The Best HelloFresh Reviews of 2021
These reviews share everything you’ll need to know about HelloFresh – one of our favorite meal delivery services. You’ll find the unboxing and cooking process of meals, plan options and prices, comparable subscriptions, how we rate this box, and all the other little details in-between.
Interested in other options? Our list of food subscription boxes shares many more of the top companies – including options for snacks, smoothies, candy, and so on.
Easy Home Cooking
HelloFresh recently caught my eye with their promise of fresh, ready-to-cook meals delivered to your doorstep every week. I recently tried out another meal delivery service, and I loved the convenience, so I figured I’d take advantage of all the great intro deals by subscribing to HelloFresh and a couple more similar subscriptions. My future HelloFresh reviews will provide detailed insight into the ingredients I received, whether the recipes are simple to follow, and the overall quality of the meals. This first article will be an introduction to their offer. I will explain how the service works, how to benefit from deals, and much more!
The HelloFresh website is neatly organized and easy to navigate. Their homepage outlines how their service works, what comes inside weekly boxes, some examples of recipes, and snippets from their Instagram. Praised in many HelloFresh reviews, they have a few tabs at the top that provide their menus and additional information you should be aware of. You can also find details about their wine club and gift subscriptions.
At the bottom, they provide links to their social media accounts and their blog. You can also find their help pages here, along with their contact information. Finally, there is also a HelloFresh app to make it more convenient to edit your order preferences, skip a delivery, or anything else.
HelloFresh delivers their shipments in 100% recyclable, refrigerated boxes. The boxes have insulating liners, ice packs, and cooling material to keep the food as cold as possible. They even state that they modify the packaging based on the season. Plus, if any of the ingredients you receive are spoiled, you can contact their customer service team to resolve the problem.
After you choose which plan you want to subscribe to, you’ll create your HelloFresh login information and proceed to checkout. Here, you’ll fill out your shipping and payment information. You can also choose which day you prefer to have it delivered. You’ll be able to view and select your meals only after you’re done with the aforementioned process.
HelloFresh Menu Review
HelloFresh offers a pretty good variety of weekly recipes. They provide nine recipes for the classic plan, three recipes for the veggie plan, and five recipes in the family menu. For example, some of the HelloFresh meals this week for the veggie plan are loaded quinoa bowls and yellow squash flatbreads. You can mix and match recipes from different plans as much as you’d like, and you will be able to see meal options for a few weeks ahead.
One note I thought I should mention in this HelloFresh review is that it would be great if they offered more dietary preference options, such as gluten-free, vegan, and so on. If you’re looking for a meal kit that does so, Sun Basket would be a better option to try out. While it is a little pricier, this services offers a vast variety of dietary preferences. I will also compare similar subscription boxes in a few paragraphs below.
Pricing & Saving Opportunities
The prices for HelloFresh depend on how many meals you get per week and how many people you’re cooking for. You can choose between a two-person plan or four-person plan. There’s also a family plan with special, discounted recipes. Hello Fresh reviews on Yelp suggest that the amount of food you get with a two-person plan is enough to feed three people.
- $39.96 + $7.99 shipping per week: two people, two meals
- $59.94 per week: two people, three meals
- $79.92 per week: two people, four meals
- $119.88 per week: four people, three meals
- $59.94 per week: two people, three meals
- $119.88 per week: four people, three meals
Family Plan (serves four people)
- $69.92 per week: two meals
- $104.88 per week: three meals
The prices for meal delivery services are a little spendy in my opinion. However, this subscription is on the cheaper end, and also offers a few good deals you can take advantage of.
For example, I was able to find a HelloFresh coupon for 50% off my first shipment plus free shipping, which is a fantastic deal. This reduced the price for my first box to just $29.94! This deal can be applied to any plan, and there is no promo code you need to provide. I found it by searching the web for HelloFresh deals. They have an ad at the top of the results that leads straight to this deal.
If this coupon is no longer available, they also offer $20 off both your first three boxes! This would save you even more money if you know you’ll be subscribing for a few weeks. However, the half off is better if you just want to try one box. I will continue providing any good deals I come across in my future HelloFresh reviews. Since deals always changing, make sure to check if there are any updated articles
Similar Subscription Services
In addition to HelloFresh, there is a growing number of other food subscription boxes to choose from. A few other meal delivery services I’ve subscribed to are Sun Basket, Blue Apron, and Home Chef. If you’re not particularly looking for meal kits, there’s a variety of snack boxes as well that I’d recommend trying. Urthbox and Degustabox are a couple of these that I’ve enjoyed.
As for boxes similar to HelloFresh, I’d say Blue Apron is one of the most similar options. They’re very comparable in price, plan offerings, and meal options. You might want to check out my Blue Apron reviews so you can compare the two more easily. This goes for Home Chef reviews as well!
Plated is another similar meal delivery service that you can learn more about in our Plated reviews. One thing I’ve noticed is that a lot of these popular meal delivery services have a lot of negative reviews for various reasons. On the other hand, when looking at Plated reviews, Yelp ones caught my eye because they’re generally very positive! The same goes for their other reviews. This company definitely does something differently!
Negative Reviews & Complaints
Unfortunately, I found a handful of negative reviews and complaints on both Yelp and Reddit. A lot of them mentioned HelloFresh delivery problems that caused their ingredients to go bad, and then poor customer service when they reached out about these problems. People were also unhappy with the high prices of meal services like this.
I think shipping problems are bound to happen at some point, so it’s hard to guarantee that the ingredients will stay fresh. There’s always the possibility of delays with packages and other unforeseen events. However, the HelloFresh support team should definitely be doing more to help since it’s not the customer’s fault when this happens. People are paying a premium for this service, so they should feel confident that they’ll get what they paid for.
HelloFresh Gift Card Review
Another problem a lot of people have with HelloFresh is the gift card policy. At first, I thought a meal kit gift card would make a great gift for somebody. However, after doing a little more research through reviews by customers, I’m not sure I’ll be buying one from this company. For some reason, they require credit card information at check out even if someone has a gift card to cover the full amount.
Hello Fresh Complaints
As stated in their FAQ, they won’t sign you up for recurring boxes if you pay with a gift card; they just ask for your credit card in case you want to transfer to a recurring membership in the future. However, this doesn’t sound right. Plus, in HelloFresh reviews, I’ve seen people state that they were charged after their gift card ran out. Overall, it makes no sense for them to unnecessarily take sensitive credit card information. Nobody should be required to give this out if they don’t have to.
My First HelloFresh Meals
I was glad to find my first shipment at my doorstep right on the day it was scheduled to come. It came in a huge HelloFresh box padded with special lining and ice packs to keep the perishable ingredients cool. When I opened the box, there were a couple coupons on top as well as the recipe sheets and nutritional information. Beneath this, my three meals were packed in separate paper bags. Since the box was very large, I was glad to find out that the packaging they use is 100% recyclable!
The coupons included were for Rockets of Awesome (a kids clothing subscription box) and the HelloFresh wine club.
I’m vegan, so I was unsure if I should even bother trying out HelloFresh since they don’t offer meat-free, dairy-free, and egg-free options combined. However, I noticed the vegetarian recipes didn’t have too much dairy for the most part, so I figured it wouldn’t be hard to make small substitutions. I did this for another meal kit subscription (as you can see in my Home Chef reviews), and it worked out well.
Thankfully, substitutions were pretty easy with these HelloFresh recipes as well! I’ll be reviewing each meal below.
Chipotle Black Bean Chilaquiles
I was most excited to get this recipe because I don’t make Mexican food that often even though it’s one of my favorite types of food. I’d never heard of this dish, so it sounded like it might be complex to make.
It ended up being pretty simple! All I had to do was cut up the tortillas into chip-like triangles, bake them, and cook the other ingredients. Then I just combined everything! I’m glad there wasn’t much to cut up other than the pepper and green onion.
Once again, the only dairy item in the recipe was a small amount of cheese, which was an easy substitute. It only took me about 30 minutes to make. This dish was delicious—it’s pretty similar to nachos! It was also gluten-free and egg-free. It had a total of 740 calories per serving. The recipe made plenty of food for myself and another person!
This recipe is supposed to be fantastic because it’s in their hall of fame! I love pasta, so I knew I’d enjoy it. It seemed like a basic marinara sauce pasta with a few extra ingredients. Even so, I knew it’d be delicious. The only dairy ingredient in this recipe was the cheese, which I simply substituted for my favorite dairy-free cheese.
Overall, it was very simple to make since I’ve made numerous pasta dishes before. The Tuscan heat spice gave it an awesome kick! I also loved the crunch of the crispy breadcrumbs on top. This dish has 730 calories per serving. Again, there was more than enough food for two people—I was stuffed before my bowl was finished!
Caramelized Shallot Risotto
Before this, I’d never actually tried risotto before! There were a few dairy ingredients, such as butter and parmesan, but conveniently I had dairy-free butter as well as parmesan on-hand to substitute. When I ordered HelloFresh, I wasn’t too worried about the substitutions because I typically have the ingredients since I cook on my own as well. That said, it might be inconvenient to find substitutions if you don’t usually have them.
Overall, the dish was fairly simple to cook. The first step was to roast the shallots in the oven to caramelize them, then cook the rice with vegetable stock and butter to make it creamy, and finally roast the zucchini ribbons. In total, the dish took about 30-40 minutes to cook. It was well worth it—the risotto was creamy and delicious! I was impressed. The caramelized shallots and zucchini ribbons made the perfect additions. There was more than enough food in this meal—I was stuffed before my portion was finished! The recipe card stated that this meal has just 490 calories per serving (which is much less than the other two meals I got).
While I’m not sure if I’ll be sticking with any of these meal delivery services long-term, I’m excited to try more out to see if they’re worth it. My first meals were a great deal with the $20 off coupon! I’ll be digging into more detail about this particular subscription in further HelloFresh reviews for each shipment I receive.
- Good variety of recipes each week
- 100% recyclable boxes
- They guarantee fresh ingredients
- Vegetarian options
- Mix & match your recipes
- Generous coupon policy
- Skip a week or cancel anytime
- Two-person or four-person plans only
- Can be pricey without the coupon ($160+ per month if you get weekly deliveries)
- Only a few dietary preference options
- Need to provide credit card information even if paying with a gift card