The 5 Best Picks at Panera
From breakfast to dessert and all that’s in between. Plus, get our pro tips for optimizing your order for a healthy and satisfying meal.
We love Panera because of its fresh ingredients, responsibly raised meats, seasonal options and umpteen ways to healthify your order. We scoured the menu for the best picks that deliver on deliciousness but help you keep calories in check. Check out our choices for breakfast, lunch and dessert.
Best Grain Bowl
Mediterranean Grain Bowl
Pro Order: Ask to go light on the feta, olives, tahini and hummus.
A fiber-rich combination of brown rice, quinoa and hummus makes this a plenty-filling choice. Easing up on the briny toppings helps to cut out 390 mg of sodium.
Bacon, Scrambled Egg & Cheese on Ciabatta
Pro Order: Get it on a sprouted-grain bagel flat and add tomato and spinach.
Nothing beats a classic bacon, egg and cheese—especially when you swap in whole-grain bread and add some colorful veg to jump the fiber count to 4 fill-you-up grams.
Cocoa & Crème Cookie
Gotta have a dessert? This crunchy chocolate cookie sandwich makes a nice portion-controlled sweet treat, with plenty of chocolate punch.
Best Sandwich Combo
You Pick 2 Combo: Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich + Seasonal Greens Salad
Pro Order: Get the sandwich on whole-grain sourdough and add an egg to the salad.
Getting a “pick two” combo helps keep carbs and sodium down, with plenty to munch on—and you can always upgrade to whole-grain bread. The egg takes the protein from 11 to 14 grams.
Best Soup Combo
You Pick 2 Combo: Half Strawberry Poppyseed Chicken Salad + Cup of Vegetarian Creamy Tomato Soup
We love the rainbow of fruit on this salad. Pair it with the lowest-sodium soup in the pack and you’ve got a satisfying lunch with 14 grams of protein.
This story originally appeared in EatingWell Magazine September 2020.