MSA is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read the full disclosure.

Blue Apron vs Hello Fresh vs Plated vs Home Chef – June 2016

top 4 meal review

This month, I reviewed boxes from the top four meal subscription companies: PlatedHello FreshHome Chef, and Blue Apron. To get a sense of how the boxes compare, I’ve outlined all of the meals I received below. I’ve assigned each dish a score out of 5, and I’ve averaged the scores from each box together to get a total box score. Read on to see which box came out on top for me this month!

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


Plated – Recipes begin at $12 per plate. 2 recipes (4 plates)= $48 per week (+ $6 shipping). 3 recipes (6 plates)= $72 per week (with free shipping). 4 recipes (8 total plates)= $96 per week (with free shipping).

COUPON: Free dinner for two with purchase of 3-dinners plan ($24 value), no coupon required, just use this link.

Check out the full Plated review here!

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


Meal #1-  Eggplant Pizza alla Norma with Mozzarella and Ricotta Salata

Calories Per Serving: 570

Cook Time: 35-45 minutes

Score: 5/5 This pizza was delicious. Five stars!


Meal #2- Chili Maple Pork Tacos with Avocado and Spring Onion Salsa

Calories per Serving: 760

Cook Time: 25-35

Score: 3/5 These tacos were okay. I liked the sweetness from the maple syrup, but the dish was little mediocre overall.


Meal #3- Mustard-Roasted Salmon with Orzo Risotto and Crispy Capers

Calories: 570

Cook Time: 30-40

Score:4.5/5 This dish was a winner! The mustard and capers cut through the richness of the salmon nicely, and the pasta was great.

Overall dish score: 4.17/5

Cost per plate: Meals start at $12 per serving. Dessert is $4 per serving.

Number of meals available to choose from each week: 9 meals + 2 desserts (7 standard dishes, plus 2 “Chef’s Table” offerings.)


Home Chef – Meals start at $9.95 per serving, and delivery is free for orders over $40.

COUPON: Save $30 off your first box! with coupon code 3PLATESOFF

Check out the full Home Chef review here!

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


Meal #1- Cedar Roasted Salmon with Root Vegetable Slaw

Calories: 600 per serving

Prep Time: 25-35 minutes

Difficulty: Intermediate

Score: 3.5/5 This dish was delicious, and I loved learning how to roast salmon in cedar sheets. Unfortunately, though, one of the salmon filets wasn’t sealed properly and leaked while en route. Home Chef issued me a credit for the dish, but it was disappointing that I had to divide one filet between two people.


Meal #2- Pulled BBQ Chicken Sliders with Salt and Vinegar Chips and Cole Slaw

Calories: 982 per serving

Prep Time: 30-40 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Score: 4.5/5 I loved these sliders! They were a special offering for the 4th of July holiday, and I thought they were a perfectly festive choice. The only downside to this dish was the calorie content. (But, hey, it’s a special occasion, right?)


Meal #3- Italian Sausage & Peppers Rigatoni

Calories: 939 per serving

Prep Time: 30-40 minutes

Difficulty: Easy

Score: 4/5 This dish was homey and comforting, and I loved the garlic bread. It was a little sausage-heavy for me, personally, but my husband loved how meaty it was.

Overall Score: 4/5

Cost per Plate:  Meals start at $12 per serving.

Number of meals available to choose from each week: 10 meals + 1 breakfast + 1 dessert + 1 smoothie


Hello Fresh – 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!

Check out the full Hello Fresh review here!

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


Sautéed Shrimp and Collard Greens over Cheddar Grits

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Calories per Serving: 462

Score: 4/5 This dish was pretty awesome. My only complaint is that it maybe could have used some sauce.


Pan-Seared Gnocchi with Pesto, Green Beans, and Sun-Dried Tomatoes

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Calories per Serving: 441

Score: 4/5 I love gnocchi! I love pesto! This dish had everything going for it, but it was just a little heavily sauced for me. I wish I’d used only about 1/2 of the pesto provided…


Speedy Italian Meatballs with Smoked Tomato Linguine

Cooking Time: 30 minutes

Calories per Serving: 851

Score: 4.5/5 This dish was tasty! It was hearty, filling, and easy to make.

Overall Score: 4.17/5

Cost per Plate: Hello Fresh starts at $9.90 per serving (for The Classic Box).

Number of meals available to choose from each week: 6 meals


Blue Apron – $59.94 for 3 recipes on the 2-Person Plan, $69.92 for 2 recipes on the Family Plan, $139.84 for 4 recipes on the Family Plan.

COUPON: 2 Meals Free on Your First Order, no coupon required, just use this link.

Check out the full Blue Apron review here!

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


Meal #1- Lemon-Butter Salmon with Creamy Barley & Zucchini Salad

Calories: 795 per serving

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 25-35 minutes

Score: 4/5 I really liked the incorporation of barley in this dish, and the salmon was tasty.


Meal #2- Muffuletta-Style Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Baby Romaine & Pistachio Salad

Calories: 775 per serving

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15-25 minutes

Score: 3/5 This was a fine grilled cheese sandwich, but it was no muffuletta.


Meal #3- Chicken Piccata with Fusilli Pasta & Garlic Chives

Calories: 760 per serving

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 20-30 minutes

Score: 5/5 I thought this dish was exceptional. The chicken was delicious, the sauce was fantastic, and I loved that it was all served over pasta.

Overall Score: 4/5

Cost per Plate: Blue Apron costs $9.99 per serving.

Number of meals available to choose from each week: 6 meals (Note: meal choice is limited by the fact that not all combinations of meals are available.)

The Verdict: It’s so much fun looking back at the meals I received this month from PlatedHome ChefBlue Apron, and Hello Fresh, and it’s very interesting to stack them up against each other to see how they compare! Overall, I enjoyed all four of the meal boxes I received, but there were definitely a few dishes that stood out from the rest. The pizza from Plated was fantastic, but I think my favorite dish has to be Blue Apron’s Chicken Piccata. (I’m still dreaming about it!) My favorite overall box this month was a close call, too. Plated and Hello Fresh were both great, but I think the edge has to go to Hello Fresh!

Favorite box: Hello Fresh

Yummiest dish: Blue Apron’s Chicken Piccata with Fusilli Pasta & Garlic Chives

Most fun dish to make: Home Chef’s Cedar Roasted Salmon with Root Vegetable Slaw

Do you subscribe to PlatedHome ChefHello Fresh, or Blue Apron? What were your favorite June dishes?

Blue Apron

How do subscribers rate Blue Apron?

Created with Sketch.

Never miss a post: get email alerts about Blue Apron!

Enable notifications () to get the latest Blue Apron spoilers, reviews, deals, and news delivered to your inbox.

Written by Lindsey Morse

Lindsey Morse

Lindsey is a professional baker, cold brew coffee addict, and rosé aficionado who loves writing about food and wine. When she’s not sharing her love of subscription boxes with the world, you’ll find her in the podcasting studio, perfecting her cake decorating techniques, or cursing her way through the New York Times daily crossword puzzle.

Posted in Blue Apron vs Hello Fresh vs Plated, Meal Kit Subscriptions| Tags: blue apron | HelloFresh | Home Chef | plated | 19 comments

Comments (19)

  1. Hi. Thanks for the reviews. I was trying to decide between the Home Chef and Hello Fresh. Any delivery system has their problems but thought the Hello Fresh recipes looked more appetizing and seemed to be lower in calories. I like a variety of foods and am not restricted at this point. Again thanks for the help.

  2. I’ve tried Hello Fresh twice. I cancelled the first time and then was called by them and convinced to try it again because they said they corrected the issue I had, so I tried it for a second time. Both times my issue was the proteins leaked. I had juices from the chicken and the beef all over the box, including on the produce. While I thought the food tasted good (what I didn’t throw out for being contaminated), I just didn’t think it was very sanitary. They seem to have some problem with their distributors.

  3. Thank you for your time and also your considerate review. I was looking to gift this type of thing to my dad. Pops is 89, spry and likes to cook and learn new things. His taste is probably closest to Home Chef, but you and others have had problems with quality, and they credit and comp. their mistakes which is not good for bottom line and profits, and I worry about product control. Every company you showed today seemed to have one good dish and one marginal looking dish. Your pictures and explanations are so helpful and I think it will come to taste and quality over cost? I’m hoping others will sign on and share their experiences?!

    • I’ve used all three and have been consistently most pleased with Plated’s quality, ease of preparation, meal choices and taste.

      I also like their packaging. The insulation is compostable so there’s less waste.

      • Now that is one thing which makes a different to me, having the foresight to provide compostable packaging–I hadn’t thought about the carbon footprint with all the packing materials every week. It sounds like they are all, give and take a couple of bucks, about the same price. Your help and info is much appreciated!

  4. Finally someone compared all the companies! Thanks for this!

    We have tried hello fresh and home chef and prefer home chef because HF sent us so much leaky meat. There is nothing worse than opening a box and getting covered in meat juice. I also noticed they had some flaws in the recipes themselves (like leaving out steps!) That said, in terms of taste, I did prefer the recipes from HF. But stick to HC for the fewer problems

    • Thanks for your info; giving this as a gift subscription I obviously want something with good tasting food, variety menus and easy prep, but also a company which has their act together preventing problems like leaking food liquids during shipping. It seems the price between these different subscriptions is about the same…

  5. I really like blue apron if you want something good with simple recipes that are between 500 to 800 calories. Normal selection of what type you are about how you eat. Good selection when you decide to change menu meals,but not about each individual meal, (3 meals for two=6 meal a week.) You get the 3 meal change for the week. Cooking time the same ,seems to be par for the course for all. Only thing I don’t like is you have to keep an eye on the meals they automatically order,because some of the weekly meal sets have only one meal out of three withh
    meat. But not all the time, maybe this happens once out of three deliveries.But all you have to do is change it to fix the problem for that one delivery. I like not having to go to the grocery store as much, was the hook for me as well as not having to make choices all the time as well with the meals since they do that for you. And the meals are well balanced as a meal and not as an item. I love the meats and seafood are without chemicals and do taste different then what you buy at the grocery store. I would give them a 4/5 because of the meal change from time to time.

  6. We have been enjoying plated. We liked the salmon dish a lot. We had a spaghetti that was out of this world good though last week. I rated it 5 stars and commented to them that I would buy it every week if they sold it. Had a good lamb meatball bahn mi sandwich but it was just lacking some pickled veggies. We ended up adding the accompanying carrot salad to our sandwiches to add the necessary acid. Definitely enjoying it though, looking forward to flank steak and kale salad tonight:)

  7. I rotate between Plated, BA, and Home Chef. I wish BA was more customizable…I’ve been getting BA for two years now but have skipped it for the past two months and went with the other two boxes because they’re more customizable.

    • We have been getting BA for about a month now & absolutely love the different flavors they use. But I agree that i wish you could truly choose ftom the 6 meals or they would provide more options with meat included. I was just looking yesterday at Home Chef though & I think they have more recipies my husband would like. We are going to sign up with them also so we are able to choose between the two menus. They have a shrimp boil option in a few weeks!

  8. I just don’t know if I should switch from the Blue Apron family plan to one of the others… I am a vegetarian and it’s very challenging to find a meal service that is compatible. #firstworldproblems …

    • Purple Carrot is good. It’s vegan, but not customizable. Price point is maybe just a dollar or two higher per meal than some of the others.

    • Have you tried Green Chef? I know they have a vegetarian option. I did their omnivore plan one week. It was very good and a lot of food. I’m getting them again in 2 weeks, I just tend to skip around based on the menu offered.

    • Though it’s a little different, check out Cook Smarts. You do have to buy the ingredients but they have excellent vegetarian options and the meal plans are delicious, customizable and reduce waste by reusing ingredients during the week. I also use Plated and Blue Apron, but Cook Smarts does have a free trial that showcases well what they have to offer. It’s overall more cost effective and flexible.

      • I’m confused. So Cook Smarts provides a meal plan but then you have to do all the shopping for ingredients? Sounds like what I am already doing with weekly recipe planning? I will have to check it out and see if they provide something else or I am incorrectly interpreting your description? Thanks for your info though, am happy people share their experiences!

      • You’re interpreting it right.

        Planning the meals and making the shopping lists is mostly what I hate about cooking, more than the shopping itself. Cook Smarts really simplifies it, has delicious, flexible recipes, a very cool online community, teaches cooking skills, and reduces waste and cost.

        If the shopping itself is what you’re trying to eliminate, then I vote for Plated.

  9. The timing on this review is perfect of me 🙂 I was discussing these services yesterday with my family and to have all of the reviews in one place is awesome. I think we are going to try plated for a few weeks

  10. Thank you for this review. I have always wondered what they were like in real life.

Please do not enter your email address in the Name field or in the comment content!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Remember to post with kindness and respect. Comments with offensive language, cruelness to others, etc will not be approved. See our full comment policy here.