Are Panera Bread Bowls Vegan and Cruelty-Free?

September 26, 2023

Identifying whether a product like the Panera Bread Bowl is vegan or not can be a daunting task.

This difficulty often arises because manufacturers are not transparent about the nature and sources of their ingredients.

But don’t worry, this article is here to uncover the truth and support you in your compassionate, vegan lifestyle.

Are Panera Bread Bowls Vegan?

No, we cannot guarantee that Panera Bread Bowls are vegan.

The reason these bread bowls can’t get the vegan tick of approval is the presence of enzymes. Enzymes can be derived from animal sources, and Panera does not specify the origin of these enzymes.

Are Panera Bread Bowls Cruelty-Free?

Yes, Panera Bread Bowls are cruelty-free.

No live animals were hurt in the production of the bread bowls, nor has it been tested on animals. Hooray!

What Are Panera Bread Bowls Made Of?

Here’s a quick rundown of the ingredients in Panera Bread Bowls:

  • Enriched flour
  • Wheat flour
  • Malted barley flour
  • Niacin
  • Reduced iron
  • Thiamine mononitrate
  • Riboflavin
  • Folic acid
  • Water
  • Cultured wheat flour
  • Vinegar
  • Ascorbic acid
  • Enzymes
  • Tapioca dextrin
  • Salt
  • Vital wheat gluten
  • Yeast

Enriched Flour

Enriched flour is wheat flour that has been fortified with vitamins. It’s plant based and plays a structural role in the bread. It is vegan.

Wheat Flour

Wheat flour is made from ground wheat and is also vegan. It’s the main ingredient that gives the bread its texture.

Malted Barley Flour

This is flour made from sprouted barley. It’s plant based and is used to improve the bread’s flavor and texture. It is vegan.


This is a mineral and is added to enrich the flour. It is vegan.

Reduced Iron

Reduced iron is a vitamin and is added to enrich the flour. It is generally considered vegan.

Thiamine Mononitrate

Thiamine mononitrate is a mineral and is added to enrich the flour. It is vegan.


Riboflavin is a vitamin and is added to enrich the flour. Riboflavin is vegan.

Folic Acid

Folic acid is a mineral and is added to enrich the flour. It is also vegan.


Water is, of course, vegan. It’s used to combine all the ingredients.

Cultured Wheat Flour

This flour is plant based and used for flavor and preservation. It is vegan.


Vinegar is a vegan product and is used for preservation in the bread bowls

Ascorbic Acid

Ascorbic acid is a mineral and is used to add flavor in the product. It is vegan.


Enzymes are proteins that speed up chemical reactions. They can be derived from plants, bacteria, or animals. Since the source is not specified, we cannot confirm it’s vegan.

Tapioca Dextrin

Tapioca dextrin is plant based and plays a role in adding texture to the bread bowls. It is vegan.


Salt is a mineral used for flavor. It is vegan.

Vital Wheat Gluten

This is a plant-based product added for texture in the bread bowls. It is vegan.


Yeast is used in bread to help it rise and enhance the flavor. It is vegan.

Other Panera Products

Is Panera’s Ten Vegetable Soup vegan?

Yes! Panera’s Ten Vegetable Soup is vegan, made primarily from vegetable broth and various vegetables.

Is the Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich at Panera Vegan?

No, unfortunately the Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich is not vegan because it contains feta cheese. Try ordering it without the cheese though!

Is Panera Steel Cut Oatmeal Vegan? 

Yes, the steel-cut oatmeal at Panera is vegan. It is made from oats and can be customized with fresh strawberries or apple chips.

Vegan Alternatives to Panera Bread Bowls

If you’re looking for vegan-friendly bread options, consider these brands:

  • Dave’s Killer Bread: Vegan and made with whole grains
  • Ezekiel Bread: Vegan, made from sprouted grains
  • Sourdough bread: Usually vegan, but always check the ingredients


While Panera Bread offers some vegan options, such as Ten Vegetable Soup and steel-cut oatmeal, its bread bowls fall short due to the unspecified source of enzymes.

Always remember, eating vegan is not just food and diet; it’s a lifestyle choice that impacts our planet and its inhabitants.

Keep fighting the good fight, and don’t forget to check those labels!