This Buddha Bowl with Chicken is a copycat of the delicious Freshii™ version. Lots of vegetables and rice noodles in a spicy peanut sauce.
When it’s a take-out kind of night and I’m feeling like something healthier, I always head to my local Freshii™. And I pretty much always order the same thing – The Buddha Bowl with chicken, spinach instead of broccoli and extra sauce. That’s the great thing about Freshii™. They’ll make it just how you want it :)
For those nights when I want take out, but don’t want the “out” part, I have learned how to recreate my favourite Buddha Bowl at home.
This Buddha Bowl has carrots, red cabbage, green onion and spinach, all tossed with rice noodles and a spicy peanut sauce. On top is a generous sprinkling of wonton strips.
If you are a fan of the original, I think you’ll find this one comes pretty darned close! If you have no idea what Freshii™ is, no worries, you’ll enjoy this bowl anyway. It’s quick, easy, delicious and healthy-ish.
As noted above, if you want the exact Buddha Bowl ala Freshii™ simply swap out finely chopped raw broccoli for the spinach.
The recipe as written includes “extra sauce”. If you’re not wanting it as saucy as I like it, simply half the sauce recipe.
The rice noodle “cakes” I use come in a bag of about 12 little rice noodle nests. Each nest is 1.6 oz. If you are starting with rice noodle sticks, use about 4 oz. Go for the thicker, fettuccini-width rice noodles for the best results. I like to break the noodles in half before soaking if they are long. It’s just easier to eat with shorter noodles.
Rice noodles don’t need to be boiled. Simply set to soak in your hottest tap water or boiling water for about 10 minutes, then drain and use. (If your noodles are thicker, they may need an extra 5-10 minutes to sit in the hot water
I used regular old peanut butter here. If you are starting with natural peanut butter, you may wish to add a pinch of salt and/or sugar and maybe replace 1 Tbsp of the water with oil to help the sauce stick to the noodles. I haven’t tested this. Just thinking out loud :)
Top Tip! Make this dish super quick and easy by starting with pre-cooked chicken strips. Simply dice and warm in a skillet with the sauce for a few minutes.
I like to do all my vegetable chopping first. Then I set the noodles to soak. Next I mix up the peanut sauce and dice the chicken. Heat both in a skillet or saucepan until the sauce melts and is smooth. Add the softened noodles to the skillet and cook in the sauce for a minute, then toss it all together with vegetables in a large bowl.
If you can’t find Wonton Strips, you could fry up your own from wonton wrappers or I think the fried chow mein noodles would make a decent substitute.
How to Matchstick Carrots
Cutting carrots into matchsticks doesn’t need to be a time-consuming adventure. Simply follow these easy instructions for an easy and painless way to cut carrots into matchsticks.
Peel carrot and cut into 1- inch long pieces.
On a cutting board, with a sharp knife, carefully cut the rounded side off the right side of the carrot.
Place the cut, flat side down and make thin, 1/8-inch or less slices in from the side until you reach the centre.
Flip the carrot again, placing the flat edge at the centre down and make more slices as above, flipping to the flat edge once more.
Take your carrot “planks” and using the tip of a sharp knife, cut into super thin slices. (You can stack two planks together and cut, but any more than that and they get difficult to keep together as you slice).
Where to Buy Wonton Strips
If you have a ready source for Wonton Strips, you are ahead of the game. I couldn’t find any locally, but discovered them on Walmart Canada’s Online Shop. I simply ordered a few bags and had them shipped to my local Walmart for pickup. There are probably other online sources as well. Amazon.com has them as well (linked up below).
Get the Recipe: Buddha Bowl with Chicken
- 2 handfuls baby spinach, or finely chopped broccoli
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and match-sticked
- 1 1/4 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced and cut to 1-inch long pieces
- 1/4 cup green onion, green part only, sliced
- 4 oz rice noodles, broken in half if long
- 1 boneless chicken breast, cooked and diced *see notes
- 1/2 cup creamy peanut butter, **see notes
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
- 2 tsp rice wine vinegar
- 2 tsp sesame oil
- 2 tsp ginger paste, or 1 tsp minced fresh ginger
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar, or 1 Tbsp honey
- 1 Tbsp Asian Chili Garlic paste, plus more to taste
- Fried Wonton Strips
- Additional green onion, sliced
- 2-3 Tbsp finely chopped peanuts, optional
- Prepare vegetables and place into a large bowl. Set aside.
- Set rice noodles to soak in a big bowl with your hottest tap water. (I like to break in half before soaking, if long, as it makes the finished dish easier to eat).
- Prepare peanut sauce by stirring together all the ingredients. Set aside.
- Add peanut sauce to a skillet or large saucepan. Heat over medium heat until melted and smooth. Add diced cooked chicken and cook, stirring, until chicken is warmed through. Drain rice noodles and add to skillet. Toss to coat noodles in sauce.
- Pour noodles over vegetables in large bowl. Toss to combine then transfer to serving bowls. Garnish with wonton strips, additional green onion and some finely chopped peanuts, if you like.
Hi! I’m Jennifer, a home cook schooled by trial and error and almost 40 years of getting dinner on the table! I love to share my favourite recipes, both old and new, together with lots of tips and tricks to hopefully help make your home cooking enjoyable, stress free, rewarding and of course, delicious!
I never leave reviews but this sauce is 5/5
Thanks Katie :) So glad you enjoyed it!
Are the cabbage and Broccoli steamed prior to adding to the bowl?? Making tonight and I can’t wait!!!
Hi Torie, no, you don’t need to steam them (unless you prefer them sauce). If the cabbage is shredded and the broccoli is in fairly small pieces, the heat from the sauce in the skillet should cook off the rawness a bit. They will still be tender crisp. Enjoy :)
One of my favorite recipes! I always double it so that we some leftovers! So quick and easy to make, and incredibly tasty!
I live in Northern Canada where there are not many restaurants – when I make this recipe my family tells me that it’s better than take out!
I ate a lot of Freshii™ buddha bowls to perfect my home-made version :) So glad you are enjoying it. Thanks!
Tastes just like Freshii. I couldn’t find garlic Chili paste in town so used sirracha and doubled it. I also had spinach and broccoli. I added a bit of extra water to the sauce as it was super thick, even with the extra water it was still thick. But the flavour was bang on. The kids are liking it and the husband cleaned his plate. Usually I have a tough crowd but this was a success.
So glad you all enjoyed it, Desiree :) Thanks! What kind of peanut butter did you use? Wondering if the type/brand is what made your sauce extra thick.
I made these and doubled the batch. We have had leftovers for days and my whole family is CRAZY about them! I find myself excited to come home and have it for lunch. We used rice noodles and broccoli and loved this recipe! Thank you so much for sharing! Will for sure make again!
So glad to hear, Emily! It’s my favourite at Freshii and I make it often at home, too. Broccoli is the way they make it at Freshii :) Thanks!
So glad you enjoyed it, Katie! One of my favourites :) Thanks!
We made this at home tonight. Seriously great recipe Jennifer! Turned out brilliantly.
So glad to hear, Glenn :) Thanks!
No Freshii’s here Jennifer, but this looks like something I’d totally enjoy, especially if I could make it at home. Love that peanut suace!
Thanks Mary Ann :)
Girrrrrrl, I LOVE anything with a peanut sauce and this bowl has it goin’ on! Hubby and I often have ‘bowl’ meals during the week and this would be a yummy one to add to the rotation. Pinned :)
Thanks so much, Dawn :)
I could enjoy this lovely and chealthy dish for breakfast lunch and/or dinner! It looks fantastic!
Thanks Chris :)
You had me at spicy peanut sauce! Love those wonton noodles – great idea for added crunch. And who doesn’t LOVE a 30 minute meal! Pinned :)
I can’t resists peanut sauce either, Tricia :) Thanks!
I can certainly see why you would want to create this dish yourself, it sounds delicious.
Thanks so much, Karen :)
I am always in the mood for any dish that has peanut sauce! This looks amazing! Pinned!