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.
panera menu items
Credit: Ted & Chelsea Cavanaugh

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.

530 calories

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.

Best Breakfast

Bacon, Scrambled Egg & Cheese on Ciabatta

Pro Order: Get it on a sprouted-grain bagel flat and add tomato and spinach.

340 calories

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.

Best Treat

Cocoa & Crème Cookie

170 calories

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.

310 calories

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

350 calories

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.