For lunch this week, we grabbed the new Panera chicken sandwiches and corn chowder along with two new drinks to try out. It has been a while since I’ve updated this site, but these new Panera items inspired me to post again.
NEW Panera Chicken Sandwiches
These two new options are under the Chef’s Chicken Sandwiches section of their menu. The Signature Take Chicken Sandwich has “seasoned and seared chicken breast, Parmesan crisps, emerald greens and garlic aioli on a brioche roll” with 560 Calories / 6g Sugar / 39g Protein / 960mg Sodium / 180mg Cholesterol / 29g Fat with 10g Saturated Fat. We really enjoyed this sandwich, especially the Parmesan crisps. Those crisps help give it an additional crunch that was missing since it wasn’t fried chicken.
In comparison, their Spicy Take Chicken Sandwich has “seasoned and seared chicken breast, spicy Buffalo sauce, crispy pickle chips, and garlic aioli on a brioche roll” with 570 Calories / 7g Sugar / 35g Protein / 1260mg Sodium / 170mg Cholesterol / 30g Fat with 8g Saturated Fat. (Note: there is even more nutritional info on their site, I’m only showing a portion of it.) Their spicy sandwich wasn’t very spicy at all, with a hint of hot sauce in garlic aioli. I didn’t taste the crispy pickles as much as I thought I would.
Both sandwiches had juicy, well-seasoned chicken and a fluffy brioche bun. Their Signature Take chicken sandwich has less calories, sugar and sodium, and more protein than the spicy one. So not only did I prefer the taste of the Signature Take sandwich more, but it’s a slightly healthier option as well. And I’m guessing it’s probably healthier than the crispy, fried chicken sandwiches out there.
NEW Panera Mexican Street Corn Chowder
What are the chances that the last thing I posted on this site was also a corn chowder? I am a fan of corn chowders, what can I say… For Panera’s new Mexican Street Corn Chowder, it contains “sweet corn, fire-roasted poblano peppers, russet potatoes, chile powder, lime juice and cilantro in a creamy broth topped with Blue Corn Tortilla Strips” with 330 Calories / 7g Sugar / 6g Protein / 1370mg Sodium / 40mg Cholesterol / 19g Fat with 9g Saturated Fat. I was shocked to see that this little soup had more sodium in it than either chicken sandwich.
It turned out to be spicier than the spicy chicken sandwich! And I didn’t realize this came with tortilla strips at first. Only noticed after I went to our takeout bag to grab utensils and actually grabbed the packet of tortilla strips. I got startled when some tortilla strips fell out and bounced all over the kitchen floor (that my husband had just vacuumed—oops!). Overall, it tasted like what you’d expect from a creamy Mexican corn chowder. I wasn’t getting a strong elote flavor like I was expecting from the name. I did see a little cilantro, but it wasn’t too noticeable. This wasn’t a home run for us. We didn’t rush to eat all of it, unlike whenever we have their Broccoli Cheddar soup.
NEW Panera Drinks with Guarana and Caffeine
Their new Fuji Apple Cranberry – With Guarana & Caffeine drink is a made of “Signature Craft Agave Lemonade, Caffeine, Coffee Extract, Guarana Extract, Fuji Apple and Cranberry Flavors” with 270 Calories and 66g Sugar. The other new drink we tried was the Mango Yuzu Citrus – With Guarana & Caffeine which contains “Signature Craft Agave Lemonade, Caffeine, Coffee Extract, Guarana Extract, Mango, Yuzu and Citrus Flavors” with 330 Calories and 83g Sugar. I’m sorry, what?!?!! Why does this one drink have 83 GRAMS of SUGAR?! Maybe that’s why we enjoyed it more. I am glad we only had a few sips because that is a crazy amount of sugar.
Honestly, we were not huge fans of either drink. Especially now after learning about how crazy high the sugar content is in both. The orange one was better tasting and had a little pulp in it. Both had a twangy aftertaste and the flavors tasted fake. Wasn’t sure if it was the guarana giving it that odd flavor. We would not order these again.
NEW Panera Citrus Asian Crunch Salad with Chicken
I also tried their new Citrus Asian Crunch Salad with Chicken last month. Didn’t have time to take a picture or review it since I was visiting family. I really enjoyed it! The chicken tastes way better than the chicken they use in other salads. It’ll be replacing my usual Asian Sesame Salad with Chicken pick. My only warning is that it has fresh cilantro mixed in. Make sure to exclude it if you do end up ordering this new salad and hate cilantro.
This review was a little longer than I anticipated, but hopefully it can be helpful to someone out there. It’s always fun to see what new creations Panera comes up with, and we really enjoyed trying these items out. Let me know in the comments if you’ve tried the new Panera chicken sandwiches and corn chowder, or if there’s something you’d suggest ordering.