I've been using Hello Fresh for about a year now and I wanted to share some of the insights, pros, cons and how having a service like that improved some of my kitchen dilemmas.
I need to mention here that I did not get paid by Hello Fresh or any of its affiliates. This review is based solely on my own experience that I wanted to share with you.
It all started when one of my clients sent me 6 free boxes (you get free boxes to share with your friends when you are with the company for a while), 3 meals (1 weeks worth) from Hello Fresh and 3 meals from Blue Apron. Out of curiosity I signed up for both and actually kept both services for a while, browsing each of the companies menus and ordering meals that I liked better. After a few months of not seeing anything good on Blue Apron's menus I dropped them and kept Hello Fresh only.
In case you are not familliar with either one of the companies, a quick summary on how a meal delivery service works (from Hello Fresh's website) shown below:
Here are the specs of my current subscription:
- Classic Box for Omnivores - 3 meals per week for 2 people;
- cost: $69 per week (you can skip weeks and cancel at anytime);
- my delivery frequency: not more than twice a month (so my max cost per month is $138).
Now, I'm going to review pros and cons of Hello Fresh as a meal delivery service.
So first let's start with the positives.
Hello Fresh pros:
It added variety to our diet - there is always a mix of fish, red meat and chicken/turkey accompanied by an array of seasonal vegetables and various starches;
Every time I look at all the ingredients, for the recipe I'm about to cook, laid out on the counter I think "this is definitely not going to be enough food to feed the two of us" yet we were NEVER hungry after any of the Hello Fresh meals (no appetizers either).
High quality of the ingredients, always fresh.
A LOT less expensive than going out 3 x a week ($24 meal for 2 vs at least $60).
Makes weekly meal planning a lot easier.
Every meal takes 40 minutes or less to prepare, start to finish, which comes in very handy during busy weeks.
Average nutritional value per serving is about 550 calories (which would be considered a 'light/healthy' option at most restaurants).
85% of the dishes I cooked, from a nutritional standpoint, offered a great balance of protein, fats, carbs and vegetables.
Instructions with pictures are clear and easy to follow so even my husband can cook the meal (which says a lot btw).
On the weeks I get the box I rarely shop for groceries.
Most meals are naturally gluten free.
Browsing the upcoming recipes and getting a box is fun - I look forward to it every time.
I've learned some cool recipes and cooking tricks along the way.
We've tried some vegetables and starches that we would have never tried before if it wasn't for the box.
Some meals don't include any starches: just veggies and protein.
Hello Fresh cons:
I would say in 20% of the boxes, the portion size for starches is too big and the protein and/or vegetable portion too small.
If you are a very active person, who works out a lot, the protein portion is most likely going to be too small for you.
No leftovers for the next day.
I did sleep on skipping the delivery once, and got a box delivered that I didn't really want (I wasn't thrilled with the menu that week). When you miss a cut off time, you cannot cancel the delivery, therefore you need to stay on top of things.
Most of their sauces are sour cream based - I always sub it for greek yogurt.
They can go a little overboard with butter and oil recommendations - half of what they recommend is usually all you need.
According to the recipe card, you should salt and pepper pretty much every step of the way - one time for each item is plenty.
Just to give you an idea on the what you may be getting in your boxes, I took pictures of various recipe cards of my favorite dishes that I've cooked so far (starting top left):
Bone-In Pork Chops with Roasted Pears, Collard, and Shallot Cream Sauce - nutrition per serving: 580 calories, 31 g fat, 51 g protein, 24 g carbs, 345 sodium, 6 g fiber.
Prosciutto-Wrapped Chicken Saltimboca with Garlic-Sage Spinach and Tomatoes - nutrition per serving: 417 calories, 16 g fat, 53 g protein, 18 g carbs, 914 mg sodium, 6 g fiber.
Pork Medallions with Tarragon Cream Sauce, Crispy Brussels Sprouts, and Yukon Potatoes - nutrition per serving: 542 calories, 46 g carbs, 19 g fat, 46 g protein, 8 g fiber, 386 mg sodium.
Dukkah-Roasted Chicken with Sweet Potatoes, Snap Peas, and Citrus Sour Cream - nutrition per serving: 510 calories, 16 g fat, 46 g protein, 47 g carbs, 263 mg sodium, 9 g fiber.
Pan-Roasted Salmon with Mustard-Butter Bean Salad - nutrition per serving: 697 calories, 18 g carbs, 34 g fat, 53 g protein, 5 g fiber - MY FAVORITE!!!
Chicken Meatballs & Gnocchi with Sage, Apple, and Parmesan - 636 calories, 59 g carbs, 31 g fat, 40 g protein, 8 g fiber, 906 mg sodium.
Mahi Mahi Piccata with Capers, Israeli Couscous Pilaf, and Sauteed Spinach - nutrition per serving: 662 calories, 21 g fat, 53 g protein, 69 g carbs, 732 mg sodium, 9 g fiber - MY 2nd FAVORITE!!!
Shrimp and Chorizo Paella with Saffron, Smoked Paprika and Peas - nutrition per serving: 679 calories, 83 g carbs, 20 g fat, 43 g protein, 8 g fiber.
Reuben Steak with Tangy Braised Cabbage and Russian Dressing Pan Sauce - nutrition per serving: 672 calories, 48 g carbs, 33 g fat, 49 g protein, 14 g fiber.
Overall, I love Hello Fresh and I can't wait till I get my next box.
Hope you enjoy this review. Please don't hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or feedback.
If you are interested in reading about other meal delivery services, click here for a great summary of a bunch of meal delivery services out there.
If you are interested in trying Hello Fresh, I have a couple of free boxes I can share with friends and $40 off coupons once those are gone.