Sweetgreen Blackened Chicken Recipe – Happy, Healthy and Yummy

Published Categorized as Journal

Want a Sweetgreen blackened chicken recipe but don’t know where to start? We’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll break down our rendition of the beloved Sweetgreen blackened chicken recipe so you can satisfy your craving for it from the comfort of your own home. Ready? Let’s dig in! 

Hey there! This site is reader-supported and I earn commissions if you purchase products from retailers after clicking on a link from this site.

Table of Contents

Sweetgreen Blackened Chicken Recipe – Happy Healthy & Yummy

What Is Blackened Chicken?

Contrary to what some may believe, blackened chicken is not chicken mom accidentally burned. 

Rather, blackened chicken is the intentional “blackening” of the outside of the chicken which adds to its flavor. The method of blackening is derived from cajun and creole cooking. Chicken that is cooked this way is usually prepared with cajun-style seasoning.

Popular seasonings that often accompany blackened chicken are many. They include paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper, thyme, onion powder, and garlic powder. These ingredients are subject to change, as you’ll see later in this post.

Sweetgreen Blackened Chicken

So what is Sweetgreen blackened chicken, anyway?

Sweetgreen is a casual American restaurant that was founded by three college students. These students were looking for a healthier way to eat. The restaurant offers up mainly salads that are made fresh from scratch and feature a variety of deliciously marinated meats on top of greens and veggies. 

Sweetgreen blackened chicken is one of the many delicious types of meat you can find at Sweetgreen to top your salad. This is the meat that many Sweetgreen enthusiasts go crazy for. Unfortunately, the recipe for Sweetgreen’s blackened chicken hasn’t been made public. Nevertheless, we have come up with a very similar version we think you’ll love!

Sweetgreen Blackened Chicken Recipe

Ready to learn how to make Sweetgreen’s blackened chicken recipe? We’ll show you how!

With only a few spices and a bit of oil and vinegar, you can make this chicken all on your own. 


  • 4 lbs Chicken Thighs 
  • ½ tsp cayenne pepper
  • 2 ½ tsp black pepper
  • 1 ½ tbsp salt
  • 4 ½ tbsp cumin
  • 2 ½ tbsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 2 ½ tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup oil


Blackened Chicken by Sweetgreen Copycat

  1. Grind

    Take your dry seasoning ingredients and grind them with a mortar and pestle.

  2. Whisk

    Whisk this ground spice mix with the oil and the balsamic vinegar. 

  3. Marinate

    Use this mix to marinate your chicken (either breasts or thighs) for at least 30 minutes (overnight produces the most flavorful results). As always, avoid over-marinating your chicken, as this may cause the chicken to become mushy and lose texture.

  4. Prepare oil

    Heat oil in a frying pan over high heat.

  5. Blacken

    Once the oil is hot, add your chicken thighs. Cook them for about 30 seconds on each side to blacken them. 

  6. Cook chicken

    Once you’ve developed some color on each side, transfer your chicken to the oven to finish cooking. To do this, heat your oven to 375 °F and bake your chicken for at least 40 minutes. The chicken is finished when the juices run clear and are no longer pink. The internal temperature should read no less than 165 °F.

  7. Plate chicken

    Once the chicken is done, remove it from the skillet and place it on a plate or platter.

  8. Rest and serve

    Allow the chicken to rest for at least 5 minutes before serving. 

Note: You may boil any remaining marinade for at least 5 minutes to kill of any germs if you wish to serve it over the chicken.

How to Store Sweetgreen Blackened Chicken

Chicken can usually be kept in the refrigerator for about 3-4 days once cooked. Simply wrap the chicken in foil or place it in an airtight container.

If freezing the chicken, place it in a freezer bag before placing it in the freezer. It will keep in the freezer at its best quality for about four months

Hefty Slider Freezer Storage Bags, Quart Size, 74 Count
Buy on Amazon

If you make a salad to pair with your blackened chicken, you may wish to store the two separately. Salad will usually last about 2 days stored in the fridge. Keeping your chicken on top of or mixed in with your salad greens may cause them to go rancid faster.

To keep your salad leaves fresh and snappy, consider laying a paper towel on top of it. Then, place your covered salad in an airtight container. The paper towel works to sop up moisture that would have otherwise made your salad wilt. 

We don’t recommend you attempt to store any salad leftovers in the freezer. If you have leftover blackened chicken, freeze the chicken. Then make a fresh salad to pair with your thawed blackened chicken.

Ways to Top Your Chicken Salad

Now that you’ve got the blackened chicken cooked up, you may be wondering what to pair it with. Though you can enjoy Sweetgreen blackened chicken plain, many may wish to use it to top a salad.

If this is you, consider the following toppings to add to your blackened chicken salad:

  • Shredded Carrots
  • Red Onion 
  • Corn
  • Cucumber
  • Taco Strips
  • Cool and Creamy Dressings (Like Ranch)
  • Thinly Sliced Bell Peppers
  • Hard-Boiled Eggs

Sweetgreen Blackened Chicken Recipe? We’ve Got It Here!

While the Sweetgreen blackened chicken recipe might be hard to come by, we hope you’ll love our version of this popular Sweetgreen favorite. Made with a blend of delicious spices, vinegar, and oil, you can make this blackened chicken whenever you wish! Enjoy! 


What kind of chicken does Sweetgreen use?

Sweetgreen often uses chicken thighs in its recipes. Nevertheless, you can always use another cut of meat, such as chicken breasts, if you prefer. Bear in mind that chicken thighs are typically more juicy, flavorful, and affordable than chicken breasts. It is for this reason that many people prefer buying chicken thighs over chicken breasts. But feel free to do what you want! 

How do you make blackened chicken salad?

To make blackened chicken salad, simply prepare your blackened chicken as instructed above, then dice your blackened chicken into bite-sized pieces. Prepare your salad bed by adding handfuls of fresh baby spinach, chopped romaine, green leaf lettuce, iceberg, or whatever other types of lettuce you want. Top your salad leaves with the veggies and toppings of your choice.

How do you make blackened creole chicken?

To make blackened creole chicken, use the cooking method listed above but use paprika, dried thyme, onion powder, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. Believe it or not, these are the most typical ingredients used for blackened chicken recipes, even though Sweetgreen’s recipe is a bit different.

How do you make blackened chicken sandwiches?

Try making the previously mentioned Sweetgreen blackened chicken recipe, then layer the cooked chicken on the bread of your choice with the toppings and condiments you want. Our favorite sandwich combination for this type of chicken is to use hoagie-style bread, sriracha mayonnaise, pepper jack cheese, and red onion for a bit of extra bite!

Is blackened chicken healthy?

Blackened chicken is usually healthy. This is because it usually contains no breading and isn’t deep fried. Rather, the chicken is usually pan seared in a bit of oil, and sometimes, is finished in the oven. This makes the chicken quite nutritious, especially when paired with a light side.

Are blackened foods charred? 

Charring isn’t the same as blackening. Blackened meats usually come with a special blend of spices. They are then cooked at a high temperature to blacken the outside.
Charring, on the other hand, is the result of a cooking process that doesn’t involve seasoning blends. It happens most often when grilling or broiling meats. The burnt flavor can be similar but not always the same. Charring can also be achieved over the stovetop or when roasting as well.

By Anna

Hey, I’m Anna; writer, editor and amateur cook extraordinaire! Food has been my life and my passion for the most of my life – it’s crazy to think I didn’t pursue a career in cooking. I’m obsessed! However, keeping cooking as an obsessive hobby has worked for me – my passion grows as the years pass by – maybe I wouldn’t say the same if it was also my day job! I hope you find cooking inspiration, entertainment and “stop and think interesting tid-bits” throughout my writing – and I’d love to hear from you if you’ve got anything you want to share. Food feeds the soul – so get eating!

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *