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Fresh and Easy Review 2024: Tried and Tested

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Author Jessica White
Jessica White Writer
Updated on Jul 10th, 2024
Fact checked by Deborah Leigh

Home Chef is no longer using the "Fresh and Easy" label, but all of its quick-prep recipes are still available on the Home Chef menu. Look for tags like "Express" or "Fast & Fresh" to find recipes with pre-prepped ingredients and other shortcuts to save you time in the kitchen.

Fresh and Easy is a special line of easy-to-cook meals by Home Chef. It focuses on kits and ready-to-cook meals that require less time and effort in terms of prep, cooking, and cleanup. But does it live up to its promise? To answer that question, I ordered a delivery from Fresh and Easy and tried it out for myself at home.

I was very impressed with the quality of the ingredients and with the meals I prepared. Fresh and Easy gets many good reviews from its loyal customers, and after trying these meals, I can definitely understand why.

But I also found a few things that concerned me. For example, there’s not a lot of support for vegan or other niche diets. And while the packaging made organizing recipe ingredients easy, Fresh and Easy uses an awful lot of plastic in its shipments. Lastly, it can be tricky to find the Fresh and Easy line among the full Home Chef menu.

If you’re interested in fast, nutritious meals that taste great, Fresh and Easy has a lot to offer. To help you make an informed decision, I’ve provided an unbiased and honest review of the service. Read on and find out if Fresh and Easy is for you. 



Sends you excellent produce and meats

The kits use a lot of plastic packaging

You can customize many proteins

Not many options for niche dieters

Recipes are clear and easy to follow

Confusion with Home Chef branding

Fresh and Easy’s Menu: Home Chef’s Line of Quick Prep Meals

Selection of Home Chef branded meal kits and a prepared meal on a table next to a Home Chef delivery box

Fresh and Easy’s primary focus is meal kits you can prepare quickly. There’s definitely enough variety here to keep most amateur gourmands interested, but there are also plenty of familiar comfort food options too.

Meal Options: A Decent Selection of Truly Simple Recipes

photos of Fresh and Easy's different menu options

When you get to the Home Chef menu, you’ll find Fresh and Easy meals under the following categories:
  • Fast & Fresh – meals that are easy to assemble quickly and heat in the microwave

  • Oven-Ready – dishes that just need a little prep before the oven

  • Express meal kits – like traditional meal kits, only speedier

  • Lunch – microwavable prepared meals for lunch

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

The Fresh and Easy menu is smaller than the complete Home Chef menu, with only about 20 of the weekly 35+ meals considered easy recipes. But I still found plenty of options. And I also had access to the entire Home Chef menu, so I can’t complain about the flexibility. 

However, having full access to the Home Chef menu makes it harder to find the easier Fresh and Easy meals – so make sure you’re looking for meals under the categories listed above. If you do order meals from the other categories, be aware that they usually take longer to prepare. A sampling of prepared single-serving lunches from the Fresh and Easy menu

In addition to accessing the full Home Chef menu, you can also purchase items from Home Chef’s market. You can find prepared lunches, salads, desserts, and protein packs. This saves you time not only on cooking but on grocery shopping.

If you follow a niche diet, you’ll find meals tagged with Gluten-Smart, Paleo-Friendly, and Keto-Friendly. If you eat a plant-based diet, you won’t find many options. Fresh and Easy’s target audience is predominantly families and omnivores, though it does have a few vegetarian meals available every week.

Fresh and Easy’s menu includes some interesting dishes and taught me a couple of tricks. But those looking for more sophisticated fast suppers with no cooking involved may want to check out Factor’s prepared meals instead.

Customization: You Can Personalize Most Meals to Meet Your Dietary Needs

Fresh and Easy lets you take advantage of Home Chef’s Customize It feature. With Customize It, you can double up or swap proteins on most meals. Just look for the green View Customize It Options at the bottom of the text for meals with customization options. A screenshot of the Fresh and Easy menu with a list of the Customize It options available for Creamy Steak and Chipolte Ranch Pasta.

You can also exclude certain ingredients when you sign up, like pork, beef, shellfish, or sesame. But because meals are prepared and stored in the same areas, Fresh and Easy can’t guarantee against cross-contamination. If you have serious food sensitivities or allergies, I recommend checking out our list of the best allergy friendly meal delivery services.

Fresh and Easy’s Menu at a Glance 


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


Sort of, there's a Keto-Friendly preference but not a lot of choice


Sort of, there are a few organic swaps


There's a Gluten-Smart preference, but it’s not suitable for those with Celiac disease or severe Gluten Intolerance

My Unboxing Experience with Fresh and Easy: Everything Was Great (Apart from the Plastic)

Photo of the box immediately after the author opened it.

My box arrived on time and in good shape. The insulation not only kept the food cold, but it also kept everything intact and unbroken. There were 3 bags containing most of the ingredients for my meal kits. The proteins were nestled beneath the ice bag to make sure they stayed cold.

It arrived in a Home Chef box, and the kits came in Home Chef bags, so don’t be surprised not to see any separate Fresh and Easy branding. Each kit came with a recipe sheet made of heavy paper. Everything in the bags was well-organized and clearly labeled. But while I appreciate the convenience of having all my ingredients clearly sorted out, these kits use an enormous amount of packaging. Photo of all the packaged ingredients set out from one of the Fresh and Easy recipes from Home Chef

This is the meal kit for the Crispy Chicken and Black Garlic Crema. There are 2 pouches of sour cream amongst others. While the plastic used for the cheese, spring onions, and spices isn’t ideal, at least it’s recyclable. I also found it really fiddly to open so many small packets during the cooking process.

Cooking and Eating with Fresh and Easy: Meals for Every Cooking Skill Level

When you sign up via the Fresh and Easy pathway, you’d assume every recipe will be rated as Easy. However, as you get access to the full Home Chef menu, that’s not the case. I strongly recommend that you check the difficulty rating and recipe for each meal before choosing it. All of the meals feature the full recipes on the site alongside the meals, so you can check for yourself and see if these meals are within your comfort zone before ordering.

I’m an enthusiastic cook and had no trouble following the instructions. But if you’re a cooking newbie or lack kitchen confidence, you may want to start with the Fresh & Fast or Oven-Ready meals rather than the meal kits. 

One of the meals I ordered was a Lunch option. These fresh, prepared meals are the easiest dishes on the menu as you just need to heat them in the oven or microwave. I tried the BBQ Pulled Chicken Thighs and found it an interesting take on traditional barbecue. Photo of the BBQ Pulled Chicken Thighs prepared meal in a tray in front of the cardboard sleeve next to a jar of barbecue sauce

The cornbread pudding was a clever twist on classic cornbread and made it a more microwave-friendly option without sacrificing the dish's authentic BBQ feel. It complemented the meal's texture and moisture perfectly.

At the other end of the scale, I tried a selection of meals from the full Home Chef menu. They are a good option if your cooking skills are slightly more advanced and if you have more time to devote to them. Overall, they take longer to create as there’s a lot more prep involved but the recipe cards are really thorough and clear. Photo of the Southwest-Style Roasted Veggie Quesadilla recipe card and the cooked dish on a wooden board

Even though a lot of the meals on the Home Chef menu don't qualify as Fresh and Easy recipes, you can find dishes that match your abilities in the kitchen. This is great as it extends the menu and gives you plenty more options. 

Now it’s time to find out how easy it was to prepare the Fresh and Easy meals I ordered. And, most importantly, find out how they tasted.

Shortlist of My Favorite Meals

Crispy Chicken and Black Garlic Crema

The Crispy Chicken and Black Garlic Crema stands out as both a Premium and Express dish, largely thanks to the sophisticated touch of black garlic. At only $2 more per serving, its premium status feels justified, especially with the option to upgrade to antibiotic-free chicken for an additional $0.99. This enhanced its premium appeal without significantly increasing the cost. Photo of breaded chicken being fried in a skillet and a phot of pre-mashed potato being mixed with greens in a skillet

I really enjoyed this dish. The Express format strikes a perfect balance between taste and convenience, a significant improvement over microwave-based Fast & Fresh meals that can compromise flavor. The side of pre-mashed potatoes only required heating and additional ingredients mixed through, making it a great time-saver.

Thai-Style Pork Soup

Photo of the Thai-Style Pork Soup in a bowl next to the recipe card

This Express dish stood out for its simplicity and speed. It took even less time than the microwaveable Fast & Fresh tacos. Preparation included cooking the minced pork and dicing the vegetables before combining everything with the special seasoning. This blend played a crucial role, infusing the dish with an authentic aroma and flavor that elevated it beyond the ordinary. Photo of ingredients being stirred into a pot

Thai food is one of my favorite cuisines and the flavors of this dish were a huge hit for me, with the sweet coconut, tangy lime, and fresh cilantro harmonizing perfectly. It was the fastest dish of the week and also one of the tastiest. 

Spicy Brisket Elotes Tacos

Image of the Spicy Brisket Elotes Tacos served on a plate

The process for this dish felt like assembling a children's activity kit, where ingredients are neatly placed on a tray, and then magically transformed in the microwave. Although not a quick fix, the tacos delivered on flavor. The brisket was moist and the green chile aioli perfectly complemented the corn, reminiscent of the traditional Elote. Photo of ingredients set out for tacos including beef, corn, slaw, and tacos

Despite the microwave cooking, this dish didn’t skimp on quality or taste. The slaw offered a crisp contrast to the rich brisket and added a burst of freshness that elevated the entire meal. The combination of flavors and textures made it feel like a genuine, hearty meal, proving that even the simplest prep can create a delightful satisfying dish.

Recipes Summary

Difficulty Level

Estimated Cook Time

Actual Cook Time

Calories Per Serving

Best For

Crispy Chicken and Black Garlic Crema


15-20 minutes

20 minutes


A low-calorie meal

Thai-Style Pork Soup


10-15 minutes

15 minutes


A quick, high-protein meal

Spicy Brisket Elotes Tacos


20-30 minutes

30 minutes


Taco Tuesdays

Prices: Fresh and Easy Is Reasonably Priced

Starting From

Order Size and Price (Before Shipping)

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 


From the table above, it looks like Fresh and Easy charges a one-size-fits-almost-all price. However all of Home Chef’s menu items are priced individually, so these are only estimated prices. Your weekly total will vary week by week, depending on what you order.

Premium options cost more, with some meals that feature ingredients like filet mignon going for over $20 per serving. You may also have to pay extra to customize an order, especially if you choose organic meat, premium cuts, or seafood. And you’ll also find family meals that cost $7.99 per serving. Screenshot of Fresh and Easy's Steak Strip and Gnocchi Gratin ($12.99/serving) and Sesame Wonton Salmon ($13.99/serving).

If you shop at the Fresh and Easy Market, you’ll find single-serving lunches at $9.98 each, along with desserts for 2 ranging from $5.99 to $9.99. And Bundle and Save meals for 2 people cost between $12.99 and $16.99, with bread bundles. Shipping is a flat rate of $10.99.

These prices are pretty standard for the meal delivery service market. You’ll find budget services like Dinnerly that cost less and specialty meal delivery services that cost a good deal more. But overall, I would say that Fresh and Easy is a good price-to-value proposition.

Author’s Tip: You can get discounts on your Fresh and Easy order if you’re a first responder, hospital worker, teacher, or active duty military personnel. You can also take advantage of our special Delivery Rank discount: 18 Free Meals + Free Shipping on First Box + Free Dessert for Life!.

Shipping & Delivery: You Can Pick Your Delivery Day

Fresh and Easy ships to 98% of the continental United States (sorry, Alaska and Hawaii). When you sign up you enter your zip code. If there are any issues delivering to your area, you’ll see an error message right away. Map showing Fresh and Easy's delivery area

Just like Home Chef, Fresh and Easy lets you pick a default delivery day for your shipments. I had a choice between any weekday, but if you live in a more rural area, you may only be able to choose between 3 or 4 days. Photo of a Home Chef delivery box outside a door

Fresh and Easy provided a tracking number, and my shipping arrived precisely on schedule. The box was in good shape, which shows it was sturdy enough to handle FedEx shippers.

How Fresh and Easy Works (Step by Step Guide)

When you click the sign-up button on the Fresh and Easy website, you’re redirected to a Home Chef branded page. Here’s an easy, illustrated explanation of how to subscribe:

How to Sign Up (Just 6 Simple Steps)

  1. Enter your email and zip code to confirm Fresh and Easy is available in your area. There are also a couple of optional questions you can answer.

Screenshot of the opening page for your Fresh and Easy signup

  1. Fill in your dietary preferences. This helps Fresh and Easy customize your recommendations. These questions determine your ingredient likes and dislikes, however, you should avoid Fresh and Easy if you have serious food sensitivities or allergies.

Screenshot of the Fresh and Easy quiz that asks about your preferences an dislikes

  1. Check if you’re eligible for a discount. If you’re not, don’t worry. Fresh and Easy regularly offers discount promo codes to its customers.

Screenshot of Fresh and Easy's discount page, where they offer discounts for military personnel, first responders, teachers, and other groups.

  1. Decide on the size of your weekly order. It’s easy to change your subscription later, so don’t worry too much about it. You’ll get a total for your cost on this order. Future orders may cost slightly more or less, depending on what meals you choose.

Screenshot of your order page, where you decide how many meals and servings you want per week.

  1. Add your billing details. You can pay by credit card or Paypal. Fresh and Easy will tell you exactly when your payment method will be charged for this order and going forward.

Screenshot of the billing page, which also has a PayPal option.

  1. Choose your meals. You have to complete the sign-up process and provide a payment method before you can see all the menu options. Yes, I find this frustrating as well.

Screenshot of the meals chosen by the author for this review

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. This is also where you’ll see the Customize It options for the recipes you can alter. Image of Fresh and Easy's "Skip Week" button, which lets you skip a week if you don't want a delivery.

To change your delivery day, hit Manage Delivery under the order date. You can change the delivery address for a specific week too. This is useful if you’re out of town but still want your meal box.

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. It’s also really easy to make any changes to your account with the Home Chef app.

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: I Wish There Was a Dedicated Fresh and Easy Support Channel

All customer service is handled by Home Chef, and if you have a question, you’ll have to check out the Home Chef FAQ. This branding confusion extends to the menu. Even if you sign up via freshandeasy.com, you’ll be redirected and order your Fresh and Easy meals from the main Home Chef page. Screenshot of the Home Chef menu, with the Fresh and Easy meals marked in a green highlight box

At the top of the Home Chef menu, you find the Meal Kits section. The Express, Oven-Ready, Fast & Fresh  and Lunch meals are the meals that Home Chef considers part of its Fresh and Easy line. But there’s no clear delineation between the meal types. 

In the past, you used to be able to select the Fresh and Easy plan during sign-up that would reorder the menu, but that’s no longer available as it looks like Home Chef is phasing out a separate Fresh and Easy brand. Even so, it would be much more helpful if Home Chef had a menu filter for this line of low-prep meals (or a separate menu like they do for family-friendly meals), rather than customers having to guess based on the meal kit type and difficulty level. A screenshot of Home Chef's Contact Us page, which is also the Fresh and Easy contact us page.

This confusion is more of a general website issue, however. Home Chef’s customer service is excellent and can answer all your Fresh and Easy questions. The Home Chef FAQ is clear and well-detailed and will answer most of your questions about shipping, delivery, ingredients, or other issues.

You can reach customer support by phone at 872-225-2433 or toll free at 855-949-3049. Phone hours are from Monday to Friday 9 am to 6 pm Central Time, and Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm. You can also reach Live Chat on Mondays 9 am to 9 pm CT, and Saturdays and Sundays from 10 am to 2 pm. Overall, I found customer support really helpful and they quickly provided a refund for a missing meal in my order.

Cancelation is easy, although Home Chef says it has “Paused” your account rather than simply canceling your subscription. You’ll find a complete 3-step walkthrough in our how to cancel Home Chef guide. I was able to cancel my subscription within minutes after my box and didn’t have to jump through any hoops to do so. I like that even when your account is paused, you can see the meals and “opt in” for weeks you want an order.

How Fresh and Easy Compares to Other Meal Delivery Services

  • Fresh and Easy vs Green Chef: While Fresh and Easy offers some organic protein swaps, Green Chef is the first certified organic meal delivery service. Green Chef also offers more extensive selections for vegans and keto dieters, but it’s considerably more expensive per serving than Fresh and Easy. The prep time is also longer than a Fresh and Easy meal kit, and there are no customization options.

  • Fresh and Easy vs Factor: While Fresh and Easy offers oven-ready meals and quick meal kits, Factor sends you microwaveable prepared meals. But all Factor meals are single-serving, so it might not be a good choice if you’re feeding a family. Factor offers an extensive selection of extras and has a great selection of keto-friendly and vegan meals.

  • Fresh and Easy vs. HelloFresh: While both services offer quick meal kits, HelloFresh has a considerably larger weekly menu and a bigger selection in the HelloFresh Market. HelloFresh also uses less plastic and more recyclable packaging than Fresh and Easy. The prep times are clearly displayed on the menu, with many recipes tagged as Easy Prep and Quick. 

The Bottom Line: Is Fresh and Easy Worth It?

Let’s phrase that question differently: is Home Chef worth it? Because Fresh and Easy is just a selection of meals under the Home Chef brand, rather than its own plan or service. After trying these meals, my answer is a qualified “yes.”

The meal kits I received featured fresh, high-quality ingredients. The recipe cards were clear and easy to follow, and the results were delicious. Home Chef has a good selection of fast meal kits and oven-ready meals, and I wasn’t disappointed by any of the meals I prepared.

However, a downside of the service concerns eco-friendliness. I didn’t like that Fresh and Easy used so many single-serving ingredient pouches and packages. There’s a lot of plastic and all those little packets make it fiddly to cook. 

I also wish Home Chef made it clearer as to which meals came under its Fresh and Easy line. Even if it’s phasing out this brand, a filter for low prep meals would go a long way, as it’s not enough to just check the estimated cooking time on the menu. A meal you assemble and bake for 45 minutes could be a simple Fresh and Easy option. A dish requiring multiple steps and demanding your complete attention for 45 minutes would be more complex.

To find the easiest meals, my advice is to check the difficulty level and have a quick look through the number of steps in the recipe online first to make sure you’re getting the simplest offerings.


Is Home Chef the same as Fresh and Easy?

Fresh and Easy is a line of low-prep meals within the Home Chef brand. The Fresh and Easy lineup includes speedy Express meal kits, oven-ready dishes, and prepared meals. Fresh and Easy used to be a separate plan within Home Chef, but now you’re taken to the main Home Chef site, and all orders arrive in Home Chef bags and a Home Chef box.

How much does Fresh and Easy cost?

You’ll find some meals priced at $7.99 per serving. You’ll also find some premium meals like the Crispy Chicken and Black Garlic Crema I tried ranging from $10.99 to over $20 per serving. However, the majority of meals on the Fresh and Easy menu cost $9.99 per serving.

Can you customize Fresh and Easy meals?

Fresh and Easy lets you use Home Chef’s Customize It feature on many meals. With Customize It, you can swap shrimp for steak, organic chicken breasts for regular chicken, and veggie Impossible Burger for ground beef. Your customization options will vary with each recipe, and you may have to pay an upcharge for some customizations.

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We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.Advertising DisclosureThis is a user-oriented comparison website, and we need to cover hosting and content costs, as well as make a profit. The costs are covered from referral fees from the vendors we feature. Affiliate link compensation does not affect reviews but might affect listicle pages. On these pages, vendors are ranked based on the reviewer’s examination of the service but also taking into account feedback from users and our commercial agreements with service providers. This website tries to cover important meal, coffee and pet food delivery services but we can’t cover all of the solutions that are out there. Information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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