A simple dish that brings the flavours of the Mediterranean in a single pot, spanakorizo is a Greek spinach and rice recipe that's naturally vegan and super easy to make. Creamy and light at the same time, spanakorizo can easily stand on its own, but you can also serve it with some crusty bread for a satisfying lunch or dinner.
Spanakorizo is a classic Mediterranean rice recipe made with heaps of fresh spinach, lots of lemon juice, and generous amounts of olive oil.
My version preserves all the great flavours that make spanakorizo incredibly tasty while cutting down on the olive oil a bit.
What goes into spanakorizo?
There are many versions of this Greek rice recipe out there, and some of them include tomatoes or tomato paste.
I prefer to make spanakorizo without tomatoes, as I feel that they somehow distract from the incredible lemon + olive oil combo.
To make this Greek spinach rice, you'll need:
Olive oil — like with most Greek recipes, olive oil is an essential ingredient.
Use the best quality extra virgin olive oil you can find (preferably Greek, if possible) because you really want to feel its flavour in this recipe.
Half of the olive oil mentioned in the ingredients in the recipe card below goes in at the beginning and the other half at the end.
Spring onions — this recipe includes some regular onions and spring onions, too.
The latter adds lots of flavour to the dish, which is actually a perfect meal for a light spring or summer lunch.
You fry the white parts of the spring onion with the regular onion and garlic and add the finely chopped green parts at the end for extra flavour.
Long-grain rice — you can use any type of long-grain rice for this recipe, including basmati. Don't use risotto rice, though, because that's too starchy for this recipe.
Fresh spinach — spinach is what makes this recipe super healthy, as it's full of calcium, iron, folic acid, magnesium, and vitamins A, C, and K.
I use fresh baby spinach for this recipe, but frozen spinach also works.
Wash the spinach, add a little salt, and squeeze it with your hands to remove some but not all of the water.
Lemons — you'll need both the juice and zest of two large lemons for this recipe.
Even though it sounds like a lot, it's really not, and if you love lemons, you can add even more.
How do you make it?
- In a large pot, heat half of the olive oil and fry the onion, garlic, and spring onion for a couple of minutes.
- Next, add the rice and toast it for 1-2 minutes before starting to add the stock gradually.
- When the rice is almost cooked, add the spinach and cook for a couple of minutes until it wilts.
- Stir in the lemon juice, dill, lemon zest and the green parts of the spring onions.
- Drizzle with the rest of the olive oil and serve with some lemon wedges and extra lemon juice if you want.
Recipe tips for the best spinach and rice
- Add the spinach when there's still some liquid left from cooking the rice. The spinach will also release liquid of its own, which will be enough to give the rice the perfect consistency. If you think the rice looks too dry, add a bit more stock.
- Stir the rice very often to prevent it from sticking to the pot. Don't overcook the rice, because the dish will be too mushy.
- If you use frozen spinach, defrost it beforehand and squeeze it to remove some of the water.
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