In the vast world of meal kit delivery services, it’s easy to get lost. We’ve compared two of the most popular brands – Green Chef vs. HelloFresh – both of which do an excellent job catering to very different diners.
Green Chef offers healthy meal kits for a range of dietary preferences, all comprising organic ingredients. The service is one of the pricier options out there, but if it’s what you need, it’s worth every penny.
If you prefer fast and affordable meal kits that are also family-friendly, HelloFresh will be your new best friend. It also offers a huge variety of delicious meals to choose from each week.
Beyond the food itself, we’ve compared all the factors that can often make it hard to choose the right service – from pricing and packaging to prep time.
If neither of these is right for you, see more options on our list of The Best Meal Delivery Services out there right now.
Keto + Paleo, Plant-Powered, Gluten-Free
Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Calorie-Smart
Nine dishes per week
23+ dishes per week
25 to 40 minutes
15 to 50 minutes
The first and most important factor to take into account when choosing a meal delivery service is whether or not the company caters to your dietary needs.
If you’re on a specific diet. Green Chef is an excellent option. You can choose from three meal plans – Balanced Living, Plant-Powered, and Keto + Paleo, the last of which is completely gluten- and grain-free. Beyond that, all Green Chef meal kits feature healthy, high-quality, certified organic ingredients (where possible), with no GMOs, pesticides, or antibiotics.
While HelloFresh does offer six different plans, the choices are centered on lifestyle needs more so than dietary preferences. There are Vegetarian, Pescatarian, and Calorie-Smart meal plans, but it doesn’t get much more specific than that.
To sum up, if you’re following a specific diet – particularly vegan, gluten-free, paleo, or keto – Green Chef isn’t only the better choice between the two, but one of the best on the market.
Winner: Green Chef
If you order your meal kits from Green Chef, you’ll be able to choose from nine different dishes per week on any one of its plans. The tasty recipes are adventurous – you’ll find Mediterranean- and Asian-inspired options on each menu. The nutritionist-approved meals are both healthy and filling, but the downside is that once you choose a plan, you’re locked in, and you can’t mix and match meals from the other plans available.
When it comes to menu variety, HelloFresh is one of the best meal delivery services out there, with more than 23 meals to choose from each week. Whether you’re looking for adventurous flavors and global-inspired recipes or souped-up versions of classic family favorites, you’re bound to find dishes you’ll love.
HelloFresh even has Family Friendly and Quick & Easy meal plans for those with busy lifestyles.
With meals starting at $9.99 per serving at Green Chef and $7.49 at HelloFresh, the latter is the obvious choice if your main concern is your wallet. Green Chef offers three or four meals per week for either two, four, or six people, while HelloFresh offers between two and five meals per week for either two or four people.
For both companies, the price drops as you increase the number of meals you want each week.
If you’re feeding six people on Green Chef’s Plant-Powered plan, that’s when you’ll be paying the minimum. However, if you don’t need so much food or want to choose one of its other plans, the price per serving can climb to $12.99.
HelloFresh is still cheaper than Green Chef, even if you’re getting food for two just twice a week.
That said, Green Chef’s prices may be justifiable, considering the quality of its ingredients. The company is committed to using organic, sustainably sourced ingredients and supporting local farms and artisanal suppliers.
If knowing where your food comes from is important to you, Green Chef is worth the money. If you’d rather keep it simple and save a few bucks per meal, stick with HelloFresh.
Green Chef delivers every day of the week except Sunday, and HelloFresh delivers on Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays for all customers, plus the other four days of the week in specific areas. Neither company delivers to Alaska or Hawaii, and Green Chef also doesn’t make it to some parts of Louisiana.
Green Chef does offer a lot of flexibility when it comes to your delivery schedule, though. This means you can order weekly, biweekly, or even monthly. And with convenience in mind, HelloFresh has a great app where you can manage your account and keep track of your order.
When using meal kits with portioned and separately packaged ingredients, striking the balance between responsible and convenient packaging can be difficult. Both companies are very committed to sourcing eco-friendly packaging, using recyclable, reusable, and compostable materials wherever possible.
Green Chef and HelloFresh both dedicate entire sections on their websites to explaining how customers can recycle each element.
HelloFresh even has a hashtag, encouraging customers to get creative and repurpose its boxes.
For both HelloFresh and Green Chef, the eco mission extends beyond the packaging. Both companies perfectly portion each ingredient to reduce food waste, ensure efficient supply chains to reduce their carbon footprint, and source ingredients in a sustainable manner. Green Chef is also USDA-certified, using only organic produce and eggs, and ethically raised animal proteins.
With an eye beyond those who can afford to buy meal kits, HelloFresh donates millions of meals each year to vulnerable populations. If you’d like to join in the efforts, you even have the option to add Meals with Meaning to your order, to give the gift of a home-cooked meal to a household that needs it.
Both HelloFresh and Green Chef deliver perfectly portioned ingredients that you can use right away or put in the fridge for later. HelloFresh recommends freezing all animal proteins, thawing them out a few hours before cooking. Once thawed, the meat must be used within five days and the seafood within two days.
Because Green Chef uses only organic produce with no preservatives, the ingredients tend to have a shorter shelf life. The company recommends using its meal kits within five days, except for those recipes containing seafood, which should be eaten within three days.
When it comes to meal prep, HelloFresh does well at taking into account time limitations, skill level, and how much washing up is required afterward.
The company offers super-simple Quick & Easy Level 1 recipes that require just one or two pans, very little multitasking, and 15 to 20 minutes of cooking time. Level 2 and 3 recipes are aimed at more adventurous chefs, respectively, requiring more skills, experimentation, and time.
Green Chef’s meals all take between 25 to 40 minutes to prepare and cook. The company’s meal kits include ready-to-use sauces, dressings, and spice blends, along with detailed step-by-step instructions. A lot of its ingredients come chopped, but you may still need to do some dicing and grating.
From the excellent quality to the delicious meals, and eco-friendly packaging, there are lots of reasons why both Green Chef and HelloFresh are such popular meal kit services.
For the average consumer though, HelloFresh is a better choice, with affordable prices, an excellent app, tons of meal variety, and the ability to choose recipes based on both prep time and skill level. However, if you’re following a specific diet or only eat organic, then Green Chef is definitely worth the extra cost.
Before making your decision, take a peek at this list of the best meal delivery services of 2021 to find out if there’s another one that better fits your needs.
Overall winner: HelloFresh