Reviewed June 2022
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SunBasket is a meal kit program that focuses on healthy food with organic and sustainable ingredients. They strive for a minimum of 99% USDA-certified organic produce and dairy products. Their non-vegetarian recipes include sustainable seafood or meat from animals raised without hormones or antibiotics.
SunBasket’s cofounder and current executive chef is Justine Kelly, winner of the James Beard Award, an award for outstanding culinary professionals. She has decades of experience as a top chef in the San Francisco area and competed on the Food Network’s Iron Chef America.
SunBasket is best for people who are short on time but want to eat healthy meals with organic and sustainable ingredients. Since their packaging is more environmentally friendly than most meal kit programs, it would be good for people who want to try a meal kit delivery service but are concerned about their environmental footprint.
Here are a few meals that we enjoyed.
A delicious French-style cassoulet with white beans, sausage, roasted garlic, herbed marinara and toasted bread crumbs on top.
Freshly roasted beets, rainbow quinoa, fresh orange slices and crumbles of goat cheese atop a bed of arugula. I added a drizzle of balsamic glaze for extra flavor and ate the naan with hummus.
This was one of our favorites with a curry-rubbed pork chop serviced with a fragrant compote of cooked apples and ginger. The side dish of roasted broccoli with tomatoes was unexpectedly the best part.
Most of the meals were very good, but a few were just so-so. This was in contrast to HelloFresh where all of the meals that we ordered were delicious.
The meal prep time varies with the recipe. Some meals take as little as 6 minutes, while other more involved recipes can take up to 45 minutes. If you’re looking for a quick and easy meal solution, order meals labeled as “Speedy.”
It definitely will save you time because you don’t need to plan your meals, make a grocery list and go shopping. Cooking is also a snap because the ingredients come pre-measured, and some even come pre-prepped in other ways such as the garlic for one recipe which came pre-roasted.
The meal kit comes with recipe cards with detailed instructions. The recipe card front has a colorful picture of the finished food which will make your mouth water and includes the estimated cooking time so that you know up front what to expect. Inside they list the ingredients and cooking tools followed by the cooking directions. The instructions are broken down into four or five steps with the ingredient names bolded so that you can spot them easily. They also put in red any altered cooking directions for if you’re cooking for four people instead of two. On the back of the recipe card, there is a more detailed description of the food and any interesting background info. They also list the nutritional information which is helpful if you’re on a special diet.
I was happy to see that SunBasket (like HelloFresh) puts all of the ingredients for a recipe together in a labeled paper bag. This makes it easy because you can just grab the bag out of the fridge and get started instead of having to dig around to find the ingredients for each recipe.
SunBasket has a $19.98 shipping charge which is considerably more than the shipping charge for other meal kit companies. It’s double what most of the others are. I assume this is to offset the cost of their environmentally friendly packaging. I guess if you want to help the environment, you need to be willing to pay for it.
SunBasket is currently available in 47 states in the United States. They are not available in Alaska, Hawaii, Montana, North Dakota and parts of New Mexico.
SunBasket is known to be very environmentally friendly. The meal kit comes in a big yellow cardboard box with paper insulation. The filling in the insulation is made from 100% shredded recycled paper sandwiched between two sheets of recyclable paper. The entire insulation can be thrown in your curbside recycle bin. If the weather is very warm, they use a special insulation made from reclaimed denim (cotton). They ship it with an ice block to keep it cold. The ice block is a recyclable plastic bag filled with a biodegradable gel made of 98% water and 2% non-GMO cotton. Ingredients are generally packaged in cardboard, paper, recyclable plastic bags or plastic jars or containers (#1 and #5 plastics).
Most of the packaging is recyclable. Whether you can actually recycle it or not, however, depends on what is accepted in your area. Keep in mind that if some things can’t be recycled, you could always try to reuse them. For example, the denim insulation can be reused as stuffing if you sew or as cushioning for shipping fragile items. For the ice pack, you can put the biodegradable gel in your compost bin and then recycle the plastic bag.
SunBasket offers the following dietary options . . .
In addition to offering the above diets, you have the option to simply select that you want a diet that is high in protein, high in fiber, low in carbs, low in calories and/or low in added sugar. You can also select that you want to avoid certain foods if you have a food allergy or sensitivity.
SunBasket can be a great tool for weight loss. You can select meals that are low in carbs and/or calories or follow one of the special diets (Paleo, Mediterranean, etc.). With SunBasket you know exactly how many calories are in each meal and, since you’re cooking it yourself, you can even alter it by leaving ingredients out if you choose.
SunBasket’s specialty is healthy eating. Their recipes include a variety of healthy organic produce, sustainable seafood and hormone-free meat. Using their meal kit program is an easy way to make your diet healthier.
Ordering from SunBasket is easy. You just select any dietary options and then how many meals per week and how many servings per meal you want. You can order two, three, four or five meals per week and two or four servings per meal. If you need more servings, you can add an additional two or four-servings of the same meal to your order.
The cost depends on how many meals and servings you select and which meal you select. Some meals are more expensive than others. The general range is 11.49 - $17.99 per serving. This is more expensive than most meal kit programs, but keep in mind that it’s organic.
It can save you money over buying organic ingredients in the grocery store (which is expensive). Keep in mind that you also save from not wasting food. If you have to buy a whole container of a food than you only need a small amount of, you are wasting money. If the alternative is eating out, it will definitely save you money.