Last updated on May 25th, 2023
Tender chicken tortellini, veggies and tangy Thai chili vinegar make give this garden vegetable chicken wonton soup a spicy kick.
Panera Bread has finally come to Mississippi. At last, I get to see what all the fuss is about! A few weeks ago, I met my parents at Panera for lunch. It was a windy, cold day. I thought a bowl of soup and a sandwich sounded perfect. Since I am a lover of all things Asian-y/brothy, I was intrigued by the Thai Garden Chicken Wonton broth bowl. As soon as I put that first spoonful to my lips, I knew The Husband would love it and that I had to figure out how to recreate the recipe at home.
How to Make Chicken Wontons
Making the homemade wontons is not hard, but it is most time consuming part of this dish. Start combining one pound of ground chicken with some minced garlic, green onions, oyster sauce, soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil. Make sure to mix it all together until everything is thoroughly combined.
I used premade wonton wrappers for this dish. I usually find them in the refrigerated section at my grocery store. Wonton wrappers can dry out very quickly, so be sure to keep them covered with a damp paper towel while you’re assembling. Also keep a small bowl of water close by to use to seal the edges of the wonton.
First, remove one wonton wrapper from the damp paper towel and lay it flat on a clean workspace. Place three teaspoons of the chicken sausage filling into the center of the wonton. Brush the edges with water, then fold the wonton in half to form a triangle. Gently press to remove and air bubbles and seal the edges. Fold the spine of the wonton over one more time, then bring the two point together and seal with a little more water.
Keep the folded wontons covered with a damp paper towel as well to prevent them from drying out until you are ready to use them. You will end up with more wontons than you need. However, they freeze beautifully. Freeze them in a single layer on a baking pan, then transfer them to a plastic bag once they are solid. Or, you can always drop the leftovers for a few minutes in hot oil for a tasty, crispy snack (that’s what we did!).
How to Make Garden Vegetable Chicken Wonton Soup
After making the wontons, this soup is a breeze. Heat two quarts of chicken broth in a large stockpot over medium high heat. Once the broth comes to a boil, add shredded Napa cabbage, chopped broccoli, and shredded carrots. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
Add some sliced mushrooms and diced garlic. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Then stir in some soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce, spinach, ginger and Thai chili vinegar. I found the pickled Thai chili peppers at my local farmer’s market. If for some reason you can’t find pickled Thai chili peppers, you could substitute pickled jalapenos. But I would not recommend leaving that ingredient out entirely. It makes the broth. I didn’t use the actual chilis in the soup. I used the vinegar from the jar to season the broth. If you can’t find pickled Thai chilies, another reader used chili sauce, which can be found in the Asian section of your store, with success.
Bring the broth to a boil. Carefully stir in the wontons and continue to simmer until the wonton wrappers are opaque and the wontons feel firm, about 2 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and serve.
I am by no means touting this as a “copycat” recipe, but it comes pretty darn close. The best thing about this soup is that you can get creative and add your own favorite Asian condiments.
Thai Garden Vegetable Chicken Wonton Soup
For the wontons:
- 16 ounces 1 lb. ground chicken
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 2 green onions thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon oyster sauce
- 1 teaspoon reduced sodium soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 36 2- inch square wonton wrappers
For the soup:
- 8 cups chicken broth
- 2 cups Napa or Savoy cabbage chopped
- 1 cup chopped broccoli florets
- ½ cup matchstick carrots
- ½ cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 cloves garlic minced
- ¼ cup soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- 1 teaspoon oyster sauce
- ½ cup frozen chopped spinach
- ¼ cup thai chili vinegar
- 1 teaspoon minced fresh ginger
- 10-12 wontons
- Cilantro for garnish
For the wontons:
- In a large bowl, combine the chicken, garlic, green onions, oyster sauce, soy sauce, ginger, and sesame oil.
- To assemble the wontons, place wrappers on a work surface. Cover unused wontons with a damp paper towel to prevent them from drying out. Have small bowl of water nearby.
- Spoon 3 teaspoons to 1 tablespoon of the chicken mixture into the center of each wrapper. Using your finger, rub the edges of the wrappers with the water. Fold the dough over the filling to create a triangle. Pinching the edges to seal. Dap a little water on the two corners of the triangle. Bring the points together and pinch to seal.
- Keep the wontons covered with a damp paper towel to keep them from drying out. Store in the refrigerator until ready to use.
For the soup:
- Heat the chicken broth in a large stockpot over medium high heat. Once the broth comes to a boil, add the cabbage, broccoli, and carrots. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add the mushrooms and garlic. Simmer for an additional 5 minutes. Stir in the soy sauce, sesame oil, oyster sauce, spinach, thai chili vinegar, and ginger. Carefully stir in the wontons and continue to simmer until the wonton wrappers are opaque and the wontons feel firm, about 2 minutes.
- Garnish with cilantro, if desired.
Lori, I’m glad to hear that! I’m so glad the recipe worked out for you so well. Thanks for coming back and letting me know it turned out.
I just made this soup. It was ah-mazing!!!!!! It tasted exactly like Panera’s (or pretty darn close). I had to use pork instead of chicken and it was fine. I may have had to boil wontons a bit longer to cook the pork which caused them to open but it all tasted the same. 😉 Thanks for creating this recipe!!
That’s great!! Good to know the chili sauce will work in case some people can’t locate pickled Thai chilis. Thank you so much for letting me know how it turned out!
It was!!! I think your recipe is even better than Panera’s!!! Made it last night substituting the Thai Chili sauce for the Thai Chili Vinegar and it was absolutely scrumptious.. huge hit in our household .. Thank you for sharing!
No, I didn’t use the actual chilies. I used the vinegar from the jar. The recipe lists 1/4 cup. I can’t really say if Thai Chili Sauce would be a good substitute.
Hi… you mentioned buying Pickled Thai Chili Peppers at your local Farmers Market but then do not mention them on your ingredients list… i just got everything from the list I could find but not the mentioned peppers in your description or the Thai Chili Vinegar… so closest I could get was Thai Chili Sauce… Do you think this will be an ok substitute?
No, you do not pre-cook the chicken. Since it’s a very small amount of chicken inside each wonton, it will cook through very quickly.
Silly question but do you precook the chicken before stuffing it into the wanton wrapper? I worry that 2 minutes is not enough time for the chicken to cook through if raw.
Absolutely! Good luck. I hope you enjoy it!
I am trying the Panera version for the first time today and I am in L-O-V-E!!! I plan on using your recipe and possibly modifying the general ingredients such as different veggies.