What to Eat At California Pizza Kitchen: Healthy Menu Choices and Nutrition Facts

California pizza kitchen

Amy Sussman / Staff / Getty Images

California Pizza Kitchen, often abbreviated as CPK, is a casual dining restaurant chain that specializes in California-style pizza and more. California-style is a single-serve thin crust pizza with toppings inspired by California cuisine, such as avocado, artichoke hearts, and goat cheese. This style of pizza also tends to be vegetarian-friendly.

If you are looking for a creative way to eat a classic comfort food with a healthier twist, you will be pleasantly surprised by the California Pizza Kitchen menu. Since the menu is extensive, and offers filling meals for less than $20, there is likely a nutritious option for everyone.

What Experts Say

"CPK offers a wide variety of nutritious options, including vegetables, lean protein, healthy fats, and whole grains. Opt to customize your order if you have allergies or specific dietary needs. Half orders are also available for those people looking to eat smaller portions or combine food options. Some of the menu options can be very high in sodium, so if you are dining here frequently, refine your menu search online by clicking the box that says lower sodium."
Barbie Cervoni, MS, RD, CDCES, CDN

Navigating the Menu

The California Pizza Kitchen menu may vary depending on your location. For an accurate representation of what the restaurant has to offer, visit your local California Pizza Kitchen or view the menu online by choosing the location closest to you.

To view the nutrition facts for each menu item, refer to the California Pizza Kitchen nutrition chart. Using the interactive online menu, you can filter out common allergies like gluten, peanuts, dairy, shellfish, soy, and more. You can also personalize the men to show for vegan, vegetarian, low-calorie, and low-sodium options.

What to Order & Avoid at California Pizza Kitchen
 Most Nutritious Options Least Nutritious Options
Wild Mushroom Original Hand-Tossed Pizza (Pizzas) Spicy Milano Crispy Thin Crust Pizza (Pizzas)
Half Roasted Veggie Salad With Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (Salads) Full Thai Crunch Salad With Lime Cilantro Dressing (Salads)
Szechwan Chicken Dumplings (Appetizers) Avocado Club Egg Rolls (Appetizers)
Petite Wedge (Small Plates) California Olive Oil With Mediterranean Herbs (Small Plates)
Dakota Smashed Pea and Barley Soup Cup (Soups) Baked Potato Bowl (Soups)
Banh Mi Bowl (Power Bowls) Santa Fe Bowl (Power Bowls)
Cedar Plank Salmon (Main Plates) West Coast Burger “The WCB” (Main Plates)
Shrimp Scampi Zucchini (Pastas) Jambalaya Linguini Fini (Pastas)
Gluten-Free Traditional Cheese Pizza (Certified Gluten-Free Pizzas) Gluten-Free Mushroom Pepperoni Sausage Pizza (Certified Gluten-Free Pizzas)
Half Grilled Veggie Sandwich (Sandwiches) Oven-Roasted Turkey and Brie Sandwich (Sandwiches)
Grilled Chicken Breast (CPKids) Curly Mac N’ Cheese (CPKids)
Salted Caramel Pudding (Desserts) Butter Cake (Desserts)

Most Nutritious Option

If you’re looking for the healthiest meal at California Pizza Kitchen, the roasted veggie salad’s nutritional profile makes it the best choice. For something with more protein, the cedar plank salmon is also a nutritious option.

Pizzas

California Pizza Kitchen offers a variety of pizzas, some of which are vegetarian-friendly or gluten-free. Though pizza is not always considered part of a balanced diet, it is the perfect example of enjoying a variety of foods in moderation. And the endless array of pizza crusts and toppings mean it can have a wide-ranging nutritional profile.

✓ Wild Mushroom Original Hand-Tossed Pizza

Ordering a pizza with veggie toppings makes your selection more nutrient-dense. California Pizza Kitchen offers a few vegetarian-friendly pizzas that have vegetable-heavy toppings: California veggie and wild mushroom. The wild mushroom pizza is made with the original hand-tossed crust. Each single-serve pizza contains six slices.

A slice of the wild mushroom pizza contains 170 calories, 6g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 22g carbohydrates, 7g protein, and 380mg sodium. Toppings include cremini mushrooms, shiitake mushrooms, and portobello mushrooms. 

Spicy Milano Crispy Thin Crust Pizza

While some thin crust pizza have fewer calories and carbohydrates, the opposite is true at CPK. Its thin crust pizzas tend to be higher in calories, sodium, cholesterol, and fat than hand-tossed pizzas.

If you are trying to limit your sodium and cholesterol intake, avoid the spicy Milano pizza. Each slice is topped with sausage, pepperoni, and two kinds of cheese, and provides 240 calories, 11g fat, 5g saturated fat, 23g carbohydrates, 12g protein, and 550mg sodium. With 40mg cholesterol per slice, the count adds up quickly if you consume a whole pie. 

Like CPK's hand-tossed crust pizzas, the crispy thin crust pizzas have six slices each. If you order a thin crust pizza, you may wish to split up the six slices into two or more meals or opt for a pizza with more veggies.

Salads

For people looking for the most nutritious item on the menu, the salad section tends to be a go-to choice. Salad can be a great source of fiber, vitamins, and minerals when dining out. Just be aware that toppings and salad dressings add extra calories, fat, and sodium.

✓ Roasted Veggie Half Salad with Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

The most nutritious salad option at California Pizza Kitchen is the roasted veggie salad served with Dijon balsamic vinaigrette dressing. You can choose between two salad sizes—half or full—depending on your appetite. 

A half order of the roasted veggie salad contains 360 calories, 27g fat, 2.5g saturated fat, 29g carbohydrates, 7g protein, and 610mg sodium. This menu item is rich in vegetables like artichoke hearts, asparagus, eggplant, bell peppers, corn, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, and avocado.

✗ Thai Crunch Full Salad with Lime Cilantro Dressing

California Pizza Kitchen’s full-size Thai crunch salad exemplifies how the calories add up quickly depending on what type of salad you order. It is full of nutritious ingredients like veggies, chicken, and cilantro. However, it also contains calorically dense ingredients like wontons, rice sticks, and Thai peanut salad dressing.

The full-size order of this salad contains 1,180 calories, 73g fat, 9g saturated fat, 88g carbohydrates, 55g protein, and 1,710mg sodium. If this salad is a favorite, order the half size or share with the table to cut back on calories and sodium.

Appetizers

When dining out with friends and family, many people enjoy sharing appetizers while waiting for their main meal. Some appetizers are better than others in terms of nutrition profile, so be mindful. At California Pizza Kitchen, the vegetable-based appetizers are more likely to be more nutrient-dense and lower in fat, cholesterol, and sodium.

✓ Szechwan Chicken Dumplings

An order of Szechwan chicken dumplings contains 340 calories, 8g fat, 1g saturated fat, 45g carbohydrates, 19g protein, and 1,340mg sodium. While the sodium content is high, you do get a serving of protein in this lower-calorie dish. A similar option is the lettuce wrap. When you order the wraps with Chinese vegetables, the dish has 430 calories, 24g fat, 2g saturated fat, 47g carbohydrates, 19g protein, and 1,170mg sodium.

✗ Avocado Club Egg Rolls

An order of the avocado club egg rolls contains 1,240 calories, 82g fat, 21g saturated fat, 62g carbohydrates, 63g protein, and 1,960mg sodium. If you love avocado, consider the smashed avocado focaccia. It has 690 calories, 38g fat, 5g saturated fat, 83g carbohydrates, 14g protein, and 1,120mg sodium.

Small Plates

This menu category contains small salads, baguettes, and an olive oil mixture for dipping. You might order these as a side or appetizer.

✓ Petite Wedge

The petite wedge is made with simple ingredients: romaine lettuce, blue cheese dressing, bacon, egg, and tomatoes. Each serving contains 270 calories, 26g fat, 6g saturated fat, 5g carbohydrates, 6g protein, and 350mg sodium.

✗ California Olive Oil with Mediterranean Herbs

California Pizza Kitchen offers sourdough baguettes and California olive oil with Mediterranean herbs as part of its small plates category. This pairing tends to be high in calories, fat, carbohydrates, and sodium.

A 4-ounce order of the olive oil contains 920 calories, 106g fat, 15g saturated fat, 1g carbohydrates, 0g protein, and 330mg sodium. Each full sourdough baguette contains 1,820 calories, 6g fat, 1g saturated fat, 373g carbohydrates, 56g protein, and 4,320mg sodium.

Soups

Veggie-forward soup can be an excellent source of fiber and nutrients. And since it is often offered in small portions, it tends to be an option that is lower in calories than many other menu items. However, soup can be high in sodium, so keep that in mind when choosing between a bowl or a cup.

California Pizza Kitchen offers four types of soup: baked potato, Dakota smashed pea and barley, Sedona tortilla, and tomato basil bisque. While California Pizza Kitchen’s soup menu is small, it offers some low-calorie options for guests.

✓ Dakota Smashed Pea and Barley Soup

The Dakota smashed pea and barley soup is a creamy blend of vegetarian ingredients including barley, carrots, onions, herbs, and scallions. Each cup of this soup contains 170 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 33g carbohydrates, 11g protein, and 650mg sodium. This soup has the fewest calories and least sodium of the CPK soup offerings. It is also the only one that is free of fat.

✗ Baked Potato Soup

A plain baked potato is an excellent source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, and other nutrients. While potatoes themselves are nutritious root vegetables, the baked potato soup at California Pizza Kitchen is likely not a suitable choice for guests looking to watch their sodium intake.

A bowl of the baked potato soup contains 590 calories, 39g fat, 18g saturated fat, 37g carbohydrates, 20g protein, and 1,510mg sodium. Vegans and vegetarians should note that this soup is made with applewood smoked bacon, so it is not a meatless menu item.

Power Bowls

Power bowls at any restaurant can be a nutritious menu item. They are usually made with a variety of grains, vegetables, and protein sources. An advantage of ordering one of California Pizza Kitchen’s power bowls (there are only two on the menu) is that they are easy to personalize. Simply add or remove ingredients, toppings and dressings as you see fit.

✓ Banh Mi Bowl

The Banh Mi bowl consists of quinoa, kale, cilantro, mint, grilled chicken, radish, avocado, cucumber, carrot, bean sprouts, scallions, serrano peppers, and sesame seeds. It is topped with a housemade chili-lime vinaigrette. 

Each bowl contains 540 calories, 33g fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 40g carbohydrates, 28g protein, and 770mg sodium. If you are looking for a menu item that is a larger portion size yet lower in calories, this Asian-inspired dish is a filling and nutrient-dense choice.

✗ Santa Fe Bowl

While the Santa Fe bowl has several nutritious ingredients, such as farro, spinach, black beans, and red cabbage, it is made with a high-sodium ranch dressing. Each bowl contains 670 calories, 38g fat, 5g saturated fat, 54g carbohydrates, 35g protein, and 1,160mg sodium. To reduce the sodium in this power bowl, skip the dressing or have it served on the side.

Main Plates

If you don’t plan on ordering pizza, you may find your entrée of choice in this menu category. The main plates are centered around animal protein like salmon, chicken, and beef, so this is not a suitable option for vegans and vegetarians.

✓ Cedar Plank Salmon

One nutritious option you can usually find on most restaurant menus is grilled chicken or salmon with a side of veggies or rice. At California Pizza Kitchen, the cedar plank salmon may pique your interest. It provides 650 calories, 34g fat, 8g saturated fat, 35g carbohydrates, 52g protein, and 640mg sodium. This entrée is served with white corn and spinach succotash for a hearty meal.

✗ West Coast Burger “The WCB”

You might not expect burgers on California Pizza Kitchen’s menu, but it does offer the popular "WCB” for meat lovers. Like burgers tend to be, this choice is high in fat, cholesterol, sodium, and carbs. Served with crispy potatoes, this meal contains 1,980 calories, 136g fat, 37g saturated fat, 124g carbohydrates, 60g protein, and 3,520mg sodium. It also contains 205mg cholesterol.

Pastas

Pizza and pasta often go hand in hand, and California Pizza Kitchen doesn’t disappoint with its Italian-inspired offerings. They include spaghetti and fettuccine with several types of sauces and toppings.

✓ Shrimp Scampi Zucchini

Anyone looking for a meal that is lower in calories and carbs but still provides a moderate amount of protein will be impressed with CPK's shrimp scampi zucchini. It is a fettuccine pasta dish that replaces some of the pasta noodles with zucchini ribbons. The meal provides 480 calories, 26g fat, 11g saturated fat, 30g carbohydrates, 27g protein, 1,030mg sodium.

✗ Jambalaya Linguini Fini

Made with four types of meat—chicken, shrimp, sausage, and ham—the jambalaya linguini fini is high in cholesterol, at 255mg per serving. This is not ideal for low-cholesterol diets such as the DASH diet.

The entire meal contains 1,230 calories, 71g fat, 19g saturated fat, 94g carbohydrates, 57g protein, and 2,340mg sodium. If you’re looking for a hearty pasta dish, the Bolognese spaghetti is a lighter option (870 calories, 45g fat, 19g saturated fat, 91g carbohydrates, 23g protein, and 1,390mg sodium).

Certified Gluten-Free Pizzas

Dedicated gluten-free menus and gluten-free options are increasingly popular among chain restaurants. California Pizza Kitchen is the perfect restaurant for pizza lovers who do not consume gluten. Note that the gluten-free crust is made with fiber-rich cauliflower, cheese and egg whites, so it is not suitable for people who need to avoid dairy or eggs or who follow a vegan diet.

✓ Gluten-Free Traditional Cheese Pizza

California Pizza Kitchen offers gluten-free pizza options on its regular and kids menus. In both cases, the gluten-free traditional cheese pizza contains the fewest calories and least amount of cholesterol, sodium, and carbohydrates. Each pie has six slices, and each slice provides 180 calories, 8g fat, 5g saturated fat, 15g carbohydrates, 9g protein, and 350mg sodium.

✗ Gluten-Free Mushroom Pepperoni Sausage

Each slice of the gluten-free mushroom pepperoni sausage contains 200 calories, 10g fat, 5g saturated fat, 15g carbohydrates, 9g protein, and 460mg sodium. If you're craving meat on your pizza, consider the gluten-free pepperoni pizza instead. It delivers 180 calories, 9g fat, 4.5g saturated fat, 15g carbohydrates, 8g protein, and 420mg sodium.

Sandwiches

If you visit the restaurant during lunchtime, California PIzza Kitchen offers four different sandwiches: California club with chicken, California club with turkey, grilled veggie, and oven-roasted turkey and brie.

All sandwiches can be ordered half-size or full-size. For a nutritious, balanced meal, opt for half a sandwich with a side of soup or salad.

✓ Grilled Veggie Half Sandwich

The half-size grilled veggie sandwich at CPK is made with bell peppers, mushrooms, baby greens, tomatoes, cheese, and sun-dried tomato aioli. It is vegetarian-friendly and offers 310 calories, 15g fat, 6g fat, 34g carbohydrates, 9g protein, and 500mg sodium.

✗ Oven-Roasted Turkey and Brie Sandwich

Consider ordering half-size sandwiches, as they can still be quite filling and satisfying. The full-size oven-roasted turkey and brie sandwich contains 810 calories, 35g fat, 14g saturated fat, 78g carbohydrates, 46g protein, and 2,170mg sodium. This does not include any sides.

CPKids

Like most restaurant chains, California Pizza Kitchen has a dedicated menu for children, with pizza, pasta, and chicken options plus a few desserts especially for kids.

✓ Grilled Chicken Breast

The CPKids menu offers a grilled chicken breast that provides 220 calories, 10g fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 1g carbohydrates, 30g protein, and 640mg sodium. It's served with baby broccoli or fresh fruit (or, you can order fresh fruit as a dessert to get both).

✗ Curly Mac N’ Cheese

This classic comfort food is a favorite among young children. Consider adding a side of vegetables, fruit, or lean protein to make it a well-rounded meal. A plate of the kids mac and cheese contains 820 calories, 53g fat, 28g saturated fat, 66g carbohydrates, 21g protein, and 760mg sodium.

Desserts

California Pizza Kitchen has several sweet treats to choose from, including pie, cheesecake, cake, and pudding. While these are all high in calories and sugar, enjoying dessert can be part of a balanced lifestyle and improved relationship with food.

✓ Salted Caramel Pudding

If you’re looking for the dessert at California Pizza Kitchen with the fewest calories, it is the salted caramel pudding. Each serving has 530 calories, 33g fat, 19g saturated fat, 55g carbohydrates, 5g protein, and 300mg sodium.

✗ Butter Cake

Like the name implies, the butter cake is exactly that—buttery. As such, it contains 1,090 calories, 66g fat, 41g saturated fat, 122g carbohydrates, 7g protein, and 620mg sodium.

Diet-Specific Options

California Pizza Kitchen offers choices for gluten-free, vegetarian, low-carb, and diabetes-friendly diets. However, pickings are slim for people who follow low-fat, vegan, low-sodium, or low-FODMAP diets.

Gluten-Free

With a dedicated gluten-free menu, California Pizza Kitchen offers many options for those who follow a gluten-free diet. Choose the cedar plank salmon, or the gluten-free traditional cheese pizza if you're craving the chain's signature pizza option.

Note that menu items other than the gluten-free pizzas are free of gluten-containing ingredients, but not certified gluten-free. Sometimes, modification is necessary (e.g., not all salad dressings are gluten-free).

  • Gluten-free traditional cheese pizza
  • Gluten-free margherita pizza
  • Gluten-free original BBQ chicken pizza
  • Gluten-free pepperoni pizza
  • Gluten-free mushroom pepperoni sausage pizza
  • Petite wedge
  • Banh mi bowl
  • Waldorf chicken salad
  • California Cobb salad
  • Italian chopped salad
  • Cedar plank salmon
  • CPK salad (CPKids menu)
  • Fresh fruit (CPKids menu)

Low-Carb

While CPK's offerings of pizza, pasta, and sandwiches aren't inherently low-carb, there are a few menu options that offer fewer carbs than their counterparts. For a healthy option, choose the shrimp scampi zucchini, which contains 30g carbohydrates. Pair with a petite wedge for only 5g additional carbs.

If you do wish to order pizza, the gluten-free pies contain 15g to 17g carbohydrates per slice (but each pizza comes with 6 slices),

  • Petite wedge (5g carbs)
  • Crispy artichoke salad (11g)
  • Half classic Caesar salad (14g)
  • Half California Cobb salad (12g)
  • Half Italian chopped salad (12g)
  • Shrimp scampi zucchini (30g)
  • CPK salad (CPKids menu; 6g carbs)
  • Grilled chicken breast (CPKids menu; 1g carbs)

Low-FODMAP

The low-FODMAP diet reduces or eliminates a variety of foods, including dairy, wheat, beans, and some fruits and vegetables. At CPK, your choices are pretty limited. The grilled chicken breast from the CPKids menu is one nutritious option that includes chicken and steamed broccoli.

  • Grilled chicken breast (CPKids menu)
  • Banh mi bowl (omit scallions and any vegetables you are sensitive to)
  • Roasted veggie salad (omit asparagus and other vegetables you cannot tolerate)
  • Fire-grilled ribeye (omit blue cheese butter)

Diabetes-Friendly

With quinoa, kale, grilled chicken, avocado, and more vegetables, the Banh Mi bowl is a great diabetes-friendly option because it provides protein and healthy fats but is lower in carbs.

  • Lettuce wraps with Chinese vegetables
  • Banh mi bowl

Low-Fat

Create your own low-fat meal by ordering from the soup and small plates menu. Opt for the Dakota smashed pea and barley soup (0g fat) and the Szechwan chicken dumplings (8g fat) for a total of 8g fat. The pizzas listed each have about 5g fat per slice, so sharing a pie or saving some for another meal may make them suitable for a low-fat diet.

  • Dakota smashed pea and barley soup
  • Sedona tortilla soup
  • Szechwan chicken dumplings
  • Original BBQ chicken pizza
  • Plant-based BBQ chicken pizza
  • Hawaiian pizza
  • Grilled chicken breast (CPKids menu)

Low-Sodium

To keep your sodium intake low and to enjoy a full meal, choose CPK's cedar plank salmon. It delivers 640mg in a full serving.

  • Half roasted veggie salad
  • Cedar plank salmon

Vegetarian

CPK's pizza menu features dozens of vegetarian options. The California veggie pizza features eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes, corn, onions, broccoli, and cheese, providing a hearty meal with lots of veggies. For more information on the restaurant’s meatless offerings, refer to the California Pizza Kitchen vegetarian and vegan menu guide.

Vegan

To stick to a vegan diet at CPK, you'll need to customize parts of a dish. For pizza, order the California veggie pizza but ask for no cheese. If you're craving pasta, the tomato basil spaghetti can be a hearty vegan option. Vegan menu items (some at select locations only, or only on the lunch menu) include:

  • White corn guacamole and chips
  • Lettuce wraps (with Chinese vegetables only)
  • Dakota smashed pea and barley soup
  • Mediterranean side salad (omit feta cheese and mustard herb vinaigrette)
  • Roasted veggie salad (no dressing, or order oil and vinegar as a dressing)
  • Banh mi bowl (omit chicken and vinaigrette)
  • California veggie pizza (omit cheese)
  • Tomato basil spaghetti

Food Allergies and Safety

While California Pizza Kitchen makes every attempt to offer allergy-friendly menu items to guests with dietary restrictions, it can’t guarantee that a menu item will be completely free of allergens due to potential cross contamination. 

People with allergies to eggs, fish, dairy, soy, and wheat should be especially cautious when eating at California Pizza Kitchen since these ingredients are used in many of its dishes. For more information, refer to the California Pizza Kitchen allergen information chart.

A Word From Verywell

Special occasions are a great reason to enjoy eating at a restaurant, but you don't need a special celebration to enjoy foods you love. When practicing moderation, you can enjoy your favorite meal at California Pizza Kitchen without a second thought.

When ordering, go with what sounds like it will be the most satisfying, while honoring your personal health goals. The interactive CPK menu allows you to zero in on options that are just right for you.

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