Meal Kit Review: Green Chef is Needlessly Overpriced

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Green Chef is a premium priced meal kit company, purportedly specializing in sending nutritious meals with a focus on organic ingredients. Their hook is that they offer plans for people in special diets – alas, they only offer five meal choices under each plan and you cannot pick kits from different plans. They also offer an “omnivore” plan, still with only five choices. This is the plan that I tried for a week – and in all, I didn’t think the premium price was justified given the kit ingredients. However, for people in special dies who are not well served by other companies, this may be a good choice.

The Plans

Green Chef offers two different plans. The 2-person plan provides 3 meal kits for 2. Subscribers choose one of seven diet categories: keto, paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, pescatarian, vegan and omnivore, each offering five meal kit choices. Most plans are $79/week, including shipping, but the keto and paleo plans are $85. That means that kits cost between a little over $26/28 each and the per-serving price is just above $13/14. There is an extra discount if you order two or three vegetarian boxes per week – but not for the other plans.

The four person plan provides 2 meal kits for 4 people per week. There is both an omnivore and carnivore plan, and while you can chose or the other, each plan has set meals. The cost is $95 a week, or $47.50 per kit/$12 per serving.

Green Chef allows you to switch between plans every week, but you cannot pick and choose meal kits between plans.

There are often discounts for your first week. Use this referral link to get 2 meal kits/4 meals free your first week (a better deal than the one I got). I’m currently not a subscriber so I don’t get anything for referring you. When I first subscribed, Green Chef allowed me to send a couple of free boxes to other people.

The Food

As mentioned, Green Chef offers 7 different plans, each with 5 choices each. I haven’t looked carefully into each of the categories – but I did read a number of reviews that say the Keto plan does not actually include keto meals. The ones offered are too high in protein and carbs, and too low in fats. You can see the nutritional values of each meal on the Green Chef website before you order.

Personally, I found the limited choices offered by Green Chef problematic. I had been wanting to subscribe to Green Chef for months, but couldn’t find a week where I was happy with three of the five choices in any menu. Of course, I’m a picky eater.

Green Chef is owned by the same company that owns HelloFresh and their meals seem to be pretty similar. I would classify it as modern American cuisine. There are some international flavors, but generally those that have already broken through to the American mainstream. That said, I also read reviews of people complaining the flavors were too strong or exotic so if you’re a Sizzler and Mary Callender’s sort of diner, this may not be the right company for you.


Green Chef is supposed to be a certified organic company, whatever that means. Most of the products Green Chef sent were organic, but interestingly, the meats were not. And while most of the ingredient seemed to be good quality, I can’t say the meats were any better than those that you get from HelloFresh or Every Plate, the company’s cheaper choices. I understand that before HelloFresh bought it, Green Chef used to send organic meats, but that’s no longer the case.

I was also sort of disappointed that none of the meal kits had really exotic ingredients – one of the reasons I like buying meal kits instead of just ordering the ingredients myself is so that I can use exotic ingredients without having to chase after them or buy enormous quantities that I’ll never use again. There were some cool black and white sesame seeds in one kit but everything else were supermarket-available ingredients.

Finally, Green Chef sends you ingredients that are more processed than other kits, for example, the cabbage was already shredded and the pineapple was already cubed. However, they still require you to do further processing (chopping the above), which seems like a waste of time. If they are sending you cut ingredients, why not cut them to the size the cook will need? I was particularly irked that the chicken katsu recipe required me to cut the chicken breasts into two thin cutlets – why not sent cutlets to begin with? Processing chicken is the last thing I want to do in the kitchen.

The Shipping & Delivery

My box seemed to be in the road for several days. I got a notification that my box was on the way on a Friday, when it wasn’t scheduled to arrive until Monday. It did arrive fairly early in the day, and the food was still cold – though perhaps not as cold as that from other services.

The Packaging

Home

Despite its name, Green Chef is not particularly “green” as far as packaging goes. The kits came in an oversize cardboard box (which was OK, as my daughter re-used the cardboard to make dividers for her drawers). The paper lining was curb-side recyclable, which I appreciated, but it came within an unnecessary non-recyclable plastic bag.

Within the box, the items for the meal kits come organized in color-coded paper bags. I like this system because I can put the bags inside the refrigerator (minus any ingredient that really shouldn’t be refrigerated) and take them out when it’s time to make the kit. I then used the bags to put the food trimmings for curbside compost pickup.

As with other kits, the meats are placed between freezer packs at the bottom of the box. The freezer packs Green Chef uses must be thrown in the garbage, rather than composted our poured down the drain. This, to me, is a huge waste, as other companies manage to use more environmentally friendly alternatives.

Like pretty much every other company, Green Chef uses a lot of plastic bags for its produce and ingredients.

The Results

In all, I made three meal kits, including a vegetarian one. I was overall happy with the results, but not static. While the vegetarian dish became my daughter’s favorite meal kit so far, the other ones were pretty average as far as meal kits go, and nothing in them justified the premium price.

Pasta Pomodoro with Steak and balsamic cremini mushrooms

The best thing about this were the balsamic mushrooms


Cauliflower Tacos al Pastor, Slaw with cilantro-lime aïoli and refried black beans

My daughter loved these.


Chicken Katsu Noodle salad with cabbage, carrots, pineapple & pickled ginger

Great chicken.  Tasteless noodles.


All in all, Green Chef is not for me. The lack of choices and the less than amazing food simply does not justify the premium prices. It might for someone that is in a specific diet catered by Green Chef, but for the average person there are better and cheaper choices.

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