Home Chef Subscription Box Review + Coupon – December 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.
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 December 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.
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.
Calories: 573 per serving
Time to Table, According to Home Chef: 10-15 minutes
Actual Time to Table: 20 minutes
Cook within: 4 days
Spice Level: Not Spicy
I love pasta. I love chicken. I love capers. I love eating meals out of a single bowl. This was a no-brainer.
This also happens to be a quick meal that’s only supposed to take 10-15 minutes! That’s a big win for a weekend when I’m beat from work and tempted to just order Postmates.
The first thing I did was cube up the two chicken breasts. Sorry for the graphic photo… 😛
Those babies went into a hot skillet with some olive oil until browned, about 3 minutes.
While they cooked, I mixed the included demi-glace with some water.
Once the chicken was browned, I added the already chopped and washed kale and let it wilt while the chicken cooked further about 5 minutes. Having the kale prepped was awesome and saved me time and some dreaded washing and drying.
I then added the demi-glace mixture and let it thicken a bit for 2 minutes.
I was then instructed to add the pasta, capers, and butter to combine and then remove it from the heat. Once again, having the pasta already cooked saved quite a bit of time (even though the effort to boil water isn’t huge). All the same, I really appreciated the shortcut.
There she is! A nice li’l bowl of kale, pasta, capers, and chicken. That big ol’ lemon wedge got squeezed all over to make it deliciously lemony.
This was one of the quickest meals I’ve ever made from Home Chef and I have to say that I am really into the short-cut version of making dinner (even though I made this for lunch). Even though meal kits have made me much more comfortable cooking, sometimes I want a good meal without being in the kitchen for 40 minutes. This also tasted amazing! My only complaint was that I was almost able to eat both portions myself. I was very hungry…
Calories: 516 per serving
Time to Table, According to Home Chef: 25-35 minutes
Actual Time to Table: 25 minutes
Cook within: 5 days
Spice Level: Mild
Everyone I know loves the lettuce wraps at PF Changs, so I thought I’d try these! I could do with some lighter fare anyhow.
And what’s not to love about how friggin’ simple this recipe is! The prep is extremely minimal.
After slicing the green onion, I started cooking by putting the ground turkey in a skillet with some olive oil. It took some time to break it all up into the little bits you see but was super easy and I felt kinda healthy using turkey instead of beef. I let it brown which took about 9 minutes. While it was cooking, I carefully pulled the butter lettuce leaves apart and gently washed them.
I also took this time to mix the Asian sesame dressing and green portions of green onions together to make this topping sauce.
Once the meat was browned, I added the hoisin sauce, water chestnuts (a personal fave), half the sriracha, white portions of green onions, and the ginger all to the pan. It directed me to give it a taste and then add the other packet or sriracha as well as some salt + pepper if desired, which I obliged.
Once that was done, all I had to do was plate this beautiful meal! I made glorious little tacos by doubling up the lettuce leaves as a base, then adding the meat mixture, and topping with the included cabbage slaw, and the dressing mixture I made.
Words cannot describe the loveliness here. These lettuce wraps with terrific, and SO SO easy to make! I loved the turkey combined with the rest of the flavors and the three wraps were super filling without being heavy. Wonderful! I even ate the leftovers the next day. This also has to be one of the lowest caloric meals I’ve ever had from Home Chef.
Calories: 109 per serving
Time to Table, According to Home Chef: 5-10 minutes
Actual Time to Table: 7 minutes
Cook within: 7 days
Spice Level: Not Spicy
I get these smoothies all the time but I never put the fruit that’s in the containers into the freezer. It doesn’t really direct you to, but they’re labeled “frozen strawberries” or whatever, so this time I thought “maybe I should actually keep them frozen?” and popped them in the freezer until I made this. BIG MISTAKE. Basically, those containers are full of liquid along with the fruit, which makes blending so much easier. Maybe it was this specific recipe which had no added liquids that made it a bad move. I struggled to get everything to blend because it was so frozen solid, so there was a lot of jabbing with a spoon and simply waiting for it to melt in the blender. These are normally quick and easy but I went and screwed it up. Sigh.
Once I finally got it all blended with the added ice, this was quite yummy. The lime was subtle but well placed! Lesson learned- keep the fruit in the fridge!
Verdict: This month’s Home Chef meals were incredibly quick and make me want to exclusively choose easy-prep meals. Both dinners were delicious and took well under a half hour, which was awesome! Either one of the meals would be pretty easy to make on my own which motivates me to cook more, even when I don’t have a meal kit to prepare. I also learned an important smoothie lesson this month. Noted.
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.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
Which is your favorite meal from Home Chef this month?