Panda Express Lowest Calorie Meals (that are actually filling)

Published on: 07/18/2023
Panda express low calorie meal ideas

Are you wanting to lose weight or being conscious of your calories when dining out? Are you looking for healthy low calorie entrees that actually taste good?

It can be challenging to pick a meal when dining out by only going off entree names or images from the menu board.
Not to mention, the addition of extra sides, sauces, or a sweetened beverages can increase the calories in a meal to be more than expected.

If you are looking to eat healthy at Panda Express, check out the list below for some great and balanced meal options that are actually filling!

Can I Eat Panda Express on a Diet?

You technically can eat any food on a diet, as long as it falls within your calorie limits and you eat it in moderation. I’ve had clients who lost weight while eating ice cream a few nights a week in small portions.

While overall calories matter for weight loss, the kinds of foods you are eating will also make a big difference. Having a meal high in fiber (veggies, legumes, complex carbs) and lean protein that is 600 calories will allow you to feel more satisfied and energized than eating 600 calories of french fries.

So if you want to lose weight you can find healthy options at Panda Express. The calorie calculator from their website can help you find meals that are under 500 calories or that fit into your calorie needs.

Is Panda Express Fattening?

Choosing sugar sweetened beverages and fried entree options are high in added sugar and calories. These choices could potentially cause weight gain if you are eating them every single day or in large quantities.

The Panda Express menu from their website has a calculator so you can see a meals total calories, fiber, and protein. In general a healthy option would include at least 500 calories, 4-8g of fiber, and 20 grams of protein.

Is Panda Express Low in Calories?

It all depends on the entree size and the sides you order. The “bowl” option and “smaller plate” will provide a balanced amount of calories in comparison to the “bigger plate”.

The entree from Panda Express lowest in calories is Beef and Broccoli with 150 calories. The highest calorie entree is the Honey Sesame Chicken with 490 calories.

What is the Lowest Calorie Chicken?

The Panda Express Mushroom Chicken has the lowest calories of 170. The String Bean Chicken Breast has 190 calories.

These calorie amounts do not include any other sides or rice.

What Has the Least Calories?

A side of mixed steamed vegetables has only 80 calories. However, I wouldn’t recommend eating just steamed vegetables for a meal as it is not enough calories or protein. You will also feel extremely hungry shortly after eating.

To make a balanced and filling meal order the steamed vegetables and add a lean protein and a portion of white rice. Don’t forget sweetened beverages could add anywhere between 150-300 extra calories. If you want to keep your calories low then drink water with your meal.

The super greens or steamed vegetables will boost the amount of fiber of your meal which makes it more satisfying. It also will add different vitamins and minerals that you would not get from just eating rice and meat.

How Healthy is Panda Express?

For fast food, the Panda Express menu is moderately healthy when paying attention to the kind of food you order and portion size.

Panda Express has lower calorie “Wok Smart” menu options which means they are steamed or grilled. If you want to eat healthier, then look for the green skillet logo on their menu.

A few of their main entrees use lean protein such as chicken breast and include non-starchy vegetables which is great for those looking to eat better or lose weight.

However, there are still fried meats, noodles, and rice on the menu as well which are higher in calories and fat. They also offer fountain drinks and beverages such as lemonade, tea and soda which add a lot of extra sugar and empty calories. The sauces are high in added sugar and sodium which might make Panda Express a less healthy option for those watching their weight or blood pressure.

Entrees to Order

  1. Bowls (1 side, 1 entree)
    – White rice + Mushroom Chicken (600 calories)
    – White rice + String Bean Chicken (570 calories)
    – White rice + Broccoli Beef (530 calories)
    – White rice + Black Pepper Chicken (660 calories)
  2. Plate (side, 2 entrees)
    – White rice + Mushroom Chicken + Super Greens (645 calories)
    – White rice + String Bean Chicken + Super Greens (615 calories)
    – White rice + Broccoli Beef + Super Greens (575 calories)
    -White rice + Black Pepper Chicken + Super Greens (705 calories)
    – White rice + Broccoli Beef + String Bean Chicken (720 calories)

Overall Panda express lowest calorie meals such as the Beef and Broccoli, Mushroom Chicken, or String Bean chicken can be a great entree choice that is filling provides a balanced amount of calories for a meal.

The Bowls will have fewer calories overall and original plates are a great way to get in 1 to 2 of vegetables and stay within a balanced amount of calories.


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Laurie Thenedy is a Registered Dietitian and expert in heart health and habit changes. 

She has helped dozens of clients change their eating habits and develop better lifestyles for themselves so they can improve their quality of life.

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