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 – they 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 bold-facing 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 – items with long lead times are started first, chopping is done all at once when it makes sense to do so, but they’ll also have you do some of the latter stage prep while other food is cooking, shortening the overall prep time. The recipe cards have pre-punched holes so you can store them in a recipe binder, but we usually prefer to just wait till the recipe is offered again instead of attempting to gather the ingredients to recreate it ourselves.
All of the provided ingredients for our six recipes this week. 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.
Truffled Demi-Glace Sirloin Steak With Lyonnaise Potatoes And Peas. 30-40 minutes, easy, 533 calories per serving.
This dish was a peculiar spin on a classic steak and potatoes with rich sauce dish. The steak and potatoes were excellent, but other elements were a little odd. The truffle sauce broke easily, and it was quite powerful. The recipe cautioned about using too much of the truffle oil, but it is too powerful to use a base for a gravy. The frozen peas didn’t take well to the baking, mostly just drying out a bit. Luckily, these two items were really window-dressing for the fabulous steak and potatoes, so the dish wasn’t lost. Very easy and straightforward preparation.
Cheesy Bacon Breakfast Muffins With Roasted Red Pepper And Broccoli. 40-50 minutes, easy, 726 calories per serving.
This recipe was a perfect, protein-packed breakfast! One or two of these little frittata are enough for a decent serving, and the recipe actually made eight instead of the expected six! Each had lots of bacon, cheddar, broccoli, and roasted peppers.
They were easy to make, though cooking the bacon prior to assembly lengthens the prep time. Liquid egg is included for use in this recipe – it is very convenient, and it cooks exceptionally well and the taste is indistinguishable from a regular egg.
Chicken Chili Verde With Lime Crema And Fresh Cilantro. 35-45 minutes, easy, 591 calories per serving.
This was perhaps the dish we had most looked forward to in this set of recipes, but it fell short for us. The crema uses fresh lime juice, but the chili verde sauce was already too acidic before adding any lime. Though tasty as a sauce, it was too powerful to eat as a soup, and the mild beans didn’t suffice to calm it. The chicken was also a bit springy – we’ve noticed this quality in the chicken before, but it usually is fine when shredded. This dish was easy to make, but it didn’t live up to its potential.
Classic French Green Peppercorn Pork Tenderloin With Mashed Carrots And Roasted Asparagus. 25-35 minutes, intermediate, 625 calories per serving.
This dish surprised me a bit – it was actually my favorite of the bunch! Pork roast can be a little boring, and the relatively simple vegetable sides didn’t sound exciting, but this dish turned out amazing. The pork was wonderfully tender, and the sauce was delightful. With a great combo of shallot and green peppercorns lending tons of flavor, the creamy texture was a delicious. The veggies were very tasty, too, though the carrots were hard to mash. They had a very pleasant texture for eating, but they were solid enough to thwart my fork-mashing.
Spaghetti And Ricotta Meatballs With Pecorino Garlic Bread. 40-50 minutes, easy, 858 calories per serving.
This is always one of our favorites. Ricotta adds a nice richness to the meatballs, and it turns them from simple meatloaf in ball form to something more closely resembling the classic, mixed meat (veal or pork plus beef) meatball. Having the marinara already made really simplifies the prep, leaving us only having to spice it up a bit. I goofed in the photo – the pasta and meatballs show one serving, but I left both servings of garlic bread in the picture. It’s still a good sized meal, though I think they have cut the volume of dried pasta provided with the recipe to a more reasonable amount – plenty of food for two, but it no longer stretched to feed all five of us!
This was a decent week for Home Chef, but not the best, with the chili verde dish disappointing a bit. The numerous offerings available each week make it easy to avoid anything that doesn’t appeal to you and find something you love, so we’ll just just something else if its offered again. There selections offer lots of classic steakhouse and homestyle dishes, and each week seems to offer a couple new innovations to try. We like being able to get a breakfast for a big weekend family breakfast, and their fruit is great, too. If you are thinking of trying out a meal kit subscription, Home Chef is a great place to start.
Have you tried Home Chef? What did you think of your meals?