Counting Carbs? Eating at Panera with Diabetes
Carbohydrates (carbs) at Panera Bread seem to be abounding! Delicious breads, pastries, and sandwiches make up a big part of the menu. It may be hard to believe that a fast-casual food chain like Panera Bread has plenty of delicious meals available for people with diabetes who need to watch their carb count and blood sugar. Keeping blood sugar levels and carb counting in mind we have found an extensive amount of the Panera Bread menu items that can fit into your meal plan, which includes tasty paninis, salads, and soups.
As with many fast food establishments the portions are pretty large, but what’s great about Panera Bread is you have the option of choosing a half size portion sandwich, salad, or soup! Making it easier to stay within your carb goals. If you have diabetes, navigating through the Panera Bread menu can be made easy here!
We are breaking down the menu and listing a variety of meals with 30-60 grams of carbs. If you still are not convinced that you can enjoy a delicious meal at your favorite casual spot take a look below as we break down some diabetes friendly meals.
Delicious Meals to try at Panera to Fit Your Carb Goals
Carbs in Panera Breakfast Items
Chipotle Chicken, Scrambled Egg and Avocado Wrap
Total = 34 g of carbs
This wrap includes whole grains, protein, and fats for a well-rounded and filling breakfast! With only 34 g of carbs, this flavorful wrap is easily a Panera Bread favorite and can fit into your carb goals!
Avocado, Egg White and Spinach Sandwich
Total = 52 g of carbs
This filling and nutritious power sandwich will have you ready and focused on the busiest days! We love the addition of heart healthy avocado, providing extra fat and fiber for greater satiety.
Steel Cut Oatmeal with Strawberries and Pecans
Total = 51 g of carbs
Start your morning with a warm bowl of oatmeal topped with strawberries and pecans to help reach your fiber goal for the day!
Carbs in Panera Lunch or Dinner Items:
Whole Strawberry Poppyseed Salad with Chicken (34 g) with a side of chips (17 g)
Total = 51 g of carbs
Summer in a bowl. This is the perfect salad for a summer day – cool, crisp, and refreshing. Pair it with a side of chips for some satisfying salty crunch.
Bowl of Southwest Chicken Tortilla Soup (32 g) with a side of chips (17 g)
Total = 49 g of carbs
This cozy bowl of soup will satisfy your taste buds with its zesty roasted tomatoes, chicken, poblano peppers, and corn. Topped off with tortilla strips and cilantro for garnish to add the perfect amount of crunch and flavor.
Whole Roasted Turkey and Avocado BLT (no sides)
Total = 54 g of carbs
For those craving a turkey sandwich this is the one! The crunchy bacon, ripe tomatoes, soft avocado, and creamy mayo makes this sandwich a personal favorite at Panera.
Half Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt on Black Pepper Focaccia (28 g) with a side of chips (17 g)
Total = 45 g of carbs
A half sandwich with chips combo will typically fall under 60 grams of carbs. This Melt is super flavorful and filling! The smoky chipotle sauce and creamy avocado pair so well together.
Whole Southwest Chile Lime Ranch Salad with Chicken (no sides)
Total = 54 grams of carbs
Another salad that will not disappoint. With lettuce, beans, corn, and avocado, this salad also provides 14 grams of heart healthy and filling fiber!
Whole Heritage Ham and Swiss (no sides)
Total = 48 g of carbs
Whole sandwiches without sides can range from 40 to 90 grams of carbs, so check the website’s nutrition information to find out how much carbohydrate is in your favorite sammy. The Heritage Ham and Swiss is a delicious classic.
Half Bacon Turkey Bravo (28 g) with Half Modern Greek Salad (16 g)
Total = 44 g of carbs
This is a favorite combo in our house. Super flavorful and delicious! We love the addition of quinoa and sliced almonds in the greek salad.
But what about that tasty baguette? The baguette can certainly come in a range of sizes, but a 3-1/3 inch slice is 36 grams of carbohydrate. If your carb goal is 30-45 grams, that can be difficult to work it into your meal. If you’re aiming for 60 grams, it can easily be incorporated with a salad.
Whole Greek Salad with Chicken (15 g) with Baguette (36 g)
Total = 51 g of carbs
The Greek Salad is a lower carbohydrate option that pairs perfectly with that tasty baguette!
Now if you grab a You Pick Two or a whole sandwich or salad, don’t feel like you can’t order that side of baguette! Stash it away, and have it at another meal or snack. Same goes for chips or the apple!
Download the Panera Bread App:
If none of these options excite you, I recommend downloading the Panera Bread App! It gives you an extensive break down of each menu item from the exact ingredients (with pictures), nutritional information, and allergens. You can also customize your order however you’d like and the best part for those with diabetes, is the nutritional information automatically updates itself based on what you added or removed from the item. Panera Bread has really figured out convenience for everybody!
If you are looking for help managing your diabetes, make an appointment with one of our Registered Dietitians by calling 301-474-2499.
Blog contributions by student intern, Samantha Maldonado
An award winning recipe developer, Dietitian Kaitlin’s mission is to empower others to reach their health goals by encouraging them to get back into the kitchen. Co-author of Nourished: 10 Ingredients to Happy, Healthy Eating and Cooking with Diabetes.