Sun Basket delivers fresh, seasonal ingredients to your door each week to create three unique, delicious, and easy meals.
In August, Sun Basket launched a selection of pre-prepped "Fresh & Ready" meals that simply require heating in the microwave or oven! These meals are mixed in with the normal menu offerings and you can pick and choose when you build your weekly menu!
This review is of Sun Basket’s Fresh & Ready recipe offerings for two people.
This box was sent to us at no cost for review. (Check out the review process post to learn more about how we review boxes.)
About Sun Basket
The Subscription Box: Sun Basket
The Cost: $11.99 per meal = $71.94/week for 2 people, or $143.88 for 4 people, plus a $6.99 delivery fee.
The Products: High quality, non-GMO, organic ingredients for delicious meals!
Ships to: Most zip codes in the U.S., excluding AK, HI, MT, and parts of ND and NM.
Sun Basket Fresh & Ready Meals Review
Anyone else sick of cooking? Seriously, I can't even think of meals to make anymore. I have spent more nights than I should admit to with a bowl of cereal in my lap on the couch staring at Netflix. If you are like me, and the bulk of your household's cooking is done by you, I am sure you can identify with some of this fatigue. Will and I are lucky, I will admit. With just the two of us, we can easily justify takeout as often as we want because two giant burritos from Chipotle or whatever else I order with my phone is usually pretty inexpensive. But at this point, I am also sick of takeout and I am craving something that feels fresher and at least a little more healthy.
When I saw that Sun Basket had launched their "Fresh & Ready" selection of meals that only required reheating, I was pretty excited about it! The really awesome thing about these selections is that they are mixed in with the other meals that you would expect from this brand. Meaning if you want to cook one night, select a meal that requires prep! If you want to be responsible for nothing other than turning the oven on, grab one of these Fresh & Ready selections. I like that I can mix and match them in my delivery so I can cook some nights and simply heat-up on others.
That all sounds great, but when a lot of us think of pre-prepped meals, we think of tv dinners or something we bought at the last second in the prepped foods section of the grocery store. I was really curious to see how these meals tasted and looked, so I selected three very different options from the menu.
Let's peek inside!
When you first open the box you will see a little booklet and three brown bags with your meals. Underneath is a TON of ice that keeps it cold. Wonderfully, you can let these ice packs thaw then simply throw the contents into your compost or trashcan. The bag itself is recyclable.
The booklet includes general tips on how to open and store your box contents and to manage your account.
Soy-Free, Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free
2 Servings, 600 Calories/Serving
9–11 Minutes (Microwave oven)
25-30 minutes (Conventional oven)
"In our dairy-free version of this British favorite, we use coconut milk instead of cream and toss in green peas for color and fiber."
Everything is already organized inside the bag for you. Each main course comes plastic-wrapped in a wooden dish that is safe for both the microwave and the oven. I did notice that the cooking instructions didn't seem to make perfect sense with the packaging of my meal. It was suggested I separate the sauce from the chicken and add water to the pilaf which was mentioned being in a tray with the chicken and all of these things that I didn't really understand. My meal arrived with a wooden dish full of sauce and chicken, and the pilaf separated. Let me be clear that I don't really follow directions most of the time anyway, so I decided to open the tikka dish and simply add the pilaf to one side, sprinkling it with a few drops of water and cooking everything together at 425 degrees for about 25 minutes.
And it worked splendidly! Everything baked together in one dish and turned out perfectly.
A few things about myself and my love of Indian food... I am a big baby when it comes to hot spices. Literally, I can't hang. But I adore the flavor and depth of milder Indian dishes! There was a part of me that was worried this tikka would be too spicy, but it was actually a perfect level of flavor and spice. The chicken was tender and juicy and the pilaf added in the starch factor with the colorful addition of carrots and peas. While I doubted this would be two complete meals from the size of the dish, this was a filling treat I will probably order weekly. It feels like a real treat, especially since there are no Indian restaurants within 45 minutes of my home.
Soy-Free, Family-Friendly, Vegetarian
2 Servings, 600 Calories/Serving
35–40 Minutes (Conventional oven)
7–8 Minutes (Microwave oven)
This meal arrived with the wooden dish filled with pasta in a white cream sauce and a bag of baby spinach. I am happy to report that this meal's instructions were a little more clear and that I actually followed them. Simply remove the plastic from the dish, sprinkle the pasta with some water, then bake for 20 minutes at 425°f. Take the dish out to stir it and put it back in for another 15-20 minutes. When that is done, pop it out and toss it with the spinach in a larger bowl, then serve!
This meal was another winner. The pasta stayed super fresh and the mixing in of spinach at the end really gave this meal a restaurant-quality sort of feel. The flavors of this pasta were also stellar. I think a lot of people don't love white cream sauce because it can be a little bland and mild. Will actually hates alfredo and similar pasta sauces. But even he liked this one. I think it has something to do with the specific spices inside. There was a noticeable amount of red chili flakes (but it wasn't spicy!), lemon zest, and cracked black pepper. The whole dish was much more bright and zingy than I expected. Next time I order this I am going to add some grilled chicken for extra protein, but I will say that, again, this was a lot of food even if it doesn't look like it.
Gluten-Free, Soy-Free, Carb-Conscious
2 Servings, 600 Calories/Serving
30–35 Minutes (Conventional oven)
7–9 Minutes (Microwave oven)
This meal arrived with the chili (and loads of cheese!) inside the wooden dish, along with a small bag of cilantro and a little tub of Greek yogurt. The cilantro had a few leaves that were wilted, but the majority was just fine. I popped the dish into the oven at 425°f for about 30 minutes while I chopped the cilantro.
I was so stoked for this meal. Is there anything better than chili on a cold autumn night? And look at the cheesiness! Sadly, this dish was SO spicy. I had to add sour cream to tone it down and it was still super hot. Again, I don't like spicy food. This might be a normal level of spice for someone with a mouth that can handle it, but for me, it was too much. Will, on the other hand, was in love. He adores spicy foods and since he is married to me, he never gets to enjoy them because I don't cook them. If I had taken a closer look at the ingredient list, I might have seen the warning signs of ancho chile powder, chipotle chile powder, and jalapenos, but I didn't. Now that I have taken the time to check the ingredients out, I will say that seeing Mexican chocolate on the list is super unique and has to be what makes this chili feel elevated and special. IF you can handle the heat.
Verdict: It's safe to say I am a Sun Basket fan anyways, but the Fresh & Ready meals are a game-changer for my dinner plans right now. I am so sick of cooking, and these are the perfect way to enjoy a meal that feels home-cooked without destroying my kitchen or over-paying for delivery. Sure, I regret my chili choice. But Will absolutely loved it and it made for 2 meals for him if you consider the leftovers. The tikka was wonderful and the pasta was a combo that I found zesty and creative. I like that these meals come in a wooden dish that you can throw away or compost. It saves me from scrubbing a pan and because it's made of wood, I don't feel bad about creating more heavy-duty plastic waste. The ability to mix and match these ready meals with the more prep- and cooking-intensive options in the same delivery is genius and really allows you to schedule your cooking and meals based on your own schedule. For example, Will works really late two days of the week. I never know what time he will be home, making cooking kind of complicated and scheduling take-out difficult. Because these heat up in under 30 minutes in most cases, it allows me to serve him a nice hot meal that is ready by the time he is down from a shower. I will totally be ordering more of these in the future.
To Wrap Up:
Can you still get this box if you sign up today? Since Sun Basket menus change weekly and you must choose from the list ahead of time, you won’t be able to order these dishes unless they are offered again in the future. If you are specifically on the lookout for these Fresh & Ready options, look for the Fresh & Ready lightning bolt under each dish image on the menu.
Value Breakdown: At $71.94 for this box, you’re paying $23.98 per dish or $11.99 per meal since each is 2 servings.
Keep Track of Your Subscriptions: Add this box to your subscription list or wishlist!
Do you have any favorite recipes Sun Basket?