Home Chef and HelloFresh are two of the biggest meal delivery services out there. Both offer good value and a large, weekly menu, but I wanted to find out for myself which has the better meal kit. I spent 2 weeks researching and taste testing, and here are my findings.
I enjoyed the experiences I had with both of these services. They’re easy to use, and the menus are filled with fun and creative recipes. As you might expect, there are some key differences that set them apart. I’ll discuss all of these in detail.
Overall, Home Chef is my winner in this head-to-head. Its customization options are the best out there, and I loved its range of low-prep meals. HelloFresh had some of the tastiest meals I’ve gotten from any meal kit, though, so it’s still a great choice.
Both of these services are great ways to save time in the kitchen. Ultimately, the decision depends on your own tastes and preferences. Read on for all the details you need to pick your perfect meal kit.
HelloFresh ($3.32 per serving)
🍔 Menu Variety:
It’s a tie
🥦Ingredient Quality and Nutrition
It’s a tie
⏰ Prep Time:
Home Chef (5 to 60 minutes)
👍 Ordering and Delivery:
🙋 Customer Support:
|👑 Overall Winner:||Home Chef|
Winner: It’s a tie
Home Chef and HelloFresh both have large weekly menus, with more than 60 recipes and other items to choose from each week. That’s why this one was too close to call.
HelloFresh cuisine is largely American, with customer-approved “Hall of Fame” dishes like Honey-Butter BBQ Pork Chops. You’ll find a variety of other cuisines, though, with Pan-Asian, Italian, and Mexican dishes in ample supply.
Home Chef also gives you over 60 selections each week, but the choice of meal types is far greater than HelloFresh. You can pick up everything from 15-minute meal kits to oven-ready dishes and Fast & Fresh microwave meals.
For its part, HelloFresh has some Easy Prep and Easy Cleanup recipes. These can be made in 10 to 15 minutes and use limited dishes. It’s also recently introduced a few prepared meals to its menu each week. But if you’re looking for a range of quick options for busy weeknights, Home Chef has more choices.
Both services list the cooking times on their menus. Clicking on each recipe also lets you see a difficulty rating. So, whether you’re an experienced chef or a novice cook, it’s easy to find meals that work for you.
Both services also allow you to order upgraded recipes for an additional fee. HelloFresh calls them Premium Picks, while Home Chef has the Culinary Collection. These recipes include more expensive proteins and sides like Steak au Poivre, which comes with Garlic and Herb Shrimp.
Both Home Chef and HelloFresh bring solid portion sizes to the table. You’ll also find breakfasts, beverages, and snacks on the Home Chef menu, making it the preferred option for households with big appetites. HelloFresh offers a great range of 10-minute lunches but currently doesn’t have any extras.
HelloFresh has a much better vegetarian selection thanks to its Veggie plan. It also has some vegan dishes each week, which Home Chef doesn’t offer.
You can order several Home Chef entrees with vegetarian Impossible Burger, but Home Chef has few if any vegan-friendly meals, though it offers some carb- and calorie-conscious recipes. Neither service offers meals for more restrictive diets like keto, paleo, or gluten-free.
If you’re cooking for children or picky eaters, Home Chef offers some kid-friendly options like oven-ready burritos and meatballs. It even has a Family Menu where you can see the best 4-serving meals for families each week. HelloFresh similarly has an entire plan of kid-approved dishes, including burgers, pot pie, and pasta bakes.
Ultimately, both services have strengths in this category. I’d recommend checking out the menus for yourself to see what looks better for you.
HelloFresh has new dishes on its menu each week, as well as a few returning customer favorites.
Here are some of my favorites that I’ve tried along with other dishes that caught my eye on the menu.
Home Chef’s menu also changes weekly, with separate sections for easy prep kits, bundles, and extras.
Here are my top picks:
Winner: Home Chef
Home Chef’s Customize It feature is hard to beat. Not only does it allow you to double-up on the protein in your dish or swap it for an alternative, but you can also upgrade it to a more premium protein or antibiotic-free version.
Some swaps are free, but most cost an extra few dollars. Regardless, this feature makes for the most customizable meal kit I’ve ever seen, as it more than doubles your options.
During the signup process for Home Chef, you can also remove certain ingredients. This is another customization feature that is useful, especially if you have picky eaters in the family, as it removes recipes with these ingredients. Some of these include mushrooms, pork, and shellfish.
HelloFresh offers customization on some dishes, but I found it to be more limiting compared to Home Chef’s choices. You can choose between a couple of different proteins or side dishes on some recipes, but that’s it.
Neither service lets you filter the menu based on allergens, although Home Chef makes it easier to see the allergens in each meal by listing them on the front. With HelloFresh, you have to click through to the individual recipe to see what allergens they contain.
Both Home Chef and HelloFresh offer more customization options than most other meal kit delivery services. However, Home Chef’s flexible Customize It feature gives it the edge in this category.
Winner: It’s a tie
On paper, these services are neck and neck for ingredient quality. However, when I tested them for myself, I found that the produce I received from HelloFresh was generally better than Home Chef. Despite that, Home Chef offers more options to upgrade to premium produce and more extensive nutrition details, which is why it’s a tie.
I had some issues with the ingredients in my Home Chef order. In particular, I received sub-par produce like wilted spinach and a mushy cucumber. It could have just been bad luck, but I can only review based on my experience.
I didn’t have any problems like this with HelloFresh. Home Chef’s customer service was helpful and gave me credit for a future order, though I have to admit I’d rather just have fresh produce in the first place!
HelloFresh prides itself on sourcing high-quality meats and fish. It carefully chooses meat suppliers that adhere to USDA Inspection Guidelines. HelloFresh also offers sustainably sourced seafood and works with Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch to guarantee the highest standards.
Home Chef also sources ingredients from trusted suppliers and fisheries that follow industry standards for animal welfare. For example, it sources its salmon from a company in Norway that practices sustainable fish farming.
HelloFresh only offers a limited selection of organic produce. Instead, it primarily focuses on high-quality, seasonal, farm-sourced produce that gets to you in peak freshness. Its sister company Green Chef is much more focused on premium, organic ingredients.
Similarly, Home Chef only occasionally features organic ingredients, instead focusing on seasonality. However, the Customize It feature gives you more options to upgrade to higher-quality and organic ingredients where available, for example, swapping regular chicken for organic boneless skinless chicken breasts.
HelloFresh provides detailed nutritional information with every meal. You can find this underneath the Nutritional Values section of each full recipe. This gives you a per-serving breakdown of calories, fat, saturated fat, carbohydrates, sugar, dietary fiber, protein, cholesterol, and sodium. Allergen info can be found on the website, your recipe cards, and individual packages.
Home Chef provides even more nutritional information for each meal. With each recipe, you’ll find a basic nutritional per-serving breakdown, just like HelloFresh, but if you select See Full Nutritional Facts, it’ll bring up a much more detailed table including things like Trans Fat, Vitamin D, and Iron.
Ultimately, though, these services are comparable. In my personal experience, HelloFresh’s produce was better, but Home Chef has better nutritional information.
This was yet another close round, but I finally gave the nod to HelloFresh. It offers more flexibility in ordering, and it has more eco-friendly packaging. Home Chef, however, has the advantage of supporting orders of up to 6 servings to suit larger families.
Ordering is fast and easy with both Home Chef and HelloFresh. Every step of the way – from signup to unboxing – is streamlined. With either service, it only takes a few clicks to get your meal kits ordered. I also like that both services have apps to make it even more convenient.
Changing your order size or the meals you’ve chosen is easy, too: just make the changes before the dedicated cutoff day. The cutoff for HelloFresh is 11.59 pm PT, 5 days before your next scheduled delivery. With Home Chef, it’s Friday 12 pm CT, the week before your next delivery is due.
Apart from being able to set your preferences, you can order from the full menu each week with both services. So, as long as you make any changes before your cutoff day, you can go in and change your order at any time.
Home Chef allows you to place larger orders compared to HelloFresh, giving you the option to get up to 6 servings per meal. HelloFresh maxes out at 4 servings per meal, but both services let you order up to 6 recipes each week, with a minimum order of 2 recipes per week serving 2 people.
Home Chef will also give you other customization options during the ordering process, such as the ability to change the number of servings on different meals. Customization really is the cornerstone of Home Chef’s model – but don’t forget this will also affect the final price, so keep that in mind if you’re budgeting!
HelloFresh has the advantage of offering more delivery days. With Home Chef or HelloFresh, however, the number of delivery options will vary depending on your address. For a NYC zip code, HelloFresh offers delivery a full 7 days a week!
In comparison, Home Chef offers delivery just 5 days a week for me, as it doesn't deliver on weekends. With either service, you can change your delivery day at any point.
Both services provide recycling information on their websites. However, HelloFresh’s packaging is much more sustainable. In addition to recyclable insulation, HelloFresh organizes its ingredients in paper bags. It’s convenient and more eco-friendly than the plastic bags Home Chef uses.
Home Chef similarly sorts its ingredients by recipe, but it does so in plastic. I don’t see any advantage to using plastic over paper, even if it’s recyclable. Both services use some non-recyclable plastic, but Home Chef really uses a lot.
Both services recommend eating your meals within 5 days for peak freshness. Following these guidelines, all of my HelloFresh ingredients were fresh when I cooked them. As mentioned above, some of my Home Chef produce was getting mushy within just 3 or 4 days.
Some of HelloFresh’s meat and seafood may arrive frozen, and you may choose to store these proteins from either service in the freezer. All my meat arrived fresh and stayed fresh, so I don’t see any need to freeze anything: just keep it all in the fridge.
The ingredient quality is comparable between these services. HelloFresh and Home Chef both claim to use responsibly-sourced animal products, but HelloFresh has published more detailed information on its sourcing.
Winner: Home Chef
Home Chef gives you loads of prep options, from classic meal kits to speedy 15-minute meal kits, oven- and grill-ready meals, and more. The dishes from its Fast & Fresh collection need only be microwaved (or oven-cooked if preferred), while the Culinary Collection meals feature more complex recipes.
I love the flexibility you get with Home Chef. Weeknights are a great time to utilize these easy-prep dishes, but that doesn’t mean you can’t also indulge in some Culinary Collection recipes on your days off.
I found HelloFresh to have fewer quick and easy recipes than Home Chef. In fact, HelloFresh has fewer meal types in general. I like the number of One-Pan and One-Pot dishes on the menu, though. It’s also recently added a few prepared meals to its weekly menu.
Inexperienced cooks may prefer Home Chef’s straightforward recipes. In my opinion, this service provides more detailed instructions – alongside those low- or no-prep meals – making it easier for anyone to prepare and serve a flawless dish.
Another plus for both services is that you’re guaranteed perfectly portioned ingredients, alongside some ready-made sauces and marinades. HelloFresh in particular is on a bid to help cut down on food waste and claims that its meal kits allow households to cut food waste by 23%.
Both are also comparable in terms of what they expect you to have in your cupboards already – you’ll often need to provide stuff like salt, pepper, butter, and oil.
I loved cooking with both services, and they both made my life a lot easier. However, Home Chef’s recipes were definitely faster to prepare. It gets the win in this category.
Winner: Home Chef
I have to give props to Home Chef’s customer support team. I received speedy and helpful service when I experienced an issue with some ingredients.
Home Chef’s detailed Help Center has a collection of thorough FAQs covering many potential needs. It also offers customer support via phone on Monday through Friday, 9 am to 6 pm CT and Saturday, 10 am to 2 pm CT. Live chat is also available during these times plus Sunday 10 am to 2 pm CT.
HelloFresh customer service is also good, and it has slightly longer customer service hours. I was impressed by how quickly I was able to get help.
HelloFresh also has an FAQ section on its website with guides to walk you through updating your account, changing your preferences, and many other things. It also has a large collection of short articles you can search through keywords to find answers.
Both services make it easy to get help. While I’d have rather not had a reason to contact them in the first place, I’ve given Home Chef the win here, as the customer service team was quick to deal with my complaint.
HelloFresh takes this round thanks to its clearer pricing model. Its meals start at $3.32 per serving (with discounts) but are more expensive on smaller plans. By comparison, Home Chef meals are priced individually starting at $7.99 per serving after discounts.
HelloFresh is more expensive than Home Chef for small orders. On the 2 meals for 2 plan, HelloFresh prices start at $12.49 per serving. Home Chef meals start at $11.99 per serving, but the price doesn’t get lower on larger orders like it does with HelloFresh.
Both services offer premium meals. Home Chef’s Culinary Collection and HelloFresh’s Premium Plus meals cost a few dollars more, as they use more expensive ingredients like shrimp and filet mignon.
Home Chef’s extras are priced individually and can be added to your order at checkout, while HelloFresh’s 10-minute lunch options can be added to your order like a regular entree. Note that both companies also charge a flat rate of $10.99 for shipping.
Individuals, couples, and larger families
Families with children
$7.99 per serving
$3.32 per serving
2 recipes for 2 people
2 recipes for 2 people
60+ meals and extras per week
60+ meals and extras per week
5 to 50 minutes
5 to 50 minutes
15-Minute Meal Kits, Oven-Ready, <30 Minutes, Grill-Ready, Fast & Fresh
Prepared meals,One-Pan, One-Pot, Easy Prep, Easy Cleanup
Allergies catered to
Wheat, Soy, Pork, Red Meat, Milk, Mushrooms, Shellfish, Nuts
Wheat, Milk, Soy, Eggs, Tree Nuts, Peanuts, Fish, Beef, Pork, Seafood
Vegetarian, Calorie-Conscious, Carb-Conscious
Veggie, Fit & Wholesome, Pescatarian, Family-Friendly
Help Center, Support Tickets, Phone, Live Chat
Help Center, Phone, Live Chat
I enjoyed reviewing both Home Chef and HelloFresh, so picking a winner was difficult. The services are similar in many ways, and both regularly rank highly on our updated list of best meal delivery services. Their key differences may lead you to have your own winner, but I’m giving the edge to Home Chef.
If convenience is a big priority of yours, Home Chef is the best choice. You may also find that the flexible menu suits your tastes better. All of the customization options make it better suited to families with picky eaters to cater to.
I also had a great experience with HelloFresh. I liked its more eco-friendly packaging, as well as its bigger selection of unique recipes. Plus, all the meals I cooked were really tasty.
After experiencing both, I can confidently endorse either of these services. They are on par in many aspects. Moreover, both were significantly superior to my own cooking!
HelloFresh and Home Chef are owned by different companies. HelloFresh is the flagship brand of HelloFresh Group SE, a German company that also owns EveryPlate and Green Chef. Home Chef is owned by the supermarket chain Kroger. You can see in my side-by-side comparison that both are solid meal delivery services aimed at a general audience.
Home Chef is my overall winner because of its customization options and meal types. HelloFresh’s menu variety and customer service is also impressive, so both companies come highly recommended.
Home Chef and HelloFresh are fairly evenly priced, but it depends on the size of your order. HelloFresh’s price-per-serving is lower on larger orders, making it great for families on a budget.
Both services offer low-carb and low-calorie options made with fresh ingredients. Ultimately, however, the healthiness of either service depends on which meals you order, but both do offer balanced dishes and quality ingredients. You can easily check all the nutritional details on any recipe before you order.