Spanakorizo Greek Spinach Rice

5 from 16 votes
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Spanakorizo is a classic Greek spinach rice that’s easy and comforting. You only need a few ingredients to make this delicious spinach rice recipe.

overhead shot of spanakorizo in a pan topped with feta and served with olives and tomatoes.


 

If you’ve tried Greek recipes, you know they are very comforting and nourishing. From moussaka and pastitsio to spanakopita and Greek lemon rice, every dish is made with care and attention, using wholesome fresh ingredients that result in extraordinary flavors.

Speaking of comforting and wonderful taste, this Greek spinach rice called spanakorizo is a favorite that you’ll keep making over and over again!

What Is Spanakorizo?

Spanakorizo is a Greek spinach and rice dish made with a few ingredients. It’s creamy and very comforting, making it the perfect dish to make when you’re looking for something easy and tasty.

This is a nutritious dish since it’s packed with spinach, which is a good source of iron, fiber, antioxidants and vitamins B12 and B6.

You can serve spinach rice hot or cold with some feta sprinkled on top. Just like Fasolakia, this recipe is vegetarian and gluten free, perfect on its own as a meal or with some protein as a side dish.

close up shot of Greek spanakorizo.

What kind Of Rice Is Used For Spanakorizo?

The classic Greek recipes call for medium grain rice also known as “Carolina.” Medium grain rice yields the creamy and smooth texture that we’re looking for in this dish as opposed to short grain rice which would make it sticky.

Long grain rice won’t work for this recipe because it doesn’t give the smooth texture. I also don’t recommend using brown rice since it takes longer to cook which will result in overcooking the spinach.

Depending on the rice you’re about to use, you might need to soak it for 20 to 30 minutes before cooking to get rid of excess starch.

Ingredients

ingredients to make spanakorizo you need rice, spinach, onion, garlic, feta, lemon and green onions.
  • Spinach: I recommend using baby spinach for this recipe. However, regular spinach would work too if you roughly chop it.
  • Rice: As mentioned above, use medium grain rice for the silky and creamy texture. If your rice has too much starch, soak it in cold water for 30 minutes before you start cooking.
  • Herbs: You need a combination of green onions, dried mint and dried dill weed.
  • Tomatoes: I like using canned crushed tomatoes for this recipe. You don’t need a lot, just a bit to boost the flavor.
  • Feta: This is optional, but a nice addition at the very end. For a vegan spanakorizo leave out the feta.

How To Make Spanakorizo

Saute onion and garlic add the spinach and green onions add the herbs and rice and tomatoes. Add water and cook.
  1. Heat the olive oil in a pan and sauté onion and garlic until translucent.
  2. Add in the baby spinach and green onions. Cook until the spinach is wilted.
  3. Add in the dried herbs and stir to combine.
  4. Rinse the rice a few times and add it to the pan with the crushed tomatoes.
  5. Add the water and bring it to a simmer. Cover and cook for about 25 minutes.
  6. The dish is ready once the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked completely.

Variations

There are a few variation of this recipe. Some families use tomato paste or chopped fresh tomatoes instead of crushed tomatoes and that works well, too. As for herbs, some might opt for fresh parsley or dill.

When it comes to consistency, you can make this dish with more water and tomatoes so it has more liquid – or add less so the rice is fluffier. I like to keep the amount of water in the middle, about 2 1/2 cups, so the rice is very creamy yet not soupy.

Serving Suggestions

If you’re looking for a vegetarian meal, Greek spinach rice is a complete meal on its own. You can also serve spanakorizo as a side dish with soutzoukakia, keftedes, chicken souvlaki, pan seared salmon or our favorite baked mahi mahi.

Leftovers And Storage

Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. To serve, you can reheat the leftovers in a pan over medium heat with just a little bit of water. Make sure to cover and pan and stir a few times so it heats evenly.

A pan or Greek spinach rice and a plate with a side of tomatoes and olives.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I make this recipe ahead of time?

Yes, you can make this recipe up to a day ahead of time and heat right before serving. I recommend adding a little bit of water to bring back the creamy texture.

Can I use frozen spinach?

You can use frozen spinach in this recipe and keep it frozen or thawed before adding to the onions.

Should I boil the spinach before cooking?

There is no need to cook the spinach beforehand since it cooks pretty quickly in the pan.

Can I uncover the rice while cooking?

It’s best to keep the lid on for the first 20 minutes after the simmering starts for the rice to get creamy and rich.

Did you make this recipe? I’d love to hear about it! Please comment and leave a 5-star🌟 rating below. You can also follow us on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest or subscribe to our newsletter to get a free e-Cookbook!

5 from 16 votes

Spanakorizo Greek Spinach Rice Recipe

Spanakorizo is a classic Greek spinach rice that's easy and comforting. You only need a few ingredients to make this delicious vegetarian recipe.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 40 minutes
Servings: 4
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Ingredients 

  • 1 cup medium grain rice
  • 2 tbso olive oil, extra virgin
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic , minced
  • 3 green onions, chopped
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 1 1/2 tbsp dill weed
  • 1 tbsp dried mint
  • 1/2 cup crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 lemon , zest and juice
  • 2 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup feta, optional

Instructions 

  • Rinse the rice a few times to get rid of the excess starch and set it aside.
  • Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan or a pot over medium heat. Sauté the onion until translucent. Add in the garlic and cook for a minute.
  • Add the spinach and green onions. Cook for 5 minutes until the spinach is wilted. Then add the dill weed and mint. Give it a good stir and cook for another 2 to 4 minutes.
  • Add the rice, crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Add in the lemon zest, lemon juice and water. Stir and bring it to a simmer.
  • Lower the heat and cover the pan. Cook for 20 to 25 minutes until the rice is fully cooked. It should look creamy and tender.
  • Turn the heat off. Let it sit for 5 minutes and then top with feta and serve.

Video

Notes

  • It’s best to use baby spinach but you can use regular spinach as well. 
  • You can use fresh or frozen spinach for this recipe. 
  • If the rice you’re using is too starchy, soak it in cold water for 20 to 30 minutes before you start cooking. 
  • Store the leftovers in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. Reheat in a pan over medium heat with just a little bot of water. 
  • You can serve spanakorizo as a vegetarian main dish or as a side dish with chicken souvlaki, soutzoukakia, keftedes or Greek style mahi mahi

Nutrition

Calories: 351kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 6g | Cholesterol: 11mg | Sodium: 795mg | Potassium: 386mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 2379IU | Vitamin C: 28mg | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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About Shadi HasanzadeNemati

I'm here to show you how to make delicious Persian, Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food at home. My easy to follow recipes will bring exciting new flavors to your table!

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