Spinach Rice

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Spinach rice is a simple savory side complemented with onion, garlic, and a hint of lemon and parmesan cheese.

rice with spinach

Rice with Spinach

Simple yet flavorful side dishes are always in demand at our house. I should probably add filling and packed with vegetables to that as well.

I often use rice as a base and added various combinations of vegetables and proteins to create a variety of side and main dishes. One of our favorite ways to use leftover roasted vegetables is to make vegetable rice pilaf.

Some might say rice is bland, but I counter that it is so easy to impart delicious savory flavors into a rice dish with a few simple tricks. Vegetables, herbs, garlic, and a few spices and rice becomes the recipe everyone is asking you for.

creamy rice with spinach in skillet with tea towel

I like to start by sauteing the onion until translucent. Add the rice and garlic to the sauteed onions, browning the rice in the skillet. (This is my favorite stovetop skillet.)

Browning the rice before adding the stock develops a rich nutty note to the rice. Next cook the rice in chicken broth or stock, not water. These steps work for any dish you are using rice for.

Now let’s add the spinach and make this spinach rice. Chop your fresh spinach so the small pieces wilt down into the rice. It always seems like so much spinach when it fills the pan. Yet magically it cooks down into the rice.

You will be amazed at how easily you will get dinner on the table with this dish. Weeknight easy, yet delicious for company

rice with fresh spinach in large pan

Spinach and Rice

  •  yellow onion
  • olive oil
  •  garlic
  • white rice
  • chicken broth
  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked pepper
  • fresh baby spinach 
  • fresh lemon juice 
  • freshly shredded Parmesan cheese

Spinach Rice Recipe

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and rice. Cook while stirring constantly for 2 minutes, until the rice has browned.
  2. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
  3. Stir in salt, pepper, and chopped spinach. Cover for 2-3 minutes allowing the spinach to wilt. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired. Cover for 2 minutes to allow the cheese to melt, then serve.

Note: We make this recipe both with and without the optional Parmesan cheese. The kids in our family like it best without the cheese (shocking, I know) and the adults usually enjoy it with cheese. We’ve taken to serving this with an optional sprinkling of cheese on top, instead of stirring it in most of the time.

rice with spinach in large skillet

Quick and Easy Vegetable Dishes

Pasta, rice, and noodles combined with vegetables and some herbs and spices make for a great side dish to complement just about any meal. I have rounded up a few one-pan/skillet combinations you should try.

Broccoli Pasta with garlic, lemon, and Parmesan cheese is a light, flavorful main dish or a perfect side with grilled chicken or steak.

Cabbage and Noodles flavored with little more than butter and a bit of pepper is going to impress you with its simplicity. This an old-fashioned dish that has become a regular comfort food in our household.

Vegetable Fried Rice is filled with so many great flavors and textures, from crunchy sweet corn to tender-crisp broccoli, green beans, zucchini, and more.

Toasted pearl couscous with spinach, chicken, raisins, pine nuts, and a hint of lemon makes a light, warm, salad-like dish.

Spinach and chicken are combined in a creamy green chile sauce for these easy-to-make craveable enchiladas.

creamy rice with spinach in skillet with tea towel

Spinach Rice

Spinach rice is a simple savory side complemented with onion, garlic, and a hint of lemon and parmesan cheese.
Prep Time: 5 mins
Cook Time: 25 mins
Total Time: 30 mins
Servings: 8 servings

Ingredients 

  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped small about 1 cup worth
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • cups uncooked white rice
  • 4 cups chicken broth
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly cracked pepper
  • 8 ounces fresh baby spinach roughly chopped, about 4 cups worth
  • 1½-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice about ½ small lemon
  • 2 tablespoons freshly shredded Parmesan cheese OPTIONAL

Instructions

  • In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm the olive oil. Add the onions and cook for 3-4 minutes, until translucent. Add the garlic and rice. Cook while stirring constantly for 2 minutes, until the rice has browned.
  • Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15 minutes. Stir occasionally to prevent burning.
  • Stir in salt, pepper, and chopped spinach. Cover for 2-3 minutes allowing the spinach to wilt. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, if desired. Cover for 2 minutes to allow the cheese to melt, then serve.

Notes

We make this recipe both with and without the optional Parmesan cheese. The kids in our family like it best without the cheese (shocking, I know) and the adults usually enjoy it with cheese. We’ve taken to serving this with an optional sprinkling of cheese on top, instead of stirring it in most of the time.

Nutrition

Calories: 157kcal · Carbohydrates: 31g · Protein: 5g · Fat: 1g · Saturated Fat: 0.4g · Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.2g · Monounsaturated Fat: 1g · Cholesterol: 3mg · Sodium: 628mg · Potassium: 248mg · Fiber: 1g · Sugar: 1g · Vitamin A: 2672IU · Vitamin C: 10mg · Calcium: 58mg · Iron: 1mg
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Spinach Rice

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