Sun Basket Meal Kit Review

NRR Staff December 2nd, 2018

Review Summary

Founded in 2014, Sun Basket is a San Francisco-based meal kit delivery service that provides fresh, seasonal produce that’s 99% organic and 100% non-GMO. They also only use antibiotic- and hormone-free meats and all seafood is wild-caught and sustainably sourced.

Customers have their choice of dietitian-approved meal plans including Chef’s Choice, Diabetes-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Lean & Clean, Mediterranean, Paleo, Pescatarian, Quick & Easy, Vegan, and Vegetarian. Those plans offer a lot of choice on all their own, and customers can mix and match from 18 weekly recipes and most are designed to be cooked in just 30 minutes.

I recently tried two recipes from Sun Basket, a Moroccan lamb tangine, Sheet pan-roasted chicken with sunchokes and bagno cauda, Poached tuna with white bean salad and Sirloin steak with roasted veggies. The boxes were delivered when expected, pack on ice packs that remained frozen. For the most party everything that arrived was great quality - at least as good as I'd get in the store. The proteins in three of the dishes where flawless, even the tuna, which I'm always gunshy about buying unless I really trust the seller. Unfortunately, for the steak recipe, one of the two sirloins was great; but the other was pretty tough - and really weakened the dish. With the exception of some wilted herbs (which still worked out fine) all the produce was great.

There was plenty of food two portions with each meal, and the recipes were both quite tasty and well balanced. A nice touch, was the recipe booklet that's included in your box. It has all recipes for the week on it...so you can explore what else to order, or even try to make some recipes completely on your own.

Most meals were advertised as having to take about 35 minutes to prepare and for the most part they did in fact take about that long. Again the exception was the steak. The recipe suggested it would take 20 minutes; but it took me closer to 35. None of the steps were too complicated, and most home cooks won't have a tough time following the recipes - although there were a couple spots I think they could have explained a bit better.

Sun Basket customers receive three recipes per week for two or four people at $11.99 per serving. A Family Menu is also available and consists of two, three, or four recipes each week for four people at a cost of $10.99 per serving. The shipping cost for all plans is $6.99 per order and the first delivery week is always free.

There is no commitment, so customers can skip a week, double up on a recipe or cancel anytime. However, you do need to call a customer service line to cancel; you can't simply do it online. Sun Basket also offers a unique "100% mouthwatering or your money back” guarantee.

In all, i was very happy with Sun Basket. It's a bit more expensive than some others, but when you get all organic, you're likely to pay a bit more.

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Pros of Sun Basket

  • All 100% organic & GMO free ingredients
  • Tons of variety & separate meal plans
  • Creative meals, seasonally driven

Cons of Sun Basket

  • More expensive than some other kits
  • Need to call if you need to cancel subscription

Sun Basket's Cost

2 Serving Plan4 Serving Plan
All Plans$11.99$10.99

How Sun Basket works

Sun Basket bills itself as the provider "for people who love food. Designed to fit your lifestyle", and that comes across in the way they've organized their options.

They offer nine different meal plans for customers to choose from:

  • Chef's Choice
  • Paleo
  • Lean & Clean
  • Gluten-Free
  • Vegetarian
  • Mediterranean
  • Vegan
  • Pescatarian
  • Diabetes-Friendly
  • Quick & Easy

Simply put, that's a lot of plans. For each, subscribers get 3 meals per week in either 2 or 4 portions at $11.99 per serving. Having the plans simplifies meal selections, and it's nice to know that you're dietary needs will be taken care of without having to make any week to week changes. But Sun Basket also allows you to swap out any meals, from any plan. Across meal plans that's typically 18 meals to choose from, which puts Sun Basket near the top when it comes to "variety".

After signing up and selecting a plan, you confirm you're in their delivery area (you probably are). You then have the option to swap out recipes and pick your delivery date. You're also able to skip weeks easily.

I tested out two shipments of two recipes, a Moroccan Lamb Tagine & a Sheet pan-roasted chicken breast first; then a poached tuna & sirloin steak. Both of the boxes arrived in the evening, and I did not need to be there to sign anything. The ingredients for each recipe were packaged together in separate bags making sorting ingredients a non-issue. And the separately packed proteins were packed between ice packs and stayed fully chilled.

Some of the herbs Sun Basket shipped were a bit wilted, and if I'd seen them in the grocery store I would have passed them over. However, they still worked ok, and everything else that came was very good and very fresh. The only other issue I had with quality was one of the sirloin steaks. It was tough. Oddly, the other was great, nice & tender. As I cooked them the exactly same, I blame the steak...and just got un-lucky.

Rather than recipe cards for the specific recipes ordered, Sun Basket includes a full booklet with all the week's recipes in the box. I like that. I can browse for future recipes, and if I'd like, I can buy my own ingredients, and pull together even more recipes.

Registering & Ordering

The Sun Basket registration process is simple and shouldn't take you more than 5 - 10 minutes to get through. You have the option of registering an account directly, or connecting through your facebook account.

Once in, you'll select a plan and can look through other meal options, for recipes you may want to swap out. Depending on when you sign up, it will be 1 - 2 weeks until you get your first box delivered, and then they will come weekly. Unless you log back in to skip a week, which is simple to do.

The only thing not as simple, was canceling the subscription. After my testing, it was time to cancel (we've got a lot of kits to try), but there's no option to do so online. Rather you need to call (or request Sun Basket to call you) and go through a fairly quick & painless conversation. Not horrible, but not the click of the mouse either. Depending on the day you call, you may end up getting one more box delivered.

Where does Sun Basket Deliver?

Just about everywhere. Like most meal kit providers, Sun Basket does not delivery to Alaska or Hawaii. For some reason they also don't ship to Montana, and to some parts of New Mexico. Fortunately, entering a zip is part of the reg process, so you'll be able to confirm early on that you're in a delivery zone.

Is Sun Basket Organic?

Yes. All of their ingredients are organic and GMO free - unless something unusual happens and they need to swap something out. And the proteins are antibiotic & hormone free. In part, I think that's why you end up paying just a bit more for Sun Basket.

Sun Basket's Quality

Just about every ingredient I got from Sun Basket was perfect. All the vegetables were labled organic, they looked and tasted fresh, and were clean and well packaged.

The proteins were nearly all great. However, I did have an issue with one of the two steaks sent, which was much tougher than the other. Everything tasted as it should, and there was plenty of food for the two promised servings. For produce, the one blemish was with the herbs for one recipe. Sun Basket included both fresh parsley and tarragon for the sheet pan-roasted chicken. The parsley was slightly wilted, but the tarragon even more so. I would not have bought it if I'd seen it that way in the grocery store, unless I was in a real bind.

Fortunately, the recipe called for the herbs to be chopped and mixed in with other ingredients (as opposed to a garnish), so their appearance didn't make a huge deal.

Aside of the specific ingredients, i also think about the quality of the overall dishes that I tried. Both the Moroccan Stew and Pan Roasted chicken that I tried were very nice dishes. The flavors worked well together and there was enough complexity in flavors to appeal to those who really enjoy eating. Without being overly complex to cook. I really liked the Poached Tuna itself, it was very high quality, and I general I liked the overall dish - but I did find the beans a bit too mushy. As noted above, one of the steak was a bit tough, but the rest of the dish, and the other steak was nice.

Sun Basket's Variety

I give really high marks to Sun Basket for the diversity and number of options they are offering. As I mentioned above, they have 9 meal plans to choose from if you are someone that needs to get "into a dietary grove" and not even think about it.

That's far more than most providers.

But what I find far more compelling, is that you can easily "cross-over" meal plans if you'd like. With roughly 18 meals to choose from every month, most people will be able to find some options they like.

Sun Basket's Simplicity

For those looking for "maximum simplicity" one of the nine plans Sun Basket offers is the "Quick & Easy Plan". That is the collection of their easiest recipes, designed for people who are most interested in minimizing time in the kitchen.

Now that said, the recipes I tried did NOT come from this plan, and still they were not too complex. Most said I'd be done in about 35 minutes, and it took me just a bit longer than that to get them done. Of course I was filming as I went along. The steaks, while not complex, was the one recipe that took quite a bit longer than the suggested time.

There are a few spots in the step by step directions where I would have liked to see more clarification, but nothing too hard to figure out.

Is Sun Basket Kid Friendly?

Interestingly, a "family friendly" plan is NOT part of Sun Basket's nine meal plans. But they do offer a subscription package that providers 4 servings per meal.

In my review of recipes I didn't see a ton of "comfort" food choices that kids are likely to gravitate to. However, there are plenty of chicken, pork and steak recipes where Sun Basket adds a unique/interesting flavor profile to "jazz up" the dish.

For example, my pan roasted chicken was served with sun chokes and bagna cauda (an anchovy based sauce). Now my kids are unlikely to go for either, but you can pretty easily just give them the chicken.

Overall, I'd say you can probably "made do" with Sun Basket for kids...but it's not ideal for them.

Overall

I give Sun Basket the highest marks on the variety and diversity of options they offer customers. It's one of meal kit providers that I think you're least likely to get tired of. And the meals they offer, seem to provide enough flare and complexity that I think most "foodies" are really going to like it.

People looking for organic food and "clean" proteins should also take a close look at Sun Basket.

I was a bit disappointed with the shabby herbs I got, but they didn't make a huge impact on the finished dish. And I was a bit bummed about the steak. I'm ok with an occasional misstep, but of course will be on the watch in the future.

The cost is on the higher side, and they are not the most kid friendly provider out there, so Families may want to look elsewhere.

If you give it try, please let me know how it goes.

About Sun Basket

Founded in 2014, Sun Basket is a San Francisco-based meal kit delivery service that provides fresh, seasonal produce that’s 99% organic and 100% non-GMO. Featured in Vogue, Inc., WSJ and TechCrunch, Sun Basket also says that the company only uses antibiotic- and hormone-free meats and all seafood is wild-caught and sustainably sourced. Customers have their choice of dietitian-approved meal plans including Chef’s Choice, Diabetes-Friendly, Gluten-Free, Lean & Clean, Mediterranean, Paleo, Pescatarian, Quick & Easy, Vegan, and Vegetarian. 

Customers can mix and match from 18 weekly recipes and most are designed to be cooked in just 30 minutes. Each recipe is typically 500-800 calories per serving, with pre–measured ingredients that offer less food waste and easier cleanup. Sample dishes include Mushroom Muffulettas with Olive Tapenade and Kale Chips, Pork Chops with Mostarda Wilted Greens, Roasted Salmon with Pearl Couscous and Date-Apple Salad, Steak with Chimichurri and Harissa-Roasted Sweet Potatoes, and Tokyo Fried Rice with Togarashi, Edamame. 

Sun Basket customers receive three recipes per week for two or four people at $11.99 per serving. A Family Menu is also available and consists of two, three, or four recipes each week for four people at a cost of $10.99 per serving. The shipping cost for all plans is $6.99 per order and the first delivery week is always free.

There is no commitment, so customers can skip a week, double up on a recipe or cancel anytime. Sun Basket also offers a unique "100% mouthwatering or your money back” guarantee.

Sign Up

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