Greek Lemon Basmati Rice with Spinach Spanakorizo in the Instant Pot

Spanakorizo in a bowl
A fantastic Greek side dish full of Greek spices and herbs, garlic, lemon, and spinach.

Greek food has become one of my family’s most requested meals which includes this Greek lemon basmati rice with spinach, Pita Bread, Tzatziki, Greek Chicken, and Greek Salad. This complete meal always leaves us filled up and energized without feeling weighed down.

Now, there is no way I could make all of these things in an hour and a half or 2 hours just before dinner. I like to make the Tzatziki the day before (it tastes better the next day anyway), and by using the Instant Pot to make Greek lemon basmati rice with spinach, I am free to focus my active attention on the chicken and the pita bread.

Spanakorizo in a bowl

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Greek Lemon Basmati Rice with Spinach Ingredients

Gather the following ingredients together to make this delicious Greek lemon basmati rice with spinach.

  • Diced Onion and Garlic – Half of a white onion works great in this recipe. A yellow onion can also work here.
  • Spices – Salt and Pepper are added to taste supplementing the flavor of the main spices, Dill and cumin. While fresh dill is nice to use in this recipe, dried till is a staple in my pantry and can easily be substituted. As a general rule: 1 tsp dried dill = 1 tbsp fresh dill
  • Rice – I like Basmati rice for its texture, just be careful not to damage the individual grains of rice while you are mixing in the lemon and spinach after the rice is cooked. Alternatively, you can use long-grain white rice.
  • Spinach and Lemon – Use the whole lemon for that rich and robust lemony flavor. All of the juice and all of the zest.
  • Broth – I like Chicken stock or chicken broth for the added protein and nutrients, but for a vegetarian option, feel free to use vegetable stock.

Find the complete recipe with measurements and cooking instructions at the bottom of the page.

Greek Lemon Basmati Rice with Spinach Cooking Instructions


Prepare the Herbs and Aromatics: Prepare the fresh dill, onions, garlic, and lemon zest and set aside for later.

Sauté: Add the olive oil and diced onions to the Instant Pot on Sauté for 5 minutes stirring frequently. The goal is to soften the onion, not to caramelize or brown the onion.

Add Aromatics and spices: Add the garlic, cumin, and salt to the onions and sauté for 1-2 minutes until very fragrant. Continue to stir frequently.

Deglaze: Deglaze the pot by adding the chicken stock and scraping the bottom of the pot with a wooden spatula. Be sure to remove any stuck-on bits to prevent the rice from burning.

Add the Rice: Add the basmati rice to the instant pot along with the lemon zest and 1 tbsp of the dill.

Add the Spinach: Once the broth mixture is heated, stir in the spinach so that it wilts and incorporates.

Pressure Cook

Pressure Cook: Pressure cook on high for 8 minutes and allow for a 10 minute slow release.

Season and Serve

Add seasoning: Add the lemon juice, the rest of the dill, and fresh cracked pepper. Gently stir and serve.

Spanakorizo add lemon

Greek Lemon Basmati Rice with Spinach Variations

Some simple variations can easily be made to this recipe. Cooking is often about creativity and experimentation so get creative. If you have leftover kale from a previous meal and no use for it, use it instead of some or all of the spinach.

I don’t always have fresh dill around, but I always have dried dill because it’s a vital ingredient in my favorite salmon recipe which we eat weekly. When you replace dried dill with fresh dill, use 1/3 of the quantity. Dried dill isn’t necessarily more potent, but it takes up a whole lot less space when measuring, so you don’t need as much.

Onions are integral to this recipe, preferably white onions. Don’t have white onions handy? Use shallots, yellow onions, or, in a pinch, red onions.

Basmati rice can be more expensive because of its desirability. If you are working through a huge Costco-sized bag of a different variety of rice, use that. While basmati is preferred, long-grain white rice will do, or brown rice if you prefer. I would encourage you to use long-grain rice either way because short-grain rice will end up with a more sticky consistency.

Spanakorizo Serving Suggestions

A Greek feast is made complete with this delicious Greek lemon basmati rice with spinach. The other dishes we like to have with this wonderful rice include salad, chicken, pita bread, and tzatziki.

Spanakorizo in a bowl

Instant Pot – Greek Spinach Rice (Spanakorizo)

Let us know how you like it!
Total Time: 28 minutes
Yield: 6 people
A fantastic Greek side dish full of Greek spices and herbs, garlic, lemon, and spinach.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • ½ medium onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic diced
  • 1 Lemon Zest and Juice
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 cup basmati rice
  • 8 oz spinach
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp dill – divided (double if fresh dill)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • fresh ground pepper to taste


  • Saute Onions: Heat oil in your Instant Pot on sauté until shimmering. Add diced onions and stir until translucent, 5-7 minutes.
  • Add Spices: Add Garlic, cumin, and salt and saute for 1 more minute until fragrant. Add lemon zest, 1 tbsp of dill, chicken stock, and rice. Stir to deglaze the pan and prevent onions or spices from burning in the bottom of the pot.
  • Pressure Cook: Stir in the spinach until is is wilted and incorporated. Pressure cook on High for 8 minutes and allow the instant pot to do a 10-minute natural pressure release.
  • Stir and serve: Once the pressure has been released, remove the lid and add the lemon juice, the other half of the dill, and fresh cracked black pepper to taste. Gently stir and serve.
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Calories: 178kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 4g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 2mg | Sodium: 341mg | Potassium: 354mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 3560IU | Vitamin C: 12mg | Calcium: 55mg | Iron: 2mg
Course: Sides
Cuisine: Greek
Keyword: Greek, Instant pot, Lemon, pressure cooker, Rice, Spinach

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