Recipe: Panera Bread Copycat Lentil Quinoa Broth Bowl
Panera Bread is easily one of my favorite fast-casual restaurants. Their Creamy Tomato Soup is flawless, their Mediterranean Veggie Sandwich is crazy tasty and their Mac & Cheese is addictive as all hell. But one of their most underrated items, in my humble opinion, is the Lentil Quinoa Broth Bowl. It’s flavorful and light, and it’s definitely one of the most unique offerings available from any restaurant with a drive-through.
My main beef with Panera’s broth bowl is that it does not look like the photo above. While the broth is delicious, there’s way too much of it and not enough quinoa or lentils. It’s only 340 calories, but if you just order this then you’ll probably be hungry again in an hour or two.
So here it is, a new-and-improved homemade version of Panera’s broth bowl! It’s loaded up with lentils and quinoa and is super hearty; and honestly, I’m pretty proud of the slightly spicy, slightly tangy broth that I came up with. Top your bowl with steamed eggs and lemon wheels and prepare for a warm bowl of deliciousness.
Small yellow onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
1 c. brown lentils, cooked
1/2 c. uncooked quinoa
2 1/2 T. tomato paste
2 1/2 T. gochujang
2 t. Korean black bean paste
3 t. low-sodium soy sauce
6 t. sesame oil
1 t. ground ginger
1 t. garlic powder
2 t. smoked paprika
1 bay leaf
4 c. vegetable broth
1 1/2 c. chopped kale
Steamed eggs, one per bowl
1) Cook the lentils according to package directions and set aside.
2) Place a steaming basket in a pot and add about an inch of water. Place the eggs in the basket, put the lid on the pot and turn the burner up to high. Steam for 10 minutes and remove from heat. Keep the lid on and set aside.
3) In a large bowl, combine the vegetable broth, tomato paste, gochujang, black bean paste, soy sauce, 3 t. sesame oil, ginger, garlic powder and paprika. Whisk well.
4) In a large pot over medium-high heat, add the remaining 3 t. sesame oil and sauté the onions and minced garlic until the onions are translucent. Pour in the vegetable broth and add the quinoa and a bay leaf. Bring the mixture to a boil.
5) Once the mixture boils, cover the pot and bring the heat down to low. Allow to simmer for about 20 minutes until the quinoa is fully cooked.
6) While the mixture simmers, rinse the eggs under cold water until they’re no longer hot. Peel and slice in half.
7) Before serving, remove the bay leaf, stir in the kale and let it wilt. Scoop into a bowl and top with lemon slices and sliced eggs.