Home Chef Meal Kit Review + $40 Off Coupon – March 2019


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Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Box Closed Front

Home Chef is a meal kit subscription that delivers a weekly box of the pre-portioned ingredients you need to make 2-6 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 options.

This is a review of my customized plan that includes a combination of meat and vegetarian dinner options (starting at $9.95 per serving) for two people, with two meals a week ($39.80) + a smoothie ($4.95 per serving) and a 5 minute lunch ($7.99 per serving) for a $65.68 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.)

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Big Reveal Top

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 $30 off your first box and $10 off your next box.

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 March 2019 Review

When you first sign up for Home Chef, you take a short quiz about your meal preferences and dietary restrictions. They ask what you like to eat, as well as what you tend 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. There are also some “Add-On” items like fruit, smoothies, or quick lunches that you can choose to include in your box.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Grove Ad Card Front TopHome Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Grove Ad Card Back Top

Before we get into a rundown of the packaging situation, here’s a promo for Grove Collaborative that was included with my recipes. Check out our reviews to learn more!

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Insulation Package From TopHome Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Insulation Open Close Up Top

This month’s box was cushioned and insulated with cotton fibers housed in a recyclable plastic liner. The lining can be cut open and recycled, while the cotton fibers can go right into the trash.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Box Ingredients Top

Beneath the insulated flap lies all of this month’s meals, neatly packaged into individual, recyclable bags with convenient handles and slide-zip closures. There is also a handy binder for storing recipes, as this is the first order from my personal account! More on that later.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Binder Closed Top

With your first Home Chef delivery, you’ll receive this handy binder for storing recipes. All of the recipes are hole-punched, so they’re ready to add to your collection.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Binder Open Top

The binder comes with a small introductory packet to Home Chef.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Cardboard Divider Top

Underneath the ingredient bags is a cardboard divider that typically keeps the meats separated from everything else. This month’s order didn’t come with any meats that needed to be separated, so it was just an ice pack beneath the piece of cardboard.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Box Inside Bottom

Here’s the bottom of the box, with the ice pack cushioned and insulated by the cotton fiber lining.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Chowder Bag Back

As previously mentioned, every Home Chef meal comes in a plastic bag, except for the meat when applicable, and some ingredients that are too large to fit (such as ears of corn).

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Chowder Bag Label Top

The bags are also labeled with the title of each recipe for clarity. They really thought of everything!

Let’s eat, shall we?

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Chowder Bag FrontHome Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Chowder Laydown Group Top

Prosciutto and Butternut Chowder with Potatoes and Toasted Ciabatta

Calories: 595 per serving

Time to Table, According to Home Chef: 30-40 minutes

Actual Time to Table: 38 minutes

Cook within: 6 days

Difficulty: Intermediate

Spice Level: Mild

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Chowder Recipe Card Back FrontHome Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Chowder Recipe Card Back Top

This recipe practically begged to be in my box. Or, did I beg it? I’ll eat just about anything with prosciutto on it, so this meal sounded like a winner right off the bat.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Chowder Preparation Top

To begin, I heated a large non-stick pan on one burner for the prosciutto, ensuring it would be hot and set to go once needed. I also heated a medium-sized pot with 1 tablespoon of olive oil for the veggies. Then, I went right into peeling and chopping the potato, mincing the 2 pre-peeled cloves of garlic, dicing the shallot, and slicing up the ciabatta. I love that Home Chef pre-peels the garlic—it’s such a time saver. The ciabatta was very obviously a sandwich bun as it was mostly separated through the middle, but I didn’t mind. Bread is bread, and it’s always welcome in my home.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Chowder Veggies In Pan Top

The pot was nice and hot by the time I finished the prep work, so I tossed in the potatoes, butternut squash, and shallot to cook for 3 minutes until lightly browned.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Chowder Stock In Pan Top

Then went in the garlic to cook for 1 minute so it wasn’t totally raw, followed by 1 cup of water, and the 2 packs of mirepoix base. This was all brought a boil, then covered to simmer for 9 minutes.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Chowder Prosciutto In Bowl Top

Right before the soup was ready to simmer, I had already begun cooking the prosciutto in batches with a little bit of olive oil. The recipe said 1-2 minutes on each side would be enough, but I just eyeballed the pieces for desired doneness. The soup had finished simmering before I completed the batches of prosciutto, so I recommend working with the meat ahead of schedule. The prosciutto was then transferred to a towel-lined plate to drain and crisp up.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Chowder Cream In Pan Top

After 9-10 minutes of simmering, the vegetables were fork-tender. At this stage, I stirred in the small container of cream and 1/2 teaspoon of salt. The soup was brought back to a boil for 5 minutes or so to thicken up.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Chowder Ciabatta In Bowl Top

In the same hot pan used to heat the prosciutto, I combined the butter packet with a little bit of olive oil, then toasted the ciabatta slices on each side. Mmm.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Chowder Finished In Bowl Top

Voila, the end result! Home Chef rated this meal as Intermediate-level difficulty, but I found it very easy to whip together. The mirepoix base gave everything so much flavor! Although the prosciutto never got crispy enough to crumble over top, it was still a very welcome addition. A sprinkle of red pepper flakes over the top was the perfect complement to the sweetness of the butternut squash and the saltiness of the prosciutto. Plus, the ciabatta toast was excellent. I will say though, the portion was a little on the small side for a dinner. If you see this recipe in your upcoming meal rotation, I highly recommend giving it a go.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Potato Bowl Bag Full FrontHome Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Potato Bowl Bag Label CloserHome Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Potato Bowl Laydown Group Top

BBQ Sweet Potato Buddha Bowl with Farro and Ranch Dressing

Calories: 907 per serving

Time to Table, According to Home Chef: 30-40 minutes

Actual Time to Table: 40 minutes

Cook within: 7 days

Difficulty: Intermediate

Spice Level: Mild

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Potato Bowl Recipe Card Front TopHome Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Potato Bowl Recipe Card Back Top

I was interested to test out this recipe because I’ve never cooked with farro before. Plus, I can never turn down a colorful vegetarian meal.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Potato Bowl Farro Top

To start, I pre-heated the oven to 425 degrees, then filled a medium-sized pot with 1-1/2 cups of water, to which I added a pinch of salt and the farro. The pot was then covered to boil. As the pot heated, I washed the produce and patted it dry. Then, I lined a large baking sheet with foil and gave it a spritz of cooking spray.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Potato Bowl Roasted Sheet Pan Top

Once the two sweet potatoes were cut into mid-sized pieces, I tossed them in olive oil, then rubbed in the BBQ seasoning mix with my hands, along with a little bit of salt and pepper. They roasted for 20 minutes.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Potato Bowl Veg Preparation Top

When the farro had reached a boil, I reduced the heat to a simmer and cooked it for 20 minutes. With the farro simmering and the sweet potatoes roasting, I made quick work of roughly chopping the kale, slicing half of the red onion, dicing the jalapeno, cutting the red pepper into strips, and running a knife through the cilantro. Love all that color!

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Potato Bowl Skillet Top

In a non-stick pan on medium-high heat with a bit of olive oil, I cooked the red pepper, red onion, and jalapeno until softened and lightly charred. Around this time, the farro finished cooking, so I drained it and let it rest off away from heat.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Potato Bowl Roasted Top

Once the sweet potatoes finished in the oven, I removed them and set them aside to cool down.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Potato Bowl Kale Cook Top

The kale cooked with the vegetables until slightly wilted. At this point, I added a bit more salt and pepper to taste.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Potato Bowl Finished Top

Here’s the completed dish! From the bottom, I filled each bowl with farro, followed by the veggie mixture, the sweet potatoes, some shredded cheddar, and cilantro on top. The ranch was served on the side. The farro was my least favorite part of the dish, as it required a lot of jaw power to get through. My boyfriend said it “wasn’t the most fun to eat,” and there’s a chance I simply undercooked it. I think quinoa would’ve been a better substitute, but that’s just my taste. Speaking of taste, the mix of flavors here was really nice! The sweet potatoes were well seasoned, and the cilantro was a bright, refreshing contrast to the ranch and cheddar cheese. I was very surprised by how filling this dish was. We ate around 6:45pm and neither of us were hungry for the rest of the night, which is rare. The portions were incredibly generous. Overall, this dish was just okay—neither disappointing nor impressive.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Salad Bag Full FrontHome Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Salad Bag Label CloserHome Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Salad Laydown Group Top

Baja Guacamole Chicken Salad

Calories: 479 per serving

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

Actual Time to Table: 12 minutes

Cook within: 5 days

Difficulty: Easy

Spice Level: Not Spicy

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Salad Receipe Card Front Top

The colors of this meal initially caught my eye, but it was the promise of a five-minute lunch that made me add it to my order.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Salad Chopped Top

After washing and drying each romaine heart, I gave them a quick chop.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Salad Chicken And Corn In Bowl Top

I combined the bag of chicken with the container of corn in a microwave-safe bowl, then heated everything through for two minutes.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Salad Ranch In Bowl top

While the chicken and corn warmed up, I mixed the two packets of ranch with half of the taco seasoning in a small bowl.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Salad Chicken Seasoning In Bowl Top

I then sprinkled the other half of the taco seasoning over the chicken and corn and gave it all a generous stir to combine.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Salad Finished In Bowl Top

What a beautiful lunch! I layered the chicken and corn on top of the romaine, followed by the tortilla strips and the guacamole. I had some hesitations about the flavor of pre-cooked chicken in a bag, but it was surprisingly delicious and not weird in any way. The portions were once again very generous, and the blend of flavors and textures kept it interesting. I tend to get a little bored with salads, but this one was excellent. I’d order it again.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Smoothie Bag Full FrontHome Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Smoothie Bag Label CloserHome Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Smoothie Laydown Group Top

Chocolate Strawberry-Banana Smoothie

Calories: 190 per serving

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

Actual Time to Table: 7 minutes

Cook within: 7 days

Difficulty: Easy

Spice Level: Not Spicy

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Smoothie Card Front Top

Admittedly, I could use a little more fruit in my diet. This smoothie was a perfect opportunity to satisfy that need in a very simple way.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Smoothie Ingredients Group Shot Front

Here’s everything ready to go, including 2 cups of ice.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Smoothie Blend In Jar Front

I blended everything but the ice for about 2 and a half minutes.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Smoothie Ice In Jar Top

Then I added the 2 cups of ice and blended for another 2 and a half minutes.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review March 2019 - Smoothie Finished In Glass Front

Oh, wow. This was delicious—like having dessert for breakfast! Plus, with zero things to cut or clean up (aside from the blender), it really couldn’t have been any easier.

Verdict: My Home Chef experience this month was pretty positive. As always, I really appreciate the thoughtful, recyclable packaging for every part of the box, along with the clear organization of the ingredients. My favorite meal was a tie between the chowder and the chicken salad, while my least favorite was the farro bowl, though I still think it’s worth trying. Well done, Home Chef!

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 $30 off your first box and $10 off your next box.

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 chicken salad was $7.99 per serving (with free shipping). Marne’s advice is to get at least one add-on since it pushes you over the free shipping threshold, and it’s a solid pointer I happily pass on to you.

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!

What did you get from Home Chef this month?

Written by Savannah Sprowls

Savannah Sprowls

Savannah spends her days testing the creative limits of an all-black wardrobe, rattling about years spent overseas, and whipping up carb-heavy meals at home. Degustabox was her first foray into the world of monthly subscription boxes, and she still gets wildly excited every time a package arrives.

Posted in Food Subscription Boxes, Home Chef Reviews, Meal Delivery Services, Subscription Box Reviews| Tags: Home Chef | 16 comments

16 Comments

  1. I like that they actually send a recipe binder, give you the days you have to cook by, and their packaging. The fact that you can get a 5 minute lunch is nice. I might have to give them a try.

    • The binder was a really nice touch! Of the meal subscription kits I’ve tried, this one is currently my favorite. If you decide to give it a go, Bonny, don’t forget to follow the link listed above with the coupon. And, let me know about your experience! I always love to compare notes, even if the recipes are different.

  2. Grant it I didn’t order a box last month but unless something changed by boyfriend and I have never been able to finish a meal. Maybe it is the difference in the actual meals ordered. The salads are lunch portions, not dinner portions.

    • I had the same thought, Kristin. If I had the chicken salad for dinner, it probably wouldn’t have been enough, but as a lunch, I thought it was great.

  3. I loved the baja guac chicken salad! I take the lunches with me to work (12 hour night shift) so I do a few minutes of extra prep work at home to split some items. Several people at work commented how this lunch looked and smelled delicious.

    I just wish Home Chef was able to source the guac into two packages instead of one. I end up having no guac one night (boo) and all the guac one night (yum). The salad is good without the guac, but it is fantastic with.

    • LOL…I had the same guac wish and dilemma. I ended up just spooning a clump on top of the salad I put in the fridge in an air tight container to save for the next day and hoping it wouldn’t turn brown. It didn’t! I was able to mix it in when I put the salad dressing on the next day and everything was just as delicious as the first day. But I could always use MORE quac, of course…

      • Ooh, good idea on the airtight container, LB. I’ll keep that in my pocket for next time I’ve gotta have that salad and can’t wait to split it with someone else. 😉

    • I had the same thought about the guac too, Mee! Two packs would make it so much easier to split this meal. I had originally planned to have one serving to myself, then pass the other serving on to my boyfriend as our schedules are quite different, but the single pack of guac held me back. I just waited until we could eat the salads together, which was still nice. I recommend reaching out to Home Chef with that idea—they’re very kind and receptive to feedback. I’ll try to let them know, too.

  4. Farro is supposed to be a little chewy but not hard at all. Sounds like you might have undercooked it some.

    • I’m thinking you’re right, Theresa. Mistakes are one of the best teaching methods, so now I know for next time. 🙂 I haven’t given up on farro quite yet.

  5. It just doesn’t look like very much food for the price.

    • That’s a fair critique, Michelle. When I first got into meal subscription kits, I was a little wary of the cost of the box versus what the ingredients would cost at the grocery store. As my schedule and personal life can get pretty hectic at times, I’ve come justify the cost because of the convenience of the service itself. Everyone’s needs are different!

  6. I had the Baja Guacamole and Chicken salad in my box this past week as well. I must say that that chicken and guacamole were not enough for two servings and this salad was a huge disappointment for me and my husband as a result of that.

    • Hi Anita! Home Chef is super open to feedback, so I recommend letting them know your thoughts about the salad portion size. My boyfriend and I found it to be pretty satisfying for a light midday meal, but different strokes, I suppose.

  7. Thanks for sharing ! I just recently signed up for home chef and have felt that it is an exceptional service. I was doing hello fresh for about a year and was very pleased but I don’t feel it’s as good a home chef. The options you get including add ons having fresh fruit every week and healthy breakfast and lunch options. We love it 🥰

    • You’re welcome, Amber! I haven’t tried Hello Fresh, but I’ll keep your comment in mind if the opportunity arises. I’ve been pretty charmed by Home Chef—totally with you on the availability of fresh produce and healthy options.

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