Panera Bread has become the beacon of hope for those who love fresh ingredients, quick service, and a casual environment. They’re also one of the few restaurants with menus tailored for vegan, vegetarians, and gluten-free people. Here’s a complete list of items at Panera if you’re off gluten, separated by breakfast, lunch, and dinner items – and which foods you should stay away from.
Order as is: Summer Fruit Cup
Don’t get: Oatmeal or the Strawberry Granola Parfait. Although pure oats do not have gluten in them, lots of fast food restaurants have slight cross-contamination issues with their wheat and oatmeal products. Even if the contamination is minimal, it’s best to steer clear.
Order as is: Greek Salad, Seasonal Greens Salad, Fuji Apple Salad with Chicken, or the Green Goddess Cobb Salad with Quinoa
Order with modifications: Caesar Salad, without the croutons. Watermelon Feta Salad with Almonds, minus the Ancient Grain Blend. Vegetarian Creamy Tomato Soup, no croutons.
Don’t get: The Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. This soup sounds like a perfect gluten-free lunch, but the broth that is used contains wheat. Definitely a no-go.
Order as is: Romaine & Kale Caesar Salad with Chicken, Modern Greek Salad with Quinoa, Strawberry Poppyseed and Chicken Salad, Low-Fat Vegetarian Black Bean Soup, Baked Potato Soup, or the Veggie Summer Corn Chowder.
Order with modifications: BBQ Chicken Salad without Frizzled Onions. Spicy Thai Salad with Chicken, nix the wonton strips, the Thai chili vinaigrette, and the peanut sauce – try the Asian Sesame dressing instead.
Don’t get: Broccoli Cheddar Soup or the New England Clam Chowder. Their heartier soups are also deceivingly gluten-free. Both of these soups use wheat in their broths.
Sweets & Drinks
Order as is: Gluten Conscious Triple Chocolate Cookie with Walnuts, Superfruit Power Smoothie with Greek Yogurt, Peach and Blueberry Power Smoothie with Almond Milk, or the Low-Fat Mango Smoothie.
Don’t get: Gluten Conscious Monster Cookie with Nuts. This cookie, unlike the one listed above, contains oats. Similar to their breakfast oatmeal, there is a chance of cross-contamination with wheat. If you’re severely allergic or Celiac, this is not recommended.
While these are their gluten-free items, some of these foods do contain other allergens. If you have another allergy, don’t be afraid to ask an employee about the ingredients in the product – they’re always happy to make substitutes.