Factor Meals Are by Far the Best Pre-Made Dishes I've Tried—And I Review Meal Services for a Living

Designed by dietitians and made by real chefs, Factor meals are both healthy and delicious.

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Photo: Courtesy of Merchant

Healthy meals haven't always been the most convenient options. It's easy to assume clean eating entails cooking everything from scratch and hitting the produce aisle on a weekly basis. But Factor meals are the exception. These delicious and nutritious pre-cooked meals get delivered right to your door every week.

Let's get one thing out of the way: I've had my fair share of prepackaged meals. My college roommate and I considered Trader Joe's frozen foods to be fine delicacies. However, many of our selections were likely sky-high in sodium and lacked essential nutrients. What's more, microwavable meals too often simmer down into a watery mess that spoils your appetite just by looking at the plate. That's why I was so excited to try Factor meals.

First of all, the food arrives fresh, not frozen, making preparation as easy as two minutes in the microwave. But more importantly, these meals are actually good for you. We're talking recipes designed by dietitians and made into meals by real chefs. You can even sign up for a free consultation with one of Factor's registered dietitians to help determine which meals best meet your needs and goals. Or, if you want long-term assistance, there's also a monthly Nutrition Coaching program to educate and guide you through your wellness journey.

Before I even received my first shipment, all of this information set the bar pretty high for Factor meals. Healthy eating is something I've committed to more in recent years, so if there are nutritious and convenient prepared meals available for delivery, I want in. But just how tasty are these pre-made meals? I was ready to find out for myself.

Here's my honest review of Factor meals, from delivery to the last bite.

How I tested the service

Taste-testing is one of the better parts of my job, and I take it seriously. Though flavor is an essential criterion when trying any meal service, I also pay careful attention to how filling a dish is and how I feel after eating it. That's partly why quality ingredients are so important: You should feel whole and well after a meal, especially one from Factor, whose nutritional values are heavily advertised.

My diet is fairly balanced—mostly vegetarian meals cooked at home with plenty of veggies and grains. But it's not easy to find meals that are both nutritious and delicious. And while my mother is somehow satisfied eating a bowl of veggies and calling it lunch, I need my food to have a bit more substance. But rarely do I feel like planning and prepping well-rounded meals after a full day of work. In this review, I set out to answer a four-part question: Are Factor dishes actually healthy, satisfying, tasty, and easy?

My overall rating for Factor meals: 8.2 out of 10

Pros:

  • Pre-cooked by real chefs
  • Arrives fresh, not frozen
  • Free dietitian consultation available
  • Includes breakfast, lunch, dinner, and dessert options
  • Can be heated in both microwaves and ovens
  • Vegetarian, vegan, calorie smart, and keto-friendly options

Cons:

  • One of the pricier meal delivery services
  • Doesn't highlight meals for some dietary restrictions (nut-free, dairy-free, etc.)
  • Single servings only, no family meals

Signing up for Factor meals: easy breezy

Signing up for Factor is easy, whether you subscribe through the website or mobile app. The first thing you'll do is choose one of the four set meal preferences: chef's choice, keto, calorie smart, or vegan and veggie. You'll then specify how many meals you want to receive each week, with options ranging from four to 18 per delivery. The more meals you order, the better the value of your bundle. Then comes registration, where you'll create an account, enter your address, and provide special delivery instructions. This is also where you'll see when your first box is expected to arrive (usually within one week). Once you've logged your payment information and placed your order, the fun really begins—it's time to pick out your meals.

Sign up now: Factor meal subscription, From $60/week; go.factor75.com

Factor meal plans and menu: plenty of options

Factor's weekly menu features a rotating lineup of over 27 meals to choose from, including keto, calorie-smart, and plant-based options, which you can easily identify through tags on each meal. Every dish has its own picture, a brief description, and labels for specific diets. I wish Factor also highlighted food that aligns with dietary restrictions like gluten-free, nut-free, and dairy-free, but these sadly weren't specified. To learn more about a meal, simply click on it to see its nutritional information as well as a list of ingredients and an in-depth description of the dish. While you can't remove certain ingredients from your meals, you can use this information to make sure your food aligns with your dietary needs. You can also look ahead to the following week's menu.

I was especially impressed by how many ingredients go into each meal. One of my picks had over 30 ingredients, all of which I could identify and easily pronounce. I can't imagine going all out like that while cooking a meal myself. And standard meal kit services wouldn't dream of overloading customers with that many recipe components. The fact that Factor's chefs handle all of that for me earned the service extra brownie points in my mind.

Factor kindly sent me three free meals for this review. Though many were tempting, I ultimately decided on three different meat options since I often don't cook those.

The Factor meals I chose:

  • Green Chile Chicken with Mexican Cauliflower Rice & Queso Blanco
  • Chile-Spiced Pork Chop with Kidney Bean-Corn Salad, Roasted Carrots, & Potatoes
  • Jalapeño Popper Burger with Cauliflower "Popper" Rice, Zucchini, & Squash

It's easy to want to try all of Factor's meals, but how many you get delivered depends on your meal plan. Here are your options (shipping is free for all plans):

  • Four meals a week ($15 per serving)
  • Six meals a week (about $13 per serving)
  • Eight meals a week (about $13 per serving)
  • 12 meals a week (about $12 per serving)
  • 18 meals a week ($11 per serving)

Sign up now: Factor meal subscription, From $60/week; go.factor75.com

Factor meal delivery
Allaire Nuss

Factor delivery and packaging: partially recyclable

My Factor delivery arrived on a brisk winter afternoon, so I wasn't too worried about the condition of my food. That said, I still appreciated the cold gel packs and brown paper and cotton insulation used to keep the fresh meals cool. Most of the packing material is eco-friendly, including the recyclable boxes and BPA-free CPET plastic food containers. I loved that the cold gel packs are reusable, and I happily tossed them in my freezer for my next packed lunch. Though the insulation is made of recycled material, only the laminated (brown paper) material is curbside recyclable (the rest should go in the trash).

Each meal comes individually wrapped and is labeled along the side with nutritional information and cooking instructions. They also stack nicely in the fridge, and I barely had to rearrange the space I share with two roommates to fit my meals inside. Your food will stay fresh for up to seven days when refrigerated. You can check every dish's stamped "Enjoy By" label to see the exact time frame. If you don't think you'll eat it in time, fear not—just stick your meals in the freezer to heat up at a later date. It's important to note that the meal delivery service does not currently ship to Alaska or Hawaii.

Factor meal delivery
Allaire Nuss

Factor meal prep and cooking: easy as can be

Cooking Factor meals couldn't be easier. Pick out a dish from the fridge, then check the packaging label for cooking instructions before discarding it. My meals all had the same simple directions: Either pierce the plastic film before heating the dish in the microwave for two minutes or remove the film before cooking the meal in the oven for five minutes.

A thing about me: I'll always heat food in the oven if that's an option. My meals always come out more evenly warmed, plus the oven gives it a home-cooked taste. Usually, this method means taking 20+ minutes to thaw a frozen dinner, but I was delighted to learn that heating Factor meals in the oven only takes three more minutes than in the microwave. I didn't have to add on any time either—each of my meals came out perfectly warmed and ready to eat. Just make sure to always remove the plastic sauce container if there's one packaged in your meal. Otherwise, it will quickly melt in the microwave or oven, posing a potential hazard you won't want anywhere near your food.

Sign up now: Factor meal subscription, From $60/week; go.factor75.com

Factor meal delivery
Allaire Nuss

Factor meals flavor and quality: genuinely delicious

I couldn't wait to try my Factor meals to see if they're as tasty as they are healthy and convenient. I genuinely enjoyed each of my selections, usually around lunchtime as a quick, fulfilling meal while working from home. Every dish came out of the oven perfectly heated and smelling great. I couldn't wait to dig in! Here are my individual reviews of each one:

Green Chile Chicken with Mexican Cauliflower Rice & Queso Blanco: This was probably my favorite Factor meal, and yes, it was because of the queso. This Mexican-inspired take on a chicken dinner was incredibly well-seasoned, from the colorful cauliflower rice to the spicy chile chicken. I tried to restrain myself and split the queso between the protein and "grain," but it was hard not to eat it all at once. Seriously, it was that good.

Chile-Spiced Pork Chop with Kidney Bean-Corn Salad, Roasted Carrots, & Potatoes: This meal was the heartiest in my opinion, which is absolutely a good thing. The pork chop was actually seared, a pretty impressive feat when you compare it to meals found in any freezer aisle. The kidney bean-corn salad complemented the spices on the pork perfectly, giving it a healthy bit of Southwestern flair, especially alongside the scrumptious potato and vegetable hash.

Jalapeño Popper Burger with Cauliflower "Popper" Rice, Zucchini, & Squash: Though it was delicious, I was slightly let down by this meal's portion size. The patty was a bit small without the standard burger fixings, and the sides of cauliflower rice and veggies weren't enough to fill me up completely. That said, the jalapeño popper flavors stood out, making for a very flavorful dish that left me wanting more. Perhaps two patties could have made this meal more satisfying, but I definitely enjoyed the dish either way.

Factor meals price: on the more expensive side

There are a lot of good things about Factor meals, but the pre-made dishes are on the pricier side of the meal delivery spectrum, starting at $11 per serving (if you order 18 meals a week). The more meals you buy, the cheaper the price is per serving. But no matter how many you order or where you live, shipping is always free.

Factor pricing tiers:

  • Four meals a week: $60 per shipment
  • Six meals a week: $77 per shipment
  • Eight meals a week: $99 per shipment
  • 12 meals a week: $138 per shipment
  • 18 meals a week: $198 per shipment

If you've never tried Factor meals (which is likely given you're reading this review), there's a special incentive to subscribe. First-time subscribers will get $120 off their first eight weeks when they sign up, but only for a limited time.

Factor sustainability and sourcing: committed to the cause

Factor is dedicated to sourcing ingredients from sustainable farms and ranches, whether in the US or abroad. Its salmon comes from Canada and is certified by Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP), which ensures the safe and responsible farming of seafood. Other ingredients include pasture-raised pork, grass-fed beef, and cage-free poultry. The company also enforces a zero-tolerance policy for animal abuse and works closely with food purveyors and animal welfare experts to make sure its suppliers follow ethical and humane practices.

But no matter the protein on your plate, Factor guarantees it will be free of antibiotics, GMOs, hormones, and artificial preservatives.

Factor customer service: ready to help

There are plenty of ways to get help with any questions or concerns you may have about Factor meals. Customer service is available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. CT through a live-chat feature on the website or by phone at 888-573-5727. There's also a helpful FAQ page that you should check out first.

One of the most common questions is about the flexibility of the subscription plans. You can easily cancel or swap meals out of your order before it ships. Just make sure to do so before the designated deadline. If you're planning ahead and want to skip a week, simply log into your account, select the week you want to pass over, and click "Skip." You can also do this on the mobile app under your account tab.

Multiple customers have praised Factor's customer service as very apt and professional. One five-star reviewer wrote, "[The meal service's] seasonings are spectacular just like their customer service!" while another praised the team's responsiveness, writing, "Customer service has gone above and beyond to keep me satisfied and [solve] the problems."

Factor reviews: mostly positive

Most of the buzz around Factor meals is positive, with over 14,000 five-star reviews on Trustpilot and an average rating of 4.3 stars out of 5. It's no surprise that much of the hype relates to how great the meals taste.

"The food is really delicious and there's a great variety to choose from every week," one happy buyer wrote. "I personally never really liked the taste of brown rice, but somehow in my Factor meals, it tastes so good. The sauces and seasoning are the key… The only thing I think would make it better is if it was delivered early in the morning so that I could start the first meal sooner."

Others have also praised the convenience of Factor meals. One parent expressed, "I love that the meals are all ready to eat in two minutes and that I can have the dishes I love and so can my son. I love salmon, but my son doesn't, so I had rarely made it for myself. Now I can have it easily whenever I want… [The] other meals have all been delicious, too!"

A common complaint among consumers is the higher price, though many have decided it's worth it for the quality of Factor's meals and service. One customer was especially satisfied, writing, "The extra time and peace of mind this gives me to be the happier, healthier version of myself I've been wanting to be 100% outweighs the expense of using a food service company!"

Factor meals: my final take

All in all, I had a wonderful experience testing out Factor meals. I was initially skeptical that a meal service could be healthy, convenient, and, above all, delicious, but Factor knocked it out of the park (the meals could, however, be more filling). I can easily see myself retreating to my kitchen after a long day of work and feeling a wave of relief knowing that a satisfying meal is just five minutes (in the oven) away.

The only real downside I saw was Factor's slightly steeper price compared to other meal services. The meal plans come out to more than you'd likely spend on groceries, but overall, I think Factor is reasonably priced for the quality of the service. The fact that these meals are approved by dietitians, cooked by real chefs, and made with nutritious, sustainable ingredients makes Factor an excellent meal delivery option. In my mind, it's well worth the price for those looking to eat healthy with minimal effort.

Sign up now: Factor meal subscription, From $60/week; go.factor75.com

Who Factor is good for:

  • Those wanting single-serving meals
  • Those looking to eat healthier
  • Those who don't have the time or energy to cook substantial meals throughout the week

Who Factor isn't good for:

  • Families
  • Those wanting to learn hands-on cooking skills
Factors What it means Numerical ranking (1-10)
Taste Meals have a balanced and delicious flavor and consistency. 9
Ease of Preparation The service provides easy-to-follow instructions for preparing and cooking the meal 10
Quality of Ingredients Ingredients are high quality and fresh. They are in good shape when they arrive. 9
Dietary Customization There are options for users to note dietary restrictions and preferences. Choosing these options is easy to do, and there are plenty of meal/food options for these preferences. 5
Meal Variety This service provides a variety of meals, cuisines, and flavors to avoid meal repeats and provide users with new dishes to explore. 8
Health Meals are healthy and provide balanced nutrients. 9
Availability The service is available to consumers in a variety of locations. 8
Portion Size Portion sizes are reasonable and filling. You don't need to supplement the meal with additional food because you're left hungry. 6
Price The price is reasonable for the quality of food you receive. 7
Subscription The subscription/plan offers reasonable customization. You're able to adjust or cancel your order within a reasonable time frame. 9
Shipping The meals arrived on time. The packaging kept things fresh and in good condition. You're able to provide delivery instructions if needed. 9
Customer Service How quickly customer service responds to queries, the level of detail they provide, and how helpful the team is overall. 9
Social Impact Takes into consideration a company's social missions, charitable causes, and sustainability efforts. Products are sourced ethically. Packaging is recyclable or sustainable. 8
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