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HelloFresh Review: Everything to Know About the Popular Meal Delivery Service

Thrillist logo Thrillist 6/30/2022 Thrillist Shopping

© HelloFresh With all things delivery becoming increasingly popular, food is no different. The meal kit market has exploded over the last decade, especially recently in the wake of COVID-19. One company in particular, though, has remained one of the most popular over the years: HelloFresh.

HelloFresh delivers pre-portioned ingredients directly to your door so the produce-to-meal conversion can happen as quickly and easily as possible. Each meal kit comes with a recipe and easy-to-follow instructions to help you prepare a fresh, pre-portioned meal in around 30 minutes or less in your own kitchen. Intrigued? We were, too. Let’s break it all down so you have the full scoop before you decide to try it out.

How we tested HelloFresh’s meal delivery service

From the moment we saw our HelloFresh box at the front door, we were paying attention to all the little things that make this service complete. The first thing we noticed was the individual paper bags separating each meal’s ingredients, which allowed for easy storage. That way, when we went to make a meal, we just had to pull a bag out of the fridge and all of the ingredients were right in front of us.

The serving sizes were pre-portioned to match the selections we made when ordering online, and it really was the perfect amount of food. The recipes were thorough and packed with taste, and the great thing about home cooking is the ability to modify anything we wanted. For example, we changed steak for chicken in the Roasted Veggie Kale Salad, and broccoli for potatoes in the Golden Chicken Schnitzel. Easy, delicious, and almost entirely recyclable packaging—three wins in our book!

How does HelloFresh work?

© HelloFresh Because meal kit delivery services aren’t one-size-fits-all, HelloFresh boasts a fully transparent website where you can scope out the menu before deciding to commit. Users can scan up to six weeks’ worth of upcoming recipes free of cost or sign-up, so you’ll see exactly what you’re committing to.

There are 50 rotating menu and market items to pick from weekly, and based on user reviews from long-time subscribers (we’re talking years), HelloFresh is constantly introducing new recipes. This is a great incentive for those who fall into the routine of buying the same round of groceries each week. HelloFresh’s recipes manage to find the balance between maintaining Hall of Fame crowd-pleasers for the masses and offering enough diverse options to keep your palate excited and interested.

When you’re ready to pick your plan, you’ll start by choosing as many preferences as are relevant to your eating habits—such as Meat & Veggie, Veggie-Only, Family-Friendly, Calorie Smart, Quick & Easy, or Pescatarian. From there you’ll choose how many people you’ll be cooking for, and how many recipes per week you’d like to order. Users can choose between two to six meals per week, in servings of two or four. If you’re riding solo, you need not fear; leftover lunches make for a pretty clutch setup. And, if you feel like taking a break, you can easily reduce your quantity of meals or even skip a week or two of service, no strings attached.

How much does a HelloFresh subscription box cost?

HelloFresh boxes start at $7.49 per meal based on the meal plan you select. Plans vary in cost depending on how many recipes per week and the number of people who will be eating. And if you’re feeling like treating yourself, HelloFresh also offers Gourmet options, delivering the best of the best—still at a reasonable cost. HelloFresh also offers discounts for active military members, veterans, students, and healthcare workers.

Is HelloFresh worth the price?

Whether or not you’ll feel like HelloFresh is worth the cost will depend on what you’re using it for. In comparison to takeout meals, this service is significantly cheaper starting at $7.49 per meal—which is 72% cheaper than an average restaurant meal. But if you’re looking to replace grocery shopping completely, HelloFresh has a hard time competing with grocery store price tags on all items. With all the hustle and bustle that life so often entails, however, HelloFresh is a super reasonable way to save time (while trying new recipes).

While it may not make sense for everyone as an everyday meal service, HelloFresh can be a good option for exchanging fast food or a long night of cooking for a quick, delicious, and fun alternative. © Daria Nipot - stock.adobe.com

Does HelloFresh offer healthy meals?

It’s no easy task to have options that will please everyone, but HelloFresh does a pretty solid job. For diners looking for wholesome options, HelloFresh has Calorie Smart and Carb Smart recipes on the menu every week. As you’re scrolling through HelloFresh’s weekly menu, you’ll see “Carb Smart” or “Calorie Smart” tags which indicate that a meal falls into these categories.

Although you may not believe it when you taste it, the Steak with Mushroom Cream Sauce, Sour Cream ‘n’ Onion Chicken, Middle Eastern Spiced Turkey Bowl, Texan Black Bean Salad, and Pasta Primavera are some of the many Calorie Smart meals that ring in at around 650 calories.

For all the veggie lovers out there, HelloFresh has us covered. Between the Heirloom Tomato Flatbreads, Truffled Onion Grilled Cheese, Roasted Veggie Caprese Bowl, and Chickpea-Powered Couscous, HelloFresh knows how to win us over.

Last (and certainly not least), HelloFresh offers easily customizable meals so you can add protein to veggie dishes, swap one protein for another, or upgrade the proteins in a recipe entirely.

Dietary preference options

Whether you’re looking to adhere to one specific food group or keep things loose, you can filter through all the different options on the HelloFresh website to find what you’re looking for: Veggie, Calorie Smart, Meat & Veggie, Family Friendly, Quick & Easy, and Pescatarian. All of the recipes also come with a drool-inducing photo so you can see how your final product will turn out. Well, in theory. © HelloFresh

Different meals for every day of the week

The meal sizes vary based on how many people you order for. Meals can be ordered in twos or fours, and you can order a different quantity each week if you’d like. The HelloFresh Market offers a variety of recipes to choose from every week, giving you the ability to make something new each day. When you sign up, you’ll get a specific delivery day that will stay consistent from week to week and you’ll be able to track your order as it’s on its way to you.

What makes HelloFresh stand out?

HelloFresh stands out with its robust menu options and its sustainability-focused mindset.

The packaging is nearly all recyclable, and just the right amount of everything is delivered, which results in less food waste overall. HelloFresh’s customer support staff is hard to beat; the team members can assist you with any mishaps that may arise as you’re using the service. It’s currently available in 48 states, excluding Alaska and Hawaii. © HelloFresh

Need to change or cancel your order?

Change of plans? You can easily change your order through the HelloFresh app, which is straightforward and user-friendly. (Changes to any order must be made before midnight PST at least five days before your scheduled delivery date.) If you’re feeling like taking a break for a week or two, you can easily do that, too, just by skipping a delivery through the website or app.

Is HelloFresh worth trying?

This meal service is best for experimental chefs as the recipes are diverse and constantly changing. If you don’t have the time to put too much thought or effort into your meal prep, but you aren't willing to compromise the taste of your food, HelloFresh may just be your new best friend!

Here’s what we found

HelloFresh is a great option if it suits your needs and its flexibility makes it possible to experiment with how it can best fit in with you or your family’s lifestyle. Whether you’re trying to catch up on that new show and avoid the hassle of the grocery store, cut back on more expensive takeout and restaurant meals, or just looking for some easy, new recipes to add to your repertoire, HelloFresh is worth a shot.

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