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Sunbasket vs. Blue Apron: A Holistic Nutritionist's Unfiltered Comparison

Lindsay Boyers
September 14, 2023
Lindsay Boyers
Certified holistic nutrition consultant
By Lindsay Boyers
Certified holistic nutrition consultant
Lindsay Boyers is a nutrition consultant specializing in elimination diets, gut health, and food sensitivities. Lindsay earned a degree in food & nutrition from Framingham State University, and she holds a Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting from the American College of Healthcare Sciences.
sunbasket vs blue apron
Image by mbg creative
September 14, 2023
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As a holistic nutritionist, I quickly learned that preparing healthy meals can be hard for many. It's not that my clients don't want to eat healthier, it's that they can't find the time to grocery shop and prepare and cook meals (not to mention do all the necessary kitchen cleanup). That's why meal delivery services quickly became a game-changing hack for anyone who wants to kick-start healthy eating. 

Of course, then comes the paradox of choice. To narrow things down, let's compare two of the most popular healthy meal delivery options: Sunbasket vs. Blue Apron.

What is Blue Apron?

Blue Apron is a meal delivery service with meal kits, ready-to-cook entrees, and heat-and-eat options. When you sign up, you'll decide which type of meal plan you want and choose from a robust menu catering to a number of dietary preferences. 

While not fully organic, the company uses USDA-certified organic ingredients whenever possible and has high standards for sustainability.

What is Sunbasket?

Sunbasket is an organic meal delivery service with a lot of variety. Like Blue Apron, Sunbasket offers both meal kits and heat-and-eat meals, but you can't mix and match meal types in one box—you have to commit to one or the other. 

Sunbasket says its mission is to "empower people to live their healthiest lives, starting with what's on their forks."

Sunbasket vs. Blue Apron: Pros & cons

Blue Apron


  • Regularly rotating menu
  • Humanely sourced animal proteins
  • Lower-calorie and vegetarian options
  • Can mix and match meal kits and heat-and-eat meals in one box
  • Lower price point


  • Very limited dietary accommodations
  • Lack of ingredient transparency
  • Limited organic ingredients
  • Heat-and-eat meals are only available as add-ons


  • Organic produce and high-quality ingredients
  • Several dietary plans to choose from
  • Gluten-free options available
  • Can choose specific delivery days
  • Lots of add-on protein options


  • High starting cost per serving
  • Can’t mix and match meal types in one box
  • Less variety than other meal delivery services
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Sunbasket vs. Blue Apron: Menu options

Blue Apron menu options

Blue Apron has three main meal plans: Signature or "Chef's Favorites," Vegetarian (meat-free entrees), and Wellness ("nutritionist-approved recipes"). There are a few additional options, such as family-friendly meals and "Fast & Easy," which includes both the quick prep and heat-and-eat options. 

The meal plan you select will determine which menus are suggested to you each week, but there are typically at least 70 meals to choose from.

Menus change each week, and you can preview about a month's worth of meals at one time. This makes it easier to stay ahead of meal planning and see what's coming down the pipeline. 

When it comes to cuisine, Blue Apron offers a lot of variety—you'll have options like Vietnamese-style turkey meatballs, cajun-spiced salmon, or more traditional American dishes.

The regular plans include entrees only, but for an additional cost you can add breakfast items, soups, extra protein, heat-and-eat meals, salads, and desserts.

Sunbasket menu options

Sunbasket operates a little differently than other meal delivery services. Instead of separate meal plans, there's just one weekly menu that includes all the meals for the week. 

The menu does change weekly, and you can see two weeks' worth of meals in advance so you can plan part of your month out. The full menu has about 30 to 40 meal kit options and 10 heat-and-eat (or "Fresh & Ready") meals per week.

In addition to the main entrees, you'll have access to add-on market items, such as breakfast, light heat-and-eat lunches, deli meats, fresh pastas, sauces, and extra proteins. 

Most market items are fairly limited—there's only a handful of each type—but the add-on proteins are where Sunbasket really shines. You can add organic filet mignon, organic tofu, and even some cured meat options, such as prosciutto and smoked salmon.

Sunbasket vs. Blue Apron: dietary preferences

Blue Apron allergies & dietary preferences

Blue Apron's meals cover basic preferences, such as vegetarian, low-carb, and low-calorie—but there aren't a lot of options for more restrictive diets. There are no specific dietary plans outside of vegetarianism, and there are no certified gluten-free meals. 

Blue Apron does not offer specific allergy-friendly meals, so anyone with severe allergies should look elsewhere.

If you opt for meal kits, you do have some freedom to eliminate ingredients on your own when you cook the dish, but you can't make substitutions on the site to tailor the meal to your preferences.

Sunbasket allergies & dietary preferences

When signing up for the subscription, you can specify whether you follow one of eight listed diets. Choosing a dietary plan will narrow down the menu for you, but there aren't separate menus for each one.

  • Paleo
  • Gluten-free
  • Vegetarian
  • Pescatarian
  • Mediterranean
  • Diabetes-Friendly
  • Carb-Conscious
  • Keto-Friendly

It's worth noting that, while Blue Apron allows you to select multiple meal plans, you can only pick one dietary preference on Sunbasket. So, you can't choose gluten-free and vegetarian. Instead, you'll have to choose which one is most crucial and then narrow down the meals yourself from there.

Sunbasket vs. Blue Apron: Ingredients & sustainability

Blue Apron ingredients & sustainability

The nutritional profiles of the meals vary widely depending on which you choose. There's no overarching focus on calories or macros in any of the meal plans, but each week Blue Apron offers menu items with 600 or fewer calories. 

As far as ingredient quality and sourcing goes, there's not a huge amount of transparency here. Blue Apron says it's committed to quality ingredients and supports farmers who use sustainable farming practices, but there's no real way to trace the production process.

While the company does use USDA-certified organic ingredients, it doesn't expressly label these. 

Blue Apron does have an official animal welfare policy in place, though. In other words, it does not source meat from Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations (CAFO)—so that is a plus, even if meats are not organic or grass-fed. 

The company focuses on sustainability by using packaging that's 85% recyclable by weight. While most of the packaging can be recycled at home, you may have to visit recycling centers for some of the plastics, such as the produce bags.

Sunbasket ingredients & sustainability

Macros, calories, and other nutrients vary widely between meals, but all are viewable on the Sunbasket website and your weekly recipe cards.

Sunbasket is very focused on ingredient quality, which I appreciate as a nutritionist. It's not just about the calories and macro breakdown, it's about how nutrient-dense and high-quality the foods are.

The company is a certified organic handler, which means it's certified to handle organic ingredients up to National Organic Standards. Produce is organic 98% of the time and if for some reason organic options aren't available, you'll be notifiedin advance. 

All meats are antibiotic- and hormone-free and 100% of the chicken, turkey, and pork comes from ethically run family farms. The beef is raised in pastures and seafood is responsibly sourced. 

Sunbasket offers a mix of wild-caught and farm-raised seafood, but works with eco-certified fisheries to ensure sustainability and minimal harm to the environment. 

All packaging is recyclable, reusable, recyclable, or compostable. For example, the shredded paper fill is made from 100% recycled paper.

Sunbasket vs. Blue Apron: Pricing & subscription options

Blue Apron pricing and subscription options

Like most meal delivery services, Blue Apron operates on a weekly subscription basis. When you enter your ZIP code you'll see a list of available delivery, giving some control over which day your box arrives.

You can choose two to five meals per week, and two or four servings per meal. The total price depends on how many meals you get each week, but ranges from $8 to $12.49 per meal. Shipping is $11, regardless of your order size. 

The minimum commitment is two meals per week (two servings each). This costs $61 with shipping. The maximum is five meals per week (four servings each). This will run you about $171 weekly.

Add-ons are charged on an a la carte basis. For example, at the time of writing, you can add a dozen blueberry cupcakes to your box for about $23, or two servings of baked potato soup for $18.

Like Sunbasket, and other meal delivery services, you can skip, pause, or cancel your subscription any time by logging into your account and editing your preferences.

Sunbasket pricing and subscription options

Just like Blue Apron, with Sunbasket you can choose two to five dinners per week, and two or four servings per meal. The price varies depending on your commitment. Two meals per week will be the most expensive per-meal cost, and five meals per week will be the lowest. 

The meal kits start at $11.49 per serving and the heat-and-eat meals are slightly cheaper, starting at $10 per serving. Add-on prices vary widely because the items are so different, but you can add as many as you want, or none at all. Shipping is $8.

Boxes ship weekly and you can pause, skip, or cancel your subscription any time through your online account. Most customers can choose a specific delivery day between Sunday and Thursday, but your options may be limited depending on where you live.

Sunbasket vs Blue Apron: Our verdict

Blue Apron and Sunbasket are similar in a lot of ways, but have some notable differences. 

If you're looking for a more budget-friendly option and you're not following a specific diet plan, Blue Apron is a better choice. You'll have to forgo organic ingredients with some meals, but you'll get lots of variety.

If organic ingredients are important to you and you're OK with paying a little more, go with Sunbasket. It's also a better option for those with dietary restrictions. 

Here's a breakdown of what to expect from each meal delivery service.

BrandTypePrice per servingMax meals per weekShipping costDietary considerationsIngredient quality
Blue ApronMeal kits and prepared mealsFrom $8 per serving5$11Vegetarian; Low-calorie; Low-carbSome organic ingredients; support local farmers when possible; high animal welfare standards
SunbasketMeal kits and prepared mealsFrom $10 per serving5$8Paleo; Gluten-free98% organic


Is Sunbasket actually healthy?

Sunbasket offers a lot of nutrient-dense meals made with high-quality meats and organic produce. In a general sense, yes, the meals are healthy—but whether or not they fit into your specific dietary plan depends on what you're looking for.

Where are Sunbasket meals made?

Sunbasket works with farmers and food manufacturers all over the United States, but meal kits are prepped and packaged at the company's headquarters in San Francisco.

The takeaway

When comparing Sunbasket vs. Blue Apron, Sunbasket has an edge when it comes to dietary restrictions and ingredient quality. The company uses more organic produce and higher-quality meats and can accommodate more specialized diets. On the other hand, Blue Apron is more affordable and offers a lot of variety. 

Two great options, it's no surprise Blue Apron and Sunbasket are both featured in our roundup of the best Mediterranean meal delivery services, a dietary style linked with improved heart health1, increased longevity2, and a reduction in risk of Type 2 diabetes3, Alzheimer4's4, depression5, and metabolic syndrome6.

Meet The Experts

Lindsay Boyers is a nutrition consultant specializing in elimination diets, gut health, and food sensitivities. Lindsay earned a degree in food & nutrition from Framingham State University, and she holds a Certificate in Holistic Nutrition Consulting from the American College of Healthcare Sciences.