Home Chef Subscription Box Review + Coupon – January 2019


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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 – Use this link to save $25 off your first box and $10 off your next four boxes 

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 January 2019 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 them 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.

Chipotle Chicken Grain BowlChicken Piccata

Calories: 573 per serving

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

Actual Time to Table: 7 minutes

Cook within: 5 days

Difficulty: Easy

Spice Level: Not Spicy

I can’t resist adding on a no-cook lunch since it forces me to not eat out at least one (or two days) during the week. This one I ended up making at home on a weekend for myself and my friend Kelly (who came over to help me “KonMari” my clothes).

The recipe calls for me to microwave the included cooked rice with the cooked cubed chicken, but since I don’t have a microwave, I put them in a pot on the stove with a little bit of water for a few minutes until it heated up.

I then tossed the rice + chicken in a large bowl with the spinach and dressing.

I put the salad mixture in bowls and topped it with the tomato I diced and the ready-made guacamole.

This was super tasty and I was surprised at how filling it was!

Hawaiian Dream Smoothie with coconut milk

Calories: 367 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

Smoothies are another thing I like to add to my deliveries since I am terrible at keeping dairy alive in my house (as well as using the frozen fruit I always buy and forget about).

All I had to do for this is throw ALL of the ingredients (pineapple chunks, pineapple juice, an orange, honey, greek yogurt, and coconut milk) in my blender (after peeling and sectioning the orange) and blend for a couple minutes.

Here’s what it looks like once blended. I then added 2 cups of ice to give it the cold thick consistency of a smoothie.

I ended up adding my own “super seed and ancient grain” mix I had on hand to boost some nutrients in here. I could easily add protein powder to this as well if I so desired. I don’t know why but I don’t love smoothies with orange in them more than say, a berry. This was good though. Very tropical.

Pesto Shrimp Couscous with parsley and yellow bell pepper

Calories: 516 per serving

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

Actual Time to Table: 40 minutes

Cook within: 3 days

Difficulty: Easy

Spice Level: Not Spicy

I go back and forth about wanting to cook shrimp at home. I’ve had good and bad experiences in the past, but I love pesto so I went for this one.

The directions seemed really simple and I was excited to use my new All-Clad pan I had recently got for Christmas.

I don’t normally do prep photos, but this was how the bulk of my time was spent so I thought I’d capture it. Plus, the colors are nice!

The tomatoes, yellow bell pepper, and white portions of green onions went into a pot with some olive oil to start. Once they softened (about 4 minutes), I continued to the next step.

To the pot, I added the dry couscous, 1¼ cup water, mirepoix base, seasoning blend, and ¼ tsp salt and brought it to a boil. After 6 minutes, I took it off the heat added 1 Tbsp. of the lemon juice.

Next, I made the super yummy looking sauce which consisted of pesto, parsley, the green portions of green onions, 1 Tbsp. lemon juice, 2 Tbsp. olive oil, and a pinch of salt. It reminds me of chimichurri!

Time for the shrimp! These lil fellas went naked into the frying pan with oil for 3 minutes one side, then another 2 on the other.

Out of the pan and into the bowl of dressing, they then went! Looking at this is making me hungry!

After tossing the shrimp, it was time to plate! The couscous mixture wasn’t as thick as I wanted, but I was a little impatient and it ended up being fine anyhow.

Isn’t this a pretty dish?? I wasn’t as obsessed with it as I thought I’d be, but it was quite good and felt like lighter fare. I think in the future I’d omit the tomatoes and let the shrimp marinate a little more, maybe? I could have used a stronger flavor from them.

Weeknight Italian Sausage Lasagna with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses

Calories: 571 per serving

Time to Table, According to Home Chef: 20-30 minutes

Actual Time to Table: 25 minutes

Cook within: 5 days

Difficulty: Intermediate

Spice Level: Not Spicy

When it gets cold out, all I want to eat is heavy pasta. This lasagna immediately spoke to me. Plus, I remember how much I enjoyed the Italian sausage recipe from September and wanted to make more.

The photos showed this dish being made in a cast iron pan which my roommate cooks in all the time, so I decided to give it a whirl.

I know- this is a lame prep photo! My kitchen is small and has bad lighting, so it can be challenging to get good pics. I can’t tell you when the last time I used fresh oregano was, so I was excited about this.

I think my new favorite thing is squeezing Italian sausage out of its casing and then chunking it up in a pan. I don’t know why, but it’s SO SATISFYING. Plus, it smells DELISH. I cooked it for about 6 minutes until it was nice n brown.

I then added the chopped up spinach, garlic, and oregano. It started smelling even more amazing.

After a minute, I added the marinara and took it off the heat.

The whole time, I had broken up lasagna noodles cooking, so those then went into the pan and got stirred up.

I then topped it with shredded mozzarella and popped it into the broiler for just 2 minutes.

Look at how gorgeous it is!! I am BEAMING with joy!

Does the plated dish look pretty? Nope. But, you can see the stringy cheese if you look closely! The final products was garnished with oregano and parmesan.

This was so so so delicious and took a lot less time than I would have thought. I will definitely be making this one again!

Verdict: My Home Chef meals were very delicious this week. Especially the lasagna! The shrimp was a good dish too but I just didn’t love it as much. Along with the tasty and easy-to-make smoothie and the quick salad for lunch- this box was a real winner for me! Bravo! 

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 – Use this link to save $25 off your first box and $10 off your next four boxes 

Value Breakdown: At $65.68 for this box, each dinner was $9.95 per serving, and the smoothies were $4.95 per serving, and the salad was $7.99 per serving (with free shipping). It’s always a good idea to get at least one add-on since it pushes you over the free shipping threshold.

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 Subscription Boxes, Home Chef Reviews, Meal Delivery Services, Subscription Box Reviews| Tags: Home Chef | 4 comments

4 Comments

  1. This is my fave meal sub box! I also ordered the couscous, lasagna, and smoothie! I am curious what you thought of the meat provided for the lunch grain bowl. Sometimes the bags of lunch meat, more often the steak version, seems tough. Also, is the grain bowl a meal that could be made at one time and split into different containers for a few lunches? I don’t want to prepare it at work, but wouldn’t mind heating it up in a microwave. Thanks for the great review and beautiful pictures!

    • I have gotten the grain bowls and split them into multiple dishes to be eaten on different days. They were ok for a quick meal but not my favorite or that filling so I usually end up just buying the salads or additional regular meals. Lol. And I agree about the bagged beef…I stay away from that one but enjoy the bagged chicken or regular, fresh meats!

    • Hi Staci,
      I’ve always thought the pre-cooked chicken that comes with the lunches is pretty good. I’ve never been grossed out by it which sometimes happens to me randomly (like at Chipotle). I can’t speak to the steak though as I don’t recall vividly every getting a recipe with one.
      I think you could definitely break it into two lunches and save one for later but agree with LB that it’s not a super filling meal. All depends on how much you’re used to eating!

  2. Of all the food box subs, this is my favorite. I love the menu and the “just the right amount” ingredients. It’s fun to make new things without spending a ton on one-time-use ingredients. My chef’s knife is finally getting some use. And my picky teenager has loved each meal so far. It’s packaged nicely, and I love the recipe binder they send.

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