Home Chef and HelloFresh are 2 of the biggest meal delivery services out there right now. Both offer good value and a large, weekly menu – but which is the better meal kit delivery service for you?
HelloFresh squeaked out a narrow win thanks to its clear pricing structure and many diet-friendly meal kits. I was also impressed by its committment to sustainability, with eco packaging and various community impact programs.
Home Chef focuses more on giving you a wide variety of easy preparation methods and customized protein options. Its menu is better suited for people without dietary restrictions who want convenient, meat-forward dishes.
I’ve compiled this in-depth comparison to help you choose the right service for you. Though for me HelloFresh has the slight edge, there’s lots to love about Home Chef, too. Read on to see my round-by-round ranking.
HelloFresh ($3.32 per serving)
🍔 Menu Variety:
⏰ Prep Time:
(10 to 60 minutes)
👍 Ordering and Delivery:
🙋 Customer Support:
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. This round is too close to call.
HelloFresh cuisine is largely American, with customer-approved “Hall of Fame” dishes like Honey-Butter BBQ Pork Chops, but alongside the tacos, taquitos, buffalo-spiced chicken and burgers, you can expect to find Asian, Italian, and other cuisines as well.
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.
HelloFresh does offer some Easy Prep and Easy Cleanup recipes that can be made in 10 to 15 minutes, but if you’re looking for quick options for busy weeknights, Home Chef has more choices.
Both services list the cooking times on their menus, as well as the difficulty level when you click through to the recipe. So, whether you’re an experienced chef or a novice cook, it’s easy to pick 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 ingredients, with gourmet proteins and sides like Steak au Poivre with Garlic and Herb Shrimp, or Panko-Crusted Mahi Mahi.
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 beyond that.
When it comes to dietary needs, both services have good vegetarian and vegan options. HelloFresh offers a dedicated Veggie plan (though you’ll still have access to the full menu), which features around 12 vegetarian dishes and 3 or 4 plant-based meals each week.
You can order several Home Chef entrees with vegetarian Impossible Burger, but Home Chef has few if any vegan 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’s even added a Family Menu where you can easily bring up 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. When it comes to menu variety, you can’t lose with either service.
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, while others cost an extra few dollars. Regardless, this feature makes for the most customizable meal kit I’ve ever seen and totally doubles your options.
HelloFresh offers customization options on selected dishes, but I found them to be pretty limited 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:
Both services give you the option to exclude certain ingredients or otherwise narrow down the menu you see when you log in. When you sign up, you can choose to exclude some ingredients, such as peanuts or meat.
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.
This was yet another close round. I finally gave the nod to HelloFresh for its more eco-friendly packaging and greater selection of delivery days. But if you are looking for 6-serving meals, you might find Home Chef the better choice.
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.
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 PST, 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, so Home Chef doesn’t have an easy victory in this category. With Home Chef or HelloFresh, however, the number of delivery options will vary depending on your address. For my NYC zip code, HelloFresh offers delivery 7 days a week! In comparison, Home Chef offers delivery just 5 days a week for me, which didn’t include weekends. With either service, you can change your delivery day at any point.
HelloFresh does a slightly better job of limiting the use of plastic in its packaging, compared to Home Chef. Most of the packaging is fully recyclable, and it gives extensive details on how to recycle each item. Home Chef uses less paper and more plastic in its packaging, but it still gets kudos for providing recycling information on all its materials on the website.
Both services do a good job of sorting the ingredients by recipe, which makes it much easier to stay organized when unboxing. Some services I’ve tried make you sort through a whole box of loose ingredients in order to figure out which ingredients belong with each recipe – so this is a huge plus!
Generally speaking, you’ll have around 5 days to enjoy your meals at peak freshness with either service. Home Chef ships all of its ingredients fresh, including the proteins, but you can store them in the freezer for a later date.
Some of HelloFresh’s meat and seafood may arrive frozen, and you should follow instructions on the packaging to ensure correct storage. All other produce and ingredients come fresh and should be refrigerated as soon as you receive your shipment.
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.
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 their 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.
Overall, Home Chef wins this category thanks to its broader selection of quick and easy-to-follow recipes.
HelloFresh gets the win here thanks to its online chat feature that lets you talk with a live employee. I was impressed by how quickly I was able to get help. Home Chef’s customer service is good too, but the company can take a day or more to respond to your request.
Home Chef’s detailed Help Center has a collection of thorough FAQs covering many potential needs. It also offers customer support via phone (Monday through Friday, 9 am to 6 pm CT, or Saturday, 10 am to 2 pm CT) and through its support ticket system.
HelloFresh also has an FAQ section on the website with “Action” buttons that’ll 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 Home Chef and HelloFresh make canceling your subscription easy – though HelloFresh does require you to fill out an exit survey. Home Chef makes that survey optional. With either service, just be sure to make any changes or cancellations before the weekly cutoff date.
HelloFresh’s quick and convenient Live Chat easily gives it the edge in customer support.
HelloFresh takes this round, but the price differences between the two are narrow.
You will pay a bit more per serving with HelloFresh if you order the 2 meals for 2 plan. At Home Chef, you will pay $11.99 for each serving, while you will pay $12.49 per serving with HelloFresh, an extra $2 each week.
But as your order size increases, the difference between the services increases. HelloFresh’s maximum order (6 meals for 4) comes in at $3.32 per serving (with current discounts factored in). Home Chef’s prices start at $7.99 per serving with discounts.
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 or couples
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
10 to 60 minutes
20 to 40 minutes
15-Minute Meal Kits, Oven-Ready, <30 Minutes, Grill-Ready, Fast & Fresh
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
Help Center, Phone, Live Chat
18 free meals + first box ships free + 3 surprise gifts with code DR18HF
My colleagues and I enjoyed reviewing both Home Chef and HelloFresh, so picking a winner is 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 choose one over the other, but I’m giving the edge to HelloFresh.
HelloFresh’s massive menu has better options for dieters and vegans, and it’s also super family-friendly. Even though Home Chef offers more customization, its recipes don’t cater to unique dietary needs.
I also prefer HelloFresh’s pricing structure. A flat per-serving price is much easier to budget than Home Chef’s model, where every dish is individually priced. This was another big factor in giving HelloFresh the overall win.
If you don't have any dietary limitations, Home Chef could be a good fit for you. It offers more than just meal customization and add-ons, it also features a wide range of easy-to-prepare options, including oven-ready meals.
Both services have strengths, but I think HelloFresh will be a better fit for more households.
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.
HelloFresh is my overall winner because of its bigger menu and better pricing. Home Chef’s customization options and premium proteins are also impressive, so both services 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.