Home Chef is a meal in a box subscription – every week, you choose from a variety of recipes and have all the ingredients and preparation instructions delivered to your door. The basic concept is the same as other weekly meal delivery services, but it has its own unique features and recipes.
Home Chef has a huge selection of meal options to choose from each week, including some Asian, Indian, African, and South American inspired dishes among their more traditional American home-style and steakhouse fare, and the portions are the most generous among the meal kit subscriptions we review regularly!
In addition to the many great dinner options (available in 2, 4, 0r 6 servings), they also offer breakfast selections, smoothies, and a fruit basket (which we have been very happy with whenever we’ve gotten it).
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) – $9.95 per person per selection (they typically have one meal a week that’s a premium meal).
DEAL: Get $30 of free food when you sign up – just use this link to get the deal!
The food is packed in puffy, padded cooler pads, with each meal packed in a separate bag containing nearly everything needed to make a complete meal. The box is always packed with several ice packs.
The recipe cards display prep time, difficulty, a “best cooked by” time frame, and even a spice level. There is also a list of stuff you may need from your own kitchen such as cookware and salt and pepper. You have to have a basic kitchen set-up (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 – the even include liquid egg (instead of expecting you to have eggs on hand), and oil for shallow-frying when a recipe calls for more than a few tablespoons worth.
The back of the card has the actual recipe guidance, complete with pictures and boldfacing of ingredients. The recipes are accompanied by pro-tips and explanations of cooking terminology and techniques. The tips appear in a sidebar so they don’t clutter the actual recipe. I love that they include a heads-up for when ingredients are divided and used in different parts of the dish.
The prep is done is a sensible order, with long lead time items first. This helps everything finish cooking close to the same time. The recipe cards have pre-punched holes so you can store them in a recipe binder – we usually prefer to just wait till the recipe is offered again instead of attempting to gather the ingredients to recreate it ourselves.
Each recipe was packed separately, and neatly, in its own bag, except for a few larger items. Unless otherwise noted, each of the pictures of prepared food below shows one of two servings made by each recipe.
Seasonal Fruit Selection With Apples And Pears. 336 calories per serving. We like getting the fruit because it is always in great shape and really firm. Fresh fruit is one of the few items for which we depend on the grocery store instead of delivery, and adding fruit to our Home Chef order cuts down on our weekly errands.
Jalapeño Poppers With Bacon. 45-55 minutes, intermediate, 632 calories per serving.
We prepared these as part of our New Year’s celebration snacks. The peppers were nice and spicy, but they were smothered in enough cheese and toppings that they were pleasantly hot and not scorching (plus, they’re only jalapeños). It took quite a while to properly prep the peppers, but it was well worth it. Slicing them in half, a departure from traditional “popper” preparation, made for a more generous filling to pepper ration and it also made stuffing them much easier. This tray lasted us a few days (the pick shows the whole 24-piece recipe), and we leveraged the intense flavor by serving alongside otherwise unexciting eggs for breakfast.
Cape Town Steak With Sweety Drop Relish With Half-Mashed Peas And Potatoes. 30-40 minutes, easy, 850 calories per serving.
This dish had a very Southern hemisphere feel to it, as smashed peas are a popular accompaniment in South America, Australia, and South Africa, the mashed potato suggesting one of the latter two. The Drop Relish really sets it apart as a South African inspired dish. The peppers have a bit of heat, but they also have a tangy quality almost like a sweet pickle relish. The relish was tasty, but it didn’t meld with the other ingredients in a synergistic way. The dish wasn’t difficult to put together, and all the individual ingredients were great, even if they didn’t really play off each other.
Pork Chop Alla Pizzaiola With Roasted Summer Squash. 35-45 minutes, easy, 451 calories per serving.
This dish was similarly odd as a composite. The tomato sauce, though central to the identity of the dish, didn’t seem particularly necessary. The pork was very tender, the squash was delightful, and the olive topping was bright, briny, and flavorful – they just didn’t seem to fit together as a coherent dish. The multiple components meant this dish took awhile to put together, and I would probably have preferred it be re-branded as a Greek dish, skipping the sauce.
This set of meals had tasty components, but they didn’t always come together as a single, harmonious dish. Our favorite was the platter of poppers, a truly indulgent and fun meal!
Have you tried Home Chef? What did you think of your meals?