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What Is SideChef and How Does It Work?

list of various sidechef recipes.
Image used with permission by copyright holder

There are numerous home meal kit delivery services such as Blue Apron and HelloFresh, but these kits not only have high shipping fees and generate packaging waste, they also only offer a limited number of recipes to choose from each week. Enter SideChef.

SideChef is a multi-platform all-in-one home cooking service that provides thousands of recipes, cooking instructions, food education, meal planning features, and one-click stoppable recipes for an easy, affordable, educational home-cooking experience. SideChef takes the premise of a meal kit box and makes it more affordable, customizable, and interactive. Keep reading to find out how SideChef works.

What Is SideChef?

SideChef is an all-in-one home cooking platform that enables users to easily filter and find curated recipes for anything from easy appetizers to gourmet and international main dishes, or simple cookies to satisfy your sweet tooth to fancy baked desserts that can rival something you’ve seen in the tent on The Great British Baking Show. SideChef can be downloaded as an app for Apple iOS or Android devices, or accessed from any internet browser on a computer. From any of these access points, users can search through over 18,000 recipes based on their preferences, needs, reviews, and experience level. Each recipe also shows the cost for the ingredients if sourced at your local Walmart, both overall and per serving as well as the nutrition information per serving.

How Does SideChef Work?

. You simply sign up and begin browsing the huge . After choosing a recipe, SideChef will automatically populate the exact shopping list you need for the ingredients and send the order to your local store (usually Walmart), where it is prepared and packaged for you for convenient pickup. When the shopping list and order is generated, you have the option to modify items and quantities, which is great if you already have something on hand or want to double or alter something in the recipe. For example, if you are making the Chicken Tikka Masala Meatballs but already have leftover rice, you can deselect the rice when submitting the shopping order and omit this ingredient from your order.

At the bottom of the list, the app also shows you you may already have at home, such as oil, butter, salt, and pepper. These items are not automatically added to the list, but you can select them if you need them, and then they are added to your order. On the app, you can select your pickup time at your store and you enter your payment, and then when you arrive at your local Walmart (that day or any day in the future that you’ve selected), everything is neatly packaged up and ready to go.

Each recipe includes step-by-step instructions with photos for each step, how-to videos, and voice commands, helping users practice their cooking skills and ensuring they understand the recipe directions for optimal success. At the top of the recipe, there is a video of the complete recipe being made in an expedited fashion so you can get a sense of what you’ll be in for in terms of cooking difficulty. The step-by-step videos are extremely helpful for novice home cooks.

SideChef also has other unique features like a Meal Planner function, which helps you plan out your meals in advance. If you have smart appliances in your kitchen, the app will also automatically send instructions to them, even if you’re not at home. For example, you can preheat your oven or measure out a certain volume of water.

What Kind of Recipes Does SideChef Offer?

pair of hands slicing potatoes for a sidechef instruction guide.

SideChef has over 18,000 interactive recipes sorted by meal, dish type, cuisine, diet, and featured ingredient. The following are some of the categories:

  • Meal: Breakfast, lunch, dinner, brunch, dessert, appetizer, main dish, side dish, snack, drink
  • Cuisine: Indian, Thai, Chinese, Italian, Mexican, Korean, Latin American, Japanese, American
  • Diet: Vegan, vegetarian, paleo, gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, pescatarian
  • Dish Type: Weeknight meal, date night, one-pot meal, salad, pasta, pizza, soup
  • Featured Ingredient: Chicken, pork, beef, tofu, legumes, eggs, rice, mushrooms

Examples of favorite recipes include Loaded Potato Corn Chowder, Rosemary and Marmalade-Glazed Salmon, Coconut Chia Breakfast Pudding, and Thai Sticky Chicken Wings.

How Much Does SideChef Cost?

SideChef is free to join and free to use. There is an option to sign up for virtual cooking classes for $5 per month. This membership includes access to over 800 on-demand instructional videos you can stream at home.

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Amber Sayer
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Amber Sayer is a fitness, nutrition, and wellness writer and editor, and was previously a Fitness Editor at Byrdie. She…
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