If you’ve been vegan for any length of time, it’s highly unlikely that you have not been to Panera. While everyone loves Panera Bread, the bakery-café has a special place in the hearts of vegans. And rightly so! In a food industry that’s still struggling to catch up with the rapid spread of veganism, Panera Bread offers various plant-based food choices for its vegan customers.
Want to know what is vegan at Panera Bread? Keep reading to learn all about Panera vegan options!
Vegan Options at Panera Bread
Whether you’re looking for a place where you can grab something for breakfast while on your way to work or looking for a restaurant for a sit-down vegan lunch or dinner, Panera Bread is a great option. The bakery-café offers quite a few plant-based options (enough to ensure that you don’t have to rely on just salad and/or fries). Here’s a complete list of Panera Bread vegan options for your convenience:
- A variety of bread
- Bagels – some varieties
- Steel Cut Oatmeal
- Kettle-Cooked Potato Chips
- A few salad varieties – with modifications
- Ten Vegetable Soup
- Mediterranean Bowl – with modifications
- Baja Bowl – with modifications
- Teriyaki Chicken and Broccoli Bowl – with modifications (of course!)
- Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich – with modifications
- Vegan Condiments
- Vegan Beverages
- Fresh Fruit
At most restaurants, ordering vegan isn’t (yet) as simple as finding your favorite items on the menu and placing an order for them. You have to look at the list of ingredients of every item you feel like ordering to ensure it doesn’t contain any non-vegan ingredients.
If you aren’t lucky enough to find something completely vegan on the menu, you have to go through the whole process of inquiring and requesting if they can be made vegan and explaining what to omit from the original recipe. Y’all know the drill!
To save you from that hassle at Panera, here I am providing a detailed breakdown of all Panera menu items that are vegan-friendly or can be made vegan along with ordering instructions for each. Keep reading to learn how to order vegan at Panera Bread!
Panera Vegan Options – A Detailed Breakdown
§ Panera Vegan Breads
Panera is known for its bread (after all, it’s Panera Bread). Thankfully, they have quite a few varieties of bread that do not contain dairy or any other animal-derived ingredients, making them suitable for vegans. Your Panera vegan bread options are:
Sliced Bread Varieties
- 100% Whole Wheat Smooth Whole Grain Bread
- Country White Bread
- Hearty White Whole Grain Bread
- 100% Whole Wheat Grainy Whole Grain Bread
- Multi-Grain While Gain Bread
- Everything Bread
- Baker’s Grains Whole Grain Bread
Artisan Bread and Rolls
- Classic Sourdough Loaf
- Country Rustic Sourdough Bread
- Sourdough Bread Bowls
- Artisan Ciabatta Loaf
- Ciabatta Rolls
- Whole Grain Farm Style Bread
- Whole Grain Sourdough Loaf
- Rustic Multi-Grain Bread
- French Baguette
- Black Pepper Focaccia
- Sea Salt Focaccia
- Hoagie Roll
Panera’s bread varieties are not only perfect for breakfast, sandwiches, and picnic spreads; they also make great snacks on their own because they taste great.
Can’t enjoy the deliciousness of Panera’s artisan vegan bread every day because you don’t have a Panera outlet nearby? Good news!
Many of Panera’s artisan bread varieties are now also available at various grocery stores. Don’t forget to check the grocery stores in your area!
§ Panera Vegan Bagels
Bagel and cream cheese is a match made in heaven. Panera Bread allows us, vegans, to experience that magic by offering vegan bagels.
Your vegan bagel options at Panera Bread are:
- Plain Bagel
- Sesame Bagel
- Everything Bagel
- Blueberry Bagel
- Cranberry Walnut Bagel
Choose your favorite kind of bagel from these, slather it with vegan cream cheese, and pair it with a cup of freshly brewed coffee for a perfect weekend breakfast.
§ Steel Cut Oatmeal
Do you prefer to start your days with some healthy food? Panera offers organic steel cut oats for health-conscious vegans. Although it comes with cinnamon crunch topping, which isn’t a healthy option, you can ask them to hold it. But, if you can do with some sugar, go ahead and order yourself some steel-cut oatmeal from Panera; it’s vegan-friendly.
The oatmeal also comes with the topping of fruits and pecans. You can either choose to have fresh strawberries & pecans or apple chips & pecans.
§ Panera Bread Vegan Salads
Panera Bread offers a range of great-tasting salads. While none of them is vegan on their own, they can easily be made vegan. The restaurant itself provides guidelines, on its website, about how you can order a vegan salad at Panera. Here they are:
- Greek Salad – order without feta cheese
- Modern Greek Salad – skip the feta
- Asian Sesame Salad – hold the chicken and wontons
- Fuji Apple Salad – omit chicken and gorgonzola
- Spicy Thai Salad – without chicken and wontons
According to the Panera Bread website, you can also place a quick order for a vegan salad at Panera. Simply ask for:
- Strawberry Poppy Seed Salad
- Seasonal Greens with Quinoa and Avocado
Panera Vegan Salad Dressings
All the Panera salads come with dressings. But, you have to make sure if the dressing that comes with the salad you’re ordering is vegan-friendly or not. Here’s a list of all vegans salad dressings available at Panera Bread:
- Greek Dressing
- Thai Chili Vinaigrette
- White Balsamic with Apple Flavored Vinaigrette
- Asian Sesame Vinaigrette
Choose your favorite vegan salad dressing from these to toss in your salad to enjoy a healthy yet flavorful snack or a quick lunch at Panera.
§ Ten Vegetable Soup
This delicious soup has just what its name suggests – ten vegetables. It’s not only healthy but also delicious and 100% vegan. No wonder it is many vegans’ go-to order at Panera. If you haven’t tried it yet, do so the next time you head to Panera Bread, and I promise (presuming that you like veggie soups in general), you won’t regret it.
Panera’s ten vegetable soup ingredients include vegetable broth, chickpeas, sprouted brown rice, tomatoes, onions, carrots, corns, spinach, red pepper, yellow pepper, poblano pepper, celery, garlic, red fife, and Aleppo chili.
§ Mediterranean Grain Bowl
Panera’s Mediterranean Grain Bowl comes in two varieties – with chicken and without chicken. Though the meatless one isn’t vegan either, it can easily be customized according to the vegan diet.
It originally comes with a flavorful mix of cilantro lime brown rice and quinoa, and a variety of vegetables, including Kalamata olives, grape tomatoes, arugula, and cucumber. All these healthy ingredients are topped with hummus, lemon tahini, Greek yogurt, and feta.
When ordering vegan, all you have to do is to ask them to hold Greek yogurt and feta, and you’ll have a healthy, filling, and delicious vegan Mediterranean bowl at Panera.
§ Baja Bowl
Panera’s Baja Bowl without chicken is a Mexican-inspired rice and quinoa bowl designed for a vegetarian diet. It includes cilantro lime brown rice and quinoa topped with grape tomatoes, avocado, salsa verde, black bean and corn salsa, feta, and Greek yogurt.
Order it without Greek yogurt and feta to enjoy a vegan Mexican (inspired) rice bowl at Panera.
§ Teriyaki Chicken and Broccoli Bowl
The teriyaki broccoli bowl doesn’t remain a very exciting option when you remove chicken from it, especially when you have other (better) vegan rice bowl options at Panera. However, if you really love broccoli or craving for the teriyaki flavored, you can order this bowl without chicken. You’ll get a mix of cilantro lime brown rice and quinoa topped with broccoli, fresh cilantro, and sesame seeds, and a generous drizzle of teriyaki glaze (it’s soy-sauce based).
§ Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich
There is no vegan sandwich on Panera’s menu. But, if you’re really craving a sandwich, you can get this vegetarian sandwich customized for your vegan diet. Here’s how to order a vegan sandwich at Panera:
- Choose a vegan bread (from the list given above)
- Hold the feta cheese
- Skip the crumb topping (it contains honey)
After these modifications, your Panera vegan sandwich will have a veggie mix of greens, red onion, tomato, cucumber, and Peppadew piquant peppers sprinkled with salt and pepper and topped with hummus.
You can ask them to substitute feta with avocado, if you want, for some creaminess.
§ Kettle-Cooked Potato Chips
These are your good ol’ plain potato chips. But, at Panera, they don’t get them from outside. They make their own Kettle-Cooked Potato Chips. And, I must say, they do a pretty good job!
If you’re looking for a quick snack to have on the go or want something crispy and crunchy to go with your soup, order these kettle-cooked potato chips. You can’t ever go wrong with potato chips!
§ Pickle Spears
You can make your vegan meal at Panera a little more flavorful by getting yourself a side of Pickle Spears. Tangy with a slight hint of sweetness, they hit all the right notes and provide a strong burst of flavors.
§ Fresh Fruits
Panera doesn’t offer any vegan desserts. You can get your sweet fix with fresh fruits, though. Here are your options:
- Fruit Cup
Not the most exciting options to satisfy your sweet cravings, but certainly the healthiest ones!
Note: Panera also offers Strawberry Fruit Spread, and it’s vegan-friendly. You can have it with a bagel as a dessert too.
§ Panera Vegan Beverages
The beverage section is where most restaurants miss the mark for vegans. However, that’s not the case at Panera. There are some great vegan beverages options at Panera Bread, including vegan coffee (happy screams) and smoothies (hear y’all, health-conscious vegans).
Here’s a complete list of vegan drinks at Panera:
- Peach & Blueberry Smoothie with Almond Milk
- Green Passion Smoothie
Note: You may be able to get other smoothies customized as vegan, too (by opting for non-dairy milk). Ask the staff at your local Panera outlet if they can accommodate your request.
- Light Roast Coffee
- Dark Roast Coffee
- Hazelnut Coffee
- Cold Brew
- Iced Coffee
- Madagascar Vanilla Almond Cold Brew
- Decaf Coffee
- Hot Tea
- Iced Tea
- Plum Ginger Hibiscus Tea
- Passion Papaya Green Tea
- Prickly Pear Hibiscus Fresca
- Orange Juice
- Organic Apple Juice
- Mist Twist
- Agave Lemonade
- Blood Orange Lemonade
- Sparkling Water
- Soft Drinks
Note: They use almond milk for vegan coffees and non-dairy smoothies at Panera.
Panera’s Menu Items That May Look Vegan, But Are Not
Following are some of the items on Panera’s menu that may be mistaken as vegan-friendly, but they contain non-vegan ingredients:
- Baker’s Oats Whole Grain Bread – contains honey
- Whole White Grain Bread – contains honey
- Tomato Basil Bread – contains honey
- Sprouted Grain Bagel Flat – contains honey
- Cinnamon Swirl Bagel – contains milk
- Cinnamon Crunch Bagel – contains milk and honey
- Asiago Bagel – contains milk
- Green Goddess Dressing – contains milk ingredients
- Bistro French Onion Soup – contains milk and chicken
- Vegetarian Autumn Squash Soup – contains milk
- Scones – contain milk
Frequently Asked Questions
Let’s answer some common questions people have about the vegan status of various Panera’s menu items to give you a clear idea of what is vegan at Panera and what’s not…
§ Does Panera have vegan bread?
Panera offers a variety of vegan bread options. Read the article for a complete list of Panera vegan bread options.
§ Is Panera Black Pepper Focaccia vegan?
Yes. The Black Pepper Focaccia bread available at Panera is vegan-friendly.
§ Is Panera Sourdough bread vegan?
Yes. All varieties of sourdough bread available at Panera are vegan-friendly
§ Are Panera bagels vegan?
Not all the vegans available at Panera are vegan-friendly. However, the bakery-café does offer a few vegan bagel options.
§ Which bagels at Panera are vegan?
Panera’s vegan bagel options include Plain Bagel, Sesame Bagel, Everything Bagel, Blueberry Bagel, and Cranberry Walnut Bagel.
§ Is Panera Mac and Cheese vegan?
Sadly, no. Panera’s Mac and Cheese is not vegan.
§ Does Panera have vegan soup?
Yes. Panera does offer vegan soup as part of its standard menu. It’s called Ten Vegetable soup.
You may also find some other seasonal vegan soup options at some Panera outlets, so do inquire at your local Panera before ordering.
§ Does Panera have vegan salad options?
Panera does not offer any vegan salad. However, some of its salads can be made vegan with a few alterations. Read the article for detailed guidelines on how to order a vegan salad at Panera.
§ Does Panera have vegan salad dressings?
Yes. There are a few Panera vegan dressing options available. These include Greek Dressing, Thai Chili Vinaigrette, White Balsamic with Apple Flavored Vinaigrette, and Asian Sesame Vinaigrette.
§ Does Panera offer vegan bowls?
There is no vegan bowl on Panera’s menu. However, the Mediterranean, Baja, and Teriyaki bowls can be customized according to vegan dietary guidelines (details are discussed above).
§ Does Panera have vegan sandwiches?
Panera does not offer any vegan sandwiches. However, the Panera vegetarian sandwich can be made vegan by skipping feta and crumb topping and choosing vegan bread.
§ Is the Ten Vegetable soup at Panera vegan?
Yes. Panera’s Ten Vegetable soup is 100% vegan-friendly; no customizations are required.
§ Is Panera Greek dressing vegan?
Yes. The Greek salad dressing available at Panera is vegan-friendly.
§ Does Panera have vegan cheese?
Sadly, no. Panera does not offer vegan cheese. I really hope they add it to their menu soon.
§ What are Panera vegan spread options?
The Strawberry Fruit Spread available at Panera is vegan-friendly.
§ Does Panera have vegan smoothies?
Panera offers two vegan smoothies on its menu – Green Passion Smoothie and Peach & Blueberry Smoothie with Almond Milk. However, they do have almond milk for coffees, so they may customize other smoothies upon request. There’s no harm in trying!
§ Does Panera have vegan desserts?
To vegans’ disappointment, the bakery-café doesn’t offer any vegan dessert options. You can, however, get your sweet fix by getting yourself some fresh fruits.
§ Are Panera cookies vegan?
Panera’s cookies are not vegan. They contain eggs and dairy.
Craving for cookies? Make your own vegan cookies at home. It’s easier than you think. Check out the following video for a simple vegan cookies recipe…
Conclusion – Is Panera Vegan-Friendly?
Panera’s menu may not have a huge list of vegan options. But, it’s certainly a breath of fresh air in the American food industry dominated by non-vegan restaurants (many of which do not even seem interested to accommodate vegan consumers).
Their Ten Vegetable soup is delicious; you must try it if you haven’t already. You can also get a vegan rice and quinoa bowl, salad, and sandwich with just a few alterations. And the best part is that they have a good variety of vegan bread, bagels, and drinks. What more reasons do you need to visit Panera Bread? It’s surely a place worth visiting for every vegan.
The restaurant also introduced a Cool Food Meal Program in October 2020, which highlighted the foods on their menu made with low-impact ingredients.
Although this doesn’t completely align with the vegan philosophy or guarantee that the highlighted foods are vegan-friendly, it shows that they care for the environment and this planet. While there’s still a long way to go, it’s certainly a step in the right direction.
Did you find this article helpful? If yes, you may also be interested in learning about other popular restaurants and their vegan menu. Check out my article Dominos Vegan Options to find out if the renowned pizza company has anything for vegans.