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Home Chef is a popular meal delivery service that offers plenty of nutritious food options. Some people find a meal delivery service useful because it saves time planning and shopping. Others may use the service as a cheaper alternative to eating out.

In this article, we describe how Home Chef works and the menu options available. We also discuss the possible health benefits of using the Home Chef delivery service.

Please note that the writer of this article has not tried these products. All information presented is purely research-based and correct at the time of publication.

All quotes are provided by SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD, a writer for Healthline, who received a free kit from Home Chef.

Medical News Today follows a strict product selection and vetting process. Learn more here.

Home Chef is a meal kit subscription service that provides ingredients and recipes for people to cook at home.

People select recipes from a weekly menu to suit their preferences and dietary requirements. They can customize the recipes to swap ingredients or make other changes, such as not including meat.

The company delivers the ingredients in measured portions along with the recipe. The user then cooks the recipe at home.

Home Chef offers meal kits that are ready in 15 or 30 minutes. The company also provides oven-ready and no-cook meals that a person does not need to prepare.

Customers can choose the number of meals they want each week and select from different serving sizes. They can also buy Home Chef meals at some Kroger-owned grocery stores.

To order, people will need to log in or create an account on the Home Chef website. Once a person has logged in or created an account, they can choose how many meals they want and how many people they are ordering for.

Then, individuals will have to enter their delivery address and choose their meals from the Home Chef menu.

Home Chef currently delivers to most of the United States.

Signing up

When signing up, a person chooses their plan: Home Chef, which offers a variety of recipes and ingredients, and Fresh and Easy, which offer low or no prep meals.

Then, people can choose optional dietary preferences, such as low carb or low calories meals. People can also choose which foods they would like to avoid in their meals, such as:

  • pork
  • beef
  • poultry
  • fish
  • shellfish
  • mushroom
  • tree nuts
  • peanuts
  • sesame

Once a person enters their email address and zip code, they can start building their box, choosing what recipes they would like and how many they would like per week.

Shipping

Home Chef delivers from Monday through Friday. A person’s delivery day depends on where they live.

The company does not require a signature when delivering food. Home Chef packages the food in insulated liners and ice packs. People can reuse or recycle most of the packaging.

Canceling or skipping an order

To skip an order, a person must log in to their account. There, they can edit their meals and skip a week.

An individual can also pause their subscription by navigating to their account settings. If someone pauses their Home Chef subscription, they can log in and reactivate it anytime.

People must edit their order, including canceling or skipping, by 12 p.m. Central Time on the Friday before their next delivery.

“The ingredients arrive packaged by recipe in plastic bags, which is really convenient when you’re getting ready to cook dinner.” — SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD.

Home Chef ships its products in a biodegradable, insulated box with water-soluble cool-gel packages that keep the food cool and fresh. The cool-gel packets are nontoxic, and people can rinse and reuse them.

The company states the box and divider contain partially recycled materials and are suitable for curbside recycling. All meals bag, apart from plastic bags, are also recyclable.

Home Chef uses recyclable PET liners inside the boxes. However, people must throw the recycled denim liners away or reuse the material.

“I received 2 meals from Home Chef, along with 2 bagged Caesar salad kits and some mozzarella and prosciutto snacks. The ingredients arrived in good condition, and the kits were easy to prepare and tasted good. I was impressed with how many vegetables were included in the meals and the generous serving sizes.” — SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD.

Options are available for people following a low calorie, or carb-conscious diet. Vegan options are currently not available every week.

Although Home Chef does not provide meals for specific diets, such as the keto or paleo diet, some meals may be suitable for those plans.

While customers can tailor meals to suit their dietary requirements, Home Chef facilities are not certified allergen-free, and meals can come into contact with allergens during shipping.

A weekly menu offers some of the following options:

Quick and simple:

Low calorie:

Carb-conscious:

  • sweet chili pork lettuce wrap
  • chicken taco stuffed peppers
  • pretzel crusted pork chop

Vegetarian:

  • crispy teriyaki tofu tacos
  • sun-dried tomato pesto spaghetti with garlic bread
  • fig and goat cheese flatbread

No cooking required:

Extras

People also have the option of choosing extras, such as snacks, sandwiches, and sources of protein. Some choices include:

  • boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • strawberry cheesecake
  • garlic bread

“[…] They have a lot of quick meals that only require a few minutes of prep time.” — SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD.

Home Chef meals can take anywhere from 5 to 60 minutes to cook, depending on the meal a person chooses.

The company states that its Fresh and Easy meals take as little as 5 minutes to cook in a microwave or oven. However, more involved recipes can take up to 1 hour to prepare and cook from scratch.

Each meal comes with instructions and an estimated cooking time.

“The meals were both really tasty and came together very easily, which helpful and straightforward recipe cards. I liked that the meals were simple, with sauces that added lots of flavor. They also offer a lot of add on salads and sides to stretch the meals further.” — SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD.

Home Chef states that most of its meals take 30 minutes or less to cook. Each meal comes with a recipe card.

Trustpilot reviews of the taste of these meals are mixed. Some people reported that the food is tasty and filling and that the ingredients are fresh.

However, other customers stated that the food contained too much sodium and that the meals were still frozen after they followed the recipe instructions. Some people say they experienced delivery delays and that the company delivered rotten or spoiled food.

“[…]I thought this was a really great meal kit. There were plenty of family friendly options, they all contained a lot of veggies, and the recipes were really easy and tasty. It’s also moderately priced compared to other meal kits.” — SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD.

Home Chef states that seasoned chefs create meals weekly. People can swap alternative ingredients in some recipes, such as antibiotic-free chicken.

The company states that some of its meals may contain substances such as colorants, sulfites, and artificial sweeteners.

Some of the meals contain high sodium, and while the company offers organic ingredients, this is not available for all meals.

Home Chef has accreditation with the Better Business Bureau, with the review platform giving the company an A+ grade. Customers, however, gave the company an average of 1.26 out of 5 stars.

On Trustpilot, customers give Home Chef an average of 3.4 out of 5 stars.

Positive reviews state that the service is convenient and the meals are tasty. Others say the customer service was helpful and prompt when people had questions or concerns.

Negative reviews report the food was tasteless and dry, with incorrect ingredients in several boxes. Others state that they did not receive adequate substitutions for missing items, and people were experiencing digestive concerns after eating the food.

Home Chef’s cost depends on how many meals and which options a person chooses.

The company states that meals start at $8.99 per serving. However, this depends on which meals are available.

Home Chef requires a weekly minimum order of $49.95. The company charges $8.99 for shipping.

Sales tax

The following states require a sales tax on Home Chef:

  • Alabama
  • Arkansas
  • Colorado
  • Georgia
  • Idaho
  • Illinois
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Missouri
  • Mississippi
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Utah
  • Virginia

Home Chef will display the tax amount on a separate line on a person’s order summary.

Home Chef may be suitable for those who:

  • have limited time to prepare meals
  • want customizable meals
  • want flexibility to skip or cancel orders at any time

Home Chef is also suitable for people who live alone and those who have multiple people in a household. People can choose to purchase up to six recipes per week for up to six individuals. They can also customize the meals further if they have dietary requirements or preferences.

“I thought HomeChef needed a few more kid-friendly options.” — SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD.

While Home Chef may be suitable for people who have limited time and require flexibility while ordering meals, it may not be most suitable for everyone.

Home Chef does not offer as many meals per week as some other companies. People who require more than six meals may prefer another service.

Additionally, Home Chef does not cater to as many dietary requirements as some companies do. It does not have specific options for vegans, those with gluten intolerances or allergies, or those who require specific diets such as Mediterranean or keto diets.

Home Chef meals include plenty of nutritious, balanced options that could benefit anyone looking to make beneficial changes to their diet.

The authors of a 2021 review concluded that low carbohydrate diets could induce rapid induction of weight loss for a person. A person could choose low carbohydrate meals from Home Chef to help manage their weight and support their heart health.

Home Chef also offers calorie-conscious meals. According to the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, reducing calorie intake by 500–1,000 calories per day can help someone lose 1–2 pounds per week.

People who have diabetes need to plan their diets carefully, and Home Chef could help with this. People with diabetes may find that keeping track of the carbohydrates in their diet helps them balance their activity levels and medication.

The flexibility of Home Chef and the different options available mean that this service could be useful in helping people with diabetes plan their meals.

People can choose from several meal delivery services online. Some services cater to specific diets.

For example, if someone is looking for a meal kit that caters exclusively to a plant-based diet, they could choose Purple Carrot or Daily Harvest.

Alternatively, people can prepare ingredients in advance or batch cook to save time. Storing prepared vegetables in the refrigerator and freezing meals in portions can enable someone to have a healthy meal ready in minutes.

To help them plan healthy meals, a person can use MyPlate. This resource offers people dietary guidelines, recipes, and tips for eating on a budget. It also provides information on all the food groups a person needs to include in their diet for optimal health.

Learn more about what a healthy diet looks like.

Many resources are available to help people improve their cooking skills or to inspire them with recipe ideas.

The following table compares Home Chef to some other companies that offer similar meals.

Price per servingAmount of meals per weekDeliverySkip or cancel
Home Cheffrom $8.992–6cost varies depending on plan
arrives between Monday and Friday
can skip or cancel by noon CST the Friday before delivery week
Cook Unityfrom $10.494–12$9.99
can choose the delivery day
can skip or cancel before the cut-off time on a person’s account
Daily Harvestfrom $5.999–24
no price information
delivery date depends on a person’s location
can skip or cancel the Sunday before the next delivery
BistroMDfrom $8.2410–20
$19.95
delivers within 6 days of ordering
can skip or cancel by Wednesday 5 p.m. ET the week before the next delivery

Here we answer some common questions about this service.

Is Home Chef worth the price?

People who prefer to receive oven-ready meals or ingredients and recipe cards for easier prep and cooking may find Home Chef worth the price. This includes people who have limited time to source and cook fresh food each day.

However, customer reviews are mixed on the quality of the service. People may wish to read the reviews before deciding to use this company.

Is Home Chef cheaper than eating out?

Home Chef claims that its meal kits can save a person up to $20 per entree, saving people money in comparison with shopping at a grocery store or eating out.

Are Home Chef meals already prepared?

Some of Home Chef’s meals are oven or microwave ready. The company states that it takes as little as 5 minutes to heat the meal.

Where does Home Chef food come from?

Home Chef is a Chicago-based company that distributes from Chicago, Atlanta, and San Bernardino.

The company states that the Food Safety and Inspection Service inspects all of its poultry.

Home Chef may be a suitable option for people who want to save time planning and shopping for meals. The service provides options that people can tailor to their requirements and preferences. Individuals with diabetes or those who simply wish to eat a more balanced diet may find the service useful in helping them plan nutritious meals.

However, the range of vegan and vegetarian options is minimal, and Home Chef does not cater to keto or paleo diets. Additionally, those with food allergies may not be able to use this service because of possible cross-contamination.