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12 Discontinued Panera Items Customers Want Back

The popular bakery café chain has said many, many goodbyes over the years.

In the fast-food world, menu items are continuously evolving. Along with the regular stream of new releases, there are plenty of farewells, too. Just look at Panera.

At the beginning of April, the popular bakery café chain rolled out its largest menu transformation to date. This included menu item launches, enhancements, and a slew of discontinuations.

In an effort to focus on its core offerings Panera removed dozens of menu items, including sandwiches, salads, bowls, bakery items, drinks, and more. This, of course, isn't the first time the chain has cut its menu offerings. Throughout its history, Panera has gotten rid of various dishes, leaving customers yearning for their return.

Wondering which menu items are no more? Here's a glimpse at 12 discontinued Panera items that customers wish would come back.

Broccoli Cheddar Mac & Cheese

panera broccoli cheddar mac and cheese

Yes, Panera's beloved mac and cheese is still safe. However, the broccoli cheddar variety is merely a thing of the past. This retired dish featured shell pasta in a blend of creamy cheese sauce and tangy white cheddar, plus seasoned broccoli and carrots.

"This was the only thing I got at Panera. And I would usually buy two bowls for myself. This is an absolute tragedy," one Reddit user lamented about the dish's discontinuation.

While the mac and cheese is gone, broccoli cheddar fans can take comfort in knowing that Panera still offers its fan-favorite Broccoli Cheddar Soup.

 6 Major Changes You'll See at Panera in 2024

Butternut Squash Ravioli

Panera Bread pasta
Panera Bread / Facebook

Panera's Broccoli Cheddar Mac & Cheese isn't the only discontinued pasta dish that crosses customers' minds. The Butternut Squash Ravioli does, too. This menu item featured sage and egg striped noodles filled with a blend of butternut squash, butter, brown sugar, and amaretti cookie crumbs. The ravioli were served with a leek and garlic cream sauce and topped with arugula and frizzled onions, according to Brand Eating.

Despite being off the menu for several years, this ravioli dish still holds a special place in people's hearts.

"My body craves the pumpkin bagel and the butternut squash ravioli the second the leaves start to change," one Reddit user shared.

Tortellini Alfredo

panera tortellini alfredo
Panera Bread / Facebook

Once upon a time (also known as 2013), Panera released its Tortellini Alfredo. This menu item featured tortellini filled with ricotta, Swiss, and Romano cheeses in an Alfredo sauce topped with asiago and parmesan. Now, this dish is nothing but a memory for Panera customers.

"It was the only reason I would go [to Panera]. every time i think about it again, i shed a tear," one Reddit user wrote.

"I'll never forgive panera for taking that off the menu," another one said.

 I Tried Every Soup at Panera & One Can't Be Beat

Black Bean Soup

panera black bean soup and smoked turkey sandwich
Tim P. / Yelp

It's no secret Panera is known for its soup. The restaurant chain even offers a line of soups at the grocery store. However, some of the soups, like the black bean variety, weren't here to stay.

"I'm still bitter it's gone and don't go to Panera anymore, one Reddit user wrote.

While the black bean soup is gone from the restaurant's menu, it is still available as part of Panera's refrigerated soup line.

Napa Almond Chicken Salad Sandwich

Panera napa almond chicken salad on country rustic
Courtesy of Panera

After news broke in August that this menu would leave restaurants, the Napa Almond Chicken Salad Sandwich has since been listed as a retired menu item on Panera's website. The sandwich consisted of chicken tossed with diced celery, sliced red grapes, toasted almonds, and "special dressing," plus mixed greens, vine-ripened tomatoes, as well as salt and pepper on Panera's Country Rustic Sourdough. Fans didn't take this discontinuation lightly.

"Grumping me out! It was literally the only reason I went there. Uncool, Panera, uncool," one fan wrote in Reddit thread dedicated to the item's discontinuation.

"Damn, that was literally the only sandwich I ever ordered there," another one added.

 I Tried Every New Panera Sandwich & One Was Flawless

Chipotle Chicken Panini

Panera chipotle chicken panini
Panera Bread: We Want The Chipotle Chicken Panini Back / Facebook

Panera recently rolled out an enhanced version of its Chipotle Chicken Avo Melt. But before the chain released the original version of this sandwich, there was another option on the menu: the Chipotle Chicken Panini.

"Best warm sandwich I've ever had from Panera," one fan asserted.

French Toast Bagel

panera french toast bagel sandwich
Panera Bread / Facebook

Panera offers a few different bagel options, with Cinnamon Crunch being one of them. However, fans still mourn the chain's French Toast Bagel, which left Panera a few years ago.

"That's all my family ordered," one Reddit user wrote. "French toast bagel! That was a magical time," another one said.

 I Tried Every Bagel at Panera & the Best Was a Shocker

Turkey Cranberry Flatbread

panera turkey cranberry flatbread
Panera Bread / Facebook

In 2014, Panera reimagined Thanksgiving staples with the launch of its Turkey Cranberry Flatbread. This menu item consisted of roasted turkey breast, garlic and herb cheese spread, cranberry mostarda, and spinach. The flatbread has yet to make a return to menus, despite fans' wishes.

"Only thing I'd go back to panera for now," one Reddit user wrote.

Roasted Turkey, Apple & Cheddar Sandwich

panera roasted turkey apple cheddar sandwich
Rochelle K. / Yelp

Another turkey sandwich that is gone but not forgotten, this sandwich was once offered as a holiday menu item. It featured cranberry roasted turkey, Vermont white cheddar, apple and cabbage slaw, arugula, and "special sauce" on whole grain cranberry walnut bread.

"I still crave the apple turkey cheddar sandwich, what I would give to have one again," one fan wrote.

 The #1 Unhealthiest Lunch Order at Panera, According to a Dietitian

Thai Chicken Salad

panera thai chicken salad
Panera Bread / Facebook

You'll find numerous copycat recipes for Panera's Thai Chicken Salad across the internet. But you won't find it on the chain's menu, much to fans' dismay.

"The Thai chicken salad was the salad that made me enjoy salad," one fan shared. "That was my first love and nothing will ever replace it," another wrote.

BBQ Chicken Salad

panera bbq chicken salad
Panera Bread / Facebook

For the barbecue fans, Panera currently offers an enhanced version of its Smokehouse BBQ Chicken Sandwich. However, there's currently a gap in the menu where the chain's BBQ Chicken Salad once lived.

"A few months back I had a hankering for the bbq chicken salad & was so upset when it was no longer on the menu! I won't be going back," one Redditor commented.

 I Tried Every New Panera Salad & the Best Was Bold and Tasty

Soba Noodle Bowls

panera browth bowls
Panera Bread / Facebook

In 2015, Panera rolled out broth bowls, two of which featured soba noodles. There was the Soba Noodle Bowl with Chicken and the Soba Noodle Bowl with Edamame. Like the aforementioned menu items, these now only live in Panera fans' memories.

"[C]hicken soba noodle bowl. had it once and have never forgotten," one Redditor wrote.

"I would give a kidney for another soba noodle bowl," another lamented.

Brianna Ruback
Brianna is a staff writer at Eat This, Not That! She attended Ithaca College, where she graduated with a degree in Journalism and a minor in Communication Studies. Read more about Brianna