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Now more than ever, people are searching for easy ways to get quick, nutritious meals on the table without the hassle of grocery shopping or following overly complicated recipes.
Healthy meal delivery services are available nationwide. Green Chef is a meal kit delivery service that pays special attention to food quality and nutrient density. It’s a popular choice among health-conscious consumers.
We’re giving you everything you need to know about Green Chef, including what the service offers, its pricing, and whether it’s the right choice for your lifestyle.
Also, be sure to scroll to the bottom to see our editor’s experience with trying Green Chef for 2 weeks.
- offers meal plans to suit a variety of dietary restrictions
- certified organic company, but not all ingredients are organic
- offers some certified gluten-free meal plans
- environmentally friendly
- tasty, satisfying meals
- a bit expensive compared with other meal kit delivery services
- limited meal choices offered each week
- separate shipping charges
- requires more preparation than premade meals
- does not use exclusively organic ingredients
Green Chef is a meal kit delivery service that began in 2014 in Boulder, Colorado. The German meal kit company HelloFresh acquired Green Chef in 2018.
Meal kit delivery services differ from ready-made meal delivery services. Instead of fully prepared, heat-and-eat meals, meal kit delivery services offer premeasured ingredients along with the directions needed to make home-cooked meals.
Green Chef delivers boxes to your home packed with ingredients like:
It also provides colorful, easy-to-follow, chef-crafted recipe cards to create meals.
Each box is packed with individual containers of the premeasured and prepped ingredients needed to make your selected recipes.
Recipes are designed to take less than 30 minutes to make, though some customers comment that certain recipes can take closer to 40 minutes to fully prepare.
Green Chef meal plans
Green Chef offers six plans:
Keto + Paleo
The company bills this as a “carb-conscious” option. These meals are high in protein and free of:
Examples of past meals include Smoky Pork & Kale Salad and Chicken & Creamy Zucchini Noodles.
According to Green Chef, customers who opt for the vegetarian meals will receive “well-balanced” recipes that are meatless and centered on plant-based ingredients. Examples of past meals include:
- Japanese Carrot & Cabbage Fritters
- Creamy Truffle & Mushroom Linguine
- Butternut & Porcini Linguine
These recipes are “inspired by Mediterranean flavors” and include lots of vegetables and healthy fats. Examples of past meals include Italian Barramundi & Red Pepper Gremolata and Mushroom, Artichoke & Pesto Flatbreads.
Fast & Fit
This plan focuses on lifestyle and diet, providing “convenient, calorie-conscious” meals that are ready in 25 minutes or less. Customers can mix and match across dietary preferences, according to the company. Examples of past meals include:
- Spicy Chili-Ginger Chicken Kale Salad
- Braised Chickpeas with Tomatoes and Kale
- Sriracha Tamari Beef Bowls
These recipes rely on a variety of vegetables and plant-based proteins. They also contain “good-for-you grains.” Examples of past meals include Penne with Mushroom Cream Sauce and Refried Bean & Pepper Stuffed Tortillas.
Customers on this plan will be able to choose from “wholesome recipes” that are flavorful and free of gluten and soy. Examples of past meals include Lemon-Basil Caper Pork and Baja Shrimp & Bacon Salad.
The plans can also be customized by the number of meals you’d like and the number of servings per meal. The company allows you to choose either three or four meals per week, which can accommodate two, four, or six people.
How does Green Chef work?
Customers sign up for Green Chef through the company’s website. You can choose from the six meal plans above (about 30 total individual meal options weekly) to suit varying dietary preferences.
After you choose your plan and select the recipes you would like to make, your box will be delivered on the date you choose.
You can also skip up to 4 consecutive weeks if you’ll be out of town or won’t need your meal kit during certain periods.
The company makes it easy to cancel your plan online at any time by navigating to the “Deactivate Your Plan” section in your account settings.
Currently, Green Chef offers delivery across the United States except to Alaska and Hawaii. Boxes are delivered Monday through Saturday between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. local time.
While each box is insulated and refrigerated to keep your ingredients fresh and cold, you can reach out to Green Chef’s customer service if you experience any problems with your delivery, via:
- live chat
Although there are many meal delivery and meal kit delivery services to choose from, Green Chef stands out for several reasons.
Green Chef is a U.S. Department of Agriculture certified organic company, meaning that all the ingredients in your meal kit are organic unless labeled otherwise. The company also holds a California Certified Organic Farmers accreditation.
However, Green Chef does not always use 100% organic ingredients. According to the company’s website, when an organic ingredient isn’t available, Green Chef will use a conventional substitute.
This may be disappointing for customers who want to follow an exclusively organic diet. However, Green Chef does notify customers through in-box communications when a conventional ingredient is used.
Green Chef isn’t the only organic meal delivery service that does this. Sunbasket is another organic meal delivery service that sometimes uses conventional ingredients. Currently, no meal kit delivery service promises 100% organic ingredients in every box.
Unlike many other meal kit services, Green Chef offers meal plans suitable for specific dietary needs, including:
Green Chef’s paleo and keto meal plans are certified gluten-free, meaning they’re safe for people with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivities.
Green Chef also has a six-serving option, unlike most other meal kit delivery services, which offer only two- or four-serving meals.
What’s more, Green Chef strives to be an environmentally friendly company, using recyclable packaging and offsetting its carbon emissions.
Green Chef may be beneficial for people who eat organic, especially in more rural areas, where access to organic food may be limited.
Most of the ingredients Green Chef uses, including produce and eggs, are certified organic. But the company may use conventional substitutes when an organic ingredient is not available.
If you want to keep your diet 100% organic, you could choose not to use the conventional ingredients in your Green Chef box. Green Chef will notify you when conventional ingredients are used, so you’ll always be aware of what is organic and what is not.
Additionally, this service is a good fit for families following these diets:
It may also be a good fit for families who want to incorporate more healthy, home-cooked meals and dine out or order in less often.
Green Chef’s pricing depends on how many servings per meal you need. Prices are the same regardless of which meal type you choose.
Here is the pricing breakdown that Green Chef provides on its website:
|2 servings per meal||4 servings per meal||6 servings per meal|
|• 3 meals per week: $13 per serving|
• 4 meals per week: $13 per serving
|• 2 meals per week: $13 per serving|
• 3 meals per week: $12 per serving
• 4 meals per week: $12 per serving
|• 3 meals per week: $12 per serving|
• 4 meals per week: $12 per serving
Shipping is $10 per order.
Green Chef is more expensive than other popular meal delivery services, such as HelloFresh and Blue Apron, but you could chalk that up to the quality of Green Chef’s ingredients.
Nevertheless, some people may find that Green Chef is out of their budget and that another meal service or a weekly trip to the grocery store is more affordable.
As stated above, Green Chef differs from other meal kits and premade meal delivery services in several ways.
Some of the benefits of Green Chef are:
- Plans suit consumers with dietary restrictions: Whether you cannot consume or choose not to consume certain foods, such as meat, gluten, soy, grains, or dairy, Green Chef has options.
- The company opts for organic ingredients: This may be a plus for folks who prefer organic options, as many other meal kit and meal delivery companies do not offer organic ingredients or focus on sustainability. However, Green Chef is not 100% organic and will use conventional substitutes when organic ingredients are not available.
- You can now mix and match meals: While the company previously limited subscribers to a meal plan, it now allows you to choose from about 30 weekly meals across different dietary preferences.
However, other companies are more transparent about ingredients. For example, Sunbasket, which offers organic meal kits, provides more information about ingredient sourcing and makes more effort to use sustainably raised and harvested seafood and animal products.
Here’s how Green Chef compares with some competitors:
|Green Chef||Sunbasket||Blue Apron||HelloFresh|
|$12+ per serving||$11+ per serving||$8+ per serving||$9+ per serving|
|$10 shipping per order||$10 shipping per box (not necessarily per order)||$10 shipping per order||$10 shipping per order|
• mix of low calorie and low carb meals
|uses mostly organic ingredients (when possible)||uses mostly organic ingredients (when possible)||• non-GMO|
• certified sustainable seafood
• some organic ingredients
|some organic ingredients|
Green Chef is owned by the meal kit company HelloFresh, which also owns the popular meal kit service HelloFresh, the budget meal kit service EveryPlate, and the prepared meal delivery service Factor. Overall, the brand and company have a very positive reputation.
However, Green Chef has some negative reviews. Most are related to:
- subscription issues
- missing ingredients in the boxes
Reviewers note very few issues regarding the food or food quality, although some say the meals are repetitive.
Regardless, it appears that Green Chef is responsive to customer requests.
The company used to have a variable shipping cost, between roughly $10 and $30, depending on the size of your order. Customers weren’t happy with this shipping model, so Green Chef now offers $10 flat-rate shipping.
Many people with different eating habits and dietary needs will likely find the service fits the bill. It could be well suited for:
- People who are short on time and don’t want to compromise on food quality: When it comes to taste, most reviews from Green Chef customers are positive. Customers seem to appreciate the flavor combinations and ingredient quality.
- Home cooks who crave more variety: Green Chef is also popular among people who want variety in their diet and don’t mind spending some time in the kitchen to prepare their meals.
- People with dietary restrictions: Because Green Chef offers paleo, keto, and plant-based plans, it’s an excellent option for people who need to avoid or choose to avoid foods such as grains, dairy, or meat. Plus, Green Chef offers family plans to suit larger households.
- Health-conscious eaters: Green Chef’s meals are nutritious and high in fiber and protein. The website provides nutrition information — a big plus for people who have dietary restrictions or are trying to manage their calorie intake.
That’s not to say Green Chef works for everyone. Like any other meal delivery service, it has some features that could be potential drawbacks for certain families or individuals.
You may find that another meal delivery service is better for you if:
- You prefer to know ingredient sourcing details: Although the company stresses that it uses sustainable ingredients and supports local farms, it’s not entirely clear where certain ingredients — namely meat and poultry — are sourced from. The company’s statement that “our proteins come from animals that have been raised with high animal welfare standards” doesn’t provide concrete details.
- You lack basic cooking skills or are tight on time: Green Chef meals need to be prepared and require some basic cooking skills. In addition, if you’re exceptionally tight on time, note that Green Chef meals usually take around 30 minutes to make.
- You want to follow a 100% organic diet: Because Green Chef does not always use organic ingredients, it may not be the best choice for people who want to follow a 100% organic diet. Also, while Green Chef claims to use sustainable seafood, the company is less open about its sourcing for meat and poultry products.
Hello — editor here!
Still wondering whether Green Chef is right for you?
To put this meal kit to the test, I tried Green Chef for two different weeks — once in the summer and once in the winter. After all, while balancing working from home full-time and taking care of a 2-year-old, I was more than happy to have an excuse to try this popular service.
Recipe selection and delivery
Like all other customers, I first had to choose a meal plan. I decided to choose Plant-Powered and Mediterranean meals from the Green Chef menu for two reasons:
- While I’m not strictly vegetarian, I prefer to eat mostly plant-based meals.
- My biggest complaint with the meal delivery kits I’ve tried in the past is the lack of vegetables, in terms of both quantity and variety, so I was curious how Green Chef would stack up.
Next, I was able to select three meals for each delivery.
I actually had a hard time narrowing down my selection, as multiple recipes caught my eye.
The recipes I chose for my first week were:
- Bulgogi Noodle Bowls (by far my favorite of the three!)
- Creamy Pesto Penne Bowls
- Apricot Chickpea Couscous Bowls
Next, I tried:
- Sriracha Tamari Beef Bowls
- Japanese Cabbage & Carrot Fritters
- Butternut and Porcini Linguine
Overall, I found that I preferred the selections offered during the summer more than the ones offered during the winter. Although I enjoyed all of my meals, the summer options were more appealing.
Once I had chosen my meals, all that was left was to select my preferred delivery date and wait until my box arrived the following week.
Delivery and packaging
As with many other kits, the meals arrived in a large cardboard box with plenty of ice to keep the ingredients at an appropriate temperature.
Similarly to HelloFresh, the ingredients were grouped by recipe in paper bags. I really like this feature, as it keeps your fridge organized and saves you time because you don’t have to go looking for individual ingredients.
Speaking of which, all the ingredients appeared to be fresh and good quality. Only the shredded carrots were starting to look a little brown toward the edges, though they were still perfectly tasty.
One common complaint about meal kits, in general, is the amount of packaging material used, especially for services like Green Chef in which the ingredients are packaged individually.
While there was certainly a lot of plastic, I appreciated that each package included a note at the bottom about how to recycle it — something I haven’t noticed with other meal kits.
Cooking and eating
In addition to your ingredients, each order includes recipe cards with step-by-step instructions.
Because all the ingredients were premeasured — and some were even shredded or chopped — the recipes were relatively easy to prepare.
In fact, with the exception of chopping a few vegetables, I was able to do most of the cooking one-handed with my kiddo on my hip.
That said, there were a few aspects of the recipe directions that I thought could have been better.
For example, for the noodle bowls, the instructions tell you to boil the water after prepping your other ingredients. However, because it took a long time for the water to boil, the vegetables cooked a little too long and were softer than I would have liked.
I also didn’t love how many pots and pans some of the recipes required.
On a positive note, I appreciated that the recipes included recommended amounts of salt to add at each step.
Now, time for the important question: How did the meals taste?
As I mentioned earlier, one of my biggest gripes with food kits is that they skimp on vegetables. This was far from the case with Green Chef.
The recipes were packed with multiple types of vegetables, and the seasonings provided were flavorful without being overly salty.
I also appreciated the variety of flavors and textures in each dish.
Still, I found the butternut linguine recipe was a little bland, compared with the bold flavors of the other dishes I tried.
However, while this probably isn’t a downside for others, I found the proportions of some of the ingredients to be a bit off.
For example, for the Apricot Chickpea Couscous Bowls recipe, I ended up with two servings of couscous but three servings’ worth of chickpeas and sauce.
Similarly, I used only half the bag of mozzarella cheese that came with the pesto dish.
Despite a few minor complaints, the process was very convenient, especially when I factored in the amount of time I saved by not having to plan meals.
Overall, the recipes were easy to make and full of flavor.
While Green Chef is one of the more expensive services, I found it to be the most enjoyable one I’ve tried so far in terms of creative recipe options and ingredient quality.
Plus, as the company offers discounts on your first few boxes, it’s easy to see whether the meal kit is the right fit for your family before having to pay the full amount.
To get started with Green Chef, hit the “Sign Up” button on the home page. You’ll be directed to a page where you’ll choose your meal type from six options:
- Keto + Paleo
- Gluten Free
- Fast & Fit
This is also where you’ll select the box size.
Within each menu, certain options may be tagged with the various meal types to help you find meals that are the best fit for you. For example, meals on the Vegetarian menu may be tagged “Gluten Free.”
You can choose the day of the week that is best for you to receive your shipments, and you will receive a weekly deadline based on that day. You must edit or skip your order by this deadline each week or Green Chef will select your meals for you.
You can change your preferred menu whenever you want, and you can mix and match meals from different menus in the same order.
Shipping is $10 per order.
Is Green Chef cost effective?
It may or may not be, depending on your circumstances. If you’re spending a great deal on eating out or ordering in and you want to cook at home more, Green Chef may be worth it and may even offer slight cost savings.
It may also be cost effective if you’re already used to paying for higher priced organic ingredients.
However, if you don’t prefer organic food, you may find that Green Chef is not worth the cost.
Is Green Chef good for weight loss?
If you eat Green Chef meals as part of a calorie-controlled diet, they could be a helpful tool for weight loss. Nutrition information for all recipes is available on the website and recipe cards.
However, you’ll likely want to stick to a single serving and avoid seconds if you’re tracking your calorie intake.
Can you choose your meals with Green Chef?
Yes, you can choose your meals from Green Chef. You’ll have access to all meal options across dietary preferences each week — Keto + Paleo, Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten Free, Fast & Fit, and Mediterranean.
Can I freeze my Green Chef meals?
You may be able to freeze certain Green Chef meals, but it’s not recommended until after you’ve cooked them. The fresh produce Green Chef sends for the recipes will not freeze well without being cooked first.
Meals that generally freeze well include:
Dishes such as salads and water-based fruits or veggies typically don’t freeze well.
Is Green Chef organic?
Green Chef uses mostly organic ingredients. However, when organic ingredients are not available, the company will use conventional substitutes. Green Chef will notify you if your box contains nonorganic ingredients.
Is Green Chef owned by HelloFresh?
Yes. HelloFresh acquired Green Chef in 2018.
Green Chef is a meal kit service that delivers boxes filled with fresh ingredients on a weekly, biweekly, or monthly basis to allow you to make chef-curated meals in the comfort of your own kitchen.
Green Chef stands out from the crowd because it uses mostly organic ingredients and offers meal plans suited for people with specific dietary needs, including:
However, Green Chef has some downsides and may not be the best choice for some people.
Still, as our editor experienced, the meals are tasty and easy to make, and they offer a much-appreciated answer to the question: “What’s for dinner?”