A Definitive Ranking of Every Entree From Panda Express

Panda Express ranks among the most iconic American fast food chains, but have you actually taken the time to try every item on their menu?

We've spent some time lately visiting our local Panda spots to taste each and every entree the restaurant has to offer. Here's our ranking of each one from worst to best.

14. Super Greens

We don't want to badmouth the only vegetarian option on the menu, but Panda Express's Super Greens just don't have that wow factor. They combine kale, broccoli and cabbage and lightly steam them before a sauce is added. It's a little salty, with a decent garlic flavor, but it's missing something. Maybe they could add nuts for crunch, or tofu for something a little softer, for at least some textural variety.

 

13. Grilled Teriyaki Chicken

The grilled teriyaki only ranks so low because its quality is inconsistent. The teriyaki sauce is just the right mix of sweet and salty and always hits the spot, but though the grilled chicken can sometimes be lean and delicious, other times it can be fatty and unpalatable. On a good day, it would rank much higher than this, but when it's bad, it can be really bad, especially if you don't love stringy fat in your food.


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Also read about: We Tried (and Ranked) the Top Fast Food Chicken Sandwiches

 

12. SweetFire Chicken Breast

SweetFire chicken breast is another dish that can lack consistency. Its sweet chili sauce is sweet, sour and a little bit spicy, and while the chicken has all of the crunch of Panda Express's signature orange chicken while it's still fresh, over time that sauce can seep into its crispy coating and make it a little soggy. It also contains bell peppers, onions and pineapples, which can make the sugary sauce taste even sweeter. On occasion, that sweetness can be just a bit too much for our liking.


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11. Mushroom Chicken

The menu gets a lot better from here on out, making it particularly tough to place some of the entrees this low on the list. However, the mushroom chicken earns this slot simply because of its texture. Both the mushrooms and the zucchini are quite soft vegetables, and along with the chicken, it doesn't have much to offer in the way of different textures in the mouth. It can be a bit samey, but we're thankful that its gingery sauce is generally delicious enough to make up for that.


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10. String Bean Chicken Breast

The string bean chicken breast has a very similar flavor to the mushroom chicken, but we prefer the veggie choices in this one. The string beans add a snap that the previous dish lacks, and the onions give it a little crunch as well. Plus, we find that it usually has more chicken than veggies, which is a great thing.


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9. Honey Walnut Shrimp

Honey walnut shrimp could rank a lot higher if it could always be crispy and fresh. However, in our experience, it's not ordered all that frequently (perhaps because it costs more than the other entrees), so the honey glaze usually soaks into the tempura batter and renders it a little squishier than we'd like. However, the flavor is totally on point, and the glazed walnuts add a bit of crunch and extra sweetness.


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8. Honey Sesame Chicken Breast

Surely, we can't be the only ones who think that Panda Express's Honey Sesame Chicken Breast just edges out their Honey Walnut Shrimp. The sweet sauce is to die for, perfectly glazing the chicken chunks, with the flavor brought out further by delicious sesame seeds. Plus, the green beans and bell peppers pair just as well with the sauce, making this a tasty, if not lesser-known, dish on the menu.

 

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7. Kung Pao Chicken

Kung pao chicken is a great order for anyone who likes things a little spicy. While we're not the biggest fans of the carrots, the green onions and zucchini are awesome complements to the sauce, which also pairs nicely with the chicken. The peanuts also add a nice crunch and different flavor to the dish. Just make sure to pick out the tough red chili peppers, which we're pretty sure are completely inedible.


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6. Wok-Fired Shrimp

This is a recipe that seems to come and go, but we're always delighted to see its return because it's super solid. With its crispy sugar snap peas, red bell peppers and onions, the veggies soak up all of the sweet sauce, with just a hint of kick. Of course, the shrimp are the star of the show, always cooked to perfection and soaked in the delicious sauce. The only reason it ranks this low is because it's costlier than other options that we like a little bit better.

 

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5. Broccoli Beef

While anyone averse to broccoli will probably disagree with this pick, we think that Panda Express's broccoli beef is a tasty classic. The thinly sliced beef is nice and tender, while the broccoli has just the right amount of bite to add another layer of texture. The two are usually perfectly proportioned, and slathered in a salty ginger sauce to bring the recipe together.


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4. Almond Diced Chicken

Panda's Almond Diced Chicken is a newer addition to the menu, and we think it's already completely underrated. The chicken is always juicy, with tasty string beans and red bell peppers, plus almonds slices to give it a delicious crunch. But what elevates this chicken above most of the others is its delicious black pepper sauce. It's a little sweet with just the right amount of peppery heat, and it's a must-try for those who usually stick to other dishes.

 

3. The Original Orange Chicken

Orange chicken may be Panda's most famous dish, but it's not quite the best. Unlike some of the earlier entries on this list, it's crispy enough to retain its tasty texture even when it gets slathered in sweet and spicy orange-flavored sauce. Plus, if you're not a fan of vegetables, you don't have to worry about leaving anything on your plate. Still, a couple of items on the menu manage to be even better.


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2. Black Pepper Angus Steak

There's a reason this entree costs a little more than the others. Rather than thinly sliced beef, this dish features big hunks of Angus steak coated in a strong, boldly peppery sauce. It also comes with green beans, red bell pepper, mushroom slices and thin strips of onion, which all add even greater balance to the overall flavor. Something about it tastes premium, and definitely warrants the higher price point.


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1. Beijing Beef

Orange chicken may be a signature Panda Express dish, but Beijing beef is its beefy equivalent, and in our humble opinion, is the very best on the menu. The beef is fried to give it a crispy texture and slathered in a vibrantly tangy sauce, and it's paired with sweet red bell peppers and onions to give it an extra flavor boost. Whether it's fresh out of the wok or its been sitting there for a little bit, it's always our go-to pick.


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Love all things food? Click HERE for our definitive ranking of pizza delivery chains.