Is the dinner grind getting you down?
I know at the end of my day, often the LAST thing I want to do is decide what to make for dinner. Especially when I have overtired and hangry kids running around my feet. What if I told you there was an easier way to make dinners for you and your friends/family without much mental fatigue and effort? This respite comes in the form of Meal Kit Subscription boxes. Have you tried one before? We gave Home Chef’s Family Menu a try, and here’s our honest home chef review of this meal delivery service. See whether we think it’s worth it or not!
When signing up for Home Chef, you can decide how many servings and meals you’d like to receive per week. They also offer up to 3 vegetarian meals per week. You can also choose to do the regular Home Chef menu or the family menu. The family menu has more kid-friendly meal options for picky eaters and more significant portions for larger families, making dinner time less stressful! You don’t even have to do the grocery shopping! I decided to get 2 Home Chef meals with 8 servings each for my family. We chose the Crispy Mandarin-Style Chicken and the Chicken Fajitas with Street Corn. They were both delicious!
Let me tell you more about it…
What’s In the Box?
Your Home Chef meal kits will arrive on your doorstep during the day you chose for delivery. If you’re away from home, it’s ok to immediately bring it in. Your food comes in a cold insulated box to keep the ingredients fresh. When you open the box, you’ll find your meal kit ingredients separated into their own packages, a big package of all the meat protein you’ll use, and large ice packs to keep everything cool. You’ll also have recipe cards to guide you in making your meals.
Crispy Mandarin-Style Chicken with Bok Choy/Green Onion Rice
Man, was this meal DELISH! The Mandarin Chicken is an express meal on the Family Menu. I knew I didn’t have much time to cook (I just had a baby) and wanted something easy. My husband saw this and thought it looked delicious, so we tried it. Home Chef says that this meal’s prep & cook time is 20-30 minutes and that this is an intermediate recipe.
I felt this dinner was relatively easy to prepare, but it took me longer than 20-30 minutes to make. It was about 45 minutes. Frying the chicken was incredibly time-consuming. I was trying to keep my toddler out of things and my baby happy, though, so it might go faster if you could be more focused.
Here are my thoughts on this specific recipe:
The recipe states to cut and separate the bok choy stems and leaves. For me, they came in a bag. And were mixed. So I had to pick out the stems as they go into the recipe earlier. Super annoying.
I didn’t receive all my ingredients. A spice packet was missing from one of my bags.
Home Chef doesn’t include specific ingredients like olive oil, salt, or pepper. These are basic kitchen staples, but it would’ve been annoying if I didn’t have something on hand.
I received a recipe for a 4-serving meal but received 2 4-serving bags to make it larger for my family. It was confusing having to double the recipe as I went.
Was this a kid-friendly meal? NO. My toddler won’t eat anything with a mixture of items. Everything has to be separated, so the bok choy/green onion rice was a no-go for him.
Chicken Fajitas with Street Corn
These Fajitas were also very tasty! And the street corn… much! This was labeled as an “Oven Ready Family” meal and an easy dinner to prepare. Home Chef says the prep & cook time on these fajitas is 35-45 minutes. It took a little longer, but it was straightforward to put together. I will say, though… Oven-ready meals sound like I get it in the dish ready to put in the oven. This was NOT that. I still had to prepare quite a few things before it could go in.
Here are my thoughts on this specific recipe:
A lot of packaging and ice packs. I threw so much plastic away!
For 8 servings, I got two bags of 4 serving amounts. There were so many bags everywhere, and it felt chaotic.
You need to have olive oil, salt, and tin foil on hand for this dinner.
What I Liked About Home Chef
There was quite a bit to like! Both of the meals I got were delicious, and the portions were large enough to feed my family and a guest visiting. It made dinner easier this week because I didn’t have to do any meal planning or shop for ingredients.
I also really liked the following:
Reduced decision fatigue around what to make for dinner.
There’s a family menu, and you can order more significant portions.
Some of their packaging was environmentally friendly.
The box it came in kept all the ingredients cold and fresh.
What I Don’t Like About Home Chef
Some cons definitely stood out to me about Home Chef. One of the main ones was that I didn’t feel that my meals took me less time to make, and I thought that the prep & cook time estimates were often quicker than the time it took me to make the meal.
I also didn’t like:
Some cards were printed incorrectly, and the words overlapped, making them hard to read.
I ordered 8 serving sizes, and the recipe cards were for 4 serving sizes. I had to double parts of the recipe, which could’ve been made clearer or simpler.
Not all of the ingredients you need are included. That would’ve been a bummer if I hadn’t had olive oil.
Home Chef Cost
To get 2 meals, 8 servings sizes each, on the family plan, it costs $111.84. There was a promotional discount for my first week of meals, so what I actually paid was $46.95, which included $10.99 in shipping.
Is Home Chef Worth It?
The dinner grind can be difficult. It’s the end of a long day; you’re tired… The last thing you probably want to do is think about what to make for dinner and then put a lot of time and effort into making the meal for your family. I was so excited to try Home Chef’s Family Menu! Overall, I really liked the meals I got from Home Chef. They were tasty and easy to put together. There was definitely enough food for my family. I didn’t love how long the recipes took me and how expensive the 2 family meals were. I will not continue to subscribe to Home Chef for these reasons, but I feel they’re headed in the right direction with the family meal kits!
Check out some of our other articles to see how the Home Chef Recipes compare to other meal delivery services.