MSA is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Read the full disclosure.

Home Chef vs. Green Chef: Which Subscription is Right for Me?

Home Chef vs. Green Chef

Comparing Two Tasty Meal Kit Subscriptions

Have you read our list of the best meal kit delivery services? If so, you know that there are a lot of different meal kits out there to choose from. Have you ever wondered what sets each one apart? Curious about which subscription might be your match made in heaven?

Today, I’m going to compare two meal kit delivery services that offer creative spins on comfort classics and cater well to certain dietary restrictions: Home Chef and Green Chef. These boxes are alike in several ways: both serve up tasty food, offer plans that can suit many different diets, and deliver chef-designed recipes and all the pre-portioned, fresh ingredients you’ll need to make them at home in your own kitchen. (I mean, even their names sound similar!) But there’s more to consider. In this article, I’ll take a look at what sets each one apart, so you can determine which is the best choice for you. Read on to find out more about the food, recipes, packaging, cooking process, and more!

by Lindsey Morse, Taste-Tester Extraordinaire
November 13, 2020| Leave a comment

Home Chef vs. Green Chef

To help break down exactly what sets these boxes apart, I’m going to look at how they compare in the following ways: flavors, recipes, ingredients, accommodations for special diets, packaging, price, and overall convenience. If you’d like to skip forward to a specific section or jump to my final verdict, you can use the Table of Contents on the left to navigate. If you want the full nitty-gritty, keep on reading.

Here’s what I’ve found to be the most notable differences (and similarities) between these two meal kit services:

The Food

This is the most important question, right? A meal kit delivery service might have great packaging, superb ethical standards, and interesting recipes, but if the food isn’t any good I’m not going to stick around for very long. Well, I’m happy to report that both of these boxes have consistently served up dishes that have delighted my tastebuds. Each box definitely has its own “vibe,” though, so depending on your personal taste, one might reign supreme. 

Image via our review.

In my experience, Home Chef meals tend to feel like good old fashioned home cooking. They’d be right at home on Grandma’s table, or you might expect to find them on the menu at a popular gastropub. If you’re a “meat and potatoes” kinda person, or if you regularly opt for dishes that are classic and comforting, these recipes are likely to make you smile. Expect dishes like Steak with Horseradish Butter & Roasted Potatoes, Turkey Burrito Skillet, and Salmon with Dill Crema. If you’re a vegetarian, watching your carbs, or counting calories, Home Chef will have recipes that fit your diet.

Green Chef Salmon Dish Prepared

Image via our review.

Green Chef recipes are designed around specific diets and lifestyles, so there’s more choice on offer for those who follow a specific diet. The dishes tend to feel like elevated home cooking, like something you might find in a cozy neighborhood cafe. There are three separate menus available each week (Keto + Paleo, Plant-Powered, and Balanced Living), so whether you’re looking for vegetarian meals, following a keto or paleo diet, or simply trying to keep a balanced diet, Green Chef has an entire menu each week with choices that should work for you. Recipe-wise, I’ve seen Crispy Southern Chicken with Creole Dijonaise served up alongside Farfalle Pasta Bowls with Pesto.

 

What about portion sizes?

In my experience, both companies send entrees that are large enough to satisfy. Appetites can vary, of course, but on average I’ve found that both companies send meals that are large enough to leave me (and my often-hungrier husband) feeling full. In some cases, I’ve even found that the serving sizes are big enough for leftovers.

The Menu

Both Home Chef and Green Chef offer rotating menus that change weekly and feature seasonal ingredients. In both cases, subscribers can view upcoming menus in advance and choose which recipes they’d like to receive. Both boxes also offer a fairly extensive menu; however, depending on the specific diet you follow, you might find one box better fits your needs. 

Image via Home Chef.

Each Home Chef menu features 21 different recipes. You can filter by category, and recipes are customizable. If you’re vegetarian, watching your carbs, counting calories, or looking for meals that are quick to make, just sort by “vegetarian,” “carb-conscious,” “calorie-conscious,” and “< 30 min” to narrow down the options. One of my favorite things about Home Chef‘s menu selection process is that you can customize recipes to feature your favorite protein. This is a great feature for vegetarians and pescatarians (who can swap out steak or chicken for seafood or Impossible meat), but it’s also great for carnivores who might want to swap meat into a vegetarian dish. Like the sound of Sweet and Sour Pork Meatballs, but don’t like pork? Swap in ground beef! 

Image via Green Chef.

Green Chef also offers a wide selection of meal options each week, and they separate their recipes into three different menus: Keto + Paleo, Plant-Powered, and Balanced Living. Each menu offers around 8 or 9 choices, and you’re welcome to switch-up your plan every time you order. For example, you can order from the Keto menu one week and the Plant-Powered menu the next. (Worth noting, however, is that you can not pick and choose recipes from different menus in the same order.)

The Recipes

Both companies provide recipes that are clear and easy to follow, and I’ve been pleased with how they lead me step-by-step from start to finish. I’m pretty confident in the kitchen, but even if you’re a cooking novice I think you’ll be successful following these recipes.

First things first: both Home Chef and Green Chef provide large, full-color recipes that guide you through every step of the cooking process. I even love saving the recipe cards so I can recreate my favorite meals again and again. (Home Chef recipes come 3-hole punched, so they’re binder ready!) Recipes from both companies have an average cook time of 30 minutes. If you have half an hour in the evening to cook dinner, most of the recipes will work for you.

Home Chef sends a two-sided recipe card to accompany each meal. There are step-by-step instructions to guide you through the cooking process, and pictures are provided to help you make sure your dish is looking as it should along the way. The cards don’t offer a ton of additional information, but they do provide nutritional details, prep & cook time, and the number of days your meal will stay fresh after it arrives. I always use the shelf life guide to plan out my meals for the week and help decide which meals to cook first. Often, Home Chef will recommend cooking seafood dishes first and vegetarian dishes last. Another helpful feature is that recipes are all given a difficulty level, which is great for newbie cooks who might not be comfortable with advanced cooking techniques and difficult recipes. The flip side of this is also worth acknowledging: if you’re super confident in the kitchen, want to challenge yourself, and maybe learn something new, you can pick out more advanced recipes. 

Green Chef also sends two-sided recipe cards. Similarly, their cards provide nutrition information, items you’ll need to prepare the dish, easy to follow instructions and full-color pictures to accompany each step. One thing I love about Green Chef is that they include their support phone number at the bottom of every recipe card. Run into a question while you’re in the middle of making dinner? Not to fear! You can always call Green Chef for help.

A note for those with food allergies:

Green Chef outlines potential allergens on their recipe cards, while Home Chef does not. Since Home Chef subscribers can choose which protein is included in their recipe, allergy information can vary, and they recommend checking protein and ingredient packaging for more information. I get that Home Chef‘s customization makes it difficult to include allergy information on the recipe cards, and as someone without food allergies, I’m happy to trade off clear allergen warnings for increased ordering flexibility. However, if you DO have food allergies, take note. You might appreciate the clear warnings provided by Green Chef.

FYI: regardless of which box you choose and how comfortable you are in the kitchen, I think it’s always a good idea to take a peek at the full recipe before adding a meal to your box.

Plans & Pricing

When it comes to pricing, Home Chef is more affordable. Green Chef meals are $11.99-$12.99 per serving (with a flat $8.99 shipping fee), whereas Home Chef entrees start at $6.99 and cost $9.95 on average. If price is a significant driving factor, Home Chef will be the kindest on your wallet, for sure. That being said, if you don’t mind paying a bit more for organic ingredients, Green Chef might be the way to go.

Currently, Home Chef ships to 98% of the United States. (You can see if they deliver to your area by entering your zip code at sign up.) Green Chef ships to the contiguous United States except for some parts of Louisiana. Neither company ships to Hawaii or Alaska. Each subscription has different plans available, so whether you’re looking for a two-person plan, feeding four people, or setting the table for a larger family, you’ll likely find a plan that works for you. 

Let’s take a look at all of the available plans with pricing:

Home Chef Plans & Pricing:

Image via Home Chef.

  • For most menu items, you can select to receive 2, 4, 6, or 8 servings.
  • Shipping is FREE for orders over $49 (orders under $49 ship for $10)
  • Meals start at $6.99 per serving, and most entrees cost $9.95 per serving. Things to note:
    • Customizing your entree might incur an upcharge. Let’s use Smoky Pork Tacos as an example. You can swap ground turkey for ground pork for no additional charge, but swapping in steak strips (+$1.99), shrimp (+$2.99), or Impossible meat (+$3.99) costs more per serving.
    • Premium entrees (like sirloin steak and lobster) are also available and cost more.
    • You can also add-on packs of extra protein (like chicken, steak, and seafood) for an additional fee.

Home Chef COUPON: Save $80 off your first four boxes! No coupon needed - just use this link.

Green Chef Plans & Pricing:

 

Image via Green Chef.

  • 2 Person Plans:
    • 3 meals per week, 2 servings each:
      • $77.94 + $8.99 shipping (Keto + Paleo)
      • $71.94 + $8.99 shipping (Plant-Powered & Balanced Living)
    • 4 meals per week, 2 servings each:
      • $103.92 + $8.99 shipping (Keto + Paleo)
      • $95.92 + $8.99 shipping (Plant-Powered & Balanced Living)
  • 4 Person Family Plans:
    • 2 meals per week, 4 servings each:
      • $103.92 + $8.99 shipping (Keto + Paleo)
      • $95.92 + $8.99 shipping (Plant-Powered & Balanced Living)

Green Chef COUPON: Expiring Soon! Save $90 off your first five Green Chef boxes! $40 Off including Free Shipping on 1st box + $20 off 2nd + $10 off 3rd, 4th & 5th Boxes ($90 Total). No coupon needed - just use this link.

Dietary Restrictions

Here’s where things start to get a little tricky. Both Home Chef and Green Chef can work for special diets, but it really does depend on your specific diet or which foods you’re looking to avoid. Let’s break this down:

Special Diets

Green Chef offers four separate meal plans: Keto + Paleo, Plant-Powered, and Balanced Living. In practice, I’ve found that these plans can work for those counting calories, avoiding carbs, and following a ketogenic, paleo, or vegetarian diet; however, since Green Chef doesn’t allow you to pick and choose meals from different menus, those with other dietary restrictions might struggle to find suitable options. Pescatarians, for example, might not always have enough non-meat, seafood options to fill out their box. 

With Home Chef, everyone orders from the same menu, but you can filter recipes to zero in on those that are vegetarian, low calorie, or low carb. The customization option also provides ample opportunity to swap out proteins you either don’t like or don’t eat.

Food Allergies

Green Chef is very transparent about the risks of cross-contamination, and they make it clear that their ingredients are processed and packaged in a single facility and that they therefore can not guarantee their meals are free from major food allergens. That being said, they’re one of the only meal kit delivery services to receive a Gluten-Free Certification from the Gluten Intolerance Group’s Gluten-Free Food Service program. If you’d like to learn more about this certification and what it means, you can visit Green Chefs FAQ page for additional information.

From Home Chef: “All of our ingredients are produced in facilities that also process eggs, milk, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, and soy. All ingredients are individually packaged, but our facilities are not certified allergen-free. Additionally, because ingredients are packaged and shipped in the same shipping container, ingredients from one meal that contain allergens might come into contact with ingredients from another meal.”

As I mentioned in the previous section, Green Chef discloses potential allergens on their recipe cards, while Home Chef does not. If you need to avoid certain ingredients, you might find that Green Chef makes your life a little easier. Even so, I always recommend you read through the recipes thoroughly and use your best discretion, especially if your allergies are severe!

The Ingredients

Sourcing

Green Chef Ingredients

Image from our review.

As a matter of principle, Green Chef includes USDA certified organic ingredients whenever possible, and everything in their kits is certified organic unless labeled otherwise. According to their website, they’re committed to buying local and supporting family farms. There’s an emphasis on “high-quality ingredients” and “high-integrity foods.”

Image from our review.

Home Chef will occasionally send organic produce, but it is not currently something they guarantee for all meals and does not appear to be a priority at this time. Likewise, when it comes to animal welfare standards, they work with suppliers to ensure that industry-aligned animal welfare standards are being met, but they do not go above and beyond that.

Use-By Dates 

According to Green Chef, they’re able to get “ingredients into your home in less time than a grocery store could.” That’s a bold and impressive claim! Still, organic veggies can have a shorter shelf life than their non-organic relatives, so it’s important not to wait too long to cook up your meals. The suggested cook time for most dishes is within 5 days, though Green Chef recommends prioritizing seafood dishes and cooking them in the first 3.

Home Chef includes a cook by date on every recipe, which I find extremely helpful when planning out my meals for the week. Seafood dishes should always be cooked first, and you should aim to consume everything before the end of the first week.

The Packaging

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that meal delivery kits come with a fair amount of packaging. Items have to be packed in a way that protects them in transit, boxes have to be insulated, and cool packs must be included. Boxes can get an (arguably) bad rap when it comes to excess packaging, but Home Chef and Green Chef limit their environmental impact by sending largely recyclable materials. In both cases, I think that, overall, ingredients arrive in good condition and are packed in environmentally friendly packaging.

open box view showing a cardboard divider protecting the ingredient bags

Image from our review.

Boxes from Home Chef are insulated with recycled textile fibers that promote biodegradation. Both the box and liner can be composted or recycled, and plastic containers are also 100% recyclable. Menu cards can be recycled, too (though I like to keep them to use again!), and cooling packs are filled with non-toxic, eco-compatible fluid that can be drained into the sink.

Image from our review.

Green Chef takes a similar approach to packaging, ensuring whenever possible that recyclable, reusable, and/or compostable materials are used. (Sometimes this isn’t possible due to food safety.) Deliveries are packed inside an insulated brown box, and ingredients for each recipe are packaged together in a brown paper bag. Basic recycling information is printed right on the box, and you can find more detailed information on the website. Expect to see packing materials like reusable plastic jars (#5 plastic- Polypropylene) and recyclable paperboard boxes, paper bags, plastic bags (#4 plastic film), and plastic clamshells (#1 plastic). Again, I’ve found the packaging isn’t overly excessive, and I appreciate the recycling guidance provided.

Modifications & Cancellations

Can you skip a box or cancel your subscription? The easy answer is yes! I’m happy to report that it’s easy to adjust your delivery schedule or stop your subscription with both of these services. Both meal kits can be canceled online if needed and can be easily reactivated in the future, too. Websites for both companies are user-friendly, and the user portals are simple to navigate and easy to use.

Deadlines for Order Changes:

Changed your mind about which menu options you want to receive? Both subscriptions allow for order changes up until the week before delivery. You can also pause or skip upcoming deliveries by signing into your account. Here are the specific cutoff deadlines for making changes to your upcoming deliveries:

Green Chef allows you to skip or modify your weekly orders up to several weeks in advance. You have until 7 days before your scheduled delivery date to make your desired changes.

Similarly, Home Chef requires that order changes be made by 12 pm Central Standard Time on the Friday before the following week’s delivery. This is also the deadline to skip, pause, or cancel.

The Final Verdict

Both of these boxes send delicious meals, and hopefully, this article has helped you see which one might work best for you. But just in case you’re still on the fence, let’s take one final look at the boxes side-by-side:

Price? It’s no contest: Home Chef is the more affordable box. With entrees that start at $6.99 and an average price of $9.95, Home Chef will cost far less than Green Chef, where meals cost $11.99-$12.99 per serving. (Home Chef also offers free shipping on orders over $49; with Green Chef, shipping costs an additional $8.99.) That said, if you’re happy to pay more for organic produce and diet-specific menus, I still think Green Chef offers good value for money.

Taste? Both of these subscriptions make good food a priority, and I think you’re likely to be satisfied when it comes to flavor and taste. They’re also both fairly traditional in their menu offerings. In the case of Home Chef, I find the recipes often remind me of classic home cooking. They’re comforting and familiar– the type of food you’d expect to see at a classic gastropub or all-American kitchen. You’ll sometimes see global flavors or twists on classic dishes, but Home Chef primarily features familiar flavors and family favorites. Green Chef is slightly more adventurous, but I think they also lean traditional. You really can’t go wrong with either, in my opinion, but personal taste might make one a better fit over the other. Want to see what’s on the menu in the coming weeks? You can preview and compare upcoming menus for these meal kit delivery services (and many more including Sun Basket, Blue Apron, and HelloFresh) by checking out my weekly menu roundup.

Recipes? When it comes to recipes, I’ve found instructions from both Home Chef and Green Chef clear and easy to follow. Home Chef gets points for assigning recipes a difficulty rating (which can help novice chefs avoid tricky techniques), and I like that Green Chef clearly lists potential allergens and provides a support line you can call for help. When it comes to recipes, both of these boxes set you up for success; however, if you have food allergies, I lean toward recommending Green Chef.

Ingredients? Green Chef wins this one in my book. While both companies send fresh and tasty food, I like that Green Chef is organic and more committed to sustainability.

Special Diet? If you’re keto, paleo, or gluten-free, Green Chef is probably the box for you. With dedicated menus every week, you’ll have plenty of choices that fit your special diet. Vegetarians and omnivores will probably find ample choices across both boxes, and I think Home Chef‘s customization options are great for pescatarians. There’s no clear winner in this category; both subscriptions offer a lot of options for special diets.

Convenience? Again, it’s hard to pick a winner here. Both boxes offer pre-portioned ingredients that are grouped by meal, easy to follow recipes, and user-friendly online portals. When it comes to convenience, these boxes are tied.

 

Final Thoughts: These subscriptions have a lot to offer, and I’m a fan of them both. I love recommending Green Chef to my ingredient-conscious friends looking for a food delivery subscription that sends tasty meals that fit their special diet. (It’s my go-to recommendation for those who eat keto or paleo!) But if you’re on a budget and looking for a great all-around box that won’t break the bank, Home Chef is a fantastic choice. 


Ready to skip grocery shopping this week & give one of these boxes a try? Make sure to sign up using one of these coupons!

Home Chef COUPON: Save $80 off your first four boxes! No coupon needed - just use this link.

Green Chef COUPON: Expiring Soon! Save $90 off your first five Green Chef boxes! $40 Off including Free Shipping on 1st box + $20 off 2nd + $10 off 3rd, 4th & 5th Boxes ($90 Total). No coupon needed - just use this link.


Looking for more options? Check out our roundup of meal kit delivery services recommended by MSA readers like you!

Have you tried one (or both) of these meal kits? Which is your favorite? Share your experience in the comments!

Written by Lindsey Morse

Lindsey Morse

Lindsey is a professional baker, cold brew coffee addict, and rosé aficionado who loves writing about food and wine. When she’s not sharing her love of subscription boxes with the world, you’ll find her in the podcasting studio, perfecting her cake decorating techniques, or cursing her way through the New York Times daily crossword puzzle.

Please do not enter your email address in the Name field or in the comment content!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Remember to post with kindness and respect. Comments with offensive language, cruelness to others, etc will not be approved. See our full comment policy here.