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Home Chef Subscription Box Review + Coupon – October 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, with two meals a week ($39.80) + a smoothie ($4.95 per serving) for a $49.70 total. 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.

COUPON: Save $80 off your first four boxes! No coupon needed - 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 October 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. You can also throw the cotton fiber “stuffing” in the trash (or compost, if you are so inclined) and recycle the plastic that makes up the packing inside the box.

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.

For warmer months, there are ice packs right on top.

You’ll then find all of your ingredients tucked inside. The vegetables and non-meat items will be on top inside their bags.

Under them, you’ll see a cardboard divider that lets you know there is more below. This is where more 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.

Steak Strip Empanada Rice Bowl with Chimichurri

Calories: 806 per serving

Time to Table, According to Home Chef: 25-35 minutes

Actual Time to Table: 35 minutes

Cook within: 6 days

Difficulty: Easy

Spice Level: Mild

I’m really into anything in a bowl right now and love chimichurri sauce, so this was an easy decision.

Look at how simple this recipe is! Love it.

I normally don’t do prep photos, but the steps to this meal were so few I thought I’d take one. Here, I have diced jalapeno, chopped cilantro, and juice lime.

I combined the jalapeno, cilantro, 1 Tbsp of olive oil, 2 tsp of the lime juice, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a mixing bowl and stirred it all up to make the chimichurri.

I had rice cooking for about 18 minutes while I prepped everything else, so it was done around this time.

After salt + peppering the steak strips, I added them to a hot pan with some olive oil until browned (about 7 minutes).

This is where the party really starts. I added the can of tomato sauce, taco seasoning, and some pepper in here and let it all simmer together for a couple of minutes until the sauce thickened.

The only thing left to do was plate this beautiful meal! Rice went into the bowl first, then the beef, and then I topped it with the cheese, chimichurri, tortilla strips, and a dollop of sour cream.

I can’t tell you how delicious this was. You just would not understand. It was also SUPER EASY! Yummy yum yum.

Baja Fish Tacos with Sriracha Slaw and Pickled Shallot

Calories: 752 per serving

Time to Table, According to Home Chef: 35-45 minutes

Actual Time to Table: 40 minutes

Cook within: 3 days

Difficulty: Expert

Spice Level: Mild

I love consuming fish and while salmon is my favorite, I try to mix it up a bit and decided to go with these tilapia tacos!

For a moment I panicked about having to batter and deep-fry these fish pieces but wanted to test my abilities anyhow.

It all started with cutting up the tilapia into cubes and doing some light salt + peppering.

Next, I chopped up the shallot and got it marinating in a bowl with lime juice and a pinch of salt.

Next, I turned my attention to the shredded cabbage which I added to a bowl with mayonnaise, sriracha, and some salt. Both bowls went into the fridge until I was ready to plate.

Mixing up the batter was actually easy, but you must exercise some patience. The directions call for you to add water to the dry mix just one tablespoon at a time because you want the consistency to be just right. It calls for it to end up thin, like heavy cream. I think I achieved that pretty well.

I dipped a few of the fish pieces into the tempura batter at a time and then put them immediately into a pan with heated canola oil (which was included).

The directions say to cook them about 2-3 minutes per side, until golden brown. While I was worried about this part of the cooking, it was actually pretty easy and it made me proud that I stuck with it.

As the pieces turned this gorgeous golden color, I removed them from the pan and put them on a bed of paper towels on a late and lightly salted them.

The last part of the recipe called for me to microwave the tortillas and wrap to keep warm, but my preferred method is to heat them one by one on my gas stove. I assume Home Chef wouldn’t direct you to do so since you really have to keep an eye on them, but I feel like a pro at doing this at this point. You MUST stay right in front of it with your eyes glued to that tortilla so it doesn’t go up in flames. This slightly toasts them and gives them a nice flavor.

Then voila! I placed the fish into three tortillas (per the serving size) and added the sriracha mayo cabbage, marinated shallots, and cilantro on top. Don’t forget to squeeze some lime juice on those too!

This was the perfect amount of food even though I kind of couldn’t stop eating the fish and ended up eating more than my share. I’m so pleased with how these came out!

Mango Ginger Smoothie with Coconut Milk

Calories: 314 per serving

Time to Table, According to Home Chef: 5-10 minutes

Actual Time to Table: 5 minutes

Cook within: 7 days

Difficulty: Easy

Spice Level: Not Spicy

I love mango as well as ginger, so grabbing this smoothie add-on was a no-brainer. I am notoriously bad at “winging it” while making a smoothie. I require a recipe so these are perfect for me.

Once I peeled the orange, everything went straight into the blender. I had no trouble getting it to blend together easily.

I then added 2 cups of ice, as directed, and I took it upon myself to add chia seeds I happened to have on hand to enhance this.

Here we go- one fresh serving with mango, coconut milk, orange, honey, ginger, and my added chia. I made these the other morning and took the other serving to my roommate in bed. He later texted me and said “It was so good. You were like a little smoothie angel walking into my dreams”. I concur that it was delicious and I drank down the whole thing on my way to work!

Verdict: Home Chef crushed it this week with two reasonably quick meals that hit the spot and tasted super yummy, along with a great smoothie to start my day. I feel accomplished after making fish tempura tacos and really loved every ingredient in the steak bowl. Really wonderful meals this week!

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 $49.70 for this box, each dinner was $9.95 per serving, and the smoothies were $4.95 per serving with free shipping. It’s always a good idea to get an add-on since it pushes you over the free shipping threshold. It’s like getting the smoothies for half-price.

Check out all of our Home Chef reviews and find other meal kit boxes in the Food Subscription Box Directory!

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

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Written by Marne Orenich

Marne Orenich

Marne is a lipstick connoisseur, record collector, and twice over cat mom. She loves discovering new clean beauty brands and has quite the collection of beautifully packaged serums and moisturizers.

Posted in Food & Drink Subscription Boxes, Home Chef Reviews, Meal Kit Subscriptions, Subscription Box Reviews| Tags: Home Chef | 1 comment

Comment (1)

  1. Quick question; which meal service has more option for vegan diet? After watching the very disturbing “what the health?” Documentary on Netflix, I’m switching from my paleo diet to vegan ASAP

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