Sushi bake is a great way to enjoy sushi without all the hassle of making it yourself. A twist on a deconstructed sushi roll and baked into a casserole. Quick and easy and perfect for sharing with your family and friends.
I love sushi, like spicy tuna sushi. Or grab and go bites like onigiri and spicy tuna crispy rice.
If you’ve ever tried making sushi at home (or even just had it in a restaurant), you know that it can be pretty complicated. Sushi rolls are tricky, and the rice is hard to get right.
But what if I told you there was an easier way?
Enter: this easy sushi bake recipe. Instead of rolling up your rice and fillings with nori (or seaweed), all you have to do is layer it! It’s like an amazing sushi casserole and perfect for family dinner or a popular potluck dish.
You can even make it ahead of time and store it in the fridge until ready to serve. No more worrying about the nori sticking together or having the ingredients fall out when you slice it up—just make sure you don’t burn yourself trying to eat it too fast!
What is sushi bake?
Think sushi in casserole form. A deconstructed version of sushi. A layer of rice, sushi fillings, and toppings all baked to perfection. A baked sushi roll in a pan served with roasted seaweed.
Best seaweed for sushi casserole
Nori or roasted seaweed is the best for sushi casseroles. You can buy them already cut to size or in large sheets.
Ingredients for a sushi bake
For the sushi rice
- Rice vinegar: This gives the sushi rice its classic zing. I’d recommend using rice vinegar over regular white distilled vinegar.
- Sugar: This gives a nice contrast to the tang and salt.
- Salt: Kosher or table salt will work here.
- Cooked, white rice: Traditional sushi uses Japanese short-grain rice, but I like to use medium grain rice for pan sushi. Either one will do.
For the sushi ingredients
- Cream cheese: Softened works best and makes it easier to mix.
- Mayonnaise: Japanese style Kewpie mayonnaise or regular mayonnaise like Best Foods is my favorite. If you like a little spice you can use spicy mayo here as well
- Imitation crab meat: You can also use real crab meat here if you’d like.
- Cucumber: Adds a pop of color and freshness to the dish.
- Green onions: Also adds a nice pop of color.
- Unagi sauce: Also known as eel sauce and can be found in the Asian aisle at your local grocery store or Asian markets.
- Furikake: Dried seaweed seasoning mix. This can also be found in the Asian aisle or Asian grocery stores.
- Top with sesame seeds and sliced avocados
- Serve with nori sheets (roasted seaweed sheets) and soy sauce for dipping
How to make sushi bake?
Preheat the oven to 450F.
First you’ll need to make the sushi rice. To a small bowl add rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Place in the microwave and heat for 30-60 seconds or until the salt and sugar dissolve.
Pour the vinegar mixture over the cooked rice and stir to combine. Add the seasoned rice to a 9×13 baking dish or casserole dish and spread evenly. Sprinkle half of the furikake over the top of the rice.
Now to make the filling. To a bowl add cream cheese, mayonnaise, crab, cucumber, and green onion. Mix this until everything is well combined. Spread the mixture over the top of the rice. Top with the remaining furikake and drizzle over the unagi sauce.
Bake for 10-15 minutes or just until the top starts to brown and bubble. Cool slightly. Serve with a piece of roasted seaweed sheetsi and ENJOY!
Tips for great sushi rice:
- Be sure to rinse your rice thoroughly before cooking. There is a lot of starch on rice and rinsing will help remove the excess starch.
- You can use a rice cooker for a more hands off approach to cooking. This is a staple appliance in our house as well as many houses in Hawai’i. If you don’t have a rice cooker you can definitely make it on the stove instead.
- Mix vinegar seasoning with cooked rice while it is still hot. Be sure to use a large bowl that will allow you to toss the rice to ensure even coating.
Frequently asked questions
Every maki and temaki sushi roll needs a great nori component. So what better to serve with a sushi bake then with sheets of nori (seasoned, dried seaweed).
Sushi bake is best eaten fresh. If you happen to have leftovers it is best stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
About 3 days in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
You can easily reheat sushi bake in the microwave or oven until heated through. A tip: place a wet napkin over the sushi bake when heating in the microwave to add some moisture back to the dish. The refrigerator can dry out the rice.
Other great appetizers to try
- 3 tablespoons rice vinegar
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 3 cups cooked white rice
- 1/2 cup cream cheese softened
- 1/2 cup mayonnaise
- 6 ounces imitation crab shredded and roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup cucumber diced
- 1/4 cup green onion sliced
- 2 tablespoons unagi sauce
- 1/4 cup furikake
- 1 package nori sheets
- To a small bowl add rice vinegar, sugar, and salt. Microwave for about 30-45 seconds. Stir to combine until sugar and salt has dissolved.
- Add hot rice to a large bowl. Pour vinegar mixture over the rice. Using a rice spoon, fold the rice until rice is well coated. Set aside to cool completely.
- Pre heat oven to 450F.
- To another bowl add cream cheese, mayonnaise, crab, cucumber, and green onion. Stir until well combined.
- Pour rice mixture into a 9×13 baking dish and spread evenly. Sprinkle half of the furikake over the rice.
- Then layer on the crab mixture. Drizzle over the unagi sauce and cover with the remainder of the furikake.
- Place in oven and bake for 10-15 minutes or until the top just starts to brown and bubble.
- Optionally serve with a piece of nori. ENJOY!
© Relle Lum for Keeping It Relle. Please do not copy and paste or screenshot recipes online or on social media. I’d love it if you share a link with a photo instead. Mahalo!
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89 thoughts on “Easy Sushi Bake Recipe”
I would have never thought about a sushi bake! I love sushi but making it is so tedious. Thank you for this I will be sure to make it soon 🙂 great idea!
Aw mahalo for your kind words. Have a great day!
You mentioned sour cream on your video, but in the print it is cream cheese.,.. which one do is correct?
Hi. Yes I apologize for the error in the video. It should say cream cheese. The recipe card is correct.
Is it okay to omit the unagi sauce?
Totally. Add what you want, leave out what you don’t. It’s a very forgiving recipe.
Can i do these without cream cheese?
Sushi bake is very forgiving. You can essentially add any ingredients that you’d like.
Wow, this looks so good! Nice presentation as well.
Thank you for sharing! It was delicious! I tweaked it a little by using real crab meat and instead throwing the cucumber into the mixture, I sliced it up and added to my wrap. Gave it a fresh crunch. Yum!
That’s the nice thing about this recipe, you can totally adjust it to your liking. Thanks for stopping by.
Made this over the weekend…it was so good! Like you’ve mentioned, it’s an easy recipe to adjust to your own preferences. So as someone else mentioned, I did the cucumber on the side. And was told next time they’d like more sushi rice, so I’ll give that a try. And I think I’ll try adding avocado next time.
Will definitely be making this again!
So awesome. Happy to hear. Glad you enjoyed it. Happy Holidays!
This is my go to dish for potlucks. I’ve used sour cream or cream cheese. I use plain rice, not sushi rice. No cucumber or unagi sauce. Add some chopped up shiitake mushrooms and a dash of sriracha. Yummy!
I LOVE Japanese food, and this really hits the spot with out a HUGE SUSHI BILL ! I can make any Sushi Recipe I want, a Dragon Roll, Shrimp Roll Tuna Roll, Teriyaki Beef Chicken Roll , all in a sushi Bake! I really do not eat Raw fish except for Blue Fin Tuna. So this is perfect, Fast & Cost effective. Everytime we go out to eat Sushi it breaks the bank ! Not anymore, Thank you for this recipe!
Yes I love that this is customizable. Thank you for stopping by.
Aloha, Can we sub the imitation crab for tuna?
The great thing about this recipe is you can add whatever you want. Add more, take out what you don’t like, swap out for something else. Truly customizable.
Would you have any recommendations for substitutes for the cream cheese? My friend is dairy free and I would love to make this for her!
There are soy and nut based cream cheese alternatives, however I have never used them before.
Is the rice suppose to harden on the edges of the casserole?
Aloha Krystyne. No it should not be hard. What type of pan did you use? Likely it was overcooked.
Oh wow!! droooooling. Great recipe!
Quick question though– at what point am I able to pause and transport this for about a 3-hr drive before i bake it?
Thank you. You can bake it and then take it on the drive. It’ll keep. If you want to eat it warm you can just pop it in the oven for a little to rewarm it before eating. Hope you enjoy!
Is these a substitute for unagi sauce?
I’d recommend using the unagi sauce, but if you don’t like it or can’t find it you can use oyster sauce or teriyaki sauce.
I was wondering can I substitute crab imitation with fried tempura shrimp?I’m allergic to crabs. If I am not able to, what can I substitue
Hi. The great thing about this recipe is you can customize it to your liking. Take out what you don’t like or can’t eat or add more of what you love.
I am making this recipe for the third time since discovering it about a month ago – it’s that good! Not only is it delicious but it is very simple to put together and it feeds a crowd. I add tobiko to ours. Mahalo for sharing this winning recipe with us!
So happy to hear. Glad you like it. Thank you for sharing.
Can’t wait to try this! Thank you for sharing!! Any thoughts on making extra to freeze?
Aloha Hope. It’s not my favorite thing to do. Freezing it causes the rice to dry out and it’s hard to rehydrate the rice with all the toppings on. I much rather eat it fresh.
Hit the spot and kids LOVED IT!
We make this recipe in my house once a week! Love it and thanks for sharing.
Yay. Love it. Thanks for sharing!
I am just seeing this recipe, and will make it this weekend. Hope you see this.
3 cups of cooked rice…does that mean I cook 3 cups of raw rice, or is that 3 cups AFTER it’s cooked?
Would appreciate reply to my email so I see it sooner. Mahalo.
3 cups of cooked rice after it’s cooked. This is a very flexible recipe. You’ll be fine if it’s not exactly 3 cups. You can definitely add more or less if you’d like.
Thanks for your reply! So how many cups of raw rice is that?
Generally 1-1 1/2 cups.
We’ve made this several times with slightly different variations and it is always a hit with our guests. We serve it with avocado slices. Once we were out of cucumbers so put in shredded carrots and it was delicious.
Thanks for the great recipe! I tried it with pan-fried steak with some garlic and a side of corn, tomatoes, and avocado.
Ooh that sounds yummy.
This is THE BEST!! I make this all the time for parties and it’s always a hit!
Aloha Sonia. So happy to hear. Mahalo for sharing.
Should it really have 1 tablespoon salt and not 1 teaspoon? Too salty.
Aloha Maria. Yes 1 tablespoon for 3 cups of rice. If you find it too salty for you, you can decrease the salt. Mahalo and have a great day.
I just tried this recipe and it was yummy. I added cooked shrimps together with the imitation crab. I also lessen the salt. Thank you so much for sharing it to us.
Aloha Espie. Thanks for stopping by. Have a great day.
What is unagi
Unagi is eel sauce. It’s a thick, sweet and savory sauce almost comparable to teriyaki sauce. It can be found in the Asian aisle at most grocery stores.
Made this and it was such a hit! Even my friend who claimed she doesn’t really like sushi ate a big portion saying it was so good! Only thing I did differently was add avocado to the top after baking and coating it with a mix of sriracha, kewpie, and unagi sauce. Thank you for this recipe! I love your site, which I initially discovered when looking for a recipe for lemon peel gummy bears.
PS Happy Nurses week! Mahalo for all your service!
So great to hear. Thanks for sharing. I appreciate it!
I absolutely love this recipe. I’ve made it a dozen or more times. I make little changes like adding more cucumber or some shrimp or mango. It’s so versatile!
Aloha👍I made this recipe for a BD party I attended. It was a huge hit it was requested to make for our July 4th BBQ. It was delicious. I think this batch I’ll make it a spicy CA roll. I also made your HI macaroni salad. I highly recommend it to everyone to give it a try. easy & delicious.
Love how your videos explain everything so well.
Been to your beautiful state many times. Loved every minute of our time there.
Next recipe I would like to make is HI famous garlic shrimp (truck recipe)
Aloha Malia. So great to hear. Mahalo for sharing. Have a great day.
Do you have any suggestions to make this vegetarian but keep it close to authentic? What can I use instead of crab? I like the idea of making sushi for multiple people and less work
Aloha Amy. Sushi bake is so versatile. You can use any toppings you’d like. You can use avocado, cucumber, or any other filling of your choice. Hope you enjoy.
Hi! I readied the casserole but my plans cancelled. Now, I need the dish for tomorrow. Should I bake it and then refrigerate or refrigerate and bake it tomorrow?
Aloha. It’s best to make the dish the day of. If you absolutely have to make it ahead of time you can prep it the day before, store in the refrigerator, but be sure it’s air tight so the rice does not harden, and bake the day of the event. Hope you enjoy!
This was so much faster to make than regular sushi rolls and gave us the same great taste.
Right. One of the best things about it. Thanks for stopping by!
This sushi bake is SO good! There’s a local sushi restaurant that makes a baked sushi roll that I just love, and this reminds me of it. So happy I can make it at home now!
Yay. So happy to hear. Hope you love it. Thanks for stopping by.
This was such a fun and creative recipe! Will make again!
Yay. So great to hear. Thank you for sharing.
Sushi and bake? I thought this wouldn’t go together but I was wrong. The final dish was nothing sort of amazing 🙂
Right? But so so good. Thanks for stopping by.
Love this recipe! I love all the fresh flavors in it and it’s a great way to use up leftover rice!
I agree. Thank you for stopping by. Have a great day.
This is our favorite way to make sushi! So much easier than rolling it and it feeds everyone! Thank you, it’s delicious!
Agreed! Thank you for stopping by!
Just delicious! I love the freshness you added with cucumber and green onion.
Yay. Yes, just the right pop of color and texture.
Everyone was so satisfied with this easy sushi bake recipe. It is flavorful and so easy to make. I’ll surely have this must-try recipe again for our next family gathering. So excited!
Yay. So happy to hear. Thank you for sharing.
This looks really good – can’t wait to try it.
Hope you enjoy!
Love that a local girl is doing so well with a YouTube channel and blog (among other social media sites as well)! Just made the sushi bake this evening. The only difference I made was, I used half of the mayo and the cream cheese amounts called for, and it was still KILLAH!!!! Mahalo for sharing!
Aloha Selena. Mahalo. Happy to hear. Happy Holidays!
Ignore my comment above–I was reading it wrong and it is all correct–sorry about that! Delicious recipe!
This was amazing!! Relle, I absolutely love your recipes. Our entire family loved this. Thank you for sharing!
Aloha Anita. Thank you for sharing. So happy to hear.
Delicious! This is my 2nd time making it. The second time around I tweaked it to suit our preferences. 1.5 cups uncooked sushi rice + 1.5 cups water in the rice cooker resulted in 3 cups packed cooked rice.
I reduced the salt in the sushi rice from 1 tbsp to .5 tbsp. I omitted the cream cheese entirely. I did a 1/2 cup of cucumber and omitted the green onion. Served on the side was a spicy mayo (5 tbsp mayo + 1 tbsp sriracha). Hubby and I agreed this was just how we like our sushi.
Aloha Brooke. Happy to hear you enjoyed it. Mahalo for sharing.
Seriously the best sushi bake on the internet!
Aw mahalo Annie. You’re too kind. Thank you for the kind words and great review. I appreciate it.