Home Chef Subscription Box Review + Coupon – April 2019
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 my customized plan (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.)
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 April 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 a 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.
Here’s a rundown of the packaging situation.
This month’s box was cushioned and insulated with packaging comprised entirely from cotton fibers. The whole lining can be placed in a curbside recycling bin, in locations that accept RIC 1 recyclables. Easy enough!
Beneath the insulated flap lies all of this month’s meals, neatly packaged into individual, recyclable bags with convenient handles and slide-zip closures.
Underneath the ingredient bags is a cardboard divider that keeps the meats separated from everything else.
And beneath the cardboard divider is a reusable/recyclable ice pack, which keeps the chicken breasts and steaks nice and chilled. Also, check out the view of that handy insulated lining!
As previously mentioned, every 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 also labeled with the title of each recipe for clarity. They really thought of everything!
Calories: 790 per serving
Time to Table, According to Home Chef: 41 minutes
Actual Time to Table: 30-40 minutes
Cook within: 6 days
Spice Level: Not spicy
Although this recipe wasn’t a daring venture outside of my usual culinary repertoire, it still looked too good to pass up. An ideal dinner for a quiet Sunday night, if you will.
To start, I covered a pot of water to boil, pre-heated the oven to 400 degrees, and washed the mushrooms before patting them dry. Then, I quartered the mushrooms and gave the two cloves of garlic a rough chop. I love how Home Chef pre-peels the garlic—it saves me quite a bit of time.
I placed two halves of the French loaf on a small sheet pan, which was covered in tin foil and coated with cooking spray. To the bread, I drizzled a little bit of olive oil and placed the chopped garlic on top. This cooked in the oven for about 10 minutes. The recipe suggested 5-7, but I kept it in there longer to achieve my desired doneness.
To a large non-stick pan, I heated some olive oil over medium-high heat, then cooked the prosciutto in batches until crisped. This took a little longer than the suggested 1-2 minutes per side, but that’s all right.
I cooked the farfalle for 8 minutes because my idea of al dente tends to differ from most conventional cooking instructions. Before draining, I reserved 1/2 cup of the pasta water to create the sauce.
I let the prosciutto rest on a paper-towel-lined plate while the pasta cooked and the garlic bread baked. Once it had completely cooled, I crumbled it into smaller pieces, reserving a small pile for garnish (and helping myself to a piece here and there).
In the same pan used for the prosciutto, I added a bit more olive oil, then cooked the mushroom quarters with some pepper for 5 minutes until golden brown.
Here’s the garlic bread after plenty of time spent in the oven.
To the mushrooms, I added in the pasta, cooking water, cream, parmesan, and prosciutto, then waited for it all to come to a simmer. I let it simmer for a few minutes in hopes that the sauce would thicken, but I think I contributed a little too much pasta water.
Voila, the completed meal! I knew what to expect with this recipe going into it, so it wasn’t all that surprising to find that it was creamy and delicious. That didn’t make it any less enjoyable, though! The garlic bread was perfect for sopping up the extra sauce (especially since I made it on the thin side—oops), and the dish as a whole was certainly satisfying.
Calories: 600 per serving
Time to Table, According to Home Chef: 40-50 minutes
Actual Time to Table: 1 hour and 7 minutes
Cook within: 5 days
Spice Level: Not Spicy
French onion flavors reimagined for a chicken dinner? Sign me up.
Right off the bat, I pre-heated the oven to 450 degrees and began to heat my cast iron skillet so it’d be ready once the veggies were prepped. I washed and dried the produce, peeled and sliced the onion into strips, halved the tomatoes, and stemmed the thyme.
After patting the chicken breasts dry with a paper towel, I seasoned each side with salt and pepper.
I cooked the onions in a cast iron skillet on medium-high heat with a drizzle of olive oil, first undisturbed in a single layer for 4 minutes, then stirring often for another 5 minutes following a pinch of salt and pepper.
As the onions were attempting to caramelize, I poured the panko out on a plate with a little bit of salt, then coating each chicken breast in the breadcrumbs, pressing to adhere them.
It’s tough to get onions really well caramelized in a timely manner, so once the onions in my skillet were moderately dark, I poured in sherry wine and fresh thyme. It was another 3 minutes or so before the sherry cooked off. My kitchen smelled like a French bistro. It was awesome. When the onions were done, I plated them off to the side and wiped the skillet clean.
I seared the chicken on one side over medium-high heat and a little bit more oil for 3 minutes. Don’t mind the fish head—that’s just my pan handle cover.
In a small mixing bowl, I mixed together the white balsamic vinegar, sugar, 5 teaspoons of olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon of salt, and a pinch of pepper. Ta da, a salad dressing!
I tossed the arugula and halved tomatoes with the dressing in this large bowl until everything was incorporated. They gave me so much arugula! It was warmly welcomed.
After a quick sear, I let the chicken roast in the oven for 11 minutes, making sure its internal temperature reached 165 degrees. Safety first!
Then, I topped each breast with onions and a slice of Swiss cheese. Back into the oven they went for 3 minutes until everything melted. Then, I let the chicken rest for 5 minutes.
I was really impressed with this dish, to say the least. Firstly, the generous portions of arugula salad were wonderful and an excellent accompaniment to the chicken. Despite not getting my onions caramelized to a really dark quality, they still tasted great with the sherry and thyme. The chicken was cooked really nicely. I’ll definitely be making this again in the future.
Calories: 760 per serving
Time to Table, According to Home Chef: 5-10 minutes
Actual Time to Table: 9 minutes
Cook within: 5 days
Spice Level: Mild
I’ve been quite pleased with the last few 5 minute lunches I’ve ordered from Home Chef, and this one seemed like a winner right from the start. A little high in calories for a lunch option, but I knew what I was getting into.
As I was removing all of the ingredients from the bag, I noticed a small dead fly on the romaine. Don’t forget to wash and dry your produce every time! That was a nice reminder for me. I microwaved the chicken in a bowl for a little over 1 minute as I roughly chopped the lettuce and cilantro.
Working from the bottom up of each massive tortilla, I layered on the cheddar cheese, crispy jalapenos, lettuce, chicken, cilantro, and chipotle ranch dressing.
I forgot how terrible I am at wrapping tortillas, so please excuse how structurally unsound the finished product looks. As for taste, it was delicious! The first time I had the pre-packaged chicken from Home Chef, I was wary of how it might taste, but the kind they provide is consistently good. Another winning dish.
Calories: 231 per serving
Time to Table, According to Home Chef: 5-10 minutes
Actual Time to Table: 11 minutes
Cook within: 7 days
Spice Level: Not Spicy
Much like the 5-minute lunches, I’ve really enjoyed the last few smoothies I’ve received from Home Chef. It just doesn’t feel like a complete order until I’ve tacked on a smoothie at the end.
Here’s my smoothie setup.
The only prep required was peeling an orange and separating it into sections. Easy enough.
Everything is ready for blending. The ingredients got whipped together first, followed by 2 cups of ice.
And here’s the completed smoothie. It was delicious and refreshing—a great accompaniment to sitting in my sunny backyard and enjoying a slow Saturday afternoon.
Verdict: Once again, I’m incredibly pleased with my Home Chef experience. The recipe layouts were friendly and inviting, the dishes themselves were excellent, and the emphasis on recyclable materials was very much welcomed. I particularly appreciate the variety of meal types instead of just being limited to dinners. Of the other meal subscription delivery kits I’ve tried, this one is currently my favorite. Highly recommend!
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.
Value Breakdown: At $65.68 for this box, each dinner was $9.95 per serving, the smoothies were $4.95 per serving, and the chicken wrap was $7.99 per serving (with free shipping). Per Marne’s sage advice, it’s always a good idea to get at least one add-on since it pushes you over the free shipping threshold.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist.
What did you get from Home Chef this month?