Be Healthy, Dine at Panera Bread
Panera Bread is an American bakery-café and fast casual restaurant established nearly 3 decades ago in 1987 in Kirkwood, Missouri. Today, it has 2000 stores all over the US and Canada. Offering more than just delicious breads, Panera Bread is dubbed as the healthiest fast casual restaurant brand in America. It is among the first cafés to willingly publish their menu’s calorie information to consumers. They are committed to serving artificial- and additives-free food to their customers.
It is really refreshing to see a restaurant with a mission to fix the broken food system we have today. While more and more food establishments are trying to offer healthier options to their consumers, Panera has gone a long way in providing not only fresh ingredients but also healthy food items in their menu. And while they are earnest about changing their recipes to provide even more healthy alternatives, they remain consistent with good flavors and excellent gourmet palates.
Since Panera Bread has a very wide menu to choose from, let us give you a quick list of our favorites on the Panera lunch menu. You can go here for a complete menu list.
- Mediterranean Quinoa Salad with almonds – packed with proteins from almonds and quinoa and fiber from kale, this powerful lunch will not disappoint any hungry health conscious consumers. This flavorful blend of kale, romaine, cucumber, tomatoes and Kalamata olives all tossed in healthy Greek dressing is a sure knock out!
- Lentil Quinoa Bowl with Cage-Free Egg – an all-in-one (protein, fiber, and carbohydrates) filling bowl. If you have a thing for grain-based meals, then this one is for you. This lunch bowl is filled with all organic quinoa and brown rice, lentils, tomato sofrito, fresh kale and spinach in soy-miso broth soup and topped with cage-free egg.
- Chicken Tortellini Alfredo – a scrumptious, creamy and mild pasta dish any white sauce lover should not miss! This is a good combination of three cheese tortellini pasta mixed with Alfredo sauce and topped with smoked chicken shreds and parmesan cheese.
- Napa Almond Chicken Salad sandwich – fresh, meaty, with a good crunchy texture to it, all in between soft, hearty bread. This one contains chicken salad with seedless grapes, celery, and almonds served with fresh lettuce and tomatoes in their very own Sesame Semolina bread.
- Roasted Turkey and Caramelized Kale Panini – when flavor, texture, and freshness combine, you get this sandwich. Flavorful and moist turkey, crispy bacon, fresh avocados, lettuce and tomatoes, accented with pure mayo, sandwiched in their very own sourdough bread. Too good to pass up.
- Tomato Mozzarella Flatbread – a vegetarian protein- and fiber-packed sandwich excellent as a lighter lunch option. This wholegrain flatbread features fresh mozzarella, tomatoes, tomato sofrito, arugula, and basil-pesto sauce.
- Thai Chicken Flatbread – a lighter, but still flavorful, lunch option. This flatbread bursts with a perfect combination of Asian flavors and fresh ingredients. This sandwich comes with chicken, hummus, napa cabbage blend, cilantro with peanut sauce, and Thai vinaigrette in a wholegrain flatbread.
- Low-Fat Vegetarian Garden Vegetable Soup with Pesto – can its name be any healthier? This light lunch option is a mixture of tomatoes, zucchini, yellow beans, Swiss chard, cauliflower, bell peppers, and barley all mixed in tomato soup. This low-fat vegan soup is available every Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
- Cream of Chicken and Wild Rice Soup – when you want something to fill you up but still desire to eat something light, this soup will not disappoint. This creamy and tasty wonder is packed with long grain and wild rices and chunky chicken bites simmered in chicken broth with celery, onions, and carrots. This goody is available every Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday.
- Low-fat Chicken Noodle Soup – light, low-calorie, and comforting soup made from succulent and juicy lean chicken meat and egg noodles boiled gently in light chicken broth.
Panera’s menu may seem a little bit pricey as compared to other restaurants offering a similar menu, but for a dollar or two more, you get to enjoy quality healthy meals. A plus factor also is that their restaurants are a relaxing and welcoming place to dine.
We hope to see more food establishments follow Panera’s lead with more options for fresh, balanced, and healthy meals. In the meantime, let’s be thankful that we have Panera lunch menu available anytime we want to order a healthy meal.