Panera Bread: Dairy-Free Just Got Cheaper at America’s Favorite Bakery

21

Go Dairy Free - The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance and Casein-Free LivingUpdated 2021! Over the years, our fast food listings have expanded to include “fast casual” chains, since it is such a fine line. Which is why I’m moving Panera Bread into our speedy dairy-free food section.

Panera Bread Company has over 2000 locations, and they are all located in the United States and Canada. Most of their menu revolves around fresh baked bread, but they have some offshoots like smoothies and salads. This post includes two full lists: one for all dairy-free options and one for just the vegan options. And yes, we included special orders! And we also have some news!

Detailed Panera Dairy-Free Menu Guide with Vegan Options and Allergen Notes - Quick Menu to Help You Order!

Panera Bread Drops their Dairy-Free Milk Surcharge

Following discussions with PETA, Panera Bread announced the end of its dairy-free milk beverage upcharge last year. They are the third brand under the JAB Holding Company to give dairy-free coffee drinkers a break. The first two were Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Pret A Manger.

Panera reportedly has plans to expand their plant-based offerings into every menu category, so we can expect the dairy-free list below to grow. Cheers to that!

Panera Bread Dairy-Free Menu Guide with Vegan Options - No More Surcharge on Dairy-Free Milk!

No Dairy (Milk-Based) Ingredients at Panera Bread (see disclaimer below)

  • BreadFrench Baguette, Artisan Ciabatta, Classic Sourdough, Classic Sourdough Bowl, Country Rustic Sourdough, Tomato Basil, Black Pepper Focaccia, Whole Grain Sourdough, White Whole Grain, Whole Grain Lahvash Wrap
  • Bagels – Plain, Sesame, Everything, Blueberry, Sprouted Grain Bagel Flat
  • Pastries (see Allergen Notes) – Pumpkin Muffins
  • Breakfast Sandwiches – Bacon & Scrambled Egg on Ciabatta (no cheese), Scrambled Egg on Ciabatta, (no cheese), Avocado Egg White & Spinach Bagel Flat (no cheese)
  • Breakfast Wraps Chipotle Chicken Scrambled Egg & Avocado Wrap (no cheese), Bacon, Scrambled Egg & Tomato Wrap (no cheese)
    Other Breakfast – Egg (Over Easy, Scrambled, Egg White, or Hard Boiled), Steel Cut Oatmeal with Strawberries & Pecans, Fruit Cup
  • Lunch Sandwiches – Tuna Salad, Turkey (also Catering version), Napa Almond Chicken Salad, Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT, Toasted Teriyaki Chicken, Catering Steak Arugula on Country Rustic Sourdough, Bacon Turkey Bravo (no cheese), Toasted Steak (no cheese), Mediterranean Veggie (no cheese)
  • Sauces & Spreads – Mustard Horseradish, Horseradish, Chipotle Aioli, Signature Sauce, Hummus, Balsamic Glaze, Apple Cider Vinegar BBQ, Salsa Verde
  • Salad – Asian Sesame with Chicken, Seasonal Greens (with or without Chicken), Cobb Salad (with dairy-free dressing), Fuji Apple with Chicken (no cheese), Caesar (no cheese), Caesar with Chicken (no cheese), Greek (no cheese), BBQ Chicken (with dairy-free dressing)
  • Salad Dressings – Caesar, Greek, Asian Sesame, White Balsamic Apple
  • Bowls – Teriyaki Chicken & Broccoli
  • Soup – Turkey Chili with Beans, Vegan Ten Vegetable Soup, Homestyle Chicken Noodle Soup
  • Smoothies – Green Passion, Peach & Blueberry with Almond Milk
  • Coffee Drinks (ordered with ALMOND MILK) – Madagascar Vanilla Almond Cold Brew, Iced Chai Tea Latte, Chai Tea Latte, Iced Caffe Latte, Caffe Latte

Other Allergen Notes

  • Panera has a blanket potential allergen cross-contamination warning (see below), but specifically note shared equipment with the pumpkin muffins.
  • In addition to the cheesy breads, their Classic White Bread and Brioche Roll do contain dairy.
  • Unlike most brands, their Cinnamon Swirl & Raisin Bagels do contain dairy. In fact, all of their sweet bagels do aside from the Blueberry noted above.
  • Though their Chipotle Aioli at Panera is made without dairy, their Chipotle Sauce contains dairy. Both are used on sandwiches.
  • Panera croutons are made with their Black Pepper Focaccia, which is listed as dairy-free.
  • At last check, their Warm Grain Bowls could be made dairy-free without the cheese AND yogurt and with a dairy-free dressing.
  • The Madagascar Vanilla Syrup for their coffee drinks is dairy-free, but the Caramel and Chocolate syrups are not.

Vegan Options at Panera Bread

  • Breads – Black Pepper Focaccia, French Baguette, Country Rustic, Artisan Ciabatta, Sourdough
  • Bagels – Plain, Everything, Blueberry, and Sesame Bagels (the Grain varieties contain honey)
  • Other Breakfast – Steel Cut Oatmeal with Strawberries & Pecans, Fruit Cup
  • Sandwiches – Mediterranean Veggie (no cheese)
  • Sauces & Spreads – Hummus, Balsamic Glaze, Apple Cider Vinegar BBQ, Salsa Verde
  • Salad – Seasonal Greens, Greek (no cheese), Asian Sesame (no chicken, no wontons), Fuji Apple (no chicken, no cheese)
  • Salad Dressings – Greek, Asian Sesame, White Balsamic Apple
  • Soup – Vegan Ten Vegetable Soup
  • Smoothies – Green Passion, Peach & Blueberry with Almond Milk
  • Coffee Drinks (ordered with ALMOND MILK) – Madagascar Vanilla Almond Cold Brew, Iced Caffe Latte, Caffe Latte

Full ingredient and allergen listings for each menu item (online) make Panera Bread a great find for special diets.

More Details from Panera Bread

Allergen Disclaimer from Panera Bread: Many of our products contain or may come into contact with common allergens, including wheat, peanuts, soy, tree nuts, milk, eggs, fish and shellfish. Our bakery-cafe and catering menus vary by location due to, among other things, market tests and local requirements. If you have an allergy concern, please ask a manager at your bakery-cafe to check the ingredient listing for specific menu items. Please note that we cannot guarantee that any of our menu items are free of allergens because we use shared equipment and handle common allergens throughout our supply chain and bakery-cafe.

Restaurant Website: www.panerabread.com

Allergen Information: Available next to each menu item listing.

*The above information was supplied by the corresponding restaurant via their website, customer service, or other published nutritional information. It is for general guidance and should not replace your own due diligence. Ingredients and menu offerings are constantly changing in the food service industry, and can be subject to interpretation or errors. For this reason, Go Dairy Free does not guarantee nor take responsibility for the accuracy of this information. If severe allergies or intolerances are a concern, contact the restaurant directly before purchasing or consuming one of their products. Cross-contamination of potential food allergens should always be considered a possibility in a fast food restaurant.

Last Updated: February 19, 2021

Average Reader Review

3.5
Rated 3.5 out of 5
3.5 out of 5 stars (based on 4 reviews)
Excellent50%
Very good0%
Average25%
Poor0%
Terrible25%

Rate Your Dairy-Free Experience with this Restaurant

What Others Are Saying ...

Poorly informed

Rated 1 out of 5
March 26, 2021

I called ahead to ask dairy free options. The sandwich I ordered not only had cheese on it, but also the bread I was told was dairy free is not. My daughter is lactose intolerant and it was her sandwich. I am most angry that I purposely called and was given dangerous misinformation. Panera’s staff needs to be better versed with information like this.

Mike Gabriel

Pretty Accurate!

Rated 5 out of 5
March 2, 2021

I have worked at Panera Bread for 3+ years now and a couple months ago when I went dairy free I found our nutritional information binder at the cafe and wrote a list of everything that is dairy free and it matches up with yours well! As to the dressings, it is hard to regulate what allergens they are exposed to. Ideally, to-go dressing cups wouldn’t normally be contaminated with other allergens, but this isn’t always the case. If you are really sensitive to dairy (or anything allergy-wise), I’d advise someone to tell the cashier/online order that there is an allergy, because the people in the kitchen are much more cautious with what they touch/what things are put on the food when they are informed of an allergy.
On another note, I am seriously impressed by the variety of menu items you listed, as our menu varies every couple months, it’s nice to see a lot of variety in what we have!

Kell

Salad dressings

Rated 5 out of 5
October 13, 2020

I can’t find the list of safe salad dressings? You used to have one I thought.

Lexi

Response from Go Dairy Free

The dressings for the salads listed above are dairy-free. We can’t say what is “safe” for any one person. Unfortunately, they no longer list their salad dressings separately, so we will have to research that.

Missing information

Rated 3 out of 5
June 12, 2020

Hello,
I was impressed by your thorough article and hoping to use it as a guiding point. However I did double check Panera’s menu and their sandwiches that include scrambled and over easy eggs do in fact have dairy products in them. This is common for most restaurants using liquid eggs but please be more careful in the future with what information you claim.

M

Response from Go Dairy Free

I’m so sorry if you are confused, but our information is correct and we are VERY careful! And indeed, their eggs are made without dairy! I think you looked just quickly at the allergen chart rather than looking at the ingredients and reading our listing carefully. Our lists are not just based on allergen charts. Whenever possible, we comb through ingredients and get more information from the company to give you a complete picture. Please note that for the breakfast items we state “no cheese” – you must order them without cheese. Their eggs are all dairy-free. Here are the egg ingredients: Scrambled Egg (Liquid Whole Eggs (Whole Eggs, Citric Acid [To Preserve Color]) and Over Easy Egg (Pasteurized Eggs, Soybean Oil And/Or Canola Oil). See no dairy! That said, it’s possible that some franchise owners could use butter on the grill. Always check at the location before ordering, and double check the ingredients before ordering. Also, we do not make “claims.” We are merely sharing information with you that comes direct from the company being covered. Remember, this is just a guide to offer you options and should not replace your own due diligence. But it is a correct and frequently updated guide (see the last updated date stamp)!

About Author

Alisa is the founder of GoDairyFree.org, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

21 Comments

  1. Just had the most terrible lunch at Panera’s. The sandwich I ordered didn’t even resemble what I thought I’d ordered and I took it back to see if they got the order wrong. Was informed it really was what I ordered. Tasted awful. Soup I wanted wasn’t available that day, but cashier never mentioned it when I ordered. She was extremely slow and people were back up even though wasn’t lunch time. Forgot to give us our drink glasses before leaving the front counter to go in the back, so had to go behind the end register to pull out cups. Had always enjoyed eating there, but not today!

  2. Took my newly dairy-free daughter to Panera this morning for breakfast. The only allergen information they had handy for the customer was for peanuts/tree nuts. The cashier was very nice and helped us by looking up the food items in a giant binder. My daughter ended up settling for a blueberry bagel, as all of the sandwiches have dairy. A pleasant note, Panera offers almond milk (for an additional fee, but still…) as an option for lattes.

  3. It may be that Panera Bread once posted ingredients on their web site. But when I checked on 7/23/2015, ingredients were not posted. As far as nutritional information is concerned, all I found were calories, and macro-nutrients. Nowhere could I find allergen information – just a blanket policy statement. There was an “Eat Well Your Way” section of the menu that listed Vegan items. But there were no breads listed on the Vegan menu. As far as I can tell, a person with a dairy allergy would be limited to a few menu items that include: Steel-Cut oatmeal, a Green Passion Power Smoothie, Salad (without chicken, cheese, or croutons), Low-fat Vegetarian Garden Vegetable Soup, and Low-fat Vegetarian Black Bean Soup. Also, soups follow a daily rotation, so it’s possible that soup may not be an option on a given day.

    • Hi Steve, I just checked again and saw ingredients, allergens, etc on every menu item that I looked on via their website. As one other reader mentioned, perhaps you are looking at their mobile site. Via PC, everything is there.

    • I just visited Panera and the menu was extremely limited for vegan – all breads contain dairy :/- but I had a great server who helped me put a salad together that I could eat – I got it without the chicken since processed meats usually contain some form of lactic acid … No cheese or vinaigrette either

  4. There is just a blanket statement on allergens and not even ingredient lists available, and these links do not go to anything helpful. Makes me not want to eat here if they can’t publicize their info. I guess I will go and ask to see the binder.

    • Hi Alicia, I just double checked again, all ingredients are listed on their website for all the menu items that I clicked on (looked at some soups, breads, etc.)! Make sure you scroll down.

    • I was thinking the same thing as you, so I decided to see if – on the off chance – there were two different versions of the website.

      My guess is that, like me, you’ve been checking Panera’s mobile site. Turns out that while their mobile site is completely useless for allergen info, they do in fact provide tons of info on their desktop site.

      Hope this helps with all of the confusion!

  5. I recently went to Panera to get soup for dinner and they listed on the giant in store menu which soups were vegan and had a big binder for employees to check ingredients and even offered to let me look through it. I got a yummy black bean soup with an apple on the side. Some of their breads are vegan, but I was in a rush and didn’t have time to look through the binder, that’s why I went with fruit. My experience was that the employees and manager were very accommodating even though they were busy. I was happy.

    • That is disappointing! Is that in restaurant? On the website they still list full ingredients and an allergen alert for each product. They even note that cross-contamination is a possibility for many allergens.

  6. they’ve made it really complicated to find something to eat. too bad, I was going to try them. I’m GF and DF, was so looking forward to the tortilla soup… will go somewhere else now. They don’t want me, I don’t want them….

  7. Andrea Stonecipher on

    I have multiple food allergies and have always appreciated that Panera was the one fast food chain I could easily check ingredients. However, it looks like they may have removed the ingredient list from their website. Any ideas?

    • If you go into their store and ask to see the allergen binder, it still lists out all of the ingredients present in each food item. Most stores keep this binder pretty up to date, and the Panera online chat people are pretty good about fixing things if your local Paneras have let their binder get outdated.