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Home Chef “Thanksgiving Sides” Review + Coupon – November 2020

Home Chef Box

Home Chef is a meal kit subscription that delivers a weekly box of the pre-portioned ingredients needed to make 2-6 meals that feed two, four, six, or eight people. Home Chef advertises easy recipes that can be made in about 30 minutes. They offer vegetarian, gluten-free, and calorie/carb-conscious recipes.

Home Chef Opening Box

With Thanksgiving right around the bend, Home Chef reached out to see if I’d be interested in reviewing their “Thanksgiving Sides Box.” (Ummm… is the sky blue?) This box contains 3 Thanksgiving side dishes that each serve 6 people. The cost per side per serving is $2.66. Total cost for this box is $47.88. (Note that if you only order these sides, shipping is $10. If you add an additional item to boost your total over $49, shipping is free.)

This year, subscribers have the option of letting Home Chef cater their Thanksgiving. You can order a full spread (with Turkey), or cook the bird yourself and just order some sides. This is a sides-only review, but here’s the full available menu:

Image via Home Chef.

This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the

About Home Chef

The Subscription Box: Home Chef

The Cost: Meals for 2 start at $6.99 per serving, and delivery is free for orders over $49. Thanksgiving Sides start at $2.66 per serving. Shipping is $10 for orders less than $49. 

COUPON: Expiring Soon! Home Chef Black Friday Coupon – $90 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: 98% of the U.S. You can check to see if Home Chef delivers to your zip code while signing up.

Home Chef “Thanksgiving Sides” November 2020 Review

I love to cook, and I love cooking Thanksgiving dinner, but this Thanksgiving is going to be different than usual for me. Last year, I hosted a big Friendsgiving bash. The year before that, I helped my mom cook a giant meal for our extended family. This year, like a lot of people, I’m keeping things small. (I think my table will be set for only 3 or 4.) I’ve gone back and forth about whether it’s worth doing the whole Turkey Day shebang for such a small group, and I’ve considered supplementing my home cooking with catering from a local restaurant or inviting my guests to bring their favorite side dish, potluck-style. I hadn’t considered ordering food from a meal kit subscription for the big day, so when Home Chef reached out to me about reviewing their “Thanksgiving Sides” Box, I couldn’t have been more game. Is this the solution I’d been looking for?

Before we dive into the food, let me show off this binder I received with my order:

 

When you sign up for a subscription, you’ll get one of these binders in your first box. All of the recipes you’ll receive come 3-hole punched, and you can keep them stored here. Over time, you’ll amass your very own Home Chef cookbook!

Ingredients for Biscuit Recipe

Thanksgiving Side #1: White Cheddar and Sage Biscuits with Honey Butter

Calories: 329 per serving

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

Actual Time to Table: 35 minutes

Cook within: 7 days

Difficulty: Easy

Spice Level: Not Spicy

 

Since I was sent this box in advance to test it for you all, recipe cards were still at the printer. So, Home Chef sent me virtual recipe cards. (If you order this box, you should receive the printed ones.

Biscuit Ingredients

The ingredients for this dish included flour-based “biscuit mix,” some white cheddar, buttermilk dill seasoning, fresh sage, honey, and butter.

Let’s make some biscuits!

To get started, I dumped the biscuit mix into a bowl and added the seasoning, cheese, and chopped sage. As per the recipe, I poured in 2/3 cup of water and mixed everything together. Unfortunately, something wasn’t right.

I was looking for a consistency that was “spoonable.” My dough was soupy.

Definitely not spoonable. After an initial moment of panic where I ran back to the recipe to make sure I hadn’t misread anything or mistakenly added the wrong amount of water (I hadn’t), I went into troubleshooting mode. I added flour until I got a consistency that looked right, and I added a pinch of salt and a dash of pepper to make up for the extra unseasoned flour.

Spoiler alert: my biscuits turned out just fine. Delicious, even. I reached out to Home Chef to see if anyone else has reported having the same problem, but I’m not yet sure if it’s a problem with the recipe or the ingredients I received. Too much water or not enough flour mix could each result in soupy batter. Hopefully, this is just an issue with my box and not a widespread issue, but in case you find yourself in the same boat as me: add an extra 1/2 cup of flour and 1/8th tsp each salt and pepper. 

Biscuit Batter

Much better. Now that the dough was looking as it should, I got out a cookie scoop and portioned it into 9 mounds.

Scooped Biscuits

Before popping these little guys into my pre-heated 400-degree oven, I topped each one with a pinch of cheese and an extra crack of black pepper and sea salt.

Into the oven they went, and about 18 minutes later…

Biscuits! Believe me when I tell you I was holding my breath to make sure they came out okay. But they did! They smelled great while they were cooking, and they came out of the oven looking just like the photo. Hooray!

 

While they cooled, I whipped honey, butter, and salt together to make honey butter spread. Since I had some more cooking left to do, I plated the biscuits and set them out so my husband and I could graze on them throughout the afternoon. I had a little leftover sage that I used to garnish the platter, and I also set out some extra honey. (I like a disgusting amount of honey on my biscuits.)

 

These were really tasty. The flavor of the sage was prominent, and the honey butter nicely balanced out the savory cheddar. Texturally, they were soft and spongy. I think these would be right at home on the Thanksgiving table. Sage and turkey are a match made in heaven, and I like the idea of an herby biscuit on the table to help cut through the richness of all the heavy sides. But I would happily nibble on these any old day. I won’t tell you the exact number I ate over the course of the afternoon, but it was a lot. (I regret nothing.)

Potato Ingredients Bagged

Meal #2: Loaded Mashed Potatoes with Bacon, Cheddar, and Green Onions

Calories: 302 per serving

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

Actual Time to Table: 40 minutes

Cook within: 5 days

Difficulty: Easy

Spice Level: Not Spicy

 

Next up: mashed potatoes! Mashed potatoes are my momma’s fave. I don’t make them very often myself, but we have them every holiday. They feel very Thanksgiving-y to me, so as soon as I started unpacking this dish I was feeling the holiday spirit.

To get things started, I cleaned the potatoes and cut them into big chunks. (Note that the recipe recommended peeling the potatoes. I, however, am quite partial to rustic, skin-on mashed potatoes, so I opted to leave them au naturale) I also sliced the green onions and minced the garlic.

Potatoes Chopped

After boiling a big pot of salted water on the stove, I added the potatoes and cooked them until they were fork-tender, about 17 minutes. While I waited, I cooked the provided bacon bits in the microwave.

Cooked Potatoes

I drained the potatoes and set them aside. In the now-empty potato pot, I heated some olive oil and added the garlic. After about 30 seconds, I added in cream and butter and brought the mixture to a simmer. Then, back in went the potatoes along with sour cream, cheese, salt, and pepper.

I whipped everything together, transferred the potatoes to a bowl, and finished them off with bacon bits, green onions, and a little bit of extra cheese.

 

Man, oh man, these were some good potatoes. Home Chef wasn’t kidding about them being “loaded,” they were jam-packed full of goodness. Far too often I find that loaded mashed potatoes are not loaded enough for my liking, but these were rich, cheesy, and downright delicious. I also thought the yield was quite generous; this side would easily serve 6.

Meal #1: Caramelized Onion and Green Bean Casserole

Calories: 158 per serving

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

Actual Time to Table: 40 minutes

Cook within: 7 days

Difficulty: Easy

Spice Level: Not Spicy

 

Okay, guys, it’s time for a Thanksgiving confession. Before this box, I had never eaten green bean casserole. I never even realized that I’d never had it before. Of course, it’s a food I was familiar with before this, but it was just never on my radar, I guess.

Green Bean Casserole Ingredients

I was excited to give it a try! I got started on this recipe by cleaning the beans and then chopping off their tops and tails. They then went into a pan with some olive oil and water, where I cooked them until they started to soften.

Cooked Beans

I sprinkled over some flour and added extra water, stirring everything together to make sure the flour got hydrated and started to cook. Next, I added in the good stuff: chicken broth concentrate, seasoning blend, cream sauce, caramelized onion jam, and salt & pepper.

Beans with cream sauce added.

After simmering for a few minutes, I transferred the creamy bean mixture to a Pyrex baking dish. At this point, I ran into snafu number two. Included with the ingredients for this dish was a small bag of cheese, and yet, cheese was mentioned nowhere in the recipe. Was cheese mistakenly left off the recipe card? Did the Home Chef gods just decide to grace me with some bonus cheese? Given my inexperience with this dish, I didn’t even know if cheese is usually an ingredient! So, I turned to Google, but unfortunately, this didn’t help much. It seems sometimes green bean casserole is made with cheese and sometimes it isn’t. Since I had it, I went ahead and sprinkled cheese on top before baking.

UPDATE: I reached out to Home Chef about this issue, and they confirmed that cheese is not an ingredient in their green bean casserole. Luckily, I tried the sauce before I added the cheese, and it was delicious. I enjoyed the addition of the cheese in my dish, but I think it would have been just as good without it. 

After about 15 minutes in the oven, the casserole was ready! I let it cool for a few minutes and then topped it with crispy onions.

 

Consider me converted. These beans were so good! I loved the creamy white sauce, and the rich, crunchy onions were plentiful and delicious. I tend to go healthy(ish) with my Thanksgiving veggies (baked root vegetables, sautéed green beans with garlic, roasted Brussels sprouts), but I like that this casserole feels like an indulgence. For me, that makes it seem special and therefore appropriate for a holiday meal.

Verdict: There were a couple of small bumps with this Home Chef box, but nothing got in the way of me enjoying these awesome sides. All three were delicious, and they were all really quick and easy to make. (I cooked them at the same time, and start to finish probably took me an hour and a half.) At the beginning of this review, I talked about looking for a solution to help streamline my Thanksgiving menu, and I think this is an excellent solution. I could pair these sides with turkey (or rotisserie chicken) and then focus on making a couple of desserts, and it would save me so much time. Also – dare I say? – at $47.88 I think it may be less than I’d spend buying ingredients for the same dishes at the grocery store. I’m impressed.

To Wrap Up:

Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Yes! Sign up today and place your order before 12 pm EST on November 20th to get these tasty sides!

COUPON: Expiring Soon! Home Chef Black Friday Coupon – $90 Off Your First Four Boxes! No coupon needed - just use this link.

Value Breakdown: This box cost $47.88, or $2.66 per serving per side. Shipping is $10 for orders under $49. 

Check out all of our Home Chef reviews and our list of the best meal kit subscriptions!

Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist.

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Written by Lindsey Morse

Lindsey Morse

Lindsey is a professional baker, cold brew coffee addict, and rosé aficionado who loves writing about food and wine. When she’s not sharing her love of subscription boxes with the world, you’ll find her in the podcasting studio, perfecting her cake decorating techniques, or cursing her way through the New York Times daily crossword puzzle.

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

Comments (8)

  1. Everything looks good, and these kits are certainly convenient, especially for a beginner cook, but I promise you can make mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, and biscuits for less than $47.88 at the grocery store. How would a normal family survive if you couldn’t?

    • Hi, Beth Ellen, thanks for your comment. It’s always tricky analyzing value when it comes to subscription meal kits, but let me try and clarify my thinking. I approached this by asking myself how much I would likely spend on ingredients if I were to go to the grocery store and buy everything I’d need to make these sides. (Butter, milk, cream, white cheddar, sharp cheddar, bacon, scallions, crispy onions, flour, sage, etc.) It all starts to add up quickly, and by the time I’d purchased everything, I’m pretty sure my grocery bill would exceed the cost of the box. Of course, I wouldn’t be using all of what I purchased to make the sides, which would most certainly leave me with leftover ingredients I could use elsewhere. So, to your point, the food costs for these recipes would definitely be less than the price of the box, but I think my grocery bill would be higher. Since I normally have to do a big shop before making Thanksgiving dinner, it made sense to me to approach it this way. 😊

      • On the other hand, if your entire grocery bill for the ingredients is assigned to those three sides, everything else you make with them is free. And I assume you’ll want to also eat dinner the next day.

        I’m not trying to ruin meal kits for people who enjoy them, but they just aren’t a bargain financially. Especially with these super-common ingredients. Milk, cheese, flour, and potatoes? They are not going to be wasted.

  2. I love green bean casserole but that isn’t nearly enough crispy onions for me 😆

    • Hahaha they are delicious! Pretty sure there’s no such thing as “too many crispy onions.”

  3. I’ve had HC for over 3 years and have never experienced so many issues with quality of vegetables and entire meals missing. This has mostly been in the last 6 months, but is becoming worse.

    Any others out there having similar issues?

    Even with these issues, I still think the meals are delicious and the ingredients are pretty good…..

    • Same here. I’ve only been with them since May but there have been quite a few issues (wrong meat option sent, bad veggies, missing meals, recalled ingredients, one memorable week where my box showed up an entire week late (in 90 degree heat. it was revolting)). That said, I don’t plan to stop any time soon. The good far far far outweighs the bad for my purposes, and makes it worth it. Plus their customer service is undeniably one of the absolute best I’ve ever experienced.

      • I have to second your HC customer service comment, HC does have phenomenal customer services! They have always went beyond expectations to fix whatever the problem is!

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