We are big fans of bright fresh flavor, so this Greek Rice was a no brainer recipe for us! Sautéed with butter, garlic and lemon zest then finished off with feta cheese and fresh parsley, this is an easy 10 minute side dish that the whole family will love.
Greek style rice is traditionally made as a pilaf style with spinach and is sometimes referred to ‘spanakorizo’.
I preferred to use parsley in this dish for flavor, however if you would like to turn this into a more traditional ‘spanakorizo’, add in 2 cups of chopped fresh spinach.
To start making your Greek rice, melt butter in a skillet along with lemon zest and fresh chopped garlic. Once butter is fully melted and beginning to bubble, add in pre-cooked white rice. If you don’t feel like making pre-cooked rice, you can certainly use minute rice, or microwave rice. I do recommend using pre-cooked white rice that is ‘leftover’ and has been refrigerated overnight- it allows the rice to fluff up and really soak in the flavor in the warm pan.
After the rice is warmed and stirred in the butter/garlic/lemon zest mixture for about 5 minutes, then add in feta cheese. I like to use crumbled- it really disperses the flavor of the cheese. Mix well to combine.
Next step- add in parsley. You can use any fresh herb you prefer- I just love the peppery, clean taste of parsley! Dill would be great and would match well with the Greek flavors of this rice dish. It is best to add in parsley (or your herb of choice) just before serving so it doesn’t wilt with the warmth of the pan. I recommend reserving some for garnish, as well.
Give one final dash of lemon juice to keep it bright and voila- all done! I love that this side is simple and can use leftovers for a quick and easy dish. You can easily add shrimp, or chicken (precooked or rotisserie would be great!) to make it a full meal.
Your questions answered about this dish!
- Can I add spinach to make it more like Spanokorizo?
- Yes! Add in 2 cups of fresh chopped spinach at the step you would add in the parsley.
- What’s the easiest way to cook rice?
- Oven baking! It’s the only way we cook rice. Learn how here.
- What other herbs can I use?
- Fresh dill, tarragon, or rosemary would be delicious. For any herb in this dish, we recommend fresh for the fullest flavor to infuse the rice.
- Where do I buy feta cheese?
- Your local supermarket. Trader Joes sells it, as does Costco and Sam’s Club.
- What kind of pan do I cook this in?
- I used a regular nonstick skillet.
- Can I make this ahead of time?
- Sure can! Allow it to cool then refrigerate. Reheat in the microwave for 2 minutes, or in a skillet on medium heat for 3-4 minutes.
- How long does it last in the refrigerator?
- Assuming fresh ingredients were used, about 2 days.
- What do I serve this with?
Cheers to easy and delicious (and quick!) side dishes!- Kathi and Rachel
A simple 10 minute side dish of Greek restaurant quality!
- 2 tbsp salted butter
- 1 tbsp lemon zest (about 1 lemon's worth of zest)
- 1 tbsp fresh chopped garlic
- 2 cups precooked white rice (day old/refrigerated is best)
- 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 2 tbsp fresh chopped parsley
- salt and pepper to taste
- 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
In a skillet on medium heat, melt butter. Once bubbling, combine lemon zest and garlic. Stir to combine.
Add precooked rice to skillet. Stir to combine. Turn burner off once rice is warm throughout.
Stir in feta cheese, and parsley. Drizzle with lemon juice, and season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve and enjoy!