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Sweetgreen Buffalo Chicken Salad [Copycat Recipe]

Sweetgreen Buffalo Chicken Salad Recipe 1
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For me, food serving and decoration play an enormous role when it comes to choosing a meal. Eyes eat first, right? Sweetgreen restaurant completely understands that fact, because their food seems like a cookbook cover.

This is my attempt to copycat a recipe for Sweetgreen’s Buffalo Chicken Salad.

This salad looks just as it tastes – AMAZING! I love everything, from the texture to the flavor pairings. It combines fresh and pickled vegetables, so the smack is super interesting! It includes macro and loads of micronutrients, which makes it a highly nutritious meal choice.

What Makes Sweetgreen Buffalo Chicken Salad Special?

First and foremost, the salad presentation is perfect – a bed out of crispy greens, a rainbow of colorful vegetables, and sauces in separate bowls. I served it exactly like that, because why change the good thing? 

The chicken here is grilled to perfection, as it’s both juicy inside and crispy outside. I coated it in spices and blackened it in a grill pan, and it turned out super aromatic.

Still, my favorite is za’atar croutons. You can probably get them at the store, but I made mine at home by mixing spices and cubes of bread. I could eat them alone, that’s how tasty they are!

Sweetgreen Buffalo Chicken Salad Copycat Recipe pin

How to Make Sweetgreen Buffalo Chicken Salad?

I decided against making Sweetgreen’s hot sauce and Caesar at home, so that saved me some time. If you go for store-bought croutons, you’ll just have to grill the chicken. That means only one – fresh, nutritious, and healthy lunch in 10 minutes!

  • Chicken – The original recipe calls for chicken breasts, so that’s what I used. To be honest, I doubt any other meat cut would pair as well. 
  • Leafy greens– This salad is abundant with fresh and pickled veggies. For the base, I mixed some kale and Romain lettuce. I love both of these leafy greens as they stay fresh and crisp longer than any other.
  • Carrots and tomatoes. I added date tomatoes instead of cherry, as I already had them in the fridge.
  • Pickled onions. They use purple onions, but I couldn’t find that in any store nearby, so I opted for tiny, white onions. They give the same flavor note, but the color is missing. To make up for that, I added some fresh purple onion. 
  • Blue cheese goes perfectly with this salad! It has a strong, pungent flavor, but it’s not overpowering due to the loads of fresh vegetables there. If you’re not a fan, you can go with goat cheese, ricotta, or even feta.
  • Croutons – Go for za’atar croutons, as they are the signature of this salad. I made them myself, as I had a few days-old bread in the pantry. I just coated it with olive oil, salt, pepper, and za’atar mix.
  • Spices and herbs – To spice up the chicken, I opted for salt, pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper, garlic powder, and dried parsley. Garden-fresh cilantro is a big deal in this salad, as it adds fresh and citrusy notes. If you find it too soapy, add parsley or mint.
  • Sauces – With this salad, Sweetgreen restaurant serves their sauces. Of course, I didn’t have the originals, so I used my favorite buffalo hot sauce and Caesar dressing. You can make them at home, as well, so just scroll down to see the ingredients needed.

Let’s make the buffalo chicken salad together!

Step 1: Grilling the Chicken

I always start with grilling the chicken. As I said in my earlier recipes, tenderize the chicken before seasoning it. Massage the spices on both sides: salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and dried parsley.

If you have time, let it sit coated in spices and some olive oil, so it can marinate. Heat the grill pan to medium temperature and cook the chicken for about 5 minutes per side. 

Grilling the Chicken for Sweetgreen Buffalo Chicken Salad

This depends solely on how thick is your meat cut.

Step 2: Preparing the Croutons

While the chicken is grilling, cut the bread slice into the cubes. Trickle it with olive oil and sprinkle the seasoning: salt, pepper, and za’atar mix. 

Arrange them on the baking sheet and in the oven, it goes at 400 °F (200 °C) for about 5-7 minutes. They are done when golden and crispy. 

Preparing Zaatar Croutons for Sweetgreen Buffalo Chicken Salad

Step 3: Assembling the Salad

Take a large plate and let’s copy the look for a whole experience! Take two smaller bowls and place them on the plate. Fill them with sauces: Caesar and hot buffalo sauce.

Cover the rest of the plate with chopped Romain lettuce, shredded kale, and finely chopped cilantro. Halve the cherry or date tomatoes, slice the carrots into strips, and cut the blackened chicken into chunks.

Crumble the blue cheese, prepare the croutons, and arrange everything. Place the ingredients into the piles, so it looks something like a rainbow. Finish with pickled onions in the middle. 

Assembling the Sweetgreen Buffalo Chicken Salad

That’s it! Bon Appetite!

@juliescafebakery

This salad is a copycat of Sweetgreen Buffalo Chicken Salad 🤌🏻 I LOVE the signature caesar and buffalo sauces, and I made them both from scratch ✨ caesar dressing is TOP-TIER with loads of fresh herbs and lemon inside 🍋 Also, I didn’t have pickled purple onion, so I used fresh 🥲 channeling my inner queen @Nara Smith to make it these days 🫧 perfect salad for quick and nutritious lunch, bye 💌 #chickensalad #sweetgreensalad #quickrecipes #lunchideas #buffalochicken

♬ Sunny Sped up Boney M – Stan 🙂

How to Store Sweetgreen Buffalo Chicken Salad?

Store the chicken in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge. It shouldn’t stay longer than 2 hours at room temperature before storing. Chicken is very prone to bacteria development, so I’m always careful here.

Store the sauces and pickled onions as noted on the packaging. The vegetables will be fresh for up to 5 days if stored in the fridge, separately.

Sweetgreen Buffalo Chicken Salad recipe 2

Sweetgreen Buffalo Chicken Salad

Author: Laura Bais
This salad is real eye candy! It is colorful, fun, and incredibly delicious. Chicken is rich in spices and perfectly textured – super juicy inside and crispy outside. There are two different sauces to pair with buffalo chicken salad – Caesar and hot sauce. The best part is the za'atar croutons that add some missing crunch! It is loaded with fresh veggies, so it is a fine choice for a healthy lunch.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Main Course, Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 1 portion
Calories 811.8 kcal

Equipment

  • 1 grill pan

Ingredients
  

  • 4 oz chicken breast
  • 1 cup Romain lettuce (chopped)
  • 1 cup kale (shredded)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 1 cup carrot (striped)
  • ½ cup pickled onions
  • cup blue cheese
  • 1 slice bread
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp za'atar
  • cup cilantro
  • ¼ cup Caesar dressing
  • ¼ cup hot buffalo sauce

Instructions
 

Grilling the Chicken

  • Tenderize the chicken and massage the spices on both sides: salt, pepper, paprika, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, and dried parsley.
  • Heat the grill pan to medium temperature and cook the chicken for about 5 minutes per side.

Preparing the Croutons

  • Cut the bread slice into the cubes. Trickle it with olive oil and sprinkle the seasoning: salt, pepper, and za’atar mix.
  • Arrange them on the baking sheet and in the oven, it goes at 400 °F (200 °C) for about 5-7 minutes. They are done when golden and crispy.

Assembling the Salad

  • On a large plate place two smaller bowls. Fill them with sauces: Caesar and hot buffalo sauce.
  • Cover the rest of the plate with chopped Romain lettuce, shredded kale, and chopped cilantro. Halve the cherry or date tomatoes, slice the carrots into strips, and cut the blackened chicken into chunks.
  • Crumble the blue cheese, prepare the croutons, and arrange everything. Place the ingredients into the piles, so it looks something like a rainbow. Finish with pickled onions in the middle.

Notes

Storing Tips
Store the chicken in an airtight container for up to 3 days in the fridge and sauces as noted on the packaging. 
Sweetgreen Sauces
To make Sweetgreen’s Caesar dressing, you’ll need plain yogurt, mayonnaise, anchovies, parmesan, lemon juice, garlic, salt, black pepper, and a drizzle of sunflower oil.
For the Sweetgreen hot sauce, blend Fresno chili peppers, apple cider vinegar, onions, bell peppers, carrots, tomato paste, and nutritional yeast. The vegetables have to be roasted.

Nutrition

Serving: 1portionCalories: 811.8kcalCarbohydrates: 42.6gProtein: 44gFat: 53.1gSaturated Fat: 14.7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 21.5gMonounsaturated Fat: 12.6gTrans Fat: 0.02gCholesterol: 129.2mgSodium: 1641.6mgPotassium: 1781.5mgFiber: 10.8gSugar: 14.7gVitamin A: 34491.2IUVitamin C: 110.7mgCalcium: 560.8mgIron: 5.6mg
Keyword buffalo grilled chicken, buffalo hot sauce, caesar dressing, copycat recipe, sweetgreen restaurant, za’atar croutons

Before diving into the nutritional details, please review our Nutritional Disclaimer page for important context and clarifications.

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)
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