Decoding Calories: How Many Calories In A Philadelphia Roll?

Fact Checked By: Macaria Valerie

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Embarking on the flavorful journey of sushi brings us to the doorstep of one of the most beloved Western adaptations of this Japanese delicacy: the Philadelphia roll. Renowned for its creamy texture and rich taste, the Philadelphia roll marries the traditional sushi craft with the distinctly Western ingredient of cream cheese, alongside smoked salmon and crisp cucumber. As sushi enthusiasts and health-conscious diners alike navigate the diverse world of sushi options, a common question arises: How many calories are in a Philadelphia roll?

This question is not just about numbers; it’s a gateway to understanding the nutritional landscape of modern sushi choices, especially those that blend cultures and cuisines. The Philadelphia roll stands as a testament to culinary innovation, but with its indulgent cream cheese and the refined carbs of sushi rice, it also prompts a deeper inquiry into how such delicious creations fit into our daily dietary considerations.

In this exploration, we will unravel the calorie content of the Philadelphia roll, dissecting the contributions of its core ingredients and offering insights into how this popular item can be enjoyed within the framework of a balanced diet. Whether you’re a sushi aficionado, a calorie counter, or simply curious about the nutritional aspects of your favorite roll, this investigation aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of what lies within each bite of a Philadelphia roll.

How Many Calories In A Philadelphia Roll

calories in a philadelphia roll

The calorie content of a Philadelphia roll can vary based on the size of the roll and the specific ingredients used. However, on average, a standard Philadelphia roll, which typically includes cream cheese, smoked salmon, and cucumber wrapped in rice and seaweed, contains about 320 to 350 calories for an 8-piece serving. It’s important to note that the inclusion of cream cheese contributes significantly to the calorie count and fat content of the roll. For more precise nutritional information, it’s recommended to consult the menu details of the specific restaurant or sushi bar, as recipes and serving sizes can differ.

Additionally, when considering the nutritional profile of a Philadelphia roll beyond just calories, it’s essential to take into account various other factors:

  • Fat Content: The cream cheese in a Philadelphia roll contributes to its higher fat content, especially saturated fats. Depending on the amount of cream cheese used, the fat content can significantly vary, with a typical 8-piece serving containing anywhere from 8 to 15 grams of fat.
  • Protein: Thanks to the smoked salmon, Philadelphia rolls offer a good source of protein. An 8-piece serving can provide approximately 12 to 15 grams of protein, making it a satisfying option that contributes to muscle maintenance and growth.
  • Carbohydrates: The sushi rice is the primary source of carbohydrates in a Philadelphia roll. An 8-piece serving can contain between 40 to 50 grams of carbohydrates, which also includes a small amount of dietary fiber from the cucumber and, to a lesser extent, the rice.
  • Sodium: Sushi can be high in sodium, primarily due to the soy sauce often used in or served with it. The smoked salmon in a Philadelphia roll also contributes to its sodium content, which can vary but may range from 500 to 1200 milligrams per serving, making it something to watch for those monitoring their sodium intake.
  • Additional Nutrients: Besides macronutrients, the ingredients in a Philadelphia roll offer various vitamins and minerals. Salmon provides omega-3 fatty acids, beneficial for heart health, while cucumber adds vitamins C and K, potassium, and magnesium.

Given these nutritional factors, the Philadelphia roll can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet, but like all foods, it should be consumed in moderation, especially for individuals watching their caloric, fat, or sodium intake. It’s also worth considering the balance of one’s overall meal when including a Philadelphia roll, perhaps pairing it with lighter sushi options or a salad to maintain nutritional balance.

Expert Tips

When assessing the calorie content of a Philadelphia roll and integrating it into a balanced diet, it’s essential to approach this with nuanced understanding and practical advice. Here are some expert tips to consider:

1. Understand Portion Sizes

  • A standard Philadelphia roll typically consists of 8 pieces. The reported calorie range of 320 to 350 calories is for the entire roll. Being mindful of portion sizes can help manage calorie intake.

2. Consider the Ingredients

  • The main calorie contributors in a Philadelphia roll are the cream cheese and rice. Smoked salmon adds protein but is relatively low in calories compared to the cream cheese. Cucumber adds minimal calories but provides hydration and some fiber.

3. Homemade vs. Restaurant-made

  • Making sushi at home allows for control over the ingredients. You can adjust the amount of cream cheese or opt for low-fat versions to reduce calorie content. Restaurants may use more cream cheese, increasing the calorie count.

4. Balance Your Meal

  • If you’re dining out or planning a meal that includes a Philadelphia roll, balance the rest of your meal with lower-calorie options. Consider adding a side of edamame, a seaweed salad, or sashimi to keep your meal nutritious and balanced.

5. Watch for Add-ons

  • Extras like soy sauce, spicy mayonnaise, or eel sauce can add significant calories. Use these sparingly if you’re conscious about calorie intake.

6. Nutritional Variability

  • The exact calorie count can vary based on the restaurant or chef’s recipe. Some rolls may be larger or have more cream cheese, affecting the total calorie count. Don’t hesitate to ask for nutritional information if it’s available.

7. Integrating Into a Diet

  • If you’re tracking calories or following a specific diet plan, a Philadelphia roll can fit into a balanced diet with moderation. Pair it with high-fiber vegetables or lean protein to ensure you’re getting a mix of nutrients.

8. Mindful Eating

  • Enjoy each piece slowly to savor the flavors and textures, which can help prevent overeating. Mindful eating practices enhance the dining experience and can lead to better satiety and portion control.

9. Active Lifestyle Consideration

  • If you lead an active lifestyle, the carbohydrates from the rice and the protein from the salmon can provide needed energy and muscle repair nutrients. Adjust your intake based on your activity level and nutritional needs.

By considering these tips, you can enjoy a Philadelphia roll as part of a healthy and balanced diet, whether you’re dining out or making sushi at home. It’s all about making informed choices and balancing indulgence with nutritional awareness.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q: How many calories are typically found in a Philadelphia roll?

A: A standard 8-piece Philadelphia roll contains about 320 to 350 calories. The exact number can vary depending on the specific ingredients used and the size of the roll.

Q: What are the main contributors to the calorie count in a Philadelphia roll?

A: The main contributors to the calorie count in a Philadelphia roll are the cream cheese and the sushi rice. Cream cheese is high in fat, and sushi rice is a significant source of carbohydrates. The smoked salmon adds some calories too, but it’s also a good source of protein.

Q: Can the calorie content of a Philadelphia roll vary between different sushi restaurants?

A: Yes, the calorie content of a Philadelphia roll can vary significantly between different sushi restaurants. This variability is due to differences in the size of the roll, the amount of cream cheese and rice used, and the preparation method. Some restaurants may also add additional ingredients that can affect the calorie count.

Q: Is there a way to enjoy a Philadelphia roll on a calorie-restricted diet?

A: Yes, you can enjoy a Philadelphia roll on a calorie-restricted diet by being mindful of portion sizes and making some modifications. Consider sharing the roll or eating only half if you’re dining out, or making a lighter version at home by using less cream cheese or opting for a low-fat version. Pairing the roll with low-calorie sides like a seaweed salad can also help balance your meal.

Q: How does the calorie count of a Philadelphia roll compare to other popular sushi rolls?

A: The Philadelphia roll tends to have a higher calorie count compared to some other sushi rolls due to the inclusion of cream cheese. For example, a California roll, which doesn’t contain cream cheese, typically has fewer calories, ranging from 250 to 300 calories for an 8-piece serving. A vegetable roll, which is filled with various vegetables and no cream cheese, can be even lower in calories.

Q: Are there any nutritional benefits to eating a Philadelphia roll?

A: Yes, despite its higher calorie count, a Philadelphia roll offers nutritional benefits. The smoked salmon is a good source of protein and omega-3 fatty acids, which are beneficial for heart health. The cucumber adds a source of hydration and minor vitamins, and if whole-grain sushi rice is used, it can also provide some dietary fiber.

Q: How can I accurately track the calories in a Philadelphia roll when eating out?

A: To accurately track the calories in a Philadelphia roll when eating out, look for nutritional information provided by the restaurant, which is increasingly common in many places. If this isn’t available, you can estimate using the average calorie count for Philadelphia rolls but remember this may not be exact. Alternatively, some restaurants may be willing to customize the roll to make it lighter upon request.

Understanding these aspects can help individuals make informed decisions about including Philadelphia rolls in their diet, balancing enjoyment of sushi with nutritional awareness and health goals.


In delving into the nutritional profile of the Philadelphia roll, we’ve navigated through the creamy richness of cream cheese, the savory depth of smoked salmon, and the crisp freshness of cucumber, all wrapped up in the comforting embrace of sushi rice. This exploration has revealed that a standard 8-piece Philadelphia roll contains approximately 320 to 350 calories, a testament to the interplay of its indulgent and nourishing components.

The calorie content of the Philadelphia roll, while notable for its richness, also opens up a dialogue about the place of such fusion rolls in a balanced diet. The key takeaway is not to eschew such culinary delights but to embrace them with mindfulness and moderation. The Philadelphia roll, like many creative adaptations of traditional sushi, offers more than just calories; it brings a fusion of flavors, textures, and cultures to our plates.

For those managing their calorie intake, this insight serves as a guide to enjoying the Philadelphia roll in a way that harmonizes with their dietary goals. Whether it’s opting for a lighter version, adjusting portion sizes, or balancing the meal with lower-calorie options, there are numerous ways to relish the richness of a Philadelphia roll without compromising nutritional well-being.

Ultimately, the journey through the calories in a Philadelphia roll is a reminder of the broader culinary landscape, where the joy of eating can meet the path of health-conscious living. By understanding and appreciating the nutritional content of our choices, we can navigate the diverse world of sushi with both pleasure and prudence, savoring each roll as part of a varied and vibrant diet.

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Macaria Valerie

About the author

With over 15 years of experience in the culinary world, Macaria Valerie has developed a unique niche expertise in the art and science of rice cooking. Born in Taipei and raised in San Francisco, Macaria's passion for perfectly cooked rice is a blend of her Taiwanese roots and modern culinary techniques. She has traveled across Asia, gathering traditional rice recipes and cooking methodologies. Macaria is not just about plain rice. She's explored the depths of risotto in Italy, paella in Spain, biryani in India, and sushi in Japan. Yet, she believes that the core of these dishes lies in mastering the basic foundation - the rice. In her popular blog, "Expert Reviews Best Rice Cooker", Macaria shares not only her favorite rice recipes but also reviews the latest in rice cooker technology. She's been a consultant for major kitchen appliance brands, aiding in the development and testing of their rice cooker lines. In her spare time, Macaria conducts workshops and classes, ensuring that the art of cooking perfect rice is accessible to everyone. Whether you're aiming for a simple bowl of fluffy white rice or venturing into the intricate world of flavored rice dishes, Macaria Valerie is your go-to guide in the rice cooker niche.

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