14 Copycat Panera Recipes Worth Making, Not Buying

Copycat Panera Frontega Chicken Sandwich
Photo: Will Dickey

Whether you're in the mood for a comforting soup, a crunchy salad or a veggie-packed sandwich, you might be tempted to order Panera to satisfy your taste buds. But these healthy and tasty copycat recipes are worth making instead of buying lunch from the chain. From our Copycat Panera Green Goddess Cobb Salad to our Copycat Panera's Tomato-Basil Soup, there's something for every Panera lover in this lineup.

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Copycat Panera Green Goddess Cobb Salad

Copycat Panera Green Goddess Cobb Salad
Will Dickey

This copycat Panera Green Goddess Cobb Salad is easy to make at home. Adding a simple Dijon mixture to the chicken gives it a boost of flavor that works well with the green goddess dressing. The dressing would also work well as a dip or spread, or over potato or pasta salad.

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Chicken Tikka Masala Soup

a recipe photo of the Chicken Tikka Masala Soup served in two bowls and topped with chives
Photographer: Jennifer Causey, Food stylist: Ali Ramee, Prop stylist: Claire Spollen

This chicken tikka masala soup tastes just like the original dish, but in soup form! The ginger, garlic and onion combine with aromatic spices to offer flavor in every bite. Butternut squash (or sweet potato) and spinach add sweetness and color to this warming soup. Serve with toasted garlic naan.

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Caprese Sandwich

Caprese Sandwich
Photographer / Jennifer Causey, Food Stylist / Karen Rankin, Prop Stylist / Christine Keely

This caprese sandwich is fresh from the basil and hearty from thick, crusty ciabatta. The sun-dried tomatoes deepen the flavor. Topping the bread with a layer of basil leaves and using toasted bread helps to keep the sandwich from getting soggy if you need to make it a few hours ahead.

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Copycat Panera's Tomato-Basil Soup

2 bowls of Copycat Panera's Tomato-Basil Soup
Photographer: Jen Causey; Food Stylist: Ali Ramee; Prop Stylist: Claire Spollen

We've re-created Panera's Tomato-Basil Soup, loved for its richness and subtle sweetness, by roasting cherry tomatoes and shallots, which add natural sweet flavors and eliminate the need for added sugar. Serve with a salad or a grilled cheese for dunking.

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Green Goddess Salad with Chicken


For this cucumber, tomato, Swiss cheese and chicken salad recipe, a healthy green goddess salad dressing recipe gets its creaminess from avocado, buttermilk and herbs. Any extra dressing is delicious served over grilled chicken or flaky white fish, such as cod or flounder.

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Copycat Panera Frontega Chicken Sandwich

Copycat Panera Frontega Chicken Sandwich
Will Dickey

Got leftover chicken? This copycat Panera Frontega Chicken Sandwich is easy to make at home. You get smoky flavor and mild heat from the chipotle peppers, while the mayonnaise adds creaminess. The bread is super crispy, with basil adding freshness.

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Butternut Squash Soup with Apple Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Butternut Squash Soup with Apple Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

Layering apple slices into grilled cheese sandwiches adds a little crunch to a favorite soup dipper. And creamy butternut squash soup with ginger, cumin and turmeric is a nice change of pace from grilled cheese's usual tomato soup partner. If you have a sensitive palate, you can cut back on the spices. Be sure to use seasonal squash for the best squash flavor. Serve the duo for a comforting and easy weeknight dinner for the family. The soup keeps well in the fridge, so save leftovers for lunch or dinner later in the week.

08 of 14

Teriyaki Chicken Rice Bowl

teriyaki chicken rice bowl
Fred Hardy

This sweet-and-salty teriyaki chicken rice bowl is flavored with fresh grated ginger and scallions and packed with colorful veggies and everything else you need for a balanced dinner in one dish.

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Copycat Panera's Broccoli-Cheddar Soup

a recipe photo of the Copycat Panera's Broccoli-Cheddar Soup served in two bowls
Photographer: Jennifer Causey, Food stylist: Ali Ramee, Prop stylist: Clairen Spollen

This velvety copycat of Panera's Broccoli-Cheddar Soup is just like the original, with a cheesy broth and plenty of broccoli and shredded carrot. Enjoy with crusty bread to sop up the leftovers.

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Strawberry-Balsamic Spinach Salad with Chicken

overhead shot of a plated salad on a light purple table
Blaine Moats

A quick blender vinaigrette does double duty as dressing for this strawberry spinach salad and, with the addition of ketchup and strawberry preserves, as a barbecue sauce for the tenders.

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French Onion Soup

a recipe photo of the French Onion soup
Photographer: Jen Causey, Food Stylist: Jennifer Wendorf

This French onion soup recipe uses two types of onions, yellow for sharpness and sweet for sweetness, for a more complex flavor. White wine and vermouth bring slight acidity, while thyme gives an earthy flavor. The thick, cheesy slices of whole-wheat bread soak up the delicious broth.

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Veggie & Hummus Sandwich

Veggie & Hummus Sandwich

This mile-high vegetable and hummus sandwich makes the perfect heart-healthy vegetarian lunch to go. Mix it up with different flavors of hummus and different types of vegetables depending on your mood.

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Skillet Broccoli-Cheddar Mac & Cheese

skillet broccoli and cheddar mac and cheese
Ali Redmond

Broccoli—just like pasta—makes a tasty pairing with sharp Cheddar. Here, we've combined all three ingredients in a homey casserole that's baked in a cast-iron skillet. Replacing some of the pasta in the dish with vegetables makes it more nutritious and helps you cut down on carbs.

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Classic Chicken Soup

Classic Chicken Soup

Classic chicken noodle soup gets a healthy upgrade with low-sodium chicken broth, whole-wheat egg noodles and tons of vegetables. To get a homemade stock flavor using store-bought broth, we simmer bone-in chicken breasts in the broth before adding the rest of the soup ingredients. But you're short on time, feel free to use pre-cooked chicken and start the recipe at step 2.

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