UK Markets close in 4 hrs 29 mins
Markets:

European stock markets push higher as Omicron strain concerns ease

This Organic Meal Delivery Service Eliminated My Nightly 'What's for Dinner?' Dilemma, and I'm Forever Grateful

·9-min read
Green Chef review
Green Chef review

chef.greenchef.com

When trying to decide what meal subscription box to sign up for, I ultimately chose Green Chef because of its slogan. Billed as "The #1 Meal Kit for Eating Well," the company markets itself to health-conscious eaters by offering certified organic ingredients and three distinct meal plans. But does Green Chef live up to its self-proclaimed title?

I ordered two weeks' worth of meals to see whether the subscription service would have a positive impact on my eating habits and daily routine. Not only did I judge each entree's taste, but I also rated the meals on ease of preparation, quality of ingredients, overall price, and packaging, among other things. Scroll down for my detailed review of Green Chef.

My overall rating for Green Chef: 7 out of 10

Pros:

  • Delicious meal plans

  • Easy-to-follow recipes

  • Organic ingredients

  • Sustainable packaging

Cons:

  • No free shipping

  • Longer prep/cook times than advertised

  • Some repeat ingredients

  • Shipping delay during holiday weekend

Signing Up for Green Chef

Starting a subscription with Green Chef is easy. The user-friendly website walks you through your options, including each of the three meal plans: Keto + Paleo, Balanced Living, and Plant-Powered. I liked that the brand let me look through three weeks' worth of menus without having to give an email address, which is common among other meal delivery services. The Balanced Living plan has the most variety with 12 recipes to choose from each week (Keto + Paleo has 10 while Plant-Powered has nine). On the Green Chef website, each meal has a photo, list of ingredients, estimated cook time, nutritional facts, and a recipe card, which you can access even if you're not a subscriber.

Once you decide which plan you want, you select how many meals you'd like to receive each week (three or four) and the number of servings (two, four, or six). After setting up your subscription, you can choose your weekly meals and track your orders and payments through the website or the Green Chef app. The company delivers to every state in the U.S. except for Alaska, Hawaii, and parts of Louisiana.

Green Chef Meal Plans

As mentioned above, Green Chef has three different meal plans. Here's a quick breakdown of each one.

  • Keto + Paleo: Includes carb-conscious, high-protein meals without any gluten, grains, soy, or legumes.

  • Balanced Living: A variety of meat, seafood, and vegetarian recipes.

  • Plant-Powered: An array of vegan and vegetarian dishes with plant-based proteins.

I opted for Balanced Living and received the following seven meals in two separate shipments.

realsimple BUY IT

realsimple BUY IT

realsimple BUY IT

realsimple BUY IT

realsimple BUY IT

realsimple BUY IT

realsimple BUY IT

Green Chef Delivery and Packaging

Green Chef gives you the option to choose your weekly delivery day (Monday-Saturday). Like with most meal delivery services, there's a large delivery window (in this case, 12 hours), which could cause problems if you don't work from home. However, you can track your package by email once it ships, and the company uses insulating materials and ice packs to keep food items cold in case you can't unbox them right away.

One of my shipments was delayed due to it being a holiday weekend, and I will admit that I was concerned about eating the meat and seafood because of how hot it had been outside on delivery day. I decided to buy my own shrimp and salmon out of an abundance of caution. I informed Green Chef and they offered to send me a replacement box for a future week. Most of the other ingredients arrived cold, but one of the bags of raw chicken leaked a bit. The vegetables, spices, sauces, and other non-perishable items arrived in good condition.

The food came in a sustainable cardboard box with individual bags for each meal. The meat and seafood were packaged separately underneath insulated ice packs to keep them cold, and each ingredient was packaged in recyclable pouches. The recipe cards are color-coded so it's easy to see which ingredients go with each meal.

Cooking Green Chef Meals

I found the Green Chef recipes to be straightforward and easy for a beginner chef to follow. The recipe cards include photos and step-by-step directions for every stage—from prepping to plating your dish. They also list the estimated cook time, serving size, calories, ingredients, and allergen information for each meal. The cooking instructions are available on the company's website and app as well.

The meals took about 45 minutes to make, which was longer than the estimated cook time of about 30 minutes per recipe. The veggies and meats did not come pre-chopped, which added to the prep time. It's important to note that Green Chef expects you to have basic kitchen essentials like salt, pepper, and oil, so those items are not included in the meal kits.

Green Chef review
Green Chef review

Erica Reagle

Green Chef Flavor and Quality

Overall, I thought Green Chef's meals were flavorful and contained quality ingredients. As a light eater, I found the portion sizes to be perfect, but my husband could've eaten more. And a few of the spices and sauces were too strong for my taste.

Out of all the meals we cooked, my husband and I both liked the Greek Feta Burgers best. We received four servings so we had enough left to freeze for another meal. We also really enjoyed the Pork Chops With Truffle Sauce, although we only used a little of the truffle spice as recommended in the cooking instructions. My least favorite meal was the Tilapia With Mango Salsa. The cauliflower rice and green beans with toasted almonds that came with the dish were delicious, but the quality and texture of the fish were disappointing.

One of my favorite things about Green Chef is that it encouraged me to experiment with new spices, like jerk seasoning, and side dishes, like cauliflower rice. Many of the recipes required roasting vegetables on a lightly oiled, foil-lined baking sheet at 425 degrees Fahrenheit. I usually don't cook at such high temperatures, but I'll try this method again because the vegetables cooked quickly and had a nice flavor and texture. Another new technique I learned was to start by searing on a frying pan before transferring the pan over to the oven to finish cooking.

Green Chef Prices

Green Chef's pricing varies based on the meal plan you choose and how many meals/servings you request each week. Regular prices start at $11 per serving and go up to $13. The most popular Keto + Paleo option (four meals with two servings each) comes out to just under $100 per week, not including shipping. The cheapest combination is three meals a week with two servings a piece on the Balanced Living or Plant-Powered plans, which costs $72, plus shipping. The most expensive option is $276 a week (four meals with six servings each on the Keto + Paleo plan).

Right now, Real Simple readers get free shipping and $100 off across four boxes when they use code REALS100 at checkout. Green Chef also offers a special Hero Discount for first responders, medical providers, nurses, teachers, military members, and veterans.

Sign up: From $72/week ($100 off with code REALS100); chef.greenchef.com.

Green Chef's Sustainability Efforts

As an organic meal kit delivery service, Green Chef uses eco-friendly packaging. The boxes are made of corrugated cardboard, with a minimum of 40 percent recycled content, and most of the other materials are recyclable, reusable, and/or compostable, with disposal instructions listed on the packaging. The company offsets 100 percent of its carbon emissions and in-box plastic.

Green Chef is committed to sourcing high-quality ingredients that are free of GMOs, pesticides, and antibiotics. Eggs and produce are certified organic, unless labeled otherwise, and proteins meet high animal welfare standards. The brand also supports local farms and partners with regional food suppliers when possible.

Green Chef review
Green Chef review

Erica Reagle

Green Chef Customer Service

Green Chef's customer service team is easy to reach and responsive. When I was concerned that my delivery was in the heat too long due to the holiday weekend shipping delay, I called and a representative answered the phone right away and offered to send out a replacement box.

The company has a helpful FAQ section on their website with answers to commonly asked questions, such as "What if my box is late?" and "What is the deadline to modify my order or skip a week?" You can also reach the customer service team through a live chat on the website or by calling 888-236-7295.

Green Chef Customer Reviews

"Every dinner prepared has been truly amazing! I'd give them 10 stars if I could! Fresh, organic ingredients... I'm in love with Green Chef."

Kendrice J., 5 out of 5 stars

"I love the vegan recipes and the quality of ingredients. I've been their customer for more than a year and I've tried other food services, and Green Chef is definitely the best one. Their customer service is awesome and will respond quickly through live chat."

Elham M., 5 out of 5 stars

"We picked the Keto plan and some of the meals have been very, very good. We've now had five boxes delivered, so I'd say we have a pretty good grasp on what the food and company is like. I'd say two out of three meals are great. However, there's one BIG problem with all of them. The portions are ridiculously small."

Dani M., 3 out of 5 stars

Green Chef: My Final Take

This was my first time using a meal kit delivery service, and I would both order Green Chef again and recommend it to a friend. Choosing the recipes in advance eliminated the nightly "What's for dinner?" dilemma, and having everything prepped and ready to go was super convenient. Though some of the recipes took longer to make than I was expecting, I like that the company offers fresh takes on standard meals.

Overall, Green Chef is a solid choice for health-conscious eaters who have dietary restrictions or preferences. If you consider grocery shopping a true chore, you'll appreciate the ease of this service. However, Green Chef might not be the best option for those with big appetites and people who prefer large portions. If you fall into this category, check out other popular meal delivery services.

My overall rating for Green Chef: 7 out of 10

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting