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Spinach rice turns rice into a classy side dish! Garlic, dill and feta cheese bring big flavor to this Mediterranean-style dish.

Spinach Rice
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Here’s a fun way to turn everyday rice into a classy side dish: Spinach Rice! After years of cooking, we’re discovering fun tricks like this. Take plain old white rice and cook up a pot with spinach and garlic, then flavor it with a pop of lemon and sprinkle of feta cheese. It’s an elegant Mediterranean-style side dish that you can serve for guests or just use to spice up weeknights. And, it’s a great way to load up on spinach. The savory, fresh flavors are unreal!

How to make spinach rice: the basic concept

Spinach rice is a mix of spinach and rice, and often other aromatic flavors like onion, garlic, dill and feta cheese. The traditional Greek version is called spanakorizo, which often has added tomatoes or tomato paste. This recipe is inspired by the Mediterranean flavors in that dish (if you want a more traditional spin, go to this spanakorizo recipe!).

The basic concept is to cook rice with spinach and seasonings until the liquid is reduced. Note that spinach rice comes out a little more gooey than a traditional fluffy rice: which is what is intended here! Here’s the basic concept (or jump to the recipe below):

  • Sauté garlic in olive oil, then add spinach and wilt. This takes about 3 minutes total.
  • Add water, rice and seasonings and cook 15 minutes. At this point the liquid should be reduced.
  • Allow to rest 5 minutes. This helps the rice to cool and set.
  • Fluff and add lemon juice, dill and feta. These additions brighten the flavors! See below for more.
Spinach Rice

A few notes on serving

One thing we love about this Mediterranean spinach rice: it packs in loads of spinach, which not only adds nutrients but helps to stretch the serving size. Often we can polish off a whole lot of rice, but adding spinach and flavorings helps it to be more satisfying.

Don’t have fresh dill? That’s ok: you can skip it! But it does add quite a bit of fresh flavor (don’t bother adding dried dill). The fresh lemon juice adds quite a punch though: we’d recommend using it if possible.

Ways to serve spinach rice

Spinach rice is the ideal side dish to make your meal seem elegant and thoughtful! We love making it for guests but it also works to class up a weeknight meal. Here are some great ways to serve it:

Spinach Rice

More spinach recipes

Love adding spinach to your recipes? Here are a few more tasty spinach recipes to enjoy this nutritious leafy green:

This spinach rice recipe is…

Vegetarian and gluten-free.

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Spinach Rice

Easy Spinach Rice


5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

5 from 3 reviews

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 to 6 1x

Description

Spinach rice turns rice into a classy side dish! Garlic, dill and feta cheese bring big flavor to this Mediterranean-style dish.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 6 cups (5 ounces) baby spinach (or chopped standard spinach)
  • 1 cup long grain white rice
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (2 tablespoons)
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, optional
  • ¼ cup feta cheese crumbles

Instructions

  1. Mince the garlic. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté 1 minute until fragrant (but not browned). Add spinach and cook until it wilts, about 2 minutes.
  2. Add 2 cups water and bring it to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Add the rice, salt, garlic powder, and onion powder. Make sure it’s simmering, then cover and cook for 15 minutes, uncovering and checking every so often to make sure that the heat is not too high.
  3. After 15 minutes, check to make sure the water is completely cooked out (if not, cook a minute or two longer but it should be done by this point). Remove the heat and let stand covered for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff with a fork, then stir in the lemon juice and chopped dill. Top with feta crumbles and serve.
  • Category: Side dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Rice
  • Diet: Vegetarian

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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8 Comments

  1. Mary Ann G says:

    Can you tell me if it’s okay to use brown rice? sometimes I toast the rice before adding it?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      Hi! I’m not sure if the spinach would over cook in the amount of time it takes brown rice to cook. I’m not sure! Sorry.

  2. kt says:

    Have you ever tried this in a instapot?

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      We haven’t!

  3. Jan Golden says:

    This spinach rice with feta was delicious and so easy to make! I paired it with a parsley crusted cod, and it went together perfectly for a healthy, delicious meal.






    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed!

  4. jacq says:

    came out delicious!
    literally 15 mins total
    rice cooked amazing!






  5. Sonja Overhiser says:

    Let us know if you have any questions!