Panera Mediterranean Warm Grain Bowls Review & Copycat Recipe

I'm always one to try new menu items from restaurants when they first come out - what can I say - marketing works! I've been hearing tons of commercials for Panera's new warm grain bowls. 

Before I even tried them - I knew I was going to copycat them! They sounded delicious - and frankly - pretty easy to remake! I have some tricks to make them even easier. ;-) Of course - that's what I do. First up - Panera's Mediterranean Warm Grain Bowl recipe!


Review: Panera Warm Grain Bowl - Are the Panera Warm Grain Bowls good? 

Panera recently came out with two warm grain bowls - pictured above. (Left - Baja, Right - Mediterranean) I went out right away and got both of them!!! I definitely liked them!

What is in the Panera Grain Bowl? 

Panera's Mediterranean grain bowl has arugula and I liked the addition of the greens to it. I'll say - the Med was my favorite of the two - it's why I made it first! I loved the hummus in with the chicken. Their chicken didn't have much flavor but it wasn't dry - which was nice. I love all the ingredients in the Baja bowl - but it just didn't have as much flavor as the Med. (I'm remaking the Baja bowl next week!) I'm not a fan of brown rice and quinoa - but it was fine in these bowls - there's enough other ingredients to cover the blandness of brown rice and quinoa. (haha) 

What are the ingredients in the Panera Mediterranean Warm Grain Bowl? 

I went straight to the Panera site to make sure I had all the ingredients correct. The Mediterranean Warm Grain Bowl from Panera has arugula, brown rice and quinoa, chicken in a citrus marinade, grape tomatoes, Kalamata olives (did you know - kalamata means olive - so you're basically saying olive olives!), cucumber, hummus, feta, plain greek yogurt and a lemon tahini dressing.

I didn't even notice the tahini dressing in the original bowl and with the hummus and yogurt - you don't even need it. If you're unsure about the greek yogurt - it's basically a healthier version of sour cream. 


The Panera Mediterranean Warm Grain Bowl really has all of my favorites. The hummus they used is a plain "regular" hummus - I had some roasted red pepper in my fridge so I used that - just as delicious. 

Another tip for this - I didn't want to cook brown rice and quinoa - takes too long. Turns out they have some in the freezer aisle! I got a bag of frozen and it heated up in less than 5 minutes in the microwave. Or Minute Rice sells a brown rice and quinoa in little cups as well that heat up in a minute. 


Panera Copycat Recipes & Other Favorites

My review of the Panera Broth Bowls is one of my most viewed pages so then I recreated them at home.  The broth bowls and grain bowls are so healthy - you can even splurge a little on these copycat Chinese Buffet donuts!


Copycat Panera Warm Grain Bowl

Yield: 2
Author:
prep time: 10 Mcook time: 20 Mtotal time: 30 M
Panera has introduced their new Warm Grain Bowls - there are two varieties - the Mediterranean and Baja. I had to try them both! They're both delicious!!! This week I'm sharing my copycat version - it's super easy to make and really tasty! So healthy!

ingredients:

  • 2 cups arugula (or spinach) 
  • 2 cups cooked brown rice and quinoa (found in frozen section!)
  • 2 chicken breasts
  • lemon/garlic marinade (My favorite!)
  • 10 grape tomatoes, sliced
  • 1/3 cup kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cucumber, diced
  • 1/2 cup hummus
  • 1/3 cup feta crumbles
  • 1/2 cup plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 1/4 cup tahini dressing (optional)

instructions:

How to cook Copycat Panera Warm Grain Bowl

  1. Marinate chicken breasts in your favorite citrus/garlic marinade overnight. 
  2. Bake chicken breasts for 20 minutes at 350 until cooked to 165 degrees. 
  3. During last ten minutes of baking, microwave frozen rice/quinoa for 4 minutes in a microwave safe bowl.
  4. In two large serving bowls, place arugula around edge of bowl. 
  5. Prep veggies: slice tomatoes and dice cucumbers
  6. When quinoa is cooked, divide between two serving bowls 
  7. Remove chicken from oven and let rest for 5 minutes
  8. Top quinoa/argula with tomatoes, cucumbers, olives
  9. Slice chicken and place on top of quinoa. 
  10. Add a heaping spoonful of hummus and yogurt to the bowl 
  11. Top with crumbled feta and squeeze lemon over warm grain bowl
  12. If you like, you can add a tahini dressing - it really doesn't need it. 

NOTES:

- You can use rotisserie chicken if you like - For the brown rice/quinoa - you can either use a bag of frozen rice/quinoa or Minute Rice makes a microwavable one! Super quick! - Tahini dressing is expensive and not easy to find - I found that it wasn't necessary with the yogurt and hummus - and when I tried the Panera version - I didn't even taste it! - Arugula is lighter than spinach but a little bitter - I found a mix of the two at the store that was really good
Created using The Recipes Generator






12 comments

  1. Thank you for the tips, this bowl is def a must make at my house.

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  2. I made this and it was delicious. You can have it with or without the chicken. Easy and quick too!

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  3. Ugh. This is SO GOOD. Thanks for sharing!

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  4. I tried this at Panera today for the first time. SO GOOD! I immediately googled and found this recipe . I cant wait to make it myself.

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  5. microwave?whats to point of creating a "recipe." might as well just go out and buy from panera.

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    1. Yes - I microwaved rice. Sue me. Feel free to boil water and make rice in a pan if it makes you feel like Martha Stewart.

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    2. Lol...it never ceases to amaze me, the level of argumentative attitudes people post with online. So microwaving the rice just completely negates the fact that she created the ENTIRE rest of the recipe from scratch - including the marination of the chicken - but because of the rice she may as well have gone to Panera? Lol...I usually don’t engage but this was just too asinine to ignore.

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  6. Thanks for the recipe; looking forward to trying it.

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  7. Made the Mediterranian one for dinner tonight. WAY more than my son and I could eat in one sitting but it was delicous. At least as good as the one from Panera itself. Definitely will make it again but cut the recipe in half. Yum!!!

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