Meal kit delivery services are a fabulous way of making your weekly dinner planning more manageable and less time-consuming. By using a meal kit service, you will be covered with your meal planning, grocery store trips, and in some cases, even some of the meal preparation. The final bonus is that you will also be eating well-balanced, portion-sized, and incredibly delicious meals. Today we will be looking at two meal kit companies and compare them- Home Chef and Dinnerly.
Home Chef is a well-established meal kit service that delivers delicious classic meals to serve at your dinner table. Dinnerly is a relative newcomer and focuses on the bottom line cost, with a $5 meal kit offering.
Both of these meal kits are suited for different audiences, and both offer a lovely service, so let’s get started with our comparison.
Home Chef vs. Dinnerly – Our full Comparison
Home Chef and Dinnerly Meal Plans:
One of the big attractions with Home Chef is the flexibility it offers its customers. Home Chef has one basic plan which is entirely adaptable to your needs. It can cater for 2, 4, or 6 people, and the only stipulated requirement is a minimum order of 2 dishes per week.
Home Chef also offers a new ‘Fresh and easy’ plan – designed to give you a breezy Home cooking experience. Prepped, portioned, and ready to heat or cook meals – with little to no clean-up! Within this plan, you can find oven-ready meals, entree salads, grill ready meals, and more.
Dinnerly has two different plans for you to choose from:
- ‘Two-person Box’ with three to six recipes per week, as you wish.
- ‘Family Meal Box’ caters to four people with three to six recipes per week.
Variety Of Meal Options:
Home Chef offers its customers an extensive menu with over 20 options per week, plus protein pack options.
Home chef meals tend to include a diverse range of flavors and culinary influences. You will find Mexican, Asian, Italian, classic American, and more. As part of the Home Chef menu, you can also find carb-conscious meals, low-calorie meals, vegetarian meals, 15 minutes meal kits, oven-ready meals, and more.
Some Home Chef meal examples
- Sirloin Steak and Prosciutto-Wrapped Asparagus with mashed potatoes
- Salmon with Dill Crema and green beans amandine
- Steak & Blue Cheese Mini Flatbreads with Roma Tomato
Another fantastic option offered by Home Chef to give you more flexibility is their ‘Customize It’ feature, allowing you to select the type of protein you’d like in your dish.
Dinnerly offers its customers a choice of 18 dishes every week, plus protein pack options and sometimes desserts. All the Dinnerly meals are available for both the ‘Two-person’ and the ‘Family’ box. You will generally find that their weekly selection includes dairy-free, gluten-free friendly, child-friendly, and some vegetarian options.
Some Dinnerly meal examples –
- Garlic-Butter Chicken & French Fries with Spinach Salad
- Cashew Chicken Stir-Fry with Rice Noodles
- Mexican Beef Tostadas with Guac & Cheddar
This Dinnerly dish was a vegetarian option from the weekly Dinnerly menu selections.
The ingredients looked super fresh and I was quite impressed at how good everything looked, especially knowing how cheap the Dinnerly meal kits are in comparison to other meal kits. The meal was quite simple to make. It included only a few ingredients which were the panini buns, spinach, red onion, roasted peppers, and cheese.
The ingredients were of such an amazing quality that you really did not need anything extra to create a delicious vegetarian dinner.
The cheesy vegetable filling was delicious, the roasted buns – yummy, and the fresh spinach salad on the side added a lovely crispy element. Overall a very nice meal!
This dish of crusted chicken with parmesan roasted vegetables on the side was quite an enjoyable traditional meal.
It had some great flavors and a nice twist of crunchiness from the potato sticks which were part of the chicken crust.
We loved the side dish of grilled butternut squash, poblanos, green onion and grated parmesan. It was very good and also very generously portioned. The meal, as with all of Home Chef’s meals, was very easy to cook and the recipe card was clear and easy to follow.
Style and Complexity of Home Chef and Dinnerly Meals
The overall impression from Home Chef is that it provides meals based on popular and well-known classics, but with healthy modern twists. A great example is that they try to include more seasonal vegetables and sometimes will add different extra flavors. Their recipes are not too sophisticated or too intimidating for most people.
As Dinnerly is focused on keeping their prices as affordable as possible, their meal kits tend to be relatively basic yet delicious and very satisfying! As most of their recipes take no longer than 30 minutes to prepare, the meal kits are quite simple and never tricky to cook.
Quality of ingredients:
Home Chef is very reliable and includes the best available products in their meal kits. It’s like getting the best grocery shopping experience without stepping into the store. They have some great supplier partnerships to ensure that they can maintain their meal kit ingredients. Some of these include Paysan Breton Butter, ‘Worldwide Farms’ for fresh herbs and vegetables, and ‘Sea to Table’ for sustainably sourced seafood.
We have to be honest and admit that we had relatively low expectations of Dinnerly due to their low price point. However, we can honestly say that the ingredients that we received were all excellent. They certainly do not keep their meal kit prices low with inferior ingredients but rather by using fewer ingredients, less packaging, and digital recipe cards instead of printed ones.
The Delivery Box of home Chef Versus Dinnerly
Both Home Chef and Dinnerly delivers their meal kits in specifically designed boxes that are aesthetically pleasing and labeled. Also, both companies pack their proteins at the bottom of the box with enough ice-packs to keep the food cool during the delivery process.
When unpacking Home Chef, you will find that their meal kit ingredients are sorted, separated, and packed in bags labeled with the name of the dish. Unpacking is very easy, and no sorting is required.
With Dinnerly, as part of their efforts to keep the costs down by reducing packaging, you will need to sort and separate each meal kit’s ingredients while unpacking.
Managing Your Account
Managing your account is super easy with both Home Chef and Dinnerly. Both offer a well-planned website and app.
Everything from registering your account, selecting your meals, organizing payment, swapping dishes, seeing future menus, skipping weeks, and even canceling your account can all be quickly completed online.
It’s also good to know that both offer good customer service, that you can reach online via email or chat.
Both Home Chef and Dinnerly are available as a subscription service only.
As Home Chef or Dinnerly customers, you can enjoy a generous amount of flexibility. You have the option to skip weeks whenever you need or create the subscription for every two weeks if you want. Also, You can have them choose the meals for you, or choose the meals yourself for weeks in advance.
Lastly, you can very easily cancel your account online at any time, with no hidden obligations.
Bottom Line – Our Winner Is Home Chef:
We enjoyed our experiences with both Home Chef and Dinnerly very much. However, we felt that these two companies are geared towards quite different audiences, namely in terms of their bottom line and the style of meals on offer.
Home Chef offers classic meals with a twist, usually with more ingredients – even though the recipes are effortless to cook (and many that need only oven heating).
Dinnerly offers simple yet delicious meals, suitable for picky eaters, young couples, college students, or anyone on a budget that still wants to gear up their dinners at home.
After assessing all elements, it was a very close call, but we decided that our preferred service was Home Chef.
We thought that their menu was more varied than the Dinnerly menu. We also preferred the larger number of ingredients that they used in their meal kits. In terms of quality, we felt that their dishes’ style was a little superior and offered an at-home dining experience that was very enjoyable. When looking at the overall cost, Home Chef does come in a little bit higher than Dinnerly, but we thought overall, it represented excellent value for money.