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We’ve sung the praises before of meal delivery kits, with chef-worthy recipes at the ready if you don’t have the time to go out shopping and prep healthy dishes every night of the week. But recently when I was tearing into box to test out, I pulled out the recipe card and asked a family member to be my sous chef for the night. They agreed under one stipulation — “please don’t let this be another hour-long recipe.”
The best meal delivery services offer fast, easy-to-make meals that eliminate the need for excessive prep work, and aren’t at a level of difficulty on par with the entree round of Chopped. Emphasis on the ‘fast’ here — some meal boxes focus so hard on complex dishes (which is perfectly fine if you’re looking for a meal kit to expand the horizons of your culinary palette), leaving you stuck with a recipe too long to even be worth making at 8 PM on a work night.
Some subscriptions try to combat this by giving you pre-portioned, pre-cooked meals frozen (or fresh, with minimal cook time). While we certainly have our favorites, those can dip into ‘frozen TV dinner’ territory real fast if they’re not made properly.
Look, we all know that cooking at home is just better for you in general. But we wanted to test out a meal delivery service to see if it could deliver several fast and low-prep options to get dinner on the table faster than you can say “takeout”. Enter — Home Chef.
What Is Home Chef?
So, let’s you actually enjoy the process of cooking, but would really love to shave 30 minutes off your weeknight dinner routine. Say no more, because Home Chef has you covered with their selection of simple and easy meals that take (almost) all the work out of dinner, but still let you retain the bragging rights of making a “home-cooked” meal. Unlike other services that might inconvenience you for the sake of a show-stopping dish, for everyday dinners, this all-in-one meal kit is crafted so you’re using minimal pans and cooking utensils (which means minimal cleanup time for you). Even if you tend to look at the clock and immediately give up to order takeout (guilty as charged), you’ll get more bang for your buck in the long run here too, with meals started at $9.99/serving.
How Does Home Chef Work?
One great thing about Home Chef is how customizable it is, especially if you’re really into meal-prepping — you upgrade your protein choices options like antibiotic-free chicken, wild-caught salmon and Impossible Meat, which is a big assist with portion control and macro-tracking. The number of meals you get is super-sized compared to other boxes, with options for two, four or even six people (6-12 servings per week) if you have a larger family.
When I was making my dinners, the best part was definitely the easy-to-follow recipe cards, and the fact that every ingredient you need gets delivered to your door (some boxes required me to supplement my own spices or garlic. What’s the point?). The photos alongside each step would make it a great beginner box for someone less savvy around the kitchen, but it helps even if you know what “sous vide” means.
With over 20 rotating meal options each week, I didn’t feel bored with any of my options. Their menu focuses on comfort food (like a hearty French Onion Beef Meatloaf I tried), so there’s really something for everyone, even if you have a picky eater in your house. Want to elevate your weeknight dinner indecision? Get $90 off your first box, no promo code needed, and become the mealtime savior tonight.
What Kinds of Meals Are Available From Home Chef?
My family gets off work at different times at night, so having meals that are low-prep is absolutely key, and doable thanks to Home Chef’s Oven Ready, 15 Min Meals and Fast & Fresh options. These meals focus on low-prep or options with minimal cook time such as a super fast Carolina-Style Pulled Pork Sandwich, that I suspect normally would’ve taken hours in the slow cooker. I tossed all the ingredients into their aluminum prepared tray, popped it in the oven, and served it up in around 30 minutes. You can also order grill-ready meals and lighter salads that require minimal prep work and cleanup.
While these meal kits eliminate precious prep time, that doesn’t exactly mean the meals will be done fast as a microwavable options. For that you can spring for their 15 Minute Meals, which seem better suited for single folks or those who worried they’re unluckily prone to starting grease fires.
In general plenty of tasty options including vegetarian, carb-conscious and calorie-conscious meals. I choose a mix of options, but every recipe was straightforward, and ultimately delicious. The Sliced Beef Gyro Flautas with tzatziki were very well-seasoned, and a New Orleans-Style Shrimp Roll came together in under the listed recipe time. The flavors won’t get too wild, as these meals are aimed to please everyone. But what they can lack in creativity at times, they make up for in ease of cooking.
Home Chef Review: The Verdict
Home Chef’s meals are designed for those who still enjoy still doing a little bit of weeknight cooking, but want to cut down just one part of the process. With Home Chef’s delivery kit, you don’t need ridiculous knife skills or a culinary school degree to make a satisfying meal. Overall, I every recipe I tried came together quickly and stress-free, especially the Fast & Fresh meals, with comforting, unpretentious flavors that I can truly say were “crowd-pleasers”.
So don’t wrack your brain thinking about prepping a week’s worth of dinners—right now Home Chef is offering $90 off your first box, no promo code necessary so you can get easy-to-make recipes delivered straight to your door.