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Greek Rice recipe – also known as Spanakorizo – is tender, lemony rice with spinach and dill. This easy recipe has been a reader favorite for years!
What is Spanakorizo?
This Greek Rice recipe – also called Spanakorizo – has been a reader favorite recipe here on A Family Feast for years!
It’s a simple recipe of rice and spinach, flavored with fresh dill and lemon. The combination of flavors goes so well together – this easy side dish goes nicely with grilled seafood, chicken, or lamb kofta.
Why You’ll Love Spanakorizo
- This side dish is a great option when you want to add something fresh and bold to your dinner menu.
- It’s quick and easy – just fifteen minutes of prep and fifteen minutes to cook.
- It’s loaded with lemon and dill flavors – flavors that nicely complement the rice and spinach.
“I have to start by saying that I’ve made 100’s of recipes that I’ve found on Pinterest. This is the only one I’ve felt compelled to leave a review. This rice is the BEST rice dish I’ve ever made. The flavor was amazing. The seasoning was spot on. The rice turned out perfectly fluffy. Maybe it was because of the basmati rice, but I can never get rice to come out fluffy where you can easily separate the grains. I did spend some more time than usual rinsing the rice first. Maybe that’s where I’ve been going wrong all these years! I served the rice with a tomato and cucumber salad and some baked falafel. They were good, but the rice was the star on the plate! I’m so happy to have found it. Hours of searching has paid off big time.” – Stacie P.
Key Ingredients & Substitutions
- Rice – We use basmati, a very aromatic rice with long, slender grains. It cooks up quickly and stays nice and fluffy. Jasmine rice is another option, but it tends to be stickier than basmati.
- Vegetable Broth – We cooked the rice in vegetable broth, rather than water, to give the dish more flavor. If you have homemade vegetable broth, use that, or a good canned variety.
- Spinach – Choose fresh baby spinach for this dish. The young leaves are more tender and sweet, and the stems don’t need to be trimmed. You can use frozen spinach, however, you will want to thaw it first and fully drain, then squeeze out any excess liquids.
- Lemon – You’ll use both the zest and the lemon juice in this dish.
- Dill – Fresh dill will give this recipe the best flavor, so I strongly urge you to seek that out. Dry can be used in a pinch, but the flavors won’t be quite the same. If you don’t like dill, some readers have suggested using Greek Oregano in its place.
- Olive Oil
- Cumin – Not traditionally an ingredient in Greek recipes, this earthy seasoning perfectly complements the other flavors in this dish.
- Salt & Pepper
More Ingredient Options
There are many variations of this recipe – sometimes served with feta cheese, tomatoes, or even an egg on top. While our Greek Rice does not include those ingredients and toppings, you could certainly add them if you’d like.
Be sure to rinse the rice before cooking to ensure that any excess starches are removed. Place the rice in a fine mesh strainer and run under cold water for a few minutes. This will help prevent the rice from sticking together after it cooks.
How do I make Greek Rice?
- Sauté onions and garlic in oil in a medium saucepan.
- Add lemon zest, cumin, and fresh spinach. Cover pan and cook until the spinach wilts.
- Stir in the rice, vegetable broth, some of the dill, and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cover the pot. Cook until the rice is tender.
- Stir in lemon juice and more fresh dill.
- Serve immediately. Add more lemon zest for garnish if you’d like.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I make Greek Rice ahead of time? Yes – although freshly made is best since you are adding fresh herbs.
- How do I reheat the leftovers? Gently reheat leftovers in the microwave until warmed through.
- Can I made this in a rice cooker? We haven’t tried doing so ourselves, but in the comments below, we did have a reader write to tell us that she successfully made it in her rice cooker.
- Can I use frozen spinach in this recipe? Yes, however you’ll want to make sure to thaw and thoroughly drain out any excess moisture. We suggest squeezing the thawed spinach in paper towels or cheesecloth.
- Can I use chicken stock instead of vegetable broth? Yes, you can.
This Greek Rice recipe originally appeared on A Family Feast in 2014. We’ve updated the post and photos, but the delicious recipe remains the same.
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- 1 cup basmati rice
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 cup chopped onion
- 1 tablespoon garlic
- Zest from one lemon
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 pound baby spinach (8 ounces), coarsely chopped
- 2 cups vegetable broth
- 4 tablespoons fresh dill, chopped and divided
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- A few grinds freshly ground black pepper
- Juice from one lemon, about three tablespoons
- Measure out and rinse the basmati rice under running cold water. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a medium sauce pan over medium heat. Sauté onions until translucent (about 3-5 minutes). Add garlic and sauté for another minute.
- Add the lemon zest, cumin and spinach and cover the pan. Cook until the spinach wilts down (about 3-5 minutes).
- Stir the rice, vegetable broth, 2 tablespoons of the dill, salt and pepper into the spinach mixture and stir to combine. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to a simmer, replacing the lid on the pan, and cook until the rice is tender, about 15 minutes.
- Stir in the lemon juice and the remaining fresh dill before serving.
- Optional garnish with lemon strands.
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