Is Panera Bread one of your favorite restaurants?

Ours too! However, hearing the word ‘bread’ can be discouraging if you have diabetes. Discover ways to enjoy your favorite restaurant while still having a carbohydrate-balanced meal.

🥪 How to Pick & Build Diabetes-Friendly Meals

The ‘You Pick Two’ option at Panera allows you to mix and match some of their best sandwiches, salads, and soups. The Panera app and website provide information on the number of carbs per serving, including the half-serving sizes.

  • Pairing a half-sandwich with a half-salad can help you stay in your meal-time carb range.
  • If you choose to have soup for your meal, avoid picking the bread bowl option as this contains a lot of added carbs.

There are also some delicious salad options on the menu! Ordering a whole salad is a great way to get some vegetables in for the day.

  • The salads also come with the option to add chicken for some additional protein.

If you want to switch up your Panera order from the typical soup, salad, or sandwich, try the warm bowls. There are currently 3 options available, and they are not only nutritious but they are YUMMY!

  • Teriyaki chicken and broccoli bowl

  • Baja bowl

  • Mediterranean bowl

The Baja bowl and Mediterranean bowl also come with the option to add chicken. With the warm bowls, keep in mind that some of them contain more carbohydrates than what may be recommended for you since they have a brown rice and quinoa base. Because of this, it may be best to have a smaller portion and save the rest for later.


🧃Choosing Your Beverages

Panera has a variety of beverage options ranging from coffees and teas to lemonades and fountain drinks. When choosing a beverage, be mindful that it may have added sugar.

For example, the regular-sized Passion Papaya Iced Green Tea has 35g of carbohydrates. OUCH!

Another option would be a plain, regular-sized iced tea that contains no carbohydrates.

If you prefer carbonated beverages or sodas try their diet options or the Bubbly Lime. When it comes to coffees or lattes, avoid adding Syrups or additional sweeteners.

🍰Keep it Real with Sides and Desserts

There are several nutritious side options available at Panera such as an apple, banana, or the seasonal fruit cup.

  • PRO TIP: If you are looking to add some protein to your meals, hard-boiled eggs are a great choice that most people don’t know is an option as a side.
  • The strawberry squeezable yogurt is also a great low-carb option.

The dessert options at Panera are often high in carbohydrates, but that does not mean you cannot enjoy them from time to time. However, it is important to make modifications to fit your carbohydrate needs. Instead of having a whole cookie or brownie, consider only having one-third or one-fourth and either saving it for later or splitting the rest with a friend.

Finding carbohydrate-balanced meals at your favorite restaurant can be challenging. However, many chain restaurants such as Panera Bread provide nutrition information, which can make ordering easier. The ‘You Pick Two’ option is a great way to pair the sandwich options with a nutritious salad or soup. You can still enjoy some of your favorite beverages and desserts, but it is important to make modifications or have smaller portions.