Are Meal Delivery Services Worth It? My Home Chef Review

    Home Chef is on a mission to simplify dinner. Whether you’re carb-conscious, vegetarian or a certified carnivore, this meal kit delivery service has something for everyone. It stands out for being fully customizable and is one of the most wallet-friendly platforms on the market. 

    • Soy free
    • Vegetarian
    • Low Carb
    • Low Calorie
    • Healthy Eating
    Written By: Victoria Mongiardo Food blogger

    Home Chef is a Chicago-based meal kit delivery service that was founded back in 2013. It offers shipments coast to coast and is one of the fastest-growing platforms in the industry. Home Chef regularly comes out top in customer service surveys and has now delivered more than 200 million meals to hungry Americans since the beginning. 

    The company has an ethos of providing fresh, healthy meals while minimizing its impact on the environment, and all packaging is recyclable.

    What is Home Chef?

    Home Chef gives customers total control over their meal kits. You can pick and choose the meal you want from the menu each week. If the options are a little overwhelming, you can select one of the platform’s categories and a plan will be made up for you. 

    The weekly deliveries can feed between two and six people, and you can opt for up to six servings per person, per week. Home Chef recently added a range of dietitian-approved meals for those looking to lose weight and get healthy too.

    Home Chef Pros & Cons

    • Meal options are very flexible
    • Good for larger families and can feed up to six people
    • All ingredients are fresh
    • Those with allergies are well catered for
    • You can choose your protein source
    • The meals are very affordable
    • Cooking instructions are easy to follow
    • The meals taste great
    • Some meals have a high sodium content
    • Fresh and organic ingredients aren’t available on all meals
    • Vegetarian options can be limited
    • No options for single people

    Who is Home Chef Good For?

    • People looking for customization options – You have total control over your meal options, including choosing to double up the protein counts on every dish. Plus, you can exclude certain ingredients like nuts and shellfish if you’re allergic, or simply don’t like the taste

    • Those that want variety – The menu rotates every week and there are around 20 – 30 different options to choose from at any one time. This means you’ll never be stuck with the same boring meals every week, and if you have any favorites you can hold onto the recipe cards and make the dish again yourself

    • Large families – It’s nice to see that up to six people are catered for here, making it a great choice for you and the kids

    • People on a budget – Most meals start from $6.99 each, which isn’t that much more than a lot of family’s weekly groceries budget

    • Time-savers – Most meals here can be ready in around 30 minutes, but if you’re really pressed for time, Home Chef has a respectable range of dishes that can be ready in 10 minutes or less

    Who Isn’t Home Chef Good For?

    • Those looking for 100% organic – Whilst Home Chef makes every effort to source organic food and provide fresh produce, the ever-changing nature of the menu means this won’t always be the case. Plus, some meals can come with high sodium counts, so keep an eye on the nutritional information

    • Singles – You have to order for a minimum of two people at Home Chef, meaning it’s a little difficult to plan for those that live alone

    • Those on specialist diets – While there are a few vegetarian and low-calorie options, there’s not a lot of variety for those on specialist diets such as keto or vegan

    How Home Chef Works?

    Home Chef has a mix of meals that you can either prepare from scratch using fresh ingredients or simply reheat in the microwave. Whichever option you choose, preparation instructions are easy-to-follow and deliveries will be made weekly. 

    Pick your meals

    Customize your plate

    Cook and Enjoy

    Website & App

    Home Chef has a clear, three-step process on its website that will walk you through how everything works, alongside a number of different meal categories to help you choose what you’d like. 

    The full menu for that week is available to browse, and each comes with an estimated prep time, difficulty level, spice and allergen information, and a description from the chef that prepared the meal, which is a nice touch. 

    The Home Chef app is a trimmed-down version of its web-based cousin but is still very intuitive to use. You can manage orders, cancel a delivery and even speak to customer service from your mobile device. The app is available for both Android and iOS.


    Creating an account / Sign-up

    It only takes a few minutes to sign up, but if you already have a grocery account with the Kroger retail company, you can sign up instantly as Home Chef is now part of the Kroger group. 


    Home Chef Meal Plans and Meal Selection Options

    Whichever meals you choose, you’ll need to decide how many you’d like delivered each week. Dishes can be ordered for 2, 4 or 6 people and you can opt to have between 2-6 dishes per person, per week.  Home Chef offers fully customizable packages so there are no specific boxes to choose from. However, recipes can be broken down into the following categories to help you decide:

    • Meal kits – These are the most common type of meal on offer and usually take around 30 minutes to prepare.

    • 15-minute meal kits – Like the regular meal kits, only these can be prepared in half the time

    • Oven ready – The meals have been pre-portioned and arrive in an oven-safe container. You don’t need to do any prep – simply pop them in the oven and you’re on your way to a good meal

    • Grill-ready – These ingredients can be placed into a grill-safe bag and cooked without any preparation

    • Culinary collection – The dishes represent the premium end of what Home Chef has to offer and are a little more expensive than regular meals

    • Entree salads – Make sure you get your daily dose of greens from this selection of fresh, crisp and delicious salads

    • Calorie-conscious – If you’re watching your weight, you can select your menu items from these scaled-down meals

    • Carb-conscious – This one is for gym-goers looking to limit their carbs and bulk up their protein intake

    • Vegetarian – Exactly what it says on the tin. However, Home Chef only has a limited selection of veggie options, usually between 3-5 per week


    Home Chef Meal Types

    Home Chef goes all out to provide a huge variety of dishes from across the globe each week. Current favorites include:

    • Tuscan farro ribollita

    • Chicken taco stuffed peppers

    • Sweet chili steak lettuce wraps

    • Salmon with miso butter

    • Candied bacon and smoked Gouda burger

    • Oaxacan cheese-stuffed fajita

    Meat lovers can even order additional protein packs and surf & turf options to boost those gym gains. The basic booster pack nets you six chicken breasts and 30 oz of ground beef.

    Choosing Home Chef Recipes

    There are usually between 20 – 30 recipes to choose from each week, and it’s entirely up to you which ones you’d like. You can opt to pay a little extra for some of the premium dishes, and there are options for those counting the calories too. 

    How Much Does Home Chef Cost?

    Each meal is priced individually, so how much you’ll be charged will depend on which meals you choose and how many people you’re cooking for. Shipping is free on all orders above $45, and shipping costs for cheaper orders will vary by state and location.

    If you use the average cost of $6.99 per meal you can expect the following charges:

    Servings and Recipes/Week
    Total Cost
    2 people, 2 recipes per week
    $10/serving ($40 total + $10 shipping = $50/week)
    2 people, 10 recipes per week
    $6.99/serving ($139.8 total + $10 shipping = $149.8/week)
    2 people, 2 recipes per week
    $6.99/serving ($27.96 total + $10 shipping = $37.96/week)
    2 people, 2 recipes per week
    $6.99/serving ($27.96 total + $10 shipping = $37.96/week)
    2 people, 2 recipes per week
    $6.99/serving ($27.96 total + $10 shipping = $37.96/week)
    2 people, 2 recipes per week
    $6.99/serving ($27.96 total + $10 shipping = $37.96/week)
    2 people, 2 recipes per week
    $6.99/serving ($27.96 total + $10 shipping = $37.96/week)
    2 people, 2 recipes per week
    $6.99/serving ($27.96 total + $10 shipping = $37.96/week)
    2 people, 2 recipes per week
    $6.99/serving ($27.96 total + $10 shipping = $37.96/week)
    2 people, 2 recipes per week
    $6.99/serving ($27.96 total + $10 shipping = $37.96/week)

    Diet Friendliness

    Home Chef doesn’t offer any meals for specific diets like keto or vegan, but you can find some calorie counter options if you’re looking to lose weight. However, you’ll need to manage your intake yourself and there are no accompanying diet plans.

    You can filter meals on certain allergens, like nuts and shellfish, but if you have severe allergies there isn’t enough information in the ingredients list to be fully confident it’s completely safe. As the menu is always changing there could be trace amounts of certain ingredients that remain.

    My Experience Using Home Chef

    Ordering Process

    The home page for the website for Home Chef is clean and clear, with simple instructions. Once you click ‘Pick Your Meals’, a questionnaire pops up to understand your food preferences and possible dietary restrictions. 

    The options included the standard ‘home chef’ package and the ‘fresh and easy’ package, which includes easy to make meals. You can also choose ‘calorie conscious’ or ‘carb conscious’ meals, and what proteins you prefer. 

    Home Chef Dietary Preferences

    Home Chef Box Settings

    Home Chef Meal Delivery Ordering Lobby

    Home Chef does not have any specific pantry boxes for keto, paleo, or vegan diets. When it comes to servings and recipes, you can choose 2,4, or 6 portions for 2,3,4,5, or 6 recipes a week. Home Chef is best for couples and larger families. With the option of ordering 6 recipes a week, the maximum number of recipes would be nearly one per day of the week. This makes quick, pre-planned meals for the family easy. Each week has around 13 recipes to choose from and for the most part, the menu is made up of classic American dishes. The two recipes I chose came out to $49.95 with shipping and tax, which is somewhat expensive for homemade meals. It may still be worth it for the ease of not having to grocery shop and plan meals.


    I ordered my meal delivery box on Wednesday, September 1st, and the earliest delivery possible was Monday, September 6th. Even though Monday was Labor Day, the meal surprisingly arrived on time. I even received a few texts about the delivery before it arrived. It had an ETA of about 10:05am, and it arrived at the exact time it was estimated to arrive.


    This box was well put together, and all of the ingredients were extremely well organized. It arrived without any damages, and the recipes were at the very top of the box so they would not get soggy. The ingredients were all packaged together by recipe making it easy to gather the ingredients. The proteins of each meal were frozen and packaged separately from the other ingredients. It was labeled and obvious which meat belonged to which recipe.

    Home Chef Delivery Home Chef Packaging Home Chef Meal Kit - Packed Ingredients

    Food Quality

    Each ingredient seemed to be high quality. I do not have any complaints since everything was packaged nicely and the produce looked very fresh. I also liked that they send recognizable brands such as Kraft mayonnaise and Shamrock butter. I read on their website that while most of their ingredients are not organic, they will occasionally have organic ingredients depending on the recipe. The lack of organic foods does not bother me, but Home Chef may not be for you if you only eat organic.


    Both of the dishes I ordered were delicious. The rice was buttery and had a robust dill flavor, and the fish was soft, flakey, and incredible. The panko-crusted fish and the provolone chicken sandwich are now two new recipes that I would have never thought to cook at home.


    The produce was incredibly fresh. In fact, the vegetables did not have any marks, bruises, or damages from shipping. The chicken breast and tilapia filets were also well cleaned and vacuum-sealed for maximum freshness.

    Support Materials

    I particularly liked the recipe cards from Home Chef and the small white binder that came with the meal box. It keeps all of the recipes together in one place and is very organized and easy to find. The recipe cards could also be found online.

    The Cooking Process

    Provolone Chicken Sandwich

    The provolone chicken sandwich was considered an intermediate-level recipe, and it was not too difficult at all.

    Home Chef Provolone Chicken Sandwich - Supporting Materials Home Chef Provolone Chicken Sandwich - Packed Ingredients Home Chef Provolone Chicken Sandwich Meal

    Panko-Crusted Tilapia

    The panko-crusted tilapia was considered an expert-level recipe. It had many steps to follow and more ingredients to worry about than the provolone chicken sandwich recipe. To make the tilapia recipe, I had to use my grater to zest the lemon, but people who do not typically cook would most likely not have a grater. It would be wise to thoroughly check each recipe on the website before picking one to ensure you have all of the cooking supplies necessary for each dish.

    Home Chef Panko-Crusted Tilapia Ingredients Home Chef Panko-Crusted Tilapia Meal Prepping Home Chef Panko-Crusted Tilapia Meal


    Customers can choose to add smoothies to their orders at a cost of $4.95 per serving. Plus, Home Chef provides dozens of its smoothie recipes completely free of charge if you’d like to try making them yourself. 

    Home Chef Customer Service

    Home Chef was awarded the number one spot in the meal kit delivery service category in a 2020 US grocery benchmark study. Customers are able to raise an email ticket on the website, in the app, or by calling the helpful service agents at the contact center.

    In addition, you’ll find dozens of useful FAQs on the website alongside a light-hearted collection of blogs with cooking tips and extra recipes.

    Home Chef’s Cancellation Policy

    You can cancel your subscription at any time but you’ll need to do it in advance of your next order being processed. The deadline for cancellations is 12 PM Central time each Friday. 

    Home Chef Alternatives

    Meal Kit
    Price / Serving
    Minimum order
    Meal options
    5 Servings
    8 Servings
    4 Servings
    Daily Harvest
    1 Servings


    Home Chef represents a great balance between convenience, nutrition and affordability. This service might be perfect for large families that struggle to come up with new meal ideas, or people that consider grocery shopping to be a real nightmare. 

    However, Home Chef  isn’t for everyone. If you’re looking for a specialist diet, organic meal options, or an extensive range of veggie dishes, you might need to look elsewhere. You can always give Home Chef a try for a week to see if its recipes live up to your expectation.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

    When Does Home Chef Deliver Your Meals?

    Home Chef delivers Monday through Friday. Simply choose your preferred days when you sign up.

    What’s the Average Calorie Count in a Home Chef Meal?

    Most meals will typically be between 700-1000 calories, but calorie-conscious meals will typically be below 625.

    Can You Skip Deliveries?

    Yes, simply log into your account and choose how many weeks you’d like to skip.

    How Are Deliveries Kept Fresh?

    Home Chef ships its ingredients chilled and they’ll arrive in well-insulated containers. Inside you’ll find cool gel packs that will keep your food chilled for around 4-6 hours after delivery. All packaging is 100% recyclable and/or biodegradable.

    Are Home Chef Meals Available in Grocery Stores?

    Yes, Kroger Grocery Stores acquired Home Chef in 2018 and you can find individual Home Chef kits in Kroger stores right across the US. It’s a great way to try out a few recipes before you commit to a regular subscription.