Home Chef Review

UPDATED November 23. 2020.
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Home Chef has been on the market for half a decade and in that time, it has developed into a perfect example of what a meal kit delivery service should look like. It boasts a rich menu with fresh meal ideas available every week, the ordering process is quick and simple, the subscriptions are flexible, and the prices are more than fair. Learn more about how this renowned service can help you start cooking effortlessly and eating more healthily in this Home Chef review.

Home Chef Box At the Door

The first impression is a great one. No delays, our order arrived right on time, and the box is intact.

What Is Home Chef

Designed to make home cooking easy, Home Chef is a delivery service that provides original recipes and precisely portioned ingredients. It allows you to plan your meals in advance and reduces the time you spend in the kitchen to about half an hour.

Every week, its culinary team crafts a vast array of interesting recipes that suit a variety of tastes and you get to pick the ones that you really want to try out. With just a few simple steps, detailed instructions, and no complex methods and techniques, the recipes are perfect for home cooks who want to cook with less effort and enjoy the whole process much more than usual.

Home Chef Expectations VS Reality

Baking has never been easier! These biscuits took just 5 minutes to make and 15 minutes to bake and they are even more beautiful than we hoped.

It is important to note that unlike many other services of its kind, Home Chef does not exclusively focus on dinner. Its menu includes exciting extras like refreshing fruity add-ons, ready-to-cook proteins, and lunches that require no cooking whatsoever.

Furthermore, the service allows you to customize your orders in a variety of ways. It lets you freely choose the recipes in accordance with your diet. It enables you to decide on the number of meal kits in your order as well as the number of servings you get per meal. It even lets you order extra portions of your favorite dish, change or upgrade the main protein source in your meals, completely eliminate prep work, and simply tweak everything to your taste.

Home Chef Unboxed

We love how Home Chef packs its ingredients by recipe. It may not seem like a big deal, but searching for herbs at the bottom of the box can be rather annoying. This approach really speeds up the whole process.

Thus, Home Chef can be described as one of the most flexible meal kit services on the market. Just like Sun Basket, one of its main competitors, it is always working on new ways to improve its customers’ satisfaction and it achieves this goal rather masterfully.

How Does Home Chef Work

Home Chef offers 16 dinners, 2 lunch salads, 2 ready-to-cook protein packs, and 1 fruity add-on every week. You can order 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 meal kits and cook for 2, 4 or 6 people. Your weekly deliveries include the recipes of your choice and the required fresh, pre-measured ingredients.

Home Chef Ingredients and Recipe Card

Recipes – check. Ingredients – check. All we need now is a cutting board, a knife, and a pan and we can get cooking. As easy and convenient as advertised.

The company’s dinners are designed to suit even the pickiest of eaters, ranging from meat and seafood options to vegetarian, gluten-free, soy-free, low-calorie, and low-carb dishes. Home Chef lunches give you the unique opportunity to quickly make a delicious lunch wherever you are. They are ready in just 5 minutes, no cooking required.

Since Q1 2020, those who are really crunched for time can opt for Fresh And Easy meals that require no prep whatsoever. With Fresh And Easy, your meals are oven-ready, grill-ready or ready to assemble and plate. You can sit down and enjoy in no time and there is virtually no cleanup.

Finally, if you are craving something fresh, healthy, and deliciously sweet at the end of the meal, you can grab a couple of add-ons that usually come in the form of refreshing and nutritious smoothies.

Home Chef won’t ask you to commit for any particular period of time. Instead, it offers a flexible plan to suit everyone’s schedule. You can skip a delivery, edit your orders or cancel at any time, just be sure to make the desired changes before the weekly cutoff, which is at 12 pm (CST) on the Friday before the scheduled delivery day.

If you like Home Chef and would like your loved ones to try it too, you can purchase a gift card in the amount of $60, $120, $240 or your own custom value, which they can use to order meals from Home Chef’s website. The minimum gift card value is $50.

Home Chef also has its own marketplace where you can purchase kitchen dishes, utensils, and other tools needed to make its recipes. You probably already have most of these tools in your kitchen, but if you are missing something that can help you prepare even better meals, it is good to know that the service has you covered.

Home Chef is a delivery service that provides original recipes and precisely portioned ingredients. It allows you to plan your meals in advance and reduces the time you spend in the kitchen to about half an hour.

What Makes Home Chef Different

Home Chef is one of the most environmentally conscious meal kit delivery services in America. It employs impeccable sourcing practices, carefully packs its kits, taking care of both food safety and eco-friendliness, and makes it easy for its customers to minimize their carbon footprint. Here are the steps Home Chef takes to contribute to the health of the planet.

Home Chef Meal Ingredients In It's Packaging

Home Chef packaging is well-designed and easily recyclable. When you order as often as we do, plastic waste is always a concern, but this time, we can take care of it in minutes.

The service makes sure to honor its 3 R rules, including reducing, reusing, and recycling its packaging. Remember, when using pre-portioned ingredients, you also eliminate food waste and help preserve the environment. This is also reflected in the company’s policy of carefully choosing its suppliers, selecting only the most prominent ones who take care not to damage the ecosystem and show that same respect toward their employees.

Home Chef Ingredient Packaging

All the ingredients are clearly labeled, even the easily recognizable ones. What is even better, some of them are shredded, chopped, and trimmed, making prep significantly quicker.

Home Chef’s website even allows you to “meet” a few of its suppliers – you can read a little about who they are, how they work, and what their standards are. In the spirit of environmental consciousness, Home Chef also advises you to recycle all the plastic parts you find in its delivery boxes. Its produce is always shipped in insulated, biodegradable boxes with water-soluble, cool gel packs designed to keep your food refrigerated, not frozen.

Home Chef Packaging

We love unboxing, but we never know what to expect. Home Chef is certainly a pleasant surprise. Everything is cool, fresh, and properly sealed, with zero mess.

Home Chef offers 16 dinners, 2 lunch salads, 2 ready-to-cook protein packs, and 1 fruity add-on every week. You can order 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 meal kits and cook for 2, 4 or 6 people.

Home Chef Meals and Recipes

Home Chef meal options
For Families
Gluten-Free
Vegetarian
Weight Loss

If you decide to register with Home Chef, you’ll be asked to fill out a taste chart, specifying what sort of ingredients you’d like to have in your meals. Home Chef offers one of the most detailed meal preference choices you’ll find, which it uses to build your taste profile.

As far as dining preferences go, you start out by choosing meat, seafood, vegetables or any combination of those. You can then specify any ingredients you’d like to avoid; for example, you can choose not to eat pork, red meat, gluten, mushrooms, soy, nuts, dairy, shellfish or any combination of those. In addition, you can choose whether you prefer a low carb or low-calorie diet, both or neither.

Home Chef Steak with Chimichurri Butter

This is how an optimally balanced meal looks like! All the major nutrients are right there on the plate and the combo tastes amazing!

Obviously, this is especially useful for vegetarians or people with allergies. When you’re done choosing your taste preferences, you can choose whether you’d like 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 meals per week for 2, 4 or 6 people. Compared to most meal kit delivery services, this is exceptionally flexible: instead of choosing a 2-person or typical family plan, you’ve got more choices. Afterward, you choose the day of the week you’d like your meals delivered – Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays or Fridays.

In order to further improve its flexibility, Home Chef recently introduced a useful feature called Flexible Servings. This feature is available with select menu items and allows you to add 2 or 4 servings to a meal of your choice. Thus, if you are having friends over or just need more food, you do not have to modify your subscription. Instead, you can just get more servings for individual meals whenever you wish.

Home Chef Prosciutto and Fig Mini Flatbreads with Mozzarella

Perfectly portioned and great for entertaining, these mini flatbreads are absolute crowd-pleasers.

On top of that, the service allows you to customize your meals. By choosing a menu item with the Customize It label, you get the opportunity to switch, upgrade or double the star protein in the recipe. Every week, there are 26 options to choose from, including poultry, red meat, fish, and veggie proteins.

When your package arrives, just follow the step-by-step recipe cards. The preparation should be easy even if you do not have too much experience in the kitchen.

Home Chef Cooking Instructions

This is exactly what we look for in a beginner-friendly service. Well-explained steps, simple techniques, and accompanying photos that let you know exactly what you need to do.

If you opt for Fresh And Easy meals instead of the standard kits, the process is even simpler. Your meals come in oven-safe pans and grilling bags, so you only need to cook and enjoy. The selection also includes no-cooking salads that can be on your table in a matter of minutes. If your cooking skills are currently limited to heating, the Fresh And Easy meal kit line is a rather excellent solution.

How Much Does Home Chef Cost

Home Chef prices are around the industry average. They range from $4.95 to $9.95 and depend on item type (lunch, dinner or add-on). The prices are always the same regardless of how many kits and servings you purchase. Shipping is free on most orders.

Having covered the basics, let us examine the company’s pricing in more detail. Its dinners cost $9.95 per serving and you can choose between 2, 4, or 6 serving options. The 5-minute lunches come at a lower price and cost $7.99 per serving.

pricing home chef

The pricing is as simple as it is transparent, so you always know the cost of your deliveries in advance.

The good news is that you can order as many different meals as you’d like. You can even purchase moothie add-ons for $4.95, as well as protein packs and premium meals on occasion. These are special meals that are a bit pricier than the standard menu items, such as holiday specials, which include multiple sides and a dessert. Next Christmas you might not have to spend time shopping for groceries and looking for recipes, as Home Chef has everything you need for the occasion.

price home chef

Unlike many of its competitors, Home Chef always has something quick and deliciously fruity to boost your mood and replace unhealthy sweets.

As far as delivery itself goes, it’s free of charge for orders over $45 but costs up to $10 for orders below that price. Unless you’re eating by yourself, you’ll probably end up ordering enough to get your food delivered for free. Taking all of this into account, we can say that Home Chef definitely has one of the most flexible payment plans on the meal kit delivery market.

2 Servings
Meals per weekMeal kit pricePrice per serving
2$39.80$9.95
3$59.70$9.95
4$79.60$9.95
5$99.50$9.95
6$119.40$9.95
4 Servings
Meals per weekMeal kit pricePrice per serving
2$79.60$9.95
3$119.40$9.95
4$159.20$9.95
5$199.00$9.95
6$238.80$9.95
6 Servings
Meals per weekMeal kit pricePrice per serving
2$119.40$9.95
3$179.10$9.95
4$238.80$9.95
5$298.50$9.95
6$358.20$9.95

Where Does Home Chef Deliver

Home Chef ships its meal kits throughout the United States, with the exceptions of certain remote areas. Due to the relatively recent expansions, its delivery map no longer covers 90% of the US but instead includes approximately 98% of the country.

Its delivery range will continue to grow, so in case your location isn’t supported yet, it probably will be in the near future. Just to be safe, you can enter your zip code on the company’s website to find out whether it delivers to your area.

home chef delivery areas

Getting close to nationwide coverage!

Home Chef Pros And Cons

To make sure Home Chef meets all your standards and expectations, it is important to know its biggest advantages and disadvantages. With a short overview of its pros and cons, you can easily decide if Home Chef is the right meal kit service for you.

Pros
  • 18 recipes and 3 add-ons on the menu every week
  • Omnivore, vegetarian, and allergy-friendly options
  • Fresh, high-quality, locally sourced ingredients
  • All dinners prepared in 30 minutes or less
  • Zero-cooking lunches ready in 5 minutes
  • Customizable meal kits
  • Free shipping on orders over $45

Cons

  • No specialized meal plans

Sample Dishes

If you subscribe to Home Chef, you can easily prepare culinary masterpieces using only the ingredients and recipes found in your meal kit box. You may not be a pro chef just yet, but with Home Chef, you can easily make restaurant-grade meals. You don’t have to take our word for it – check out the images below to get a better idea of the types of dishes you can enjoy with Home Chef.

Bottom Line

Home Chef has been in the meal delivery game for a while. But, even though meal kit delivery services are becoming more and more popular and competitors are stepping up, Home Chef does not only keep up, it offers some pretty neat features you probably won’t find with any other service.

The ingredients are fresh and tasty and meal preparation rarely takes more than 30 minutes, with easy-to-follow step-by-step recipe cards to help you along the way. All in all, we were pleasantly surprised with what we found out while doing research for our Home Chef review. If you’re tired of ordering takeout or shopping for ingredients but still want a warm, home-cooked meal, then we certainly recommend you give Home Chef a try – we’re sure you won’t be disappointed.

Home Chef FAQ

How to cancel Home Chef?

Log into your account and select the Account Information tab. Choose the option to pause your account under the Delivery Details section. This will effectively cancel your subscription. For more information, read our detailed post on how to cancel Home Chef.

Where is Home Chef located?

Home Chef is based in Chicago, Illinois.

How to skip a week on Home Chef?

In the Delivery Calendar tab of your account, select the week you would like to skip. At the bottom of the meal selections for that week, select the option to skip the delivery and confirm your choice.

Which is better – Blue Apron vs Home Chef?

Both are known for the quality of the ingredients they use, their quick-prep recipes, and the excellent service they provide. To see which of these meal kit delivery services better suits your needs, visit our Blue Apron vs Home Chef comparison.

Where does Home Chef get their food?

Home Chef is very careful when choosing suppliers. The company sources locally whenever possible. Its ingredients come from providers that employ the best sustainability practices.

What kind of meals does Home Chef have?

The Home Chef weekly menu always includes omnivore, vegetarian, carb-conscious, and calorie-conscious recipes, with various options for customization. Subscribers can choose between 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 meals per week for 2, 4 or 6 people.

Who owns Home Chef?

Kroger, an American retailing company, acquired Home Chef in 2018.

How long can Home Chef sit outside?

Home Chef ships ingredients in an insulated box with cold packs that keep your food fresh. Your food should remain fresh during transit and several hours after delivery. It is best to put your ingredients into the fridge immediately upon arrival.

How is Home Chef delivered?

Home Chef ships fresh ingredients in a biodegradable, insulated box with cool gel packs designed to keep your food refrigerated, not frozen. Boxes are delivered Tuesday through Friday. For orders over $45, shipping is free. Otherwise, it costs $10.

How long does it take to prepare a Home Chef meal?

Generally speaking, Home Chef recipes for dinners can be prepared in 30 minutes or less. The company also offers lunches that you can prepare in just 5 minutes.

How much does Home Chef cost per week?

Depending on the number of meals per week (you can choose to receive 2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 meals), prices range from $39.80 to $119.40 for 2-person meals. For 4-person meals, you pay from $79.60 to $238.80. For 6-person meals, you pay from $119.40 to $358.20.

How much is Home Chef per month?

Depending on the number of meals per week (2, 3, 4, 5 or 6 meals), your monthly costs range from about $160 to $480 for 2-person meals. For 4-person meals, you pay from $320 to $955 a month. Six-person meals will cost you from about $480 to $1,435.

View All FAQs

User Reviews (111)

Home Chef is rated 3.5/5, based on 111 user reviews.

The Home Chef reviews listed below reflect the opinions and experiences of real users and are in no way influenced by the service reviewed here. Before publishing each review, our team checks whether it was submitted by an actual user in an effort to prevent false or spammy reviews.

  1. | May 20, 2020

    These meals are super delicious! When we broke down the cost of what it took to feed two people dinner each week, it was just about the same as we spend shopping at Kroger, so no complaints on cost here. Besides, even if it were that “expensive,” the taste and quality of the meals are simply worth it. –Truly is ‘Chef’ quality.

  2. | May 10, 2020

    I’ve tried four different meal kit services over the past four years: Blue apron, home chef, Plated, and hello fresh. I had Home chef for about a year.

    Each has advantages and disadvantages. I liked the home chef recipes and variety the best. But delivery to the D.C. area was just too slow from their plant in Illinois. In the summer heat, the meals sometimes arrived warm. If they had a plant closer, I’d come back to home chef, but because of the delivery problems I switched to Hello Fresh, which has a plant nearer to D.C.

    Blue apron was good too, but they had less variety than the others, and the meals were sometimes not picky-eater friendly. I did like that their meals were more challenging.

    My current meal kit, hello fresh, is OK, but I’m not thrilled. They have a steep up-charge for anything beyond basic meals., and the basic meals are very repetitive. You’ll end up eating a lot of meat and potato and carrots or green beans. They don’t include some of the ingredients that the others do, like butter. They try to hide the fact that many of the recipes use ground meat – sorry, but when the meat industry was permitted to add pink filler without telling consumers a couple of years ago, I stopped eating ground meat. My kids are tired of the kid friendly options. I can see the end is near with Hello Fresh.

    Plated was good, but they no longer do meal kits, so there’s no use wasting bits on them.

  3. | April 30, 2020

    We absolutely love this service! Best thing I’ve EVER spent money on..

  4. | March 3, 2020

    I find it very important that the packaging is recyclable and that the company is environmentally aware. With that in mind I’m also confident that they pick their food suppliers, not only for the products but also because they are eco-friendly as well.

  5. | January 17, 2020

    The prices are very affordable and you even get free shipping if you order over 45$ which covers me for the entire week if I order a 3 meal kit. Other meal services charge shipping and have higher prices in general

  6. | December 5, 2019

    My wife and I really enjoy the Home Chef meals. They’ve come up with some great, easy to prepare recipes that are healthy quite good. It’s just unfortunate that they can’t get their act together on the delivery service. A real shame.

  7. | September 24, 2019

    I have had several shipments from Home Chef and there has been poor quality produce in every box. At first I thought maybe it was just that the shipping service had mishandled the package. But that turned out not to be the case.

    I have been sent cauliflower that had a strong odor and turning brown, bruised pablano peppers, damaged zucchini on two occasions, and wilted, browning green onions.

    It’s really a shame because the other ingredients and recipes are of good quality.

    The first occasion that I received bad produce, I called customer service and received very generous credits to my account and was hoping that future shipments would be better.

    I started avoid ordering the produce that I had issues with. But most of the produce I received from Home Chef was of poor quality and I have decided that it’s just not worth the cost.

  8. | June 18, 2019

    Only 3 weeks in, 6 dinners, but have been able to make third and fourth servings from leftovers. Have added some veggies of our own to be able to do that and remain on healthy portions. Everything delicious! We are ready to see some repeat offerings because they were so good. Starting with easy courses because it has been a while since we have cooked, but an accidental inclusion of one rated intermediate confirmed there are good things to come. I’m not sure that I won’t ‘steal’ some recipes to make again soon. There have been items cooked together we would not have put together and were surprised by how good they were together as well. Everything fresh, nicely packaged, beautiful. THANKS!

  9. | February 20, 2019

    A lot of my friends had very positive experiences with Home Chef and they recommended it highly when I started looking for a good meal delivery after getting a new job and having way less time to shop for groceries, plan the meals and cook. The food is great and the customer service answered every single question I had regarding the company and the service in general. The delivery driver is also very nice, which is a very refreshing change.

  10. | January 19, 2019

    I don’t have a lot of free time in general and finding a convenient and high-quality meal service is always paramount so that I can operate on a daily basis without having to think too much about grocery shopping and planning my meals in advance. I was pleasantly surprised to see how cheap Home Chef actually is compared to some of its competition and I really like that they incorporate gluten-free and vegetarian options as well. I can get home from work, jumble the ingredients together and have a great meal at the end of the day without too much fuss and wasted time.

  11. | October 17, 2018

    Still the best meal kit service I’ve tried. I ordered from HC for a year, decided to try something new, but went back to HC after about a month. The only service that never disappointed me and the richest menu by far.
    evo jos malo user reviews 🙂

  12. | September 19, 2018

    I chose Home Chef because it had lunch options as well. My first order just arrived, pleasantly surprised by the quantity and quality, the recipes do not seem all that simple, but overall, I like it so far.

  13. | September 15, 2018

    Two of the last three boxes completely warm and spoiled upon arrival. I luckily noticed while my daughter was unpacking, but if I didn’t we’d be sick! The “pause” button on the web site is intentionally tricky. It seems like you cancelled, but they keep sending you food. By the time you find out (a warm box of food arrives a day late), you have to pay for at least two more orders you don’t want (or didn’t pick out). This is because the next order is locked before you receive the first order, and so they really design everything to get you. They compete on price, not quality, so they take every possible short cut, including ice and packaging. Unfortunately, when you don’t know your account is not cancelled they pick out gross meals to send, such as tofu and beets. I finally figured you have to go through 4 or 5 screens before they really cancel the account. But, I still have to pay for another box they “finalized” and will surely get here spoiled. This is the worst of the food services I have tried.

  14. | September 5, 2018

    I am not sure what was worse with this company the food or the customer service. I don’t normally leave bad reviews but I feel compelled to do so in this case because my husband was super sick from the shrimp in my second box. I only received two shipments from this company, the first box had moldy corn in it and customer service took 4 days to get back to me about it with nothing more than a hey we are sorry about that. I canceled my subscription but not before then second box shipped.
    In my opinion they do not package their food adequately so the shrink wrap on the fish and shrimp was not vacuumed sealed when it arrived. That should have been my clue to through it away. The shrimp pad thai was tasteless other than the flavor of questionable shrimp. My husband only ate 4 or 5 bites and decided it was not worth taking the chance to finish, good call on his part or he may have ended up in the hospital instead of the bathroom all night.
    Needless to say I threw out the rest of the meals after that, what a waste of money. If I could give this company less than one star I would. Customer service terrible, food quality terrible, flavors in meals terrible. I have tried a few meal delivery service companies and this is the worst by far.

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