HelloFresh Review

Flavor-packed meals with easy-to-follow recipes

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4.4

HelloFresh

HelloFresh burger
a cheeseburger and french fries on a green plate.

Verywell Fit / Abbey Littlejohn

HelloFresh is a great choice for folks who want to get going in the kitchen, but need the experience simplified. If you want meals that pack in flavor and take a bit of effort in cooking but keep it low fuss everywhere else, you’ll enjoy this service.

Pros
  • Easy-to-follow recipes

  • Full nutrition and allergen information provided

  • Great flavor and quality

  • Dietitian-backed food labeling

  • Budget-friendly

Cons
  • No customization

  • Limited diet accommodation

  • Shipping costs extra

  • Somewhat repetitive menu

  • Excess packaging

4.4

HelloFresh

HelloFresh burger
a cheeseburger and french fries on a green plate.

Verywell Fit / Abbey Littlejohn

HelloFresh positions itself as the meal delivery service that gets you back in the kitchen, period. Founded in Germany, this service expanded to the United States in 2012 and quickly established itself as a favorite. HelloFresh now also owns other U.S.-based brands EveryPlate, Green Chef, and Factor, which serve more budget-conscious, sustainability-focused, and keto customers, respectively.

With such a significant presence in the market but no major emphasis on health, we wanted to put HelloFresh to the test to see how this service does from a health professional’s perspective.

Pricing: Middle of the Road

HelloFresh offers a middle ground in terms of price point—while not the most expensive, it is also not the most budget-friendly option. As with most services, the more meals you buy per week, the lower the cost per serving. Every order has flat-rate shipping of $9.99. Here’s how pricing breaks down for two- and four-serving meals, respectively: 

  • 2 recipes per week: $11.99 or $9.49
  • 3 recipes per week: $9.99 or $8.49
  • 4 recipes per week: $9.49 or $7.99
  • 5 recipes per week: $8.99 or $7.99
  • 6 recipes per week: $8.49 or $7.99

Nutrition and allergen breakdowns are available at the point of menu selection so that customers can make the choices they need to.

How It Works: Pick Your Preference

After creating an account with HelloFresh, customers simply choose a preference that works for them, along with the quantity of food they’re looking for. These are both adjustable after the initial selection, but to start off customers will choose from preferences according to certain ingredients and nutrition needs in these categories: meat & veggies, veggie, family-friendly, fit & wholesome, quick & easy, and pescatarian. Then users select from two and four servings per recipe, and two, three, four, five, and six recipes per week. 

Preferences selected in the startup process will auto-generate some meal selections, but any meals from that week’s menu can ultimately be chosen regardless of the initial plan. Recipe selection is straightforward as there are no customizations or upgrades, no substitutions or dietary accommodations, and a simple, fairly American palate of menu options. There are a few add-ons though, and all nutrition and allergen breakdowns are available at the point of menu selection so that customers can make the choices they need to.

Once meals are selected, customers simply choose a delivery date and include any instructions for drop-off. On the appointed date, all the ingredients needed to prepare the menu selected will arrive, ready to be whipped up into dinner.

Meal Selection: Simple and Straightforward

Each week, and up to several weeks in advance, customers can view menus and select their preferred meals for delivery. HelloFresh keeps things simple with no customizations or upgrades, so what you see is what you get. Menus will automatically generate some suggested items based on the plan selected, but customers can choose from the full menu no matter what. 

A typical weekly menu provides about 35 options to choose from across all categories, including those with animal proteins, seafood options, and vegetarian dishes. There are also dishes specified as quick & easy, and premium selections that can be selected for a significantly higher price point (double in some cases). 

After meals are chosen, there are a few add-ons available with six proteins, two desserts, a breakfast item, several grains and pasta, and some fun seasonal items like pumpkin cinnamon rolls, pecan pie bites, and a spiced oat latte. 

HelloFresh ingredients on a marble countertop

Verywell Fit / Abbey Littlejohn

What We Made 

We selected an assortment of dishes across ingredients, flavor profiles, and preparation methods to get a real taste of what HelloFresh has to offer its customers. We also made sure to include a recipe from its “hall of fame” to see what really sells, as well as a calorie smart choice.

  • Red hot cheddar turkey burgers with blue cheese sauce, crispy fried onions & seasoned potato wedges
  • Meatballs with bulgogi sauce, roasted carrots, ginger rice & sriracha cream sauce
  • Creamy lemon spinach ricotta ravioli with roasted bell pepper & parmesan
  • Salmon in creamy dijon chive sauce, roasted potato wedges & lemony zucchini
  • One-pot spicy coconut curry stir fry with noodles, cilantro & peanuts

Packaging: Bordering on Excessive

HelloFresh deliveries arrive packed in a cardboard box with an insulated liner, two cardboard inserts, and several large ice packs. While this works well to keep food cold and the ice packs can be drained and recycled at a specialized facility, it amounted to more trash for us. 

Within the shipping box, the ingredients are grouped into paper bags to help separate out what you need for each recipe and the raw, individual ingredients are mostly packaged in plastic. 

While this is really useful and simplifies ingredient management in the refrigerator, it does amount to a lot of packaging. We ended up with nearly 50 individual pieces from just one delivery, which felt a bit extreme—especially if customers are receiving this weekly. 

Hellofresh brown paper bags in delivery box

Verywell Fit / Abbey Littlejohn

Customer Support: Thorough FAQ Section

While the only support materials that come with the delivery are the recipes themselves, there is plenty of information available on the HelloFresh website. The FAQ section is extremely thorough, and there are a variety of ways to contact customer service if you need to. We reached out with some basic questions related to nutrition and got nearly everything answered via the chat bot feature. We loved the immediacy of this function as it really is preferable to waiting for a response via email or sitting on hold over the phone. However, it is dependent on an organized and in-depth FAQ page, and luckily HelloFresh has that. If you can’t get what you need from the website, there is an option to call in as well. 

Nutrition: Limited Focus 

HelloFresh makes no claims to be the most health-focused meal kit on the market, and that sets the tone for its approach to dietary accommodation. Among the meal plans, there are a few options for vegetarian, pescatarian, or calorie smart options, and while selecting meals you'll see a “carb conscious” label, but the diets end there.

While we found the absence of overly restrictive, trendy diets refreshing, we do think some ability to customize meals for issues like food allergies would be useful. HelloFresh does, however, include full nutritional analysis and allergen information, prepared by dietitians, at the time of menu selection. This drills down to which ingredients contain which allergens, so that ultimately a customer with a food allergy or intolerance could navigate the service, but will need to do a bit more work to get there.

The Cooking Process: Organized and Approachable

While not every recipe we made with HelloFresh could be termed “quick and easy,” that’s not necessarily the aim. HelloFresh wants to get people cooking again, with less stress. The recipes do ask that you multi-task and prepare multiple meal components simultaneously, but you’re set up for success with organized, pre-portioned ingredients and thorough recipes.

HelloFresh does suggest that you come to the table with a few skills, but we felt that newer cooks could handle the simpler recipes and build their way up to the complicated ones. We also liked that this kit didn’t make too many demands of our pantry ingredients, as we experienced with some other kits, but be sure to have some of the essentials like salt, pepper, oil, and sugar on hand. You can also anticipate needing some basic kitchen equipment, and maybe one or two not-so-basic items like a zester. For anything we didn’t have, we improvised and the food turned out fine. 

Potatoes and onions on a wooden cutting board

Verywell Fit / Abbey Littlejohn

Flavor, Freshness, and Quality: Big Flavor, but Repeated

Flavor-wise, our HelloFresh meals were really quite delicious and needed no extra help to get there. Perhaps on one occasion, we didn’t quite taste the exact flavor profile we expected, but overall, the seasonings were bold yet balanced, producing tasty and satisfying meals. The meat and produce supplied all appeared fresh, and although not all of the vegetables were the most seasonal choices, they had great flavor and texture. 

In terms of variety, HelloFresh is definitely one to repeat ingredients and use formulaic recipes in multiple flavor profiles. While we’re not necessarily upset about seeing the same meatball dish flavored in different ways, we do think it’s noticeable. However, for the price point, it’s also very understandable that HelloFresh structures its menus this way. 

As far as sourcing of ingredients goes, you won’t find much information on the menus themselves, but you can read up on it in the FAQ pages. HelloFresh is not necessarily seeking to be the go-to for folks who want organic everything but the service does use some organic produce and complies with Monterey Bay Seafood Watch criteria for its seafood. Unfortunately, you wouldn’t know that unless you head to the FAQ page, so check that out if you're interested. 

While we found the absence of overly restrictive, trendy diets refreshing, we do think some ability to customize meals for issues like food allergies would be useful.

HelloFresh Is Good For

HelloFresh makes the most sense for folks who are just looking to get in the kitchen with a no-frills approach to tasty food. We think the service works best for those looking to feed at least two people at least three times per week, as long as they don't have specific dietary restrictions. 

The Competition: HelloFresh vs. Green Chef

While not exactly competitors because HelloFresh owns Green Chef, these services both offer a weekly subscription option for those who plan to spend some time in the kitchen. Both kits provide ingredients rather than fully cooked meals, but they differ on price point and ingredient type. While HelloFresh starts at $7.99 per serving, Green Chef is more expensive with a starting price of $11.99 per serving. This is likely due to the ingredient variation, which is perhaps the biggest differentiator between the two services. 

HelloFresh serves some organic produce and does abide by certain guidelines for sustainability and animal welfare, but Green Chef goes above and beyond to prioritize this level of sourcing. The company is a certified organic company, and while not everything can be organic, all produce and eggs are certified unless labeled otherwise. 

Final Verdict

HelloFresh gets dinner on the table with minimal stress and attention to your budget. We may not love it for folks with specific dietary needs, but with solid flavors that please a variety of palates, we think it makes a great weeknight dinner staple. 

Methodology

We ordered, cooked, and evaluated meals from 27 meal delivery services to get a sense of each one’s offerings, nutrition profiles, prices, and, of course, flavors. We contacted the customer service teams at each of the companies, collected data, and wrote detailed reviews about each one.

Our writers are all registered dietitians and relied on their research and its resulting data to inform their reviews.

Specs

  • Product Name HelloFresh
  • Lowest Price per Serving $7.49
  • Number of Diets Served 2
  • Number of Recipes 25
  • Delivery Area 48 states
  • Serving Sizes Available 2, 4
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