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Should you subscribe to HelloFresh? Here’s our review and the pros and cons of the service

By Matt Collins Article may include affiliate links

HelloFresh is a favorite of many meal kit fans. But is it right for you?

Pros

  • A large selection of recipes that range from traditional to regional cuisines.
  • Most recipes use fairly familiar ingredients and avoid ingredients that may not have mass appeal, making it a better choice for families with picky eaters.
  • Most of the ingredients for each recipe come in a small brown paper bag — meaning you just have to grab that and your protein (or pasta). Occasionally a recipe might have an ingredient that won’t fit in the bag and it’s thrown in the box loose. However, in general, this makes unpacking and cooking much more pleasant.
  • This also appears to reduce the amount of plastic bags the company uses. For example, many of the fresh produce items are simply put in the bag loose — including fruits, whole vegetables and green onions.
  • Recipes often have the option to be very flavorful but you can easily “pull back” on the spice level if you or someone you’re cooking for doesn’t care for that level of spice.
  • HelloFresh tends to supply exactly the number of garlic cloves it calls for in a recipe. That’s fair enough since that’s what the recipe calls for — but some people like a bit more kick in their food. Competitor Blue Apron usually just includes a whole head of garlic giving cooks the flexibility to adjust the amount of garlic in their cooking a bit.
  • Many HelloFresh recipes include creating pan sauces with many of its recipes that can make a big difference in flavor.

Cons

  • If you’re looking for more flavor adventures, you may need to look elsewhere. While there’s a good selection of Italian, Mexican, Asian and other cuisines, it tends to be more “Americanized” and the recipes typically don’t venture into more exotic spice blends or ingredients.
  • The company’s meat packaging is often generic and tends to get “smushed” under the weigh to the ice packs. The result can sometimes be meat juices leaking in your box or, if you don’t notice it, your fridge.With HelloFresh, it’s generally a good idea to stick meat in a plastic bag or on a plate before placing in the fridge.
  • Produce sometimes comes looking a bit tepid and not quite as colorful as shown on the recipe cards. Green onions and bell peppers (particularly red ones) are common culprits of this problem.
  • Likewise, many of the ingredients are private label items with the HelloFresh name on them — making it a bit tricky gauge where they came from or what quality they are.
  • Like most meal kit companies, the company doesn’t guarantee organic foods, and also can’t guarantee ingredients to be completely free from allergens since it’s packaged in share facilities.
  • HelloFresh typically doesn’t include plain butter with its ingredients (unless the recipe calls for herb butter, for example). This is a little inconvenience, but it’s also worth noting butter is fairly pricey on per ounce basis, so the company is likely saving big bucks but not supplying this ingredient. Long story short, if you’re a HelloFresh subscribe, always have some butter on hand.

Get cooking with HelloFresh

If HelloFresh sounds like a good fit for you, then you can see what current special offer is going on.