Chef Inside the Box, love inside your belly

Disclosure: I actually, truly love cooking. Most nights, I actually, truly cook. …Sometimes I don’t. So, today’s post features Chef Inside the Box, whom I’m pretty sure you’re going to adore. Although I’m compensated, all thoughts, opinions, and clean plate clubs are entirely my own.



So, like I said, I cook most nights. I say “nights” because, let’s be real: P.J. handles 90% of the breakfast at 6:30am- when I am not at my “taking orders chipperiest best”- and, legit, no kid enjoys/finishes lunch in a timely manner. It is not the high point of my day to make lunch.

That said, dinner is my fave. I play music, attempt conversation with my kids, and generally feel like I’m doing an a-ok job playing House. (It doesn’t hurt that I grew up working at my parents’ exceptional restaurant and have zero shame about saying I’m a really, really good cook. Ask me to bake, though. GufFAW.)

That that said, some nights I can’t cook. Schedules and health make it a frequent combination of can’t/won’t, but it’s pretty important to me to only have takeout or a frozen food dinner for the fam on a “special occasion” basis. (Some weeks are more “special” than others.)

So, can I introduce you to my new best friend, Chef Inside the Box?

Oh, these people. These lovely, lovely people, who provide a fantastic, cost-effective service to Chicagoland. Here’s why I’m downright obsessed:

-Chef Inside crafts incredibly fresh, wonderfully delicious meals and do the legwork of prepping and cooking. When the meals get to you (with free shipping, by the way), all that’s left to do is heat and assemble with easy-to-follow instruction cards.

-Most meals are ready in under 25 minutes, and Express Meals are ready in as soon as 8 minutes!

Each kit serves four, but portions are generous, ensuring snacks and tomorrow’s lunch are handled, too!

-There’s absolutely no subscription service. Get a package of 4 meals when you want them, and have zero hassle when you don’t. (Isn’t that just…brilliantly refreshing?!)

-Even with my gluten restriction, I was able to make a few tweaks to each night’s dinner so I could sit and eat with the fam.

Ingredient listings and nutritional information are easy to see on enclosed recipe cards for each and every meal.

-Priced at $6.95 per person (and $27.80 per kit), this absolutely upends the idea that you need to spend a fortune on the nights you need a little extra dinner help.

-Meals, if ordered by noon on a Friday, are ready and rarin’ to go by Monday morning (and stay fresh and “crust chilled” in your fridge for up to five days)!

-Chef Inside utilizes best recycling (and recylcable material) practices for their shipments.

-Did I mention shipping is free?

Here’s what we tried (and loved):


Slow Cooked Turkey Risotto- #1

Holy moly, this cooked in 12 minutes! (Frozen pizza takes longer.) Slow-cooked all white turkey, peas, balsamic and herb-braised mushrooms, topped with parmesan cheese in a creamy rice dish, and served alongside warm dinner rolls was the dinner up first. Have you ever tried to make risotto? I can attest that this is a way nicer method. The kids liked this one a-ok, especially the mushrooms in the sauce, and P.J. was a happy camper.

Braised Beef Fettuccine- #2

20 minutes for this epic meal?! This was the clear fan favorite, with slow braised beef, garlic mushrooms, and a thick, fragrant tomato sauce alongside warm dinner rolls. (I subbed GF pasta and added the sauce for mine before stirring in the fam’s included fettuccine.) I could eat this every night. (Can I eat this every night?) I’d order this in a restaurant, bring extra home, and have the happiest breakfast the next morning.

Smoked Pork Chops #3

20 minutes for hickory smoked, center cut pork chops. (I mean, honestly.) These were served with roasted Brussels sprouts and a balsamic and Canadian maple sauce over a bed of multi-grain quinoa and warm dinner rolls. Turns out, my kids like hickory smoked pork chops! (I already knew P.J. did.) The sprouts garnered requests for seconds, too, proving that my kids are really neat people.

Seared Prime Rib Stroganoff #4

12. Minutes. For. Prime. Rib. This impossibly tender dish mixes slow-cooked beef with sour cream, sweet onions, mushrooms, and egg noodles, and is served alongside the (by now) requested dinner rolls. We actually ended up having company over the evening we tested this one out; 7 helpings, you guys! What sorcery is this?! Also, guess who loves prime rib? Everyone.

Check here to see if Chef Inside the Box delivers to your ‘hood!

And if they do, let me know.

Especially if you end up ordering the braised beef fettuccine.



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