Home Chef Subscription Box Review + Coupon – March 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 $45.
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 March 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.
Shrimp Farfalle Calabrese with Red Pepper Cream Sauce
Time to Table, According to Home Chef: 20-30 minutes
Actual Time to Table: 30 minutes
Cook within: 3 days
Spice Level: Mild
I haven’t gotten anything with shrimp lately, so I thought I’d go for this pasta number when I saw it offered as a recipe this week.
This is my favorite type of recipe- where everything ends up in the same pan at the end!
After I started the water boiling for the pasta and put it in, I turned my attention to the teeny tiny shrimps. They were much smaller than what is featured in the photo on the recipe card, but oh well. I cooked them in a pan as directed for one minute, then flipped and cooked them for another minute. They did not seem to get “golden brown” so I cooked them a bit longer before removing from the pan. Even though they still didn’t have a golden color, I was worried about over-cooking them.
Using the same pan, I put my chopped red pepper in the pan with new olive oil until they were a bit soft. I’m not sure how, but I accidentally put 2 Tbsp of oil in with them instead of 1, so they were a bit too oily.
By this time, my pasta was done so I strained it and put it aside (with a light coating of olive oil).
I then added the minced garlic to the pan and waited for it to smell wonderful.
After that, I added pasta water I had reserved (I remembered this time!) and the white wine included.
After it reduced a bit, I added everyone back into the pan to have a wild party together. Pasta, shrimps, tomatoes, red pepper flakes, parmesan, sour cream… everyone was there!! After they got familiar, they were ready to be eaten!
Here we have it. The finished meal! I dumped ALL of the red pepper flakes in there, so it was on the slightly spicy side.
This was good, but it wasn’t AS good as I was hoping. It may have been the shrimp that weren’t quite charred, the peppers I had cooked in too much oil, but it just wasn’t making me high five myself. Ah well. Still tasty!
Mojito Pork Chops with Mandarin Orange and Slivered Almond Salad
Time to Table, According to Home Chef: 40-50 minutes
Actual Time to Table: 40 minutes
Cook within: 6 days
Spice Level: Not Spicy
I rarely eat pork but love mojitos so I thought this would be a nice change from all the chicken and steak I eat.
I always get a little worried about bone-in meat, but the recipe here wasn’t complicated.
It starts with coating both sides of the dry chops with mojito lime seasoning, which smelled super yummy.
I then made the really simple dressing that will be used on both the salad and the pork chops. It’s made with mandarin orange juice, lime juice, olive oil, honey, mint, lime zest, and a pinch of pepper. After mixing, I set aside 2 Tbsp for the pork chops.
The chops then went into a hot pan with oil for 2-3 minutes on each side. Looking pretty darn good if I do say so myself.
After that, I transferred them to a foil-lined baking sheet to finish cooking in the oven (375 degrees).
As they cooked, I made the salad which was added right into the bowl of dressing. I luuuurve arugula (it’s definitely my favorite leafy green) so was stoked to see it as the main ingredient here, along with mandarin oranges and slivers of almond.
After 8 minutes in the oven, the pork chops rested on a plate for 5.
Once they woke up from their nap, they were ready to be plated! I garnished the chop with the dressing I set aside, as well as some remaining mint.
This was the perfect amount of food. The pork chop was super juicy and I gobbled it right up. The dressing was perfect for the light salad, and I felt pleasantly full without getting too stuffed. My roommate also commented how perfectly the meat was cooked while eating the leftovers the next day. Yay!
Creamy Wild Rice & Mushroom Soup with Parmesan Bread
Time to Table, According to Home Chef: 35-45 minutes
Actual Time to Table: 40 minutes
Cook within: 7 days
Spice Level: Not Spicy
Ok, so normally I just review two recipes, but I had a credit (since they forgot some of my chicken last month) and this soup looked TOO GOOD to pass up. I’ve also never made a soup from a meal kit before.
I adore mushrooms, especially in a creamy soup (ask me about my mushroom barley soup obsession from the local Co-Op) so this is something I had to try. Not too daunting at all!
My story begins with delicious crimini mushrooms, olive oil, onion, garlic, salt, and a pinch of pepper in a pot for 6 minutes. I bet you can guess how delightful this smelled.
I then added celery, wild rice, and water and let it simmer for 20 whole minutes while that delightful smell filled my whole house.
While the soup was simmerin’, I cut the French roll in half, spread some olive oil over it, and then a ton of parmesan cheese. These went into the oven for 8 minutes to turn a nice golden brown.
I messed up the last step. I accidentally added the sour cream first, cooked for three minutes, then took it off the heat and added the cream. I should have done it the other way around! Blerg. Do not fret though, it still came out just great! That’s why cooking is so much easier for me than baking.
Voila. I cut the bread diagonally, as suggested, which made it look fancy. I garnished it with parsley as well.
This here was definitely my favorite meal of the box! I love everything in this soup and it was just so creamy and delicious! It was actually pretty filling too. I’ll have to save this recipe to make again!
Black and Blue Chicken Salad
Time to Table, According to Home Chef: 7-10 minutes
Actual Time to Table: 5 minutes
Cook within: 7 days
Spice Level: Not Spicy
I’ve been adding 5-minute lunch recipes to my box the last couple of months to avoid shipping charges (it pushes me over the $45 threshold) and to be able to bring an easy lunch to work. I’ve never gotten a recipe before, but it came with a mini recipe card this month. Perhaps it’s a new thing since we are all so used to getting it. But really, it’s pretty simple. All I had to do was cut up the heart of romaine, toss the seasoning into the bag of cooked chicken chunks, and then put it all together. The only bummer is that they forgot my blue cheese crumbles. 🙁
Here it is assembled! I normally don’t even use the whole pouch of dressing.
It was reasonably filling for a lunch and didn’t make me want to fall asleep which is good. 😉 Nothing life-changing, but healthier than most of the stuff I’d eat for lunch and with less effort.
Verdict: I went hog wild and ordered four Home Chef meals this week instead of my normal two or three. While the shrimp/pasta situation didn’t thrill me, the pork chops and mushroom soup were dynamite and two things I wouldn’t normally make on my own. My favorite part is that I never waste food and I don’t have to go to the grocery store or measure anything out. Home Chef also seems to have more options than some of the other meal kits and offer great add-ons like 5-minute lunches, smoothies, and fruit!
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 $75.68 for this box, each dinner was $9.95 per serving and the 5-minute lunch was $7.99 per serving with free shipping.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
What was your favorite meal from Home Chef this month?