Eating out can be quite a challenge when you’re following the ketogenic lifestyle. The mouthwatering aroma of exquisite foods at Panda Express might beckon to you like a siren’s call.
Are there any keto options at Panda Express? Regarding fast food, most of the things on the menu are carb-loaded, but you can find some hidden treasures if you look closely.
It is time to initiate a culinary expedition to determine what is the keto-friendly option at Panda Express. We will surely discover a handful of keto-friendly gems to satisfy our taste buds and keep our carb cravings at bay.
Table of Contents
How to eat Keto at Panda Express
As mentioned above, many items at Panda Express can be carb-heavy. It takes work to get the right food to keep you in ketosis. Here are a few tips you can use to navigate the menu at Panda Express and find some keto-friendly options.
Super greens are super Keto.
You’ll get rice or noodles as a default side dish with most meals, which you definitely want to skip. However, Panda Express has a secret weapon for keto diets: super greens.
The super greens only have 5g net carbs per serving. Not only are super greens keto-friendly, but they are also low in calories at 90 per serving. So order super greens in place of your side, and you’ll be off to a good start.
Avoid the sauces
Panda Express meals come loaded with sauces. While those sauces are delicious, most contain high sugar and are not keto-friendly. They also use starches to thicken some sauces, making them even worse for Keto.
You’ll want to avoid sauces like sweet and sour and teriyaki.
One of the most keto-friendly options is the hot mustard sauce which comes in at 0 net carbs per serving. You can also use soy sauce, which typically has less than 1g of net carbs per serving.
Check the nutrition information.
If you have time, check the Panda Express nutrition information beforehand to know exactly what you can and cannot order. Don’t worry; we’ll also give you some options below.
What food is Keto at Panda Express?
Let’s look at some potential menu items that can fit into the keto diet.
String Bean Chicken Breast – 9g carbs
The String Bean Chicken Breast at Panda Express is one of the best options if you try to stick to a keto diet. This meal has only 9g of net carbs per serving. The dish is packed full of vitamins and minerals. It comes with chicken breast, green beans, and onions in ginger soy sauce.
Firecracker Chicken Breast – 9g carbs
This is a fiery dish with crispy white meat chicken fried and served with a sweet and spicy Szechuan-style sauce. It’s usually served with julienne vegetables, but you can also opt for the super greens. Firecracker chicken has 9g net carbs per serving, making it a good choice for Keto at Panda Express.
Grilled Teriyaki Chicken – 8g carbs
One of the classic menu items at Panda Express is the grilled teriyaki chicken. You deliciously marinated grilled chicken strips. It comes served with sweet and savory teriyaki sauce and only 8g of net carbs per serving. For an even lower-carb option, skip the sauce.
Kung Pao Chicken – 12g carbs
The classic Kung Pao Chicken has stir-fried vegetables, chicken, peanuts, and a savory sauce. The vegetables consist of bell peppers, carrots, and water chestnuts. For an even lower carb option, you can have them go light on the carrots since cooked carrots are usually higher in carbs. This dish comes in at 12g net carbs per serving.
Black Pepper Angus Steak – 9g carbs
Another decent option for keto diets at Panda Express is the Black Pepper Angus Steak. This dish has wok-seared Angus steak slices mixed with onions, mushrooms, baby broccoli, and red bell peppers. Everything is served with black pepper sauce. This dish also delivers a good amount of fat, which can help you feel full on the keto diet. The carb count comes in at 9g net carbs per serving.
Broccoli Beef – 11g carbs
This classic dish comprises ginger soy sauce, beef strips, and broccoli cuts. The beef used at Panda Express is surprisingly tender and savory. This meal has the flavor to satisfy you without the high carb count that will throw you out of ketosis. You can eat the Broccoli Beef at Panda Express for only 11g of net carbs.
Mushroom Chicken – 9g carbs
One of our favorite keto items at Panda Express is the Mushroom Chicken. It comes with mushrooms, chicken, zucchini, and ginger sauce. The ingredients get tossed together in a wok, giving you a savory dish with a low carb count. This meal comes in at 9g of net carbs per serving, which will help keep you in ketosis.
Black Pepper Chicken – 14g carbs
The Panda Express Black Pepper Chicken comes with marinated chicken mixed with bell peppers and chopped onions. Everything gets coated with black pepper sauce, giving it a savory and bold flavor that will satisfy your hunger.
This meal is higher in carbs than many others at 14g of net carbs. Still, you may be able to fit this into your daily carb count if you are careful the rest of the day.
Keto-friendly Sauces and Drinks
Meals at Panda Express are complete with a drink and a sauce or two on the side. One has to be extra wary with commercial condiments and drinks on keto, so let’s see what’s keto-friendly at Panda Express!
Keto Friendly Sauces:
- Soy Sauce
- Hot Mustard Sauce
- Black Pepper Sauce
- Sriracha Sauce
Keto Friendly Drinks:
- Lemon Green Tea
- Diet Soda (sugar-free)
- Black Coffee
- Unsweetened Iced Tea
- Black Tea
Remember that portion control is the key to enjoying sauces and drinks on a keto diet. Stay saucy and hydrated while being mindful of carb content to stay in ketosis.
Foods to Avoid at Panda Express When You Are on Keto
Figuring out the keto options at Panda Express can be a bit overwhelming, so let’s do a quick overview of things to avoid at all costs.
Rice and Noodles
Firstly, steer clear of all dishes having anything to do with rice and noodles. Rice and noodles are the boss villains of the keto world, so don’t be fooled by any of their disguises. Whether white or brown, they’re loaded with carbs.
Next on the list is “tempura”. When you see any item on the menu preceded or followed by the word “tempura,” know that it is lathered in breadcrumbs – an abomination for keto!
Drenched in Honey
Dishes containing honey, such as the honey walnut shrimp, are a sweet, sugary trap. Would succulent seafood submerged in an ocean of sugar qualify as keto-friendly at Panda Express? No way!
Sweet & Sour
Sweet and sour sauces may appear innocent, yet they pack much more sugar than you think. The balance of flavors is addictive and encourages you to consume quite a lot.
The carbs that add up could potentially knock your keto journey off course. Speaking of sneaky sauces, teriyaki does not spell out keto at Panda Express.
Protein in Sticky Sauce
General Tso’s Chicken is one of the widely favored classics at Panda Express, but a faux pas if you’re on the keto diet. The chicken drenched in sweet sticky sauce is incredibly carb-heavy and may cut off ketosis in no time.
Another sticky food felon is the orange chicken; that glossy orange glaze you can’t take your eyes off is a sugar mine – if you fall in, it’s going to be a long climb back to keto.
Fortune cookies and the array of desserts on the menu may whisper sweet promises, but they’re ticking sugar bombs waiting to blow up the progress you’ve made on keto so far.
Wrapping up our expedition to unearth keto options at Panda Express, we gather that the ketogenic lifestyle is about making smart choices, rather than self-deprivation.
A dash of understanding and creativity is all it takes to align your low-carb goals with the flavors you love.
Be mindful while browsing the Panda Express menu, and pay attention to your portions. Even though all carb-rich and sweet foods are to be refused, you still have many options to grab a fulfilling and keto-friendly meal.
For the best keto experience at Panda Express, be aware, make savvy choices, and savor every bite.