Welcome to the ultimate Huel Hot & Savoury review.
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.
This is a concept the customers were begging for, and thus, there were extreme expectations. Spoilers, I must admit that I have been blown away and that this is a product that I would recommend everyone to have in their pantries.
In fact, Huel Hot & Savoury was my Most Innovative Complete Food 2021 award winner. And to this day, it’s one of the best products Huel has ever launched.
So, without further ado, let’s discover all there is to know in this Huel Hot & Savoury review.
- Great product for those who consume meal replacements regularly
- A hot and healthy instant meal that’s vegan, nutritionally complete, and balanced
- The best flavors are Chick’n Mushroom, Cajun Pasta and Thai Green Curry.
- The texture can be a little “cardboard”-like, more reminiscent of instant meals than homemade meals
- Great product to have in your pantry to avoid ordering takeaways
- Can help you manage your weight. Filling, affordable, and tasty enough.
Huel Hot & Savory Review at a Glance
Flavours: Thai Green Curry, Tomato & Herb, Mexican Chili, Madras, Korma, Sweet & Sour, Mac & Cheeze, Cajun Pasta, and Chik’n & Mushroom Pasta.
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 this is a savoury meal. It gives a very welcomed break from all the sweet shakes.
Despite that, the real deal-breaker with this product is going to be the taste and texture. In my opinion, Huel has done an excellent job bringing a wide array of flavours and textures.
Initially, on my first Huel Hot and Savory review, I was very critical of some flavours, but since they’ve expanded and massively improved on them (the new ones are my favourites).
As mentioned, they have also done a great job of having a range of spice levels, and provide completely different flavours.
As a final note, regarding the price, I would agree that it’s not as competitive as the powders. But for a warm meal to consume occasionally, it’s rather reasonable.
What I Like
1. Great concept and well-executed. 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).
5. Yummy. I love Chik’n Mushroom, Thai Green Curry and Cajun Pasta. This is the product that I would be willing to pay for. It has a nice creamy base, with a rich green curry flavour and the right amount of spice. That said, some might feel that lacks the “meat”.
6. Great range of spice levels and different flavours. There’s a H&S meal for everyone.
7. Ideal to have in your pantry, and enjoy when you need it most. Best when you have 0 energy to cook, but you still want a healthy meal.
What I Dislike
1. Pasta can be “al dente” when following instructions. I ended up cooking in the microwave for longer for most meals.
2. 7 meal bags are a downgrade. I would’ve rather seen the product launched in 14 meal bags, just like Huel powder.
3. The texture is not great in some flavours. It’s the issue of dehydrating and re-hydrating whole ingredients. They are not the same, they lack the crunchiness, and can feel bland and cardboard-like.
4. Tomato & Herb is too bland. Simply put, it lacks flavour and kicks. When you add it to the lacklustre texture, this meal becomes a chore to finish. That said, it can be easily improved by adding spice.
1. Fix the pricing system.
|Thai Green Curry||Very Positive||Mixed||Positive|
|Tomato & Herb||Mixed||Negative||Mixed|
|Mac & Cheeze||Positive||Positive||Very Positive|
|Cajun Pasta||Very Positive||Very Positive||Positive|
|Chick’n & Mushroom||Very Positive||N/A||Very Positive|
|Sweet & Sour||N/A||Very Positive||Mixed|
Above you can see the summary of the thoughts on Huel Hot and Savory. In my opinion, it’s a very interesting product that can offer a tasty alternative to shakes, but with room for improvement in some of the flavours.
That said, I would 100% keep some H&S Chick’n & Mushroom and Cajun Pasta in my pantry at all times.
Latestfuels’ Huel Hot & Savoury Taste Review
With the newly added flavours, I think that there’s a big gap between the best and the worst flavours. Furthermore, it is not only the taste but also the spiciness and the texture of the meals varies a lot.
For instance, Thai Green Curry and Tomato & Herb are more vegetable and legume oriented – and can have a more old-rice pops texture (they lack the crispiness of fresh ingredients). However, the new pasta-based flavours are more creamy-pasta-like. Plus, Cajun Pasta can be quite spicy; whereas Mac & Cheeze is as mild as it gets.
This range of textures and flavours is what makes Huel H&S great since there will be a pick for everyone.
My favourites, as shown in the ranking below, were Chick’n Mushroom and Cajun Pasta. I also really enjoyed the spicy ones, and even wished for a little bit more spice in many of the flavours.
Ranking the Huel H&S Flavours
In the below table, you can see how I would rank the Huel H&S flavours. Without a doubt, Chick’n Mushroom Pasta was my favourite, but I would easily have Cajun Pasta or Thai.
While Mac & Cheeze is beloved in the community, and it’s a very popular flavour, I found it a little “tasteless” or mild. I wanted an extra kick, that it just didn’t have. Even if I’m aware that Huel will never do it, I wonder how it would be with real cheese.
|Flavour (Best to Worst)||Spice Level|
|1. Chick’n Mushroom Pasta – 9.5/10||None|
|2. Cajun Pasta – 9/10||Medium|
|3. Thai Green Curry – 8/10||Medium|
|4. Mexican Chili (Spicy Indian Curry) – 7.5/10||High|
|5. Mac & Cheeze – 7.5/10||None|
|6. Tomato and Herb – 4/10||None|
|-. Madras||Very high|
|-. Korma (Yellow Coconut Curry)||None|
|-. Sweet & Sour||None|
Tomato & Herb
There’s some tomato flavour in there, but the mix falls flat and feels tasteless. It lacks kick and actual flavour. Consequently, you end up noticing the cardboard-like texture more; and on its own, it’s not very good. I highly recommend adding some spice or other flavouring.
Thai Green Curry
It has a nice sweet green curry flavour with some mild spiciness (particularly, for those not used to spice). Quite enjoyable to eat and very filling, due to its creaminess.
For extended thoughts, I recommend you to have a look at 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 a few others use, currently.
Besides this super-seed, you will see other nutrient-rich ingredients, such as lentils, peppers and a diverse set of herbs.
On the other hand, as shown below, pasta-based formulas contain durum wheat pasta.
Still, all variations are fully plant-based, contain no GMO ingredients, no gluten or soy, and provide you with all the essential nutrients you need. That’s why this is another healthy Huel meal.
|Features||Soy Free, Nut Free, Gluten-Free|
|Contains All Micronutrients||Yes|
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).
Chick'n & Mushroom Pasta: Dried Penne Pasta (34%) (Durum Wheat Semolina), Chicken and Mushroom Flavour Seasoning (18%) (Maltodextrin, Natural Flavourings, Wild Mushroom Powder, Dried Mushroom, Dried Chives, Dried Thyme, Black Pepper), Textured Pea Protein (11%) (Pea Protein, Pea Flour), Pea Protein, Corn Starch, Soluble Gluco Fibre, Flaxseed Oil Powder, Sunflower Oil Powder, Coconut Milk Powder (Coconut Milk, Modified Starch, Tapioca Maltodextrin), Micronutrient Blend*,Natural Flavouring.
Cajun Pasta: Dried Penne Pasta (36%) (Durum Wheat Semolina), Cajun Seasoning Blend (16%) (Spices (Smoked Paprika, Paprika, Ground Cumin, Black Pepper, Ground Coriander, Chilli Pepper, Mustard Powder, Cayenne Pepper, Turmeric Powder, Ground Fennel, Ground Allspice, Ground Ginger), Modified Maize Starch, Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Red Pepper Powder, Natural Flavourings, Herbs (Oregano, Thyme), Tomato Powder, Rice Flour, Yeast Extract, Paprika Extract, Lemon Oil, Sea Salt), Pea Protein, Textured Pea Protein (10%) (Pea Protein, Pea Flour), Flaxseed Oil Powder, Sunflower Oil Powder, Corn Starch, Coconut Sugar, Micronutrient Blend*, Dried Sweetcorn (2%), Dried Red Peppers (1.7%), Dried Green Peppers (1.7%), Salt.
Mac & Cheeze: Dried Macaroni (35%) (Durum Wheat Semolina), Cheese Style Seasoning (22%) (Maize Starch (Sulphites), Dairy-Free Creamer (Sunflower Oil, Glucose Syrup, Modified Starch), Rice Flour, Onion Powder (Sulphites), Yeast Extract, Spices (Mustard, Turmeric, Paprika, Black Pepper), Garlic Powder (0.7%) (Sulphites), Natural Flavouring, Oregano), Pea Protein, Coconut Milk Powder, Soluble Gluco Fibre, Flaxseed Oil Powder, Dried Tomatoes (3%), Micronutrient Blend*, Sunflower Oil Powder, Garlic Granules (2%) (Sulphites), Natural Flavouring, Salt, Flavouring (Celery), Smoke Flavouring.
Korma: Dried Grains (32%) (Brown Rice, Quinoa), Pea Protein, Flaxseed, Coconut Milk Powder, Sultanas (5%) (Sultanas, Sunflower Oil), Desiccated Coconut (4%), Korma Style Curry Flavouring (4%) (Ground Spices (Cumin, Cinnamon, Coriander, Paprika), Salt), Rice Flour, Rice Starch, Corn Starch, *Micronutrient Blend, Sunflower Oil Powder, Turmeric Extract, Natural Flavourings, Dried Coriander.
Madras: Dried Grains (25%) (Brown Rice, Quinoa), Flaxseed, Pea Protein, Madras Style Curry Flavouring (8%) (Natural Flavouring, Ground Spices (Cumin, Chilli, Paprika, Coriander, Cinnamon, Ginger, Black Pepper), Salt), Dried Vegetables (6%) (Sweet Potato, Onion, Tomato), Rice Flour, Rice Starch, Tomato Powder, Corn Starch, Sunflower Oil Powder, Medium-Chain Triglycerides Powder (from Coconut), *Micronutrient Blend, Coconut Sugar, Dried Coriander, Radish Extract, Carrot Extract.
Sweet & Sour: Flaxseed, Sweet and Sour Style Seasoning (19%) (Corn Starch, Tomato Powder, Coconut Sugar, Dextrose, Ground Spices (Paprika, Ginger), Garlic Powder, Onion Powder, Salt, Flavouring, Spirit Vinegar, Paprika Extract, Citric Acid, Spice Extract, Natural Flavouring), Pea Protein, Dried Grains (12%) (Brown Rice, Quinoa), Dried Pineapple (5%), Dried Bell Peppers (3.5%), Rice Flour, Rice Starch, Sunflower Oil Powder, Corn Starch, Dried Spring Onion (1.5%), Medium-Chain Triglycerides Powder (from Coconut), *Micronutrient Blend.
Mexican Chili: Flaxseed, Dried Grains (17%) (Brown Rice, Quinoa), Pea Protein, Dried Black Eyed Beans (11%), Tomato Powder (10%), Dried Vegetables (7%) Blend (Bell Pepper, Tomato, Onion), Mexican Style Chilli Natural Flavouring (3.5%), Rice Flour, Rice Starch, Corn Starch, Sunflower Oil Powder, Medium-Chain Triglycerides Powder (from Coconut), *Micronutrient Blend, Salt, Chipotle Chilli Flakes (0.7%), Dried Coriander (0.6%), 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 (the two most common carb sources in meal replacements); 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, though? 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 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 Huel Hot & Savory
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. These 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 are 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 on 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 are 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.
Tip: Personally, I like to heat up the Pasta options for another minute or two in the microwave, to make it softer.
Huel 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.
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. Or rather, there are a few Huel Hot&Savory alternatives, but almost none of them are as good.
Besides Huel Hot & Savoury, other hot complete food options are:
- Queal Ready (Instant Oats) and Savory Meals
- Jake Soup
- Vite Ramen (instant ramen) – US only,
- YFood Pots – EU only
- Plenny Pots
- Bol Soups, One-Pot-Meals, and Ramen – UK only
- Mana Burger.
Neither of these brands, apart form Bol Foods has the range of flavors and textures Huel H&S offers.
From the above, I would recommend having a look at YFood Pots and Plenny Pots, if you live in Europe. They are a tasty alternative (both very similar in between each other) with the same convenience, but perhaps nutritionally weaker.
Queal Ready, on the other hand, is a great breakfast meal. The complete instant oats are flavourful, protein-packed and a great break from the usual shakes.
In the US, I love Vite Ramen’s complete Instant Ramens. They are pricier, but tons of fun to eat.
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.
Huel Hot & Savoury Review: Verdict
Summing up, I must admit that Huel Hot & Savoury is a very interesting complete food product. It’s affordable, offers a great variety of flavour options, and it’s nutritionally well-rounded.
In fact, after the second time doing this Huel Hot and Savory review, I’m more convinced than I was before that this is a MUST-try product.
I, for one, know that I will always have one at home, so that I can have a healthy warm meal whenever I don’t feel like cooking.
I believe that the newest flavours have upped the game in terms of taste, and they offer a yummy meal that I look forward to eating. Obviously, if you are looking for a homemade meal, you will be disappointed; but for most H&S will be a god-sent.
That said, the taste and texture of the meals are the key. Not all flavours are great (looking at you Tomato & Herb), and some can have a cardboard-like texture. Being able to select the adequate spiciness level will also be important.
All in all, I think that Huel Hot & Savoury is a great alternative to your daily meal replacement shakes. I even think this might be more attractive as a complete food option to the general population than shakes are.
You should definitely at least try.
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
- Good range of flaovours and spiciness
- Chick'n Mushroom is delicious
- Ideal product to have a break from shakes
- More expensive in Europe
- Flavours can be bland - In particular Tomato & Herb
- 7 meal bags are quite small
- Texture is not quite there in some, it feels like old rice-pops