The Panera Mediterranean Grain Bowl with Chicken is the perfect healthy option to make at home. Packed full of fresh grilled chicken, healthy protein-packed quinoa, this Panera warm grain bowl is perfect for lunch or dinner. Best of all you can prepare these at home and customize them the way you love.
Grain bowls are healthy, delicious, and come in an almost endless number of varieties. This convenient, complete meal in a bowl is rapidly becoming a popular choice for a quick lunch or light supper. Therefore it is no surprise to see this menu option popping up in a variety of restaurants. One of the most popular options available is Panera Mediterranean Grain Bowls. They combine a mixture of brown rice and quinoa with tart citrus garlic chicken, creamy hummus, and other Greek-inspired ingredients. Easy to make and perfect for packing as a meal on-the-go, give this Panera Mediterranean Grain Bowl recipe a try.
What is Quinoa Anyway?
You probably have already heard of quinoa (KEEN-wah), but perhaps you feel a little reluctant to give it a try. While the health-conscience gurus out there promote quinoa as the next ‘superfood’ because it provides high nutritional value, don’t let that scare you. If you never tried it before, you might be surprised at just how delicious it tastes. Quinoa has a unique texture and nutty flavor, making it a good substitution for rice or, as in this recipe, a healthy and taste-boosting mix-in for other grains.
Although many people wind up loving quinoa the first time they try it, one of the biggest complaints some have is the bitter taste quinoa sometimes has. Although this recipe calls for bitter-free pre-cooked frozen quinoa, if you can’t find frozen quinoa in your supermarket or prefer to cook your own, there is a secret to eliminating the bitterness: give it a good rinse.
Empty the quinoa into a fine-mesh strainer and rinse it under a running tap for around a minute. Make sure the water is cold, and the flow of the faucet is set at a little more than a trickle. Otherwise, you are likely to wash the tiny floating grains over the edge of the strainer. Use your finger to gently stir the quinoa until the water runs clear. Wet quinoa has the tendency to stick to the inside of the strainer, so use the water you will boil the quinoa in to rinse out any stuck-on grains.
Tips for Making and Serving Panera Warm Grain Bowls
- A Panera Grain Bowl should be warm, not hot. Let your grains and chicken cool off for a minute or two before putting into the bowl. If it is too hot, your vegetables will wilt.
- Premix the tahini dressing with the grains. If you are using the optional tahini dressing, try mixing it in with the quinoa and brown rice, before adding the grains to the bowl. This will provide you with the flavor of the dressing without turning your Panera grain bowl in a soupy mess.
- Panera Mediterranean Grain Bowls make a wondering make-ahead meal. When you are planning to take the grain bowl with you, pack the chicken and grains in a microwavable bowl with a lid and put the remaining ingredients in a separate container. This way, you be able to enjoy warm chicken and grains without nuking your veggies.
This is what you need to make this famous grain bowl.
- cooked brown rice and quinoa (find in your freezer section)
- two chicken breasts
- grape tomatoes
- kalamata olives
- feta cheese
- plain greek yogurt
- tahini salad dressing – optional
How to make the Panera Mediterranean Grain Bowl with Chicken
If you do not already have grilled chicken breasts, go ahead and pan sear or grill them for additional flavor. I like to use the frozen brown rice and quinoa packets you find in the freezer section of your grocery store, if not, I have included directions for how to prepare the quinoa. Then you will need to prepare all of your vegetables. It is a good idea to go ahead and make a few salads at a time, so you can enjoy them later.
I hope you enjoy this salad, it is less expensive to make this grain bowl at home, than going out to the restaurant, and you can still enjoy the great flavor and the healthy dish at home.
Love Panera Bread? Try these copycat recipes:
- Copycat Panera Mac and Cheese
- Panera Bread Walnut Honey Cream Cheese Spread
- Panera Vegetarian Autumn Squash Soup
- Copycat Panera Bread Broccoli Cheese Soup Recipe
- Panera Bread Steak and Arugula Sandwich
- Panera Tomato Soup Recipe
- Panera Black Bean Soup Recipe
- Panera Bistro French Onion Soup
- Panera Potato Soup Recipe
- Panera Cobblestone Muffin
Delicious Mediterranean Recipes
Panera Mediterranean Grain Bowl
- 2 chicken breasts cooked
- 2 cups arugula
- 2 cups cooked brown rice and quinoa
- 10 grape tomatoes sliced
- 1/3 cup kalamata olives
- 1/2 cup sliced cucumber remove seeds
- 1/3 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/3 cup greek yogurt
- 1/2 cup hummus
- 1/4 cup tahini salad dressing optional
- Marinate chicken breasts in your favorite marinade for a few hours before cooking.
- Saute chicken breasts in a pan with two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat. Cook on both sides until done, this should take 5 to 7 minutes on each side.
- Het brown rice and quinoa in microwave until warm.
Prep fresh veggies
- Wash arugula.
- Slice cucumber in half, and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Slice cucumber.
- Slice grape tomatoes in half
- Divide brown rice and quinoa between two bowls.
- Slice cooked chicken and place on top of brown rice and quinoa.
- Add 1/4 cup of hummus to each bowl, and add half of the yogurt to each bowl.
- Top each bowl with equal amounts of arugula, tomatoes, cucumbers, and oilves.
- Top with tahini dressing if desired.