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Panera Is Entering Their "New Menu" Era, And I Got To Taste Their Delicious New Additions

Let's get this bread (bowl)!

It's a new era at Panera, indeed! Fan-favorite restaurant chain Panera Bread is currently undergoing quite a menu makeover. Beginning April 4, guests can enjoy nine new menu items and 12 enhanced classics.

Sign on a brick wall stating "IT'S A NEW ERA AT Panera"

As a sandwich stan and lifelong lover of bread bowls, I was absolutely giddy to receive an invite to the new menu media preview event. I got to sink my teeth into the new menu offerings, literally and metaphorically, and I walked away with a full belly and many thoughts.

Woman sitting on a bread bowl-shaped chair at an "ALWAYS IN OUR BREAD BOWL ERA" event

So, without further ado, let's step into the new era of Panera and get to tasting!

Entrance to Panera featuring a multilayered archway with "It's a New Era at Panera" text

Bacon Mac and Cheese: applewood smoked bacon, shell pasta, white cheddar sauce

Hand holding a bacon mac and cheese bread bowl, beside similar bread bowls with a description card

Mediterranean Chicken Greens with Grains: romaine, mixed greens, whole grain blend, grilled chicken, hummus, feta, red onions, Peppadew peppers, cucumber, shawarma seasoning, Greek dressing

A fresh Mediterranean chicken salad with greens, grains, hummus, and veggies served on a bright plate with a wooden fork

Toasted Italiano: French baguette, black forest ham, soppressata, provolone, romaine, red onion, pepperoncini, garlic aioli, Greek dressing

Two images: Left shows a sandwich labeled "Toasted Italiano" with ingredients list; Right is a close-up of the sandwich's interior

Ranch Cobb: romaine, mixed greens, grape tomatoes, pickled red onions, feta, applewood smoked bacon, hard-boiled egg, ranch dressing

Two images side by side of Ranch Cobb salads with eggs, bacon, and tomatoes

Chicken Bacon Rancher: black pepper focaccia, grilled chicken, applewood smoked bacon, white cheddar, ranch dressing

A person holds a Chicken Bacon Ranch sandwich showing the filling. Adjacent image has the sandwich with a descriptive label

Balsamic Chicken Greens with Grains: romaine, mixed greens, whole grain blend, grilled chicken, cucumbers, pepperoncini, avocado, feta, pumpkin seeds, balsamic vinaigrette, Green Goddess dressing drizzle

Hand holding a plate with a balsamic chicken salad, featuring avocado and a creamy dressing, plus a descriptive label below

Ciabatta Cheesesteak: ciabatta, steak, provolone, garlic aioli, caramelized onions, Peppadew peppers

Two halves of a ciabatta cheesesteak on a plate; close-up of a cheesesteak sandwich held by a hand

Southwest Chicken Ranch: romaine, grilled chicken, avocado, grape tomatoes, fire-grilled corn, cilantro, blue corn tortilla strips, ranch

Person holding a bowl of Southwest chicken salad with avocado slices and a wooden fork

Tomato Basil BLT: tomato basil miche, applewood smoked bacon, mixed greens, tomatoes, garlic aioli

A sandwich on a plate next to a description card, and a hand holding a half-eaten sandwich

So, all of that being said, my three winners from the night were the Ranch Cobb, the Bacon Mac and Cheese, and the Ciabatta Cheesesteak. I'll also shoutout the Southwest Chicken Ranch Salad, which scored a perfect 10/10 with Caitlin. Overall, this is a super solid lineup, and I'm excited for these items to officially hit Paneras nationwide next week.

Three photos of different dishes: a bowl of salad, a bread bowl with soup, and a sandwich, with a cheesesteak recipe text below

In addition to these exciting additions, some existing menu items are getting recipe makeovers, so keep your eyes peeled for all those changes as well. The menu keeps growing, and the combinations are dang near endless! I hope you get to try some of these new items for yourself, and if you do, please let me know your favorite! Thanks for tuning in, and, as always, happy snacking!

Board showcasing 'YOU PICK TWO' and '600+ Combinations!' with multiple menu options below

Note: BuzzFeed was invited to try this food for free, but was under no obligation to give a positive review.