This week’s Home Chef was highly anticipated — how could it not be with a fully-loaded burrito bowl and a cheesesteak pizza?!? Home Chef is a meal in a box subscription – every week choose from a variety of recipes and have all the ingredients and preparation instruction delivered to your door. It’s similar in concept to other weekly meal delivery services, but it has its own unique features and perspectives.
Meal selections are suggested automatically according to a profile you fill out noting your family’s preferences, but you can change your selections any time. Home Chef offers an incredible 10 selections available for 2, 4, or 6 people, a breakfast choice, a smoothie choice, and a fruit basket selection. The portions are huge, and this is currently the least expensive and has the most choice out of any similar major subscriptions (for 2 people).
Everything arrived within well-insulated (water-dissolvable) cooler padding, atop ice packs.
Each bag has nearly everything needed to make a complete meal. You have to have a basic kitchen setup (stove/oven, cookware, etc), but a couple tablespoons of cooking oil and salt and pepper are usually the only ingredients you have to have at home. Unlike other boxes, Home Chef includes liquid egg when needed — once they even included a bottle of oil for shallow-frying.
The meat is placed in the bottom of box and packed with several ice packs. I suspect there are enough to keep it cold for a long time, even when summer arrives.
The recipe cards have just been reformatted — they still have prep time, difficulty, a “best cooked by” time frame, and even a spice level, but they’ve dropped the drink pairing and just show calories instead of full nutrition info. The picture is much bigger, and they’ve combined the lists of your pantry and kitchen equipment needs into one. The cards look a bit like the Plated cards now.
The back of the card has the actual recipe guidance, complete with pictures and boldfacing of ingredients, and an inventory of everything provided. The recipes usually have a pro-tip or explain some cooking terminology. The reformat has streamlined recipes by pulling the tips out of the actual recipe and putting them in a sidebar.
The cards adhere to a standard prep order (i.e.: preheat oven, chop veg, prep meat) — but we often switch up the order to optimize our prep time. The recipe cards have pre-punched holes so you can store them in a recipe binder.
Each recipe was packed separately, and neatly, in its own bag. We like to unpack a bit, separating the refrigeration-required and pantry-permissive items. Unless otherwise noted, each of the pictures of prepared food below show one of two servings made by each recipe.
April Fools’ Day Special: “Pizza” With Strawberry “Tomato” Sauce, Chocolate Crisp “Sausages” and Marshmallow “Cheese”. 25-35 mins, easy, 594 cal.
Each person gets their own personal size pizza, loaded with what looks like sauce, fresh mozzarella, sausage, and fresh basil. It’s pretty convincing at a slight distance — only the darkness of the sauce really gives it away. The bread is a naan that would make a great bread for an actual pizza; here, it is bathed in butter and sugar before topping.
We served this to our kids as an April Fools snack. Our son totally fell for it — our daughter would have, but she cheated and snooped at the recipe card! This was one best eaten slightly dissected, since it was both messy and jumbled a bunch of flavors together. I liked pairing the mint with the chocolate crisps, and eating the remainder together. Very sweet, and lots of fun!
Argentine Flat Iron Steak With Salsa Criolla and Crispy Potatoes. 30-40 mins, easy, 770 cal.
The crispy, butter-braised potato cubes were crazy good, as was the steak. The salsa had excellent flavor, but was disproportionate in volume to the rest of the dish. This was really easy to make, as the chopping didn’t require high precision. The garlic and oregano gave the dish an awesome chimichurri flavor without the hassle of preparing a marinade.
Chicken and Brown Rice Burrito Bowl With Salsa and Homemade Guacamole. 25-35 minutes, easy, 996 cal.
This dish had tons of flavor and looked really vibrant. The red onion was a bit intense, so it mostly served as color for the platter. Sadly, our avocado was super ripe, so we didn’t get use of the whole thing. The flavors were big and bold, and this made a great cheesy chicken, rice and bean bowl.
Philly Cheesesteak Pizza with Caramelized Onions With Romaine Salad and Spicy White Wine Vinaigrette. 25-35 mins, easy, 923 cal.
This dish was incredibly delicious. It was super easy too — the beef came as cold cuts, so it was really tender, and the dish wasn’t dependent on us being able to cook and shave the meat razor thin. The cheese sauce was easier to make than a simple bechamel, and together with the onions, it made the pizza taste exactly like a real cheesesteak! Yum!
Home Chef has been an incredibly enjoyable subscription for us — the food has been great, and relatively easy to prepare. The hardest part is picking out our meals from so many delicious options, and not overeating, because the portions are very generous! We are also loving that they offer breakfast selections (we grab one for a weekend breakfast most weeks) and a fruit basket, since we are often too busy to spend much time shopping for those, either.
The Description: Receive fresh ingredients and visual, step-by-step recipe cards on your selected delivery day every week. Cook like a seasoned chef in your own kitchen with ease.
The Price: $60.00 every week