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The Best & Worst Menu Items at Cicis

This buffet-style chain has plenty of options, so we had a registered dietitian share which are the meals you should and shouldn't eat.
The Best & Worst Menu Items at CicisMilesbeforeIsleep/Shutterstock

If you're ever in the mood for some delicious yet affordable pizza, Cicis is often a go-to spot. The Texas-founded restaurant chain is known for its unlimited buffet-style spread of specialty pizzas, wings, and a salad bar—and the options are endless.

Because all the choices on the Cicis menu are right at your fingertips while dining at one of the over 400 U.S. locations, we checked in with Kelli McGrane, MS, RD, of the food tracking app Lose It!, to educate us on some of the best and worst items available at Cicis. With their broad menu of savory selections, we learned that their specialty, stuffed crust, pan, and flatbread pizzas all made the list in one way or another.

Use this handy breakdown to help make healthier choices when standing in front of the buffet. Here are the worst and best items you can order from the Cicis menu.

Specialty Pizzas

Best: Zesty Veggie Pizza

cicis zesty veggie pizza on metal tray Courtesy of Cici's Pizza
Per 1 slice: 160 calories, 5 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 250 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (1 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 7 g protein

The low amount of calories and low saturated fat in this pie—which is doused with 100 percent real cheddar cheese, mushrooms, red onions, green peppers, tomatoes, and Parmesan oregano seasoning—is what makes it so attractive.

"You could have two slices plus a cup of soup for just over 400 calories," McGrane says. It sounds like a filling meal to us!

Worst: Pepperoni and Beef Pizza

cicis pepperoni beef pizza on wooden tray Courtesy of Cici's Pizza
Per 1 slice: 220 calories, 10 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 450 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (1 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 10 g protein

"This pizza is the highest in saturated fat," McGrane says. "Just two slices have nearly the same amount of calories, saturated fat, and sodium as a McDonald's Double Cheeseburger." That's a whole lot of meat when you think about it!

Cicis Favorites

Best: Zesty Veggie Pizza

cicis zesty veggie pizza on metal tray Courtesy of Cici's Pizza
Per 1 slice: 160 calories, 5 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 250 mg sodium, 24 g carbs (1 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 7 g protein

The Zesty Veggie Pizza strikes again, also coming out on top for the best pizza to eat in the Cici's Favorites category as well.

"It's one of the lowest in calories, saturated fat, and sodium, while still providing seven grams of protein per slice," McGrane says.

Worst: Pepperoni Pizza

cicis pepperoni pizza on metal tray Courtesy of Cici's Pizza
Per 1 slice: 200 calories, 7 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 350 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 8 g protein

Surprisingly enough, the Pepperoni Pizza is worse for you than the Mac & Cheese Pizza that's offered.

"Two slices of this pizza provide twice the amount of saturated fat as a McDonald's hamburger," McGrane says.

RELATED: The easy way to make healthier comfort foods.

Pan Pizzas, Flatbreads, and Stuffed Crust

Best: Spinach Alfredo Flatbread

cicis spinach alfredo pizza on white plate Courtesy of Cici's Pizza
Per 1 slice: 140 calories, 7 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat, 0.5 g trans fat), 200 mg sodium, 14 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 5 g protein

The good thing about creamy and delicious pizza with just 140 calories per slice is that "you can have two slices plus a cup of soup for less than 400 calories," McGrane says.

"Additionally, one slice has less carbs than a typical slice of bread, and it's relatively low in sodium," she adds.

Best: Honey BBQ Chicken Flatbread

cicis honey bbq chicken flatbread pizza Courtesy of Cici's Pizza
Per 1 slice: 140 calories, 4.5 g fat (2 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 210 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (1 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 6 g protein

Thanks to the BBQ sauce, there's a higher amount of sugar and calories in this savory flatbread. However, when comparing it to the Spinach Alfredo Flatbread, "it is slightly higher in protein and the lowest in saturated fat," McGrane says.

Worst Cheese Stuffed Crust Pizza

cicis cheese stuffed pizza on black plate Courtesy of Cici's Pizza
Per 1 slice: 200 calories, 8 g fat (4 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 390 mg sodium, 21 g carbs (1 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 9 g protein

It's not ideal to consume too many slices of this hearty, pan-baked pie.

"By eating two slices, you're getting as much fat as a McDonald's Big Mac, but with less protein," McGrane says.

Worst: Supreme Pan Pizza

cicis supreme pan pizza on black plate Courtesy of Cici's Pizza
Per 1 slice: 250 calories, 11 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 400 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (1 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 8 g protein

Even though this pizza is super-packed with meats such as pepperoni, beef, and sausage and veggies like red onions, peppers, and mushrooms, with a whopping 30 grams of carbs per slice, don't expect to be full for too long after indulging in it.

Salads and Sides

Best: Soup

cicis soup in white bowl Courtesy of Cici's Pizza
Per 1 serving: 90 calories, 2.5 g fat (0.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 860 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (1 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 5 g protein

You may think the salad bar is a better option than the soup, but McGrane assured that a cup of soup is the safer bet.

"A mixed green salad with just vegetables and a small amount of a lite dressing is a low-calorie way to fill up," McGrane says. "However, salad bars make it easy to turn a salad into an unhealthy option by adding croutons and creamy dressings."

Worst: Pasta with Alfredo Sauce

cicis pasta with alfredo sauce on white plate Courtesy of Cici's Pizza
Per 1 serving: 320 calories, 12 g fat (3 g saturated fat, 1 g trans fat), 1,040 mg sodium, 53 g carbs (2 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 10 g protein

Aside from the fact that this hearty and creamy side is booming in calories, "it's more carbs than eating two slices of almost any of the pizzas and half of your day's worth of sodium," McGrane says.

Wings

Best: Hot Buffalo Wings

cicis hot buffalo wings in cici's to-go container Courtesy of Cici's Pizza
Per 5 pieces: 210 calories, 13 g fat (3.5 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 1,810 mg sodium, 4 g carbs (0 g fiber, 1 g sugar), 19 g protein

"The hot wings are the lowest in calories and also relatively low in saturated fat and carbs while being a good source of protein," McGrane says. But there's one thing to keep in mind while snacking on the zesty appetizer.

"They're still high in sodium, so you'll want to watch your salt intake the rest of the day," she says.

Worst: Garlic Parmesan Wings

cicis garlic parmesan wings in to-go container Courtesy of Cici's Pizza
Per 5 pieces: 270 calories, 18 g fat (6 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 980 mg sodium, 5 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 19 g protein

"It's a close call between the Garlic Parmesan and the BBQ Wings. Both have around 260 calories and nearly 1,000 mg of sodium," McGrane says. "However, the Garlic Parmesan are the highest in saturated fat with six grams per five wings, which is almost twice as much as a Crispy Chicken Sandwich from KFC."

But the BBQ wings have their flaws as well, so they're not necessarily the better choice, which is why these both landed on the worst list. "While they are lower in saturated fat, they have 13 grams of sugar, which is more than one serving of any of the dessert options," she adds.

Desserts

Best: Cinnamon Roll

cicis cinnamon rolls on white plate Courtesy of Cici's Pizza
Per 1 roll: 130 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 65 mg sodium, 20 g carbs (0 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 2 g protein

"Your best bet is eating one Cinnamon Roll, which has a reasonable 130 calories, zero grams of saturated fat, and eight grams of sugar," McGrane says. "Just make sure to limit portion sizes, as the sugar and calories can add up quickly."

Worst: Brownies

cicis brownies on white plate Courtesy of Cici's Pizza
Per 1 slice: 140 calories, 6 g fat (1 g saturated fat, 0 g trans fat), 150 mg sodium, 21 g carbs (1 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 2 g protein

"While dessert pizzas may sound like they're the least healthy, the brownies are actually the worst choice, as they're the highest in saturated fat, sodium, carbs, and sugar," McGrane says. "Its 12 grams of sugar is about the same as a glazed donut."

But it's not the worst dessert in the world. "However, if you can keep to just one, it's still not horrible compared to other fast food dessert options out there," she says.

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Samantha Faragalli Younghans
Samantha Faragalli Younghans is a freelance food, health, and lifestyle writer. Read more
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