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What’s in Panera’s Southwest Chile Lime Ranch Salad with Chicken?

In this series, “Eating out: What’s in it?” we will be going over how you can figure out for yourself if something is unhealthy. Today we are taking a trip to Panera Bread.




1. Check the menu

In more and more urban and developed cities, some nutrition information is being publicly displayed on the menu. Look for numbers or symbols next to the menu item.


  • “S/M 350/550 cal”     — this could be found right after a soup, indicating that the small portion is 350 calories, while a regular is 550.
  • “SF,” “GF,” or “DF”     — could all be common allergy indicators / show dietary preferences (soy-free, gluten-free, dairy-free)
  • “low sug”     — your food or drink has a low amount of sugar per serving

These indicators are convenient and effective ways of narrowing down choices.




2. Go online

If you are eating at a chain restaurant, you can almost guarantee they will have the nutritional info on their websites. Some even have ingredients, and most include a common allergen guide.

In this case we have an extensive amount of information online for all of Panera Bread’s products.


  1. Go to their website
  2. On the main menu hover over “Menu Items” and select Salads
  3. Find and click on “Green Goddess Cobb Salad with Chicken.” Here you will find the nutrition details and ingredients.




Summaries- Nutrition (per bowl):

  • 650 calories

This is a medium-sized meal, but it depends on the circumstances. If your other meals were/will be larger, and/or you have a particularly sluggish metabolism, this may be plenty.



  • 34 grams of fat, 7 of which are saturated, 0 grams of trans fat

Many salads are predominantly carbs, but here the oil, milk, yogurt, cheese, avocado, and eggs contribute to the fat content. Thankfully no (or a negligible amount of) fat has been partially hydrogenated.



  • 90mg of cholesterol and 1270mg of sodium

This is moderate in sodium, which is good to know if trying to avoid salt.

There is some cholesterol, as is common in animal-based ingredients.



  • 54g of carbs, 10 of which are fiber, and 9 of which are sugar (the remaining is starch)

A good sugar to fiber ratio in my opinion.

See also: How to Understand and Apply the Nutrition Facts



  • 35g protein

Pretty good in my opinion.



  • Lastly, 70% of the DV for Vitamin A, 70% of your daily Vitamin C, 20% for Calcium, and 20% of your Iron

A great source of vitamins a and c.



  • 0mg of Caffeine




Our approximate macro breakdown (calculated by calories, not mass): 47% fat, 31% carbs, 22% protein.

See also: How are Nutrients and Calories Rounded?




Summaries- Ingredients:

Our ingredients (to help clarify, I indented ingredients that composed other ingredients, and unique ingredients are blue [or red if a vocab word]):

  1. Smoked Pulled Chicken Breast
    1. Chicken Breast With Rib Meat
    2. Water
    3. Salt
    4. Vinegar
    5. Sugar
    6. Yeast Extract
    7. Citrus Extract
  2. Romaine Lettuce
  3. Quinoa Sofrito Tomato Blend
    1. Organic Quinoa
      1. Water
      2. Organic Golden Quinoa
      3. Organic Red Quinoa
      4. Sea Salt
      5. Glucono Delta Lactone
    2. Roasted Tomato Sofrito Blend
      1. Tomatoes
      2. Onion
      3. Canola Oil
      4. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
      5. Dried Garlic
      6. Vinegar
      7. Salt
      8. Sugar
      9. Thyme
  4. Avocado
  5. Arugula
  6. Chile Lime Rojo Ranch
    1. Whole Milk
    2. Plain Greek Yogurt
      1. Cultured Pasteurized Milk
      2. S. Thermophilus
      3. L. Bulgaricus
    3. Chipotle Mayo
      1. Soybean Oil
      2. Water
      3. Sour Cream
        1. Cultured Cream (Milk)
        2. Microbial Enzymes
      4. Egg Yolk
      5. Distilled Vinegar
      6. Chipotle Pepper Sauce
        1. Red Chipotle Peppers
        2. Vinegar
        3. Sugar
        4. Salt
        5. Onion Powder
      7. Corn Starch
      8. Sugar
      9. Cayenne Pepper
      10. Chipotle In Adobo
        1. Chipotle Peppers
        2. Water
        3. Tomato Paste
        4. Vinegar
        5. Salt
        6. Oleoresin Paprika
        7. NaturalThis term, to be honest, does not mean much. It simply means... More Flavor
        8. Oleoresin Capsicum
      11. Rosemary Extract
      12. Mustard Flour
      13. Natural Smoke Flavor
      14. Salt
      15. Xanthan Gum"The additive is a polysaccharide gum derived from Xanthomon... More
    4. Chile Lime Rojo Sauce
      1. Chili Peppers
      2. Lime Juice
      3. Honey
      4. Cayenne Sauce
        1. Cayenne Pepper
        2. Salt
        3. Vinegar
      5. Garlic
      6. Sea Salt
      7. Citric Acid"Citric acid is the compound 2-hydroxy-1,2,3-propanetricarbo... More
    5. Basil Pesto
      1. Basil
      2. Canola Oil
      3. Water
      4. Romano Cheese
        1. Pasteurized Cow’s Milk
        2. Cheese Cultures
        3. Salt
        4. Microbial Enzymes
        5. Powdered CelluloseCellulose is a compound that gives plant cells their rigidit... More
      5. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
      6. Chopped Garlic
      7. Salt
    6. Giardiniera Muffaletta Relish
      1. Water
      2. Cauliflower
      3. Green Olives
        1. Olives
        2. Water
        3. Sea Salt
        4. Citric Acid
      4. Celery
      5. Carrots
      6. Red Bell Peppers
      7. Distilled Vinegar
      8. Onions
      9. Red Wine Vinegar
      10. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
      11. Sea Salt
      12. Canola Oil
      13. Garlic
      14. Black Pepper
      15. Oregano
      16. Parsley
      17. Red Chili Pepper
      18. Thyme
      19. Gum Blend
        1. Organic Guar Gum
        2.  Organic Locust Bean Gum
    7. Cilantro
    8. Peppadew
      1. Sweet Piquante Peppers
      2. Water
      3. White Sugar
      4. Vinegar
      5. Salt
      6. Ascorbic AcidAnother name for vitamin c.
      7. Calcium Chloride
  7. Adobo Fire Roasted Corn & Pepper Blend
    1. Roasted Adobo Corn
      1. Corn
      2. Dried Chile Pepper
      3. Olive Oil
      4. Granulated Garlic
      5. Granulated Onion
      6. Spices
        1. Cumin
        2. Black Pepper
      7. Paprika
      8. Sea Salt
    2. Roasted Red Bell Pepper Strips (Red Bell Peppers)
    3. Pickled Red Onions
      1. Red Onions
      2. Sugar
      3. Water
      4. White Wine Vinegar
      5. Distilled Vinegar
      6. Calcium Chloride
      7. Sea Salt
  8. Tortilla Strips
    1. Corn Masa Flour
    2. Sunflower
    3. Safflower And/Or Canola Oil
    4. Sea Salt
  9. Feta Cheese
    1. Pasteurized Part-Skim Milk
    2. Cheese CultureThis refers to a culture of cells- keeping things like yeast... More
    3. Salt
    4. Microbial & Animal Enzymes
  10. Cilantro

Contains egg and milk.







  • Good in the micronutrient department, from what we can see at least: it contains 7/10ths of one’s daily vitamin a and c.
  • No trans fats.
  • The most common macro is lipids, but there is no 50% majority.
  • Good on the fiber, sugar, and protein.
  • Medium in cholesterol and moderate in sodium.


  • There are 86 unique ingredients.
  • The fat sources are not the best.
  • Sugar was added 6 times in the process, an oil 9 times, vinegar 11 times, and salt 17 times.
  • The sources of carbs are OK.
  • There are some “flavors” added.

See also: Get to Know Your Nutrients

Hope this eating out tutorial / walk-through helps! More coming soon.




Thanks for reading!

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