The Best and Worst Menu Items at Pizza Hut
When you are craving a delicious and satisfying slice of cheese pizza, it's safe to say that a visit to Pizza Hut may definitely be in order. And while dining at the iconic pizza chain and observing a healthy diet may seem quite contradictory, expert dietitians say that eating at Pizza Hut can be done—but you'll want to be smart about what you order off the Pizza Hut menu, of course.
So next time you satisfy your pizza lust with a night at Pizza Hut, don't worry about making sure you know the Pizza Hut menu up and down. We spoke to some expert dietitians about all the best and worst meal choices available on the menu. From pizzas to wings to desserts, these are the Pizza Hut menu choices dietitians advise keeping in mind and which to forget about.
Best: Veggie Lover's Pizza with Thin and Crispy Crust
When selecting healthier options for pizza, registered dietitian Jenn Fillenworth MS, RD, says it starts with toppings, but ultimately depends on the type of crust. With this in mind, she explains that the Veggie Lover's pizza is by far the best pizza option on the Pizza Hut menu due to its nutritious toppings of assorted vegetables. "This helps to keep the fat and sodium content lower than any other pizza choice," Fillenworth suggests. "If you're not into a vegetable-only pizza, selecting chicken would be a great choice since it is lower in fat and sodium than pepperoni or sausage."
Best: Cheese Only with Thin n' Crispy Crust
While this pizza is still high in calories per slice, registered dietitian Katey Davidson, MSc, RD, says it does not contain a lot of processed meats, which contributes to a lot of calories, fat, and sodium.
Worst: Meat Lovers Pizza with Original Pan Crust
"The meat lovers pizza is topped with pepperoni, sausage, ham, bacon, pork, and beef," Fillenworth says. All of these ingredients are typically loaded with excess sodium and saturated fat, she explains, so it's really no surprise that just one slice of this pizza contains half of your saturated fat and sodium for the entire day. One slice of pizza is definitely not worth that, she adds.
Worst: Super Supreme Pizza Large Original Pan Slice
"If you are someone who loves everything on pizza, you may want to think twice before taking a bite of this loaded number," suggests Lyssie Lakatos, RDN, CDN, CFT, and Tammy Lakatos RDN, CDN, CFT, the Nutrition Twins. One Super Supreme pan slice has 470 calories and 1,020 milligrams of sodium, which is nearly half a day's worth of the maximum allotment (2,400 mg), they explain.
Best: Traditional Bone-In Wings with Garlic Parmesan Sauce
When ordering wings off the Pizza Hut menu, Davidson suggests avoiding breading whenever possible. "Breading will significantly add calories to your wings, especially if you are going to have quite a few," she says. Instead, she recommends ordering the Traditional Wings with Garlic Parmesan Sauce, as they are much lower in calories and sodium compared to the other dishes.
Worst: Traditional Honey BBQ Bone-in Wings
"For one single traditional honey BBQ bone-in wings, it's five grams of sugar," Fillenworth says. While one wing may not seem that bad, she explains that most people will typically eat at least six wings on average which adds up to 30 grams of added sugar.
Fillenworth suggests that these breadsticks would be an appropriate side given that they are lower in calories and fat than any other side dish on the menu. "It's also a plus that this is not a fried, but rather a baked item," she adds.
Worst: Bacon Cheddar Fries With Ranch Dipping Cup
"If you haven't heard of the saying 'heart attack on a plate' this dish explains it," Lyssie and Tammy suggest. With 99 grams of fat (men should get fewer than 75 grams a day), 25 grams of saturated fat (more than a day's worth of the 20 grams of artery-clogging fat women should get daily and nearly the 30 grams men should get each day), and 3,750 milligrams of sodium (you should get a maximum of 2,400 a day), they suggest this side is totally worth skipping altogether.
Best: Cavatini Veggie Lover's with Garlic Bread
Fillenworth says this veggie pasta option is a great meal choice because it's half the calories as any other option, and also is much lower in sodium. "It also contains seven grams of fiber and 21 grams of protein to help you feel fuller longer," she suggests.
Worst: Spaghetti with Meat Sauce and Meatballs and Garlic Bread
"This individualized pasta dish is more of a 'share with a large family' type of pasta based on the calories, fat, and sodium," Fillenworth suggests. The 2,910 milligrams of sodium is an alarming amount at well over the recommended daily value, she notes. However, she also finds that the 26 grams of sugar inside this dish is equally alarming, especially since that's almost seven teaspoons worth of added sugar.
Best Dessert: Cinnamon Stick
"These cinnamon sticks are the perfect dessert because they are only 80 calories per stick and have four grams of sugar," Fillenworth notes. However, she advises being careful of the dipping icing that comes with this order from the Pizza Hut menu, as it can set you back at an additional 38 grams of sugar.
Worst: New York Style Cheesecake with Applesauce
"Cheesecake is always a difficult dessert option since the base of the dessert is essentially all fat and sugar," says Fillenworth. This cheesecake is no exception, she suggests, as it is almost double the recommended saturated fat intake for one day.