Skip to content

Every Panera Sandwich—Ranked by Nutrition

An RD identifies the best and worst Panera sandwiches for your health to help you order wisely.
FACT CHECKED BY Samantha Boesch

For a bakery breakfast, comforting hot beverage, cozy soup, or fresh salad, Panera is a go-to spot—but at the end of the day (or rather, the middle of the day), it's best known as a sandwich joint. Panera's sandwiches are the mainstay of its menu, with options to satisfy all sorts of cravings. From New York-style cured meats to the spicy flavors of the Southwest, these sandwiches span a culinary spectrum.

If you're looking for a quick lunch, a sandwich at Panera can be a healthy choice, but not every option is brimming with nutritional value. Despite the restaurant's reputation for healthy, freshly made meals and wholesome ingredients, some of its sandwiches are surprisingly heavy on calories, saturated fat, sodium, and more. As a nutritionist, I'm sharing every single sandwich on the menu, ranked by nutrition, in descending order from worst to best.

Read on, and for more, check out the 20 Best & Worst Panera Breakfast Orders, According to Dietitians.

Chicken & Pepperoni Mozzarella Melt

Panera pepperoni & mozzarella
Panera

Per sandwich: 1,110 calories, 41 g fat (20 g saturated fat), 3,120 mg sodium, 115 g carbs (4 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 69 g protein

What happens when you layer chicken, pepperoni, mozzarella, and fontina cheese on a French baguette and top the whole thing with tomato sauce? A hulking, pizza-like order that falls to the bottom of the list of Panera's healthiest sandwiches. If there's one sandwich to skip at Panera, it's this one.

RELATED: 10 Unhealthiest Panera Menu Items

Chicken Cordon Bleu Melt

Panera chicken cordon bleu
Panera

Per sandwich: 1,040 calories, 30 g fat (13 g saturated fat), 3,500 mg sodium, 120 g carbs (5 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 73 g protein

Seventy-three grams of protein are a selling point for the Chicken Cordon Bleu Melt—but that's about the only element in this sandwich's favor. The sodium count alone (150% of the recommended daily limit) is worth turning this one down.

Chicken Green Goddess Caprese Melt

Panera

Per sandwich: 1,070 calories, 42 g fat (13 g saturated fat), 2,410 mg sodium, 117 g carbs (5 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 56 g protein

Another baguette sandwich, the Chicken Green Goddess Caprese Melt is a calorie torpedo of a lunch. It's similar to the regular Green Goddess Caprese but with chicken, and if you choose this one, make it the biggest meal of the day.

RELATED: I Tried 6 Salads At Panera Bread & The Best Was Crisp & Tangy

Pepperoni Mozzarella Melt

Panera mozzorella melt
Panera

Per sandwich: 1,000 calories, 39 g fat (20 g saturated fat), 2,600 mg sodium, 115 g carbs (4 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 48 g protein

The Pepperoni Mozzarella Melt is another pizza sandwich—so it's no surprise this one isn't terribly nutritious. When you want pizza at Panera, the Margherita Flatbread Pizza is a better choice with fewer calories and significantly less fat.

Grilled Cheese

Panera grilled cheese
Panera

Per sandwich: 880 calories, 51 g fat (31 g saturated fat), 2,370 mg sodium, 69 g carbs (2 g fiber, 10 g sugar), 37 g protein

Don't be fooled by the low-ish calories in the Grilled Cheese. This sandwich is loaded with saturated fat and sodium, with little to redeem it aside from calcium and protein from the cheese.

RELATED: 8 Healthiest Fast-Food Sandwiches

Bacon Turkey Bravo

panera bacon turkey bravo
Panera Bread

Per sandwich: 1,000 calories, 44 g fat (15 g saturated fat), 2,660 mg sodium, 104 g carbs (4 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 54 g protein

I can't say "bravo" to this heavy option, which packs more than the recommended sodium target for an entire day. Try ordering the Bacon Turkey Bravo on a different bread than the tomato basil (such as sourdough or whole wheat) to lower sugar and salt.

Toasted Steak and White Cheddar

Panera Toasted Steak and White Cheddar
Panera Bread

Per sandwich: 950 calories, 47 g fat (15 g saturated fat), 1,550 mg sodium, 87 g carbs (4 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 44 g protein

Marinated sirloin, aged white cheddar, and artisan ciabatta—what could go wrong? This combo pushes 1,000 calories and contains no vegetables aside from some red onion slices.

RELATED: The #1 Unhealthiest Chicken Sandwich at 11 Major Restaurant Chains

Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt

Panera Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt
Panera Bread

Per sandwich: 930 calories, 48 g fat (15 g saturated fat), 2,020 mg sodium, 80 g carbs (7 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 46 g protein

Avocados are full of healthy fats and fiber—which may be why the Chipotle Chicken Avocado Melt contains more fiber than most of Panera's sandwiches. On the other hand, this option racks up sodium and fat to achieve its spicy, cheesy flavor.

Green Goddess Caprese Melt

Panera Green goddess melt
Panera

Per sandwich: 970 calories, 40 g fat (13 g saturated fat), 1,890 mg sodium, 117 g carbs (5 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 35 g protein

With a name like Green Goddess Caprese, this melt gives off light and breezy vibes. Unfortunately, it doesn't quite live up to its healthy-sounding title. Served on a large baguette, it's high in just about every undesirable nutrition category.

Roasted Turkey and Avocado BLT

Panera Roasted Turkey and Avocado BLT
Panera Bread

Per sandwich: 920 calories, 52 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 1,780 mg sodium, 72 g carbs (7 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 44 g protein

You usually can't go wrong with ingredients like roasted turkey, lettuce, tomato, and avocado. But if you're craving this combo, you're better off making it at home so you don't incur the 52 grams of fat and over 900 calories in Panera's Turkey and Avocado BLT. On the plus side, though, this sandwich does come with a sizable 7 grams of fiber.

RELATED: 10 Best High-Fiber Breads, According to Dietitians

Black Forest Ham and Gouda Melt

Panera Black Forest Ham
Panera

Per sandwich: 940 calories, 28 g fat (12 g saturated fat), 2,980 mg sodium, 120 g carbs (5 g fiber, 6 g sugar), 52 g protein

As appealing as the European flavors of Black Forest ham and gouda cheese might be, they also add an eyebrow-raising jolt of sodium and saturated fat to this sandwich. And since processed meats like ham have been linked to increased risk of some cancers, you may want to choose this one infrequently.

Smoky Buffalo Chicken Melt

Paneras Smoky Buffalo Chicken Melt (Toasted Baguette)
Panera Bread

Per sandwich: 830 calories, 19 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 3,010 mg sodium, 114 g carbs (4 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 50 g protein

The beauty of most of Panera's sandwiches is that you can order them as a full or half size. I advise choosing half of the Smoky Buffalo Chicken Melt. This way, you'll cut its tremendous sodium back to around 1,500 milligrams—still high, but nothing close to the 131% of the recommended daily limit you'd get from the whole sandwich.

RELATED: 7 Best High-Protein Fast-Food Sandwiches

Bacon Avocado Melt

Panera Bacon Avocado Melt
Panera Bread

Per sandwich: 840 calories, 51 g fat (16 g saturated fat), 1,480 mg sodium, 71 g carbs (7 g fiber, 3 g sugar), 27 g protein

Don't get me wrong, I love bacon as much as the next person. But when it's the centerpiece of a sandwich, it doesn't have a lot to offer nutritionally. It's no wonder the Bacon Avocado Melt is relatively low in protein and high in fat.

Toasted Frontega Chicken

Panera Toasted Frontega Chicken
Panera Bread

Per sandwich: 800 calories, 36 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 1,890 mg sodium, 78 g carbs (4 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 43 g protein

The Toasted Frontega Chicken's sliced tomatoes and red onions add vitamins and antioxidants to your lunch, increasing its healthiness. Still, high fat and sodium keep this one from climbing higher in rank.

Smokehouse BBQ Chicken

Panera Smokehouse BBQ Chicken
Panera Bread

Per sandwich: 750 calories, 29 g fat (14 g saturated fat), 1,640 mg sodium, 80 g carbs (3 g fiber, 17 g sugar), 45 g protein

Nutrition-wise, the Smokehouse BBQ Chicken Sandwich falls somewhere in the middle of Panera's offerings. It's fairly low in calories, but packs plenty of sugar from its sweet barbecue sauce, not to mention ample saturated fat and sodium from white cheddar and fried onions.

Southwest Chicken Melt

Panera Southwest Chicken Melt
Panera Bread

Per sandwich: 790 calories, 40 g fat (14 g saturated fat), 1,640 mg sodium, 67 g carbs (3 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 43 g protein

Smoked pulled chicken is an excellent source of protein, and you'll get 43 total grams from the Southwest Chicken Melt. Then again, this spicy sandwich leaves a lot to be desired with its 40 grams of fat and low fiber content.

Tuna Salad

Panera Tuna Salad Sandwich
Panera Bread

Per sandwich: 720 calories, 33 g fat (5 g saturated fat), 1,670 mg sodium, 76 g carbs (5 g fiber, 5 g sugar), 29 g protein

The full Tuna Salad Sandwich may be high in sodium (and, no lie, it's pretty high-calorie, too), but at least it's a vehicle for getting more seafood in your diet. Fatty fish like tuna contain healthful omega-3 fats, which support heart health.

RELATED: 11 Best Canned Tunas on the Market, and 3 to Stay Away From

The Spicy Take Chicken Sandwich

Panera The Spicy Take Chicken Sandwich
Panera Bread

Per sandwich: 570 calories, 29 g fat (8 g saturated fat), 1,410 mg sodium, 45 g carbs (2 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 33 g protein

Just about everybody's got a spicy chicken sandwich these days, and Panera is no exception. As hot chicken sandwiches go, you could do a lot worse. Though Panera's version is heavy on salt, its calorie count is far lower than some fast food spicy chicken sandwiches (like Popeyes). Increase its health factor by requesting mixed greens on top.

The Signature Take Chicken Sandwich

Panera The Signature Take Chicken Sandwich
Panera Bread

Per sandwich: 560 calories, 29 g fat (10 g saturated fat), 1,140 mg sodium, 41 g carbs (2 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 36 g protein

Although the Signature Take Chicken is fried, this option ties with the Deli Turkey as the lowest-calorie full sandwich on Panera's menu. Go easy on the crispy parmesan chips to scale back on total fat and saturated fat.

Deli Ham

Panera Deli Ham Sandwich
Panera Bread

Per sandwich: 570 calories, 14 g fat (3 g saturated fat), 1,960 mg sodium, 78 g carbs (5 g fiber, 8 g sugar), 34 g protein

Not far behind the deli turkey is Panera's Deli Ham Sandwich. It's served on sourdough, which some research suggests could be a good choice for gastrointestinal comfort, increased sensation of fullness, and better blood sugar response. Just note that, like most ham sandwiches, the sodium here is quite high.

RELATED: 9 Healthy Dunkin' Breakfasts That Dietitians Order

Deli Turkey

panera deli turkey sandwich
Panera Bread

Per sandwich: 560 calories, 12 g fat (2 g saturated fat), 1,690 mg sodium, 79 g carbs (5 g fiber, 7 g sugar), 35 g protein

A simple, tasty deli turkey sandwich? Yes, please! Panera's version keeps things reasonable in the calorie department and contains a mere 2 grams of saturated fat. It's also loaded with lean protein from antibiotic-free turkey breast.

Mediterranean Veggie

panera mediterranean sandwich
Panera Bread/ Facebook

Per sandwich: 630 calories, 14 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 1,650 mg sodium, 105 g carbs (7 g fiber, 11 g sugar), 23 g protein

Sometimes you have to look not only at individual nutrients but at the ingredients as well. Though the Mediterranean Veggie contains more calories, sodium, and carbs than some other sandwiches further down the list, I place it near the top for its mountain of fresh vegetables. Here, you'll get a heaping helping of cucumbers, tomatoes, peppers, and greens.

RELATED: 25 Easy Ways to Eat More Fruits & Veggies at Every Meal

The Healthiest Panera Sandwich: Napa Almond Chicken Salad

Panera Bread Napa Almond Chicken Salad Sandwich
Panera Bread

Per sandwich: 630 calories, 25 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 970 mg sodium, 77 g carbs (4 g fiber, 12 g sugar), 27 g protein

I personally love the Napa Chicken Salad, not only for its relatively low calorie count, but for its tasty mix of crunchy almonds, creamy dressing, and meaty chicken pieces. This one tops the list with a nice blend of plant and animal protein, plus built-in fruit from fresh grapes.

Sarah Garone, NDTR
Sarah Garone, NDTR, is a registered nutrition and dietetic technician, and a health, nutrition, and food writer. Read more about Sarah
Sources referenced in this article
  1. Source:
  2. Source:
  3. Source: