Home Chef August 2021 Review + Coupon
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.
This is a review of my customized delivery that includes three 2-serving dinner options (3 x $9.95/serving) with $7.99 shipping, bringing the cost of this box to $67.69.
Please note that Home Chef shipping costs may vary. Some readers are charged for delivery while others report free shipping. Check your account to confirm what your shipping costs will look like, as yours may be different than mine.
COUPON: Use code LD50 to 50% Off First Box.
This box was sent at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
My August 2021 Meals: First Impressions
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 receive 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.
I’m a regular Home Chef subscriber, and I like to use the unboxing as an opportunity to look over ingredients and inventory what I’ve received. This shipment, there was an issue I feel I should call out. A packet of sauce broke in transit, so the inside of the box was a little bit of a mess. I cleaned off my ingredients as I put them away, and everything was still usable; however, had anything been damaged, I would have reached out to Home Chef to let them know. In my experience, they’re great about providing credits for missing or damaged ingredients.
Now, on to the food!
The Taste Test
Prep & Cook Time: 25-35 Minutes | Difficulty Level: Intermediate | 745 Calories per Serving
If left up to my own devices, I’m totally comfort food-crazed. I love pizza and burgers and tacos and anything covered in cheese. I’ve been overdoing it a bit lately, so for this Home Chef box, I wanted to choose meals that were a little on the lighter side. I went for a couple of meals with veggie-centric side dishes, but wouldn’t you know it, this is the dish I craved first. Leave it to me to dive straight into a big pile of fluffy white rice.
This meal was easy to prepare, and it came together in the estimated cooking time. The rice was very satisfying, and the shrimp and veggies were a great combination. This spice level was mild, but I thought it could have benefitted from a bit of heat. (I added the green parts of the provided jalapeño, but I found myself wishing I’d added some of the seeds, too.) Still, this was a tasty way to kick off my week with Home Chef. The shrimp was fresh and tender, the pepper pieces popped with flavor, and the rice provided some nice bulk that filled me up and made me a happy diner.
Prep & Cook Time: 30-40 Minutes | Difficulty Level: Intermediate | 539 Calories per Serving
Day two, things got a little lighter… but not too light. As someone who enjoys comfort foods, I like that even Home Chef’s lighter fare still feels just a little bit indulgent. Take this chicken dish. Brussels sprouts? Why not add some onion jam! Baked chicken? Don’t forget the cream sauce! At 539 calories per serving, it’s easy for me to work this meal into my calorie goals, but I like that it doesn’t feel like I’m giving anything up.
I’m always happy to eat a big plate of Brussels sprouts (they’re one of my favorite vegetables), but this preparation kept me on my toes. The sweet and gooey onions elevated these sprouts into something extra special, and I found this side dish unexpected in the best possible way. I’ve never made Brussels like this before, but you can bet your bottom dollar I’ll be making them this way again. I felt the veggies were the star of this dish, but the chicken was great, too. The cooking instructions were spot on, and my chicken was tender and juicy. The sauce was creamy and rich, and the entire dish tickled my tastebuds in the best possible way. I loved the mix of tangy-sweet jam, rich sauce, and savory chicken.
Prep & Cook Time: 25-35 Minutes | Difficulty Level: Intermediate | 583 Calories per Serving
For my final meal pick this week, I went with another dish that’s on the lighter side but doesn’t necessarily feel that way, Dijon-Crusted Tilapia in Citrus Dijon Sauce. I picked this dish because of the crusted fish, and I didn’t pay much attention to the side dish when I was ordering. I was delighted when my box arrived and I unpacked the ingredients for ratatouille. I love ratatouille!
When I make ratatouille myself, I tend to let it cook for a long time so it starts to caramelize a little, but the quick-cooking method employed by Home Chef didn’t quite allow enough time for that process to occur. Still, this quick version of one of my favorite dishes hit all the right notes. The flavors were summery and fresh. Paired with the crispy fish, this dish was a winner. If I’d made this dish myself, I might have opted for a tomato-based sauce for the fish, but I liked the dijon cream. The crunch of the crust coating with the soft veggies and rich and piquant Dijon cream sauce all worked really well together. I did my best not to inhale the entire plate in 3 minutes flat.
Was This Box Worth It?
The Cost: Meals for 2 start at $6.99 per serving. Shipping costs $13.99 for orders under $49.99 and $7.99 for orders over $49.99. (Note that some subscribers have reported that they are not charged shipping fees. Check your account to confirm what your shipping costs will look like.)
Ships to: 98% of the U.S. You can check to see if Home Chef delivers to your zip code while signing up.
COUPON: Use code LD50 to 50% Off First Box.
Value Breakdown: This box costs $59.70, or $9.95 per serving. Shipping is $13.99 for orders under $49.99 and $7.99 for orders over $49.99, bringing the cost of this box to $67.69 ($11.28 per serving). Putting this in perspective, I’d spend more dining out or ordering takeout. A simple meal I prepare myself would likely cost less, but given the convenience Home Chef provides (and the time I save shopping, prepping, and meal planning), I’m very happy with the value I receive.
This shipment from Home Chef was pretty great. There was a small hiccup with the leak in transit, but my ingredients weren’t damaged, and I was able to prepare the meals without issue. I went with lighter fare than usual, but I enjoyed that the meals all still felt just a wee bit indulgent. (I don’t ever mind counting calories or eating healthy, but I never want to feel like I’m giving up great food!) If I had to choose a favorite meal, it would have to be the Dijon-Crusted Tilapia. The combination of crunchy fish, mustard-y sauce, and mixed veggies hit all the right notes for me.
In terms of value, this might not be the cheapest way to get dinner on the table, but I absolutely love the convenience Home Chef delivers. It’s great being able to skip the grocery store, and I enjoy discovering new recipes and flavor combinations.
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To Wrap Up
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? No, this week’s meals have passed. But, you can sign up for Home Chef today and receive meals next week!
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