Saturday, September 26, 2009

Panera Napa Almond Chicken Salad Sandwich Recipe

I have noticed that many people access my blog each day looking for a recipe for Panera's Napa Almond Chicken Salad Sandwich. I don't have any specialized knowledge, but I eat at Panera lot and I use a lot of online cooking sites. Combining these two, I would recommend anyone trying to imitate Panera's recipe at home to try the following ingredients:

red seedless grapes, cut in half
celery, diced
raw almonds
salt and pepper to taste
cooked chicken breast, cubed or shredded

Those are certainly the basic ingredients for Panera's Napa almond chicken salad. Based on my own experience and those of other online reviewers, I don't think there is another solid ingredient (i.e. chopped apples or green onions) in the salad. If there is something else adding that extra zing, I would guess it's a wet ingredient mixed with the mayonnaise to make a kind of special, Panera dressing. Other chicken salad recipes I have found add creamy, cucumber salad dressing or pineapple juice to the mayonnaise. One recipe calls for miracle whip instead of mayonnaise. I haven't tried it yet, but I bet a little lemon juice would not go astray.

That's my amateur, but Panera-loving advice. Good luck!

*update: 9/27/09 I recently read that the dressing is not a mayonnaise base, but instead a light olive oil base. The sandwich is not advertised as a low-fat option; this is in keeping with a current trend of "stealth health" food.

(Panera logo reproduced without permission).


  1. Your recipe is WONDERFUL!! Keep them coming, Sophisticate!

  2. From their site (I cut out the bread ingredients): almond chicken salad (pepper mustard chicken [boneless, skinless chicken breast, water, spice, garlic, salt, potassium lactate, vinegar, rice starch, mustard flour, natural flavors], dressing [soybean oil, honey, cider vinegar, water, egg yolks, contains less than 2% of distilled vinegar, salt, sugar, xanthan gum, natural flavors], red seedless grapes, celery (celery, ascorbic acid, calcium carbonate), toasted sliced almonds), tomatoes, lettuce, salt, black pepper.

    Thanks for a *simpler* version!

  3. I too was looking for this recipe and wasn't finding what i was looking for! Between everything I read and what you have here I made up my own chicken salad recipe today. Now this is my first run but it worked out pretty well. It uses apples instead of grapes- but that is only because I had an apple in the fridge instead of grapes. So here it is if you want it...

    1 Can (13 oz.) canned chicken breast, drained
    1/2 cup Miracle Whip Light
    2 Tbsp. Extra Virgin Olive Oil
    1/3 cup finely chopped almonds- I used an Oscar to chop mine
    1/3 cup finely chopped red apple
    1 dash of garlic powder
    1 dash chili powder
    salt and pepper to taste

    Mix them all together and enjoy!

  4. What about a small amount of cole slaw dressing mixed in. I think that might work!

  5. The secret is apple cider vinegar and honey!

  6. indeed, when you mix up egg yolks and any kind of oil what you get is, you can use a regular mayo, add in honey and cider vinager..that should work very well!

  7. I can taste a touch of sage in the Panera Napa Almond Chicken Salad Sandwich. I think that's the missing ingredient.

  8. i think it's thyme or rosemary - not sage...

  9. I agree with the first recipe at the top of the page. Tried it and it works. Use mayo that has olive oil in it.

  10. The woman who wrote this blog is dumber than a box of rocks. Any idiot knows that eggs & olive oil mixed together makes mayo. Her explanation further proves her ignorance. I wonder if she's tried to copy the recipe for ice cubes?

  11. Really? YOU might be dumber than a box or rocks, not this blogger. She never mentioned "eggs and olive oil" mixed together. Read more carefully before you start throwing slurs.