Healthy eating has always been a tedious task that required an enormous amount of meal prep. In the last few years, meal delivery services have stepped up in making healthy eating easy. With just a few clicks, you can get quality meals direct to your doorstep.
We’re breaking down Fresh and Easy vs. Sunbasket to help you decide which of these healthy meal delivery services is better for you. Both have a focus on healthy eating, but the biggest difference lies in the preparation required and the fact that Sunbasket emphasizes sustainability and organic ingredients.
After reviewing many meal delivery services, I know that different aspects are important to different people. So I’ll walk you through each part of the process and look at the similarities and differences between these two services.
Carb-conscious and calorie-conscious options
Paleo, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegetarian, diabetes-friendly, pescatarian, low-calorie, low-carb
Around 8 options per menu
20+ meal kits and 18+ prepared meals weekly across all plans
$6.99 per serving
$4.27 per serving
$7.99 for 3 recipes/week or more, $13.99 for two recipes/week for two people
Free shipping on first order, $7.99 after that
Meal kits take less than 15 minutes to prep and cook. Prepared meals take less than five minutes to prep and 20-40 minutes to cook
Prepared options are three minutes or less, meat kits are generally 20-35 minutes
Fresh and Easy only offers two different dietary preference filters – carb-conscious and calorie-conscious. You’ll also find filters that help you avoid certain food groups.
Here’s what those filters look like:
Note: if you have severe food allergies, this may not be the best meal delivery service for you. All of the ingredients and meals are prepped in a warehouse that handles all the major allergens – including nuts, dairy, and gluten.
More impressive are the many menu options that allow you to swap your protein choices as well. In the grill kits, you can swap fish for chicken, or pay a few extra dollars to get boneless ribeye steak or New York strip steak. Each recipe card on the website provides all the necessary allergy information, nutritional facts, and spice levels.
With Sunbasket, there are quite a few different filters for dietary preferences and a huge range of plans. The initial sign-up process includes two different questions to help narrow down the choices to fit into the diets you follow.
Sunbasket easily caters to multiple dietary preferences because of the large number of menu options available each week. While ingredient filtering is made easy with Sunbasket, like Fresh and Easy, the meals aren’t prepped in an allergen-free facility. So while there’s a gluten-free menu, this wouldn’t be suitable for those with severe allergies. If you need additional information, you can open each recipe to dive into the nutritional facts and ingredients.
Both services offer some filtering options, but Sunbasket covers more dietary needs.
Fresh and Easy takes classic favorites and elevates them by mixing in different spices and flavors. For example, take a regular pork chop and then add an apricot and onion crust to the meat PLUS a side of lemon garlic broccoli. It’s more interesting and increases the nutritional value without overcomplicating the recipe.
Fresh and Easy’s weekly menu offers around eight recipes to choose from. There’s usually one salad and one Fast & Fresh microwave-ready meal, three or four oven-ready options, and a few 15-minute meal kits. If you usually turn your nose up at salads, you might want to give these a second look. A Garlic-Herb Goat Cheese and Cranberry Salad with Creamy Chimichurri Dressing isn’t a boring old side salad.
Because Fresh and Easy is a part of Home Chef, you’ll also be able to add regular meal kits and additional proteins, bread, and desserts. It increases the options available and allows you even more flexibility with your meals.
Sunbasket has 35 different recipe options each week covering a range of diets. There are meal kits as well as Fresh and Ready meals that don’t require any prep work. You’ll find many different cuisines represented, including kimchi, tacos, paella, pasta, and so much more each week.
Both services offer well-balanced meals. If you get overwhelmed by too many choices, Fresh and Easy might be the easier meal plan. Otherwise, it’s Sunbasket for the win with its impressive selection of 35+ different recipes each week.
Fresh and Easy is pretty average when it comes to price. The servings start at just $6.99 for the salads and lighter meals, however most meal options come in closer to $9 per serving. Once you’ve selected your meals, you’ll have to pay a shipping cost ranging from $7.99 to $13.99.
Three meals for two people for one week will cost around $62 (including $7.99 shipping). The exact price varies depending on the meals you order and bear in mind that if you only order two weekly meals for two people, you’ll pay more for shipping.
For Sunbasket, the starting price per serving is $4.27 for the Fresh and Ready options and $10.99 for the meal kits. Once you select your meals, you’ll see the per-serving price and then shipping costs are added at checkout.
If you ordered six Fresh & Ready meals from Sunbasket for the week, your price would be $62 (including shipping), which is the same as the price for Fresh and Easy. Most of the meal kits are more expensive, though. Three meals for two people each week would be closer to $74. Sunbasket’s higher price tag also allows it to utilize high-quality, organic ingredients for the meals, so for some people, it’s worth paying more.
All that said, Fresh and Easy is more affordable, so it’s the winner.
Winner: Fresh and Easy
Meal delivery services are great for helping cut down on food waste, but what about packaging and plastic? If that’s important to you, it’s good to know what you’re getting before your delivery arrives.
Fresh and Easy uses some cardboard and aluminum in the packaging that’s easy to recycle in most municipalities but you’ll also find quite a bit of plastic. The food itself comes wrapped in different plastic bags. Many cities don’t accept these kinds of plastic into their recycling programs so it’s disappointing that more environmentally friendly items aren’t used.
Fresh and Easy will give you a delivery date when you punch in your zip code but you won’t know the exact hour ahead of time. No need to worry about food going bad, though, thanks to the well-insulated packaging that all Fresh and Easy meal kits are shipped in.
You can change the date if it doesn’t work for your schedule. My zip code offered me three different days of the week to choose from.
Let’s look at Sunbasket. This mission-based company really puts a lot of emphasis on doing good for the planet and humanity. There’s an entire breakdown on the website about recycling the packaging. One of the most unique things I’ve seen with this company is the insulation made of denim.
Aside from the recyclable packaging, you’ll find some plastic bags and small containers that aren’t recyclable. While that will disappoint some people, there are ideas on the website for how to reuse items that can’t be recycled.
The delivery options allow for some flexibility. For most parts of the country, you’ll have a choice of four different delivery days – Monday through Thursday. Just enter your zip code on the website to make sure that you’re in the delivery area.
Both services have similar packaging issues, but Sunbasket gives you one more option regarding the delivery day so it wins by a sliver on this category. Plus, Sunbasket uses more paper bags in the packaging, which is better than plastic any day.
When looking at Fresh and Easy vs. Sunbasket, you’re seeing two different ends of the meal prep spectrum.
Fresh and Easy features all of the low-prep meals from Home Chef’s range. It does require you to put some of the meals together and then heat, but there’s no room for error – it’s that easy! The picture below shows the cooking instructions that come with one of the meals:
These three steps can be done in a few minutes and then you just have to let it bake. This is a perfect option for people who like home cooking and want to know exactly what’s going into their meals, but hate to chop and dice vegetables themselves.
You also have the option of grill-ready kits that require a few minutes of prep and then some time on the grill – perfect for backyard evenings. The 15-Minute Meal Kits are built for speed with ingredients that are already prepped and pre-portioned and cook in 15 minutes or less.
Sunbasket offers both prepared meals and meal kits. Its single-serving Fresh & Ready meals are ready to eat after a quick heat up in the microwave (or oven). Meal kits require a little more prep work, but even within that category, there are three different options.
Pre-prepped meals just need to be put together and it’s ready to eat, like salad kits that you just mix. Speedy meals take less time (20 minutes or less) but still require cooking and prep work. The classic meal kits usually take about 30 minutes. These options mean that Sunbasket can fit into any schedule.
Winner: Fresh and Easy
Both Fresh and Easy and Sunbasket have some incredible features to offer. If you’re strictly looking for quick and simple meals for a great price point, Fresh and Easy might be the best option for you.
However thanks to the variety of menus, meal types, and additional market items, Sunbasket is my top pick for both health and convenience.
Overall winner: Sunbasket!
If neither option appeals to you after looking at the full breakdowns, check out one of the other featured healthy meal delivery services on our list.