Like myself and millions of other busy, tired, and hungry people across America, you’ve discovered the greatness of meal delivery services. In this rapidly-growing industry, more and more of these services are popping up all the time, each catering to their own unique market.
I’ve put together this comprehensive review, comparing Green Chef vs. Blue Apron, two of the biggest names in the world of meal kit deliveries, taking into account meal variety, dietary preferences, price, packaging, and more.
In a nutshell – if you want 100% organic ingredients with a wide range of dietary preferences, go for Green Chef – especially if you’re vegan. If you’re looking for a simpler, more budget-friendly option, Blue Apron is for you.
Take a look at the “At a Glance” comparison chart below for more details about what each meal delivery service has to offer. If neither seems right for you, check out our complete list of the best meal delivery services around.
Nine options per menu
12 options for the Signature and Wellness menus, 3-4 options for the Vegetarian plan
Flat fee of $8.99 per box.
Free shipping on 3+ meals per week; $7.99 for less.
With Keto + Paleo (certified gluten and grain-free), Plant-Powered, and Balanced Living meal plans, Green Chef caters to a wide variety of dietary preferences and requirements. The eco-conscious company also prides itself on using completely organic, high-quality ingredients with no GMOs, toxic pesticides, irritation, antibiotics, or steroids.
Blue Apron has a Diabetes-Friendly menu, a Vegetarian plan, and a Wellness plan. The Wellness plan is brand new and offers nutritionist-approved recipes with carb-conscious and Weight Watchers-approved options. For the most part, however, this company offers a simpler Signature menu, with lots of balanced, family-friendly meals.
While both services offer a full list of ingredients and allergens for each recipe, neither allows you to filter your meal preferences to avoid allergens. If you are allergy-free and trying to stick to a particular diet, Green Chef is the obvious choice.
Winner: Green Chef
Compared to other meal kit delivery services, both Green Chef and Blue Apron offer a relatively modest variety of recipes to choose from per week.
While Green Chef offers nine recipe choices on each of its three menu plans, Blue Apron offers only three or four weekly recipes on its Vegetarian and Wellness plans but gives the choice of 12 on its Signature plan. For comparison sake, many other meal services offer upwards of 20 meal choices per week.
That being said, they both offer adventurous, interesting meals with a wide variety of ingredients and flavors. Green Chef definitely incorporates more international flavors and more creative and colorful recipes, such as Apple and Farro Bowls with Kale, Red Beets, Brussel Sprouts, Dried Cherries, and Walnuts:
Blue Apron, on the other hand, provides you with delicious twists on traditional meals, replacing well-loved, family favorites with healthier, gourmet ingredients – like Smoked Gouda Burgers with Caramelized Onion and Roasted Carrots.
In addition, it offers a monthly wine delivery service for those who like to wash their meals down with something special.
Meals start at $9.99 at Green Chef and $7.49 at Blue Apron. However, most of Green Chef’s meals actually come out far pricier. The starting price of $9.99 is for six servings four times a week on its Plant-Powered veggie and vegan menu, but if you want fewer meals for fewer people on one of its other plans, you could end up paying almost $13 per plate.
Although, as you can see, Green Chef does offer great deals for first time customers.
With Blue Apron, the most you’ll pay for your meal kit box is $9.99 – which is just the starting price at Green Chef.
Green Chef’s higher prices can be explained by its high-quality, fully organic ingredients, eco-friendly packaging, and a variety of menu choices and dietary preferences. But if these factors aren’t important to you, it might not be worth paying the extra.
When it comes to shipping fees, Blue Apron is also the clear winner, charging $7.99 for two weekly meals and offering free delivery for three or more. Green Chef, on the other hand, charges a flat fee of $8.99 per box. Not only is Blue Apron cheaper than Green Chef, but it’s also one of the most budget-friendly services on the market.
Winner: Blue Apron
Blue Apron delivers your meals wherever you want, whenever you want, with shipping to all locations in the US and delivery seven days a week.
Green Chef, on the other hand, doesn’t deliver on Sundays and is unable to deliver to Alaska, Hawaii, and parts of Louisiana. However, delivery six days a week to almost every location in the US mainland is still considered great service compared to other vendors.
Both services deliver their goods in insulated boxes to keep your ingredients fresh even if you’re not home to accept your delivery. While 85% of Blue Apron packaging is recyclable by weight, it uses way more plastic than I think is necessary. However, its site does clearly lay out all the recycling instructions you’d possibly need.
Green Chef is far more committed to eco-friendly packaging.
It uses the most innovative materials on the market, making sure all of the packaging is made from recyclable, reusable, and/or compostable materials – except when it's not possible for food safety reasons.
Green Chef’s meal kits take between 15-40 minutes to get on the table, and Blue Apron demands somewhere between 20-50 minutes of your time. Overall, the meals from both services average around 30-35 minutes. To me, the five minutes here or there doesn’t make much of a difference. Both companies clearly display the prep time on each recipe card.
Like all meal kit services, both Green Chef and Blue Apron deliver pre-portioned ingredients with accompanying recipe cards.
Green Chef includes ready-to-use, chef-curated sauces, dressings, and spice blends, along with super clear and detailed step-by-step instructions – easy to follow for even the most inexperienced chefs. The Mojito-Style Shrimp, for example, takes just 25 minutes to make and comes with prepared marinade:
A lot of its ingredients come pre-chopped, but you’ll probably still need to do some dicing and grating. However, everything is explained clearly, with chef tips to guide your cooking experience.
While Blue Apron’s meals appear simpler, the recipes are harder to follow, with vague instructions that may confuse novices. These instructions for the Chimichurri Shrimp, for example, could have done better to explain that the jalapeno peppers should be cut on a different board, and placed to the side, so that you can carefully add more in to adjust spiciness:
However, it does offer a specialty Meal Prep plan that includes everything you need to make eight servings of a meal in under two hours. This allows you to keep ready-to-go meals on hand for busy times.
Winner: Green Chef
While both services offer delicious, healthy meal kits, they are pretty different from each other, when you look deeper. Blue Apron specializes in budget, family-friendly, simple meals. Green Chef, on the other hand, caters to those looking for specialized dietary plans, unique dishes, certified organic materials, and eco-friendly packaging.
If cost is a serious factor in your decision, Blue Apron is not just the least expensive choice, but one of the best options for meal delivery services on the market today. However, if you have a specific diet or are super committed to your health and the environment, the extra cost of Green Chef may be worth it.