HelloFresh's Thanksgiving Meal Kit Is Everything You Need to Cook Your Holiday Feast—Without a Subscription

Read about our experience cooking and tasting the Thanksgiving meal kit.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

Hello Fresh Thanksgiving review
Photo: Courtesy of Bridget Degnan

Thanksgiving is just around the corner. The good news: The Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is back this year. The bad news: There is a shortage of turkeys 16 pounds and under. Luckily, HelloFresh's Thanksgiving meal kit is available for preorder now through November 18, featuring a box with a 14-pound bird. Best of all, you don't even have to be a HelloFresh member to take advantage of this amazing holiday package.

HelloFresh's Turkey + Sides Box serves eight to 10 people and includes a 14-pound turkey, delicata squash and shallots, ciabatta stuffing, mashed potatoes, apple ginger crisp, gravy, and cranberry sauce. If you're hosting a group of between four and six people, you can opt for the Beef Tenderloin + Sides Box which has the same side dishes as the turkey kit (minus the cranberry sauce) but features six 6-ounce filets. Want an appetizer? Add cranberry brie crostini to your order for $20. You can select a delivery date from November 16 to November 23, depending on when your gathering will take place. Remember that frozen turkeys take four days to thaw.

The turkey dinner delivery costs $170 ($17 per serving) plus $9 shipping, and the beef tenderloin box is $135 ($23 per guest) with $9 shipping. According to LendingTree, Thanksgiving hosts with an average of nine guests spent $343.26 on food and drink in 2020, averaging at $38.14 per person. You can save yourself from going overboard on groceries by ordering your Thanksgiving dinner online.

Buy It: HelloFresh Thanksgiving Box (from $135; HelloFresh)

Hello Fresh Thanksgiving review
Courtesy of Bridget Degnan

How We Tested the Service

A handful of our team's writers and editors had the privilege of cooking and eating Thanksgiving dinner in the office one month before the actual holiday. We tried the HelloFresh Turkey + Sides Box, which provides up to 10 servings, so our partners also got to sample leftovers that we brought home. Overall, everyone gave the meal a huge thumbs up and especially raved about the delicata squash side.

Our overall rating of HelloFresh's Thanksgiving Box: 8.9/10

Pros

  • Beginner-friendly recipes
  • Mix of new and traditional Thanksgiving fare
  • Great balance of sweet and savory foods
  • Comprehensive recipe guide with instructions and pictures
  • Satisfying portions for eight to 10 guests
  • Food tastes equally delicious as leftovers
  • Add-on appetizer option

Cons

  • Most efficient with two ovens (if making all the dishes in one day)
  • You need to use your own butter, sugar, salt, and pepper
  • Most apples had bruises (fortunately, they didn't affect the quality of the dessert)
  • Lemons provided didn't supply enough lemon zest

What HelloFresh Could Have Done Better

It would have been super helpful to have two recipe guides, so both cooks could have their own. We were a little confused that the meal kit included ingredients like flour and garlic herb butter but not sugar and plain sticks of butter. Although we had those food items on hand, we would have appreciated a clear list of what we needed to provide from our kitchen. Lastly, HelloFresh should use a better method for shipping produce. All the fruits and vegetables were packed into an open cardboard box, leading to bruises on almost every apple.

Recommendations for Customers

After spending four consecutive hours in the kitchen, we decided it would be best to prep some of the produce as well as bake the apple ginger crisp the night before. We also recommend making a batch of homemade vanilla ice cream to enhance dessert. However, we enjoyed it without.

Hello Fresh Thanksgiving review
Courtesy of Bridget Degnan

Delivery and Packaging: Bring Your Muscle

The delivery arrived in two boxes at the same time, including one box for the frozen turkey and the other for produce and extra ingredients. Both of them were very heavy for just one person to carry inside, so we recommend having another set of hands available. The packages contained multiple large ice packs, which allows you to leave them outside until two people are home. Like we mentioned earlier, the apples had bruises due to poor packaging. However, the rest of the food shipped damage-free.

Hello Fresh Thanksgiving review
Courtesy of Bridget Degnan

Cooking Process: All Hail the 5-Hour Game Plan

Love organization? HelloFresh must know us well because it provides a 5-hour game plan in the cooking guide. This page quickly became our go-to reference for order of operations. Prep turkey, prepare the apple crisp, toast the ciabatta bread, and so on.

We had two cooks and two ovens, so we were able to cook the whole meal in about four hours. We started around 9:45 a.m. and served the meal at 2:00 p.m. If you don't have a double oven, we suggest prepping as much as you can the night before, such as making the apple crisp and cutting up the squash.

It was our first time tackling a whole turkey, so we were probably a little too careful about the turkey reaching HelloFresh's recommended internal temperature of 170°F. The instructions called for roasting the bird at 425°F for 2 hours and 15 minutes, checking the doneness around 1 hour and 45 minutes. We inserted a meat thermometer after 1 hour and 45 minutes and the breast was at 160°F. We let it keep cooking for the full 2 hours and 15 minutes, which resulted in slightly drier meat than we would have preferred. With that said, we recommend removing the turkey from the oven before the two-hour mark. For the side dishes and dessert, we followed the cooking instructions to a T and were pleased with the results.

Buy It: HelloFresh Thanksgiving Box (from $135; HelloFresh)

Hello Fresh Thanksgiving review
Courtesy of Bridget Degnan

Flavor and Quality: Satisfying But Could Use More Seasoning

Thanksgiving is one of those meals where you can't really go wrong. Who doesn't love turkey, potatoes, and stuffing? As a whole, the meal was excellent. Below, we've highlighted the details of each individual dish.

14-pound roast turkey: The recipe included garlic herb butter, shallots, garlic, lemon, and thyme. If we would have taken the turkey out of the oven earlier, it could have been juicier and more flavorful. However, it was still tender and enjoyable to eat, especially with a drizzle of homemade gravy. There was plenty of meat for eight to 10 people to enjoy nice portions.

Mashed potatoes: Potatoes are good in all forms, but mashed potatoes are arguably the best kind. Featuring minced garlic, sour cream, and milk, the recipe was fairly basic but oh so yummy. Serve with a little butter!

Ciabatta stuffing: Never tried stuffing with chicken sausage and cranberries? You're in for a treat. This dish earned praise from all the taste testers, who emphasized the unexpected flavors. To reheat, use a conventional or toaster oven to keep the bread crisp.

Roasted delicata squash and shallots: Ding, ding, ding, we have a winner! This side dish came out of left field. Each taste tester named it their favorite and expressed their love for the sweetness and tenderness of the delicata squash. Definitely going to be a repeat dish during the holiday season.

Apple ginger crisp: The addition of ginger made this dessert *chef's kiss.* And the crumbled topping? Seconds, please! All in all, it was a great alternative to traditional pies.

Classic gravy: Although it was kind of a headache to thicken (we were hangry), the gravy was the cherry on top for the turkey and potatoes.

Cranberry sauce: Sorry, our testing group is not big cranberry sauce fans. We decided to skip this dish.

Buy It: HelloFresh Thanksgiving Box (from $135; HelloFresh)

Hello Fresh Thanksgiving review
Courtesy of Bridget Degnan

Taste Tester Reviews

"The spread looked picture perfect on the table, but I didn't know what to expect in terms of flavor. Overall, I was super impressed," ecommerce writer Bridget Degnan said. "The turkey and potatoes were tasty, but nothing special. To boost the turkey's flavor, I recommend adding more herbs and vegetables of your own. I absolutely loved the stuffing and roasted squash. The stuffing was packed with flavor thanks to the chicken sausage and herbs. The star of the show, the delicata squash, had a pleasant texture and sweetness to balance this savory meal. I will definitely be making that dish over and over again while the squash is in season.

"My fiancé had a nice portion of the leftover stuffing and potatoes for dinner. He added some butter to the potatoes along with some salt and pepper and licked his plate clean. He said he could've had three more plates," Degnan added.

"All of the dishes were flavorful and delicious, yet not too out of the box, which I appreciated," ecommerce editor Laura Miller said. "This is your traditional Thanksgiving meal like Grandma used to make. It tasted homemade because it was! My favorite dishes were the ciabatta stuffing (this isn't your average boxed stuffing, folks) and the roasted delicata squash and shallots (sweet and savory—yum!)."

"The leftovers still had plenty of flavor without being too dry," Miller's husband said. "I have a physically demanding job, and my lunch kept me full and energized all afternoon. My coworkers were jealous when they saw what I was eating. 10/10 would eat this again."

"I thought everything in the kit was tasty. The squash was my favorite because I don't cook with gourds much, and it was nice to be surprised even in a meal full of traditional Thanksgiving fare," ecommerce editor Anna Knief said. "Each dish was good on its own, but I think anyone comfortable in the kitchen could jazz them up even more with their preferred seasonings. I also thought that the variety of food and portions was well thought out. I was satisfied, but I didn't feel overly full. Plus, I'm someone who always looks forward to a second Thanksgiving in the form of leftovers, so I intentionally passed on another helping."

"The apple crumble was fantastic. I'm still dreaming about it," Knief's husband said. "The squash was really good, and I thought the stuffing was mild but had a nice flavor. The potatoes could have used more seasoning, maybe some salt and pepper. Everything reheated well in the microwave except for the turkey and stuffing. Perhaps an air fryer or toaster oven would have retained the texture for those dishes better, but they still tasted good. Overall, I enjoyed having a good Thanksgiving meal in the middle of the workday."

"My husband and I have used HelloFresh in the past, but when I saw the large Thanksgiving spread it exceeded all expectations (the turkey was huge!)," ecommerce writer Carly Kulzer said. "I tried a little bit of everything, and although everything was good, the squash and apple crisp were my favorites by far. Both sides were sweet, seasoned to perfection, and reheated well. My husband really enjoyed the turkey legs and said they were juicy and full of flavor. The only thing we were indifferent about was the stuffing—it was good the first time around, but leftover it got dried out. I didn't have any leftover gravy, but if I did, I think adding some on top would have made it better."

Bottom Line

HelloFresh's Thanksgiving meal kit is an excellent choice for hosts looking to save money and time this season. It eliminates a trip to the grocery store during the holiday madness and provides you with everything you need, so you don't spend unnecessary money on food that might not be eaten. With turkey, stuffing, squash, potatoes and gravy, and dessert, you'll still fill up your stomachs without spending a pretty penny.

Buy It: HelloFresh Thanksgiving Box (from $135; HelloFresh)

Testing Methodology

Our overall ranking for HelloFresh's Thanksgiving turkey dinner was 8.9/10 after evaluating pricing, quality, variety, sustainability, and more.

Factors What it means Numerical ranking
Taste The meal has a balanced and delicious flavor and consistency. 9
Ease of Preparation The service provides easy-to-follow instructions for preparing and cooking the meal. 7
Quality of Ingredients Ingredients are high quality and responsibly raised and sourced. They are in good shape when they arrive. 8 (apples had bruises)
Portion Size Portion sizes are reasonable and filling. 10
Availability The service is available to consumers in a variety of locations. 9 (not available in Alaska or Hawaii)
Price The price is reasonable for the quality of food you receive. 10
Shipping The order arrived on time. The packaging kept things fresh and in good condition. You're able to provide delivery instructions if needed. 8
Customer Service How quickly customer service responds to queries, the level of detail they provide, and how helpful the team is overall. 9
Social Impact Takes into consideration a company's social missions, charitable causes, and sustainability efforts. Products are sourced ethically. Packaging is recyclable or sustainable. 10
Was this page helpful?
Related Articles