There are about a million meal kit delivery services on the market these days. Since the launch of Blue Apron in 2012, a seemingly endless number of competitors have emerged, each with unique gimmicks and recipes—from vegan to pre-prepped, Southern barbecue to Martha Stewart-approved.
But through our summer-long testing of the most popular services available, we found that the best meal kits aren’t about gimmick—they’re about consistency, variety, and well-written recipes that can help any kind of cook prepare delicious meals. That’s why we’re so excited that our favorite meal kit for vegetarians, Sun Basket, has a lot more to offer than just regular plant-based meals.
Although Sun Basket has always catered to healthy eaters, the organic-first service now offers plans for a wide range of diets, including paleo, gluten-free, vegan, and of course, vegetarian. If the usual offerings from other services don’t suit your unique diet, Sun Basket might just make you a meal kit convert.
What is Sun Basket?
Founded in 2014, Sun Basket is a San Francisco-based meal kit company that allows subscribers to choose from one of 11 diet plans, or mix and match from 18 weekly recipes. The current plans offered are Carb-Conscious, Paleo, Mediterranean, Lean & Clean, Gluten-Free, Vegan, Quick & Easy, Vegetarian, Diabetes-Friendly, Pescatarian, and Chef’s Choice. Even if you elect to follow one meal plan, you can swap out recipes from the rotating menu.
While not an entirely vegetarian service, Sun Basket offers a huge variety of quick plant-based meals that we think will satisfy vegetarians and omnivores alike—which is why we gave them our Best for Vegetarians badge. Sun Basket is also a certified organic handler, meaning that their ingredients are largely organic, although they do occasionally swap in non-organic ingredients when necessary to offer a consistently large menu. You can learn more about how they source their ingredients on the Sun Basket website.
Currently, Sun Basket’s main menu meals are $11.99 per serving for two to four people, regardless of frequency. However, they also offer a “family plan” with a menu limited to six recipes per week that costs $10.99 per meal for four people.
How does it compare to other meal kit services?
When I tested Sun Basket directly alongside ten of the most popular meal kit services on the market in the summer of 2018, I came away most impressed by how quickly Sun Basket meals came together, and just how much variety there was to choose from when planning a week of meals. I also much preferred them to the vegan service Purple Carrot, which I had a number of issues with during testing. I’ll go into more detail about my experience with Sun Basket below, but for now, here’s how they compare to our other top-performing services.
|Price / serving (2 people)||$9.95||$11.95||$11.99||$8.99||$10.25|
|Price / serving (4 people)||$9.95||$9.95||$10.99||$7.49||$8.90|
|Meals offered / week||16||20||18||12||10|
|Time to table||45||44||40||46||50|
* NOTE: The service offers at least two options of this dietary preference each week.
Why we love Sun Basket
Unlike a lot of products we test at Reviewed, a meal kit delivery service isn’t something you buy once and use for years to come—it’s a subscription that gets factored into your monthly budget, asks you to make choices each week, and changes how you cook, eat, and spend time with your friends and family. As a result, choosing which service is right for you is a major decision—and a personal one.
Making that choice isn’t easy, though, as you have to weigh cost, meal options, ease of use and more, so testing each service could take months and absorb hundreds of dollars. Thankfully, I did it for you. After trying 11 different services over three months, Sun Basket became one of our top performers—and our best pick for vegetarians and those with dietary restrictions.
Sun Basket offers tasty options to suit vegetarians, vegans, and omnivores alike. During my week of testing, I was impressed by how easily my meals came together, relying on just a few key ingredients and spice blends to do most of the heavy lifting, which meant spending less time cooking and more time enjoying my food with my boyfriend. Sun Basket’s meals also lean heavily into South- and East-Asian flavors, but this is partly why it’s such a strong service for vegetarians—it tends to avoid the carb-centric dinners that are so often the only options for people who avoid meat.
Dinners like Fast Mediterranean Flatbreads with Beet Salad and Skordalia and Simple Tempeh Curry Stir-Fry are among the service’s tasty vegan offerings, but because I’m a reformed vegetarian, their omnivore meals were still my favorite. Chicken Yakitori with Broccoli and Rice and Quick Curried Beef Khow Suey with Ramen Noodles were simple, filling meals that took about 30 minutes to prepare.
My one issue with Sun Basket? Their cancellation policy was the worst I’ve seen, requiring you to call a difficult-to-find number and speak to a customer service representative rather than emailing or clicking a button on your account. It’s an unhelpful way to retain customers and I hope they do away with it soon.
It’s also important to note that while Sun Basket’s ingredients are largely organic, the company is not completely certified organic like Green Chef, meaning it can swap in non-organic ingredients when necessary and offer a consistently large menu. In high school and early college, I worked at an organic juice bar and cafe that similarly forwent complete organic certification for a larger menu. It’s a trade-off that I was (and am) willing to make for variety and high-quality food year-round, but devout organic eaters may not be interested in a service that lacks full certification.
If you’re looking for a meal kit to suit your unique diet or kick start your healthy eating, Sun Basket might be for you.