At CaterSquad, we’re proud to partner with a number of national restaurant chains to provide you with reliably delicious, cost-effective catering. One such partner is Panera Bread, the chain you likely enjoy for its signature pastries, hearty sandwiches, and creative salads.
Panera isn’t known for offering tons of heavy fare, but some menu items are definitely healthier than others. When you, your clients, or office staff are trying to eat on the lighter side, Panera has breakfast, lunch, and dinner options to suit your needs. Here’s a look at the healthiest menu items at this fast casual chain.
To start the day off right, look to Panera’s selection of bagels, breakfast sandwiches, and egg dishes. The Sprouted Grain Bagel Flat is the best of the restaurant’s bagel choices, with just 190 calories and 3 grams of fiber. (You can go ahead and order that side of cream cheese!) Or keep calories to a minimum—but hang on to protein—with an order of Greek yogurt with mixed berries (250 calories, 10 g fat, 2 g fiber, 14 g protein).
For an even more filling breakfast, check out the Avocado, Egg White, and Spinach Sandwich on a Sprouted Grain Bagel Flat (350 calories, 14 g fat, 5 g fiber, 19 g protein). Or if you’re craving something sweeter in the morning, try the Steel Cut Oatmeal with Strawberries, Pecans, and Cinnamon Crunch Topping for 360 calories, 14 g fat, 9 g fiber, and 8 g protein.
Lunch and Dinner
Moving on to lunch and dinner, Panera has you covered with plenty of good-for-you entrees. Soups, grain bowls, and sandwiches serve interchangeably as a mid-day or evening meal, so you’re free to choose whatever suits your fancy.
When you’re in the mood for a grain bowl, don’t miss the Mediterranean Bowl. Packed with veggies and whole grains, this entrée comes in at 630 calories, 30 g fat, 9 g fiber, and 20 g protein. (Just watch out for its high sodium content of 1,270 mg.)
Hankering for a warm bowl of soup? Even in bowl size (1 ½ cups), the Ten Vegetable Soup has just 100 calories. Turkey Chili with Beans is another smart choice at 300 calories, 10 g fat, 14 g fiber, and 21 g protein per bowl.
For sandwiches, best bets at Panera include the half Mediterranean Veggie on Tomato Basil (270 calories, 6 g fat, 4 g fiber, 10 g protein) and half Napa Almond Chicken Salad (320 calories, 16 g fat, 2 g fiber, 14 g protein).
No one is surprised to learn that green salads tend to be healthy. One top choice: the Asian Sesame Salad, with or without chicken. A half portion of this refreshing salad comes with just 220 calories and 11 grams of fat. For something even lighter, check out the chain’s rotation of seasonal greens.
When you want to round out your meal with a little something extra, Panera’s sides are a serious source of nutrition. The tomato-basil cucumber salad and seasonal fruit bowl, for example, add plenty of nutrients (and flavor) to your lunch or dinner.
Be sure to save room for dessert—because it doesn’t have to be a calorie fest with Panera’s lighter sweets. Finish off your meal with a Green Passion Smoothie, for example, for just 200 calories and plenty of real fruit.
Mini versions of popular pastries have also made their way onto Panera’s menu, such as the Mini Croissant (110 calories, 6 g fat, 0 g fiber, 2 g protein), Mini Cranberry-Orange Muffin (70 calories, 3 g fat, 0 g fiber, 1 g protein), and Mini Oatmeal Raisin Cookie with Berries (90 calories, 3 g fat, 1 g fiber, 1 g protein). Any of these tiny treats can be just the thing to end your health-ified Panera meal on a sweet—but still light—note.
Ready to order some Panera for your next meeting? Text us your order at 858.999.5129!