Are Wontons Healthy?


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A close-up of a plate of wonton dumplings and a bowl of chili sauce on a wooden table. The wonton dumplings are small, crescent-shaped dumplings filled with a variety of ingredients, including meat, vegetables, and spices.

Are you a fan of wontons but wondering whether they are healthy? Wontons are a type of Chinese dumpling that come in different forms, including steamed and deep-fried. They are usually filled with meat, seafood, or vegetables and served with a dipping sauce or in a soup. While they may be tasty, you may be wondering if they are a good choice for your health.

Wontons can be a good source of protein and other nutrients, but their nutritional value can vary depending on how they are prepared and what ingredients are used. For example, steamed wontons are usually lower in calories and fat than deep-fried ones. Additionally, wontons that are filled with vegetables or lean protein like chicken or shrimp can be a healthier option than those filled with fatty meats like pork.

Key Takeaways

  • Wontons can be a good source of protein and other nutrients, but their nutritional value can vary depending on how they are prepared and what ingredients are used.
  • Steamed wontons are usually lower in calories and fat than deep-fried ones.
  • Wontons that are filled with vegetables or lean protein like chicken or shrimp can be a healthier option than those filled with fatty meats like pork.

What Are Wontons?

Wontons are a type of Chinese dumpling that originated in the Guangdong province of China. They are typically made by stuffing a thin wrapper with a mixture of ground meat, vegetables, and seasonings, and then folding the wrapper into a small triangle or ball shape. Wontons can be boiled, steamed, or fried, and are often served in a flavorful broth as a soup.

Wontons are a popular dish in Chinese cuisine and have gained popularity in other parts of the world as well. They are often served as an appetizer or as part of a larger meal, and can be found in many Chinese restaurants and food markets.

Wontons Types

Wontons come in many different varieties, with different fillings and cooking methods. Some common types of wontons include:

  • Steamed wontons: These are made by wrapping the filling in a thin wrapper and steaming the wontons until they are cooked through. Steamed wontons are often served in a light broth or with a dipping sauce.
  • Boiled wontons: These are made by boiling the wontons in water until they are cooked through. Boiled wontons are often served in a flavorful broth or with a dipping sauce.
  • Fried wontons: These are made by wrapping the filling in a thin wrapper and frying the wontons until they are crispy and golden brown. Fried wontons are often served as an appetizer or snack.

Wontons can be filled with a variety of ingredients, including ground pork, shrimp, chicken, vegetables, and more. The filling can be seasoned with a variety of spices and sauces to create different flavor profiles.

Overall, wontons are a delicious and versatile dish that can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. While they can be high in calories and sodium depending on how they are prepared, they can also be a healthy and nutritious option when made with lean protein and vegetables.

Are Wontons Healthy?

Yes, wontons can be healthy when made with nutritious fillings, such as lean proteins and vegetables, and cooked using methods like steaming or boiling. Moderation and balance are key.

Ingredients of Wontons

Wontons are a versatile and popular dish in various cuisines, particularly in Chinese cuisine. They consist of a thin wrapper made of flour, water, and eggs, enveloping a variety of fillings. Here’s a detailed look at the ingredients commonly used in making wontons:

Wonton Wrappers

  • Flour: The primary ingredient in wonton wrappers, providing structure and chewiness.
  • Eggs: Used to enrich the dough, giving it a tender texture and a golden color.
  • Water: Helps to bind the flour and eggs together to form a dough.
  • Salt: Added for flavor.

Meat Fillings

  • Ground Pork: A popular choice for its fat content and flavor.
  • Ground Chicken or Turkey: Leaner options for those looking to reduce fat intake.
  • Beef or Lamb: Less common, but provide a unique taste.
  • Shrimp or Crab: Seafood options for a different flavor profile.

Vegetarian Fillings

  • Tofu: A protein-rich option for vegetarian wontons.
  • Mushrooms: Provide a savory, umami flavor.
  • Cabbage or Spinach: Commonly used for their nutritional benefits and texture.
  • Carrots or Peas: Add a hint of sweetness and color.

Seasonings and Aromatics

  • Soy Sauce: Adds saltiness and a rich umami flavor.
  • Sesame Oil: Provides a nutty aroma and taste.
  • Ginger: Adds a fresh and spicy note.
  • Garlic: Contributes a pungent flavor.
  • Green Onions: Offer a mild onion flavor and a pop of color.
  • Chinese Rice Wine: Used to enhance the flavors of the filling.

Binding Agents

  • Cornstarch or Water Chestnut Flour: Helps to bind the filling together and provide a crunchy texture.
  • Egg: Sometimes used as a binding agent in the filling.

Optional Add-ins

  • Bamboo Shoots: Add a crunchy texture.
  • Water Chestnuts: Provide a mild, sweet flavor and a crisp texture.
  • Cilantro or Chinese Chives: Add a fresh, herbal note.

Dipping Sauces

  • Soy Sauce: Often mixed with other ingredients to create a dipping sauce.
  • Vinegar: Adds acidity to balance the flavors.
  • Chili Oil or Paste: For those who prefer a spicy kick.
  • Sesame Seeds or Crushed Peanuts: Add texture and flavor to the dipping sauce.

By combining these ingredients in various ways, you can create a wide array of wonton fillings to suit different tastes and dietary preferences. Whether you prefer meat-filled wontons, vegetarian options, or something in between, the possibilities are endless.


Cooking Methods and Health

When it comes to determining the healthiness of wontons, the cooking method plays a crucial role. Different methods can significantly impact the nutritional content, calorie count, and overall health benefits of the dish. In this section, we will delve into various cooking methods and discuss how each affects the health aspects of wontons.


Boiling is one of the healthiest ways to prepare wontons. This method helps retain most of the nutrients in the fillings and does not add any extra fat. Boiled wontons are generally lower in calories compared to their fried counterparts. However, it’s important to be mindful of the broth used when boiling wontons, as high-sodium broths can increase the sodium content of the dish, potentially leading to health issues like high blood pressure.


Steaming is another healthy cooking method for wontons. Like boiling, it preserves the nutrients in the fillings and does not require additional fat. Steamed wontons maintain their natural flavors and can be a great option for those looking to reduce calorie and fat intake. Ensure that the fillings are made with fresh, high-quality ingredients to maximize the health benefits.


Frying is a popular method for preparing wontons, resulting in a crispy texture and rich flavor. However, it is also the least healthy cooking method due to the high amount of oil used, which significantly increases the calorie and fat content of the dish. If you choose to fry your wontons, consider using a healthier oil such as olive oil and avoid over-frying to reduce the absorption of oil. Additionally, drain the excess oil on paper towels before serving.

Baked Wontons

Baking is a healthier alternative to frying, providing a crispy texture without the need for excessive oil. To bake wontons, lightly brush them with oil and place them in the oven until they are golden brown and crispy. This method reduces the calorie and fat content compared to frying, making baked wontons a healthier choice.

Air Frying

Air frying is a modern cooking method that provides a fried-like texture without the need for large amounts of oil. Air-fried wontons are lower in calories and fat than traditionally fried wontons, making them a healthier option. Ensure that the fillings are made with nutritious ingredients to enhance the health benefits of the dish.


Grilling is a less common method for cooking wontons, but it can be a healthy option. Grilled wontons have a unique flavor and require minimal oil, reducing the calorie and fat content. Be sure to monitor the cooking time closely to prevent overcooking, which can lead to a loss of nutrients.

In conclusion, the healthiness of wontons is significantly influenced by the cooking method used. Opting for boiling, steaming, baking, or air frying can result in a healthier dish, while still providing delicious flavors and textures. Remember to pay attention to the ingredients used in the fillings and choose high-quality, nutritious options to maximize the health benefits of your wontons.

Caloric and Nutritional Breakdown

Calories in Wontons

Wontons can vary significantly in their caloric content based on their size, fillings, and cooking method. On average, a single steamed or boiled wonton may contain around 20-30 calories, while a fried wonton could be higher in calories due to the added fats from frying. It’s important to consider these factors when assessing the caloric content of wontons.


  • Proteins: Wontons can be a good source of protein, especially when filled with meat or tofu. Protein is essential for building and repairing tissues in the body.
  • Fats: The fat content in wontons will vary depending on the fillings and cooking method. Fried wontons will typically have a higher fat content compared to steamed or boiled ones. It’s beneficial to be mindful of the types of fats used, opting for healthier fats when possible.
  • Carbohydrates: The wrappers contribute to the carbohydrate content of wontons. Carbohydrates are the body’s primary energy source, and choosing whole grain wrappers when available can provide additional fiber.


  • Vitamins: Wontons can provide various vitamins, particularly when filled with vegetables. For example, dark leafy greens can contribute vitamins A and K, while meat fillings can provide B vitamins.
  • Minerals: Depending on the fillings, wontons can also be a source of essential minerals such as iron, calcium, and potassium.

Dietary Fiber

Vegetable fillings can enhance the dietary fiber content of wontons, which is beneficial for digestive health. Fiber helps to keep the digestive system running smoothly and can contribute to a feeling of fullness, which may aid in weight management.


It’s important to be mindful of the sodium content in wontons, especially if using store-bought wrappers or fillings, as these can sometimes be high in added salt. High sodium intake is associated with an increased risk of hypertension and other cardiovascular issues.

In conclusion, while wontons can be a delicious and satisfying addition to your diet, paying attention to the ingredients, portion sizes, and cooking methods can help ensure that you enjoy them in a balanced and health-conscious way. Opting for homemade wontons with a variety of fillings and cooking methods can provide greater control over the nutritional content, allowing you to tailor them to your dietary needs and preferences.

Health Benefits of Wontons


Many wonton fillings, especially those made with meat or tofu, are excellent sources of protein. Protein is a crucial macronutrient necessary for building and repairing tissues, making enzymes and hormones, and supporting overall muscle health. Including protein-rich wontons in your diet can contribute to meeting your daily protein needs.

Nutrient-Dense Fillings

Wontons provide a great opportunity to incorporate a variety of vegetables into your diet. Vegetables are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that support various bodily functions. For instance, dark leafy greens can offer iron and calcium, while carrots provide beta-carotene, which is beneficial for eye health.

Low in Calories

When boiled or steamed, wontons can be a low-calorie option, making them a suitable choice for those looking to manage their weight. Opting for vegetable-based fillings can further reduce the caloric content while still providing a satisfying and flavorful meal.

Supports Digestive Health

Choosing fillings that are high in dietary fiber, such as vegetables or legumes, can enhance the fiber content of your wontons. Fiber is known for its role in supporting digestive health, preventing constipation, and promoting regular bowel movements. Additionally, fiber contributes to a feeling of fullness, which can aid in portion control.

Versatile and Customizable

Wontons are incredibly versatile, allowing for a wide range of fillings and flavors. This versatility means that you can tailor your wontons to suit your dietary needs and preferences, ensuring that you are getting the nutrients you need while enjoying a delicious meal.

Potential for Heart Health

When prepared with lean proteins and heart-healthy fats, such as those found in fish or olive oil, wontons can contribute to a heart-healthy diet. Omega-3 fatty acids, found in certain types of fish, are known for their role in reducing the risk of heart disease.

Antioxidant Properties

Incorporating a variety of vegetables and herbs into your wonton fillings can provide antioxidants, which are compounds known to combat oxidative stress and reduce inflammation in the body. Antioxidants play a role in protecting the body from chronic diseases and promoting overall health.

In summary, wontons can be a nutritious and delicious addition to your diet when prepared with health-conscious ingredients and cooking methods. By incorporating a variety of protein sources, vegetables, and herbs, you can create wontons that not only satisfy your taste buds but also contribute to your overall health and well-being.

Potential Health Risks

While wontons can be a delicious and sometimes nutritious addition to your diet, it’s important to be aware of potential health risks associated with certain ingredients and cooking methods. In this section, we will explore these risks and provide guidance on how to enjoy wontons in a healthier way.

High Sodium Content: A Common Concern

One of the primary health concerns with wontons, especially those that are store-bought or served in restaurants, is their high sodium content. Sodium is an essential mineral, but when consumed in excess, it can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Many wonton fillings, as well as the broths and sauces they are served with, can be high in sodium. To mitigate this risk, opt for low-sodium broths and sauces, and be mindful of the sodium content in the fillings.

Trans Fats and Saturated Fats: Choose Your Fats Wisely

Frying wontons in oil can significantly increase their trans fat and saturated fat content. Trans fats are known to increase levels of bad cholesterol while decreasing levels of good cholesterol, leading to an increased risk of heart disease. Saturated fats can also contribute to high cholesterol levels. To reduce the intake of these unhealthy fats, choose healthier cooking methods such as boiling, steaming, or baking. If you do choose to fry your wontons, use oils that are low in saturated fats, such as olive oil, and avoid over-frying.

Preservatives and Additives: Be Ingredient-Savvy

Store-bought wonton wrappers and fillings can contain preservatives and additives to extend their shelf life and enhance flavor. Some of these substances can cause allergic reactions or other health issues in sensitive individuals. To minimize exposure to these additives, consider making your wonton wrappers and fillings from scratch, or choose products with minimal and recognizable ingredients.

Allergens: Know Your Triggers

Wontons can contain common allergens such as gluten, soy, and shellfish. For individuals with food allergies or sensitivities, it’s crucial to be aware of the ingredients in the wontons and any potential cross-contamination that could occur during preparation. Opt for gluten-free wrappers if necessary, and be sure to inquire about the ingredients if you are eating out or purchasing pre-made wontons.

Caloric Content: Everything in Moderation

While wontons can be a tasty treat, they can also be high in calories, particularly if they are fried. Consuming too many calories can lead to weight gain and associated health risks such as diabetes and heart disease. To enjoy wontons as part of a balanced diet, be mindful of portion sizes and choose healthier cooking methods to reduce caloric intake.

Conclusion: Enjoying Wontons Responsibly

Wontons can be a delightful addition to your culinary repertoire, but it’s important to be mindful of the potential health risks associated with certain ingredients and cooking methods. By choosing healthier ingredients, opting for low-sodium options, and being aware of allergens, you can enjoy wontons in a way that is both delicious and beneficial to your health. Remember, moderation is key, and making informed choices about how you prepare and enjoy wontons can lead to a healthier dining experience.

Dietary Considerations for Wontons

Gluten-Free Options

For those with celiac disease or a gluten sensitivity, traditional wonton wrappers, which are made with wheat flour, are not a suitable option. However, there are gluten-free wonton wrappers available on the market made from alternative flours such as rice flour. Additionally, you can make homemade wrappers using gluten-free ingredients to ensure they meet your dietary needs.

Vegan and Vegetarian Varieties

Wontons can easily be adapted to suit vegan and vegetarian diets. For fillings, you can use a variety of vegetables, tofu, or legumes. Ensure that the wrappers you choose do not contain eggs, and check that any additional sauces or condiments are also free from animal products.

Low-Calorie and Low-Fat Options

If you are watching your calorie or fat intake, opt for wontons that are steamed or boiled rather than fried. Additionally, choose fillings that are lower in calories and fats, such as vegetables or lean proteins. Be mindful of the portion sizes and the types of sauces and condiments you use, as these can quickly add additional calories and fats.

Allergen Considerations

If you have food allergies, it’s important to carefully check the ingredients of store-bought wonton wrappers and fillings. Common allergens such as soy, eggs, and shellfish are often found in wontons and their fillings. Preparing wontons at home allows you to have full control over the ingredients and avoid potential allergens.

Sodium Content

Many store-bought wonton wrappers and fillings, as well as dipping sauces, can be high in sodium. High sodium intake is associated with an increased risk of hypertension and other cardiovascular issues. To reduce sodium intake, look for low-sodium wrappers and fillings, limit the use of salty sauces, and consider making your own dipping sauces at home where you can control the amount of salt added.

Nutritional Balance

While wontons can be a delicious part of your meal, it’s important to balance them with other food groups. Pairing wontons with a side of steamed vegetables or a salad can provide additional nutrients and fiber, contributing to a more balanced and nutritious meal.

In summary, wontons can be adapted to suit a wide range of dietary needs and preferences. By being mindful of the ingredients, cooking methods, and portion sizes, you can enjoy wontons in a way that aligns with your dietary considerations and contributes to your overall health and well-being.

Homemade vs. Store-Bought Wontons

Control Over Ingredients

  • Homemade: When you make wontons at home, you have complete control over the ingredients used. This is particularly beneficial for those with dietary restrictions or allergies, as you can ensure that all ingredients meet your specific needs. Additionally, you can opt for high-quality, fresh ingredients to enhance the flavor and nutritional value of your wontons.
  • Store-Bought: Pre-made wontons may contain preservatives, additives, or ingredients that you might prefer to avoid. However, they can be a convenient option when time is limited.

Nutritional Content

  • Homemade: By making wontons at home, you can create a healthier version by incorporating a variety of vegetables, using lean proteins, and choosing whole-grain wrappers if available. You also have the ability to control the amount of salt and oil used, which can contribute to a healthier meal.
  • Store-Bought: The nutritional content of store-bought wontons can vary widely depending on the brand and product. It’s important to read the nutrition label to assess the calorie, fat, sodium, and nutrient content. Some store-bought options may be higher in sodium and preservatives.

Taste and Quality

  • Homemade: Homemade wontons can be customized to suit your taste preferences. You can experiment with different fillings and seasonings until you find the perfect combination. The freshness of the ingredients used in homemade wontons often results in a superior taste and quality.
  • Store-Bought: While some store-bought wontons can be delicious, others may lack the freshness and flavor of homemade versions. The taste and quality can vary significantly between brands and products.


  • Homemade: Making wontons at home can be time-consuming, especially if you are preparing a large quantity. However, it can also be a fun and rewarding activity, potentially involving family or friends in the cooking process.
  • Store-Bought: Pre-made wontons are a convenient option, especially for quick meals. They typically require minimal preparation, saving time and effort.


  • Homemade: The cost of making wontons at home will depend on the ingredients used. While some ingredients may be more expensive, making wontons in bulk can be cost-effective. Additionally, homemade wontons may provide better value in terms of freshness and quality.
  • Store-Bought: Pre-made wontons can vary in price, with some options being quite affordable. However, it’s important to consider the cost per serving and the nutritional value provided.

In conclusion, both homemade and store-bought wontons have their own set of advantages and considerations. If you prioritize control over ingredients, nutritional content, and taste, homemade wontons might be the preferable option. However, if convenience and time-saving are more important, store-bought wontons can be a practical choice. Ultimately, the decision will depend on your individual preferences, dietary needs, and lifestyle.

Tips for Healthier Wontons

Indulging in wontons doesn’t have to be a guilty pleasure. With a few mindful choices and creative twists, you can transform this beloved dish into a healthier option without compromising on taste. Below are some practical tips to guide you in preparing wontons that are both delicious and nutritious.

Opt for Nutrient-Rich Fillings

The filling is the heart of any wonton, and choosing ingredients packed with nutrients can significantly boost the health quotient of your dish. Incorporate a variety of vegetables such as spinach, cabbage, or mushrooms to add fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Lean proteins like chicken, turkey, or tofu are excellent choices for a low-fat, high-protein filling.

Choose Whole Wheat or Gluten-Free Wrappers

Traditional wonton wrappers are made from refined flour, which can be high in calories and low in nutrients. Opting for whole wheat wrappers adds an extra dose of fiber, aiding in digestion and providing a fuller feeling. For those with gluten sensitivities, gluten-free wrappers are also available and provide a great alternative.

Experiment with Healthier Cooking Methods

As discussed earlier, the method of cooking plays a significant role in the healthiness of wontons. Steaming, boiling, and baking are healthier alternatives to frying. Air frying is another innovative method that provides the crispy texture of frying without the need for excessive oil.

Be Mindful of Portion Sizes

Wontons are often enjoyed in groups, making it easy to lose track of how many you’re consuming. Being mindful of portion sizes ensures that you can enjoy this tasty treat without overindulging. Pairing wontons with a side of steamed vegetables or a light soup can also help in creating a balanced meal.

Use Low-Sodium Sauces and Broths

Sauces and broths can quickly escalate the sodium content of your dish. Opt for low-sodium soy sauce and broths, or better yet, make your own at home where you can control the amount of salt added. Adding herbs and spices such as ginger, garlic, or cilantro can enhance flavor without the need for excess salt.

Incorporate Healthy Fats

If you choose to cook your wontons using oil, select oils that are high in healthy fats, such as olive oil or avocado oil. These oils provide essential fatty acids and are a healthier option compared to oils high in saturated fats.

Get Creative with Dips and Toppings

Dips and toppings can add an extra layer of flavor to your wontons. Opt for dips made from natural ingredients such as Greek yogurt or homemade salsa. Adding a sprinkle of sesame seeds or chopped green onions as a topping can also enhance the flavor without adding unnecessary calories.

Practice Conscious Eating

Finally, enjoy your wontons mindfully. Savor each bite, pay attention to the flavors, and listen to your body’s hunger and fullness cues. Conscious eating enhances the dining experience and helps prevent overeating.


What’s the difference between a wonton and a dumpling? Wontons have a thinner wrapper and are usually square-shaped, while dumplings can have thicker wrappers and various shapes. Fillings and cooking methods also vary.

Is wonton soup salty? Wonton soup’s saltiness depends on the recipe. Some versions might be high in sodium, so it’s best to check the ingredients or ask when ordering.

Is wonton good for your health? Wontons can be healthy when made with nutritious fillings and cooked without excess oil. Balance and moderation are key.

How many calories are in 2 wontons? The calorie content varies, but two steamed or boiled meat and vegetable wontons are typically around 40-70 calories.

Conclusion: Making an Informed Choice

In conclusion, whether or not wontons are healthy depends on various factors including the ingredients, cooking methods, and how they are incorporated into your diet. By making informed choices and considering the tips provided in this article, you can enjoy wontons as part of a balanced and nutritious meal.

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