The ongoing debate is between a meal kit delivery service and a premade meal delivery service. I’m talking about Green Chef and Freshly, which are both well-known, convenient, and beginner-friendly services.
After a detailed comparison between the two, I found that the ultimate decision falls down toyour personal preferences. What do you like and which one do you prefer?
If you’re looking to make mealtime easier and faster, Freshly’s cooked meals are perfect for you. Coupled with that, they are also less expensive than Green Chef.
Green Chef is the better competition on a dietary scale. To confirm your initial thought – yes, you have to prepare the meals yourself because they offer meal kits. Green Chef aims to be a health-conscious meal delivery service. It’s 100% organic, and it offers various gluten-free, soy-free, vegan, and dairy-free meals, as well as other specific dietary choices.
Why Pick Meal Delivery Services?
What is the number one thing you struggle with when it comes to building a healthy lifestyle? Eating healthy. When you’re working in an office, reserving time to cook healthy meals can seem difficult. Planning your meals a week or days in advance can be confusing even while working from home, especially for someone who doesn’t know how to go about it or dislikes cooking.
Picking a meal delivery service like Green Chef or Freshly is convenient and valuable. They ensure you eat a wholesome and nutritious meal at least three times a week. They also supply you with interesting and delicious recipes that guarantee that you won’t get bored of eating your veggies.
Every week, you are presented with healthy and delicious recipes varying from pasta, rice, grills, soups, salads, noodles, to curries. Trying different cuisines such as Mexican, Italian, Indian, Asian, and others is also one of the top specialties of services like Green Chef and Freshly.
They also maintain a log of every meal you select so you don’t have to! You can eat more healthfully and meet small goals such as lowering cholesterol levels and increasing protein intake and energy with a good balance of healthy fats and carbs.
The fact that meal kit delivery services also condone and avoid using ultra-processed foods is super convenient. All the meals are made with healthy and wholesome ingredients with little to no breathing space for processed foods or preservatives.
The benefit of subscribing to a meal kit delivery service is money well spent. When you’re struggling with your diet, such services make it extremely easy to cook restaurant-quality food at home according to your personal preferences.
Green Chef vs Freshly – Meal Prices
The prices of Green Chef and Freshly differ because Green Chef offers meals according to the number of people and meals per week. The serving size of the recipes you select can vary from 2, 4, to 6, and the meals per week are 3 or 4 according to their meal plans page.
Freshly, on the other hand, offers by the number of meal boxes you select. The serving size of each recipe is 1. You can add as many meals as you want per week, starting from 4 to 5 meals, which is the minimum order, to 12 meals per week. On their plans and menu page, Freshly clearly states that the higher the number of meals per week, the more money you’ll save on the final bill amount.
Let’s do a deeper analysis here.
The minimum order on Green Chef is 6 meals per week, and the starting price is $13.49 per serving + a $9.99 shipping fee. In the meal kit, you receive 3 meals for 2 people (2 servings in each recipe).
This is the cost of the minimum order regardless of the meal type you select, but more on that later.
Moving on, an increase in the number of meals per week from 3 to 4 meals for 2 people reduces the “per-serving” price from $13.49 down to $12.99. This means that 8 meals per week get you a $0.5 discount on the final bill amount.
As you can clearly make out from the table below, the higher the number of meals per week, the lower the cost per serving. Likewise, the margin between each meal box is $0.5 savings as you increase the meals per week.
|Green Chef Meals||Price per serving|
|6 meals per week||$13.49 per serving|
|8 meals per week||$12.99 per serving|
|12 meals per week||$12.49 per serving|
|16 meals per week||$11.99 per serving|
|18 meals per week||$11.99 per serving|
|24 meals per week||$11.99 per serving|
Meal plans on Freshly are relatively simpler to navigate because you choose based on the number of meals you want. It’s that direct!
The minimum order on Freshly is 4-5 meals per week. For the 4-meal plan, you pay $11.49 per serving. On the other hand, their largest 12-meal plan costs $8.99 per serving.
Freshly does charge a shipping fee, but it’s not as rigid as Green Chef’s shipping charges. The shipping cost fluctuates from $11.99 to $5.99 based on the number of meals you order every week and your location.
The difference between paying $13.49 on Green Chef and $9.99 on Freshly per serving is a big deal. Both charge a $9.99 shipping fee. For 6 meals, you pay almost $90 on Green Chef, while it only costs $70 when you order Freshly.
The larger the meal box, the bigger the gap between Green Chef and Freshly! Let me give you an example of what that would look like.
For 12 meals per week, Green Chef charges you $12.49 per serving = $150 for all the meals excluding shipping. It’s amazing that for the same number of meals per week, Freshly offers $8.99 per serving. You pay $115 including shipping for 12 meals per week. Isn’t that a steal?
To sum up, Freshly is more affordable than Green Chef, even at their starting prices. If your priority is saving money, Freshly’s prepared meals should be a perfect fit for you.
Green Chef vs Freshly – How It Works
After considering the price, another important factor of consideration is what you get in your meal box.
Green Chef’s approach to meal planning works exactly like a meal kit. You will receive premeasured ingredients, packaged and labeled with the proper cooking instructions. You don’t have to buy the ingredients, but once they arrive, you’re supposed to cook them fresh, and they’re then ready to serve.
On Green Chef’s meal planning page, you can view a variety of filters that describe what diet a meal is best fit for. This includes the following:
- Keto + Paleo
- Fast & Fit
You can easily select from multiple categories at the same time.
For people on a strict diet plan, Green Chef is good for you. They ensure organic, certified, and high-quality ingredients with no added preservatives, antibiotics, etc.
Green Chef is more diet-tailored than Freshly, and Freshly is more lifestyle-tailored than Green Chef which means it isn’t bad either.
On its menu, you can choose from the following:
- Purely Plan
- Signature Collection
- Proteins & Sides
You can also quickly find gluten-free, dairy-free, and low-calorie meals on their weekly menu.
One major point of difference between Green Chef and Freshly is that the former delivers meal kits, while the latter delivers prepared meals for people who don’t want to cook the meals themselves.
In other words, Freshly is a “heat and eat” kind of meal delivery service. Green Chef delivers meal kits with all the ingredients and cooking instructions, so you have to cook the meal yourself.
Green Chef vs Freshly – On the Menu
It’s easy to customize your meals on Green Chef because they offer so many different dietary preferences. It’s definitely a health-conscious choice with organic ingredients.
The meal plans host a wide variety of ingredients starting from rich spices, fresh herbs, and other spice mixes to high-quality vegetables and antibiotic- and hormone-free meat.
The dropdown meal plan includes three diet categories.
1. Keto + Paleo
Recipes with more proteins and fewer carbohydrates are included in this preference. The majority of these recipes are also gluten-, soy-, and grain-free.
This diet plan is good for weight loss, lowering cholesterol levels, improving heart health, and keeping you full for longer with more proteins than carbs in your daily diet.
2. Balanced Living
As the name suggests, this is made of a balanced blend of essentials such as meat and seafood along with vegetarian ingredients. If you’re not on any specific diet or have any food restrictions, Balanced Living is the best option on Green Chef. You get a taste of everything without any dietary restrictions.
All plant-based meals are included in this category, which includes vegan and vegetarian dishes with high-quality and preservative-free plant-based protein.
I would recommend this meal plan to vegans and vegetarians. For people who want to lower cholesterol levels and blood sugar levels, a plant-based diet is the best, most effective way to do so. It’s also good for improving the digestive system as it gives you a boost of fiber that facilitates better bowel movements.
On the Freshly menu, you can easily customize by dietary/lifestyle preference and explore many recipes that cater to your specific needs. Just like Green Chef, you have a dropdown menu to navigate through. It has four diet categories which also include a separate option for proteins and some sides that are missing on Green Chef.
1. Purely Plant
Fully plant-based, vegans and vegetarians will benefit the most from this option. Plant-based proteins, herbs, seasonings, lentils, legumes, etc. are included.
Most of the Purely Plant recipes are gluten- and dairy-free as well. Some of them even have fewer than 500 calories per serving which aids weight loss.
2. Signature Collection
This includes a mix of meat, seafood, and vegetarian dishes. Some are multi-serve, but the majority of the recipes on Freshly are single-serve. High-protein ingredients, interesting homemade sauces and marinades, spice mixes, tasty rice dishes, and pasta are some of the choices you have here.
Just like Purely Plant, these recipes are gluten-free, and some are even low-calorie for weight-watchers!
3. Freshly Fit
If eating clean and lean is your only goal, I recommend the Freshly Fit meal plan. The recipe options here are much fewer because you have only low-calorie meals with both vegetarian and nonvegetarian options. All the single-serve meals are under 500 calories and gluten-free.
Chicken and turkey are the top protein sources. In vegetarian, you have spinach, bell peppers, broccoli, and cauliflower.
4. Proteins & Sides
You can order some protein ingredients like 3 grilled chicken breasts or 8 baked turkey meatballs or sauteed green beans along with your meals. The serving size and other nutritional information are mentioned so you know exactly what you’re getting. They also have mashed potatoes and mac & cheese as sides.
Green Chef vs Freshly – Quality of Ingredients
Green Chef is a USDA-certified organic company. It swaps all the nonorganic ingredients with organic ingredients that are cooked without antibiotics, preservatives, and other harmful chemicals.
All their ingredients are sourced from organic farms and are backed by proper organic licenses that are eco-friendly.
Does organic affect taste? Yes, but not in a significantly negative way.
Organic foods spoil faster, especially after preparing. They have a shorter lifespan than nonorganic foods. Organic veggies like carrots, cabbage, and tomatoes begin to wilt and brown faster after cutting. It’s best you keep this in mind and prepare and eat the food on the same day it’s cooked for better flavor and rich texture.
Another way “organic” affects the customer’s experience is price. Green Chef is more expensive than Freshly because they have to specifically source organic ingredients which is not as commonplace as conventional practices.
Moving on, Freshly is certified asgluten-free by the Gluten Intolerance Group. The processing and sourcing of their ingredients are also regulated by the FDA. So, Freshly is all about quality and freshness.
Gluten-free certified, it means that all the ingredients are made without any gluten. Plus, they are prepared in a 100% gluten-free kitchen. If you have a severe gluten allergy, Freshly is better suited for you than Green Chef.
There are other options as well such as dairy- and soy-free, but the kitchen the food is cooked in is not so. Only specific recipes do not contain any dairy or soy-processed ingredients.
For gluten-free meals, Freshly has plenty of favorites, such as Steak and Peppercorn, Beef Bolognese, Chicken Parm, and Homestyle Chicken.
Now, to avoid any confusion Freshly does deliver a few gluten options, but these meals are prepared and cooked in a separate kitchen. Cross-contamination between gluten and non-gluten meals is impossible!
The most favorite thing about Freshly is that it’s affordable despite being gluten-free. So, it’s not like Green Chef where organic ingredients significantly increase the cost of the meal kits!
Green Chef vs Freshly – Cooking Prep Time
The winner for this category is Freshly because each recipe takes less than 5 minutes to serve. This is because the meals are already prepared and cooked before they arrive at your doorstep. These are microwave-friendly meals that you have to heat and serve, no matter which meal you’ve selected.
Green Chef, on the other hand, delivers meal kits that are different. These take more than 15 minutes to cook because they arrive with ingredients and cooking instructions. A few of the ingredients may already be prepped, but you have to cook and serve up the entire meal yourself by following the cooking instructions that Green Chef provides you.
With every Freshly meal, you will be given proper heating instructions for stovetop, microwave, or oven. It’s quick and a no-brainer, even for a complete newbie.
Green Chef involves some cooking skills which are beginner-friendly. Just follow their step-by-step instructions, and you’re good to go. The average time for making a meal with Green Chef is 20-40 minutes for vegetarian and nonvegetarian recipes.
Green Chef vs Freshly – Delivery and Packaging
Green Chef delivers meal kits, which means they deliver each ingredient separately. Delicate ingredients like chicken, seafood, and beef arrive cold in a sealed bag. Vegetables are often wrapped in a seal as well, just like spices and sauces. Nothing is flat, squished, or rotten at the time of delivery.
To keep the meat fresh, Green Chef includes ice packs and recyclable pouches that are color-coded and organized in every meal box. Even the large cardboard box it comes in is eco-friendly. You could either reuse or recycle it depending on your location.
Each meal kit features the ingredients and a recipe card with proper cooking instructions. You can easily pick out which ingredient is which based on the color-coded labels on each recipe card. This makes Green Chef a complete beginner-friendly option for most people.
About delivery, unless it’s the holiday season, Green Chef delivers right on time. You can customize the delivery slots according to your convenience, that is, pick your delivery day and time. Green Chef allows at least a 12-hour delivery window each day, so even if you don’t work from home, you can effectively make it on time. Making changes, however, can be done a few days before the estimated day of delivery.
Freshly sends prepared food in a small box. Most of the recipes that you order from Freshly are single-serve meals. They’re easier to heat and eat and take less than 5 minutes to do so depending on the heating instructions at the back of the box.
Common packaging materials are used for keeping cooked meals fresh and spill-proof. Plastic and cardboard, for example, that Freshly uses are recyclable. Some recipes require insulation for which Freshly uses biodegradable denim that’s alsoeasy to recycle.
Because Freshly offers cooked meals instead of meal kits, it uses less plastic than Green Chef. In terms of storage and convenience, Freshly is also convenient and user-friendly because the packaging is more compact and tidy.
Expect some effort in unpacking the ingredients from Green Chef as they come in separate sealed bags, containers, etc.
Freshly offers incredible flexibility with its delivery slots. Sometimes, the day selection might be limited due to your location. Freshly makes it easier to select a time and day or make any changes to your order a few days before the delivery date.
Green Chef vs Freshly – Nutritional Information
Thankfully, both Green Chef and Freshly offer quick and accurate nutritional information for each and every meal on their menu. You know what’s in every recipe, how much time it takes to cook, and other important information.
You’ll get a better idea of what I’m talking about with the help of these recipes:
Green Chef’s Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce
|Cooking Time||25 minutes|
|Nutritional Information (per serving)|
|Main Ingredients||Chicken cutlets, cremini mushrooms, scallions, kale, walnuts, jasmine rice, rosemary, basil, sage, vegetable stock, and creamy mushroom broth|
|Common Allergens||Tree nuts and milk|
|Dietary Preferences||Fast & Fit |
Freshly’sChicken Cordon Bleu
|Cooking/Heating Time||5 minutes|
|Nutritional Information (per serving)|
|Main Ingredients||Almond-coated chicken breast, honey, mushrooms, orzo, spinach, Swiss cheese, lemon, rice flour, rosemary, paprika, and peas.|
|Common Allergens||Not mentioned|
|Dietary Preferences||Soy-free |
The only difference between the nutritional information between Green Chef and Freshly is that the former reads out common food allergens. Freshly will not inform you what common allergy-causing foods are present in each recipe. You will have to read their ingredients list to search for them yourself.
Green Chef vs Freshly – Vegetarian Meals
Both Green Chef and Freshly feature a pure plant-based meal plan. Find it on Freshly’s menu as Purely Plant and on Green Chef’s menu as Plant-Powered. On the current week’s menu, Green Chef has 9 vegetarian meals, while Freshly has 6 meals plus 1 vegetarian side dish.
There is no doubt that both Green Chef and Freshly serve healthy, wholesome, and fresh vegetables. I would rather think about how Green Chef offers organic ingredients and Freshly doesn’t.
You can also quickly see vegan options on Green Chef though it doesn’t have a filter for it like for its keto, paleo, balanced, and plant-based meals. To sum up, Green Chef offers meals that are both vegan and vegetarian, while Freshly offers vegetarian meals.
Green Chef vs Freshly – Protein Sources
If there’s one nutrient most people track in their diet and want to get more of, it’s protein. Over time, the importance of eating more protein has become more prevalent, and it’s a good thing because protein helps with stamina, builds muscle, and boosts immunity.Protein matters because it is the fuel that keeps your body running and active.
If you’re not getting enough protein in your daily diet, you will suffer from a few health problems. This includes feeling weak, catching a cold very often, losing muscle mass, and being prone to “stress fractures.”
This should compel you to pay more attention to recipes/meals that have more protein, including vegetarian recipes, chicken, beef, and seafood.
On that note, the following recipes are picked at random for the sake of comparison. You can choose different meals for your weekly plan if you like. Since I want to focus on high-protein sources, I’ve chosen protein-focused recipes for your benefit.
From Green Chef:
- Maple-Miso Mushroom & Brussels Bowls – This recipe has mushrooms, Brussels sprouts, and lots of greens as protein-rich sources. The recipe card shows that it has 11g of protein in a single serving.
- Curried Paneer with Cauliflower Rice & Peas – This recipe boasts of more protein sources than the previous vegetarian selection. It has paneer, cauliflower, peas, and grilled cheese as protein-packed sources. The recipe card shows that it has 37g of protein in a single serving!
- Middle Eastern Falafel – This recipe features hearty ingredients such as brown rice, quinoa, lentils, bell peppers, and chickpeas. It’s plant-based, low-calorie, and gluten-free with 17g of proteins per serving.
- Cheesy Cauliflower Pasta Primavera – This recipe has mozzarella cheese, tomatoes, zucchini, peas, and cauliflower. It’s a gluten-free treat for cheese lovers as it has two kinds of cheeses combined with healthy, preservative-free cauliflower. With less than 400 calories per serving, it has 18g of protein as well.
From Green Chef:
- Chicken with Creamy Mushroom Sauce – Think of this as a comfort dish with delicious mushroom sauce and tender chicken breasts. A single serving has 42g of proteins, and it’s a gluten-free and quick recipe to make on any weeknight.
- Herby Balsamic-Dijon Chicken – This is chicken paired with a variety of interesting veggies such as green beans, squash, red peppers, and a lemony-herby sauce. It has 41g of protein per serving.
- Protein-Packed Chicken Parm – The name itself suggests that the meal is specifically for protein-hungry eaters. The broccoli makes up for any lack of heavy carbohydrates, while the tender chicken is coated in almond flour, not processed flour. With 42g of protein per serving, this recipe ensures you get the most protein every step of the way.
- Tex-Mex Grilled Chicken – This meal has two different types of meat – chicken sausage and chicken breast. Thus, it packs twice the protein punch. With 41g protein per serving, it’s herby, filling, and unbelievably delicious.
From Green Chef:
- Steam & Shrimp with Spicy Peperonata – Upping your protein intake with just one meal, this recipe has beef and seafood packed with high proteins and veggies too. The recipe card shows that it has 55g of protein and very few carbohydrates.
- Cauliflower Shell Beef Bolognese – This is made up of grain- and gluten-free cauliflower pasta with high-protein ground beef. This recipe has 31g of protein and fewer than 500 calories for weight-watchers.
Please note: Freshly does not include seafood options. You can pick from their vegetarian, chicken, and beef. If you’re looking for a pescatarian diet, opt for Green Chef as they offer a few seafood recipes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How Easy Is It to Sign Up on Green Chef?
After trying a lot of meal kit delivery services, Green Chef’s sign-up process feels light and user-friendly. To create your first meal box, you can select from the meal type, number of servings per meal, and number of meals per week.
Once you select the plan, you have to add your email address, payment details, and delivery address to select the right delivery time and day.
On your account, once you’ve logged in after signing up, you can customize your orders easily even after placing them. This includes freezing upcoming orders, changing the scheduled time or day, canceling the entire order for the upcoming weeks, etc.
If you feel stuck somewhere, you can either refer to theirFAQs page or contact customer service directly. The customer service department is surprisingly responsive and consistent. You should face no problems in getting out of situations when you want a replacement order or cancellation.
2. How Easy Is It to Sign Up on Freshly?
The first thing Freshly asks of you is your email address and zip code, after which you are directly taken to their meal page where you can select how many meals you want per week. Their discounted rates for first-timers are posted right below. Your savings with Freshly are huge when you order more meals per week.
Pick a delivery day depending on what’s available for your location. A great thing about Freshly is that they deliver all 7 days of the week. Once the delivery day is selected, you can seamlessly add meals to your cart.
Click on the recipe to view nutritional information quickly without leaving the page. This is where you’ll find extra information such as ingredients list, nutritional values, etc., which are separate. While selecting your meals, you can also view all the important details about the meal such as calories, serving size, meal type, and gluten without clicking on each recipe.
That’s about it. Just add your delivery address and payment details. Freshly lets you know how much money you’re saving on the final order. If you have any queries or doubts, the FAQs section is right at the footer of the web page. You can also contact their customer service via email, phone, or live chat.
3. Are Orders Customizable on Green Chef and Freshly?
Yes, you can easily customize or cancel your meals on Green Chef. You are required to make these changes 7 days prior to delivery. Green Chef lets you “Edit Your Meals” by adding or removing meals from your current order. This means you can modify not only the number of meals you want or don’t want but also change the number of servings per meal.
For pausing, skipping, and canceling an order, the deadline is 5 days prior. You can do this via the website or the app. If you deactivate your account after the cutoff time, your account will automatically deactivate after the upcoming order is complete.
Similarly, managing an order on Freshly is quick and easy. You can make some adjustments to your current week’s orders and upcoming orders. There are a few things you may not be able to do on your current week’s orders like canceling or skipping the meals. However, you can alter the delivery date or contact customer service if you want to change the delivery address.
On upcoming orders for the next week or the next few weeks, you can adjust the meal box size by removing or adding meals. Freshly also allows you to organize your meals by nutritional value so you know exactly which meal is low-calorie, high-protein, low-carb, etc.
Green Chef Pros and Cons
-Versatile meals with different dietary preferences.
-Beginner-friendly cooking instructions.
-Organic ingredients with vegan options.
-Allergy-friendly meals included.
-Sustainable packaging to reduce plastic waste.
-Portion sizes can be adjusted during check-out.
-You can order by meal recipes and serving size.
-Shipping fee on all orders.
-Prepping time is required with each meal kit.
-More expensive than Freshly.
Freshly Pros and Cons
-Fresh, prepared meals that are delicious and visually appealing.
-Incredibly affordable on small and large orders.
-Prep time is less than 5 minutes.
-Meals arrive in compact, spill-proof boxes.
-Single-serve and multi-serve meals included.
-100% gluten-free certified company for people with severe allergies.
-Limited variety of recipes
-No vegan options
-Not the ideal pick for families
Because Green Chef focuses entirely on delivering meal kits, it’s a healthier and more versatile option. Freshly, on the other hand, is designed to save you time by delivering prepared meals right out of the box.
Price-wise even, Freshly is more practical as it is cheaper than Green Chef. The meals at Green Chef cost a little more “per serving” than Freshly and take longer to cook because none are preprepared meals.
With a quick scan of both Green Chef and Freshly meals, I appreciate the simplicity of Freshly and the health-conscious nature of Green Chef. The choice falls entirely upon you and what kind of meals you want to eat based on their cooking instructions and cooking time.