Reviewed February 2023
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Home Chef is a meal kit program that offers a wide variety of foods for different tastes. While some meal kit programs cater to certain kinds of diets or tastes, Home Chef (like HelloFresh) is designed for a broader clientele.
In 2018 Home Chef was acquired by the Kroger supermarket chain. Now you can get pre-packaged Home Chef meals in Kroger stores in addition to getting home delivery. You can use their Finder Tool to see if in-store Home Chef meals are offered in your area.
Home Chef is best for military, first responders, health care professionals and teachers who get a discount. They are currently offering a discount of 50% off the first box plus 10% off each recurring box. You just need to log into your ID.me account to prove that you qualify for the “Heroes Discount.”
Rachel Ray fans will also love Home Chef because each week they offer meal options designed by the celebrity cook. Just look for the “Rachel Ray Recipe” badge on recipes on the menu each week.
Here are a few meals that we enjoyed.
Seared boneless pork chops with a cheesy, crunchy tortilla chip topping. Served with seasoned squash drizzled lime crema and sprinkled with cilantro.
Creamy risotto with fresh chopped kale leaves, tomato and a delicious pork sausage. Topped with herbed goat cheese and chopped green onions.
Chicken breast topped with a crunchy topping of roasted pecans and parsley. Served with BBQ-spiced carrots.
The Home Chef food was good but not as good as HelloFresh and Green Chef, in my opinion. Home Chef was definitely better than some of the other meal kit programs that I’ve tried, however.
Most Home Chef meals take from 10 to 60 minutes to make. If you’re looking for meals that are quicker to make, you can select “Easy Prep Kits” on the menu. These are generally ready in 30 minutes or less.
Home Chef, like other meal kit programs, will definitely save you time. You don’t have to plan meals or even go to the grocery store. The computer will even automatically pick meals for you based on the preferences you indicated when you signed. Of course, you can always change these automatic meal selections online or in the app.
The recipes are simple to make, and the instructions on the recipe sheet are clear with pictures to illustrate the steps. My only gripe about the recipe instructions is that they are written for the two-person meal, and they don’t explain how it needs to be adjusted for the four-person meal. Other meal kit programs include instructions for the four-serving meal in parentheses.
Home Chef charges $10.99 for shipping (as of the time of this review). The box came via FedEx to my house.
Home Chef is available in 98% of the United States according to their website.
The ingredients and recipe sheets come in a big cardboard box with insulation and ice blocks to keep the food cold. The ingredients for each recipe are each in a plastic bag and the meats are shrink wrapped and then put in a plastic bag.
The cardboard box is curbside recyclable. The insulation is made of recycled denim covered in a plastic bag. The denim insulation is recyclable, but the tricky part is finding a place in your area where you can drop it off. For more information on recycling denim insulation, visit https://bluejeansgogreen.org/insulation/. The ice blocks are filled with a gel that you throw in the trash. You can recycle the plastic liner of the ice block if they recycle #4 plastics in your area.
The main dietary options that you can select (if you don’t want the standard menu) are the following . . .
You can also select ingredients that you don’t want or select a spice level (not spicy, mild, medium, spicy).
If you want to lose weight, you can select the Calorie Conscious and/or Carb Conscious options. If you prefer to select your meals yourself online, you can check out the calorie and/or carb numbers. Unfortunately, they don’t list the calories on the printed recipe sheets that come in the box.
If you want to eat a healthy diet, you can select one or more of the dietary options to limit your meal choices. All of the meal kit options that I saw included at least one veggie. I find that my teenage son eats more veggies with meal kits.
Ordering from Home Chef is easy. When you register, you simply select how many meals you want a week and how many servings of each meal. Then decide if you want any of the special diets (Vegetarian, Calorie Conscious and/or Carb Conscious) and select if you dislike any of the ingredients listed. Provide your name, address, credit card number, etc. and you’re done. The computer will automatically select meals for you based on your preferences. If you want to change the meals, you can do it on the website or download the app.
The price varies depending on how many meals and servings you order. If you order only the minimum of two meals a week for two people, the cost is $11.99 per serving. If you order the maximum of six meals a week for six people, the price comes down to $9.99 per serving. I ordered three meals of four servings a week, and it was $9.99 per serving. Pricing may have changed since the time of my review.
Home Chef and all meal kit programs can sometimes save you money by eliminating food waste. If you think of your time as being worth money, you are definitely saving. How much is your time worth? It’s worth the time that I don’t have to spend planning meals and going to the grocery store. If the alternative is eating out, you will save money and probably eat healthier.