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This National Bakery Chain Is Debuting a Mac & Cheese Sandwich

Who wouldn't want the best of both worlds?
FACT CHECKED BY Joseph Neese

A certain bakery chain likely tops the list when you have a lunchtime craving for a hearty cup of soup paired with a light salad or sandwich. If you're in particular need of some comfort, you may even choose to upgrade to a warm bread bowl.

Panera is a beloved destination for comfort food, with offerings that range from bread bowls and soup to pasta and pastries. Here to kick the comfort up a notch is a recent menu addition that combines two classics: grilled cheese with mac and cheese.

The chain's new Grilled Mac & Cheese Sandwich is buttery, creamy, and crunchy. Though Panera has dropped different versions of its fontina mac and cheese in the past, the famous pasta has never before been sandwiched between two pieces of the chain's thick Classic White Miche bread. This time around, there are even parmesan crisps mixed into the pasta.

Related: The #1 Worst Bagel to Order at Panera Bread, Dietitian Says

While the Grilled Mac & Cheese Sandwich officially became available to order on Sept. 1, according to a viral Tik Tok video, some Panera employees said their locations had it even earlier. The sandwich comes in whole or half sizes with a side of chips, a French baguette, or an apple. It can also be ordered as part of a You Pick Two duo.

 

When we think about comfort foods, we don't always think about the nutritional value of what we're about to eat. When two decadent favorites are combined, it's safe to say that there's probably going to be a hefty amount of calories, carbs, fat, and sodium involved.

This is certainly the case with Panera's Grilled Mac & Cheese Sandwich. A whole sandwich contains 860 calories, 86 grams of carbohydrates, 42 grams of fat, 24 grams of saturated fat, 14 grams of sugar, 1,650 milligrams of sodium, 37 grams of protein and only 3 grams of fiber.

The best option for enjoying this sandwich? Opt for the half size or pair it with a healthier soup—like the Autumn Squash, Creamy Tomato, Homestyle Chicken Noodle, or Ten Vegetable—in a You Pick Two combo.

For more about what's happening at Panera, check out:

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Amanda McDonald
Amanda is a staff writer for Eat This, Not That!. Read more