Staying keto while eating out can be difficult. If you’re wondering if you can eat keto at Panda Express, then you’ve come to the write place. Panda Express is known for quick Chinese food. Chinese food is known to be heavy on rice, noodles, and sweet sauces. Are there really any keto friendly options at Panda Express? In this post we’ll explore the best options for the keto diet at Panda Express.
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How to eat keto at Panda Express
As we mentioned above, many items at Panda Express can be carb heavy. It takes some work to ensure that you 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
With most meals, you’ll get rice or noodles as a default side dish, which you want to skip for sure. 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 calories 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 of them contains a high amount of 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 as needed as it typically has less than 1g net carbs per serving.
Check the nutrition information
If you have time, you can check the Panda Express nutrition information ahead of time so that you 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 take a look at some of the potential menu items that can fit into the keto diet.
String Bean Chicken Breast – 9g carbs
The String Bean Chicken Breast as Panda Express is one of the best options if you’re trying 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 served in a ginger soy sauce.
Firecracker Chicken Breast – 9g carbs
This is a fiery dish with crispy white-meat chicken that is 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 the sweet and savory teriyaki sauce and still only has 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 is made with stir-fried vegetables, chicken, peanuts, and a savory sauce. The vegatables 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 comes with wok-seared angus steak slices that are mixed with onions, mushrooms, baby broccoli, and red bell peppers. Every thing is served with a black pepper sauce. This dish also delivers a good amount of fat, which can help you fell full on the keto diet. The carb count comes in at 9g net carbs per serving.
Broccoli Beef – 11g carbs
Ginger soy sauce, beef strips, and cuts of broccoli make up this classic dish. The beef used at Panda Express is surprisingly tender and savory. This meal has the flavor to leave you satisfied 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. All of 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 to give 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.
Foods to Avoid at Panda Express when you are on keto
As an asian restaurant, we know that Panda Express is going to features noodles, riche, egg rolls, and many sweet sauces. Those are obvious things to avoid when you’re trying to follow a keto diet. The sauces, in particular, can really sneak up on you. The serving size for sauces is always low, but they are still loaded with carbs. You can easily eat 4-6 servings of sauce without knowing it and consume more carbs than you normally do in a week!
Conclusion – Eating keto at Panda Express is Possible
At first glance, it sounds like there wouldn’t be many keto options at a restaurant like Panda Express. However, after taking a look at the nutrition information for several of the meals, there are a few options that you can go with and stay in ketosis. Replacing the rice and noodles with the super greens is key here. Then select an entree that is on the low carb side. If you can, skip the sauce and go with soy sauce or the hot mustard. If you follow this advice you can eat keto at Panda Express.