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How to Eat Keto at Panera Bread

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  Published on April 18th, 2022
  Reading time: 5 minutes
  Last modified April 18th, 2022
It's possible to eat keto at Panera Bread restaurant

Panera Bread doesn’t seem like the best place to eat for people on a ketogenic diet (after all, the word “bread” is in the name). But, as it turns out, Panera has lots of low-carb options to choose from. 

This is good news because now you won’t have to limit yourself to other fast-food restaurants like McDonald’s and Wendy’s whenever you’re too busy or tired to do keto meal prepping. Read this article to find out how to eat keto at Panera Bread so you’ll know what to order at your next visit. 

How to Keep It Keto at Panera

Here are three ways to limit your carb intake at Panera Bread: 

  1. Avoid their sweetened drinks. It’s easy to overdo the carbs when you’re drinking them. If you want something other than water, go for their diet sodas, 100% dark roast coffee, or black iced tea. Feel free to bring your own stevia packets to sweeten your drink. 
  2. Customize your order. For example, instead of eating an entire sandwich or salad, remove the buns, croutons, and the dressing.
  3. Eat only half of the meal. Take the remaining half of your order home and save it for tomorrow. With this approach, you have the option to eat the bread (half of it) as long as it doesn’t exceed your daily net carb limit of 20 to 50 grams. [] However, unless you’re following a lazy keto diet, this may not be best for you. 

Panera Keto-Friendly Options to Order

Counter with baked goods at Panera Bread

Note that most foods and drinks at Panera are high in carbs, which you’ll see in the “macros” section in the options below. 

We’ve also provided helpful tips for lowering the number of carbs in these choices even further just in case you’ve almost reached your daily carb allowance.

Panera Keto-Friendly Options to Order

Note that most foods and drinks at Panera are high in carbs, which you’ll see in the “macros” section in the options below. We’ve also provided helpful tips for lowering the number of carbs in these choices even further just in case you’ve almost reached your daily carb allowance. 

Panera Keto Salads

Caesar Salad with Chicken

This meal features antibiotic-free chicken and grated parmesan cheese, which are great sources of protein and fat. It also includes romaine lettuce for fiber. The black pepper croutons may be delicious, but they’re not keto, so skip them. 

Macros: Calories 440, Net carbs 17g, Fat 27g, Protein 32g

How to reduce the carbs: Remove the croutons and limit the salad dressing. 

 

Greek Salad

Greek salad lovers can rejoice because all the ingredients used here are keto-approved. If you’re looking for the best Panera keto salad, don’t skip this one! 

Macros: Calories 390, Net carbs 9g, Fat 35g, Protein 9g

How to reduce the carbs: No need to make any changes. 

 

Panera Keto Sandwiches

Turkey Sandwich 

By removing the rustic sourdough bread and consuming only half of the dressing, you can have a low-carb turkey sandwich that’s full of nutrients like B vitamins, zinc, and iron. [2] [3]

Macros: Calories 510, Net carbs 50g, Fat 19g, Protein 31g

How to reduce the carbs: Don’t eat the bread and limit the dressing. 

 

Napa Almond Chicken Salad Sandwich

This crunchy high-protein sandwich is incredibly filling, thanks to the almonds, chicken, diced celery, tomatoes, and emerald greens. With a few tweaks, you’ll have a healthy keto lunch in no time! 

Macros: Calories 550, Net carbs 55g, Fat 25g, Protein 24g

How to reduce the carbs: Remove the sourdough bread, red grapes, and some of the dressing. 

 

Panera Keto Breakfast Options

Bacon, Scrambled Egg & Cheese on Ciabatta

Bacon, eggs, and cheese are a perfect breakfast combination. For this Panera order, simply skip the artisan ciabatta bread (save it for a higher carb day in the week if you’re planning it)—and you’re good to go. 

Macros: Calories 450, Net carbs 39, Fat 21g, Protein 25g

How to reduce the carbs: Remove the bread and enjoy the rest.  

 

Avocado, Egg White & Spinach

For a light yet satiating meal, try this keto at Panera breakfast option. If you like, pair it with their Colombian dark roast coffee for a caffeine fix!  

Macros: Calories 360, Net carbs 34g, Fat 14g, Protein 19g

How to reduce the carbs: Just remove the sprouted grain bagel and enjoy the rest. 

 

Panera Keto Soups

Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup

This soup may be low in fat, but it can still fit your carb limit, making it a keto-friendly choice. Keep in mind that egg noodles, which are used in this soup, are considered traditional pasta—so you’ll have to be extra careful. 

Macros: Calories 100, Total carbs 13g, Fat 1g, Protein 9g

How to reduce the carbs: If you’re on a strict keto diet, don’t consume all of the noodles. Focus on eating the chicken meat, broth, and herbs. 

 

Kids Creamy Tomato Soup

If you’re not very hungry, try this soup that includes tomatoes, onions, salted butter, and heavy cream. For a complete and satisfying meal, order it with bunless bacon, scrambled egg, and cheese. 

Macros: Calories 230, Net carbs 23g, Fat 15g, Protein 4g

How to reduce the carbs: Remove the croutons. 

 

Panera Keto Beverages

Diet Pepsi 

This is one of the best keto Panera drinks you can have since it has no carbs. However, be aware that diet Pepsi contains aspartame, a sugar-free sweetener that’s linked to many health problems. [] For this reason, it’s best not to make a habit of consuming diet soda. 

Macros: Calories 0, Total carbs 0g, Fat 0g, Protein 0g

How to reduce the carbs: No need to make any changes. 

 

100% Colombian Dark Roast Coffee

Panera’s dark roast coffee can be a perfect way to get energized if you’re not hungry in the morning or if you’re intermittent fasting. Here’s a keto hack: Ask for a butter packet and add it to your coffee to boost your fat intake!

Macros: Calories 15, Total carbs 3g, Fat 0g, Protein 1g

How to reduce the carbs: No need to make any changes. 

 

Cold Brew Coffee

Worked up a sweat? On your way home from the gym, be sure to grab this keto coffee at Panera that’s served over ice. 

Macros: Calories 10, Total carbs 2g, Fat 0g, Protein 1g

How to reduce the carbs: No need to make any changes. 

 

Brewed Black Iced Tea 

If you’re trying to kick your coffee habit or you simply love drinking tea, here’s a zero-carb drink. Order a Greek salad on the side for a fresh and filling afternoon snack. 

Macros: Calories 0, Total carbs 0g, Fat 0g, Protein 0g

How to reduce the carbs: No need to make any changes.

Think Modification at Panera

Although cooking meals at home is the best way to ensure clean keto meals, sometimes life gets in the way. In that case, it’s good to know that you have keto fast-food options at restaurants like Panera Bread. 

Staying keto at Panera is entirely possible as long as you know which foods and beverages to order and how to modify something that’s higher in carbs to fit a keto diet. If you want more options to experiment with, feel free to check their online menu. Take note, however, that some foods—for example, bagels, cinnamon rolls, and parfaits—are totally off-limits.

Panera caesar salad

References

1.

Masood W, Annamaraju P, Uppaluri KR. Ketogenic Diet. [Updated 2021 Nov 26]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499830/

2.

Marangoni, F., Corsello, G., Cricelli, C., Ferrara, N., Ghiselli, A., Lucchin, L., & Poli, A. (2015). Role of poultry meat in a balanced diet aimed at maintaining health and wellbeing: an Italian consensus document. Food & nutrition research, 59, 27606. https://doi.org/10.3402/fnr.v59.27606

3.

Ali, M. Y., Sina, A. A., Khandker, S. S., Neesa, L., Tanvir, E. M., Kabir, A., Khalil, M. I., & Gan, S. H. (2020). Nutritional Composition and Bioactive Compounds in Tomatoes and Their Impact on Human Health and Disease: A Review. Foods (Basel, Switzerland), 10(1), 45. https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10010045

4.

Czarnecka, K., Pilarz, A., Rogut, A., Maj, P., Szymańska, J., Olejnik, Ł., & Szymański, P. (2021). Aspartame-True or False? Narrative Review of Safety Analysis of General Use in Products. Nutrients, 13(6), 1957. https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061957

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