Panera Gluten Free Menu Items
Panera Bread has some great gluten free menu items! In this article, you will find all of the gluten free offerings at Panera. In addition, this article outlines which dishes to order, which ones may contain hidden gluten, and what to look for when ordering. Panera may not come to mind as a gluten free friendly chain restaurant, but they have delicious options! If you are Celiac or have a severe gluten allergy, I recommend not going here. There is cross contamination in their kitchens.
Disclaimer: At any time, Panera can change their menu and ingredients list. Please ask your local Panera about ingredients and gluten. In addition, Panera clearly states on their website that there is cross contamination at their restaurants. If you have Celiac disease, a severe gluten allergy or autoimmune disease, you may want to consider somewhere else.
What is Panera Bread?
In 1987, Panera Bread got its start as St. Louis Bread Company. This sourdough bread bakery made freshly baked breads daily. They began with a sourdough starter, which is still used in their recipes today.
Today, Panera Bread is a fast casual American cuisine restaurant chain. Order at the counter, grab a table, and your number will be called. They are known for their expansive bakery and pastry options, quick and healthy meals, and sweet treats.
Daily offerings include freshly baked bagels, cookies, breads, salads, sandwiches, and smoothies. Panera offers breakfast, lunch and dinner.
According to their website, Panera prides itself on offering clean and healthy options. In addition, this family friendly restaurant is passionate about quality, convenience, and kindness.
Panera is located in 48 states, the District of Columbia and parts of Canada. To find your nearest location, check out their store locator.
Panera has a “gluten conscious” menu which features dishes made without gluten. Unfortunately, they cannot guarantee these items are entirely free of gluten. They warn about cross contamination in their kitchens. Please be very careful ordering and ask your associate for help.
Top Gluten Free Items & Products
There are some healthy and delicious gluten free items at Panera Bread. They are broken out by meal type below.
Breakfast & Brunch
Panera has a wide range of smoothies. In addition, they have oatmeal that is labeled gluten conscious.
Smoothie flavors include the following.
Their Strawberry Banana Smoothie is made from fruit purées, banana, plain Greek yogurt and ice.
The Mango Smoothie contains plain Greek yogurt, ice, orange juice and banana purée.
Green Passion Smoothie is made with peach, mango and white grape purées, passionfruit juice, spinach and ice.
Peach and Blueberry Smoothie with Almond Milk contains peach, mango and white graph purées, passionfruit juice, blueberries and almond milk. This smoothie is also dairy free and vegan.
The Panera Strawberry Smoothie is made from fruit purées, juice concentrate, plain Greek yogurt and ice.
In addition, to smoothies, Panera offers oatmeal. Their Greek Yogurt with Mixed Berries Parfait is labeled as gluten conscious. It contains Greek yogurt, honey, maple butter pecan granola, strawberries and blueberries. The granola contains whole grain oats. If you cannot digest oats, I recommend choosing another option.
They also offer Steel Cut Oats with Strawberries and Pecans. These oats are topped with pecans, cinnamon crunch, and strawberries.
Panera’s Greek Salad is fresh and flavorful. It contains romaine lettuce, feta, red onions, tomatoes, olives, Greek dressing and pepperoncini. Add chicken or avocado for an extra fee.
The Green Goddess Salad is one of my favorites! This salads contains antibiotic free chicken, arugula, romaine lettuce, kale, tomatoes, and pickled red onions. The toppings include Green Goddess dressing, avocado, Applewood bacon, and hard boiled eggs.
Fuji Apple Salad with Chicken is another gluten conscious option. This salad is made up of antibiotic free chicken, arugula, kale, romaine lettuce, tomatoes, red onions, pecans, Gorgonzola cheese, and apple chips. The dressing is a white balsamic vinaigrette.
Their other salads all either contain croutons or soy sauce. Thus, they contain gluten.
While Panera offers many baked goods, pastries, and desserts, none of them is gluten free.
While Panera does not list any soups on their gluten-conscious menu, there are some options. The soups are served with baguettes, which are not gluten free!
First, the Vegetarian Autumn Squash Soup contains no gluten. This soup is warm, hearty and cozy. It contains butternut squash, pumpkin, broth, honey, apple juice, cinnamon, curry, sweet cream, and pumpkin seeds. Double check with your local Panera to be sure it is safe to eat.
The Turkey Chili does not contain wheat ingredients either. Since it is not listed on their gluten conscious menu, double check with your local restaurant before eating. This chili has antibiotic free turkey, chickpeas, kidney beans, ancho and pasilla stock, tomatoes, edamame, carrots, tomatillos, cumin, lime and cilantro.
Panera has several warm bowl menu items. Unfortunately, all of them either contain or may contain gluten. For that reason, these are best to avoid. Even if you are not Celiac, it is not worth the risk.
Panera is not a cheap restaurant by any means. However, it does have affordable prices.
Most of the main menu items range from $7 to $13.
Some bakery items are even cheaper.
Panera does offer a kids menu. It includes several soups, mac and cheese, and chili.
The only kids’ menu item that does not contain gluten is the Vegetarian Autumn Squash Soup. Since this is not listed under their gluten conscious menu, it may be best to avoid for children. This is usually serve with a baguette, which is not gluten free.
Sides & Other
Several sides at Panera are gluten free!
First, the bag of chips are gluten free. They contain only potatoes, oil and sea salt.
The fresh fruit is naturally gluten free. Ask for apples or bananas.
The fresh fruit cup is also naturally gluten free.
In addition, the hard boiled eggs are free of gluten.
Lastly, the squeezable yogurts are wheat and gluten free.
Dairy Free at Panera
There are many dairy free menu items at Panera. At any time, Panera can change their menu. Please ask before ordering.
Many of their breads are dairy free. Popular dairy free choices include Artisan Ciabatta, Classic Sourdough, French Baguette, and White Whole Grain.
Be aware that their cheesy bread, Brioche Roll and Flatbread all contain milk and or dairy.
Dairy free bagels include sesame, sprouted grain bagel flat, everything, plain and blueberry. Unfortunately, the chocolate chip, cinnamon crunch, and cinnamon swirl & raisin contain dairy.
None of the bakery items or pastries is dairy free.
Many of the egg breakfast sandwiches can be easily made dairy free without cheese. Ask for no cheese and double check they are dairy free.
In addition, many of the sandwiches and salads can be modified dairy free. Ask for the items without cheese.
When ordering salad, be sure to make sure dressings are dairy free. Additionally, order the salads without cheese.
Most of the soups are dairy free. Soups containing dairy include Vegetarian Autumn Squash Soup, Mexican Corn Chowder and Cream Tomato Soup. Those contain milk. The French Onion Soup contains both butter and cheese.
Vegan at Panera
Many of the dairy free options are also vegan friendly.
When ordering salads and sandwiches, obviously stay clear of the chicken or meat.
Avoid the eggs and egg sandwiches.
Double check with your local restaurant for what is fully vegan.
Frequently Asked Questions
No. Panera is not overly expensive, but it is more pricy than traditional fast food.
Panera does not make gluten free bread.
I would not recommend Celiacs eat at Panera. They mention cross contamination in all of their kitchens. Moreover, they have a “gluten conscious” menu, but not fully gluten free menu. Therefore, those with Celiac or a severe gluten allergy should not eat there.
Panera’s cream of chicken and wild rice soup contains gluten. It is not safe for those who are gluten free to eat.
Panera’s tomato soup does contain gluten. Do not eat if you are gluten free.
The seasoning in Panera’s broccoli cheddar soup contains wheat. Therefore, it is not gluten free.
In conclusion, Panera has many menu items that are made without gluten. However, they warn of cross contamination in their kitchens.
Therefore, it is not completely safe for those with Celiac or gluten allergies to eat at Panera.
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