Home Chef does have more additional fees (with protein upgrades and premium meals) that allow you to spend more than you might originally intend to, but they’re avoidable if you’re sticking to a careful budget, whereas Sun Basket has higher prices built in to account for their organic ingredients.
It’s also important to note that while Sun Basket’s ingredients are largely organic, the company is not completely certified organic like Green Chef, meaning it can swap in non-organic ingredients when necessary and offer a consistently large menu.
With 18 different meals to choose from each week, this organic-first service accommodates a wide range of diets that are otherwise underserved by meal kits, including paleo, gluten-free, vegan, and of course, vegetarian.
I tested the best meal kit delivery companies over three months and judged them on cost, recipe quality, meal options, and more, ultimately picking Home Chef as our favorite kit overall.
During my week of testing Sun Basket, I was impressed by how easily my meals came together, relying on just a few key ingredients and spice blends to do most of the heavy lifting, which meant spending less time cooking and more time enjoying my food with my boyfriend.
However, they also offer a “family plan” with a menu limited to six recipes per week that costs $10. 99 per meal for four people. Shipping costs $5. 99 for every box after your first order, regardless of box price.
Because Home Chef and Sun Basket are both established companies with large networks of food suppliers, they’ve been able to keep their meal prices competitively low.
But what sets Home Chef apart from organic-first service Sun Basket, our favorite meal kit for vegetarians?
When you break it down, a couple interested in cooking three standard dinners a week would spend $59. 70 at Home Chef, and $77. 93 at Sun Basket.
Sun Basket, meanwhile, has less flexibility but a larger standard menu with 18 dinner options to choose from each week, many of which tailor to specialty diets.
Sun Basket is also a certified organic handler, meaning that their ingredients are largely organic, although they do swap in non-organic ingredients when necessary to offer a consistently large menu.
Sun Basket’s meals also lean heavily into South- and East-Asian flavors, but this is partly why it’s such a strong service for vegetarians—it tends to avoid the carb-centric dinners that are so often the only options for people who avoid meat.
These options give couples and families a lot more flexibility in how they eat, without deviating from the organized menu and clear recipes we’ve come to expect from Home Chef.
A family of four would spend $119. 40 at Home Chef and anywhere from $137. 87 and $149. 87 at Sun Basket for the same number of meals.
Vegetarian meals, like the Wild Rice and Brussels Sprouts Harvest Bowl, were on the table in less than 30 minutes, but the average box-to-table time on my Home Chef meals was about 45 minutes.
While not an entirely vegetarian service, Sun Basket offers a huge variety of quick plant-based meals that we think will satisfy vegetarians and omnivores alike—which is why we gave them our Best for Vegetarians badge.
Since we tested, though, Home Chef has introduced their “Customize It” option, which allows subscribers to swap proteins for over half the dinners offered each week.
Dinners include at least one premium meal and at least two vegetarian, gluten-free, nut-free, and dairy-free options per menu.
Home Chef, meanwhile, has a fixed price of $9. 95 per serving for most dinner meals, regardless of frequency or number of servings.
Meal kits might take a lot of stress out of grocery shopping and cooking, but before you can reach dinner enlightenment, you’ll need to wade through a lot of noise and confusion to actually choose a service.
We put two of the best meal kits to the test. https://t.co/8b4bTkUFu8— USA TODAY Tech (@usatodaytech) June 26, 2019