Home Chef Review – Is This Meal Delivery Program Worth It?

A lot has been written about the slow death of home cooked meals in America. A recent survey showed that only 6 out of every 10 meals these days are cooked at home. But, it isn’t because we don’t appreciate high-quality, freshly made food. Cooking show viewership continues to climb, with shows like The Chew, Hell’s Kitchen and Chopped bringing in millions of viewers every week. So, what’s causing the disconnect between people’s rising interest in good food but their falling motivation to make it?

Home Chef Reviews & Breakdown

Does Home Chef Help Bridge the Gap?

In many people’s cases, a lack of time is keeping them from cooking as often as they’d like. A home-cooked meal usually means dragging yourself to the supermarket after a long day at work. Then, you need to spend time chopping, measuring, searing and roasting. And, if you don’t cook often, all of the extra ingredients slowly rot in your refrigerator while you are busy with other things.

Other people don’t cook because they simply do not know how. If, like many Millennials and Gen-Xers, you grew up in a household where home-cooked meals were rare, chances are that you did not grow up learning cooking skills. Picking up a bag of onions and a whole chicken with no idea how to prepare them can be intimidating.

The promise of home meal delivery options like Home Chef is the opportunity to get all of the shopping done for you. You only get enough of your ingredients to make the meal, no extras to go bad unused. And, there’s no need to buy an entire expensive jar of dried oregano if you don’t know when you’ll use the rest; spices are included with the meal.

Home Chef Instructions with pictures

Novice chefs get the benefit of instructions and photographs of what the dish should look like. And, the time-pressed will be happy to know that the meals clock in at under 30 minutes of preparation.

How Home Chef Works

You can register for delivered meals from Home Chef on their website. When you set up your account, you are offered a choice of dietary preferences that includes vegetables, meat and seafood. Next, you can pick out items that you’d like to avoid due to preferences or allergies, such as pork, soy, red meat, gluten or dairy. Finally, you can set preferences for low-calorie or low-carb meals.

Home Chef Menu & meal options

                                                                                *Learn more at the Official Home Chef website here.

Each week, you can choose from up to 15 different meal options. Choices include vegetarian, soy-free, nut-free, low carb and gluten free menus. The wide array of dishes allow you to try out recipes that you may not otherwise have checked out. Past menu options include Sweet Potato, Goat Cheese and Bacon Skillet, San Francisco Shrimp Cioppino and Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Fennel-Honey Butter.

You can alter the number of meals you get each week or what meals you get. If you are going to be away for a week, you can pause the program until you get back.

Your meals are shipped once a week on a day that you specify. Make sure you pick a day when you will be home. Meals are served chilled with ice packs inside.

Home chef packaging with ice

The package comes with everything you’ll need to make the meal except staples like cooking oil. All meats, vegetables, side dishes and spices are included. All items except for meat are sorted by recipe, then packed together in a larger plastic pack.

One of the perks of Home Chef is their eco-friendly packaging. the food comes packed in recyclable or biodegradable packaging. Liquid ingredients are shipped in reusable containers. Dry spices come in resealable packages so you can store them for later use if you do not use them all for the recipe. The items are cooked using water-soluble cool gel packs.

Pros and Cons of Home Chef

Home Chef has a lot of perks to recommend it, particularly for new or busy cooks. Pros include:

  • Flexibility. Choose what meals you want delivered and how many you want per week.
  • Free shipping. You can get items shipped for free as long as your total for the week is over $40.
  • Easy recipes. All meals include step-by-step instructions with photos.
  • Fast preparation. All meals can be prepared in 30 minutes or less.
  • Small quantities. No need to buy an entire bunch of celery if you only need one stalk. In small and busy households, this can significantly cut down on waste.
  • Wide variety of foods. Thirteen different meals are offered to you each week.

As with any home delivered meal program, there are also some cons:

  • The dietary preferences could use more options. It’d be great to see meals that fit different nutritional needs or other restrictions, such as a heart-healthy or diabetes profile.
  • The smallest meal size you can order is two servings. This can make it less convenient for people who live alone.
  • The meals get expensive if you are serving four or more people. When you buy larger quantities from the grocery store, your price per unit goes down. Home Chef doesn’t offer this sort of scaling, which means that you’re paying nearly $60 to feed six people a single meal.

Home Chef Reviews and Testimonials

Most reviews online are overwhelmingly positive. Customers praise the wide range of options, the ease of preparation and the freshness of the ingredients. Many people really enjoy the fact that you only get as much food as is called for in the recipes, cutting down on waste. Novice cooks also like the fact that the recipes push them a little outside their comfort zones without being too foreign or too hard to prepare.

One common criticism regarded the portion sizes. In some cases, people felt that the portions were too small and that they were left hungry after the meal. People with big appetites might want to order an extra serving or make sure to serve an additional side dish when making a Home Chef meal.

In other cases, some reviewers questioned the value provided. While many meals seemed to come in somewhere between supermarket and restaurant costs, others seemed to provide products that were less valuable than the $9.95. price tag would call for.

One other criticism that came up in several reviews was issues with freshness of the produce. Some people found that, by the time they received their meal, the produce was wilted. This can probably be avoided by ensuring you are home to take delivery and preparing the most delicate items earliest in the week.

All in all, Home Chef seems like a good option for someone who does not cook often enough to keep a kitchen regularly stocked. If you are the type who likes to cook but doesn’t do it often, the occasional Home Chef meal can be just the thing to keep you in the kitchen and eating good food for less than the cost of a restaurant meal.

How to Buy from Home Chef

You can learn more or purchase by visiting Home Chef official website and registering for an account. Choose the day of the week you want meals to arrive, the number of people you are serving and how many meals you’d like per week.

Shipping is free on orders over $40 and $10 for smaller orders. It takes a week for your first meal to be delivered. You can skip a week or cancel at any time.

Deal/Coupon: Join Today & Get $30 Off at Home Chef!

Your Thoughts

Have you tried Home Chef? We’d love to hear what you think of their service. We’d love to hear about your experience and help our readers make the best meal delivery and nutritional choices.

Feel free to comment below!

 

33 Comments on "Home Chef Review – Is This Meal Delivery Program Worth It?"

  1. Absolutely love Home Chef! We wanted to expand on what we ate and stay in portion. That’s what I love, restaurant quality meals that are easy to make, have a fairly accurate calorie count thru portion control. Plus they always look exactly like the pictures! Never had a wilted vegetable or poor quality proteins. A must try.

  2. The food we have been getting from HomeChef is delicious!! Every meal has been perfect and it has been expanding my boyfriends vegetable horizons with the flavorful unique side dishes they supply. It couldn’t be easier and I enjoy cooking and plating it all.

  3. We have been using Home Chef for several months now. For the most part the food has been fresh but lately the quality of the produce is unacceptable. We are home when the box is delivered and we start cooking the meals the night we receive the box. We have received rotten cucumbers, rotten lettuce and the inside of some of the potatoes were literally black. These veggies had to be thrown away – what a waste. The sugar packets for one of the meals was soaking wet from not being placed in a separate bag and those packets had to be tossed. A couple of months ago I sent an email to Home Chef customer service regarding the rotten herbs we received but never received a response back. We shall see with the pictures of the rotten vegetable attached in my latest email if I receive a response back this time. When the food is fresh the meals are easy to cook, convenient and the food does taste good. If I continue to receive produce that has to be thrown away I will cancel Home Chef as I am not going to throw money away on bad products.

  4. I’ve been using home chef for a little over 2 months and I wish I’d been a part of this earlier. It makes my hectic life a little less chaotic, without having to think about what I’ll be cooking for dinner. If you throw in some of your own ingredients such as more chicken, it will stretch out to take just enough for work for a light lunch. I did a budget report to see if Home chef would be the better decision, and now I find myself going to the grocery store MUCH less than I used to. Saving me time and money, AND cooking Extraordinary meals…my husband is also a huge fan!!

  5. Peggy Mercado | July 20, 2016 at 4:19 am | Reply

    I just started with Home Chef after leaving Blue Apron because of their lack of flexibility in the number of the meals they deliver and choices. So I was looking forward to using Home Chef. I got my first delivery last Friday, I ordered the Korean Chicken with Pear Salad and the coffee coated steak with mashed potatoes. I went to cook the chicken Sunday night and discovered there was no pear for the pear salad. That in itself is not a big deal, but their customer service was horrible. I immediately wrote an email, then called them on Monday morning, had to leave message because it’s only voice mail, then wrote another email Monday night, and finally received an email response Tuesday afternoon telling me they would credit $10 for this $20 (for 2) meal. This was also after getting 2 emails, one asking how I liked my first order, and the other asking if I would recommend Home Chef to others. (at this point I definitely won’t) I’m really looking forward to trying the food, which I will try (the steak) tomorrow night. But so far I’m not impressed and I’m concerned. I will always give someplace 2 chances, but they really need to beef up their customer support and take responsibility for their errors. When Blue Apron messed up on my sister-in-law’s order, she was credited the entire week, not just the one meal that was wrong. Same thing with my niece. Not only that, their calls were answered right away by a person and dealt with immediately.

  6. Dad in Maryland | July 27, 2016 at 9:51 pm | Reply

    As a single dad, I signed up for HC and was enthralled by the idea of cooking with my children and enjoying the experience. I had several quality issues with the food that started with concern and led me to discontinue the service. I understand that things can happen in a warehouse or during shipping, but this was quality control, plain and simple. 2 out of 3 shipments had missing ingredients and rotted (yes, rotted) produce. One week, the chicken leaked on everything due to sloppy packaging. I would love to try another service or return to HC if they ever get it together. Customer service did not seem concerned about me leaving, or why I was leaving. :+(

    • Hey,

      Thank you for sharing your experience about Home Chef with us. Home Chef customer service is usually great and they are good at resolving any concerns and issues that their customers may be having. I will definitely contact their customer service and forward all of your concerns with them. Keep us updated! Thanks! 🙂

  7. I received my first shipment last week from Home Chef. I have tried Blue Apron and Hello Fresh. I liked the idea that they had lower calorie meals and that I had a wider choice. I also like the fact that they offer a smoothy. Kind of nice to have choices. My plum tomatoes were delivered soft and none of the meat was labeled. So i have no idea what the quality of the meat is. I was supposed to receive Steel Trout but they provided Salmon instead. No notice to me that it was a substitution and with no labels on the meat I can see why someone packing may make a mistake. I am contacting customer service today. I probably will not continue ordering from them if the quality is not there.

    • We received the same meal and I wondered why we got salmon instead of the steel trout as well. I went online because I honestly wasn’t sure what steel trout was and it seems steel trout is very similar to salmon. So you may have actually received steel trout.

  8. I have enjoyed 3 separate shipments from HC thus far and I have no complaints. Everything is fresh, labeled and delicious. I love the binder to hold the recipe cards, the meals really do taste as good as they look. I love expanding my horizons with different oils, seasonings and ingredients. Used some pickled ginger today in a shredded carrot, asparagus and pear salad. Who would have thought. I really am learning a lot and having fun acting like I made this on my own, lol Haven’t been disappointed yet!!

  9. My family has been very pleased with HomeChef for the past nine months or so. We have had a few instances of herbs a bit turned and veggies a bit past their prime, but when cooked, were delicious. I also believe I had a potato that had gone bad in the center – but that’s the grocery business. It’s like Christmas when I receive a new box. I now hate to go to the store to shop. Am I addicted? Perhaps. When the wife wakes up the next morning and says, “Dinner last night was phenomenal”, that’s a pretty good review…

  10. Kim O'Connor | August 6, 2016 at 2:56 pm | Reply

    I decided to try home chef after leaving blue apron as not enough choices in the meals are to exotic and things I would not normally eat ..I love the idea of how many choices I have to pick From with home chef..I also like that it comes with the exact recipe so I can remake again versus blue aprons seasoning packet and just plain says seasoning package…I have been mainly satisfied.. I have had a few glitches although I believe glitches happen with any newer service and this one seems to be Newest to the market..only because I had so far where did not receive a recipe card with one of my recipes and a missing ingredient on a different shipment…I do wish they would find a better packing the system with their ice especially in this hot summer time..as I do work and if not home in time to get the shipment sometimes the ice is almost already all melted and unlike with the apron sometimes took three days for me just to melt the ice. Hoping when weather breaks I cooler days this isnt such an issue..but believe could be fixed in home chefs end if ice packs were bigger they would not melt as quickly..

  11. Delivery was promised on Tuesday. Calendar showed it was shipped for delivery on Tuesday. Got home from work Tuesday night. No box. Checked tracking FedEx shows deliver expected on Wednesday. Normally delayed deliver is not a big deal except when it is your dinner for the next 3 night because you have not shopped for dinner food (I scrambled and made egg salad sandwich).I called they are suppose to be open until 6:00PM called at 5:20PM no answer, voicemail, e-mailed and received an auto respond, never a physical respond. Wednesday 10:00AM in the morning and no phone call or e-mail….They seem to have a lack of communication and customer service. To boot I just recommended a co-worker to give it a try…I hope I wont be sorry! Everyone makes mistakes, but this is suppose to save me time, not cost me time following up on their mistake!

    • Hi Kim,

      Thank you for sharing with us. Keep us updated! Come back with a follow up and let us know how things are still going with Home Chef. Thanks!

  12. I have used HC for 5 months with no problem at all. The meals are excellent, ingredients fresh, servings hearty and meats, seafood and chicken always first rate! I live on the West Coast and delivery has never been a problem. HC highly recommended.

  13. Been subscribed for close to 2 months now. LOVE the restaurant quality meals – haven’t hit a bad recipe yet. In fact, have already recreated the steelhead trout with shallot sauce when I found the fish at our local grocery store. Like some others, some produce has been not-so-great, which can happen even when buying from the grocery store, so I’m not too upset about that. But, other than the first box and the most recent, at least one product has been missing, was sent incorrectly (how do you confuse chicken breast with bacon?) or damaged (frozen fruit container crushed & avocado smashed). I find this a bit more disturbing. I’ve been hesitant to complain so far, but seeing here that I’m not the only one with order processing/packing issues, I think I’ll be in touch with customer service soon. Other than this issue, I’ve been super pleased with the service & plan to continue if they can get this resolved

    • Hi Lynne,

      I’m glad to hear that you are enjoying Home Chef. As far as the order processing/packing issues that you’re experiencing – I will definitely contact customer service. Let them know all of your concerns & questions. Keep us updated! Thanks! 🙂

  14. I have used HC for almost a year now and have had very little issues. When I have contacted customer support with suggestions or compliments I have always received a reply back within one working day.
    I referred my daughter to the program and her first meal came with brown, spoiled green bean. I asked if she contacted them and she did not….too busy to do so. Told her I felt they would give her a discount if she did, but she has a young child, teaches 2nd grade and her life is consumed with other things besides green beans (her words).
    The meals are great! Love the gluten free options and how each meal is labeled such on the webpage. The food options are better than Blue Apron, Plated, and any other delivery service I have tried or compared it too. Unlike the other services HC offers a side dish with the majority of their meals.
    I do not understand how anyone would chose a different service than this.

    • Hi Mary,

      Thank you for sharing your story with us and great to hear that you’re having a good experience with HC. I do have to disagree with you as far as the side dishes for other companies – every meal services we have try all came with side dishes. Keep us posted! Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  15. Gabrielle Harris | August 24, 2016 at 4:32 pm | Reply

    I LOVE HomeChef. It works as I am currently renting from a friend until I build my own home in 2017. This eliminates from me having to buy that entire stalk of celery when I only need a stem and wasting the rest. It reduces the amount of food I have to store in someone else’s refrigerator or cabinets of full of containers of spices when I only need a teaspoon for any given recipe. The recipes are easy, but look complicated and the food is amazing. I order the minimum of 2 meals for 2 people every other week which gives me abut 8 meals a month. I may increase it once I see how many times I actually want to cook as a single woman. Great concept.

  16. Well, pretty mixed reviews. We shall see. I just signed up today after buying $15 worth of red baron pizzas that were contaminated with plastic strips. You might say it was the final straw. Whenever I go to the grocery half the food is rotten. I try to pick the best, but when I get home, some of it still doesn’t pass muster and must be pitched immediately. this is a huge waste and screws up my meal planning. I can’t be bothered to return it cause the store is not exactly down the street. 20-40 mins one way. So if even 90% of this is edible, I may end up saving money.

    • Hi SC,

      Wow, very sorry to hear that. I will definitely switch grocery stores. Always make sure to check the expiration date, color & temperature if its meat or produce – especially the smell. If it doesn’t pass those test, I will pass.

      Come back and let us know how it goes with Home Chef – we will greatly appreciated it. Thanks! 🙂

  17. Kimberly Price | August 27, 2016 at 4:39 pm | Reply

    I’m a disabled 54 year old on a fixed income. Husband walked out 6 years ago and both of my children (my heart) are in college. That leaves just me at home, which equates to: little money to spend and only myself to buy for. I can’t remember the last time I bought meat. Seriously. I can’t afford it. My diet consists of 2 cups of coffee for breakfast and usually one of these, once, later in the day: a little yogurt, wheat thins and cheese, some nuts, some fruit (apple, grapes, banana), some Red Baron cheese pizza (for $3.00/pizza). Someone asked me recently why I bought these things instead of meat. The answer is, because I can stretch these out until the next monthly disability check. It’s hard to make a hamburger patty or chicken breast last. Those are usually for one meal only. So, I can spend my money on meat for one meal, or I can buy things that I can get multiple meals out of. So, I saw an ad for Home Chef the other day and after doing some research, like these reviews, I’ve decided to give Home Chef a try. However, I can not afford mistakes. I know they happen, and I make them, also. I just can’t afford for them to happen often. When I spend my money on food, I need it to be edible. So, let’s do this!

    • Hi Kimberly,

      Thank you for sharing your story with us. It can be very difficult living on a fixed disability income – especially with the cost of living and food, etc. I’m glad to hear that you are giving HC a go. I recommend starting off slowly, get a feel for it and overall see if you like it. Also, take in consideration the cost. If you see the cost is too much – you may want to consider reducing the amount of meals each week (You can change and customize menu selection, skip deliveries, etc. in Your Home Chef Account Dashboard). Let us know how it goes and please keep us updated! Thanks! 🙂

  18. We’ve been HC regulars for over a year now and love the service. Yes, once in a while something is missing or bad, but customer service allows responds promptly and gives me a credit.
    On the plus side, HC has led us to try new things which we’ve generally enjoyed, theres no waste, especially with herbs and spices only occassionally used, and it’s a fun activity for us to do as a couple.
    Rock on, HC!

  19. Home Chef is F A B U L O U S! We’ve been customers for a couple of months now. I have tried Blue Apron and Plated and have cancelled those subscriptions and kept Home Chef. I like the fact that they have Gluten Free options that are delicious and not paired with strange sides (like with Plated, Freshly and Blue Apron). We are the stereotypical midwestern, “steak and potatoes” household…Like things pretty basic… Not that Home Chef menues are basic – they are restaunt quality and interesting. Willing to try new things, but some of the strange sides with the others were never going to be eaten by my family. Additionally, Fed Ex took an extra day to delivery (error on their part) and we had over 100 degree weather which caused some of the meat/produce to go bad. My experience with Home Chef’s customer service was outstanding – They credited my account. OUTSTANDING MEALS + EASY TO PREPARE + A+ CUSTOMER SERVICE + SAVE $$$ and SUPER CONVENIENT = Happy Customer!

  20. We are on our 2nd delivery with HC. We have liked or loved everything! No problems with delivery. I eat only fish and seafood, my husband only meat. So we compromised and have been ordering only the vegetarian meals. We are both perfectly happy! I would recommend this service!

  21. Pierangela LaMeer | September 30, 2016 at 5:39 am | Reply

    My 15 y/o son and I love HC so far.I am a fairly new customer. In my first delivery, the Cajun spice was missing from Cajun tilapia recipe. I wrote an e-mail to customer support and I received a reply from Scott the day after with an apology and a credit. Meats and veggies have been fresh. Portions are right. People who complain about that are probably used to over eating. I am planning on skipping some weeks, but not many! 😊

  22. This "Chef" is Loyal | October 4, 2016 at 5:28 pm | Reply

    I have been with Home Chef for over 9 months. I love it. During 9 months, I may have received “less than fresh” produce three times. Only once was I missing a major ingredient. In each case, I called or emailed and was promptly refunded. One other time, Fedex delivered after 8pm and I had already gone to bed so the box was outside in the heat all night long (mid-summer). Though it was Fedex’s error, HC refunded me for the whole box.

    The few “errors” don’t outweigh the wonderfully delicious meals that I have prepared for my family. The value and the taste of the final meals keep me coming back each week. Someone else mentioned earlier about the recipe cards. I love that feature and I use many of the recipes over and over again because they are my favorites! I also found in RE-making the recipes just how much money I was saving. Buying the ingredients separately cost a LOT more than $9.95 a meal.

  23. Deborah Buckwald | October 5, 2016 at 12:38 pm | Reply

    I have started with Home chef recently and love all the meals I have received so far. I am now an empty nester and get three meals a week which gives me 6 nights of dinners. I cook a meal and eat one that same night and save the other for the next nights dinner. I hate to shop for groceries,but love to cook, so this has been a life saver.My son is thinking of joining and a co-worker too… Keep up the good work Home Chef

  24. We have been using home chef for a couple of months now. The first thing it forced me to do was go out and buy some real legit pans!! Haha Happy birthday to me 🙂 I have never disliked cooking I have just been too busy and we fell back into making the same four or five recipes. I love love love home chef and we are so excited for Wednesday night delivery. We sort through our three recipes and decide what we want This is the only meal service I have tried but I have heard and seen other services that lack the selection home chef does. I order for four ( me , hubby & two teenagers) and there is plenty of food! A couple of times my sons girlfriend has been over for dinner and the meal has actually served five of us With plenty. I have had a few minor produce quality issues. However since I order for 4 I get two bags of each and i can see that it may be one item from one bag, for example one soft lemon in one bag and the other bag has a lovely one. So I think the produce quality problem really is an exception rather than the rule. I am not really a steak eater but all of us have commented on how absolutely amazing the quality of the beef is. I think if I discontinue the service my family would stage a rebellion! I’m a happy home chef customer

  25. I have also experimented with several different meal prep delivery companies (Plated, Blue Apron & Home Chef), but found that the choices at HC were better for me (I don’t eat meat except chicken & I am single so I don’t want to have to order too much food). None of the meals have been particularly complicated & I am sure I could have made them without a meal service, but I would not have thought of making them. I am also a pretty fussy eater and, so far, most weeks have 2-3 meals that I would like. I am not ordering every week (more like two weeks per month (because I still like cooking my own stuff), but I had out-of-town friends visiting and it was nice to cook something different & delicious each night. Some of my favorites have been: Penne Pasta with Sun-Dried Tomato Cream; Chicken Autumn Salad; Salmon with Summer Veggies;Salmon Cakes & Mirin-Glazed Chicken. I can generally get two dinners & one lunch from each meal, so the price is reasonable (especially since I usually shop at Whole Foods). I am a psychologist & have recommended the service to some of my clients who are trying to eat better, but don’t know much about cooking. I think the only complaint I have had since starting the service was an under-ripe avocado (and I could have waited longer to use it). I hate take-out and fast food, so this is a great way for me to have home-prepared meals every night.

  26. I started with Blue Apron and then moved to Home Chef. I have nothing but good things to say so far for both services. BA probably stretched me a bit more on new foods/flavors. But I like the variety and number of recipe offerings that HC offers. Overall, I think I prefer HC just a bit more than BA. I’m single and so I have basically a week’s worth of food for one shipment (3 2-serving meals). Most of the recipes can easily be halved and if not make great leftovers. I’ve had no issues with either delivery or product quality to date (5 BA boxes and 3 HC boxes). I love the reduction in my food waste and not having to spend so much time in the grocery store every week. Those two things make any extra cost well worth it for the 2-person plan.

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