Simplifying your cooking and meal prepping activity is the ultimate goal of services like Blue Apron and Green Chef. As for the comparison of these two meal kit delivery services, both provide pre-portioned, fresh ingredients at your doorstep that you have to cook at home for the most delicious dishes quickly and easily.
Both Green Chef and Blue Apron include recipe cards (i.e. easy-to-follow cooking instructions) and, needless to say, pre-measured ingredients. Hence, your entire meal prepping process is streamlined.
So, it’s safe to say at this point that both meal delivery services have quite a few similarities. But of course, differences are a part of the comparison. Each has its unique selling point, doesn’t it?
That’s exactly why this article has been written! So let’s get started, shall we?
Are meal kit delivery services even a healthy option?
Before we get into the whole comparison bit, let’s talk about some important health considerations.
Home-cooked meals are certainly much, much healthier than ordering takeout. When you cook and consume homemade recipes on a more regular basis, this practice can encourage you to stick to your chosen or required diet plan. This also prevents the onset of obesity.
Although, getting into the habit of cooking at home can be quite time-consuming, especially if your busy schedule is not as accommodating as you’d like it to be. Plus, most of us, even when we’ve got the time, are too tired (euphemism for downright lazy, although that’s justified after a long, hard day at work) to do all the grocery shopping, prepping, and then cooking.
This is where meal kit delivery services come into the picture. As for the question “do these commercial meal kit subscription services offer any nutritional value?” Fortunately, the answer is YES. This option has proven to be a very effective alternative to home-cooked meals and a healthier alternative to junk or takeout food.
As long as you’re careful or vigilant about what “extra” ingredients are added (for example, additional fats, salt, etc.), there’s no way that the best meal kit delivery services like Blue Apron or Green Chef are harmful or detrimental to your short-term and long-term health.
So, in a nutshell, the benefits include the following:
- Saves money (you often waste on ordering takeout), saves time (you usually spend on grocery shopping and then prepping all the ingredients), and reduces food waste (since the ingredients delivered to you are carefully portioned).
- Better nutritional value. Simply because of the inclusion of such a diverse variety of nutrients and vitamins plus fresh ingredients (veggies, grains, nuts, etc.). At the same time, zero preservatives, additives, grease, and the like. Even calorie consumption is well taken care of.
- Meets special or specific dietary options. For example, gluten-free, vegan, keto, paleo, and more.
- The wonderful and appetizing opportunity to try new food items. So you can try unique yet easy-to-follow recipes and cooking techniques, thus mealtime becomes a more enjoyable experience you look forward to in the day.
- The last one’s sort of the most obvious benefit – easy, quick preparation in the kitchen as those ingredients that reach your doorstep are fresh, cleaned, chopped (meaning prepped as per the requirements of the recipe), labeled, and just ready to be cooked.
Blue Apron vs Green Chef – Pricing
With Blue Apron, the cost varies based on the plan you choose. You might be quite relieved to know that the prices here are very reasonable when you consider the per-serving concept.
Blue Apron per serving costs:
- For the Signature category (2 servings), it’s $9.99 / serving.
- For Signature for Four (4 servings), it’s $7.49-$8.99 / serving.
- For Vegetarian dishes (2 servings), it’s $9.99 / serving.
- For Wellness options (2 servings), it’s $9.99 / serving.
Moving on to Green Chef, you have 3 different meal plans based on dietary requirements with the following prices…
- The Keto + Paleo diet plan costs $12.99 / serving.
- The Balanced Living meal plan costs $11.99 / serving.
- The Plant-Powered plan costs $11.99 / serving.
Now that you’ve got to know how the pricing works with both services, it’s obvious that Blue Apron is the more affordable choice with their kits starting at only $7.49 for a single serving (2 meals for 2 people per week). Green Chef is a little pricier where the cost begins at almost $10-$12 per serving.
Although, in defense of Green Chef, this meal kit delivery service offers fully organic, high-quality ingredients that come packed in eco-friendly, recyclable boxes. On top of that, Green Chef’s menu is a lot more varied with dietary preferences (more on this later). So if these factors matter to you, you’re most likely to be okay with paying the higher price.
Blue Apron vs Green Chef – Shipping cost
The delivery fee of Blue Apron is $7.99 if you choose a plan that consists of under 3 meals a week. So this shipping cost applies to their 2-servings-per-week Signature, Vegetarian, and Wellness categories. On the other hand, more than 3 meals in a week pave the way for free shipping with Blue Apron.
What about Green Chef? Their delivery charge per box is $8.99.
Blue Apron vs Green Chef – Packaging
Now let’s talk about packaging, which is an important factor for many people. So if this is something you care about too, you may not like Blue Apron’s packaging method, which mainly includes the use of excessive plastic. Each item is individually wrapped with plastic. However, 85-percent of their packaging items are recyclable, like storage bags, boxes, and ice packs.
Meanwhile, Green Chef, like its brand name, is a lot ‘greener’ in comparison. They use only organic, sustainable products, even for packaging. This is the complete recyclable packaging we’re talking about.
Blue Apron vs Green Chef – Menu variety and meal prep
Lucky for whoever benefits from this, both Blue Apron and Green Chef have incorporated meat-based and plant-based meals into their menus. Blue Apron gives you more traditional recipes, the menu consists of the following…
- Signature (mix of seafood and meat).
- Vegetarian (plant-based).
- Wellness (nutritionist-approved, holistic, well-balanced).
At Blue Apron, those with special dietary preferences might appreciate their Weight Watchers and Diabetes-Friendly Signature meals. Along with their carb-conscious recommendations in the Wellness category.
Then comes Green Chef with its, same as Blue Apron, meat-based, and plant-based meal kits. Although the menu variety here differs in that their ingredients are divided or allotted based on more lifestyle-focused meal plans…
- Keto + Paleo (grain-free and gluten-free).
- Plant-Powered (best for vegans and vegetarians).
- Balanced Living (combination of vegetarian, seafood, and meat).
No denying that Green Chef has a wider range of recipes when compared to Blue Apron’s more restricted menu. With the former, you can choose how many boxes you get per week whereas the latter lets you switch meals every week.
Furthermore, meal prep matters as much as menu variety, doesn’t it? In this department, both Green Chef and Blue Apron pack meal kits that don’t require you to be a master chef. No prior cooking skills or experience is needed because the accompanying instructions are easy and quick to follow in both cases.
Blue Apron makes the experience even more convenient with the online app (App Store, Google Play) that offers additional basic cooking instructions, such as different knife-using techniques. Nevertheless, with Blue Apron, the cooking process does require the use of more utensils like pans, pots, trays, etc.
Even so, both meal kits have recipes that can be prepared in a short span of time. So that would be anywhere between 25 minutes and 40 minutes (it’s mostly based on what recipe it is).
Blue Apron vs Green Chef – Quality and nutritional value
When talking about nutritional value, the first thing that comes to mind is the ingredients’ quality.
Bearing that in mind, I think you might be more pleased with Green Chef since the brand uses only certified-organic ingredients. On top of that, these ingredients are also non-GMO and fresh, which is something that Blue Apron also offers except for the ‘organic’ label. The Blue Apron company isn’t an organic entity in its name.
Despite this, Blue Apron gets the benefit of the doubt because their experts get the best and freshest seasonal ingredients straight from family-run farms, purveyors, and importers. Many, if not all, of these ingredients, are indeed USDA-certified.
Blue Apron vs Green Chef – Dietary preferences
‘Slightly limited’ would be the most accurate way to describe the Blue Apron menu variety in terms of accommodating dietary needs. Their options here include Signature meals that are diabetes-friendly and for those who are weight-conscious (WW – Weight Watchers), apart from the regular Vegetarian category.
Then there’s also Blue Apron’s Wellness section with more holistic, carb-conscious recipes created/approved by nutritionists.
If you look at the Green Chef menu, their plans are better programmed as far as dietary preferences are concerned. You can select a meal plan based on a more specific diet plan, such as keto, paleo, plant-based, etc. Their strict inclusion of macronutrients better caters to the needs of those following a special or tailored diet pattern.
To make things even better, Green Chef delivers only fresh and organic ingredients.
Blue Apron vs Green Chef – Sign-up
A more straightforward and user-friendly experience is a must when choosing the best meal kit delivery service. So step #1 is the sign-up process, which should be easy and quick. In that case, full marks to Blue Apron as well as Green Chef. In both services, you pick either the 2-person or 4-person meal plan. Then enter relevant personal details such as email id, credit card, and contact info.
Blue Apron vs Green Chef – Orders
Can you skip a week with Blue Apron and Green Chef? Yes. Both offer that kind of flexibility. Despite this, Blue Apron’s tricky account cancellation method does seem like a drawback here. You need to mail the customer service team to get the link.
What about when you wish to cancel your meal delivery subscription with Green Chef? Green Chef’s subscription pausing/cancellation process is more clear-cut with the “Cancel Subscription” button on the Account Info page itself.
Blue Apron vs Green Chef – Vegan/Vegetarian meal plans
A vegan diet helps lose weight, manages diabetes, lowers cholesterol levels, and the list goes on. So if your eating habits do not involve any form of meat, rather it’s all plant-based, then Green Chef’s Plant-Powered Meal Plan will seem like a better choice. It’s actually perfect for vegans and vegetarians.
The vegan recipes here are quite impressive, all thanks to the wide variety as well as the super-delicious taste.
On the other hand, you have Blue Apron and its comparatively much more limited Vegetarian category (only 4 vegetarian meals per week). Agreed that the menu, in this case, is not as exciting in terms of variety as that of Green Chef but the meal plans are still family-friendly and easy and fast to cook.
Blue Apron vs Green Chef – What are the protein sources?
How about I give you an idea of where the protein comes from by comparing two different recipes from each brand – two from Blue Apron and two from Green Chef.
So you’ll get to know all about how much protein is present in these recipes, along with more nutritional information.
|SPICY ZUCCHINI QUESADILLAS with spinach, raisins, & tahini dressing||COUSCOUS-STUFFED POBLANO PEPPERS with fried eggs|
|490 calories||560 calories|
|21 grams of protein||21 grams of protein|
|37 grams of carbs||58 grams of carbs|
|Cooking time – 45 minutes||Cooking time – 40 minutes|
|SOUTHWEST ZUCCHINI FRITTERS with kale salad, roasted sweet potatoes, & black beans||HONEY-GLAZED CHICKPEA & QUINOA BOWLS with chard, cranberries, pine nuts, feta, miso-tahini sauce|
|940 calories||920 calories|
|24 grams of protein||26 grams of protein|
|84 grams of carbs||93 grams of carbs|
|Cooking time – 35 minutes||Cooking time – 25 minutes|
|SAMBAL & SOY-GLAZED CHICKEN with vegetables & brown butter-scallion rice||SPICY CHICKEN STIR-FRY with bok choy, rice, & peanuts|
|680 calories||630 calories|
|46 grams of protein||43 grams of protein|
|70 grams of carbs||76 grams of carbs|
|Cooking time – 45 minutes||Cooking time – 25 minutes|
|CHICKEN WITH PEANUT SAUCE with chili-lime green beans & cabbage, jasmine rice, peanuts||BLACKENED CHICKEN CUTLETS & “GRITS” with creole dijonnaise, cabbage, & tomato slaw|
|660 calories||870 calories|
|44 grams of protein||45 grams of protein|
|61 grams of carbs||15 grams of carbs|
|Cooking time – 25 minutes||Cooking time – 25 minutes|
|ROMESCO BEEF & DITALI PASTA with carrots & poblano pepper||BEYOND BEEF & POBLANO QUESADILLAS with guacamole-ranch salad|
|960 calories||710 calories|
|42 grams of protein||34 grams of protein|
|90 grams of carbs||40 grams of carbs|
|Cooking time – 20 minutes||Cooking time – 40 minutes|
|BEEF CAVATAPPI SKILLET with roasted red peppers, peas, parmesan, mozzarella||BEEF TENDERLOIN WITH SAVORY MUSHROOM SAUCE and broccoli gratin|
|1090 calories||830 calories|
|55 grams of protein||43 grams of protein|
|87 grams of carbs||24 grams of carbs|
|Cooking time – 30 minutes||Cooking time – 30 minutes|
|PAN-SEARED SCALLOPS & LIME BUTTER with spring vegetable rice||STEELHEAD TROUT & LEMON-CAPER SAUCE with orzo, zucchini, & sweet peppers|
|590 calories||780 calories|
|27 grams of protein||38 grams of protein|
|62 grams of carbs||59 grams of carbs|
|Cooking time – 55 minutes||Cooking time – 25 minutes|
|ITALIAN SHRIMP WITH PESTO and sun-dried tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, carrots, & red peppers||BLACKENED SALMON WITH DIJONNAISE COUSCOUS with corn & roasted peppers, apricot-glazed green beans|
|630 calories||1140 calories|
|24 grams of protein||40 grams of protein|
|23 grams of carbs||54 grams of carbs|
|Cooking time – 25 minutes||Cooking time – 30 minutes|
Do Blue Apron and Green Chef accommodate food allergies?
Green Chef meal plans include some recipes that are gluten-free, aside from catering to specific diet preferences like Keto, Paleo, and the Mediterranean diets.
What seems like the cherry on top with Green Chef is the use of only certified-organic ingredients.
Unfortunately, with Blue Apron, there’s nothing that indicates the accommodation of food allergies except that they have a Wellness category with recipes that are nutritionist-approved and more holistic.
Can you cancel your subscription or skip a meal?
Disappointingly, skipping a meal plan with Green Chef ends up postponing a week. This means that the weeks you want to skip keep pushing back. Based on your dietary requirements, you can switch meal plans if you like.
With Blue Apron, on the other hand, you get to skip a whole month very easily. Blue Apron also lets you switch from one plan to another in the middle of a week. However, if the order’s status is “processed,” then canceling it is not possible.
You can cancel that week’s delivery or even skip it if you stick to the deadline. Blue Apron provides you with a weekly cutoff time in the form of a “changeable before” time and date, which you can view on your Account Settings and Upcoming page.
If canceling your subscription altogether is what you want to do, Green Chef definitely makes this easier. Just head to your Account Info page and find the “Cancel Subscription” button. On the other hand, Blue Apron makes such a simple process a bit complicated because you have to mail their customer support team to get the subscription or account cancellation link.
BLUE APRON – Pros
- More affordable prices and no extra shipping cost
- Fresh, GMO-free ingredients
- Sources from family-owned ranches, farms, etc.
- Follows strict animal welfare standards
BLUE APRON – Cons
- Limited menu variety
- Does not accommodate food allergies
- Canceling the subscription is a tricky process
GREEN CHEF – Pros
- Fresh and organic-certified ingredients
- Suits specific diet plans like gluten-free, paleo, keto, etc.
- A wide variety of recipes and larger portion size
- Sustainable and recyclable packaging
GREEN CHEF – Cons
- More expensive in comparison
- Plus additional shipping fee
- Not possible to skip a meal
Who is it going to be then, Blue Apron or Green Chef?
Let me sum it up in the most direct manner…
Pick Blue Apron if…
- You want your cooking in the kitchen to be simple and quick.
- You’re more likely to change your weekly meal plans.
- You have a limited budget to spend on meal kit delivery services.
But choose Green Chef if…
- Certified-organic ingredients matter to you.
- You have special dietary demands, such as paleo, keto, gluten-free, and the like.
- You want a more diverse menu, meaning a wider variety of recipes to choose from.
- And also if your budget is not constrained.