This Healthy Spinach, Feta & Rice Casserole is an easy meal to make and even more delicious to eat! Soft, fluffy rice is mixed with fresh spinach, salty feta, mushrooms, and sun-dried tomatoes, then topped with a delicious cream sauce and baked to perfection in the oven.
Who else is feeling frazzled by summer and just needs an easy dish to get them through the week? Same! This Spinach Feta & Rice Casserole is the ultimate comfort food and incorporates delicious Greek flavors that work perfectly on their own or alongside grilled chicken or steak.
I’m not normally a casserole person in the summer, but I have to say that this one is light enough that it won’t weigh you down, yet hearty enough to be eaten on its own as a delicious vegetarian meal. It’s also fairly healthy and can serve as a delicious side for all your grilling masterpieces this summer. And the addition of the feta cheese gives everything a delicious tangy, salty flavor.
Why This Recipe Works
- Easy. I know I say this for many of the recipes I post here, but this spinach, feta and rice casserole really is easy! Just a few chopped veggies, cooked rice, and a creamy lemon-dill sauce will do the trick. You can even use leftover rice if you want to make it easier! And, if you use an oven-proof skillet, you could even make this in one pan!
- Vegetarian. We’ve been trying to eat less meat lately and this is one of those recipes that doesn’t leave me wanting a protein.
- Versatile side dish. This casserole works great as a side if you are enjoying protein, like grilled chicken, steak, or pork.
- Healthy. I know you probably don’t think “healthy” when you hear the word casserole, but this one really is! All the veggies - spinach, onion, mushrooms sun-dried tomatoes, plus a light cream sauce made of eggs and sour cream (or yogurt) make it a protein-packed healthy rice dish that you won’t feel guilty serving to your family.
- Light but filling. This recipe is not laden down with tons of heavy cheese. Rather it has a light cream sauce with bits of salty feta cheese worked in here and there. It’s light enough for summer but totally satisfying. It’s a true “summer casserole”.
The best part about this easy spinach casserole? You probably have a lot of these ingredients already! Here’s what you’ll need:
- Rice. I used basmati rice cooked in vegetable broth (for extra flavor) but feel free to use whatever you have lingering about, even leftover rice!
- Spinach. You can use fresh or frozen for this recipe, but I find that fresh tastes much better and doesn’t have that sometimes intense spinachy flavor that frozen spinach can have.
- Feta cheese. This salty cheese is one of my favorites and it doesn’t disappoint in this recipe. Look for crumbled feta in the store to save extra time.
- Lemon zest. The lemon in this recipe pairs so nicely with the other flavors, especially the dill.
- Herbs. Fresh dill works best here, but feel free to sub in parsley or even mint.
- Mushrooms. Any type of mushroom will work here. They add a great earthy taste to the dish.
- Sun-dried tomatoes. These little bursts of flavor also add some nice color to the dish.
- Eggs and sour cream. These two ingredients make up the creamy portion of the dish, and the egg gives portions of the rice a crispy, “fried-rice” feel which is really delicious.
How To Make This Easy Spinach Feta & Rice Casserole
This Greek-inspired recipe takes about 45 minutes to make, start to finish, but most of that time is hands-off. Here’s how to do it:
- Make the rice. To start, cook your rice in the instant pot or over the stove, then set aside.
- Sautee the veggies. Sautee your vegetables in a large pan, starting with the onion, then adding the garlic, mushrooms, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes. Add the rice, feta cheese, dill, salt, and pepper to the veggie mixture and stir well to combine.
- Add the eggs and cream. In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs, sour cream, and lemon zest until well combined, then pour over the rice mixture. (The egg/sour cream mixture may be a little lumpy, and that’s ok. It will all cook/blend evenly when you stir it into the rice.
- Bake and serve! Give everything a big stir, then transfer to a large casserole dish, cover it with foil, and bake it at 425 degrees for 25 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes to allow the rice on top to become slightly crispy.
This Greek spinach and rice recipe is really adaptable and can be made with a variety of substitutions:
- Rice. I used basmati rice in this recipe but you can sub that out for any type of rice you have on hand. Orzo would also be a good substitution here.
- Broth. Feel free to use chicken broth if you don’t have vegetable broth (just note that it will no longer be vegetarian).
- Sour cream. You can substitute plain yogurt for sour cream if you don’t have it on hand.
- Herbs. The dill tastes amazing in this recipe, but you could also use parsley, thyme, or even mint as a substitute. Better yet, make your own combo of herbs!
- Spinach. This recipe uses fresh spinach, but frozen spinach works in a pinch too.
Frequently Asked Questions
Absolutely. Like most casseroles, this spinach and rice dish holds up well in the refrigerator. And, the flavor just gets better over time. You can make this ahead and store it, covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. To reheat, simply pop it back into the oven at 425 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, covered.
Yes! To freeze, allow the spinach and rice casserole to cool completely, then place it in an air-tight container and store it in the freezer for up to 3 months.
When ready to reheat the spinach, feta & rice casserole, defrost it overnight and then heat it at 425 degrees until cooked through about 25-30 minutes, covered.
If you make this Healthy Spinach Feta & Rice Casserole, let me know your thoughts in the comments below! And don’t forget to tag me @frontrangefed on Instagram so I can see your masterpiece!
More Easy Side Dishes!
- Jimmy Buffett Cheeseburger Pasta Salad
- Creamy Orzo With Rosemary Brown Butter
- Maple Bacon Brussels Sprouts
- Roasted Garlic And Cauliflower Mash
Healthy Spinach Feta & Rice Casserole
- 2 cups basmati rice
- 4 cups vegetable broth
- 3 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
- 4 large handfuls of fresh spinach
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 oz mushrooms, sliced
- ½ cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- 1 handful fresh dill
- salt and pepper to taste
- 4 large eggs
- ⅔ cup sour cream
- 1 tbsp lemon zest
- Cook the rice by adding the rice and the vegetable broth to an instant pot and cooking on the rice setting (high pressure for 12 minutes). Alternatively, you can cook the rice on the stovetop according to the package instructions.
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- While the rice is cooking and the oven is preheating, heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat. Add the oil and onion and cook until the onion begins to soften and turn translucent about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more, then add the mushrooms, spinach, and sun-dried tomatoes and cook for 3-4 minutes more, until the mushrooms have softened and the spinach has started to wilt.
- Remove the pan from heat and add the cooked rice, feta, dill, salt, and pepper to the pan and mix well until everything is combined.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs, sour cream, and lemon zest together until everything is smooth and well combined. Add the egg mixture to the rice and stir well to combine.
- Transfer the mixture to a greased 9x13 casserole dish and cover with foil. Bake the casserole for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes, or until the top has lightly browned.
- Remove from the oven and serve!
- Rice casserole may be made ahead of time and reheated. If the rice seems dry when reheating, add just a bit of broth and stir well to incorporate before reheating in the microwave or in the oven.
- Works great as a side, or make it a main dish by adding chicken, steak or pork!