Factor Meal Kit Review: Ready-to-Eat Meals That Require Zero Prep

published Dec 27, 2023
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A man using a microwave oven. His finger on the opening button.
Credit: Basak Gurbuz Derman / Getty Images

When I was growing up, I ate a lot of frozen TV dinners. It was a practical and economical way for my household of two (my mom and I) to feed ourselves at the end of a busy day, and it was the ‘90s, so Lean Cuisine, Healthy Choice, and Budget Gourmet were ubiquitous freezer staples. As I got older, though I maintained a fondness for some of my favorites (I will always love you, Lean Cuisine Glazed Chicken!), I stopped eating pre-made meals and entered the world of cooking for myself — a world that I, a trained chef and current recipe developer, never really left. 

Quick Overview

A Quick Look at Factor

  • A pre-made meal delivery service that offers fully prepared dishes that you can just heat and eat 
  • Menu includes more than 34 meal options each week that cater to different dietary needs and preferences, plus you can swap proteins and add on breakfast and dessert options
  • Prices start at $13.49 per serving

Recently, I tried Factor, a pre-made meal delivery service that checked all the boxes — flavorful dishes that were ready to heat and eat, adhered to dietary guidelines, and shipped right to my door. These aren’t the frozen dinners I grew up on; rather, Factor provides fresh meals (keep them in the fridge!) that are ready in just two minutes, and they’re actually quite tasty — ideal, in fact, for single folks or small, busy families like the one I grew up in.

What Is Factor?

Factor (formerly known as Factor75) is a pre-made meal delivery service. It’s owned by Hello Fresh, which also operates Green Chef and EveryPlate, and it’s unique in that there’s no cooking required. These fresh meals come fully prepared and heat up in the microwave and oven. Timing will depend on each meal and your appliance settings, but in my experience, everything I tested cooked perfectly fine in the microwave for two minutes. 

You can choose from more than 34 different meals a week, arranged by dietary needs and preferences like Keto, Vegan + Veggie, Calorie Smart, and Protein Plus. The Gourmet Plus offerings include higher-end ingredients like filet mignon with mushroom risotto for an additional $10 to $14 each. You can also add on any of the 45 breakfast items, side dishes, smoothies, shakes, and desserts.

The meals store well in the fridge, but they’ll also freeze just fine, despite the note on the packaging to the contrary.

Credit: Stephanie Ganz
Factor’s Red Chile Chicken Tamale Bowl with Spiced Sweet Potatoes & Pickled Jalapeño Crema

How Much Does Factor Cost?

Pricing is based on the volume of your order as well as any add-ons you choose. You can order anywhere from six (at $13.49 per meal) to 18 (at $10.99 per meal) meals per week. Here’s the full breakdown.

  • 6 meals per week = $13.49 per serving
  • 8 meals per week = $12.99 per serving
  • 10 meals per week = $12.49 per serving
  • 12 meals per week = $11.99 per serving
  • 14 meals per week = $11.49 per serving
  • 18 meals per week = $10.99 per serving
Credit: Stephanie Ganz
Factor’s Shredded Chicken Taco Bowl with Roasted Corn Salsa & Cilantro Lime Sour Cream

My Honest Review of Factor

I was shocked by the quality of Factor’s meals — in a good way! As a trained chef and a recipe developer, I was holding onto a belief that pre-made meals just couldn’t be delicious or satisfying. But as I polished off the cheesy cabbage that accompanied my pork tenderloin meal, I realized that I needed to update that perspective. 

Credit: Stephanie Ganz
Factor’s Pork Tenderloin & Cheesy Cabbage with Garlic Butter Green Beans

In all, I tried six different meals, staying within the six-meals-per-week plan and not opting for any gourmet plus upgrades or other add-ons. My favorite was the Pork Tenderloin & Cheesy Cabbage with Garlic Butter Green Beans. The pork tenderloin is brined with whole grain mustard and apple cider vinegar, so it stays tender even after being microwaved. That’s a tip I plan to use the next time I cook pork tenderloin, which can tend to dry out pretty easily. The cheesy cabbage was my favorite part; it hit all the notes of a gooey crock of mac and cheese or scalloped potatoes, but with silky cabbage replacing the typical carbs. 

I also thoroughly enjoyed the Smoky BBQ Chicken Breast with Mashed Potatoes, Creamed Corn & Green Bean Casserole. There was a nice smoky sweetness to the barbecue sauce, thanks to the addition of chipotle peppers, and the fluffy mashed potatoes were the perfect bed for the juicy chicken breast.

All of the meals I tried fell into a category I would call “Comfort Plus,” meaning they gravitated toward comfort food — smothered chicken and Mexican-inspired bakes and bowls — with a little extra chef-y touch. That said, none of the ingredients felt unusual or unapproachable. The “cheffiness” was in the quality of their preparation, which was pretty excellent across the board. Proteins were tender and juicy, vegetables were crisp-tender and flavorful.

Credit: Stephanie Ganz
Factor’s Tostada Bake with Mexican Cauliflower Rice & Sour Cream

Who Is Factor Best For?

Factor’s meal delivery service would be a brilliant choice for anyone who is interested in committing to one of Factor’s dietary offerings (Keto, low-cal, veggie, or vegan) — especially if that person is single, as these are single-serving meals only and, based on my napkin math, not economically sustainable for most families. However, I did share my meals with my family to get their input, and my 12-year-old said they would be great for a quick lunch or dinner that they could prepare themselves. In particular, the idea of being able to microwave the meal in just two minutes was very appealing to them since their hunger tends to come on quickly and in full force — not unlike my hanger even as an adult. They especially liked the Tostada Bake with Mexican Cauliflower Rice & Sour Cream, which sits squarely in the comfort meal zone I’d mentioned and hits all the notes of some of their favorite meals — cheesy, beefy, and served with sour cream. 

Buy: Factor (6 meals per week), $13.49 per serving