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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, options are available for nearly any palate or preference.
This article reviews Home Chef, including how it works, how much it costs, and who should try it.
|rotating weekly menus with over 20 recipes to choose from each week||not suitable for people with severe food allergies or following restrictive diets|
|option to customize the protein source of select recipes||organic ingredients not available for all meals|
|offers several dishes that are oven-ready or require minimal preparation||high sodium content for many recipes|
|one of the most affordable options, starting at under $7 per serving||limited vegan and plant-based options|
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 entrée salads
- prepared dishes that are oven- or grill-ready to cook
- prepared fast & fresh meals that only require microwave or oven heat-up
Each week, you can build your own box by selecting your choice of meals from the full menu. The website says there are over 30 weekly choices you can make, but also says there are over 20 recipes to choose from.
You can also easily pause or cancel your subscription at any time on the company’s website.
Signing up for Home Chef is very easy. Once logged onto the site, you simply choose which plan fits your needs between the Home Chef plan and the Fresh and Easy plan.
Home Chef also allows you to customize certain dietary preferences such as carb-conscious and calorie-conscious diets. You are also allowed to select any allergens and foods you may want to avoid such as beef, pork, fish, shellfish, poultry, mushrooms, peanuts, and tree nuts.
While not an option in the main ordering process, the website also says you can order meals free from soy, wheat, and milk.
Although Home Chef allows you to choose meals without allergens, it’s important to note that all of Home Chef’s products are packaged and shipped in one location, so there is a possibility that food could be cross-contaminated.
Home Chef’s menu features over 20 recipes each week, with vegetarian, carb-friendly, and calorie-friendly options available. Note that there is no vegan menu.
Each week, you can order two to six meals, each of which includes either two, four, or six servings.
You can also select recipes from the full menu to create your own custom meal plan. Many recipes also allow you to customize your meal by swapping in other sources of protein.
In addition to meal kits, Home Chef also has several recipes that are oven-ready or require little to no cooking or preparation.
You can even order à la carte items, such as desserts, side dishes, and breakfasts.
Home Chef also allows you to change your subscription plan at any time by going into your account settings, and you can also cancel your plan or postpone your meal shipments as long as you do so by noon on the Friday before your upcoming shipment.
Additionally, there’s a Home Chef app that you can download and use like you would use the website. From here, you can access your account and make any changes as needed.
Finally, Home Chef is part of the Kroger family. This means that you can find Home Chef products at certain Kroger brand stores. You can determine whether this is an option for you on their website, using a Find a Store search.
Home Chef ships meal kits using 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 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 likewise works with suppliers to ensure adherence to animal welfare standards defined by organizations like the National Chicken Council.
Home Chef also adds potential allergens to recipe cards including milk, wheat, soy, and shellfish.
That ensures you have the option to avoid recipes that include these ingredients (though you should beware that there is always the chance of cross-contamination in any Home Chef meal kit).
Some of the items included on the Home Chef menu at the time of this writing are:
- prosciutto and hazelnut flatbread with parmesan and hot honey drizzle
- one-sheet pretzel-crusted chicken with roasted broccoli and honey mustard
- one-pot creamy sausage and spinach orzotto with basil pesto tomatoes
- blistered tomato salmon with creamy spinach gemelli
Each recipe card comes with cooking instructions, as well as instructions for how long you can keep food stored before cooking it.
Cooking times vary between recipes:
- 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 between 40–50 minutes.
- Grill-Ready Meal Kits are pre-prepped but cook times will vary.
- Culinary Collection Meal Kits can take up to an hour to prep and cook.
- Fast & Fresh Meals can be microwaved or heated in the oven in 5 minutes or less.
Each recipe card has a skill level written on it, so you can choose between beginner, intermediate, and advanced meal options.
Home Chef offers many options for several 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 also listed for each recipe, or 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, which 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 one of the most affordable meal kit services on the market, with prices starting at $6.99 per serving.
You can also 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.
Note that Home Chef, like other meal kit delivery products, often offers discount codes for new customers.
Several other meal delivery services offer nutritious and delicious meal kits.
For instance, HelloFresh offers meal kits to fit a variety of dietary patterns, with plans starting at $7.99 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 $7.99, with price ranges depending on the specific plan.
Blue Apron also offers a range of meals that are approved by Weight Watchers (WW) and designed to promote weight loss.
However, Home Chef is not only slightly more affordable than these services but also the only option that offers both meal kits and oven-ready meals, as well as microwaveable meals that require minimal preparation.
|Price per serving||Shipping||Diet types||Ingredient quality|
|Home Chef||$6.99+||$9.99||• low calorie|
• low carb
|• some organic produce|
• can select organic chicken
|HelloFresh||$7.99+||$9.99||• vegetarian |
• low carb
• low calorie
|• some organic produce but mostly conventional|
• hormone- and antibiotic-free protein
|Blue Apron||$7.99+||$9.99||• vegetarian|
• low calorie
• WW recommended
|• non-GMO, some organic produce|
• hormone- and antibiotic-free, sustainably-raised protein
• pasture-raised eggs
Home Chef is a widely used and recommended meal kit delivery service.
While there are some negative customer reviews, the majority of reviews posted on third-party review sites are positive and fall into the “Very Good” or “Excellent” category. Some of the most frequently mentioned positives about Home Chef include its weekly menu variety, tasty ingredients, and easy-to-follow recipes.
Based on over 2,900 reviews on Trustpilot, Home Chef has a 3.7 out of 5-star rating from customers. However, some reviewers express frustration with customer service for issues like 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. There are plenty of FAQs available on the site as well to help answer common customer questions if you don’t want to wait to speak to someone.
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, options are available for nearly everyone, regardless of how much time you have for meal prep.
Home Chef offers limited options for restrictive eating patterns, including vegan, ketogenic, or paleo diets.
Additionally, keep in mind that meals are not produced in an allergen-free facility. Therefore, 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 under $10 per serving, which is less than what you would pay for most takeout meals today.
Are Home Chef meals already prepared?
The standard Home Chef meals only require 30 minutes of prep work. However, Home Chef does offer certain types of kits that need even less preparation. For instance, you can order 15 Minute Meal Kits, which are prepped and preportioned for you, requiring only 15 minutes to cook.
You can also opt for Oven-Ready or Grill-Ready Meal Kits, which are fully prepped and only require cooking. Additionally, Fast & Fresh Meals are prepared for you and can be popped in the microwave or the oven for quick heating in 5 minutes.
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 the following day or two for optimal freshness and quality.
Home Chef is a meal delivery service that makes it easier than ever to make 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 following restrictive diets or with severe food allergies may benefit from selecting another service that better caters to their needs.