Low Carb Panera Ordering Guide – Stay Keto at Panera

Learn how to order low carb Panera like an expert so you can stay keto at panera.

Get the special 46 item Panera low carb menu I used to plan my orders.

See photos of my top low carb Panera orders for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They will help you stay keto at panera.


Staying Keto at panera is one of the final stops on my low carb fast food challenge. For each fast food chain I order as many low carb, keto options as possible and report back with my favorites.

In a hurry? Grab my> Panera Low Carb Menu one-pager if you want to see full macros for all 46 Panera low carb options.

What to order to stay in ketosis at Panera

Even though I spent four hours doing menu research and arrived at Panera with a plan, I still had to make adjustments in real-time because they didn’t offer everything listed online.

It’s worth your time to do some order planning and have a backup order ready to go just in case your first option isn’t available. The rankings below reflect my taste preferences.

Low Carb Panera Breakfast Options

For a low carb breakfast at Panera, you’ll be ordering one of their breakfast sandwiches without the bun. They put them in a small salad bowl for you to eat with a fork. Below are the five bunless breakfast sandwiches I tried, ranked in order of my preference.

1. Ham Egg & Cheese Sandwich (No Bread)

The Ham Egg and Cheese breakfast sandwich comes with egg, a slice of white cheddar cheese, and some smoked ham. I think I liked this one the best because they stuck to traditional breakfast flavors for each ingredient.

Low Carb Panera Ham Egg and Cheese Sandwich (No Bun)
My Low Carb Panera Ham Egg and Cheese Sandwich (No Bun)
  • Order it low carb: “Ham Egg and Cheese Sandwich, no bread”
  • Recommended mods: None
  • Price: $4.29
  • Macros: 210 calories and 3 net carbs

2. Bacon Egg & Cheese Sandwich (No Bread)

Comes with egg, a slice of white cheddar cheese, and bacon. The cheese and bacon clump together for some decadent bites to stay keto at panera. I plated this one so you can see it more clearly.

  • Order it low carb: “Bacon, Egg & Cheese Sandwich, no bread”
  • Recommended mods: None
  • Price: $4.29
  • Macros: 250 calories and 1 net carb

3. Turkey Sausage, Egg White & Spinach Sandwich (No Bagel)

Comes with turkey sausage cooked into egg whites, a slice of white cheddar cheese, fresh spinach and tomato. Loved everything about this dish except for the sage seeds in the turkey sausage. They had an off putting flavor for a breakfast dish.

  • Order it low carb: “Turkey Sausage, Egg White & Spinach Sandwich (No Bagel)”
  • Recommended mods: None
  • Price: $4.29
  • Macros: 170 calories and 2 net carbs

4. Sausage Egg & Cheese Sandwich

Comes with an egg patty, a slice white cheddar cheese, and a sliced up sausage patty.

  • Order it low carb: “Sausage, egg, and cheese sandwich (no bread)”
  • Recommended mods: None
  • Price: $4.29
  • Macros: 335 calories and 3 net carbs

Typically the bunless sausage, egg & cheese is my favorite low carb breakfast sandwich, but the sausage at Panera is too lean and dry. I prefer the low carb McDonald’s version which is $1 cheaper.

5. Steak Egg & Cheese Sandwich (No Bagel)

Comes with egg, a slice of white cheddar cheese, and sliced steak. Looks amazing, but chewing through steak in the morning wasn’t pleasant.

Low Carb Panera Steak Egg and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich (No Bagel)
My Low Carb Panera Steak Egg and Cheese Breakfast Sandwich (No Bagel)
  • Order it low carb: “Steak and Egg sandwich (no bagel)”
  • Recommended mods: None
  • Price: $4.29
  • Macros: 335 calories and 3 net carbs

Aside from the 5 bunless breakfast sandwiches that I ordered you can also get a basic Egg & Cheese or an Egg White, Avocado, and Spinach sandwich, but they are fairly low calorie and might not be filling enough without the bread.

Low Carb Panera Lunch and Dinner Options to stay keto at Panera

The lunch and dinner options at Panera are interchangeable. You can choose from about 15 different sandwiches (no bread, of course) and a couple different salads. Below you can see how I ranked the entrees I tried.

1. Steak and Baby Arugula Sandwich (No Bread)

I ordered the Steak and Baby Arugula Sandwich with no bread and the cashier kindly suggested it be served on a bed of lettuce. I agreed. It came with sliced steak, lettuce, tomatoes, pickled onions, and garlic and herb cream cheese spread.

  • Order it low carb: “Steak and Arugula Sandwich, no bread”
  • Recommended mods: Omit pickled red onions to save 3-5 net carbs.
  • Price: $9.39
  • Macros: 290 calories and 10 net carbs

The Steak and Arugula sandwich in a bowl should also come with arugula and horseradish mustard but those ingredients were omitted from my order. I still thoroughly enjoyed it.

2. Green Goddess Cobb Salad with Chicken (No Onions)

They forgot to add the chicken to my salad, but I forgive them because this salad was still delicious. Comes with arugula, romaine, kale, radicchio, Green Goddess dressing, avocado, bacon, and hard-boiled egg. I omitted the red pickled onions because they have 3 net carbs.

Low Carb Panera Cobb Salad
My Low Carb Panera Cobb Salad
  • Order it low carb: “Cobb salad, no onions”
  • Recommended mods: Ask for extra side of dressing.
  • Price: $9.39
  • Macros: 450 calories and 10 net carbs

You can cut out 2-3 more net carbs by cutting the tomatoes.

3. Caesar Salad with Chicken (No Croutons)

Comes with chicken, romaine, parmesan and Caesar dressing. I would have ranked this entree higher if they’d used shaved parmesan cheese instead of grated.

Low Carb Panera Caesar Chicken Salad
My Low Carb Panera Caesar Chicken Salad
  • Order it low carb: “Caesar salad, no croutons”
  • Recommended mods: Additional side of dressing.
  • Price: $9.39
  • Macros: 440 calories and 6 net carbs

4. Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT (No Bread)

This is the best option if you’re looking for high protein low carb fast food after a workout. It comes with turkey,  bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, avocado, and mayo.

  • Order it low carb: “Turkey Avocado BLT, no bread”
  • Recommended mods: Side of Greek dressing
  • Price: $9.39
  • Macros: 440 calories and 2 net carbs

This has a crisp and fresh taste, but could use a little salad dressing so that it’s not too dry.

5. The Italian

If you’re looking for the most filling low carb lunch option at Panera, then the Italian without bread is a good option. It comes with ham, salami, sopressa, provolone cheese, giardiniera, basil mayo and arugula.

Low Carb Panera The Italian
My Low Carb Panera Italian Sandwich (No Bread)
  • Order it low carb: “The Italian, no bread”
  • Recommended mods: None
  • Price: $8.89
  • Macros: 500 calories and 4 net carbs

You’ll need a knife to eat The Italian as the ingredients are served in too big of pieces to eat with a fork. Jimmy John’s has low carb Italian sandwiches if you’re looking for a lettuce-wrapped version.

6. Steak and White Cheddar (No Bread)

The bread-less Steak and White Cheddar is the least appetizing of the Panera lunch options in terms of looks. It comes with steak, pickled red onions, white cheddar cheese and horseradish.

Low Carb Panera Steak and White Cheddar
My Low Carb Panera Steak and White Cheddar Sandwich (No Bread)
  • Order it low carb: “Steak and Cheddar, no bread”
  • Recommended mods: Add mayo, mustard or hot sauce.
  • Price: $9.39
  • Macros: 560 calories and 7 net carbs

The Steak and Cheddar tastes a little bland so I recommend adding mayo, mustard, hot sauce, or some other low carb sauce to increase flavor.

7. Chicken Chipotle Avocado Melt

The least tasty of the breadless sandwich options I tried is the Chicken Chipotle Avocado Melt. It comes with shredded chicken, Gouda cheese, avocado, cilantro, piquant peppers, and chipotle mayo.

Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt Sandwich (No Bread) to stay keto at panera
My Panera Low Carb Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt Sandwich (No Bread)
  • Order it low carb: “Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt, no bread”
  • Recommended mods: None
  • Price: $8.89
  • Macros: 470 calories and 4 net carbs

The melted cheese stuck to the avocado and the mixture of some warm ingredients with some cold ingredients wasn’t a match for my tastes.

What else can you order?

There are 15 different sandwiches and 6 different breakfast sandwiches on the Panera menu that become low carb when ordered without the bread. If you want to stay keto at panera, they also offer a Greek Salad, a chopped salad, and a Caesar salad that be ordered low carb.

Grab my> Panera Low Carb Menu one-pager if you want to see full macros for every low carb option that’s still available.

My personal low carb menu is derived from this much longer and more complicated official Panera Nutrition Information PDF.

Keto Friendly Drinks

There are lots of Iced Tea options at Panera. So long as you get them without sugar, you’re good to go! There are flavors like plum, peach honey ginsing, mango and lots more options. Black coffee is always an option and when it doubt go for the good ole water!

What you should avoid

In case you’re new to low carb eating, I’ll point out that you can’t eat any of the Panera breads, pastries, sweets, bagels, or pastas if you want to stay keto at panera.

All their side items are too high carb, except for the pickle spears.

There are some less obvious foods to avoid that I’ve listed below. They seem like they might be low carb, but aren’t.

Tempting bread-less sandwiches to avoid:

  • Napa Almond Chicken Salad – 25 net carbs
  • Tuna Salad – 12 net carbs

Tempting soups to avoid:

  • New England Clam Chowder – 49 net carbs
  • Southwest Chicken Tortilla – 44 net carbs
  • Bistro French Onion Soup – 42 net carbs
  • Broccoli Cheddar – 24 net carbs
  • Cream of Chicken & Wild Rice – 22 net carbs
  • Turkey Chili – 16 net carbs

Tempting sides to avoid:

  • Panera Baked Crisps – 23 net carbs

Tempting salads to avoid:

  • Thai Chopped Chicken Salad – 36 net carbs
  • Fuji Apple with Chicken Salad – 30 net carbs
  • Asian Sesame Chicken Salad – 21 net carbs

Tempting salad dressings to avoid:

  • White Balsamic Apple Vinaigrette – 12 net carbs
  • BBQ Ranch Dressing – 8 net carbs
  • Thai Chili Vinaigrette – 8 net carbs
  • Balsamic Vinaigrette – 8 net carbs
  • Asian Sesame Vinaigrette – 6 net carbs


Panera’s restaurants are modern & clean, their employees are friendly & helpful, and their food seems fresher and more carefully prepared than your typical fast food restaurant.

Expect to pay a hefty premium for the experience (about 1.5x the price of typical fast food), but leave a happier person for it especially with the healthy keto options at Panera.

You can generally consider me a hater of any restaurant with “Bread” in its brand name, but I left impressed with Panera’s commitment to the customer experience.

If you’re a frequent low carb fast food eater and can withstand the tempting smells of baked goods, then Panera provides a nice of change of pace meal.

What’s Next

My next low carb fast food guide is for Church’s Chicken which is the third fried chicken restaurant on the fast food challenge. I’m excited!

Want to get all of my low carb fast food guides via email? Sign up here!

Follow my Fast Food Challenge

Get my specific LOW CARB RECOMMENDATIONS for top Fast Food Chains like, McDonald's, Subway, or Chick Fil A, etc. (1 new chain per week)

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I’ll also report back with final results for how this fast food experiment affects my health, well-being, and bank account. And you’ll get some simple low carb recipes and other tips from me for all the times you’re not eating in a fast food joint.


“Mr. SkinnyPants”

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19 thoughts on “Low Carb Panera Ordering Guide – Stay Keto at Panera”

  1. Ryan,

    Thanks for doing all of this work! We just found your blog last week and it is so helpful!

    I began by printing out your fast-food spreadsheets…but then realized that you may update them as restaurant menus change, so maybe I am wasting paper and ink?? LOL
    Also, I think I am missing something… I have to enter my email address every time I want to see a new menu. Is that correct or am I doing something wrong? =)

    Thanks again!

  2. I am SUPER excited that I found your blog!! Low carb options take a lot of planning other than “no bread please”, and truth be told, after working a full day and running around with my boys afterwards, I’m too tired to even think about how many carbs are in the foods I eat. I’m very thankful you have taken the time to put all of these awesome menus together!

  3. I am almost finished with phase 3 of HCG and am transitioning to keto lifestyle. Ordering Panera’s today and I was a bit overwhelmed till I googled and came across your blog of what low carb foods you can eat at Panera’s — helped me pick my lunch and not look like a total outcast at work – thank you!!!

  4. Hi Ryan, Thanks for the tips at Panera! I am doing strict ~20 carbs (NOT net carbs) per day and I found a work around for the Spicy Thai chicken salad! Order it WITHOUT Cilantro, Edamame Blend, Wonton Strips, Roasted Cashew Pieces, and Thai Chili Vinagrette, BUT you CAN KEEP the peanut sauce as your dressing! I add sesame seeds and cucumber which makes a grand total of 6 carbs for the Whole (not 1/2) size salad. I usually get an ice coffee with half and half if you are ok with adding 1 extra carb in case you want something other than water.

  5. Diagnosed a type2 diabetic, I figured fast food was history. Further more traveling between 100-200 local miles a day left the idea of sack lunches pretty cold.

    Then Ryan “mrskinnypants” comes along and changes everything. Not only can I return to hot meals on the road, but it’s really fun ordering and eating the menu items Ryan recommends.

    Thanks Ryan for all you offer us Keto eaters…… And for those who haven’t checked out the oven roasted wings – don’t wait another day, those little devils rock. I add butter and olive oil to the hot sauce with garlic, tasty. My whole family loves them!
    Cheers to you mrskinnypants


  7. I’ve been enjoying your blog, it came at the right time for me. Saved me some time, especially knowing what places to not waste my time at!

    It really surprises me that restaurants dont have low carb bread options. They are out there. My favorites are tortillas, wraps and now I found Josephs pita bread. All around 6 grams net carbs per piece or serving. All readily available at my local Walmart. Once out of induction on low carb, these breads are perfectly acceptable in moderation, and in maintenance more than that. They are very affordable too, unlike the products seen on low carb or nutrition type sites where they have low cab sandwich buns for instance…at about 7 or 8 bucks for 4 of them!

    I’ve decided the next time I know I’m going to a restaurant, fast food or otherwise (like you do, I’ve learned to plan ahead for what I will order and have a backup in case my first choice isn’t available), I’m going to bring my own bread! Yep, maybe they will get the hint and I can explain to them its not that hard to keep some low carb options available for customers. Keeping a package of Flat-out light wraps for instance is only a few bucks, and would draw back LC customers. I’m just stunned it seems no one is doing that…but the hot craze of the time is gluten free…somehow half the nation suddenly thinks they are gluten intolerant! That is what restaurants seem to be catering to these days and the new government rules only require them to show calories, I’ve run in to that wall in the “nutrition” information on some web sites. They give you something gluten free and the calorie count and thats it in some cases.

    I’m finding the pseudo-Mexican fast casual places are becoming my go to because you get a better value for the money. I was happy to discover Taco Bell power bowls for instance, then realized they were nickle and diming me on ingredients and by the time I pay for that I could have a much bigger “salad” at the “burrito” type places. The fast food joints dont discount anything for the stuff you remove like bread, rice and beans, but they will sure charge you when you want to beef the meal up with other stuff. I feel like if I’m removing 3 items from a standard preparation, they should exchange three other items for them at no charge.

    Qdoba is one of those places I found recently. They give you a serving of guacamole included for instance…other places charge for it. They also have a lot of good ingredient choices. They will definitely have my repeat business.

  8. Wonderful suggestions!
    I am sitting at my favorite Panera in the cool air!
    And had the egg white spinach breakfast no bread and have been doing great on low carb plan last two months!
    I have to keep my size 25 jeans comfortable and carbs and sugar are super bad! Kind of evil!
    In life we have choices!
    Now I find when I have cravings I need nuts which I try and avoid but one battle at a time!
    God Bless

  9. Im lactose intolerant so I cant consume dairy, which is bad for you anyway, plus I hate avocados so that doesn’t leave me with much choices for low carb..

  10. Thanks for the suggestion. I got the Turkey BLT with avocado, no bread in a bowl. I did add cucumber and ordered the Greek goddess dressing on side. It was delicious and filling.

  11. Ryan,
    This is a big help. I have gone to the same Panera for over 10 years and the staff are all cheering me on as well as the Manager is taking info to the bosses to hopefully get them to put this info out. I just started Keto Intermitten fasting 2 weeks ago and my sugars are back in the safe zone. I can use all the knowledge and help I can get.
    Thank you,

  12. Thanks for reviewing and providing these LC menu options for Panera. My wife and daughter like going to Panera often, and it has been a challenge with the keto/LC WOE. This gives me some good options to try when I go there. I have had the Cobb salad and it is very good, and it has been the only option I could find on the spur of the moment that would work for meThe Turkey Avocado BLT no bread looks like something I would like and order often. Thanks again!


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