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 large, 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).
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.
DEAL: Get $30 of free food when you sign up – just use this link to get the deal!
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.
They’ve just upgraded the bags used to bundle the meals! The new bags are, of course, recyclable, but they also have a handy resealable zip closure. I find this really useful, as the old bags would not always survive initial opening intact.
One side is clear, and there are holes for airflow.
All of the provided ingredients for our three recipes this week. Each recipe was packed separately, and neatly, in its own bag, except for the meat (which is shipped in a separate section of the box, surrounded by ice packs). Unless otherwise noted, each of the pictures of prepared food below shows one of two servings made by each recipe.
Indian Samosa Burrito With Crispy Jalapeños And Mango Salsa. 35-45 minutes, intermediate, 743 calories per serving.
This dish was very delicious and easy to eat, too. The potatoes for the filling were panfried, so they had a texture and flavor level much like griddle-cooked hash-browned potatoes – much tastier than one would expect from a potato burrito. A gentle Indian seasoning and some breaded and fried jalapeño pieces gave the dish a lively flavor profile, and the mango salsa was a perfect side to dip into. The prep was pretty involved, as the filling, salsa, and quick-pickled onions needed separate prep, but it wasn’t difficult. A great fusion dish!
Grilled Pork Tenderloin With Fresh Kiwi Salsa With Corn And Pepita Salad. 25-35 minutes, easy, 587 calories per serving.
This dish combined a large salad (both recipe portions are shown together) with tasty slabs of tender pork as the protein. The dressing was very simple, with corn and pepitas adding texture. A kiwi-pineapple salsa was also piled on, too. I liked the components of the dish, but the lime was just too intense – both zest and juice went into the dressing and the salsa, making the combined dish really acidic. I think omitting the zest would have yielded a more balanced flavor. There were a few components to make for this ensemble, but each was very simple.
Pork Egg Roll In A Bowl With Crispy Wontons And Peanuts. 20-30 minutes, easy, 616 calories per serving.
So tasty! The sweet and tangy sauce and all the great toppings were as good as anticipated, but I was pleasantly surprised to find that the cabbage made a very satisfying base for the other ingredients. The combo was very flavorful, and the sauce (Dijon and Hawaiian sweet and sour together) made a perfect egg roll dip.
There was plenty of crunch in here, too! The combo of cabbage, wonton strips, and peanuts made the dish a textural delight. This dish was also very easy to put together.
Sunday Supper “Pot Roast” Steak With Mashed Potatoes, Roasted Carrots, And Peas. 40-50 minutes, easy, 814 calories per serving.
Unlike your typical pot roast, this dish started with a tender cut of meat, so the result was slow-cooked tenderness in little time. It was pan-seared, then finished by cooking it in the sauce – one of the best-cooked steaks I’ve had in a while. The sauce was delicious and intense, and the sides were very flavorful, too – luscious mashed potatoes and roasted veggies. The prep was simple, and the dish felt both hearty and elegant.
Chile Rellenos Rice Casserole With Poblano Peppers And Cheddar Cheese. 40-50 minutes, easy, 650 calories per serving.
This dish was perfect! The combo of real, roasted poblanos and battered jalapeños gave it a spot-on chile rellenos flavor. The oven cooking gave the rice a great, paella crust on the bottom, and a pile of bright, fresh salsa complemented the roasty flavors. A bit of chopping and roasting lengthened the prep, but the result was fabulous.
Lots of great dishes this week. It’s nice to see that they continue to come up with innovative recipes while maintaining great flavor and generous portions. 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?