We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.Advertising DisclosureThis is a user-oriented comparison website, and we need to cover hosting and content costs, as well as make a profit. The costs are covered from referral fees from the vendors we feature. Affiliate link compensation does not affect reviews but might affect listicle pages. On these pages, vendors are ranked based on the reviewer’s examination of the service but also taking into account feedback from users and our commercial agreements with service providers. This website tries to cover important meal, coffee and pet food delivery services but we can’t cover all of the solutions that are out there. Information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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Author Kenaz Filan
Kenaz Filan
Updated on Apr 4th, 2024
Fact checked by Emma Vince

Fresh N Lean vs. Green Chef 2024: An Organic Duel

Both Fresh N Lean and Green Chef offer organic meals, but the similarities end there. Fresh N Lean offers prepared single-serving meals geared toward fitness-focused dieters, while Green Chef provides sophisticated meal kits that are great for couples and families. So which service is better?

I’ve spent years reviewing meal delivery services, researching ingredient lists, consulting with colleagues, and eating sample meals. I’ve used my expertise to weigh and measure these 2 worthy contenders and decide which comes out on top.

For most people, Green Chef is the better choice. If you’re feeding more than one person, Fresh N Lean’s single-serving meals won’t be a good fit, and Green Chef offers a better meal selection and a wider culinary palate.

That being said, Fresh N Lean’s healthy meals are a quick, tasty, and convenient way to get the nutrients you desire if you’re training or trying to stay in shape. Both these meal delivery services are great, but which one’s right for you? Read on and find out more.

At a Glance: Who Won Each Category?

💲 Price:

Fresh N Lean ($7.53 per serving)

🍔 Menu Variety:

Green Chef (45+ recipes per week)

⏰ Prep Time:

Fresh N Lean (2-3 minutes)

🍴 Customization:

It’s a tie

👍 Ordering and Delivery:

Green Chef

🙋 Customer Support:

Green Chef

👑 Overall Winner:
Green Chef

Menu Variety

Winner: Green Chef

Green Chef wins here because you can choose from over 45 meals each week, while Fresh N Lean only allows you to choose from one of its dedicated menus. Until recently, Green Chef also restricted customers to the meals listed on their chosen plan. But today it allows you to choose any entrees, with meals from your chosen plan appearing at the top of your listings. A screenshot from Green Chef's weekly menu

Green Chef offers 8 different plans, with many recipes appearing on more than one menu. You can choose between 2, 4, and 6 servings so Green Chef is excellent for larger households. While the sophisticated recipes might not pass muster with picky eaters, older children will love Green Chef meals.

Green Chef’s plans are:

  • Quick & Easy

  • Gluten-Free

  • Keto

  • Mediterranean

  • Plant Based

  • Protein Packed

  • Delicious Discoveries

  • Calorie Smart

Green Chef is the first USDA-certified organic meal delivery service. Its meals are aimed at a more sophisticated palate. Mediterranean, South American, North African, and other international cuisines appear regularly on its menus, and even its more familiar recipes frequently introduce you to new spices or cooking techniques. Two plates of chicken with cauliflower rice and carrot fries

Quick & Easy recipes are ready in 25 minutes or less, with other recipes taking between 30-40 minutes for cooking and prep time. When I tried Green Chef at home, I found the pre-prepped sauces and clear instructions made cooking restaurant-quality meals easy.

Spicy Tunisian Chicken is one of Green Chef’s keto meals. Cauliflower rice with pistachios and turmeric seasoning is used instead of high-carb white rice and roasted carrot fries substitute for starchy potato fries. The chicken is antibiotic and hormone-free and absolutely excellent when I cooked it according to Green Chef’s instructions. A screenshot of Green Chef's Add-ons

In addition to its meal kits, Green Chef has now introduced a selection of add-ons. Add-ons include breakfast entrees, proteins like chicken breasts and salmon filets, and lunch items. This lets you add even more high-quality Green Chef ingredients to your menu, and if their breakfasts are as good as their dinners they will be a great way to start your morning. Screenshot of Fresh N Leans meal plans

Fresh N Lean offers fully prepared meals you simply heat and eat. Fresh N Lean’s meals are focused on specialized diets (including uncommon choices like Whole30), and so when you sign up you’re limited to the meals in your plan.

Fresh N Lean offers 8 plans:

  • Keto

  • Mediterranean

  • Paleo

  • Protein+

  • Standard Vegan

  • Vegetarian

  • Whole 30 Approved

  • Bulk/A La Carte

Fresh N Lean also offers breakfast entrees and full plans that let you enjoy a Fresh N Lean meal for every meal of the day. That being said, Green Chef is a better choice for families as Fresh N Lean sends single-serving meals.

Each Fresh N Lean plan has 10-12 lunch and dinner entrees and 2-12 breakfast entrees. Unlike Green Chef, there’s little to no overlap between different menus. The meals are more basic than Green Chef’s, with a focus on lean proteins and fresh vegetables and American favorites with some Asian, Mexican, and Italian dishes thrown in.

The Bulk/A La Carte menu lets you purchase bulk proteins like beef, chicken, and bison, as well as some snacks and breakfast entrees. But despite its name, you only get a selection of 6 meals to choose from on the A La Carte plan. A plate of BBQ chicken with roasted broccoli

BBQ Chicken with Roasted Broccoli appears on Fresh N Lean’s Paleo menu. Like every item on Fresh N Lean’s menu, this dish is gluten-free. With just 24 grams of fat, 31 grams of carbs, and 540 mg of sodium, this dish is a healthy choice for people looking to limit their intake of sodium, carbs, or fat.

Meal Customization

Winner: It’s a tie

I declare this round a draw. While both Green Chef and Fresh N Lean offer a good variety of meals catering to specialized diets, neither allows a lot of customization options for individual meals.

Green Chef doesn’t offer filters that let you avoid meals containing problem ingredients. While recipes include a complete ingredient list you can scan, there’s no easy way of avoiding problem ingredients like tree nuts or eggs. And because Green Chef prepares its food in facilities with common allergens, trace contamination may occur.

You may be able to exclude ingredients when preparing a Green Chef meal kit. For example, you could leave out the pistachios when making the Tunisian Chicken’s cauliflower rice if you’re sensitive to tree nuts. This may not work for those with very serious allergies, so check with your doctor first. Green Chef's Tunisian Chicken dish

Green Chef’s gluten-free meals are certified Gluten-Free by the Gluten Intolerance Group and are prepared in strictly gluten-free facilities to ensure the finished product contains less than 10 parts per million gluten. Green Chef’s gluten-free meals are suitable for people with celiac disease.

You can also find some gluten-free options on the Keto menu but check the tags to confirm. The meals containing gluten (mostly pasta and bread) are packed in different areas to avoid cross-contamination. These meals are clearly visible when browsing the menu as they don’t have the “Gluten Free” tag under the image. Screenshot of Fresh N Lean's Allergies/Preferences filter

Fresh N Lean lets you omit up to 3 ingredients per meal plan from a choice of over 20 ingredients including bell peppers, red meat, quinoa, mushrooms, turkey, and cilantro. You can also avoid allergens like soy, tree nuts, eggs, dairy, sesame, and shellfish.

All Fresh N Lean meals are gluten-free, but Fresh N Lean isn’t GIG-certified. While its meals should be fine for most people with gluten sensitivity, those with serious gluten allergies or celiac disease may want to proceed with caution. Fresh N Lean’s Vegan, Paleo, and Protein+ plans are also dairy-free. Only the Keto and Mediterranean Diet plans use dairy products.

Ordering, Delivery, Unboxing

Winner: Green Chef

Green Chef scores a decisive win in this category. Depending on your location, Green Chef offers up to 6 different delivery days, while Fresh N Lean only offers Friday deliveries unless you make special arrangements and pay an upcharge.

If you have a lot of hungry mouths to feed, Green Chef also offers a 6-serving meal plan. The minimum Green Chef order is 3 2-serving meals per week.

If you want to make any changes to your Green Chef order, you must do so by 11:59 pm Eastern time 7 days prior to your scheduled delivery. A screenshot of Green Chef's Prefernces and Box Size page

While Fresh N Lean’s website is mobile-friendly, it doesn’t have a dedicated app. The minimum Fresh N Lean order is 5 meals, and the maximum is 21 (3 meals a day for the whole week). Since Fresh N Lean sends single-serving meals, it’s not well-suited for feeding families.

If you need to make any changes to your Fresh N Lean order you must do this before 12 pm PST the Saturday before your next order is due.

Green Chef ships out packages Monday through Saturday to the continental United States. Available dates will vary depending on your location. When I entered my New Jersey zip code, I had a choice of 6 delivery days. When I entered a rural Pennsylvania zip, I had a choice of 4 days (Monday through Thursday).

Fresh N Lean meals arrive on your doorstep every Friday. If you wish to receive meals on days other than Fridays, you can call customer services at (888) 420-4080, but it’ll cost you extra. Fresh N Lean also delivers to Alaska and Hawaii for an additional $40 shipping fee. The inside of a box of three two-serving Green Chef meals

My Green Chef box arrived in good shape, with the 3 sample meals clearly marked and all ingredients sorted (I was a bit dismayed by how much plastic was used, but I can’t deny that the packaging made it easier to cook). When dinnertime rolled around, I took a bag from the refrigerator, followed the instructions on the included recipe sheet, and whipped up great meals.

Fresh N Lean packaging also includes information on macros for those counting carbs, calories, and fat. Fresh N Lean’s meals arrive fresh, not frozen, in an insulated box and go directly into your refrigerator. A screenshot of several Fresh N Lean meals

Each Fresh N Lean meal is clearly labeled and includes the intended diet, as well as the instructions for heating them in a microwave, conventional oven, or stovetop. While the trays are microwave-safe, you must transfer Fresh N Lean meals to an oven-safe dish or pot before heating them with an oven or stove.

Fresh N Lean recommends heating your meal in an oven for 7 minutes at 350 F or until the desired temperature is reached. Its stove top instructions are simply “Transfer to pot, heat to desired temperature.”

Fresh N Lean’s boxes, insulation, and plastic trays are all recyclable.

Meal Prep

Winner: Fresh N Lean

Fresh N Lean takes this round thanks to its prepared meals. When it comes to meal prep, it doesn’t get any faster or easier than “peel back the plastic, put the tray in the microwave, and heat for 2-3 minutes.” Even the fastest meal kits will take longer than heating a prepared meal, and generate more dirty dishes.

Green Chef’s Quick & Easy meal kits are ready in 25 minutes or less. It also offers shortcuts that help speed up the cooking process, like pre-measured spices and premade sauces. While I didn’t sample the Quick & Easy menu, I found Green Chef’s meal kits well-organized with recipes that made it easy to produce delicious meals within 30 to 40 minutes. Fresh N Lean's Tandoori Shrimp dish

Both Fresh N Lean and Green Chef use chilled, insulated boxes to deliver your food fresh, not frozen. Fresh N Lean’s vacuum-sealed meals stay fresh in the refrigerator for 7-10 days. Green Chef recommends its meal kits be refrigerated and used within 5 days of delivery, or within 3 days for meal kits containing seafood.

Fresh N Lean recommends eating your meals fresh but notes that you can extend shelf life by 6-8 weeks by storing them in the freezer and letting them thaw in the refrigerator for 36-48 hours before eating. Green Chef’s FAQ provides instructions on which prepared meals can be frozen and an estimated amount of time they’ll keep in the freezer.

Customer Support

Winner: Green Chef

It’s not surprising that Green Chef takes this round. Since 2018, Green Chef has been owned by HelloFresh, the world’s largest meal delivery service and one known for its excellent customer service.

To skip or make changes to your order, go to your Green Chef account on its website or app. Go to Your Plan, and click on the week you want to edit. A drop-down menu will appear giving you selections: choose the edit you want to make, and then confirm your edits when the pop-up appears.

When I had a question about filtering for allergens when choosing meals, I contacted Green Chef’s customer service via text. Olive got back to me in seconds and provided the information I needed. Screenshots of text conversations with Green Chef's customer service department

Green Chef’s Live Chat is available Monday to Sunday from 9 am to 7 pm Eastern time. You can also reach customer support by phone at +1 (888) 236-7295 from Monday to Friday 6 am to 11 pm ET and Saturday to Sunday 7 am to 7 pm ET.

Canceling a Green Chef plan can be done using your online account. Choose Settings, Account, and then click Deactivate your plan. Green Chef will ask you to give a reason for cancellation but once you’ve done that you simply click Deactivate now and you’re all set.

Please note that if you do this less than 7 days before your next delivery, you’ll get one more box before the cancellation takes effect.

If you need to change, pause, or cancel a Fresh N Lean order, you can click My Meal Plan Subscriptions and follow the instructions. All order changes or pauses must be made by 12 pm Pacific Time on the Saturday before the following week’s delivery. Screenshot showing a question submitted to Fresh N Lean

Fresh N Lean doesn’t offer text chat with customer support, so I used its webform instead.

On Wednesday I left a message asking how much extra it would cost to schedule a Fresh N Lean delivery for Wednesday instead of Friday. Over 24 hours later, I received an email apologizing for the delayed response and promising they would answer my question soon.

Five days later, I received an answer informing me that Fresh N Lean could expedite my order at an additional cost, which would “vary on location and amount of meals ordered.” I already knew this much, and a more specific answer giving a range of costs would have been more helpful and less frustrating.

Fresh N Lean can be reached 7 days a week between 7 am and 5 pm PT at (888) 420-4080 or by email at hello@freshnlean.com.

Pricing

Winner: Fresh N Lean

Fresh N Lean’s meals, on average, cost less per serving than Green Chef, so I gave them this round. But because these 2 services have very different meal plans, it’s rather like comparing apples and oranges. Let’s take a closer look.

Fresh N Lean’s vegan plans start at $7.53 per serving, while Green Chef’s meal plans start at $7.53 per serving. Side by side price comparison

But Fresh N Lean offers a full day’s worth of single-serving meals, while Green Chef provides meal kits that feed 2, 4, or 6 people. Note that these prices are after applying our special discount. Without these, the per-serving price for both vendors is higher.

15 vegan meals with Fresh N Lean – 5 days of meals for one person – will set you back $134.85 with free shipping. Green Chef’s popular 16-serving plan – 4 meals for a family of 4 – will cost you $191.84 plus a flat $9.99 shipping fee.

Both vendors are on the higher end of the meal delivery price spectrum. Luckily, our Green Chef coupon provides a great saving – 50% off + First Box Ships Free + 20% Off For 2 Months. There’s also a great discount from Fresh N Lean – 10% off Your First 3 Orders + Free Shipping with Money Back Guarantee.

Fresh N Lean vs Green Chef – Quick Overview


Fresh N Lean

Green Chef

Best for

Athletic singles

Couples and Families

Starting price

$7.53 per serving

$9.99 per serving

Shipping cost

Free

$9.99/order

Minimum order

5 meals per week

Three 2-serving
meals per week

Menu variety

100+ choices per week

45+ meal kits

Prep time

2-3 minutes

25 to 40 minutes

Low-prep options

Microwave-ready

Fast & Fit (under 25 minutes)

Allergies catered to

Egg, sesame, dairy, soy, gluten, tree nut, shellfish

Gluten

Special diets

Vegan, Vegetarian, Keto, Paleo, Whole30, Mediterranean, High Protein

Keto, Mediterranean, Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten-Free, High Protein

Customer support

Webform, email, phone, FAQ

Phone, live chat, FAQ

Promotions

10% off Your First 3 Orders + Free Shipping with Money Back Guarantee

50% off + First Box Ships Free + 20% Off For 2 Months

And The Winner Is: Green Chef

Green Chef appeals to a wider demographic. While both services offer quality, Green Chef's varied menu reaches a more diverse group of eaters. This versatility makes it an option for many, regardless of your culinary preferences.

Green Chef's offerings are versatile. Its menu is adaptable, catering to both couples and families, whereas Fresh N Lean has a more niche focus. The adaptability ensures users aren't confined to a limited set of choices.

Green Chef comes at a higher price point. It's positioned at the pricier end of meal delivery services, which might not be for everyone given budget constraints. It's essential to weigh the cost against the benefits it offers.

Fresh N Lean has a specialized approach. Its menu is streamlined, primarily catering to specific dietary needs and preferences. Such focus ensures it delivers precisely what its target audience seeks.

Your choice will hinge on personal preferences. Assessing both services, you'll find each has distinct strengths, and the best fit will vary based on individual requirements. It's always good to analyze both before making a final decision.

FAQ

How much is Green Chef for a family of 4?

Depending on the number of 4-serving meals you order, Green Chef prices will range between $11.99 and $12.99 per serving plus shipping. If you have an even larger household, Green Chef also offers a 6-serving plan.

Does Fresh N Lean ship to Alaska?

While most meal delivery services only ship to the continental US, Fresh N Lean offers delivery to Alaska and Hawaii. Be advised that there’s a $40 surcharge on orders outside the continental United States.

Is Green Chef owned by HelloFresh?

Since 2018 Green Chef has been a wholly owned subsidiary of German meal delivery service giant HelloFresh. Green Chef serves as HelloFresh’s premium service, catering to customers who want organic food and sophisticated recipes.

Is Green Chef healthier than HelloFresh?

Green Chef is healthier than HelloFresh for people who want to eat organic or who have gluten sensitivities. Green Chef’s meal kits are certified organic, while its parent company, HelloFresh, does not use organic ingredients. And Green Chef’s gluten-free meals are prepared and stored in gluten-free facilities to avoid cross-contamination.

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We rank vendors based on rigorous testing and research, but also take into account your feedback and our commercial agreements with providers. This page contains affiliate links.Advertising DisclosureThis is a user-oriented comparison website, and we need to cover hosting and content costs, as well as make a profit. The costs are covered from referral fees from the vendors we feature. Affiliate link compensation does not affect reviews but might affect listicle pages. On these pages, vendors are ranked based on the reviewer’s examination of the service but also taking into account feedback from users and our commercial agreements with service providers. This website tries to cover important meal, coffee and pet food delivery services but we can’t cover all of the solutions that are out there. Information is believed to be accurate as of the date of each article.
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