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Hello Fresh Subscription Box Review + Coupon – April 2016

This post may contain referral/affiliate links. Read the full disclosure.


Hello Fresh is a weekly meal delivery subscription that sends healthy recipes and the pre-measured ingredients you need to make them at home. 

Check out all of our reviews of Meal Delivery Services to see every meal kit subscription box option!


It’s easy to skip deliveries using the Hello Fresh website, and you can skip as many weeks as you like.

My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)


The Subscription Box: Hello Fresh

The Cost: The Classic Food Box (for omnivores) starts at $9.90 per person per meal. The Veggie Box (for herbivores) starts at $9.08 per person per meal. The Family Box (for families) costs $8.75 per person per meal.

COUPON: Save $40 off your first box with code HTCST2!

The Products: Healthy recipes and pre-portioned fresh ingredients.

Ships to: The contiguous US.

Check out all our Hello Fresh reviews and the Food Subscription Box Directory for more meal boxes!

Keep Track of your subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!


The ingredients for each recipe come packed in a white box.


Hello Fresh includes a booklet that spotlights seasonal ingredients and includes your recipes for the week.


I also received an envelope filled with “curated offers.”

Citrusy Shrimp Panzanella

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Calories per Serving: 599


Each two-sided recipe includes an ingredient list, nutritional information, and step-by-step instructions.


Since this dish utilized both shellfish and fresh produce, Hello Fresh recommended making it first.


I began by prepping my ingredients: cleaning and chopping lettuce and basil, halving grape tomatoes, zesting a lemon, chopping garlic, cutting a baguette into cubes, and cubing mozzarella.


Next, I tossed the bread cubes with olive oil, salt, and pepper and baked them in the oven for about 8 minutes to crisp them up.

While the bread was in the oven, I marinated shrimp in a mix of lemon zest, garlic, chili powder, olive oil, and salt and pepper. I let it sit for a minute and then sautéed it in a pan with olive oil.

When the shrimp and bread were ready, I tossed them in a large salad bowl with the mozzarella, lettuce, and tomatoes and finished the salad with a drizzle of olive oil and a squeeze of lemon. I divided the salad between two plates and topped each one with sliced basil.HelloFresh-April-2016-PanzanellaPlated

This salad knocked my socks off! It was fresh (yet filling) and the combination of ingredients was simple and delicious. My husband is already begging me to recreate this dish!

Spicy Pork & Kale Soup

Cooking Time: 35 minutes

Calories per Serving: 824


The following day, I made Spicy Pork & Kale Soup.


I began by washing all of the produce, mincing garlic and ginger, slicing a red onion and a Thai chili, and chopping kale.

I sautéed red onion in a pan and, when it softened, added garlic, ginger, and Thai chili. Next, I added ground pork to the pot and broke it up with the back of a wooden spoon while it browned.


To make the soup base, I added four cups of water and some stock concentrate to the pot and stirred everything together until the stock concentrate dissolved. I then added the kale and soy sauce to the pot.


While the kale wilted and the soup cooked, I boiled the ramen noodles for about 3 minutes. When they were soft, I added them to the soup pot and divided everything between two bowls.


I’ll be honest- of all the dishes I received this week from Hello Fresh, I was the least excited about this one. For some reason, the description of the dish just didn’t tickle my fancy. I’m so thrilled to admit that my expectations were WAY off. This dish was fantastic! The savory and spicy flavors were delicious, and I loved the hearty addition of kale.

Jamie’s Asparagus & Mushroom Risotto

Cooking Time: 45 minutes

Calories per Serving: 441


I mentioned this in my last review, but I think it’s so exciting that Hello Fresh has teamed up with Jamie Oliver! Every week, one of the featured meals will be a Jamie Oliver recipe. So far, I’ve been unable to resist picking them, so you can probably expect to see me review a lot of his dishes in the coming months!!


I collected the ingredients for the dish and prepared the veggies.


To begin, I soaked dried porcini mushrooms in hot water and heated vegetable broth over low heat with some leftover parsley stems (for flavor).

As an aside, I want to mention how thrilled I was to see that this recipe relies on the traditional method for cooking risotto (warming broth and adding it ladle by ladle into the rice). Adding broth slowly helps to develop the creamy texture that risotto is known for, and I’ve tried risotto recipes from other boxes (*cough* Plated *cough*) that call for adding all of the broth at once. It definitely saves time to add all of the liquid at once, but I wasn’t pleased with the results. Anyway, rant over. I just wanted to give Hello Fresh (and Jamie Oliver) credit where credit was due!


I cooked onion and celery in a large pot over medium heat for about 5 minutes and then added the rehydrated porcini mushrooms. Next, I added the rice, allowed it to toast for about a minute, and then added the first ladle of stock.

While stirring the risotto and waiting for the liquid to absorb, I sautéed mushrooms and garlic in a separate pan.


I continued adding stock, ladle by ladle (waiting for each one to fully absorb before adding more), until I’d used about 2/3. At this point, I stirred in the asparagus and cooked mushroom mixture.

I continued adding stock until the rice was al dente and the risotto had a “nice oozy consistency.” At this point, I removed the risotto from the heat and stirred in parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lemon juice. After allowing it to sit covered for two minutes, I plated the risotto and topped it with parmesan and fresh parsley.


This dish was another hit! Both the consistency and flavor of this dish were excellent. The lemon added a lovely touch of brightness- perfect for a spring dish!

Verdict: This box from Hello Fresh was a big giant win. All three dishes were fantastic, and I’m already getting requests from my husband to re-make some of them! Frankly, I liked all of them so much that it’s hard to pick a favorite. I do still wish that Hello Fresh would increase the variety of the meals they offer. With only 5 meals to choose from each week, I sometimes struggle to find 3 dishes that really excite me. That said, if all of the available dishes are as delicious as the ones I sampled this week, I doubt I’d mind!

Do you subscribe to Hello Fresh?

Written by Lindsey Morse

Lindsey Morse

Lindsey is a professional baker by day and a subscription box junkie by night. She first subscribed to Birchbox in 2013 and her addiction grew when she signed up for Graze, PopSugar, and Knoshy. Her favorite part about being a subscription box addict is discovering new products- especially gourmet goodies, beauty products, and kitchen tools!
All views in this review are the opinion of the author. My Subscription Addiction will never accept payment in exchange for a review, but will accept a box at no cost to provide honest opinions on the box. This post may contain affiliate/referral links. Read the complete My Subscription Addiction disclosure.


  1. My CS was unacceptable, its convenient how conversations between the 1st rep to the supervisor change. 1st off my package was sent to the wrong apartment because no one bother to add the name of the person it was to be sent to on the box. Which i did include in the comment box. So my box sat at the reception area for 2 days ( being delivered to the right address it would have immediately been refrigerated)! The ice pack soaked the box and the meat was warm! 1st i deactivated my paypal @ 11:05pm, had to reset my pass word to get on hello freshes web page @ 11:14pm, followed the directions on thier video to deactivate( unsubscript) my acct, which i did ,Then sent them a email explaining my package issue @ 11:39pm. Inbetween me reseting my paaword @ 11:14p, getting on thier site and sending the email @11:39 i deactived ( unsubscripted) my acct which was well in the cut off time of 11:59pm. So i call the next day for my refund, the 1st rep says he doesn’t see were i unsubscripted so he’ll put it in now. The next rep asked that i send her a cancellation confirmation. I look through my emails the only cancellation i see is for the one the rep put in from hello fresh. So i send my 3 emails mentioned above with the explanation of the time frame 11:05, 11: 14 and 11:39pm If i cancelled with paypal, rest my password to gain acess to your site AND send you a email, why wouldnt i cancel my subscription knowing thats the only way to get a refund?? I was told paypal cancellation is not proof..ok! Called to speak to a supervior explained my situation telling her I UNSUBSCRIPTED( deactivate) on your website and it actually said in the box “reactivate”. I wanted to cancel futher deliveries. NOW the supervisor says i UNSUBSCRIPTED from the website and no where in my email did i say i wanted to cancel my “SUBSCRIPTION ” for futher deliveries. BUT I ASKED FOR A REFUND and in 3 conversations that should be recorded im repeatly asking for a refund saying i no longer want delivers. Why am i calling? If i want a refund that has to mean i dont want the order. I was given several reasons why i wouldnt get a refund. I didn’t cancel in time ( my time frame from 2 emails proves i was on your site), i unsubscripted from receiving futher emails not deliveries ( which is not a option when canceling/ unsubscripting from futher orders) then the final answer, i did not ask to cancel in my 1st email ( but i actually wrote my “CANCELLATION” was the 1st thing i did when i logged on to your site)!! Now why my cancellation did not go thought who knows…but to give me 3 different reasons why i can’t get a refund explains to me my explanation make sense. But don’t want to admitted there may have been a problem with thier system. No computer or person is perfect.

  2. all 3 of those dishes look fantastic. I’m wanting to cook at home more & eat better so I really want to try one of these services. I wish I had it here now.

  3. Here’s my Hello Fresh customer service experience. A scheduled box had just been shipped to me when I found out I had to make a sudden trip out of town for a family medical emergency. I contacted Hello Fresh CS to see if they could stop the box since I didn’t expect to be home for weeks and didn’t want a box of fresh ingredients sitting on my porch all that time. The rep I spoke to was extremely sympathetic. She said the box had already gone out so she couldn’t stop it but she offered to put a FULL credit (about $100) on my account. In the end, I was able to get a neighbor to pick up the box. When I got home a month, I was able to use the credit to get a new box. Not only was the customer service great, they went WAY above and beyond the call of duty!

  4. Please be aware before you sub to Hello Fresh! that the CS is terrible. Please check the forum for my terrible experience. Based on the comments over there, the bad experiences outweigh the good. The company will not take responsibility for its mispacked boxes and refuses to do refunds or credits large enough to compensate for wasted meals. And the CS I have dealt with are just snarky and rude. I had to file a paypal dispute in order to get my money back for ruined meals.

    Hello Fresh is not worth the risk.

    Plated, Blue Apron & Home Chef have lovely CS!

    • I’m sorry you had a bad CS experience, but mine was the opposite. I once received a box where the heavy cream had broke open and poured out all over the box. Fortunately it didn’t ruin anything and just made a huge mess and inconvenience because I had to run out and get some. I emailed them and right away they issued me a $20 credit on my next box.

      For $70 a box for 3 meals, I expect to have some ingredients already peeled, diced and ready to go. Maybe someday I’ll go back if I get a job with normal hours, so I can plan shipping and cooking within 24 hours of receiving.

      • That is nice, Fay, but you had a small problem. My meat, recipes, and boxes did not match. I did not get what I ordered. I was offered $39 to make up for $129 of ruined meals and they never applied the credit. If you check around on other sites and in the forum here, there have been dozens and dozens of similar complaints. Apparently, they never offer more than a few dollars in credits no matter how severe the problem. If you have received the wrong proteins, you still would have been offered $20. And the lack of compensation and acceptance of responsibility has increased in the last year.

        • Yes, you definitely should have been offered complete replacements. I’d have been pretty pissed and cancelled then Yelped about it.

          • Fay, I have heard from other subbers that the CS used to be great but the last year it went down hill. I think they are too big for their britches! 😉

  5. I tried Hello Fresh for several months. The quality of the produce and meats was exceptional and almost everything I made was delicious. The problem for me was the lengthy prep time required for every dish (and subsequent lengthy clean-up time). I found that every meal involved at least two hours of my time in the kitchen—not counting eating! So unfortunately, this concept just isn’t feasible for me. By the way, I’ve also used my local Dream Dinners franchise. In about two hours, I can make 36 ready-to-heat meals that require virtually no prep time. For me, a meal prep service just makes more sense.

  6. I absolutely love Helli Fresh. As you noted, some dishes that may not sound enticing end up being a favorite due to unique/unexpected flavor combinations. The only dishes I don’t like are their flatbreads.

    Liz, if you and your husband liked the Citrussy Shrimp Panzanella, look up the recipe for Chicken Nectarine Panzanella on their website-it is fantastic!

  7. I joined for about 3 months because I got a coupon from PopSugar box. I enjoyed all the meals, but can’t really afford to keep it going. Plus with my erratic work schedule, I had a hard time coordinating shipping to a day I know I would be off and able to cook. Also, there is too much prep work involved. Not easy enough for my lifestyle. I use a lot of shortcuts in cooking (aka jars of ginger and garlic, frozen veges, etc) and this commands you cook from complete scratch which I simply don’t have time for. Maybe someday I’ll revisit because the food is good, however I wish there was less spicy offerings. I don’t like when i can’t taste anything because my tongue is on fire

    • Many of the things you’ve mentioned are the reason I haven’t pulled the trigger on trying one of these boxes yet. I wouldn’t mind doing these types of meals on the weekends when I’m not working, but they seem like a little more than what I want to tackle when time is more limited. I’m also not thrilled at the fairly small selection of menu choices.

      I also wanted to mention that I clicked on the coupon link- figured I might try it for $40 off. The website will not accept that code and keeps trying to give me $25 off instead.

  8. Are the proteins fresh or come frozen, I thought they were frozen but could have this confused with another box. I don’t consider fresh as frozen items.

    • The meats arrive fresh. I love this subscription box!

  9. I have tried blue apron, green chef, and hello fresh so far, and hello fresh has been my favorite, hands down. there are certain aspects of blue apron that I liked – a unique ingredient here and there, but twice I received spoiled or rotten products (out of two boxes!) and green chef was just not good. my hello fresh meals have not been the most culturally diverse but the ingredients are fresh and they taste fantastic.

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