Skip to content

The Best & Worst Pei Wei Orders, According to a Dietitian

You can find healthier options at Pei Wei as long as you know what to look for!
FACT CHECKED BY Samantha Boesch

Asian eateries often get a bad rap, but you can still find healthy options at Pei Wei when you're in a rush. In fact, having knowledge of the healthiest and unhealthiest options on any fast-food menu can empower you to make more balanced choices for your well-being. Through meticulous analysis of the nutritional information provided by Pei Wei, we've curated a list of dishes that not only tantalize your taste buds but also nourish your body. Here's what we took into account when determining the healthiest and unhealthiest options:

How we reviewed the Pei Wei Menu for the healthiest and unhealthiest options

  • Total calories: We prioritized menu items with lower calorie counts to help you make smarter choices without sacrificing flavor. Many of the dishes at Pei Wei come with more than one portion size. When evaluating the total calorie content, we assumed that most people would finish the dish they ordered, even if it's technically two servings according to the nutrition label.
  • Added salt and sugar: Ingredients like MSG have been debunked as horrible in Asian dishes, but the options of Pei Wei tend to be significantly high in calories and salt and sugar. We categorized the dishes highest and lowest in sodium and added sugar to give you the best in the worst in each category.
  • Overall balance: We looked at the total nutrition balance of each meal's nutrients, like those with more protein. Opting for protein-rich dishes can keep you satisfied and curb hunger cravings throughout the day.

Indulging in higher-calorie or "unhealthy" options occasionally is unlikely to have a significant impact on your health. However, if you're a frequent visitor to Pei Wei, making a switch to one of our recommended options below could help you maintain a more balanced diet. Read on to learn about the best and worst choices at Pei Wei.

Shareables

Best: Chicken Dumplings

Pei Wei Chicken Dumplings
Pei Wei
Nutrition (Per 4 dumpling serving):
Calories: 120
Fat: 4 g (Saturated fat: 0 g)
Sodium: 320 mg
Carbs: 16 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 0 g)
Protein: 4 g

For those looking for a healthier appetizer, the Chicken Dumplings are our top choice in the Shareables section of Pei Wei's menu. These dumplings are steamed, not fried, offering a healthier alternative without sacrificing flavor. With just 120 calories per serving of four dumplings, they make for a satisfying start to your meal. Keep in mind that dipping them in sauce will increase the sodium content, so it's best to enjoy extra sauce and dips in moderation.

 The 8 Healthiest Menu Items at Panda Express

Worst: Signature Chicken Lettuce Wraps

Pei Wei Signature Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Pei Wei
Nutrition (Per 1 serving):
Calories: 850
Fat: 47 g (Saturated fat: 9 g)
Sodium: 3,190 mg
Carbs: 75 g (Fiber: 8 g, Sugar: 31 g)
Protein: 34 g

In comparison, the Signature Chicken Lettuce Wraps are a less healthy option from the Shareables lineup. Despite their healthy appearance, each serving clocks in at 850 calories, with a substantial 3,190 milligrams of sodium, significantly exceeding daily recommended intake levels with one appetizer. While providing a decent amount of protein and 8 grams of fiber, the wraps also come with a hefty 31 grams of sugar.

 10 Restaurant Chains That Serve the Best Lettuce Wraps

Entrees

Best: Mongolian Chicken

Pei Wei Mongolian Chicken
Pei Wei
Nutrition (Per 1/2 serving):
Calories: 305
Fat: 30 g (Saturated fat: 5 g)
Sodium: 3,500 mg
Carbs: 43 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 37 g)
Protein: 36 g

In the Entrees category, the Mongolian Chicken is one of the healthiest choices when you compare calories, salt, and sugar. With 305 calories per half portion, each serving provides a hefty 36 grams of protein, making it one of the more balanced options on Pei Wei's menu. However, as with many Pei Wei menu items, it is high in sodium content, totaling 3,500 milligrams per serving. And remember, there are two servings per order here.

Best: Pei Wei Original Shrimp

Pei Wei Original Shrimp
Pei Wei
Nutrition (Per 1/2 serving):
Calories: 360
Fat: 30 g (Saturated fat: 5 g)
Sodium: 2,150 mg
Carbs: 89 g (Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 55 g)
Protein: 21 g

The Pei Wei Original Shrimp contains just 360 calories per half serving, another calorie-conscious choice. However, it's important to be mindful of the sodium content, which totals 2,150 milligrams per serving—nearly meeting the recommended daily allowance for added salt in one meal. Despite being lower-calorie, the dish contains 55 grams of sugar, making it an option best enjoyed in moderation, particularly for those watching their sugar intake.

 The #1 Unhealthiest Meal to Order at Every Major Fast-Food Chain

Best: Fire Cracker Tofu

Pei Wei Fire Cracker Tofu
Pei Wei
Nutrition (Per serving):
Calories: 510
Fat: 16 g (Saturated fat: 3 g)
Sodium: 1,640 mg
Carbs: 87 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 52 g)
Protein: 7 g

The Fire Cracker Tofu is a top choice, especially for plant-based folks. Each serving clocks in at 510 calories, plus, it's one of the lower-fat options on the menu. The dish provides 7 grams of protein, which is on the lower side, but that's often expected with plant-based options. The sodium content, totaling 1,640 milligrams per serving, is relatively low compared to other menu options at Pei Wei.

Worst: Spicy General Tso Chicken

Pei Wei Spicy General Tso Chicken
Pei Wei
Nutrition (Per 1/2 serving):
Calories: 575
Fat: 60 g (Saturated fat: 14 g)
Sodium: 3,180 mg
Carbs: 101 g (Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 53 g)
Protein: 47 g

The Spicy General Tso Chicken may not have the highest calorie count, but with 60 grams of fat, including 14 grams of saturated fat, it ranks as one of the highest-fat options on the menu. Plus, the sodium content is shockingly high, totaling 3,180 milligrams per serving, and there are two servings per order. And with 101 grams of carbohydrates, 53 grams of which are from sugar, you'll nearly exceed 200% of the daily recommended allowance of 24 grams of sugar per day.

Worst: Thai Coconut Tofu

Pei Wei Thai Coconut Tofu
Pei Wei
Nutrition (Per 1 serving):
Calories: 690
Fat: 38 g (Saturated fat: 21 g)
Sodium: 1,500 mg
Carbs: 75 g (Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 22 g)
Protein: 10 g

At Pei Wei, the Thai Coconut Tofu is one of the least healthy choices on the menu due to its high levels of fat and saturated fat. With 38 grams of fat, including a significant 21 grams of saturated fat, it ranks among the highest-fat options on the menu. While it offers 6 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein, the 75 grams of carbohydrates and 22 grams of sugar landed this option on our worst list at Pei Wei.

 10 Healthiest Fast-Food Meals for Weight Loss

Worst: Teriyaki Chicken

Pei Wei Teriyaki Chicken
Pei Wei
Nutrition (Per 1/2 serving):
Calories: 590
Fat: 30 g (Saturated fat: 5 g)
Sodium: 7,050 mg
Carbs: 176 g (Fiber: 2 g, Sugar: 123 g)
Protein: 43 g

At first glance, the Teriyaki Chicken at Pei Wei might seem like a balanced choice. While each half serving contains 590 calories, our nutrition concerns have to do with the staggering 7,050 milligrams of sodium per half portion, far exceeding the recommended daily intake levels of 2,300 per day. That means, if you finish this meal you'll have eaten 14,100 milligrams of added salt, plus 246 grams of sugar alone in one meal—two skyrocket-high amounts.

Rice & Noodle Entrees

Best: Chicken Fried Rice

Pei Wei Chicken Fried Rice
Pei Wei
Nutrition (Per ½ serving):
Calories: 575
Fat: 32 g (Saturated fat: 6 g)
Sodium: 3,600 mg
Carbs: 157 g (Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 43 g)
Protein: 52 g

On the Rice & Noodle Entrees menu, the Chicken Fried Rice is a healthier choice. One serving provides 575 calories and an impressive 52 grams of protein, making it a great source of muscle-building nutrients. Since this dish is technically two portions according to Pei Wei, we recommend splitting it with a friend. Otherwise, this choice is still quite high in added salt and sugar, despite being lower compared to other menu items at Pei Wei.

 The #1 Unhealthiest Panda Express Order

Worst: Dan Dan Chicken Noodles

Pei Wei Dan Dan Chicken Noodles
Pei Wei
Nutrition (Per serving):
Calories: 1,070
Fat: 40 g (Saturated fat: 8 g)
Sodium: 4,480 mg
Carbs: 126 g (Fiber: 6 g, Sugar: 43 g)
Protein: 47 g

Pei Wei's Dan Dan Chicken Noodles is one to skip on their menu. This dish packs an exceptionally high sodium content in one serving, totaling 4,480 milligrams, or nearly twice the recommended daily allowance of added salt. While it offers 47 grams of protein and 6 grams of fiber, the excessive sodium, overall calories, and fat content make it a dish that we recommend keeping to a "sometimes" order.

Wings

Best: Mango Habanero Wings

Pei Wei Mango Habanero Wings
Pei Wei
Nutrition (Per 1 serving):
Calories: 830
Fat: 27 g (Saturated fat: 7 g)
Sodium: 900 mg
Carbs: 43 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 40 g)
Protein: 90 g

In the Wings category, the Mango Habanero Wings take the crown as our top choice, not because they're the lowest in calories, but because they're the lowest in sodium by a long shot. Each serving provides 830 calories, and these wings offer a whopping 90 grams of protein to boot. The sodium content clocks in at 900 milligrams per serving, making it a more favorable option for those watching their sodium intake at Pei Wei.

 9 Unhealthiest Fast-Food Chicken Wings To Stay Away From Right Now

Worst: Spicy Korean BBQ Wings

Pei Wei Spicy Korean BBQ Wings
Pei Wei
Nutrition (Per 1 serving):
Calories: 830
Fat: 37 g (Saturated fat: 7 g)
Sodium: 6,940 mg
Carbs: 27 g (Fiber: 0 g, Sugar: 20 g)
Protein: 93 g

On the flip side, the Spicy Korean BBQ Wings are the least healthy option on Pei Wei's wing menu due to their high sodium content, totaling 6,940 milligrams per serving. The daily recommended allowance states that one teaspoon of added salt spread over the day is adequate for most Americans. This menu item contains a jarring 3 teaspoons in just one serving of wings.

Soups & Salad

Best: Asian Chopped Chicken Salad

Pei Wei Asian Chopped Chicken Salad
Pei Wei
Nutrition (Per 1 serving):
Calories: 400
Fat: 16 g (Saturated fat: 2 g)
Sodium: 970 mg
Carbs: 34 g (Fiber: 4 g, Sugar: 6 g)
Protein: 32 g

The Asian Chopped Chicken Salad is our top choice for a balanced and satisfying meal off of the soup and salad menu at Pei Wei. With 400 calories per serving, the salad boasts a substantial 32 grams of protein, making it a filling option to keep you energized throughout the day. While the sodium content is not exactly low at 970 milligrams per serving — it's still lower than most other Pei Wei menu items.

Worst: Salmon Poke Bowl

Pei Wei Salmon Poke Bowl
Pei Wei
Nutrition (Per 1/2 serving):
Calories: 380
Fat: 44 g (Saturated fat: 7 g)
Sodium: 3,300 mg
Carbs: 86 g (Fiber: 5 g, Sugar: 20 g)
Protein: 25g

The Salmon Poke Bowl seems like it's a healthier choice, but an entire serving size will deliver 6,600 milligrams of added salt and 40 grams of total sugar. While offering a decent 25 grams of protein per portion, the excessive sodium and sugar content in the Salmon Poke Bowl earned this order a spot on our worst list.

 11 Popular Fast-Food Salads—Ranked by Sugar Content

Desserts

Best: Thai Donuts

Pei Wei Thai Donuts
Pei Wei
Nutrition (Per 1 serving):
Calories: 280
Fat: 10 g (Saturated fat: 3 g)
Sodium: 470 mg
Carbs: 43 g (Fiber: 1 g, Sugar: 17 g)
Protein: 9 g

There are only two desserts to choose from at Pei Wei, and the Thai Donuts are the lowest calorie choice—containing 280 calories per serving. With 10 grams of fat, including 3 grams of saturated fat, and 9 grams of protein, these donuts offer a surprisingly balanced macronutrient profile. While the 43 grams of carbohydrates may seem high, the 17 grams of sugar are relatively modest for a dessert.

 14 Healthiest Fast-Food Desserts, According to Dietitians

Worst: Fudge Brownie

Pei Wei Fudge Brownie
Pei Wei
Nutrition (Per 1 serving):
Calories: 430
Fat: 22 g (Saturated fat: 6 g)
Sodium: 260 mg
Carbs: 57 g (Fiber: 3 g, Sugar: 38 g)
Protein: 6 g

The Fudge Brownie is the less favorable option on Pei Wei's Dessert menu due to its higher calorie and total sugar content. It contains 430 calories, making it a more calorie-dense option than Thai Donuts. The sodium content is relatively low with 260 milligrams per serving, but our main focus is on the high sugar content, totaling 38 grams per serving.

Caroline Thomason, RDN
Caroline is a women's health Registered Dietitian and diabetes educator based in Northern Virginia. Read more about Caroline