How many calories are in a full Panera grilled cheese?

Panera Bread is a popular fast casual restaurant chain that serves sandwiches, soups, salads, and baked goods. One of their most popular menu items is the grilled cheese sandwich. But how many calories are in a full grilled cheese from Panera?

What is Panera’s grilled cheese sandwich?

Panera’s grilled cheese sandwich features thick slices of Panera’s sourdough bread grilled with American cheese in the middle. It comes with the choice of side salad, chips, or apple. The standard grilled cheese on the menu contains 650 calories. However, that is just for a half sandwich with the side salad. A full grilled cheese with chips contains significantly more calories.

Nutritional information for Panera’s grilled cheese

According to Panera’s website nutrition calculator, here are the calorie counts for a full grilled cheese sandwich order:

  • Grilled cheese sandwich (full): 1300 calories
  • Chips: 350 calories

So in total, a full grilled cheese sandwich with chips from Panera contains approximately 1650 calories.

This is quite high, considering the recommended daily calorie intake for most adults is around 2000 calories. The grilled cheese alone provides nearly all of those calories, without any additional side dishes or drinks.

Breaking Down the Calories

To understand how the grilled cheese adds up to so many calories, let’s break it down by ingredient:


Panera’s grilled cheese uses 2 slices of their sourdough bread. Each slice contains:

  • Calories: 160
  • Total carbs: 30g
  • Protein: 5g

With 2 slices, the bread totals:

  • Calories: 320
  • Total carbs: 60g
  • Protein: 10g

So the bread alone provides 320 calories to the grilled cheese.


The grilled cheese is made with 2 slices of American cheese melted in between the bread. Each slice of American cheese has:

  • Calories: 90
  • Total fat: 7g
  • Protein: 6g

With 2 slices the cheese totals:

  • Calories: 180
  • Total fat: 14g
  • Protein: 12g

So the cheese adds another 180 calories.


Panera grills their grilled cheese in butter on both sides. Approximately 1 tbsp of butter is used on each slice of bread.

Each tablespoon of butter contains:

  • Calories: 102
  • Total fat: 11g

With 2 tbsp total for the sandwich, the butter adds:

  • Calories: 204
  • Total fat: 22g

Making the butter responsible for over 200 calories in the grilled cheese.

Total calories

Adding up the calories from the bread, cheese, and butter, we get a total of:

  • Bread: 320 calories
  • Cheese: 180 calories
  • Butter: 204 calories
  • Total: 704 calories

For a full sandwich, double those amounts for a total of 1,408 calories for just the grilled cheese alone.

Calories from Sides

The grilled cheese sandwich usually comes with a side order of either chips, apple slices, or a side salad.

Here are the calories for each side:


  • Kettle chips: 350 calories

Apple slices

  • Apple slices: 80 calories

Side salad

  • Half salad with vinaigrette: 130 calories
  • Full salad with vinaigrette: 260 calories

As you can see, chips add a significant number of calories to the meal, with 350 calories per serving. Apple slices or a salad are lower calorie options.

For our total grilled cheese calculation, we will assume it comes with the kettle chips, adding 350 calories.

Total Calories in Full Panera Grilled Cheese

Adding up the calories from the grilled cheese sandwich itself plus a side of chips, the total calories in a full Panera grilled cheese with chips is approximately 1650 calories.

Here is a breakdown:

  • Grilled cheese sandwich (full): 1408 calories
  • Kettle chips: 350 calories
  • Total: 1650 calories

Daily calorie needs

Based on a 2000 calorie diet, this one sandwich covers over 80% of your total daily calorie needs!

It’s no wonder the grilled cheese is such a popular and filling option at Panera. But it may be best to split it with a friend or take half home for later if you are watching your calorie intake.

Ways to Make Panera’s Grilled Cheese Lower Calorie

If you love Panera’s grilled cheese but want a lighter option, there are a few ways to reduce the calories:

  • Order just a half sandwich
  • Choose apple slices or salad instead of chips
  • Ask for just 1 slice of cheese instead of 2
  • Request light butter or no butter on the bread
  • Substitute thinly sliced tomato for one slice of cheese
  • Get it on Panera’s skinny sliced bread for less calories

Making some of these swaps can shave off anywhere from 200-600 calories from your Panera grilled cheese meal.

Healthier grilled cheese options at Panera

If you want a veggie-packed grilled cheese, Panera also offers these lighter options:

  • Tomato mozzarella grilled cheese – with tomato, mozzarella, and pesto mayo
  • Mediterranean veggie grilled cheese – with cucumbers, tomatoes, feta, and basil mayo

Both of these options are made on Panera’s skinny sliced bread and come in around 500-600 calories for a full sandwich with chips. Much lighter than the classic grilled cheese.

Nutrition Facts Table for Full Panera Grilled Cheese

Here are the full nutrition facts for a grilled cheese sandwich from Panera in table form to help summarize the calories and nutrients:

Nutrition Facts Full Panera Grilled Cheese with Chips
Calories 1650
Total Fat 108g
Saturated Fat 54g
Trans Fat 1g
Cholesterol 165mg
Sodium 2110mg
Total Carbohydrates 122g
Dietary Fiber 4g
Sugar 6g
Protein 34g

As you can see, the full grilled cheese delivers quite a hefty dose of calories, fat, carbs, and sodium. Going with a half sandwich or lighter sides can help cut down on these numbers.

Cost of a Panera Grilled Cheese

In addition to being high in calories, the grilled cheese sandwich is one of the more expensive items on Panera’s menu.

Here’s the breakdown on pricing:

  • Half grilled cheese sandwich: $5.99
  • Full grilled cheese sandwich: $9.49
  • Side salad: $5.99
  • Kettle chips: $1.99
  • Apple slices: $1.99

So if you order a full grilled cheese with chips, the total comes out to $13.47 including tax.

The half sandwich with apple slices is a bit more affordable at $9.97.

Still, it’s one of the pricier menu choices at Panera, especially if ordering multiple times a week.

Money saving tips

To save money on Panera grilled cheese sandwiches, consider these tips:

  • Order just a half sandwich
  • Split a full sandwich with a friend
  • Choose apple slices as the side – it’s cheaper than chips or salad
  • Use coupons or check for deals in the MyPanera app
  • Go during lunch hour for their $8.99 You Pick Two special

Getting the grilled cheese as part of the You Pick Two deal can almost cut the price in half and help you save.


Panera’s grilled cheese sandwich packs a whopping 1650 calories along with over 100 grams of fat when ordering the full sandwich with chips. Going with a half portion or lighter sides can reduce the calories to a more reasonable level. But the classic grilled cheese is still one of the higher calorie menu items at Panera. Knowing the nutrition information can help you make informed choices to keep your daily calorie intake on track.

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