The Easy Way to Make Your Salads Taste Like They Came From Sweetgreen

Sweetgreen + salad

Now listen, we love a good homemade salad just as much as the next person, but have you ever taken a peek into your fridge and found yourself a bit underwhelmed by your current selection of salad-making options? One of the best things about getting a salad from a place like Sweetgreen is the likelihood that it will be better tasting than what you normally make for yourself at home.

Of course, the downside to getting all of your salads from Sweetgreen is that take-out lunches add up quickly. So how does one make homemade salads taste like they came from Sweetgreen without absolutely destroying their grocery budget? Thanks to a smart tip from chef Skylar Bouchard, we can all make our salads taste a little fancier if we make a batch of crispy rice.

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How to Make Sweetgreen’s Crispy Rice

One of Sweetgreen's most popular menu items is the crispy rice bowl, which includes blackened chicken, shredded cabbage, cucumbers, carrots, cilantro, roasted almonds, wild rice, spring mix, a squeeze of lime squeeze, spicy cashew dressing and the thing that brings it all together: crispy rice.

The crispy rice adds a great nutty flavor and tons of crunch, and just makes the salad so much more fun to eat. And lucky for you, it's an easy thing to make at home.

To make a big batch, just rinse some short-grain brown rice until the water runs clear, then cook it in salted water until tender. When the rice is finished cooking, transfer it to a colander and cool it down by spraying it with cold water. Spread the rice in an even layer on a baking sheet and drizzle with avocado oil, then sprinkle with salt, onion powder, garlic powder and pepper. Stick it in a 400° oven to bake.

Keep in mind that the bake time will depend on how full the sheet pan is, but make sure you stir the rice every 15 minutes to make sure it cooks evenly. After about 20-30 minutes the rice should be finished and have a beautiful golden-brown hue. You can store the crispy rice in an airtight container to maintain crispiness and enjoy on your salads for up to 2 weeks.

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How to Store Crispy Rice

Along with keeping leftovers in an airtight container, Chef Bouchard recommends placing a small paper towel on the bottom to absorb excess moisture if you really want to ensure the longevity of crispiness. It’s important to keep the container in a cool, dry place that's not in direct sunlight or close to any sources of heat and humidity. It's also a good idea to check the container periodically for any signs of moisture buildup and toss it if that happens.

If you're concerned about keeping the rice at room temperature, you can stash it in the fridge, but it will lose its crispiness, so the best bet would be to make a smaller batch that you can use up more quickly. Regardless of how you store the crispy rice, if it smells off or looks weird, throw it away and make a fresh batch.

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