A delivered meal kit is a great way to make sure you're getting enough veggies and protein in your diet—and a great way to skip grocery shopping. One of the most popular meal kit brands is HelloFresh, and if you've been wondering if it’s worth it, you'll want to keep reading to learn why the brand is our overall favorite meal kit delivery service for its variety of flavorful HelloFresh recipes and the ability to customize meal options. I tested out all the major meal delivery kits, and HelloFresh came out on top.
Let's learn more about this meal delivery kit's basic features, and then we'll get into more specifics about why we recommend HelloFresh as a top meal kit company.
What is HelloFresh meal kit delivery service?
HelloFresh is a meal kit delivery service that contains premeasured ingredients and an accompanying recipe, enabling you to create a fresh-cooked meal at home without having to run to the grocery store or measure your own ingredients.
HelloFresh works by offering a variety of meal kit delivery plans that range both in size (from two to four servings per meal, two to six meals per week) and in food preferences, including Meat & Veggie, Veggie/Plant-Based, Pescatarian, Quick & Easy (under 25-minute prep time), Family-Friendly and Fit & Wholesome (under 650 calories per serving) options.
Once you choose a plan, it's time to select a delivery date and browse the week’s menu for meal planning. When that scheduled delivery day comes, you'll receive a box filled with preportioned fresh ingredients (which helps eliminate food waste) and step-by-step instructions for each meal.
We really appreciated how customizable and flexible HelloFresh is, which explains why we also voted it Best Customizable Meal Kit in our Best Healthy Meal Kit Delivery Services for 2023 review alongside services like Blue Apron, Home Chef, EveryPlate, GreenChef, Purple Carrot and Dinnerly. For example, if you like shrimp instead of fish, you can swap out the protein, or if you prefer broccoli over potatoes, you can switch up the veggies on the side. I appreciated the generous portion sizes of some meals, which means you can (and will want to!) eat the leftovers for lunch the next day.
And that's not all: HelloFresh was recognized as having America’s best customer service among meal kit delivery services by Newsweek in its “America’s Best Customer Service 2020” article. It was also named the No. 1 meal kit by USA Today in its Readers’ Choice Awards for both 2019 and 2020. We all want the best in customer service because when a problem arises and there’s a solution that satisfies, everyone wins.
Here's how HelloFresh's meal kit delivery service stacks up:
Subscription: $10.42 per serving if you order meals for four people (or less if you can lay your hands on a promo code). Three meals per week for four people costs $125.
Ease of use: Some meal prep took longer than what the recipe cards estimated and were occasionally too much work and a lot of cook time at the end of a long day. However, some of the portion sizes were generous and could be saved for lunch the next day. We recommend this kit for cooks with at least some experience making home cooked meals.
Menu choices: There are a whopping 100+ meal choices per week on the HelloFresh menu, with the ability to filter recipes by the following categories and dietary restrictions: Omnivore, Vegetarian or Plant-Based, Pescatarian, Quick & Easy (under 25-minute prep time), Family-Friendly and Fit & Wholesome (under 650 calories). A notable feature is the ability to swap or upgrade proteins and some side dishes. You may order a maximum of four servings per meal and up to six meals per week.
Packaging: Most of the packaging is recyclable or eco-friendly, plus the company determines each order’s most efficient ice levels and box sizes to ensure that each delivery vehicle can carry more boxes and produce fewer carbon emissions.
How did we test HelloFresh meal kit delivery service?
For this review, I tried all HelloFresh meal kits at dinner with my family. I’ve been eating for a living for many years now, have a degree from the French Culinary Institute and have worked for various food publications. I’m also a mom with an active teen and tween, whom I cook for daily.
I evaluated HelloFresh based on the following criteria:
Subscription price, because everyone has different budgets.
Ease of use, because you’re getting a meal kit to make your life easier, so you don’t want anything too complicated or time-consuming.
Menu choices, because you want a good number of meals, a variety of recipes and quality ingredients.
Taste, because above all, you want a delicious meal!
Packaging: Is there too much? Too little? Is it putting out excess waste into the world? We factored sustainability into our reviews.
In making the selections, I also considered feedback from other on-staff meal kit testers for a variety of opinions (we got reviews from a family of five, a family with both an infant and a tween, and a family of three with vegetarians and vegans). I also weighed info from Facebook Groups devoted to discussing meal kits that include both calorie-smart members and picky eaters, plus expert advice from Jaclyn London, a New York City–based registered dietician.
Every one of the best meal delivery services has different strengths and weaknesses. Some are very easy, others offer frequent new recipes and more variety, some are great for families and others are geared toward vegetarian options (and omnivores who love veggies).
Let’s learn a little more about meal kits and answer some commonly asked questions.
What can I expect from a HelloFresh meal kit?
Cooking dinner is enjoyable and not stressful. With each delivery of preportioned ingredients and recipes that may feed two, four or more people, you won’t have to worry about what’s for dinner, and you can easily follow recipes. There are options to suit every dietary need. You can filter meals by your allergens, dietary restriction or preference (omnivore, vegan, gluten-free, pescatarian, carb smart or low carb, etc.), ease of use and time constraints. You can usually choose your delivery day and even add on extras like portions of protein, veggies, breakfast foods, quick lunches and desserts.
What if I'm nervous about trying HelloFresh?
HelloFresh offers major discounts to first-time customers, making it very affordable to try your first box before you commit (or don’t) to any one plan. All you have to do is take advantage of any one of these offers and then mark your calendar with an alert for the date by which you must cancel the subscription.
What if I need to skip a week?
You can skip a week or cancel anytime if your needs change.
Where can I find the HelloFresh nutritional information?
HelloFresh meal kits are labeled with nutritional facts like calorie count, carbohydrates, protein, dietary fiber, sugar, sodium, unsaturated and saturated fat and cholesterol.
How do HelloFresh ingredients stay fresh during shipping?
All ingredients arrive in a HelloFresh box with special ice packs and insulation, so your food stays cool until you get home.
Can I recycle the HelloFresh packaging?
Yes! HelloFresh provides all the information you may want to know about recycling its different forms of packaging.