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Home Chef Subscription Box Review + Coupon – November 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 November 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 which is where the meat is, surrounded by ice packs 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.

Chimichurri Salmon with zucchini and squash

Calories: 474 per serving

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

Actual Time to Table: 25 minutes

Cook within: 3 days

Difficulty: Easy

Spice Level: Medium

I chose a recipe with chimichurri sauce last month but apparently can’t get enough! This time- it’s with salmon. Funny note about this recipe- my Dad and his girlfriend made the same one just a night before I did! Great minds!

The bulk of this recipe is doing prep work. Lots of chopping!

After doing all of the prepping of the veggies, I seasoned the salmon with just a little salt + pepper.

The filets then went flesh-side down into a pan with olive oil to sear for about three minutes.

They then went flesh-side up on a baking sheet to go into the oven at 400-degrees for eight minutes.

While they cooked, I made the chimichurri sauce! This entailed combining chopped cilantro, chopped jalapeño, two teaspoons of freshly squeezed lime juice, minced garlic, two teaspoons of olive oil, one tablespoon of water, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and just a bit of pepper. I mixed it all up and set it aside to marinate.

I then added all the sliced half-moon zucchini and squash to a hot pan of oil to soften (about 7 minutes). There was a TON of this, so what you see above wasn’t even all of it! I saved the rest for a different meal.

After cooking, I removed it from the heat and added the included chile and cumin rub along with some salt + pepper.

By this time the salmon was done and I was ready to plate! I garnished the zucchini + squash with queso fresco and topped the salmon with chimichurri.

While the salmon was cooked perfectly, I wasn’t obsessed with this meal. Everything was good but the combination didn’t knock me out. Maybe I’m a little squashed-out?

Ditalini Chicken Caesar Salad with Parmesan croutons

Calories: 926 per serving

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

Actual Time to Table: 30 minutes

Cook within: 5 days

Difficulty: Easy

Spice Level: Not Spicy

I’m not going to lie to you. I was dragging my feet on making this recipe because I thought it’d be kinda boring.

This seems pretty simple and although at first, I was annoyed that I had to MAKE the croutons, it ended up being pretty satisfying.

Even though the recipe says this is the last step, I started with making the dressing after prepping the veggies and tossing the pasta in boiling water. It’s made with mayo, minced garlic, white wine vinegar, parmesan, and a little water.

After the pasta cooked for 12 minutes, I strained it and forgot to run it under cold water. It all worked out though.

There were also some secret croutons baking! With the ingredients came a full baguette that I was instructed to cube into small pieces, and then mix with olive oil, salt, and pepper before popping into a 400-degree oven for 12 minutes. I was really pleased how these came out and promptly sprinkled them with some of the parmesan cheese (what was left after using for dressing).

I cooked the chicken last which was seasoned with salt + pepper before being cooked for six minutes on each side in a pan of olive oil.

While those cooked, I put the chopped romaine, half-moon tomato slices, croutons, and cooled pasta into the bowl of dressing and tossed to coat.

Once the chicken was cooked, I let it rest for a bit before slicing and plating. This looks so nice, right??

Remember how I was procrastinating making this dish? I WAS A FOOL. This is hands-down one of the best chicken salads I’ve ever had in my whole life. I’m obsessed. OBSESSED with it! The chicken was so juicy and moist, the salad was so delicious! I think the key was the dressing: mayo, garlic, and cheese is a winning combo. I also was rather proud of my made-from-scratch croutons. I will be saving this recipe card to make this again because I cannot stop thinking about it!! I did not allow my roommate to eat the leftovers and took them for lunch the next day- that’s how much I loved it.

Frutti Tutti Smoothie with strawberry, orange, and pineapple

Calories: 174 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

You know I can’t pass up an add-on smoothie! I don’t always love the orange ones, but hey. I’ll take it.

All I had to do was blend all of the ingredients (after peeling the orange) in a blender with 2 cups of ice and voila- a breakfast!

Here’s one serving of the smoothie. It wasn’t my favorite one but I have such a hard time making smoothies from scratch, so I like getting all of the ingredients portioned out for me. I also never have things like pineapple juice on-hand. I didn’t add anything this time, but if I have chia seeds or other things like that in my pantry, I can also toss those in.

Verdict: This month’s Home Chef overall wasn’t my best box, BUT changed my entire life with the Ditalini Chicken Caesar Salad with Parmesan croutons. Is that sad? (I’ll pretend it isn’t) I can’t recall making croutons before, so knowing how ridiculously easy it is and how much it brings to the flavor of a dish is a great lesson. I also find that making my own dressing always pleases my palate. For such a lazy person like me who wastes produce every time I buy it or buys random ingredients when shopping but doesn’t have the skills to create a meal out of them, I find Home Chef to be really great. Everything I need is there and the directions are easy to follow. I’ve also learned so much over the past year making so many meals. 

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!

Did you have the Ditalini Chicken Caesar Salad meal from Home Chef this month??

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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 | 5 comments

Comments (5)

  1. I love that chicken salad. I seriously get it every time they offer it…even though it kind of defeats the purpose of trying new dishes. I am a bit bummed that it appears as though they’ve shrunken the size of their fish filets. They already weren’t as “filling” and satisfying to me as it was but I would get fish dishes when I wanted something lighter…or more healthy. Now I struggle to even see a value in them and don’t think all of my “hard work” of cooking them will be worth still being hungry afterwards. They also used to provide very large shrimp and now they are considerably smaller (and therefore more chewy/tougher). So far the chicken and steak portions still seem OK so I stick with those. But it does decrease my variety.

  2. That salad looks yummy. I’ve already added a few things to my grocery list to make it for my family. I’ll probably add more veggies to it, like Persian cucumbers and shredded carrots.

  3. I LOVE Home Chef! I didn’t order that chicken salad for the same reason you hesitated. And, now after reading this, I am kicking myself! It almost makes me want to shop for the ingredients myself to make it…

    • They’ll offer it again eventually so if you stay subbed, keep an eye out. Also, there’s a similar blackened chicken caesar salad being offered the week of November 19. It is a little bit different, but may be able to hold you over. Haha. I do enjoy the pasta being in the other one as something a bit different.

  4. Make sure you “Rate my meals”. It says the comments go to the chef and I think it helps them on future offerings. As a long time subscriber, I even look for the chefs that have IMO produced the twists of flavor you described in your chicken salad.

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