How many calories is one Papa John’s breadstick?

Papa John’s is one of the most popular pizza chains in the United States. Their pizza and sides like breadsticks are loved by many. But with the rising rates of obesity and diet-related diseases, more and more people are becoming concerned about the calorie content of the foods they eat.

Many want to enjoy the great taste of Papa John’s breadsticks while keeping their calorie intake in check. So how many calories are actually in one Papa John’s breadstick? Let’s take a detailed look.

Nutritional Information for Papa John’s Breadsticks

Most large pizza chains provide nutritional information on their websites for each menu item. This allows customers to make informed decisions about what they order.

According to the Papa John’s website, here is the basic nutritional information for one of their breadsticks:

Nutrition Facts Amount Per Serving
Calories 210
Total Fat 8g
Saturated Fat 3.5g
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0 mg
Sodium 320mg
Total Carbohydrates 30g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 2g
Protein 4g

So according to Papa John’s, there are 210 calories in one regular breadstick. This calorie count is for a standard breadstick without any extra dipping sauces or seasonings added.

Calories from Fat

Looking further at the nutritional breakdown, we see that one breadstick contains 8g of total fat. Fat provides 9 calories per gram, so the calories from fat would be:

8g fat x 9 calories/g fat = 72 calories from fat

This means that about 34% of the total calories (72 out of 210) come from fat in a Papa John’s breadstick.

Calories from Carbohydrates

The nutrition label also shows 30g of total carbohydrates in a breadstick. Carbohydrates provide 4 calories per gram. So the calories from carbs would be:

30g carbs x 4 calories/g carbs = 120 calories from carbs

This means around 57% of the calories (120 out of 210) come from carbohydrates.

Calories from Protein

Finally, there are 4g of protein in a breadstick. Since protein contains 4 calories per gram, the calories from protein would be:

4g protein x 4 calories/g protein = 16 calories from protein

So the remaining 7% of calories (16 out of 210) comes from protein.

In summary, a Papa John’s breadstick provides:

  • 72 calories from fat (34%)
  • 120 calories from carbs (57%)
  • 16 calories from protein (7%)

This adds up to the total of 210 calories per breadstick.

Comparing Papa John’s Breadstick Calories to Other Sides

To put the 210 breadstick calories into context, let’s see how they compare to some other sides at Papa John’s:

Menu Item Calories
Breadstick 210
Cheesesticks 260
Chicken Dippers 220
Garlic Parmesan Breadsticks 250
Cinnamon Rolls 370

From this comparison, we see that the plain breadsticks are on the lower end for calories compared to other Papa John’s sides. The cinnamon rolls contain the most calories at 370 per serving.

So if you are looking for a tasty side with your pizza that doesn’t break the calorie bank, the original breadsticks are a good option.

Breadstick Calories at Other Pizza Chains

For another point of reference, here is how Papa John’s breadstick calories compare to some other major pizza chains:

Pizza Chain Calories per Breadstick
Papa John’s 210
Domino’s 180
Pizza Hut 210
Little Caesars 220

The calorie counts fall within a pretty similar range at the major pizza chains. Domino’s breadsticks are slightly lower at 180 calories each. But Papa John’s is right in line nutrition-wise with most competitors.

Tips for Reducing Breadstick Calories

While 210 calories isn’t too high for one side item, there are some easy ways you can reduce the calorie count if you want an even lighter breadstick option:

Order the Thin Crust Sticks

Papa John’s offers thin crust breadsticks that have around 140 calories each, saving you 70 calories compared to the regular ones. The thin crust also contains lower carbs and fat per serving.

Split an Order

Since breadsticks are often served in orders of 5-6, consider splitting one with a friend so you each eat 2-3 sticks, cutting the calories in half. Another option is to save half for leftovers.

Dip Lightly

The common accompaniment of dipping sauces like ranch, nacho cheese, and marinara can add 50-150 extra calories per breadstick dip. Opt for lighter dipping with a drizzle of olive oil and herbs or red wine vinegar.

Avoid Any Extras

Some menu options like Parmesan bread bites or cinnamon sugar breadsticks can add extra calories from cheese or sweet toppings. Stick to the plain salted breadsticks for the lightest option.

The Healthiest Ways to Eat Papa John’s Breadsticks

While breadsticks aren’t the most nutritious menu choice, there are some healthy ways you can enjoy them in moderation:

  • Pair them as a side to a green salad for a balanced meal.
  • Choose a thin crust pizza and add a breadstick for a lighter combo.
  • Split an order with friends or family so you don’t overdo the carbs.
  • Dip in vinegar or olive oil instead of higher calorie sauces.
  • Have breadsticks alongside a protein like grilled chicken or fish.

Focusing on healthy toppings and sensible portions allows you to enjoy the great taste without going overboard on calories.

Nutritious Homemade Breadstick Alternatives

To lighten up breadsticks even further, try making a homemade version with simple ingredients like:

  • Whole wheat or multigrain dough
  • Olive oil instead of butter
  • Garlic powder, herbs, and parmesan for flavor instead of salt
  • Greek yogurt seasoned with lemon juice for dipping

Having breadsticks as an appetizer or snack doesn’t have to ruin your healthy diet as long as you make smart choices for toppings, dips, and portions. Focus on lighter baking methods and ingredients to cut down on calories without sacrificing taste.


So how many calories are in a Papa John’s breadstick? According to the nutritional information, one regular original breadstick contains 210 calories. This calorie count comes mostly from carbohydrates and fat.

Compared to other sides and pizza chains, Papa John’s breadstick calories are moderate and in line with most options. By choosing thin crust, splitting an order, limiting dips, and avoiding any extra toppings, you can reduce the calorie content in your breadsticks.

In moderation and as part of an overall healthy diet, enjoying the great taste of Papa John’s breadsticks doesn’t have to stack up too high calorie-wise. With smart choices and sensible portions, you can fulfill your breadstick cravings while still maintaining your nutrition goals.

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