When I think about microwave meals my mind immediately goes to unhealthy, fatty, rubbery and unappetising meals. I can’t be the only one. Although that perception is starting change in my own mind, I’ve still come across my fair share of dodgy and uninspiring meals.
It’s important to start this review by calling out my scepticism on tasty ‘ready meals’ because Chefgood boldly promise gourmet restaurant style dinners. I’m excited to see whether they can actually deliver on this promise.
If you don’t fancy reading my whole Chefgood review, check out the highlights in the box below.
Chefgood Meal Delivery Review
Chefgood Review Summary
Chefgood deliver delicious meals that feel home-cooked, using high quality and flavourful ingredients. Although they’re priced on the premium side, it’s worth paying for the quality you receive
Ordering - Website - 6/10
Food - Quality - 9.5/10
Ordering - Meal Choice - 8/10
Food - Taste - 9/10
Ordering - Delivery - 5.5/10
Value For Money - 7/10
- Consistently tasty meals
- Quality, flavourful ingredients
- Great options for vegan, dairy free and gluten free diets
- Slightly fiddly website to order from
- Can only order 5, 7, 10, 14 or 20 meals
- Meals can feel a little on the small side
Throughout the rest of this Chefgood review, I’ll take a look at their meal variety, options, price and delivery before that all-important taste test.
Full Disclaimer: Chefgood reached out to me directly and offered me a trial of their must popular meals for free. Never one to pass up a free meal, I received my delivery a few days later. This arrangement does not influence any of the comments or ratings provided in this review. If you decide to try Chefgood yourself, using my discount link gets you a great deal and I receive a small affiliate commission. See why this is important to keep Food Box Mate running.
Getting started with Chefgood
There are two different plans you can choose from with Chefgood, Everyday and Weight Loss. They both operate off exactly the same menu, with the weight loss plan offering smaller portion sizes (and therefore fewer calories).
Each plan comes with a range of options for both lunch and dinner, although it’s hard to tell the difference between them. From my experience, most of the lunches could very easily pass as dinners if you were feeling a little rebellious.
With each plan, you can also add Breakfast and Snacks meaning that you could definitely feed yourself for the whole week using Chefgood.
I find the navigation around Chefgood’s menu to be a little confusing, thinking there were only 5 lunch/dinner options each week at first. Fortunately that’s not true! You need to press that little orange button on each meal and you’ll be given the option to change these meals.
You’re slightly limited with your meal choices because Chefgood only offer plans at specific numbers of meals. You can have 5, 7, 10, 14 or 20 meals each week… but you’re definitely not allowed to order 8, 9 or 11 meals! I think this is probably a limitation of the slightly clunky website, which isn’t as easy to use as some of their competitors.
Fortunately, their IT systems have absolutely zero impact on the food, which is what we’re here for.
Chefgood meal variety and options
Every week, Chefgood offer a range of 13-14 lunches, as well as a similar number of dinners. Some are duplicated betwen menus, so you get a total of around 20 different meals to choose from each week.
What I find slightly odd about the options Chefgood provide, is that the 10 meal and 14 meal packs force you to pick an equal number from both the Lunch and Dinner menus. Alternatively, if you order 5, 7 or 20 meals then you can pick as many as you want from either menu. I’m not sure I can understand the logic behind this restriction!
Looking at the menu for a randomly sampled week, here’s the variation of protein sources used in the main menu.
|Protein Source||No. of Meals|
Like most meal delivery services, Chefgood base their menu primarily on chicken and beef dishes. Despite this focus, I was impressed by the variety of dishes available.
The Chefgood menu changes every single week, giving you a fresh list of recipes to choose from. This is a really positive sign that each meal is cooked from fresh ingredients each week. There are a couple of dishes that are regular features on the menu, such as the (delicious) chicken & black bean burrito.
Breakfast and Snacks
Each week gives you the option to add breakfasts and snacks for an additional cost. Although I haven’t tried these myself, they do appear to be another easy way to simplify your diet.
In particular, I was impressed by having 6 different breakfast options. There aren’t many meal delivery services that offer more than 2 or 3 different options. I was especially impressed with the innovative option of a Peanut Butter Milk Shake for breakfast!
The available snacks are exactly what you would expect, with favourites like Protein/Probiotic Balls and Hummus & Carrot Sticks available.
Special diets and food intolerance
Chefgood have some incredible options available for anyone who’s vegetarian/vegan, or has an allergy to gluten/dairy. If you find yourself needing inspiration on one of these diets then it’s definitely worth giving Chefgood a try.
There are separate Vegetarian and Vegan meal plans, each having 10+ different meals you can choose from. Compared to other meal delivery services, this is quite a significant range of options available.
The same applies for the No Added Gluten and No Added Dairy menus, where they pull together all the options available that week. This actually enables you to have 15+ different meal options and plenty of ideas for new meals you can make at home.
Disappointingly, Chefgood are currently only available in major metro areas around Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Canberra and Melbourne. I suspect this is because they cook everything fresh in their base in Victoria so they prioritise getting that food to places as nearby as possible. Hopefully they’ll be able to expand their delivery network in the future.
Shipping is charged at $12 per delivery, which is comparable to other meal delivery services.
In order to receive your box, you need to have selected your meals by Wednesday for delivery the following week. Deliveries then occur between Saturday and Tuesday, depending on where you live. Here in Sydney, my delivery was on a Monday.
How much does Chefgood cost?
The cost of a Chefgood delivery box depends on whether you opt for the Everyday or the Weight Loss plan. Here are the costs per meal between the two plans.
|Meals||Everyday Plan||Weight Loss Plan|
It’s clear that the best value is at the 14 meal range. You can save an extra 70 cents a meal just by adding an extra 4 meals onto the 10 meal plan. I’m not sure it would be worth upsizing your order to the 20 meal plan in comparison, since you would be buying an extra 6 meals to save just 35 cents per meal.
This pricing actually puts Chefgood on the more expensive side of the market, as I discovered when I set out to find the cheapest meal delivery service. Paying anything over $11 for a meal would definitely categorise it as a more premium offering. Below, I discover whether Chefgood can justify this more premium price.
My Chefgood box
The Chefgood box that arrived at my door was this bright cyan colour. Definitely impossible to mistake it for anything else! It was all packaged securely and delivered around midday.
The contents inside are chilled and the box will keep them warm for 4 – 8 hours depending on how warm it is outside. That means you don’t need to be home to receive delivery of the box.
Inside, you can see there’s a foil liner, a freezer block and all your meals individually stacked, each with their own cardboard sleeve.
Recycling the contents
There’s no doubting that all this plastic/cardboard is worse for the environment than a quick walk to the shops for ingredients. That’s why it’s especially important that the packaging is recycled responsible.
The cardboard box, meal trays and cardboard sleeve can be easily recycled in your normal kerbside collection. The vacuum seal film and foil liner need to be recycled at special soft plastic collection points, normally found at supermarkets.
The freezer packs have gel contents which need to be emptied, either into your garden or mixed with a teaspoon of salt into your sink. The empty bag needs to be recycled with the soft plastic.
Check out my blog on on the environmental impact of food boxes for more information.
How’s the Chefgood food?
I received 10 different meals as part of my delivery, with a mixture of lunch wraps/burritos and full meals masquerading as lunches. The first thing I check is always the ingredients list. Through this, you can get a good sense of whether a meal is using genuine, home-cooked ingredients. For every single Chefgood meal, I was very impressed. The ingredients were always exactly what you’d expect if you were cooking at home, with no added preservatives or cheat ingredients. Here’s an example with the gnochi.
This care and attention with ingredients clearly pays off, as every single meal was genuinely delicious. Rather than tasting like bland ready meals, each Chefgood meal packed a punch with flavour. Some examples include the flavourful napoli sauce with the aforementioned gnocchi, as well as the addition of sweet currants to their middle eastern lamb salad.
I’m not sure I would go as far to suggest these are ‘restaurant standard’, but they all felt hand-made by a real chef using genuinely fresh ingredients. That’s a rarity for meal delivery services and meant I was very happy with every Chefgood meal.
Meals sometimes lacked some of the expected texture thanks to the use of a microwave. In particular, the burrito and wrap recommend using a sandwich press which would deliver a crisp, toasted tortilla instead of a slightly soggy one. This had no impact on flavour (I LOVED the Chicken & Black Bean Burrito) but I’d highly recommend using a sandwich press if you have one.
Portion sizes are probably on the slightly small side in general, coming in at 400-600 calories. If you’re trying to achieve muscle gain or weight gain then Chefgood plans really aren’t for you. Instead, these are healthy meals designed for sticking to a more calore-controlled diet.
Cooking the prepared meals
Cooking every meal was incredibly simple. You need to pierce a few holes into the plastic film covering the meal, before placing it into the microwave for 2 – 3 Minutes. I found that 2 mins 30 seconds was the optimum time for my microwave, but I would recommend you experiment based on the power of yours.
The plastic trays are shallow enough to make it easy to eat directly out of them, so if you’re feeling particularly lazy then you won’t even need to bother with a plate.
Dishes I loved
- Chicken & Black Bean Burrito
- Curried Vegetable Pie
- Lemon & Ginger Tofu Stir-Fry
- Gnocchi with Pesto
Dishes I wouldn’t recommend
- I’d have loved them all if I liked Olives!
Sometimes, you just want to try a new meal delivery service without committing to multiple weeks of deliveries. Fortunately, Chefgood allows you to cancel your subscription at any point. The cut-off is always on Wednesday at 11:30pm (AEST). As long as you cancel your box before then, you won’t be charged for your next box. It’s super easy to cancel your subscription through your account settings on the Chefgood website.
My Final Thoughts on Chefgood
At the start of this review of Chefgood, I really challenged their claim to deliver gourmet restaurant style meals. With the challenges of delivery and re-heating, this is a really difficult thing to deliver. Whilst I think they fall short of those exceptionally high expectations, I was very impressed with the taste, texture and ingredient quality in every Chefgood meal. It’s clear that the chefs take pride in the recipes and ingredients, with high standards for quality control.
If you’re searching for ready-made for dinners that you look forward to eating, then it’s definitely worth paying the small premium for getting Chefgood meals.
Chefgood is highly suitable for anyone looking to lose weight, or control calories whilst saving lots of cooking and meal preparation time. I’d also recommend Chefgood for anyone following a vegan, dairy free or gluten free diet. In contrast, Chefgood won’t be suitable for anyone who has significant fitness goals or wants to gain weight.
The final downside is that their website is quite fiddly and limiting to use. This definitely won’t stop you from ordering, but can be a little frustrating.
If you want to give Chefgood a try, then we have agreed a special discount with the Chefgood team to get you $30 off your first box plus $20 off your second, using code MATE50.