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Home Chef Subscription Box Review + Coupon – June 2019

home chef unopened box

Home Chef is a meal kit subscription that delivers a weekly box of the pre-portioned ingredients needed 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.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review June 2019 - OPEN BOX

This is a review of my customized plan that includes:

  • A mix of 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 June 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. Shipping is $10 for orders less than $45.

COUPON: Save $80 off your first four boxes! No coupon needed - just use this link.

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 June 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.

Let’s talk about what came in that green envelope.

 

I received a generous wine voucher from nakedwines.com, a small advertisement for Geico, $25 off a Trunk Club order, and a promo offer for 2 video doorbells from Ring. If you’re not familiar with Naked Wines, check out Megan’s review about the company that sends all of those vouchers in subscription boxes!

Now, onto the packaging situation:

Home Chef Subscription Box Review June 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 June 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 June 2019 - CARDBOARD DIVIDER

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

Home Chef Subscription Box Review June 2019 - COOLED MEAT

And beneath the cardboard divider is a reusable/recyclable ice pack, which keeps the chicken breasts 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).

Home Chef Subscription Box Review June 2019 - CHICKEN 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 June 2019 - CHICKEN LAYDOWN

Jalapeño Popper Chicken Breast with Crispy Onion Potatoes

Calories: 614 per serving

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

Actual Time to Table: 47 minutes

Cook within: 5 days

Difficulty: Easy

Spice Level: Mild

 

This was the first meal I’ve ever ordered from Home Chef that comes complete with an aluminum tray for easy prep and cleanup. The tray was a little mangled in transit, but it was easy enough to push back into shape. I’m a fan!

Home Chef Subscription Box Review June 2019 - CHICKEN VEGGIES

To get things started, all I had to do was toss the cooked potatoes and sliced red onions into the bottom of the tray. I didn’t add any salt in this step like the recipe suggested, because the sodium was already pretty high in the nutrition facts.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review June 2019 - CHICKEN PRE-BAKE

On top of the vegetables, I placed the two chicken breasts, followed by a generous sprinkle of the seasoning blend, cream cheese, diced jalapeños, and a ton of cheddar cheese.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review June 2019 - CHICKEN DONE

Everything went into a 400-degree oven for 30 minutes to start. I removed the chicken, tested the internal temperature with a thermometer, and the breasts were about 145 degrees in the middle instead of 165. I tossed the tray back in the oven for another 10-15 minutes to bring up the temperature, so that’s why it took me so long to complete, despite its promised completion time of 25-35 minutes.

All that said, this meal was delicious, and really could not have been any easier! I was so excited to eat it that I started cutting into it right away, only to remember several bites in that the dish still needed to be garnished with crispy onions, so that’s why they’re not pictured. Oops. On my big plate, the serving size seems small, but it was a great size for a responsibly-portioned dinner. I’ll definitely consider making this again, and will keep my eyes peeled for more tray-style offerings on future Home Chef menus.

 

BBQ Mushroom Flatbread with Ranch Drizzle and Cilantro

Calories: 750 per serving

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

Actual Time to Table: 42 minutes

Cook within: 7 days

Difficulty: Easy

Spice Level: Not Spicy

 

Home Chef frequently offers flatbread recipes in their weekly meal rotations, so this time I took the bait. At first glance, the ingredients didn’t seem like enough food for dinner, so I made it for lunch one afternoon.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review June 2019 - FLATBREAD PREP

To start, I preheated my oven to 400 degrees. Then, I cleaned up the mushrooms with a wet paper towel and chopped ‘em into ¼” slices, sliced up the shallot, and ran a knife through the cilantro. The recipe suggested stemming the cilantro, but there’s still so much flavor in the stems! It would be a shame to toss them, so I included everything.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review June 2019 - FLATBREAD PAR BAKE

I par-baked the flatbreads directly on my center oven rack for 8 minutes. They browned up beautifully in all the right places.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review June 2019 - FLATBREAD MUSHROOMS

While the flatbreads were getting roasty toasty, I cooked the mushrooms and shallots over medium-high heat with a little bit of salt, pepper, and olive oil. I let them continue cooking longer than the suggested 5-7 minute cook time to get the mushrooms browned to my likeness.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review June 2019 - FLATBREAD ASSEMBLY

Here, I assembled the flatbreads by laying down half of the barbecue sauce as the foundation, followed by the shredded cheddar-jack cheese, and the mushroom mixture. Everything went back into the oven directly on the rack for 6 minutes.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review June 2019 - FLATBREAD DONE

Once everything was warmed through and melted beautifully, I drizzled the remaining barbecue sauce on top, followed by the ranch dressing, and garnished both flatbreads generously with my chopped cilantro. What a beautiful meal! I wasn’t surprised about this dish being as delicious as it was, but I was surprised to discover how filling it was. Turns out, the flatbreads are indeed a dinner-sized portion. The flatbread had a great crisp to it, the mushrooms were meaty and savory, and the combination of barbecue sauce, ranch, and cilantro was a winner. I’d order another flatbread meal again without hesitation.

 

5 Minute Lunch: Crispy Beet & Goat Cheese Chicken Grain Bowl

Calories: 504 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 June 2019 - BOWL RECIPE CARD

Home Chef sent along the incorrect recipe card for this meal, but that’s all right, considering all of the recipes are available on their website. After looking at the ingredients online, and taking a peek at everything that came out of the box, this meal didn’t seem like all that much to me. Though, as I’ve learned from some meal kit recipes, less really can be more. I did my best to keep an open mind.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review June 2019 - BOWL RICE

I crumbled up the brown rice into a few pieces, added 2 tablespoons of water, covered the bowl with a damp paper towel, and microwaved everything for a minute and a half. The recipe suggested 2 minutes, but I have a higher-powered microwave, so less time usually does the trick for these 5-minute lunches.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review June 2019 - BOWL CHICKEN

I then zapped this bowl of chicken for another minute and a half.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review June 2019 - BOWL COMPLETE

After laying down a foundation of rice, I layered on the chicken, crunchy beet strips, crumbled goat cheese, and white balsamic dressing. This lunch really surprised me! The flavors were sophisticated and unexpected, the portion was perfect for the time of day, and it really couldn’t have been any easier to put together. The dressing was a punchy, tangy complement to the savory chicken and creamy goat cheese. Also, the crunchy beet strips were a real winner. I’ll probably order a container to keep in my pantry.

 

Club Tropicana Smoothie

Calories: 301 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 June 2019 - SMOOTHIE RECIPE CARD

I just can’t help but add a smoothie to my Home Chef order every month. There’s something really nice about waking up on a weekend morning, rolling out of bed, and having a smoothie to kick off the day.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review June 2019 - SMOOTHIE LAYOUT

Here are all the ingredients, including the two cups of ice needed in step two.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review June 2019 - SMOOTHIE BLENDER

To the blender, I added all of the ingredients (sans ice) to blend for a little less than 2 minutes. The recipe card says to blend for 3-4 minutes, but my borderline-vintage blender is tough and can have everything nice and homogenized in half the time.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review June 2019 - SMOOTHIE ICE

I added in the two cups of ice and blended it all for another 2 minutes until smooth as can be.

Home Chef Subscription Box Review June 2019 - SMOOTHIE DONE

Oh, this was so good. And, following suit with the other 3 recipes, it was incredibly easy! The combination of pineapple, coconut milk, oranges, and mangoes really made me feel like I was at the beach, but in reality, I was eating a frozen pizza on my couch. Paradise takes many shapes, I suppose.

Verdict: My Home Chef experience this month was fantastic. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again—this is my favorite meal delivery kit I’ve tried. The packaging is organized and almost entirely recyclable, the recipes are very easy to follow, and all of the meals I picked were a home run. Plus, the option of adding smoothies and 5-minute lunches can’t be beat. Although the meals themselves don’t cost less than procuring the ingredients at a grocery store, they do cost considerably less than ordering similar items from a restaurant, and that has certainly helped some of my takeout habits. My favorite meal was the jalapeño popper chicken, but everything was delicious. If you’re going to try a meal delivery kit, I highly recommend this one. Bravo, 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: Save $80 off your first four boxes! No coupon needed - just use this link.

Value Breakdown: At $65.68 for this box, each dinner was $9.95 per serving, the smoothie was $4.95 per serving, and the chicken grain bowl 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.

What did you get from Home Chef this month?

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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 & Drink Subscription Boxes, Home Chef Reviews, Meal Kit Subscriptions, Subscription Box Reviews| Tags: Home Chef | 8 comments

Comments (8)

  1. Actually, if you order 3 meals, it’ll take you to free shipping. Order 2 meals and then an add-on to reach that goal.
    I do testing for them and was skeptical at the no prep meal size but it comes out to the same of most of the regular meals and are really good and fast. I just hesitate to fire up my oven in the Texas summer.
    Love that they solicit reviews of new meals and appear to listen to our suggestions.

    • Solid point, Karol. I’m so used to ordering 2 meals per subscription kit that I often forget ordering 3+ is an option. Thanks for mentioning it!

      Also, testing recipes for Home Chef sounds like a dream gig. I’ve got heart eyes just thinking about it. And I agree about HC being very receptive to feedback. They implement it quickly as well, and I really admire that. They’re so good.

  2. PARADISE TAKES MANY SHAPES. I love you.

    • Thanks, Jessica 🙂 that’s very sweet of you. To each their own, you know?

  3. Great review! The flatbread looks delicious!

    • TYSM, Katie! It was *really* good, and I imagine pretty easy to recreate if you know where to get your hands on some decent flatbreads. My search for those begins soon.

  4. This review is equal parts entertaining & informative. Great job, Savannah! I have paused this box, but I really love it. It feels like food I actually want to eat, but interesting enough to make me feel like I’ve accomplished something cheffy. When I resume it in the fall, I will definitely be adding a smoothie to the order.

    • Thank you, SusanY! “Cheffy” is exactly how I feel after I’ve banged out one of their recipes, especially when it plates easily, but looks like I really put some thought into the arrangement. Looking forward to hearing about how your fall orders go when the time comes!

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