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Written by: Kenaz Filan on Dec 27th, 2022

Home Chef vs. Blue Apron 2023: Which is Best Value?

Home Chef and Blue Apron are both seasoned veterans of the meal kit delivery service industry, with dishes to satisfy a variety of appetites. 

I’ve tested and reviewed dozens of meal delivery services, so I knew what to look for to determine who was the winner in this clash of titans. After digging into the details, Home Chef, for me, is overall the better service. 

These two were neck-and-neck in many categories. In fact, Blue Apron has a lot of strengths that will appeal to certain groups, including foodies and anyone who enjoys wine with their meals. But Home Chef’s family-friendliness and wider variety of meal kits led me to declare it the winner. 

Ultimately, both are top-notch services, but this Home Chef vs. Blue Apron comparison will tell you all you need to know to decide which one is right for you. 

At a Glance: Who Won Each Category?

💲 Price:

Blue Apron (from $5.74 per serving)

🍔 Menu Variety:

Home Chef (30+ choices per week)

⏰ Prep Time:

Home Chef 

🍴 Customization:

It’s a tie

👍 Ordering and Delivery:

Home Chef

🙋 Customer Support:

It’s a tie

Menu Variety

Winner: Home Chef

When it comes to menu variety, Home Chef ekes out a victory over Blue Apron thanks to its larger selection. 

For the most part, both services offer classic American favorites such as 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.

These more complicated dishes are one of the reasons why Blue Apron is perhaps better suited to grown-ups and foodies, while Home Chef is a better fit for families with children. 

Blue Apron's Grilled Dukkah-Spiced Pork Chops.

The well-seasoned vegetable melange truly shines in this pork dish.

In a typical week, Home Chef offers around 30+ different meals, plus extras such as breakfasts, snacks, and desserts. In comparison, Blue Apron has 19 meals as well as its add-ons, which include desserts, proteins, and party snacks like the Cheesy Truffle and Mushroom Crostini.

But on top of this, Home Chef’s Customize It feature allows you to swap, double-up, or upgrade the protein in many of its meals, 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. 

Likewise, the vegetarian 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. 

When my colleague tried out Home Chef, they found that the Customize It feature vastly expanded their potential menu options.

Home Chef's Butternut Squash Alfredo Penne.

Home Chef gives you the power to choose your protein with almost any recipe.

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 also has a Market where you can order wine, pantry items, kitchen tools, and more. These à la carte offerings are more expansive than Home Chef’s add-ons, which are limited to food items only (and no wine).

In terms of ingredients, Blue Apron works with a network of sustainable, family-run farms to provide high-quality food. Home Chef is less transparent about its ingredient sourcing, though, unlike Blue Apron, it gives you the option to upgrade to organic in many of its dishes.

Overall, I’m personally a big fan of Blue Apron’s mature menu and wine options. But I have to give the win in this category to Home Chef. If you’re talking variety, nothing beats Home Chef’s huge menu and unique Customize It feature.

Meal Customization

Winner: It’s a tie

Since I’ve 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.

Home Chef keeps it straightforward, allowing you to choose either Calorie-Conscious or Carb-Conscious 

as a dietary preference at the start of signing up. 

The low-calorie meals have less than 625 calories per serving, and the low-carb meals have up to 35g of carbs. The nice thing here is that you can select both. There are also a few veggie meals on the menu – but very few, if any, vegan options. 

Blue Apron, on the other hand, allows you to choose from five (optional) preferences: Chef Favorites, Wellness, Family Friendly, Fast & Easy, and Veggie. 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, the vegetarian offerings are more limited (around five per week) and only serve two people. 

Screenshot of the WW information on a dish from Blue Apron's Wellness menu.

WW dieters will love the built-in guidance in Blue Apron's Wellness recipes.

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. 

Screenshot from the Home Chef sign-up page, where you can omit foods you want to avoid.

This is a great feature, but it could be more comprehensive.

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.

Both services take a pretty clear stance when it comes to food allergies, though, explaining that if you have serious allergies, they’re probably not the best option for you. 

And they’re 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 is 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.

Ordering, Delivery, Unboxing

Winner: Home Chef

Though the ordering and unboxing process is similar with both these services, Home Chef won this round for me thanks to its more comprehensive service and eco-friendly packaging. 

It’s a little quicker to sign up for Blue Apron, but that’s just because there are more customization options when signing up for Home Chef. 

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 many other meal kits I’ve tried before.

Screenshots comparing serving size options for Home Chef and Blue Apron.

Home Chef is the way to go if you want more than four servings or four recipes per week.

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 delivers to 98% of the United States, while Blue Apron 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 check whether or not you can receive deliveries. They’ll also let you know which days are available in your area.

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?

Recycling information from Blue Apron's website.

Blue Apron's recyclability is good, but it needs to be much better.

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. 

Screenshot of recycling information from Home Chef's website.

Home Chef's recycling guidelines are more thorough than Blue Apron's.

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 for me in this category.

Meal Prep

Winner: Home Chef

Both services offer a range of easy-prep meals – but Home Chef’s more 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 Express 15-Minute Meal Kits, Oven-Ready dishes, and Fast & Fresh meals that can be heated in either 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 in a recyclable pan that comes with each dish. 

Screenshot from Home Chef's menu, emphasizing its fast and easy options.

Whether you need a dinner that's fast, easy, or both, Home Chef has you covered.

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 and pop in the oven!

Blue Apron also has a range of prepared meals for fans of super-quick dinners: its five-minute Heat & Eat options. There are at least three each week and these microwave meals are slightly easier 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).

Screenshot from Blue Apron's menu, emphasizing its speedy recipes.

Blue Apron's speedy recipes include microwaveable meals and sheet pan dishes.

Of course, both services also offer standard meal kits. Home Chef’s recipes are perhaps a little easier to follow step by step. Unlike Blue Apron, Home Chef also ranks the difficulty of each recipe.

As with all meal kit delivery services, you’ll be expected 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.

Blue Apron offers plenty of great easy prep options, but Home Chef offers more. Blue Apron may be the better choice for home cooks who want to learn new skills in the kitchen, but this round still goes to Home Chef.

Customer Support

Winner: Tie

For the longest time, Blue Apron had the most archaic customer support. You even had to call customer service just to cancel your subscription. Thankfully, the service has finally caught up and now both Blue Apron and Home Chef offer solid customer support options.

Screenshot comparing both services' contact pages.

The contact pages for both these services are pretty comparable.

They both have robust FAQ pages and toll-free numbers to call 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.

The FAQ pages are also comparable.

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 Home Chef in three easy steps). This round is a draw.

Pricing

Winner: Blue Apron

These services have slightly different pricing models and are in a similar price range, but I’m giving the edge to Blue Apron for how much simpler it is to know what you’ll be paying per week.

Both Blue Apron and Home Chef offer similar discounts for students and seniors as well as first responders, teachers, and other heroes. 

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.

Screenshot showing Blue Apron's pricing structure.

Blue Apron can be affordable, but mostly just for larger orders.

Home Chef works slightly differently in that the cost per serving depends on the dish. While it does have meals as low as $6.99 per serving, many of the more substantial meals cost around $8.99 per serving. 

And then, if you choose to customize a dish 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.

Screenshot emphasizing Home Chef's variable pricing structure.

The fine print reveals that Home Chef's pricing structure isn't so straightforward.

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 personally think the variability of this pricing structure is more confusing. 

Check out my colleague’s Blue Apron review for a more in-depth look at its pricing and discounts. In short, though, I think Blue Apron offers great value for money and a stress-free ordering process, which is why it’s my winner in this round. 

Features Comparison: Home Chef vs. Blue Apron


Home Chef

Blue Apron

Best for

Variety and customization

Foodies who like to cook 

Starting price

$6.99 per serving

$5.74 per serving

Shipping cost

$9.99 to $13.99

$9.99

Minimum order

2 meals for 2 people per week

2 meals for 2 people per week

Menu variety

30+ choices per week

19+ 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

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

Allergies catered to

Limited

Limited

Special diets

Vegetarian, Calorie-Conscious, Carb-Conscious

Vegetarian, WW-approved

Customer support

FAQ, email, phone

FAQ, email, phone

Promotions

75% Off Your 1st Box + 60% Off Your 2nd and 3rd Boxes!

Enjoy $130 off across your first 6 orders

And The Winner Is: Home Chef

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 onto our list of the Best Meal Delivery Services of the Year, after all.

Ultimately, however, life is about choices. And no meal kit delivery service offers more choice than Home Chef. Blue Apron’s menu is excellent, but Home Chef’s customization options are unbeatable.

Blue Apron could certainly be the cheaper option per serving if you’re placing large orders and it’s a wonderful option for those who love trying new and exciting recipes and wine, but for me, Home Chef edges out its competitor in almost every other category.

FAQ

Is Home Chef cheaper than buying groceries?

It depends. For two adults, USDA guidelines suggest a median grocery budget of around $150 per week. Without discounts, you can order six Home Chef meals for two people for around $120 before shipping. Ordering takeout six times for two people is likely to cost a minimum of $210. 

Is Home Chef cheaper than Blue Apron?

Home Chef’s starting price is lower than Blue Apron’s. 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. 

Using our special discount codes, you can try Home Chef for as little as $6.99 per serving and Blue Apron for as little as $5.74 per serving.

Which is healthier, Home Chef or Blue Apron?

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.

About The Author

Kenaz Filan
Contributing Writer, Delivery Rank
Based in New Jersey, Kenaz has decades of experience writing on many subjects and sampling the many cuisines his neighborhood has to offer. Working from home, Kenaz is writing a book between reviewing meal delivery services and raising a family.
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