This crispy rice bowl SweetGreen copycat recipe tastes just like your favorite option from the popular restaurant. Made with quinoa instead of rice and a homemade spicy cashew dressing, it’s every bit as delicious and half the price of the original bowl!
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 of their dishes have the most incredible flavor and are a good healthy option for a lunch out when you want to treat yourself. However, what we’re not obsessed with is 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:
- Great to prepare for
meal prepor a filling family dinner
- Super customizable to fit your dietary needs and flavor preferences
What Is Crispy Rice?
As the name suggests, crispy rice is cooked rice that has 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 end result is nearly identical to crispy rice. It’s just a little more nutritious!
Ingredients You’ll Need
For this chicken rice bowl recipe, we did our best to replicate the original ingredients as closely as possible, and we think we nailed it! Here’s what you’ll need:
For the 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.
- Chili flakes – Add a pinch of heat.
- Maple syrup – Helps balance out the spice. If preferred, honey or agave would work, too.
- Rice vinegar – Apple cider vinegar can be substituted.
- Ginger – For a warm hint of spice.
- Cashew butter – Forms the base of the dressing creating the creamy and nutty flavor it’s famous for.
- Lime juice – A little acidity helps balance all of the flavors.
- Water – Use as needed to thin out the dressing. .
For the Chicken
- Chicken breast – Chicken thighs can be used instead, but you may need to adjust the cooking time.
- Seasonings – Cajun seasoning, smoked paprika, and chili powder combine to create the most flavorful chicken you’ll ever taste.
For the Crispy Quinoa
- Quinoa – Feel free to replace the quinoa with brown 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.
For the 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.
- Cilantro – The finishing touch that lightens up the dish and ties all of the ingredients together.
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.
- Create the spicy cashew dressing: Place all of the ingredients for the dressing into a blender, and blend until smooth.
- Prepare the chicken: Combine the seasonings in a small bowl, and use the mixture to coat the chicken breast. Heat a skillet over medium heat, and add the oil. Cook the chicken for 4-5 minutes per side or until the internal temperature reaches 165°Fahrenheit. Set aside.
- 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 for 20-25 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking.
- Combine the salad: Slice the chicken into diagonal strips. Then, in a large bowl, assemble all of 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, if you want to prepare it ahead of time, it can be stored for up to 5 days in the fridge. 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!
More Salad Recipes for
Take a look at more of our favorite salad recipes for filling meals that leave you feeling great!
- Pesto Pasta Salad Recipe – This recipe is made with just 6 ingredients and is ready in minutes.
- Cucumber Thai Salad – Crisp, crunchy, and full of vibrant flavor, this recipe is a longtime favorite of ours.
- Southwest Salad – This salad is loaded with different tastes and textures for a recipe that’s so tasty you won’t believe it’s good for you, too!
- Greek Orzo Pasta Salad – Easy and decadent, this family-favorite recipe is absolutely delish.
Crispy Rice Bowl SweetGreen Copycat
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)
- Preheat the oven to 350°Fahrenheit.
- Add all the dressing ingredients to a blender. Blend until smooth, and set aside.
- 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°Fahrenheit. Remove from the skillet, and set aside.
- 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.
- 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.