How to Make Panera Baja Bowl

panera baja bowl

Eating or ordering out can be very convenient and I understand the need for it, especially if you are very busy and don’t have time to cook your own meal.

The Panera Baja Bowl is a fulfilling meal that you can definitely order at Panera. But, if you have the time to cook and craving a bowl, why not try making one at home?

Panera’s Baja Bowl is very easy to make and you don’t need to be a professional chef to whip this up. You just need some grains, vegetables, protein, and salsa to make a delicious Baja Bowl just like the one at Panera.

In this article, I will be guiding you on how to make this healthy, delicious, and simple grain bowl in the comfort of your own home. You won’t have to go to Panera every time you crave one!

In this article:

  • Ingredients Needed to Make Panera Baja Bowl

  • Equipment Needed to Make Panera Baja Bowl
  • Step-By-Step Instructions

  • Why Make Your Own Panera Baja Bowl?

  • How Can You Customize Your Panera Baja Bowl?

  • Tips on Making Your Panera Baja Bowl

  • How Do You Store Panera Baja Bowl?

Ingredients Needed to Make Panera Baja Bowl

panera baja bowl

Black Bean and Corn Salsa

  • ½ cup black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup corn kernels, canned or from the cob
  • 1 Lime, juiced 
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Baja Bowl

  • 1 cup brown rice 
  • 1 cup quinoa
  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • ½ grape tomatoes, halved
  • 1 large avocado, sliced
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • ½ cup salsa verde
  • Lime wedges for garnish
  • Pickled red onions
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Equipment Needed to Make Panera Baja Bowl

  • Rice cooker or small pot
  • Small bowl
  • Large bowl

Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Cook the grains according to the package instructions. You can either use a rice cooker if you have one or use a small pot.

  2. In a small bowl, add the black beans, corn kernels, ¼ teaspoon of lime juice, and olive oil. Mix everything together.

  3. In a large bowl, add the cooked grains, grape tomatoes, fresh cilantro, pickled red onions, salt, pepper, and salsa verde. Mix everything together.

  4. Pour the contents of the small bowl into the large bowl and mix until everything is coated with the black bean and corn salsa.

  5. Add the avocado slices and top with 2 to 3 tablespoons of Greek yogurt.

  6. Garnish with lime wedges and serve!

Why Make Your Own Panera Baja Bowl?

baja bowl

The Panera Baja Bowl is a great lunch or dinner option and is a great meal if you want a flavorful Mexican-inspired meal. Making a copycat recipe of the Panera Baja Bowl also lets you have a healthy and nutritious meal that you can make easily at home.

If that’s not incentive enough to make this copycat recipe at home, think of the money that you can save. You can tweak the ingredients to make a bigger batch and you’ll have Baja Bowls at your convenience.

You can also customize your own Baja Bowl and adjust the amount of ingredients you want. 

Not that much of a fan of pickled red onions? Either use fewer onions or don’t put it together! If you want more grape tomatoes, you can always add more.

What’s great about making this at home is you have control over what you want to put in your bowl. If you have dietary restrictions, you can also adjust the recipe based on your dietary needs.

You’ll also have a Baja Bowl full of fresh ingredients if you make it at home!

How Can You Customize Your Panera Baja Bowl?

If you are recreating a copycat Panera Baja Bowl at home, the world is your oyster!

You can add either chicken, steak, or even shrimp to your Baja Bowl for additional protein. One way to add an extra kick to your Baja Bowl is by adding chopped jalapeños, chili flakes, or even Sriracha sauce.

If you want it to be a vegetarian meal, you can substitute the chicken, steak, or shrimp with tofu. You can also always add more veggies to your bowl.

There is no standard rule on making a copycat recipe at home and you can make the recipe listed here or tweak it depending on your dietary needs. This recipe can be a good base for you to start with and just add whatever you need.

Tips on Making Your Panera Baja Bowl

While this copycat recipe is simple and easy to do, there are still some things that you can do to make your own bowl healthy, delicious, and convenient.

Use Fresh Ingredients

Nothing beats home-cooked meals when you use fresh ingredients in your meal. You can buy your veggies from your local market in the morning and make your Baja bowl for lunch or dinner on the same day.

If there are no markets that sell fresh vegetables near you, you can always buy at your local supermarket days before. Just make sure to store the veggies properly to keep them fresh until you need to use them.

Use Ready Made Salsa Verde

This recipe also uses ready-made salsa verde because I know not everyone can make their own salsa verde at home. 

You might tell me, “Oh, but I thought you said to use fresh ingredients!” but there is no shame in using jars of salsa verde if you are busy with other stuff. 

Prep Your Veggies

If you are busy with work or you have kids that need attending to, you can prep your veggies at night so they are ready to be tossed in the bowl at any moment. Wash the veggies, cut them, and store them in an airtight container, and put them in the fridge.

This can save you a lot of time and you can still do the things you need to do during the day and just worry about cooking the grains and assembling all the ingredients together.

Use Rotisserie Chicken

If you like adding chicken to your Baja bowl but don’t have the time to cook it, you can always buy a rotisserie chicken. You can choose to buy the shredded ones already for more convenience.

Rotisserie chickens are also very flavorful and there are a variety of flavors you can choose from. Adding rotisserie chicken can definitely add a different flavor to your Baja Bowl.

How Do You Store Panera Baja Bowl?

You can store any leftovers in an airtight container and keep them in the fridge for up to 3 days

Additionally, you can also store the dish after you’ve prepped it if you want to make it in advance. Just portion them into different individual containers so you just take out what you need.

You can also separate the sauce from the rest of the ingredients and just mix them together when it’s time for you to eat. This way, the veggies won’t get too soggy.

Wrapping Up

Panera’s Baja Bowl is a delicious and refreshing meal that you can make at home in under an hour. You can use this copycat recipe exactly as is or you can be creative and make it your own!

Copycat recipes are very popular since you can make your favorite restaurant dish whenever you crave it. If you want other Panera copycat recipes, you can make their Mac & Cheese, Autumn Squash Soup, and Charged Lemonade!

I hope this helps satisfy your Panera Baja Bowl craving!




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