The British brand Huel is the market leader and manufacturer of the most successful meal replacement powder. This success is rooted in a strong belief to provide nutritionally the best complete food possible. Consequently, Huel has gathered a customer base of enthusiasts and casuals alike; not for doing things first, but for doing them well. However, their newest product, Hot & Savoury, is a mold-breaker in the complete food world. Not a powder, not a bar, not something to drink; but a meal replacement you can eat. So, let’s discover all there is to know in this Huel Hot & Savoury review.
Huel Hot & Savoury Review
Flavours: Thai Green Curry, and Tomato & Herb.
Ingredients: Dried Grain Blend (Brown Rice, Quinoa), Pea Protein, Flaxseed, Coconut Milk Powder, Dried Vegetable Blend (Sweetcorn, Bell Pepper, Spring Onion), Lentils, Thai Green Style Flavor (Natural Flavorings, Salt, Coriander, Chilli, Cumin, Ginger, Black Pepper, Citric Acid, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil), Rice Flour, Rice Starch, Corn Starch, Medium-Chain Triglycerides Powder (from Coconut), Spinach Powder, Coconut Sugar, Sunflower Oil Powder, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Carbonate, Potassium Citrate, Vitamin C (as Ascorbic Acid), Nicotinamide, Vitamin E (as D-Alpha Tocopheryl), Lutein, Pantothenic Acid (as Calcium-D-Pantothenate), Lycopene, Zinc Oxide, Vitamin A (as Retinyl Acetate), Vitamin B6 (as Pyridoxine Hydrochloride), Riboflavin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium-L-methylfolate, Vitamin K2 (as Menaquinone-7), Zeaxanthin, Potassium Iodide, Plant-Derived Vitamin D3, Vitamin D2, Vitamin B12 (as Cyanocobalamin).
First and foremost, I must applaud Huel for bringing to life such an interesting complete food. I really like the format, and the fact that is a savoury meal; a very welcomed break from all the sweet shakes. In fact, I do agree that this was needed in this market.
Despite that, the real deal-breaker with this product is going to be the taste and texture. If Huel nails down both these aspects, I think it will have great success, no matter the price tag.
As a final note, regarding the price, it is sad to see that the European Huel consumers will have to pay extra for this product. I hope that in the future, Huel can bring the competitive prices to Europe.
What I like
1. Great concept. This was something that complete food enthusiasts were asking for. There have been some developments from other brands, but nothing like this so far.
2. Nutritionally solid. Huel Hot & Savoury is very similar to most Huel products: balanced, high in protein, and high in omega-3 fatty acids. It’s great to see that they’ve added nutrient rich ingredients like quinoa and lentils, too.
3. Hot & savoury. Neither is very common in the complete food industry, thus I believe that this product will offer a great break from shakes.
4. Price is reasonable. I won’t say that this is a bargain, but considering the change in format and the new ingredients, it seems reasonably priced (particularly in the UK).
What I dislike
1. European price. Unfortunately, both European and American customers will have to pay almost double of what British Hueler do.
2. 7 meal bags are a downgrade. I would’ve rather seen the product launched in 14 meal bags, just like Huel powder.
3. More sugar than usual. In Huel’s defence, they are naturally occurring sugars, but it’s worth noting that Tomato & Herb has 10g of sugars (still nothing unhealthy).
4. 2 traditional British flavours. I have nothing against the flavour choices, but I am slightly afraid that they are very quintessentially British and might alienate the palate of Europeans.
1. Fix the pricing system.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get my hands on Huel Hot & Savoury yet. Thus, here are some testimonials from other Huel consumers.
Huel H&S Thai Green Curry Taste
According to most users, this flavour is a little spicy for those who are not used to spiced up food; but not overly so. In fact, most UK customers accustomed to Indian curries state that it could even be spicier.
Thai curry is very creamy and good amount of spice without it being overpowering.Phil_C
The Thai is spot on: more dialled-in I’d say that the T&H.
T&H can easily be significantly improved by a good dash of sriracha, or similar. For those having texture issues: “cooking” time is key — I find that it becomes much thicker if you leave it to soak a little longer.Chuges, Huel forum.
As mentioned, people used to stronger flavour might find this to be lacking the expected kick:
I’m the opposite, I LOVE spicy food. Maybe that’s the problem. I thought the Thai Green Curry had no flavour whatsoever though, not just a lack of kick.f0ld, Huel forum.
Tomato & Herb Taste
The reception of Huel Savoury Tomato & Herb is a little more mixed. While most seem to think that is OK, they do agree that it’s more bland than Thai Green Curry. In fact, the customers seem to prefer the latter.
Tomato went first, and quite nicely. It’s not exactly your mom’s tomato soup, more of an instant pot noodle, but hell, a healthy pot noodle doesn’t sound like a bad idea. The rice gives it a nice texture and mouthfeel, and overall it was fairly tasty and felt more like a meal than a bottle of Huel. That said, it feels less filling despite supposedly having much more fiber in it…Mivexil, Huel forum.
For extended thoughts, I recommend you having a look to Clive Illeden’s review (very experienced meal replacement reviewer):
Huel’s Hot & Savoury innovates in many aspects. This includes the nutritional side, in which we can see many ingredients that are not widely used. For instance, they use quinoa, which only Powdermatter and other few use currently. Besides this superseed, you will see other nutrient rich ingredients, such as, lentils, peppers and a diverse set of herbs.
Still, both formulas are fully plant-based, contain no GMO ingredients, no gluten or soy, and provide you with all the essential nutrients you need.
Thai Green Curry: Dried Grains (29%) (Brown Rice, Quinoa), Pea Protein, Flaxseed, Coconut Milk Powder, Dried Vegetables (6%) (Sweetcorn, Bell Pepper, Spring Onion), Lentils, Thai Green Style Flavouring (5%), (Natural Flavourings, Salt, Coriander, Chilli, Cumin, Ginger, Black Pepper, Citric Acid, Coconut Oil, Sunflower Oil), Rice Flour, Rice Starch, Corn Starch, Medium-Chain Triglycerides Powder (from Coconut), *Micronutrient Blend, Spinach Powder, Coconut Sugar, Sunflower Oil Powder.
Tomato & Herb: Flaxseed, Dried Grains (19%) (Brown Rice, Quinoa), Pea Protein, Tomato Powder (14%), Lentils, Dried Vegetables (7%) (Green Beans, Tomato, Onion), Rice Flour, Rice Starch, Tomato & Herb Flavouring (2.3%) (Natural Flavouring, Tomato Flavouring, Garlic Extract, Basil Flavouring), Corn Starch, Sunflower Oil Powder, Medium-Chain Triglycerides Powder (from Coconut), *Micronutrient Blend, Salt, Dried Herbs (0.5%) (Basil, Coriander), Colour (Concentrate of Radish and Carrot).
Per 400kcal serving:
- Total Carbs: 35g, 13% of RI.
- Sugars: 10g, 11% of RI.
- Fiber: 14g, 47% of RI.
Be aware that the exact values might vary with flavours.
One of the most interesting nutritional facts is that Huel does not use oats or maltodextrin (two most common carb sources in meal replacements); but instead they use dried grains. In this case, brown rice and quinoa, as well as, some lentils.
These grains are a superb source of complex carbohydrates and multiple other nutrients (protein, iron, zinc…). For instance, quinoa is an “outstanding grain” according to FAO and has been considered by NASA to be used in long space flights (due to its nutritional output).
What about Sugars?
Some might notice that Tomato & Herb has 10g of sugars per serving; whereas Thai Green Curry has 5g. So why the difference?
The main reason for the discrepancy is that the first contains tomato powder (14%) which contains naturally occurring sugars in tomatoes.
Is this a lot of sugar, thought? No, it most certainly isn’t. While it might be higher than other Huel products, both are considerably low in sugar content. Furthermore, due to the delivery package, the actual glycemic index of the meal is going to be fairly low.
Per 400kcal serving:
- Total fats: 13g per serving (19% of RI).
- Saturated Fats: 3.5g per serving (18% of RI).
- Omega-3 (ALA): 2.8g per serving.
- Omega-6 (Linoleic): 1.8g per serving.
The exact values change from flavour to flavour. For instance, the omega-3 content is higher in the Tomato & Herb meals.
Overall, it’s a very Huel-like fat spread: plenty of essential omega-3 fatty acids, well balanced fatty acid composition, and with some extra saturated fats, due to the medium chain triglycerides (MCTs).
Interestingly, the main fat source is flaxseed, which is usually more complementary to another source (like sunflower). Flaxseed is rich in omega-3 fatty acids, but has a strong flavour to it.
Per 400kcal serving:
- Total protein: 24g, 48% of RI.
It wouldn’t be a Huel product if it didn’t have high protein content. With 24g per serving, this meal will provide you with a nice boost to your protein intake.
While in the ingredients list there’s only one source (pea protein), the grains (rice, quinoa and lentils) are also big contributors. In fact, Huel uses the rice + pea protein combo for their main product (Huel powder) to ensure a balanced amino acid profile.
Hot & Savoury Essential Amino Acid Profile
So how does that translate into numbers? Below you have a comparison between Huel Powder’s essential amino acid profile vs Hot & Savoury’s. Take into consideration that Huel Powder has more protein per serving (4g more).
|Hot & Savoury||%RI||Huel Powder|
|Methionine (plus cysteine)||644||61||482|
|Phenylalanine (plus tyrosine)||997||102||1564|
You should get enough vitamins and minerals per Huel H&S serving. However, I have some concerns on how heat might affect the exact values, since some micronutrients deform in temperatures above 40 degrees Celcius. Nonetheless, according to Huel’s nutritionist Dan, this has been tested and accounted for.
|% RI* (NRV**)|
per 94g serving
|Vitamin A (µg)||180||23%|
|Vitamin D (µg)||4||80%|
|Vitamin E (mg)||2.9||24%|
|Vitamin K (µg)||36||48%|
|Vitamin C (mg)||60||75%|
|Vitamin B6 (mg)||0.34||24%|
|Vitamin B12 (µg)||0.8||32%|
|Pantothenic Acid (mg)||1.2||20%|
Besides the essential nutrients (macros and micros), Huel also includes phytonutrients (naturally occurring in the ingredients). These include betalains (found in quinoa) which function as antioxidants; ferulic acid (antioxidant and antibacterial), lutein, zeaxathin etc.
Huel Hot and Savoury does not have any major allergens, but it might contain mustard.
- Fully plant-based formula with all the essential nutrients.
- Includes 24g of protein from pea protein, quinoa, rice and lentils.
- Very high in omega-3 (ALA).
- Macronutrient split is 45C/25P/30F and the recommended serving is 400kcal.
More about Hot & Savoury
Currently, Huel offers 3 types of meal replacements (powder, ready-to-drink, and bars); and Hot & Savoury is their new bet for a new format. One that has not been explored too much in the complete food market; but there seems to be a demand for.
Hot & Savory, a Replacement for Granola?
Those who’ve been around might know that Huel used to do a granola-alternative, as one of their chewable complete food options. However, due to lack of success this was discontinued in early 2020. Consequently, some might think this is a replacement for it; but it is not. Rather, it is Huel’s response to a new growing demand for more food-like (away from shakes and bars) meal replacements. This is, complete food options that are still easy to prepare, but provide you with the nutrients your body needs.
In fact, this trend was observed in the 2019 edition of the Complete Food survey, where customers were growing bored of current options. Most stated that they would like to see more hot and savoury options. Huel’s newest product is here to tackle this.
Pricing & Packaging
As per usual for Huel each serving is 400kcal. In each bag of Huel Hot & Savoury there’s 7 meals and you need to buy at least 3 bags. This is smaller than I would’ve imagined, since usually each bag contains 14 meals (for Huel).
As for the price, it will depend where you buy it; but it will be more expensive than your Huel shake:
||Hot & Savoury
|per 400 (expensive)||2.12||3.75|
|per 400 (cheapest)||1.51||2.51|
|per 400 (expensive)||1.47||2.62|
|per 400 (cheapest)||1.10||1.79|
|per 400 (expensive)||2.03||3.57|
|per 400 (cheapest)||1.30||2.48|
When you compare it to similar products, I would say that Huel Hot & Savoury is more affordable, overall. This is particularly true if you live in the UK, where all Huel products are a bargain.
How to Prepare
Much like most other meal replacements, there’s not much to it. The main difference is that you need to add hot (boiling) water to the mix, instead of adding cold water and mixing.
According to Huel, there’s 2 preferred ways of making your Hot & Savoury meal:
With Boiling Water:
- Add 210ml of boiling water and stir in a bowl.
- Cover and leave for 5 minutes.
In the Microwave:
- Add 250ml of water and stir.
- Put a cover and microwave the mix for 1’30” at full power.
- Stir again and further microwave it for another minute.
Hot & Savoury FAQ
All Huel Hot & Savoury orders (first ones) should come with the Huel pot, a small container in which you can prepare your meal. However, due to the large demand, they are currently unable to provide the pot for everybody.
Yes, the new Huel meal is gluten free.
No, according to Huel, H&S has a more risotto-like texture, due to the rice, quinoa and lentils. It also provides you with a balanced macronutrient profile and all the essential vitamins and minerals.
If it has remained closed, then it can last up to 12 months in a dry, cool place, away from direct sunlight. Once opened it can last up to 6 months when sealed properly.
Unfortunately, due to some of the ingredients (lentils, quinoa), the newest Huel product is not low in FODMAP.
This is yet to be tested, but Huel nutritionists assure that is low (below 55).
Huel Hot & Savoury vs...
Truth be told there aren’t many products just like this one. Besides Huel Hot & Savoury, other hot complete food options are: Queal Ready (Instant Oats), Jake Soup (recently launched), Vite Ramen (insta ramen), and Mana Burger. Thus, while all three are complete food options that can be consumed hot; they are quite different to Huel’s offer.
Huel Hot & Savoury vs Queal Ready
Queal Ready is one of my favourite meal replacements that I have tried. The complete instant oats are flavourful, protein packed and a great break from the usual shakes.
Hot & Savoury: Thai Green Curry, and Tomato & Herb.
Queal Ready: Berry Good, and Tropical Today.
||Hot & Savoury
|per 400 (expensive)||3.57||2.25|
|per 400 (cheapest)||2.48||1.68|
It is worth mentioning, that the prices in the UK are more affordable for Huel Hot & Savoury (see pricing above).
The main difference is that Huel’s product is savoury, while Queal’s is sweet.
That being said, I think that Queal Ready tastes great, particularly the Berry flavour. It has a thick oatmeal consistency, with a sweetness to it which is very enjoyable.
|per serving||Hot & Savoury||RI (%)
It is worth noting that both are vegan meal replacements.
What Should I Buy?
I think that both are complementary. For instance, Huel Hot & Savoury seems better suited for lunch and/or dinner; whereas Queal Ready is ideal for breakfast or to have after a workout.
Hot & Savoury vs Huel Powder
So how does the Hot & Savoury compare to one of the best meal replacement powders?
Hot & Savoury: Thai Green Curry, and Tomato & Herb.
Huel Powder: Original, Vanilla, Chocolate, Coffee*, Berry, Banana*, Mint-Chocolate*, and Unflavoured & Unsweetened. *Only available in Europe
Huel Powder is quite an oaty shake paired with “weak” flavours. This is, none of the shakes are very sweet or have strong flavours. As a consequence, Huel Powder is a nice shake to drink, not very exciting, but easy to drink daily.
|per serving||Hot & Savoury||RI (%)
The main difference between both is the ingredients on each. Is one better than the other? No, both options are nutritionally well balanced, and will provide you with all the nutrients you need. That said, Huel offers more variety in powders, thanks to Huel Black. The powders are also lower in sugar content and are low in FODMAP.
What Should I Buy?
Truthfully, this is an apples and pears comparison. Both are complementary to each other. Huel Powder is significantly cheaper, thus it’s great for those who are on a budget. It’s also easier to carry and prepare; so it can be handier to eat on the go. On the contrary, Hot & Savoury can offer a great break from your vegan shakes; with a different texture and flavour profile.
Summing all up, I must admit that Huel Hot & Savoury is a very interesting complete food product. It’s affordable, offers a unique flavour option, and it’s nutritionally well-rounded.
That said, the key is going to be on the taste and texture of the meals. Despite the positive initial testimonials, I would like to try them first hand to have a better idea. I do, however, think that most people will likely enjoy them.
As such, I think that Huel Hot & Savoury will be a great alternative to your daily meal replacement shakes, and might even be more attractive as a complete food option to the general population.
Huel Hot & SavouryFrom $3.75/£2.62/€3.57
- Exciting, new and different. Very unusual complete food
- Nutritonally well-balanced meal with 24g of protein
- Great price if you live in the UK
- Vegan, gluten-free, soy-free
- Ideal product to have a break from shakes
- More expensive in the US and Europe
- Flavours can be bland
- 7 meal bags are quite small