Any Pasta Is A No Go At Panera Bread
The menu at Panera Bread has obviously undergone some changes over the years, but while the chain has seemingly always served mac and cheese, they discontinued their other pasta offerings. Don’t mourn, as that actually might be for the best. Not only was the pasta given some pretty bad reviews on , but the way in which any pasta is prepared at Panera makes it a real no-go.
Specifically, none of the pasta at Panera is made fresh in the store. Instead, it arrives frozen and is then reheated to serve. Obviously, that doesn’t sound appetizing, but Panera maintains its quality assurance despite that awkward reality. A spokesperson for Panera told TODAY that “Mac and cheese is made offsite with our proprietary recipe developed by our chefs and using our sourced ingredients that meet our standards for our clean menu offerings.” Well, whether or not it’s exactly “clean” or meets your own standards, just know that the pasta at Panera, including the beloved mac and cheese, isn’t all that fresh or homemade.
Spicy Isn’t Always Better When It Comes To Panera Soup
Recently, Mashed asked 643 U.S.-based respondents: “What’s the worst soup at Panera Bread?” while providing voters with seven of the chain’s most well-known and universally available soups to choose from, including Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice, Broccoli Cheddar, Bistro French Onion, Homestyle Chicken Noodle, Creamy Tomato, Turkey Chili, and Ten Vegetable.
Bringing in the lowest amount of votes meaning they were the most popular soup flavors among respondents were Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice and Homestyle Chicken Noodle with 8.09% and 8.71% of the votes, respectively. The popular Broccoli Cheddar and Bistro French Onion soups received the next lowest shares, with 12.91% and 13.69% of the votes, respectively.
Falling in the middle of the pack were Creamy Tomato and Ten Vegetable . And taking the top spot as respondents’ least favorite Panera soup was the Turkey Chili, with 22.55% of the total share of votes. While Mashed couldn’t fit all of Panera’s soups in the poll, the relatively wide spread of the responses indicate that even the least beloved items on Panera’s soup menu still have their fair share of fans.
The Worst Soup At Panera Bread According To 22% Of People
With temperatures dropping, pumpkin spice returning to menus, and sweaters being pulled out of storage, peak soup season is officially upon us. And when it comes to offering an array of warm bowls in a fast casual setting, Panera Bread is at the top of the game. The chain, which has more than 2,000 locations across the U.S. and Canada, has become a popular spot for those seeking a quick sandwich, salad, or soup along with baked goods that are made fresh in-house daily.
Unlike their baked goods, it has been revealed that the restaurant’s popular soups are crafted in large batches at a processing plant, frozen in blocks, and shipped out to Panera locations across the country to be thawed in something called a thermalizer. This process allows the chain to maintain consistent flavor and quality of the menu item across all of its locations, regardless of where you’re ordering Broccoli Cheddar or Potato Soup.
However, as a recent Mashed poll indicates, not all Panera soups are created equal and customer opinions are divided as to which one on the chain’s ever-rotating menu falls to the bottom of the pack.
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Southwest Chile Lime Ranch Salad With Chicken
In comparison with most other salads at Panera, the Southwest Chile Lime Ranch Salad with Chicken definitely veers on the healthier side. The only problematic part is that it’s high in fat, which can accumulate around your midsection if eaten in excess regularly. Valdez sheds insight on the ingredients that jack up the total fat in this salad: “What really sets the fat content high in this salad is the avocado, ranch, feta cheese, dressing, and masa chips.” Try asking for all of those ingredients on the side, and use about half to make this salad an even more health-conscious option.
Is The Baked Potato Soup At Panera Gluten
Order as is: Romaine & Kale Caesar Salad with Chicken, Modern Greek Salad with Quinoa, Strawberry Poppyseed and Chicken Salad, Low-Fat Vegetarian Black Bean Soup, Baked Potato Soup, or the Veggie Summer Corn Chowder. Their heartier soups are also deceivingly glutenfree. Both of these soups use wheat in their broths.
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Napa Almond Chicken Salad On Country Rustic
Unlike homemade chicken salads, Panera makes theirs sans mayo, replacing it with much healthier ingredients like soybean oil, honey, cider, and vinegar. As an added bonus, this chicken salad contains antioxidant-rich grapes. Not only will grapes help you burn fat, but because they also contain the antioxidant anthocyanin, they may help boost collagen structure in the retina, protecting your eyes and helping to guard against macular degeneration.
The Pastries At Panera Bread Aren’t All That Great Either
There’s really nothing quite like a nice cup of coffee with a pastry on the side, is there? Whether you’re just craving something a little sweet with your caffeine, or want to feel like you’re living it up in Paris, it’s a totally classic combo. But at Panera Bread, not all of the pastries are all that delectable or hot and fresh.
One Panera Bread employee took to Reddit to explain some misconceptions about the chain restaurant. One revelation is particularly shocking, especially because the menu item in question is kind of in the title of Panera Bread, so you would expect their baked goods to be special and delicious. Unfortunately, they aren’t all. “Cupcakes and coffee cake are definitely just thawed, but EVERY OTHER baked good is made fresh daily,” the employee explained. It’s unfortunate in the extreme that the cupcakes and coffee cake aren’t as fresh as the bagels or muffins, but at least now you know what to steer clear of.
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The Fountain Sodas Are A Waste Of Money At Panera Bread
When you’re out to lunch or grabbing dinner for the night, the mere thought of an ice-cold soda might be enough to have you ordering one. And honestly, no one could blame you. Whether you’re more of a Dr. Pepper or Sprite person, sometimes a soda just hits the spot. Still, no matter how badly you might want one, the fountain sodas are a waste of money at Panera, and not even what the chain is known for, either.
In one Reddit thread, an ex-Panera Bread worker explained that there was one shocking item they wouldn’t advise anyone to spend money on. “It’s INSANE and the markup is intense,” the former employee wrote of what Panera charges customers in general. “Also the fountain sodas! They cost like 5 cents to make and they charge like $3 for a large.” Yikes. Obviously, you can’t get a 5 cent soda anywhere, really, but there are a lot of places that will only charge one dollar or so for a large, instead of what Panera charges customers. Really, you’re better off sticking to the free water.
Even The Bread At Panera Isn’t As Fresh As You Think
Did you even go to Panera Bread if you didn’t walk away with a side of bread, at a minimum? Not really. The bread at Panera is fairly iconic for the chain’s customers, after all. Whether it comes in a baguette, on a sandwich, or in high-calorie bowl form, it’s always on point. Right?
Sadly, just like some of the pastries at Panera bread aren’t fresh, neither is the famous bread itself. As delicious as the bread might taste, it’s not made fresh in each store, at least not the way you think it is. The truth is, there is no master artisan baker at every Panera Bread location, handcrafting bread dough with the perfect amount of salt, yeast, and tender care.
On the contrary, a Panera Bread employee took to Reddit to explain exactly how the bread was made in stores, and it was kind of disheartening. “Dough is sent fresh nightly from a regional facility,” they explained, adding that the bread is generally “baked fresh every night for the next day”. So, while the bread might be baked in-store, it isn’t freshly made from scratch in-store. That frankly sneaky loophole might make it not worth it for you.
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Secrets Panera Bread Doesn’t Want You To Know
Panera Bread first opened its doors in 1987, and the chain took off at a rapid pace. More than three decades later, there are now over 2,000 bakery-cafes scattered across 46 U.S. states and Canada. What was once known as a tiny, 400-square-foot cookie store in Boston has now become a leading brand, with billions of dollars in annual sales. The “healthier” fast-food giant has a loyal following of customers, with more than 28 million members a part of their MyPanera loyalty program. And according to Technomic , they were the largest fast-casual chain in the country as of 2018.
With free wifi, order kiosks, and a rapidly growing self-delivery system, Panera has found plenty of ways to continue to meet its customers’ demand and grow revenue when other chains find themselves with slipping sales. However, for the Missouri-based chain, it seems that sprinkled in the middle of a menu serving green passion smoothies, frozen lemonades, delicious coffee-based drinks, and assorted pastries, are a few secrets they’d rather keep to themselves. These are the secrets Panera Bread doesn’t want you to know.
Best Panera Menu Sandwiches And Paninis
The best sandwiches start with great bread, and Panera has certainly mastered that, offering a wide variety. Yet the high-sodium trend continues, and many of these sandwiches rack up an entire day’s worth of sodiumand then some. But you can customize any order to your liking, which means the calorie-cutting power is in your hands. We’ll help you use it.
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Turkey On Whole Grain
Ansari confirms that Panera’s turkey sandwich on whole grain is a healthy option, but there’s a simple hack to make it even more nutrient-dense. “To add more nutrients to it, I’d recommend adding avocado for a source of heart-healthy fat,” says Ansari. “It provides a good source of fiber and protein.” Opt out of the salty bag of chips, and instead, pair this sandwich with a piece of fruit. “I’d also choose mustard and ask for either light mayo or the mayo on the side,” says Ansari.
There Is A Whole Other Panera Menu You Can Be Ordering From
Panera Bread actually did a big launch in 2013 around their power bowls menu that introduced six new high protein and low carb meal options like the Power Chicken Hummus Bowl or Power Steak Lettuce Wraps. The caveat was that these items weren’t going to be posted on the menu boards. Instead, they were part of a “secret menu” that employees did know about, and customers could order them if they knew they existed.
According to Secret Menus, these not-so-well-known items are still alive and well at Panera. Just ask to order off the hidden menu, and the cashier will take care of you.
It’s interesting that a company who’s beliefs focus around “a menu that doesn’t hide from the people it feeds” would launch the power menu only to make it less accessible to the public eye and only for those who know to ask the secret question. It’s strange that this is a secret but it is.
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Roasted Turkey Apple & Cheddar On Cranberry Walnut
Valdez says it’s easy to think this sandwich is a healthy option. “The title can be misleading in terms of turkey and having things like apple and cranberry walnut. But having these healthy options can be obtained in other manners, such as just eating a whole apple or having cranberries with walnuts in a trail mix with other seeds and dried fruits,” he says. According to Valdez, this sandwich contains 60 percent of the recommended saturated fat intake and just a little above half of the recommended sodium intake for the day. This is definitely a sandwich that you’ll want to split in two!
How To Cook Frozen Panera Soups
You could theoretically reheat the non-dairy soups just like you would any other homemade soup recipe, but its not ideal. Nevertheless, if you decide to cook Panera soups frozen, try to at least add some water at the bottom of the pot first, to avoid scorching it.
With regards to Panera soups with cheese or dairy ingredients, the texture will definitely get severely damaged if you try to bypass the defrosting process. Thaw the soup first slowly and then stir it consistently and vigorously in a pot at medium-to-low heat to reclaim the lost consistency, while also pouring milk or sour cream if need be.
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Night Owls May Be Able To Get Free Panera Pastries
If you’ve ever been to Panera Bread right before closing time, you may notice that there are bagels, bread, and baked goods still on the shelf. Want a free one? If you come late enough, you might get lucky. A former employee spilled the beans, saying there are always extra pastries on the shelf before closing time. If you’re one of the last customers, just ask and you may be able to snag a baked good without shelling out any change. Now that’s a secret you night owls will be glad to know! Whichever ones you don’t choose though, you won’t find them on the shelves the next morning and they won’t go to waste either.
Panera Bread has always been open about what happens to those bakery items once the lights go out. Through Panera’s Day-End Dough-Nation program, any unsold goods are donated to local food pantries, soup kitchens or homeless shelters to help feed those in need.
What Is The Soup Of The Day At Panera
MONDAY. French onion, broccoli cheddar, corn chowder, baked potato, garden vegetable, lemon chicken orzo, creamy tomato, chicken noodle. TUESDAY.
Similarly, Is Panera potato soup good?
And the soup tastes like an actual loaded baked potato, replete with bacon bits and an assortment of veggies. The flavor was great, but the soup itself veered on the thicker side. If youre in a true soup mood, or if youre a soup purist, this may not be the best option for you at Panera.
Subsequently What is the most popular soup at Panera? Over the last week, the most popular item on the Panera menu has been the Broccoli Cheddar Soup, followed by the Baked Egg Souffle and the Chicken Noodle Soup.
What is the best sandwich at Panera?
Everyones Favorite Panera Bread Sandwiches
- Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT on Sourdough
- Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich On Tomato Basil.
- Bacon Turkey Bravo on XL Tomato Basil Loaf Sandwich.
- Tuna Salad Sandwich On Honey Wheat.
- Tomato Mozzarella Flatbread.
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This Panera Bread Sandwich Is So Not Healthy
Obviously, one of the biggest reasons people frequent Panera Bread is because the chain paints itself as a healthy alternative to most other fast food joints. However, not everything on the Panera menu is all that healthy. In fact, there is one sandwich that you should never order, at least if you’re trying to be health-conscious. The offender in question is the chain’s Modern Caprese Sandwich, which features mozzarella, Parmesan, and a white bean puree all topped with a delicious smoked tomato confit, basil, and a balsamic glaze.
In fact, registered dietitian, Natalie Rizzo told Eat This Not That that the Modern Caprese is deceptively unhealthy. “With 19 grams of saturated fat and more than half the amount of sodium you should have in a day, the Modern Caprese is something to steer clear of,” Rizzo said. It might look healthy without any deli meat and some vegetables, but this sandwich is really high in fat and sodium, making it something you should eat with plenty of caution.
Panera’s Mac & Cheese Might Be Made In A Microwave
If you search the internet for Panera Mac & Cheese you’ll find a whole list of copycat recipes. There’s something about the irresistibly cheesy pasta customers can’t get enough of but it’s not freshness that makes it taste so good. Panera’s Mac & Cheese, and all of their pasta for that matter, arrives to stores already prepared, in single serving-sized bag. Then to prepare, the pasta is either boiled in the bag or heated up in the microwave before serving. Yum!
It seems odd to picture what Blaine Hurst, Panera’s vice chairman, claims as an “iconic menu item people continue to celebrate,” being boiled in a bag or worse yet, nuked to order. Especially when a large, single serving meal costs around $8 and even more if you go for one of the menu’s gourmet options such as the BBQ Chicken or Baja Mac & Cheese. It may be fresher and cheaper to test out one of the copycat recipes and give Panera Bread a run for their money from your own kitchen.
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Classic Grilled Cheese On White Miche
Panera keeps this American classic as simple as can be: white bread and cheese. And who doesn’t love the comfort food combo of oozy grilled cheese and a cup of warm tomato soup? Rizzo says, “Grilled cheese is the ultimate comfort food, but it’s not exactly health food. Made with just bread and cheese and lacking any fruits or veggies, this sandwich contains more saturated fat and sodium than one should eat in a sandwich.” Because the white bread contributes to this sandwich’s high saturated fat to fat ratio, sub it for the healthier whole grain for your half sandwich, because we know you’ll be tempted to pair it with the high-fat, creamy tomato soup.