How many calories are in one Philadelphia roll?

A Philadelphia roll is a popular type of sushi that typically contains smoked salmon, cream cheese, and cucumber. It’s a delicious combination of flavors and textures, but many sushi lovers find themselves wondering just how many calories are packed into one of these tasty rolls.

A Brief History of the Philadelphia Roll

The Philadelphia roll was created in the late 1960s or early 1970s at a sushi restaurant in Los Angeles. The story goes that the restaurant was looking for ways to make sushi more appealing to American tastes. Salmon and cream cheese were selected as ingredients that Americans were already familiar with and would enjoy.

The name “Philadelphia” likely comes from the fact that cream cheese is commonly associated with the city of Philadelphia. Philadelphia cream cheese was introduced to the market in the early 1900s by the Philadelphia Cream Cheese Company.

The unique combination of smoked salmon, rich cream cheese, and cool cucumber turned out to be a big hit. The Philadelphia roll quickly spread in popularity and is now a staple menu item at most sushi restaurants across the United States.

Nutrition Facts for Philadelphia Rolls

The exact nutrition information for a Philadelphia roll can vary depending on the specific ingredients, amounts, and preparation. However, the main components of salmon, cream cheese, rice, nori, and cucumber provide a general nutritional profile.

Here are some average nutrition facts for a standard Philadelphia roll (1 roll):

Calories 250
Total Fat 12 g
Saturated Fat 4.5 g
Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 45 mg
Sodium 320 mg
Total Carbohydrates 26 g
Dietary Fiber 2 g
Sugars 3 g
Protein 12 g

As you can see, a single Philadelphia roll contains about 250 calories. The majority of those calories come from fat (12g) and carbohydrates (26g).

The fat content includes heart-healthy unsaturated fats from the salmon, as well as saturated fat from the cream cheese. There is also a good amount of protein (12g) from the fish.

Calorie Counts for Roll Components

Diving deeper into the individual ingredients, we can get a better sense of where those calories are coming from in a Philadelphia roll:

  • Salmon – A 1 oz serving of smoked salmon contains about 50 calories and 2g fat
  • Cream cheese – A 1 oz portion of regular cream cheese provides about 100 calories and 9g fat
  • Cucumber – Cucumber is very low calorie, with only 5-10 calories per ounce
  • Rice – About 45 calories per 1/4 cup of prepared white sushi rice
  • Nori – Nori seaweed sheets provide about 10-15 calories per sheet

Based on typical portion sizes, the cream cheese accounts for the majority of calories and fat grams in a Philly roll. The salmon also contributes a significant number of calories and some additional fat.

Variables That Impact Total Calories

As mentioned earlier, the precise calorie count can vary based on specific factors, such as:

  • Portion size – Regular vs jumbo roll
  • Ingredients – Amounts of cream cheese, salmon, rice, etc.
  • Additions – Toppings like avocado or spicy mayo
  • Preparation – Fried vs non-fried

For example, a jumbo Philadelphia roll may have closer to 400-500 calories, while a petite roll could clock in at under 200 calories. Adding fried components like tempura shrimp or crispy panko breadcrumbs will also increase the calorie count.

Healthiest Preparation Methods

To lighten up a Philadelphia roll, you can request certain modifications:

  • Ask for brown or sushi rice instead of white rice
  • Choose light cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese
  • Add extra vegetables like avocado, lettuce, or cucumber
  • Skip the mayo-based spicy sauce
  • Request the roll be made fresh rather than fried

Implementing some of these tweaks can shave at least 50-100 calories off your roll. Keep in mind that sushi restaurants may charge extra for substitutions or special requests.

Health Benefits of Philadelphia Rolls

While the Philly roll is higher in calories than sushi options like rolls made purely with vegetables, it does provide some important nutrients:

  • Protein – 12g per roll from the salmon
  • Omega-3 fats – From the salmon
  • Vitamin C – In the cucumber
  • Calcium – Found in the cream cheese
  • Fiber – Small amounts from the rice and vegetables

The omega-3 fatty acids in salmon provide anti-inflammatory effects as well as heart and brain health benefits. Cream cheese contributes calcium for healthy bones.

Making Your Own Lower Calorie Philadelphia Rolls

You can easily recreate Philadelphia rolls at home and modify them to be healthier. Here is a basic lighter recipe to try:


  • 4 nori seaweed sheets
  • 2 cups cooked brown sushi rice
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 cucumber, cut into strips
  • 4 oz smoked salmon
  • 2 oz Neufchatel cheese


  1. Lay out a nori sheet on a sushi rolling mat, shiny side down.
  2. Spread about 1/2 cup of rice evenly over the nori, leaving a 1-inch strip uncovered at the top.
  3. Spread about 1/2 oz Neufchatel cheese over the lower half of the rice.
  4. Lay about 2 oz smoked salmon on top of the cheese.
  5. Add some avocado slices and cucumber strips alongside the salmon.
  6. Start rolling the sushi loosely up away from yourself, tucking it in firmly at the end.
  7. Cut roll into 6 pieces. Repeat process with remaining ingredients.
  8. Serve with a small drizzle of sesame oil and reduced sodium soy sauce if desired.

This homemade version saves calories by using brown rice, lighter Neufchatel cheese, and skipping mayo-based sauces. Enjoy!

The Bottom Line

A typical Philadelphia roll contains around 250 calories, with the majority coming from the cream cheese and salmon. Variables like portion size, ingredients, additions, and preparation can significantly impact the nutrition facts.

To lighten up this popular sushi treat, opt for brown sushi rice, lighter cream cheese, extra veggies, and ask for it to be freshly prepared. While higher in calories than some rolls, the Philadelphia roll does deliver important nutrients like protein, healthy fats, and vitamins.

Making your own lighter version at home is also an easy way to control the nutrition and enjoy delicious Philly roll flavor.

Leave a Comment