Frugal Foodie Mama: Italian Chicken & Tortellini Broth Bowls

Monday, February 29, 2016

Italian Chicken & Tortellini Broth Bowls

These Italian Chicken & Tortellini Broth Bowls are a budget friendly version of a restaurant favorite that you can have on your dinner table in around 30 minutes...
These Italian Chicken & Tortellini Broth Bowls are a budget friendly version of a restaurant favorite that you can have on your dinner table in around 30 minutes.

A couple of weeks ago I found myself hit hard with some kind of a head cold. It was one of those colds that leaves you feeling absolutely exhausted by late afternoon each day. And when this mama has sick days, the kitchen is usually closed for dinner on those days. Thus, I found myself texting my husband three evenings in a row that week asking him to pick up dinner for the family before he came home from work. On the one evening when I was feeling the worst, I had him swing by Panera to pick up some feel good comfort food for me. I wanted soup (I mean, who doesn't want some comforting soup when they are feeling sick?), but none of the daily selections were really appealing to me. As I was perusing their online menu, I found their broth bowls section. Yep! That is exactly what I wanted! :)

Instantly I gravitated towards their Ricotta Sacchettini with Chicken Broth Bowl. Cheese filled pasta, chicken, fresh broccoli & spinach covered in a nourishing broth and topped with pesto and lemon? I mean, YES. That was the feel better food I was looking for. And even though I cringed at the price ($9 a bowl!) when ordering it, I knew it was what my sick self was craving. After taking one bite of this broth bowl, I also knew that I had to come up with a copycat recipe for it that I could make at home. These easy to make Italian Chicken & Tortellini Broth Bowls are my homemade version of my new Panera favorite...

These Italian Chicken & Tortellini Broth Bowls are a budget friendly version of a restaurant favorite that you can have on your dinner table in around 30 minutes.
Italian Chicken & Tortellini Broth Bowls

by Frugal Foodie Mama
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Ingredients (Serves 4)
  • 2-3 chicken breasts, cooked & cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 32 oz carton of chicken broth (or 4 cups of homemade chicken broth)
  • 9 oz package of refrigerated or frozen cheese tortellini
  • 1 head fresh broccoli, chopped into florets
  • 1/2 cup canned or fresh diced tomatoes (drain if canned)
  • 1/4 cup grated or shredded Parmesan cheese (can also use a Parmesan cheese rind)
  • Fresh baby spinach
  • 1 lemon, cut into slices
  • 4 tsp prepared pesto, divided
  • Salt & pepper, to taste
Instructions
In a large pot or Dutch oven, heat the chicken broth over medium-high heat to a slow boil. (If using a Parmesan cheese rind, add this in now.) Add in the tortellini and cook according to the package directions (allow a few extra minutes of cook time if using frozen). Once the tortellini are cooked and heated through, add in the broccoli florets. Turn down the heat to medium-low heat and just steam until bright green and slightly tender, about 2-3 minutes. Stir in the chicken and tomatoes. If using shredded or grated Parmesan cheese, stir this in now. Season with salt & pepper to taste.

To Serve
Place a handful of fresh baby spinach leaves in each bowl. Evenly ladle out the broth mixture over top of the spinach in each of the 4 bowls. Top each bowl with 1 teaspoon of pesto and 2 lemon slices. Be sure that everyone stirs the pesto throughout their broth bowls so the basil flavor gets into every bite.
Serve and enjoy!
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These Italian Chicken & Tortellini Broth Bowls are a budget friendly version of a restaurant favorite that you can have on your dinner table in around 30 minutes.

These Italian Chicken & Tortellini Broth Bowls came pretty darn close to its Panera counterpart. And I was able to make them at a fraction of the cost! (Think less than $12 for four servings of this broth bowl versus paying $9 for just one bowl!) I did substitute cheese tortellini for the sacchettini since it was not a pasta I could find at my local grocery store, but if you are able to get your hands on a package of sacchettini feel free to use that instead. And I highly recommend using homemade chicken broth if you have some on hand. Homemade chicken broth just happens to be so much more rich & flavorful than store bought. You can snag my recipe for Easy Homemade Chicken Broth by clicking here. ;)
These Italian Chicken & Tortellini Broth Bowls are a budget friendly version of a restaurant favorite that you can have on your dinner table in around 30 minutes.

And while I am touting these broth bowls as the ultimate feel better food, they are also an excellent option when you are looking for a healthy, quick, and budget friendly dinner idea for the entire family. :) Plus, they are super easy to customize to each family members' tastes- just let them build their own bowls and leave out what they don't like and add more of what they do like. 

What foods do you crave when you are feeling under the weather?
Which of your Panera favorites would like to see a copycat recipe for?

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