Noodles & Company Nutrition: Menu Choices & Calories

Best and Worst Health Choices at Noodles & Company

Noodles and Company Nutrition
Noodles and Company

Are you a healthy eater who tends to avoid pasta? The starchy carb is typically a no-no for those who prefer to fill up on low-calorie veggies and lean protein. For that reason, many people take Noodles & Company off their list of go-to restaurant spots. But there are plenty of healthy choices on the Noodles & Company menu and many different ways to eat a balanced, nutritious meal when you dine there.

Analyzing the Noodles & Company Menu

Noodles & Company World Kitchen provides global flavors in the form of pasta bowls, soups, and salads. Entrees come in regular and small sizes. You can also add a side salad to most entrees and there are a few small appetizers (like Potstickers and Cheesy Garlic Bread) to enjoy on your own or share with friends. Kids meals and desserts are also available on the menu.

Each dish at Noodles and Company is cooked to order and almost every dish can be customized to meet your needs. If you're watching your waistline, there are dozens of combinations (soup and salad, pasta and salad, etc) that provide 500 calories or less. The menu also provides dishes that are lower in sodium (such as Penne Rosa and Buttered Noodles) and some that contain less than 10 grams of fat. There are 11 vegetarian dishes on the menu.

Vegan diners will find menu items that don't contain meat, fish, dairy, eggs, or other animal products. But you may need to request that your meal be prepared without cream or cheese if you are vegan. For example, Penne Rosa made without cream or cheese may be a smart option for vegan eaters. Japanese Pan Noodles and Spaghetti with Marinara (without cheese) are good choices as well.

Gluten-free customers can request that their meals be prepared without gluten, but they cannot guarantee that any of their dishes are completely gluten-free. According to the company, there is too much wheat and gluten in their preparation areas to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination. They recommend that you check with your physician before dining there if you are highly allergic to gluten.

If you are watching your sugar intake, you'll also find a few selections on the menu to meet your needs. The Med Salad with Chicken has just 3 grams of sugar if you order the small size and only 6 grams of sugar if you order the regular. Pasta Fresca is another smart choice. The small size contains 4 grams of sugar and the regular size contains 8 grams. For children, the Kids Buttered Noodles and the Kids Grilled Chicken Breast with Dipping Marinara each provide less than 10 grams of sugar.

Nutrition Facts

The most popular dish at Noodles and Company is (not surprisingly) the Wisconsin Mac and Cheese. The larger order provides 1050 calories, 117 grams of carbohydrate, and 46 grams of fat.

The following nutrition information is provided on the Noodles & Company website  for one small order of Wisconsin Mac and Cheese.

  • Calories: 490
  • Fat: 19g
  • Sodium: 780mg
  • Carbohydrates: 59g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Sugars: 5g
  • Protein: 21g

Another top seller is Penne Rosa. When the dish is prepared with parmesan, a small entree provides 360 calories, 12 grams of fat, 5 grams of saturated fat, 48 grams of carbohydrate, and 12 grams of protein. You'll also consume 550 milligrams of sodium when you eat a small Penne Rosa. The regular size provides 700 calories, 26 grams of fat, 96 grams of carbohydrate, and 22 grams of protein.

The Japanese Pan Noodles is the third most popular dish. A small order provides 340 calories, 9 grams of fat, 1010 milligrams of sodium, 56 grams of carbohydrate, and 7 grams of protein. The regular order of pan noodles contains 690 calories, 18 grams of fat, 112 grams of carbohydrate, and 14 grams of protein. This dish is also higher in sodium, providing 2010 milligrams in the regular order and 1010 milligrams in the small.

The Pasta Fresca with parmesan was removed from the menu for a short time but then added back due to popular demand. A small order of the dish prepared with cheese provides 440 calories, 20 grams of fat, 54 grams of carbohydrate, and 10 grams of protein.

Surprisingly, the salads at Noodles and Company are also top sellers. Many parents order salads when they visit the restaurant with kids who want to enjoy a hearty pasta bowl. The Chicken Veracruz Salad is a top-seller. The small salad provides 330 calories and 21 grams of fat. But if you order the large size, you'll consume 570 calories and 41 grams of fat.

Healthiest Options on the Noodles and Company Menu

There are many Noodles & Company meal combinations that contain fewer than 500 calories. Many of the dishes provide a healthy boost of protein and can contribute to your intake of nutritious vegetables, especially if you add a salad.

Popular Noodle Combinations under 500 calories

  • Spaghetti plus a tossed green side salad with balsamic vinaigrette
  • Pesto Cavatappi plus a tossed green side salad with Med dressing
  • Japanese Pan Noodles plus a tossed green side salad with Jalapeno Ranch dressing
  • Spicy Chipotle Adobo with a tossed green side salad with Med dressing

Popular Soups and Salad Combinations Under 500 calories

  • Tomato Basil Bisque (290 calories) with a side Caesar salad topped with shrimp
  • The Med Salad (400 calories) with Thai Chicken Soup
  • Caesar salad with Parmesan Crusted Chicken (370 calories)

There are also smart ways to customize dishes at Noodles to keep your healthy eating plan on track. Since some of these options are not listed on menu boards, it's important to request customization at the register when you order:

  • Double your veggies on any pasta dish.
  • Swap sauteed spinach for noodles to make your meal lower in carbohydrates.
  • Ask for gluten-free fusilli noodles or rice noodles to reduce your exposure if you are sensitive to gluten.
  • Add lean protein to your dish such as grilled chicken, grilled steak, shrimp, or tofu.
  • Get a salad and order a side dish of Wisconsin Mac and Cheese.
  • Add noodles to a salad (like the Chicken Veracruz Salad) to get the taste of noodles without going overboard.
  • Cut cream from sauces to keep a meal vegan or to cut calories. You can also ask to have cheese removed from your pasta dish or salad.
  • Drink water rather than soda or juice with your meal.

Healthy options for kids include Grilled Chicken Breast with Dipping Marinara and a nutritious side dish like broccoli. For dessert, kids can enjoy a quarter-sized ​rice crispy or pineapple.

Unhealthiest Options on the Noodles & Company Menu

Many dishes that are highest in fat and calories at Noodles & Company are creamy pasta dishes, like the Wisconsin Mac and Cheese. A large order of the Alfredo MontAmore will add 1320 calories and 79 grams of fat to your daily total. You'll also consume 1870 milligrams of sodium if you eat the whole dish. Steak Stroganoff contains 940 calories, 46 grams of fat, and 1050 milligrams of sodium.

Pad Thai is another entree that is high in fat, calories and sodium. A large order contains 1330 calories, 75 grams of fat, and 1300 milligrams of sodium.

Lastly, if you are trying to eat healthy, you should probably avoid the desserts. The popular Rice Crispy contains 540 calories and 18 grams of fat.

A Word From Verywell

If you're a healthy eater who loves pasta, it's reasonable to enjoy the comfort food once in a while. Let's face it, eating noodles is fun! Whether you are dining at home or trying to eat healthy at Noodles & Company, simply eat pasta in moderation to keep your healthy eating plan on track. Boost nutrition by adding vegetables to your meal and try to cut sodium during other meals to avoid bloating.

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  1. Wisconsin Mac & Cheese. Noodles & Company nutrition calculator.