The major players in the meal kit delivery services category have a lot in common, so much so that it’s almost impossible sometimes to pick out differences between any two brands. On this note, here’s the Plated vs Home Chef meal delivery comparison everyone’s been waiting for. Both companies have been gaining some traction online since they’re super-awesome!
As mentioned, differences can be very difficult to detect, which means you don’t end up weighing out your options thoroughly. You know what? You don’t really have to do that anyway because all that tedious, time-consuming selection process has been laid out all ready-made for you in this post.
So, what about Plated is better than Home Chef? On the other hand, if Home Chef is the superior choice, then how and why is that the truth? Time to find out everything!
Why Use Meal Delivery Services?
To begin with, these meal plan or kit services are surely so much cheaper in comparison to all the junk we consume in the form of takeout food. You might not be eating out all that frequently, but you’re still paying quite a lot each time you decide to order at a restaurant.
Add up those numbers, and you’re most likely spending way over $2,500 a year just like that – for meals that are not even nutritious or healthy! It’s possible you may be spending less, but that just means you’re opting for low-cost fast food, pizzas, burgers, etc. This is even worse for your health.
Having convenient options like Home Chef and Plated at your disposal sure feels like a blessing in disguise to most. Just swap your restaurant meals with a good, reasonably priced meal kit service. The latter is not only a healthier choice, but it also helps those following some specific diet plan. Most importantly, it’ll help you break the habit of eating out or ordering takeout.
The serving size is well-optimized and portion-controlled. So, for example, where you’re paying about $25 for a single meal at a restaurant, the same quantity of food (not quality since meal kit delivery services offer more nutritious recipes) with Home Chef or Plated is going to cost you less than $10 (we’ll discuss the pricing of each later).
Plated vs Home Chef – Pricing and Shipping
These are no new startups. Home Chef and Plated have been on the market for a long enough time, so their meal plans are affordable and competitive.
Starting with Plated, you can choose how many servings you order per meal (2, 3, or 4). They’ve got 3 different meal plans for you to select from. Per-serving cost is $11.95 when you choose 2 servings per meal plan and $9.95 per serving for 3 or 4 servings per plan.
Plated shipping charges are zero if your order amount exceeds $60. If it doesn’t (that means you’re picking the 2-servings meal plan), then the delivery fee is $7.95.
Moving on to Home Chef, these guys offer a flat $9.95 per-serving price. It doesn’t matter how many servings per meal plan you order, only that their weekly “premium” recipe is a bit high-priced – $19.95 per serving (still lower, i.e., less expensive than paying for a typical restaurant meal). Home Chef’s offerings include 3 lunch options at $7.95 per serving.
If your total order amount is below $45, your shipping fee is $10. Above that, delivery charges are free.
In conclusion, Home Chef is the more affordable choice if your cooking at home is done for a small-sized family or even in the case of couples. However, if you’re cooking for a larger family, to be honest, you’re spending pretty much the same amount of money either way.
It’s just that Home Chef includes additional options such as premium meals and protein upgrades, which surely cost more than the usual price. However, if you’re not interested in these kinds of “special” offers because of budget constraints, the pricing is just about the same.
|Price per meal
|Starting price is $9.95 per serving
|Starting price is $7.95 per serving
|2 meals, 2 servings
|2 servings per meal
|$7.95 shipping is free over $60
|$10 shipping is free over $45
|No. of recipes per week
|20 meal options
|16 meal options
Plated vs Home Chef – Menu or Meal Variety
Plated here seems like a more attractive option because their menu variety is much bigger – it includes 20 recipes per week + desserts too! You can choose any you like for your meal plan, which means there’s no fixed or predecided weekly plan. Filter the many recipes based on categories like gluten-free, family-friendly, meat-based, vegetarian, and more.
Lastly, most Plated meals are a combination of vegetables, grains, and meat, although there are enough vegetarian and vegan options too.
On the other hand, Home Chef meal plans are also quite diverse in terms of how large their menu is. They have over 14-16 recipes per week plus 3 lunch options as well. Dinner meals have a minimum of 1 “premium” recipe and a minimum of 2 gluten-free, vegetarian, dairy-free, and nut-free options per week.
Sadly, Home Chef’s vegan meals do not make as much appearance as genuine vegans would like. Nonetheless, you can customize at least 2 recipes per week to suit your vegan lifestyle.
They have a “Customize It” button for many of their recipes that allows you to change your protein source (premium cuts of meat will increase the price). You can even swap proteins with the “Customize It” option for more than half of the dinner recipes listed for the week. This type of flexibility surely works when you have finicky eaters at home – kids are the worst!
There’s nothing of the sort that Plated offers, which does give Home Chef the upper hand as far as menu variety is concerned. On top of that, the latter also includes smoothies, snacks, lunches, as well as non-dinner items on the menu. Even so, Plated, because of its 20 dinner recipes per week, is more preferred.
Plated vs Home Chef – Quality and Accuracy of Ingredients and Recipes
How about the quality of the ingredients? High-quality, fresh ingredients are used by both brands (acquired through sustainable food sourcing practices), but Home Chef still ranks higher since their recipes are well-written and ingredients are more accurate as well. With Home Chef, cooking methods are broken down into simple, step-by-step instructions, which is great for those new or averse to cooking.
The Plated meal experience is much the same except that the portion size is bigger, thus more family-oriented. Bigger, that is, filling, yet it doesn’t leave you feeling heavy. The ingredients and flavors of Plated may not be as complex as those that are part of the Home Chef experience. Nevertheless, the recipes taste strong, delicious, and not bland.
Despite Plated’s family-friendly, large-portioned meals, Home Chef wins the prize in recipe and accuracy because of their overall superiority.
Both brands adhere to sustainable standards of food sourcing.
Plated vs Home Chef – Packaging
How are the many, diverse ingredients actually divided when delivered to your doorstep? These ingredients are supposed to be segregated into bags or boxes and must be divided per meal, right? It’s better if these storage bags are labeled so you can easily fetch them out of your refrigerator at the time of cooking.
As a matter of fact, there’s more to packaging than just neat organization, and I’m talking about recyclability here. In that context, Home Chef’s packaging doesn’t seem as wasteful as that of Plated, which is plastic-heavy indeed.
At the same time, Home Chef’s packaging is recyclable. That’s another point for Home Chef then (1 for organization + 1 for recyclable, less wasteful plastic packaging – even though it’s not also biodegradable).
Plated vs Home Chef – Meal Prep
You’re choosing a meal kit delivery service precisely because you want minimal prep time in the kitchen. This is something that both Plated and Home Chef have kept in mind when creating their recipes.
Home Chef actually gives you the option, in the form of a filter, to narrow down your search to meals that can be cooked for only about 30 minutes. In fact, there are 15-minute recipes and meal kits as well, along with those that take as long as 1 whole hour (perfect for those special occasions when you want to cook something extravagant).
Options like standard meal kits, Heat and Eat meals, and Oven-Ready meals are also available on Home Chef. Likewise, every recipe on the menu has been rated as to how difficult or easy it is to prepare.
Minimal prep time is a part of Plated too. For example, veggies are chopped, and starter meal kits are also available.
Plated vs Home Chef – Specific Diet Preferences
Once again, Home Chef wins the battle here with its incorporation of dietary preferences into the menu. The huge list includes meals that are calorie- and carb-conscious, require no prep, vegetarian, cook in under 30 minutes, etc.
To make the experience even more streamlined for those with special dietary preferences, Home Chef recipes (or most of them) have this “Customize It” button. With this highly convenient option available to you, you can double-up, upgrade, or entirely swap the protein in most of their meals. Obviously, the extra portions will increase the price.
Picky eaters or those with food sensitivities (i.e., lactose intolerance) choose Home Chef over Plated for this very reason. Vegans also get to “customize” their recipes. Unfortunately, Plated presents no such benefits except for their basic vegetarian, meat, and fish meal kits. You can’t customize anything here to suit your specific dietary demands.
Plated vs Home Chef – Vegetarian and Vegan Recipes
I think many would be happy to know that both Plated and Home Chef include “vegetarian” as a part of their diet options. Plated and Home Chef both sort their recipes by category. So, based on your specific and current dietary preferences, you can use the “vegetarian” filter to view your options.
In fact, with Home Chef, the “Customize It” button found on a good-enough number of meals is very useful because this means that even vegans can make the required alterations to create a “vegan” or maybe a keto meal as well. You can very quickly and easily just select one of their vegetarian, dairy-free recipes that neatly pass off as being suitable for a vegan diet.
Plated vs Home Chef – Protein Content
- Plated – Protein-rich veggies like spinach, avocado, kale, etc. are the primary ingredients of Plated’s recipes like Kale and Sweet Potato Bowl.
- Home Chef – Vegetarian protein sources include eggs, avocadoes, quinoa, black beans, and more. Take this Cuban Style Avocado Black Quinoa Bowl as an example.
- Plated – Roasted Chicken Thighs over Creamy Mushroom Gnocchi and Herbed Chicken, Orzo, and Zucchini are only two out of the many chicken-based recipes on Plated. The former is a beginner-friendly meal, while the latter requires only 15-30 minutes of cooking time.
- Home Chef – The two random recipes that caught my attention are “oven-ready” Peanut Chicken and this “15-minute meal kit” of Blackened Chicken with Remoulade.
- Plated – Nothing sounds more delicious than Plated’sSlow-Cooker Beef Stroganoff or Smothered Beef Burritos with Lime Crema.
- Home Chef – It could be these two options from the “family meal” section: Beef Taco Quesadillas and One-Pan Beef Tamale Pie.
- Plated – How about “low-cholesterol” Tuna and White Bean Wraps or this kid-favorite recipe of Baked Popcorn Shrimp?
- Home Chef – Seafood at Home Chef can take the form of “calorie-conscious” meals like Yucatan-Style Shrimp Tostadas and Saucy Shrimp Campanelle.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Are Plated and Home Chef Suitable for Those with Food Allergies?
It’s such a surprising coincidence that both Plated and Home Chef don’t have options other than just vegetarian and gluten-free meals. Plated does offer organic meals just like Home Chef includes weight-loss meals.
So, if your dietary preferences include diet plans like keto, Paleo, low-carb, etc., you’re sure to be disappointed with both Plated and Home Chef.
As for vegan meals, Home Chef’s “Customize It” button on its many recipes does allow vegans to make the necessary changes that are more suitable for their dietary demands.
How Easy Is It to Sign Up and Order on Plated or Home Chef?
The sign-up process is very generic and simple – that’s for sure. You start by entering your email, zip code, and delivery and billing details. Then, you choose or build your meal plan/box, and this includes customizing your meals and/or adding any specific dietary preferences.
One more thing – both online meal kit delivery services offer a mobile app, so you can view recipes, manage orders, etc. using the app itself.
Managing your subscription is also very easy with Plated and Home Chef!
Can You Skip a Box or Cancel Your Plated or Home Chef Subscription?
Fortunately, customizing your meal plans can be done with both Plated and Home Chef. You can easily change the recipes or even servings as you like, whenever you like. Skipping a box or pausing an order is available and accessible options.
On top of that, these actions can be performed very easily. Even the process of canceling your subscription is possible with clear-cut instructions once you get to the customer account page (on Plated) or account settings page (on Home Chef).
Quick note for Plated though: they require you to make your changes by noon 6 days prior to the date of delivery. With Home Chef, subscription flexibility is an available option only until 12 pm of Friday which comes before the expected delivery day.
Summing It Up with Plated
|Plenty of subscription options/meal plans.
|A bit pricey for just 2 meals per week.
|Recipes are quite inventive, hence exciting to try. Also, ingredients are of the highest quality and also freshest.
|Limited cooking instructions and tips. Thus, it’s not the best option for those new to cooking.
|Easily found in stores.
|Dessert recipes also available.
|No nutritional information provided.
|Customer service is fast and responsive.
Summing It Up with Home Chef
|Proteins can be upgraded and easily swapped.
|Only proteins can be customized, not the sides.
|Serving sizes can be mixed and matched.
|1-person meal plans not available.
|As many as 6 recipes/week.
|Too many no-prep to low-prep options.
|More budget-friendly overall.
|Dessert and breakfast recipes also available.
|More meal options, variety, nutritional value, and portion size.
|Works best for beginners, foodies, and families.
Meal delivery services are becoming the norm, which is precisely why the food industry is deriving such large amounts of revenue. People’s lives are getting busier. Also, more and more individuals are choosing a healthier lifestyle, which opens the door to eating clean and ditching takeout, junk, and fast food as much as possible.
It’s only a matter of time then for Plated and Home Chef meal plans to become part of the whole best meal delivery reviews. What adds to the already-friendly, easygoing user experience is the Plated and Home Chef app. This means you don’t even need to use the website for choosing your meal plans, canceling your orders, and other such basic tasks.
As for which is the best for these kinds of cook-at-home meals, Home Chef is definitely more popular and successful primarily because of their highly customizable and varied recipes.