Green Chef Review: Is It Worth It?

Gourmet recipes with sustainable ingredients

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Green Chef Review Chicken and Rice dish on wooden background

Real Simple / Kayleigh Drake

Let me start by clarifying something right off the bat: I am a baker, not a cook. I can whip up a cake, a batch of cookies, or a loaf of bread, no problem—but my savory cooking skills, however, leave a lot to be desired. Luckily, Green Chef is here to help folks like me enjoy gourmet, restaurant-quality home-cooked meals with minimal stress. 

A member of the HelloFresh group, which includes meal delivery giants like the aforementioned HelloFresh, Factor, and EveryPlate, Green Chef offers a weekly selection of nearly three dozen meal kits that span various cuisines and flavor profiles. Green Chef is also a CCOF-certified organic company—the first one to ever hit the meal kit market, in fact. After hearing great things about the service, I decided to try Green Chef for myself, and here's what I thought.

Ingredients for Green Chef's chicken with garlic chard rice

Real Simple / Kayleigh Drake

How I Tested the Service

I tested Green Chef for one week, and I chose the minimum order for my delivery, which includes three recipes with two servings each. I ordered the za'atar tilapia with red pepper cauliflower “rice,” the chicken with garlic chard rice, and the peanut udon noodle bowl. I cooked each of these recipes for dinner, but since I live by myself, I had an extra serving leftover from each dish, which I enjoyed for lunch the next day. Overall, my meals were filling, flavorful, and well-seasoned. The chicken dish was my personal favorite—but more on that later!


Green Chef's meals are priced on a volume-based system where the more meals you order, the cheaper each serving will be. For instance, if you opt for the smallest plan of three recipes with two servings each, the price per serving is $13.49. If you choose the largest plan of four recipes with six servings each, the price drops to $11.99. Additionally, Green Chef offers an introductory discount for your first order, which can shave a decent chunk off the total cost. (I got 60 percent off mine!)

While the per-serving prices may seem a little steep compared to other meal kits, keep in mind that Green Chef uses organic produce and eggs and sustainably raised meats and seafood in its recipes, which often come with an uptick in cost compared to conventional ingredients. For the quality of the food and the flavorful, gourmet feel of the recipes, I think Green Chef is worth the price—especially when you consider that, if you were to order these dishes at a restaurant, they'd likely be double the price.

Green Chef meal kits and packaging

Real Simple / Kayleigh Drake


One of Green Chef's standout qualities is its eco-friendly packaging. The meal kits arrive in a recyclable cardboard box, with ingredients for each meal nestled in recyclable brown paper bags. Each bag has a color-coded label that lets you know which meal kit is inside. 

Within the aforementioned paper bags, you'll find preportioned spices, sauces, seasonings, produce, and any kind of pasta, noodles, or grains you'll need for your meal. Each ingredient is packaged in a recyclable plastic packet, bag, or clamshell container. The meats aren't included in the paper bags with the other ingredients, though—instead, they're nestled beneath an ice pack that sits underneath the ingredient bags (along with a helpful cardboard insert that reads, "Don't forget about ingredients which may be hiding under the ice."). Not only does this help keep the meats cold, but it separates them from the other ingredients to reduce cross-contamination.

The contents of the box are insulated with recyclable ClimaCell inserts and gel ice packs, which are made of recyclable plastic bags filled with nontoxic gel. You'll need to empty the gel out of the ice packs before you recycle them though—and don't pour the gel down your sink or toilet, as it can clog your pipes. I personally saved my ice packs to reuse in my cooler this spring and summer. (Fewer trips to the gas station for ice? I'll take it!) 


Green Chef's weekly menus boast over 30 different recipes that cater to multiple dietary preferences, including gluten-free, paleo, keto, Mediterranean, vegan, and vegetarian. Although the menu doesn't specifically state that it has pescatarian meals, you'll find four to six seafood dishes in the mix each week, and combined with the vegan and veggie options, you could likely construct a satisfying pescatarian meal plan as well. All meals come in the form of cook-it-yourself meal kits, so this service is ideal for those who don't mind getting their hands dirty in the kitchen.

The meals all have a gourmet feel, and many of the dishes are inspired by international cuisines, like Thai-style coconut chicken curry and ancho chili-spiced tilapia. Entrées include pastas, rice bowls, pizzas, soups, sandwiches, classic meat-and-veggie plates, and more.  You can even grab things like oatmeal, breakfast items, and extra proteins to add to your order. What's more, Green Chef allows you to view the menus up to four weeks out, so you can get a head start on future meal planning. 

Green Chef red pepper cauli "rice" in skillet on stove

Real Simple / Kayleigh Drake

Ease of Use

I found Green Chef to be a very straightforward and user-friendly service. While you do have to set up an account to order meals, you can view the menu without signing up, allowing you to get an idea of what's available each week. To set up your Green Chef account, simply click the “Get Started” button on the website's homepage. You'll begin by choosing your meal preferences and plan size, and from there, you'll enter your email, create a password, and enter your address and payment info. Once that's done, you'll be taken to the menu to select your meals.

Green Chef allows you to skip or reschedule deliveries whenever you need to, and you can even change your meal plan size if you end up needing more or less food in any given week. If you have any questions about your order, Green Chef offers a live chat customer service option that can be accessed from the FAQ page. The company's virtual assistant, Olive, will be your first point of contact, and if Olive can't answer your question, it will direct you to an associate who can. There's also a customer service phone number, but as someone who hates talking on the phone, I chose to forego that option. 

As far as cooking the meals, I found the recipe instructions to be super helpful and concise. While I had to supply a few ingredients myself—specifically salt, pepper, oil, and butter—everything else was included in preportioned containers in the meal kit, including sauces and seasonings. This eliminated the need to dirty up my measuring utensils or run to the store to buy a whole jar of za'atar just for one recipe. 

Pros and Cons


  • Gourmet meals with preportioned ingredients
  • Eco-friendly, recyclable packaging
  • Organic produce and sustainably sourced meats


  • Price is a little steeper than some other meal kits
  • You'll need to supply some basic items, like salt, pepper, oil, and butter
Green Chef chicken with garlic chard rice

Real Simple / Kayleigh Drake


Overall, I found the flavors of my Green Chef meals to be outstanding. My meals all turned out satisfying and super flavorful, and that's all thanks to Green Chef's detailed step-by-step instructions, which came on a full-sized cardstock sheet with colorful photos. Since all ingredients were preportioned, I didn't have to worry about accidentally adding too much of this or too little of that. Although the veggies required some prep steps, like chopping greens and mincing garlic cloves (which came peeled, by the way!), it wasn't too labor-intensive. 

I did take a few “creative detours” when preparing my meals—specifically with the rice that came with my chicken dish. I'm very particular about how my rice is cooked, and the recipe instructions said to boil a half-cup of rice in one cup of water. However, I only used three-fourths of a cup of water, as I find this proportion to yield a better result. I also rinsed the rice before cooking it, which the recipe did not say to do. (And if you know, you know—always rinse your rice before you cook it!) 

While all three of my dishes were delicious, my favorite was the chicken with garlic chard rice. The recipe involved making a pan sauce out of the chicken drippings along with chicken stock, apricot jam, and red pepper flakes, then letting it reduce into a thickened demi-glaze situation. This created an absolutely stellar sweet-and-savory accompaniment to the chicken and rice. I ate my leftovers for lunch the next day, and the flavors were just as fabulous as they were the night before.

Final Thoughts

All in all, I was very impressed with Green Chef's meal kits. The recipes I tried were gourmet enough to appeal to epicurean palates, while still being easy enough for home cooks to prepare. With organic ingredients and almost entirely recyclable or reusable packaging materials, it's clear that sustainability is at the forefront of Green Chef's mission. Now, if you're looking for quick, prepared meals that you can reheat in the microwave, Green Chef is not for you. But if you like to cook, and especially if you like flavorful and globally inspired food, I would highly recommend giving Green Chef a try.

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