Panda Express Nutrition Facts and Calories

Is Panda Express Healthy?

Photo of three spring rolls with sauce
Emilie Duchesne / Getty Images

Panda Express offers Chinese food for diners who are on-the-go. If you're watching your waistline you might be tempted to eat there. But is Panda Express healthy? Panda Express nutrition facts reveal that there are low-calorie menu choices to help dieters keep their eating plans on track. This guide will help find healthy choices at Panda Express.

Check Panda Express Calories

It's always smart to look online at the menu before you visit Panda Express. Trying to make a diet-friendly food decision is difficult when you're standing in line at the restaurant. The Panda Express online menu allows you to see basic nutrition for each entree and side dish so you can make smart decisions in advance.

When you visit the website, you'll see that there is an easy-to-use nutrition calculator that helps you tally your total Panda Express calories. You'll also find several items that have a small green  "Wok Smart" icon on the picture. These healthy Panda Express items are lower in calories and better for your diet. If you visit the restaurant often, you can even download and print the entire Nutrition and Allergen Information Sheet to keep handy for quick reference.

Panda Express Nutrition Facts

Many people who visit Panda Express love to enjoy traditional favorites. The Orange Chicken (label pictured) is popular, but not the healthiest option on the menu. The meal provides 18 grams of fat, which is a fairly high number for a single meal.

The Sweet and Sour Chicken Breast meal is slightly healthier. It provides 300 calories, 12 grams of fat, 40 grams of carbohydrate, 10 grams of protein and 260 milligrams of sodium.

Best Panda Express Nutrition Choices

If you're trying to lose weight, choose Panda Express food items that are freshly grilled and filled with healthy vegetables. Avoid items that are breaded or fried—even if they sound healthy. Fried food is much higher in fat and calories.

So what should you order? These Panda Express menu items will help keep your diet on track.

Lower Calorie Panda Express Entrees

Try one of these lower-calorie options when you visit the restaurant. You'll get a serving of vegetables from some of them, too.

  • Broccoli Beef (190 calories, 9 grams protein, 1.5 grams fat, 13 grams carbohydrate)
  • Mushroom Chicken (170 calories, 12 grams protein, 2 grams fat, 11 grams carbohydrate)
  • Black Pepper Chicken  (280 calories, 13 grams protein, 3 grams fat, 14 grams carbohydrate
  • String Bean Chicken Breast (190 calories, 14 grams protein, 9 grams fat, 13 grams carbohydrate)
  • Grilled Teriyaki Chicken (300 calories, 36 grams protein, 13 grams fat, 8 grams carbohydrate)

You might be surprised to see that some menu items that sound healthy (like chicken or tofu entrees) are actually higher in calories. So be sure to check the calorie count before you place your order.

Lower Calorie Panda Express Sides

Mixed Veggies provide only 80 calories and 5 grams of healthy fiber, making it the healthiest side dish.If you like rice, your best bet is to choose one of the plain varieties. The white rice is lowest in calories, but the brown rice provides 4 grams of diet-friendly fiber. But if you're trying to keep your Panda Express calorie count low, skip the starchy side dishes altogether and just fill your plate with more veggies.

Lower Calorie Panda Express Appetizers

There are only a few appetizers on the Panda Express menu. The healthiest choice is the Chicken Potstickers, which provide 160 calories and 6 grams of fat.

If you like Panda Express appetizers, you might choose to eat a full order as your entree. The appetizers are higher in calories because most of them are fried. But the portion sizes are smaller, so you may not get enough food with an appetizer to help you feel full.

  • Chicken Egg Roll (200 calories, 10 grams fat, 6 grams fat, 6 grams protein, 20 grams carbohydrate) 
  • Veggie Spring Roll (190 calories, 8 grams of fat, 3 grams protein, 27 grams carbohydrate)

And, of course, no Chinese lunch or dinner would be complete without a fortune cookie at the end of the meal. A Panda Express fortune cookie is just 32 calories so you can enjoy dessert without derailing your diet.

Least Healthy Panda Express Nutrition Choices

The most popular side dishes are very high in calories. An order of Panda Express Chow Mein provides 510 calories and 22 grams of fat. Their Fried Rice provides 520 calories and 16 grams of fat.

If you want to eat healthy when you visit this Chinese quick food spot, skip the sides and order a healthy Panda Express entree, instead. You'll keep your diet on track and still enjoy a satisfying meal.

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