You Can Order Low-Carb at Panera – Here’s How

If you can, it’s always better to plan what you’re going to order ahead of time. You can check Panera’s online menu and create a modified low-carb meal before going to the restaurant. But if you already know what ingredients you need to avoid to stick to your low-carb/keto diet, then it’ll be easy for you to make your customized order on-the-spot. 

You Can Order Low-Carb at Panera - Here’s How

Overall Assessment

Panera typically serves fresh and carefully prepared food. The staff are friendly, and the restaurants are generally modern and clean. As a fast food place, Panera’s prices are a bit more expensive, but the food options are also better. 

Overall, Panera’s menu is low-carb friendly, and the low-carb options are mostly tasty, filling, and worth the price. 

Low-Carb Breakfast

Customizing Panera’s breakfast sandwiches to make them low-carb friendly simply involves ordering one without the bread or bagel. Your food will be served in a salad bowl. Here are the top 5 low-carb breakfast options. 

Ham Egg & Cheese Sandwich

  • What you’ll get: smoked ham; egg; a slice of white cheddar cheese. You can’t go wrong with a traditional sandwich combo such as this. 
  • Price: $4.29
  • Estimated Macros: 210 calories and 3 net carbs

Bacon Egg & Cheese Sandwich

  • What you’ll get: bacon; egg; a slice of white cheddar cheese. Another pairing made in breakfast heaven: bacon and cheese. 
  • Price: $4.29
  • Estimated Macros: 250 calories and 1 net carb

Turkey Sausage, Egg White & Spinach Sandwich 

  • What you’ll get: turkey sausage in egg whites; a slice of white cheddar cheese; tomato; fresh spinach. A delicious meal, but the sausage has sage seeds, so if you don’t like the flavor of sage, you might not enjoy this as much. 
  • Price: $4.29
  • Estimated Macros: 170 calories and 2 net carbs

Sausage Egg & Cheese Sandwich

  • What you’ll get: sliced sausage patty; egg patty; a slice of white cheddar cheese. The sausage is lean and dry, however, especially compared to Mickey D’s. But this is another no-fail combo. 
  • Price: $4.29
  • Estimated Macros: 335 calories and 3 net carbs

Steak Egg & Cheese Sandwich 

  • What you’ll get: sliced steak; egg; a slice of white cheddar cheese. Looks better than it tastes, unless you really like steak. 
  • Price: $4.29
  • Estimated Macros: 335 calories and 3 net carbs

Other low-carb breakfast options are the Egg White, Avocado, and Spinach sandwich, and the basic Egg & Cheese sandwich. Both are too low on calories to be filling without the bread, however. 

Low-Carb Lunch and Dinner

Any of the options listed below is good for lunch or dinner. Again, simply order the sandwiches without the bread to make them low-carb. Here are the most highly-recommended. 

Steak and Baby Arugula Sandwich 

  • What you’ll get: sliced steak; baby arugula; tomatoes; pickled red onions; horseradish mustard; garlic and herb cream cheese spread. You can request to have it served on a bed of lettuce. You can also cut down the carbs further by skipping the pickled onions. 
  • Price: $9.39
  • Estimated Macros: 290 calories and 10 net carbs

Green Goddess Cobb Salad with Chicken

  • What you’ll get: chicken; bacon; hard-boiled egg; arugula; romaine lettuce; radicchio lettuce; kale; avocado; tomatoes; and Green Goddess dressing. It also comes with pickled red onions, but you can ask them not to include these so you can cut down the carbs by 3g. carbs. The tomatoes have 2-3 net carbs, and you can skip this, too. 
  • Price: $9.39
  • Estimated Macros (without the onions): 450 calories and 10 net carbs

Caesar Salad with Chicken 

  • What you’ll get: chicken; romaine lettuce; grated parmesan; and Caesar dressing. Request for the croutons to be removed. And you can ask for an additional side of dressing. 
  • Price: $9.39
  • Estimated Macros (without croutons): 440 calories and 6 net carbs

Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT 

  • What you’ll get: turkey; bacon; lettuce; tomatoes; avocado; and mayo. This is a great high-protein and low-carb option, especially after a workout. You can also add some Greek salad dressing to make it even more palatable. 
  • Price: $9.39
  • Estimated Macros: 440 calories and 2 net carbs

The Italian

  • What you’ll get: ham; salami; sopressa; provolone cheese; giardiniera; basil; arugula; and mayo. This is a filling, low-carb option even without the bread. 
  • Price: $8.89
  • Estimated Macros: 500 calories and 4 net carbs

Steak and White Cheddar 

  • What you’ll get: steak; white cheddar cheese; pickled onions; and horseradish. The presentation of this sandwich leaves a lot to be desired. The flavor is also lacking, but you can ask for an additional side of mayo, mustard, or some other low-carb dressing. 
  • Price: $9.39
  • Estimated Macros: 560 calories and 7 net carbs

Chicken Chipotle Avocado Melt

  • What you’ll get: shredded chicken; Gouda cheese; avocado; piquant peppers; cilantro; and chipotle mayo. This sandwich is a mix of warm and cold ingredients, which some might find unappetizing.
  • Price: $8.89
  • Estimated Macros: 470 calories and 4 net carbs

You can modify the other Panera sandwiches to make them low-carb by removing the bread; other low-carb options are the Greek Salad, Caesar Salad, and chopped salad. 

What You Should Not Order

A low-carb/keto diet means that you should avoid the Panera breads, bagels, pastas, pastries, and sweets. Except for the pickle spears, all their side items are also high in carbs. Below are other items on the menu that are seemingly low-carb but are not. 

No-Bread Sandwiches 

  • Napa Almond Chicken Salad – 25 net carbs
  • Tuna Salad – 12 net carbs

Side Dish

  • Panera Baked Crisps – 23 net carbs

Soups

  • New England Clam Chowder – 49 net carbs
  • Southwest Chicken Tortilla – 44 net carbs
  • Bistro French Onion Soup – 42 net carbs
  • Broccoli Cheddar – 24 net carbs
  • Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice – 22 net carbs
  • Turkey Chili – 16 net carbs

Salads

  • Thai Chopped Chicken Salad – 36 net carbs
  • Fuji Apple with Chicken Salad – 30 net carbs
  • Asian Sesame Chicken Salad – 21 net carbs

Salad Dressings

  • White Balsamic Apple Vinaigrette – 12 net carbs
  • BBQ Ranch Dressing – 8 net carbs
  • Thai Chili Vinaigrette – 8 net carbs
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette – 8 net carbs
  • Asian Sesame Vinaigrette – 6 net carbs

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