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Author Roxana David
Roxana David
Updated on Nov 24th, 2023
Fact checked by Deborah Leigh

Freshly vs. Sunbasket 2023: Who Has the Best Healthy Meals?

Unfortunately, Freshly is closed for business and no longer accepts new orders. For an alternative, we recommend Factor, which offers healthy prepared meals for a wide range of diets at affordable prices. For even more options, take a look at our curated list of the best meal delivery services on the market.

Freshly and Sunbasket are both super popular and trusted meal delivery services. They provide healthy meals to US residents and generally try to make mealtimes easier.

Which one is best for you will depend on what you’re looking for. One of the biggest differences is in the type of meals on offer. Sunbasket offers both meal kits and prepared meals, while Freshly is known for its prepared, single-serving microwaveable meals.

Sunbasket's health focus is also a lot clearer in both its plans and approach to food. I’ll walk you through Sunbasket’s 10 plans and why I think its ingredients are better – but in my opinion, it comes out on top in this Freshly vs. Sunbasket confrontation.

At a Glance: Freshly vs. Sunbasket

Dietary preferences
Balanced, gluten-free, peanut-free, vegan, weight loss
Vegetarian, Paleo, Carb-Conscious, Mediterranean, Lean & Clean, Diabetes-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Pescatarian, dairy-free, soy-free
Menu variety
48 options per weekly menu
42 options per weekly menu
Starting price
Price: Missing Product sunbasket
Shipping cost
$5.99 - $11.99
Meal types
Prepared meals
Prepared meals, meal kits
Special discount
No active deal
No active deal
👑 Overall Winner:  Sunbasket

Dietary Preferences

Freshly offers some gluten-free, plant-based, dairy-free, and peanut-free options, but the list isn’t extensive. The Purely Plant menu is fairly new, and at the time of writing, it included only five or six plant-based dishes, which doesn’t give vegans a lot of choices.

The good news is that gluten-free meals are prepared in special kitchens, so they’re suitable even for celiacs. A lot of gluten-free menus (including Sunbasket’s) are prepared in the same facility as the other meals and so there’s always a chance of cross-contamination.

However, there’s no easy way to filter meals by allergen. You’ll need to click on each individual meal to see the tags and ingredient list in order to be sure.

With Sunbasket, on the other hand, you can easily filter the menu and see which meals are vegan, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, diabetes-friendly, low-calorie, or even paleo.

There isn’t much choice for vegans (only 3 or 4 options per week), but at least you can spot vegan meals easily on the menu.

As I mentioned before, all meals are processed in the same facility, so if you have a serious allergy maybe Sunbasket isn’t the right choice for you.

Another important distinction between the two services is that Sunbasket’s ingredients are organic. This is a pretty huge deal since Freshly doesn’t have any certifications and doesn’t plan on changing that.

Winner: It’s a tie.

Menu Variety

Freshly only offers prepared meals, while Sunbasket has both meal kits and prepared meals on the menu. This makes Sunbasket more versatile because it lets you cook your own meals if you want to, and you can mix and match between the two depending on how much time you have for prep that day.

This level of choice comes at a cost, as Sunbasket’s prepared meals menu only has about half the number of options that Freshly offers. So, if you only want no-cook, prepared meals, Freshly has more choices.

When it comes to healthy extras, though, Sunbasket wins hands-down. Sure, Freshly has a few bulk proteins and sides on offer, but Sunbasket has a whole market of, well, everything.

You’ll find quick breakfast and lunch options, snacks, pasta and sauces, and even sustainable seafood. That means you don’t need to go grocery shopping for anything else when you order from Sunbasket: you can shop for any extras you need along with your dinner.

As for the plans themselves, Sunbasket lets you choose from 10 dietary specific meal plans including Paleo and Carb-Conscious. This is a huge amount of choice that you’re unlikely to find anywhere else.

The meals themselves include Mediterranean fare and Middle Eastern dishes, like Wraps with Roasted Mushrooms and Tahini Yogurt. You’ll find a dash of Asian and European influence as well, such as the Hungarian Chicken Paprikash with Bell Pepper and Peas over Egg Noodles.

With its mix of American and Mexican dishes, Freshly is better for those who prefer classic tastes. Expect to see recipes like Golden Oven-Fried Chicken and Mash with Roasted Sweet Corn, although there’s the occasional internationally inspired dish as well, such as the Chicken Tikka Masala with Seven-Spice Vegetable Biryani.

Winner: Sunbasket

Starting Prices

The most affordable Freshly plan is the 12-meal plan, which costs price product="freshly" /] per meal. This price rises the fewer meals you order. The smallest four-meal plan is $11.79 per meal.

Sunbasket’s prepared meals start at Price: Missing Product sunbasket per serving for the 10-meal option and rise to $12.99 per meal for the smallest four-meal plan.

The meal kits from Sunbasket are more expensive than the prepared meals. A meal kit plan starts at $11.49 per serving for five meals per week for two or four people and goes up to an expensive $14.49 per serving for two meals per week for two people.

As for the shipping fee, it’s fixed at $9.99 for Sunbasket, while it varies from $5.99 to $11.99 for Freshly, depending on your location and how many meals you order.

Winner: Freshly

Delivery and Packaging

Freshly delivers to all 48 continental US states. Sunbasket currently ships to most parts of the continental US, excluding MT, ND, and parts of NM. You should always enter your zip code on the website to confirm whether a service delivers to your area before you start an order.

When it comes to recycling, both companies could do better. Freshly’s boxes, plastic meal containers, and cardboard sleeves are all recyclable, and there’s a helpful guide on the FAQ page that tells you how to recycle each part of the packaging – although whether you can actually recycle it will depend on your local facilities.

The recycled denim insulation is said to be 85% biodegradable, and there are some helpful tips in the FAQ about how to upcycle the denim insulation (such as using it for a pet bed) to reduce waste.

Sunbasket has a nice page with ideas for upcycling each part of the package. But when it comes to recycling, again, it all depends on your local facilities. At least its cardboard boxes are pretty and colorful and you can use them as storage units around the house.

Winner: It’s a tie.

Meal Prep

Prepared meals from these two services are super easy (and quick) to heat up and enjoy. Just pop them in the microwave or oven as per the instructions and you’re set.

As for Sunbasket’s meal kits, they come with comprehensive instructions as well, so you should be able to cook them with no problems even if you’re a novice in the kitchen. Each meal kit serves 2 or 4 people, while the prepared meals are single-serve, just like the ones from Freshly.

Sunbasket offers 3 types of meal kits: Pre-Prepped, which are ready in 15-20 minutes and are perfect for beginners, Classic, which take around 30 minutes, and the premium Chef’s Table Meal Kits, which are a bit more challenging and also cost extra.

Winner: Sunbasket

The Bottom Line

Sunbasket is a better choice because of its all-organic ingredients, as well as the many healthy diets and requirements it supports. If you want something that covers all of your food-related needs, Sunbasket also provides breakfast, lunch, and snacks, as well as grocery items.

On the flip side, Freshly is better for folks who really can't have gluten, and for those who want the least expensive choice. It also cares more about local types of food, so if you don't like trying new things, it might be a better fit for you.

Winner: Sunbasket


Is Freshly healthier than Sunbasket?

Sunbasket is a slightly healthier choice than Freshly. It offers certified organic ingredients, as well as plenty of plans dedicated to special dietary requirements. Plus, you can cook your meals from scratch with its easy meal kits – so you know exactly what goes into them

Is Freshly cheaper than Sunbasket?

Freshly works out slightly cheaper than Sunbasket. Prepared meals from Freshly start at $6.90 per portion, while the ones from Sunbasket start at Price: Missing Product sunbasket.

As for additional costs, the shipping fee for a Sunbasket order is a fixed $9.99, while the shipping fee for Freshly meals ranges from $5.99-$11.99 and varies depending on your order size and location.

Which is better, Freshly or Sunbasket?

Overall, Sunbasket is a better choice than Freshly. From organic ingredients to countless add-ons such as breakfast and lunch options, Sunbasket offers good value for the price. 

The menus are designed with health in mind, including dedicated plans for those following a Diabetes-Friendly, Carb-Conscious, or Paleo diet.

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