Home Chef Subscription Box Vegetarian Review + Coupon – March 2018
Home Chef is a subscription meal delivery service 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 vegetarian plan (starting at $9.95 per serving) for two people, twice a week ($39.80 per week + shipping). Delivery is free with orders over $45. Shipping is $10 for orders less than $45.
Check out all of our reviews of Meal Delivery Services to see every meal kit subscription box option!
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About Home Chef Vegetarian Meal Kit Subscription Box
The Subscription Box: Home Chef
The Cost: Meals start at $9.95 per serving, and delivery is free for orders over $40.
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 Vegetarian Menu March 2018 Review
When I first signed up for Home Chef, I took a short quiz about meal preferences and dietary restrictions. They asked me what I like to eat, as well as what I like to avoid. Based on my answers, Home Chef recommends recipes each week. As is the case with most meal kit services, you can also 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. For instance, there are only around 3 veggie meals each week. So the ability to customize things kind of disappears.
That said, there are usually about 10 items on the menu, total, and some “Add On” items like fruit or breakfast picks that you can choose to include in your box. (They’ve had some really tasty-looking smoothies available lately!)
All of the ingredients you need arrive snugly inside insulating packaging made of cotton fiber. The fiber does go in the trash, but the idea is that it, unlike other materials, will eventually decompose. The plastic covering goes into the recycling.
Each meal’s ingredients are packaged in a handy zip-shut bag. Bigger items that might not fit in the bag arrive loose in the box. Inside those bags, most ingredients are pre-portioned and only individually wrapped as necessary to minimize waste. I love how easy it is to grab an ingredients bag out of the fridge when I’m ready to cook!
Home Chef Butternut Squash and Poblano Tacos with Queso Fresco and Sour Cream
Calories per Serving: 719
Prep and Cook Time, According to Home Chef: 25-35 minutes
Actual Time to Table: 25 minutes
Difficulty Level: Easy
I’m such a butternut squash fan! I think it’s just as good in a warm curry or casserole as it is blended up into a smoothie. I’ve never really tried it in a Mexican-inspired dish before, though!
This recipe ended up being so shockingly easy that I almost forgot to stop and take a photo—the process just flew by! The butternut squash arrived pre-chopped and ready to go. You do have to chop the tomato (for an ultra-simple salsa) and the poblano, but much of the cooking is just dumping the squash and pepper in a pan with some yummy taco seasoning and kicking it around until it’s cooked.
Look how gorgeous these tacos are! I assure you they taste even better. Who knew taco seasoning and squash went so well together?! The poblano peppers are tasty but not at all hot, and the pop of cheese and cream on top gives a smooth, indulgent quality to each bite. The real secret ingredient, in my opinion, is the lime. There’s lime juice in the salsa, and the recipe encourages you to squeeze a bit of lime over top of each taco. Something about that sweet ‘n’ sour zip adds a lightness to this dish that takes it to the next level! I loved this warm, flavorful recipe. It’s officially a new favorite comfort food!
Home Chef Triple Mushroom Risotto with Parmesan, Parsley, and Toasted Baguette
Calories per Serving: 721
Prep and Cook Time, According to Home Chef: 30-40
Actual Time to Table: About 40 minutes
Difficulty Level: Expert
Risotto is quickly becoming one of my favorite foods. It takes a little more effort than a pot of pasta to make, but the gooey, creamy, heartwarming result is totally worth it. Over the past year, I’ve totally done a 180 on mushrooms—where I used to think they were “meh” to “bleh”, they’re now one of the things that piques my interest most on menus. This triple mushroom recipe features sliced mushrooms peppered through the risotto and a mushroom-based broth. I’ve never made my own broth before, so this was a new, cool experience. All in all, this expert-level recipe seemed like a fun opportunity to learn some new techniques to make foods I love.
First step? Broth. This was so simple to do (and smelled soooo good)! After boiling water, I threw a package of dried porcinis, as well as the stems of some of the other mushrooms whose caps were going into the risotto, into the pot. Once they’re in, you take the pot off the heat and let the mushrooms soak. Strain ’em out after a few minutes, and you’ve got a broth!
Once the broth is done, you start the risotto. Risotto is made with arborio rice. Typically, you’d make rice by putting rice and water in a pot, heating it up, and then letting it simmer. In this case, you put the rice in first, but only add warm broth to the pot little by little. It takes awhile and requires constant stirring (so that the dry-ish rice doesn’t stick or burn) and taste testing (my favorite part), but eventually, the rice becomes al dente and the pot is full of thick, porridge-like yumminess.
This dish was suuuuper tasty. I loved how the mushroom broth helped that light, earthy, umami flavor integrate into every corner of this dish. The mushrooms that were in the dish were tender and flavorful, and every spoonful was as satisfyingly gooey as mac and cheese. They include baguettes to toast and serve with the dish, but I didn’t feel like it was quite necessary. To me, the dish was heavy and filling enough. That said, the bread they provided was soooo yummy, especially when toasted with an olive oil drizzle, salt, and pepper.
The Verdict: This order was a wild success. I loved the flavors and techniques I learned, like blending taco seasoning and squash and making my own mushroom broth. While the risotto recipe did take a while longer than the tacos, I can totally see trying both of these recipes on my own in the future! I feel like I could shave off some of the cost by buying the ingredients myself locally. That said, I’m okay with paying about $10.00 per serving to learn these recipes. Home Chef has kind of become a little at-home cooking school for me. For about what I’d pay to get something at a takeout restaurant or at the Whole Foods hot bar, I’m learning to cook something fresh and delicious and to hone new skills!
To Wrap Up:
Value Breakdown: Price-wise, Home Chef meals start at $9.95 per serving, which is cheaper than Plated ($12 per serving) and on par with Blue Apron ($9.99 per serving) and Hello Fresh ($9.99 per serving).
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
Would you want to try either of these Home Chef recipes? And if you have tried them, what did you think?