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Home Chef and Green Chef are two popular meal delivery services that aim to take the stress out of weekly meal planning and grocery shopping. Both deliver a box of pre-measured ingredients along with detailed recipe instruction cards for customers to make a home-cooked meal in 40 minutes or less.
Home Chef offers plans that deliver up to six different meals per box, per week, while Green Chef has a limit of four different meals per week. While servings can be increased, Home Chef may be a better option for customers who want meals daily and desire variety rather than eating the same meal more than once. Home Chef generally features more American-style, comfort food classics, while Green Chef is more health-minded, plant-forward, and has specific ingredient standards related to sustainability and any potential additives. We tested both services and put together our findings; keep reading to see which one might be right for you.
Home Chef vs. Green Chef: Price
At first glance, Home Chef's pricing seems lower than Green Chef's, but with various add-ons, the price can quickly go up. Without modifications, pricing at Home Chef breaks down to $8.99 per meal plus a $7.99 shipping fee with discounted shipping on orders with three or more recipes per week. You are also likely to find discounted pricing due to different promotions that run. Some recipes are labeled as starting at $6.99 per meal but will have minimums of four servings per order.
In general, to sign up, Home Chef has a minimum order of two recipes per week, two servings each. First-time customers will also get $30 off the first box order. However, if you plan on making any protein swaps or upgrades such as switching to organic or antibiotic-free protein or swapping an Impossible Burger for regular meat, the price per meal can go up by several dollars.
Green Chef often has promotional pricing that may even include free shipping. At the regular price, however, meals range from $10.49 to $11.99 for the Balanced Living Plan; they're slightly lower for the Plant-Powered Plan due to the absence of higher-cost animal proteins and slightly higher for the Keto + Paleo Plan. Generally, the more meals ordered per week, the lower the cost is per meal. Shipping is always a flat rate of $8.99 per box unless Green Chef is running a promotion. The minimum order for Green Chef is three recipes per week, two servings each.
In summary, for those who do not plan on making any modifications or upgrades to proteins, Home Chef is a better deal. But if you value premium ingredients, such as organic or antibiotic-free, or plan on making more seafood options, Green Chef is a simpler, more cost-effective option since this pricing is already built-in and it often runs promotional discounts.
Home Chef vs. Green Chef: Meal Choices
Home Chef offers protein-centric meals for meat and seafood lovers with one or two vegetable sides and a rich sauce. Protein swaps can be made, including a plant-based burger option, and extra protein can be added. Certain proteins can also be upgraded to antibiotic-free or organic for an extra charge.
Families can order the Essential Protein Packs for larger quantities of protein or select multiple servings for each meal. Singles and couples could also find options by just choosing the serving size of two per meal. Some a la carte options are available for breakfast and dessert, but this is usually just one item for each category each week. Meals generally cater toward dinners, but some 15-minute meals could be suitable for lunch as well. Vegetarian options are slim.
Green Chef offers a variety of protein- and plant-forward meals. There are no customization options, but the three distinct meal plans offer a range of options for different meal types, including keto, paleo, gluten-free, vegetarian, and vegan. Green Chef does limit meal selection to four per week, so if you want to use the meal kit daily, you need to order multiple servings of each meal. Green Chef seems ideal for individuals, couples, or small households that enjoy the convenience of using a meal delivery kit a few times a week to help sustain a healthy lifestyle.
Home Chef vs. Green Chef: Creativity of Dishes
Home Chef meals were primarily inspired by classic familiar dishes such as burgers, steak and potatoes, breaded chicken, and salmon with lemon butter, but some others were more creative such as the goat cheese juicy lucy burger with tomato jam. Some could be easily recreated at home but others contained too many pre-made, processed sauces that would likely have to be left off if. Many of the meals are structured around the protein being the star of the dish with one or two vegetable sides.
Green Chef meals are internationally inspired and are primarily plant-based even if the protein is included. All contain a variety of vegetables and many also contain whole grains or legumes. Green Chef relies a lot on spice blends and herb-forward sauces for flavor without preservatives or artificial ingredients. The dishes were very creative and inspiring and all could be recreated at home, but most people would benefit from having some cooking skills before doing so. We really liked the variety of flavors and ingredients in Green Chef meals and felt they were both nutritious and really delicious.
Green Chef relies a lot on spice blends and herb-forward sauces for flavor without preservatives or artificial ingredients.
Home Chef vs. Green Chef: Flavor, Freshness, and Quality
Home Chef contained a mix of menu items with semi-homemade ingredients. For example, each meal has fresh produce and fresh proteins, but sauces often had excess salt and preservatives that would not typically be found in a home kitchen. Even some of the proteins contained added salt solutions that were not very appealing. One package of chicken had a leak in it. Overall, the seasoning level was very salty and reminded us of food that one might find at a chain restaurant—tasty for a few bites, but a whole meal left us feeling like we had eaten way too much salt.
Green Chef, on the other hand, had very flavorful, fresh meals that are entirely homemade. Even the pre-made sauces seem to be made from scratch using whole foods and fresh ingredients. The proteins are all sustainably sourced without any added solutions and all packaged well without any leaks and visibly looked fresh and appealing. We did have some produce go bad early, but customer service quickly provided us with a refund. The dishes were very flavorful and were made with clean ingredients that made us feel satisfied, nourished, and energized, making Green Chef a clear winner in this category.
Home Chef vs. Green Chef: Recipe Clarity/Difficulty
Home Chef’s recipes were very easy to make and instructions were very clear, but some items required longer cooking times based on the thickness and size of the protein—a fact that was not specified, which could make it hard for beginner cooks. We also discovered some additional prep tips, such as how to mince garlic or chop herbs, were not on the recipe card though available online. We would not have seen these tips if we had not happened to look at the recipe online.
Green Chef’s recipes were all very easy to follow and we found that the proteins were more uniform in size, so they typically matched the cooking instructions a little bit better than those for Home Chef. However, a cooking thermometer could still come in handy to make sure proteins are cooking properly rather than just relying on suggested timing. Chef tips were all available on the recipe cards and we did not find any additional tips on the app or online.
Home Chef vs. Green Chef: Supporting Material
The boxes for Home Chef and Green Chef contained large recipe cards with detailed step-by-step instructions, some nutrition information, and a photo of the finished dish. Home Chef’s cards are three-hole punched designed to be saved in a binder. Both companies have all recipes also available easily for download online. Cooking tips are included throughout the recipe cards; Home Chef also provided some additional chef tips in the recipe description on the website. Green Chef contained an additional packet of third-party coupons and, on one occasion, included a free box of plant mylk (made by a different company) as part of a brand promotion.
Home Chef vs. Green Chef: Types of Diets Served
Home Chef does not claim to offer meal plans for any specific dietary restrictions other than calorie-conscious and carb-conscious, but it doesn’t publicly share criteria for either one. Certain filters can be specified for preferences or dietary restrictions and swaps can be made for the proteins in each dish (e.g., salmon in place of steak). For vegetarian options, Home Chef also offers the option to leave off the protein entirely or substitute with the plant-based Impossible Burger. In general, vegetarian options are minimal on the Home Chef menu.
In addition to its Balanced Living plan, Green Chef offers a Plant-Powered plan and Keto/Paleo plan. The Keto/Paleo menu items are all made with gluten-free ingredients, but the facility is not a certified gluten-free establishment so there is some potential for cross-contamination. Green Chef does not offer any substitutions or customizations, but customers can change between the plans week to week.
For vegetarian options, Home Chef also offers the option to leave off the protein entirely or substitute with the plant-based Impossible Burger.
Home Chef vs. Green Chef: Nutritional Value
Home Chef and Green Chef differ significantly in this category. While Home Chef offers a selection of meals that are “calorie-conscious” or “carb-conscious,” it does not cater to any special diets or eating patterns. Meal choices also tend to be high in saturated fat and sodium. For example, a menu item labeled as “calorie-conscious” includes salmon with lemon piccata butter and although it only contains 620 calories, it also contains 13g of saturated fat and over 1,500mg of sodium.
Home Chef also doesn’t have any standards regarding ingredient selections and sourcing, so some of the pre-made sauces may contain less desirable preservatives or artificial ingredients and are generally more processed than the Green Chef pre-made marinades and seasoning blends.
Green Chef, on the other hand, is seemingly much more health-minded, marketing itself as the No. 1 meal kit for eating well. It is the only USDA-certified organic meal delivery service and has high standards in terms of sustainability and clean labels when it comes to food sourcing. Green Chef’s three meal plans appeal to a mix of eating patterns for health-minded individuals. Even if not entirely plant-based, all meals generally have an emphasis on plant foods, will be high in fiber, and are well-balanced in terms of carbohydrates, protein, fat, and fiber.
Green Chef still has a wide range and mix of dishes, including some higher-calorie meals that are also high in saturated fat and sodium (several have over 2,000mg sodium), so customers who are watching calories, saturated fat, or sodium will need to review all nutrition information before placing menu selections. This really applies to both services since each dish may have certain pros/cons when it comes to the nutrition profile. Customers for both Home Chef and Green Chef can also filter for allergy-free options, but the meals are prepared and packaged in a facility that may include cross-contamination.
Home Chef vs. Green Chef: Customer Service
Home Chef’s customer service options include an informative FAQ section, an email address, and a phone number. Customer service can also be contacted via the Home Chef app and is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. CT. Home Chef’s customer service was responsive but the agent could have been more knowledgeable and was unable to provide further information to us beyond what was already on the website.
Green Chef has FAQs, a phone number, and a live person chat. The Green Chef app also has a user-friendly, problem-solving feature with prompted questions. Live customer service by phone is available Monday through Friday from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET and weekends from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET. Live agents by chat are available every day from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. ET. Green Chef provided excellent customer service to us, offering a refund immediately for a couple of ingredients that had gone bad.
Home Chef vs. Green Chef: Making Changes and Canceling
Both Home Chef and Green Chef have user-friendly account management features for modifying, customizing, and canceling meal plans. Home Chef offers customization options per meal, whereas Green Chef only allows customization by switching back and forth between different meal plans week to week. Green Chef requires that any changes or modifications be made at least seven days in advance of the next delivery, but Home Chef’s cutoff is noon CT on the Friday prior to the delivery week.
We did find that when we had made changes to our Green Chef account after the cutoff, we were not notified when these changes would go into effect; the confirmation email simply said “Changes Saved,” so we mistakenly thought the changes were made for the following week when actually they did not go into effect until the week after because of the seven-day cutoff. Green Chef does offer excellent customer service, so we do recommend calling and speaking with a customer service agent if you want to make changes after the deadline.
Home Chef vs. Green Chef: Additional Features
Both Home Chef and Green Chef have mobile apps that give customers the ability to manage their accounts and orders. Both apps also have a user-friendly feature that allows you to rate each meal after you make it. Meal plans, weekly menus, and meal selections can all be viewed and modified via the apps. Customers can also view their order history and turn on notifications to receive updates on future deliveries. Home Chef boasts a feature that allows customers to add ingredients to a “Shopping List” if they want to re-make a meal that was previously delivered to them.
We would choose Green Chef over Home Chef based on our testing. The quality and selection of the ingredients used are planet- and health-friendly and do not sacrifice any flavor. In fact, we found that the creativity and flavor of Green Chef's recipes stand out more than Home Chef’s. And while Green Chef offers plant-based options, there are also plenty of choices for carnivores. However, for those who are slightly less adventurous eaters or want richer more protein-centric meals, Home Chef may be a better choice.
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