Factor Meals Review: I Tried This Service for a Week and Here's What I Thought

Gourmet prepared meals delivered right to your door.

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Taco bowl with corn salsa from Factor

Food & Wine / Eric Kleinberg

As a single, childless adult who lives in a one-person household, I do a lot of cooking for one — and honestly, that can be harder than it seems. (Anyone who has tried to make a “single serving” of pasta can sympathize with my plight.) I also have a tiny kitchen with limited counter space, which can make prepping and cooking dinner a bit like pulling teeth. Luckily, meal delivery services like Factor are here to make the lives of folks like me much easier.

Since 2013, Factor has been providing gourmet, restaurant-quality meals that arrive right at your doorstep whenever you need them. The meals are fresh and fully prepared in single servings, requiring only minutes of reheating before digging in. I decided to put Factor to the test by trying the service out for a week, and here’s what I thought.

Pros and Cons


  • Rotating weekly menu of over 30 chef-crafted dishes
  • Meals arrive prepared and ready to heat — no cooking skills necessary
  • Add-on items like smoothies, shakes, and desserts available


  • Single-serving meals only, so not ideal for families
  • Few plant-based menu options
Creamy Dijon Pork Tenderloin dish from Factor

Food & Wine / Eric Kleinberg

What Is Factor?

A sister brand of meal delivery giants HelloFresh, Green Chef, and EveryPlate, Factor is a health-focused weekly meal delivery service that crafts fresh, heat-and-eat meals with a gourmet twist. The company enlists a team of chefs and dietitians to prepare its dishes, which range from comfort food classics to internationally inspired cuisines. Meals cater to several dietary preferences, including keto, vegetarian, and “calorie smart.” And with a rotating menu of 35 dishes every week, Factor’s meal selection is anything but boring.

How Does It Work?

Factor offers a straightforward and user-friendly ordering system. While you’ll need to create an account to receive meals, Factor allows you to browse the menu beforehand to get an idea of what’s on offer. Click the “Weekly Menu” tab at the top of the website’s homepage to view it. Factor also has a free mobile app, which is handy when you’re on the go. (For the purposes of this review, though, we’ll assume you’re on a computer.)

To begin your subscription, click the “Get Started” button in the middle of the website’s homepage. (Or, if you’re on the Weekly Menu tab, click “Sign Up” in the top right corner of the screen.) This will direct you to a page where you can “create your first box.” You’ll then pick your meal preferences from either Keto, Calorie Smart, Vegan & Veggie, Protein Plus, or Chef’s Choice, which will help Factor prioritize which meals you’d like to see each week. (You can still view the whole menu no matter which option you pick.) 

From there, you’ll choose whether you’d like to receive six, eight, 10, 12, 14, or 18 meals each week. The more meals you order, the cheaper each one will be — but more on that later. Once you’ve made your selections, click the “select this plan” button at the bottom of the screen. Over the next few pages, you’ll enter your email address, create a password, and enter your delivery address and any special instructions for the courier. Finally, you’ll submit your payment information and be guided to the menu to choose your meals.

One very nice thing about Factor is that, while you can’t “pause” your subscription, you can skip a week whenever you need to. You can even skip multiple weeks in a row if you’re going out of town or simply need to save some cash for a little while. And if you need to cancel your subscription, you can do so at any time.


Factor operates on a volume-based pricing system, so the more meals you order every week, the lower the cost of each one will be. For example, if you choose six meals per week, you’ll pay $13.49 per meal, for a total of $80.94. If you select the 18-meal plan, the per-meal cost drops to $10.99, for a total of $197.82. All orders have a flat-rate shipping fee of $10.99, which is added on top of the total meal cost. For example, if you’re ordering the six-meal plan, the total cost with shipping comes to $91.93.

Some meals, however, incur an upcharge of around $8 to $10 per serving. These will be marked as “Gourmet Plus” on the menu if you want to splurge.

Assortment of prepared meals from Factor

Food & Wine / Eric Kleinberg

Meal Choices

Factor’s menu changes weekly, so while you may not see your faves in the lineup each time, you’ll still have plenty of ready-to-heat meals to choose from. Overall, the menu leans protein-heavy, with plenty of chicken, beef, pork, and seafood options. That said, you’ll also find pasta, potatoes, and rice in multiple dishes, so you can get your carb fix if you desire.

As I mentioned previously, Factor’s meals are sorted into several categories, and each dish is tagged according to which dietary preference it falls under. Each week you’ll find roughly 16 keto, three vegan, two vegetarian, 15 “calorie smart,” and a whopping 28 “protein plus” dishes. Factor also offers a robust variety of add-on items, including smoothies, cold-pressed juices, desserts, breakfast items, and extra proteins.

For my order, I selected the following dishes:

  • Mango salsa salmon with coconut rice and black beans
  • Creamy Parmesan chicken with broccoli and tomatoes
  • Vegetable ratatouille with mascarpone polenta
  • Smoked tofu almond stir-fry with edamame succotash


Each week, your Factor meals will arrive in a sturdy, recyclable cardboard box with ice packs and insulation sheets to keep them cool during shipping. (Pro tip: The boxes are great to keep on hand if you’ve got a big move coming up.) The ice packs are composed of a nonrecyclable plastic bag filled with a nontoxic gel that can be disposed of in the trash (but don’t pour it down the sink or toilet unless you like having clogged pipes). You can also save the ice packs in your freezer to reuse later; I kept mine to use in my cooler. While the insulation sheets in my box were not recyclable, they were made of 100% recycled material. 

As for the meals themselves, each one comes in a BPA-free plastic tray covered with plastic film, and it’s all nestled inside a recyclable cardboard sleeve, which has all the ingredients, nutrition, and reheating information listed on it. In total, my Factor box included 19 pieces of packaging, and out of those 19 pieces, nine were eligible for curbside recycling, while the remaining 10 pieces needed to be thrown in the trash.

Packaging materials used in Factor meal delivery box

Food & Wine / Eric Kleinberg

The Cooking Process

Since all of Factor’s meals come fully prepared, no prep work or cooking is involved. Slip the plastic tray out of its cardboard sleeve, puncture the film cover a few times with a knife or fork, and place it in the microwave to reheat. You can also heat the meals in a conventional oven, although this will prolong the cooking time. You’ll also need to fully remove the film and place the tray on a baking sheet before putting it in the oven. Some meals include condiments or sauces that come in small plastic ramekins, which will need to be removed from the tray prior to heating. I found the plastic film covering on the ramekins can be difficult to remove, so I just used my kitchen knife to make a slit in the center of the film and then peeled it off from there.

Meals are said to cook in only two minutes in the microwave, but depending on the dish and the power of your microwave, you may need to add an extra 15- or 30-second burst to warm any spots that haven’t heated through. I mainly noticed this with dishes that included a thick cut of meat or a creamy side dish, like mashed potatoes or creamed spinach. However, I'll note that I was working with a $30 microwave that I bought five years ago, and you may not have this issue if your microwave is newer or fancier than mine. If you’re using a conventional oven, the total cooking time will be anywhere from seven to 11 minutes.


If there’s one thing you take away from this entire review, let it be this: Make sure you try the salmon. (Unless you have a fish allergy, of course — in which case, please don’t do that.) Each week, Factor includes two salmon entrées on its menu, and I chose the mango salsa salmon with coconut rice and black beans. Since I like to live my life on the edge, I elected to microwave my salmon dish, expecting it to turn out like any other microwaved fish (i.e., not great). But this salmon blew me away — and it’s worth the lingering scent, in my opinion. Hear me out.

Even in the microwave, Factor’s salmon heated to perfection, and the texture was flaky, buttery, and luxurious. The mango salsa balanced the richness of the salmon in the most perfect way, and it was well-seasoned and flavorful to boot. If you see this dish on the menu, I encourage you to try it.

I also tried the creamy Parmesan chicken with broccoli and tomatoes, the vegetable ratatouille with mascarpone polenta, and the smoked tofu almond stir-fry with edamame succotash, all of which were tasty and flavorful. I didn’t need to add any extra seasoning on my end, which is definitely a plus.

But that salmon… I literally dreamed about it the night after I ate it. Suffice it to say that this was the best part of my entire Factor experience.

Who Should Use Factor?

Since Factor’s meals all come in prepared single-serving portions, this is an ideal service for busy folks with little time to prep and cook or for people who live alone and don’t have multiple mouths to feed. It’s also great for anyone lacking kitchen skills since all the cooking is done for you by Factor’s culinary team. However, since Factor’s meals are not customizable, they may not be ideal for those with specific food allergies or sensitivities or for anyone who happens to be a picky eater.

Final Thoughts

All in all, I think Factor is a great meal delivery service for anyone with a busy schedule and a penchant for flavorful food. While it may not be ideal for a family, it’s perfect for single folks or couples who want quick and tasty meals on a moment’s notice. Also, spoiler alert: I liked this service so much that I ended up keeping my subscription indefinitely. And it may or may not be because of that salmon.

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