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Touted as the most sustainable meal kit, Green Chef is a popular meal delivery service for customers who are looking to eat well and enjoy nutritious food at home. The service creates meals aligned with keto, paleo, and vegetarian or vegan diets.
In 2018, Green Chef was acquired by HelloFresh, another popular meal kit company. We were curious to see how these two sister companies compared, so we ordered from each of them, tasting and testing a variety of recipes. Read on to learn our findings and impressions.
Green Chef vs. HelloFresh: Price
Green Chef pricing varies depending on servings and plans. Green Chef plans start at $11.99 per serving for two servings and three meals a week for the Balanced Living and Plant-Powered options. If you opt for the Keto and Paleo plan, the price goes up to $12.99 per serving.
HelloFresh also has a structured price plan so the more you order, the lower the amount you pay per serving. The Meat & Veggie plan with a serving size for four people and with four recipes per week is $7.49 per serving. The same plan with a serving size for two people with just two weekly recipes jumps up to $11.99 per serving.
Green Chef vs. HelloFresh: Meal Choices
Green Chef has three types of meal plans: Keto and Paleo, Balanced Living, and Veggie and Vegan. The company has weekly serving sizes of two, four, and six, and three or four meals a week. Once your plan is selected, Green Chef populates your meals, but you can amend meal choices easily.
Dietary tags under each recipe square are clearly labeled. Nearly all of the meals are ready to make in 30 minutes, which is ideal for weeknights. Green Chef lists weekly meals four weeks at a time, so you can select your meals up to one month ahead of time—a nice feature for adults or families who like or need to plan. A weekly calendar icon is listed at the top of the menus page, so you can also easily skip weeks using this feature.
Each week, HelloFresh offers at least 25 meals plus a bevy of add-on options, such as quick breakfasts or sandwiches, extra protein, pantry items, and desserts. We like this feature, although it’s easy to spend a lot of extra money piling add-ons into your cart. The service has several vegetarian meals each week, but it does not cater to specific diets. HelloFresh leaves it up to the consumer to determine which meals will fit their needs. HelloFresh uses helpful tags, such as lightning prep, calorie smart, and carb smart to assist in identifying the right meals for you and your family. HelloFresh also enlists a calendar feature to show future meals, which is a great planning tool.
Green Chef vs. HelloFresh: Creativity of Dishes
The meals created by Green Chef include inspirations from a variety of countries and regions, including the Caribbean, England, Japan, Peru, and Thailand. Most of the meals during our testing week had some nods to Asian cuisines. One of our meals was okonomiyaki, a Japanese, crispy fritter chock full of vegetables. We also enjoyed an island-inspired pineapple teriyaki salmon dish, a seared steak with truffle butter, and a Thai peanut noodle stir fry.
The meals we had at HelloFresh were also diverse. We made tacos, a premium gourmet meal featuring steelhead trout, ravioli, and a sesame soy beef and rice dish, which was a hit among our testers.
We found both companies to have a sense of adventure in terms of diversity, variety, and creativity in each meal. Since HelloFresh offers more meals per week, consumers may prefer the HelloFresh service over Green Chef, but both meal services stand up to each other when it comes to having interesting dishes.
Green Chef vs. HelloFresh: Flavor, Freshness, and Quality
We thoroughly enjoyed the quality of Green Chef. Nearly all produce and eggs are organic, which we loved, and any non-organic vegetables are clearly labeled as conventional, which shows transparency. One of our broccoli heads was also full of dirt, but we realize that’s common with organic produce. Our proteins were very fresh, although we didn’t love the cut of the bavette steak. We found it a bit chewy, but we did like the ample truffle butter that complemented the dish. Our other dishes were flavorful and didn’t require any extra seasoning.
Our ingredients from HelloFresh were also fresh. We did find a slightly fishy odor with the steelhead trout, but the fish itself tasted delicious, especially when coated with panko, butter, and pecans.
Between the two services, we prefer Green Chef due to the company’s dedication to showcasing and utilizing organic foods and high animal welfare standards whenever possible.
Green Chef vs. HelloFresh: Recipe Clarity/Difficulty
The cooking methods for Green Chef were very straightforward. Many of our dishes required very light chopping and, in some cases, vegetables were already diced. Usually we would saute our vegetables, sear our protein, add a sauce that was already prepared, and plate, only using two pots or pans. Cleaning up was a cinch, too.
HelloFresh dishes were a bit more complicated. Oftentimes we were chopping, boiling water for rice, roasting vegetables, and sauteing a protein all at once. We had to focus in the kitchen to accomplish all of the steps, and we used more pots and pans, so cleaning up took quite a bit of time.
Green Chef lists weekly meals four weeks at a time, so you can select your meals up to one month ahead of time—a nice feature for adults or families who like or need to plan.
After testing and tasting, we found the recipes from Green Chef to be easier to follow and more concise.
Green Chef vs. HelloFresh: Supporting Material
Green Chef’s delivery box includes large and colorful recipe cards. The front side contains a close-up of the dish, the recipe name, cook time, servings, calories, and the menu type, such as gluten-free or vegan. There is also a write-up and introduction about the dish and its background, ingredients, a list of items you need, such as pans and baking sheets, and allergens. The backside lists instructions and prep alongside colorful, step-by-step photography.
HelloFresh also has a nice recipe card. The company does a good job with photography to clearly demonstrate what the finished dish looks like, as well as step-by-step instructional photography, and even small photos of each of the ingredients. HelloFresh also includes little tidbits and food facts on their recipe cards for added pro tips.
Both companies have similar supporting recipe card materials, but we liked how HelloFresh takes it one step further and showcases photos for all included ingredients.
Green Chef vs. HelloFresh: Types of Diets Served
Green Chef can support paleo, keto, vegetarian, and vegan diets. During our testing week, we tried vegan, paleo, gluten-free, and vegetarian dishes. We felt satiated and healthy after each one. Even the carnivores on our tasting panel enjoyed the vegan dishes.
As mentioned above, HelloFresh does not offer specific dietary meals. You can certainly find vegetarian meals, and HelloFresh does have pescetarian and family-friendly meals available each week.
When it comes to dietary needs and offerings for specific needs, Green Chef has an advantage over HelloFresh.
Green Chef vs. HelloFresh: Nutritional Value
Green Chef certainly caters to a healthier lifestyle. The service creates keto and paleo meals as well as plant-powered options. Green Chef utilizes organic foods whenever possible and works alongside family farms. One thing we loved about Green Chef was the quantity of vegetables in each of our meals. We saw lots of colorful and antioxidant-rich broccoli, carrots, and red peppers. The online recipe cards reveal a complete nutritional breakdown as well as ingredients and allergens.
We found HelloFresh’s meals to be more hearty and less nutritious. Oftentimes we wished we had more vegetables rather than the big portions of grains. Most of our recipes had us adding butter, not olive oil, and some of the nutritional data for our meals were quite high in fat and carbohydrates. HelloFresh also lists all nutritional information for each recipe online as well as allergens, ingredients, and where the ingredients are sourced from.
Although HelloFresh’s meals showcase a bit more of a gourmet bent, when it comes to health and nutrition, we prefer Green Chef’s offerings and meals for our nourishing, weeknight dinners.
Green Chef vs. HelloFresh: Customer Service
Green Chef offers live chat and phone available every day. We were actually missing our jasmine rice for our Japanese vegetable fritters, so we engaged with the live chat option. We were introduced to a friendly and helpful representative who made a note for the packaging team and was very apologetic. A partial refund was given because of the issue.
HelloFresh also uses a live chat agent. We encountered a proportion question when we were cooking and we were able to connect with customer service and get detailed assistance with our recipe. It was very impressive.
Both companies offer a variety of customer service and support options, which are easy to use.
Green Chef vs. HelloFresh: Making Changes and Canceling
Canceling Green Chef takes a few steps but can be done in “Settings” under your profile. Green Chef will ask why you want to leave and offer some suggestions before you click “Deactivate Now.” It’s very simple.
HelloFresh is easy to cancel as well. It involves a few mandatory questions, but within a few clicks, you can cancel your subscription.
Both companies allow you to make changes and skip weeks easily.
After tasting meals from these two sister companies, we preferred Green Chef. We loved all of the healthy options, quick and precise prep, and savory and satiating meals that were full of organic vegetables and tasty proteins compared to the more rich, butter-laden, and time-consuming cooking and cleaning experience of HelloFresh.
We spent numerous hours looking through 48 meal delivery services’ websites, ordered meals and cooked them at home, photographed the process, spoke with customer service representatives from the companies, filled out detailed surveys about each company and their meals, and wrote in-depth reviews and comparison articles. Our expert panel includes dieticians, chefs, and longtime food writers. The one thing they all have in common is their love and knowledge of food.
The criteria we used to evaluate each company included:
- The ordering process
- Meal selection
- Packaging and support materials
- The cooking process
- The flavor, freshness, and quality of each meal and ingredient
- Nutritional information
- Customer service