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Panera Is Debuting a New Salad & Bringing Back a Fan-Favorite Next Week

Enjoy Caesar in a whole new light or stick to your classic spring fruit salad.
FACT CHECKED BY Meaghan Cameron

After months of sipping on warm, cozy soups and toasty comfort sandwiches, it's about time for some bright and refreshing dishes to hit the fast-food market. Luckily for fans of healthy greens, Panera will be adding two salads to the menu next week—one new and one returning.

Panera's new Southwest Caesar Salad with Chicken will debut nationwide on April 5. While the classic Caesar salad at Panera is already the overall top-selling salad, this fresh new take includes an abundance of different high-quality ingredients and a unique combination of flavors. The crowd-favorite Strawberry Poppyseed Salad will also be making its long-awaited seasonal appearance on the same day.

Inside the bowl of the new salad, customers will find the usual chicken Caesar salad mix—crisp romaine, Parmesan cheese, antibiotic-free grilled chicken breast, and Caesar dressing—plus sliced avocado,  crumbled blue corn tortilla strips, a drizzle of chipotle aioli and cilantro.

"Panera's southwest spin on Caesar salad takes the flavor to new levels—adding spice and a unique crunch that turn this classic dish into an exciting new offering I think our guests are going to love," said Claes Petersson, Panera's head chef and chief culinary innovation officer in the press release.

While the official launch date for the new salad is set for next week,  MyPanera rewards members have the chance to get a sneak peek. Beginning March 27, the new Southwest Caesar Salad with Chicken will be available for digital ordering only (meaning on the website, Panera app, and via kiosk ordering). Not only will MyPanera customers get a taste before it's widely available, but Unlimited Sip Club customers will receive a reward for $2 off the new menu item during this limited offer.

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For customers who enjoy sticking to the good and faithful, the Strawberry Poppyseed Salad remains the same: as delicious and light as ever. Restoring its spring/summer spot on the menu, this salad showcases fresh romaine lettuce, mandarin oranges, fresh strawberries, pineapple, and blueberries, which are tossed in Panera's poppyseed dressing and topped with roasted pecan pieces and antibiotic-free grilled chicken breast.

 "We're always happy to see Strawberry Poppyseed Salad back on the menu for the season," said Petersson.  "Not only is it a perennial guest favorite, it's a sign the flavors of summer are right around the corner."

panera Strawberry Poppyseed Salad
Courtesy of Panera

This is yet another big menu move for Panera since the beginning of 2023. The bakery-cafe chain already had an uber-successful launch with a line of Toasted Baguettes that have become a popular addition to the menu.

Jordan Summers-Marcouillier
Jordan Summers-Marcouillier was born and raised in San Jose, California and now works as a writer in New York, NY. Read more about Jordan