Hello Fresh is a weekly meal kit subscription box with complete recipes and high-quality ingredients to make your own fresh, healthy, gourmet meals at home.
They offer three different subscription options — Classic (choose 3, 4, or 5 meals for 2 people or 3 meals for 4 people from 6 weekly options/$9.99 per serving for the basic plan, $11.50 per meal for unlimited meal choice), Vegetarian (receive 3 HF-selected meals for 2 or 4 people/$9.99 per serving ), and Family (receive 3 HF-selected meals for 2 kids and 2 adults/$8.74 per serving). You can always pause the subscription to skip a week if you need to – this is super handy for vacations!
This is a review of the Hello Fresh Classic Box!
When you open the box, the first thing that you will see is a bright envelope welcoming you to the best deals. Inside are a couple promotions for other subscriptions. The color is a good visual representation of the freshness inside the box — let’s see what’s in store this week!
The ingredients for each meal are packed in a separate bag within a larger, insulated box. The rigid inserts both insulate and protect the food from any damage to the external box. Several ice packs keep everything cold, and the food bags are separated from the icepacks by a divider. Meat is packed at the bottom, sandwiched amongst the ice.
DEAL: Save $40 off your first two boxes – no coupon code required, just use this link for the deal!
There are two third-party promotions included in this box — one from Keurig, and one from Purina’s Just Right Pet Food.
The flip side shows codes for getting your 20 and 50% discounts. I like that they send the offers in a separate envelope (I’m not a fan of third-party literature in boxes), so you can easily set it aside to look at later. The offers are usually pretty good, so they are very useful if you need the products advertised.
Another surprise that you will find in this box is this $45 off on your first subscription of Hello Fresh Wine. This subscription is run by Hello Fresh, and the wines are selected to pair well with the meal selections for the week. This cool aspect removes the biggest hurdle in enjoying wine with a meal — picking the right one for your menu. This is definitely worth checking out.
There is also a card included that warns you of possible delays in shipping of orders around the holiday.
You can always skip for the week, but they give you the option of donating your meal kit to a local food bank.
Each Hello Fresh recipe has its own lovely card with a picture of the plated dish, prep time and total time to the table, calorie count, and a visual inventory of the included ingredients.
The instructions are easy to follow, regardless of your skill level. Usually, you start by washing and prepping all the ingredients before cooking. Within the detailed, step-by-step instructions, ingredients are set in bold type for ease of recognition. They even use a red font to point out spicy ingredients, so you can adjust accordingly. I really like that they call out when they’ve sent more of an ingredient that is used in the recipe — when they don’t mention it (which is most of the time), the items are pre-portioned and can be tossed right in without measuring. Info panes in the sidebar list anything you’ll need from home (pans, cooking oil, etc), as well as the quantity of each provided ingredient needed for 2 and 4 person versions of the recipe. Every recipe comes with a wine pairing suggestion — they used to suggest specific wines that were available through Hello Fresh Wines, but they now list a wine category (such as “easy,” or “bold”) corresponding to Hello Fresh Wines designations. This gives more flexibility by broadening matches within HF Wines, but it makes it less useful for pairing your own wines.
They now have “Dinner 2 Lunch” recipes available, a new premium selection from Hello Fresh. It isn’t an either/or proposition — they actually give you enough to make two separate 2-serving meals from the single recipe card. This one is a recipe for Chorizo and Beef Chili which you can prepare for dinner, with leftovers being reserved and repurposed as a Chili Burrito for your lunch.
Nutrition and prep info for these recipes is split into dinner and lunch portions, and the card is structured a little differently.
The Dinner 2 Lunch offerings have a separate lunch prep box on the back. This one uses some ingredients set aside during dinner prep, as well as a couple things unique to the lunch portion of the recipe.
The box also comes with complete nutrition information for each recipe, including a list of all ingredients, their country of origin, and a “best used by” timeframe.
The nutrition info is provided for all meals you could have selected for that week.
Everything inside our Hello Fresh Classic box!
Chicken Sausage Orzotto with Mozzarella, Zucchini, and Tomato – 35 minutes, Level 1, 890 calories per serving
Orzotto is an Italian dish, which is similar to risotto, but it uses a rice-shaped pasta in place of actual rice. Ingredients included zucchini, tomato sauce, scallions, chorizo, orzotto, mozzarella, Italian seasoning, chicken stock concentrate, and panko breadcrumbs.
Sprinkled with breadcrumbs and cheese on top, it has a nice texture and mouthfeel. Another thing I liked about this dish is that it can be cooked in one pan, tossed into the oven for a quick finishing broil, which means there’s less clean up involved and there’s no draining or straining.
Once you have transferred your orzotto into a serving platter or plate, top it with chopped scallions! This pic shows a fair-sized scoop, but there was plenty in the recipe to totally stuff two people.
It was a satisfying meal, and I loved the paella-style preparation. This is one of the easiest pasta dishes I’ve cooked!
Chorizo and Beef Chili Dinner with a Chili Burrito – 35 minutes, 550 calories per serving
Speaking of big and bold flavors, this chorizo and chili dinner meal was jampacked too. See those sliced jalapeños? They mean business! Overall, it’s a hearty and beefy dish perfect for dinner. Other ingredients include kidney beans, jasmine rice, beef stock concentrate, and enchilada spice blend. The rice was a great addition, as it provided some canvas for spreading all of that flavor.
Aside from the dinner meal, you also get fixings to make a burrito for lunch. You reuse the prepared chili and toppings, plus some fresh tomato. It stayed fresh, and I think it became even more flavorful when it was set overnight because the spices really came together. This Tex-Mex combo is surely going to be on the list of our favorites!
Chipotle-Spiced Steak with Lime Crema and Bell Pepper Hash – 35 minutes, Level 1, 610 calories per serving
Smoky and slightly spicy, the chipotle powder was the star in this Mexican-style meal. The ranch-cut steak and potatoes made it incredibly filling and of course, the added flavors of lime, red onion, bell pepper, orange grape tomatoes, southwest spice blend, and sour cream were all great too. I love the combination of crisped potatoes and sautéed veggies — it calls for a glass of wine! The prep for this meal involved a bit of chopping, but it was very straight-forward.
Hello Fresh lets us have fresh, flavorful meals without the hassle, and it helps us save time, because we don’t have to go out to buy the ingredients or to even think of what food to cook. They made sure that the ingredients come in good condition by keeping them at the right temperature during shipping. The instruction cards are really helpful too. No fuss, no mess, only good food. The orzotto provided something a little different for our pasta night, while the chorizo and beef chili made two great meals. Of course, the Chipotle Steak hash was a feast in itself. I think my favorite was the chili, because it was great both on rice and as a burrito, and I love leftovers that make a superb sandwich (or sandwich substitute)!
Have you tried Hello Fresh?