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Sunbasket Review 2021: 99% Organic, But Good Value?

www.sunbasket.com
PaleoVegetarianGluten - freeKetoLow-CarbLow-calorieGluten-freeWeight-LossHigh-Protein-MealsHealthOrganicPescatarianDiabetes-FriendlyAllergy-Friendly
Our Score:
9.0
User Score:
  • Prep & Cook Time:

    Fresh & Ready meals, Classic 30-Min Meal Kits

  • Type Of Food Options:

    Paleo,Vegetarian,Gluten - free,Keto,Low-Carb,Low-calorie,Gluten-free,Weight-Loss,High-Protein-Meals,Health,Organic,Pescatarian,Diabetes-Friendly,Allergy-Friendly

  • Recipes Per Week:

    24

  • Free Delivery

    No

  • Written by: Felicity Kay on Apr 19th, 2021

    Sunbasket Review 2021: 99% Organic, But Good Value?

    Sunbasket in a Nutshell

    A certified-organic meal delivery service with healthy meal plan options for every kind of diet. Heat-and-eat ready meals are now available, too. 

    What I Liked

    • 10 different meal plans available – including paleo and keto

    • Responsibly sourced ingredients

    • Ready-made meal options

    • Breakfasts, lunches, and snacks also available

    What I Didn’t Like 

    • Too much plastic packaging in the delivery box

    • More expensive than competitors

    Sunbasket Overview

    Sunbasket is a premium-grade meal delivery service that provides both 30-minute meal kits and ready-made meals that take up to six minutes to heat up. What sets Sunbasket apart is its dietitian-approved recipes, organic certification, the 10 dedicated meal plans, and the extras you can get to ensure you keep eating healthily throughout the day. 

    Having seen all the rave reviews about this meal kit, I wanted to know if Sunbasket really is worth the money. I took a close look at how the meal plans work, the recipe variety available, and whether the cooking and eating experience lives up to its reputation. Here’s what I found out:

    How Sunbasket Works 

    Sunbasket sends you weekly meal kits containing all the ingredients you’ll need to create the recipes of your choice. Or, if you feel like you need a break from cooking, it offers Fresh & Ready meals that just require heating before eating.

    Signing up is straightforward and you can use your Facebook account, which I always appreciate, or your Apple account, which is something I haven’t seen elsewhere.

    The first thing you need to do is enter your zip code to make sure shipping is available to your area, then select your preferences. There’s a lot of choice here:

    First up, decide if you’re feeding two or four people, then choose either two, three, or four recipes.

    Next up is your meal plan preference, which includes Fresh & Ready, Paleo, Gluten Free, Vegetarian, and more.

    Here’s the full selection:

    You’ll be taken to the menu screen, where you can mix and match your meals if you fancy. You can also change the number of meals you order. 

    You can easily pick and choose meals from the 10 different menus. This is especially helpful if you’re also ordering for other members of your household.

    I was definitely tempted by the Fresh & Ready options.

    Each of the recipes features relevant tags like soy-free, which is helpful if you have certain food allergies or sensitivities. 

    Once you’ve selected your menu items, it's time to add in your payment details. I was pleased to see you can pay via PayPal, which isn’t something all meal delivery services offer.

    After a couple of seconds, I was even more pleased when this popped up on screen: 

    That’s very nice indeed! Especially when you consider that Home Chef only offers free shipping on orders over $45. Sunbasket really ensured a good first experience by offering me this on my first order.

    And that’s it.

    Now, you can sit back and wait for your Sunbasket meal delivery to arrive. I found the whole process to be very straightforward.

    Sunbasket Prices

    Price-wise, it's a little more expensive than a more typical meal delivery service like Home Chef . On the other hand, you really do get premium options on Sunbasket that cheaper meal plans simply don’t have, from the flexibility of the menu to the specific diets catered for. Then there’s the fact that all of the ingredients are certified organic, and Sunbasket’s portions are pretty generous. 

    If you’re feeding four people, each serving costs $10.99 no matter how many meal kits you order, making it easy to know what you’re getting for your money. If you opt for the two-person plan, the price per portion decreases depending on how many meals you order. They start at $13.99 for two meal kits, $11.99 for three, and $10.99 for four. 

    At least, that’s what I gathered.

    To be honest, I was a bit confused by the pricing. I opted for the Chef’s Choice menu because I wanted to see the widest range available, and I don’t have any food allergies or sensitivities. Sunbasket informed me the price was $10.99 per serving, but then the price of the Fresh & Ready meals were just $8.99, so that’s something to take into account if you’re looking to cut costs a little.

    Sunbasket Menu

    Wow! Sunbasket’s menu is by far one of the best I’ve seen while reviewing these meal delivery kit companies.

    If I have any complaints, it’s that once you’re making your final food choices, the filtering options previously available on the Menu page (which you don’t need to sign up to see and can access from the home page) are no longer there.

    For example, even though Sunbasket doesn’t offer a dedicated vegan plan, you can filter dishes according to whether they are vegan or not on the Menu page:

    I also couldn’t filter down as much as I would have liked. For example, I clicked on the < 600 calories option, but I wasn’t able to use it alongside any other filters. I know it’s possible that when using too many filters you can end up with no meal choices at all, but it would be great to have a few more combinations. 

    Sunbasket also does things a bit differently with how it breaks down its meals, offering breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, proteins, and pasta options, which I really liked – although these categories, again, weren’t available when I went to order, so the site isn’t always as intuitive as I would like. 

    No matter which meal kit you choose, you’ll see which category it falls under coupled with any important dietary information, such as soy-free or vegetarian. To get more details, just click through to the recipe. This is where you’ll find relevant information like what items are provided in the delivery bag, how long it takes to prepare, and the number of calories it contains. 

    You can’t order from this page though. You do that when you set up your account and choose your food preference, for example, low-carb meals. If you later decide you want to change it to, let’s say, dairy-free, you have to go back to the initial set-up page and change your choice there, which I found cumbersome and a bit restrictive.

    That said, I was impressed that no matter which option I chose, I was presented with 20 meals to choose from.

    Once you’ve placed your order, you can also adjust your preferences (for example, exclude soy or shellfish) by updating your food preferences in your account. 

    One thing I really liked is that at the bottom of each recipe card are suggestions on how to keep your kids occupied while cooking:

    It was a nice touch and one which I haven't seen in other meal delivery services. 

    Another great extra: you can easily switch out your meal’s protein source (in meat or fish recipes) for another source, or change your meat for organic meat (also an option I discuss in my review of Home Chef ), although you should note this will cost slightly more per serving. To do this, just go to your menu in your account and customize your recipe. 

    One thing I noticed about the menu in general, was that it was more exotic than other meal delivery services (Home Chef, I’m looking at you), which tend to rely on more traditional burgers and American barbecue fare. That and, in the vegetarian menus, Sunbasket makes a real effort to include varied protein sources, such as tofu and eggs, rather than just stuff cheese into a recipe. 

    Here’s a quick roundup of exactly what Sunbasket offers:


    Pricing

    From $8.99

    Diet options

    Gluten-free , paleo , pescatarian , carb-conscious , vegan , vegetarian , diabetes-friendly , Mediterranean , low-calorie

    Regions served

    US

    Availability 

    Most of the US, excluding AK, HI, MT, and parts of NM

    Shipping costs

    $6.99 per week

    Special deals

    Get $35 Off & 4 FREE Gifts

    Sunbasket Delivery 

    Sunbasket will deliver between 8 am and 9 pm, Monday to Thursday, to most of the continental US. If you’re in Alaska or Hawaii, or some parts of Montana, North Dakota, and New Mexico, you’re out of luck. If you enter your zip code on its website, you’ll get a clear “yes” or “no” as to whether Sunbasket will deliver to you.

    I like that there are four delivery days (which is better than Home Chef’s choice of three), but if I was a real stickler (and I am), I was still more impressed by the five-days-a-week delivery options from HelloFresh, with added delivery tracking. 

    Sunbasket Unboxing 

    Now, here’s where Sunbasket could improve.

    As someone who tries to live as plastic-free as possible, I didn't appreciate Sunbasket’s slightly wasteful approach to packaging. 

    Hear me out: the delivery arrives in a big (recyclable) cardboard box, with paper bags inside containing each of the separate ingredients (this is something HelloFresh also does). 

    But here’s where I became frustrated: inside each of these paper bags, you’ll find individual ingredients – eggs, tomatoes, herbs, and other loose produce – wrapped in plastic bags or containers. In my city, these aren't recyclable, and I didn’t appreciate the unnecessary plastic use. 

    Still, at least the dressings were placed in screw-top containers, which are recyclable where I live, but were also pretty useful, so I kept them for later use.

    Sunbasket makes quite a bit of noise about how recycling-friendly it is, with a whole page dedicated to explaining the contents of your delivery box on its website: 

    It even includes ideas for practical ways to reuse your Sunbasket box: 

    But still – none of these suggestions made up for the fact that there was just too much avoidable plastic in the delivery.

    Favorite Sunbasket Meals

    Sunbasket includes a whole recipe book for every single dish on the menu in your chosen plan. It can be an exciting way to get you inspired to cook new things, but you may think, like me, that it’s just a waste of paper. Half of the recipes I wouldn’t choose to cook so there’s no need to send them to me – a little unnecessary, maybe?

    Nonetheless, I found Sunbasket’s recipes very easy to follow, with step-by-step photos, and even videos available online and on the Sunbasket app. You’ll even see bonus recipes online and via the app, with exciting ideas for desserts and drinks (chai iced tea, anyone?). 

    Strangely though, the online recipe cards aren’t downloadable or printable, meaning if you need guidance during the preparation, you might find your screen getting covered in dirty fingerprints!  

    For someone like me (who hasn’t really cooked before), I also found the website’s Tips & Techniques section to be very, very useful, including advice on how to choose and use the right cooking oil. 

    This in itself played a big part in helping me get the recipes right each time. Though with my Lettuce-wrapped Turkey Burgers, I ended up miscutting the carrots (despite the very clear instructions). I guess sometimes you just can't teach an old dog new tricks! 

    Elsewhere, I followed the Chana Masala recipe to the letter and ended up with a perfect-tasting meal. And most impressively, my BBQ Meatloaf wasn’t overdone (which it usually is), thanks to this one piece of advice: 

    Thanks, Sunbasket! 

    Sunbasket Customer Service

    Sunbasket has a few ways to get in touch with customer support, including my favorite – a chatbot called Sunny B.

    I liked the range of options but found that the Self-Service option was the fastest and easiest way to take care of any issues.

    If you prefer a more traditional approach, you can call, text, or email. The text and phone lines are open Monday to Friday, 8 am-5 pm PST. 

    Sunbasket’s cancellation process was very easy. You can read all about it, and get the lowdown on the top three alternatives in this blog post.

    Alternatives to Sunbasket

    If Sunbasket isn’t quite what you’re looking for, Green Chef is well worth considering. It’s USDA certified organic and, like Sunbasket, caters to people with specific dietary needs, such as keto and paleo . Unlike Sunbasket, it has a vegan plan. The meals are also pretty easy to cook, with each one taking a maximum of 30 minutes, which includes both prep and cooking. 

    Another alternative is Home Chef , which is another easy-to-follow meal kit service that doesn’t require you to be an Iron Chef to get delicious meals on the table. Choose from oven-ready dishes, five-minute lunch choices, keto meals, calorie-conscious recipes, and much more.

    The Bottom Line

    I really enjoyed my experience with Sunbasket. I especially liked that the recipes were easy to follow (even for me), and that there were plans for paleo , carb-conscious , and other diets. I also liked the free shipping on my first order – that was a nice touch.

    The overuse of plastic upset me, as did the $6.99 shipping fee after the first order. I’d still say Sunbasket is well worth the cost, but if it could throw in free shipping once, why not throw it in when you spend over a certain amount, like Home Chef does, too? 

    That being said, with Sunbasket, you’re getting premium, organic ingredients to create nutritious and carefully crafted meals.

    FAQ

    What is Sunbasket?

    Sunbasket is a meal delivery kit service that’s great for people with specific food requirements. There are recipes for keto , paleo , vegan , and gluten-free eaters (among many others) that take 15-40 minutes to put together. If you don’t want to cook, try the Fresh & Ready meals. Just heat, serve, and enjoy tasty, healthy food – without the hassle of cleanup!

    How much is Sunbasket?

    Meals start at $8.99 per serving for the Fresh & Ready meals and $10.99 for the regular meal kits, though the portions are renowned for being generous and food can be ordered for either two or four people.

    If you are looking for a cheaper alternative, it’s worth looking into Home Chef . Not only does Home Chef have a huge range of recipe options, but it also costs less than Sunbasket.

    How do you cancel your Sunbasket subscription?

    Canceling your Sunbasket subscription is very simple. Just navigate to your account settings and follow the easy steps, which include stating why you want to cancel. For a full description of the process, see our in-depth article here

    About The Author

    Felicity Kay

    Staff Writer, Delivery Rank

    Felicity loves and lives for food, and new culinary experiences in general.
    When shes not out walking her dogs, shes trying out the coolest new restaurants and take out in the local area - one day she might even learn to cook!

    Felicity loves and lives for food, and new culinary experiences in general.
    When shes not out walking her dogs, shes trying out the coolest new restaurants and take out in the local area - one day she might even learn to cook!

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