Panera Bread was always a great spot to go for some quick food that was healthy and delicious. Naturally when I went gluten free, I had to take a look at the Panera Bread gluten free menu.
Before you march over to Panera Bread, there are a few things you need to know though…
Panera Bread Gluten Free Stance
You won’t see a dedicated Panera Bread gluten free menu. That is because they use different terminology. Panera Bread uses the words “gluten sensitive menu”, “gluten conscious” and “without gluten.” I’m not sure what I think about it to be honest.
I kind of feel like it’s a way for them to not take responsibility and avoid the effort customers with celiac disease need to enjoy a delicious meal.
Keep that in mind. Panera Bread has items that do not have gluten but if you are concerned about cross contamination then maybe think twice. At the end of the day, do what is best for you. Panera Bread does have good food, I just wish they would make an effort for the entire gluten free community.
Panera Gluten Free Menu Options
The following are menu items that you can find at Panera Bread that do not contain gluten. I pulled them from their official website where they refuse to call them gluten free.
Gluten Free Bowls
- Mediterranean Warm Grain Bowl with Chicken
- Mediterranean Warm Grain Bowl
- Baja Warm Grain Bowl with Chicken
- Baja Warm Grain Bowl
Gluten Free Salads
Make sure you don’t get the croutons! Also, for some reason they say their almonds contain gluten. so be on the look out!
- Caesar Salad
- Caesar Salad with Chicken
- Napa Chicken Salad
- Strawberry Poppyseed Salad with Chicken
- Greek Salad
- Seasonal Greens Salad
- Fuji Apple Salad with Chicken
- Modern Greek Salad with Quinoa
- Tomato Basil Cucumber Salad
- Green Goddess Cobb Salad with Chicken
- Southwest Chile Lime Ranch Salad with Chicken
Gluten Free Soups
- Baked Potato Soup
- Vegetarian Autumn Squash Soup
- Vegetarian Creamy Tomato Soup
- Summer Corn Chowder
- Southwest Chicken Tortilla Soup
Gluten Free Sides
- Panera Bread Potato Chips
Gluten Free Drinks
- Coffee, Cold Brew, Tea, Lattes, Espresso Drinks & Frozen Drinks
- Signature Hot Chocolate: Order without marshmallows
- Apple Juice & Orange Juice
Panera Bread Gluten Free Menu Notes on Oats
Panera Bread lists items that are “gluten conscious” that also contain oats. If you read my article on oats, then you are aware of the controversy out there. Keep that in mind for sure! If oats are a dietary concern for you, then steer clear.
Honesty is the best Policy
I appreciate that Panera Bread is open and honest when it comes to cross contamination. They clearly state on their website “Given the likelihood of cross-contamination in our bakery-cafe environment, this list is not suitable for people with Celiac Disease, a heightened gluten sensitivity or a wheat allergy.”
Again, I will emphasize for my friends with celiac disease, exercise the caution you need for yourself. Only you know if you can risk it. At least they are not trying to fake it for some extra cash.
I do wish a company as big as Panera Bread would make more of an effort. I’m sure it’s difficult given the way their restaurants are set up.
Gluten Free Dad’s Reccomendation
I have always been a fan of Panera Bread. I think their business model of being kind of like fast food, but also like a traditional restaurant with healthy food options is solid.
If you have celiac disease, I recommend staying away. If you are following a gluten free diet and cross contamination does not worry you, then you can find some tasty gluten free options at Panera Bread.
I tried the Mediterranean Warm Grain Bowl with chicken and the Baja Warm Grain Bowl with chicken and they were both delicious. They mix brown rice and quinoa as the base which I never even thought about doing. Really great idea! Fresh ingredients on both bowls. The serving size was just right. Not too much, not too little.
Not in the Mood?
If you are not in the mood for Panera Bread, here are a few other restaurant menus I have taken a deeper look at where you can find more gluten free food options
- Cheesecake Factory
- Red Robin
- Melting Pot (Validated Gluten Free Safe Spot)
Make Your Own! Copy Cat Panera Baja Bowl Recipe with Chicken!
I really enjoyed the warm grain bowls from Panera, but I was ready to make my own. I hope you are too! Check out this hot recipe!
It’s really not that tough and you simply need to take a good look at the ingredients and make it your way at home! I think their key secret is the mix of brown rice and quinoa. A 50/50 mix works best in my opinion!
I went cheese free, but you can add some feta cheese or shredded cheese to spice it up!
Here is our attempt at a Panera Bread Baja Bowl Recipe. It turned out amazing!
Panera Bread baja bowl recipe
Make your own warm grain bowl from Panera Bread at home!
- 1 grilled chicken breast
- 1 cup brown rice
- 1 cup quinoa
- 1/2 cup pico de gallo
- 1/4 cup black beans
- 1/2 ripe avocado
- 1 cilantro to taste
- 1/4 cup sour cream
make a 50/50 brown rice and quinoa base
Grill the chicken and then slice
just like the photo… on top of the base put the pico, black beans, chicken, avocado, cilantro and sour cream
Let Me Hear You!
You made it this far! I’d love for you to let me know your thoughts on Panera Bread in the comments below! Did you have a good experience? Was it terrible? What else should we look out for or get excited about on their menu?
Thanks for stopping by!
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