11 Secrets Panera Bread Doesn’t Want You To Know – Eat This, Not That

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When you’re craving something that feels a little fresher and healthier than a deli sandwich or fast food, but still quick, you might find yourself heading to Panera Bread. With its mix and match options of soups, salads and sandwiches, it has become a lunchtime staple across the country.

But is Panera as fresh and healthy as it looks, or are there secret calories and other issues lurking in its flavorful sandwiches and soups? Here are some secrets the channel probably doesn’t want to know. Plus, read on to find out how to score free treats and which dishes to avoid. (Plus, check out 11 Secrets Texas Roadhouse Doesn’t Want You To Know.)

Panera bread / Facebook

According to a former employee posting on Reddit, “All of our soups are indeed made fresh, but they are frozen in giant blocks and then placed in a refrigerator-like box with very hot water to thaw them.” It’s honestly not unhealthy or unusual, but if you were expecting a chilly soup, be warned! As well, another former employee suggest ordering soup after the 11am rush as yesterday’s thawed soup is used first.

panera bread
Panera bread / Facebook

When you walk in and smell that bread baking, it’s hard not to imagine bakers in the kitchen mixing up delicious creations. Well, that’s not quite how it works, says a former Panera employee on Reddit, who wrote, “I really bake the bread. The bread is simply mixed in a large factory, then transported to us every evening/morning, so that we can let it rise.” The pastries are delivered frozen and baked on site.

RELATED: 11 Secrets Dunkin’ Doesn’t Want You To Know

Panera bread / Facebook

If you are dining at Panera, the most economical solution is to always order a small glass. The chain offers free refills, so you can take your little mug back to the soda fountain and multiple times as you wish.

RELATED: The verdict on the worst sodas you can drink, straight from the dietitians

panera sandwich fillings
Panera bread / Facebook

When you spend your hard-earned money on a meal, you want to get the most out of it, and Lady Krazy Koupon has a great hack. She suggests adding all the free toppings available to your favorite sandwich, check your nearest Panera website, but options include common toppings like red onions, tomatoes, cucumbers and greens as well as super add-ons. flavorful like basil, cilantro, curly onions, and pickled red onions. Be aware that some vegetables, like avocado, cost more, so be sure to ask when ordering. Another great sandwich option for under $1 is parmesan chips.

RELATED: Wendy’s is Working Hard to Make Its New Fries a Success

panera sandwich
Panera bread / Facebook

Are you following a plant-based diet or are you just trying to reduce your meat intake? While there are great vegetarian options on the menu, there’s also a pro-level Panera hack – you can swap the avocado for meat on any sandwich at no extra cost.

RELATED: The #1 Worst Bagel To Order At Panera Bread, Says Dietitian

panera command
Panera bread / Facebook

While it’s annoying to get the wrong salad or sandwich, their mistake is your delight. According to Spoon Universityif your order is wrong, you’ll probably get a free treat on your next visit when you let them know (nicely) how your order was messed up.

RELATED: 10 Secrets Chili’s Doesn’t Want You To Know

panera cream cheese
Panera bread / Facebook

If you’re a regular at Panera for its soft, chewy bagels and love its flavored cream cheese, consider getting an 8-ounce jar you can keep at home or at work for just $2.99. You’ll save about a dollar on each bagel, and you can cut calories by using a lighter twist.

RELATED: 7 Things You’ll Never See Panera Again

panera bread bread bowl
Panera bread / Facebook

If you’re hungry, know that when you order your Panera soup in a bread bowl, you only get one cup of actual soup. For a little extra, say Lady Krazy Kouponorder the bowl of bread without soup and get a bowl of soup, which is 12 ounces of soup, and just pour it yourself.

RELATED: 20 Best Slow Cooker Soup Recipes

panera bread bowl
Panera bread / Facebook

Just remember, before ordering your creamy soup served in (or alongside) a bread bowl, a bread bowl will add 670 calories and 1160 milligrams of sodium to your meal. Considering the famous broccoli and cheddar soup already contains 840 milligrams of sodium, you might want to reconsider. In fact, a former worker, employee revealed that their manager once dismissed them and advised them never to recommend soup to the elderly because the sodium content was way too high.

RELATED: ‘Healthy’ Foods With More Sodium Than French Fries, Science Says

mediterranean panera sandwich
Panera bread / Facebook

You can turn this vegetarian sandwich, which is filled with peppadew peppers, lettuce, tomato and cucumber, into a vegan option by replacing the tomato basil bread with the chain’s black pepper focaccia and removing the feta cheese, says Today.com. As an added bonus, by ditching feta, you’ll get less sodium because 2 tablespoons of feta contains about 600 milligrams. Add avocado or kale to fill it out!

Bowls of Cheddar Broccoli Copier Soup
Kiersten Hickman / Eat This, Not That!

Now that you know Panera soup has just been reheated, why not try making the soup for a fraction of the price? We have a great recipe you can try. You can also grab one of their famous mac and cheese recipes from the internet, or just buy a container of soup from the nearest grocery store and heat it up yourself.

Read more secrets about your favorite places to eat:

11 Secrets Arby’s Doesn’t Want You To Know

8 Secrets Burger King Doesn’t Want You To Know

15 Secrets McDonald’s Employees Don’t Want You To Know

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