Both affordable and high quality, Home Chef and Marley Spoon are two of the leading meal delivery services on the market.
Home Chef is best known for being super customizable – from what’s on your plate to how much prep time it demands. Marley Spoon is famous because of its collaboration with the one and only Martha Stewart, promising delicious recipes, lots of variety, and smart cooking tips.
To help you choose between these two services, we’ve compared every aspect of Home Chef vs. Marley Spoon – from price and packaging to delivery and deliciousness.
Vegetarian, Calorie-conscious, Carb-conscious
Vegetarian, vegan, low carb, dairy-free, gluten-free, low carb, keto-friendly
19 recipes per week
29 recipes per week
Whether you’re just looking for healthy, balanced meals, or you have specific dietary needs and restrictions, both Home Chef and Marley Spoon have plans that will probably work for you.
Home Chef allows you to filter your meal choices based on dietary preference, offering options for those on Vegetarian, Calorie-conscious, and Carb-conscious diets. You can also select from a shortlist of ingredients to avoid – very handy if you have a food sensitivity or simply get grossed out by mushrooms. Dairy products, however, are not included on this list, so if you’re on a dairy-free or vegan diet, Home Chef isn’t your best choice.
Marley Spoon offers three main meal types – Health & Diet, Vegetarian & Vegan, and Meat & Fish. In addition, each recipe is labeled for both allergens and dietary preference, including gluten-free, dairy-free, vegetarian, vegan, low calorie, low carb, and nutritious – the latter referring to recipes that are high in whole foods and low in fat and processed ingredients.
Similar to Home Chef, Marley Spoon allows you to select preferences in your Taste Profile to exclude a limited list of ingredients, such as nuts, pork, or shellfish. You can easily filter out animal products by selecting the Make your box vegetarian option.
One of the stand-out features offered by Home Chef is the ability to customize each meal, including doubling up on certain proteins or swapping out ingredients. If you’re a serious carnivore, Home Chef is an excellent way to pack in extra animal proteins.
Marley Spoon also gives protein-lovers the option of adding extra animal products. While Home Chef lets you add an extra meat portion to each meal, Marley Spoon sells additional protein packs of meat and fish as a separate product.
While Marley Spoon is a better option than Home Chef for those on very specific diets, such as vegan, the service is certainly not geared specifically toward people who strictly follow these diets, when compared to meal plans offered by other companies on the market.
Winner: Marley Spoon
When it comes to menu variety, both Home Chef and Marley Spoon offer tons of choice, compared to other meal delivery services. Home Chef offers 19+ meals each week, and Marley Spoon offers a whopping 29+ weekly meals – one of the largest choices I've seen in a meal kit delivery service!
Home Chef’s menu is made up of mostly classic American-style meals, with gourmet twists or ethnic hints. The meal kits are delicious and mostly family-friendly, with exciting twists on classic foods like Rosemary Fig Glazed Chicken with Cheddar Cornbread Muffins and Creamed Kale, and Candied Bacon and Smoked Gouda Burger with Fries. If you’re a super adventurous eater looking for lots of international flavors, Home Chef may not be the best option for you.
With Martha Stewart at the helm, Marley Spoon offers many more exotic recipes than your average meal kit delivery service, alongside family-friendly classics. Go international with an Indian-inspired Chana Masala with Spinach and Rice, or mix up a more American-style dish with Food Truck Caramel Pulled Pork Tacos with Sriracha Mayo.
Both companies let you sort through your many menu options using a variety of tags, including allergens, prep time, and dietary preference. Marley Spoon’s labels are clearer, more extensive, and more specific, including profiles such as “kid-friendly” and “spice optional.” However, Home Chef lets you filter out recipes based on your preferences in a far more user-friendly manner.
Winner: Marley Spoon
Home Chef and Marley Spoon are similarly priced and on the more affordable end of the market with individual meals starting at just $6.99 for both companies. As with most meal delivery services, the more meals you order, the less you pay per portion, with both Home Chef and Marley Spoon offering two to six meals per week.
Home Chef lets you order two, four, or six servings, while Marley Spoon lets you order for either two or four people. This means that Home Chef may be more appealing to large families, but Marley Spoon is slightly better value – with the lowest starting price being for only four servings, as opposed to six.
While customization is one of Home Chef’s greatest features, once you start personalizing your plate, you’ll most likely see a price increase. Some substitutes are at no extra cost, but if you want to “upgrade” from regular chicken to organic or double up on your salmon, you’ll obviously pay more.
When it comes to shipping, Marley Spoon charges a flat rate of $8.99, while Home Chef tacks on either $7.99 or $13.99, depending on how much you order.
Winner: Marley Spoon
Home Chef and Marley Spoon deliver to most locations across the United States. In order to find out if the companies deliver to your area, you need to fill in your zip code. Both Home Chef and Marley Spoon only deliver Monday through Friday, which may be frustrating if you like to get the cooking done over the weekend.
While you can theoretically select any weekday you want, Home Chef may deliver to some locations less frequently. For example, if you live in Richmond, VA you no longer have the Monday delivery option so check the availability in your area before signing up.
Home Chef and Marley Spoon are both committed to getting your food to you safely while limiting packaging waste. Marley Spoon even has a page on their website describing how to dispose of each packaging material.
From ice packs to cardboard boxes, most of the packaging from both companies is recyclable or reusable. That being said, both Home Chef and Marley Spoon do use some plastic packaging that may not be recyclable in all areas so please check your local recycling information.
Winner: Marley Spoon
When it comes to meal prep, Home Chef offers a vast variety of meal types, with every schedule in mind – from 15-Minute Meal Kits, Fast & Fresh, and Oven-Ready meals to a Culinary Collection of gourmet dishes that take around an hour to make.
Home Chef meals take between 5-60 minutes to get on the table, with prep time clearly labeled and menus organized based on how long they take to prepare. If you’re short on time, you can filter your menu so you only see meals that take less than 30 minutes to prepare.
Home Chef is actually so geared toward quick and easy meals that it opened a sub-brand, Fresh and Easy, which includes only the speediest, simplest recipes on the menu. In addition to meal kits, Home Chef also sells ready-made fresh and frozen meals that you can pick up at certain grocery stores.
Most Marley Spoon meal kits require 20-40 minutes of prep time. Unlike with Home Chef, you need to open up each recipe to see how much prep is required. Only quick meals ready in less than 30 minutes are clearly labeled, and it’s not possible to select a filter that only shows you these meals. Marley Spoon also clearly tags One Pot Meals.
Both Marley Spoon and Home Chef rate meals on a scale of easy to difficult, depending on how much culinary experience is required. However, you can’t filter or easily choose meals based on this factor.
In addition to the pre-portioned ingredients that arrive in your box, Marley Spoon and Home Chef both clearly list the extra ingredients and cooking utensils required to make your meal. While Home Chef expects you to have basic ingredients like olive oil, salt, and pepper on hand, Marley Spoon assumes your pantry includes more specific ingredients you may not have.
Both Marley Spoon and Home Chef send exciting recipes that are simple to throw together, with clearly laid out, step-by-step instructions.
Winner: Home Chef
While both Marley Spoon and Home Chef are two of the most popular meal kit delivery services, when you compare the fine print, Marley Spoon is a better service. With a massive variety of recipes that cater to a wide range of dietary needs, all at a good price, you really can’t go wrong.
That being said, if it’s very important to you to customize your meals or have more super speedy prep options, then Home Chef is the clear winner.
If neither of these companies seems to be the right fit for you, check out our complete list of the best meal delivery services on the market today.