HelloFresh Review: Home-Cooked Meals With Minimal Fuss

I tried HelloFresh for one week, and here's what you need to know

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Plated beef and potatoes Hello Fresh Review

Food & Wine / Tori Martinet

There’s nothing better than a delicious home-cooked meal that’s made with quality ingredients — except possibly one where the majority of the work is done for you. This is where meal kit delivery services like HelloFresh come into play, offering all the tasty juice for a minimal squeeze. In the landscape of these services, HelloFresh is a giant and a household name, known for its variety, flavors, and relatively accessible price point.

I gave this meal delivery service a try to find out how it stacks up against not only its reputation but also my own exacting standards as a food industry professional and meal delivery expert. I ordered, tested, tasted, and cataloged everything HelloFresh has to offer its customers so you can decide if it’s worth a try. 


Food & Wine / Tori Martinet

Pros and Cons


  • Bold, punchy flavors
  • Reasonable price point
  • Large menu with customization options
  • Variety of cooking times and effort


  • Not as friendly for diets or allergen avoidance
  • Lots of packaging

What Is HelloFresh?

HelloFresh, the namesake organization of the HelloFresh Group, is a German-held company founded in 2011. Today, it’s one of the most popular meal kit delivery services in the world, serving over one billion meals in 2022. While sister companies Green Chef, EveryPlate, and Factor may be recognizable for their niche offerings, HelloFresh is simply focused on offering its customers a value proposition of meals that are high on flavor and freshness at an accessible cost. 

How Does It Work?

It was easy and so helpful to be able to view the menu before placing my order, but I did need to create an account prior to actually selecting my meals. The account creation process is no muss, no fuss — all that’s required is choosing your plan size and some no-commitment meal preferences (this will help populate your menu later, but you won’t be required to stick with those choices). From there, you’ll input your delivery information and payment details, and then go on to the fun part: meal selection. 

The baseline for deliveries with HelloFresh is a weekly subscription basis, but it’s very easy to skip weeks. So if you want meals less frequently, you only need to click a few buttons. There’s no real specific health or sustainability focus with HelloFresh, but the menu is a good size and has a decent mix of offerings among its meal kits, add-ons, sides, and desserts.

Ingredients outside of packaging

Food & Wine / Tori Martinet


Plans and pricing are fairly straightforward with HelloFresh — the more you buy, the lower the price per serving. You can choose from two or four servings per meal, and two to six recipes per week. For a two-serving plan, the price ranges from $12.49 to $9.79 per serving for two and six meals per week, respectively. With four-serving plans, the range is from $9.79 to $8.99 per serving for two or six meals per week, respectively. (But be mindful that choosing certain premium meals or customization options can increase the cost significantly.) No matter which plan you select, shipping is a $10.99 flat fee.

Meal Choices

Every single week, HelloFresh produces a new menu of 30+ meal kits that lean into comfort food favorites like pastas, burgers, soups, and a variety of meat-starch-veggie combo dishes with a sprinkling of tacos, stir-fries, curries, and grain bowls that bring a bit of variety to the mix. While the menu is definitely geared more toward getting a hearty and flavorful meal on the table over diet or allergen-free options, I am impressed by the fact that nearly half of the meal kits are vegetarian, along with some “fit and wholesome” choices plus featured options under the “calorie smart,” “carb smart,” and “protein smart” labels. 

What We Tasted: 

  • Fancy French onion beef tenderloin with rosemary fingerlings, lemony asparagus, and horseradish cream 
  • One-pot cowboy turkey and bean chili with jalapeño and smoky red pepper crema
  • Falafel power bowls with spinach, creamy dressing, and garlicky pita

Food & Wine / Tori Martinet


My delivery arrived in standard meal kit fashion with an insulated cardboard box filled with layers of cooling ice packs, fresh ingredients, and materials to separate and contain them. HelloFresh leans a bit more toward paper and cardboard in its packaging than some other kits, using a paper bag to cull together and separate ingredients for each recipe, where others use plastic. But make no mistake — there’s still plenty of packaging and plastic to contend with. 

Between the box and its contents, there were around 45 total pieces of packaging in my HelloFresh delivery, and while the box, liner, paper, and cardboard items were easily recycled at home, most of the plastic that housed the ice packs and food items was only recyclable if taken to a facility. The breakdown was roughly 20% of items recycled curbside, 70% had to be taken to a plastic film recycling facility, and 10% had no place to go but in the trash. I will say that the packaging HelloFresh uses seems to be as minimal as you can get while protecting and organizing the contents of a week’s worth of food, and our ingredients arrived appropriately chilled and without damage from shipping. 

The Cooking Process

Meal kits from HelloFresh recipes can definitely require some hustle, so make sure you choose your recipes wisely and get your game face on before you get in the kitchen. I selected an assortment of kits that had varying cook times, prep, and components, so some were much easier than others. The one-pot chili had the least amount of work, with just a few ingredients to prep and the rest was dump-and-go using just the stovetop. Meanwhile, the beef tenderloin meal had five different components to contend with (including a sauce and caramelized onion topping) and required simultaneous use of my oven and stovetop and every bit of the 40-minute time estimate. 

In general, the cooking times were pretty reliable (give or take a few minutes), and the recipes were well-written and asked for mostly basic or just-above-basic kitchen tools like a zester or ingredients like sugar. None of the actual skills called for were terribly difficult, but beginners may need a bit more time and help on the more complex recipes (not everyone knows how to zest a lemon without a description). I was also glad that I chose some “easy cleanup” and “fast and fresh” recipes once I saw how much effort and dishes could be required of some of the meals. 

Chili in a bowl

Food & Wine / Tori Martinet


There’s no denying that HelloFresh knows how to create big flavors and doesn’t skimp on seasoning. While I did add a good amount of my own salt and pepper as the recipes called for it, I never felt the need to dip further into my pantry for seasonings or sauces. The best dish, far and away, was the beef tenderloin, and no surprise there as it had the most components and complicated preparation of all the meals I chose. The meat was tender, the sides were simple but effective, and the sauces and onion topping added some great zip and depth of flavor. I also enjoyed the smoky and subtly spicy notes in the chili as well as the herby freshness of the falafel bowl. While nothing I ate from HelloFresh was really new to my palate or earth-shattering for an experienced foodie, the meals were well-balanced, and I thoroughly enjoyed each one. 

Who Should Use HelloFresh?

Deciding who would love HelloFresh is less about how many you’re feeding and more about what type of food and cooking experience you’re after. The service is equally great for singles, couples, and families, so long as you don’t need too many dietary accommodations and you’re not afraid to roll up your sleeves and get in the kitchen. 

Final Thoughts

HelloFresh has really found a way to thread the needle on successfully appealing to its customers without really having a niche. It’s incredibly difficult to please everyone, especially with food, but HelloFresh seems to have cracked the code. While it's not the best choice for everyone, I do think it makes a ton of sense for folks from all walks of life who want a hearty, dependably delicious meal at a price point that would be impossible to achieve if you tried making these meals on your own. 


Is HelloFresh Good for Single People?

The two-serving plan is great for singles because it solves some of the challenges that come with cooking for one. It lets you enjoy the experience of getting in the kitchen and having a home-cooked meal without leaving you drowning in leftovers or excess ingredients that end up in the trash. The two-serving plan gives you a hearty dinner tonight and lunch for tomorrow, and you can choose between two or six recipes per week depending on how much eating you plan to do at home. 

Does HelloFresh Have Vegetarian Meals?

HelloFresh is very vegetarian-friendly, not only in the weekly meatless menu options but also in the ability to choose the “veggie” option for meal preferences to populate these items automatically. Nearly half of the menu is dedicated to “veggie” meals, and if you’re more of a flexitarian, you can frequently add an animal-based protein to these if you like. Vegetarian meals are noted with a small leaf icon, and while in much shorter supply, vegan items are also indicated with an easy-to-identify icon on the main menu selection page. 

Does HelloFresh Include Nutrition Information for Each Meal?

While you won’t see nutrition information on the menu selection page, you can see the full breakdown by simply selecting a particular recipe. At the top of the recipe page, you’ll find highlights that include calorie information and labels like “calorie smart” or “carb smart,” but scroll down and you’ll get more of the nitty-gritty details. Every recipe includes information about the ingredients and any allergens along with a nutrition breakdown that includes calories, fat, saturated fat, carbs, sugar, fiber, protein, cholesterol, and sodium. 

Can You Customize HelloFresh Recipes?

HelloFresh allows some customizations with certain recipes, but it won’t be available for everything. While it’s not consistent across all meals, HelloFresh does allow users to customize their protein choice, add a protein to a vegetarian meal, or in some cases, swap a side dish like white rice for brown rice or potatoes for asparagus. It may not be super helpful for those who want to customize meals to avoid certain allergens or ingredients, but it does help families who have picky eaters and folks looking for more whole grains and veggie variety.

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