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. Their meal options include include many great Asian, Indian, African, and South American inspired dishes, along with more traditional American home-style and steakhouse fare.
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 three recipes this week, plus our fruit basket. 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.
Spring Fruit Basket With Kiwis, Gala Apples, Bosc Pear, And Orange. 195 calories per serving. This is pretty representative of the fruit selection available each week. Typically, you get a couple apples, pears, and some citrus or more exotic fruits, too. It’s always very firm and fresh — I always feel like they pick out better pieces of fruit than I do pawing through everything at the store.
Sirloin Steak With White Wine Demi-Glace And Butter-Roasted Garlic-Herb Potatoes. 30-40 minutes, easy, 644 calories per serving.
This dish was very tasty. The centerpiece was a great quality sirloin with a demi-glace. The veggies melange was nice, too. Herbed peas added a great green note and some freshness to the perfectly browned potatoes. The single pan preparation of the potatoes made this dish very simple to put together (two pans total to prepare everything).
Turkey Chili With Kidney Beans, Sour Cream, And Cheddar Cheese. 25-35 minutes, easy, 938 calories per serving.
Chili is always a winner. This version is light and bright, with lots of tomato and turkey and kidney beans as the protein component. The prep was very simple, too, with chopping limited to a single onion, and a spice blend doing all the remaining work
Simple as it was, the chili even felt a little dressed up with Cheddar and sour cream on top (plus a sprinkle of reserved onion).
Strawberry Malt French Toast Casserole With Texas Toast And Sour Cream Icing. 25-35 minutes, easy, 547 calories per serving.
We made this fun casserole as a Mother’s Day breakfast treat. It was very easy to make (and relatively quick), as we didn’t even need to do a traditional French toast preparation – we just toasted the bread and layered it with the egg mixture and strawberry filling before baking for twenty minutes. Some simple sour cream frosting (unusual sub for cream cheese, but very good in this application, given the sweetness of the dish) created a cool visual effect once it drew in some of the surrounding powdered sugar. This is a pic of the whole casserole.
The dish made four huge servings – we actually split each quarter in half again, as it was very filling and fed our entire family.
Home Chef is the heartiest of the meal kit subscriptions we regularly review, both in portion size and composition. Veggies make it into the recipes, but they usually are not the basis of the dish – the focus is on the meat and carbs. With easy preparation and approachable flavors, it is a great subscription for fans of homestyle meals.
Have you tried Home Chef? What did you think of your meals?