Sun Basket Chef’s Choice Review + Coupon – December 2017
Note from Liz: I’m so happy to introduce our newest reviewer to the MSA team! Welcome, Laine!
Sun Basket is a meal kit delivery subscription and delivers fresh, seasonal ingredients to your door each week to create three unique and delicious meals. With recipes developed by chef Justine Kelly, the food of SunBasket focuses on organic ingredients, sustainably farmed protein, and spices from all other the world.
Check out all of our reviews of Meal Delivery Services to see every meal kit subscription box option!
Sun Basket offers two menu options: the Classic Plan (3 “inspired, farm-to-table recipes” for 2 or 4 people per week) for $11.99 per serving, and the Family Plan (2 or 4 “family friendly meals that kids will love” for 4 people per week) at $10.99 per serving. The Family Plan was co-created by Tyler Florence from Food Network!
Within each plan, there are options for vegetarians, paleo eaters, gluten-free diets, and even breakfast-lovers (Classic Plan only). According to the Sun Basket FAQs, these are the options for the Classic Plan, which I’ll be reviewing today:
Classic Menu Meal Plans:
Chef’s Choice: Chef Justine’s favorite recipes made with fresh, seasonal ingredients.
Rise & Shine: Chef Justine’s 2 favorite dinner recipes, plus 2 5-minute breakfast recipes, so you can start your days off right. The weekly price is the same as our other plans.
Paleo: Quick, low-carb recipes designed for the Paleo diet, featuring fresh seasonal produce and sustainably sourced meats and seafood.
Gluten Free: Gluten Free: Inspired gluten-free recipes featuring fresh, seasonal produce, sustainably sourced meats and seafood, plus healthy gluten-free grains. Please note, Sun Basket meals are prepared in a facility that handles wheat, and while the Gluten Free meal plan follows a gluten-free diet, due to risk of cross-contamination, meals are not suitable for people with severe gluten intolerance.
Vegetarian: Delicious, meatless recipes with an emphasis on seasonal produce and nutritious plant-based proteins.
Regardless of the plan you choose, you can always log into your Sun Basket account and hand-pick what meals you’d like to receive. If you don’t go in and curate things for yourself, Sun Basket will just choose meals for you based on your plan/preferences. Keep in mind that folks with special diets will always have more limited options. For example, there will always be at least 3 or 4 vegetarian options on the menu, but that’s it—there’s not a lot to go in and choose between.
My Subscription Addiction paid for this box. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
This review is for the Sun Basket Chef’s Choice box, three meals to serve two people, $71.94 a week.
About Sun Basket
The Subscription Box: Sun Basket
The Cost: $11.99 per meal with free shipping on your first delivery (normally $6.99)
Coupon: Save $35 off your first box. No coupon required, just follow this link!
The Products: Farm-to-table-inspired recipes and the pre-portioned, high quality, non-GMO, organic ingredients you need to make them. Some items, such as signature sauces and spice mixes, come pre-prepared for you.
Ships to: AZ, CA, CO, CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, ID, IL, IN, KY, MA, MD, ME, MI, NC, NH, NJ, NV, NY, OH, OR, PA, RI, SC, UT, VA, WV, VT, & parts of AK, AL, MI, MS
Sun Basket Chef’s Choice December 2017 Review
For my menus, I chose Mexican meatball soup with butternut squash and cilantro, Almond-crusted sole with piccata sauce and baby broccoli, and Sichuan dan dan noodles with pork and braised greens. I think that Sun Basket does a great job with packaging; most of the box elements are recyclable, the ingredients have minimal packaging, and many of the containers are totally reusable. The box greets you with the recipe book, which includes all the instructions for the meals, as well as a bonus recipe for spiced punch – so festive!
Meal #1: Mexican Meatball Soup with Butternut Squash and Cilantro
Calories per serving: 540
Time to prepare according to SunBasket: 30-40 minutes
Actual time to prepare: 30 minutes
“Easy” was the key word for this hearty and flavorful dish! The most complicated thing I had to do was basic chopping; I had to peel and chop four sections of carrot as well as an onion. I cooked these with pre-chopped butternut squash, then added the provided tomato paste, provided canned tomatoes, water, and provided broth. The broth was an interesting aspect to this meal; the recipe originally said that a veggie broth would be included, but a little note was in with my ingredients saying that the good people at Sun Basket had to swap in some organic bone broth instead. I appreciated the heads up and that the wording of the message was crystal-clear.
I brought the veggie-and-liquid mixture to a boil, then back to a simmer while I combined the included ground pork, ground beef, meatball spice, cilantro, and organic egg to create the meatballs. Once they were formed, they were dropped in the soup to finish cooking. The whole meal took about 30 minutes to make, and I couldn’t believe the depth of flavor the soup reached in such a short amount of time! The spices in the meatballs married with the rest of the soup and it tasted like it cooked much longer. I also attribute the bone broth for the richness of flavor – I was super-happy it ended up in my basket. This recipe included some lime for squeezing over the soup, and a bag of pre-sliced cabbage to top the dish off, which added a satisfying crunch!
Meal #2: Almond-Crusted Sole with Piccata Sauce and Baby Broccoli
Calories per serving: 400
Time to prepare according to SunBasket: 20-30 minutes
Actual time to prepare: 40 minutes
My second meal from this basket felt the most virtuous, nutrient-wise, because of the healthy helping of baby broccoli, and the added bonus of being overall gluten-free (though I personally am not). I found this recipe to be a bit more tedious than the others, however, and it took the longest at 40 minutes. The broccoli needed to be blanched, shocked in ice water, and then sauteed – it seemed like a lot of steps for just a side dish. The fish was coated in almond meal, which had a lot of flavor, but it didn’t stick to the fish very easily, and once cooked, it didn’t end up looking as nice as I would have liked. The included red pepper sauce for topping the fish was good on its own; adding the provided lemon and capers made it extra bright and refreshing.
Meal #3: Sichuan Dan Dan Noodles with Pork and Braised Greens
Calories per serving: 790
Time to prepare according to SunBasket: 35 – 50 Minutes
Actual time to prepare: 35 minutes
The third and final meal for this basket was the dan dan noodles. I really appreciate the way all these recipes are designed to use as few pots and pans as possible – this particular recipe called for the noodles to be boiled in one small pot, and for everything else to be cooked in another skillet. The provided, prepared noodles were SO fresh – they cooked in about 3 minutes. The recipe guided me to make my own oil with red chiles and Sichuan peppercorns, which I then used to brown the included ground pork. I added braising greens and the provided sauce, allowing the greens to wilt down, and then topped the completed dish with the provided scallions and cashews. This one was the prettiest to look at by far; the purple braising greens contrasted beautifully with the green scallions. It was also absolutely delicious. I normally don’t eat super-spicy food, but I’m glad I didn’t skimp on the red pepper flakes the recipe called for – they enhanced the flavor of the included sauce and this dish was excellent. Sharp eyes will notice that there’s a bag of kale in the ingredients photo for this recipe, but I think it was sent to me in error. The recipe made absolutely no mention of the kale, and their language is usually extremely clear, so I figure this is just the universe’s way of telling me I need to eat more veggies!
Verdict: This was a very successful Sun Basket! I enjoyed all three recipes, and with the exception of the crusted fish, everything was incredibly easy and quick to prepare. This basket was a great value for the money – these recipes fed me and my husband comfortably for dinner with a solid leftover portion for lunch the next day. Based on the carefully-planned packaging, quality of ingredients, and the design of recipes to use as few pans as possible, it’s clear that Sun Basket keeps all aspects of being in the kitchen in mind when engineering these recipes. The value of this box is definitely on par with other popular subscriptions (Plated, Blue Apron, etc), and I’m definitely looking forward to my next box.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Since Sun Basket menus change weekly and you must choose them ahead of time, you won’t be able to order these dishes unless they are offered again in the future.
Coupon – Save $35 off your first box. No coupon required, just follow this link!
Value Breakdown: At $71.94 for this box, you’re paying $11.99 per meal.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
Which of these Sun Basket recipes look the best to you?