Spanakorizo or Greek “spinach and rice” is a delicious rice dish that makes the perfect healthy comfort food. This easy recipe was given to me by one of my best friends and I am delighted to share it with you! It’s vegan friendly and gluten free as well.
If you love a cosy rice dish but don’t want to stand there slaving over a risotto, spanakorizo (Greek “spinach and rice”) is for you.
Delicious, veggie packed and flavour packed, this is the kind of rice dish that can really stand on its own. You can use it as more of a side dish with a protein etc. but it’s also lovely just with a dollop of yoghurt and maybe a few chickpeas tossed on top too.
I’ve got absolutely no claims on any kind of authentic Greek cooking however this traditional recipe was given to me by someone who does!
One of my dearest friends and fellow women’s health nutritionist Christiana Velis told me to make spanakorizo when I accidentally received 1 KILO of baby spinach (instead of 100 GRAMS!) in my supermarket delivery a few weeks ago. I am so glad she did because this recipe is damn amazing and I can’t believe how simple it was to make.
Christiana knows me too well. Just like me she is a multi-tasking mother of two and shares a deep love of healthy, satisfying food that isn’t complicated. This recipe ticks all the boxes. It’s also packed with iron, vitamin C, magnesium, folate and fibre to boot.
Anyway – back to the spanakorizo! You only need a few basic pantry items plus the spinach, yet the result is SO good. Your shopping list is:
- brown rice;
- spinach (I used baby spinach because I really needed to use some up, however you can use English spinach which is a bit more thick and sturdy, this is what the original recipe specified);
- tinned tomatoes;
- a brown onion;
- olive oil;
- lemon juice; and
- salt and pepper.
I also added a clove of garlic, which is totally optional!
The method is just as simple. Cook the rice. Brown the onion, wilt the spinach, throw in the rice and tomatoes, simmer, squeeze in lemon juice. Boom you are done. It’s that easy. This basic recipe is gluten free and vegan as well so it suits lots of different eating styles.
I recommend serving with a few generous spoonfuls of thick Greek yoghurt or generous crumble of feta cheese but for dairy free use unsweetened coconut yoghurt, hummus or tahini to add a creamy topping. For protein, add cooked chickpeas as well! You could also use spanakorizo as a side dish to part of a larger meal with grilled meat and salad.
If you make this spanakorizo, comment below or take a snap and tag me on Instagram, I’m over at @moniquecormacknutrition!
- 1 and 1/2 cups brown rice measured uncooked
- 250 grams baby spinach or 2 bunches of English spinach
- 400 grams tinned tomatoes
- 1/2 brown onion
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup water plus extra as needed for cooking
- 1 lemon
- 1 clove garlic optional
- salt and pepper to season
- Cook the rice according to the packet instructions and set aside.
- Wash, rinse and drain the spinach, sprinkle a little salt on once drained. (If you are using bunches of English spinach you'll need to trim the roots off the spinach and chop roughly). Set aside. Peel and dice the onion and the garlic as well, if using the garlic.
- Place a large deep pot on the stove over a medium heat and add the onion, garlic and olive oil. Once the onion begins to brown and turn translucent, add the spinach and stir. Once the spinach is wilted pour in the tomatoes, water and rice, stirring it all together. Season with salt and pepper.
- Bring the mixture to a simmer then turn the heat to low and allow the mixture to very gently simmer and thicken, then remove from the heat and stir in the juice of the lemon. Serve with toppings of choice.