Home Chef and Marley Spoon both offer convenient solutions for home cooking. Marley Spoon is famous for its collaboration with celebrity chef Martha Stewart, while Home Chef is renowned for its customizable meal kits. Both have a lot to offer, so figuring out which one is right for you can be challenging.
To help you decide, I’ve done a close analysis of both meal delivery services. I’ve scanned ingredient lists, compared menus, explored prices, and consulted with colleagues. And, after careful consideration, I’ve come to a decision.
I give Home Chef the nod for its Customize-It feature and large selection of easy meals. But this was a very close race, and Marley Spoon may be a better fit for some people. In this article, I’ll explain each service’s strengths and improvement areas, so you can make an informed decision on which works best for you.
Winner: Marley Spoon
With 100+ items on the menu each week to Home Chef’s 30 meals and 18 extras, Marley Spoon takes this round. But it was a closer match-up than you might expect, as you’ll see in our next section. Both Home Chef and Marley Spoon prioritize ingredient quality in their meal kits, and both offer a great selection of meals to choose from.
Marley Spoon works directly with top purveyors to bring you grass-fed beef, Berkshire pork, wild-caught shrimp, artisanal cheeses, and more. The Marley Spoon Lemon-Dijon Chicken recipe pictured above uses NAE (No Antibiotics Ever) certified chicken, meaning it has never been exposed to antibiotics at any stage of its life.
The Marley Spoon menu is a bit more adventurous than Home Chef’s, with a good selection of Middle Eastern, Vietnamese, Latin American, French, and other international cuisines. But there are also many family-friendly recipes like burgers and pasta dishes. Our reviewer noted that Marley Spoon is a great choice for families and foodies alike.
In addition to its diverse selection of recipes, Marley Spoon offers a range of sides and add-ons. Those with a sweet tooth will enjoy desserts like brownies, cupcakes, and oat bars. Marley Spoon also provides savory add-ons such as roasted fingerling potatoes, baked popcorn chicken, and even prepared meal bundles.
Home Chef’s menu features American classics with a smaller selection of international meals. The Spicy Cauliflower Tikka Masala pictured above is an Indian treat with spicy dried jalapenos, curried cauliflower, and chickpeas in a tomato/ginger sauce garnished with tangy creme fraîche. Recipes are rated Easy, Intermediate, and Expert so you can select meals that match your culinary ability.
The Home Chef menu is, in general, a bit less adventurous than Marley Spoon, but there are premium Culinary Collection meals that feature more advanced culinary techniques and more expensive ingredients. Our reviewer cooked an Expert-level Culinary Collection meal at home and found that their Salmon and Lemon Herb Beurre Blanc came out perfectly.
You can also stock up on Home Chef breakfast items, beverages, protein bundles, and other add-ons. These items can be ordered alongside your Home Chef dinners and save you yet another trip to the grocery store.
If you’re on a specialized diet like keto, neither service will be a good fit. (Check out our list of the best keto meal delivery services instead!) And while Home Chef has a selection of vegetarian entrees, plant-lovers will probably do better at Marley Spoon, which has a wider selection of vegetarian recipes and even some vegan dishes.
Winner: Home Chef
Customization is Home Chef’s strong point, so it takes this round. Marley Spoon has some customization options, but Home Chef lets you swap or double up on proteins in most meal kits.
You can add shrimp or antibiotic-free chicken breasts to the Spicy Cauliflower Tikka Masala discussed earlier. In some recipes, you can even replace the meat with vegetarian Impossible Burger. This gives you the flexibility to order exactly the meals you want.
Home Chef filters let you eliminate meals containing many common allergens like wheat, soy, pork, red meat, milk, mushrooms, shellfish, and nuts. You can select for Calorie-Conscious (under 625 calories per serving), Carb-Conscious (under 35 g of carbs per serving), or Vegetarian meals.
These selections will influence the meals Home Chef recommends for you, but you can always choose any item on the Home Chef menu.
You can customize a few Marley Spoon meals. If you like the Grilled Summer Squash Pasta pictured above but are sensitive to wheat, you can order your meal kit with gluten-free fettuccine noodles. There are only a handful of kits with customization options, whereas most Home Chef meals offer customization.
Marley Spoon has a wide selection of tags on its menu to help you find the right meals. But you have to sort through the menu using Ctrl+F to find each tag as there are no menu filters.
Marley Spoon’s Ingredient Hub gives a complete list of all ingredients in every Marley Spoon item, but you have to check it manually rather than using a filtering option. This is time-consuming, especially when you have over 100 recipes to choose from.
I appreciate Marley Spoon providing this service, but I’d appreciate it even more if they would set up a filtering option letting you eliminate items with allergens ahead of time.
Both Home Chef and Marley Spoon prepare and package all meals in the same facility. This means there’s a risk of cross-contamination, and so those with very serious gluten sensitivities should check our list of the best gluten-free meal delivery services.
Both Home Chef and Marley Spoon occasionally offer organic ingredients but can’t guarantee organic ingredients for every meal. If eating organic is important to you, you should check out our list of the best organic meal delivery services.
Winner: It’s a tie
This one is too close to call, so I’m declaring it a draw.
Both Home Chef and Marley Spoon deliver to most locations across the continental United States. You can check if they deliver to your area by entering your zip code. Both services offer deliveries Monday through Friday, but the exact delivery days that are available for you will depend on your location.
Home Chef’s minimum order is 2 meals for 2 people, with a maximum of 6 meals for 6 people. Many meal delivery services only offer 2-serving and 4-serving plans, so if you have a large household Home Chef’s 6-serving option may be a good choice for you.
You can change delivery dates on Home Chef’s website or app by selecting View Order Summary under the delivery date you want to modify. To change your default weekly delivery day, click Account, Account Settings, then Subscription. Be sure to save your changes after making them.
Home Chef's packaging and delivery prioritize the freshness and safety of its ingredients. Upon unpacking, you should promptly store the perishables in the fridge, while shelf-stable items can be placed in the pantry. The meal kits come with individually labeled expiration dates for convenience.
Home Chef boxes are made of curbside-recyclable cardboard. Its ice packs can be reused by putting them in your freezer, or you can cut open the ice packs, pour out the gel in your trash, and recycle the packs and Home Chef plastic bags at a recycling center.
The minimum Marley Spoon order is 2 meals for 2 people and the maximum is 6 meals for 4 people. Unlike Home Chef, Marley Spoon doesn’t offer 6-serving meals.
It’s easy to reschedule or change a Marley Spoon delivery day with your app or on the website as long as your order isn’t already in progress. With just a few clicks you can navigate to the Edit Delivery Slot section of your account and make the necessary adjustments.
Marley Spoon recipes provide all the key ingredients pre-packaged in the right quantities, making it easy to prepare your meals. You may need some ingredients like white wine vinegar or tools like a microplane grater, so check the recipes before you place your order to make sure you have everything on hand.
Marley Spoon uses environmentally friendly packaging materials. The Marley Spoon boxes are recyclable and can be placed in any curbside paper recycling bin. The horizontal box dividers are SFI (Sustainable Forestry Initiative) certified, ensuring responsible sourcing. All ice packs, liners, paper bags, and individual ingredient packaging are also recyclable.
Winner: Home Chef
Home Chef wins this round. While both services offer quick meals, Home Chef has a wider selection and even a subsidiary dedicated to easy-prep meals, Fresh and Easy.
Home Chef’s meal kits have an average prep and cook time of 30 minutes. But if you’re in a hurry, you can order an Express meal kit and enjoy a delicious, satisfying meal in around 15 minutes. And Home Chef’s Express Plus meals use many of the ingredients you’ll find in Culinary Collection meals but can be prepared in 30 minutes or less.
Oven-Ready meals come with a recyclable cooking tray: you just assemble the ingredients. Meals like BBQ Ranch Chicken Tacos with Crispy Jalapeños let you feed your family in 20 minutes with no complex cooking skills required. The ingredients arrive pre-chopped and the sauces pre-made, so there’s very little preparation or post-cooking cleanup required.
If you’re pressed for cooking time, you can sign up for Fresh and Easy. Fresh and Easy gives you a selection of Home Chef’s quickest and easiest meals, but also gives you access to the Customize It feature and the entire Home Chef menu.
You can find some One Pot, Easy Prep!, and Under 30 Minutes meals at Marley Spoon. But Marley Spoon’s recipes are generally a bit more complicated than Home Chef’s and require more specialized equipment and intermediate to advanced cooking techniques. This is great if you’re a foodie who wants to master new culinary skills, but it may not be ideal for those who are pressed for time.
Marley Spoon requires more prep work from you as the ingredients generally arrive whole. So you’ll need to be prepared to do some chopping, slicing, peeling, etc. With whole ingredients, you may also find yourself with some leftovers but the recipes do give helpful suggestions about what you can do with these.
Marley Spoon also has a selection of prepared meals requiring just 2-3 minutes in the microwave. While these are convenient for busy nights, there are only a few weekly choices. If you’re interested in prepared meals, I recommend you check out our list of the best prepared meal delivery services.
Winner: Marley Spoon
This was a close round, but I gave Marley Spoon the nod for its longer customer hours. Both services offer excellent customer support, but those extra hours are nice for those times when you want a question answered immediately.
Marley Spoon provides a FAQ, and customer service via live chat, phone, or email. Live chat is accessible through the app, where you can also manage your subscription conveniently. Marley Spoon’s mobile app lets you change or pause meal deliveries with just a few taps.
Customer support agents are accessible through live chat within a short wait time. You can contact Marley Spoon customer service reps between 9 pm and 11 pm on Monday through Wednesday, 9 am to 10 pm on Thursday and Friday, and 9 am to 9 pm on Saturday. The chatbot can provide assistance during busy times or outside customer support hours.
If you need to cancel your account, you can do so easily from your online account. There’s even a helpful FAQ that tells you what to do. If you want more details, check out our guide on how to cancel Marley Spoon.
Home Chef’s detailed Help Center offers FAQ and articles to address common queries. The search function is helpful for finding specific information. You can contact Home Chef’s customer support Monday to Friday between 9 am and 6 pm CST and Saturday 10 am to 2 pm CST.
The chatbot points you to applicable FAQ entries in response to questions. You can request to speak to a human agent or send an email if you can’t find an answer in Home Chef’s FAQ section.
Home Chef also makes it easy to cancel your subscription in just 3 steps. For further instructions, check out our detailed guide on how to cancel Home Chef.
Winner: Home Chef
Most Home Chef subscriptions cost less per serving than an equally-sized Marley Spoon order. For anything less than 5 meals of 2 servings, you’ll be paying more with Marley Spoon. Home Chef’s minimum order (2 meals of 2 servings) costs $11.99 per serving. At Marley Spoon, 2 meals for 2 cost $12.99 a serving.
Home Chef orders start $7.99 per serving. As your Marley Spoon order grows bigger, its portion price drops below Home Chef’s starting price. If you order 6 meals for 4 at Marley Spoon (and take into account current discounts for new customers), you’ll be paying just $2.99 a serving.
If you’re not fully satisfied with your Home Chef meals, contact firstname.lastname@example.org within 7 days of delivery to request either a refund or a credit on your next Home Chef order. Marley Spoon doesn’t offer an explicit money-back or refund guarantee, though it promises to make things right in the event of an issue.
Both services charge a weekly shipping fee. Home Chef charges $10.99 weekly, while Marley Spoon charges $11.99.
$7.99 per serving
$2.99 per serving
2 meals for 2 people per week
2 meals for 2 people per week
30+ choices per week plus 18 extras
100+ choices per week
10 to 60 minutes
20 to 40 minutes
15-Minute Meal Kits, Oven-Ready, <30 Minutes, Grill-Ready, Fast & Fresh
Under 30 Minutes, One Pot Meal, Ready Made!,
Allergies catered to
Vegetarian, Calorie-Conscious, Carb-Conscious
Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Low-Carb, Low-Calorie, Pescatarian, Vegetarian, Vegan
Help Center, Support Tickets, Phone
FAQ, Ingredient Hub, Live Chat, Email, Phone
This is a situation where you really won’t go wrong with either choice, as there’s a lot to love about both services. Both Home Chef and Marley Spoon are on our list of the best meal delivery services of 2023, and both do many things very well.
Home Chef might be the better option for most people, but Marley Spoon’s more advanced menu might be a better fit for food enthusiasts looking to broaden their culinary skills. Marley Spoon also offers more vegetarian and a few vegan options.
Home Chef offers customization options for most of its meals. You can swap out or double up on protein in most recipes, and Home Chef even lets you replace meat with vegetarian Impossible Burger in some options.
Marley Spoon’s meal prices start at $2.99 per serving, but your final price will vary depending on the number of servings and meals you select. Marley Spoon also offers occasional promotions and discounts that can save you money on your orders.
Home Chef’s website or mobile app lets you manage your subscription easily. You can change your delivery schedule, update meal choices, modify account details, view upcoming menus, and make any necessary adjustments.