Panera Bread Company is an American bakery-café with over 2,000 locations in the United States and Canada. The company’s headquarters are in Sunset Hills, Missouri.
Founded in 1987, Panera Bread (see also ‘Panera For Breakfast? – 13 Panera Items To Start Your Day‘) has managed to curate a fantastic, varied menu that is thoroughly enjoyed today.
Brownies, bagels, cookies, muffins, croissants, and scones are among the pastries and baked products available at Panera. What makes these baked items so tasty is that an on-staff baker often bakes them, as well as Panera’s artisan breads, before sunrise.
Other than the bakery, Panera also offers a regular menu for dine-in or takeout, which includes flatbreads, pizzas, warm grain bowls, pastas, panini, salads, sandwiches, side options, and soups, as well as hot chocolate, coffee, tea, fruit smoothies, and iced drinks.
1. Bacon Turkey Bravo Sandwich
One of Panera Bread’s iconic sandwiches, the Bacon Turkey Bravo, is made with bacon, smoked turkey breast, smoked Gouda, tomatoes, lettuce, and their distinctive dressing on Tomato Basil bread.
The turkey was juicy and tasty, the bacon was crispy, and the tomatoes were crisp. In addition, the cheese is smoked gouda, which has a nice creamy texture and smokey taste that complements the rest of the sandwich well.
The distinctive dressing is acidic, creamy, and sweet. It is not too heavy, as some other dressings are, and it has a great flavor.
This sandwich may appear simple, but after you bite into it, you will realize that you could not have made it at home.
This sandwich will quickly become your favorite lunch item, thanks to the bread, dressing, smoked cheese, bacon, and turkey.
2. Mac & Cheese
It’s difficult to go wrong with mac and cheese since it almost always tastes wonderful.
Take spaghetti and smother it in cheese, and you’ve got yourself a match made in heaven. Panera Bread’s mac & cheese is a superb example of mac & cheese done well.
To begin, the elbow pasta is slightly al dente, which means there are no soggy noodles when the creamy sauce is poured over top.
The pasta has been softened to a smooth softness and has a delicious taste. The spaghetti dish, with its delicate texture, is one of Panera’s greatest menu offerings.
It is, however, more than just delicious pasta. The cheese sauce is really tasty, especially for a fast-food business. It has a beautiful creaminess to it that you will like, but if you are seeking for a little spice for oomph, you may be disappointed.
Of course, you can always add spicy sauce, black pepper, or other toppings of your choosing to your mac and cheese, but it lacks flavor without them.
However, if you’re craving mac and cheese or simply need soft pasta, you probably won’t mind throwing in your own ingredients. Particularly if you want some of the greatest mac on the street.
3. Citrus Asian Crunch Salad With Chicken
Without a question, the citrus Asian crunch salad with chicken is one of Panera’s top menu options. This salad is crisp, fresh, and delightful, and you’ll want to eat it every day if you could.
You’ll fall in love with the romaine lettuce, which has been spiced up with cilantro and pickled red onions.
Add some edamame for protein, then top with the teriyaki sauce and citrus soy-ginger dressing, and it’s no surprise this dish is so popular on the menu.
The chicken is the standout component of this salad. The charred chicken thigh is far superior to the other pieces of chicken on the menu.
The only flaw in this salad is that there are no genuine citrus segments. However, it doesn’t lack any sour flavor, so it might be a lot worse.
4. Greek Yogurt With Mixed Berries Parfait
Sometimes you find yourself at Panera before you realize that a soup, sandwich, or salad isn’t precisely what you’re looking for.
When you want something lighter, the Greek yogurt with mixed berries parfait is a terrific choice. It all starts with a thick Greek yogurt base, which is then topped with maple butter pecan granola.
This granola has a hint of spicy overtones that give another dimension of taste and appeal.
The fresh blueberries and strawberries offer just the proper amount of acidic juiciness, and the honey drizzled on top brings everything together with just the appropriate amount of sweetness.
Overall, this Greek yogurt parfait is great, even if it is available at many other eateries. It’s also rather simple to prepare in your own kitchen.
However, there is much to be argued about convenience. Some days, it’s simply easier to grab a healthful, sweet treat from Panera.
5. Chicken Noodle Soup
This cozy combination of delicate chicken, ruffled egg noodles, carrots, celery, and harmonizing herbs is one of the great American classics.
It has huge noodles, delicate chicken, and vegetables that are perfectly seasoned. The carrots and green onions added flavor, and there’s a lot of everything.
The chicken itself is soft white flesh, however you could discover that there isn’t enough of it. With this, there are usually more noodles than melted carrots and celery, so it’s a good thing they were perfect—thick, heavy, eggy, and full.
6. Turkey Chili
On a cold day, everyone craves a hearty chili. As you are surely aware, turkey can be a fairly dry protein, which means that many turkey-based recipes can fall flat on the satiation meter. Thankfully, such is not the case here.
The vegetables, beans, and broth work well together to make a tasty soup, but the turkey meat is the real star here.
Soups are a significant draw for Panera, and while the turkey soup isn’t at the top of their list, it’s certainly one of the greatest meals you should know about.
As this list shows, Panera has a lot of fantastic dishes, so if you don’t want to commit to this chili, try it as a side dish.
Because it’s filled with beans and protein, it’s a little more full than some of the other soups on the menu, so a smaller dish pairs well with a sandwich or salad.
7. Grilled Mac & Cheese
This grilled mac and cheese sandwich is loaded with carbs. If you’re searching for something light, avoid this sandwich since it will make you feel heavy after eating it!
When you want to treat yourself every now and again, the mac and cheese sandwich is the ideal answer.
Of course, the mac and cheese is a vital component of this dish, but the parmesan crisps are the glue that holds everything together. They provide structure and texture to the sandwich.
Eating this menu item would still be an adventure without them. You’ll have an out-of-this-world experience with them.
The mac and cheese, as well as the parmesan crisps, are served on white miche bread. This bread produces a wonderful crust when grilled, which complements the other textures.
When you want to reward yourself, a grilled mac and cheese sandwich will be just what you’re looking for.
8. BBQ Chicken Salad
If there is one salad that can persuade you to forego the bear claws in favor of something green, it is the BBQ chicken salad.
Tender chicken on romaine lettuce with black bean and corn salsa, apple cider vinegar BBQ sauce, and crunchy frizzled onions can’t go wrong.
This salad definitely exemplifies how the finest cuisine at Panera is the stuff you’d never think of putting in a salad, but it simply works.
The zesty and creamy BBQ ranch dressing and apple cider vinegar BBQ sauce make you forget you’re eating a full bowl of romaine.
The chicken, corn, and black beans fill you up without being heavy, making this the perfect light yet satisfying salad.
9. Margherita Flatbread Pizza
If you enjoy pizza, especially a decent Margherita pizza, you’ll be pleased to know that Panera’s Margherita Flatbread Pizza contains a lot of what you’re searching for.
However, it is not your typical pizza since it is a flatbread, and in the case of pizza, flatbread can be contentious — especially if you prefer deep-dish versions with a lot of pizza toppings.
Panera’s has an extremely crispy foundation, which means they had to go easy on the ingredients, which may turn off some pizza fans.
While a typical pizza is filled with cheese and herbs, this flatbread does not receive the same treatment.
It’s nice that Panera is experimenting with flatbread pizzas, and the majority of the other selections are equally as good as the Margherita.
Regardless of how dependable it is, you are unlikely to visit Panera for pizza. Still, if you’re looking for something different from Panera’s normal food, it’s worth a go.
10. Caramel Latte
Panera offers a broad variety of coffee drinks, the majority of which are rather good. Having said that, few individuals will go to Panera Bread for a coffee fix.
If you want a basic coffee that isn’t too sweet, this isn’t the one for you. Instead, go for the caramel latte if you want a drink that falls in between a coffee and a dessert.
With the whipped cream, caramel drizzle, and caramel syrup, it’s rather sweet, but if you don’t mind that sweetness, especially after a savory sandwich or bowl of soup, this latte will be a terrific way to conclude the meal.
It’s difficult to compete with Starbucks’ or your favorite local coffee shop’s sweet, flavored lattes and iced beverages. Still, Panera coffee is a pleasant treat that will give you the energy to get through the remainder of your day, which is worth a lot to most people.
11. Green Passion Smoothie
If you’re searching for something light and nutritious that isn’t a salad, the green passion smoothie is for you. Even though smoothies aren’t for everyone, you won’t be sorry if you try this one from Panera Bread.
White grape and passionfruit juices combine to provide a candy-like taste. However, by including spinach in your drink, you might feel better about what you’re drinking.
Remember that Panera isn’t known for its smoothies, so keep your expectations in check.
Because there aren’t a lot of fresh fruits in this smoothie, don’t expect it to be the healthiest smoothie you’ve ever eaten. However, if you’re looking for something green to drink, this smoothie should do the trick.
Is Panera Bread Healthy?
Panera Bread’s menu differs from those of other popular casual dining and fast-food establishments. Instead of burgers and fries, expect largely bakery and café cuisine such as freshly made bagels, bread, and pastries.
Panera serves soups, salads, sandwiches, and a few entrée options, such as pasta and noodle bowls, in addition to breakfast.
Panera’s serving sizes are huge, as is typically the case when dining out, and meals may be rather heavy in calories. However, you may always share a menu item with a companion or get a half-portion.
And, because most Panera foods are baked or grilled rather than fried, it is feasible to discover healthier selections.
The website also includes suggestions for low-fat and low-sodium diets, and you can usually pull together a whole dinner for $10 or less.
Checking the nutrition information for Panera’s menu online or through the official mobile app before you visit will help you plan what to have that fits within your daily calorie, fat, and other nutrient requirements.
By utilizing the online option to order Panera for delivery, you may also acquire an estimate of nutrition statistics for your modifications.
Is Panera Bread Expensive?
Panera Bread is more costly than a fast-food burger, but you get what you pay for. Panera uses more expensive fresher higher-quality products, bakes foods in-store everyday, and compensates its staff more, among other things.
Panera Bread takes pleasure in providing its customers with higher-quality, less-processed, and healthier food.
Higher quality foods are sometimes more expensive to acquire for the restaurant, which is subsequently passed on to the client.
Even though the higher quality product does not cost the vendor more, “healthy food” is seen to be more expensive, and buyers are prepared to pay more for healthy food.
Fresh vegetables are frequently more costly than frozen, already cooked items.
Panera Bread’s menu offerings contain a lot of fresh vegetables, which makes it more expensive to maintain and supply.
To guarantee a viable firm, these costs are passed on to customers.
Does Panera Bread Have Gluten Free Options?
Panera Bread has numerous gluten free options but if you have celiac disease, Panera Bread advises you to see your doctor before eating their food.
While the company sells a variety of gluten-free choices, cross-contamination is slightly plausible due to the large number of wheat-containing goods in the café and bakery.
If you have celiac disease (a heightened gluten sensitivity or wheat allergy), you should proceed with caution and inquire about their specific gluten-free offerings at Panera Bread.
Panera Bread suggests consulting with your doctor before enjoying their menu if you have celiac disease.
While the company sells a variety of gluten-free choices, cross-contamination is at least somewhat plausible due to the large number of wheat-containing goods in the bakery and café.
If you have celiac disease (a heightened gluten sensitivity or wheat allergy), you should proceed with caution.
Does Panera Bread Have Vegan Options?
Panera Bread includes various vegan bakery goods as well as easily adaptable things on the general menu, resulting in a fast-casual eating alternative that, although not abundant in completely vegan options, is dependable.
As previously indicated on this list, a delicious vegan choice is the exquisite smoothie, which includes spinach and is wrapped in a beautiful, dairy-free combination of passionfruit juice, peach and mango purees, and white grape concentrates.
It’s filling and filling, making it excellent for breakfast or a mid-afternoon pick-me-up.
Try the Mediterranean vegetable sandwich as well. When ordered without cheese and the Tomato Basil bread is replaced with one of the bakery’s vegan breads, such as the sourdough bread or roll, this sandwich is nearly ideal.
The emerald greens, cucumbers, spicy peppers, tomatoes, and hummus blend well between the slices, and avocado may stand in for the cheese if preferred. Add a side salad with vegan salad dressing to balance off the meal.
Panera is an easy place to fall in love with. When you walk in, you are instantly inundated with odors that would persuade a cartoon character to soar above the floor, enticed by the enticing aromas of coffee, pastries, and, of course, fresh-baked bread.
They’re continuously adding new items to the menu, giving you even more reasons to visit for a mid-morning snack, an afternoon lunch, or an evening pick-me-up after a hard day.
Hopefully this list of the 11 best Panera menu items helps you select where to dine the next time you’re stuck for ideas.