Not-even-a-decade-old Sunbasket has turned into this huge, full-service online meal delivery brand that provides health-focused individuals not only meal kits but also breakfast, lunch, and more grocery items. They cater to a wide variety of eating preferences and habits.
Budget-friendly, organic ingredients and very intriguing recipes – these are all part and parcel of the whole Sunbasket experience, which includes both meal kits and premade (microwavable) dishes.
On the other hand, Plated is an equally popular home meal delivery service (for meal kits only) loaded with ingredients and recipes of the highest caliber. Plated seems to work best for non-picky eaters. This includes adventurous foodies who are always on the lookout for meals inspired by international cuisine – Latin, Italian, Greek, Thai, and even classic American dishes.
Plated also works for those too busy to do all that time-consuming, boring meal preps. Why go grocery shopping or spend more than 30 minutes in your kitchen when you’ve got the Plated meal delivery service, right?
Now comes the entire Sunbasket vs Plated debate – whose meal kits are supposed to be the most suitable, savory, and convenient for at-home cooks? Let’s find out!
Why Choose Meal Kit Delivery Services?
It’s not just some regular pizza delivery guy ringing your doorbell with your order. Sunbasket and Plated are legitimate companies that expand the simple concept of delivering pre-portioned meal kits at your doorstep. What’s even better is that all the ingredients needed for cooking these exciting, delicious, global-inspired recipes in no time come with proper instructions and all!
Consider the Health Benefits of a Nutritious and Balanced Diet
A diet plan that remains consistently well-balanced and highly nutritious has to be part of our lifestyle, no matter our age. With eating clean, healthy food becoming even more important as we grow older, drive-through, takeout, junk, and fast-food meals are a complete no-no.
The thing about restaurant meals is that they’ve got too much salt, sugar, fat, and other kinds of unhealthy ingredients. These unhealthy ingredients include artificial flavors, chemical preservatives, and whatnot. This makes chances of developing an illness or aggravating an existing one become quite likely.
On the other hand, with meal kit delivery brands, your food choices are much healthier because their recipes are crafted by certified nutritionists and dieticians. They make sure that daily dietary needs are met based on how much protein, carbohydrates, etc. the body wants from food.
Moreover, there are adequate, filling serving sizes and so many yummy, healthy recipes to choose from!
Replace the “Confusion” of Cooking with “Convenience”
Cooking in itself is such a time-consuming and difficult process. Imagine cooking for 2 or more people or having the pressure of preparing delicious meals! We can all agree that easy, quick dishes don’t have you running to the grocery store all the time, but most often than not, even weekly trips start to feel very demanding. This becomes even more difficult if you have kids to take care of or you need to focus on your weekly work projects -maybe you’re not even physically able to go to the supermarket very often.
Enter meal kit delivery services to solve all your kitchen- and food-related problems!
Plated and Sunbasket both deliver ready-to-cook meals with ingredients packed in well-insulated boxes to preserve all that high-quality freshness. On top of that, these ingredients are well-separated too, which means confusion is out of the picture and convenience is in.
Furthermore, prep time rarely exceeds more than 30-40 minutes!
Think About How Much You’ll Be Saving by Not Eating Out
In comparison to the huge amount of money you usually spend on takeout food, ordering weekly meal kits is way more affordable and cheaper.
The added benefit is that you’re consuming home-cooked meals, so your health and wallet benefit from such a habit.
You End Up Trying New, Diverse Recipes
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with trying new things, and this includes the food that we eat every single day. Sometimes it’s just non-optional to change your diet plan because of a health-related setback or specific dietary preferences.
In that context, aren’t meal kit delivery services (with their wide, varied range of menus) the most useful? They offer new, healthy, and mouthwatering food options which you can incorporate into your life more regularly and consistently without having to spend too much energy and time.
Companies like Sunbasket and Plated even give you recipe cards equipped with detailed, simple-to-follow instructions to make the cooking process at home more straightforward and quicker!
Post-cooking Cleanup Is Minimal
Nobody likes the task of cleaning everything up in the kitchen after all the cooking is done. So many sticky, soiled dishes to wash – just thinking about it makes you not want to cook in the first place. There’s no denying that cooking is messy and you have to clean up the mess. However, you can avoid all this mess by choosing a meal kit delivery service!
For these kinds of recipes, you just need basic pantry items, e.g., cooking oil, eggs, pepper, salt, sugar, etc. All other ingredients are part of the order and have already been chopped and prepped for you. Hence, there’s only minimal mess and cleanup, which shouldn’t take more than 5-10 minutes.
There’s Less Food Wastage
Your weekly meal kits are well-proportioned, and this means having meals that are both sufficient and filling. You know what that means, right? Less potential food leftovers or waste!
The ingredients are fresh. Thus, you’re most likely going to use them up before their expiration date.
Sunbasket vs Plated – Pricing
How Sunbasket Pricing Works
Meal kits on Sunbasket are priced at $11.49/serving size. A decrease in meals/week is followed by an increment of $1/serving. As for Sunbasket’s Fresh & Ready (premade) recipes, these are priced at $9.99/serving.
Here’s the breakdown of Sunbasket’s meal kit pricing:
- 2 meals/week – $14.49/serving size
- 3 meals/week – $13.49/serving size
- 4 meals/week – $12.49/serving size
- 5 meals/week – $11.49/serving size
This is the pricing plan for Sunbasket’s Fresh & Ready meals:
- 4-5 meals/week – $12.99/serving size
- 6-7 meals/week – $11.99/serving size
- 8-9 meals/week – $10.99/serving size
- 10 meals/week – $9.99 serving size
Protein substitutions (ground beef, lamb, fish, tofu, etc.) do affect the price, but the cost of these protein customizations seems to stay the same across all the different meals.
Also, Sunbasket offers Speedy meal kits as well, which cost an extra $1.99/serving.
One last thing – the delivery charges per box are $9.99, but you get free shipping for the first order. Sunbasket ships everywhere in the USA except Alaska, North Dakota, Montana, Hawaii, and some areas of New Mexico.
How Plated Pricing Works
First of all, Plated sets comparatively higher pricing than most meal kit delivery services on the market. However, the company ensures better product quality in return for the higher cost. Here’s what you can expect:
- Hormone-free meat
- Locally sourced vegetables
- Sustainably sourced fish
Who can say no to that? It’s definitely worth spending a bit more!
With Plated, you can pick the number of servings per meal. Your options include 2, 3, and 4 servings, with 3 different meal plans to choose from. The cost/serving is $11.95 for 2 servings/meal plan and $9.95 for 3 or 4 servings/meal plan.
Their standard shipping fee is $7.95 unless your total bill amount is over $60 (in which case, delivery is free). Delivery areas in the USA do not include large cities such as San Antonio. Even Hawaii and Alaska are excluded.
Sunbasket vs Plated – Packaging
Environment-friendly packaging is what contributes to the unique experience provided by Sunbasket. The large box containing your weekly meals is recyclable and lined with enough paper and denim insulation. Even the ice packs used to keep the contents fresh are compostable!
Sunbasket also shares very useful recycling guidelines and instructions on their website as far as reusing all components involved in packaging is concerned.
Everything that is a part of Sunbasket packaging – bags, jars, boxes, trays, insulation, etc. – is both lightweight and recyclable or reusable.
In the case of Plated, their meal boxes are also well-insulated for preserving the freshness of the ingredients. Plated may sustainably source their fish, but they don’t seem to be equally bothered about reducing carbon footprint. While every ingredient is individually plastic-wrapped, Plated’s packaging materials can also be reused.
Comparatively speaking, reusable or otherwise, Sunbasket’s packaging is certainly less wasteful than Plated.
Sunbasket vs Plated – Meal Plans and Options
When you combine Sunbasket’s Fresh & Ready and Meal Kit options, you get a menu with around 30-40 different recipes to select from per week.
Sunbasket offers the following cuisines on their menu: Chinese, Mexican, Thai, Italian, Korean, Greek, Indian, Middle Eastern, Japanese, and American dishes. Some of these can be:
- Protein Plus
- <600 calories
Additionally, Sunbasket also has quite an impressive selection of breakfast, lunch, snacks pasta and sauce, and proteins. Here are some samples of what they have:
- Grab-n-go bars
- Soups and broths
- Grain and noodle bowls
- Pizzas and empanadas
- Bars and bites
- Crackers and crisps
Plated’s weekly menu variety is much more diverse and broader in comparison to Sunbasket:
- Summer Grilling recipes
- 30 Minute recipes
- Easy recipes
- Low Cholesterol recipes
- Low-Fat recipes
- Kid Favorite recipes
Unfortunately, vegetarians/vegans don’t get that many options to choose from since the weekly menu consists of not more than 3-4 only-vegetarian dishes. However, if you’re on a gluten-free diet, you’re surely not going to be disappointed in the least.
Meat-eaters are definitely in for a treat – thanks to the availability of red meat, white meat, and fish! You can always combine these with vegetarian recipes for a more well-balanced diet.
In that sense, there’s no denying that the Plated menu is capable of transforming your daily diet as you can enjoy dishes inspired by Chinese, Mexican, Italian, and Greek cuisine.
Sunbasket vs Plated – Quality of Ingredients
Speaking of the quality of ingredients, Sunbasket is extremely transparent about its sourcing standards and processes. On their Values page, they’ve mentioned that they work with only the best ranchers, farmers, and fishermen:
- Their fresh produce is 100% organic.
- Seafood is wild-caught or sustainably raised.
- Chicken, beef, pork, or lamb do not contain any hormones, steroids, antibiotics, etc.
- Pork is sourced from family-owned, ethically run farms.
On Sunbasket’s Farms & Sourcing page, you will find which ranchers, fishermen, farmers, and producers they work with. Some of them include CA-based Lakeside Organic Gardens and Hodo Soy Tofu.
Even Plated uses only fresh and high-quality ingredients that are sustainably and ethically sourced. However, they’re not as transparent as Sunbasket when it comes to sharing details about the types of ingredients used, where they come from, and the like.
Sunbasket vs Plated – Vegetarian Meal Plans
It’s good to have the option to switch back and forth between a vegetarian and non-vegetarian meal plan. Sunbasket and Plated allow you that luxury without any hassle.
On Sunbasket, you get to pick from different meals starting with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but there’s more! You also have other options such as Pasta & Sauces, Protein, and Snacks. Each category has more variety for you to pick from.
From all of this, there are plenty of vegetarian options. Even Sunbasket’s Protein menu features a Plant-Based filter which includes servings of Black Bean Veggie Burgers, Garlic and Herb Falafel, Breaded Plant-Based Chicken, Gluten-Free Plant-Based Chicken, Tofu, Plant-Based Hot Dogs, and Minced Burger.
One feature I found lacking in Sunbasket though is a Vegetarian filter for all the meals.
I had to comb through their entire menu to pick out all the vegetarian options. Sunbasket does have filters that you can use to narrow down your choices, like cooking time, meal timing, calories, and dietary preferences, but you can’t filter according to cuisine or ingredients.
Most of Sunbasket’s ingredients are organically sourced, anti-fertilizer, and USDA-certified organic. They partner with farmers who spray no industrial chemicals and fertilizers in their soil for growing nourishing and wholesome fruits and vegetables. I mean this because healthy, organic eating is a priority for many people, and Sunbasket prioritizes this to elevate the overall customer experience.
Sunbasket utilizes all major and nutritious vegetarian ingredients in its meals. As a result, most of their meals are varied and one of a kind.
For example, their Zucchini-Chickpea Kofte recipe has plant-based kofte, carrots, chickpeas, zucchini, and potatoes. Combine it with a mild yet flavorful mango dressing made with coconut, lemon, mangoes, fenugreek, and cumin, which complements the entire dish – every bite is a burst of flavor!
Plated also offers a unique and whole vegetarian menu. Much like Sunbasket, you cannot narrow down your food options by selecting a “vegetarian” filter on its menu. However, it gets easier to select your recipes from vegetarian meals if that’s your priority. Fortunately, Plated does categorize their meals according to dietary preference, cuisines, cooking time, and kid-friendly meals.
Plated falls quite short by not catering to all dietary preferences the way Sunbasket does. On Sunbasket’s menu, you can easily see which recipe is gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free, paleo, and a few more. Plated does let you select from low-cholesterol and low-fat recipes, but that’s the extent of its dietary customizations.
With Sunbasket, you can very easily select the “vegan” diet to view dinners, breakfast, lunches, protein items, snacks, etc.
Sunbasket vs Plated – Protein Content
Sunbasket’s meals are extremely versatile and wholesome. Plated, on the other hand, offers less creative vegetarian meals, but they are just as nutritious because they tackle almost all major vegetables in their recipes.
To give you a better example, a comparison is necessary. I’ve selected a few dishes, which I believe are perfect stand-ins from Sunbasket and Plated. They are appetizing and highly nutritious in their own ways. You will find more tasty dishes on their websites, but the ones selected below are just for the sake of comparison.
Crispy Mushroom Burger with White Cheddar and Avocado – This recipe contains chopped mushrooms, Parmesan, and herbs coated in breadcrumbs to make a meat-like burger patty. Pan-fry these until they become soft and cheesy on the inside and crispy on the outside.
Unfortunately, there is no nutritional label for the accurate protein count. While that may be the case, it has great sources of protein, such as mushrooms, avocado, almonds, arugula, and Parmesan cheese.
Lentil Mushroom and Apricot Burgers with Arugula Salad – This recipe is a medley of mushrooms, cashews, apricots, and lentils that form the patty. Arugula is the main ingredient for the side salad which is also high in proteins.
According to the recipe page, this meal contains 25g of protein per serving. It’s also a quick recipe to make with vegan ingredients and comes with a “Protein-Plus” label.
Chicken Soup with Brown Rice, Swiss Chard, and Peas – This recipe is comforting, low-fat, and packed with proteins and healthy nutrients. Chicken, brown rice, and peas are the recipe’s main sources of protein. There’s even a hint of Parmesan in the soup.
Middle Eastern Chicken and Pasta Salad with Warm Grapes and Dukkah – This recipe is a part of Sunbasket’s “Protein Plus” dietary option. It is also a low-calorie dish with protein-rich ingredients such as chicken thighs and breasts, baby spinach, pumpkin seeds, and egg. Every serving of this recipe contains 36g of protein.
Beef and Eggplant Stir-Fry with Roasted Shishito Peppers – This recipe has beef as its main source of protein. The stir-fried roasted peppers with eggplant and steamed fluffy rice make it aromatic and flavorful – easy to make even for a beginner!
Black Angus Steaks with Chickpea, Artichoke, and Roasted Red Pepper Salad – This is another “Protein Plus” dish that’s also specifically designed for carb-conscious eaters. It contains chickpeas, Black Angus beef, baby arugula, and Parmesan. The recipe card shows that it boasts 59g of protein in a single serving.
Crispy Shrimp Tacos with Cabbage-Carrot Slaw and Chipotle Mayo – This recipe is a beginner-friendly dish with shrimps pan-fried in panko breadcrumbs and topped with a lemony creamy slaw with cabbage, carrots, and cilantro – a simple dish but highly nutritious and delicious.
Balinese Shrimp with Coconut-Garlic Brown Rice and Pickled Carrots – So far, this is one of my favorite recipes on Sunbasket. It meets several dietary needs of those on a Mediterranean diet – protein-rich, low-calorie, and gluten-free!
You can swap the seafood options from shrimp to salmon or wild tail-on jumbo shrimp. Each serving contains 26g of protein.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. Are There Healthier Alternatives for People with Food Allergies on Sunbasket/Plated?
Sunbasket and Plated boast tasty meals that contain a wide array of ingredients, but when you have any food allergies and/or intolerance, transparency is essential.
That is why I prefer most of Sunbasket’s meal plans to Plated. This is because there’s more health-conscious customization on Sunbasket because you can filter by more dietary needs as opposed to Plated.
Plated lets you select from gluten-free meals, vegetarian, and no-sugar. But on Sunbasket, you can select from organic, gluten-free, paleo, soy-free- dairy-free, and vegan.
A word about Sunbasket’s gluten-free diet – if you have severe gluten intolerance, it’s best to avoid Sunbasket as they do not cook their gluten-free meals separately. The same facilities are used, so there’s higher risk of cross-contamination.
There’s also more transparency about the recipe when you want to know the nutritional information, calorie count, protein, etc. on Sunbasket. Plated does let you know what’s in every recipe as far as the ingredients are concerned, but there’s no nutritional information.
If I were you, I’d prefer the flexibility of Sunbasket over the fewer choices that Plated offers with specific dietary considerations.
2. Is It Easy to Sign Up on Sunbasket/Plated?
Fortunately, Sunbasket and Plated have an easy process for first-time subscribers. To sign up, you have to add your email address, phone number, home address, and billing details. Once that’s out of the way, you will be directed to their meal-building pages where you can quickly select your dietary preferences and customize your meal accordingly.
There’s the added advantage of you managing all your upcoming orders via the phone app. Both Sunbasket and Plated have their own respective mobile apps where you can view and adjust your orders.
If there’s anything else you want to know about Sunbasket’s delivery process or how to manage your account, you can visit their FAQs page. The same applies to Plated with their streamlined and well-organized FAQ page for new customers.
3. Is It Possible to Skip or Cancel a Box with Sunbasket/Plated?
Sunbasket and Plated make it super easy to manage orders that you’ve already placed and want to customize. This includes skipping an upcoming meal box or canceling the order altogether.
Plated allows you to change the recipes in more than two ways. You can adjust the servings, swap specific ingredients if you like, and do the basics like skipping, pausing or canceling the box.
It’s all there on the Accounts page once you log in. Plated does have a cutoff time though which is by 12 PM at least 6 days before the date of delivery. You can manage all these settings via their mobile app as well.
With Sunbasket, you can do the same customizations, but the deadline is on the Wednesday before the date of delivery. The time is 12 PM. You can cancel, skip, pause, or customize all your deliveries easily using either the website or mobile app.
Wrapping Up Sunbasket
|They have meal kits and precooked meals.||The cost per serving is relatively expensive.|
|Several food options: lunch, dinner, breakfast, and snacks.||No shipping cost discount on larger orders.|
|Beginner-friendly recipes are included.||The website needs some improvement.|
|You can easily swap ingredients that you don’t want.|
|Packaging is solid and sustainable.|
|Pantry items such as bread, pasta, sauces, etc. are also available.|
Wrapping Up Plated
|You can quickly search for ingredients while browsing their menu.||Still a costly alternative for 2 people.|
|You can filter by cuisine, cooking time, technique, difficulty, and dietary needs.||Not as popular as the Sunbasket meal kit delivery service.|
|Meal kits and grocery items are up for grabs.||It does not meet specific dietary needs for paleo, soy-free, dairy-free, and Mediterranean dishes.|
|Dessert meals are also included.||Packaging is not so environmentally friendly because of more use of plastic.|
|Best for saving time and effort while cooking.|
Sunbasket accommodates more dietary needs than Plated, but Plated is not so bad either. It has an easy-to-navigate website as well as generous portions in each serving. Plated is designed for someone who loves cooking but hates spending longer than 30-45 minutes in the kitchen. The meals are easy to cook, straightforward, and generic.
Sunbasket, on the other hand, is a popular meal delivery service with loads to offer. For starters, it has organic ingredients, and every recipe is creatively plated which means you can expect restaurant-quality cuisines from the Sunbasket’s weekly menu. It’s definitely more varied than Plated and compatible with more dietary restrictions!