Home Chef: Quarantine Cuisine Made Easy
Now more than ever, people are cooking at home. With staples like chicken and veggies sometimes being out of stock at the grocery store, it can make it tough to be able to make your family a home cooked meal.
Enter meal delivery kits. They take the guesswork out of the age old “what’s for dinner” question and every single ingredient is delivered straight to your door.
But there are so many meal delivery kits and services out there, so how do you know which ones are actually worth it?
You try multiples, that’s how! Over the past few years, my husband and I tested out different meal delivery services including but not limited to: Green Chef, HelloFresh, Blue Apron, and Freshly.
I am a deal lover so I only ever tried these services out if the company offered a heck of a good first time customer offer or if I had an Amex Offer.
This is NOT a sponsored post. I was not paid to write a review, just simply want to share my experiences with HomeChef.
However, I may earn a small commission or referral credits when you make purchases from links in my articles.
The last one we tried was Home Chef in October of 2019…and we have been using it ever since. A few things piqued my interest about this company, they had some meals that were “oven ready” and also meals that could be made in roughly 15-20 minutes.
They also have add-ons such as smoothies and “snappy” snacks.
Home Chef advises they have “Fresh weekly meal kits customized to your liking.” Most meals are priced around $9.95, the “snappy” snacks and some salads are lower in price. And there are certainly options for every single type of eater, here are just a few of their meal categories: Vegetarian, No Wheat, Carb/Calorie Conscious, and Customer Favorites.
You can also pick up Home Chef meal kits or Heat & Eat meals at stores that are part of the Kroger family!
After you sign up for Home Chef and use up your initial $35 credit, the price is as follows for two people. Double the price if you are opting for four servings per meal, as opposed to two.
2 meals per week: $49.80 – Roughly $9.95/serving + $10 in shipping.
3+ meals per week: $59.70 – Roughly $9.95/serving + Free shipping
*Once you hit $45, shipping is free. So technically, you could add a snappy snack, if one is available, if you’re opting for the 2 meals/week selection and you would exceed the free shipping threshold.
Cheaper than eating out and just as delicious! And convenience is everything.
Sign up for Home Chef here for $35 off your first box!
When we started Home Chef, we were a bit skeptical. We had a few disasters with Green Chef (recipes that were seemingly “easy” to make were not.) HelloFresh was okay but the meals we got were hit or miss as far as taste is concerned. Some were delicious and others were kind of meh, in my opinion. They also required *slightly* more prep than Home Chef. Especially since we usually go with at least one “oven ready” meal per week, which just requires you to wash the veggies and throw everything into the pan that is included in the order.
The options are also far more varied so that we can try new things when we want to be adventurous and also choose recipes that we know we will love.
To date, there has not been one recipe that we didn’t like. I repeat…there has never been a meal with Home Chef that we disliked.
Once you sign up for Home Chef, you can download the app for ease of use as opposed to using the website. You can select your preferred day of delivery (any day Tuesday through Friday) and get right to your meal selections.
Then, save your selections and you are good to go!
On the chosen delivery day, your meal will arrive on your doorstep and the unboxing can begin! You will find some recipe cards and a binder in your first order, where you can store your weekly recipes. This was another bonus of Home Chef that the other meal delivery services did not offer.
A small gesture but it helps us stay organized since the recipes are already hole-punched and we can whip that binder out if we decide to attempt the recipes on our own in the future.
You can also check your “cookbook” on the website/app to see all of your recipes in one place. But there’s just something about a physical recipe card…
Your box will also come with two recyclable ice packs and some insulation. Simply thaw and cut open the non-toxic ice packs, and dispose of the gel contents.
You will see one bag per each meal, which has all of the ingredients you need, less the meat.
It is really important to note that the meat may be underneath the ice packs and you want to be sure you realize that the meat is separate from the ingredients in the bags. I had Nick unpack the box once he didn’t realize this. Two days later, I looked in the fridge…all ready to cook dinner and couldn’t find the chicken. It was still in the box. Le sigh. So we had to use our own chicken for those recipes. Now he knows. Haha.
Cooking the Meals
It is pretty straightforward in regard to how to prepare and cook the recipes. You just follow the instructions on the recipe card and soon enough, you will have a delicious meal.
A few pro tips, though:
To save time mincing the garlic, we use Spice World’s Organic Minced Garlic. We buy this at our local grocery store and it is amazeballs.
For recipes that require you to dice/chop veggies, we use this salad spinner that you can purchase at Amazon.
See both in the photo below.
Note: I like to minimize how many pots and bowls I use, so you can also see that I threw my halved tomatoes on top for safe keeping after chopping the spinach. Less bowls = less mess to clean up after. Efficiency, baby.
The prepared meals vary in calories but there are many calorie conscious meals available. On average, Nick finishes his entire meal and is pretty satiated. About half of the time, I have leftovers to eat for lunch the next day!
Here are a few recipes that we have done so you can see how they turned out! The Asiago-Crusted Chicken with Almond Romesco Broccoli is one of the oven ready meals discussed earlier. Just throw the ingredients in the pan, cover the chicken with the topper, and put the pan in the oven! Bon Appétit, my friends!
Asiago-Crusted Chicken with Almond Romesco Broccoli
Chicken Breast and Garlic Demi Sauce
Steak Strip Marsala Risotto
Chicken Florentine Pasta
Mango Tango Smoothie
All in all, Home Chef is a win in my household. The two to three meals that we get per week is perfect to supplement the meals that we make on our own from scratch. This is especially useful for those long days when we both are pooped after work and don’t feel like cooking but want to opt for a more cost effective method as opposed to going out to eat.