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Greek Cuisine ~ Spanakorizo – A Traditional Vegetarian Greek Dish Recipe

| October 11, 2013 | 14 Comments

Many people associate Greek cuisine with lamb, souvlaki, olive oil and feta cheese. However, the vast majority of Greek meals are peasant dishes that use simple ingredients, and are typically vegetarian. Spanakorizo is one of those traditional vegetarian meals that I’ve been eating for years. Its name translates to spinach rice and it is such a simple meal to prepare. I’ve been serving this to my children since they were babies and I love that they still get excited to eat it rather than rolling their eyes at me and mumbling “disgusting” under their breaths.

If you’re not familiar with this meal, it can be somewhat compared to an Italian risotto dish but without any butter or wine. It can be served as the main dish or as a side dish. At our home, I typically serve it as the main dish on the first day, and whatever is left over either makes it into the kid’s lunch boxes the next day or else, it becomes a side dish the following night accompanying some type of meat protein. And all this for maybe $5 total. Definitely not more than $10!

Variations include substituting the spinach with leaks, cabbage, or kale.

CAM00265 (Small)

Spanakorizo - A Traditional Vegetarian Greek Dish


  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized onion or 6 fresh green onions
  • a handful of dill (This is traditionally used but I leave it out)
  • 2 bags fresh broad-leaf spinach
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups of Italian rice (or Arborio rice)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • fresh ground pepper
  • fresh squeezed lemon juice


  1. Heat oil in a medium sized pot over medium-high heat
  2. Chop onions and dill and place in pot, stirring until onions are almost translucent
  3. Roughly chop the spinach and add to pot stirring until spinach wilts and reduces in volume
  4. Add salt and pepper to spinach, stir
  5. Add 3 cups of water and tomato sauce to pot, stir
  6. Let spinach cook on medium heat for 4-5 minutes
  7. Add 3 more cups of water and bring to a boil
  8. Add rice, stir and reduce heat to low
  9. Let this cook for approximately 20 minutes,stirring from time to time and adding more water (if needed) to ensure the rice doesn't stick to the pot
  10. The spanakorizo is ready when the rice is soft and tender (cook longer if required as it depends on the rice)
  11. Serve in a bowl with freshly cracked black pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice on top.

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Category: Appetizers, Food, Friday Food Frenzy, Main Dish, Nutrition, Recipes, Weekly Themes

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Comments (14)

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  1. Victoria Ess says:

    That looks so scrumptious! Thanks for sharing!

  2. Tara Gauthier says:

    I love greek food, this looks like a great dish and I love how affordable it is!

  3. Katina Michelis says:

    It is delicious! Hope you enjoy it:)

  4. jan says:

    I cannot wait to try this out – thx.

  5. Jo-Anne Pfoh says:

    being a vegetarian this is wonderful thanks

  6. I love greek food and would like to try this at home.

  7. kathy downey says:

    This looks delish,thanks for sharing

  8. kathy downey says:

    Tried this dish,I found it ok but but I do not think I would make it again.Could not sell it to the kids.

  9. Susan T. says:

    This is a great way to use up all that fresh spinach that I always have around for smoothies. I’m going to make it with the dill since I LOVE dill!

  10. Amy Lovell says:

    Ive not heard of this before , but looks delicious! Thanks!!

  11. kathy downey says:

    I love greek food

  12. Debbie White Beattie says:

    I like the ingredients in this recipe and it looks really good.

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