Hello Fresh vs. Home Chef: Which meal delivery service is right for you?

*Disclosure: I am a Home Chef affiliate, and all Home Chef links are affiliate links, in which I make a portion back if you order their service. The opinions expressed here, however, are my own.

This is not a sponsored post, but I recently did sign up for the Home Chef affiliates program. I had never tried a meal delivery service up until a few weeks ago, when a friend gave me a coupon for $60 off my first Hello Fresh delivery (an amazing deal) and I tried it out.

Since then, I've had one more Hello Fresh delivery, as well as a delivery of Home Chef, and I wanted to share my experiences.

Hello Fresh Southwestern Style Peppers
Hello Fresh
  • $60 per week (3 meals at 2 servings each = 6 meals total, or $9.95 per serving)
  • There is an option for families, as well (4 portions per meal, instead of 2) 
  • Delivers each meal in its own paper bag, with the meats underneath the bags with ice packs - I usually then take the meats and put them in each paper bag with their appropriate meal.
  • Can skip weeks if the menu doesn't appeal to you, or put your subscription on "hold"
My first experience in this arena was with Hello Fresh—I've since done some reading on the subject, and Hello Fresh and Blue Apron were the first two heavy-hitters for meal delivery services.

I loved that the meals each come in their own bag (so, 3 bags per week) and that the meats arrive under ice, which is guaranteed to keep them fresh.

Hello Fresh "Little Ears" Pasta
My favorite thing about these meal delivery services is that I'm expanding my repertoire of meals—another blogger I read said something similar. By this, I mean that I often cook the same recipes over and over—chicken and pork chops, mostly—but now I feel confident in my abilities to make pasta, or meatloaf, or other dishes.

Hello Fresh "Presto" Panko Chicken, minus the salad
So far there hasn't been a Hello Fresh meal that I didn't enjoy. Last night I made its Presto Panko Chicken, and although it was my least favorite of the 6 recipes I have made from them as of yet, it was still tasty. (I feel like a LOT of their + Home Chef's recipes include Panko—which I do like, but it can get repetitive)

My favorite so far has been the Southwestern Stuffed Peppers—although I'm a fan of quinoa, I had never had stuffed peppers before, and it was amazingly delicious. Since then I've even replicated it on my own (without Hello Fresh ingredients) and it came out just as good as the first time.

Favorite things about Hello Fresh: the bags/way everything is packaged, the portion sizes (I'm never left hungry), and that everything (especially the meats) are high-quality.

Least favorite things about Hello Fresh: The price. For my second go-round, I ordered two weeks worth, and I paid $54 on Groupon (would have cost $120 on Hello Fresh) which was great.

{click here to get that deal, which as of today is still on the site}

You can also click on my referral link to get $40 off your first delivery, which would mean you only pay $20 out of pocket. {and I get $20 towards my next delivery, if you do this - so it's a win-win!}

Home Chef
  • $60 per week (3 meals at 2 servings each = 6 meals total, or $9.95 per serving)
    • There is an option for families, as well (4 portions per meal, instead of 2) 
    • Delivers each meal in its own clear, see-through bag, with the meats underneath the bags with ice packs.
    • Can skip weeks if the menu doesn't appeal to you, or put your subscription on "hold." (they're rather smart about this, also: they've been sending me emails with pictures of that week's subscription, being like, "Doesn't this look delicious? You should unpause your subscription." And then of course I think about doing so, ha ...}

    After my first three Hello Fresh meals, I wanted to try a competing service, to see which I liked better. I reached out to Home Chef and they enrolled me in their affiliates program, and sent me one free week's worth of meals. 

    The Home Chef meals came packaged similarly to Hello Fresh's, but with one big difference: the packaging was clear, with a zip top, which was kind of neat because you can see what's in it. I went ahead and redistributed the meats to their proper packaging, as well. 

    They also give you a BINDER to store your recipes in (and all of the recipes already have three holes in them to fit in the binder) which definitely appealed to my Type-A self ... since then I've been keeping my Hello Fresh recipes in there too, ha. 

    I don't believe I've mentioned this yet, but each service has about eight meals from which to choose from, each week, and you can select your meals either on their website or on the app. Each one will tell you the difficulty level (most are level 1, which means pretty basic), how long it will take to cook, the directions, and the ingredients involved, too.

    The Chicken Milanesa (pictured above) was good, though I am getting a little tired of salads for a side dish—although my boyfriend and I will sometimes cook these together, 2 times out of 3 it's just myself, and salad is hard to keep for the next day. The maple cranberry bone-in pork chop was quite delicious, and part of the veggie side dish was turnip, which I had never cooked before. I was unable to get the cranberry sauce to reduce (to become more of a glaze) but nevertheless it was still tasty.

    For both Hello Fresh and Home Chef, there's a $5 upcharge (per portion, so $10 for the meal) if you opt for their premium dishes, like ribeye steak or duck. However, for the Pesto-Butter Steak pictured above, they used sirloin steak, so there was no upcharge.

    While that meal was delicious as well, I'm rather particular about steaks, and although I'm a big fan of pesto, I didn't think the steak really needed the pesto butter.

    Favorite things about Home Chef: the included binder + the clear plastic bags, ease of cooking, and the time of delivery.

    I'm sure this is just in my area, too, but Home Chef was delivered via FedEx, and arrived around 10am the day of assigned delivery. It was also POURING that day, and either Home Chef or FedEx wrapped the box up in plastic, which was nice. For both of my Hello Fresh boxes, they were delivered around 8pm via UPS—so if I had been planning on cooking that day, it would have been a late dinner for me.

    Least favorite things about Home Chef: I did enjoy my Hello Fresh meals a little more than the Home Chef ones—however, that's just based on the week's meals that I chose. The Home Chef meals were still tasty, and my favorite taste-wise was probably the maple cranberry bone-in pork chops.

    Click below to get $30 off your first Home Chef delivery! That means that instead of $60, you will only pay $30, for six portions of meals {and you can cancel after your first delivery if you don't enjoy it, or if it's not in your budget to continue with it}.

    With both services, you can schedule deliveries every other week, too {vs. every week} or even once per month. Delivery frequency is completely up to you.

    The final word

    After trying out both services, I have to say I like them pretty much equally. Both provide quality vegetables and meats, and the recipe cards are easy to follow. I get most of my recipes online nowadays, so it was nice to have printed cards, as well.

    I'd now like to try Blue Apron or some of the other ones, too, though a friend told me she wasn't a fan of Blue Apron because they don't group the ingredients together in bags like Hello Fresh and Home Chef do. Groupon currently has a deal on Gobble right now for $28 for one week's worth of meals, too.

    Have you tried a meal delivery service before? If so, which one, and how was your experience?

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