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Fresh and Easy Review 2023: The Simplest Meal Plan Ever?

Author Joey Kendrick
Joey Kendrick
Updated on Sep 5th, 2023
Fact checked by Deborah Leigh


Fresh and Easy is a special line of easy-to-cook meals by Home Chef. Its marketing can make it seem like a separate service, but the sign-up process and pricing (from $7.99) are identical. 

The Fresh and Easy plan offers the same quality as Home Chef but filters out the more difficult meal kits. These recipes require much less time and effort in terms of prep, cooking, and cleanup. I took an in-depth look at Fresh and Easy to find out how convenient it really is.

I was really impressed with the huge range of easy prep meals that can help anyone get dinner on the table with next to no effort. Most of the kits also offer customization options, too, where you can swap or upgrade your protein. 

The service’s biggest drawback, however, is that it doesn’t support niche diets such as vegan or keto. And though you’re able to avoid some ingredients, the service isn’t suitable for those with serious allergies. 

Fresh and Easy is, without a doubt, one of the simplest meal kit delivery services out there. So if you don’t have major dietary restrictions and want the quickest way to whip up a home-cooked meal, it’s well worth a try. Here’s what I loved – and didn’t love – about it.

Great for new cooks
Lots of plastic
Very little equipment required
Lack of options for niche diets
Proteins can be customized
Not great for food allergies
Current deal – Get 18 Free Meals (50% off your first 4 boxes)!

What’s on the Fresh and Easy Menu

Fresh and Easy has the same ingredient standards as its parent Home Chef, and the kinds of dishes you’ll find are similar, too. The key difference is that Fresh and Easy is exclusively made up of low-prep meals that come mostly ready to cook. Home Chef has a broader selection that includes more complex 30- and 60-minute meal kits. 

Fresh and Easy’s meal types include:

  • Fast & Fresh – ready meals that can be heated in the microwave or oven

  • Oven- and Grill-Ready – dishes that just need to be assembled in the oven-safe tray or grill-safe bag provided

  • Express kits (previously 15-Minute Meal Kits) – like traditional meal kits, only speedier

  • Entrée Salads – simply toss the ingredients together, including pre-cooked proteins, and enjoy

  • Extras – prepared desserts, bread, protein bundles, and more 

Most competitors only offer standard 30-minute kits, so this is a great range of meal types. It particularly suits people like me with varied schedules. Some days I only have time to zap a prepared meal in the microwave. On less busy nights, I like to cook something simple. 

I especially love being able to cook for myself using the Express meal kits. They’re a great way to enjoy being in the kitchen without having to dedicate too much time or energy.

The menu changes weekly, and you can browse options for the next few weeks in advance. Plus, even if you sign up via the Fresh and Easy website and set your preferences for time-saving meals, you can still order from Home Chef’s entire menu. This gives you access to more involved meal kits when you want them. 

Meal Options

There are around 20 Fresh and Easy meals to choose from each week with an additional 16 or so on the full menu, so the Fresh and Easy line actually makes up the bulk of Home Chef’s menu.

Here's a sample of what you might see on the weekly menu: 

Easy prep meal kit section of the Home Chef menu

Interestingly, the menu is arranged by meal kit type rather than cuisine

There’s a good range of cuisines available. When I signed up, some of the dishes that caught my eye included the Greek-Style Turkey Meatballs with Zucchini and Feta, Chipotle Sliced Pork and Corn Tacos with Pineapple Salsa, and Smoky Sloppy Joe Lettuce Cups with Roasted Peppers and Corn. 

You’ll also find equally easy-to-make extras, like Pepperoni Pizza Crunch Rolls, a heat-and-eat Lobster Bisque, and a ready-to-bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Skillet.  

The menu has filters for ingredients such as wheat, milk, and tree nuts. Fresh and Easy doesn’t guarantee allergen-safe facilities, though, so people with severe allergies should use caution.

It also doesn’t cater to specific diets like keto, paleo, or plant-based, but some of its meals may qualify anyway. Look out for the heart and bread icons on the menu, which show you which dishes are classified as Calorie-Conscious (less than 625 calories per serving) and Carb-Conscious (less than 35 grams per serving). 

Screengrab of the Fresh and Easy menu with icons highlighted

Keep an eye out for the heart and bread icons for low-calorie and low-carb dishes

This brings me to one drawback – Fresh and Easy’s nutritional info is very minimal.

screengrab of a Fresh and Easy recipe with the nutrition box highlighted

Not a lot to see here in Fresh and Easy's Nutrition table...

There are other services out there that include a more thorough breakdown for each dish, including details on trans fats, added sugars, fiber, cholesterol, and RDAs for vitamins and minerals. If you have specialized dietary needs, this information can be vital.

Fresh and Easy’s info definitely gets points for being well organized and easy to find (the same info is also printed on the recipe cards), but it’s not as detailed as other services, such as Blue Apron.

Beyond the basic nutrition info, Fresh and Easy recipes also display information on allergens, cook time, spice level, and difficulty level. This information, at least, is useful and easy to access.

Screengrab of fresh and easy balsamic fig chicken recipe with difficulty and prep / cook time highlighted

See prep and cook times and the difficulty level at a glance

As you might expect, most Fresh and Easy recipes are classified as “Easy” (it’s right there in the name!) but I did find the occasional Express Kit that fell into the Intermediate category, so it’s worth checking before you order.  

When you click into an individual dish on the website, you’ll also find:

  • The complete step-by-step recipe with images

  • Instruction variations for Customize It swaps

  • A list of the ingredients in your box

  • A list of items or ingredients you’re expected to have at home (pans, olive oil, etc)

It’s pretty great that you can access the full recipe online. If you’ve paused your subscription and want dinner inspiration, it means you can still use the Fresh and Easy website for ideas. Plus, all of the same information appears on the recipe card that comes with your delivery. 

Screengrab of a Fresh and Easy recipe showing Customize It instructions and the first two steps

Most recipes start with any variations you might need to know for the Customize It swaps

Overall, I’m a big fan of Fresh and Easy’s menu. It changes every week, so with all the customization options available, you’ll never get bored. If you eat an omnivorous diet and don’t have any restrictions, you’ll find that you have plenty of variety.

You can also order from Home Chef’s wider menu if you ever want more options – even though they aren’t as fast to prepare. Don’t let that put you off though. When my colleague reviewed Home Chef’s meal kits, she was surprised at how well the recipes turned out – and Fresh and Easy’s instructions are even simpler!

Home Chef guarantees at least 3 vegetarian meals a week, but when I checked the menu recently, I found closer to 6-7 dishes. However, they’re not always in the Fresh and Easy line. If you only want the occasional vegetarian meal, you’ll likely find something, but full-time veggies might want to take a look at our curated list of the top vegetarian meal delivery services.

Customizations are a good way to make more meals vegetarian, as you can add a vegan protein, or remove the meat altogether (more on that next). However, despite some vegan protein swaps, most meals won’t suit a strict vegan diet. If you’re interested in plant-based meal deliveries, check out our list of the top vegan meal delivery services


Is Fresh and Easy Good For This Diet?


Yes, there are lots of options


Yes, there are lots of options


Yes, there are a few vegetarian meals


No, there are rarely vegan meals


No, there are rarely keto meals


Sort of, there are a few organic swaps


No, it’s not suitable for most allergies


Most dishes on the Fresh and Easy menu offer protein swaps, with options such as steak strips, shrimp, and organic chicken breasts. The Fast & Fresh meals are excluded from this, as they come already prepared.

Here’s what customizing your meals looks like:

Screengrab of Fresh and Easy's menu with Customize It swaps highlighted

Swap steak for seafood with Fresh and Easy's Customize It options

Many dishes offer as many as 4 or 5 protein alternatives, which is way more than other services. You can choose between different meats, seafood, and organic options.

Screengrab of Fresh and Easy's menu with Customize It opened and certain options highlighted

Customize It options let you swap or double up your protein, or upgrade it to a more premium version

Fresh and Easy sometimes has Impossible Burger available as a vegan swap. In my latest chat with the customer service team, they told me it’s not available all the time, as it depends on the supplier’s availability. When it is available, though, it increases the veggie options significantly – although most dishes still won’t suit a vegan diet. 

If budget is a concern, note that most protein swaps also come with an extra fee. This is the biggest drawback to Fresh and Easy’s customization feature. By comparison, HelloFresh offers free protein and side swaps, as well as protein upgrades and multiple vegan meals each week. 

Having said that, even HelloFresh can’t compete with this service’s most convenient kits. If you want speedy, fuss-free dinners and hearty portions of meat in your meals, Fresh and Easy will be a better fit. 


Your Fresh and Easy shipment will arrive in a Home Chef-branded box. When you open it up, you can expect to find:

  • Recyclable foil pans and/or grill bags (depending on your recipes)

  • Ingredients sealed in separate plastic bags or containers

  • Recipe cards 

  • Reusable ice packs and an insulated liner to keep ingredients cold and fresh

Fresh and Easy puts a lot of thought into the way it packs its ingredients. Meats are vacuum-sealed to guarantee freshness, and herbs are delivered in small boxes so they don’t get bruised. 

You can expect your ingredients to arrive fresh and intact – just as if you’d picked them up at the grocery store yourself. The aluminum oven-ready pans are sturdy and they certainly save on washing up one of your own. Just make sure you recycle it properly!

However, Fresh and Easy has some of the least eco-friendly packaging I’ve ever seen. The downside to its convenience is the excessive amount of plastic used to organize and seal each ingredient. Even if you’re a keen recycler, a lot of cities don’t have good resources for recycling the types of plastics used, so much of it will be thrown away and end up in landfills.

Screengrab of Home Chef's recycling FAQ page with plastic section highlighted

When it comes to recycling, not all plastics are created equal...

HelloFresh has long used recyclable paper bags for much of its packaging, so it’s frustrating that Fresh and Easy – and Home Chef as a whole – still uses so much plastic. 

Cooking with Fresh and Easy

Fresh and Easy’s recipes are simple to follow, making them ideal for beginner home cooks. Even as someone who’s fairly experienced in the kitchen, I still appreciate how much time you can save with these low-prep dishes.

Shortlist of My Favorite Meals

Here are a few of my recommended recipes:

Fresh and Easy's Apricot Mostarda Pork Chop with White Cheddar and Bacon Broccoli

You'll need two pans and just 10-15 minutes to whip up this Apricot Mostarda Pork Chop

The Apricot Mostarda Pork Chop with White Cheddar and Bacon Broccoli is one of Fresh and Easy’s Express kits. It can be completely cooked on the stovetop – so you won’t even need to turn on the oven.

This recipe is a great example of Fresh and Easy’s powerful flavors. If you’re wondering what “Mostarda” is, it’s basically a combination of apricot and mustard, and it’s genius. It gives the pork a sweet yet tart flavor that’s way better than your average applesauce. 

Creamy Steak and Chipotle Ranch Pasta with Corn and Parmesan

I've been known to eat the oven-ready dishes straight out of the pan to save on even more washing up...

The Oven-Ready dishes from Fresh and Easy are some of my favorites to cook. They require some assembly, so it feels less like a ready meal. But they’re completely foolproof to prepare and so easy to clean up.

One of my favorites is the Creamy Steak and Chipotle Ranch Pasta with Corn and Parmesan. The only equipment you need is the provided pan and an oven. First, you bake the steak, then add in the pasta and cheese, and bake some more. 

Citrus BBQ Pork Tacos with Pineapple

I might not like pineapple on pizza but I gotta tell you, it really works in these tacos

Lastly, these Fast & Fresh tacos are one of the easiest meals Fresh and Easy has to offer. The barbecue pork filling goes straight into the microwave – heat it up for about 4 minutes, then heat the tortillas for 30 seconds, and simply assemble everything.


Starting from

Order size

Shipping Fee

$11.99 per portion

2 meals for 2 people/week: $47.96 


$9.99 per portion

3 meals for 2 people/week: $59.94 


$9.99 per portion

4 meals for 2 people/week: $79.92 


$9.99 per portion

5 meals for 2 people/week: $99.90


$9.99 per portion

6 meals for 2 people/week: $119.88 


$9.99 per portion

2 meals for 4 people/week: $79.92 


$9.99 per portion

3 meals for 4 people/week: $119.88 


$9.99 per portion

4 meals for 4 people/week: $159.84 


$9.99 per portion

5 meals for 4 people/week: $199.80 


$9.99 per portion

6 meals for 4 people/week: $239.76 


$9.99 per portion

2 meals for 6 people/week: $119.88 


$9.99 per portion

3 meals for 6 people/week: $179.82 


$9.99 per portion

4 meals for 6 people/week: $239.76 


$9.99 per portion

5 meals for 6 people/week: $299.70 


$9.99 per portion

6 meals for 6 people/week: $359.64 


Fresh and Easy meals are individually priced, so the advertised $9.99 per serving is an estimate. Some meals and most add-ons (like the snacks, sides, and desserts) are around $8.99 per serving, while some other entrées – particularly the ones with premium ingredients like steak, salmon, or mahi-mahi – cost as much as $17.95 per serving and up.

Fresh and Easy's Teriyaki Grilled Salmon

At a slightly higher price point, the premium dishes give you restaurant-quality cuisine

Naturally, any customizations you make will also come at an extra cost, particularly if you choose to upgrade to organic or double the portion size.

Unlike other services, the cost per serving doesn’t go down the more meals you order. This means Fresh and Easy could actually be better value for couples and smaller families than many other services. Smaller orders used to have a higher shipping fee, but now it’s a $10.99 flat fee. 

You can save money if you’re a student, first responder, teacher, or nurse and are registered with ID.Me. But don’t worry if you don’t fall into any of the above categories. You can also get a discount as a new customer with our current deal: Get 18 Free Meals (50% off your first 4 boxes)!.

If you’re not 100% satisfied with your meals, Fresh and Easy does offer refunds. However, it’s up to the company whether you get a full refund or just a refund for the defective portion of your order. You’ll need to email support@homechef.com within 7 days of delivery explaining the situation and requesting either credit or a refund.

For low-prep options, I’ve not found anything more affordable than Fresh and Easy. Yes, there are a handful of cheaper meal kits out there, but none that make cooking as straightforward as Fresh and Easy.

Overall, I think the meals are well worth the price. And if you feel like splurging on a dish or two, the option to customize your dinners or upgrade to a premium meal kit is a welcome way to treat yourself when your budget allows.

Shipping & Delivery

A map of Fresh and Easy's delivery area

Home Chef delivers to 98% of the continental US, although certain zip codes may be excluded

Fresh and Easy ships to 98% of the continental USA (sorry, Alaska and Hawaii). You’ll need your zip code to sign up and if there are any issues delivering to your area, you’ll see an error message straight away and won’t be able to complete the registration. 

Just like Home Chef, Fresh and Easy lets you pick a default delivery day for your shipments. Your options may vary depending on where you live, but in general, you can choose any day Monday through Friday. 

Screengrab of Fresh and Easy delivery dates on a drop-down list

Choose the day that works best for you each week

Fresh and Easy doesn’t offer weekend delivery like some of its competitors, but many other meal delivery services don’t offer nearly as much flexibility with the number of delivery days available.

You can’t select what time of day your delivery arrives, but this is rarely an issue. Even if your order is delivered at midday, and you won’t be home until the evening, everything is guaranteed to remain chilled thanks to the ice packs and insulation.

screengrab of FedEx text messages and tracking information for a Home Chef delivery

You’ll get one text from FedEx the day before and two the day of the delivery

The carrier might vary depending on where you live. FedEx sent these handy text updates with tracking info. If you live in an apartment or on a busy street, you might want to consider where your order can be left so you can give the necessary instructions.

How Fresh and Easy Works

The sign-up process is the same for Fresh and Easy and Home Chef. Even if you click a sign-up button from the Fresh and Easy website, you’ll be redirected to a Home Chef branded page. I’ll walk you through it step by step. 

How to Sign Up

  1. Start by entering your email and zip code: This is to confirm Fresh and Easy is available in your area. There are also a couple of optional questions. If you’re interested in the Fresh and Easy line, select the Save Time option for the first question. 

Screenshot of Fresh and Easy's signup page

Unless you live in Alaska or Hawaii, Fresh and Easy almost certainly delivers to your zip code

  1. Fill in your dietary preferences: This helps Fresh and Easy to customize your meal recommendations. The service isn’t allergy-friendly, so this is more for ingredient likes and dislikes rather than intolerances.

Screenshot of Fresh and Easy's dietary preferences selection page

These filters help narrow down your menu recommendations
  1. Add relevant discounts: Teachers, first responders, and other heroes can verify to receive a discount. This is also where you can add promo codes or gift cards.

Screenshot of Fresh and Easy's promo code entry page

Fresh and Easy offers more discounts than most other services

  1. Decide on the size of your weekly order: You can change this at any time, so don’t stress about it. The right side of the screen will display an estimate of your cost per week. You won’t know the exact price until you pick your meals.

Screenshot of Fresh and Easy's plan selection page

I wish it were easier to know exactly how much money you were committing to spend

  1. Add billing details: You can pay by credit card or Paypal. Fresh and Easy will tell you exactly when your payment will be taken (this relates to the date you’ve picked for your first order).

Screenshot of the Fresh and Easy's payment information input page

I appreciated the option to pay with PayPal in addition to a credit or debit card

  1. Choose your meals: I found it a little frustrating that you have to complete the checkout process before you can see all the menu options. But you can still empty your cart to avoid being charged if you change your mind at this stage.

Screenshot of Fresh & Easy's menu selection page for active customers

Note all the informational tags and the range of prices

Managing Your Subscription

You can skip a week of Fresh and Easy at the click of a button. Navigate to Your Upcoming Orders to see your orders listed by date. Click the Skip Week button to cancel that week’s order. If you change your mind, just hit Unskip.

You can also amend your order here by clicking Edit Meals. To remove a meal, click the Remove button (or the Trash icon in the app). Then to add a meal, click Add to Order. On many recipes, you’ll also have the Customize It option. 

It couldn't be easier to edit your meals or skip a week

It couldn't be easier to edit your meals or skip a week

To change your delivery day, hit Manage Delivery under the order date. You can even change the delivery address for a certain week, which is useful if you’re out of town but you still want your regular order of meals.

You have to skip or make changes by 12 pm CST on the Friday before the scheduled delivery week. Be sure to double-check you’ve saved your changes.

Canceling your first order is more complicated. It’s scheduled automatically when you sign up, so you have to manually remove each meal from your order. When the order is empty, it will automatically be canceled. 

Customer Service

It’s a little confusing that Fresh and Easy doesn’t have its own FAQ page. Instead, you’ll be routed to Home Chef’s help center and, though it’s pretty detailed, it’s not always clear if the answers apply to Fresh and Easy or just to Home Chef.

Screengrab of Home Chef's "What is Customize It" FAQ page

As Fresh and Easy shares a help center with Home Chef, it's hard to find answers specific to the Fresh and Easy plan

The Contact Us page is also mainly for Home Chef. But the good news is that any customer support specialists you contact will know how to help you. Just make sure you specify that your question is about Fresh and Easy.

Screenshot of Home Chef's Reach Out page and form

I prefer an email address to an online form, but there's also a number if you want to speak to an actual person

I was pretty satisfied with my experience talking to customer support on the phone. I was connected to a helpful agent named Katie after waiting on the line for just a few seconds. She was polite and had good answers to my questions.

I had a good chatbot experience, too. You can find the chat icon in the bottom right corner of the Home Chef website. The bot answered my first question about shipping costs after two quick chats. When it couldn't answer my question about a specific swap, I got to talk to a person who helped me.

Claire answered my initial query quickly, and stayed in the chat to answer any further questions

Screenshot of conversations with Home Chef chatbot and customer support agent

Overall, Fresh and Easy's customer support is comprehensive and satisfactory, even though the absence of a distinct information page solely for Fresh and Easy is a little confusing. 

Canceling the service is also straightforward. I've created an easy-to-understand guide on How to Cancel Fresh and Easy, which guides you through the process in just 3 simple steps.

How Fresh and Easy Compares to Other Meal Delivery Services

Fresh and Easy vs Green Chef: Since Fresh and Easy has limited options for vegetarians and barely any dishes for vegans, Green Chef is a better choice for anyone looking to incorporate more plant-based recipes into their lifestyle, with a Plant Based plan.  

Its kits take longer to make (around 35 minutes), but some of the ingredients arrive prepped and the chef-made sauces and spice blends help cut down on prep time and the level of expertise needed. 

Fresh and Easy vs Factor: Factor only offers microwaveable prepared meals, so this is a great option if you’re not interested in DIY meal kits. No-cook dinners don’t get much simpler – and the meals are delivered fresh so you don’t have to worry about defrosting them first.

Factor’s menu caters to specialty diets like keto, plant-based, and gluten-free. Unlike Fresh and Easy, portions are single-serving so will suit individuals or couples and families with a range of dietary needs. 

Fresh and Easy vs Blue Apron: Blue Apron offers a great range of ready-to-cook meals, but they’re certainly not as convenient as Fresh and Easy’s that only take around 15 to 20 minutes to make, at most.

The Bottom Line: Is Fresh and Easy Worth It?

It’s hard not to love Fresh and Easy. For me, it strikes a great balance of easy to cook and tasty to eat. The customization options ensure that there’s something for almost everyone… as long as you’re not someone who has specialized dietary needs.

Fresh and Easy’s biggest drawback is its lack of support for vegans and those on other strict diets. If that’s what you’re looking for, you might consider Green Chef as an alternative. It supports many diets that Fresh and Easy doesn’t, including plant based, keto, and gluten-free.

If dietary restrictions aren’t a concern, Fresh and Easy is a great source of stress-free meals – no matter how much time or skill you have in the kitchen.


Is Home Chef the same as Fresh and Easy?

Sort of – Fresh and Easy sits under the Home Chef brand but it refers to a specific line of low-prep meals. You can still access the full Home Chef menu even if you choose the Fresh and Easy plan when you sign up.

What is the difference between Home Chef and Fresh and Easy?

Fresh and Easy is a line of low-prep meals within the Home Chef brand. The Fresh and Easy menu includes speedy Express meal kits, oven-ready dishes, and prepared meals. Compared to Home Chef’s standard 30-minute meal kits, Fresh and Easy meals are simple to make and involve little-to-no prep.

How much does Fresh and Easy cost?

Fresh and Easy’s starting price is $7.99 per serving – with discounts. However, when I researched average Fresh and Easy prices, I found the cost per serving to be closer to $9.99. This varies depending on the exact dishes you order and how many customizations you make – organic swaps and double-ups will bump up the price.  

Are Fresh and Easy meals already cooked?

Most Fresh and Easy meals require minimal assembly and cooking. Some elements of the Fast & Fresh meals are precooked – like the pasta or rice – for speedier heating times, while the Entrée Salads often feature pre-cooked proteins.

How does Fresh and Easy work?

Fresh and Easy works exactly the same way as its parent brand Home Chef. You sign up using the same process, but selecting the Fresh and Easy brand means you’ll be shown the no and low-prep meal kits first (even though you’ll still have access to the full Home Chef menu).

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