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

California pizza kitchen

Amy Sussman / Staff / Getty Images

Table of Contents
View All
Table of Contents

California Pizza Kitchen, often abbreviated as CPK, is a casual dining restaurant chain that was founded in 1985. Like the name suggests, the restaurant originated in Beverly Hills, California. The specialty? California-style pizza and more.

California-style pizza offers the best of New York and Italian styles of pizza with a local twist. Typically, 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.

With more than 250 locations worldwide, the chain has expanded far and wide beyond its home in California. There are locations in more than 30 states and 11 countries, so people all over the world can enjoy California-style pizza and the chain’s other specialties. 

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, 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 on-line by clicking the box that says lower sodium.

—Barbie Cervoni, MS, RD, CDCES, CDN

Navigating the Menu

The California Pizza Kitchen menu may vary slightly 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.

The menu consists of the following main categories: Pizzas, Salads, Appetizers, Small Plates and California Flatbreads, Soups, Power Bowls, Main Plates, Pastas, Certified Gluten-Free Pizzas, Sandwiches, CPKids, and Desserts.

To view the nutrition facts for each menu item, refer to the California Pizza Kitchen nutrition chart. California Pizza Kitchen uses an interactive online menu to filter out common dietary allergies like gluten, peanuts, dairy, shellfish, soy, and more. While the restaurant 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. 

The menu can also be personalized for vegan, vegetarian, low-calorie, and low-sodium diets. For more information on the restaurant’s meatless offerings, refer to the California Pizza Kitchen vegetarian and vegan menu guide.

Most Nutritious Options
  • Wild Mushroom Original Hand-Tossed Pizza (Pizzas)

  • Roasted Veggie Half Salad with Dijon Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing (Salads)

  • Sticky Asian Cauliflower (Appetizers)

  • Asparagus and Arugula Salad (Small Plates and California Flatbreads)

  • Dakota Smashed Pea + Barley Soup Cup (Soups)

  • Banh Mi Bowl (Power Bowls)

  • Cedar Plank Salmon (Main Plates)

  • Shrimp Scampi Zucchini (Pastas)

  • Gluten-Free Traditional Cheese Pizza (Certified Gluten-Free Pizzas)

  • Grilled Veggie Full Sandwich (Sandwiches)

  • Grilled Chicken Breast with Broccoli and Fresh Fruit (CPKids)

  • Salted Caramel Pudding (Desserts)

Least Nutritious Options
  • Spicy Milano Crispy Thin Crust PIzza (Pizzas)

  • Thai Crunch Full Salad with Lime Cilantro Dressing (Salads)

  • Avocado Club Egg Rolls (Appetizers)

  • California Olive Oil with Mediterranean Herbs - 4 fl oz (Small Plates and California Flatbreads)

  • Baked Potato Bowl (Soups)

  • Santa Fe Bowl (Power Bowls)

  • West Coast Burger “The WCB” (Main Plates)

  • Jambalaya Linguini Fini (Pastas)

  • Gluten-Free Mushroom Pepperoni Sausage Pizza (Certified Gluten-Free Pizzas)

  • Oven-Roasted Turkey and Brie Sandwich (Sandwiches)

  • Curly Mac N’ Cheese (CPKids)

  • Butter Cake (Desserts)

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. Some pizzas can be modified to accommodate vegan diets. Though pizza is not widely considered as part of a nutritious diet, pizza is the perfect example of enjoying a variety of foods in moderation.

Most Nutritious Option

Pizza counts as a vegetable serving if it has mushrooms on top, right? If you are craving pizza, ordering a pie with veggie toppings is a great way to indulge while making a more nourishing menu selection.

California Pizza Kitchen offers several 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.

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

Least Nutritious Options

You would think that thin crust pizza would have fewer calories and carbohydrates, but the opposite is true. California Pizza Kitchen’s thin crust pizzas tend to be higher in calories, sodium, cholesterol, and fat. While there are only five pizzas that are made with the crispy thin crust, the pizzas can be personalized by adding or removing toppings.

If you are trying to watch your sodium and cholesterol intake, it is probably best to avoid the Spicy Milano Pizza. Each slice contains 240 calories, 11g fat, 5g saturated fat, 550mg sodium, 23g carbohydrates, and 12g protein. With 40mg cholesterol per slice, the levels add up quickly. 

Like the hand-tossed crust pizzas, the crispy thin crust pizzas have six slices each. If you have your heart set on a thin crust pizza, 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.

Most Nutritious Option

The most nutritious salad at California Pizza Kitchen on the entire menu 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, 610mg sodium, 29g carbohydrates, and 7g protein. This menu item is rich in vegetables like artichoke hearts, asparagus, eggplant, bell peppers, corn, tomatoes, romaine lettuce, and avocado.

Least Nutritious Options

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, 1,710mg sodium, 88g carbohydrates, and 55g protein. If this salad is one you can’t pass up, order the half-size to satisfy your craving or share with the table to cut back on calories and sodium.

Appetizers

When dining out with friends and family, sharing appetizers is a great way to snack while waiting for your main meal.

Some appetizers are likely 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.

Most Nutritious Option

Cauliflower is a popular vegetable in the appetizer category. It is often used to replace carbohydrate-rich foods like rice as well as animal proteins like chicken. At California Pizza Kitchen, the Sticky Asian Cauliflower is an appetizer that resembles sweet and spicy chicken with a vegetarian-friendly twist.

An order of the Sticky Asian Cauliflower contains 480 calories, 22g fat, 4g saturated fat, 850mg sodium, 63g carbohydrates, and 10g protein. It is also a good source of fiber with 6g per serving. If you’re looking for a meaty appetizer, the Szechwan Chicken Dumplings are another nutritious option in this category.

Least Nutritious Options

An order of the Avocado Club Egg Rolls contains 1,240 calories, 82g fat, 21g saturated fat, 1,960mg sodium, 62g carbohydrates, and 63g protein.

If you want something with a similar flavor profile and with less sodium, fat, and calories, the Lettuce Wraps with Chinese Vegetables are a great option to consider.

Small Plates and California Flatbreads

One of California Pizza Kitchen’s most popular menu items is their selection of flatbreads. This menu category also contains small salads, baguettes, and an olive oil mixture for dipping. 

Most Nutritious Option

The Asparagus and Arugula Salad is made with the following simple ingredients: sun-dried tomatoes, toasted almonds, shaved Parmesan cheese, asparagus, arugula, and housemade lemon vinaigrette. Each serving contains just 190 calories, 17g fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 320mg sodium, 8g carbohydrates, and 4g protein.

If you prefer to order a flatbread, the Shaved Mushroom and Spinach Flatbread is likely a good choice because it is made with simple ingredients and has 400 calories for the entire plate.

Least Nutritious Options

Bread served with butter or oil is a common menu item at restaurants like California PIzza Kitchen. The restaurant chain 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 California Olive Oil with Mediterranean Herbs contains 920 calories, 106g fat, 15g saturated fat, 330mg sodium, 1g carbohydrates, and 0g protein. Each Sourdough Baguette contains 780 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 1,980mg sodium, 172g carbohydrates, and 26g protein.

Soups

Soup can be an excellent source of fiber since it is usually made with vegetables. Since it is served in small portions, it tends to be an option that is lower in calories than many other menu items.  

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.

However, soup can be high in sodium, so keep that in mind when choosing between a bowl or a cup.

Most Nutritious Option

The Dakota Smashed Pea and Barley Soup is a creamy blend of vegetarian ingredients like barley, carrots, onions, herbs, and scallions. Each cup of this soup contains 170 calories, 0g fat, 0g saturated fat, 650mg sodium, 33g carbohydrates, and 11g protein.

If offered the choice of soup for a side or appetizer, the Dakota Smashed Pea and Barley Soup has the fewest calories and sodium. It is also the only soup that is free of fat.

Least Nutritious Options

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, 1,510mg sodium, 37g carbohydrates, and 20g protein. 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, protein sources, and other healthy toppings.

An advantage of ordering one of California Pizza Kitchen’s Power Bowls is that they are easy to personalize. Simply add or remove toppings and dressings as you see fit.

Most Nutritious Option

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, 770mg sodium, 40g carbohydrates, and 28g protein. If you are looking for a menu item that is large in quantity yet lower in calories, this Asian-inspired dish is a filling and nutrient-dense choice.

Least Nutritious Options

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 690 calories, 38g fat, 6g saturated fat, 1,150mg sodium, 54g carbohydrates, and 35g protein. 

To make this Power Bowl lower in sodium, order the housemade poblano ranch dressing on the side. Another option to cut back on calories and sodium is to order without dressing if you enjoy salads that way.

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.

Most Nutritious Option

One nutritious option you can usually find on most restaurant menus is grilled chicken or salmon with a side of veggies or rice.

If you’re looking for something similar on the California Pizza Kitchen menu, the Cedar Plank Salmon may pique your interest. It contains 650 calories, 34g fat, 8g saturated fat, 640mg sodium, 35g carbohydrates, and 52g protein. This entrée is served with white corn and spinach succotash for a hearty meal.

Least Nutritious Options

You might not expect burgers on California Pizza Kitchen’s menu, but they do offer the popular West Coast Burger “The 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, 3,520mg sodium, 124g carbohydrates, and 60g protein. It also contains 205mg cholesterol.

Pastas

Pizza and pasta go hand-in-hand, and California Pizza Kitchen doesn’t disappoint with its Italian-inspired offerings. While this menu category likely isn’t an option for those following a gluten-free diet, it can be a source of nutrients for people following other diets.

Most Nutritious Option

Anyone looking for a meal that is lower in calories and carbs yet provides a moderate amount of protein will be impressed with the 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, 1,030mg sodium, 30g carbohydrates, and 27g protein.

Least Nutritious Options

Made with four types of meat—chicken, shrimp, sausage, and ham—the Jambalaya Linguini Fini is high in cholesterol with 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, 2,340mg sodium, 94g carbohydrates, and 57g protein. If you’re looking for a hearty pasta dish, the Bolognese Spaghetti is a lighter option.

Certified Gluten-Free Pizzas

Dedicated gluten-free menus and increased gluten-free options are increasing in popularity among chain restaurants. California Pizza Kitchen is the perfect restaurant for pizza lovers who do not consume gluten. While the gluten-free crust is made with fiber-rich cauliflower, it is also made with cheese and egg whites.

The gluten-free pizza selection at California Pizza Kitchen is suitable for vegetarians but not vegans.

Most Nutritious Option

California Pizza Kitchen offers gluten-free pizza options in its regular and kids menu. 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 with each slice providing 180 calories, 8g fat, 5g saturated fat, 350mg sodium, 15g carbohydrates, and 9g protein.

Least Nutritious Options

Each slice of the Gluten-Free Mushroom Pepperoni Sausage contains 200 calories, 10g fat, 5g saturated fat, 460mg sodium, 15g carbohydrates, and 9g protein.

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 meal that is balanced, opt for half a sandwich with a side of soup or salad.

Most Nutritious Option

You can’t go wrong with a veggie sandwich. The half-size Grilled Veggie sandwich 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, 500mg sodium, 34g carbohydrates, and 9g protein.

Least Nutritious Options

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, 2,170mg sodium, 78g carbohydrates, and 46g protein. This does not include any sides.

CPKids

Like most restaurant chains, California Pizza Kitchen has a dedicated menu for children. The chain also offers several gluten-free pizzas for kids.

Most Nutritious Option

The CPKids menu offers a Grilled Chicken Breast that provides 220 calories, 10g fat, 1.5g saturated fat, 640mg sodium, 1g carbohydrates, and 30g protein. Served with baby broccoli and fresh fruit for a balanced meal.

Least Nutritious Options

If you let your child choose their meal at California Pizza Kitchen, they will likely choose the Curly Mac N’ Cheese. This classic comfort food is a favorite among young children. Consider adding a side of vegetables, fruit, or meat to make it a well-rounded meal.

A plate of the kids Mac N’ Cheese contains 820 calories, 53g fat, 28g saturated fat, 760mg sodium, 66g carbohydrates, and 21g protein.

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 guilt free can be part of a balanced lifestyle and improved relationship with food.

Most Nutritious Option

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, 300mg sodium, 55g carbohydrates, and 5g protein.

Least Nutritious Options

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

Diet-Specific Options

California Pizza Kitchen offers choices for gluten-free, vegetarian, low-carb, and diabetes-friendly diets, but could improve its low-fat, vegan, low-sodium, and low-FODMAP menu items.

Gluten-Free

  • Gluten-Free Traditional Cheese Pizza
  • Gluten-Free Margarita Pizza
  • Fire-Grilled Ribeye
  • Cedar Plank Salmon
  • Banh Mi Bowl

Low-Carb

  • Asparagus and Arugula Salad
  • California Olive Oil with Mediterranean Herbs
  • Shrimp Scampi Zucchini

Low-FODMAP

  • Cedar Plank Salmon
  • Fire-Grilled Ribeye
  • Grilled Chicken Breast

Diabetes-Friendly

  • Asparagus and Arugula Salad
  • Banh Mi Bowl
  • Grilled Veggie Sandwich

Low-Fat

  • Dakota Smashed Pea and Barley Soup
  • Sedona Tortilla Soup
  • Szechwan Chicken Dumplings

Low-Sodium

  • Asparagus and Arugula Salad
  • Half Caesar Salad
  • Cedar Plank Salmon

Vegetarian

  • Wild Mushroom Pizza
  • Roasted Veggie Salad
  • Grilled Veggie Sandwich
  • Spicy Asian Cauliflower
  • California Veggie Pizza

Vegan

  • Guacamole and Chips
  • Lettuce Wraps (request with only Chinese vegetables)
  • Mediterranean Side Salad (omit Feta cheese and Mustard Herb Vinaigrette)
  • California Veggie Pizza (omit cheese)
  • Tomato Basil Spaghetti

Food Allergies and Safety

California Pizza Kitchen has several allergen-friendly menu items, but it does not claim to be free of dietary allergens. If you have serious allergies, you should be cautious when dining out.

While California Pizza Kitchen offers certified gluten-free pizzas, its other menu items that claim to be free of gluten-containing ingredients are not certified. The restaurant can’t guarantee that cross contamination will not occur in its kitchens.

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 for your loved ones, but it doesn’t have to be a time of celebration to enjoy foods you love. When practicing moderation, you can enjoy your favorite meal at California Pizza Kitchen without a second thought.

When in doubt, go with what sounds like it will be the most satisfying, while honoring your personal health goals.

Was this page helpful?