Greek Spinach and Rice recipe (Spanakorizo)

Greek Spinach and Rice recipe (Spanakorizo)

Posted in 40 minutes or less, Beginner, Boiled, Comfort food, Heartwarming dishes, Main Courses, Mainland Greece, Our hand picked recipes, Side dishes, Traditional Greek Easter Lent recipes, Vegetarian Originally published on Last updated on By

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!


  • 1kg 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
  • (optional) 150g tinned chopped tomatoes (5.5 oz.) or 200g of fresh tomatoes, if in season.
  • (optional) 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 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, a glass of hot water, the rice and season. Reduce heat to low and simmer for about 20-25 minutes, until the rice is tender. During cooking, stir the spanakorizo once in a while and check if the pan appears to be getting dry, and add some more hot water, if needed. Finish the spanakorizo with fresh chopped dill and cook for a few more minutes.
  3. Serve this traditional Greek spinach and rice (spanakorizo) with a squeeze of a lemon and top with crumbled feta. Enjoy!

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  2. 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.

  3. 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.

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