For those of you who follow my deal group or Instagram, you know that I am obsessed with getting meal box delivery services! No, it is not take out- it is a big ‘ole box with ingredients and recipes sent right to your door. You then channel your inner Martha Stewart and prepare them on your own. Fresh, home cooked meals that could very well be take out but with minimal effort beforehand on your part! Recipes generally take 30-40 minutes to prepare and you are provided with step by step instructions (with pictures)!
There various services out there and I get so many questions about the differences that I decided to order a different service each week over the course of a month so I could compare. In full disclosure, these all were boxes I paid for-this is NOT one of those reviews in exchange for free items.
Here is a showdown of Hello Fresh vs. Green Chef vs. Blue Apron vs. Home Chef!
Meal Selection- You are able to choose from 5 meal choices. User friendly to select and somewhat varied selection. I do wish there were a few more choices. I also wish you could preview the recipes. My husband and I like white meat chicken but there was no way to make sure we were getting white meat in our recipes. I selected 2 chicken meals and one was dark meat, which neither of us particularly like.
Hello Fresh website’s menu selection
Organization- I LOVE the way Hello Fresh organizes!! You get 3 small boxes with all ingredients in them with the exception of meat. They stack so nicely in the fridge and have labels on the outside so it is easy to grab and get started!
Recipe- All 4 services have very similarly laid out recipe cards. I found Hello Fresh’s recipes to be fairly easy to follow although a couple recipes seemed as though they had left out steps in between. The recipe card was the smallest, which I wasn’t a fan of.
Food: Yum! Meals were easy to assemble with a different twist on them. I don’t think I would necessarily pick out the meals that we made but I was glad we had a chance to try them. We were definitely taken out of our comfort zone. Ingredients were fresh and we liked that we had a Jamie Oliver guest chef recipe!
Meal Selection- Um, there was none. You selected your dietary preferences and they selected your menu for you. Not a fan of this. At all.
Organization- Items came loose but color coded by stickers on each item. I suppose I could have organized it better when unpacking but I did not. I ended up spending a bit of time searching for things before I started cooking.
Recipe was easy to follow and pictures were really helpful. I liked that the ingredients were bolded so I knew just what to get for each step and didn’t miss anything.
Food: We LOVED that the ingredients were all organic. Everything was very fresh and the recipes were very out of our comfort zone. That being said, a couple were waaaaay out of our comfort zone and not something I would have selected had I had a choice.
Meal Selection– I was not impressed with how Blue Apron structures meal selection. While you have a choice, they make it so that certain combinations of meals are unavailable. For example, I did not want the fish meal but did want a certain beef meal. If I selected the beef, I had to choose the fish. If I unselected the fish, my option for the beef went away. Very annoying.
Screenshot of my Menu Selection from the Blue Apron Website.
Note the dreaded “Combination not available”
Organization- My least favorite of the 4. All ingredients came loose with a sticker on it. Nothing was color coded or organized otherwise. I ended up spending (wasting) time searching for ingredients before making each meal.
Recipe- I found Blue Apron’s recipes the least user friendly. While other services bolded all ingredients (so you knew which items to grab) BA only did this for some steps. Some directions were unclear and I would have to re-read.
Food- Meh. One recipe was ok, one was not very good and one was terrible. You know it is not good when your husband eats half his meal then elects to pour himself a bowl of cereal after.
Meal Selection- The best! So.many.choices. 11 meals, a smoothie option and a fruit add on! This is by far the best meal selection. None of the others even compare because you get so many choices with Home Chef.
Screenshot of my Menu Selection from the Home Chef Website.
Organization- Ingredients come bundled in a large clear bag per meal. Everything is portioned and labeled. Although it takes up more storage space than Hello Fresh’s boxes, it is just as easy to grab and start cooking!
Recipe- No complaints. I found the recipes easy to follow and not complicated at all. Home Chef lets you know how difficult they are (easy, medium or expert) so I always did the easy ones when my kids were being extra needy. Even the expert ones were very user friendly.
Food- LOVE!!! Home Chef was the only one that I was legitimately sad when I took my last bite because I didn’t want the meal to be over. Spoiler: I have gotten Home Chef a few times since the one I did for this review and my husband always says things like “this is the best thing you have ever made” or “this is just as good as going to a restaurant.” SOLD!
Wine not included…sorry!
The Final Rankings
1. Home Chef
2. Hello Fresh
3. Green Chef
4. Blue Apron
In my opinion, Home Chef surpassed every other service out there on so many levels- food, ease of recipes, ordering and selection. Hello Fresh came in a close second and I preferred how they package their food but it doesn’t sway me enough from declaring Home Chef the overall winner!
Want to try them for yourself? Here are some deals/referral links for the services!
Home Chef- Get $30 off your first order when you use my LINK
Hello Fresh- Go to Hellofresh.com and use code 3A9ZTF to get $40 off your first order