Want restaurant-quality recipes and ingredients that you can make in your home, without having to shop in a grocery store? Try Sun Basket! Here's my full Sun Basket review, including how it works and the biggest benefits of their service.
If you struggle with consistent healthy meal planning, please know you're not alone.
This is one of the most common struggles that I hear from my readers and subscribers. Whether the reason is that they don't have enough time or they can't get the right ingredients from their local store, I always recommend looking for shortcuts wherever and whenever possible. Of course, you can meal plan from scratch every week if you'd like, but there's nothing wrong with outsourcing that task to an app or meal kit service.
With that in mind, I gave Sun Basket a try. Here's my full Sun Basket review, including how Sun Basket works, why it will help you prioritize nutritious and delicious meals (even if you're completely crunched for time), and the biggest benefits (and minor drawback) of their service.
Here's a high-level overview explaining what Sun Basket is all about:
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How Sun Basket Works
Here's a quick look at how Sun Basket works to help you meal plan and shop in one go:
1. Choose Your Dinners
You'll start by choosing two or more dinners from the weekly menu (you can do this either on the website or using the mobile app).
Dinners are available in either two or four serving recipe sizes, which is handy no matter whether you prefer having leftovers or like to eat something new every night of the week.
What's great about Sun Basket is it allows you to mix and match your meal choices. You can select a paleo recipe, a vegetarian recipe and a quick and easy (done in under 20 minutes) recipe, all on the same order.
Here are the menus that Sun Basket offers:
- Carb-conscious (25-35 net carbs per serving)
- Lean & clean
- Diabetes-friendly (approved by the American Diabetes Association)
- Quick & easy (less prep and done in under 20 minutes)
- Chef's choice
The weekly menus feature a lot of international recipes. This is a convenient way to try new recipes and flavors because everything comes in the meal kit, ready to cook! So you don’t have to worry about buying hard-to-find spices or ingredients to make them.
2. Choose Your Add-Ons
You can choose add-ons–like breakfast, lunch, soup and snacks–after you've selected your core dinners from the weekly menu.
For breakfast, you'll find add-ons like egg bites, yogurt, oatmeal, granolas and juice. Your lunch options include soups, broths (handy for making your own soup!), protein and veggie bowls, and flatbreads.
You'll also find healthy snacks like organic baby rainbow carrots, snap peas, Marcona almonds, fruit bars and even some paleo-friendly dark chocolate.
View the full selection by visiting the Sun Basket Menu.
3. Submit Your Order
Sun Basket works a little differently than eMeals and RealPlans, because it allows you to by-pass dealing with the hassle of purchasing groceries either online or in person. All you need to do is choose your recipes and add-ons before the weekly cut off time of Wednesday at 12 p.m. PT / 3 p.m. ET.
With Sun Basket, you'll receive all the pre-measured ingredients you need to cook your recipes, so there's no need to worry about grocery shopping. This is handy if you're short on time or energy (or both).
4. Unbox & Start Cooking
The week after you submit your order, it will get delivered straight to your door in recyclable and compostable packaging. Once it arrives, unbox it and start cooking! Everything in your box is clearly labeled in a bag for that meal, so you won't accidentally use an ingredient in the wrong recipe.
I’ve tried these meal kits–they did not disappoint:
- Lamb siniya casserole with cauliflower and coconut tahini
- Vietnamese shrimp salad
- Chicken tagine with currants, spinach and artichokes
- Peruvian-style sole with lime and sweet potato
- Spicy Thai chicken skewers with mango radish salad
- Grill-friendly sausages and vegetable skewers with two romescos
My family loved every meal! What sets the Sun Basket meals apart is the house-made sauces–they're delicious. While the cooking instructions are simple and the meals are easy to put together, their house-made sauces and spice mixes make the meals taste like you put in a lot of effort. (But you actually barely lifted a finger!)
Key Details You Need To Know About Sun Basket
Sun Basket has a lot going for it. Here are the biggest benefits (and one minor drawback) of their service:
4 Big Benefits of Sun Basket:
1. James Beard Award-winning Chef Created, Dietitian Approved
James Beard Award-winning Chef Justine Kelly creates your healthy recipes and they're approved by the Sun Basket in-house dietitian, using the latest USDA guidelines and science-based nutritional recommendations. This offers the best of both worlds–delicious restaurant-worthy meals made from recipes that are pre-vetted as healthy and nutritious!
2. Flexible Mix-and-Match Menus
Sun Basket offers so much flexibility with weekly meal options. You can switch between paleo, carb-conscious, gluten-free, diabetes-friendly, vegetarian, pescatarian, and more. This allows you to tailor your weekly meal plan to your life, week by week, without feeling like you're stuck in any single meal type or diet.
3. Flexible Subscription Commitment
Easily skip or cancel your order at any time prior to the weekly cut off (Wednesday before your delivery at 12 p.m. PT / 3 p.m. ET), no questions asked. You don't have to commit to a long subscription and this allows you to take it for a trial with no risk of being locked in.
4. The Sun Basket Commitment to Healthy Ingredients
Meats and seafoods are free of antibiotics and artificial hormones. Sun Basket ensures their suppliers meet the highest quality ingredients and maintain a shared commitment to sustainable farming practices that promote responsible and ethical animal welfare standards.
All seafoods are either wild-caught using low-impact fishing methods or sustainably farmed. Sun Basket uses only Best Choice or Good Alternative seafoods as established by the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch program.
Their baskets also feature seasonal organic produce. Sun Basket notes that sometimes organic options aren't available for several reasons, including poor weather, seasonality, or that the ingredient doesn't have an organic classification. Sun Basket labels all of their organic ingredients, so you won't ever have to guess on this.
The Only Minor Drawback to Sun Basket:
Food Allergies & Intolerances
While Sun Basket offers recipes that are gluten-free, they also clearly state that they package all of their meal kit recipes in a facility that also handles gluten, milk, eggs, fish, shellfish, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat and soybeans.
Because of this, they can't guarantee that their recipes are free of cross-contamination and recommend that you skip ordering through Sun Basket if you have been diagnosed with a serious food allergy or intolerance.
How To Make The Most of Your Sun Basket Order
Here are some of my tips to help you make the most of your Sun Basket meal kit:
When you're choosing your meals:
- Plan to cook any seafood or shellfish within 3 days of delivery.
- Plan to cook any chicken, turkey, or other meats within 5 days of delivery.
- Most meals take about 30 minutes from start to finish, but because you need to cook them within a few days of delivery, I recommend you choose at least one recipe marked “speedy” so you can cook it on a day you’re feeling more crunched for time.
- Don't forget that you can click on the menu choices to see the full recipe, ingredient list and cooking instructions. This is particularly helpful if you're on the fence about a recommended recipe (or there are picky eaters in your house).
When you're cooking your meals:
- You'll want to have some key pantry staples on hand, like olive oil, salt, pepper.
- You can click “Start Cooking” on the mobile app to follow your recipe as you cook your meal–or use the printed recipe that comes in the box.
My Final Thoughts on Sun Basket (And How To Know If It's Right for You)
Overall, I really like Sun Basket. The recipes are delicious, nutritious and really easy to pull together. And I love not having to worry about whether I can find all the ingredients.
Here are six ways to know Sun Basket is right for you:
- You're just getting started with healthy eating and want to skip the trial-and-error process of finding easy-to-make recipes on Pinterest.
- You're committed to eating healthy meals, but struggle to remain consistent because you're crunched for time. It's hard to stay on track when you don't have the time to plan!
- You're willing to spend a little time in the kitchen cooking when you know the results will taste like they were prepared in a restaurant.
- You value flexibility–you want to pick and choose between different types of healthy meals, and whether you need meals delivered at all.
- You're excited at the thought of ditching the time-consuming tasks of meal planning and grocery shopping for 10 minutes of time deciding which drool-worthy recipes you want to serve up.
- You're ready to give one no-commitment week of Sun Basket meal plans a try. If you don't like it, you can cancel with no penalties!
Does this sound like you? Try Sun Basket commitment-free!
That said, I wouldn't recommend Sun Basket to you if:
- You have serious food allergies or intolerances, since they can't guarantee your meals will be free of cross-contamination. My recommended alternative is RealPlans, since it offers you more control in filtering recipes by ingredient.
- You like to spend lots of time browsing Pinterest for new recipes and wandering through your local grocery stores.
- If you're following a strict AIP, Keto or Whole30 meal plan. Sun Basket doesn't offer fully compliant meal plans for these diets, so I'd recommend using RealPlans instead.
Bottom line: Sun Basket is a fantastic all-in-one meal kit solution that allows you to skip shopping all together and gets you straight to cooking up quick and easy meals that are healthy and delicious.
Did you find this Sun Basket review helpful? Or maybe you've already tried Sun Basket? Drop me a note about it in the comments below.
(P.S. Curious about RealPlans? Check out my RealPlans review on how it works and why I think it's a great alternative to Sun Basket for certain dietary restrictions.)