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21 Best Items on the Panera Menu

The Panera menu offers a ton of delicious and nutritious items for individual meals or shareable combos.

While the restaurant chain is best known for its signature breads and hearty soups, these comprise only a portion of the entire menu.

From light and healthy salads to delectable comfort food, there’s something at Panera for every palate range.

The Panera menu includes a wide variety of sandwiches, soups, salads, warm bowls, and flatbread pizzas.

Many of these options come with a choice of sides, and some are available in various combo meals.

All standard menu items from Panera can be ordered daily after 10 am, and various beverages, baked goods, and desserts are also available.

With such an extensive menu, deciding what to order on your next visit can be difficult.

To save you some time, we’ve put together a list of the best Panera menu items and ranked them based on their flavor and overall experience.

We only included standard menu items, so be sure to keep an eye out for their seasonal specials as well!  

21. Caesar Salad with Chicken

A classic Caesar salad is a tasty go-to, so I had to include Panera’s version on the list.

Although there isn’t much to run home about, protein and house-made croutons add a unique spin that I always enjoy.

There’s also a version available without the chicken, though the added protein really makes it.

This Panera salad uses a romaine lettuce base and a classic Caesar dressing.

It adds grated Parmesan, pieces of white-meat chicken breast, and Panera’s black pepper focaccia croutons.

The salad is simple yet crisp and filling, and it’s earned a Cool Food Meal Badge for being made with low food-related emissions.

A whole portion of the Caesar Salad with Chicken has 440 calories, 27g fat, 21g carbs, and 29g protein.

The original Caesar Salad without chicken can be ordered in a Panera Value Duet, where a half portion is served with a cup of Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup.

20. Grilled Mac & Cheese Sandwich

Although I don’t consider the Grilled Mac & Cheese Sandwich as high-quality as some other Panera sandwiches, there’s something to say about this satisfying comfort food.

It combines two of my favorite foods: mac and cheese and grilled cheese sandwich – and turns them into a gooey, crunchy, and cheese-filled goodness.

Panera’s Creamy Mac & Cheese blend is made with fontina and mozzarella cheese blend.

Parmesan crisps are added to the mix, and everything is served on classic white miche bread.

A whole sandwich has 870 calories, 42g fat, 88g carbs, and 36g protein.

19. Greek Salad

The Greek Salad from Panera is a vegetarian option that’s still packed with flavor and ingredients.

Inspired by the Mediterranean diet, this salad combines tangy produce with savory feta cheese to create a light yet satisfying meal.

Those who eat meat can add chicken for an additional charge, or you can find this salad with other menu items in several combo meals.

A half portion of the salad is also offered as a Value Duet, along with a cup of Creamy Tomato Soup, while a whole portion can be found in each of the Flatbread Pizza Family Feasts.

This salad is made with a base of romaine lettuce topped with red grape tomatoes, sliced red onions, kalamata olives, and feta cheese crumbles.

Everything is tossed in a Greek vinaigrette dressing and served with a tangy pepperoncini pepper.

A whole salad has 400 calories, 35g of fat, 16g of carbs, and 8g of protein.

18. Asian Sesame Salad with Chicken

The Asian Sesame Salad with Chicken combines a base of greens with several crunch toppings and a tangy dressing.

It’s light and simple but has a unique flavor that we know and love.

The pieces of white meat chicken were sourced from chickens raised without antibiotics.

It also earned a Cool Food Meal badge for being made with low food-related emissions.

This Panera salad combines crunchy toasted almonds, sesame seeds, and wonton strips with pieces of chicken breast and fresh cilantro.

Everything is served on a bed of romaine lettuce and tossed in a deliciously sweet and tangy Asian Sesame Vinaigrette.

A whole portion contains 410 calories, 22g fat, 29g carbs, and 27g protein.

17. Teriyaki Chicken & Broccoli Bowl

The Teriyaki Chicken & Broccoli Bowl is simple yet delicious.

While the sauce-based teriyaki glaze has an indulgent flavor, broccoli and healthy grains give this bowl a nutritional value that we can feel good about.

In fact, this bowl has the most protein of all Panera warm bowls, though it also has the highest content of sodium and sugar. 

The base of the bowl is a cilantro brown rice and quinoa blend.

This is topped with teriyaki-glazed pieces of chicken thigh meat and broccoli florets, cilantro, and sesame seeds.

Each bowl has 740 calories, 28g fat, 84g carbs, and 38g protein.

16. Broccoli Cheddar Soup

Panera’s Broccoli Cheddar Soup is thick, creamy, and loaded with healthy broccoli florets that taste even better once they soak up the soup.

This soup is cheesy and filling, making you feel like indulging while getting a hearty portion of veggies.

The base of the soup is a smooth and creamy cheddar cheese sauce, which pairs perfectly with a bread bowl or French baguette side.

It’s then loaded with chopped broccoli and shredded carrots to give it some crunch and increase its nutritional value.

Despite not containing any meat, this soup is not vegetarian due to the chicken base used in the sauce.

A whole bowl has 370 calories, 24g of fat, 25g of carbs, and 13g of protein.

15. Fuji Apple Salad with Chicken

When you have a sweet tooth but still want a healthy meal, the Fuji Apple Salad with Chicken may be the perfect compromise.

It uses sweet, dried apple slices alongside toasted pecans and offsets them with the robust flavor of gorgonzola cheese and savory white meat chicken.

The Fuji Apple Salad with Chicken has a dynamic flavor, starting with a mix of fresh greens that includes arugula, red leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, and baby kale.

This mix is topped with juicy grape tomatoes, red onions, chicken breast pieces, crumbly gorgonzola cheese, toasted pecans, and sweet apple chips.

Everything is tossed in a sweet white balsamic vinaigrette and served with a side of chips, fresh apple, or a French baguette.

A whole salad comes with 560 calories, 34g fat, 38g carbs, and 27g protein.

14. BBQ Chicken Salad

Panera may not have a taco salad, but you can indulge in delicious Tex-Mex flavors with their BBQ Chicken Salad.

Made with an assortment of hearty ingredients and two types of barbecue, this salad will treat your taste buds without widening your waistband.

A zesty black bean and corn salsa is the basis of this salad, creating an indulgently starchy yet fiber-packed texture.

This salad is served on a bed of romaine lettuce, topped with breaded frizzled onions, pieces of grilled chicken breast, and BBQ ranch dressing.

And just to ensure you got your BBQ fix, they drizzle a second apple cider vinegar BBQ sauce over everything.

A whole salad has 490 calories, 23g fat, 45g carbs, and 29g protein.

13. Chipotle Chicken & Bacon Flatbread Pizza

Panera’s Chipotle Chicken & Bacon Flatbread Pizza is packed with flavor and perfect for sharing.

Although it’s not made with traditional marinara sauce, this flatbread comes with fresh and savory toppings that just about everyone will love.

It combines smoked pulled chicken, chopped bacon bits, and a fontina and mozzarella cheese blend with fresh cilantro and juicy grape tomatoes.

A garlic cream sauce serves as the base, while a chipotle aioli is drizzled over everything after baking.

Each pizza has 1020 calories with 49g fat, 96g carbs, and 43g protein.

12. Toasted Steak & White Cheddar Sandwich

Nothing makes a sandwich feel more like a meal than a generous portion of steak.

Combine it with dynamic toppings and hearty bread, and you have Panera’s Toasted Steak & White Cheddar Sandwich.

This sandwich uses grass-fed beef as its main ingredient and pairs it with tangy pickled onions, savory white cheddar cheese, and a spicy yet creamy horseradish sauce.

Everything comes on artisan ciabatta bread and is served with your choice of side.

It is also available in kids’ size so that the whole family can enjoy this delicious flavor combination.

A whole sandwich has 940 calories, 45g fat, 87g carbs, and 47g protein.

11. Baja Bowl with Chicken

The Baja Bowl with Chicken is made with a hearty portion of healthy carbs, veggies, and protein combined in an easy-to-eat dish.

It’s filling despite having a light and fresh taste, and it makes a great alternative to a salad or soup

The base of this hearty bowl is made up of a cilantro brown rice and quinoa blend.

Avocado, grape tomatoes, feta cheese, Greek yogurt, chicken breast pieces, and a bean and corn salsa top this base, while a slightly spicy salsa verde drizzle gives it all a kick.

While this bowl is only available in one size, it comes with a side of your choice.

Each bowl has 740 calories, 35g fat, 83g carbs, and 27g protein.

10. Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt

For the ultimate sandwich that’s fresh and filling, I love the Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt.

Several creamy ingredients offset the smokiness of the chicken, while an airy yet hearty bread holds it all together.  

This Panera sandwich gets most of its flavor from smoked pulled chicken, smoked Gouda, and chipotle sauce.

These flavors are offset by some fresh cilantro, Peppadew peppers, and avocado, and everything is served on signature Black Pepper Focaccia bread.

It is great as a snack or a meal and always comes with a side of apples, chips, or a French baguette.

It can also be ordered in both the standard and the premium Family Feast combo meals, where it’s served with another sandwich, soup, salad, and a French baguette, as well as some cookies for dessert in the premium meal.

A whole Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt contains 940 calories, 49g fat, 80g carbs, and 46g protein.

9. Citrus Asian Crunch Salad with Chicken

The Citrus Asian Crunch Salad from Panera is a favorite summer meal.

Although the number of calories is surprisingly high compared to other salads, the combination of nutrition-packed ingredients more than makes up for the difference.

The base of this salad is made with romaine lettuce and Panera’s Power Vegetable blend that includes kale, broccoli, green cabbage, and carrots.

This mix is tossed in a tangerine soy ginger dressing and topped with chopped cilantro, edamame, shredded carrots, and pickled red onions.

Chicken thigh pieces are added more protein, and a drizzle of teriyaki sauce ties it all together.

A whole salad has 600 calories, 33g fat, 46g carbs, and 36g protein.

8. Green Passion Smoothie

Panera offers a handful of smoothies to accompany their food menu, and at least one deserves a place on this list.

Although it was hard to pick my favorite, it’s even harder to deny just how good the Green Passion Smoothie makes me feel.

With a tropical mix of fruits and some greens for additional nutrients, this smoothie makes a refreshing side or can be enjoyed on its own as a light meal. 

This Panera smoothie blends peach and mango purees with passionfruit and white grape concentrate to create a fresh and fruity mix that will make you feel like you’re on a beach.

Some spinach is added for added nutrients and just a touch of earthy flavor to balance out the citrus.

It comes in a single size with 260 calories, 1.5g fat, 59g carbs, and 2g protein. There is also 53g of sugar for those watching their daily intake.

7. Mediterranean Veggie

Every good sandwich place needs a hearty vegetarian sandwich, and Panera has accomplished that with its Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich.

It combines a slew of fresh veggies with hummus and cheese to create a nutrient-packed sandwich that will leave you feeling full and energized.

The vegetables on this sandwich include cucumber, tomato, red onions, Peppadew peppers, and emerald greens.

The sesame and garlic hummus is spread onto a signature Tomato Basil bread, and savory feta cheese adds an extra kick. 

A whole sandwich has 640 calories, 14g fat, 108g carbs, and 23g protein.

6. Smokehouse BBQ Chicken Sandwich

The Smokehouse BBQ Chicken Sandwich is a delicious take on a pulled pork sandwich.

It uses lean chicken meat alongside two onion toppings and pulls everything together with a signature barbecue sauce.

A smoked pulled chicken is the basis of this Panera sandwich, while aged white cheddar cheese, red onions, and breaded frizzled onions top it off.

The Apple Cider Vinegar BBQ sauce is generously drizzled over everything before it’s served on white miche bread.

This sandwich can be ordered as a half or whole sandwich with your choice of side, or you can find it in a Value Duet with a cup of Creamy Tomato Soup.

A whole sandwich has 760 calories, 29g fat, 81g carbs, and 45g protein.

5. Bistro French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup may not be for everyone, but it shouldn’t be overlooked.

The brothy base is accompanied by the sweet flavor of caramelized onions and a few other unique ingredients that give this soup its dynamic flavor.

Panera’s Bistro French Onion Soup may be broth-based, but that doesn’t mean it lacks ingredients or flavor.

The base gets its sweet and sour flavor from a combination of soy sauce and a sherry wine vinegar gastrique made with caramelized sugar.

This base is then loaded with caramelized onion slivers and melted bits of shredded Gruyere cheese.

Everything is topped with house-made black pepper focaccia bread croutons that add some crunch and soften into delicious bite-sized morsels as they soak up the broth.

Each bowl has 310 calories, 13 grams of fat, 35 grams of carbs, and 12 grams of protein.

Although there’s no meat in this soup, the chicken stock used in the base keeps this from being a vegetarian option.

4. Mediterranean Bowl with Chicken

Panera’s Mediterranean Bowl with Chicken will make you feel like you’ve traveled to Greece.

It combines Mediterranean-inspired ingredients with fresh veggies and white meat chicken to create a meal you’ll be excited to enjoy time and time again.

As with all Panera warm bowls, the base is made of a cilantro lime brown rice and quinoa blend.

This is topped with fresh arugula, juicy grape tomatoes, kalamata olives, crisp sliced cucumber, feta cheese, and chicken breast pieces.

Hummus and Greek yogurt add some creamy textures, while a Lemon Tahini dressing ties all the flavors together.

This bowl is only available in one size, though it comes with a side of chips, an apple, or a French baguette.

Each bowl has 640 calories, 32g fat, 68g carbs, and 26g protein.

3. Creamy Tomato Soup

Tomato soup is a must-have menu item for any soup and sandwich restaurant, and Panera has hit the nail on the head.

It’s soothing, nourishing, and has the right consistency for dipping a grilled cheese sandwich.

Although the calories are surprisingly higher than some of their other soups, thanks to the added cream, the resulting consistency is well worth it.

It is made with vine-ripened pear tomatoes that are sweet and juicy, making it a great option for vegetarians.

These are pureed and blended with fresh cream to create a silky mouthfeel, while the flavor is enhanced by adding oregano and red pepper.

Everything is topped off with house-made black pepper focaccia croutons that add texture and soak up the soup.

This soup is wonderfully versatile, and it’s fun to change how it’s served.

While I love how the bread bowl soaks up the thick tomato base, a French baguette side has the same effect when ordered with a cup or bowl of soup.

You can also order a Creamy Tomato Soup as a Value Duet, where a cup of soup is served with any of the following options:

  • Classic Grilled Cheese
  • Greek Salad
  • Smokehouse BBQ Chicken Sandwich
  • Tuna Sandwich

If none of these pairings sound appealing, you can alternately order a “You Pick Two” special to pair this soup with any sandwich or salad.

Each bowl has 350 calories, 21 grams of fat, 34 grams of carbs, and 5 grams of protein.

2. Green Goddess Cobb Salad with Chicken

The Green Goddess Cobb Salad is loaded with hearty and healthy ingredients, making it one of my favorites at Panera.

It combines fresh vegetables with several protein-packed toppings and a creamy dressing that’s healthy and decadent.

This Panera salad is built on a base of fresh mixed greens, including arugula, romaine lettuce, red leaf lettuce, and baby kale.

Red grape tomatoes and pickled onions add a tangy flavor, while diced avocado pieces add a creamy texture.

Chicken breast pieces and a hard-boiled egg add some lean protein, while bits of applewood-smoked bacon provide a savory taste to balance the salad.

Everything is then tossed in a freshly made Green Goddess dressing that perfectly ties the assortment of ingredients together.

This salad can be ordered as a half or a whole portion, each with a side of chips, apple, or French baguette.

A whole portion has 500 calories, 29g fat, 27g carbs, and 36g protein.

1. The Signature Take Chicken Sandwich

There’s a lot to love about the Signature Take Chicken Sandwich from Panera.

This sandwich goes the extra mile to deliver a satisfying taste through quality ingredients.

Unlike other menu items, it’s only available as a whole sandwich, though it can also be found in the Chef’s Chicken Sandwiches Family Feast. 

Every part of this sandwich indicates that it is made to the chef’s standards.

The 100% white meat chicken breast is not breaded but gets its flavor from a signature seasoning blend and sous vide water bath that seals in all the flavors.

It’s topped with Parmesan Crisps that give it a cheesy crunch, while the emerald greens add some fresh produce to the mix.

A garlic aioli gives the sandwich a creamy texture, while the brioche roll is hearty enough to contain it all.

Each sandwich has 570 calories, 29g fat, 37g carbs, and 40g protein.


From healthy to indulgent, there’s something for everyone on the Panera menu.

I love the sophisticated touch of the Signature Take Chicken Sandwich, though a hearty mix like the Green Goddess Cobb Salad or the Mediterranean Bowl can be just as satisfying.

Your favorite Panera menu item may change with your mood, so the best way not to miss out is to try a different combination each visit.

For more information about Panera Bread, check out the articles below.

Last Updated: January 18, 2023

About the Author

Lana Kisner is a writer on the team with more than 15 years of experience in the food service industry.

In her free time, she enjoys traveling, exploring new restaurants, listening to live music, and hiking with her dog.