Spinach Rice in Instant Pot | Spanakorizo

March 26, 2018 (Updated: September 9, 2019) By Aneesha |

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Aromatic basmati rice cooked with a boat load of spinach! Here’s an easy pressure cooker and stovetop recipe for flavorful Spinach Rice, a healthy vegan and gluten-free side-dish, that compliments any meal!

Indian spinach rice with cashews

Easy Gluten-Free and Vegan Side Dish

You can elevate your everyday rice into an elegant and delicious side dish with this quick and easy Instant Pot Spinach Rice recipe!

This recipe is naturally gluten-free and can be easily made vegan by using vegetable or coconut oil.

I finish the Instant Pot Spinach Rice with a light squeeze of lime and it tastes divine. I like to add a few cashews or slivered almonds to spinach rice, as they add a nice texture and contrast to the creamy spinach and the soft fluffy rice.

Basmati rice with spinach and cashews

Palak Rice Recipe – Indian Spiced Spinach Rice

Spinach Rice, or Palak Rice is a popular Indian vegetarian side, in which long grain Basmati rice is cooked with fresh spinach, and seasoned with cumin seeds, garam masala (Indian spice blend) and ground coriander.

Spanakorizo Recipe – Greek Style Spinach Rice

Spanakorizo is a simple greek variation for this rice recipe.  If you switch the spices to a mediterranean blend, you have a delicious bowl of Spanakorizo!  That’s pronounced as span-a-ko-reezo.  Now, try saying that 10 times fast 🙂

It is extremely easy to make Spanakorizo by switching a couple of ingredients in this recipe.  Typically flavored with fresh dill, lemon zest and juice, this flavor-packed dish goes really well with a mediterranean themed menu. 

I pair it with these Lamb Chops, or my Mediterranean Chicken and everyone loves it in my home.

I have listed the detailed ingredient list and recipe for Spanakorizo in the recipe card below.

Make a Meal: What to Serve with Spinach Rice

Indian Spiced Spinach Rice

This Instant Pot Spinach Rice has a nice fluffy and creamy texture and taste, due to which it seems like the perfect pairing with most Indian curries. My personal favorite pairings with Spinach rice are:

Spinach rice with Instant pot paneer butter masala
Spinach Rice served with Paneer Butter Masala

Serving Suggestion for Spanakorizo:

How to Make Spinach Rice in Instant Pot

Here’s how I make this delicious Spinach Rice in the Instant Pot. This recipe will work for any electric or programmable pressure cooker like Mealthy Multi Pot.

  • Rinse rice 2-3 times, till water runs clear. If you have the time, soak it for 15 minutes. Rinse and drain before using. Heat ghee in instant pot on SAUTE mode. 
  • Add cumin seeds and wait for them to sizzle, about 15-20 seconds. 
  • Add chopped onions and cashews and saute for 30 seconds.  If you’re adding curry leaves and green chilies, you can add them with the onions. 
  • Add crushed or grated, ginger & garlic, and saute another 30 seconds.
Step by step instructions on how to make Spinach Rice in Instant Pot
  • Add chopped spinach and cilantro and saute for about a minute, till the spinach wilts.  See video for clarity. 
  • Add rinsed and drained rice and saute another minute. 
  • Add spices and stir well. 
Step by step process of Spinach Rice in pressure cooker
  • Add water, stir and close the lid. Cancel SAUTE.
  • Set pressure valve to ‘Sealing’ position if using DUO.  Cook on Manual or Pressure Cook for 6 minutes.
  • Wait 5 minutes before manually releasing the pressure, by turning the valve to venting position (NPR 5).  Open the lid after the pin drops. 
  • Fluff rice with a fork. Let it sit uncovered for 5 minutes.  That allows the extra moisture to evaporate. Squeeze in the juice of half a lime and mix it gently.
Step by step photos showing how to make Spinach Rice in Instant Pot

Pro-Tips for ‘Fluffy’ Delicious Instant Pot Spinach Rice

  • After opening the lid, gently fluff up the rice with a fork.  Lift the rice, not stir. 
  • Remove the Instant Pot insert from the base unit.  Then, let it rest UNCOVERED for 5-10 minutes.  This allows any excess moisture to evaporate.  The result is always fluffy and separated kernels of rice.

Stove-top Recipe

In this recipe, I made the Spinach pilaf in my electric pressure cooker, Instant Pot, but this recipe can very easily be made on the stove-top too. Here’s how:

  1. Rinse rice 2-3 times, till water runs clear. If you have the time, soak it for 20 minutes. Rinse and drain before using.
  2. Heat a heavy bottom sauce pan on medium-high heat and add ghee.
  3. Add cumin seeds and wait for them to sizzle, about 15 seconds.  Add chopped onions and cashews and saute for 30 seconds.  If you’re adding curry leaves and green chilies, you can add them with the onions. 
  4. Next add crushed or grated, ginger & garlic, and saute another 30 seconds.
  5. Chopped spinach and cilantro go in next. Saute for about a minute, till the spinach wilts.  See video for clarity. 
  6. Add rinsed and drained rice and saute another minute.  Next, add spices and water, stir well. 
  7. Bring to a boil and cover the pot. Reduce heat to medium, cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes.
  8. Open lid, gently fluff rice with a fork, add lime juice and mix. Let it sit, uncovered, for 5 minutes before serving. As a result of this resting period, any excess moisture evaporates, therefore, resulting in soft and fluffy rice.
Rice cooked with spinach and spices served in a copper bowl

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Indian spinach rice with cashews

Spinach rice in Instant Pot | Spanakorizo

Aromatic basmati rice cooked with a boat load of spinach! Here's an easy pressure cooker and stovetop recipe for flavorful Spinach Rice, a healthy vegan and gluten-free side-dish, that compliments any meal!
4.89 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate Recipe
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 6 minutes
Resting Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 36 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 163kcal

Ingredients

Indian Style Spinach Rice

  • 1 cup basmati rice : rinsed 2-3 times, soaked for 20 mins if possible
  • 2 teaspoons ghee or oil for vegan option
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1 small onion or 2 shallots thinly sliced or chopped
  • 8-10 curry leaves (optional)
  • 2 green chilies, whole (optional) rinsed and dried
  • 1 tablespoon ginger and garlic, crushed or grated (½ inch ginger + 3 cloves garlic)
  • 6 oz baby spinach (½ bag) chopped fine
  • 2-3 tablespoons fresh chopped cilantro (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons cashews or blanched slivered almonds
  • 1 cup water

Spices for Indian Spinach Rice

Garnish

  • ½ lime juiced : about 1 teaspoon. Add after cooking

Greek style Spinach Rice: Spanakorizo

  • 1 cup basmati rice : rinsed 2-3 times, soaked for 20 mins if possible
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion or 2 shallots thinly sliced or chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic fine chopped or grated
  • 6 oz baby spinach chopped fine
  • ¼ cup fresh chopped dill
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons blanched slivered almonds : optional
  • 1 cup water

Spices for Spanakorizo

Garnish

  • 1 small lemon juiced : about 2 teaspoons, to be added after cooking

Instructions

  • Rinse rice 2-3 times, till water runs clear. If you have the time, soak it for 20 minutes. Rinse and drain before using.
  • Heat ghee in instant pot on SAUTE mode.  Add cumin seeds and wait for them to sizzle, about 15-20 seconds.  Add chopped onions and cashews and saute for 30 seconds.  If you’re adding curry leaves and green chilies, you can add them with the onions.  Add crushed or grated, ginger & garlic, and saute another 30 seconds.
  • Add chopped spinach and cilantro and saute for about a minute, till the spinach wilts.  See video for clarity.  Add rinsed and drained rice and saute another minute.  Add spices and water, stir well.  Close lid.  Cancel SAUTE. Set pressure valve to ‘Sealing’ position.  Cook on Manual or Pressure Cook for 6 minutes.
  • Wait 5 minutes before manually releasing the pressure, by turning the valve to venting position (NPR 5).  Open the lid after the pin drops.  Fluff rice with a fork. Let it sit uncovered for 5 minutes.  Squeeze in the juice of half a lime and mix it gently.

Stove-top Recipe

  • Rinse rice 2-3 times, till water runs clear. If you have the time, soak it for 20 minutes. Rinse and drain before using.
  • Heat a heavy bottom sauce pan on medium-high heat and add ghee or oil.
  • Add cumin seeds and wait for them to sizzle, about 15 seconds.  Add chopped onions and cashews and saute for 30 seconds.  If you’re adding curry leaves and green chilies, you can add them with the onions. 
  • Add crushed or grated, ginger & garlic, and saute another 30 seconds.
  • Add chopped spinach and cilantro and saute for about a minute, till the spinach wilts.  See video for clarity. Add rinsed and drained rice and saute another minute.  Add spices and water, stir well. 
  • Bring to a boil and cover the pot. Reduce heat to medium, cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes.
  • Open lid, gently fluff rice with a fork, add lime juice and mix. Let it sit, uncovered, for 5 minutes before serving. As a result of this resting period, any excess moisture evaporates, therefore, resulting in soft and fluffy rice.

Video

Notes

Pro-Tips for ‘Fluffy’ Delicious Instant Pot Spinach Rice
  • After opening the lid, gently fluff up the rice with a fork.  Lift the rice, not stir. 
  • Remove the Instant Pot insert from the base unit.  Then, let it rest UNCOVERED for 5-10 minutes.  This allows any excess moisture to evaporate.  The result is always fluffy and separated kernels of rice.
  • If you are new to the Instant Pot, please read my FAQ on Instant Pot Terminology and Accessories to learn more.
Note: The nutrition facts below are my estimates.  If you are following any diet plan, I recommend cross-checking with your preferred nutrition calculator.

Nutrition

Calories: 163kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 4mg | Sodium: 320mg | Potassium: 248mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2690IU | Vitamin C: 10.1mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 1.5mg
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Indian, Mediterranean
Keyword: Instant Pot Spinach Rice, Spinach Rice, Spinach Rice in Instant Pot
Did you try this recipe?Mention @SpiceCravings or tag #spicecravings!

HEY! NICE TO MEET YOU!

Aneesha holding a glass of white wine Hi, I'm Aneesha, a foodie by birth and the mind, body and soul behind Spice Cravings. Here I share quick, easy & healthy Indian & global recipes that are low in effort and big on taste! A recipe doesn't make it on the blog unless it is tested multiple times and gets a thumbs-up from my taster-in-chief, my husband, and my teen-chefs, my twin girls!

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Douglas Hernandez
    November 10, 2019 at 3:53 am

    I made this recipe today and it was amazing! I served it with your paneer makhani recipe. My wife loved it, she even told me: “if you have served this to me, and said that you bought it from our favourite Indian restaurant, I would have believed you”. Thanks !

    • Reply
      Aneesha
      November 10, 2019 at 4:10 pm

      Hi Douglas, you and your wife just made my day, thank you 🙂 I’m so happy you both enjoyed this meal so much, it’s one of our favorites! I hope you try some other Indian restaurant favorites like Chicken Tikka Masala and Lamb Korma too!

  • Reply
    BJ
    July 17, 2019 at 11:39 am

    Curry leaves and green chilies are mentioned in Step 2 but not in the ingredient list?

    • Reply
      Aneesha
      July 17, 2019 at 6:22 pm

      Hi BJ, thanks for pointing that out, I fixed that! Hope you try it soon!

  • Reply
    Sam
    June 19, 2019 at 12:32 am

    5 stars
    Nice Recipe! Great way to include spinach in my meal! Will be making it again for sure.

    • Reply
      Aneesha
      June 19, 2019 at 1:24 am

      Hi Sam, thanks so much! I am glad you enjoyed this recipe 🙂

    • Reply
      Douglas Hernandez
      November 5, 2019 at 4:29 pm

      I can’t wait to make this during the following weekend. Do you know if I can freeze it and for how long? Thanks!

      • Reply
        Aneesha
        November 6, 2019 at 8:37 am

        Hi Douglas, this can be frozen for up to 3-4 weeks. But personally, I don’t enjoy the texture of thawed rice, it gets a bit mushy for my taste. That being said, it tastes amazing when fresh 🙂 Hope you enjoy it.

        • Reply
          Douglas Hernandez
          November 9, 2019 at 12:48 am

          Thanks for the feedback. Yes, I noticed that with a recent batch of white rice I froze. My wife is pregnant and I’m trying to stock up on food in the freezer. Any recommendations would be great! Thanks again.

          • Aneesha
            November 9, 2019 at 11:56 am

            Hi Doughlas, Congratulations! How nice that you are thinking ahead of meals- very practical. Some dishes that would freeze well would be Chili (chicken, Black bean), Goulash, Moroccan chickpea soup, salsa chicken, Bolognese sauce, Chicken Corn chowder (add cornstarch after thawing), Mexican Quinoa, Chicken Saag, Pasta Fagioli (I add pasta to it after thawing) etc. All these recipes are on the blog. I’ll post some more as they come to mind. Good luck!

  • Reply
    Renu
    March 6, 2019 at 11:31 am

    Your recipes are good tried many of them… thnx for sharing.
    One quick question why do you not use rice cook button to cook pulaos or biryanis. ?

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      March 6, 2019 at 1:08 pm

      Hi Renu, thank you so much. I am glad you’re enjoying the recipes. As for rice, I’ll say it’s a combination of time and habit. Since I get perfect rice in 6 mins on regular mode, I rarely think of using the rice button, which defaults to 12 mins. Have you observed any texture difference on Rice mode? I’be been wanting to try it for Chicken Pulao. Will try it soon!

  • Reply
    Jan
    June 24, 2018 at 3:27 pm

    I would like to double this recipe…would I just double all the ingredients?
    Can’t wait to make this!

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      June 25, 2018 at 4:37 pm

      Hi Jan, yes, simply double up the ingredients, time remains the same. Enjoy!

  • Reply
    Julie Deane
    June 8, 2018 at 6:08 am

    This recipe sounds simple and delicious. I do have a question though. I thought you had to have at least a cup of liquid every time you cook in a electric pressure cooker, don’t you? Maybe I missed seeing the liquid part in the recipe, is it water like regular rice cooking?

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      June 8, 2018 at 9:16 am

      Thank you Julie! The recipe does have 1 cup of water going in, you might have missed that 🙂 Hope you enjoy it!

  • Reply
    May
    May 26, 2018 at 3:33 pm

    Oh my gosh, this turned out so yummy. Definitely one of the better IP recipes I’ve tried. I used chard from my garden for the greens, but otherwise followed exactly. It made for a seriously yummy and fast lunch!

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      May 26, 2018 at 3:52 pm

      Hi May, That’s awesome! It’s always good to hear that! Chard sounds like a great addition in this recipe. I’ve made this recipe with kale and that came out really good too. Thanks for sharing your experience. I appreciate it!

  • Reply
    radhika neel
    May 4, 2018 at 2:51 pm

    could I use frozen spinach for this recipe. I’d do how would I modify the recipe ?

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      May 5, 2018 at 9:14 am

      Hi Radhika,

      I’ve never used frozen spinach in this recipe, but I am sure you can. I would thaw out the spinach and using a couple of kitchen towels, tightly squeeze out the water from the spinach. You may have to saute the spinach for a few minutes longer to dry it out well. After that just follow the recipe and it should work. Would love to hear how it goes!

  • Reply
    JT
    April 30, 2018 at 8:03 am

    I made the Greek flavored version yesterday for my friends and I! It was DELICIOUS!!! Thank you for sharing this. One question: can I use brown rice for this? What changes would I need to make? Thank you again!

    • Reply
      aneeshasg
      May 1, 2018 at 11:14 am

      Hi JT, I am so glad that you enjoyed this recipe, thanks for sharing your experience! You can make this recipe with Brown rice, but I would add the spinach towards the end after cooking the brown rice, else it’ll get overcooked and mushy. So, I would proceed with the recipe, minus the spinach, and cook the brown rice for 22 mins. QR, open lid and with a fork, stir in the chopped spinach. The heat from the cooked rice will wilt the spinach. Adjust for seasoning if you have to. Let the pot rest, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, that will help dry out the liquid from the spinach. Let me know how this version goes. Here’s a link to brown rice if you need one: https://spicecravings.com/brown-jasmine-rice-in-instant-pot

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