Home & Garden Home Vegan Guide to Panera Bread: The Best Menu Options and Swaps Plant-based offerings are on the rise at Panera Bread. By Elyse Glickman Elyse Glickman Writer Elyse has nearly 20 years of experience in the field of food and drink writing and journalism. In addition to contributing to a variety of food, nutrition, and travel publications, she has developed and managed her own publication, Liquid Living, focused on home entertaining. Learn about our editorial process Updated January 27, 2022 Share Twitter Pinterest Email Treehugger / Photo Illustration by Catherine Song / Panera Bread Home Sustainable Eating Pest Control Natural Cleaning DIY Family Green Living Thrift & Minimalism In This Article Expand Our Top Picks Bakery Breakfast Lunch and Dinner Sides Beverages Frequently Asked Questions Panera Bread, the popular bakery-cafe chain that got its start in 1987, did not officially unveil a full-on, plant-based menu item until 2019. That item, the Ten Vegetable Soup, proved to be a market-expanding game-changer for Panera Bread, bursting with fresh vegetables, sprouted brown rice, red fife, and dried Aleppo chili. Factor in the use of a handy “V” symbol, numerous vegan bakery items, and easily adaptable items on the general menu, and it adds up to a fast-casual dining option that, though not prolific in totally vegan selections, is plenty reliable. Our Top Picks The Ten Vegetable Soup was just the beginning of Panera's relatively rapid evolution into a solid choice for vegan customers in the two-plus years since its launch. While there is plenty of room for growth, the best of what's here will please the palate. Green Passion Smoothie This delectable smoothie delivers an extra dollop of nutrition through its inclusion of spinach, which is wrapped in a luscious, dairy-free blend of peach and mango purees, passionfruit juice, and white grape concentrates. It is substantial and satisfying, making it an ideal breakfast or mid-afternoon pick-me-up. The Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich If you only can offer one vegan sandwich, make it something with style like Panera’s Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich. This sandwich is close to perfect when it's ordered without cheese and the Tomato Basil bread is swapped for one of the vegan breads from the bakery, such as the sourdough bread or roll. Between the slices, emerald greens, piquant peppers, cucumbers, tomatoes, and hummus fuse together nicely, and avocado can stand in for the cheese if desired. To make it a well-rounded lunch, add a side salad with vegan salad dressing. Baja Bowl When you withhold the feta and Greek yogurt, the Baja Bowl satisfies a craving for Tex-Mex flavor. Black bean and corn salsa, salsa verde, red grape tomatoes, and avocado rest on top of a foundation of cilantro lime brown rice and quinoa. Treehugger Tip Keep an eye out for seasonal specials or limited-time menu items that are vegan, like the Summer Corn Chowder, Vegan Lentil Quinoa Broth Bowl, and the Soba Noodle Broth Bowl with Edamame Blend. Vegan Bakery Items With the fairly large and diverse selections of plant-based, aromatic bread, one can enjoy something different on every visit. It's good to buy a few extra to enjoy at home or later in the day on the go. Plain BagelEverything BagelBlueberry BagelSesame BagelWhite Whole Grain Loaf Artisan Ciabatta Black Pepper FocacciaWhole Grain Sourdough Loaf Classic Sourdough Loaf Whole Grain Lahvash Wrap Country Rustic Sourdough XL LoafFrench BaguetteSourdough Bread Bowl Vegan Breakfast Items The selection of breakfast items beyond bread is small but solid, with comforting items that deliver energy and nutrition, while also being a good stand-in for dessert for those who want a little something sweet. Steel Cut Oatmeal with Strawberries, Pecans & Cinnamon Crunch ToppingFresh Fruit CupPeach & Blueberry Smoothie (Order with almond milk.)Green Passion SmoothieVegan Bagels Did you know? In 2022 Panera partnered with the World Resources Institute to make it easier for customers to understand the carbon footprint of their orders by introducing Cool Food Meals, a new menu label on low-carbon entrees. Vegan Lunch and Dinner Items Panera's savory, meal-sized items expand when you take care to leave off chicken and dairy products when ordering. With a few exceptions, the offerings fit right in with the Mediterranean Diet, with earthy, herbaceous flavors and an abundance of green vegetables. To ensure a selection is vegan, leave off the chicken, cheese, and other dairy products when ordering. Baja Bowl (Order without feta or Greek yogurt.)Mediterranean Grain Bowl (Order without feta or Greek yogurt.)Tomato Basil Cucumber SaladCitrus Asian Crunch Salad with Chicken (Order without chicken.)Fuji Apple with Chicken (Order without chicken and Gorgonzola.)Seasonal Greens SaladGreek Salad (Order without feta.)Asian Sesame Salad (Order without the chicken and wontons.)Strawberry Poppyseed SaladMediterranean Veggie Sandwich (Order without the feta.)Ten Vegetable Soup, on its own or in a sourdough bread bowlLow-Fat Vegetarian Black Bean Soup, on its own or in a sourdough bread bowl Treehugger Tip Bulk up the Seasonal Greens Salad by adding quinoa and avocado. Vegan Sides A few simple additions that can transform a breakfast or lunch menu item into a full meal, or bring more vegetables and fruit into one's daily food intake. ApplesBananasFrench BaguetteKettle ChipsPickle SpearSide Salad Vegan Beverages While not a coffee bar per se, Panera still offers an impressive selection of coffee and tea drinks that run the gamut from thirst-quenching to fruity, earthy, sweet, and caffeinated. Iced 100% Colombian Dark Roast100% Colombian Dark Roast CoffeeHazelnut CoffeeCafe Blend Light RoastDecaf CoffeeHot TeaCold BrewMadagascar Vanilla Almond Cold BrewHazelnut Coffee ToteCafe Blend Light Roast Tote100% Colombian Dark Roast Coffee ToteDecaf Coffee ToteIced TeaPlum Ginger Hibiscus TeaPrickly Pear Hibiscus FrescaSoda (customize to choose flavor)Bottled Passion Fruit Papaya Green TeaAmericanoEspressoOrange JuiceOrganic Apple Juice Frequently Asked Questions Does Panera have plant-based chicken or beef? No, there are no plant-based meat options at Panera. While the chain plans to expand its plant-based selections by late 2021, the official word is that vegan meats will not be test-marketed or brought to the menu anytime soon. Are the bagels at Panera vegan? Many of Panera's bagels, including Plain, Blueberry, Sesame, and Everything, are vegan. There are no vegan spreads for the bagels at this time. Does Panera have vegan baked goods? Panera does not offer any dairy-free pastries. However, in addition to their bagels, the chain offers a variety of vegan bread, including the beloved sourdough bread bowl.