With lower prices, easy-to-customize meals, and new recipes each week, it’s simple to see why Home Chef won this battle for me. But, though it's a better fit for many households, it doesn’t win in all categories.
What you’re ultimately choosing between are prepared meals that can be heated in minutes versus a company that can offer meal kits, oven-ready options, and more, depending on your mood and schedule.
Freshly’s prepared meals are also mostly gluten-free, however, if that’s something that’s important to you.
My team has tried and tested Freshly and Home Chef first-hand, so you’ll get nothing less than the full scoop on both. Now, let’s dive in!
Winner: Home Chef
Between the two, Home Chef is my winner thanks to its ever-changing menu. You’ll find more than 20 meals to choose from each week, so you’ll constantly be getting variety.
The meal kits vary in both cooking time and difficulty – from the more complicated Culinary Collection to Easy Prep dishes like flatbreads and pasta. Plus, you can add a limited selection of proteins, desserts, and side dishes to your order.
If you’re short on time or want something even easier, Home Chef also has Oven-Ready Meals that require some minor assembling in the included pan. Make a Crispy Arrabbiata Chicken with Asiago Broccoli and Peppers for the whole family by just popping it in the oven – et voila!
On the other hand, Freshly has more than 50 dishes on its menu, which is incredible. The issue is, those choices are the same week after week. If you find something you love, you’ll be able to find it again and again – but you could also run out of new options to try.
All of the meals are single-serving dishes that just need to be heated in the microwave. But if you find yourself needing more, you can find sides and proteins that will feed more than one.
The menu itself is varied, and packed with proteins and vegetables. You’ll find lots of American classics – like the Wintertime Turkey Meatloaf with Creamed Spinach and Mushroom Gravy – as well as Italian, Mediterranean, Mexican, and Asian dishes.
Winner: Home Chef
Thanks to the Customize It feature available on almost every recipe, Home Chef won this category hands down. Each meal can be customized with your choice of protein, plus you can double-up on portion sizes or upgrade to organic meats, too.
So if you want to swap the chicken in your Sticky Chicken Thigh Tacos to ground beef, USDA Choice flank steak, or Impossible Burger – it can be done!
Being able to customize the meals means vegetarians, pescatarians, and anyone who avoids certain types of meat will have more recipes to choose from.
With Freshly, there are no customization options, since everything is prepared, packaged, and delivered, ready to be reheated. That said, it does offer meals that cater to specific dietary needs, including gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan options.
When selecting your meals from Freshly, you can narrow down your choices using the drop-down menu. The categories include Purely Plant, Signature Collection, FreshlyFit, and Proteins & Sides. This helps if you want strictly vegan, low-calorie, or low-carb options.
Winner: It’s a tie
Both Freshly and Home Chef have similar processes when it comes to the ordering, delivery, and unboxing of your meals. Both companies have easy-to-navigate websites that allow you to order with ease, make changes to upcoming deliveries, and pause your subscription.
Your single-serving Freshly meals will arrive chilled and individually boxed, and should be stored in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat them. With Home Chef, you’ll receive the meal kits or oven-ready dishes with ingredients packaged together, ready to put away.
The available delivery days vary for both companies depending on your zip code, but both allow you to select your own delivery day based on what works best for your schedule.
When it comes to packaging, both Home Chef and Freshly utilize the same insulation for their boxes, made from recycled denim. All the cardboard and paper inside can be recycled, and both brands clearly state that their goal is to reduce their environmental impact as much as possible.
For time and pure convenience, Freshly takes the top spot. Each meal needs about three minutes in the microwave before it’s ready to be enjoyed. There’s no prep or cleaning up required – it’s a healthy, balanced meal in minutes.
Home Chef has a few more options, so it’s a better choice if you like spending some time in the kitchen. The traditional meal kits take anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes to cook, and the ingredients come perfectly portioned – all you have to do is follow the recipe.
On those busy weeknights when cooking just isn’t an option though, Home Chef’s Oven-Ready dishes arrive with a disposable pan that you can just put right into the oven. The instructions are simple to follow.
So for options, Home Chef is great, but Freshly is still the easier and quicker choice.
When it comes to customer support, Freshly has tons of options to reach someone – there’s even a 24/7 call or text service. You can also reach out via chat on Facebook Messenger, or by email, if you can’t find what you need on the detailed FAQ page, that is.
Home Chef has a customer service line available to call Monday through Friday, 9 am to 6 pm CST, and on Saturdays from 10 am to 2 pm CST. You can also fill out an online contact form and someone will get back to you within a day or two.
Across the board, Freshly and Home Chef’s customer service teams are always working hard to make sure subscribers are happy, but having the option to reach out any time of day is pretty convenient and hard to beat.
With both companies, you can find a lot of the answers you’re looking for on the FAQ page, so take advantage of those before spending your time calling, chatting, or emailing.
Winner: Home Chef
When you compare Freshly and Home Chef, you’ll find lower prices at Home Chef in most scenarios.
Home Chef meals start at just $6.99 per serving, but most of the more substantial meals are around $8.99 per serving. If you were to order three recipes a week for two people, the total would be around $53.94, plus a shipping fee of $7.99.
To compare, if you were to order two servings of three Freshly dishes, the total would be $59.94, with a shipping charge of $6.99. That means you’re paying more per serving with Freshly.
The more meals you order with Freshly, the cheaper the price per serving – but it still usually works out in Home Chef’s favor. You pay for the convenience of having prepared meals that just need to be heated up in the microwave.
Fast and healthy meals
Simple, homemade meals
$6.90 per serving
$6.99 per serving
$5.99 to $11.99
$7.99 to $13.99
50+ choices per week
20+ choices per week
Oven-Ready, 15-Minute Meal Kits, Fast & Fresh
Certified gluten-free meals
Special Dietary Options
Gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, carb-smart, calorie-conscious
Vegetarian, calorie-conscious, carb-conscious
Online chat, email, phone, text
Online chat, email, phone
Home Chef offers more options for everyone. You can order prepared meals for those evenings when you need something quick, and traditional meal kits when you want to devote a little more time to dinner. There might be fewer dishes to choose from each week, but the menu is different each time, so you’ll never get bored.
If you’re looking for a variety of single-serving meals, Freshly does have a great number of options. It also ranks high on our list of the best gluten-free meal delivery services, thanks to its Gluten Intolerance Group certification.
Home Chef is a better option than Freshly because it has a wider variety of meal types to choose from, including prepared meals and traditional meal kits. Home Chef uses high-quality ingredients and gives you the option to customize your protein in every meal.
Both meal delivery services offer healthy meals, including low-calorie and low-carb options. However, Freshly caters more to specific dietary needs, with a variety of dairy-free, gluten-free, and vegan meals.
Overall, Freshly is more expensive than Home Chef – you pay for the convenience factor. Freshly’s meals start at $6.90 per serving, while Home Chef starts at just $6.99 per serving.