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Green Chef Review 2022: Pros and Cons You Should Know About

Written by: Roxana David on Sep 26th, 2022

Green Chef Review 2022: Pros and Cons You Should Know About

Overview

Not only was Green Chef one of the original meal kits to focus on healthy eating, it was also the first meal delivery service to be USDA-certified organic. It was acquired by HelloFresh in 2018 and now serves as the premium wing of this meal delivery juggernaut. 

Today, Green Chef offers a variety of recipes catering to vegetarian, vegan, keto, paleo, and other diets. The weekly menus may have fewer recipes compared to some other meal delivery companies, but the brand prides itself on its eco credentials and sustainably sourced ingredients. 

There’s no question that maintaining healthy eating habits can be a hassle: not only can high-quality ingredients be expensive and more difficult to source, but you also need to figure out the best ways to cook them. It’s no wonder, then, that niche diets like keto and paleo are notoriously hard to stick to. 

This struggle perfectly encapsulates why Green Chef is such an enticing service – but does it live up to the hype? 

I’ve been testing meal kits for years, and now it’s time to put Green Chef under the microscope. Here’s my honest take on this service’s greatest strengths and weaknesses, so you can see if Green Chef is right for you.

What I Liked

  • Easy-to-follow, color-coded recipes

  • Creative meals for diets such as keto and gluten-free

  • Prepared marinades, sauces, and seasonings in every box

  • Current deal Get $135 Off + Free Shipping

What I Didn’t Like

  • $9.99 weekly shipping fee

  • Not all produce is pre-prepped

  • No option to customize individual meals

Green Chef Is Best For

  • Those who prefer organic produce

  • Home cooks who want to learn new recipes

  • Anyone following a vegan, keto, or paleo diet

  • Families of up to six people 

Green Chef May Not Be Great For

  • Budget-minded home cooks

  • People who don’t want to cook

  • Those looking for budget-friendly meal kits

What’s on the Green Chef Menu

Take a look at Green Chef’s plans and you’ll see six meal types, all catering to different dietary needs. Its flagship plan is Keto + Paleo, which offers a variety of low-carb meal kits free of gluten, grains, soy, and legumes. 

In addition, your menu options include Vegetarian, Vegan, Mediterranean, and Gluten Free. The sixth and final plan, Fast & Fit, promises low-calorie recipes that are ready in less than 25 minutes.

The recipes across all the plans cover a lot of culinary ground with dishes inspired by global cuisines – from Asian noodle dishes and stir-fries to Middle-Eastern rice bowls, and even classic American meatloaves. Currently, though, there’s no way to customize the meals.

Screenshot of Green Chef's main menu page.

I love to see menu items clearly labeled like they are here.

When you sign up, you can check as many or as few of the meal types as you like. This helps Green Chef know which meals to recommend to you, but don’t worry: you have access to all 24 menu options each week.

Additionally, you’ll notice that many meals are suitable for multiple diets. For example, you may find a meal that is both Keto and Fast & Fit, or a dish that’s Gluten-Free, Vegetarian, and Mediterranean. 

Unboxing

Alongside its USDA organic certification, Green Chef prides itself on its sustainable practices, and certainly the vast majority of its packaging is recyclable or reusable, and/or made from recycled materials. 

The FAQ section has loads of information on how to dispose of the packaging.

That said, I feel like it could have been presented in a more interesting way. Purple Carrot, for example, has a really great recycling FAQ with photos and useful ideas. In comparison, Green Chef’s text-heavy page on the subject is pretty dry and not as easy to find.

Screenshot of recycling information from Green Chef's FAQ page.

A more aesthetically pleasing page would be nice, but at least the information is here!

This may seem like a nitpicky complaint, but sustainability is, in my opinion, the biggest challenge facing so many meal delivery services. 

As a company that aims to do more for the planet, Green Chef’s information should be easier to find and more interesting to read, otherwise diners are more likely to ignore it, right? 

But, as I’ve said: Green Chef’s packaging practices are more than adequate. As much material as possible is post-consumer and recyclable, which is impressive considering the complex logistics of shipping organic produce.

It’s already amazing that we can get fresh food shipped across the country now, but organic ingredients are particularly finicky to transport. The lack of preservatives means they tend to have a shorter shelf-life. So while they taste fresher, they’re not so great for shipping. 

Green Chef’s packaging is extremely well-insulated and contains ice packs to keep things as fresh as possible, though. What’s more, the high-quality ClimaCell lining that makes this possible is plant-based and curbside recyclable!

OK, enough about the box: let’s actually open it! 

Most ingredients are wrapped in paper bags – not plastic (yay!), as with some other companies. Inside the bags are small Number-4 plastic packets. You can recycle these, depending on your location, or reuse the ones that contain dry produce.

You’ll need to find out if your local facility accepts plastic films. Some do not, but this is clearly an industry-wide issue. Compared to many of its competitors, I think Green Chef does an admirable job at minimizing its carbon footprint.

Image of some non-recyclable plastic bags in Green Chef's packages.

Promise me to recycle these bags if you're able.

The ingredients and recipes are incredibly well-organized – each meal is color-coded, so you can quickly and easily identify which ingredients go with which recipe. This is a fun little detail I haven’t seen from any other meal kit. 

Screenshots highlighting Green Chef's color-coded menu.

This feature is sadly lost on people with colorblindness, but most will appreciate the color-coded recipe cards.

I’ve heard from so many others that Green Chef delivers pre-prepped ingredients, including sliced and diced veggies, but this doesn’t always seem to be the case!

It seems that larger vegetables, like an organic butternut squash, will arrive sliced for your convenience. Some smaller produce items, however, may arrive intact. 

Image of pre-prepped vegetables from Green Chef's packaging.

It's such a time saver when your veggies come pre-chopped.

Cooking with Green Chef

OK, so you should expect an element of prep in all Green Chef’s recipes. The recipes are great, and really easy to follow, but this is definitely a service for home chefs who either enjoy cooking or who want to pick up some new techniques in the kitchen – or both! 

I’d also recommend being wary of some of the time estimates. Green Chef advertises 20- to 30-minute cooking times for many of its recipes, but my research and experience shows that on the whole, they take a little more time than that. 

Shortlist of My Favorite Meals

The first meal that caught my eye was a westernized take on an Indian paneer dish – the Curried “Paneer” with Cauliflower Rice, which is keto, gluten-free, and vegetarian. (Curiously, it isn’t listed as vegetarian on the menu, but contains no meat.)

The star of the dish is grilling cheese, which is similar in texture to traditional paneer. The meal is low-carb thanks to the cauliflower rice, and it all comes together with an aromatic sauce, peas, and a cilantro-lime crema.

Curried "Paneer" from Green Chef's keto and vegetarian menus.

I love how this one dish fits into so many different niche menus.

The recipe itself is easy to follow, too. I love how clearly Green Chef lays out the ingredients and the allergens. The recipe cards also include an equipment list, which you can check online before you order to make sure you have all the utensils you need.

Screenshot from a Green Chef recipe card, showing ingredients and equipment.

Make sure to check for the required ingredients and equipment before you commit to a meal!

Another great recipe, this time from Green Chef’s Mediterranean menu, is the Herby Balsamic-Dijon Chicken. This recipe is also gluten-free and keto, since it contains next to no carbs: just a well-seasoned protein with sautéed veggies on the side.

Image of Green Chef's Herby Balsamic-Dijon Chicken.

Green Chef's Mediterranean dishes are positively mouth-watering.

This dish is a prime example of why it’s important to double-check the equipment list, though: the recipe specifies that you need an oven-safe sauté pan. If you only have plastic- or wooden-handled pans, you’ll either need to improvise or pick something else off the menu.

Screenshot from a Green Chef recipe card.

Recipes with pictures make it so much easier to cook.

Finally, one minor complaint I have about Green Chef’s recipes in general is that you can quite easily end up with a big pile of dirty dishes to deal with. 

You’ll often find yourself needing to cook at least two components separately, and this can add up, making cleanup a bit of a pain.

To be fair though, this may have as much to do with the recipes you choose. Green Chef is certainly not the only meal kit to have this problem – just be ready to do some scrubbing after you enjoy your meal! 

Shipping & Delivery

Your Green Chef order can arrive any day between Monday and Saturday, depending on where you live. There are a lot of meal delivery services that don’t deliver on weekends, so it’s helpful that Green Chef has Saturday as an option. 

When you sign up, you’re automatically enrolled on a weekly delivery service, but you can choose to pause or cancel at any time should you need to skip a week. 

Like most meal delivery services, it also only delivers to the contiguous 48. Sorry, once again, Alaska and Hawaii! Shipping costs a flat rate of $9.99, which isn’t outrageous, but it does add up when you’re ordering week after week. 

Screenshots from Green Chef's FAQ showing shipping information.

These delivery ranges and parameters are pretty standard for most American meal kits.

The delivery window is between 8 am and 8 pm, but you can always track the status of your order via the tracking info on your confirmation email. You’ve already seen how well-insulated the packages are, so you know your food will arrive fresh, even if you’re not home to put everything in the fridge immediately. 

As is the case for most meal delivery services, Green Chef has an app you can download to give you access to shipping information, as well as manage your subscription.

It’s easy to alter your order via the app or on Green Chef’s website, but mind the cutoff date! You only have until midnight (EST) seven days before your scheduled delivery to make changes.

Subscription

As you may expect from a service owned by HelloFresh, Green Chef’s signup process is quick and easy. Here’s how you can sign up for a Green Chef subscription in just a few easy steps: 

How to Sign Up for Green Chef

  1. Visit the website and click Get Started. You can also accept prompts to Sign Up or click on Our Plans.

Screenshot of Green Chef's home page.

You'll find multiple buttons inviting you to start the signup process.

  1. Select your plan and box size. Choose from six different categories and a range of order sizes.

Screenshot of Green Chef's plan selection page.

This page also shows the great discounts Green Chef offers to new customers.

  1. Type in your email address. Now it’s time to start inputting your information! The first step is to add your email address.

Screenshot of Green Chef's email entry page.

Naturally, you can't move further without agreeing to receive marketing emails.

  1. Input your address. You can also pick your shipping day and finalize your box size here.

Screenshot of Green Chef's delivery day selection menu.

Saturdays weren't an option for my address, but I could pick from any weekday!

  1. Add your payment method and choose your meals. Then confirm your order and look forward to enjoying your delivery in just a few days.

Image of a steak and shrimp dish from Green Chef's menu.

This is just an example of the sort of delectable meals you can choose from when you sign up!

Managing Your Subscription

Green Chef requires you to make any changes to your shipments at least seven days in advance, which is slightly longer than I’ve experienced from other services. Still, it’s quite reasonable: you have until midnight (EST) a week before your order is expected.

Like most services, you can easily skip weeks without having to cancel your account. Green Chef lets you skip up to four weeks at a time, and you can do this online, as well as via the app.

If you want to cancel your subscription, you can do so easily via the Green Chef website. Simply log-in, go to your account settings, and scroll down to Deactivate Your Plan. For a more thorough walkthrough, be sure to check out our expert blog post that walks you through it in just three steps.

Customer Service

Green Chef’s customer service avenues are pretty standard: there’s a robust FAQ section, a phone line available seven days a week, and a live chat option. 

It would have been great to have an email address too, since that’s a preferred method of communication for many – but I can’t exactly complain! 

Since I was initially a little confused about the structure of Green Chef’s plans, I thought this was the perfect opportunity to see how the customer service team handles inquiries.

I input my name and email address, then I was connected with a customer service agent almost immediately. Curiously – even though I had just entered my name – the agent addressed me as Daniel (which is… not my name). 

A glitch, maybe? Despite that, Oliver was pretty helpful.

Screenshot of Green Chef's customer service chat.

I had fun roleplaying as "Daniel" with my customer service agent, who was very helpful.

The conversation was quick yet informative. Oliver explained that certain menus were subcategories of other menus. I probably should have asked why Green Chef uses such a confusing menu structure, but they answered my question nonetheless. 

Screenshot of author's chat conversation with Green Chef customer service.

The agent was friendly, speedy, and informative. It's hard to ask for more.

Wrong names aside, the live chat was easy to use, the agent was friendly and informative, and I got all the answers I needed. Top marks!

Prices

Starting from

Minimum Order

Shipping Fee

$5.99 per portion

3 meals per week for
2 people: $90.93 

$9.99

As is the case with most meal delivery services, the price you pay per serving at Green Chef decreases the more meals you order. 

The company’s pricing model used to vary based on the plan you subscribed to. Now, each menu has the same pricing structure, which I think makes ordering from Green Chef a much simpler process.

Having said that, Green Chef is a premium meal kit company, and this is reflected in its price tag. To contextualize, let’s compare it to an average order from Green Chef’s parent company, HelloFresh:

Let’s say you want three meals per week for two people. With HelloFresh, this order will cost you $69.93, with shipping. The price for this order from Green Chef, however, is a much higher $90.93. 

If you ask me, though, Green Chef’s premium price is worth it if you can afford it. For the extra spend, you’ll get high-quality ingredients, more specialized recipes, and exciting cuisines.

But if you’re dining on a budget, or you don’t follow a specialized diet such as vegan or keto, you probably don’t need to pay the premium for Green Chef. No-frills services, like HelloFresh or the budget-friendly EveryPlate, feature delicious recipes, just with fewer fancy ingredients and less emphasis on niche diets.

The Bottom Line: Is Green Chef Worth It?

Green Chef is among the priciest of the many meal delivery services I’ve researched and reviewed. The premium cost makes sense, though, when you consider the quality of the ingredients and the extra touches like the color-coded recipes and ready-to-cook ingredients.

It’s up to you to decide if these features are worth the added cost over similar, less-expensive services like HelloFresh. Personally, I’m willing to shell out a little extra for top-quality ingredients, but that brings me to one important clarification:

If you’re interested in Green Chef because of its organic pedigree, you should know that its organic ingredients are limited to eggs and fresh produce. While the company touts that its proteins are raised using only “high animal welfare standards” and sourced from local farms, it doesn’t utilize organic meats.

Regardless, Green Chef is also an undeniably good option for people wanting to follow a specialized diet. In my opinion, Green Chef has one of the best keto + paleo menus in the game, and its vegan options are solid, too.

So, to sum up – Green Chef’s quality is good enough to back up its hefty price tag. If the cost is too steep for you, though, don’t worry: there are several great meal kits that come out much cheaper than Green Chef.

FAQ

Is Green Chef organic?

Green Chef’s produce and eggs are always organic, unless stated otherwise. Despite Green Chef being a USDA-certified organic service, I found out that its proteins aren’t always organic, though they do promise to be raised using only “high animal welfare standards” and sourced from local farms.

Where does Green Chef deliver?

Green Chef delivers to all contiguous US states, except for certain parts of Louisiana. Like most meal delivery services, it unfortunately doesn’t deliver to Alaska or Hawaii. See where you can check your zip code in my walk-through of the sign-up process

Is Green Chef good for weight loss?

Green Chef could work for weight loss if you’re keen to follow the low-carb keto diet, but in general it doesn’t advertise itself as a weight loss meal delivery service. In general, Green Chef’s meals are designed for those who want to enjoy a healthy, balanced diet.

About The Author

Roxana David

Contributing Writer, Delivery Rank

Literature graduate with a passion for good food, Roxana is a proud cat mom of two, an aspiring novelist, and a nature enthusiast. What's better than a nice meal? A nice meal with a view.

Literature graduate with a passion for good food, Roxana is a proud cat mom of two, an aspiring novelist, and a nature enthusiast. What's better than a nice meal? A nice meal with a view.

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