Home Chef Review

Home-cooked, flavorful meals

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3.5

Home Chef

a cheeseburger and french fries on a plate

Verywell Fit / Maxwell Cozzi

Home Chef is a great choice for folks looking to get satisfying, home-cooked meals on the table without breaking the bank. If you like tasty meals, do not have any food allergies, and appreciate energy-rich food, Home Chef is a good option.

Pros
  • Hearty, comfort food options

  • Accessible price point

  • Good selection of quick prep kits

  • Customizable protein choices

Cons
  • Doesn’t accommodate special diets

  • High in sodium

  • Lots of single-use packaging

  • Very little info about sourcing standards

3.5

Home Chef

a cheeseburger and french fries on a plate

Verywell Fit / Maxwell Cozzi

Home Chef was started in 2013 by Pat Vihtelic, whose vision was to help people save time while enjoying home-cooked meals. Just five years later, the company was acquired in a $700 million acquisition by Kroger, which expanded Home Chef’s reach into grocery stores. A budget-friendly meal kit service offering pre-measured ingredients with easy-to-follow recipes, Home Chef offers accessible and approachable meal kits that include fresh and ready meals, oven-ready meals, and 15-minute meal kits, plus extras like breakfast and dessert.

With a wide range of available options for meal delivery services, it’s important to choose one that suits your unique preferences and needs, taking factors such as cost, taste, delivery frequency, customization options, and portion sizes into consideration. We subscribed to Home Chef for one week to get an inside look and share our experiences to help you make an informed decision for your household.

Home Chef makes an effort to accommodate folks with certain eating preferences by offering vegetarian, calorie-conscious, and carb-conscious options.

Pricing: Fits a Variety of Budgets

Despite selecting meal preferences and choosing the number of meals per week during account setup, you can add as many or as few meals as you like when selecting your weekly meals, as long as you meet the minimum price per order of $49.95. Shipping charges are assessed at checkout.

Standard meal kits start at $8.99 per serving and go up based on the number of meals ordered, the number of servings, and customizations such as swapping out proteins. Home Chef does not provide specific prices without logging into your account.

How It Works: Easy to Follow

Once you are ready to order, select your menu preferences by choosing between Home Chef or Home Chef Fresh and Easy. Then choose optional dietary preferences; and continue by selecting any foods you wish to avoid—a list that includes pork, beef, poultry, fish, shellfish, mushrooms, tree nuts, and peanuts. Next, you will build your box by indicating the number of people you are cooking for (either two, four, or six) and then the number of recipes you want to receive (between two and six). On the next page, fill in your delivery information and select your delivery date. Finally, enter payment information and select your meals.

Meal offerings are mostly American fare as well as other familiar cuisine types. If opting for the Fresh and Easy plan, you’ll find that there are significantly fewer meal options—about five per week compared to about 20 per week with the Home Chef plan. Home Chef delivers to 98% of the U.S.

Home Chef makes an effort to accommodate folks with certain eating preferences by offering vegetarian, calorie-conscious, and carb-conscious options.

home chef ingredients arranged on a counter

Verywell Fit / Maxwell Cozzi

Choosing Meals: Simple and User-Friendly

There are about 20 meal options for each week. These can then be filtered down by protein type, spice level, cook time, dislikes (which include allergens), as well as the options below:

  • Meal type
  • Meal kit: Classic selections with easy-to-follow recipes. About 12 options per cycle.
  • Culinary Collection: Gourmet options with high-quality ingredients at a higher price per serving. About three options per cycle.
  • 15-minute meal kit: Pre-chopped ingredients with meals ready in 15 minutes or less. Three options per cycle. 
  • Family meal: Simplified for one pan and serves four, six, eight, and 12. One option per cycle.
  • Fast and fresh: Fresh ingredients, no prep, no-cook. One option per cycle.
  • Oven ready: Pre-chopped ingredients with a tin pan. Three options per cycle.
  • Dietary Preferences
  • Vegetarian: Two options
  • Calorie Conscious: Nine options
  • Carb Conscious: Five options

Home Chef also offers a selection of extras per week, including two breakfast options, two desserts, one bread, two salads, and a variety of proteins. You can view, edit, and skip up to five weeks in advance. New menus go up each Friday at 12 p.m. CT.

What We Made 

We ordered and reviewed five meals, with two servings each, from the Home Chef plan. They included one 15-minute meal kit, two culinary collection kits, one oven-ready kit, and one classic meal kit:

  • Creamy Italian sausage fettuccine 
  • Chicken scallopini and lemon herb butter
  • Cowboy poblano cheddar burger
  • Chicken and chipotle crema with cheesy peppers and corn
  • Crispy onion-crusted chicken and jalapeno cornbread cakes

Packaging: Good Presentation, Lots of Packaging

Our order arrived in one large box with a divider, denim and PET liners for insulation, and gel ice packs. Home Chef says it’s committed to reducing packaging waste by using shipping materials that are recyclable or reusable. Proteins were individually wrapped and bagged together separately from other meal components. Each recipe was nicely packaged together in a dainty resealable, see-through plastic bag, which made the experience of unboxing everything more pleasant. Within the recipe bags, were individually wrapped spices, produce, and branded single-use items. This made for a lot of packaging; our delivery included 53 pieces.

home chef meals in a cardboard delivery box

Verywell Fit / Maxwell Cozzi

Customer Support: A Mixed Bag

In addition to recipe components, our delivery came with full-page recipe cards with a listing of ingredients, cooking instructions, additional items needed, minimum internal temperature guidelines, level of difficulty, and prep/cook time. The cards are recyclable but are meant to be stored in a binder that comes with your first delivery. Recipes can also be viewed on the website and mobile app. 

Customer support is available via the contact form and phone. We called on a Saturday morning and were promptly assisted by an agent who was able to inform us that healthcare professionals are not available to assist with meal planning. When we reached out using the contact form to inquire about adding a delivery day and getting specifics on ingredient sourcing, the agent didn’t offer a response regarding food sourcing in their reply to us.

Nutrition: Far From Restrictive

We couldn’t find any mention of weight loss, macros, or diet culture-laced messaging throughout the website. About half of the weekly offerings are either carb-conscious or calorie-conscious, but we found that while the numbers were lower compared to other meals, they still weren’t highly restrictive.

All meals tested contained a vegetable, protein, and carbohydrate (except for the carb-conscious selection) and can easily fit into a balanced eating pattern if a variety of foods are available and accessible during other mealtimes. Protein options include shrimp, fish, impossible meat, and the basics like beef and chicken. Of the five meals, three were relatively rich in calories and all five were on the higher end for sodium when compared against the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommendation of less than 2300mg per day for adults. Our meal containing the least amount of sodium still contributed over half of the recommended amount with only one serving. Meals can be filtered for dislikes that include allergens like shellfish, tree nuts, soy, wheat, and milk, but Home Chef discloses that its facility is not allergy-certified. Note that we could not find full nutrition facts labels for recipes.

The Cooking Process: Easy to Follow

Overall, the cooking process was enjoyable and easy enough. The large bright recipe cards made each recipe simple to follow. The instructions were clear while the pictures served as helpful guides. We did find that cook times were slightly off for two of our proteins. The recipe for the cowboy poblano burger, for example, called for 2-3 minutes per side for one 5-ounce burger, which would’ve only worked if we enjoyed very rare burgers. We also found that the chicken in our crispy onion-crusted chicken and jalapeno cornbread cakes needed more time in the oven than the recipe called for.

The recipe cards indicated a skill level of either easy, intermediate, or expert and we found these to be accurate. The expert-level meal included pounding the chicken while the easy level consisted of putting ingredients in a pan and baking. Basic cookware is necessary, including a baking sheet, pot, non-stick pan, and strainer. Every recipe called for salt, pepper, olive oil, or cooking spray.

home chef french fries on a baking sheet

Flavor, Freshness, and Quality: Met the Mark

Our three-person tasting panel thoroughly enjoyed each meal. As a group that is fond of good home cooking and appreciates feeling satisfied after a meal, we were not disappointed. The majority of our selections featured rich and savory flavors. The crispy onion-crusted chicken and jalapeno cornbread cakes were an interesting mix of both sweet and savory. Our favorite meal, the chicken scallopini and lemon herb butter included a good mix of bold and tangy flavors and the chicken had an excellent crisp, melt-in-your-mouth texture. We followed the recipe recommendations for adding seasoning, but they probably would have been just as good without the additional salt and pepper. There were no issues with the freshness or quality of any of the ingredients.

Home Chef says its ingredients are often sourced locally, but not much else is offered regarding ingredient sourcing. Organic chicken is available as an option but it does not guarantee that all items are organic. Customers can select "customize it" to see information about protein options. We were able to see that the salmon filets for the following week’s menu were wild-caught and from Norway.

Home Chef Is Good For

Home Chef caters to a wide range of households that enjoy eating a good home-cooked meal together. It’s a good fit for people looking to enjoy approachable, flavorful meals without being bombarded with diet, macro, and calorie information at every turn. For those who do want to be aware of that information to honor their unique health needs, Home Chef can still work because the details are there in small print. Plus, portions can be adjusted once the meal is prepared, giving you the autonomy to choose how much to eat rather than being restricted to the tiny portions that many meal delivery companies dish out. 

Home Chef is also a good fit for those who are short on time and prefer a more reasonable price point. It is not a good fit for people who prefer low-calorie, low-carbohydrate, and organic produce and meats. 

All meals tested contained a vegetable, protein, and carbohydrate (except for the carb-conscious selection) and can easily fit into a balanced eating pattern.

The Competition: Home Chef vs. Sunbasket

Home Chef and Sunbasket are similar in terms of delivery model and user interface, but that’s where it ends. Home Chef offers calorie-rich, comfort food with few plant-based options while Sunbasket offers lighter meals in a variety of plant- and meat-based options. Sunbasket can accommodate multiple eating patterns including Mediterranean, paleo, diabetes-friendly, and pescatarian, while Home Chef covers just a few. Per serving, meals are more reasonably priced with Home Chef. Finally, Sunbasket puts sustainability at the forefront, with both food sourcing and packaging. 

Final Verdict

Home Chef is a great option for beginner to experienced cooks looking to provide easy, satisfying, and affordable home-cooked meals for their family. However, if your eating pattern is dictated solely by the nutrition facts label or if your beliefs about health are strictly tied to caloric ranges and macros, you may need to look elsewhere. 

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 Home Chef
  • Lowest Price per Serving $6.99
  • Number of Diets Served 3
  • Number of Recipes 20
  • Delivery Area 49 states
  • Serving Sizes Available 2, 4, 6
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2 Sources
Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. CNBC. Kroger Acquiring Home Chef as it Expands into Meal Delivery Space.

  2. "USDA. Dietary Guidelines for Americans."