Home Chef vs. HelloFresh: I’ve Tested Both, But How Do They Compare?

Why pit Home Chef vs. HelloFresh when they both have equally quality products? These two companies offer similarly positive experiences, so the choice is yours.

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Home Chef Vs. HellofreshAnnamarie Higley/Taste of Home

I’ve tested six meal delivery services, and even I, who has unpacked the boxes of ingredients and prepared the meals with my own two hands, can get them mixed up. The companies are similar, and, as far as I’m concerned, similarly successful at accomplishing their mission: delivering the makings for quality recipes to doors across the country and alleviating the burden of meal planning.

Because of these overlapping goals and audiences, the company names sound, well, kind of the same. There’s HelloFresh, Home Chef, Chefs Plate, Green Chef, Purple Carrot, Blue Apron. Phew! If the “H” companies have you jumbled up, we’re here to explain the differences between Home Chef vs. HelloFresh, two of the more prominent names in the biz.

What’s the Difference Between Home Chef and HelloFresh?

Home Chef vs HellofreshAnnamarie Higley/Taste of Home

Similarities

Home Chef and HelloFresh have the same model as other meal delivery services for families. They allow you to select plans for different numbers of recipes and servings to receive each week. The insulated cardboard boxes that each company sends contain all the ingredients needed for the chosen recipes, sorted into bags for added convenience.

Even the cost differences are virtually nonexistent. Home Chef meals cost between $9.99 and $11.99, depending on how many you purchase. HelloFresh meals cost between $9.99 and $11.49. (Psst! Keep an eye out for sales.) Note: With Home Chef, you have the option to order six servings per meal, whereas HelloFresh only sells meals with yields of up to four servings.

The recipes are similarly categorized on the website, with labels related to carbohydrate and calorie content, cook/prep time, vegetarian-friendliness and more. Both companies offer roughly 30 recipes to choose from each week. (Need an exclusively vegetarian service? Try Mosaic Foods.)

When trying out Home Chef vs. HelloFresh recipes, each box had its highs and its lows, for a very comparable experience with both brands. For instance, I loved the Italian-Style Wedding Soup from Home Chef but was a little underwhelmed by the Salmon Cakes with Dill Hollandaise. As for HelloFresh, the Street Cart-Style Turkey Bowls wowed while the One-Pan Beef Enchiladas Verdes left a bit to be desired.

In addition to the entrees they provide, HelloFresh (through HelloFresh Market) and Home Chef also allow add-ons to their boxes. Think breakfasts, drinks, side dishes, breads, desserts and a la carte proteins, available for an additional cost.

Lastly, both companies are committed to eco-friendliness and sustainability, exhibited through their sourcing practices and packaging.

Differences

The differences between these two companies in terms of menu options, flexibility and pricing are hard to identify. There are a few additional features of Home Chef, potentially accounting for its slightly elevated price tag, that set it apart from HelloFresh. If you view these features as value-adds, then it could be the fit for you.

Home Chef, owned by Kroger, sells some of its meal kits in supermarkets. This means that to enjoy Home Chef’s offerings, you might not even need to subscribe. Also, if you have a favorite food celebrity, there’s a chance they’ve collaborated with Home Chef. Some examples of partnerships include Rachael Ray and Tieghan Gerard of Half Baked Harvest fame, who developed limited-time recipes for the service. This meal kit also offers oven-ready meals that require little prep before popping in the oven and family meals that automatically come with four servings.

All About Home Chef

ingredients for Salmon Cakes with Dill Hollandaise and Greek-Style Potatoes from Home ChefAnnamarie Higley/Taste of Home

Home Chef is based in Chicago, Illinois, and was founded in 2013. Since then, the company has expanded its offerings to include traditional meal kits, as well as optional add-ons like desserts, breakfasts and sides; oven-ready meals; and in-store kits.

Most of its recipes are developed by professional on-staff chefs, though some notable celebrity partnerships mean a selection of the company’s recipes were developed by the famous chef in question. Recipes are dubbed easy, intermediate or expert, and labeled with tags like Keto-Friendly, Gluten-Smart, Vegetarian, Carb-Conscious, etc.

The company boasts its products as “endlessly customizable…meal kits that fit your needs” with “fresh, pre-portioned ingredients.” This customization is made clear via the “Customize It” options, which usually entail swapping out proteins or omitting them altogether.

I thoroughly enjoyed my Home Chef meals, especially the Italian-Style Wedding Soup, and their high-quality ingredients. I found the cook times and difficulty ratings to be accurate. Plus, the comprehensive recipe cards were incredibly helpful. Although I think some of the recipes could’ve been more efficient, my experience was certainly a positive one, and I believe it could be for you, too. Home Chef offerings are suitable for all types of consumers: couples, singles and families.

Home Chef Meal Servicevia merchant VIA MERCHANT

Retailer Comparison

Home Chef

Home Chef, available in select Kroger stores and online, is a celebrity-endorsed, ultra-customizable meal delivery service.

All About HelloFresh

Toha23 Meal Prep Service Annamarie Higley 03 YveditAnnamarie Higley/Taste of Home

If HelloFresh isn’t beckoning you, perhaps one of the company’s other brands will. The HelloFresh Group, based in Germany, also owns Green Chef, EveryPlate, Factor and Good Chop, among others. Green Chef focuses on healthy, organic recipes while EveryPlate is a budget brand. Factor sells fully prepared frozen meals, and Good Chop is a meat delivery service.

HelloFresh, the group’s namesake, is the most straightforward meal delivery service—and perhaps the original, founded in 2011. You’ve surely heard of it, thanks to its omnipresent marketing, solid reviews and amazing deals.

I’ve tested HelloFresh three times now, and its meals are always tasty, easy and made with ingredients I, myself, would pick out from the supermarket. Think Daisy sour cream, Philadelphia cream cheese, Cholula hot sauce and Colavita olive oil. The comprehensive recipe card makes recipe preparation super simple.

And don’t discount HelloFresh Market, which functions as a more built-out grocery delivery service. There’s even fresh produce available!

Some negligible drawbacks include misquoted prep and cook times and substantial cleanup, but those are small complaints for an overwhelmingly pleasant, ever-consistent experience.

Hellofresh box with Vegetables lying next to itVIA MERCHANT VIA MERCHANT

Retailer Comparison

HelloFresh

HelloFresh is a fan-favorite meal delivery service celebrated for its diverse menu, customization options and affordability.

The Bottom Line

When it comes to Home Chef vs. HelloFresh, you can’t go wrong here. I’d suggest browsing the menus of both companies and deciding which one entices you more. However, if you’re committed to your weekly supermarket runs or your favorite celebrity chef, then Home Chef might be a better call. Aside from that, the pricing, sustainability practices, recipe selections and ingredient quality are very comparable.

Annamarie Higley
Annamarie is Taste of Home’s Shopping Editor and previously worked on the brand’s magazine and special issues. It was during this time she tapped into her love language, gifts, and spearheaded the print holiday gift guides in 2021 and 2022. She’s thrilled to continue creating gift guides full time for the shopping team, in addition to testing and reviewing products, spotlighting viral gadgets and editing freelanced content. A midwestern transplant from the San Francisco Bay Area, she enjoys hiking, crafting and—you guessed it!—shopping and cooking.