On a superficial level, Green Chef and Nutrisystem both appear fairly similar as they both seem to be standard meal delivery services. However, I’d like to point out that they’re far more different from one another in some very important ways.
Green Chef is a wholesome, USDA-certified organic meal kit delivery service catering to lots of different dietary preferences. On the contrary, Nutrisystem is a diet program that provides prepared meals in the hopes of making it easier for you to lose weight by restricting your calorie intake.
After extensively researching and analyzing each company, it’s pretty obvious that, unless you’re specifically looking to lose weight, Green Chef is the far better option. It’s not calorie-restrictive, it’s more affordable, most of its ingredients are whole foods-based, it doesn’t rely on many processed foods, and it offers more specialized diets like Keto and Mediterranean.
Unless you need to lose weight, Green Chef wins here in terms of menu variety. Sure, you might say that Nutrisystem offers way more meals and meal types like dinner, breakfast, lunch, and snacks, but they’re all specific to weight loss. Green Chef also offers its own line of weight loss-specific meals, though – its Fast & Fit plan.
On top of that, Nutrisystem still requires you to buy a bunch of your own groceries as well which means it’s not an all-in-one solution. But to be fair neither is Green Chef as you’d only be getting dinners and would still be responsible for all of your other meals throughout the day.
Each competitor offers six distinctive plans you can choose from. Green Chef’s plans include Keto + Paleo, Vegetarian, Mediterranean, Fast & Fit, Vegan, and Gluten-Free (meal plans can be mixed and matched). Its ingredients are high quality, and barely contain any processed ingredients, if any at all. Nutrisystem’s plans include Women’s, Men’s, Partner, Diabetes, Vegetarian, and Complete.
One thing that separates the two is that Nutrisystem is 100% focused on helping you, your partner or both of you lose weight. Green Chef’s main objective is to deliver whole foods-based, USDA-certified organic ingredients that are fast to cook.
Green Chef offers around 30 fresh ingredient-based dinners per week which get rotated and replaced weekly. One example is the Blackened Chicken Cutlets and “Grits”. In my experience, this adds up to quite a bit of variety by the end of the month. Nutrisystem, on the other hand, offers 43 dinners per week, 20 breakfasts, 29 lunches, and 30 snacks.
You can expect to find a generous offering of family-friendly meals from Green Chef thanks to its sheer menu variety. Servings start for two people, and can serve up to six people across three or four meals per week. Meals take anywhere from 10 to 45 minutes and are generally very easy to prepare.
Nutrisystem’s meals can serve one or two people per week, depending on whether you opted for the Men’s, Women’s, or Partner Plan. The Men’s and Women’s plans include servings for just one person.
Something I found a bit alarming about Nutrisystem, however, is that many of its meals are made up of processed foods. This includes items like granola bars, cereals, muffins, pancakes, pasta, ice cream, protein bars, bread, cinnamon buns, popcorn, pizza, and more – though it does still offer a great selection of wholesome, healthy, whole foods-based dinners, like the Artichoke And Spinach Stuffed Chicken Breast.
Some of the meals you’ll get from Nutrisystem will have to be microwaved or prepared in a skillet (on the stovetop), and others will be able to be eaten right out of the package. This largely depends on what types of meals you decide to order whether it be breakfast, lunch, dinner, or snacks.
One upside to Nutrisystem is that its meals are all prepared, so you can be ready to eat in about two to three minutes, at most. There’s something to be said about the convenience factor, here – and that’s one aspect in which Green Chef can’t keep up.
Speaking of menu variety, Green Chef offers several cuisines like Italian, classic American, Greek (Mediterranean), Latin American, Japanese, and Caribbean. From Nutrisystem, you can expect classic American, Italian, Mediterranean, French, Cajun, and Latin American.
Neither Green Chef nor Nutrisystem offers any sort of meal customization options. That means you won’t be able to replace any ingredients that are already part of each meal. However, Nutrisystem offers a great menu filtering system I’ll touch more on below.
There are different ways in which you can customize your meals. For example, Green Chef allows you to mix and match across its plans. You can choose meals from any one of the six meal plan categories you like.
Nutrisystem has six different plan categories, with there being three levels for each category. The levels are Basic, Essentials, and Premium. Only the more expensive Essentials and Premium plan levels allow you to mix and match meals.
With the Basic level meal plan, you’ll be leaving the choices up to Nutrisystem to make for you. If you like choosing your own meals, this may not work for you – but if you want the most frictionless experience possible, this could be a great choice.
But before you even order, Nutrisystem has an in-depth filtering system that lets you narrow down your food search for only those items you really want. Filters include meal types, what ingredients you prefer to exclude, how you like to prepare your meals, dietary needs like Veggie or Diabetes-Friendly, and more.
This will filter down the menu to only those meals that fit your very specific dietary requirements. I liked seeing that since you can’t replace any individual ingredients in individual meals. Keep in mind that, if you have a lot of dietary needs or allergies, you also may not be left with a lot of meal options to choose from.
Green Chef, on the other hand, doesn’t offer a way for you to easily filter out menu items aside from choosing your initial dietary preferences. Again, these are Keto+Paleo, Mediterranean, Fast & Fit, Vegan, Vegetarian, and Gluten-Free.
What I did like, though, is that each meal has been labeled on the site so you can quickly and easily identify whether it would work for your dietary preferences. Even though you can’t filter specific ingredients, each meal recipe shows you the nutritional info, ingredients, and allergens. As a meal kit service, it’s also simple to omit any ingredients as you cook that aren’t suitable for your taste or needs.
Winner: Green Chef
When it comes to ordering your meals, Green Chef’s approach is minimalist, straightforward, and easy to follow. Once you click on Weekly Menu, you can simply and quickly check out everything on offer. Nutrisystem’s approach is a bit more complex with seemingly hundreds of options.
With Nutrisystem, if you need to make any changes to your order, you must make them by 6 pm EST on the day before your order begins processing. You can make these changes in your account dashboard or by calling the customer support phone number found on the website.
The minimum order amount is one, two, or three months’ worth of food at a time. If you choose to order two or three months in advance, you’ll receive an additional discount.
Something I like about Green Chef is that you can select your desired delivery day, up to two weeks in advance. Delivery days are from Monday to Thursday. You can have Green Chef delivered anywhere in the US with the exception of Alaska or Hawaii for the time being. I recommend checking the website frequently if you’re in one of these areas as things could always change down the road.
Green Chef allows you to make changes up to seven days prior to delivery at 11:59 pm EST. You can change your number of servings, delivery day, address, email address, payment information, or password by heading to your account dashboard. You may skip and “unskip” weeks as you’d like without being charged for any weeks you choose to skip. The minimum order for Green Chef is three meals per week for two people.
At the time of writing this article, Nutrisystem doesn’t offer a choice of delivery days. You can expect your delivery to arrive within about five business days after ordering, and then each subsequent month. With Nutrisystem, you’re automatically signed up for auto-shipments each month. Nutrisystem currently offers delivery of its frozen products to Alaska and Hawaii. Everything else can only be delivered anywhere other than Alaska or Hawaii.
When you order your Green Chef box, everything comes neatly placed inside an insulated box containing all of your ingredients. Everything is labeled so that you can immediately identify all of the ingredients.
Every meal is color-coded so you know what ingredient goes with what meal at all times. Oftentimes, larger produce items like butternut squash will come pre-chopped, but that’s not always the case, especially with smaller veggies. You’ll find that all ingredients come fresh and never-frozen. For specific storage instructions, you can refer to each package and also to the FAQ section on the Green Chef site.
On the other hand, all of Nutrisystem’s foods have their own ingredients, nutrition facts, and preparation instructions listed on the product packaging. Since you’re getting food for an entire month, most of it comes frozen. All of Nutrisystem’s meals are prepared so all you’ll have to do is heat them right from frozen, or thaw them first.
Non-frozen foods don’t need to be refrigerated as they’ve been “sealed” during a special canning process. Any frozen foods may arrive separately from your non-frozen foods. These can be stored indefinitely in the freezer.
Most of the Green Chef packaging is recyclable including the box and ClimaCell insulation. Ingredients come in paper bags, which was surprising to see and can be recycled. Some other materials are recyclable, and some aren’t. I recommend checking out your local recycling bylaws, along with the Green Chef FAQ section to find out more about each specific item.
On the Nutrisystem side of things, again, most packaging is recyclable. I’ve noticed that it actually offers some of the best eco-conscious packaging of most meal delivery services. The coolers that your frozen food gets shipped in are fully recyclable. For all other packaging items, refer to your local recycling bylaws for specific information.
Since Nutrisystem is a prepared weight loss meal delivery service, it obviously wins here since you don’t need to do any cooking. Most of its meals need to be heated in the microwave, and some of them will need to be done up in a skillet on the stovetop. Many of its other meals like breakfasts and snacks are ready to eat straight out of the packaging.
Keep in mind, again, that many of Nutrisystem’s meals arrive frozen. Many are also not frozen, but it’s something to consider. Frozen meals will need to be either thawed first or heated from their frozen state (which could take a bit longer to heat).
Green Chef, on the other hand, provides meal kits that take anywhere from 25 to 45 minutes to prepare. Ingredients all come fresh, and never-frozen. Some larger veggies come pre-chopped, but I’ve found this to be a hit or miss, depending on the size of the veggies. Instructions for how to prepare everything else come on recipe cards that are easy to follow – just make sure to have salt, pepper, and oil ready to go.
Though both competitors offer excellent support, Nutrisystem offers a vast array of customer support and sales communication methods that completely trump Green Chef's. Its hours of operation offer support further into each day than Green Chef.
However, I did find the live chat feature on Green Chef’s site to be leaps and bounds better than Nutrisystem’s. Support is helpful, and simply does its best to answer your questions concisely, accurately, and professionally.
On the contrary, it took me quite literally two hours to finally be able to get Nutrisystem’s live chat feature to even work on the website. Once I finally did connect with someone, the rep was super helpful and friendly, but they were more interested in getting me to buy into Nutrisystem’s ethos rather than simply answering the questions I was presenting them with. That’s fine, in my experience, since its entire purpose is to help people lose weight.
Nutrisystem's chat support was also fast to reply
Here’s where things get different, though. Green Chef offers two types of communication methods for support. Live chat support is available to you from Monday to Sunday, between 9 am and 7 pm EST. The chat function can be accessed from anywhere on the site.
It also offers phone support seven days per week. This is available from Monday to Friday from 6 am to 11 pm EST, and on Saturday and Sunday from 7 am to 7 pm EST. You can contact Green Chef with any questions, concerns, or presales support you might need.
Nutrisystem’s contact methods are a bit more complicated. It offers sales support that can help you order your meal plan in two different ways. You can chat with sales, seven days per week from 8 am to 11 pm EST. Phone calls are also available to you seven days per week from 8 am 10 pm EST.
For existing customers, things are a bit different. Standard customer support is available via live chat from Monday to Friday between 8 am and 8 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 5:30 pm EST. You could also opt to call the customer support line which is available during those exact same business hours – Monday to Friday between 8 am and 8 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 5:30 pm EST.
Two separate email addresses are also available for you for two main reasons. There’s one available for regular customer support, and there’s another one you can email with questions regarding your weight loss, or weight loss plan.
On the surface, it would appear that Nutrisystem is far more expensive than Green Chef. However, when you consider that the lowest per-meal price is lower than that of Green Chef, it’s easy to see how Nutrisystem prevails here. Green Chefs per serving price is quite high, but you can save some money by using our special discount: $5.99 per meal on your First Box, First Box ships free!. The more meals you order, the less expensive you’re meals become per serving. Shipping costs around $10 per order.
Nutrisystem pricing starts at around $8.54 per item. If you opt for higher-tiered price plans like the Uniquely Yours or Uniquely Yours Max, the price will be lower.
You also get a large selection of items for breakfast, lunch, and snacks included in the per-serving price which Green Chef doesn’t offer, and shipping is always free with auto-shipment. If you opt for a one-off order with Nutrisystem, you can expect to pay nearly double what it would otherwise cost with monthly auto-ship.
Nutrisystem also has no shortage of add-ons and upsells that it tries to persuade you to buy during the checkout process. You’ll be offered items like supplements, “fat burning” shakes, and snacks, all of which I highly recommend avoiding if you don’t want to balloon your final checkout price.
$5.99 per serving
$8.54 per serving
Always free for both one-off orders and auto-ship
3 meals per week for 2 people
One month worth of food
30 choices per week
60+ choices per week
25 to 45 minutes
0 to 15 minutes
Fast meal kits; pre-chopped veggies
Allergies catered to
Wheat, milk, lactose, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, eggs, tomatoes, pork, pork gelatin, chocolate, sugar alcohols, onions, seeds, nuts, corn
Keto, paleo, vegetarian, Mediterranean, Fast & Fit, Vegan, Gluten-Free
Insert special diets catered for (e.g. diabetic, keto, carb-conscious, vegan, vegetarian etc.)
Live chat support from Monday to Sunday, between 9 am and 7 pm EST.
Phone support from Monday to Friday from 6 am to 11 pm EST, and on Saturday and Sunday from 7 am to 7 pm EST.
Pre-sales chat support, seven days per week from 8 am to 11 pm EST. Pre-sales phone support seven days per week from 8 am to 10 pm EST.
For existing customers, standard customer support is available via live chat from Monday to Friday between 8 am and 8 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 5:30 pm EST.
Phone support is also available from Monday to Friday between 8 am and 8 pm, and on Saturday and Sunday from 9 am to 5:30 pm EST.
Regular support and weight-loss specific support emails are also available 24/7.
If you aren’t looking to lose weight, there’s no reason to not choose Green Chef. It offers far higher-quality, USDA-certified organic ingredients, largely unprocessed foods, is way more affordable, isn’t geared toward specifically weight loss, and is far easier to both use and understand.
Its support staff is very friendly, fast, professional, and knowledgeable if you have any questions or concerns. You can also access a wide range of weekly meals, and you can schedule delivery between Monday and Friday – choose the most convenient day for you.
However, if weight loss is your main focus, and you don’t like cooking or carefully tracking your caloric intake, Nutrisystem may be a decent option for you. But I truly believe Nutrisystem is a very niche product for a tiny subset of the population who just may not be able to get their own weight loss journey under control themselves. I recommend keeping this in mind before deciding.
Green Chef can help you lose weight. It offers a variety of what it calls Fast & Fit meals which contain fewer calories than the standard meals on offer.
If weight loss is your specific goal, I recommend checking out Nutrisystem. It is great for weight loss as its entire business model is predicated on helping you, your partner, or even your entire family lose weight. It even comes with an app that can help you along your weight loss journey.
Yes. You’re free to cancel your Green Chef account or orders at any time. Keep in mind that you’ll need to do so 5 days prior to your last delivery else you’ll get one more box.