I get asked about meal delivery services, so so so so so much. All. The. Time. Other than Blue Apron, umpteen years ago, I didn’t have much experience with them. So, I decided it’s time to change that so that I have reviews to refer people too who are interested in reading them.
I see a TON of healthy living bloggers recommending Sun Basket regularly, so I decided to start with them. I paid for my boxes using another blogger’s link for a discount. Since I was going to write the post anyway and was already mentioning Sun Basket on my Friday Favorites, I did sign up for their affiliate program.
And this is important. I will always be slightly biased when reviewing these companies because, in a way, they do compete with my What to Eat? Weekly Meal Prep Guide & Meal Plans.
Transparency is always important to me at Hungry Hobby, and if you came to read this post from a source such as Google or Pinterest, you might not know that. And I think it’s important that you do.
On the other hand, as a Registered Dietitian, all I want for my readers, clients, students, and frankly, myself, is the tools to make healthy eating feel doable. I’m all for anything, whether it’s meal plans, meal delivery services, meat delivery services (like Butcher Box or Thrive Market), cookbooks, no carbs, all the carbs…
I DON’T CARE WHAT IT IS, as long as you feel healthier, energized, and less stressed. Then my mission to empower others to live healthier is complete. Hungry Hobby can retire and move to an internet beach getaway.
So with that, let me give you a little overview before we get to the full review.
Top 3 Pros of Using Sun Basket Meal Delivery Service
- Healthy Meals & Meal Plans
- Clean, Organic, Ingredients
- Price Goes Down Per Serving The More You Order
Top 3 Cons of Using Sun Basket Meal Delivery Service
- Inconsistent Delivery Dates
- Small Portion Sizes For Some Males (could be a pro for weight loss)
- Some Ingredients Are An Upcharge
If that was enough for you, and you are ready to sign up, you can use my partner link to get free shipping on your first Sun Basket box.
If you want more info, keeping reading! I’ve got plenty of info!
Full Review Of Sun Basket Pros & Cons:
Customizable Variety & Dietary Preferences
Sun Basket has 11 types of meal plans. Because I need to be dairy-free, I started with the Lean & Clean. I usually ended up changing my meals from the main meal plan by using their filter option for dairy-free. This allowed me to choose from any of the options below, as long as the meal was dairy-free.
- Carb Conscious
- Lean & Clean
- Quick & Easy
- Chef’s Choice
Pros: Lots of variety to choose from, and they do cater to some dietary needs. The meal plans available are based on sound nutrition advice (aka what I would recommend.)
Con: Can not filter by nut or egg-free, so it doesn’t cater to those with food allergies.
Pros: They state that their meal plans are Registered Dietitian designed, and I can tell that’s true. From what I saw, there is a strong emphasis on macronutrient balance. Of course, that depends a little on the meal plan, but overall it was easy to find meals with adequate protein and without excessive amounts of carbs.
Cons: I’ve read so many Sun Basket reviews that say their portion sizes are “generous.” Many say four servings can feed Mom, Dad, and two kids with leftovers. We felt that the portion sizes were a little small, especially on some of the protein items for Mr. Hungry. So four servings turned into 2-3 meals.
(I think this might have something to do with the standard vs. family menus. I didn’t see the family menus when I initially checked out. I’m wondering if this is the reason for the portion size differences?)
The boxes come insulated with two layers. Layer one is produce and pantry items.
Layer two is meat and seafood:
Pros: The boxes come fully insulated, ice-cold, and with little space wasted. They are neatly packed, and it’s easy to find everything for each recipe because it’s labeled on the outside of a paper bag. You do have to go through the paper bag before you put it away to take out things that shouldn’t be refrigerated.
Also, having the produce sit on top of a separate meat/seafood container prevents contamination if the carrier keeps it right side up. Although, even if they didn’t, I don’t think it would matter. I was impressed with their airtight, no leakage, sealing of meats. The packaging is also sustainable and recyclable.
Cons: I set my preferred delivery dates for Friday, Saturday, or Sunday. My first box showed up on Tuesday, my second box came on Wednesday, and my third box came on Thursday. The inconsistent delivery dates had me eating canned tuna a couple of nights. NBD, I like tuna, but I was annoyed by that.
Pros: For some recipes, I learned new cooking techniques and skills. I think the more you learn, the more you’ll be able to wing things with success. They include a special box with suggestions on how kids can help out in the kitchen.
Con: Personal preference, but I love “set it and forget it” type recipes – like sheet pan, slow cooker, or instant pot meals. Most of the recipes I ordered were very hands-on and required me to be actively cooking the whole time.
Pros: For the most part (I only had one exception), they send you exactly what you need, you don’t have leftover ingredients to put away. I was surprised by how much this expedited the cleanup process. I LOVED THIS. I would order again based on this fact alone.
Cons: Lot’s of extra plastic trash because everything is in individual containers.
Pros: There were a few new to me ingredients that I never cooked with before and probably wouldn’t be available locally, like preserved lemon. It was fun using unique ingredients and trying things I never tried before!
They also only use organic ingredients and wild-caught seafood that is recommended as Best Choice or Good Alternative by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch® Program
Cons: Not all ingredients were listed. So, for example, sometimes they send you a pre-mixed dressing or sauce with no list of what’s in it. I wasn’t too worried about it, but if you had a food allergy or intolerance, you might be concerned.
Also, some ingredients, like grass-fed meats, are an upcharge. This could be a pro or con, depending on how you look at it. I think it’s a pro that the option is there, a con that it’s an upcharge.
Meal Planning & Grocery Shopping
Pros: While it did not eliminate my shopping needs, it did prolong the time I could go between grocery trips. Given some of their new breakfast, staples, snacks, and other additions, this may or may not be the case for you.
I think if you don’t have kids or run a food blog, you might be able to order from Sun Basket to fulfill most of your grocery needs. You also get to keep the recipe booklet for all the recipes available that week. I think that’s pretty neat!
Cons: It did not eliminate my shopping needs, so, therefore, it didn’t save me that much time. Especially when I compare it against WTE? Weekly Meal Prep and Meal Plan Subscription Guide (this is where I’m biased.)
My meal plans come with a shopping list, so they take that work out of the equation for you. Making it easy to get in and get out of the grocery store. So, if I have to load up the baby in the car and go to the store anyway, what’s the point?
It also didn’t save me time. I felt like I spent the same amount of time picking out recipes on their system that I do when I make my meal plans, if not more. That’s a huge con for me when it comes to any meal delivery service. This concern is not unique to Sun Basket.
Sun Basket Cost
Sun Basket is $11.99 per serving and $9.99 per serving on the family plan. For three recipes a week serving two people, the cost would be $71.94. As you add servings, the price per serving drops $1 for each interval.
Pros: You save money, the more servings you order in a week.
Cons: Any meal delivery service is going to be more than doing the leg work yourself. You are paying for convenience.
3 Weeks of Sun Basket
Okay, so now that you’ve got a lot to think about the pros and cons wise, let me show you our actual meals!
Ready to order? You can sign up to try Sun Basket with my partner link to free shipping your first Sun Basket box.
Sun Basket Review Week 1: Burger Bash
This was the original plan, but I swapped the salmon meal for the Sole recipe because I don’t like that many beans.
Sole With Caramelized Onions, Potatoes, and Sun-Dried Tomato Za’atar
Lettuce Wrapped Turkey Burgers with Spicy Chairme Salad
Tamarind Chicken Over Black Rice With Bell Pepper and Egg Ribbons
I HATE cooking this much, so I learned that if this was going to work, I needed to up the number of servings I ordered so I would have leftovers.
Sun Basket Review Week 2: Noodle Week (our favorite, because noodles)
Burmese coconut curry with chicken and udon noodles – OUR FAVORITE MEAL
soooooooo. goooooood. I’ll be making this again!
Pork chops with fig agrodolce and caraway cabbage
Week 3 Sun Basket Review
I tried a couple of the add-on for baby K! Unfortunately, I later got a notification they were sold out of the yogurt, but the dairy-free yogurt drink was delicious, and baby K loved it!
Chicken tagine with preserved lemon and artichokes
Lettuce-wrapped lemongrass salmon burgers with crunchy Asian slaw
You can sign up to try Sun Basket with my partner link to get free shipping with your first Sun Basket box.
I’m already got a request to do HelloFresh next. Are there other meal delivery services you guys want me to review? Leave me a comment or shoot me a DM on the gram (@hungryhobbyrd) to let me know!