Easy Panera Thai Chicken Soup For A Hungry Stomach

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Embark on a culinary journey to the exotic with our Panera Thai Chicken Soup! Delight in the fusion of vibrant Thai flavors and comforting warmth in every spoonful. Succulent chicken, tender rice noodles, and crisp vegetables dance harmoniously in a fragrant coconut broth infused with lemongrass and red curry. This soup is a tantalizing escape to the bustling streets of Thailand, delivering a taste sensation that will leave you craving more.

Inspired by our favorite menu item at Panera, this Thai Chicken Soup is the most incredible copycat for that restaurant flavor.

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It warms you all the way through, with a nourishing broth that can keep you going on a cold day. But the spicy flavors are also excellent for a summer evening!

Want to make your Thai chicken soup? Check out this guide for everything you need to know.

What Is Panera Thai Chicken Soup?

Panera Thai Chicken Soup is a luxurious blend of flavors inspired by traditional Thai cuisine. This comforting bowl features tender chunks of chicken, exotic vegetables like bell peppers and mushrooms, all swimming in a rich coconut milk base. 

The soup offers a complex yet balanced flavor profile infused with aromatic spices such as ginger and lemongrass and a zest of lime. 

It serves as both a hearty meal and a sensory journey, providing warmth and spice that transport you straight to the streets of Thailand in every spoonful.

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Can You Vary The Recipe With Other Ingredients? 

Make It More Filling

  • This soup is a hearty meal on its own, but you can bulk it out a bit with rice and noodles.
  • Try heating some ramen noodles and adding them to your soup. Or, have a go at making some Thai roti bread! This popular bread can be enjoyed sweet or savory and is excellent at mopping up those last bits of soup in your bowl.
  • The basic dough is made from egg, butter, flour, milk, and water. Once the dough has rested, slap it thin, fold it back, and fry.

Switch Your Vegetables

  • The vegetable mixture we’ve used here is classic, but you can experiment with what you add. Yellow and orange bell peppers will both work well, as well as bean sprouts and water chestnuts.
  • You could even try adding some leafy greens! We recommend stirring through kale or spinach not long before serving, so it has a chance to wilt without disintegrating.

Switch Your Proteins

  • Chicken breast is our top choice, but you can use thigh instead. This will give the soup a higher fat content. Pork could also work well. Try frying bite-sized pieces of diced pork instead of chicken.
  • Shrimp is always good in Thai food, but be careful with your timings. If you cook shrimp for too long, it can become chewy.
  • Alternatively, you can use pre-cooked meats. Instead of frying the chicken breast, toss through shredded rotisserie chicken a few minutes before serving.

Make It Vegetarian

  • A few steps are required to make your Thai soup suitable for vegetarians. Leave out the chicken and substitute the chicken stock for vegetables. You’ll also need to replace fish sauce with tamari.
  • Double-check the ingredients of your Thai yellow curry paste. Most of them are suitable for vegetarians, but some brands list shrimp paste or fish sauce as the ingredients!
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Recipe Directions

  • Preparation: Chop all veggies, grate garlic and ginger, and slice chicken.
  • Cooking: Sauté chicken and onion in olive oil. Add garlic, veggies, curry paste, and turmeric. Add chicken stock, tomatoes, and edamame.
  • Blending Flavors: Combine fish sauce, tamari, rice wine vinegar, ginger, and sugar. Add to soup with coconut milk.
  • Thickening: Mix cornstarch with stock and add to soup. Simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Final Touches: Season to taste.
  • Serving: Garnish with cilantro and jalapeño, squeeze lime, and serve.
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Variations, Add-Ons, And Toppings 


  • Protein: Switch out chicken for shrimp, tofu, or tempeh for a different protein profile.
  • Veggies: Experiment with snap peas, baby corn, or bok choy for unique textures.


  • Noodles: Incorporate rice noodles or zucchini noodles for extra substance.
  • Grains: A scoop of cooked quinoa or jasmine rice can add heartiness.


  • Fresh Herbs: Mint or parsley can add a new layer of flavor.
  • Seeds: Toasted sesame or sunflower seeds offer a crunchy contrast.
  • Spice: Red chili flakes or a dollop of sriracha for heat-lovers.
  • Citrus: Lime wedges or lemon zest for a zesty kick.
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Can I Make Panera Thai Chicken Soup In A Slow Cooker Or Instant Pot? 

Slow Cooker

  • Preparation: Prep your ingredients as you would for the stovetop version.
  • Cooking: Add all ingredients except coconut milk and cornstarch to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or high for 3-4 hours.
  • Finishing: Stir in coconut milk and a cornstarch slurry 30 minutes before serving.

Instant Pot

  • Sauté: Use the sauté function to cook chicken and vegetables.
  • Pressure Cook: Add all other ingredients except coconut milk and cornstarch. Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes.
  • Quick Release: Once done, quick-release pressure, add coconut milk and cornstarch slurry, and simmer until thickened.
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Can I Use Store Bought Broth, Or Should I Make My Own? 


  • Convenience: Ready-to-use and saves time.
  • Consistency: Offers a uniform taste.
  • Sodium: Can be high in salt; opt for low-sodium varieties and adjust seasoning accordingly.


  • Flavor Control: Allows you to tailor the flavor profile to your liking.
  • Freshness: Free from preservatives and additives.
  • Time-Intensive: Requires extra preparation and cooking time.
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How To Serve ? 

Timing and presentation are vital to serving Panera Thai Chicken Soup at its best. First, serve the soup hot off the stove to enjoy its full range of flavors and aroma. Utilize wide, shallow bowls to display the colorful ingredients elegantly. 

Garnish generously with freshly chopped cilantro, a few jalapeno slices, and a final squeeze of lime to enhance the visual appeal and taste.

Consider pairing the soup with a light, crisp white wine or herbal iced tea if offering a multi-course meal. Complement with a side of crusty whole-grain bread or jasmine rice to soak up the flavorful broth. The finishing touch? A sprig of fresh basil for that Instagram-worthy presentation.

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Perfect Side Dishes

  • Spring Rolls: Fresh or fried make for a light yet satisfying companion.
  • Jasmine Rice: A bowl of steamed jasmine rice can beautifully absorb the flavorful broth.
  • Asian Slaw: A crisp slaw with ginger and sesame adds a refreshing crunch.
  • Grilled Shrimp Skewers: Offer a seafood twist with marinated shrimp on the side.
  • Steamed Bok Choy: This leafy green, lightly seasoned, offers a milder palate cleanser.
  • Crusty Bread: A slice of whole-grain or sourdough bread can be perfect for dipping.
  • Cucumber Salad: Chilled and mint salads can balance the soup’s heat.
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Storage And Make Ahead

  • Cool Down Quickly: Allow the Panera Thai Chicken Soup to cool down to room temperature quickly after cooking to prevent bacterial growth.
  • Refrigerate Promptly: Transfer the soup into airtight containers and promptly refrigerate it to maintain freshness and safety.
  • Consume Within 3-4 Days: Enjoy the stored soup within 3-4 days of refrigeration to ensure optimal taste and quality.
  • Freezing Option: For longer storage, portion the soup into freezer-safe containers or bags and freeze for up to 3 months.
  • Make Ahead: Prepare the soup in advance and store it in the refrigerator or freezer. Reheat when ready to serve for a convenient and delicious meal.
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What Can We Do With Leftovers? 

  • Chicken Rice Bowl: Layer some jasmine rice in a bowl and ladle the leftover soup. Add fresh veggies for a quick and easy meal.
  • Stir-Fry: Strain the solid ingredients and use them as a base for a quick stir-fry. Add more vegetables and a protein if desired.
  • Flatbread Topping: Use the leftover chicken and vegetables for a Thai-inspired flatbread pizza.
  • Pasta Sauce: Reduce the liquid to make a thicker sauce, perfect for noodle tossing.
  • Omelet Filling: Use the veggies and chicken as a flavorful omelet filling.
  • Taco Filling: Transform your soup leftovers into a unique taco filling, adding a little cheese and avocado.
  • Shepherd’s Pie: Use the solid ingredients as a layer in a Shepherd’s Pie, topped with mashed potatoes.


  • Authentic Ingredients: Use traditional Thai ingredients like lemongrass, coconut milk, and red curry paste for an authentic flavor profile.
  • Poach Chicken: Poach chicken breasts in the broth for a tender and flavorful protein addition to the soup.
  • Balanced Seasoning: Balance the flavors by adjusting the amount of red curry paste, lime juice, and fish sauce to suit your taste preferences.
  • Noodle Texture: Cook rice noodles separately and add them to the soup just before serving to maintain their perfect texture.
  • Garnish Creatively: Elevate the presentation and flavor with fresh cilantro, sliced red chili, and a squeeze of lime before serving.
Easy Panera Thai Chicken Soup For A Hungry Stomach

Easy Panera Thai Chicken Soup For A Hungry Stomach

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Course: Soup Recipe


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Savor the richness of Panera Thai Chicken Soup, a luscious blend of tender chicken, vibrant vegetables, and aromatic Thai spices. Coconut milk adds creaminess, while a dash of lime juice enlivens your taste buds.


  • 2 Cups 2 Chicken Breast (Shredded)

  • 1 Medium 1 Yellow Onion

  • 1 Cup 1 Red Bell Peppers (Sliced)

  • 1 Cup 1 Carrots (Sliced)

  • 1/2 Cup 1/2 Scallions (Chopped)

  • 1 Cup 1 Shiitake Mushrooms

  • 1 Cup 1 Canned Tomatoes (Diced)

  • 1/2 Cup 1/2 Edamame

  • 1 1 Jalapeno Pepper (Sliced)

  • 6 Cups 6 Chicken Stock

  • 13.5 Oz 13.5 Coconut Milk

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Lime Juice

  • 3 Tbsp 3 Thai Yellow Curry Paste

  • 3 3 Garlic Cloves (Minced)

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Ginger (Pureed)

  • 1 Tsp 1 Turmeric powder

  • Salt (To Taste)

  • 1/4 Cup 1/4 Fresh Basil

  • 1 Stalk 1 Fresh Lemongrass

  • 1/4 Cup 1/4 Fresh Cilantro (Chopped)

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Olive oil

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Fish sauce

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Tamari

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Rice Wine Vinegar

  • 1 Tbsp 1 Brown Sugar

  • 2 Tbsp 2 Cornstarch

Step-By-Step Directions

  • The good thing about that massive ingredients list is that once you’ve done your shopping, you’re halfway to making your soup.
  • There isn’t much work involved in making Thai chicken soup, which can come as a surprise as it develops into such a big flavor.
  • The ingredients list is long, but when you’ve made this soup once, there will be a lot less shopping next time. If you don’t have ingredients like fish sauce and rice wine vinegar, now is the time to invest!
  • Begin by prepping your vegetables. Once the soup has started, things move quickly. Thinly slice the bell pepper, mushrooms, and onion, shred the carrots, and grate the garlic and ginger. Pop the beans free if your edamame beans are still in their shells.
  • Finely chop your scallions, cilantro, basil, and lemongrass. Slice your jalapeno — you can leave the seeds in or take them out, depending on how hot you want your soup.
  • Slice your chicken into bite-sized pieces.
  • You must use a big pot to make this soup, as many liquids go in! Place it over a medium flame, and heat your olive oil. Add your sliced chicken and onion. Heat, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is no longer pink in the center and the onions soften. Add the garlic, and cook until fragrant. This will take around 30 seconds.
  • Add the basic veggies: carrots, mushrooms, and red bell pepper. Next, add turmeric powder and Thai yellow curry paste. Stir everything until the curry paste lightly coats all the chicken and veggies.
  • Pour in the chicken stock, the tomatoes, and, if you have them, the edamame beans. Give everything a good stir until it’s fully mixed in. Cover, and leave it on a slow and low simmer.
  • While the soup simmers, you want to get started mixing your flavorings. Combine the fish sauce with the tamari and rice wine vinegar in a separate bowl. Add the ginger and the brown sugar. Whisk the mixture to combine and dissolve the sugar.
  • Add your fish sauce mixture to your simmering soup and stir to combine. Next, add the coconut milk. Add both the liquid and solid portions if it’s separated — it will melt in the heat! Stir, add some salt, taste, and adjust the seasoning.
  • Whisk the cornstarch with some chicken stock in another separate bowl until it forms a thick liquid. Pour this into the soup and stir. Simmer with the lid off for roughly 15 minutes.
  • Taste and adjust the seasonings. It should smell mouthwatering, so you’ll probably want to break out a bowl and a spoon immediately. Serve garnished with chopped cilantro and jalapeno slices, and add a last squeeze of lime. Enjoy!
  • Equipment List
  • Large Stockpot
  • Chopping Board and Knife Set
  • Garlic Press or Grater
  • Whisk
  • Ladle
  • Measuring Spoons and Cups
  • Mesh Strainer
  • Freezer-safe Containers
  • Zester
  • Herb Scissors or Chopper


  • Use a heavy-bottomed pot for even heat distribution.
  • Fresh herbs like basil and cilantro add flavor and visual appeal.
  • If using frozen edamame, there is no need to thaw before adding.
  • Coconut milk may separate; stirring will recombine it.
  • For extra heat, add more jalapeño or a dash of hot sauce.
  • Taste and adjust the seasoning after the soup has simmered, as flavors will concentrate.
  • Lime juice is best added just before serving to maintain its zesty flavor.


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