Hello friends! Exciting news; Top Chef Meals has sent me a bunch of food to review for you all. Over the past week, my boyfriend and I have been eating our way through these and recording our thoughts. Before we get started, here’s some info about the company: Top Chef Meals is a company that sends you meals prepped by their team of chefs. You just go online, pick your meals, and they will arrive at your door within 3 days. All ingredients are fresh, and locally sourced, and the meals are flash-frozen for shipping convenience. Top Chef Meals is actually cheaper than a lot of other meal delivery services. For example, the cost of a Blue Apron meal is $9 per serving, and you have to cook it yourself. In contrast, Top Chef’s options start at only $7, and the only work you do is sticking it in the microwave or oven.
I normally follow a vegetarian diet, so the opinions of the meat dishes are provided courtesy of my wonderful boyfriend. 🙂 Top Chef Meals does have lots of vegetarian options, but I wanted to review some of the meats because I know I have a varied audience. They also have meals compatible with Paleo, low sodium, weight loss, and diabetic diets!
One thing that I love about these meals is that they have the nutrition information and heating instructions right on the front of the package.
The first meal was chicken parmesan with rotini pasta and a side of ratatouille. My boyfriend tested out the chicken; he said that he was pleasantly surprised that it retained a good texture. Normally chicken in a frozen meal can be stringy or mushy, but this was juicy and felt like a fresh meal. I tried the ratatouille, which was wonderfully tender albeit quite a bit different from traditional ratatouille. Rating for this meal: 4/5
The next meal was Shrimp and Grits, with a side of brussels sprouts. I do occasionally eat shrimp, so I split this one with my boyfriend. When I ordered this, I was imagining a Lousiana style shrimp n’ grits like my mom makes, filled with grits so smooth they feel like butter and a spicy cream sauce. This meal was literally shrimp on top of grits. Probably for the best, because a serving of my mom’s shrimp and grits is somewhere in the 1000 calorie range. 😛 The grits were actually quite good; they had a nice consistency and light buttery flavor. I was also impressed with how fresh the shrimp were; they had that perfect snap to them. However, the brussel sprouts were very tough and neither of us were fond of them. Rating for this meal: 3/5
I ate the third meal by myself, simply because I didn’t want to share it! This was Tuscan Shrimp with Cavatappi Pasta and OH MY GOD it was good. The pesto sauce brought a beautiful basil flavor to the dish, and this was something I could see on an Olive Garden menu. The broccoli was tender and fragrant, and all together enjoyable. Rating for this meal: 5/5
Next up: Eggplant Rollatini and a side of Italian Blend. I thought the flavors of everything in this meal were great, but the eggplant was very chewy. I loved the Italian blend of veggies, they were actually very moist and tender, and I enjoyed them more than the entree. Rating of meal: 3/5.
This doesn’t look like the most appetizing picture, but this roasted vegetable cheese lasagna was the most tasty meal so far. My mom makes a veggie lasagna, and I love it so much that I ask her to make it on my birthday. This reminded me so much of her lasagna! Light and guilt-free, but not skimping on flavors! I would eat this every day if I could. Rating of meal: 5/5
I ordered a Grilled Bison Burger with Wisconsin Cheddar from their premium line as a treat for my boyfriend. When I took it out of the microwave, it smelled so darn good! I’ve never had bison, and I was really tempted to take a bite. When he cut it open, there was a little bit of pink on the inside, just how he likes his burgers. He loved the flavor and texture of the meat, and said that he would have never guessed it had been a frozen meal. He also thought the caramelized onions on top were a nice touch. 🙂 I tried the herb roasted red potatoes, which were pretty good. Rating: 5/5
Now this meal… wasn’t so great. I ordered the Wild Mushroom Marsala Ravioli, and I could only eat a couple bites. The ravioli was filled with just mushrooms, and the taste was off. I think the mushrooms may not have handled the thawing process well. The Italian Blend side was great, but couldn’t make up for the entree. Rating of this meal: 1/5.
Now, this ravioli was much better! This was the spinach and garlic ravioli alfredo. The sauce was creamy and flavorful, and I loved the spinach garlic filling. In hindsight, I probably shouldn’t have ordered a spinach side with a spinach-filled ravioli. The side was plain, but decent. Rating for this meal: 4/5
I indulged myself with Smoked Gouda Mac and Cheese… This really did have a wonderful smoky flavor. This was also the biggest meal of the bunch, in my opinion. The bowl pictured below is pretty huge, and the macaroni filled it up over halfway. This is one of the higher calorie meals, at 700 calories. But it was so worth it. My inner child was so happy! Rating for this meal: 5/5
And, the last meal I tried was Three Bean Vegan Chili, with a side of zucchini. This had a good bit of rice, so it was quite filling. I liked the flavor of the chili, but I wish there was more of it to mix in with the rice. Overall though, a solid meal. Rating of meal: 4/5
I love to cook, but I recently went through an internship where I was working a 50+ hr/week internship (unpaid too, blech), on top of my regular work. By the time I got home, I was WAY too exhausted to cook. I would just grab a frozen meal and heat that up. By the end of my internship, I felt exhausted because I was just not getting proper nutrients. I really wish I had tried Top Chef Meals out during that time frame, because it really simplifies the meal process. It cuts out time spent on grocery shopping, cooking, and dishes, and provides you with nutritious meals. Most of the meals I tried were delicious, and I would recommend trying this out if you have been considering signing up for a meal service. I hope you found this review helpful!
Disclaimer: The products sent in exchange for a review, but all opinions are my own.