The Best & Worst Menu Items at Domino's, According to an RD
Regardless of your dietary needs, sometimes you just really want pizza! Not the cauliflower crust with light cheese and no sauce, either. You want the real deal.
Domino's, being the nation's largest pizza chain, certainly has plenty of extra-cheesy, ultra-greasy comfort foods to choose from. But what you may not expect is that it also has some more nutritious items that don't skimp on flavor. Not to mention, the chain a great pick for families who have to avoid top allergens, according to Monica Auslander Moreno, MS, RDN, founder of Essence Nutrition,
"It should be noted that as the mother of a child with nut, seed, and egg allergies, Domino's is one of the ONLY national chains whose pizzas are free of nuts, seeds, and eggs, which has been a huge relief for me," Moreno explains. "Since they serve Domino's at his school, I can rest easy at lunchtime."
With that in mind, Moreno helped us decode the restaurant's rather complex nutritional menu to find the unhealthiest and healthiest picks. And don't miss The 4 Worst New Burgers on Fast-Food Menus, According RDs.
The Worst Menu Items at Domino's
Philly Cheese Steak Sandwich
Domino's has much more than pizza—its oven-baked sandwiches are a hit among customers. While there are some healthier sandwich options to choose from, if you are looking for a nutritious option, Moreno suggests avoiding the Philly Cheese Steak.
"White bread, red meat, very little plant offerings, and a cheese that isn't exactly from nature—I would leave this in Philadelphia," Moreno says.
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Honey BBQ Wings
Chicken wings—both original and boneless—are another popular menu item at this chain restaurant. But when chicken wings are coated in sauce, they quickly go south in terms of nutritional value.
"[High in] sugar, fat, salt, refined carbohydrates, fried oil—it's a list of nutrition offenders," Moreno says of the Honey BBQ Wings.
Chicken Alfredo Pasta
Obviously, pasta coated in a creamy, fatty sauce isn't going to be one of the more health-conscious menu items. But while some of the other pastas at least contain a veggie here and there, this one really lacks in variety.
"Nary a plant food or fiber to be found in this heavy, rich, salty cream-and-carbs plate," Moreno says.
Cinnamon Bread Twists
Domino's offers three desserts: cinnamon bread twists, marbled cookie-brownies, and chocolate lava cakes. While none of them are highly nutritious, the cinnamon bread twists were one of the worst items on the entire menu, according to Moreno.
"Anything fried contains advanced glycation end products, which are known to be reactive and inflammatory at a cellular level," Moreno explains.
The American Heart Association defines advanced glycation end products (AGEs) as "proteins or lipids that become glycated after exposure to sugars." According to a 2019 study, AGEs are linked to a host of health complications, including diabetes, kidney disease, memory decline, and other chronic diseases.
Jalapeño Bacon Stuffed Cheesy Bread
When the side dish packs more cheese and bacon than most entrées, it's easy to see why it would rank as one of the least nutritious menu items.
"Pizza is one thing, but this is meant to be a side dish . . . and it's just more bread and cheese as well as bacon—one of the most inflammatory foods out there," Moreno warns.
The Best Menu Items at Domino's
Restaurant salads are notoriously unhealthy. They are often loaded with high-fat and high-sodium toppings and dressings. But the garden salad at Domino's is a solid choice.
Moreno chose this as one of the best menu items because it contains lots of vegetables, fiber, and plant nutrients, a.k.a. phytochemicals. "I would add my own olive oil and vinegar and skip the croutons," she recommends for those getting takeout.
Even if you are looking for healthier options, you can have your pizza and eat it, too. When ordering solo, go for the personal-sized pizza.
Wondering what a dietitian would order? Here's Moreno's exact personal pizza order: "Personal pizza, with crunchy thin crust, every vegetable—including mushrooms—and anchovies." She likes this menu item because it offers a good portion size, while her customization "ups some nutritional ante with the addition of vegetables for fiber and anchovies for omega-3."
Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich
For a delicious dinner to share with family or friends, opt for the Mediterranean Veggie sandwich, which includes roasted red peppers, banana peppers, spinach, tomatoes, onions, and three kinds of cheeses. It's a vegetarian-friendly option that Moreno approves of because it contains "a modest serving of vegetables." She recommends eating half the sandwich for a more appropriate meal-sized portion.
Moreno recommends choosing water over soda at Domino's (or any fast-food chain, really). It's a more hydrating option, especially when pairing it with pizza or other high-sodium menu items. While it might seem obvious, many people may overlook this simple drink swap, but our bodies really do need it.
For more, check out the 108 Most Popular Sodas Ranked By How Toxic They Are.