This is a traditional greek dish called ‘spanakorizo’ (pronounced spanako-ri-zo) that literally means rice with spinach. My mom used to make this very often when we were kids as it has simple ingredients that you often have in your pantry and it’s very quick to prepare, ready in 30-40 minutes. How great is that, especially on those busy days when you have too many things to juggle with.
Did I mention that this rice with spinach dish is also a vegan? And it’s not only delicious but full of nutrients too. Spinach has loads of antioxidants, fiber and iron. Lemon juice has vitamin C and helps with the absorption of iron from the spinach. Rice is rich in carbs that give your body loads of energy. What a great combination of vitamins and nutrients!
If you love Greek stews and are looking for more inspiration, a similar dish that we have is lahanorizo (rice with cabbage) or my favorite Greek summer dish with a personnal twist stuffed veggies with bulgur wheat (gemista with pligouri).
Why you should try my recipe
- Greet midweek meal dish, ready in 30-40 minutes.
- A hearty dish, full of flavor and aromas.
- Dairy-free, Gluten-free, Egg-free and Vegan.
- Stores well in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Ingredients & How-to
The main ingredients you are going to need to make spanakorizo are spinach, rice, carrots, lemon, onion, garlic, tomato, fresh parsley, fresh dill, olive oil, salt & pepper. Depending on the season and what I can find in the market, I use baby spinach or the regular one with big leaves. If you use regular spinach then cut it roughly after rinsing it well. With baby spinach you don’t need to cut it, just give it a good wash.
01. To start, I prepare the vegetables for the spanakorizo stew. I cut a large onion into cubes and chop the garlic. I’m using one fresh tomato that I cut into cubes. You could also use ⅓ cup of canned chopped or crushed tomatoes or a tablespoon of tomato paste, but I like to use more fresh vegetables where I can.
02. Although traditional Greek spinach and rice stew doesn’t have any carrots in it, I like to add one or two as it adds more goodness to the stew. I’m using one large or two small carrots that I cut into cubes or slices.
03. Similar to my other stew recipes, I start with a little bit of olive oil in heated pot. I sauté a chopped onion for a couple of minutes until it’s soft and translucent. Then I add the garlic, carrot, tomato, rice and season with salt & pepper. I give it a stir to mix all the ingredients before adding the spinach and herbs in.
04. Finally, I add the spinach, chopped dill and parsley. The spinach has lots of volume, but it will reduce in size with the heat. Then, I add the water to the pot and leave it without the lid until the spinach is wilted. The fresh parsley and dill add some freshness and aromas to the dish, but you could leave them out if you don’t like the taste of them. The lemon juice gives the stew a really nice kick and if you are a fan of lemony food then I recommend squeezing some more on your plate after you serve, I always do!
- Stir the stew occasionally in case you need to add more water and to prevent the rice from sticking to the bottom.
- Fresh spinach and herbs are the best option to elevate the flavors and for more goodness.
- Don’t worry if there is a little bit of water left in the pot. The rice tends to absorb the liquid for a few minutes after you turn off the heat.
- You could use frozen spinach instead of fresh, although I do recommend the latter for a better result.
- You could use ⅓ cup of canned chopped or crushed tomatoes or a tablespoon of tomato paste instead of fresh tomato.
- Instead of fresh herbs, you could use half a tablespoon of dried herbs.
We usually have the spanakorizo as a main with some nice crusty bread on the side and a salad. In Greece, it’s very common to have our stews with a piece of feta cheese on the side or some graviera, a hard goats cheese. For some extra goodness and flavor, you could drizzle a bit of olive oil and lemon juice on your plate after serving.
If you have any leftovers of this Greek rice with spinach stew, you could store it in the fridge for up to 3 days. Just warm it up in the microwave or in a small pan for a couple of minutes and serve. I don’t recommend freezing it as the rice doesn’t taste good when thawed.
What is a spanakorizo? Spanakorizo is a Greek dish made mainly with spinach and rice and it’s pronounced ‘spanako-ri-zo’. It’s a vegan stew that doesn’t require any special cooking skills and it’s ready in 30-40 minutes.
What kind of rice is used for spanakorizo? I’m using easy cook long grain rice for the spinach and rice stew but you could also use short-grain rice like arborio or calrose.
Can I use frozen spinach for the spinach stew? Yes, you could use frozen spinach but it will need less time to cook in this case. I recommend leaving the carrots, tomato and rice to cook for 15 minutes before adding the spinach to the pot. Then cook for 15 more minutes, until the rice is cooked.
Watch the video
Spanakorizo - Greek Rice With SpinachDive into the flavors of Greece with my spanakorizo recipe—a delightful marriage of tender spinach, aromatic rice, and a symphony of Mediterranean herbs and spices. This Greek rice with spinach dish is not only delicious but also full of vitamins and nutrients. Great for lunch with a slice of crusty bread and some feta cheese on the side. Enjoy!
- 9oz / 250gr spinach
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 tomato diced
- 2 carrots cut into cubes
- 2 garlic cloves chopped
- ½ cup long grain rice
- 2 tablespoons of fresh parsley chopped
- 1 tablespoon of fresh dill chopped
- 3 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 lemon
- salt & pepper
- Place a pot over medium heat and add the olive oil in.
- Add the chopped onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes.
- If spinach leaves are too big cut in half. If it's baby spinach leave it as it is and add it to the pot.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the pot: chopped garlic, carrots cut into cubes, diced tomato, chopped parsley, chopped dill, rice and juice of the lemon.
- Season with salt & pepper. Add 2 cups of water.
- Cover with a lid and let it cook for 30 minutes on low heat or until the rice is cooked.
- If there is too much water left after 30 minutes then increase heat to high and cook for a few more minutes.
You can store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days.
Nutrition Info (per serving)
I am not a nutritionist. The nutrition information has been calculated using an on-line calculator, and is intended for information and guidance purposes only. If the nutrition information is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.