This crispy rice salad SweetGreen copycat recipe tastes just like your favorite option from the popular restaurant. It features quinoa instead of rice and a homemade spicy cashew dressing. As a result, it’s every bit as delicious as the original at a fraction of the price!

a white bowl full of crispy rice bowl salad.

Why We Love This Copycat Chicken Rice Bowl 

We’re going to let you in on a secret. We’re obsessed with SweetGreen.

Honestly, though, who isn’t? All their dishes have the most incredible flavor. Plus, they’re a good healthy option for a lunch out when you want to treat yourself.

However, we don’t always love the price of their food. To remedy this issue, we figured out how to make our favorite crispy rice bowl at home, and it was a huge hit! Unlike the original recipe, our version is: 

  • Budget-friendly
  • Great to prepare for meal prep or a filling family dinner
  • Super versatile, meaning you can easily adjust it to fit your dietary needs and flavor preferences 

What Is Crispy Rice? 

As the name suggests, crispy rice is cooked grains of rice that have been tossed with oil and seasonings and baked. As a result, it becomes crunchy, crisp, and super addictive!

However, for our recipe, we swapped out the rice for quinoa for more plant-based protein and fiber to keep you fuller for longer. The result is nearly identical to crispy rice and a little more nutritious!

cooked seasoned chicken breasts in a skillet.

Ingredients You’ll Need 

We did our best to replicate the original SweetGreen crispy rice salad ingredients in this homemade recipe. We think we nailed it!

Here’s what you’ll need: 

Spicy Cashew Dressing 

  • Garlic – For a bold flavor. 
  • Cilantro – To cut through the heavy fats for a refreshing taste. 
  • Sesame oil – Provides a rich, nutty flavor. I
  • Chili flakes  – Add a pinch of heat. 
  • Maple syrup – Helps balance out the spice. If preferred, honey or agave would work, too. 
  • Rice vinegar – Substitute apple cider vinegar if desired.
  • Ginger – Freshly grated ginger is best!
  • Cashew butter – Forms the base of the dressing creating the creamy and nutty flavor it’s famous for. 
  • Lime juice – The acidity helps cut through some of the heaviness of the fats, balancing out the flavors.
  • Water – Use as needed to thin out the dressing. 

Chicken 

  • Chicken breast – Feel free to use chicken thighs instead, and adjust the cooking time as needed.
  • Seasonings – Cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, and chili powder combine to create the most flavorful chicken you’ll ever taste. 

Crispy Quinoa

  • Quinoa – Feel free to replace the quinoa with brown rice, wild rice, or any other grain you like best. Or, leave it out completely for a low-carb option. 
  • Oil – Essential to create a crispy texture.
  • Salt & pepper – For a little extra flavor. 

Salad 

  • Greens – We used a combination of arugula and mixed greens, but lettuce or spinach would taste great, too. 
  • Carrots – For added crunch and plenty of vitamin A. 
  • Cucumber – Their mild taste balances out the rest of the bold ingredients. 
  • Almonds – Included for extra crunch and more healthy fats to keep you full. 
  • Roughly Chopped Cilantro (Coriander) – The finishing touch, cilantro lightens up the dish and ties all the ingredients together!
overhead image of a SweetGreen crispy rice bowl copycat recipe with spicy cashew dressing on the side.

How to Make the Perfect Copycat SweetGreen Crispy Rice Bowl 

This chicken rice bowl recipe requires several different steps, but don’t worry! They’re all super simple, and this recipe makes a lot. So, you can make it once and eat it for days. 

  1. Create the spicy cashew dressing: Place all the ingredients for the dressing into a blender, and blend until smooth. 
  2. Season: Combine the seasonings in a small bowl, and use the mixture to coat the chicken breast.
  3. Cook the chicken: Heat a skillet over medium heat, and add the oil. Cook the chicken on each side until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, set the chicken aside.
  4. Make the crispy quinoa: Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions. Place the cooked quinoa on a foil-lined baking sheet in a single layer. Drizzle oil on top, and add a sprinkle of salt and pepper to taste. Bake until crisp, stirring halfway through cooking. 
  5. Combine the salad: Slice the chicken into diagonal strips. Then, in a large bowl, assemble all the salad ingredients. Top the mixture with the sliced chicken, crispy quinoa, and as little or as much dressing as you’d like, and dig in! 

Make Ahead and Storage Options

The copycat recipe is best served right away. However, you can store leftovers in the fridge for up to five days.

We highly recommend storing the dressing separately and only adding the dressing when you serve your salad! Otherwise, it will cause the ingredients to become soggy and go bad faster. Plus, it’s nice to have on hand for dipping with veggies, adding to other salads, and more! 

a bowl of crispy rice bowl SweetGreen copycat salad with serving tongs sticking out.

More Salad Recipes for Meal Prep 

Check out more of our favorite salad recipes for filling meals that leave you feeling great! 

Copycat Sweet Green Crispy Rice Bowl

SweetGreen Crispy Rice Salad Copycat

5 from 2 votes
Author: Food Dolls
Servings: 8 servings
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 35 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
This SweetGreen Crispy Rice Salad Copycat tastes just like your favorite restaurant salad but is half the price and perfect for meal prep!

Ingredients  

For the Spicy Cashew Dressing:

  • 2 Tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 cup loosely packed cilantro
  • 1 Tablespoons sesame oil
  • 3 teaspoons red chili flakes to taste
  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped ginger
  • 1/2 cup creamy cashew butter
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 cup water more or less as needed

For the Chicken:

  • 2 chicken breasts 1.25 pounds each
  • 1 Tablespoon cajun seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder

For the Crispy Quinoa:

  • 2 cups cooked quinoa brown rice, or grain of choice
  • 3 Tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste

For the Salad:

  • 3 ounces arugula
  • 3 ounces mixed greens
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 large English cucumber sliced
  • 1/2 cup toasted almonds
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro chopped

Instructions 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Add all the dressing ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth, and set aside.
    2 Tablespoons minced garlic, 1 cup loosely packed cilantro, 1 Tablespoons sesame oil, 3 teaspoons red chili flakes, 2 Tablespoons maple syrup, 2 Tablespoons rice vinegar, 1/4 cup fresh chopped ginger, 1/2 cup creamy cashew butter, 2 Tablespoons fresh lime juice, 1/4 cup water
  • Coat the chicken with the seasonings, and warm a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil, and cook the chicken 4-5 minutes on each side or until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees Fahrenheit. Remove from the skillet, and set aside.
    2 chicken breasts, 1 Tablespoon cajun seasoning, 1 teaspoon smoked paprika, 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • Cook the quinoa according to the package instructions, and arrange it in a single layer on a foil-lined baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil on top followed by the salt and pepper.
    2 cups cooked quinoa, 3 Tablespoons olive oil, Salt to taste, Pepper to taste
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through. Remove from the oven, and let cool.
  • Slice the chicken diagonally.
  • In a large bowl, add all the salad ingredients. Top with crispy quinoa, chicken, and as little or as much dressing as preferred. Toss to combine, and serve.
    3 ounces arugula, 3 ounces mixed greens, 1 cup shredded carrots, 1 large English cucumber, 1/2 cup toasted almonds, 1/2 cup fresh cilantro

Notes

This is a copycat sweet green recipe.
Omit the crispy quinoa for a low-carb option. 
The dressing makes enough for 2 batches. Store leftovers in the fridge for up to 5 days. 
We highly recommend not adding the dressing to the whole bowl if you are not planning on finishing it. Otherwise, it will wilt and will turn into a soggy salad 🙂

Nutrition

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 504kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 19g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g | Monounsaturated Fat: 24g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 36mg | Sodium: 100mg | Potassium: 666mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3407IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 86mg | Iron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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Food Dolls

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Recipe Rating




4 Comments

  1. Lots of ingredients but dang close to the original at SG. Love the crispy quinoa!!! Won’t go back to quinoa any other way. And sauce—so good. Can be used on other salads too.