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We tested the popular meal kit service. Here’s the scoop on the process, the food, and how HelloFresh measures up to other meal delivery options.
HelloFresh is a popular meal kit service known for providing nutritious, well-balanced meals suitable for singles and families alike. While it doesn’t cater to as many specialty diets as some other similar services, it stands out as a great option for healthy home cooking.
Healthline editors Candice Abellon and Kelli McGrane, MS, RD, and writer SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD, have all tried HelloFresh and share their experiences with the service below.
Read on to learn more about how HelloFresh works, the cost, the food, and how it stacks up against the competition.
Meal Delivery Scorecard
Our testers scored HelloFresh across 10 categories, allotting points from 0–5. The scores below reflect the average rating for each category.
- Overall: 4.2
- Sign-up, delivery, and cancellation processes: 5
- Meal variety: 4.2
- Nutrition: 4.3
- Sustainability: 4
- Ingredient quality and freshness: 3.7
- Ease of preparation: 3.8
- Taste: 4.5
- Affordability: 4
Learn more about how we test meal kits.
HelloFresh is a meal delivery service that offers pre-portioned ingredients and step-by-step recipe cards designed to help simplify meal prep. By offering meal kits rather than fully prepared meals, it is particularly popular among aspiring home chefs.
The service provides six options to meet different dietary preferences:
- Meat & Veggies: a variety of meals that include meat and vegetables
- Veggie: plant-based meals that are vegetarian but not necessarily vegan
- Family Friendly: quick, easy-to-prepare, kid-approved options
- Fit & Wholesome: meals that have around 650 calories or less per serving
- Quick and Easy: meals that can be cooked in 30 minutes or less
- Pescatarian: meals featuring seafood but not red meat or poultry
You select recipes from a weekly rotating menu, and the full meal kits are then shipped directly to your home.
These deliveries contain mostly recyclable, compostable, or reusable materials. HelloFresh says it’s also dedicated to reducing its carbon footprint through responsible sourcing, streamlined supply chain management, and offsetting its carbon emissions.
Getting started with HelloFresh is simple. In fact, all of our testers rated it a 5 out of 5 for ease of sign-up, delivery, and cancellation.
First, you’ll select your desired meal plan and size. Regardless of the plan you select, you can always pick and choose recipes from other plans.
Next, you’ll enter your payment details and select your first week of meals.
Once you have entered all of your information, you’ll be assigned a weekly delivery day. Then you can choose your meals.
Within each of these categories, there’s also a bit of room for customization, such as choosing to avoid beef, pork, or seafood. You can also swap certain sides, such as broccoli or potatoes. These swaps add $0.99–$1.99 per serving.
If needed, you can make changes to your upcoming delivery or skip a week through your online account. You can also cancel your subscription by navigating to your account settings at least 5 days prior to your next delivery.
HelloFresh meals cost $9.99–$11.49 per person, per meal. You can get the lowest price per serving by ordering the largest plan size: 6 recipes per week for 4 people.
HelloFresh’s most popular plan size is 3 recipes per week for 2 people. This works out to $9.99 per serving, or about $60 per week, plus the cost of shipping, which is $10.99 per box.
HelloFresh regularly offers new users free shipping and discounts on their first or several shipments.
“I appreciated that HelloFresh’s menu rotates weekly, and I enjoyed the occasional specialty menus, like the Better Than Takeout and the Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month recipes.”
— Kelli McGrane, MS, RD, Healthline Nutrition editor
With a rotating menu of more than 30 options each week, HelloFresh is an appealing choice if you’re looking to mix up your weekly meal planning. Our testers appreciated this variety, especially having a wide range of recipes with simple labels to help you easily find what works for you.
However, if you follow some dietary plans, like low carb, keto, or paleo, you might find the options limited.
Additionally, one reviewer notes that the meals can eventually start to feel repetitive, especially if you’re using the service for a longer period of time.
Our testers gave meal variety the following scores (out of 5): 4.5, 4, 4
“Most of the meals are very well-balanced, including a protein, starch, and vegetable. HelloFresh also clearly labels food allergens for each meal.”
— SaVanna Shoemaker, MS, RDN, LD, Healthline writer
HelloFresh aims to make healthy eating easier by providing well-balanced meals featuring a variety of nutrient-dense ingredients, such as vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
The service also labels items suitable for several healthy eating patterns — including Mediterranean, vegetarian, and carb smart options — and offers a Fit & Wholesome menu, which highlights selections that are lower in calories.
However, one of our reviewers notes that some meals are low in vegetables. According to another, it might also not be the best choice if you’re following a vegan or dairy-free diet.
Our testers gave nutritional quality the following scores (out of 5): 5, 4, 4
Ingredient quality and freshness
“I’ve been using HelloFresh off and on for a few years. The vegetables have been fresh and good quality for the most part, with only one or two sad carrots.”
— Candice Abellon, Healthline senior editor
HelloFresh is based on the idea that if you provide people with simple but flavorful recipes and high quality ingredients, they’ll come to love eating healthy, home-cooked meals.
Depending on the specific menu you choose from, your meal kit may include vegetables, proteins, grains, and other ingredients like herbs, sauces, or other seasonings to add extra flavor.
Our testers found the ingredient quality to be good overall. However, HelloFresh loses points for not having the option to pay for higher quality meats or organic produce.
Also, while produce mostly comes in good shape, it’s not uncommon to get some items that you wouldn’t likely choose from a market. One tester mentioned wilted green onions, while another found the pre-cut kale past prime.
Our testers gave ingredient quality and freshness the following scores (out of 5): 3.5, 3.5, 4
“My meals were straightforward to prepare. They required some basic slicing and chopping for the vegetables, but I don’t think you’d need special cooking skills. With that said, I feel like it always takes me or my partner a little longer to prepare meals than the estimated total time.”
— Candice Abellon
With simple, step-by-step ingredients and pre-portioned ingredients, HelloFresh claims to offer members a fun cooking experience to help simplify your weekly meal prep. But does it actually deliver?
According to our reviewers, the service stands out for its beginner-friendly recipes, which are suitable for cooking newbies and experienced home cooks alike. While some dishes may require a bit of multitasking, there are no advanced techniques or specialty tools required.
Additionally, you can view the difficulty level and estimated amount of time required for each recipe on the HelloFresh menu.
A few testers mention that there’s typically quite a big pile of pots and pans to clean up after each meal. However, HelloFresh also offers some “Easy Cleanup” recipes that use less kitchen equipment.
Our testers gave meal preparation the following scores (out of 5): 4, 4.5, 3
“Overall, I found HelloFresh’s meals to be well-seasoned, family-friendly, and filling. I also appreciated that most recipes contained a good variety of textures and ingredients. [But] after subscribing for 4 months, many of the recipes started to taste the same. I also would have liked the service to introduce me to ingredients that I otherwise wouldn’t have tried myself.”
— Kelli McGrane
HelloFresh is particularly popular for its tasty recipes, and most meals include a variety of herbs, spices, and seasonings intended to maximize flavor.
Our reviewers report that HelloFresh meals were definitely a hit in their households.
For example, the Vegan Thai Coconut Curry Tofu was a favorite for McGrane and her family. McGrane said that the meal hit just the right balance between spicy and sweet.
Meanwhile, Abellon said that she particularly enjoyed the Jammy Onion & Brussels Sprout Cavatappi, which featured a good blend of ingredients and a nice crunch.
Shoemaker said she started incorporating sauces and meal combinations inspired by HelloFresh into her regular routine, including the mushroom sauce like the one from the Cheesy Smothered Mushroom Chicken.
That being said, some users note that if you’re a longtime subscriber, the meals may start to feel repetitive. And recipes mostly stick to tried-and-true flavor combinations and ingredients, which may not satisfy more adventurous eaters.
Scores (0-5): 5, 4, 4.5
Customers are generally happy with HelloFresh. In cases where there has been an issue with an order or with its ingredients, reviewers say customer service at HelloFresh is extremely helpful and responsive.
According to HelloFresh reviews on Yelp and Reddit, the meals taste good, but the ingredients can be fairly basic, the recipes may feel complicated, or the ingredients may arrive damaged.
Other common customer complaints involve missing ingredients, difficulty canceling the service, and produce arriving in poor condition.
HelloFresh may be great for you if you don’t have any specific dietary needs and are interested in learning to cook.
It might also be a good fit for families with children or picky eaters, as there are plenty of family-friendly options to choose from.
On the other hand, you may want to opt for another service if you’re following a specific diet, such as keto or paleo. And people with food allergies or strict dietary requirements — including those following a vegan or gluten-free diet — might also have a hard time finding meals that meet their needs.
Additionally, because HelloFresh uses mostly conventional ingredients, people who prefer eating organic might want to consider an organic meal delivery service instead.
There are other meal kit companies offering fresh, pre-portioned ingredients to help you prepare more healthy meals at home. Here’s a quick look at how they compare:
HelloFresh only provides meal kits, which may not be as convenient as similar services that offer fully prepared meals. There are also limited options for those following certain diet plans, and the meals may eventually start to feel repetitive over time.
HelloFresh can be a great way to introduce new foods and flavors into your eating pattern. It can also be a convenient alternative to shopping at the store and might even help improve the nutritional quality of your diet.
HelloFresh can be a convenient and time-saving way to enjoy more healthy meals at home, which might make it worth the price for some people. However, if you’re on a tight budget, grocery shopping and preparing your own recipes yourself might be a better alternative.
Yes! Most HelloFresh meals are nutritionally balanced and feature a good source of protein, carbs, and healthy fats. That being said, the service might not be a good option if you prefer eating organic or have specific dietary restrictions.
HelloFresh is a moderately priced meal kit service that delivers appealing recipes with a focus on fresh ingredients, simple cooking methods, and bold flavors.
It’s a solid option if you enjoy cooking but also value the convenience of a meal kit.
While HelloFresh is more affordable than many of its competitors, including Sunbasket and Green Chef, it’s not a great fit if you have strict dietary needs or preferences.
Overall, we recommend HelloFresh if you’re looking for easy and flavorful meals delivered to your doorstep.
Get started with HelloFresh
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HelloFresh is a meal kit delivery service that offers weekly shipments of recipes and groceries. This article reviews how it works and how it compares with similar services.
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