Green Chef Review

Meal kits that prioritize the planet

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4.6

Green Chef

shrimp and vegetables in a dark colored bowl

Verywell Fit / Eric Kleinberg

Green Chef deliverers on sustainability focused, plant-heavy options with global flavors. If you’re looking for a meal kit that prioritizes the planet and you have the money to spend, this service fits the bill.

Pros
  • Sustainability- and sourcing-focused

  • Plenty of plants

  • Varied flavors and composition

Cons
  • Limited diet accommodations

  • No upgrades or add-ons

4.6

Green Chef

shrimp and vegetables in a dark colored bowl

Verywell Fit / Eric Kleinberg

Green Chef was founded in 2014 with the intent of making specialized diets like keto, paleo, and plant-based easier and more accessible at home. Green Chef is also one of the few meal kits in the marketplace to have certified organic status, an attribute it has brought to the HelloFresh family since its acquisition in 2018.

With so many meal kit services in the marketplace, Green Chef strives to deliver on flavor while serving the diets and ingredients that their health-conscious customers need. We tested the service to see if its organic ingredients and specialty diet plans served up deliciousness as well.

Green Chef’s main differentiator is its emphasis on sustainability, with organic ingredients, eco-friendly packaging, and plenty of plant-based options.

Pricing: Some Variation

Green Chef’s pricing structure is a touch more complex than some kits, with variation across the different types of meal plans as well as serving sizes and number of meals. Like other companies, Green Chef is less expensive per serving the more you buy, but in this case, you also save money by choosing the plant-based option, which we loved to see. Subscriptions start at a minimum of $10.49 per serving and go up to $12.99, placing it a bit higher than some other kits—and you’ll also have to pay $9.99 for shipping.

Here’s the breakdown for each meal plan:

Plant Powered (cost per serving)

  • 2 meals per week: $11.49 for 4 (not offered in other serving quantities) 
  • 3 meals per week: $11.99 for 2, $10.99 for 4, $10.49 for 6 
  • 4 meals per week: $11.49 for 2, $10.49 for 4, $10.49 for 6

Balanced Living (cost per serving)

  • 2 meals per week: $11.49 for 4 (not offered in other serving quantities)
  • 3 meals per week: $11.99 for 2, $10.99 for 4, $10.49 for 6
  • 4 meals per week: $11.49 for 2, $10.49 for 4, $10.49 for 6

Keto+Paleo (cost per serving)

  • 2 meals per week: $12.49 for 4 (not offered in other serving quantities)
  • 3 meals per week: $12.99 for 2, $12.49 for 4, $11.49 for 6
  • 4 meals per week: $12.49 for 2, $11.49 for 4, $11.49 for 6

How It Works: Organic All Around

Getting started with Green Chef is pretty simple and straightforward. Users create an account, pick a plan for the type of meals they want, the number of servings and meals per week, and then answer a few questions about any additional dietary considerations.

Green Chef’s main differentiator is its emphasis on sustainability, with organic ingredients, eco-friendly packaging, and plenty of plant-based options. These standards carry through to all the various meal plans on offer, whether you choose to go “keto+paleo” option, which includes recipes free of gluten, grains, soy and legumes; “balance living” for a mix of meat, seafood, and vegetarian meals; or “plant-powered,” which offers plant-based proteins.

Aside from the meal plan of choice, customers will also choose from some added dietary preferences, mostly around which proteins are preferred. Plant-powered plans offer vegan or vegetarian preferences, while the other two plans allow you to let Green Chef know if you prefer to omit certain proteins like pork-free, shellfish-free, beef-free, etc. While this won’t guarantee you an allergen- or ingredient-free meal selection all the time, the website lists items according to your preferences first when you view the menu.

Once your meal preferences are in, you can choose from delivery dates and provide details about delivery; then only the actual meal selection process stands between you and a box of sustainably sourced ingredients, prepared sauces, and spice blends delivered right to your door.

Green chef ingredients on a countertop

Verywell Fit / Eric Kleinberg

Choosing Meals: Smaller Menu, No Customization

Green Chef’s weekly menus aren’t as large as some other companies, offering somewhere around nine to 12 meals in each of the three plans with no customizations, add-ons, or upgrades. Within that meal count though, we do feel the company does a decent job of varying flavor profiles, protein types, and ingredients to accommodate its various diets. Overall, this makes meal selection relatively quick and easy, but it could complicate matters for individuals with allergies, intolerances, or those in need of diets not on Green Chef’s plan list.

When choosing meals, the menu will automatically generate suggested offerings for you based on the plan of your choice and the additional protein preference questions you answered when signing up. Meals are listed in a dashboard where you can view the photo, the longer name of the dish, and tags like “veggie,” “gluten free,” “paleo,” “keto,” “Mediterranean,” and “fast and fit.”

Each meal plan takes up about a third of the menu, with a similar number of options across each style of eating. If you’re looking for nutrition and allergen information, simply select the item you’re interested in and you’ll be able to pull up a full breakdown of nutrition and ingredient information. Although you can’t make changes, you can at least view if options will fit your needs.

Menus range from comfort food favorites to internationally inspired spices, and there are always lots of vegetables included. We loved the fact that even though the menu is on the smaller side, there does feel like a variety to choose from, especially if you’re an omnivore.

What We Made

We opted for the Balanced Living plan, so we got a mixture of options that included some from each diet accommodation that Green Chef offers. Our meals included:

  • Shepherd’s pie, mashed potato, carrots, peas, white cheddar, chives
  • Sesame ginger pork bowls, lime rice, garlicky bell pepper & onion
  • Butternut squash risotto, sage-seasoned portobellos, toasted walnuts, parmesan
  • Steak & shrimp in creamy chive sauce, cheesy mashed butternut squash, roasted broccoli
  • Japanese cabbage & carrot fritters, ginger-sriracha aioli, broccoli, rice with edamame

Packaging: Eco-Friendly Effort

With its emphasis on sustainability, Green Chef definitely makes an effort to include recyclable, reusable, and non-plastic packaging as much as possible. The service also details exactly what to do with each type of item in the FAQ section of its website, a valuable resource that not many companies offer.

The meals arrive in a cardboard box with a plant-based insulator and an ice pack, all recyclable either curbside or at a facility that accepts #4 plastics. Ingredients for each meal are separated into labeled paper bags that then house subsequent bags containing spice blends, sauces, produce, and more.

Green Chef goes to some lengths to ensure that these additional packaging pieces are made out of recyclable materials as well, including the flexible plastics which seem to mostly be #1, #4, and #5 plastics, all of which can be recycled.

green chef ingredients in a cardboard delivery box

Verywell Fit / Eric Kleinberg

Customer Support: Quick, but Not Always Helpful

Green Chef offers its customers support through in-delivery recipe cards, a simple but functional app, and its website. While the fairly helpful FAQ page is available on both the app and the website, if you can’t get what you need there you can always reach out to customer support.

Live chat is available on weekdays and weekends, as is phone support. We used the chat feature to try to get to the bottom of a few diet-related questions and while we got some answers, we weren’t able to get others. Overall, it was a positive experience, with friendly staff and a quick turnaround time of just a few minutes, even though we didn’t get all our questions answered.

Nutrition: Limited Info on Diets

Green Chef offers three meal plans to choose from, that cover a range of diets within them. The Keto+Paleo plan consists of meals that are free of gluten, grains, soy, and legumes, while the Plant Powered plan offers vegan and vegetarian options. The Balanced Living option is the least restrictive and offers a range of meat, seafood, and plant-based proteins.

As some of the diets offered are much more restrictive than others, we would liked to have seen a bit more information about what’s behind them. If entire meal plans are structured around these diets, it would be helpful to include information on the website about threshold levels of relevant nutrients and approaches to handling sensitive ingredients.

We do appreciate that Green Chef stays away from diet culture-based language though, and even if you choose the more nutritionally restrictive options like keto and paleo, it’s nice to know that you can always order outside of that if needed.

One thing to note on allergen information is that while meals may be free of certain allergens, the facility they are produced in is not. While this is common, it is something to keep in mind for customers who are looking for allergen-free meals.

The Cooking Process: Not for Total Beginners

We found Green Chef’s recipes to be detailed and accurate, with clear instructions. The meals are designed to be complete at or around the 30-minute mark, and for us, this was mostly accurate. While the recipes may be involved, they can be completed somewhat quickly if you are able juggle a few things at once. 

We did occasionally come across the need for some special equipment, in our case a microplane. The FAQ page of the Green Chef website does list both pantry ingredients and kitchen tools that are frequently used, which is a helpful resource.

We wouldn’t call the recipes easy, but that’s not always the point. We think you’ll like Green Chef if you enjoy getting your hands dirty in the kitchen, but want the extra help of a premade sauce here and there.

shrimp cooking in a skillet

Verywell Fit / Eric Kleinberg

Flavor, Freshness, and Quality: Quality Produce, Sustainably Sourced

Green Chef guarantees all organic produce and eggs, as well as stating that its proteins are raised to high standards of animal welfare. If you’re curious about what some of these labels actually mean, we recommend you head to the USDA’s website.

While we love to see that Green Chef is backing up its claims on organic food, we couldn’t find much information at all related to the sourcing of meat and seafood, which was surprising. While this may not be central to the sustainability commitments Green Chef makes, it would be helpful to know what standards exactly are in place, especially with so much emphasis on sustainability in other areas like produce and packaging. 

Outside of the all-important questions of sourcing, we also evaluate meal delivery services on flavor, texture, and quality for consumption. While we had one or two items that didn’t necessarily last the five-day window that Green Chef recommends for consumption of its recipes, we did find that on arrival, everything seemed to be of high quality and tasted as it should. We loved the signature spice blends and sauces provided by Green Chef, but we did need to jazz up recipes here and there. 

Green Chef Is Good For

We love Green Chef for omnivores and plant enthusiasts alike who want to prioritize (and are willing to pay for) organic produce. This service could work well for individuals or small families, but we think some price-conscious folks may find Green Chef out of reach.

We think you’ll like Green Chef if you enjoy getting your hands dirty in the kitchen, but want the extra help of a premade sauce here and there.

The Competition: Green Chef vs. HelloFresh

While not exactly competitors (HelloFresh owns Green Chef), these services do compete in the marketplace for subscription-style meal kits. HelloFresh has a lower price point model, though, with a lowest price per serving of $7.49, while Green Chef comes in at over $10. HelloFresh also has a variety of add-ons while Green Chef is a simple 12-meal menu each week with no extras. However, if you’re looking to go green, Green Chef is the option you’ll want with its certified organic label for produce and eggs.

Learn More: Read Our HelloFresh Review

Final Verdict

For farmer’s market quality organics without the trip to the market, head to Green Chef. Whether you’re an omnivore or totally plant-based, you’ll have options with a range of flavors and food on the table in around 30 minutes.

Methodology

We ordered, cooked, and evaluated meals from 27 meal delivery services to get a sense of each one’s offerings, nutrition profiles, prices, and, of course, flavors. We contacted the customer service teams at each of the companies, collected data, and wrote detailed reviews about each one.

Our writers are all registered dietitians and relied on their research and its resulting data to inform their reviews.

Specs

  • Product Name Green Chef
  • Lowest Price per Serving 10.49
  • Number of Diets Served 6
  • Number of Recipes 31
  • Delivery Area 48 states
  • Serving Sizes Available 2, 4, 6
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