Traditional Spanakorizo-Greek rice with spinach and lemon is at its best with plenty of herbs and lemon. This is one of the great classic dishes of Greek cuisine, delicious, low-calorie, and rich in fiber.

If you love spanakorizo-Greek rice, you will also love these traditional stuffed cabbage rollslahanodolmadesgemista-stuffed tomatoes or Greek stuffed eggplants!

A plate with spanakorizo, a couple of lemon slices and a fork and spoon. Partial view of a loaf of bread, a lemon and a bottle of olive oil.

Why this recipe sings

  • Traditional Spanakorizo-Greek rice with spinach and lemon is a classic delicious dish that suits vegans, vegetarians, and all foodies.
  • It is low-calorie, nutritious, and filling.
  • Budget-friendly, it is easy and quick to prepare with few ingredients.
  • Spinach, dill, and lemon are one of the most beautiful combinations of traditional Greek cuisine. You will find these ingredients in many local cuisines throughout Greece, either in fasting recipes or with meat and seafood dishes.
  • Spanakorizo is exceptionally nutritious. Cooked spinach has higher levels of vitamins A and E, fiber, zinc, thiamin, calcium, and iron. Also, spinach is a rich source of manganese, and essential carotenoids, such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin. The lemons provide many main vitamins like A, B6, and C and minerals such as iron and potassium*.

*Sources: vegetariatimes.com, ehc.edu, petros-syrigos.com

A plate with Greek rice with spinach-spanakorizo, a couple of lemon slices and a fork and spoon. Behind it a loaf of bread, a lemon and lemon half and a bottle of olive oil.

Here is what you need

All the ingredients for making spanakorizo.
  • Fresh spinach leaves. I recommend using fresh ingredients when possible. Having said that, you can substitute with frozen spinach. A 10 oz package of frozen spinach is the equivalent of one pound of fresh spinach. It would be best to drain the packages once they are thawed because they will produce a lot of water.
  • Leek. Its sweetness balances the intense taste of the spinach, and it becomes less bitter.
  • Scallions. finely chopped
  • Carolina rice.
  • Vegetable broth. The broth will give extra flavor, but it’s okay to substitute it with water.
  • Lemons. To finish cooking as well as serving.
  • Dill and parsley. We always used lots of herbs when making spanakorizo. If you have to choose only one, go for the dill.
  • Extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper.

Step by step

A bowl with roughly hand chopped spinach.
Rinse and clean the spinach and trim the stems. Place it in a colander to drain as much water as possible. Using your hands, break leaves into smaller pieces.
Chopped scallions and a chef's knife on a butcher block.
Slice the scallions.
Chopped leeks and a chef's knife on a butcher block.
Slice and roughly chop the leek..
Chopped fresh parsley on a butcher block and a chef's knife.
Chop the fresh parsley and dill.
Sliced leeks and scallions cooking in a pot.
In a wide saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the leek and scallions for 3-4 minutes until they are semi-wilted.
Sliced leeks, scallions and rice cooking in a pot.
dd the rice and continue sautéing for another 2-3 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the rice is translucent.
Spinach leaves cooking in a pot.
Gradually add the spinach to the pot and stir for 4-5 minutes until reduced in size and wilted.
Broth, spinach and rice cooking in a pot.
Add the stock or water, lower the heat, cover with the lid, lower the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes until the rice has puffed up and absorbed most of the liquid.
Spinach and rice in a stockpot.
Don’t worry about having too much liquid left. It will reduce as it cools, and the dish is supposed to be a little saucy.

Spinach, rice and herbs in a stockpot.
Remove the pot from the heat, add lemon juice, dill, parsley, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste, and mix.
Spanakorizo in a stock pot.

Serve spanakorizo with a squeeze of lemon over the rice, which is how Greeks eat it or add feta, greek yogurt, and a sunnyside-up egg. Pass more lemon wedges and slices around the table.

A plate with spanakorizo, a couple of lemon slices and a fork and spoon. Partial view of a loaf of bread, a lemon and a bottle of olive oil.

Tips

  • Sauteing the vegetables, onions, and leeks with the spinach and adding the rice second to saute ensures the rice stays firm. Additionally, it absorbs all the juices from the veggies, which results in significant flavor.
  • It is essential to the success of this spinach rice recipe to slow cook over very low heat.
  • There will be extra liquid in the pot after cooking is finished. Cover the pot and let the rice absorb as much liquid as it needs.
  • You may add some tomato paste or fresh chopped tomatoes and serve it with lemon once again.

Check out my Greek pantry staples 

Cooked this? Rate this recipe! You can also leave a comment below. I love hearing from you!

WANT TO EAT LIKE A GREEK? Subscribe to my newsletter and follow me on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for the latest updates.

The Greek Foodie Logo.
A plate with spanakorizo, a couple of lemon slices and a fork and spoon. Behind it a loaf of bread, a lemon and lemon half and a bottle of olive oil.

Spanakorizo – Greek Rice With Spinach And Lemon

by Jenny | The Greek Foodie
Traditional Spanakorizo-Greek rice with spinach and lemon is one of the great, classic dishes of Greek cuisine, delicious, low-calorie, and rich in fiber.
5 from 14 votes
Print Recipe Pin Recipe
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Greek
Servings 6
Calories 339 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 2 lb fresh spinach leaves washed dried and roughly chopped in medium pieces
  • 1 leek the white part and the tender green part diced
  • 5 scallions finely chopped
  • 1 cup Carolina rice
  • 4 cups vegetable broth warm
  • 1 lemon juiced plus more
  • 1 bunch dill finely chopped
  • 2 bunches parsley finely chopped
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper

Instructions
 

  • In a wide saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat and saute the leek and scallions for 3-4 minutes until they are semi-wilted.
  • Add the rice and continue sautéing for another 2-3 minutes, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the rice is translucent.
  • Gradually add the spinach to the pot and stir for 4-5 minutes until wilted.
  • Add the stock or water, lower the heat, cover with the lid, and simmer for 15 minutes until the rice has puffed up and absorbed most of the liquid.
  • This dish should be saucy.
    Remove the pot from the heat, add lemon juice, dill, parsley, sea salt, and freshly ground pepper to taste, and mix.
  • If desired, drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil and serve in bowls with more lemon wedges around the table.

Notes

    • There will be extra liquid in the pot after cooking is finished. Cover the pot and let the rice absorb as much liquid as it needs. 
    • As a variation, you may add a tablespoon of tomato paste while sauteing the veggies or a cup of fresh chopped tomatoes. Serve it with lemon once again. 
 
Nutritional Info – Please keep in mind that the nutritional information provided is only an estimate and can vary based on the products used.

Nutrition

Calories: 339kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 8gFat: 19gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 13gSodium: 764mgPotassium: 1065mgFiber: 5gSugar: 3gVitamin A: 16476IUVitamin C: 81mgCalcium: 206mgIron: 6mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @thegreekfoodie__ or tag #thegreekfoodie__
Spanakorizo-Greek Rice With Spinach And Lemon

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating




16 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    My goodness, the sauté tips made the flavors absolutely pop for the whole dish, I added cherry tomatoes to the sauté process and I can tell you this will be a dish I make again and again!

  2. 5 stars
    The rice turned out delicious, very flavorful and fresh. It was perfect served with lemony garlic scallops and shrimp.

  3. 5 stars
    This was delicious with a diced tomato and a small amount of tomato paste added to the rice. I served it with Mediterranean seasoned chicken and it was a hit.

  4. 5 stars
    This spinach and lemon dish looks amazingly delicious! A perfect combination that will give each taste a compliment! Such a classic dish that will be loved and enjoyed by many! I totally loved it!

  5. This rice sounds absolutely divine! And I love that it includes spinach, which I love to add to recipes but never know how much since it cooks down so far. Can’t wait to give this a try!

  6. 5 stars
    I have not tried a dish like this before, but it sounds delicious! I love trying new recipes like this, so excited to give it a try!

  7. 5 stars
    I love trying out new foods and this is definitely on my list on what to make next! This looks super delicious and I can’t wait to make it!

  8. Hi Jenny. Wonderful looking recipe . I’m sure it will also taste delicious as of now I have not made this dish but I’m looking at it and admiring how delicious it really looks. However, I have a question regarding the use of spinach. Can I possibly use froze packaged spinach as opposed to the fresh ones?
    I wanted to make it but had no fresh spinach but several packs of the frozen type.
    So, can I, or not🤷‍♂️??? Love to hear from you.

    1. Hello! Apologies for my late reply. Yes, you can absolutely use frozen spinach. It is so convenient. You can let it thaw first or use it as is; you just have to adjust the liquids.
      Thank you so much for checking out this recipe!
      x Jenny