Top Chef Meals Reviews

Published on January 20, 2021
Last modified on September 16, 2021

This Top Chef Meals Reviews post contains affiliate links and we were given a sample.  We may be compensated if you make a purchase.  All opinions are our own.

top chef meals box-top chef meals reviews-mealfinds

By Alison Chew

Reviewed by Rebecca Housh, MS, RDN

shop-now-orange

Top Chef Meals

Top Chef Meals is a family-owned business that provides chef-prepared, ready-to-eat meals to accommodate a variety of lifestyle and wellness needs, including Paleo, Keto, Dairy-Free, Low-Carb, Low-Sodium, and Low-Fat. They even offer meals for those needing a Renal or Diabetic diet, and meals just for kids and seniors.

Top Chef Meals are free of all preservatives, antibiotics, chemicals, trans fats, and high fructose corn syrup to help you eat clean.  SHOP NOW >>

What We Like

  • Entrees are customizable (you can choose your sides!)
  • No subscription needed!
  • Wide variety of meal options (70+ different entrees, 300+ side combinations)
  • Customer Service. The Top Chef Meals team really makes an effort to ensure you’re a satisfied customer
  • Use of recyclable materials in packaging

What We Don’t Like

  • Website is a bit slow
  • Would like to see more enticing and creative vegetarian, vegan and soy-free meal options
  • Free shipping minimum is high for some parts of the United States

Top Chef Meals Reviews: Cost

top-chef-meals-banner= top chef meals review-mealfinds

The cost of each Top Chef Meals option varies depending on diet type and selection choice. On average, entrée pricing ranges from $8.95 – $12.95 per meal, breakfasts start at $6.95 each, soups at $5.95, and desserts and snacks are $3.50 – 4.50 per item.  Kid’s meals are $5.75 each and come with your choice of side and smoothie.

Free shipping is offered by the delivery region and depends upon the number of meals ordered. They ship via FedEx to the entire Continental United States. Any order less than the quantities noted above in Zones 1-4 will be subject to shipping charges.

  • East/Northeast: 10-12+ meals for free shipping
  • Midwest and parts of the West Coast: 14-18+ meals for free shipping
  • West/Northwest: Ships “Select Air” for $19.95 if you order 21+ meals

 

Specials:  Order 21 Meals to receive 5% OFF your order.  Shoppers 60+ get 10% off sitewide!

Get Started (no subscription needed!) >>

Top Chef Meals Reviews

Top Chef Meals are all prepared fresh to order and then flash-frozen the night before delivery so they arrive safe and ready to eat at your convenience. No preservatives, chemicals, or trans fats.

When you open your Top Chef Meals box, the first thing you will see is a dry ice warning notice. To keep their pre-made meals cold in transit, they tuck dry ice packaging into rectangular cardboard inserts and place those around the box that the meals are in.  Get Started (no subscription needed!) >>

six top chef meals out of box-top chef meals reviews-mealfinds

By the time our order arrived, the dry ice had evaporated so there was no need for gloves or potholders when unpacking the box, but each of our individual meals was still kept cold. I also appreciate how clear they made the warning upfront for handling safety.

After removing the contents in your box, you’ll want to place the meals that you are going to eat first in the refrigerator and the others in the freezer for later.  Meals will last up to 4 days in the refrigerator and 4 months in the freezer.

When you are ready to eat simply remove the outer packaging and the film covering the meal and then either follow the instructions for microwave or oven heating. Another tip that the Top Chef Meal team emphasizes on the meal packaging and in the paperwork that comes with all your meals is that it’s best to completely defrost (thaw) your meals prior to heating. Get Started (no subscription needed!) >>

ravioli meal cooked in package-top chef meals reviews-mealfinds

Microwave reheating can be an unforgiving rapid method to prepare/heat food as microwaves all have different levels of power. Top Chef Meals provides in-depth directions on what to do to reheat your meals via the microwave or oven to help ensure that each item in your meal tray cooks evenly.

For example, proteins take longer to cook than vegetables. So they recommend separating the items and cooking the meat first, then adding the starch and cooking those together, and then, in the remaining seconds or minutes, adding in the vegetable so it doesn’t get overcooked. Get Started (no subscription needed!) >>

Top Chef Meals Unboxing by MealFinds

For our Top Chef Meals reviews, we received 10 meals (4 of the 10 were duplicate meals so my spouse and I could both taste-test and provide our feedback):

  • Grilled Bison Burger with Sharp Cheddar with Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli (2)
  • Turkey Meatloaf with Sweet Potatoes and Green Beans (2)
  • Wild Mushroom Marsala Ravioli with Brussel Sprouts (2)
  • Filet Mignon with Herb Roasted Red Potatoes and Cauliflower Florets (2)
  • Broccoli and Sharp Cheddar Frittata with Roasted Breakfast Potatoes and Turkey Bacon (1)
  • Sausage Egg and Smoked Gouda Flatbread Sandwich with Turkey Bacon (1)

 

It took me a while to select these entrées and customize the sides to go with them, primarily because there were so many delicious options to choose from. But also because I tend to lean towards more of a Paleo diet with careful consideration to what the sides are.

As I am not keen on cooked carrots, cabbage or spinach I found myself customizing most meals to reflect my rather particular palette. Fortunately, Top Chef Meals allows for customizations, which is really unique.

Another notable feature is that they show the nutritional information for each meal item, which I found incredibly helpful in making my customized selections. Get Started (no subscription needed!) >>

Top Chef Meals Reviews: Grilled Bison Burger with Sharp Cheddar with Sweet Potatoes and Broccoli

bison burger with brocolli meal on plate-top chef meals reviews-mealfinds

Overall, delicious. I really enjoyed the burger, although I would have preferred it if it was 100% bison meat (the package says it’s mixed with beef). The cheese is definitely a tasty addition and adds some juiciness to the burger.

I cooked this meal in the oven, separating all the ingredients first and then adding in the various items as the cooking time shortened (burger first, then sweet potatoes, then broccoli). I cooked the onions in a pan to caramelize them a bit more before adding them on top of the burger.

Once everything was cooked, I added a pinch of salt to the roasted broccoli as they were a bit bland for my taste. Get Started (no subscription needed!) >>

Top Chef Meals Reviews: Turkey Meatloaf with Sweet Potatoes and Green Beans

turkey meatloaf with green beans frozen-top chef meals reviews-mealfinds

This was the first meal I ate the day I opened the box (my husband chose the mushroom ravioli for his first meal). I wanted to try the oven heating option so I followed the instructions, provided, cooking each item in order (protein, then starch, then veggie).

Although oven heating does take longer, it felt more like I was cooking a meal versus preparing a microwaved TV dinner. The only portion I did use the microwave to reheat was the sauce.

Once my meal was ready to eat, I transferred it to a plate and then took a bite of every item. And every single item was delicious. The sauce that goes with the turkey meatloaf elevated it from good to great.

The sweet potatoes were just the right amount of sweet and savory and the green beans still had a bit of crunch to them, which is difficult when eating from a frozen state. The touch of butter included on the green beans was just enough for my taste and I actually appreciated that they didn’t have much if any, salt on them. I could easily have added a pinch if I’d wanted – much easier to add salt than take it away. Get Started (no subscription needed!) >>

Top Chef Meals Reviews: Wild Mushroom Marsala Ravioli with Brussel Sprouts

wil mushroom ravioli meal on plate-top chef meals reviews-mealfinds

My husband is pretty enthusiastic about mushrooms and pasta, so he was excited to taste this meal. And it did not disappoint. He had a lot of accolades to give the ravioli and the mushroom marsala wine sauce.

Even though he cooked this meal in the microwave, without separating any of the ingredients, he thought everything came out well-cooked. His only addition was to add a bit of salt to his brussel sprouts as he found them a bit bland. Get Started (no subscription needed!) >>

Top Chef Meals Reviews: Filet Mignon with Herb Roasted Red Potatoes and Cauliflower Florets

filet mignon with cauliflower meal on plate-top chef meals reviews-mealfinds

Wow. Who would have thought that you could microwave a filet mignon and have it come out so tender and juicy?! If you follow the heating directions provided for this meal, we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how delicious and well-cooked it turns out.

We both agreed that this was one of our favorite meals. Get Started (no subscription needed!) >>

Top Chef Meals Reviews: Broccoli and Sharp Cheddar Frittata with Roasted Breakfast Potatoes and Turkey Bacon

frittata with potatoes and bacon meal on plate-top chef meals reviews-mealfinds

I’m a sucker for a good frittata so I was very excited to enjoy this breakfast on a relaxed Sunday morning. Although the chefs at Top Chef Meals brought their A-game to this breakfast ensemble, I bumbled my part of the hand-off by overcooking it in the oven. Although my mishap resulted in some crispy turkey bacon, it did leave the potatoes and the frittata a bit too dry. That said, it was still flavorful.

Portion-wise, this breakfast was actually a bit too much for my typical morning meal. Fortunately, my husband was there to help me out by splitting a third of it with me. He also enjoyed the flavor but agreed that it could have gone a good 5 minutes less in the oven. Get Started (no subscription needed!) >>

Top Chef Meals Reviews: Sausage Egg and Smoked Gouda Flatbread Sandwich with Turkey Bacon

sausage flatbread meal -top chef meals reviews-mealfinds

I selected this meal option for my husband as he loves a good breakfast sandwich and is a big fan of gouda. Quantity-wise, he found it to be the perfect amount of sandwich. To get a crunchier exterior, he toasted the muffin halves while microwaving the rest of the items.

He used the word “yummy” to describe this breakfast sandwich and thought that the smoky gouda was the perfect compliment. Get Started (no subscription needed!) >>

Top Chef Meals Reviews: Senior Meals

Top Chef Meals offers a variety of options created especially for older adults (60+) and curated to meet their unique nutritional needs. In addition to supporting good health, quality of life, and vitality, these prepared Senior meals also reduce the need for grocery shopping and cleaning up after eating.

Top Chef Meals Reviews: Kids Meals

Top Chef Meals prepares fresh, wholesome, ready-to-eat meals for toddlers and kids that are delivered straight to your door. Kids are able to enjoy tasty, healthy meals made with natural ingredients and parents have more time to spend with their kids by not having to grocery shop, prepare and cook the meals.

These healthy, kid-friendly, fully prepared meals are ready to eat in about 2 minutes, which hungry kids will certainly appreciate.

The kid’s menu includes items such as chicken sticks with sweet & sour jam sauce, sweet potato sticks and a peach smoothie, and mac & cheese bites with steamed green beans and a strawberry smoothie.

Top Chef Meals Reviews: Desserts and Snacks

top-chef-meals-dessert

Top Chef Meals also has desserts and snacks in addition to breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. Dessert selections can be found at the bottom of the Main Menu section. Important to note that these dessert items may not accommodate certain diets, such as those needing Diabetic and Renal meals.

Top Chef Meals Reviews: Specialty Diets

Top Chef Meals offers meals for many special diets including Renal, Diabetic, Low Carb, Low Sodium, Keto, Gluten-Free, Paleo, Low Fat, and Dairy Free as well as Senior meals and Kids meals.

Within each specialty diet menu, you have the choice of choosing a weekly plan with preselected meals that you can edit or shop a la carte.  When you shop a la carte you can choose from lunch/dinner, breakfast, dessert, and/or soups/shakes depending on your diet.

More about each Diet is at the end of this post. Get Started (no subscription needed!) >>

Top Chef Meals Reviews: Bottom Line

bison burger broccoli meal in package-top chef meals reviews-mealfinds

The conscientiousness that Top Chef Meals put into their prepared meals is impressive. They give as much attention to ensuring they are accommodating a wide variety of dietary requirements while also ensuring their meals are enjoyable to eat.

The convenience of their meals is another big plus. The amount of time that we saved in the evenings by not having to figure out what to eat for dinner was definitely notable. While I’ve long understood the ease and simplicity of pre-made meals, I’ve always been put off by the low quality of the ingredients and the high number of preservatives, sodium, and fat in most microwave dinners. However, I’m pleased to say that Top Chef Meals has made me rethink what a “TV dinner” is – and should be.

Some of our favorite meals were the turkey meatloaf, mushroom ravioli, and filet mignon.  And we loved the ability to customize our meals with the sides that we like best.

And while the Top Chef Meals website can be slow at times and we would like to see more creative vegetarian, vegan and soy-free meal options, they have a lot to offer.  And if you are on the East Coast or in the Mid West their free shipping minimums are reasonable.

Compared to other healthy prepared meal services the cost of Top Chef Meals is in line with the others, but the fact that you don’t have to subscribe and can customize your sides makes them a clear winner over most.

Their wide selection of chef-prepared meals makes this meal delivery service a great option for anyone wanting to eat healthy, delicious food and the convenience of not having to prepare and cook it themselves.  Get Started (no subscription needed!) >>

Enjoy!

Looking for more prepared meals?  Check out our Prepared Meals directory >>

This post has been reviewed and approved by our dietitian Rebecca Housh, MS, RDN, LDN for nutritional accuracy.
rebecca-housh-ms-rdn-ldn-registered-dietitianRebecca Housh is a registered dietitian based in Chicago, IL. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Human Physiology from Boston University and a Master of Science in Human Nutrition from the University of Illinois in Chicago. Rebecca is passionate about the idea of food as medicine in both preventative and therapeutic care. Her current professional interests lie in food security, food access, and nutrition for chronic disease.

Top Chef Meals Reviews: Specialty Diets

Renal Diet Meals

Renal Meals limit foods high in potassium, sodium, and phosphorous to reduce stress on kidney function. All Top Chef Meals that are Renal Compliant adhere to the following parameters:

Potassium = UNDER 600 mg per Meal
Sodium = UNDER 500 mg per Meal
Phosphorous = UNDER 200 mg per Meal

Top Chef Meals’ team of dietitians and chefs work together to create these special meals for renal patients to ensure they receive the right diet, but also have a variety of tasty options to choose from to reduce the stress involved in figuring out what to cook.

  • You can choose from their Renal Menu options or their A La Carte menu. Each entrée includes a choice of two side dishes.
  • Price Range: $8.95 – $11.30 per meal
  • Get Started (no subscription needed!) >>

 

Diabetic Meals

A diabetic diet simply means eating the healthiest foods in moderate amounts and sticking to regular mealtimes to help control blood sugar levels.  A diabetic diet is typically high in fiber and lean protein and low in sugar and refined carbohydrates.  Key elements are vegetables, whole grains, while limiting simple sugars and high carbohydrate foods that spike blood sugar levels.

 

Low Carb Meals

A low-carb diet means eating foods that are less in carbohydrates. For some, a low-carb diet can aid in weight loss and help control blood sugar.

 

Low Sodium Meals

A low-sodium diet is important to follow for many people in order to maintain heart health. Limiting sodium, and thus your fluid retention can help prevent fluid around your heart, lungs, and pooling in your extremities.

All Top Chef Meals’ low-sodium meal options contain 500 mg or less of sodium, to meet the American Heart Association (AHA) recommendations of maintaining a diet of 1500 mg of sodium per day.

 

Keto Meals

The ketogenic (keto) diet is a low-carb, moderate protein, high-fat diet that can lower blood sugar and insulin levels and shift the body’s metabolism away from carbs and toward fat and ketones.

 

Paleo Meals

The Paleo diet is based on how our ancestors lived during the Paleolithic Era when everything was hunted, gathered, or picked. Top Chef Meals’ Paleo meal plan emphasizes the addition of lean meats, fish, seafood, eggs, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and healthy fats and oils.

 

Low-Fat Meals

All Top Chef Meals’ Low-Fat meal options are restricted to less than 13 mg of total fat and less than 5 mg of saturated fat.  Each entrée includes a choice of two sides.

 

Dairy-Free Meals

A dairy-free diet is one that avoids all products that come from cow, goat, sheep, or other animal milk, including butter, yogurt, cheese as well as casein and whey proteins. All Top Chef Meals’ Dairy-Free options completely exclude all dairy products.

 

Gluten-Free Meals

A gluten-free diet helps manage symptoms of celiac disease and other gluten intolerance medical conditions.

All Top Chef Meals’ Gluten-Free meal options are free of wheat, rye, barley, soy, or any other products that contain gluten in any form.  NOTE: Top Chef Meals is not a certified gluten-free facility but they do take special care to specifically segregate all wheat-based products into only one part of the facility away from meal production.

Recent Posts

October 18, 2021

Shaker & Spoon Cocktail Kit Review

October 18, 2021

Best Adult Advent Calendar and Advent Calendar for Kids 2021

October 13, 2021

eat2explore Cooking Kit Reviews