Home Chef vs Sunbasket – A Direct Comparison of the Best Meal Kit Delivery Services

Last Updated : May 20, 2024


Meal kit companies might just save you from the unhealthy habit of eating takeout food every day of the week just because you can’t make time to cook. If you live with family members, meal kits can spruce up their diet too!

So, what do meal kit services like Home Chef and Sunbasket do? In a nutshell, these meal kit services pre-plan and customize all your health and dietary needs by offering pre-portioned ingredients and cooking instructions based on the recipes you choose.

It’s just like ordering food in a restaurant but only that you have to cook the meals yourself, which should take no longer than 35–45 minutes.

Taking care of all your grocery store and meal planning needs, Home Chef and Sunbasket come with unique benefits.

To save you the trouble of doing the comparison yourself, this article provides all the pros and cons of opting for Home Chef or Sunbasket and how they compare. Finally, you can quickly decide which meal kit delivery service is worth your time and money.

According to a recent survey, 22% of consumers in America are subscribing to meal kit delivery services more than before. The concept of dining in is becoming more and more widespread and popular over the years. But ordering meal kits instead of unhealthy takeout food is a stronger trend among health-conscious eaters.

Furthermore, the availability of so many different types of meal kit delivery services offering a wide range of recipes, flavors, and diet categories has made a significant impact on the food industry.

Meal kit delivery services have become the ideal solution to the problem of meal planning and prepping. It takes care of two things at once, so people have to worry less about planning their meals all the time and taking the time out for grocery shopping.

Since all the meals are preportioned and organized according to the recipes you select, there is a significant drop in food wastage and consumption of high-sodium and fatty foods.

You can alter the serving size of every meal you order to cut back on leftover food. Some meal kit delivery services also let you add an extra helping of protein based on your daily nutritional needs.

With meal kit companies, you have complete freedom to select traditional and globally inspired recipes. You can also select meals that fit specific dietary needs such as low-calorie, low-carb, high-protein, keto, paleo, gluten-free, soy-free, and dairy-free. You can even make a meal kit recipe allergy-friendly by swapping ingredients!

The customizability and logic behind meal kit delivery services are foolproof and time-tested. Such services help customers stay fit and healthy without worrying about grocery shopping and meal planning.

Plus, the competitive pricing ensures that you don’t pay more than is necessary for the convenience of cooking meal kits at home.

7 Important Tips for Ordering Meal Kits for the First Time

#1 Research for Meal Options

Don’t just subscribe to a meal kit because it’s popular. Find out the dietary options and meal preferences it offers such as vegan, vegetarian, keto, paleo, low carb, low calorie, or gluten-free meals.

Once you find a meal kit delivery service that caters to your personal needs and diet preferences and offers delicious meals, you can go ahead and place your first order.

#2 Digest Online Reviews and Compare

You will likely find more than one meal kit company that suits your needs and preferences. Now is the time to compare and evaluate their best features and how they suit your dietary lifestyle.

You can also read customer reviews online to get a sense of their food quality and consistency. You will find out more about a meal kit delivery service in this manner,such as their delivery times, meal variety, customer service, and lots more.

#3 Look for Meal Customization

It’s always good to stick to a meal kit delivery service that lets you customize meals according to your needs. Make sure you finalize a service that accommodates your customization needs and not the other way around.

For example, with Home Chef, you can swap the proteins on specific meal kit recipes. Meanwhile, on Sunbasket, you can filter the menu for special diets like keto and paleo.

#4 Compare Each Available Delivery Schedule

What’s the best time for delivery? Does the meal kit delivery service deliver to your doorstep? Do you have to be home to receive the weekly order? A dependable meal kit delivery service should be able to answer all these questions accurately so that you can find a delivery schedule that works for you.

#5 Find an Eco-friendly Option

Sustainable packaging matters a great deal when you want to invest in a meal kit delivery service for the long run. Recycling packaging including cardboard boxes, liners, and seals is necessary. Make sure the meal kit company you select minimizes the use of single-use plastics and uses easy-to-recycle materials instead.

#6 Find Out More About Customer Support

A handy FAQ page and responsive customer service are a must when choosing a meal kit delivery service. Just in case you run into some trouble along the way or need to have some questions answered regarding delivery and ordering, their customer service should be clear and concise.

Make sure you finalize a service that accommodates your customization needs and not the other way around.

#7 Always Aim for Transparency

Make sure you pick a meal kit delivery service that offers nutritional information about all their meals. Each meal kit recipe should be backed by nutritional facts, an ingredients list, allergy information, and recipe instructions.

Home Chef vs Sunbasket – Menu Variety and Meal Options

Home Chef and Sunbasket offer a variety of meals divided by cuisine and diet type. Home Chef offers three different types of meal categories: Low Calorie, Low Carb, and Under 30 Minutes. This is as far as Home Chef goes for providing health-forward and nutrition-focused meal kits for picky eaters.

The Home Chef menu offers your typical meal kits with preportioned ingredients; easy-prep meals; meal bundles that include coffee, salads, bread, soup, and some sweet dishes; and Extras like add-ons for breakfast, staple pantry items, tiny bites, and a la carte proteins.

Sunbasket, on the other hand, offers not only different types of meal categories tailored to meet dietary needs but also features different meals such as dinner, breakfast, lunch, snacks, etc.

You can sort the Sunbasket menu according to the following filters:

  • Under 20 minutes
  • Under 600 calories
  • Paleo
  • Gluten-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Soy-free
  • Diabetes-friendly
  • Vegan

You also have the option to select from a wide variety of meals organized by time of day:

  • Dinners: Meal Kits, Fresh & Ready meals
  • Breakfast: Oatmeal & Granola, Breads & Spreads, Juice, Smoothies
  • Lunch: Ready-to-Eat Proteins, Pizzas & Empanadas, Grain and Noodle Bowls, Tortillas & Breads, Deli
  • Pasta & Sauce: Fresh Pasta & Pasta Sauce
  • Proteins: Seafood, Poultry, Beef & Lamb, Pork & Sausage, Plant-Based, Cooked & Cured
  • Snacks: Bars & Bites, Sweet Treats

Meal customization-wise, Home Chef allows you to customize the proteins of select meals, so you can switch from seafood, poultry, beef, and plant-based proteins easily for specific recipes.

For example, for their Garlicky BLT Burger recipe, you can customize the protein to ground turkey, double-portion ground beef for a boost of proteins, or a single serving of ground beef.

Another great example is the Herbes de Provence Chicken recipe, where you can select Filet Mignon, USDA-certified New York Strip Steak, Boneless Chicken Breasts, or Antibiotic-Free Boneless Chicken Breasts as your preferred choice of proteins.

Sunbasket does not allow such swappable proteins, but they do offer more diet-focused meal categories than Home Chef. Sunbasket offers diets like paleo, soy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, diabetes-friendly, and vegan meals for all their meal kits and fresh and ready meals.

If meal variety is what you’re looking for, then Sunbasket should be your priority. But if you want a bit more control over the kind of protein you eat daily, the swappable protein feature of Home Chef is more suited for you.

Home Chef vs Sunbasket – Ingredient Quality and Freshness

On Home Chef’s menu, you will find different varieties of proteins, including beef, chicken, seafood, turkey, and some plant-based alternatives. They deliver fresh produce sourced from local farms as well as authentic and high-quality ingredients.

Sunbasket, to compare, focuses on organic, GMO-free, fresh ingredients. On their weekly menu, you can see what diet category a meal belongs to:

  • Mediterranean
  • Soy-Free
  • Lean & Clean
  • Dairy-Free
  • Vegan
  • No Added Sugar
  • Protein Plus
  • Pescatarian
  • Gluten-Free
  • Keto-Friendly
  • Paleo
  • Vegetarian

Home Chef meal kits and Home Chef-prepared meals do not come with such accurate dietary information. But you can quickly read about the allergen information and what types of ingredients the recipe uses that may or may not trigger an allergic reaction such as tree nuts, milk, eggs, wheat, fish, etc.

Home Chef does not offer vegan or organic ingredients. The number of vegetarian dishes it offers on its menu is limited, and its plant-based alternative to meat can often seem repetitive for picky eaters.

For maintaining a special diet and increasing the nutritional value and quality of the ingredients you consume daily, Sunbasket is a premium choice. It offers lots of vegan, organic, and specialty diet food offerings. Home Chef is good for a basic diet plan with only a few vegetarian meal options per week.

Home Chef vs Sunbasket – Types of Recipes

Compared to Sunbasket, Home Chef’s meals are homier and more traditional, which would be the ideal fit for someone who wants more home-inspired meals than modern and experimental cuisines.

Sunbasket’s meals are a tad bit more unique, inspired by global cuisines, offering a wide range of recipes like paleo, keto, Mediterranean, vegan, diabetes-friendly, and organic.

You can select from a low-carb, a low-calorie, to a vegetarian meal plan with Home Chef. But there are no more customizations, diet-wise, for all their meal kit recipes. Some of you may find Home Chef’s menu a bit repetitive, especially if you want to eat more versatile meals that have new and unique flavors and pairings.

For special diets and an overall distinct flavor palate, Sunbasket’s meals are ideal. The meals are varied in quantity as well as quality with some protein substitutions you can make to switch to a vegetarian diet plan.

Plus, some of their meals are also categorized as vegan, and nearly all of the meals contain high-quality organic ingredients from antibiotic-free and GMO-free protein and locally sourced produce like fruits and vegetables.

Home Chef vs Sunbasket – Pricing Strategies

Home Chef and Sunbasket’s meals are similarly priced with flexible costs per serving depending on the number of meals you order per week.

Starting with Home Chef, they offer meal kits and premade meals for 2 or 4 people (family-friendly meal plans). The price per serving for 2 or 4 people starts from $7.99.

Sunbasket, on the other hand, is a tad bit expensive, starting from $10.99 per serving. The minimum order value for Sunbasket’s meals is $11.99 per serving for 2 people. The meal kits are more expensive than oven-ready meals.

With Home Chef’s menu, the higher number of meals you order, the less you pay on the final bill amount. The minimum order value for Home Chef’s meals is $11.99 per serving. However, the price per serving goes down if you order more meals each week.

The shipping fee for both services is quite similar as Home Chef’s shipping cost is $10.99 per order, while Sunbasket’s is $9.99 per order.

Add-ons like snacks, a la carte proteins, desserts, and other small items are individually priced depending on the number of add-ons you order. Though the price varies according to the total number of meals and items you add to your cart, at the end of the day,Sunbasket is more expensive than Home Chef.

Home Chef vs Sunbasket – The Cooking Process

Though there is no notable difference between Home Chef and Sunbasket, their recipes are very easy to make and beginner-friendly (recipe cards are included). Even if you’re new to the world of cooking, cooking with the help of a meal kit should not pose any difficulties.

Home Chef and Sunbasket’s meals are easy to put together, quick to prep, and consistent to make. Plus, they do not require the application of any advanced or intricate cooking skills, nor do you need special cookware to prepare their recipes from the ground up.

Home Chef lets you choose meals that take less than 30 minutes to cook including freshly prepared meals that take only a few minutes to heat and eat.

Sunbasket features a similar meal option for recipes that take less than 20 minutes to put together. This includes meal kits and fresh and ready meals along with extras like breakfast, pasta, desserts, and snacks.

Both services offer simple instructions for every meal kit. You might even learn a thing or two about cooking and meal prepping – it’s that easy and fun!

As long as you have basic kitchen items like pots and pans, a sharp knife, an oven, and a set of bowls and plates, you don’t have to worry about cooking equipment.

Never forget to stock your kitchen with pantry staples like salt, pepper, cooking oil, and butter. Both meal delivery services make it a point to mention that you have to have basic pantry ingredients like salt, pepper, and cooking oil at home.

Home Chef vs Sunbasket – The Ordering Process

The ordering process for Home Chef and Sunbasket is easy and quick. You can add any number of meals to your weekly cart and add extras that are on both their menus.

With Home Chef, you can order for 2 or 4 people at a time, which means 2 or 4 servings per meal. Home Chef features around 30 different recipes each week including mouthwatering snacks and a la carte proteins.

Sunbasket offers a more custom menu because you have several diet categories and meal types to choose from. Their meal kits come in servings of 2 or 4 people. Meanwhile, their fresh and ready meals that are prepared and packed come in single servings.

Sunbasket also features a separate snacks and proteins menu that is preportioned to suit 2 or 4 people per meal. You can select as many add-ons as you want, and the final cost alters based on the number of meals you’ve selected.

You can view the upcoming week’s menus at the click of a button – you don’t even need to sign up to do that. The ordering processes of both services are flexible and consistent. Some meal kit delivery services can be very overwhelming to browse, but that’s not the case with either Home Chef or Sunbasket.

Even after placing an order, you can go back to pause, edit, or cancel your order easily with both services. Changing delivery options, skipping weeks, changing your delivery address, etc. are possible without contacting customer service.

Home Chef lets you adjust your meal order before 12 PMCT every Friday a week before delivery. Sunbasket takes place at 12 PM PT every Wednesday before the delivery week. This means Home Chef’s order customization process is a bit more flexible than Sunbasket’s.

Home Chef vs Sunbasket – Types of Vegetarian Diets Served

Truth be told, Home Chef, from a bird’s eye view, doesn’t seem like the most fitting choice if you’re following any specific diet plan. “Carb-conscious” and “calorie-conscious” are the only two diet-related tags on the menu, and that’s as far as Home Chef goes.

Now, you can choose their “Vegetarian” meal plan, but the variety here is limited. However, you can go ahead and make many Home Chef meals vegetarian simply by swapping proteins as there’s a “Customize It” option on a good number of dishes on all the weekly menus.

Whatever the case, for a specialized vegetarian diet, Sunbasket wins the most points. This meal delivery company accommodates plenty of diet plans:

  • Gluten-free
  • Soy-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Vegan
  • Pescatarian
  • Paleo
  • Keto
  • Diabetes-friendly
  • Mediterranean

Even with Sunbasket, protein substitutions are available for many recipes but with a more diverse selection than Home Chef. When talking about catering to different eating styles, especially vegetarianism, Sunbasket is way better as it offers vegans and vegetarians a higher number of meals to pick from.

While it’s true that both meal delivery services allow protein swapping, Sunbasket provides you with more varied alternatives.

However, it’s important to also note that both companies feature weekly menus that include a great combination of proteins, veggies, and international flavors. It’s just that Sunbasket offers a larger selection, even when it comes to add-ons. Unfortunately, Home Chef has only a limited number of vegetarian options.

Home Chef vs Sunbasket – Protein Content and Nutritional Value

If you solely look at nutritional value, Sunbasket comes off as the more suitable choice for healthful meals and diets. About 50% of the dishes on every weekly menu have less than 600 calories. Even those with over 600 calories clock out at around 900. What’s also well taken care of is the use of added sugars – not a lot of it is a part of the meals.

Another thing I really liked about Sunbasket’s meals is that they’ve included whole grains like quinoa, whole wheat bread, and brown rice.

In comparison, Home Chef does fall behind. Their dishes contain a higher number of calories – over 1,100 calories per serving. On top of that, refined grains (white bread), white rice, added sugars, etc. are also a part of the meals.

It’s no wonder that Home Chef doesn’t provide complete nutritional information at first glance, unlike Sunbasket. The latter doesn’t even leave out other important metrics such as unsaturated and saturated fat, added sugars, fiber, and cholesterol.

So, it’s clear which of the two meal delivery services has a better nutritional approach – the one with lower-calorie meals yet more indulgent recipes – that’s Sunbasket!

Home Chef vs Sunbasket – Nutritional Value of Vegetarian Meals

Home Chef’s

Roasted Beet and Goat Cheese Risotto with Pistachios


Quinoa and Tofu Bowls with Pickled Vegetables and Cashew-Lime Dressing

670 calories per serving 560 calories per serving
15 grams protein per serving 32 grams protein per serving
79 grams carbs per serving 54 grams carbs per serving
31 grams fat per serving 23 grams fat per serving


Home Chef vs Sunbasket – Nutritional Value of Meat-Based Meals

Home Chef’s

Sweet Onion Demi-Glace Chicken with Cheddar-Bacon Corn Muffins and Roasted Asparagus


Mediterranean Lemon Chicken with Baby Broccoli, Artichokes, and Olives

580 calories per serving 540 calories per serving
46 grams protein per serving 29 grams protein per serving
49 grams carbs per serving 15 grams carbs per serving
28 grams fat per serving 40 grams fat per serving


Home Chef’s

One-Pan Adobo Beef Tacos with Chipotle Ranch Slaw


Beef ‘n’ Cheddar Chili Mac

620 calories per serving 610 calories per serving
31 grams protein per serving 32 grams protein per serving
49 grams carbs per serving 60 grams carbs per serving
34 grams fat per serving 28 grams fat per serving


Home Chef’s

Pork Chop with Mushroom Gravy and Sautéed Zucchini and Peas


Blueberry-Apricot Pork Chops with Sautéed Kale

570 calories per serving 440 calories per serving
47 grams protein per serving 32 grams protein per serving
20 grams carbs per serving 37 grams carbs per serving
34 grams fat per serving 20 grams fat per serving


Home Chef vs Sunbasket – Nutritional Value of Seafood Meals

Home Chef’s

Ponzu-Glazed Salmon with Pineapple Fried Rice


Creole-Spiced Salmon with Tomatoey Green Beans and Cheesy Grits

730 calories per serving 740 calories per serving
41 grams protein per serving 35 grams protein per serving
65 grams carbs per serving 52 grams carbs per serving
33 grams fat per serving 44 grams fat per serving


Home Chef’s

Orange Garlic Shrimp with Bok Choy and Rice


Chinese-Style Silky Scrambled Eggs with Shrimp Over Rice and Peas

640 calories per serving 570 calories per serving
27 grams protein per serving 37 grams protein per serving
94 grams carbs per serving 70 grams carbs per serving
18 grams fat per serving 14 grams fat per serving

Home Chef and Sunbasket – Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do Home Chef and Sunbasket Accommodate Allergies?

Home Chef is nothing like Sunbasket when you take into consideration the menu and meal plans being allergy-friendly. Sunbasket meal delivery caters to some of the most popular diet plans, such as the following:

  • Gluten-free
  • Soy-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Low-carb
  • Vegan
  • Pescatarian
  • Paleo
  • Keto
  • Diabetes-friendly
  • Mediterranean

Sunbasket meals (including Sunbasket prepared meals), plant-based or otherwise, are the best for anyone looking to add more healthy meals into their weekly routine. They have a good number of vegan and seafood dishes. Their meals are labeled accordingly:

  • Soy-Free
  • Dairy-Free
  • Gluten-Free
  • Keto-Friendly
  • Paleo
  • Mediterranean
  • Lean & Clean
  • No Added Sugar
  • Protein Plus
  • Pescatarian
  • Vegetarian
  • Vegan
  • Carb-Conscious

Home Chef, however, takes on an entirely different approach. The Home Chef menu has no such tags, except for these limited filters:

  • Carb-conscious
  • Calorie-conscious
  • < 30 min

What’s also limited are the plant-based meal options on Home Chef. The menu mainly consists of classic American dishes and comfort foods (home-cooked meal selection). So, if you have any specific dietary preferences or food allergies like those associated with gluten, soy, dairy, etc., you’re going to love the Sunbasket menu.

What Type of Packaging Do Home Chef and Sunbasket Use?

Home Chef is all about organization when it comes down to the packaging. The ingredients of their meal kits are grouped together, and then those bags are labeled accordingly, which means every meal kit bag can be conveniently stored in your refrigerator.

About whether or not their packaging is biodegradable, Home Chef’s current sustainability model could include greater recyclability. Apart from the excessive use of packaging materials, not all of it is recyclable and/or biodegradable.

On the other side, Sunbasket makes it a point to use less plastic, although it’s not as organized as Home Chef. Nonetheless, it’s Sunbasket, more than HomeChef, which sets the bar high for reducing waste and recycling. Almost every packaging item can be either reused or recycled, including recycled denim insulation and gel ice packs.

Minus points then for Home Chef for using more plastic, even though most of this plastic can be recycled (barring the cardboard material liners).

Where Do Home Chef and Sunbasket Deliver?

When signing up, Home Chef asks for your zip code to let you know if they deliver to your locality. But both Home Chef and Sunbasket deliver all across the United States except for Hawaii and Alaska.

Home Chef delivery and Sunbasket delivery questions/queries have been answered on their own respective web pages in their own unique manner.

What Is the Customer Service of Home Chef and Sunbasket Like?

On Home Chef, you’ll find their FAQs & Support page. Even Sunbasket has an FAQs section where basic topics such as recipes, ingredients, placing/editing orders, managing accounts, shipping and delivery, etc. are covered.

But if you need to get in touch with their customer service teams, that’s no problem at all. For Home Chef, you can reach out by heading over to the Contact Us page. Sunbasket’sHelp Center consists of an automated customer support, ask an expert, call, and text. You can mail them as well and expect a response within 24 hours.

Home Chef Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
Customizable weekly menus and meals. Too much plastic packaging.
Quick, easy meals (simple cooking process and oven-ready dishes). The dishes are not very creative.
Affordable prices per serving. Limited plant-based and vegan meals.
Includes carb-conscious and calorie-conscious meals.
Deliveries can be edited, skipped, and canceled.
Meal boxes are neatly packed to maximize storage convenience.


Sunbasket Pros and Cons

Pros Cons
A wide variety of meals, meal plans, and diets are accommodated. More expensive than affordable meal delivery services like Home Chef.
Sustainably sourced protein and fresh, organic produce. Not the best for classic American-style food.
Recyclable and reusable packaging (minimal materials used).
Greater add-on options on the menu.
Meal kits and heat-and-serve dishes.
Satisfying and filling portion sizes.

The Wrap Up – Sunbasket vs. Home Chef

While both meal subscription services live up to high standards, it’s Sunbasket that I would rank as the better choice simply because you get greater variety on Sunbasket! However, if you’re looking for a more affordable option, Home Chef is the way to go.

In most scenarios, Home Chef is the best for classic and comfort foods, easy meal prep, and affordable meal plans. As for Sunbasket, it offers more exciting and enjoyable flavors from all over the world, with more dietary restrictions and accommodations.