THE most popular post on this blog is the one about the calorie counts in all the UK’s chain restaurants – every week hundreds of you click on it to see how many calories are in your favourite dishes in chain restaurants – and, which is the lowest calorie things you can order. (If you haven’t seen it, then click here to check it out.)
In it, I tend to steer clear of only suggesting the salads if they come out as the lowest dish as they tend to be disappointing – but one exception to this rule always seems to be the Pizza Express Superfood Salad range.
The first one of these I had blew my mind as it had a staggeringly low 295 calories…
I say staggeringly low because that version contained (deep breath)…
Lentils, pinenuts, avocado, mozzarella, butternut squash, beetroot, cucumber, leaves and a sweet sort of balsamicy dressing. It also came on a plate larger than a frisbee.
Since then the menu has been redesigned a few times and the latest Pizza Express Superfood salad – a fantastically filling mix of chickpeas, kale, rocket, tomato, cucumber and cranberries is just as a tasty – but it has increased in calories a little.
In fact, as I write this in March 2020, the Pizza Express Leggera Superfood Salad has 424 calories – if you consume it with the dressing on.
That doesn’t, technically, make it the lowest calorie salad on the Pizza Express menu. That title goes for the Nicoise Salad without dressing – which contains just 366 calories.
That might surprise you as the Leggera Range tends to be the go-to for any dieter eating in Pizza Express – but I guess the point is, that the Superfood Salad can be ordered as is for fewer than 500 calories -the other salads require you to eat them dressing free!
In fact, if you want to add dressing and dough sticks to the superlow Nicoise, it increases to a whopping 820 calories!
Which proves the point that I make on this blog often, that, no, the salad is not always the healthiest choice on the menu!
Other Low-Calorie Options on the Pizza Express Menu
But what if you don’t want salad? What should you order then?
As I said, if you’re going for low-calorie options at Pizza Express, then your best choice is still mostly the items on the Leggera menu as all the dishes here contain fewer than 600 calories a serving – but, even within that, the calories do vary. So, here’s your best choices…
The Lowest Calorie Pizza in Pizza Express is the Wholemeal Leggera Margherita which contains just 440 calories for the whole thing. Your next best choice would be the Leggera Sloppy Guiseppe at 490 calories.
If you don’t want a hole in the middle of your pizza, then you’re still going for the Margherita – the normal one has 834 calories.
The Lowest Calorie Vegan option in Pizza Express is the vegan version of Leggera Margherita – it’s slightly higher in calories than it’s dairy counterpart at 452, but still pretty good.
Interestingly though, the vegan version of the traditional pizzas are lower in their calories than their non-vegan counterparts.
The Vegan Margherita is just 711 calories, while the Vegan Veneziana is 815 calories compared to more than 900 for the original.
The Lowest calorie pasta dish in Pizza Express is again, from the Leggera range – it’s the Leggera Peperonata. However, if you don’t fancy going veggie for the evening, the Bolognaise is a not too terrifying 642 calories.
If you’d prefer rice, have a look at the new Pea and Asparagus Risotto if it’s still available – it’s a surprisingly low 484 calories.
The Lowest Calorie dessert in Pizza Express is the Leggera Raspberry Sorbet at just 122 calories.
What about Gluten-Free items: They don’t list them specifically, but they do compare the calories on the bases and that tells me that the gluten-free pizza base has slightly fewer calories than the wheat-based bases – 49 fewer than the white dough and 13 fewer than the wholewheat.
So there you have it – the lowest calorie options at Pizza Express. Let me know in the comments which is your favourite. And if you want to see some more of our calorie guides, there’s a whole load of them here including Nandos, Greggs, Leon and Bella Italia.
Main image: freedigitalphotos.net
Who is The Wellness Nerd?
My name is Helen Foster and I’m a health journalist and wellness author. Publications I’ve written for include Women’s Health, Reader’s Digest, Body and Soul, Good Health at the Daily Mail and more. I have also written 16 books on health and nutrition.