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Sunbasket Fresh & Ready Review
Growing up with a single dad we ate a lot of microwave dinners and a lot of Burger King. When I was about 13, I decided I wanted to learn to cook. That culinary experimenting resulting in plenty of wretched food over the ensuing months and years. Fast forward twenty plus years and I’m happy to report I’m a decent cook. Nothing I concoct is going to earn a Michelin star, but for the most part my family enjoys my cooking, and my wife tells everyone I am the cook in our relationship.
No amount of cooking prowess, however, can matters when you find yourself short on time. With four kids, a wife, and a dog; I don’t have the time to devote to cooking like I used to. That’s where meal delivery subscriptions found a foothold, delivering meal kits and ready-to-eat meals to busy people like me, and presumably you too. I knew I didn’t want to start eating Stouffer’s Lasagna for lunch, but I also didn’t have time to whip up a 7-layer sausage lasagna or the funds to hit Olive Garden every day. So, I did some research on ready-to-eat meal kits and found Sunbasket Fresh & Ready.
What is Sunbasket Fresh & Ready
Sunbasket Fresh & Ready is the ready-to-eat “arm” of Sunbasket meal delivery. Fresh & Ready delivers perfectly sized meals prepared for one-person. Each meal is about 25% larger than other competitors like Freshly or Fresh-n-Lean. Most prepared meal delivery services focus on dieting like keto or calorie conscious, but that’s not what I was looking for. Sure, I didn’t want excessive calories or sodium, but I’ve always been blessed with a high metabolism, so dieting has never been a need for me. Luckily, Fresh & Ready fell somewhere in the middle, with meals averaging about 600 calories, typically high in protein (based on my selections) and containing lower sodium than grocery store microwave meals.
How I reviewed Sunbasket Fresh & Ready
I had intended to review both the Fresh & Ready prepared meal kits and the traditional Sunbasket meal kits, but I dropped the ball. I left the meal kits in the fridge too long, missed a couple of opportunities and couldn’t make those meals in time. In fact, I couldn’t eat all the Fresh & Ready meals in time either. As a result, I’ll look at the Fresh & Ready meals I did eat, talk about Sunbaskets delivery, pricing, flavor, value, and customer service. I’ll look at pros and cons and give you, the reader, an exclusive Sunbasket coupon code so you can try their meal kit delivery or prepared meal delivery options.
How Much does Sunbasket Fresh & Ready cost?
Fresh & Ready prepared meals start at $9.99/meal with a discount code. When utilizing the Sunbasket coupon code DELICIOUS90, you can get meals for as little as $4.99. At that price, it’s a smoking deal. Healthy Choice Simply Steamer bowls cost around $5 at the grocery store and weigh about 250g, compared to the 400g bowls from Sunbasket. At $9.99, it really boils down to selection, convenience, and quality. Fresh & Ready prepared meal options change each week, are delivered to your doorstep, and are made from USDA certified organic produce with responsibly sourced meats and seafood.
How is Sunbasket packaged?
My Sunbasket order came in 2 large boxes. Each box was insulated with recycled, plastic wrapped denim and kept frozen/cool with large reusable ice packs. The reusable ice packs are great to have around for camping, Costco trips, or when we make the 40-minute drive to the Asian grocery store. Unfortunately, after a couple of weeks there ends up being way too many to justify keeping. On the plus side, the ice packs are environmentally friendly to a degree, as they’re just a starch and water gel.
How often does Sunbasket deliver?
I received my Sunbasket delivery each Monday. However, you can skip weeks if you’re going to be out of town or don’t need meal delivery for whatever reason that week. It’s convenient, but if you miss the date to pause or choose your order, it does become inconvenient. I missed the date to select my meals for the second week and was delivered only meal kits of food I would not eat. Sunbasket should be better about selecting meals for you that closer resemble what you’ve ordered in the past or shouldn’t deliver a meal if you don’t specifically choose it. Also, if you cancel a meal delivery too late in the week after the delivery has been set, you’ll still receive the delivery.
I cancelled my last week of delivery on a Friday, which is apparently after the delivery gets processed. Luckily, Sunbasket customer service was great and refunded me for my cancelled meal. If I had been delivered meals that I would’ve eaten or if they had been Fresh & Ready prepared meals, I probably wouldn’t have reached out. Although there are some downsides to the way their delivery is set up, their customer service was a bright spot in the only negative experience I had with Sunbasket.
Sunbasket Fresh & Ready review: The Real Meal
What I ordered vs what I ate:
Smokehouse Sausage Jambalaya
Cajun restaurants are rare in Colorado and our favorite restaurant is over an hour away. With the pandemic and the distance, I hadn’t had any semblance of Cajun food in years, no embellishment. I’ve never found Zatarains pre-packaged foods to be a good replacement for fresh restaurant Cajun and I haven’t been able to crack the code to create good Cajun food on my own. I won’t say that Fresh & Ready is solid competition for our gumbo spot, but it was better than expected. The rice itself maintained an acceptable consistency, which is often an issue when microwaving rice. The andouille sausage was good, plain and simple, but the ratio of sausage to rice was a bit off for my taste. I am not saying it was way off, but a few more pieces would’ve made the dish much better. In this instance, I had to cut up the sausage to try and equally distribute it through each bite of rice.
Nutritionally, this isn’t the healthiest meal. I must watch my sodium intake, and this prepared meal was high in sodium. In fact, it was 53% of my daily value at 1230mg. It was also 45% of my daily recommended value of saturated fat, and 46% of my total fat. Keep in mind, these meals are considered healthy, but certainly not intended for dieting.
Beef n Cheddar Mac
I am a bit of a chili connoisseur, making my own chili from scratch is something I do a few times a year. I use three different types of meat, 4 types of beans, and we never eat it on the day it’s made. It must marry overnight! In my house, we all love Chili Mac, though admittedly we typically prefer it over spaghetti or bucatini noodle. I know that isn’t “mac” anymore, but where we grew up eating it that’s what it was called, nevertheless. I say all that to say, this dish also had staunch competition.
I certainly wouldn’t offer up this chili mac in our local chili cook off, but it would be in the running for best prepackaged, microwave, or canned chili I’ve ever had. When I was a kid, I loved me some Hormel chili. Those days are long behind me, but for nostalgic reasons I’ll buy a can now and then. The chili from Sunbasket was better than Hormel. The chili had a chance to marry, but I could tell it was lacking key flavor elements like oregano, basil, and tartness from a vinegar or vinegar based hot sauce. I also didn’t like the cinnamon and chocolate addition. I typically don’t add cheese to my chili, but this is a forgivable offense being as commonplace as it is. Despite seeing myself as an epicure, as it relates to chili, I must admit I was not disappointed in this dish. A five dollar bowl of chili mac isn’t something that’s found readily. Sunbasket isn’t going to win a chili cook off with this recipe, but it is a hearty lunch that a splash of good hot sauce is a satisfying meal.
Again, chili isn’t going to be on many diet plans. Serve that up with some empty carbs in the form of macaroni and this isn’t a weight watchers approved meal. The chili mac had less sodium and fat than the jambalaya, but more calories and saturated fat. However, it nearly doubled the protein from 19 to 37g, making it a good choice for those looking at higher-protein diets for weightlifting.
White Bean Turkey Chili
I don’t know why I punish myself by ordering dishes I know I can make better at home, but I do, and I did. In addition to my three meats, four bean chili; I also make white and green chicken chili’s. Once again Sunbasket was in the fight against a ringer, but they held their own.
Turkey tends to be a gamier meat, and that flavor is hard to overcome in chili. Some people are more tolerant of gamey flavors, however. I felt like Sunbasket did a good job quelling that gaminess, but the chili was too bland for me. It appears to be a similar chili recipe as the one used above, which doesn’t translate well to a white chili, in my opinion.
The White Bean Turkey chili from Sunbasket was my least favorite of the meals I tried. If you’re not looking to cut sodium, this is a great meal though. At only 480 calories and 35g of protein, it’s filling and better than any other chili you’re going to get in the grocery store. With almost 1400mg of sodium, I can’t justify buying it again though. As with the other chili, a little hot sauce will liven up this dish and make for a more flavorful meal.
Sunbasket Pros and Cons
Review Results and Final Thoughts
Sunbasket Fresh & Ready delivered, pun intended, on exactly what I needed from a meal delivery service. Quick and easy meals with a good variety and weekly variety. As I sit here wrapping up this Fresh & Ready review, I am eating a Healthy Choice Beef Chimichurri steamer thinking to myself that Sunbasket would’ve made a better tasting version with substantially more food for around the same price. If you’re someone who needs all the prep work and cooking done for you, doesn’t want a diet-based meal kit, enjoys foods from other cultures, and wants all that for less than fast food pricing; Fresh & Ready is perfect for you.
The week of December 12, 2021, Fresh & Ready meals include a few options you’ll see below. All these meals are ready-to-heat in around 4-minutes and there’s options for gluten free, dairy-free, soy-free, paleo, vegetarian, vegan, and more. Personally, I am excited to try the Smoked linguiça sausage with sweet potatoes and cauliflower, though I’ll probably avoid the controversy of white chicken chili with corn, green beans, and chili’s. Who puts green beans in chili? Blasphemy!
If you’re looking for meals that feed more than 1 person and you’ve got time for meal prep, Sunbasket meal kits has you covered. With meals like Black Angus rib-eyes with purple sweet potatoes and red pepper salsa and Honey-balsamic glazed chicken with warm cabbage–apple salad, it’s a great choice for adventurous eaters. With our exclusive Revoupon discount code SUNSHINE90 you can save 90 dollars on your order.