South Beach Diet Phase 1 at Panera Bread

Panera Bread has become a very popular restaurant chain. It's good, fresh food that is served quickly but without too much grease or preservatives. But it does have one drawback--the menu is built around bread--which means lots of carbs. But, as with any other restaurant, you can find options if you are following Phase 1 of thee South Beach Diet or any other low carb plan. Here is what we deemed acceptable for SBD Phase 1 at Panera:


French Onion--Served every day, but be sure to omit the croutons and ask for the cheese it comes with on the side.


Grilled Salmon--Grilled salmon, chilled and served over mixed field greens, romaine lettuce, green beans, roasted red peppers, wheat berries, red onions and tossed in a lemon vinaigrette. Just ask for the wheat berries to be left out and order the dressing on the side

Greek--Romaine lettuce, tomatoes, feta cheese, red onions, peperoncini, Kalamata olives, and tossed in Greek dressing.

Grilled Chicken Caesar--Pepper-mustard chicken on top of romaine lettuce, topped with Asiago-Parmesan cheese and croutons with homemade Caesar dressing. Just ask for the croutons to be omitted and get the dressing on the side.

Classic Cafe--Mixed field greens and romaine lettuce with tomatoes, cucumbers and red onion and tossed with balsamic vinaigrette. Just order the dressing on the side, or better yet, ask for a low carb dressing instead such as ranch or blue cheese.


Acceptable beverages are water, diet soft drinks, unsweetened iced tea, coffee or tea, cappuccino (no added sugar), espresso or skim milk.


If you are not on a diet, the breads and dessert pastries at Panera are awesome. But if you are on Phase 1, you'll have to have some coffee or tea, and then go home to have your ricotta creme or sugar free gelatin.

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Comments 10 comments

Sklar 9 years ago

hey...question. You say here the Panera Black Bean Soup is acceptable to have on Phase 1. I was just reading...the broth has cooked potatoes and corn oil. Aren't those not allowed on phase 1?

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Nashville G-man 9 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin Author

oops, good catch, I'll have to change this. Thanks!

dandrthebest 8 years ago

thank you ,thank you for this GREAT website! I am on my 6th day on phase one. Had it not been for this website, i think i would have given up! I was just sour cream really okay for phase 1?

Thanks again!!

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Nashville G-man 8 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin Author

wow, thank you so much for the kind words and I'm so glad I could help!

Have you seen the other hubs I've done on this topic? Sour cream is okay, but I believe it has to be low fat or fat free and in moderation. You might want to consult with the South Beach book though. Thanks again!

Katie 7 years ago

hey this website was very helpful, but im guessing we can eat the bread that comes with the salad on phase 1!? thx so much!

Sasha 7 years ago

Doesn't the frenchonion soup have bread inside???

Sasha 7 years ago

Doesn't the frenchonion soup have bread inside???

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Nashville G-man 7 years ago from Madison, Wisconsin Author

yep, no bread is allowed on Phase 1. If the onion soup has that bread (crouton) in it, you have to ask them to omit it or take it out yourself.

Donna 7 years ago

Is chicken salad sandwich with no bread ok on phase 1?

Mindy Godding 5 years ago

Thanks! Always working at Panera and thought I would have to leave this time for lunch since I'm in Phase One.

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