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HelloFresh review: It's our No. 1 pick for best overall meal kit delivery service in 2024

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, one of which is the reasonable cost: Three meals per week that each serves four people costs $125 (including shipping), which is an impressive value proposition. Read on for more specifics about why we recommend HelloFresh as a top meal kit company.

Cost: $10 per serving, plus $10 shipping fee | Variety: 100+ recipes to choose from each week | Meal types: Family-Friendly, Plant-based and Vegetarian, Quick & Easy (under 30 minutes), Fit & Wholesome (around 650 calories per serving)

HelloFresh meal kits offers a nice balance of all the important factors: a variety of recipes that are easy to follow and family-friendly. The most notable feature is that many meals are customizable — you can swap out proteins or vegetables to suit your family's needs. Three meals per week for four people costs $125, including shipping.

Subscription: $10 per serving is the cost of three meals per week for four people. Three meals per week for four people will cost $131, including shipping.

Ease of use: Some meal prep took longer than what the recipe cards estimated and were occasionally too much work and 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 30-minute prep time), Family-Friendly and Fit & Wholesome (under 650 calories). You may order a maximum of four servings per meal and up to six meals per week.

Taste: 8/10

Packaging: HelloFresh includes recipe cards with nutritional info. Most of the streamlined packaging is recyclable.

  • Huge weekly menu selection
  • Ability to customize recipes
  • Generous portions
  • Some longer prep times
$125 at Hello Fresh

A meal kit delivery service 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.

Most meal kit delivery services offer a variety of meal plans that range both in size (from two to four servings per meal, two to six meals per week) and in food preferences, such as omnivore, vegetarian or plant-based, high-protein or reduced-calorie options.

The story behind HelloFresh

Launched in 2011, the HelloFresh founders spent afternoons packing pre-portioned recipe ingredients for their community. Their purpose? To test a new way to get home cooked meals on tables around the world. Eventually their experiment became a real business that changed the way people eat. With love and dedication, HelloFresh went from a small, home-grown project to a meal kit service spanning 18 countries and over 1 billion meals — the biggest in the world. Their philosophy remains the same: to make it easy for everyone to prepare a delicious, home-cooked meal.

  • Subscription: $10 per serving if you order meals for four people. Three meals per week for four people costs $131, including shipping.

  • Ease of use: The instructions were easy to follow and execute. I was always able to prepare the meals in the time suggested. This kit is appropriate for cooks of all skill levels, especially beginners.

  • Menu choices: There are 100-plus weekly options that range from classics to plant-based to wellness and beyond. The weekly menus also include add-on items like breakfast kits, microwavable meals, à la carte proteins and desserts. You may order a maximum of four servings per meal and up to six meals per week.

  • Taste: 8/10. We found the proteins provided to be only average in quality and taste, and therefore some of the meals themselves were bland.

  • Packaging: Much of the HelloFresh packaging is recyclable, and its website provides easy-to-understand recycling instructions for specific components.

You can browse the HelloFresh website or download its app, for easy access to order and account information when you're on the go. 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 links on the web to step-by-step instructions for each meal.

With options to change, swap or upgrade 12+ sides and proteins each week, HelloFresh offers something for everyone, which explains why we also voted it Best Customizable Healthy Meal Kit in our Best Healthy Meal Kit Delivery Services for 2024 review alongside services like Home Chef, EveryPlate, GreenChef, Purple Carrot and Blue Apron. The HelloFresh kits were just what I needed to mix up my weeknight dinner routine. Plus, I liked the variety of the weekly menu with 100+ choices. 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. Even more recently, in 2023, HelloFresh announced an increase in their “Beyond the Box” program to support food banks as COVID-19 SNAP benefits have expired. As part of its mission to support those facing food insecurity, the company pledges to provide 100,000 additional meals across a number of its brands —HelloFresh, Green Chef, and EveryPlate — an extension to their existing donation programs.

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 information 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 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.

Cooking dinner is enjoyable and not stressful. With each delivery of preportioned ingredients and recipes that may feed two or four, you won’t have to worry about what’s for dinner, and you can easily follow recipes. There are options to suit many dietary needs. You can filter meals by dietary restriction or preference (omnivore, vegetarian, pescatarian, etc.) and servings desired. You can usually choose your delivery day and even add on extras from the HelloFresh Market like portions of protein, veggies, grocery items, breakfast foods and desserts.

The meals I made and how I liked them

 HelloFresh chicken and kale salad
Everyone enjoyed the HelloFresh Smoky Brown Sugar Chicken Salad for dinner ... and lunch.

The meals I made included Sweet Chili Pork Bowls and Smoky Brown Sugar Chicken Salad.

Because I skipped roasting the carrots that came with this recipe and instead added some shredded carrots that I happened to have in my fridge, I was able to get this grilled chicken and kale salad onto the table in under 20 minutes. I did massage the kale with the salt and a drizzle of olive oil, as instructed and it softened up nicely. Everyone enjoyed the salad's freshness and the sunflower seeds, apple slices and dried cranberries gave it texture, a hint of sweetness and crunch.

When it came to the Sweet Chili Pork Bowls, my family was a bit less enthused. There were a number of complaints about the peppers and onions, which surprised me, because they generally enjoy them when we eat fajitas. My complaints centered around the amount of prep work involved in this dish, as well as the need to toast and caramelize the peanuts. On a busy weeknight, it was a bit much. I ended up eating most of the dish for lunches later in the week, which was a bonus, but also meant that the kids opted for dessert, fruit and more snacks after dinner.

Looking to solve your weekly dinner conundrum? Try HelloFresh — you'll have the chance to skip the grocery store and try both familiar recipes and those that are a bit out of your comfort zone. And if you're concerned about food waste, meal kits offer you a way to use ingredients in small quantities that may languish and spoil if purchased in their usual quantities. Do you need just a tablespoon of sweet chili sauce? No need to buy a full bottle of it when you're cooking from a meal kit.

People who are trying to stick to a strict food budget may not find a huge value with these kits.

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.

You can use the HelloFresh app or website to skip a week, pause your membership or cancel anytime if your needs change.

On the recipe cards in the box (and on the website), you'll find each recipe's nutritional and allergen information, including ingredients, calorie count, fat, protein and carbohydrates.

All ingredients arrive in a HelloFresh box with insulation and ice packs, so your food stays cool and fresh until you get home.

Yes! HelloFresh provides all the information you may want to know about recycling its different forms of packaging.

What ultimately set apart HelloFresh from the rest of the meal kits was the ability to customize not just the protein for a dish, but also the sides in many cases. The portions were fairly generous, too, making this kit more of a value than others I tried. I would definitely order HelloFresh again just to spice up our dinner routine when everyone starts complaining about my go-to roast chicken, sauteed string beans and baked potatoes.

We received complimentary samples of some meal delivery services and purchased others ourselves and reviewed all with the same criteria.