Home Chef Subscription Box Review + Coupon – February 2018
Home Chef is a meal kit subscription that delivers you a weekly box of the pre-portioned ingredients you need to make two to six meals that feed two, four, or six people. Home Chef advertises easy recipes that can be made in about 30 minutes. They say their ingredients are fresh (though they don’t provide a lot of information about their sourcing practices), and they offer vegetarian, gluten-free, and calorie/carb-conscious recipes.
This is a review of the plan I customized that includes a mix of beef, fish, poultry, and vegetarian options (starting at $9.95 per serving) for two people, two meals a week ($39.80) + a no-cook lunch ($7.99 per serving) to equal $55.78 total per week. Delivery is free for orders over $45. Shipping is $10 for orders less than $45.
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About Home Chef
The Subscription Box: Home Chef
The Cost: Meals start at $9.95 per serving, and delivery is free for orders over $40.
COUPON: Get $30 off your first box from Home Chef. No coupon required, just use this link.
The Products: Fresh ingredients and chef-designed recipes— everything you need to make restaurant-quality meals at home.
Ships to: 90% of the U.S. (You can check to see if Home Chef delivers to your zip code here.)
Home Chef February 2018 Review
When you first sign up for Home Chef, you take a short quiz about your meal preferences and dietary restrictions. I like that they ask what you like to eat, as well a what you like to avoid. Based on your answers, Home Chef will choose recipes for you to get each week. As is the case with most meal kit services, you can log in and hand-select the recipes you’d like to receive. Note though, that the more particular you are with your diet, the fewer options you’ll have. I’m pretty open to most proteins, so I currently have 10 different options for next week. There are also some “Add On” items like fruit, smoothies, or quick lunches that you can choose to include in your box.
On one box flap, you’ll find their social media handle, @realhomechef.
The other flap gives a short rundown on how to properly dispose of the various packaging.
After opening the box you’ll see instructions on how to recycle the packing material right on it. You can throw the cotton fiber “stuffing” in the trash (or compost, if you are so inclined) and recycle the plastic.
You’ll then find all of your ingredients tucked inside. The vegetables and non-meat items will be on top.
Under them, you’ll see a cardboard divider that lets you know there is more below.
This is where the ice packs are: with the meat to keep those extra cold. You can choose to toss the packs into your freezer to reuse, or simply cut them open to dump the contents into your normal trash and recycle the plastic.
Each Home Chef meal comes in a plastic bag, except for the meat, and some ingredients that are too large (such as ears of corn).
The bags are labeled as well to cut down on any confusion when you have multiples in your fridge.
Classic Chicken Piccata with angel hair pasta and lemon-caper sauce
Time to Table, According to Home Chef: 25-35 minutes
Actual Time to Table: 30 minutes
Cook within: 5 days
Spice Level: 0/3 Not Spicy
Chicken Piccata is one of my favorite chicken dishes, so I was super excited to see this recipe offered!
Nothing looked too complicated when glancing over the recipe.
First, I cut the chicken breasts into halves (the recipe suggested thirds but that seemed too small to me), and coated them in flour.
I then cooked them in a pan with oil for three minutes, then another three minutes after flipping. Don’t you think I’d forget those little chicken bits! They’re the best!
By this time, the angel hair pasta that I was secretly cooking without you knowing was done! I’m pleased with the large amount they included.
Next, I added the chopped shallot, some oil, and reserved pasta water (uhh… whoops. nope, I forgot to reserve some so I just used plain tap water), chicken base and lemon zest (I finally bought a lemon zester, everyone!) and cooked it for about 4 minutes.
I then added the quartered cherry tomatoes, lemon juice, half the sauce, and chopped parsley to the angel hair and mixed it all up.
To the remaining pan sauce, I added the capers.
BOOM. I put a huge serving of pasta on my plate, set two pieces of chicken against it, then slathered it all in the caper pan sauce. I used the remaining lemon zest and parsley to garnish as well.
I think a single tear ran down my cheek as I was shoveling this meal into my mouth. It was SO FREAKING GOOD! I love lemony caper-y things, I love angel hair pasta, and I love chicken. This was just DIVINE. Big ups to this recipe.
Barbacoa Steak Tacos with queso fresco and pickled vegetables
Time to Table, According to Home Chef: 25-35 minutes
Actual Time to Table: 35 minutes
Cook within: 6 days
Spice Level: 3/3 Spicy
I don’t recall ever making barbacoa tacos in the past, so I was excited to try this recipe out.
Glancing at the recipe, it looks like this one is quite simple and a lot of it is putting most of the ingredients into one pan. I love it when that happens. I totally missed it when I was photographing the ingredients, but as I took everything out to wash, I realized that Home Chef had sent me parsley instead of cilantro! Rookie mistake! I was really surprised since I have never once received the wrong ingredient or missed anything. Stuff happens, and luckily I live close to a Mexican grocery that always stocks cilantro, so I ran up to grab a large bunch for under $1.00.
First things first- the jalapeno strips that I cut and 1/4 of the chopped shallots were put into a bowl with lime juice, salt, and pepper to marinate for a while.
I then made the cilantro cream which was shockingly easy. All it entailed was mixing sour cream with half of the cilantro, olive oil, water, and pepper. I need to make this for tacos more often!
Next, the directions had me warm my tortillas in a pan and then put them in foil to keep warm until the rest was ready. I normally just place tortillas on the burners of my gas stove for a few seconds and flip them, but this is definitely the safer approach.
Finally- we get to the meat of this recipe. The steak came in these pre-cut strips which was super helpful out of the gate. They went into the same pan used to heat the tortillas but this time with oil until browned.
I then added the rest of the shallot, and let it soften.
Next came the tomato, seasoning, water, and salt + pepper. This smelled wonderful, by the way.
And so here we have three beautiful tacos with the barbacoa steak (with tomato + shallot), marinated jalapenos (I’ve accepted cooked onions, but there is no room in my heart for raw ones, so they stayed in the marinade), queso fresco, cilantro cream and remaining freshly chopped cilantro! I had it with some mango nectar to wash it down with.
These tacos were wonderful! The meat was tender and seasoned perfectly, the jalapenos brought the spice, and the cream and cilantro cooled it all off. Really quite excellent. I’ll definitely be keeping this recipe around to reuse later.
As I mentioned in the last review, I discovered (along with the help of some community members) that adding a lunch to my Home Chef order is really cost effective since it pushes me over the free shipping threshold and I get two servings for cheap in comparison!
This week, the lunch choice was an Apple Cherry Chicken Salad. HOLD UP. This is what a space cadet I can be. I am just now looking at this sticker, reading Apple Cherry CHICKEN salad and realizing I did not receive the chicken! Since these meals don’t come with a recipe card and are “self-explanatory” I totally didn’t even catch that this was supposed to come with chicken so I didn’t notice it was missing. Gah, I feel stupid. They have the recipes for these online but I felt it wasn’t worth looking up since it’s just a salad. UGH. I’ve written Home Chef even though it’s been a while since I received this box to see if I was able to get a credit and just to let them know about the missing item.
Apple Cherry Chicken Salad
Time to Table, According to Home Chef: 5-10 minutes
Actual Time to Table: 5 minutes
Cook within: 7 days
Spice Level: 0/3 Not Spicy
Well, here is my salad, sans chicken, on my desk. Last month, my chicken came pre-cooked in a bag, so I assume that’s how this one would have come as well. They give you 2 dressing packets (one for each serving) but I only ended up using about half of one here. The only prep work I had to do was slice the apple. Everything else came portioned in bags.
This was super tasty but without the chicken, I was (obviously) left feeling pretty hungry still. I did like the dried cherries, crisp apple, and fresh spinach together though.
Verdict: The meals I got from Home Chef this month were some of the favorites I’ve ever received! The chicken piccata made my heart soar, and the barbacoa steak tacos were so incredibly scrumptious. Even though this delivery had two snafus, it’s super rare so I’m not really phased. For a single lazy lady who ends up wasting a lot of food that I buy with dreams of extravagant dinners, meal kits like Home Chef keep it simple with zero waste and send enough for just me and a friend or leftovers for the next day. It’s also super simple to skip weeks ahead of time if you’re out of town or have a lot of dinner plans coming up.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Since Home Chef menus change weekly and you must choose them ahead of time, you won’t be able to order these dishes unless they are offered again in the future.
Coupon – Get $30 off your first box from Home Chef. No coupon required, just use this link.
Value Breakdown: At $55.78 for this box, each dinner was $9.95 per serving and the lunch was $7.99 per serving with free shipping.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What did you make from Home Chef this month?