Spanakorizo (Spinach and Rice)

I hope you enjoyed my last post on the health benefits of the Mediterranean Diet. It got me thinking how there are so many great Greek dishes that you can prepare at home easily. This week I thought I would post a favorite of mine. Spanakorizo is a very typical, healthy, and hearty Greek vegetarian dish. Give it a try and let me know how you like it!

Makes approximately 10-12 hearty side servings


  • 2 cups of rice (I prefer brown, the grain used will vary the overall cooking time)
  • Greek extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves of garlic pressed in a garlic press or finely chopped
  • 1 large yellow onion diced
  • 1 ½ cups water (you may need more depending on your grain)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 cups of diced tomatoes (fresh, or canned with no salt or seasoning added)
  • 1 bunch of dill chopped finely
  • 8 cups of spinach chopped if leaves are large (you could easily use more here, this was all I had but ended up wishing I had more, I used baby spinach so it didn’t need to chopped)
  • Optional – crumbled feta or grated cheese

How to do it:

  • Rinse rice and let it sit for a while submerged in water or wet in a strainer (helps reduce cooking time and improve digestibility).
  • In a large pot add olive oil, garlic and onions and sauté until they are soft. Keep stirring so they don’t burn or stick.
  • Add in the grains and continue to stir. Let the grains lightly brown and become fragrant, maybe 2-5 minutes.
  • Add in the water, bay leaves, salt, pepper and tomatoes. Bring to a simmer for 3-5 minutes and continue to stir.
  • Lower the heat and add in dill. You will need to check and stir periodically. If grains start to stick or all liquid is absorbed add more water.
  • Allow it to cook until the grain is 75% cooked (check for the appropriate cooking time of the grain used, brown rice is around 50 minutes in total). Then add in the spinach in bunches. Once it starts to wilt you can stir it in and add more. Cook until grains are fully done and spinach is cooked into the mixture.
  • Optional - Top with crumbled feta cheese or grated cheese.
  • Can be served hot, warm or cold.


Julia xo