What Is Gluten-Free at Panera? – Healthy Tips 2023

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what is gluten-free at panera

Panera Bread is a popular chain of bakery-café restaurants located in both America and Canada. Though Panera Bread specializes in baking fresh bread and pastry, their menu also offers gluten-free options that will tickle your taste buds.

So, what is gluten-free at Panera? Panera Bread isn’t a gluten-free restaurant but offers a gluten-conscious menu to people following a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free options include soups, salads, fresh fruit cups, warm bowls, sides, and drinks. However, these items can come into cross-contact with gluten-containing ingredients. 

Keep reading to learn what’s gluten-free at Panera Bread. This article will list 10 gluten-free menu options you’ll love to eat and answer common questions when ordering gluten-free at Panera. 

Does Panera Bread Have any Gluten-Free Foods?

Yes, Panera Bread offers gluten-free items that are made without gluten-containing ingredients. Panera doesn’t make gluten-free bread, so none of the sandwiches is an option if you’re following a gluten-free diet. 

Panera Bread’s gluten-conscious menu lists salads, warm bowls, fresh fruit cups, breakfast, soups, sides, and drinks. 

Please note that Panera Bread’s gluten-conscious menu items are prepared in the same kitchen as gluten-containing menu items. Thus, the company can’t guarantee that there won’t be cross-contamination between ingredients. 

10 Items on Panera Menu That Are Gluten-Free

gluten-free items at panera

If you’re trying to avoid gluten in your diet, check out Panera Bread’s gluten-conscious menu. Here are some gluten-free options you might consider ordering the next time you stop by Panera’s to eat. 

1. Steel Cut Oatmeal with Strawberries and Pecans 

In addition to Steel Cut Oatmeal with Strawberries and Pecans, Panera Bread also offers Steel Cut Oatmeal with Apples Chips, Pecans & Almonds, and Almonds, Quinoa & Honey Steel Cut Oatmeal. The strawberries and pecans oatmeal contains 360 calories, 52 grams of carbs, 8 grams of protein, and 9 grams of fiber. 

Oats are naturally gluten-free, but they may become cross-contaminated during harvesting and processing, which makes them unsafe for people with celiac disease. 

2. Greek Yogurt with Mixed Berries

Greek Yogurt with Mixed Berries is another gluten-free Panera Bread breakfast item. This healthy breakfast option features Greek yogurt topped with honey, maple butter pecan granola with whole grain oats, and fresh blueberries and strawberries.

Although made with gluten-free ingredients, this menu option can come into cross-contact with gluten during the preparation process.

3. Caesar Salad with Chicken

The original Caesar salad at Panera Bread isn’t gluten-free, but you can order the salad without croutons and make it gluten-free. Made with romaine lettuce, chicken, grated parmesan, and creamy Caesar dressing, one portion of this salad contains 440 calories. 

With 32 grams of protein, 21 grams of carbs, and 4 grams of fiber, this Caesar salad is a great choice for lunch and can work as a dinner option. 

4. Fuji Apple Salad with Chicken

This healthy and flavorful salad is made from gluten-free ingredients and is suitable for people following a gluten-free diet. The base of the Fuji Apple Salad consists of arugula, romaine lettuce, baby kale, and a red leaf blend. 

The salad is topped with grape tomatoes, red onions, toasted pecan pieces, and Gorgonzola cheese and is seasoned with white balsamic vinaigrette. Baked crispy apple slices are added to this salad instead of croutons for crunch. 

5. Southwest Chile Lime Ranch Salad with Chicken

This colorful salad is made using gluten-free ingredients, which are suitable for people following a gluten-free diet. Southwest Chile Lime Ranch Salad is made with romaine lettuce, arugula, black beans, corn salsa, and chicken tossed in chile lime Rojo ranch dressing. 

Tortilla chips made from corn masa flour are added for the crunch, and crumbled feta, cilantro, and avocado add extra flavor to every bite. With 670 calories and 38 grams of protein per portion, this salad is an excellent option for a gluten-free lunch.

6. Greek Salad

Panera gluten-free Greek salad is made with romaine lettuce, Kalamata olives, pepperoncini, red grape tomatoes, red onions, fetta cheese, and Greek dressing. Made from gluten-free ingredients, this salad has 390 calories and 7 grams of dietary fiber. 

This healthy salad is a great side dish for lunch, and it can also work as a light gluten-free dinner. Keep in mind that this salad, like the rest of Panera Bread’s gluten-free items, is made in the shared kitchen, where it can come into cross-contact with gluten-containing ingredients. 

7. Baja Bowl with Chicken

Panera Bread’s gluten-free Baja Bowl is packed with healthy ingredients and has 740 calories per portion. It’s made with a mix of cilantro lime brown rice and quinoa topped with grape tomatoes, avocado, fetta cheese, black beans, corn salsa, salsa verde, Greek yogurt, and chicken.

This Panera gluten-free warm grain bowl contains 30 grams of protein, 81 grams of carbs, 34 grams of fat, and 15 grams of fiber. Whether you’re craving a healthy gluten-free lunch or a filling dinner, the Baja Bowl with Chicken is a great option. 

8. Mediterranean Bowl with Chicken

Mediterranean Bowl with Chicken is another gluten-free item offered by Panera Bread. This warm grain bowl features cilantro lime brown rice and quinoa as a base topped with arugula, Kalamata olives, grape tomatoes, and chicken meat. Humus, fetta cheese, Greek yogurt, and lemon tahini dressing add flavor and a creamy texture to this dish.

9. Autumn Squash Soup

Panera Bread’s gluten-free menu features Autumn Squash Soup, which is a perfect side dish for cooler months. It’s made from gluten-free ingredients like pumpkin, carrots, onions, celery, tomato paste, butternut squash, apple juice, honey, and cinnamon. 

A touch of curry powder, turmeric, and spices create a depth of flavors. With 330 calories per cup, 8 grams of protein, and 41 grams of carbs, this soup is a perfect gluten-free side dish. 

10. Creamy Tomato Soup

There are many ways to enjoy the gluten-free Panera Bread Creamy Tomato Soup. Tomatoes, heavy cream, onions, butter, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil are gluten-free ingredients used to make this delicious soup.

One cup of Creamy Tomato Soup contains 200 calories, 13 grams of fat, 18 grams of carbs, and 3 grams of protein. 

Besides these two soups, Panera Bread offers other gluten-free options, including Baked Potato Soup, Black Bean Soup, Chicken Tortilla Soup, Creamy Chicken & Wild Rice Soup, Greek Style Lemon Chicken Soup, New England Clam Chowder, Southwest Clam Chowder, and Turkey Sausage, Kale & Quinoa Soup.  

Are Panera Bowls Gluten-Free?

Panera Bread’s warm bowls are gluten-free and safe for people following a gluten-free diet. Unlike other warm bowls, Teriyaki Chicken & Broccoli Bowl contains wheat and isn’t suitable for people who don’t eat gluten.

Although Panera bowls are made using grain-free ingredients, there’s a risk of cross-contact because they are prepared in the same kitchen as gluten-containing foods. 

If you’re just trying to avoid gluten in your diet, these Panera Bread gluten-free warm bowls might be the best thing to order the next time you stop by Panera’s. Because of the risk of cross-contamination, Panera bowls aren’t safe for people with celiac disease or other gluten-related disorders. 

Are Panera Soups Gluten-Free?

Yes, Panera Bread offers several gluten-free soups. Unfortunately, not all of their soups are gluten-free and safe to consume if you follow a zero-gluten diet.

For example, Broccoli Cheder Soup contains wheat in broth, which makes it off-limits to people with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, wheat allergy, or those following a gluten-free diet. 

Panera Bread makes the following gluten-free soups:

  • Autumn squash soup
  • Baked potato soup
  • Black bean soup
  • Chicken tortilla soup
  • Creamy tomato soup
  • Creamy chicken & wild rice soup
  • Greek-style lemon chicken soup
  • New England clam chowder
  • Southwest corn chowder
  • Turkey sausage kale & quinoa soup

Can Celiacs Eat at Panera?

Panera Bread offers a gluten-conscious menu. But this restaurant chain prepared gluten-free food in the shared kitchen on the same surfaces as gluten-containing food, using shared cooking equipment. Since Panera Bread sells a variety of gluten-containing foods, cross-contamination is very likely. 

Panera Bread advises all customers with celiac disease, heightened gluten intolerance, or wheat allergy to consult their doctor before ordering food at Panera restaurants. If you have celiac disease, you might be better off avoiding Panera Bread restaurants because they can’t guarantee your food won’t come into cross-contact during preparation and cooking. 

Conclusion

Panera Bread is a popular bakery-café chain famous for its wheat-based bread. Although Panera doesn’t offer gluten-free bread, its gluten-conscious menu features many delicious meals which are suitable for people following a gluten-free diet.

The food items on Panera Bread’s gluten-conscious menu are prepared using gluten-free ingredients and are a great choice if you’re trying to avoid gluten in your diet. However, it’s best to skip eating at Panera Bread if you have celiac disease, severe gluten intolerance, or wheat allergies.

The gluten-free items are prepared in the shared kitchen on the same surfaces and using the same equipment as when cooking gluten-containing dishes. The risk of cross-contamination is high, making this restaurant chain unsafe for people with celiac disease, wheat allergies, or gluten intolerance. 

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