Take a Walk on the Light Side

Take a Walk on the Light Side

Our summertime menu favorites that come in under 500 calories but are over-the-top on taste.

The bright side of lighter choices is simply this: the Panera Bread® menu is loaded with flavorful options for anyone watching calories or trying to eat meals and snacks that are more wholesome. And while nearly all of our salads, in both full and half portions, fit the bill, you may be surprised to find that many of our soups, sandwiches, and breakfast items are equally satisfying. We offer some easy tips to help you improve your diet choices.

Enjoy breakfast

Familiar weight-control wisdom suggests that you eat breakfast like a king, lunch like a prince, and dinner like a pauper. If that’s your approach, you’re in luck with Panera’s breakfast options, which fill your morning bowl with way more than cereal, says Panera Bread head chef Dan Kish. Try our summer Steel Cut Oatmeal topped with cinnamon crunch, summer glueberries, and maple butter pecan granola (350 calories) this bowl provides lasting energy for your morning.

Take a (virtual) trip

Consider sampling cuisine from other regions or parts of the world. Bold spices and unique flavors will wake up your taste buds and provide options for your dietary needs. Our Thai Chicken Salad (240 calories in a half portion, 490 in a full) and new Mediterranean Chicken Flatbread Sandwich (310 calories) are two dishes to try.

Pack a snack

Your own grab-and-go packs offer convenience as well as control (you choose the portion size). Measure out servings of nuts, diced fruit, vegetables, string cheese, homemade granola, or other healthy choices, and pack them into snack-size containers. Fresh, whole foods make far better between-meal boosts than packaged, processed items.  

Dine out the right way

When you are on the go (or have run out of ideas to try at home), here are a few other items from our seasonal menu to try.

  • You Pick Two: Low-Fat Vegetarian Black Bean Soup (170 calories) and Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT on Sourdough Bread (250 calories)
  • Our seasonal Steel Cut Oatmeal with Blueberries & Granola (350 calories)
  • You Pick Two: Low-Fat Vegetarian Garden Vegetable Soup with Pesto (90 calories) and Asian Sesame Chicken Salad (210 calories) 

Oh, and embrace bread!

Whole grains are great for getting plenty of fiber and important nutrients into your diet. Skip white supermarket loaves in favor of delicious options such as those at Panera Bread (some of which you can find in some supermarkets!). The Sprouted Grain Bagel Flat (240 calories) is just one example of the kind of bread that can make your meals tastier and nutritious.