What to Eat at Pei Wei: Healthy Menu Choices and Nutrition Facts

Pei Wei

Verywell / Christian Alzate

If you love Asian food, you'll probably enjoy the Pei Wei menu. The food is inspired by Japanese, Chinese, Thai, and other Asian cuisines, and you can enjoy a full entrée for around $10. Like most quick-service restaurants, Pei Wei's menu has some options that are high in fat, calories, and/or sodium. But there are also veggie-packed picks that are suitable for many eating patterns.

Navigating the Menu

The menu at Pei Wei is quite extensive. You can easily get overwhelmed trying to navigate the different selections to find healthy fare. But if you check the different sections, it becomes a little bit easier. You'll find:

  • Shareables including lettuce wraps, salads, spring rolls, egg rolls, wontons, soups, and edamame
  • Entrées including classics like beef and broccoli, sesame chicken, and firecracker tofu
  • Rice and noodle bowls including traditional flavors like Kung Pao, Mongolian, and sesame bowls as well as creative bowls like Caramel, Thai Basil, and Blazing Bangkok Peanut Noodle.

There is also a kids' menu, a gluten-free menu, and a few dessert items. Many entrees can be made vegetarian upon request.

What to Order & Avoid at Pei Wei
 Most Nutritious Options Least Nutritious Options
Firecracker Tofu (Entrées) House Special Chicken (Entrées)
Mongolian Chicken (Classic Entrées) Honey-Seared Chicken (Classic Entrées)
Dan Dan Noodles (Rice & Noodle Entrées) Chicken Pad Thai (Rice & Noodle Entrées)
Asian Chopped Chicken Salad (Salad Bowls)
Thai Wonton Soup, Cup (Shareables) Signature Chicken Lettuce Wraps (Shareables)
Kid's Honey-Seared Chicken (Kids Wei) Kid's Orange Chicken (Kids Wei)
Fudge Brownie (Desserts) Thai Donuts (Desserts)

Most Nutritious Option

The most nutritious entrée at Pei Wei is the firecracker tofu dish, which is the lowest-calorie selection but still provides 8g of protein.

Entrées

The entrées part of the menu at Pei Wei features the chain's signature dishes, all served on a bed of white rice. You can order customize each entrée with different protein and veggie selections and other add-ons, and you can swap the white rice for a different base.

How to Customize a Nutritious Meal


  • Pick a lean protein: chicken, shrimp, or tofu
  • Add vegetables for filling fiber and extra vitamins and minerals
  • Choose salad, cauliflower rice, brown rice, or lettuce cups as a base to increase fiber, reduce carbohydrate, and increase satiety

✓ Firecracker Tofu

The most nutritious entrée on the menu is the vegetarian-friendly firecracker tofu. Topped with scallions and served on a bed of white rice, this dish delivers 560 calories, 16g fat, 3g saturated fat, 97g carbohydrates, 8g protein, and 1,650mg sodium.

You'll find dishes at different spice levels on the Pei Wei menu. If you prefer spicy foods, look for items with a small flame next to the menu listing (or customize your dish by ordering it extra spicy). For some people, choosing a higher spice level helps them keep portion control in check. Overeating is harder if food is very spicy. 

✗ House Special Chicken

The house special chicken provides 1,300 calories, 72g fat, 16g saturated fat, 119g carbohydrates, 46g protein, and 3,190mg sodium. This is the highest-calorie and highest-sodium entrée selection. Consider ordering the sauce on the side and opting for cauliflower rice or lettuce as a base to reduce calories and carbs.

Classic Entrées

The classic entrées menu contains some of the most popular and well-known Chinese and Thai dishes. You'll find options including General Tso's, Kung Pao, orange chicken, Mongolian chicken, and more.

✓ Mongolian Chicken

A Mongolian chicken entrée has 636 calories, 27g fat, 4g saturated fat, 39g carbohydrates, 39g protein, and 2,220mg sodium. Served with scallions, garlic, and mushrooms, you'll receive 2g dietary fiber in this dish (more if you choose brown rice or cauliflower rice instead of white rice).

✗ Honey-Seared Chicken

The honey-seared chicken meal is the highest in calories of the classic entrées. When ordering this dish, you'll consume 1,100 calories, 61g fat, 4g saturated fat, 94g carbohydrates, 33g protein, and 1,270mg sodium.

A lower-calorie, lower-fat (but higher-sodium) chicken option is the Spicy General Tso's entrée, with 805 calories, 42g fat, 6g saturated fat, 48g carbohydrates, 40g protein, and 2,439mg sodium.

Rice & Noodle Entrées

The rice and noodle entrées section has popular mixed noodle or rice dishes. With sauce, protein, and vegetables mixed in, these dishes tend to be higher in calories and sodium than other entrées on the menu.

✓ Dan Dan Noodles

If you're craving spice, the dan dan noodles are a nutritious choice. Made with ground chicken, garlic, scallions, bean sprouts, and cucumbers, and served with chili soy sauce and noodles, this dish is both hot and filling. One serving provides 1020 calories, 39g fat, 8g saturated fat, 120g carbohydrates, 45g protein, and 4,580mg sodium.

✗ Chicken Pad Thai

The chicken pad Thai option—a staple at Thai restaurants—is the least nutritious option on the Pei Wei rice and noodle menu. In one serving, you'll consume 1,340 calories, 39g fat, 7g saturated fat, 160g carbohydrates, 67g protein, and 4,550mg sodium.

If craving a chicken noodle dish, look to the chicken lo mein entrée instead. An order of this meal will provide 1,020 calories, 32g fat, 5g saturated fat, 122g carbohydrates, 58g protein, and 3,770mg sodium.

Salad Bowls

Pei Wei offers only one salad bowl option on its menu, but it does provide more vegetables (and fiber) than other available entrées.

✓ Asian Chopped Chicken Salad

The Asian chopped chicken salad has 640 calories, 35g fat, 5g saturated fat, 42g carbohydrates, 45g protein, and 1,840mg sodium.

With lettuce, chicken, carrots, peppers, scallions, cilantro, and crispy wontons, it's served on a bed of greens with a sesame ginger vinaigrette. Customize by ordering the dressing on the side, adding extra chicken, or removing any of the ingredients you prefer to avoid.

Shareables

Pei Wei's selection of appetizers and small plates can be found under the shareables heading. Here, you'll spot plenty of recognizable Chinese, Japanese, and Thai favorites, including dumplings, egg rolls, wontons, edamame, green beans, lettuce wraps, soup, and spring rolls.

✓ Thai Wonton Soup

A cup of the Thai wonton soup proves to be the most nutritious item on the shareables menu. With 70 calories, 2g fat, 0g saturated fat, 17g carbohydrates, 4g protein, and 780mg sodium, it's a low-calorie way to start your meal. Pair it with a small order of edamame to get a boost of protein (15 grams) for just 160 calories.

✗ Signature Chicken Lettuce Wraps

While lettuce wraps are often a handy alternative to high-carb sandwiches or wraps, the signature chicken lettuce wraps on the Pei Wei menu are actually the highest-calorie shareable and contain more than your recommended daily sodium intake.

In total, you'll consume 810 calories, 46g fat, 9g saturated fat, 66g carbohydrates, 34g protein, and 2,540mg sodium. Split this appetizer with a friend for a smaller portion size and reduced calories, fat, and sodium.

Kids Wei

For its younger diners, Pei Wei offers the Kids Wei menu with some of its most popular dishes served in smaller portions.

✓ Kid's Honey-Seared Chicken

The kid's honey-seared chicken is the lowest-calorie and lowest-sodium kids meal. With 800 calories, 29g fat, 2g saturated fat, 105g carbohydrates, 18g protein, and 810mg sodium, this dish includes tempura battered chicken and white rice. It comes with broccoli, and you can also order extra veggies on the side and/or swap in brown rice.

✗ Kid's Orange Chicken

The orange chicken kids meal, with spicy chicken in orange sauce served on a bed of rice, has 920 calories, 30g fat, 2g saturated fat, 139g carbohydrates, 21g protein, and 990mg sodium. The other three kid's entrées—teriyaki chicken, house special chicken, and chicken lo mein—all have over 2,000mg of sodium per dish.

Desserts

While you'll find several different flavor combinations for entrées and appetizers, the Pei Wei menu only has two dessert choices: a fudge brownie or Thai donuts. Each dessert is high in sugar and is best shared with your dining companions.

✓ Fudge Brownie

Between the two options, the fudge brownie comes out to be the more nutritious choice. It provides 430 calories, 22g fat, 6g saturated fat, 57g carbohydrates, 6g protein, 260mg sodium, and 38g sugars.

✗ Thai Donuts

An order of Thai donuts—fried and topped with cinnamon and sugar—contains 500 calories, 19g fat, 7g saturated fat, 74g carbohydrates, 9g protein, 550mg sodium, and 48g sugars.

Diet-Specific Options

While it does boast a selection of dishes for diners following gluten-free, low-carb, low-fat, and vegetarian diets, Pei Wei does not have many options for people who need low-sodium, low-FODMAP, diabetes-friendly, or vegan selections.

Gluten-Free

Pei Wei offers several gluten-free options on its menu. An order of chicken and broccoli is a nutritious option—it contains 666 calories and 40g protein.

  • Grilled Bourbon chicken
  • Thai coconut curry chicken
  • Sweet and sour chicken
  • Pei Wei original shrimp
  • Kung Pao shrimp
  • Beef and broccoli
  • Chicken and broccoli
  • Mongolian steak
  • Mongolian chicken
  • Chicken fried rice
  • Asian chopped chicken salad
  • Mongolian green beans
  • Edamame
  • Kid's chicken lo mein

Low-Carb

While there are not many low-carb options, you can customize your entrée (by swapping lettuce for rice as the base) or order off the shareables menu to enjoy a meal at Pei Wei. The chicken dumplings contain 4g carbohydrates per dumpling. Watch your servings to determine the total carb intake.

  • Chicken dumplings (4g carbs each)
  • Crab wontons (7g carbs each)
  • Edamame (19g carbs in a large order)

Low-Fat

With just a few low-fat options on the menu, the Thai wonton soup is a nutritious choice. For only 2g fat in a cup of the soup, you can pair it with a vegetable and chicken dumpling for 3g fat total.

  • Chicken dumplings (1g fat each)
  • Thai wonton soup, cup (2g)
  • Thai coconut curry chicken (8g)

Vegetarian

Enjoy a vegetarian meal at Pei Wei by ordering the firecracker tofu from the entrées menu. You can also customize other entrées by changing the protein to tofu or omitting it, but be aware that some sauces, such as Thai coconut curry, Thai basil, pad Thai, house special, and Korean BBQ, contain fish and/or shellfish. Other vegetarian options include:

  • Mongolian green beans
  • Edamame
  • Thai wonton soup (contains dairy)
  • Vegetable spring rolls (contains egg)
  • Firecracker tofu
  • Thai dynamite tofu
  • Teriyaki tofu
  • Honey-seared tofu
  • Spicy General Tso's tofu

People who follow a vegan diet can safely order any of the tofu entrées, as well as the Mongolian green beans and edamame from the Shareables menu.

Food Allergies and Safety

Pei Wei offers a dedicated gluten-free menu at many of its locations, but diners who are looking to avoid peanuts, fish, milk, eggs, nuts, soy, and shellfish should take additional precautions. Nearly everything on the menu contains soy, even the desserts.

Pei Wei does note all allergens on its online allergen guide, but it's best to check with the restaurant when ordering to confirm ingredients and ask about cross-contamination.

A Word from Verywell

If you love Chinese, Japanese, or Thai food, the dishes at Pei Wei can be easily customized to fit your desired flavor or diet. Salt-sensitive diners should check the menu online before visiting Pei Wei. Many of the meals provide a full day's worth of sodium or more. With a bit of planning and investigating, you can find something that meets your needs and meals at Pei Wei can be a part of a nutritious diet.

By Malia Frey
 Malia Frey is a weight loss expert, certified health coach, weight management specialist, personal trainer​, and fitness nutrition specialist.