We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.Advertising DisclosureThis is a user-oriented comparison website, and we need to cover hosting and content costs, as well as make a profit. The costs are covered from referral fees from the vendors we feature. Affiliate link compensation does not affect reviews but might affect listicle pages. On these pages, vendors are ranked based on the reviewer’s examination of the service but also taking into account feedback from users and our commercial agreements with service providers. This website tries to cover important meal, coffee and pet food delivery services but we can’t cover all of the solutions that are out there. Information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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Author Kenaz Filan
Kenaz Filan
Updated on Apr 7th, 2024
Fact checked by Emma Vince

Home Chef vs. Blue Apron 2024: Which Is Best Value?

Home Chef and Blue Apron are both veterans of the meal kit delivery service industry, with meal kits and some prepared dishes to satisfy a variety of appetites. But they have some key differences when it comes to the structure of their plans and how their customizations work. 

I examined both companies closely, studying their prices, menus, ingredients, shipping, and more. I consulted colleagues, read reviews, and compiled as much data as I could gather. It was a very close match between 2 excellent meal delivery services.

Ultimately, I gave the trophy to Home Chef, thanks to its more sophisticated menu and its abundance of extras and add-ons. But Blue Apron is certainly a worthy, family-friendly contender whose international cuisine options give you loads of flexibility with your meals. Read on to find out which is best for you.

At a Glance: Who Won Each Category?

💲 Price:

Blue Apron (from $3.74 per serving)

🍔 Menu Variety:

Home Chef (30+ meals and 18+ extras per week)

⏰ Prep Time:

Home Chef

🍴 Customization:

Home Chef

👍 Ordering and Delivery:

Home Chef

🙋 Customer Support:

It’s a tie

👑 Overall Winner:
Home Chef

Menu Variety

Winner: Home Chef 

Even though Home Chef’s menu (40+ options per week) is not as big as Blue Apron’s (80+ options per week), I found Home Chef’s offer more varied and easier to approach by families.

Both menus have American favorites like burgers, pasta, steak, and seafood, as well as a selection of more adventurous recipes. I found Blue Apron’s menu to be a bit more international. For example, check out the Grilled Dukkah-Spiced Pork Chops (below). A plate of pork chops with vegetables

Both Home Chef and Blue Apron offer quick-prep meals. But while all of Home Chef’s fast menu offerings require at least some assembly, Blue Apron has a selection of prepared meals that require just a few minutes in the microwave. A pork chop with gravy and mashed potatoes

Though Home Chef's menu is a bit less adventurous, you won’t be bored with meals like the Seared Pork Chop with Dijon Mushroom Pan Sauce above. Blue Apron also offers many family-friendly dishes (there’s an entire section of 4-servings meal kits), but Home Chef might be a better choice if you’re feeding picky eaters.

Home Chef's add-ons selection offers breakfast and lunch entrees, along with a selection of desserts and bulk protein packs like salmon filets or chicken breasts. On the other hand, Blue Apron’s Add-ons section is more limited, with Heat & Eat meals, extra proteins, and a few breakfast options.

Blue Apron gets many ingredients from sustainable, family-run farms. Home Chef gives you an organic protein option on many recipes but provides little information about where it sources its ingredients.

Meal Customization

Winner: Home Chef

Home Chef’s Customize It feature allows you to swap, double-up, or upgrade the protein in many of its meals. When my colleague tried out Home Chef, they found that the Customize It feature vastly expanded their potential menu options.

Almost all Home Chef recipes offer Customize It, frequently with multiple options. Vegetarian Butternut Squash Alfredo Penne with Spicy Walnuts and Garlic Bread (pictured) can be ordered with an optional protein – take your pick of shrimp, diced chicken breast, Italian sausage, or vegetarian Beyond Sausage. Home Chef's Butternut Squash Alfredo Penne.

Home Chef lets you choose Calorie-Conscious and/or Carb-Conscious as dietary preferences when signing up. Calorie-Conscious meals have less than 625 calories per serving, while Carb-Conscious meals have 35 g or fewer net carbs. There are also a few veggie meals on the Home Chef menu – but very few, if any, vegan options.

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 its selection is much more limited. Screenshot of the Blue Apron meal preferences on the signup screen

Blue Apron’s Meal Kits menu is sorted into 5 categories:

  • Chef Favorites

  • Wellness

  • Family Friendly

  • Fast & Easy

  • Veggies

The Prepared & Ready menu is sorted into 4 categories:

  • 600 Calories or Less

  • 30g of Protein

  • Carb Conscious

  • Keto Friendly

The Wellness plan features healthy, nutritionist-approved dishes and low-calorie recipes, while the Fast & Easy plan features speedy 30-minute meals and microwavable dinners. And while Blue Apron has many recipes that cater to sophisticated palates, you can also search for Family Friendly meals for fussy eaters.

The low-calorie, high-protein, and carb-conscious meals are great if you’re watching your weight or looking to get in shape. Additionally, Blue Apron’s vegetarian offerings are quite limited (around 5 per week). If you’re feeding a household of herbivores, check out our list of the best vegetarian meal delivery services for better options.

You can also make some meals vegetarian. If you’re not a fan of pork, you can replace the pork chops with egg and avocado in the Mexican-Style Pork Chops pictured below. Look for the Make it Vegetarian tag for eligible meals. A plate of pork chops atop barley

When it comes to omitting certain ingredients, Home Chef offers a set list 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.

Home Chef leaves out a sizable portion of the population that’s sensitive to dairy. The recipe cards feature allergy information, but it would be nice to be able to see an entire menu of dairy-free recipes. Screenshot from the Home Chef sign-up page, where you can omit foods you want to avoid.

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.

If you have serious allergies, neither Blue Apron nor Home Chef are a good option. You should instead check out our list of the best allergy-friendly delivery services. If you don’t have specific ingredient requirements, however, Blue Apron’s Wellness menu may be a great fit if you’re looking for healthy, balanced dishes.

Ordering, Delivery, Unboxing

Winner: Home Chef

Home Chef wins with its eco-friendly packaging and better selection of serving sizes. Blue Apron is a worthy contender in all these categories but Home Chef is just a little better.

The sign-up process is a little quicker for Blue Apron, but that’s mostly because there are more customization options when signing up for Home Chef. With both services, the minimum order is 2 meals for 2 people (or 4 servings) per week. Once you’ve opened your Home Chef or Blue Apron account and selected your plan, it’s time to pick out your meals. Screenshots comparing serving size options for Home Chef and Blue Apron

Home Chef allows you to order up to 6 meals per week for up to 6 people. Not only is this more than Blue Apron (which limits you to 5 meals per week for 4 people), but it’s more than many other meal kits I’ve tried before. Blue Apron also offers between 4 and 10 single-serving ready-made meals per week.

Home Chef only delivers on weekdays while Blue Apron offers weekend delivery too. While both Blue Apron and Home Chef both offer delivery several days per week, your specific delivery day will depend on your address.

Home Chef delivers to 98% of the US, while Blue Apron delivers throughout the continental US. Sorry, Hawaii and Alaska – neither service has expanded outside the mainland yet! Both services offer zip code confirmation on their websites that will check whether or not you can receive deliveries. They’ll also let you know which days are available in your area. Screenshot of recycling information from Home Chef's website.

Home Chef and Blue Apron both do an excellent job of packing your meal kits so they arrive chilled and fresh. But in order to do that, both use a lot of packaging, which you’ll have to dispose of each week.

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. Home Chef meals arrive packed by recipe in plastic bags, with proteins on the bottom between cooling packs.

Blue Apron sends individually wrapped and labeled ingredients in its meal kits. While this helps customers quickly identify ingredients, it generates a lot of plastic, which isn’t ideal for the environment. Blue Apron's packaging could take inspiration from other meal delivery services that use more eco-friendly packaging solutions, such as paper bags.

Meal Prep

Winner: Home Chef 

Overall, both services offer easy-prep meal kits, but Home Chef ultimately wins this round. While Blue Apron has an entire section of prepared meals plus Heat & Eat options as add-ons, Home Chef sits at the top with an extensive Extras section and ready-made lunches.

Home Chef has an entire line of quick, low-prep meals. For example, its Fresh and Easy line includes a range of low and no-prep kits. 

You’ll find these under the Easy Prep Meal Kits section of the menu. These include Express 15-Minute Meal Kits, Oven-Ready dishes, and Fast & Fresh meals that can be heated in either the microwave or oven after some minor assembly. Screenshot from Home Chef's menu, emphasizing its fast and easy options.

Each service provides pre-prepped ingredients in some, but not all recipes. You’ll have to check the labels to see which meal kits come with pre-chopped vegetables.

Home Chef’s Oven-Ready meals can take up to 60 minutes to cook, but they call for next to no prep, just some minor assembling in a recyclable pan that comes with each dish.

Similarly, Blue Apron offers a Fast & Easy preference with meals designed to be ready in 30 minutes, including sheet-pan recipes that are light on prep. There are some Ready to Cook meals, too, that come with pre-chopped ingredients and a recyclable baking tin. All you have to do is assemble it and pop it in the oven! Screenshot from Blue Apron's menu, emphasizing its speedy recipes.

Blue Apron also has a range of prepared meals for fans of super-quick dinners: the Prepared & Ready section in the Add-ons and Market sections. These microwave meals are slightly easier than Home Chef’s – just pierce the film and heat in one go (most of Home Chef’s Fast & Fresh meals require assembly and heating in stages).

Both services expect you to have some pantry basics like olive oil on hand. Home Chef makes it clear which utensils and ingredients you’ll need for each recipe, while Blue Apron doesn’t make this information as obvious.

Of course, both services also offer standard meal kits. But Blue Apron scores points here for offering videos on its website that teach you cooking techniques and walk you through cooking your meal kits.

Customer Support

Winner: Tie

Both Blue Apron and Home Chef offer solid customer support options. This round is too close to call, so I made it a draw. Screenshot comparing both services' contact pages.

Both have robust FAQ pages and toll-free numbers should you want to speak to a rep. Home Chef has a chatbot on hand to answer basic questions, while Blue Apron lets you chat directly with a real person. Neither offers customer support via text. Screenshot showing both services' FAQ pages.

Ultimately, both services offer a wide variety of customer support options. Both are also equally easy to cancel (just check out this short blog post on How To Cancel Blue Apron in 3 easy steps).

Pricing

Winner: Blue Apron

Blue Apron is cheaper per serving than Home Chef, so it takes this round.

Both Blue Apron and Home Chef offer similar discounts for students and seniors as well as first responders, teachers, and other heroes. Both offer special occasion meals that cost a bit more per serving. Blue Apron labels its range as Premium while Home Chef uses the Culinary Collection or Plus label.

Prices at Blue Apron start from $3.74 per serving for meal kits when you order the largest plan of 5 meals for 4 people per week. The price goes up on smaller orders, costing as much as $12.49 per serving for the minimum order of 2 meals for 2 people per week and $9.99 per serving for 4 meals for 2.

The price for single-serving ready-made meals starts at $12.49 per serving for 10 meals per week and goes up to $13.49 for 6 meals per week.

Home Chef lets you order 2 to 6 meals for 2, 4, or 6 people per week, meaning a massive 36 potions can be ordered per week. Meals are individually priced and start at $7.99 per serving. Smaller orders won’t incur a higher per serving price. It’s down to which meals you choose, not how many.

Customization makes Home Chef unique, but it can also make it more expensive. If you choose to customize a dish by doubling up or upgrading your protein choice, you can expect to pay up to $5 more per serving.

Then, of course, there’s shipping. Blue Apron and Home Chef both cost $10.99 per week, regardless of the size of your order. Check out my colleague’s Blue Apron review for a more in-depth look at its pricing and discounts.

Home Chef vs. Blue Apron – Quick Overview


Home Chef

Blue Apron

Best for

Variety and customization

Foodies who like to cook 

Starting price

$7.99 per serving

$3.74 per serving

Shipping cost

$10.99

$10.99

Minimum order

2 meals for 2 people per week

2 meals for 2 people per week

Menu variety

40+ choices per week

80+ choices per week

Prep time

5 to 60 minutes

5 to 50 minutes

Low-prep options

Oven-Ready, Express 15-Minute Meal Kits, Fast & Fresh Meals

Prepared & Ready recipes, Heat & Eat Meals, Fast & Easy Kits, Sheet-Pan Recipes

Allergies catered to

Limited

Limited

Special diets

Vegetarian, Calorie-Conscious, Carb-Conscious

Vegetarian, Low-Calorie, High Protein, Carb-Conscious

Customer support

FAQ, email, phone

FAQ, email, phone

Promotions

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And The Winner Is: Home Chef

After in-depth scrutiny, Home Chef outperforms Blue Apron. The competition was nail-biting, showcasing the excellence of both contenders. Home Chef and Blue Apron have positioned themselves as front-runners, but Home Chef is my ultimate winner.

Overall, Home Chef has a more fun menu, better add-ons, and easier prep. It has a commitment to finesse and superior quality, aiming to make gourmet-style cooking straightforward for its users. In contrast, Blue Apron caters more to those wanting gourmet meals.

It's evident that both services have their unique strengths. Your choice boils down to individual preferences. If rich gourmet flavors are your calling, Blue Apron might just be the service for you.

However, for the overall experience and features, Home Chef takes the lead. Regardless of the close competition, it's worth noting that both these brands are on our list of the best meal delivery services.

FAQ

Is Blue Apron really worth it? 

Blue Apron is an excellent meal delivery service with very reasonable prices. Its sophisticated menu and wide range of add-ons will ensure that you never get bored, while prices starting at $3.74 per serving mean you can eat healthier without breaking your bank account.

Are Home Chef meals precooked?

Home Chef offers some quick-prep and oven-ready meals, but they require cooking. Blue Apron has a selection of fully-cooked Prepared & Ready and Heat & Eat meals you simply pop in the microwave for a few minutes.

Is Blue Apron part of Weight Watchers?

Blue Apron isn’t part of Weight Watchers. There are many recipes in the Wellness plan that are low in calories and are ideal if you count calories or are trying to lose weight. Many Blue Apron recipes also include suggestions on substitutions you can make to prepare lower-calorie meals.

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We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.Advertising DisclosureThis is a user-oriented comparison website, and we need to cover hosting and content costs, as well as make a profit. The costs are covered from referral fees from the vendors we feature. Affiliate link compensation does not affect reviews but might affect listicle pages. On these pages, vendors are ranked based on the reviewer’s examination of the service but also taking into account feedback from users and our commercial agreements with service providers. This website tries to cover important meal, coffee and pet food delivery services but we can’t cover all of the solutions that are out there. Information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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