Since going vegetarian more than a year and a half ago, I've certainly had my moments of missing certain foods (buffalo wings and cheeseburgers, to be more specific). It's also been a lifestyle change for the people I spend time with, since our choice of restaurants has to be guided by which places can deliver a decent menu, minus the meat. While Buffalo Wild Wings is definitely out, my friends and family can't argue with the high number of Panera vegetarian options.
The best part of Panera, aside from the amount of dishes that are designed without meat, is that their menu is easily altered to satisfy a vegetarian or vegan diet. In most cases, you can ask the cashier to swap out the meat for more veggies, and their new self-order kiosks make it even easier. These screens show you exactly what goes into every sandwich and salad, and you're able to pick and choose what is best for you.
#SpoonTip: A word of warning (that I learned the hard way): pay special attention to soup ingredients before ordering. A lot of soups are made with a chicken or beef broth, so make sure to choose the ones listed below that are made using vegetable broth.
1. Mediterranean Egg White on Ciabatta
This sandwich is a tasty way to start the morning with some extra flavor. A great benefit of breakfast sandwiches from Panera is the choice to have it made on a tasty bagel instead of plain bread.
2. Avocado, Egg White, Spinach Power Breakfast Sandwich
3. Mediterannian Veggie Sandwich
This sandwich is one of my personal favorite Panera vegetarian options. It comes loaded with fresh veggies and a tasty dressing that has a bit of a kick.
4. Tomato Mozzarella Flatbread
Another personal favorite. This sandwich is especially great dipped in the Creamy Tomato Soup.
5. Creamy Tomato Soup
This soup tastes great all year long. In the summer, I like to pair hot soups with a cold sandwich, like the Mediterranean Veggie, or a salad.
7. Autumn Squash Soup
The downside to this delicious soup is that it's typically only available in the colder months. It's worth the wait though, so make sure to keep your eyes out for it in the fall.
8. Mac and Cheese
Mac and cheese is a classic, and can usually be found on anyone's list of comfort foods. Panera doesn't disappoint with this favorite.
9. Modern Greek Salad with Quinoa
Being a vegetarian means paying extra attention to getting enough protein. This quinoa salad helps to make sure that happens, while also being absolutely delicious.
10. Fuji Apple Salad (without chicken)
This salad is really tasty and the flavors keep it interesting, which means the chicken is really not missed.
11. Chinese Citrus Cashew Salad (without chicken)
Another delicious salad that doesn't need the meat to make it taste great.
As someone who is equal parts vegetarian and comfort food enthusiast, I am so thankful for all of the Panera vegetarian options that keep us herbivores full and happy.