Home Chef Review: Simple, Crowd-Pleasing Meal Kits Delivered to Your Door

I tried Home Chef’s meal kits for a week, and here’s my honest review

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Home Chef review flautas on plate

Food & Wine / Tori Martinet

Meal delivery services hold the promise of a hot, home-cooked meal without the mental load and time suck of meal planning, grocery shopping, and even cooking itself. Today, there are services specific to nearly every need, and some simply cater to those who are looking for maximum ease, which is where Home Chef comes in. With a range of options from premium meal kits to oven-ready dishes and recipes billed as “Fast & Fresh,” ease and choice reign supreme with Home Chef.

I put this service to the test to find out if the meals truly are as accommodating as they claim to be without sacrificing on flavor. Over the course of a week I ordered, cooked, tasted, and evaluated all that Home Chef has to offer, and here’s what I thought.

Home Chef Ingredients

Food & Wine / Tori Martinet

Pros and Cons


  • Cost effective at higher volumes
  • Simple but reliable meals
  • Flexible scheduling options
  • Recipes designed for convenience


  • Meals may need a boost
  • Can be pricey if buying smaller quantities

What Is Home Chef?

The aim of Home Chef’s game is to make tasty home-cooked meals an achievable feat every night. Home Chef is currently owned by Kroger, which helps explain the meal kit’s expansion into grocery stores and retail outlets like Walmart, bringing convenience to the next level.

How Does It Work?

Getting started with Home Chef takes a few quick steps that include all the basics of creating an account, inputting payment and delivery info, and adding a bit of meal preference data. You’ll be able to view the menu prior to signing up but can only choose your items once you’ve input payment. Your week’s recipes will be auto-populated based on your preferences, but you can still access the full menu and swap out any items if needed.

Meals from Home Chef are designed and labeled mostly for ease and speed, with labels like “Easy Prep Kits,” “Oven-Ready,” and “Fast & Fresh” to help you discern which kits will work best for your schedule. However, there are so many of these labels that navigating the menu can be a little confusing. Once your meals for the week are selected, you’ll be all set to start receiving your weekly meal kit subscription.

Home Chef Ingredients next to box

Food & Wine / Tori Martinet


Costs vary for Home Chef based on the amount of food you order and the meal options you select. The price per serving depends on the number of recipes per week and the number of servings you want per meal. Customers can order two-, four-, or six-serving plans, and anywhere from two to six meals per week. The more you buy, the cheaper the price per serving will be, with meals starting at $11.99 for two recipes with two servings on the high end of the spectrum and $8.74 for a plan of six recipes with six servings each at the low end. Shipping is a flat fee of $10.99 per box, and while pricing information is readily available when signing up, it’s a bit harder to find if you want to edit your plan as an existing customer.

Meal Choices

With over 30 recipes available each week from Home Chef, there is no shortage of meal choices. Recipes lean towards comfort food favorites like burgers, pastas, and classic protein-starch-veggie combo plates like meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Meals are broken down into “classic” meal kits, which tend to have longer cooking times, “easy prep” kits that take less effort and come together in 30 minutes or less, and even some totally pre-made lunch options and extras like desserts and snacks. Most of the meal kits offer the ability to customize your protein choice, so if you want to swap out shrimp for chicken or upgrade to antibiotic-free meats, you can. 

What we tasted:

  • Chicken adobo flautas with homemade salsa and crema
  • Crispy Cajun-style mahi mahi tacos with slaw
  • Impossible banh mi burger with sweet chili garlic fries
Home Chef Packaging

Food & Wine / Tori Martinet


Home Chef does come with a ton of packaging, most of which is plastic that’s not curbside recyclable, so bear that in mind if you’re an eco-conscious consumer. We had just over 70 individual pieces to contend with, including the box for the shipment, the insulated liner, ice packs, and the ingredients. While the packaging did ultimately protect and organize our ingredients effectively, it’s a little staggering to see that less than a third of everything was curbside recyclable, with the majority of the plastic only being eligible for recycling if taken to a specialty facility—which, let’s be honest, doesn’t happen in most homes, including my own. 

The one packaging element that stuck out was the almost comically large plastic bags that housed the meats in addition to the existing vacuum-packing in even more plastic. Most meal kits I’ve tried don’t take this extra step, and while I’m sure it’s helpful if something leaks, it felt excessive.

The Cooking Process

I intentionally chose meal kits with varied levels of difficulty and multiple cooking styles in order to test-drive the full range of meal types that Home Chef advertises. Regardless of category, difficulty, or cook time, none of the recipes were too taxing to make; for example, any sauces included were either fully prepared or only required combining a couple of ingredients. One recipe did require the use of both stovetop and oven, but the others were one-pan only—definitely a welcome break for this cleanup-hating cook. 

While the flavors and preparation steps were simple, the payoff was something hot and tasty that came together within the estimated time and in line with the recipe instructions. These recipes are definitely built for comfort in the kitchen, and we didn’t find them at all hectic to tackle at the end of a long day.


Home Chef makes no claims to be a gourmet experience, and while that’s definitely reflected in both flavors and meal composition options, every meal we had was simple yet solid in taste. The chicken flautas were smoky and maybe a little uninspired on their own, but they improved with the addition of the crema and homemade salsa. The mahi mahi tacos tasted as fresh as anything we’d find in a typical grocery store and the premade remoulade sauce added a nice zip. 

While I didn’t feel the need to reach for additional seasonings, I do think an extra herb or allium here and a glug of hot sauce there would have taken things to a more stimulating place. The one area we actually did feel the need to enhance was in the accompaniments. The flautas are just that—flautas, with no sides—and it was the same situation with the tacos. The portion sizes weren’t skimpy as a main dish, but the lack of sides made those particular meals feel somewhat lacking, especially in comparison to the burger dish that came with fries.

Home Chef Flautas plated with recipe card

Food & Wine / Tori Martinet

Who Should Use Home Chef?

Home Chef is really a great option for busy households with a lot of mouths to feed who are looking to simplify the eating experience. With its extended portion ranges, quick cook times, and simple methods, Home Chef is a likely crowd-pleaser, whether you’re feeding a family or a frat house.

Final Thoughts

Home Chef is out to do what every meal delivery service strives for: Make your life easier when it comes to getting dinner on the table. The meals may not be a transformative eating experience, but we think Home Chef does a fantastic job of nailing the convenience factor with its quick, partially prepped meals and reliably tasty flavors that would please many varied palates.


How Many Servings Is Each Home Chef Meal?

Home Chef recipes are available in servings of two, four, and six. Customers can decide how many servings come with each meal, during both new account creation and at any time later in the account settings. Certain items may not be available in all serving sizes, such as desserts, but recipes are typically available across all serving quantities.

Are Home Chef Meals Customizable?

While not every meal from Home Chef is customizable, most meal kit recipes allow you to customize your protein option. Items in the “culinary collection” are common exemptions, as are “Fast & Fresh” and certain “Oven-Ready” meals. If recipes are customizable, you’ll find the protein options under the “customize it” button on the menu page and your recipes will have instructions for all of the options available.

How Often Do You Receive a Home Chef Box?

Home Chef is a weekly meal subscription service by default, though there is quite a bit of flexibility built in if you’d like to receive meals less frequently. You can edit your subscription in your account and choose from weekly, biweekly, or monthly shipments. Plus, it’s always easy to skip weeks, pause, or cancel at any time.

Can You Freeze Home Chef Meals?

Home Chef meals are not designed to be frozen, but it’s certainly possible to do so with some of the recipes or ingredients, especially if you are not able to use all of your ingredients in the time frame. Home Chef also has some premade lunch options that could be frozen, though reheating times would vary.

Are Home Chef Meals Healthy?

As with most meal delivery services, there is variety among nutrients and ingredients, so that if you would like to choose meals that are more health-conscious, you can. Home Chef does include information on nutrition and allergens so that customers can make the most healthful choice for themselves. Home Chef also labels recipes as “calorie conscious” when under 625 calories per serving and “carb-conscious” when under 35 grams per serving.

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