Greek Spinach and Rice recipe (Spanakorizo)

Spanakorizo recipe (Greek spinach rice)

A super healthy and delicious traditional Greek spinach and rice recipe! Spanakorizo (which is translated as spinach and rice) is a classic Greek vegetarian dish which can be served as a side dish or can easily stand on it’s own with some feta cheese and bread.

The two most popular variations are the ‘white’ spanakorizo and the ‘red’ spanakorizo, which contains nothing else than chopped tomatoes. A less well known, non-vegetarian variation of spanakorizo can be made with sausages (recommended only for the adventurous!)

Spanakorizo (Greek spinach rice) – Do it like Popeye!

Spanakorizo is probably one of the healthiest (and easiest!) traditional Greek recipes, which is packed with lots of spinach, a well known ‘super food’.

Spinach contains a abundant amounts of nutrients, such as iron, calcium, vitamins C, A, K, folic acid, magnesium, potassium, lutein and zeaxanthin, that help promote bone, eye and skin health, can help regulate blood pressure and a healthy nervous system and brain function.

What is really impressive is that cooking spinach actually increases its health benefits, as the body cannot break down completely the nutrients in raw spinach. (Tip: lemon juice helps the absorption of calcium and iron).

If you want to make an extra healthy version of this traditional Greek Spanakorizo recipe, I am sure you could use brown rice as a substitute, just take into account the extra cooking time brown rice needs to break down its hard shell.

Traditionally served with feta cheese and lots of lemon, this classic Greek spinach rice is certainly the most delicious way to promote healthier eating habits for you and your family!

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Spanakorizo recipe (Greek spinach rice)

Greek Spinach and Rice recipe (Spanakorizo)

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  • Author: Eli K. Giannopoulos
  • Prep Time: 10 min
  • Cook Time: 20 min
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Category: Main
  • Method: Boiled
  • Cuisine: Greek


Looking for a super healthy and delicious traditional Greek spinach and rice recipe? Spanakorizo is a classic Greek vegetarian dish packed with abundant amounts of nutrients and best of all? Its super simple and easy to make!


  • 1kg fresh or frozen spinach, rinsed and stemmed (35 oz.)
  • 200g rice white rice (7 oz.)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 leek, sliced
  • 1/2 bunch dill, finely chopped
  • 150g tinned chopped tomatoes (5.5 oz.) or 200g of fresh tomatoes, if in season.
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cube vegetable stock
  • salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. To prepare this spanakorizo recipe (Greek spinach and rice), heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the onions, spring onions and leek and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until translucent.
  2. Add the spinach and cook stirring for a few minutes, until wilted. Stir in the tomatoes, the tomato paste, two cups of hot water, the vegetable stock, the rice and season. Reduce heat to low and simmer, covered, for about 20-25 minutes, until the rice is tender.
  3. While the Spanakorizo is simmering away, stir it every so often and check if the pan appears to be getting dry. If it is, add some more hot water and stir.
  4. To know when its ready, take a grain of rice out of the skillet and pinch it with your fingernails. If its white on the inside it needs a little bit longer. When it’s close to ready, season with salt and pepper to taste. Finally, finish the spanakorizo with fresh chopped dill and cook for a a couple more minutes.
  5. Serve this traditional Greek spinach and rice (spanakorizo) with a squeeze of a lemon and top with crumbled feta. Enjoy!


  • Serving Size: 1 plate
  • Calories: 199kcal
  • Sugar: 2.2g
  • Sodium: 416mg
  • Fat: 14.7g
  • Saturated Fat: 2.1g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 11.8g
  • Trans Fat: 0g
  • Carbohydrates: 15.7g
  • Fiber: 3.7g
  • Protein: 4.8g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg

Recipe image gallery:

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  1. I enjoyed reading your comments on spanakorizo. I didn’t think the spinach would be enough for us, so doubled it, as well as the rice and water. It’s still cooking, but smells delicious! We will be having this at dinner time with lemon & feta – I always think it’s better if it sits a while before being eaten. I hadn’t made it for many years (it was my husband’s speciality), and had forgotten how easy it is.

  2. I have returned to report that the recipe turned out very good. Because my husband likes his rice very soft, I used a medium-grain rice, and it seemed to need a little more cooking, and an extra cup of water to prevent sticking. Then I turned off the stove & left the pot covered. Next time, I might change the order and put the rice in after the onions and leek are translucent, and let it cook a few minutes longer before adding the spinach and water.

  3. I am so glad I found this website!! I’m Australian and my hubby is Greek, I’ve Made 8 things so far and all have turned out perfect! Love the handy tips
    Thank you!!

  4. This is so easy, delicious and nutritious. It’s a keeper for me. I’m allergic to onions so they were all omitted but it turned out great anyway (I’m always on the hunt for recipes that I cam omit the onions and still be flavourful and this is one).

  5. Your recipe sounds delicious. I would like to make it. Your ingredients are for how many servings?

    Thank you

    • Eli K. Giannopoulos

      I get about 6-8 medium sized servings out of these or about 4 large servings! Depends on how hungry you are!

  6. Andrea Walters

    Dear Eli,
    I have made this dish several times and it is gorgeous! I unfortunately have to use dried dill (we don’t seem to get fresh here in KwaZulu Natal in South Africa) but it turns out great every time.
    Thank you so much much for your easy to follow recipes and great tips.

    • Eli K. Giannopoulos

      Your welcome Andrea! Indeed dried dill works just as good if you can’t find the fresh one 🙂 Thank you for all your great feedback!

  7. It doesn’t specify, but do you simmer the rice covered or uncovered?

    • Eli K. Giannopoulos

      I prefer covered but it doesn’t make much difference cooking wise. It just stops it from making a mess when cooking 🙂

  8. This looks so good! Wondering if you can make it in advance or does it need to be served freshly cooked?

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