Home Chef and Blue Apron are seasoned veterans of the meal kit industry, with dishes to satisfy a variety of appetites. But which is better – and which would be better for you?
While both Home Chef and Blue Apron offer excellent meal kits, after some intense reviewing I believe that Home Chef is, overall, the better service. The two are neck-and-neck in a lot of categories – but the devil is in the detail!
With its great-value meals and extras, Blue Apron has a lot of strengths that will appeal to customers with certain needs, but Home Chef’s Customize It feature and much wider variety led me to declare it the winner of this battle overall.
But wait no longer… This Home Chef vs. Blue Apron comparison will tell you all you need to know.
Winner: Home Chef
In the battle of menu variety, Home Chef scores a decisive victory over Blue Apron.
For the most part, both services offer classic American favorites like burgers, pasta, steak, and seafood – with a few more adventurous recipes thrown in. Over at Blue Apron, for example, you’ll find dishes like the Grilled Dukkah-Spiced Pork Chops with Green Beans, Kohlrabi, and Lemon Yogurt.
In a typical week, Home Chef offers around 26 different meals. Blue Apron has slightly fewer, at around 19. But here’s the thing: Home Chef allows you to swap, double-up, or upgrade the protein in many of its dishes, making the variety almost endless.
Take the Shrimp Campanelle Primavera with Zucchini and Parmesan Cheese, for example. You can swap the shrimp out for chicken or scallops, or add an extra helping of shrimp. This feature vastly expands your potential menu options with Home Chef.
Likewise, the Butternut Squash Alfredo Penne with Spicy Walnuts and Garlic Bread can be ordered with a protein (take your pick of shrimp, diced chicken breast, USDA-choice flank steak, or Impossible Burger) – or you can leave it out completely.
Blue Apron offers some customizable meals – you can order its Cheesy Pork Chorizo Enchiladas with ground turkey, or swap the prosciutto for chicken in its Prosciutto Fried Rice – but almost all Home Chef recipes offer Customize It, frequently with multiple options.
Blue Apron certainly scores points for its wine offerings, too, and its slightly more sophisticated palate. But Home Chef’s Customize It feature and its wider variety of meals is difficult to beat. Blue Apron puts up a good fight, but loses this round.
Since I already covered how easily you can customize your meals with these services, I want to take this opportunity to talk about how Home Chef and Blue Apron each cater to specific dietary needs.
as a dietary preference at the start of signing up.
The low-calorie meals have less than 625 calories, and the low-carb meals have up to 35g of carbs. The nice thing here is that you can select both. There are also some veggie meals on the menu – but very few, if any, vegan options.
Blue Apron, on the other hand, allows you to choose from four optional preferences: Chef Favorites, Wellness, Family Friendly, and Fast & Easy. You can check as many of these as you want to expand your personal plan.
On the Wellness plan, you’ll find healthy, nutritionist-approved dishes and WW-recommended recipes, while the Fast & Easy plan features speedy 30-minute meals and microwavable dinners.
Like Home Chef, there are some veggie offerings on the Vegetarian menu, but they are limited to around five per week and only serve two people.
When it comes to omitting certain ingredients, Home Chef offers a set list that you can select from so you only see the recipes that don’t contain those ingredients. The list is short, but it does cover basic allergies such as tree nuts, pork, and shellfish.
I can’t help but think, however, that Home Chef is leaving out a sizable portion of the population that’s sensitive to dairy. The recipe cards do feature allergy information, but it would be nice to be able to see an entire menu of milk-free recipes.
Blue Apron offers even fewer options when it comes to leaving out certain ingredients, only giving you the option to check off the meats you don’t want, such as pork, beef, poultry, fish, etc. Or you can tick We’re Vegetarian.
Blue Apron takes a pretty clear stance when it comes to food allergies, though, explaining that if you have serious allergies, this is probably not the best option for you.
And it’s right. If you do have an allergy or intolerance, there are other meal delivery services out there that promise zero cross-contamination, such as Green Chef. This service, along with those such as Sunbasket or Purple Carrot are also better suited to anyone seeking a paleo, keto, or plant-based diet.
If you don’t have specific ingredient requirements, however, Blue Apron’s WW-approved Wellness menu may be a great fit if you’re looking for healthy, balanced dishes. The ingredients are also of excellent quality.
Winner: Home Chef
Though ordering and unboxing is similar with both these services, Home Chef won this round for me thanks to its more comprehensive process and eco-friendly packaging.
Once you’ve opened your Home Chef or Blue Apron account and selected your plan, it’s time to pick out your meals. With both services, the minimum order is two meals for two people (or four servings) per week.
Home Chef allows you to order up to six meals per week for up to six people. Not only is this more than Blue Apron (which limits you to four meals per week for four people), but it’s more than most other meal kits I’ve tried before.
Likewise, Blue Apron and Home Chef both offer delivery several days per week, but your specific delivery day will depend on your address. Home Chef only delivers on weekdays, however, while Blue Apron offers weekend delivery, too.
Some people, especially those working regular business hours, may prefer to receive their meals on the weekend. If that’s you, then Home Chef isn’t for you. Otherwise, Home Chef and Blue Apron are pretty evenly matched in this regard.
In terms of where Home Chef and Blue Apron deliver, once again they’re pretty even. Home Chef’s help center reports that it delivers to 98% of the United States, while Blue Apron says it delivers throughout the continental US. Sorry, Hawaii and Alaska – neither service has expanded outside the mainland yet!
Both services also offer zip code confirmation on their websites which will confirm whether or not you can receive deliveries. They’ll also let you know which days are available.
When it comes to unboxing your goods, Home Chef and Blue Apron both do an excellent job of packing your meal kits so they arrive chilled and fresh. But what happens to all that packaging when you’re done with it?
Blue Apron’s is around 85% recyclable, but Home Chef promises to use only recyclable or reusable materials in its packaging. It also offers a wealth of information on its website on how to dispose of (or reuse) it.
So, while Blue Apron earns a distinct advantage by offering weekend delivery, Home Chef’s wider range of ordering options and eco-friendly packaging give it the edge in this category.
Winner: Home Chef
This one was tough to call since both services offer a range of easy-prep meals, including prepared options – but Home Chef’s extensive Fresh and Easy line is hard to beat.
Home Chef has a well-stocked section on the menu called Easy Prep Meal Kits, which includes 15-Minute Meal Kits, Oven-Ready dishes, and Fast & Fresh prepared meals that can be heated in the microwave or oven.
The Oven-Ready meals may take up to 60 minutes to cook, but they call for next to no prep, just some minor assembling.
Similarly, Blue Apron offers a Fast & Easy preference with meals designed to be ready in 30 minutes, including many sheet-pan recipes that are light on prep. However, I’d consider 30 minutes to be the standard cook-time for a meal kit rather than a speedy option.
Blue Apron also has a range of prepared meals for fans of quick dinners: its five-minute Heat & Eat options. There are at least three each week and these microwave meals are slightly easier to heat than Home Chef’s – just pierce the film and heat in one go (some of Home Chef’s Fast & Fresh meals require assembly and heating in stages).
Both services have standard meal kits as well as something to offer those looking for less prep and a quick meal. Blue Apron’s microwave meals are slightly easier to heat, but Home Chef’s easy-prep range is much bigger and its speedy meal kits are faster.
Winner: Home Chef
I’ll admit, I’ve never been a big fan of Blue Apron’s customer support whenever I’ve reviewed it. In particular, it’s disappointing that the company makes you call customer service just to cancel your subscription. For me, Home Chef offers much more flexibility.
However, when it comes to seeking out an answer online, both Home Chef and Blue Apron are comparable in this department.
They both have robust FAQ pages (and toll-free numbers to call should you want to speak to a rep), and Home Chef has a chatbot on hand to answer questions, but neither offers live chat with a real person or customer support via text.
In that sense, it would be easy to call this a tie, but I’m giving Home Chef the edge for one reason and one reason only: unlike Blue Apron, you can cancel or pause your Home Chef subscription at the touch of a button.
If you want the full scoop, check out this short blog post on How To Cancel Home Chef in three easy steps.
Winner: Blue Apron
Prices at Blue Apron start from $5.74 per serving when you sign up for the largest plan of four meals for four people per week. The price goes up on smaller orders, costing as much as $11.99 per serving for the minimum order of two meals for two people per week.
Home Chef works slightly differently in that the cost per serving depends on the dish. While it does have $6.99 offerings, many of the more substantial meals cost around $8.99 per serving.
And then, if you choose to customize a meal by doubling-up or upgrading your protein choice, you should expect to pay anything up to $5 more per serving. Customization is what makes Home Chef unique, but it can also make it much more expensive.
There are many variables with both these services, which makes it difficult to truly pinpoint which is the better deal. Different families with different needs will likely find one or the other to be better for their individual requirements.
Then, of course, there’s shipping. Blue Apron costs $9.99 per week regardless of the size of your order. Home Chef, on the other hand, could be anything from $9.99 to $13.99.
Blue Apron is a much lower-maintenance service: the price you see is what you’ll pay. Home Chef’s dishes, on the other hand, are individually priced. If you’re on a budget, you’ll have to be careful to not accidentally order a premium meal or go overboard with the size of your order.
If you want maximum variety and are fine with planning meals with different pricing options every week, Home Chef could be your preferred choice.
Having said that, I think the variability of this pricing structure is more confusing than anything. And at $7.99 for a substantial serving, Blue Apron also offers great value for money, which is why it’s my winner in this round.
Variety and customization
Families on a budget
$6.99 per serving
$5.74 per serving
$9.99 to $13.99
4 servings (from $49.95)
4 servings ($57.95)
26+ choices per week
19 choices per week
5 to 60 minutes
5 to 50 minutes
Oven-Ready, 15-Minute Meal Kits, Fast & Fresh prepared meals
Heat & Eat prepared meals, Fast & Easy kits, sheet-pan recipes
Allergies catered to
Vegetarian, Calorie-Conscious, Carb-Conscious
FAQ, email, phone
FAQ, email, phone
Both Home Chef and Blue Apron are meal delivery veterans. And if you don’t have any specialized dietary needs, you’ll likely have a great experience with either company – both made it into our list of the best meal delivery services of the year, after all.
Blue Apron could certainly be the cheaper option per serving if you’re placing large orders (making it a great choice for families), but for me, Home Chef edges out its competitor in almost every other category.
Both are veteran meal delivery services, but when I compared the menus, Home Chef is ultimately a better choice than Blue Apron because it offers a wider range of meal types and customization options.
This means you can switch the type of protein in your dish, and in some cases even choose a plant-based alternative instead.
When I researched and compared prices, I found Home Chef’s starting price was lower than Blue Apron’s. You can order meals from as little as $6.99 per serving, while servings from Blue Apron start at $5.74.
However, this comes with the caveat that Home Chef’s pricing depends on the recipes and customization options you choose. With Blue Apron, the price you see is the price you pay.
However, you can get an even better deal on either service by using our special discount codes!
Both Home Chef and Blue Apron feature healthy, balanced recipes. Over at Home Chef, you’ll find dedicated Calorie-Conscious, Carb-Conscious, and Vegetarian categories, while Blue Apron has a special Wellness plan that’s also low in carbs and fat, and high in protein.