May 20, 2024

You used to make a beeline to Panera Bread at lunchtime for the broccoli cheddar mac and cheese bread bowl. Now that you’re on the keto diet, your go-to order will need some major adjustments. Certain produce items (like bean and corn salsa) and condiments (like barbecue sauce) pack a carb-loaded punch, since they contain starches and sugars that translate to higher carbs. But the biggest issue will be the bread—whether in sandwich, bowl or crouton form—since it’s too high in carbs to keep you in ketosis. While the restaurant has a great nutrition calculator on its website, it doesn’t allow you to remove bread from sandwiches, so you may have to do a bit of guesswork to determine the net carbs of your adjusted meal. (Note: The nutrition info that follows each menu item below doesn’t account for any modifications.) Nevertheless, it’s totally possible to eat keto at Panera Bread with a few helpful tweaks. Here are 12 menu items to put on your to-devour list, plus tips from an expert on the keto diet.

Here’s How to Eat Vegan at Panera

Meet the Expert

Dr. Felicia Stoler, DCN, is a registered dietitian, nutritionist and exercise physiologist. She’s the author of Living Skinny in Fat Genes: The Healthy Way to Lose Weight and Feel Great and the former host of TLC’s Honey, We’re Killing the Kids.

Tips for Going Keto

“The keto diet is effective for helping people lose weight, but it’s not effective as a lifetime lifestyle diet,” Stoler explains. While there are no studies that examine the long-term effects of going keto for decades, it’s a fact that high dietary fat intake (especially with low fiber intake) puts a person at risk for heart disease, cancer and digestive issues. “[Keto] is certainly not the healthiest, and let’s acknowledge that in all of the longevity regions of the world, the centenarians’ diets include the same starchy carbs that are no-nos for keto,” she says.

Nevertheless, if you’re someone with a large amount of weight to lose, keto could be an effective way to kick things off. While Stoler stresses that all foods can fit in a healthy diet, here are her tips for trying it out:

Now that you know the drill, read on for 12 of our favorite keto options at Panera Bread.


Panera Bread

1. Chipotle Chicken, Scrambled Egg & Avocado Wrap

Nutrition information: 470 calories, 27g fat, 32g carbs, 29g protein, 4g sugar, 4g fiber

Make it keto: Remove the whole-grain wrap

On keto, you’ll need to nix the bread or wrap for every sandwich on the menu. While this is theoretically good for your diet, Stoler reminds us that it potentially creates food waste, and you’ll likely still pay full price for less food. Nevertheless, it’s doable if you’re willing.

This mix of smoked pulled chicken, scrambled egg, smoked Gouda, chipotle aioli, sweet Peppadew peppers, avocado and cilantro will help you kick the day off with energy and a full belly. You can even add bacon for extra protein and fat.

2. Greek Yogurt with Mixed Berries Parfait

Panera Bread

Nutrition information: 240 calories, 8g fat, 27g carbs, 15g protein, 17g sugar, 2g fiber

Make it keto: Ask for the granola on the side and no honey

You may have thought the steel-cut oatmeal with strawberries and pecans was a better option for keto eaters, but the sugary-sweet cinnamon crunch topping ups the carbs considerably. (And it might taste a tad bland without it.) Greek yogurt topped with whole-grain oat maple butter pecan granola and fruit offers lean protein, nutrients and energy, plus probiotics. Asking for the carby granola on the side may help you moderate how much of it you actually eat, as opposed to mixing it all into the yogurt from the start. Add extra pecans for a boost in protein and healthy fat, too.

Soups and Salads

Panera Bread

3. Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup

Nutrition information: 100 calories, 1g fat, 13g carbs, 9g protein, 4g sugar, 0g fiber

Make it keto: No modifications necessary

It doesn’t get more comforting than this classic soup, made with tender white meat chicken, chicken bone broth, egg noodles, carrots, celery and herbs. Even with pasta in the mix, this soup is keto-friendly, although Stoler warns that it’s heavy on the noodles. Just be sure to skip the French baguette side in favor of potato chips (which are lower in carbs than the apple option, BTW) or tomato basil cucumber salad.

4. Caesar Salad with Chicken

Panera Bread

Nutrition information: 440 calories, 27g fat, 21g carbs, 32g protein, 3g sugar, 4g fiber

Make it keto: Remove the croutons

In Stoler’s opinion, salads are Panera’s best option for keto dieters. The classic combo of romaine lettuce, grated parmesan and creamy Caesar dressing is proof that simplicity can be delicious. Add chicken to the mix and it’s even more satiating. Even if you were to leave the black pepper focaccia croutons on the salad, it isn’t too carby that it’ll kick you out of ketosis (there are 17 net carbs when you subtract the fiber), as long as the rest of your meals that day are high in protein and fat and low in carbs. But feel free to ask for them on the side and nosh on a few of them if you’d like.

5. Ten Vegetable Soup

Panera Bread

Nutrition information: 100 calories, 2g fat, 15g carbs, 5g protein, 6g sugar, 4g fiber

Make it keto: No modifications necessary

It’s savory, spicy and nutritious, thanks to a mélange of veggies including bell peppers, tomatoes, onions, spinach, poblano peppers and dried Aleppo chile. The corn, chickpeas, brown rice and red fife (a type of wheat) account for most of the carbs, but there are only 9 net carbs total when you also take the fiber content into account. Chickpeas also offer a bit of protein and make the soup more filling, so you hopefully won’t miss your usual hunk of bread for dipping. But Stoler points out that this option is very low in calories and fat, so someone on keto may still be hungry afterwards.

6. Greek Salad

Panera Bread

Nutrition information: 390 calories, 35g fat, 16g carbs, 9g protein, 6g sugar, 7g fiber

Make it keto: No modifications necessary

Kalamata olives, feta cheese, pepperoncini, citrus-herb Greek dressing—yup, the gang’s all here. Luckily, you don’t need to make a single change to this salad for it to fit into your meal plan. However, you can ask for light red onions and tomatoes to shave off a few extra carbs if you’d like. Or, add grilled chicken to make it even more satisfying. The salad bowl is your oyster.

7. Asian Sesame Salad with Chicken

Panera Bread

Nutrition information: 410 calories, 21g fat, 28g carbs, 30g protein, 7g sugar, 6g fiber

Make it keto: Remove the wonton strips

All it takes to put this zingy salad in keto territory is nixing the carby wonton strips, since the rest is romaine lettuce, almonds, grilled chicken, cilantro and Asian sesame vinaigrette. The sesame seeds can stay, since they’re low in carbs and high in fat, making them a great crunchy addition for keto dieters.


Panera Bread

8. Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT

Nutrition information: 850 calories, 53g fat, 54g carbs, 43g protein, 5g sugar, 7g fiber

Make it keto: Remove the bread

Turkey, mayo, avocado and bacon make this sandwich just fatty and filling enough to hold a keto eater over—even without the country rustic sourdough bread. Order a green side salad or tomato basil cucumber salad to make it more satiating or try a cup of chicken noodle or ten vegetable soup.

9. Toasted Frontega Chicken

Panera Bread

Nutrition information: 820 calories, 38g fat, 79g carbs, 43g protein, 6g sugar, 4g fiber

Make it keto: Remove the bread

Smoked pulled chicken is packed with lean protein, while melty mozzarella cheese and mayo-based chipotle sauce boost the filling fat content. If you want to make it even lower in carbs after removing the black pepper focaccia, substitute spinach or lettuce for red onion and sliced tomatoes.

10. Bacon Turkey Bravo Sandwich

Panera Bread

Nutrition information: 860 calories, 41g fat, 75g carbs, 50g protein, 10g sugar, 3g fiber

Make it keto: Remove the bread

Turkey, bacon, Gouda, sliced tomatoes and signature sauce make this sammy a crowd favorite. But it’s just as tasty sans-tomato basil bread, promise. Instead of just eating the sandwich fillings solo without the bread, slice them up and toss them atop a bed of greens for a next-level salad. Add avocado for a filling boost of healthy fats and protein.

11. Napa Almond Chicken Salad Sandwich

Panera Bread

Nutrition information: 550 calories, 25g fat, 59g carbs, 24g protein, 11g sugar, 4g fiber

Make it keto: Remove the bread

The chicken salad is crisp and bright, thanks to diced celery, red grapes, toasted almonds and slightly sweet honey dressing. Paired with sliced tomatoes and emerald greens, it’s prime for a picnic—even without the sourdough. If you’re feeling ambitious after ditching the bread, pick out the sugary grapes in the chicken salad to save a few carbs.

12. Turkey Sandwich

Panera Bread

Nutrition information: 510 calories, 19g fat, 54g carbs, 31g protein, 5g sugar, 4g fiber

Make it keto: Remove the bread

It’s the quintessential healthy lunch for a reason. Turkey is lean, versatile and loaded with protein. Here, it’s jazzed up with mayo, spicy mustard, red onion, sliced tomatoes and crunchy emerald greens. Lose the bread and add cheese, bacon or avocado for extra fat and protein.

How to Eat Keto at Chipotle

Taryn Pire is PureWow’s associate food editor. A former bartender and barista, she’s been writing about all things delicious since 2016, developing recipes, reviewing restaurants and investigating food trends at Food52, New Jersey Family Magazine and Taste Talks. When she isn’t testing TikTok’s latest viral recipe, she’s having popcorn for dinner and posting about it on Instagram @cookingwithpire.


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