high sodium content
  • some Family Plan meals lacking in vegetables
  • limited options for certain diets, including vegan and keto
Was this helpful?
  • Name: SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD
  • Role: Healthline writer and registered dietitian
  • Dietary needs and preferences: low carb options
  • Meal-time preferences: family-friendly meals and plenty of variety

I’ve tested almost every single meal kit available. After trying so many services, I’ve become more aware of the true pros and cons of these services and understand what a customer should expect from the experience.

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.

Share on Pinterest
Photo courtesy of SaVanna Shoemaker

Sign-up and delivery score: 4.5 out of 5

Signing up for Home Chef is very easy. Once logged in, you simply choose a plan: the Home Chef plan (meal kits) or the Fresh and Easy plan (prepared meals).

Home Chef’s menu features more than 20 recipes each week, including vegetarian, carb-conscious, and calorie-conscious options. However, there’s no vegan menu.

Each week, you can order two to six 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 swap in other protein sources.

Home Chef’s packaging is very organized, and my box arrived in good condition.

The ingredients were shipped in an insulating liner, and the meats were 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.

In addition to meal kits, Home Chef offers several oven-ready meals that 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 also order a la carte items, such as desserts, side dishes, and breakfasts.

Home Chef allows you to change your subscription plan at any time. 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.

A note on allergens

When selecting meals, Home Chef allows you to filter out recipes that contain any allergens or other foods you may want to avoid, such as pork or tree nuts.

However, it’s important to note that all Home Chef products are packaged and shipped in one location, so cross-contamination is possible.

Was this helpful?

Meal variety score: 4.5 out of 5

Because the menu is relatively large and changes weekly, I found there to be 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.

Sustainability score: 4 out of 5

Home Chef ships meal kits in biodegradable, insulated boxes sealed with gel packs designed to keep food fresh.

However, I found that the Home Chef seems to use more plastic packaging than some of its competitors, such as HelloFresh.

Nutritional quality score: 5 out of 5

While not all meals are nutritionally balanced, Home Chef makes it easy to find more nutritious options, as well as meals that are suitable for vegetarian, low calorie, or low carb diets.

Potential allergens are listed for each recipe, and you can choose to exclude certain ingredients, such as pork, shellfish, red meat, nuts, or mushrooms, from your weekly menu.

For those looking to lose weight, Home Chef offers a selection of calorie-conscious meals, which typically provide 400–600 calories per serving.

Still keep in mind that because meals are produced in a facility that handles many major allergens, this service may not be suitable for those with severe food allergies or intolerances.

Furthermore, Home Chef may not be ideal for those who follow restrictive eating patterns, such as vegan, ketogenic, or paleo diets.

Ingredients and freshness score: 4 out of 5

Although organic ingredients aren’t 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.

My ingredients all arrived in usable condition. As you can see from the photo below, 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.

Still, I was overall happy with the quality of the ingredients.

Share on Pinterest
Photo courtesy of SaVanna Shoemaker

Easy of cooking score: 4.5 out of 5

Each recipe card comes with cooking instructions and information on how long you can store food before cooking it. The cards also have a skill level written on them, including beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

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.

It took me about 30 minutes 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.

Taste score: 5 out of 5

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.

Share on Pinterest
Photo courtesy of SaVanna Shoemaker

Tester score: 4.3 out of 5

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 editor and expert tester Kelli McGrane, MS, RD, tried Home Chef’s 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.

Share on Pinterest
Photo courtesy of Kelli McGrane

“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:

Share on Pinterest
Photo courtesy of Kelli McGrane

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.

Share on Pinterest
Photo courtesy of Kelli McGrane

Home Chef is a moderately priced meal kit service, with prices starting at $9.99 per serving.

Keep in mind that your final cost will depend on the size of your order, the types of meals you select, and whether you choose to customize any of your meals.

Home Chef has a minumum weekly order cost of $50.95 for the standard plan and $82.91 for the Family Plan.

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.

Home Chef is a widely used and recommended meal kit delivery service.

With that said, online reviews are mixed. While our testers had an overall good experience, some online 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.

Additionally, several customers have complained about ingredients being damaged, spoiled, missing, or incorrect.

On the positive side, happy customers frequently praise the service for its weekly menu variety, tasty ingredients, and easy-to-follow recipes.

Several other meal delivery services also offer nutritious and delicious meal kits, with HelloFresh and Blue Apron being two of Home Chef’s main competitors. Here’s a quick look at how they compare:

Price per serving
(shipping)
Diet typesMeal typesHealthline overall
rating (out of 5)
Home Chef$9.99+
($10.99–$13.99)
• low calorie
• low carb
• vegetarian
• meal kits
• express meal kits
• oven-ready meals
• premade meals
4.3
HelloFresh$8.99+
($9.99)
• vegetarian
• pescatarian
• low carb
• low calorie
meal kits4.2
Blue Apron$7.99+
($9.99)
• vegetarian
• diabetes-friendly
• Mediterranean
• plant-based
• low calorie
• WW recommended
• meal kits
• single-serve
prepared meals
4.4

For more on how these services stack up, check out our in-depth Blue Apron vs. Home Chef and HelloFresh vs. Home Chef comparison articles.

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.

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.

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.

During testing, two meal kit delivery services scored higher than Home Chef: Sunbasket and Blue Apron.

Both Sunbasket and Blue Apron scored higher for their ingredient quality, sustainability efforts, and ease of sign-up, meal selection, and cancellation processes.

It’s also worth noting that Sunbasket caters to a wider variety of dietary needs than either Blue Apron or Home Chef, though it’s more expensive.

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.