Home Chef Subscription Box Review + Coupon – May 2019


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Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - UNOPENED BOX

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 that includes a mix of shellfish, 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) 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 May 2019 - BIG REVEAL

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 May 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.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - INSULATION

This month’s box was cushioned and insulated with packaging comprised entirely of recycled water bottles. The whole lining can be placed in a curbside recycling bin, in locations that accept RIC 1 recyclables. Easy enough!

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - BOX INGREDIENTS

Beneath the insulated flap lies all of this month’s meals, neatly packaged into individual, recyclable bags with convenient handles and slide-zip closures.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - CARDBOARD DIVIDER

Underneath the ingredient bags is a cardboard divider that keeps the meats separated from everything else.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - COOLED MEAT

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!

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SHRIMP BAG FRONT Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SHRIMP BAG BACK

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).

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SHRIMP BAG LABEL

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

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SHRIMP LAYDOWN

Crispy Boom Boom Shrimp Rice Bowl with Edamame and Bok Choy

Calories: 929 per serving

Time to Table, According to Home Chef: 35-45 minutes

Actual Time to Table: 36 minutes

Cook within: 3 days

Difficulty: Intermediate

Spice Level: Mild

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SHRIMP RECIPE CARD FRONT Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SHRIMP RECIPE CARD BACK

As a fun surprise, Home Chef didn’t include the correct recipe card for this dish. Luckily, the instructions are available online, so I wasn’t at a total loss. I chose this recipe because I’d never cooked with shrimp before and wanted to challenge myself.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SHRIMP RICE COOKER

To get things started, I threw the jasmine rice into my rice cooker with 1.5 cups of water.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SHRIMP PREP

The prep work was pretty easy. I chopped the bok choy and green onions (separating the whites from the hollow green ends), then cut the lime in half, quartering one part and juicing the other.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SHRIMP COATED

I patted both sides of the shrimp dry with some paper towels while a pan warmed up off to the side. Then, I coated them in cornstarch before frying in the pan.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SHRIMP FRY

Over medium-high heat, I seared the shrimp on one side in a few tablespoons of olive oil for 3 minutes. Then, I flipped them and let them cook on the other side for an additional 3 minutes. So easy.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SHRIMP VEGGIE RICE

While the shrimp was cooking in the pan, the rice finished cooking, so to that, I stirred in 2 packets of tamari soy sauce and the edamame.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SHRIMP SEASONED

I put the shrimp directly into a bowl with the spice blend and gave everything a thorough toss.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SHRIMP BOK CHOY

In the same pan used for the shrimp, I cooked the bok choy on medium-high heat for 3 minutes, until they started to soften. Then, I added in the white portions of the green onions and let everything keep going for another 2 minutes.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SHRIMP SAUCE

As the bok choy and green onions were finishing up in the pan, I mixed the boom boom sauce with the lime juice I squeezed earlier.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SHRIMP FINISHED

And here’s the finished dish. It was wonderful! My boyfriend and I were both very impressed with the flavors, and I was especially a fan of how easy it was to put together. Although the shrimp wasn’t crispy as the name of the recipe suggests, it was still pretty good. A little more time in the pan on higher heat would’ve done the job. I feel much more confident with cooking shrimp, and I can certainly see myself making this again in the future. It was an interesting departure from my typical recipe repertoire, and it encouraged me to continue making creative choices when selecting dishes going forward.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - RISOTTO BAG FULL Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - RISOTTO BAG LABEL Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - RISOTTO LAYDOWN

Tortilla Elotes Risotto with Cotija Cheese and Corn

Calories: 716 per serving

Time to Table, According to Home Chef: 35-45 minutes

Actual Time to Table: 1 hour

Cook within: 7 days

Difficulty: Intermediate

Spice Level: Mild

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - RISOTTO RECIPE CARD FRONT Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - RISOTTO RECIPE CARD BACK

More rice, hoorah! I couldn’t imagine making risotto in under an hour but held onto hope that it was a possibility. Not this time, but that’s all right.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - RISOTTO BROTH

To start, I boiled the vegetable base with 4 cups of water. In hindsight, I should’ve started this step a little later on instead of right at the beginning, because I boiled off about half the broth by the time it was needed for the arborio rice.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - RISOTTO PREP

I husked the corn and cut all the kernels from each cob, diced the red onion, chopped the cilantro, and cut the jalapeno. The prep work took a little longer than expected, but that’s all right.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - RISOTTO PAN VEGGIES

In a deep pan over medium heat, I cooked the veggies in a drizzle of olive oil, some salt, and some pepper for five minutes. I then transferred everything to a bowl and put a plate on top to keep the mixture warm.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - RISOTTO TOAST

In the same pan with another drizzle of olive oil, I toasted the arborio rice for 2 minutes, until opaque.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - RISOTTO COOK

And here’s where the arm workout began. I added 1 cup of the boiling vegetable base to the rice and stirred until the broth was mostly absorbed.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - RISOTTO ABSORBED

For the next 20 minutes, I stirred 1/2 cup increments of the boiling veggie broth into the rice until I eventually ran out of broth for letting it boil for too long. Once that was all gone but the rice was still a bit uncooked, I switched over to the water and added in 1 more cup. After the rice was cooked to my liking, I stirred in the butter, half the cilantro, 3/4 of the cotija cheese, a little bit of salt, and a pinch of pepper.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - RISOTTO FINISHED

You can’t tell me this isn’t a gorgeous dish. Look at those colors! As for taste, this risotto really knocked it out of the park. It was rich, crunchy, and savory with the right amount of spice. The cilantro garnish kept things from feeling too heavy, and the portion was just right. Risotto is a labor of love, and I’m glad I opted for this really unique iteration.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SANDWICH BAG FULL Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SANDWICH BAG LABEL Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SANDWICH LAYDOWN

Guacamole Chicken Salad Sandwich

Calories: 546 per serving

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

Actual Time to Table: 9 minutes

Cook within: 5 days

Difficulty: Easy

Spice Level: Not Spicy

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SANDWICH RECIPE CARD

It’s hard to resist adding a 5-minute lunch to my monthly order, especially with an offering that looks this good.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SANDWICH BREAD

The rolls were partially sliced, so all I had to do was pry them open the rest of the way.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SANDWICH SLAW

In a small bowl, I combined the slaw mix with the mayo packet. The slaw still seemed pretty dry, and I contemplated adding more mayo that I had on hand, but remembered all of the guacamole that was yet to come, and figured that would do the job.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SANDWICH PREP

I heated the bag of chicken in the microwave for 1 minute, then tossed the pieces in taco seasoning, which was pretty spicy. I had reservations about chicken from a bag in one of my first Home Chef orders, but it isn’t weird in any way. I’ve ordered it a few times and am yet to be disappointed. I also spread the guacamole over the bottom of each roll.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SANDWICH FINISHED

Tada, the completed sandwich. To finish everything off, I put the chicken on top of the guac, followed by the chicken, slaw, and crispy onions at the very end. This was so, so good. I only lost a few pieces of chicken out of the sides of the bun, but everything stayed together pretty well. It was pretty bread-forward, which I didn’t mind, and the guac cooled the heat of the taco seasoning on the chicken very nicely. The crispy onions made for a perfect finishing touch. Would order these again, for sure.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SMOOTHIE BAG FULL Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SMOOTHIE BAG LABEL Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SMOOTHIE LAYDOWN

Blueberry Passion Fruit Smoothie with Pineapple

Calories: 311 per serving

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

Actual Time to Table: 3 minutes

Cook within: 7 days

Difficulty: Easy

Spice Level: Not Spicy

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SMOOTHIE RECIPE CARD

Much like the 5-minute lunches, I also can’t help but add a smoothie to my Home Chef orders. They’re really good, and a nice morning treat. This one was the easiest one I’ve made to date.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SMOOTHIE LAYOUT

There were only 4 ingredients, and no need for ice, which I found interesting. Usually, 2 cups of ice is the standard for Home Chef smoothies.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review May 2019 - SMOOTHIE BLENDED

Here’s everything all nice and blended after about 2 minutes.

I was so excited to try this that I neglected to blend it for as long as it needed. There were some big pieces of mashed up blueberry at the bottom of the glass, but that was entirely user error and in no way the fault of the recipe. It was really enjoyable though, especially first thing on a Saturday morning.

Verdict: My Home Chef experience was excellent this month. Each dish was superb, and I’d consider making all of them again in the future, especially the shrimp bowl. Home Chef is currently the front runner for my favorite meal subscription kit… 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 sandwich was $7.99 per serving (with free shipping). Per Marne’s advice, 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 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 | 4 comments

4 Comments

  1. Home Chef is always my favorite meal box. Like you said, the flavors meld beautifully in almost every meal. Risotto is labor intensive but so worth the work. I learn so many techniques from HC meal preparation.

    • I love Home Chef too. I think I’ve been using them for 3 years! I’ve tried the risotto 3 times now and I think I finally succeeded this time. LOL. I’m not a horrible cook or anything and the last 2 were edible but not great. I’m pretty sure I was just being too impatient (no big surprise for me).

  2. 5/16/19 discount code has expired

    • Hi Maddie, we just updated the coupon link to include the latest discount. Thanks for the heads up!

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