When you think of heading to Panera for lunch or dinner, chances are it’s because you’re craving a sandwich, soup, salad or maybe mac and cheese. But this week the restaurant chain added a new category to their menu that might have you craving something a little different — pizza!
The pizzas are the work of Panera’s newly-appointed head chef, Claes Petersson, who created the flatbreads.
“At Panera, baking is at the core of who we are and what we’re known for – we knew that we had all the elements to bring our delicious, hearty flatbreads to life,” Petersson said in a press release. “Our Flatbread Pizzas encompass the best of what Panera has to offer: clean, delicious ingredients from our pantry on top of oven-baked flatbread that is expertly crafted for our guests.”
Two of the pizzas on the flatbread menu are vegetarian, which is convenient for those who are sticking to more of a plant-based diet. The cheese pizza has tomato sauce and a blend of finely shredded fontina and mozzarella cheeses, and the Margherita pizza is made with tomato sauce, red grape tomatoes and fresh mozzarella, plus that same blend of fontina and mozzarella. It is then finished with fresh basil.
The chipotle chicken and bacon is topped with garlic cream sauce, red grape tomatoes, smoked pulled chicken breast, applewood-smoked pork bacon and fontina and mozzarella cheeses. It is then finished with fresh chopped cilantro and a drizzle of chipotle aioli.
All three pizzas feature hearth-baked artisan flatbread that is cooked on a pizza stone. Prices start at $7.99.
In the press release, Panera says they’ve doubled their delivery business, which is no surprise since many restaurants haven’t been at full capacity during the pandemic, and that their dinner business is growing. The company hopes the flatbread pizzas will give their dinnertime customers one more option when they order.
Which new Panera pizza will you be trying first?