Have you ever wished someone else could do your grocery shopping for you? If so, Home Chef might be the solution you need.
It’s a meal kit delivery service that caters to busy families who need a quick option for cooking dinner at home. They deliver the ingredients (and, in some cases, oven-ready meals) to your door each week.
This Home Chef review covers the basics of the service to help you determine if it’s right for you.
What is Home Chef?
Home Chef is a meal kit service offering a variety of convenient recipes and ingredients delivered straight to your door every week.
They stand out from other meal kits because they offer several fast and convenient kits on their weekly menu. You can even get the traditional meals you’d expect to find in a meal kit service.
Home Chef is owned by Kroger, which operates grocery stores across the United States.
You can purchase Home Chef meal kits directly from many Kroger stores without subscribing to the service.
How Does the Service Work?
To sign up for Home Chef, press the green “Pick Your Meals” button on their homepage. You can check out the Home Chef menu before getting started to make sure the recipes appeal to you.
When you register, you’ll first be asked to choose traditional Home Chef meals or Fresh and Easy meals. The latter are designed to be quick and easy.
Either way, you’ll still have access to all of the menu options each week.
Next, you are asked about dietary preferences (calorie-conscious or carb-conscious) and foods you want to avoid, like meats or common allergens.
Then you’ll be directed to the meal plan selection page. Home Chef offers a variety of family plans for families of all sizes. You can choose between two and six recipes per week for two, four or six people.
After submitting your payment, you’ll be able to choose your meals. The Home Chef menu offers 20 different ready-to-make meals each week.
This wide variety of recipes includes some 15-Minute Meal Kits and Oven-Ready Meal Kits as part of their Fresh and Easy line.
You’ll receive your box once weekly. Remember that this is a subscription-based service, so you will be charged every week until you cancel.
You can skip weeks as needed, and canceling online is easy.
Be sure to note the deadline for meal selection each week. If you forget to customize your selections, Home Chef will choose your meals for you.
How Much Does Home Chef Cost?
According to their website, Home Chef meals begin at $6.99 per serving. However, I couldn’t find any meal plan option at that price point.
All of the meal plan options I found were priced at $8.99 per serving.
Shipping costs vary depending on your box size. The smallest box (two meals per week for two people) has the most expensive shipping at $13.99.
All other meal plans offer shipping for $7.99.
Additionally, you have the option to add extras each week to your order, including extra meals, desserts and breads, or protein. Keep in mind that all of these will incur additional fees.
Currently, new members can get $90 total off their first four boxes.
|Servings Per Week||Total Cost with Shipping|
|4 servings (2 people, 2 recipes)||$49.95|
|6 servings (2 people, 3 recipes)||$61.93|
|8 servings (2 people, 4 recipes or 4 people, 2 recipes)||$79.91|
|10 servings (2 people, 5 recipes)||$97.89|
|12 servings (2 ppl, 6 recipes or 4 ppl, 3 recipes or 6 ppl, 2 recipes)||$115.87|
|16 servings (4 people, 4 recipes)||$151.83|
|18 servings (6 people, 3 recipes)||$169.81|
|20 servings (4 people, 5 recipes)||$187.79|
|24 servings (4 people, 6 recipes or 6 people, 4 recipes)||$223.75|
|30 servings (6 people, 5 recipes)||$277.69|
|36 servings (6 people, 6 recipes)||$331.63|
Ultimately, pricing is similar to what you will find at Blue Apron. Read our comparison of Home Chef vs. Blue Apron to see how they stack up against each other.
*Related: Are you looking for a more affordable meal delivery service? Try our free quiz to identify the top choice for your needs.
My Experience Using the Service
I enjoyed my experience with Home Chef. My box arrived neatly packaged and included a durable binder to house all of my Home Chef recipes.
The recipe cards even come hole-punched, so you can easily put them in the binder.
All of the ingredients were packaged separately by recipe in clear bags, and all of the meats were packaged individually within a larger bag away from the other ingredients.
I greatly appreciated this extra barrier between the raw meats and the rest of the food.
However, my box contained 12 large gel ice packs. Comparable boxes I’ve received from other meal kit services contained four at most.
Although they are reusable and recyclable, getting 12 of them on a recurring weekly basis seems like it would get overwhelming fast and cancel out the other eco-friendly aspects of their packaging.
However, the food was excellent with good, filling portion sizes. All of my produce and meats arrived in great condition.
Two of our meals had green beans as a side. We weren’t feeling green beans that week, so I froze some of them and substituted them for veggies we had at home.
Our favorite meal of the week was the Crunchy Wonton Chicken and Spicy Gochujang Aioli with Sesame Brussels Sprouts. The dressing on the sauteed Brussels sprouts is something I’ll incorporate into my cooking in the future.
We also received the Grill-Ready Ancho Cherry Grilled Chicken with Goat Cheese Green Beans and the Pecan Butter Salmon and Herbed Green Beans with Caramelized Onions (but we replaced them with brussels sprouts). Both were delicious!
How Easy are Home Chef Meal Kits to Prepare?
I found Home Chef had simple recipes that were easy to prepare. There was some prep time required, but it was minimal.
The cooking process was made simple by the clear and easy-to-follow recipe cards. They feature lots of details on one side about the tools, cookware, and staple ingredients you’ll need from your pantry.
On the other side, they feature step-by-step instructions with full-color photos of each step.
If you’re new to cooking, Home Chef is an excellent way to quickly learn how to cook meats, prep and cook vegetables, and make pan sauces.
Additionally, if you’re busy, they offer several quick options each week that can either go straight in the oven (Oven-Ready meals) or only require 15 minutes (Fresh and Easy meals).
Who Should Use Home Chef?
Here’s who Home Chef is a great fit for.
Families That Like Traditional Meals
Home Chef offers a variety of classic meals that have broad appeal to most families, including families with kids.
It isn’t hard to choose meals that your whole family will enjoy from their 20 menu options each week. Read our guide on the best meal delivery services for families to identify others that provide flexible plans.
Home Chef is a great way for newer cooks to learn basic cooking skills while making dinner for their families.
Additionally, the service sends a binder so you can save all of their recipe cards. These not only have recipes but are also loaded with cooking tips and techniques.
People Who Want Variety
Home Chef offers 20 different selections each week, so there are plenty of choices.
In addition, they offer traditional meal kits, 15-minute kits, and oven-ready meals. These let you get home-cooked meals on the table even on busy evenings.
If you’re more of a foodie, Martha Stewart & Marley Spoon may be a better fit. Read our Marley Spoon review to learn more about that service.
Who Shouldn’t Use the Service?
Home Chef may not be a good fit for you if you fall into one of these groups.
Home Chef has some vegetarian options, but it’s not a good fit for strict vegans.
Meal delivery kits that may offer more options for vegans include Green Chef and Purple Carrot.
Home Chef is geared towards beginner cooks and casual home cooks. If you’re already a more advanced cook, you may want to consider a service like Sunbasket.
With Sunbasket, you’ll get minimal, whole food ingredients and a wider variety of cuisines that provide lots of room for recipe customization.
Pros and Cons
Here are some of the pros and cons of the meal delivery service.
- Moderately priced for flavorful recipes
- Can choose up to six recipes per week for six people
- Offers traditional meals and easy to prepare meals
- Several menu options each week
- Easy-to-follow recipe cards
- Neat and organized packaging
- Shipping costs extra
- Too many ice packs in box
- $6.99/serving advertised, but I could only find meals for $8.99/serving
- Not a good fit for vegans
Overall, Home Chef offers quality meals at a reasonable price.
Here’s how Home Chef compares to some other popular meal delivery subscription services.
|Company||Cost||# of Meals||Best For||Servings||Sign Up|
|Home Chef||$6.99+/serving||2-6/wk||Easy prep||2, 4, or 6||Try|
|EveryPlate||$4.99/serving||3-5/wk||Affordability||2 or 4||Try|
|HelloFresh||$7.49+/serving||2-6/wk||Tasty recipes||2 or 4||Try|
|Sunbasket||$8.99+/serving||2-5/wk||Special diets||2 or 4||Try|
|Gobble||$11.99+/serving||3-4/wk||Fast prep||2 or 4||Try|
EveryPlate is a more affordable meal kit service than Home Chef, with meals costing a flat $4.99 per serving.
HelloFresh owns EveryPlate, so it shares many ingredients. Furthermore, some of the meals are similar.
However, EveryPlate has a more limited selection. Most of the meals are kid-friendly and crowd-pleasing, with familiar flavors and basic ingredients.
Read our review of the EveryPlate meals to learn more.
HelloFresh is a well-known meal kit company that is comparable to Home Chef in many ways. They are similarly priced, with Hello Fresh starting at $7.49 per serving).
Additionally, both offer several different weekly meal options. Read our HelloFresh vs. Home Chef guide to learn more about how the two services compare.
HelloFresh is a good option if you like meal choices with bold flavors from a variety of different cuisines.
*For a limited time only, Frugal Rules readers can get 16 Free Meals, and your first box ships free. You’ll also get 3 surprise gifts with your order!
Read our review of HelloFresh meals to learn more.
Sunbasket offers premium meals made with high-quality, organic, fresh ingredients. They also cater to many special diets and dietary preferences, like paleo and gluten-free.
However, this meal kit service is more expensive than others, with prices starting at $8.99 per serving for ready-to-heat meals. Traditional meals start at $10.99 per serving.
Read our review of Sunbasket meals to learn more.
Gobble is a meal delivery service to choose if you want largely prepped items and want to save time in the kitchen. The plan offers three main meal options to choose from: Classic, Vegetarian, and Lean & Clean.
If you’re a seafood fan, Gobble is one of the best meal kits to try.
The service is a bit more expensive than others, with prices starting at $11.99 per serving. But, they do offer a promo offer of six meals for $36 for your first order.
Read our review of Gobble meals to learn more.
Home Chef Review
Home Chef Review
Home Chef is a moderately-priced meal kit delivery service offering a variety of quick and simple meal kit options to make it easier to get dinner on the table.
✔️ Lots of convenient options
✔️ Good for small and large families
✔️ Moderately priced
✔️ Detailed recipe cards
✔️ Well-organized packaging
❌ Shipping is extra
❌ Too many ice packs in boxes
❌ Not a good fit for vegans
Home Chef stands out thanks to their convenient Fresh and Ready options for busy families. It’s one of the best meal delivery services for people needing a variety of meal choices.
They’re also moderately priced and offer traditional meal kits for people who want to spend more time in the kitchen.
Home Chef is a great fit for families of all sizes who want to spend less time on grocery shopping, meal planning, and cooking while still enjoying home-cooked meals.
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