Hello Fresh has been called a revolutionary service that is targeted toward people who struggle to find a decent meal plan for everyday or weekly meals.
The unique selling point of Hello Fresh is that they only provide high-quality and extremely fresh ingredients along with tried and tested recipes that are prepared by professional chefs.
But when it comes to storage, can you freeze hello fresh meals? Yes! Hello Fresh meals and leftovers can be stored in the fridge or freezer, just like any other meal. Additionally, the service also provides a separate insulated bag that contains all the cold-storage ingredients that you will need for your meal plan.
Read below to learn more about Hello Fresh, how they work, what they offer, and whether you can freeze all their meals for later use!
What Is Hello Fresh?
In a nutshell, Hello Fresh is a meal-kit company that provides not just carefully picked meal plans but also all the ingredients required to cook the diverse range of recipes included in the plan.
The main reason why Hello Fresh is preferred by so many people is that it saves time and allows you to enjoy different recipes without having to go through the mental stress of coming up with what to cook and eat every day.
This means that you can easily cook pre-planned meals that are nutritious and are catered to your health and dietary needs.
Another reason why Hello Fresh is so popular is that it provides only high-quality and extremely fresh ingredients, even though the boxes are sent via UPS or other courier services.
Also, Hello Fresh is big on zero-waste so they will carefully plan and send only the required quantities for your specified serving size.
This means that you don’t have to deal with leftovers or wastage. However, some leftover is inevitable, and we’ll discuss how you can store them in a bit too!
But first, let’s talk a little about how Hello Fresh sends food in the first place. This is important because it will help you understand how you can store the contents too.
How Does Hello Fresh Work?
You can sign up with Hello Fresh using their mobile app. Once you are a member you will automatically join a community of foodies who are looking for a convenient and easy way to plan, cook, and eat food.
After you select your preferences and pay for your meal plan, which can be billed per week or month (also customizable), you can then sit back and wait for your first package to arrive, which should be exactly on the day stated on the app.
Furthermore, Hello Fresh provides multiple recipe cards too. Hello Fresh’s whole idea is to allow their customers to try different and healthy meals as per their selected preferences.
So, you can expect something from every major food group! Hello Fresh meal plans include fish, chicken, and general meat-based recipes along with vegetable and even vegan recipes too.
They also provide their customers with extremely detailed yet easy-to-follow recipe cards that you can use to cook the corresponding ingredients with.
So, if you were, let’s say, cooking Korean Beef Tacos then you would get all the necessary ingredients in discrete packages.
For example, you would have the meat in a separately insulated bag that is supposed to be stored in the freezer the same day as the day of delivery.
Other than that, you will also receive the vegetables, pantry items, or seasonings in small packaging too.
Hello Fresh understands the importance of proper storage which is why they use special insulated freezer bags with packets of ice to keep the meat fresh and safe to eat.
The meat is contained within vacuum-sealed bags while the vegetables are packed in separate plastic bags.
The rest of the condiments and ingredients are shipped in small sachets – and all of these ingredients are grouped and sorted in separate larger bags as per the number of meals.
So, all you would need to cook a meal is to tear open a bag, take out all the ingredients, follow the recipe card and start cooking.
Cooking The Meals
Hello Fresh is different from other food delivery services because it only provides raw and uncooked ingredients (apart from prepackaged condiments). This means that you are always going to be required to prepare the meals yourself.
This includes peeling the vegetables, cutting the meat, and cooking everything using your own utensils with or without the oven.
An important point to mention here is that Hello Fresh will ask you detailed questions about your kitchen situation at home. This way you will only receive meals that you can easily make with the resources that you already have.
In terms of storage, the ingredients are delivered fresh to your doorstep which means that as soon as you get your box. You will need to open it ASAP so that you can store it in the fridge.
Hello Fresh also provides a range of vegetables. You can expect anything from fresh leeks to onions, broccoli, and more.
Also, the company provides storage indications right on the packaging. This way you can store the produce as per the specifications of Hello Fresh to ensure their freshness.
Hello Fresh may also provide prepackaged dairy products that will similarly require refrigeration as well. Things like milk, cream and cheese will need to be stored ASAP.
Other ingredients like sauces and seasonings will not usually require any refrigeration but you should still check the storage information on the packaging (if any).
Keep in mind that Hello Fresh will always provide you with just the right amount of ingredients for your meal plan. If you pick a weekly meal plan then you will get the ingredients for 2-3 meals a day for up to 5 days or more.
The company accounts for spoilage too which is why they will carefully pick and choose each ingredient based on when you would want to eat it.
For example, a meal box received on day one will have a meal plan with ingredients that will be scheduled to be cooked on day five.
So, Hello Fresh will provide vegetables and other recipes that can easily be stored up to that point without spoilage.
You may even notice that the company will provide recipe cards that center around fresh produce during the first few days of the meal plan.
Afterward, you might get recipes that include prepackaged goods like dairy cream, cheese, meat, pasta, and more. This strategy works in favor of the customer as you get only the freshest meals possible.
However, what happens when you want to store the meal for later?
Can Hello Fresh Meals Be Stored?
We have discussed a lot about Hello Fresh’s meal planning and their ingredient strategy so you may have developed a good idea of how to store their meals by now.
As mentioned, Hello Fresh provides its customers with RAW ingredients that are required to be stored—which automatically means that you can use several different strategies to store the meals after they have been cooked.
Also, it is important that you think in general terms instead of thinking about Hello Fresh meals specifically. All Hello Fresh meals must be kept using the same storage strategy as any other homecooked meal.
But there might be a few exceptions here.
In the context of most of the meals provided by the company, you will easily be able to store the leftovers in the fridge or freezer as usual.
Please note that Hello Fresh is also kind of against this stance.
Remember, the company works hard on preparing meals that are catered to your serving size and appetite.
Their entire selling point is that they provide you with meals that don’t cause waste, and you can provide feedback to them on this too!
But sometimes life happens. You might not be into the meal (which is rare) or you just might not get time to finish it in one sitting. Either way, you will have to store the meal as per the guidelines stated by FDA and other health agencies.
Before we being on the best storage practices, we will be grouping the meals into major categories to make things easier to understand.
Here is how you can store some common Hello Fresh meals:
To store pasta recipes, we recommend moving the leftovers into a freezer-safe container.
Make sure that the container is clean and dry. Once the food has been sealed, move the container into the freezer and keep the food frozen for up to 2-3 months.
If you want to consume the food within a few hours or the next day then you can keep it in the fridge. Please keep in mind that pasta dishes can spoil fairly easily so you must store the food within 2 hours of cooking it.
You can also alternatively only cook a smaller portion of the meal to avoid excess leftovers but please note that this is not advised by Hello Fresh.
Chicken breast with breading, lightly grilled fish, beef burgers or any meat-based recipe can easily be stored in the fridge or freezer.
However, the quality of each item may vary depending on its ingredients. For example, it can be much easier to store a breaded chicken breast than a whole beef burger.
This is why we recommend that you use a bit of common sense when deciding on how to store the food. When dealing with meat-heavy recipes, try to store them in the freezer using a freezer-safe and airtight container or bag.
For burgers or sandwiches, we recommend wrapping the food in plastic and then storing it in an airtight freezer container.
This will keep the food intact and will also prevent the loss of moisture and will reduce the chances of freezer burn too.
Vegetable recipes can be easy to store but for the best experience, we recommend that you only store them in the fridge and consume the cooked meal within 2-3 days.
While vegetables freeze well, you may run into a bit of a problem with cooked vegetables.
Cooked vegetables can become wrinkly and can also lose some moisture. Hello Fresh covers a lot of vegetable recipes that contain several different ingredients, including cream, milk, and cheese.
Some of these ingredients freeze well, others don’t, especially cream!
The best way to deal with these types of meals would be to store them individually in the fridge.
If you have the time and want to be as safe as possible then you can also try dissecting the recipe and storing the meat separately. This way you can thaw the frozen ingredients and add them to the vegetables later.
If you were to heat the food as it is then there is a high chance that the vegetables may overcook because meat naturally takes longer to thaw than vegetables!
Salads, Sauces, And Pantry Items
Salads and sauces are pretty straightforward and will usually follow basic storage indications.
In this case, you can either use your favorite method of storing salad or you could also store the salads and sauces in a freezer-safe container too.
Freezing the salad is not recommended but if you don’t have a choice then you might as well freeze all of the salad as it is.
However, if you get a chance then we suggest storing salads in the fridge because when you thaw the frozen veggies, they might become overly soggy due to all the added moisture.
Sauces can be stored in the freezer as per usual while the pantry items and condiments should always be stored as per the storage indication mentioned on the packaging.
Hello Fresh provides its own branded ingredients along with some partner-based products too.
So, if you ever have any doubt about the storage instructions then you can always check the back of the pack for precise indications.
How To Freeze Hello Fresh Meals
It is best to eat Hello Fresh meals as soon as possible, but if you need to keep them fresher for longer, you can freeze them.
Here is how to safely and properly freeze Hello Fresh meals to keep them at their best quality:
If you find yourself with too many leftover fresh ingredients, and if you do not plan on using them in a few days, then you should freeze them to prevent them from going to waste.
The way you choose to freeze fresh ingredients will be up to you, whether you chop up vegetables first, or freeze leftover meat in separate portions.
However you choose to prepare the ingredients for freezing, here is the process to follow:
- Place the ingredients into a freezer-safe plastic resealable bag. Squeeze as much air out of the plastic bag as possible, and seal tight.
- Label the plastic freezer bag with the date of freezing and the name of the contents, so you can keep track of when they need to be eaten by, and to easily identify them in the freezer.
If you do not have plastic freezer bags, you can place the fresh vegetables into an airtight freezer-safe container, making sure it seals tight.
Hello Fresh fresh meals are delicious, but if you miss a night and have a fresh meal waiting to be eaten, then you can freeze the fresh meals.
The fresh meals will come in sealed containers, and you do not have to remove these from the container before freezing, as they offer good protection to the food, and opening the container will only expose the food to moisture and air.
However, it is best to add layers of protection to the fresh meal to prevent freezer burn, and to prevent the meals losing quality in the freezer.
- Leave the sealed meals sealed, and wrap them in some plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Alternatively, you can place the meal into a plastic freezer bag, and seal it tight.
- Label the packaging with the date of freezing, and make sure to use it within two months. It is also worth labeling the packaging with the name of the contents, so you can easily identify the meal in the freezer.
For fresh meals, it is best to eat the meals within two months. You can leave the meals in the freezer for longer if necessary, but these meals will not be as tasty the longer you leave them in the freezer.
Hello Fresh does a good job at providing the right amount of ingredients to cook a meal for the selected number of people, but this doesn’t mean that you will never have leftovers.
It might even be worth making an extra portion to freeze for an easy meal at a later stage.
Here is how to freeze leftover Hello Fresh meals:
- Leave the leftovers to come to room temperature before freezing. Placing warm food into the freezer increases the internal temperature of the freezer, and puts other frozen food items at risk.
- Once the leftovers have cooled to room temperature, place into a freezer-safe container, or a resealable freezer bag. You can either place all the leftovers in one container or portion them out into single servings.
- Label the container or plastic bag with the date of freezing and the name of the contents, and place into the freezer.
A helpful tip when freezing smaller portions is to freeze the leftovers in resealable plastic freezer bags, and lay them flat one-on-top of each other in the freezer to save space.
How Do You Defrost Frozen Hello Fresh Meals?
When the time comes to enjoy the frozen Hello Fresh meals you have waiting in the freezer, you need to take care with defrosting them properly, to not put them at risk of losing quality, and to not expose them to rapid changes in temperature.
The best, and safest way to defrost a Hello Fresh meal or Hello Fresh ingredients is to plan ahead, and place the frozen items in the fridge the night before you plan on using them.
Defrosting the frozen meals in the fridge allows them to thaw slowly and at a safe temperature, which not only keeps the food safe, but keeps it at a better quality too.
This does take quite some time, whether a few hours during the day or overnight in the fridge, but it is the best way to defrost the meals.
If you forgot to take the meals out the night before, the next best way to defrost the meals is in the microwave.
Most microwaves have a defrost function that you can use, but just be sure to remove any packaging and wrapping before defrosting the meals in the microwave.
Avoid leaving the food out to defrost at room temperature or in a hot water bath, as this exposes the food to a higher temperature range for an extended period, which could lead to spoiling.
Hello Fresh rarely promotes leftover storage as it focuses on precise and serving-size-centered meal plans. However, if you do have to store the meals for later then you can easily freeze them or store them in the fridge!
Here are some related questions regarding Hello Fresh and storage!
How long do Hello Fresh meals last in transit?
Hello Fresh designs its packaging to ensure the safety and freshness of the ingredients.
For meat-based ingredients, you will receive the items in a highly insulated bag with ice packs. The individual bags are also vacuumed-sealed for added safety.
The company states that their ingredients will remain fresh for 2 days in transit and up to 12 additional hours at your doorstep.
You should store the ingredients as stated on the packaging as soon as you get them at your door.
Do not wait for more than 12 hours to store the food or you might compromise the quality of all the ingredients. If you have opened the individual packs then you will have to store them immediately.
Can you freeze the entire Hello Fresh box?
While you could choose to freeze the entire box in a large freezer, it is best that you first open the package and sort out all the ingredients before storing them individually in their respective bags.
If you don’t have the time to open the package right away then you may choose to store the entire box in the fridge or freezer for a couple of hours.
However, don’t leave the entire box in the freezer overnight as freezing all the ingredients together may compromise the quality of the vegetables or other items.
Can you eat Hello Fresh after 3 months?
If stored properly, Hello Fresh meals can be stored for up to 6 months.
But this depends on the type of meal and how well you have stored it. In most cases, it is best to consume frozen meals within a few weeks rather than months.
How long can I refrigerate a Hello Fresh box?
Once you receive your Hello Fresh box, you should be able to keep it in the fridge for up to five days. However, you should look at the expiry or use-by date on the packaging of each ingredient, to be sure that you use them before they spoil.
Can you reheat Hello Fresh Meals?
As long as the Hello Fresh meal has only been heated up once, and as long as it has been kept in the fridge, then it should be fine to reheat the meal one more time. You should not reheat the meal more than once though.
What is the downside to Hello Fresh?
The one downside to Hello Fresh is that you still have to cook your meals, but most meals are designed to be cooked quickly so this shouldn’t be too big of an issue.
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