Our meal delivery journey started when my husband decided he wanted to eat healthier and easier by buying pre-made freezer meals from the grocery store. Insert eye roll here. I warned him those were loaded with preservatives and sodium, tasted terrible, and where never going to fill him up. Of course, he had to learn that for himself (because what do I know?!) Well, just 2 weeks later, after looking at all the options, we were signing up for Home Chef. These are our legit, unsponsored, Home Chef reviews. Plus, a Home Chef promo code so you can try it out yourself!
Our Home Chef Reviews + Home Chef Promo Code for 2020
As I said, we started our meal kit journey when we were looking for good, healthy food that wouldn’t break the bank and wouldn’t leave our kitchen a hot mess. My husband also really wanted EASY for those nights you just don’t feel like cooking.
Home Delivery Meal Kit Options
We researched all the meal kit delivery options, and there are a lot out there right now. Some offer pre-cooked microwavable meals (which my husband was super on board with) but the reviews were less than stellar and you’re zapping everything in the microwave. Others offer only meals that require 6 pans and 60 minutes to cook which wouldn’t really fulfill our “easy” requirement.
*UPDATE: We recently paused Home Chef for 2 weeks to try Hello Fresh just to have a comparison at very least. We tried 6 meals, 3 meals over 2 weeks time. We liked 2 of the meals, 2 were okay but I wouldn’t eat again, and 2 were actually bad. Hello Fresh offers much more bland flavors, I added seasoning or sauce to every meal to make it taste like something. In our opinion, they also have lower quality meats and produce (the chicken was tough and our coleslaw was moldy and inedible 2 days after delivery. I also felt it was harder to stick to lower calorie counts with Hello Fresh. Most of our Hello Fresh meals were 800-1000 calories vs. Home Chef at 500-700.
Why Home Chef Meals are the Best Delivery Option
Ultimately, we went with Home Chef because they offer several different types of meals (and Home Chef reviews are always amazing). They have express meals that take less than 15 minutes, low calorie/carb options, gourmet meals for special occasions, slow cooker meals for a crowd, vegetarian options (with the option to add a protein), and best of all, oven-ready meals! Plus, they also have easy icon indicators on the menu in case you have a food allergy. So, the main reasons we still love Home Chef:
Home Chef Express Meals
The express Home Chef meals are great because they only take 10-15 minutes to complete and are usually very easy to cook. They generally use fewer pans so clean up is also a breeze.
Oven-Ready Home Chef Meals
The oven-ready Home Chef meals are perfect for the nights where you don’t really feel like cooking but you want more than your toddlers leftover PB&J (and they are so much more!). Every week there are 2 oven-ready Home Chef meals you can order so you’re always guaranteed to find at least 1 that looks good.
Amazing Food Quality
100% the reason we keep going back to Home Chef is the food quality. I can say with certainty, we will never buy regular grocery store chicken breasts ever again. Home Chef has the most tender and juicy chicken I have ever eaten in my life, I see no point in ever eating tough, dry chicken ever again. As a test, we cooked our normal grocery store brand chicken using a home chef meal and it was highly disappointing. The quality of the Home Chef meat and produce is just that good. Everything has been exceptional. Again, we tried another food delivery service, cooked the meat to the same specifications and it was substantially worse then Home Chef.
Full Meal and Calorie Breakdown
Every meal has a full breakdown of what’s included with the kit, the difficulty, spice level, prep and cook time, and how many days you have to eat the meal (most should be eaten within 4-6 days). They also include allergy information, total calories, carbs, fat, protein, and sodium counts so you know exactly what you’re eating.
Another major bonus is almost every meal we have had has been under 700 calories which is awesome considering it’s our biggest meal of the day!
Home Chef Recipe Cards
Not only is everything listed on the Home Chef Meals page, but it is also included on a recipe card that comes with your box when you order it. With your first order, Home Chef sends you a 3 ring binder to store all your Home Chef recipe cards so you can re-create the meals on your own as well. We also write on each card after making and eating the meal so we know what we loved or didn’t like about the meal.
Home Chef Reviews wouldn’t be complete without mentioning the customization option. Every meal has the option to add, change or upgrade the protein. So, if you aren’t a big fan of pork chops, you can change it to chicken. Or, if you prefer free-range chicken you can upgrade to that. You can also add a protein to the vegetarian option. Next week we are ordering the veggie option but swapping out the tofu for chicken. I’m so glad we have that option because the meal looks amazing!
Skip a Week or Order Just as Needed
Home Chef seriously works for any household at any time. You can easily skip a week or pause your deliveries to suit your needs and lifestyle. It’s especially awesome for the weeks when you just know it will be crazy and you won’t have time to plan and prep. Order the express and oven-ready meals and you’re week is set and mealtime is easy peasy and so good!
**Factual Tip: Home Chef would make an awesome gift for new parents, people going through a tough time, for new homeowners, birthday/Christmas gifts for those hard to shop for people on your list, the options are endless and seriously anyone would love it!
Large Serving Sizes
One of my biggest concerns with a meal delivery service was the serving size. I thought they would for sure be really small and not very filling. I was completely wrong. On multiple occasions, I haven’t been able to finish my meal. My husband is a big eater and I’m a breastfeeding mom (so eating all the time), there were only 2 instances where we didn’t feel like it was enough food (both noted in the recipe reviews below). It’s really the perfect amount of food, we even have enough to share with our 3-year-old (if we can get him to try it).
Our Home Chef Meal Reviews
These are all the meals we have tried and what we liked/didn’t like about them. I’ll keep this updated as we continue to order so for sure check back to read more of our Home Chef reviews! Check out the current meal options >>
Home Chef Reviews: Meals We Love
These are meals we would get again and again. I gave each of them 4 or 5 stars on the Home Chef online rating review.
Mahi-Mahi and Green Peppercorn Sauce (with mashed red potatoes and carrots) – 5 stars -One of the gourmet Home Chef meal options and seriously amazing! The sauce was super interesting and one we would have never thought to make on our own. It was also very, very filling. We were both stuffed! Also, this is listed as “expert” level and we thought it was pretty easy.
Korean Steak Tacos with Sriracha Slaw (Express Meal) – 5 stars – One of my favorites so far, it was so amazing. We love street tacos and Korean flavors so this was a huge win for us.
Stroganoff Pork Meatballs with Potatoes and Peas (Oven-Ready Meal) – 5 stars – Shockingly, another one of my favorite Home Chef meals thus far. I never would have thought something so “basic” would be a fav but it was really, really yummy.
Apple Butter Chicken and Butternut Squash with Goat Cheese and Almonds (Express Meal) – 5 stars – Two words, Apple. Butter. Oh, my word why have I never tried that before. So simple and so, so delicious! We loved the squash side as well which was awesome since we would have never bought butternut squash on our own.
Scallops and Lemon Parmesan Risotto (with roasted broccoli) – 5 stars – Again, something we would probably not have thought to make on our own so it was really fun stepping out of our comfort zone! The step by step was surprisingly so easy and it was delish!
Panko-Crusted Boom Boom Chicken with Sesame Broccoli (Oven-Real Meal) – 5 stars – The chicken and sauces in this meal are really good. It was all very flavorful. The only change we would make is to add a carb side. The broccoli side isn’t as filling as some of the others. We’ve decided we’ll keep easy bake breadsticks in the freezer for times where we just feel like we might need to all a little more substance (but hey, I’m breastfeeding, I’m basically always starving!).
Chicken with Hatch Chile Ranch Pepita Butternut Squash (Express Meal) – 5 stars – I love their butternut squash sides. They are always a hit for us. Plus, their chicken is so juicy (even if it’s not perfectly cooked) and the sauce was one we will for sure be recreating!
Spicy Korean Pulled Pork Rice Bowl with Edamame (Express Meal) – 5 stars – Again, we can’t go wrong with Korean but this one was also out of our usual comfort zone and so good. It was one of the first Home Chef meals we tried and still a favorite. It was also really filling!
Beef Meatloaf Marinara with Red Pepper Pesto Cauliflower (Oven-Ready Meal) – 4 stars -Super easy and yummy. Love the balance of comfort food meatloaf with the healthier (but delish) cauliflower.
Spicy Korean Chicken with Rice and Broccoli (Oven Ready Meal) – 4 stars – Great, satisfying meal! The rice is really flavorful, the chicken was so tender and juicy and the crunchy topping pushed it over the top.
Home Chef Reviews: Meals We Wouldn’t Order Again & Why
Cajun Shrimp Tacos (with creamy corn slaw) – 3 stars – This was good but we knew just looking at it there wouldn’t be enough shrimp for 6 tacos. We had some on hand so we cooked them with the ones provided in the kit and it turned out to be just enough for our liking. Since we had to add more shrimp to the meal I wouldn’t order it again. You can customize this meal to have more shrimp but it costs extra so it just wouldn’t be worth it to us. Still a tasty meal to recreate on our own!
Crispy Prosciutto and Mushroom Farfalle (with garlic bread) – 3 stars – This meal was good but I just didn’t feel like it was good enough to order again. Plus, pasta is something we can easily make on our own and for pretty inexpensive so I would pass on this one next time and just DIY it! The garlic bread was super easy and yummy so I’ll be recreating that for sure!
Green Chile Crema Chicken with Queso Fresco Chayotes (Express Meal) – Chicken 4 stars, side dish 1 star – Loved the chicken in this meal but we really didn’t like the side. We had never had Chayotes and it turns out, we aren’t fans. If you do like them, it’s a great dish!
Feta and Dill Crusted Pork Chop (with green beans and blistered grape tomatoes) – 1 star -I’m not a huge pork chop person so this was outside my norm. I liked the cheese topping and the pork chop was okay but I didn’t love it. My husband and I both did not like the seasoning on the veggies (I couldn’t eat them). This was the only real miss we’ve had which is pretty amazing!
Cost + Home Chef Promo Codes
The big question for all Home Chef reviews, is it worth the money? The quality of food is amazing and they average out to about $10 per serving if you get 6 servings per week which includes free shipping. That’s $60 a week for 2 adults eating 3 meals. It sounds like a lot to add to your budget but when we broke it down, we’re actually spending less on food than we were previously. We eat out less, get fast food/take out less, and we are also wasting less food (which is so awesome!). At the VERY least it’s worth trying it out when you get $40 off your first box.
Less Food Waste
When you breakdown the cost of the meals to make them yourself you’re generally saving money because you only get what you’ll use (4 red potatoes vs. a whole bag) so, if you’re going to for sure eat an entire bag of potatoes before they go bad then yes, buy it all yourself and meal plan and prep. But, if you aren’t super organized with your meal planning and prepping then it is 100% worth every penny!
Something I rarely read about in other Home Chef reviews, but a major selling point is the quality of the protein. It’s hands down far better than anything you will get at your basic grocery store. You’d definitely have to go to a butcher or high-end grocer like Whole Foods to get the same quality and satisfaction. This is a huge, huge selling point for us and a big reason why we eat out less. We’re getting (better than) restaurant-quality food at home.
It’s Really Fun!
This is one of the major points to both of our Home Chef reviews! It’s going to sound so cheesy but we feel like Home Chef has brought something new and exciting to our lives. We really enjoy making the meals and thoroughly look forward to cooking them together. It’s like a fun little date night 3 times a week. It’s always something new and the outcome is a surprise. My husband just said to me last night “Home Chef is worth it even just for how much fun I have making them with you” which was the sweetest thing ever, but he’s right. Cooking dinner is no longer a chore, it’s fun.
Home Chef Promo Codes
So there are a couple of ways to try Home Chef. Right now the best way to give it a shot is with the $40 off your first box option which makes trying 1 box really affordable. If you order 6 or more servings in a box, shipping is free. So if you did 6 servings in your first box, with your $40 off coupon that makes each serving only about $3.33 which is just so cheap is crazy not to try it out!
So are there any downsides?!
These are our unsponsored and completely transparent Home Chef reviews so it wouldn’t be complete without the downside. The biggest thing to consider, there is always the chance you won’t like the meal you selected. Avoid issues by reading the recipe. Since the full ingredient list is provided before ordering you can be really careful about ordering only things you know you like (or be adventurous and try something new!).
Home Chef Customer Service is Exceptional
We also ran into a hiccup over the holidays. Fed-Ex had some major shipping issues (for anyone and everyone using their service) and our meal boxes arrived late 2 weeks in a row. The first week it was 1 day late and Home Chef gave us a full box credit on my account to compensate for the late delivery. We were still able to eat everything in the box because it was all still cold and/or frozen. The next week it was 4 days late and they gave me a full refund to my credit card plus a credit on our Home Chef account. Since we live in MN and it’s cold here in Dec., we were still able to eat everything except some coleslaw and a lime.
Moving forward I would plan to not order over busy shipping weeks (basically just Christmas and New Years) but it was great to know how excellent the Home Chef customer service is! They refunded/credited with no questions asked and a million apologies.
Why We Love Home Chef
So basically, we love the Home Chef meals, the food quality is amazing, it’s super easy to manage your account, its FUN, and the cost is covered simply because we’re eating out less and wasting less food! I highly recommend giving it a try to see if it’s a good fit for you. Use this Home Chef promo code and worse case you’ll get a bunch of meals for substantially less than the cost of the ingredients! But, really, I know you’re going to love it!
Which Home Chef Meals are Your Favorites?
Share your favorite Home Chef meals in the comments below! We’re always looking for new ones to try!
Until next time,