Meal kit delivery services are becoming all the rage with families and healthy eaters alike. Some of the original meal kit delivery companies have some incredibly delicious food to offer.
However, there are some maverick meal kit delivery services that try to do the impossible by creating plans that accommodate the most precise dietary restrictions.
Any company can create delectable dinners, but it takes something special to create delectable dinners for those who follow the paleo diet, the keto diet or a vegan/vegetarian diet.
Two such companies that aimed to be as inclusive as possible when it comes to accommodating special diets are Sun Basket and Green Chef.
Sun Basket stands on convenience and prides themselves for having healthy meals made from fresh, USDA-certified organic ingredients responsibly sourced from American farms, fisheries, and ranches.
Green Chef’s claim is that you’ll get healthy and flavorful organic meal kits delivered straight to your doorstep. You’ll receive natural ingredients in every meal delivery that perfectly fit your diet and lifestyle.
Price per serving
As you can see, Sun Basket and Green Chef bear quite a few similarities, especially when it comes to pricing and the meal plans they offer.
When it comes to pricing, Green Chef can be just a hair less expensive than Sun Basket if you’re not doing Paleo or Keto. However, with Sun Basket, modifying your meals will usually cost you a bit extra.
Additionally, with both services, in order to get their cheapest price, you have to get a larger than average order.
Below is a quick breakdown of Green Chef pricing:
- Plant-Powered is $11.99 per meal with $7.99 for shipping.
- Plant-Powered (3 or 4 dinners per week for at least 4 people) is $9.99 per meal with $7.99 for shipping.
- Balanced Living is $11.99 per meal with $7.99 for shipping.
- Paleo is $12.99 per meal with $7.99 for shipping.
- Keto is $12.99 per meal with $7.99 for shipping.
Below is a quick breakdown of Sun Basket pricing:
- Their box with 2 dinners, 2 servings each is $12.99 per serving, plus $7.99 for shipping.
- Their box with 3 dinners, 2 servings each is $11.99 per serving, plus $7.99 for shipping.
- Their box with 4 dinners, 2 servings each is $10.99 per serving, plus $7.99 for shipping.
As you can see, both services are fairly even when it comes to pricing, so we’ve called this race a tie!
Winner: Sun Basket
Sun Basket is hard to beat when it comes to the amount of plans they offer. They have the following plans:
- Chef’s Choice (which are hand picked by chefs highlighting seasonal ingredients)
- Lean & Clean
- Quick & Easy
However, Green Chef does a good job at measuring up when it comes to the more difficult dietary restrictions. They offer the:
- Plant Powered Plan
- Balanced Living Plan
- Carb Conscious Plan
On the other hand, something that makes Sun Basket much better when it comes to plans is the fact that you can mix and match meals from each plan. Green Chef doesn’t allow this.
Plus, the menus for each Green Chef plan are a lot smaller than Sun Basket’s. For instance, Green Chef’s Keto plan only offers 7 meals to choose from each week.
Winner: Sun Basket
Sun Basket’s plan selection says it all. Such a large variety of plans has led to a massive variety of food. Moreover, you have a ton of customization options with majority of Sun Basket’s meals.
Another way Sun Basket differs from competition is because they offer breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks and even butcher services that are delivered right to your door.
Additionally, Green Chef meals are cooked from scratch (with some ingredients pre prepped), whereas Sun Basket offers some pre prepped meals and some oven ready meals that cut out a lot of work. So, Sun Basket even has more variety for preparation and cooking methods.
Green Chef’s recipes might have fancy sounding names, but basically the meals below are breaded chicken and veggies, meatloaf and mashed potatoes, and spaghetti. They’re probably quite similar to meals you’ve made before.
- Panko Chicken with Lemon Aioli Toasted pearl couscous with sun-dried tomatoes, roasted broccoli
- Homestyle Meatloaf & Gravy Creamy garlic mashed potatoes, roasted carrots with pecans
- Italian Sausage Puttanesca Spaghetti, olives, capers & Parmesan cheese, roasted broccoli
Sun Basket’s meals tend to be a little more unique. Now, this is a personal opinion, but I feel like the average person wouldn’t even be able to pronounce some of their meals, let alone have eaten something like them before.
Here are some examples from this week’s menu of their more unique dinners:
- Avgolemono soup with orzo, butter beans, and fresh dill
- Brazilian moqueca with wild sea scallops over sweet potato mash
- Lentil, mushroom, and apricot burgers with arugula salad (technically, there’s nothing hard to pronounce in this meal, but who in the heckin bob has ever heard of an apricot burger?)
So across the board, in many manners of speaking, Sun Basket has a lot of variety.
Accommodate dietary restrictions
Winner: Green Chef
You’re probably shocked that we named Green Chef the winner for this category since we’ve been raving about Sun Basket’s variety.
Really, when it comes to accommodating dietary restrictions, both services have you covered. There’s just a few things that Green Chef does a little better.
For one, in our humble opinion, Green Chef meals tend to taste better. If you have to follow a strict diet, having access to food that actually tastes good is a coup.
For two, Green Chef’s gluten free meals are actually certified gluten free by the Gluten-Free Food Service (GFFS) Certification Program.
The Gluten-Free Food Service (GFFS) Certification Program, a program of the Gluten Intolerance Group, is a proven food safety model of established best practices for food service establishments offering gluten-free options.
Certified companies have demonstrated that they will apply the necessary level of rigor to processes and procedures to eliminate cross-contamination and provide a safe eating experience for gluten-free consumers.
The Gluten Intolerance Group provides the gold standard in certification for the celiac community. The GFFS Certification provides assurances to gluten avoiders, including celiacs, that Green Chef’s gluten-free kits meet or exceed the most rigorous gluten-free standards in the industry.
Sun Basket offers gluten free meals too, but they’re not certified gluten free and therefore are not safe for the celiac community.
Winner: Green Chef
Some of the produce received from Sun Basket was bruising and literally rotting. This was what led to the lower score they were given in the initial review. Given the price point, subpar ingredient quality is nearly inexcusable.
Nevertheless, keep in mind we only tried each service once, so we might not have seen a clear picture of the service as a whole. Perhaps this was a bad week.
However, the worst thing Green Chef did was send a slightly wilted scallion. To be fair, the offending scallion was an ingredient in the last meal we ate of the three we received. This was the only true flaw as far as quality goes.
Ease of use
Winner: Sun Basket
Sun Basket offers some “oven-ready” and “pre-prepped” recipes. This cuts actual time and work out of the process.
Because of this, I would deem Sun Basket easier to use.
Plus, on Sun Basket’s website, you can find video tutorials for different cooking techniques, as well as other tips and tricks. These are great resources if you’re new to cooking.
On the other hand, only some of Green Chef’s meals come with pre prepped ingredients. However, overall, most of their meals only take about 30 minutes to make, so they’re by no means overly difficult.
Ordering experience and packaging
Winner: Sun Basket
As far as the ordering process goes, these services are neck and neck. The websites are easy to navigate and the apps are super handy. The only issue I took is that Green Chef doesn’t offer their app to Android users at this time.
Due to this weird bias against Android users, Sun Basket is the winner for ordering experience.
When it comes to packaging though, they both did a stellar job.
With Sun Basket, the insulation was nearly two inches thick and there were a total of four large ice packs. These ice packs were still solidly frozen when we received our package, something that hasn’t happened with other services, so the extra thick insulation is doing its job well.
Each meal was packaged in it’s own bag, which is convenient and makes it super simple to store the meals in the refrigerator until it’s time to prepare them.
All and all, they seem like pros in this department.
Green Chef’s delivery was smooth also. Everything was on time and packaged well. All our ingredients stayed fresh during transport too.
Plus, bonus points for the fact that they packaged their proteins separately to prevent cross contamination.
If only Green Chef had an app for Android users like myself!
The Bottom Line
When you compare Sun Basket and Green Chef side by side, you see a lot of similarities. They nearly have identical pricing, even down to the cost of shipping. They both do a heck of a job making sure their plans are as inclusive as possible for all dietary restrictions/preferences. They both even make sure pre prepped ingredients are included for some meals to save time.
Because of this, the only thing we can truly recommend is to try them both. That is, unless you have celiac disease, because Green Chef having certified gluten free options is one of the only real differences between the services. If that’s the case, Green Chef is pretty much your only option across the board.
Other than that, you’ve got nothing to lose by trying them both. Find out if you like Sun Basket’s extra fancy food better than Green Chef’s homier meals or vis-a-versa.
Read our full Sun Basket review.