Review: Hello Fresh Meal Service

Hello Fresh is one of several meal services available these days. The concept is solid: you subscribe and receive a weekly box of meals ready to cook, thereby avoiding grocery shopping and meal planning, but still managing healthy meals and getting out of any meal ruts you might be in. The ingredients are organic and fresh, and the service includes detailed recipes that are easy to follow. The only additions you need to make what’s in the box are olive oil, butter, water, salt, and pepper.

hello fresh review packaging
The three meal boxes inside the delivery box, which came Fed Ex

The husband was offered a free week by a work-friend who was using it. We accepted and gave it a go. We were pleased with the offerings and decided to subscribe. We received our second box, so have now tried six meal offerings from the service.

We’ve made:

  • Soy-Glazed Steak with Wasabi Mashed Potatoes and Sesame Spinach
  • Turkey and Sage Tetrazzini with Sweet Peas, Mushrooms, and Parmesan Cream Sauce
  • Tuscan Ribollita with Kale, Italian Sausage, and Parmesan Croutons
  • Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Saltimboca with Garlic-Sage Spinach and Tomatoes
  • Peppercorn Steak with Crispy Roasted Potatoes and Creamed Kale
  • Pan-Seared Pork Chops with Rosemary-Grape Salsa, Sweet Potatoes, and Roasted Broccolini
hello fresh review packaging
A meal box, unpacked (meat is packaged separately)

Each recipe claimed a 30-45 minute preparation time and we found that to be quite accurate. The recipe cards are attractive, with a nice glossy picture of the meal and each preparation step, detailed ingredient, allergens, and nutrition information as well as a list of needed kitchen tools. The recipe directions are very clear and, if followed in order, will result in a meal on the promised time schedule. They are rated by level of difficulty in cooking. All of ours were Level 1 or Level 2, and we did not not find them difficult to prepare. Nothing was difficult enough to send me to Google to define a term or watch a video about how.

hello fresh review recipe card
Recipe card example

We did recreate one of the recipes ourselves from ingredients purchased at our local grocery and found that it wasn’t difficult to do. So, if you find a new favorite meal this way, you will be able to replicate it.

The meals have ranged from quite tasty to downright delicious. The eight-year-old daughter hasn’t been as thrilled as the teenager and the adults. She’s also our pickiest eater, though, and I think it’s good for her to be pushed into trying new things.

The meats are high quality: tender cuts that require no trimming and leave no waste. The produce has been good as well so far. Of all the produce we’ve received, only one bag of spinach was less than perfect in quality. We ended up throwing out some pieces of it that had gone slimy, but were able to still use most of the bag.

hello fresh review cuttings
Out cuttings for one of the meals.

The service is not inexpensive, but also not horribly expensive, especially when you factor in the time you regain from not having to do the shopping and planning. Three meals a week will run you $70 to $110 dollars depending on how many people you are trying to feed with it. It comes to around $9 per person, per meal.

We appreciate that you are able to start and stop the service pretty much at will, a flexibility that many subscription services do not offer. We have decided to choose whether or not to do it each week based on our family schedule that week and what the meal offerings are. There are five offerings each week, from which you select the three you wish to receive. The website could use a little usability help, but is functional and reliable.

It’s already been very enjoyable for our family, helping us break out of meal ruts we’d fallen into and more easily meet some of our goals for healthy eating, at least at supper time. We recommend it for busy people who are interested in eating well.

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Samantha Bryant is a middle school Spanish teacher by day, and a novelist by night. Her Menopausal Superheroes series is available from Curiosity Quills Press. You can find her on Twitter @mirymom1