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Blue Apron and Home Chef are two meal delivery kit providers. Although they offer similar services, their plans vary — for example, Blue Apron offer a special meal plan for people with diabetes.
This article compares Blue Apron and Home Chef to find out which meal kit offers the best variety, flexibility, and dietary options.
Blue Apron and Home Chef work in similar ways. With their services, a person can:
- order a weekly box of fresh, pre-portioned ingredients
- choose from a selection of meal options to match their dietary requirements or preferences
- choose serving sizes and how many meals they wish to receive each week
- receive step-by-step recipe cards for each meal
- place a hold on subscriptions when they are away from home, or cancel at any time
Please note that no one at Medical News Today, including the writer, has tried these meal kits. All information is research-based.
Blue Apron and Home Chef follow a similar structure, with certain menus tailored to specific plans. However, there are differences in the meals they offer.
Blue Apron currently offer the following plans:
- 2-Serving signature: Choose from two, three, or four recipes per week, with 2 servings per meal.
- 4-Serving signature: Choose from two, three, or four meals from a choice of seven recipes, with 4 servings per meal.
- Vegetarian: Choose from two or three meat-free recipes each week, with 2 servings per meal.
- Meal prep: Provides 8 meal servings meal.
Within these plans, people can select specific dietary menu options or foods they wish to avoid. Each week offers a different selection of meal options.
Examples of Blue Apron meals include:
- cheesy beef and pork sausage meatball bake with gnocchi and spinach
- vadouvan tofu and coconut ginger curry with bok choy, carrots, and rice
- creamy pesto shrimp and pasta with tomatoes and zucchini
Home Chef currently offer the following plans:
- Meal kits: For meals ready in roughly 30 minutes.
- 15-minute meal kits: For easy and quick meals.
- Oven ready: With pre-prepared ingredients in an oven-safe tin, ready to cook.
- Grill-ready: Add ingredients to a grill-safe bag and grill.
- Culinary collection: These comprise premium meals.
- Entrée salads: No-cook salads, with an option for added extras.
People can customize these plans, select specific dietary options, and choose foods to avoid.
Each week offers a different selection of meal options.
Examples of Home Chef meals include:
- salmon and lemon florentine cream with roasted mushrooms and rosemary parmesan potatoes
- coconut jasmine rice bowl with fried plantains and corn pico de gallo
- teriyaki steak noodles with broccoli
Home Chef also offer a more prepared meal plan option called Fresh & Easy. These meals require little to no preparation and are suitable for people with a busy schedule.
People may find that meal delivery kits support home cooking with a busy lifestyle, reducing the time needed for grocery shopping and meal planning.
If a person eats out frequently and wishes to switch to home-cooked meals, meal kits may help. Some home delivery kits also work out less expensive and contain fewer calories than restaurant or takeout foods.
According to a 2013 study, people underestimate the number of calories they consume at fast-food chains by as much as 175–259 calories. Increasing awareness of calorie content by labeling meals clearly may help people make more informed decisions when choosing meals.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) also recommend people plan home-cooked meals in advance to help them make healthful choices.
If people cannot afford home kits and find it difficult to find the time to cook every day, they may wish to consider batch cooking their healthful meals in advance.
After cooking, a person can store these meals in the freezer. When they feel hungry, they can quickly reheat a healthful and convenient home-cooked meal.
To help people manage diabetes, the American Diabetes Association (ADA) recommend balancing portions of non-starchy vegetables, carbohydrates, and protein for each meal, while reducing sodium, added sugars, and unhealthy fats.
Blue Apron offer a selection of meals suitable for people with diabetes. The company have partnered with the ADA to create recipes with non-starchy vegetables and limited amounts of:
- total carbohydrates
- saturated fat
- added sugar
Blue Apron also advise people with diabetes to avoid adding salt to their recipes.
Home Chef offer no meals specifically for people with diabetes, although a person can select meals with fewer calories and carbohydrates, while checking the nutritional information for each recipe.
Blue Apron offer three vegetarian meal options each week, with 2 servings per meal. They currently offer no vegan options, but people can choose recipes that exclude dairy products, honey, or eggs.
Home Chef offer a vegetarian menu, and although some may also be vegan, the company currently does not guarantee weekly vegan options. Each weekly menu contains three vegetarian meal options.
The facilities of Blue Apron and Home Chef are not certified allergen-free, so if people are living with a severe allergy, it may be best to avoid using either service due to possible cross-contamination.
If a person wishes to buy a certified gluten-free meal kit, they can always try Green Chef.
Both Home Chef and Blue Apron offer sustainable packaging options.
Home Chef claim their packaging is recyclable or reusable. A person can easily recycle the box, divider, recipe cards, and fruit wrap paper. They may need to check their local recycling to see if they accept the meal and ingredient bags.
Similarly, Blue Apron also state most of their packaging is recyclable. However, some items, such as their bubble insulation, may have to be thrown away. The company claim they are working towards more sustainable alternatives.
With both meal kits, people can opt to skip weeks and cancel their subscription at any time, as long as they do so before their next order.
Home Chef offer serving sizes for two, four, or six people, with 2–6 meals per week.
Blue Apron offer serving sizes for two or four people with 2–4 meals per week, depending on the plan.
Blue Apron and Home Chef operate in a similar way with their subscription and set-up. However, their menu options vary, while Blue Apron offer meal options for people living with diabetes.
Both brands also strive to use sustainable packaging, so most of their packaging and instructions are recyclable.
When choosing between the two brands, a person may wish to research the menu, plans, and pricing structure thoroughly to see which is most suitable for them.