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Home Chef vs. HelloFresh: Which Meal Delivery Kit Should You Try?

Kelsea Samson
Author:
October 02, 2023
Kelsea Samson
Written by
Kelsea Samson
Kelsea Samson is a writer, content manager, certified yoga instructor and founder of The Mindfulness Program for Kids and Yoga for the Blind in Tampa, Florida.
home chef vs. hellofresh
Image by mbg creative
October 02, 2023
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We know all too well the decision paralysis that can come with deciding what's for dinner. Meal delivery services take the guesswork out of eating healthy—but with so many choices available, it can be difficult to decide between the best options, such as Home Chef vs. HelloFresh. 

Both companies allow you to choose from an ever-changing menu of recipes and send everything you need to make the meals at home, minimal preparation required.

While HelloFresh and Home Chef share the same goal (making your life easier), the offerings vary pretty widely. Let's see how they compare.

Home Chef vs. HelloFresh: Quick facts

Meals per week:

2 to 6 meals per week (regular plan)10 meals per week (family plan)

Cost per meal:

From $8 per serving

Delivery fee:

$11

Who should try it?

If you’re looking for a robust menu of quick meals, Home Chef is a great option. You can order up to 10 meals per week, making it a good choice for families as well as anyone who wants to cut down on time spent in the kitchen without spending an arm and a leg.

Who should skip it?

Home Chef does not cater to strict diets or severe allergies, and it’s not a great choice for those who prioritize organic ingredients.

HelloFresh

Meals per week:

2 to 6 meals per week

Cost per meal:

From $9 per serving

Delivery fee:

$10

Who should try it?

HelloFresh meals offer a ton of variety and are a great choice for people who don’t want to stick to one specific meal plan. It’s perfect for couples or smaller families, as you can order up to 6 meals per week.

Who should skip it?

If you’re on a restricted diet or have severe allergies, HelloFresh is not the best choice for you. Similar to Home Chef, it’s also not certified organic.

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HelloFresh pros & cons

Pros

  • 30+ new meals drop each week
  • Offers quick and easy meals

Cons

  • Limited dietary considerations
  • Not allergen-friendly

Home Chef pros & cons

Pros

  • Can customize proteins in many of the meals
  • Lots of quick and easy options

Cons

  • Price can vary depending on which meals you choose
  • Minimal dietary considerations

How does Home Chef work?

Home Chef is a meal delivery service that brings pre-portioned ingredients to your door, so you can cook a fresh meal without a lot of forethought or preparation.

When you visit Home Chef's website, you'll be prompted to answer a series of questions (i.e., do you want to save time or try new recipes?) and identify any dietary restrictions or preferences.

You can choose from carb-conscious, calorie-conscious, and vegetarian, as well as a handful of foods you might need to avoid, such as pork, poultry, shellfish, tree nuts, and mushrooms. 

From there, you'll choose your box size (two to six recipes per week) and serving size (two, four, or six). 

If you have a larger household, you can opt for the family plan instead of the standard plan, which gives the option for up to 10 meals per week. 

Unlike other meal delivery services, Home Chef does not have specific meal plans. Instead, you have access to the entire menu. 

There are "quick-and-easy" options that will be ready in 30 minutes or less, as well as regular meal kits and a "Culinary Collection" featuring premium ingredients.

Home Chef is a subscription service, so when you sign up, you're committing to weekly deliveries. You can skip or pause a shipment at any time.

How does HelloFresh work?

The process for HelloFresh is very similar to Home Chef. When you go to the site, you'll be prompted to enter basic information and pick a plan from the six following options:

  • Family-Friendly
  • Fit & Wholesome
  • Quick & Easy
  • Meat & Veggies
  • Veggie
  • Pescatarian

You can sign up for more than one meal plan—and regardless of which you choose, you'll have access to the entire menu. In other words, if you sign up for the pescatarian plan, you'll still be able to see options from the veggie plan and so on.

HelloFresh offers two to six recipes per week, with two or four servings for each recipe. Once you've committed to your preferred number of meals, you'll have access to the menu, where you can select which recipes you want to include in your box.

HelloFresh is a meal kit service, so your box will include everything you need to cook the meals (pre-portioned ingredients and recipe cards with detailed instructions on how to make the meals).

Because HelloFresh is a subscription, you'll receive recurring deliveries each week on whichever day you choose. When it's time to build your box, you'll be prompted via email to sign into your account and choose your meals.

As with Home Chef, you can opt to skip your weekly delivery as long as you do so by the cutoff time.

Home Chef vs. HelloFresh

BrandServing priceMax meals per weekShipping costDietary considerations
Home ChefFrom $10 per serving6$11.00Vegetarian; Carb-conscious; Calorie-conscious
HelloFreshFrom $8 per serving10$11.00Vegetarian; Low-calorie; Low-carb

Home Chef vs. HelloFresh: How the costs compare

Home Chef does things a little differently than other meal delivery services. Instead of charging a fixed price for your box, the final weekly cost depends on which recipes you choose. There are standard recipes and a "Culinary Collection," with premium (and more expensive) ingredients such as scallops and filet mignon.

Home Chef standard meals average around $10 per serving but start at $8 per serving. Again, this varies based on your recipe selections, whether you customize any meals, and the size of your order. There is a minimum order cost of about $51 per week for the regular plan and $83 for the family plan.

HelloFresh plans range from $9 to $12.49 per serving. The largest plan (six weekly meals with four servings each) costs about $9 per serving, while the smallest plan (two weekly meals with two servings each) breaks down to $12.49 per serving.

Both brands also offer discounts to certain groups of people. Home Chef offers 50% off your first box and 10% off all future orders for military, first responders, health care workers, and teachers. Students, alumni, and government officials get 50% off the first four boxes.

HelloFresh has a similar "Hero Discount," but there's a cutoff. You'll receive 55% off your first box plus free shipping, with 15% off all subsequent boxes for your first year. This discount applies to medical employees (hospital staff, nurses, and doctors), veterans, and active military.

Home Chef vs. HelloFresh: Menu & dietary considerations

Both Home Chef and HelloFresh have new recipes dropping each week. Home Chef has about 40 weekly meal options, while HelloFresh offers about 100 total recipes each week.

Because Home Chef doesn't offer specific meal plans, you'll have access to the entire menu each week. Meals are categorized by preparation speed, with a section for Easy Prep Meal Kits (meals that take 30 minutes or less to prepare) and regular meal kits (meals that take 30 minutes or more to make).

You can customize some Home Chef meals, and if swaps are possible, you'll see a "Customize It" tag on the recipe. For example, if a meal includes pork, you can opt for chicken or shrimp instead. Just note, customizations may change the price.

The Home Chef menu can be filtered by a handful of preferences, such as calorie-conscious, carb-conscious, and vegetarian. Outside of these menu filters, Home Chef doesn't cater much to dietary considerations.

HelloFresh allows you to mix and match recipes from all meal plans, even if you only signed up for one or two.

Like Home Chef, HelloFresh allows you to make some customizations—but there's a limit. You can swap or upgrade 12 sides and proteins per week and request pork-free, beef-free, and seafood-free meals. There are also vegan and vegetarian meals.

Neither company caters to any specialized diets outside of vegan and vegetarian. But both companies use some organic ingredients and list major allergens on each recipe—but the facilities are not allergen-free, so there is always a possibility for cross contamination.

Home Chef meal examples:

  • Citrus Seared Mahi-Mahi
  • Fra Diavolo Fettuccine
  • Korean-Style Bulgogi Steak

HelloFresh meal examples:

  • Sesame-Soy Beef Bowls
  • Spaghetti with Chicken and Brussels Sprouts
  • Figgy Balsamic Pork

Home Chef vs. HelloFresh: Add-ons and special features

Both Home Chef and HelloFresh give the option to add extras to your box.

Home Chef has a wide array of offerings from a la carte proteins (such as mahi mahi filets or New York strip steaks) to desserts. There are also condiments, sides, soups, salads, flatbread pizzas, breakfast options, and bottled drinks, like smoothies and iced coffee.

HelloFresh has breakfasts, light lunch options like soups and flatbreads, baked goods, and seasonal items. You can include as many add-ons as you want and the final cost will depend on which items you add to your box.

Home Chef vs. HelloFresh: Sustainability & environmental impact

HelloFresh has a slight edge when it comes to sustainability. While both companies use recyclable packaging, HelloFresh is 100% carbon-neutral.

HelloFresh uses renewable energy sources and makes a point to use local suppliers whenever possible to help shorten the supply chain (and the impact on the environment).

As for packaging, most of what you get from both companies is either curbside recyclable or able to be dropped off at your local recycling center. Exceptions are the gel ice packs, which aren't recyclable but use biodegradable materials.

Both Home Chef and HelloFresh prioritize animal welfare and source meat and fish only from suppliers who follow industry guidelines for the humane treatment of animals.

One downside is that neither company uses a lot of organic ingredients, but they do source locally when possible.

Home Chef vs. HelloFresh: Customer service and cancellation

Both Home Chef and HelloFresh operate on a subscription model. When you sign up, you'll automatically be agreeing to recurring weekly deliveries.

That said, you'll have the option to skip a delivery at any time, as long as you do so by the cutoff date. You can also pause your subscription if you want to skip deliveries for an extended period of time.

If you're not happy with either service, you can cancel your subscription right in your account, no phone calls necessary.

Frequently asked questions

Is Home Chef better than HelloFresh?

Home Chef isn't necessarily better than HelloFresh; it depends on what you're looking for and what you need out of a meal delivery service.

The upside to Home Chef is that there's a family plan option, so you can get up to 10 meals per week; HelloFresh caps out at six.

Home Chef also has more customization options, so if you're picky about your proteins, it may be the better option for you.

Are HelloFresh meals frozen?

HelloFresh sends fresh ingredients. Nothing is ever frozen before it gets to you, but you can freeze the ingredients (minus the vegetables) for up to two months if you don't want to make your meals right away.

Do you cook your own meals with HelloFresh?

Yes, HelloFresh is a meal kit delivery service, which means the company sends pre-portioned ingredients and recipe cards for you to cook your own meals.

The takeaway

Home Chef and HelloFresh are two of the best meal delivery services available today. The right one for you depends on your household size and how much time you want to spend in the kitchen preparing your meals.

Neither company is great for specialized diets, but you can check out more options in our roundups of the best keto, best paleo, and best organic meal delivery services.

Meet The Experts

Kelsea Samson is a writer, content manager, certified yoga instructor and founder of The Mindfulness Program for Kids and Yoga for the Blind in Tampa, Florida.

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