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11 Gluten Free Options at Panera Bread

When dining out with friends or ordering food for delivery, it can be challenging to find gluten-free options. Some might even deem it impossible to find anything as tasty as dishes containing gluten, especially when your friends enjoy popular Panera Bread meals made or served with fresh-made bread.

Panera Bread Retail Location. Panera is a Chain of Fast Casual Restaurants

Thankfully, you can find plenty of dining options on the Panera Bread gluten-free menu to satisfy your taste buds. These options include salads, soups, and fresh fruit cups. 

So, let’s look through some of the Panera Bread gluten-free menu options to help you narrow down what you’d like to order next time you stop by to eat.

*Disclaimer: Always confirm food allergen information with your local restaurant before consuming.

Caesar Salad With Chicken

A caesar salad is a classic, no matter where you go. I didn’t have any expectations with their take, a caesar salad with chicken, but I came away suitably satisfied.

Made with fresh romaine lettuce and antibiotic-free chicken, topped with grated parmesan and black pepper croutons, this salad was a perfect option for my lunch.

To make it totally gluten-free, ask for no croutons or remove them!

However, if you’re craving its delicious blend of greens and lean meat, it will do its job for dinner, too. 

Fuji Apple Salad With Chicken

Next up is the Fuji apple salad with chicken. Although higher in its calorie content than the previous salad on this list, its romaine, kale, arugula, and red leaf lettuce blend offered up a more visually-appealing plate.

What really impressed me was the salad’s white balsamic apple vinaigrette, which brought out a rich flavor.

Beyond that, the red onions, pecans, grape tomatoes, and apple chips gave a subtle crunchiness (which I can never resist in a salad). 

Greek Salad

Are you craving a menu option offering an international flavor kick? Then, their Greek salad might be the best fit for you.

It contains 390 calories, seven grams of dietary fiber, and 25 grams of cholesterol, making it the perfect hearty treat.

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Like the other gluten-free salads on this list, it has fresh, crunchy romaine lettuce packed with guilt-free goodness. 

I loved the authentic Greek flavors, particularly the Kalamata olives, pepperoncini, red grape tomatoes, and red onions.

Don’t even get me started on the feta cheese! The Greek dressing gives it a bold, tangy flavor, and my taste buds enjoyed the zesty kick.

Baja Bowl With Chicken

I’m a big fan of Mexican cuisine. While I certainly don’t think of Panera Bread when I want some, I was happily surprised by their Baja bowl with chicken.

It contains 740 calories, the highest amount on this list, but has plenty of healthy ingredients, like avocados, red grape tomatoes, and a quinoa and brown rice blend that enriches it with the best nutrients and vitamins.

But, what instantly appealed to me was the salsa verde and bean corn salsa that vividly showcased the Mexican inspiration. 

BBQ Chicken Salad

Seasoned with bold BBQ ranch and apple cider vinegar BBQ sauces, Panera Bread’s chicken salad is another creative gluten-free menu option.

Despite its high sodium levels, it had sufficient protein to be filling enough for my quick lunch. 

The bean corn salsa and frizzled onions enhanced the flavors of the chicken and give extra texture to the crunchy romaine lettuce.

While it is filling, it doesn’t hurt to order a side, especially if you’re not in a hurry. I opted for a fresh fruit cup to add extra vitamins.

Mediterranean Warm Grain Bowl With Chicken

Panera Bread’s Mediterranean warm grain bowl incorporates traditional Greek flavors and ingredients in this dish made with chicken, quinoa, and brown rice.

Most of its 29 grams of protein come from its seasoned grilled chicken and feta cheese. It’s about 680 calories, making it an excellent alternative if you’re looking for dishes with less meat.

As far as plant-based menu options go, I found the arugula base gave it a spicy yet sour flavor.

So, if you’re curious about tantalizing sensations, this is a grain bowl to check out. The cucumbers, red grape tomatoes, and Kamata olives give it a fresh, healthy touch.

All in all, I enjoyed the balance of vegetables this dish offered. 

Green Goddess Cobb Salad With Chicken

Another protein-packed dish that will spice up your gluten-free lifestyle if you’re dining out Panera Bread’s Green Goddess Cobb salad with chicken.

It has 37 grams of protein, provided by the avocados, chicken, and hard-boiled egg. I’m a big fan of colorful dishes, so this was a visual pleasure to look at. 

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If you’re trying to cut back your calories, you can ask for their signature Green Goddess dressing on the side.

Beyond its lovely splash of color, this salad has a hint of crunchiness (which I adore in just about anything) thanks to pickled red onions and chopped bacon bits.

Bear in mind that it does come with a French baguette. So, if you want to avoid gluten, consider staying away from it. 

Vegetarian Creamy Tomato Soup

If you prefer a simpler dish when looking through the Panera Bread gluten-free menu, you can’t go wrong with a bowl of vegetarian creamy tomato soup

From the get-go, I could taste the vine-ripened pear tomatoes (pureed in fresh cream) bringing out sweet, velvety flavors.

The fireworks didn’t end there, though! Sure, it’s not intended to be an elaborate bowl, but the subtle seasoning delighted the buds with oregano, celery seed, and red, white, and black pepper. 

Since this soup doesn’t contain any meat, it’s a go-to order for vegetarians. However, I recommend not ordering the soup by itself.

The soup’s black pepper croutons contain gluten, so it would be wise to ask your server to put them on the side.

Fresh Fruit

If you’re having trouble finding the perfect gluten-free sides to your soup or salad, their fresh fruit cup is ideal for keeping your meal extra healthy. 

Now, I have my standards when it comes to fruit. I expect only the freshest, so the fruit cup I ordered was a pleasant sight.

It came with juicy seedless red grapes, yummy honeydew melon, pineapple, and cantaloupe. Perfect to get your daily intake of vitamins A, C, B6, and K.

It’s a low-calorie snack, measuring up to 60 calories per serving. If you’re not in the mood for Panera’s signature bread and chip, then it is a quick and easy snack to have.

Besides, it’s great for sharing with friends who may prefer one fruit over others.

Asian Sesame Salad

Panera Bread’s Asian sesame salad is a flashy option compared to your standard side salad. It contains 410 calories and 27 grams of protein. 

I topped my salad with almonds, sesame seeds, and Asian sesame vinaigrette. Just be mindful of the almonds if you have allergies.

The romaine and cilantro gave the dish extra flair. I recommend not topping the salad with wonton strips.

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Instead of letting them go to waste, you can always ask for them on the side and give them to a friend who doesn’t mind adding them.

Steel Cut Oatmeal with Strawberries and Pecans

If you’re looking for a breakfast option, the bakery counter is out.

Luckily, you can still enjoy a sweet and healthy breakfast with Panera’s steel cut oatmeal!

Oatmeal offers hearty grains without the gluten, and Panera’s oatmeal is topped with strawberries, pecans, and a cinnamon crunch toppings.

This Panera breakfast is hearty but healthy at only 370 calories, so it’s a great way to get your day started!

Finding gluten-free options for a quick bite to eat at a chain restaurant doesn’t have to be an impossible challenge. Panera Bread has some of the best alternative dining options available for any food lover.

Their green or meaty salads offer excellent flavors for anyone following a gluten-free diet. With this list on hand, you can narrow down your new go-to Panera Bread gluten-free menu options. 

Are you interested in something else? Check out our favorite Panera bagel flavors if you’re not allergic to gluten! Or, check out the gluten free options at KFC and other chains.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian attended West Virginia University, then started his career in the IT industry before following his passion for marketing and hospitality. He has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and bar industry.

As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.

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