Top Chef Meals Review: Pros, Cons, and Who Should Try It – Healthline
Top Chef Meals delivers fully prepared, frozen meals straight to your doorstep.
The service offers more than 75 rotating entrées and specials, customization options, and several specialty diet menus to fit a variety of dietary needs and preferences.
This article takes a closer look at Top Chef Meals to help you decide whether the service could be a good option for your lifestyle.
Top Chef Meals is a New York-based, frozen meal delivery service that focuses on providing quality meals that are free of artificial ingredients.
The recipes are all designed by chefs, and each meal is cooked fresh to order. Once prepared, the meals are flash frozen before being delivered to your address.
All meals arrive in a returnable foil-lined cooler bag with dry ice to keep your food cold.
Unlike many other meal services, Top Chef Meals doesn’t offer a subscription plan or have a minimum order requirement.
Instead, customers are encouraged to create custom meal plans for the week by picking their entrées, as well as two side dishes for each entrée.
If you’re new to the service or would rather not spend time choosing your meals, you can pick from three starter packages.
The à la carte menu includes over 70 items, including breakfasts, entrées, soups, snacks, and desserts. Meal selections are organized by meal category and protein type.
Top Chef Meals also offers several specialty diet menus, all of which have à la carte and set menu options to pick from each week.
Specialty diets that you can select include:
Additionally, the service offers several vegetarian options, kid’s meals, and discounts for older adults.
All of the recipes at Top Chef Meals are free of artificial ingredients, preservatives, trans fats, and high fructose corn syrup.
While not all of the ingredients are organic, the company prides itself on using mostly locally sourced, seasonal ingredients.
Specifically, the majority of the produce is provided by Farm Fresh New York, which sources from over 50 local farmers in New York and New Jersey.
Additionally, all of the meat, poultry, and fish the company uses has been raised without hormones or antibiotics.
Still, as the company does not provide additional information about the source of ingredients besides produce, it may not be the best fit for those who prefer to eat mostly organic or sustainably sourced ingredients.
Top Chef Meals provides dishes that are generally high in protein, low in carbs, and lower in calories than many other meal delivery service recipes.
For example, lunches and dinners typically provide 300–500 calories each, while breakfast options provide approximately 200–400 calories per serving.
Additionally, with the exception of some vegetarian entrées, most dishes contain at least 20 grams of protein per serving.
However, the nutritional breakdown of your meal will vary based on your selected side dishes, as well as whether you’re ordering off a specialty diet menu.
The service makes it easy to estimate the nutritional content of your meals. Simply click the customize button under an entrée. This takes you to a nutrition calculator into which you can enter your entrée and side dishes of choice.
With Top Chef Meals, each meal is prepared fresh to order and frozen just before delivery to ensure optimal quality.
The service also provides specific reheating instructions for each item in your meal to help you avoid overcooking certain ingredients, such as meats.
Additionally, for the best quality and texture, the company recommends thawing your meals overnight in the fridge before reheating them in the microwave.
With a large variety of meals to choose from, more than nine specialty menus, and mix-and-match entrées and sides, Top Chef Meals makes it easy to customize your weekly menu to fit your dietary needs and preferences.
In particular, it offers several options for low carb diets, including keto and paleo, as well as diets that may be more common among older adults, including renal, diabetes-friendly, and low sodium.
That said, there’s currently no vegan menu. Plus, with the exception of the dairy-free and gluten-free filters, there isn’t an option to filter meals by food allergen.
Additionally, all of the meals are prepared in the same facility. As a result, there’s a chance of cross contamination, making it unsuitable for those with severe food allergies.
Top Chef Meals items are priced individually, with lunches and dinners starting at $8.98 and breakfasts at $6.25.
What’s more, while the company doesn’t require a subscription or minimum order, it offers discounts on larger orders.
Depending on your location and order size, shipping may be free or cost an additional $19.95 per order.
The service also offers a 15% discount on each order for adults ages 60 and older.
Several other frozen meal delivery services are similar to Top Chef Meals.
One of them is Balance by BistroMD. Like Top Chef Meals, Balance by BistroMD allows customers to mix and match from a large selection of meals to create custom menus each week.
The service also includes nine specialty diet menus. However, unlike Top Chef Meals, Balance by BistroMD doesn’t offer a keto or paleo menu, and the meals are generally more nutritionally balanced in terms of carbs, protein, and fat.
Balance by BistroMD entrée prices start at $7.49 per meal. Note that there’s a flat-rate $19.95 shipping fee for all shipments, regardless of order size.
Paleo on the Go is another similar frozen meal delivery service that allows you to pick and choose your meals each week. Unlike Top Chef Meals, Paleo on the Go caters specifically to keto, paleo, Whole30, and Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diets.
As it prioritizes organic produce, grass-fed meats, and organic or wild-caught seafood, it may be a better option for those on a low carb diet who prefer to purchase organic or sustainably sourced ingredients.
However, Paleo on the Go is much more expensive, with entrées starting at $17 per meal.
Top Chef Meals is a good option for individuals looking for an easy and convenient way to eat healthier.
In particular, it may be a good fit for those who prefer to eat higher protein meals or older adults following renal, low sodium, or diabetes-friendly diets.
Additionally, given that there’s a large variety of meals and you can pick and choose your entrées and side dishes, the service is likely appealing to picky eaters.
However, the company may not be a good fit for all individuals, including those who are vegan or have severe food allergies.
It’s also worth considering that it’s not the best choice if you’re looking to learn how to cook healthier meals on your own, as the meals arrive fully prepared.
Finally, while the produce is locally sourced, the service uses few organic ingredients, which may be a deal breaker for some individuals.
Top Chef Meals provides high protein, flash-frozen meals that are made fresh-to-order and without the use of artificial ingredients.
With a large variety of entrées and specialty diets to choose from, the service is a good choice for those looking for convenient, healthy meals.
However, shipping can get expensive, and the service may not be a good fit for everyone, including individuals following a vegan diet or those with severe food allergies.
Get started with Top Chef Meals here.
Last medically reviewed on January 27, 2021