Whenever I find myself in a tight spot planning meals, I turn to meal kit delivery services like Green
Chef and SunBasket. Green Chef is the very first meal kit delivery service I tried out, and I was quite content for a few weeks. That is until I stumbled upon SunBasket.
Their wide menu variety and various meal options make the service a more high-value option compared to Green Chef despite their similarities.
Average Cost per Serving
- Sun Basket – under $12 each meal
- Green Chef – under $13 each meal
Average Cost per Week
- Sun Basket – under $75 per week on average
- Green Chef – under $79 per week on average
- Chef’s Choice
- Fresh and Ready
- Lean and Clean
- Diabetic Friendly
- Green Chef
- Balanced Living
Average Meal Prep Time
- SunBasket – around 30 minutes
- Green Chef – up to 45 minutes
- SunBasket – delivers to 45 states in the US
- GreenChef – delivers to 47 states in the US
- SunBasket – 100% money-back guarantee within 7 days of delivery
- GreenChef – store credit refunds on a case to case basis
- SunBasket – 3 meals per week for 2 people
- Green Chef – 3 meals per week for 2 people
- Sun Basket – under $7
- GreenChef – from under $7 to under $14
Number of Portion Options
- Sun Basket – 2 and 4 people
- GreenChef – 2 and 4 people
Number of Recipes Delivered Each Week
- SunBasket – 2 to 4
- GreenChef – 2 to 4
- Thai Turkey Lettuce Cups
- Roasted Chicken with Spiced Cauliflower and Green Romesco
- Grilled Steak with Roasted Poblanos and New Mexican Chile Sauce
- Salmon with Roasted New Potatoes and Green Beans
- Steaks with Chimichurri and Harissa-Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Chicken Bruschetta Pasta
- Enchilada Quesadilla
- Falafel Curry Noodle Bowl
- Shrimp Fried Rice
- Tuna Poke Bowl
- Sun Basket – Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, or Thursday
- GreenChef – Monday to Saturday
Quality of Ingredients
- SunBasket – 99% organic ingredients
- GreenChef – USDA-certified organic
Number of Recipes on the Weekly Menu
- SunBasket – about 18 recipes to choose from
- Green Chef – three to six recipes depending on your meal plan
Review Summary: Both Sun Basket and Green Chef promise premium, fresh, and organic ingredients. Their meal kits are recipes that are fun and easy to follow and will take less than an hour to cook. Green Chef’s weekly menu contains up to six meal kit options each week that are dedicated to specific meal preferences. It’s a good delivery option if you often suffer from decision anxiety and want to be better able to choose your meals without feeling overwhelmed with choices. On the other hand, SunBasket’s flexibility and up to 18 recipe options per meal preference make it a more cost-effective and high-value option of the two.
Meal Options Compared
Both Sun Basket and Green Chef focus on healthful meals that come with easy to follow recipe cards and minimal prep work. Their options vary and utilize fresh and organic ingredients sourced from sustainable farms. If you’re worried about your meal options, there really isn’t much to think about.
Both meal services offer a new menu each week with the exception of a few customer favorites. They also offer a good selection of vegetarian, gluten-free, low-carb, and well-balanced meals.
When it comes to meal options, SunBasket has a lot more variety compared to GreenChef. There are 10 menus to choose from, and all of them comply with specific diet preferences.
For example, if you want a menu that’s strictly ready to heat food, you have a weekly menu of 18 freshly prepared, ready to heat meals available to choose from.
The same goes for any of their other 9 meal preference options.
- You can choose between ten meal preferences such as Chef’s Choice, Fresh and Ready, Carb-Conscious, Paleo, Gluten-Free, Lean and Clean, Vegetarian, Mediterranean, Pescatarian, and Diabetes-Friendly.
- The menu changes every week to make room for new recipes while still including some popular recipes from previous weeks.
- You also have the option to add meals, snacks, and soups to your family plan for an added fee.
- The service lets you order for two and four people at a time, with 3 to four meal kit options each week.
- SunBasket also lets you mix and match meals from different menus despite the meal preference you choose.
It has slightly less options compared to SunBasket.
However, that doesn’t mean that their menus are limited. There are four meal preferences to choose from.
All of which contain up to six different meal choices each week. It’s an ideal choice if you’re not too picky with your food and don’t want to feel overwhelmed with choices.
Their menu changes weekly as well. And unlike SunBasket, they do not offer add-ons to their meal plans.
- There are four meal preferences to choose from, such as Balanced Living, Low-Carb, Keto/Gluten-Free, Plan-Powered.
- Green Chef review focuses heavily on plant-based meals. But that doesn’t mean they shy away from animal-based proteins. Their menus cater to very specific diet plans and offer a good array of meal choices to choose from.
- Because there are only up to 6 meals to choose from on the menu each week, depending on the plan you choose, you might be forced to eat the same thing twice or not be able to choose which meals you like.
My Experience Using These Two Services
Both services were heavily similar when it came to the overall experience in order. The primary dashboard that lets you select your meal plan is straightforward and streamlined, so nothing is confusing and you’re able to set your meal and plan preferences without any issues.
However, one thing I didn’t appreciate was that Green Chef (like a Home Chef) requires you to check out prior to selecting your meals. I like to have the option to check what’s on the menu before I make a payment. It ended up not being too big of a deal since Green Chef is a reputable company and their organic meal choices weren’t too bad.
However, I see it as being a problem if you’re not comparing meals the same way I am. And you might feel cheated once you see that their menu does not have a selection of meals that you would like.
On the other hand, SunBasket gave me the freedom to select meals after specifying the plan I chose. This gave me more autonomy on the type of menu I’m creating for the week ahead without having to commit by making a payment first.
As for the experience preparing the meals themselves, I found that both companies had delivered fresh, pre-portioned ingredients that came with easy to follow recipe cards and took—at most, less than an hour to cook and prep altogether.
Sun Basket & Green Chef Prices Compared
Both services give you a good variety of meal preferences and plans to choose from. Shipping costs for both services vary and will be calculated upon checkout.
On the primary dashboard, you’ll see prices per meal for both services. On average, both meal kit services offer meals for an average cost of under $12 a portion.
Sun Basket offers meal plans for two or four people. You can also choose from 2 to 4 recipes each week.
The pricing won’t be affected regardless of which meal preference you choose.
Two Recipes – under $13 per serving
Three Recipes – under $12 per serving
Four Recipes – under $11 per serving
Shipping is calculated during checkout and is free for your first box.
Green Chef, on the other hand, bases its pricing according to the meal preference you choose.
This remains true regardless of the number of servings or meals per week you plan to purchase.
Keto Plan – under $13 per portion
Balanced Living – under $12 per portion
Plant Powered – under $12 per portion
Carb-Conscious – under $13 per portion
Shipping is also calculated at checkout and varies depending on your plan size and location.
Best Menu Selection
Both Green Chef and SunBasket offer a new menu each week that caters to the different meal preferences they offer. The main difference between both menu selections is that SunBasket has a more flexible menu with more options. On the other hand, Green Chef has less options, but it also helps you choose meals more easily.
- There are ten meal preferences to choose from with this service.
- Each meal preference has its own menu of up to 18 different recipes to choose from.
- You’re also allowed to mix and match meals from different meal preferences.
- SunBasket has a variety of ready to heat meal.
- You can also select add-ons like breakfasts, lunches, snacks, and soups to your meal plan.
- Green Chef’s menu options are significantly less compared to SunBasket. Depending on your meal plan, you have the option from 3 to 6 meals to choose from on their weekly menu.
- Their qualified keto plan also doubles as a gluten-free menu.
- Their more limited recipe options make it easier to choose meals if you aren’t too picky or if you don’t want to spend a long time trying to decide which meals to try.
Nutrition Facts & Taste
Both Green Chef and SunBasket put a heavy emphasis on sustainable practices and premium, organic ingredients.
Their recipes are accompanied by a complete list of nutritional facts and ingredients, which allow you to identify any potential allergens or ingredients you may not be comfortable with.
As far as safety practices go, both companies rely on their team that follows the highest food safety standards.
While both companies only offer a menu that caters to gluten-free diets specifically, you may not be able to find menus that specifically rule out other allergens such as nuts and dairy.
Because of this, you may want to inspect their ingredient lists heavily and be cautious if you have any serious food allergies.
Although both companies promise to practice food safety protocols that prevent cross-contamination, their facilities still process potential allergens, which might not be safe for you.
Green Chef is an ideal option if you’re looking for a simpler meal plan with fewer choices, so it’s easier to plan out your weekly menu.
On the other hand, SunBasket gives you more choices and feels closer to an authentic restaurant experience since you can switch between menus and order add-ons as you wish.
However, both companies do have a few drawbacks that other meal delivery area services might be able to fill.
Think of Blue Apron as a fusion between Green Chef and SunBasket. While the Blue Apron is simpler and easier to navigate like Green Chef’s, their meal options are also restaurant-quality like SunBasket’s.
Average Cost per Serving – around $10
Number of Menu Items – 8 meals each week
- Blue Apron utilizes more adventurous ingredients and recipes that customers may not be familiar with.
- They have a weight watchers meal option.
- Does not cater to specific allergies and diets like Keto.
- You have to email them to cancel your plan.
Martha and Marley Spoon
Martha and Marley Spoon heavily rely on Martha Stewart’s recipes. The meals are easy to prepare and usually take less than 30 minutes to cook. It’s also an ideal option if you want to have more recipe variety to choose from each week.
Average Cost per Serving – from under $7 a portion
Number of Menu Items – approximately 20 recipes each week
- It caters to gluten free diets
- The recipe cards are very easy to follow and are illustrated
- Some of the recipes were quite bland
- Does not cater to specific allergy-related dietary needs
Plated works similarly to SunBasket but is a little bit cheaper. They also offer a wide variety of meal options and menus that cater to specific meal preferences, which you can mix and match at any given time.
Average Cost per Serving – under $10 per portion on average
Number of Menu Items – over 20 recipes per menu
- Plated puts an emphasis on partnering with local, sustainable farms
- Their recipe cards are novice-friendly and come with easy to follow instructions
- The website is not as easy to navigate compared to SunBasket or Green Chef
- You also need to put in a 6-day notice before skipping a week
Are Green Chef Calories Accurate?
So far, everything I’ve read indicates that there’s no way to accurately account for every single gram of energy and nutrient per ingredient. This has led me to worry that the nutrient content in the recipes will be easily, but incorrectly, compared to the USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, or NDS, which is known for being conservative about nutrient levels. But for the most part, I’m finding that the meals are easier to make than I originally thought they would be, and they make a fantastic addition to your standard grocery store, or to serve to company when you’re looking for healthier (and more professional) options. And with each new meal, my husband notices a difference in his eating habits.
The short answer: maybe. The long answer: when it comes to calorie counts, you’d be hard-pressed to come up with an app that claims to estimate nutrition for every single ingredient in your food. And for good reason—accuracy aside, I don’t think it’s fair to have it be your default way to cook. But if they are easy, inexpensive, and consistent, a food scale and kitchen scale will quickly give you a reliable calorie count for the recipes. Do the recipes work for everyone?
Is Green Chef Actually Healthy?
Despite the company’s claims to the contrary, Green Chef does sell pre-packaged meals for the same price as most of its competitors. But for the price, the retailer charges, you can buy a couple of dinners worth of salmon and other wild-caught, organic, sustainable fish, in addition to other packaged proteins, grains, and veggies. The idea, as you can probably imagine, is that you would want to eat those fresh, sustainable foodstuffs cooked up on the plan, and not let them go to waste.
RELATED: Get the Best Reviews for Affordable Fast-Food Vegan Diner Clucks & Wrens. But it’s a reasonable point: When presented with a plastic-wrapped plate of pre-chopped greens and a pre-assembled chicken or tuna sandwich, with the expectation that these items will then be cooked in one hour and consumed that same evening, a lot of people are willing to take a pass on a lesser meal that’s essentially cold meat and cheese. In fact, you don’t need a $99 plan to prepare a meal for yourself.
Is Green Chef Prepared?With a green gimmick — that’s right, a green gimmick — Green Chef is sure to give customers pause. For one thing, Green Chef’s parent company, Home Chef, is headquartered in Chicago, IL, so while it has a solid track record in the Chicago food scene, it’s not a neighborhood competitor to be held to the same standards of grocery stores that already exist in our city. In fact, Green Chef would be categorized as an artisan food store, with some of its products’ ingredients coming from the founder’s family farm in Oregon. And there’s a significant online sales presence, as opposed to a wholesale-style model. To the casual observer, everything looks squeaky clean on the surface. But the company has seen its share of financial difficulties and there are a few concerns floating around online in the green community. So far, this story has been in a “coming soon” status on the company’s website and it doesn’t even have a home page at this point. Another major concern from online resources is that most of the ingredients listed on the website are, like the product recipes themselves.
Are Good Food Boxes Healthy?The federal government just completed a randomized study to determine whether the pre-made meal boxes delivered to poor households by food stamp recipients are nutritious enough to meet federal nutrition standards. The study compared the food boxes to grocery store food options and found that people who received the boxes ate more fruits and vegetables, and they consumed fewer calories overall. But the boxes are also less expensive than food stamp purchases, so that may be one reason why they’re chosen. There was no clear consensus on which option was better, according to researchers from Johns Hopkins University and Harvard University. Whether the boxes were a success or not, we can be certain that in these difficult economic times, both citizens and the government will continue to examine ways to make food available to those in need.
Which is Better: Green Chef vs Sun Basket?
Green Chef is a good meal kit delivery service if you don’t have serious food allergies, aversions, or follow a strict dietary preference.
Their simple weekly menu leaves very little up to you when it comes to choosing which meals you’ll get, which is ideal if you don’t want to feel overwhelmed with choices and just want something healthy and delicious to cook at home.
While Green Chef is a good option, SunBasket is a better cheapest option for you if you want a service that’s more flexible, caters to more specific diets like pescatarian and offers more menu variety. Their weekly offerings are not limited to one menu, but ten.
And you still have the option to mix and match meals from different menus. But what makes SunBasket more high-value and unique is its versatility. There are plenty of add-on options like desserts and soups, plus you’re also able to choose ready to heat meals on their menu.