Panera Bread Menu Update–September 2011 - Celiac Disease
Sep 20 2011

Panera Bread Menu Update–September 2011

I just received an email back yesterday about the gluten-free options at Panera Bread.  Like many other restaurants, Panera offers seasonal items, so it is important to check for updates as the seasons change.  Last week I shared the newest update from Wendy’s, so make sure to check it out if you haven’t yet.

Eating at Panera Bread is bittersweet.  I loved the bagels at Panera and know that they are no longer a part of the menu as far as my choices are concerned.  While I mourned for a bit about that, I focused on finding new menu items that I did enjoy at Panera.

Dear Kimberly,

Thank you for contacting Panera Bread. I have included below a list of our menu items that do not contain gluten-containing ingredients. However, because we bake fresh bread daily in our bakery-cafes and bread is core to our menu, we simply cannot ensure that there has been no contact between these items, or any other menu items, and gluten.
Not all of the items listed are currently on our menu and some new menu items have not yet been evaluated for the purposes of inclusion on this list. However, you can find complete ingredients listings for current menu items on our website. (When you choose a menu item in our online Nutrition Calculator, click on the “ingredients” link for ingredients information for that item.)
Please note that nutritional information on our website is updated periodically. New products may be available in our bakery-cafes before a periodic update of this site. In addition, some menu items may be available only on a regional, test or seasonal basis. Nutritional information about these menu items is available at the participating bakery-cafes. Tests of new recipes of existing products may be conducted from time to time in certain markets. These new recipes may contain different/additional ingredients, including allergens, as compared to the original version. For the most update-to-date information, please call or visit your nearest bakery-cafe to speak with a manager.
Thank you again for contacting us. We appreciate your business and value your comments.
Customer Comment Coordinator

GLUTEN FREE LIST – Panera Bread **
**Although we try to meet your special requirements, we cannot ensure that these items have not come into contact with gluten in our bakery-café.
** Gorgonzola and bleu cheeses are commonly made with mold incubated on wheat.  Some may choose to avoid these cheeses for this reason and you may substitute another cheese if you prefer. Items containing these ingredients are indicated below with (G) or (BC).

Salads:    (including the salad dressing)
(source of modified food starch is corn)
Greek Salad
Caesar Salad (without croutons)
Grilled Chicken Caesar Salad (without croutons)
Asian Sesame Chicken Salad (without Won Ton noodles)
Classic Cafe Salad
Fuji Apple Chicken Salad (G)
Chopped Chicken Cobb Salad (G)
BBQ Chopped Chicken Salad
Seasonal Fruit Cups
Chopped Steak & Blue Cheese (without crispy onions)
Roasted Turkey Harvest Salad

Salad Dressings:
Balsamic Vinaigrette
Greek/Herb Vinaigrette
Asian Sesame Vinaigrette
White Balsamic Vinaigrette
BBQ Ranch
BBQ Sauce
Cherry Balsamic Dressing
Blue Cheese Vinaigrette
Light Buttermilk Ranch

Low Fat Vegetarian Black Bean
Creamy Tomato (without croutons)

Coffee-all varieties (including Hazelnut)
Juice, both apple and orange
Soda, fountain and bottled
Tea, regular brewed, green tea, and Chai Tea
All lattes & Frozen beverages (including the new Pumpkin Latte)
Low-fat Strawberry Smoothie (with ginseng)
Low-fat Cranberry-Orange Smoothie (with ginseng)
Low-Fat Mango Smoothie
Low-fat Wild Berry Smoothie
Hot Chocolate

Panera Bread Potato Chips

Cream Cheese Spreads

My favorite menu items include:

  • Chai tea latte
  • Greek salad
  • Chopped chicken cobb salad
  • Fresh fruit cup
  • Low fat vegetarian black bean soup

Some things that I haven’t seen on the menu before that I am looking forward to trying are the roasted turkey harvest salad and the chopped steak & blue cheese salad (sans BC).  I have brought my own bread or an Udi’s gluten-free bagel in to eat along side of my salad or soup.  Whatever I do choose to bring it, I make sure to toast before I go and eat cold or eat at room temperature.

As Alice points out above, Panera does bake bread in each store.  There is a risk for cross contamination, as with any kitchen or dining establishment that is not 100% gluten-free.  Make sure to communicate your needs to a manager to ensure that your food is as safe as possible.  I have always had good luck when dining at Panera in the past.

Article Written by:

Kyle Eslick is the founder of Gluten Free Media, as well as the creator of the popular Celiac Support Groups page. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and now Google+!


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