Hello Fresh Review | My Experience With Kit Meal Delivery!

Diana Reed – Culinary Nutritionist

My sister recently switched to a plant-based diet, and it has been hard for her to keep up with meal planning and choosing healthy, well-balanced meals while avoiding meat and fish altogether. 

One of the first suggestions that popped into my head was HelloFresh. This meal kit delivery service offers vegetarian options, but how do their prices, and meals measure up to the competition?

HelloFresh

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Meal Kit Food Options

  • Vegetarian
  • Omnivore
  • Family-friendly
  • Low calorie

Meal Plans

  • Two people
  • Four people

Number of Recipes per Week

  • Two to five recipes

Recipe Levels

  • Level 1 – for beginners or novice cooks
  • Level 2 – for home cooks
  • Level 3 – for intermediate cooks

Average Cost per Serving

  • Around $7.50

Shipping Cost

  • About $7 
  • Free shipping on your first box

Sample Recipes

  • Vegetarian Plan
    • The Mediterranean baked vegetables
    • Roasted vegetable paella
    • Garlic herb tortelloni
    • Tunisian Stuffed Peppers
  • Omnivore Plan
    • Cheesy beef tostadas
    • Tex-mex beef and poblano enchiladas
    • Garlic herb tortelloni
    • Lemon butter trout
  • Family-friendly plan
    • Spicy maple chicken
    • Parmesan crusted chicken
    • Cheesy beef tostadas
    • Gouda pork burgers
  • Low-calorie plan
    • The Mediterranean baked vegetables
    • Figgy balsamic pork
    • Butternut squash and sage risotto
    • Cheesy smothered mushroom chicken.

Minimum Order

  • A minimum of two portions and two meals per week

Menu Variety

  • Up to 17 recipes are added to the menu each week.

PROS

  • HelloFresh recipes can be as easy or as difficult as you want them to be. Their recipes are categorized by level of difficulty, so you can select recipes that are either easy to follow or more technical to cook.
  • HelloFresh accommodates a wide variety of dietary restrictions by allowing you to remove certain ingredients and giving you the ability to request diet-specific meals.
  • Your first box ships for free
  • Hello Fresh adds up to 17 new recipes each week, so you have a good variety of recipes to choose from
  • The HelloFresh customer service team is eager to please and easy to reach
  • Hello Fresh delivers fresh and quality ingredients to your doorstep

CONS

  • Some HelloFresh recipes need a bit of additional prep work like chopping ingredients
  • They have a minimum order of two meals and two portions each week. It’s not ideal if you live alone and need fewer than four servings per week. However, if you don’t mind eating two portions of the same recipe, it should work for you.
  • HelloFresh does not offer discounts or savings for large families.

Review Summary: HelloFresh is a woman-owned business and is one of the top meal services in America. They put an emphasis on fresh and seasonal produce as well as sustainably-sourced proteins that are hormone-free. It’s ideal for you if you’re looking for a meal delivery service that can help you improve your cooking skills and make you feel the satisfaction of a home-cooked meal with less hassle.

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What is Hello Fresh?

Hellofresh Company

HelloFresh delivers meal kits of fresh, locally-sourced ingredients right to your doorstep. The company—HelloFresh SE, is based in Berlin, Germany. It is currently one of the largest services in the US with operations in Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.

The company is associated with helpful and insightful customer service practices, as well as their commitment to sourcing fresh produce from family-owned farms that employ sustainable practices.

How the Hello Fresh Service Works?

Hello Fresh is a weekly meal delivery service that delivers up to four meals per person to your home. Signing up to Hello Fresh is a fast, straightforward process that should only take you around five minutes.

The only time I found myself taking a bit too long was when I was picking out meals. But first, you need to start by choosing your meal preferences.

Choose between an omnivore, vegetarian, family-friendly, or low-calorie menu. Afterward, you’ll be able to select how many people you need to feed and how many portions each week you’d like to receive.

After selecting your plan, the page will display the cost of your order as well as prompt you to put in a discount code if you have one. Afterward, you’ll be able to select your own meals from up to 20 different recipes on their weekly menu.

Why Hello Fresh? Who is it Best for?

HelloFresh is ideal for you if you’re trying to learn how to cook, or if you are trying to improve your cooking skills. The service gives you a wide variety of recipes to choose from each week.

Each recipe is categorized under the level of difficulty to prepare and cook, which means there’s something for everyone regardless of your cooking skills.

HelloFresh is also ideal for you if you want to be as involved with the cooking and preparation process of your meals as possible, without actually having to plan and do most of the prep work and shopping.

The service delivers pre-proportioned ingredients that come with helpful, descriptive, and straight-forward recipe cards. The recipes even come with clear photos depicting each process, which makes it no problem to follow along.

But more than that, HelloFresh is a service that you should look into if you want to maintain healthier eating habits or if you want to stick to a particular diet. Often, the issue with eating healthy or sticking to your vegetarian lifestyle is the difficulty of planning, shopping, and preparing your meals.

HelloFresh makes it easier for you by delivering carefully picked, fresh ingredients alongside delicious, easy recipes.

Who is it Not Recommended for?

While HelloFresh has a good variety of meals and recipe options to choose from, you might not enjoy it if you consider yourself to be a gourmet chef. The meals may look too simple, even if they’re classed as a level 3 recipe.

Another reason why HelloFresh might not be the ideal meal kit delivery service for you is if you’re frequently short on time. HelloFresh meals are convenient, and they cut off a significant amount of work and time it would normally take you to prepare your own meals. However, they don’t offer five-minute meal options.

This means if you don’t have at least thirty minutes to put into cooking your food, you might not be able to commit to a HelloFresh meal plan.

It may not be a good option for you if you’re looking for strictly vegan meals. The HelloFresh vegetarian menu is plentiful. However, they rarely feature strictly vegan meals on the menu.

HelloFresh also doesn’t focus on all-organic ingredients. While their meats and proteins might be hormone-free and their produce fresh and sustainably-sourced, they don’t put an emphasis on organic ingredients.

Type of Food Options

HelloFresh lets you choose from four meal plans. These meal plans cater to a specific diet and feature a weekly menu of up to 20 different recipes. 

Vegetarian – the Veggie plan puts focus on plant-based meals. You can expect to find seasonal produce and only the freshest plant-proteins that are free from chemicals.

Omnivore – the omnivore plan highlights a healthy, well-balanced diet of meat and vegetables. You can expect to find a wide variety of meals that feature meat, seafood, and seasonal produce. 

Family-friendly – the Family plan features child-friendly meals that are ready in the least amount of time. The recipes are frequently quick and easy, so young children can also help in the kitchen while you cook. 

Calorie Smart – the low-calorie plan focuses on meals with a maximum of 650 calories each. The recipes are approved by dieticians and are carefully created by experienced chefs.

Packaging & Sustainability

Packaging

As I mentioned above, HelloFresh prioritizes its partnerships with family-owned farms with the highest sustainability practices. 

Moreover, the company ships your meal kits in a fully-recyclable cardboard box. Most of their packaging components are made of 100% recyclable materials including the ice packs that come with instructions for recycling. 

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to maintain a 100% recyclable and plastic-free packaging experience with any delivery. Since you’re dealing with food, companies need to maintain the highest levels of food safety standards. 

The company uses plastic packaging as little as possible. Even the separators they use in their boxes to keep your meals organized are cardboard.

Hello Fresh Food Safety & Quality

HelloFresh employs the highest food safety practices in their kitchens. While you may be able to pick which ingredients you want to omit, the kitchen that prepares your meal kits are not allergen-free. 

If you have serious food allergies, I suggest taking extra care or opting for a different service instead. 

That said, the quality of ingredients and nutrition packed into each meal is consistently monitored. This means you’re getting the freshest ingredients available, and that you have access to carefully curated recipes.

Food Meal Pans & Sample Menus & Sample Recipes

Veggie Plan

  • The Mediterranean baked veggies with couscous, feta, and almonds
  • Roasted veggie paella with garlic aioli
  • Garlic herb tortellini with roasted zucchini and tomato
  • Tunisian stuffed peppers with apricots, feta cheese, and chickpeas

Meat and Vegetables Plan 

  • Cheesy beef tostadas with tomato salsa, hot sauce crema, and long green pepper
  • Tex-mex beef and poblano enchiladas with lime crema and pico de gallo
  • Lemon butter trout with asparagus amandine and horseradish potato mash

Family-Friendly Plan

  • Spicy maple chicken with roasted green beans and mashed potatoes
  • Parmesan crusted chicken with cream lemon tomato spaghetti
  • Gouda pork burgers with potato wedges and caramelized Sriracha onion

Calorie Smart Plan

  • Figgy balsamic pork with rosemary potatoes and roasted green beans
  • Butternut squash and sage risotto with walnuts and parmesan
  • Cheesy smothered mushroom chicken with roasted carrots and mashed potatoes

HelloFresh Cost & How It Compared to Similar Services

Price per meal: from around $7.50 per meal

Shipping cost: around $7 with free shipping on your first box

Minimum order: at least two meals and two portions each week

Recipe Variety: up to 20 recipes on the weekly menu

Meal Options: low-calorie, vegetarian, with the option to remove/replace specific ingredients like seafood

Freshly

Both HelloFresh and Freshly are some of the most popular services in America today. However, there are also a few key differences like the type of meals they deliver.

Freshly delivers pre-cooked meals that are ready-to-heat whereas HelloFresh sends out meal kits that you need to cook. 

Freshly-LogoPrice per meal: up to almost $12 a meal

Shipping cost: shipping varies 

Minimum order: four meals each week

Recipe Variety: over 30 meals on the menu

Meal Options: low-carb, dairy-free, you can also opt for recipes that exclude certain allergens

Freshly vs. Hello Fresh Comparison

Home Chef

Both HelloFresh and Freshly are some of the most popular meal delivery services in America today. However, there are also a few key differences like the type of meals they deliver. Freshly delivers pre-cooked meals that are ready-to-heat whereas HelloFresh sends out meal kits that you need to cook. 

HomeChefPrice per meal: around $8 per meal

Shipping cost: free shipping for a minimum order of $45, otherwise you’ll be charged around $10 more

Minimum Order: at least two portions per meal

Recipe Variety: 16 meal options each week

Meal Options: carb-conscious, low-calorie, vegetarian, pescatarian, seafood-free, red-meat free, dairy-free, mushroom-free, and nut-free

Green Chef

Price per meal: around $12 each meal

Shipping cost: around $8

Minimum Order: three meals for two people minimum

Recipe Variety: four menus to choose from

Everyplate

Price per meal: around $5 a portion

EveryPlate LogoShipping cost: around $9 

Minimum Order: three meals for two people

Recipe Variety: thirteen meal options

Blue Apron

Price per meal: under $8 each portion

Shipping cost: Free shipping unless you choose the two-person, two-meal plan, which will cost around $8 more

Minimum Order: at least two meals and two portions each week

Recipe Variety: 8 meals each week

Sun Basket

SunBasket Logo

Price per meal: from around $11 a meal

Shipping cost: around $8

Minimum Order: three meals for two people minimum

Recipe Variety: from six to eighteen recipes each week

Dinnerly

Dinnerly Logo

Price per meal: from around $5 a meal

Shipping cost: around $9

Recipe Variety: a maximum of 14 meals a week

Meal Options: there are no specific meal options

Marley Spoon

Martha & Marley SPoonPrice per meal: up to over $10 a meal

Shipping cost: around $9

Recipe Variety: two portions for each meal

Meal Options: 27 recipes each week

How Do Hello Fresh Meals Taste?

One of the most important factors when choosing meal kit delivery services is the taste and flavor packed into each meal. HelloFresh did not disappoint, the meals I got were delicious and far from boring. 

I enjoyed the creative twists they add into traditional meals and the variety of more adventurous flavors and recipes to choose from. 

My favorite for the week was the lemon butter trout. It had just the right amount of acidity to combat the saltiness of the butter while giving it a rich, satisfying flavor that’s hard to forget. 

At the end of each spread I might have felt full, but my tongue and mouth would have been happy to keep eating just for the taste alone. 

My Experience using HelloFresh

I felt full after each meal without feeling guilty or overfed. The meals were mostly well-balanced and felt like a reward after cooking. plus, the flavor profiles of each meal were exciting and delicious.

Moreover, Their customer service is easy to reach and always eager to please. Any questions I had regarding substitutions or requests for specific meals were answered promptly.

I also appreciate their commitment to recyclable packaging. They used cardboard when possible, but still utilized plastic pouches to comply with safety standards. The food is also kept fresh during transit thanks to a few ice packs that come inside the box.

I enjoyed the ice packs because I could reuse them. However, if you find yourself with too many ice packs from your deliveries, there are also easy to understand instructions on how to recycle them

Final Thoughts

HelloFresh is an ideal meal kit delivery service to look into if you want a good variety of fresh and sustainable meal options. The ability to customize your menu to your exact specifications is also something you’ll appreciate when you’re feeding a family of various needs. 

Moreover, their recipes are easy to follow and offer a reasonable variety of up to 20 meals each week, so there’s always something to choose from.

But if you don’t always have at least 30 minutes to set aside for cooking, SunBasket is an ideal alternative. They offer complex meal kits, as well as ready-to-eat meal options that you can fit into your schedule at any time.

 #1 Best Alternative (MealPlated)

Logo Sunbasket

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