Spinach Rice with Feta

I like to add vegetables into whatever I’m eating, whenever I can, and this Spinach Rice with Feta is such a great way to do that. The spinach adds just a little bit of flavor and color, leaving the rice just about as versatile as plain rice, all while giving you an extra little dose of vegetables with very little effort.

The post Spinach Rice with Feta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

I like to add vegetables into whatever I’m eating, whenever I can, and this Spinach Rice with Feta is such a great way to do that. The spinach adds just a little bit of flavor and color, leaving the rice just about as versatile as plain rice, all while giving you an extra little dose of vegetables with very little effort. It’s a great way to add just a little bit more interest to your plate without making your meal prep a lot more difficult.

Overhead view of Spinach Rice with Feta in an oval serving dish with a serving spoon

This simple side dish is inspired by Spanikorizo, a Greek rice dish with spinach and tomatoes (see an authentic spanikorizo recipe here). I pared it down and decided to make it more like a pilaf instead of a saucy tomato dish, and kept the flavors super simple and light, so it would go with just about anything. I also took a major shortcut and used frozen spinach, just to make it as fast and easy as possible (and also because I always have spinach in my freezer). The result is something I know I’m going to be making very often.

What Kind of Rice to Use

The recipe below is written for any type of long grain white rice (regular, jasmine, or basmati all work). Brown rice requires more liquid and a longer cooking time, which may leave the spinach overcooked. Short grain rice varieties, like arborio, will create a sticker end product.

Can I Use Fresh Spinach?

Yes, I used frozen spinach just to make my life easier, but you can certainly do this with fresh spinach, especially if you have some on hand that you’re looking to use up! I suggest chopping the spinach and sautéing it in the pot until wilted, just after sautéing the garlic.

What to Serve with Spinach Rice

This week I served this Spinach Rice as the base for a bowl meal, along with Yogurt Marinated Chicken and some grape tomatoes. This rice would also go great with my Beef Kofta Meatballs and Roasted Vegetables, Sheet Pan Greek Chicken and Vegetables, or Chicken Piccata.

Close up side view of spinach rice with feta on a serving dish
Close up overhead view of spinach rice with feta in a serving dish

Spinach Rice with Feta

This veggie filled Spinach Rice makes a great bed for grilled meats or vegetables, and adds an extra pop of flavor thanks to feta cheese.
Total Cost $3.06 recipe / $0.51 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 1 cup each
Calories 240.97kcal
Author Beth – Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb. frozen chopped spinach $0.65
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced $0.16
  • 2 Tbsp butter $0.14
  • 1.5 cups long grain white rice $0.93
  • 3/4 tsp salt $0.03
  • 2.5 cups water $0.16
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice $0.05
  • 2 oz. feta, crumbled $1.10

Instructions

  • Thaw the spinach by either letting it sit out at room temperature for an hour, or by microwaving for 1-2 minutes. Squeeze the excess moisture out of the spinach (it doesn't have to be extremely dry for this recipe, just make sure it's not pooling water).
  • Add the minced garlic and butter to a medium sauce pot. Sauté the garlic in the butter over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the spinach, rice, salt, lemon juice, and 2.5 cups water to the sauce pot. Stir briefly to combine.
  • Place a lid on the pot, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the water to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low, and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, turn the heat off and let the pot rest, without removing the lid, for an additional five minutes.
  • Fluff the rice with a fork, gently folding the spinach back into the rice (it tends to float to the top during cooking). Finall, sprinkle the feta over top and fold to combine again. Serve hot!

Nutrition

Serving: 1cup | Calories: 240.97kcal | Carbohydrates: 39.48g | Protein: 6.13g | Fat: 6.4g | Sodium: 464.14mg | Fiber: 1.73g
Close up overhead view of spinach rice with feta in a serving dish

How to Make Spinach Rice with Feta – Step by Step Photos

Garlic and butter in a sauce pot

First, thaw ½ lb. frozen chopped spinach (either at room temperature or in the microwave) and then squeeze out the excess water. Mince two cloves of garlic and add them to a medium saucepot with 2 Tbsp butter. Sauté the garlic over medium heat for 1-2 minutes.

Thawed spinach added to the saucepot

Add the thawed and squeezed spinach to the sauce pot.

water being poured into the sauce pot with the rice and spinach

Also add 1.5 cups long grain white rice, ¾ tsp salt, 1 Tbsp lemon juice, and 2.5 cups water.

Stirred rice spinach and water in the saucepot

Give the pot a brief stir to make sure everything is combined (the spinach will float to the top). Place a lid on top, turn the heat up to high, and bring it up to a full boil. Once it reaches a full boil, turn the heat down to low, and let the rice simmer for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and let the rice rest for five minutes, without removing the lid.

Cooked rice being fluffed

After resting for five minutes, remove the lid and fluff the rice with a fork, gently folding the spinach back into the rice as you fluff.

crumbled feta added to rice

Add the crumbled feta to the rice and fold it in to combine (you can save a little to garnish when serving, if you’d like).

Close up overhead view of spinach rice with feta in a serving dish

The post Spinach Rice with Feta appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet

Hello, new favorite! I think of this Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet kind of like “jambalaya light”. It has similar flavors and ingredients as jambalaya, but it’s a slightly scaled back, simplified version, perfect for quick weeknight dinner. And the best part? The leftovers are SO GOOD. So feel free to add this tasty skillet […]

The post Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

Hello, new favorite! I think of this Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet kind of like “jambalaya light”. It has similar flavors and ingredients as jambalaya, but it’s a slightly scaled back, simplified version, perfect for quick weeknight dinner. And the best part? The leftovers are SO GOOD. So feel free to add this tasty skillet to your meal prep rotation!

Cajun Sausage and Rice in the skillet with a wooden spoon and lid half on

What Kind of Sausage Do I Use?

To make this skillet meal taste the best, try to find Andouille sausage, which is a smoked pork sausage commonly used in Louisiana cooking. If you can’t find any in your area (I’m not sure how readily available this is outside the southern U.S.), you can use any smoked sausage in its place. If you want to go so far as to special order some to get the full experience, check out the selection from Cajungrocer.com

Is Cajun Sausage and Rice Spicy?

It can be, depending on the ingredients you use. I used a “medium” heat Andouille sausage, which had a good amount of spicy heat, as well as a little cayenne pepper in my Cajun seasoning blend. If you want to make this dish mild, make sure to get a non-spicy smoked sausage, and you can skip the cayenne pepper in the spices listed in the recipe. 

Can I Use Store Bought Cajun Seasoning?

The recipe below includes a half batch of my homemade Cajun seasoning, minus the salt because the other ingredients in the skillet contained enough salt that I didn’t need to add more. The total amount of spices used is about 1 tablespoon. If you’d like to use a store bought Cajun seasoning blend, first check to see how much salt it contains. Many store bought Cajun seasoning blends contain a lot of salt and are used more like a seasoning salt, or table seasoning, and probably will not work well for this recipe. If the blend you have is mostly just herbs and spices, I would use about 1 Tbsp for this recipe.

Can I Use Brown Rice?

Brown rice requires more liquid and a much longer cook time than white rice, so you will need to take these into account if you attempt to substitute brown rice for the white rice in this recipe. While I haven’t tested a brown rice version, I would probably add at least another cup of chicken broth and increase the simmer time to closer to 40 minutes.

Side view of a skillet full of Cajun Sausage and Rice

 
Side view of a skillet full of Cajun Sausage and Rice

Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet

This easy Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet is the perfect easy and filling weeknight dinner, packed with plenty of smoky-spicy flavor!
Total Cost $7.21 recipe / $1.80 serving
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 4 1.5 cups each
Calories 547.75kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 14 oz. Andouille sausage* $3.99
  • 1 Tbsp cooking oil $0.04
  • 1 bell pepper $0.89
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika $0.10
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano $0.05
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme $0.05
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder $0.02
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper $0.02
  • 1/8 tsp freshly cracked black pepper $0.01
  • 1 15oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes $1.00
  • 1 cup long grain white rice $0.62
  • 1.5 cups chicken broth $0.20
  • 2 green onions, sliced $0.20

Instructions

  • Slice the sausage into ¼-½ inch thick slices. Add the sausage and cooking oil to a deep skillet or Dutch oven and sauté over medium heat until the sausage is well browned. Don't worry if the sausage begins to brown on the bottom of the skillet. That's extra flavor that will cook into the rice later.
  • While the sausage is cooking, dice the bell pepper. Once the sausage is browned, add the bell pepper to the skillet and continue to sauté for about one more minute.
  • Add the spices (smoked paprika, oregano, thyme, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne, and black pepper) to the skillet with the sausage and bell pepper and continue to sauté for one minute more to toast the spices.
  • Add the fire roasted diced tomatoes (with juices), rice, and chicken broth to the skillet. Stir to combine and dissolve any browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.
  • Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come to a full boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let the skillet simmer for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, remove the skillet from the heat and let it rest, with the lid on, for an additional 5 minutes.
  • After the skillet has rested, remove the lid, and fold the sausage and rice to redistribute the rice and sausage throughout. Top with sliced green onions and serve!

Notes

*If you can not find Andouille in your area, use any smoked pork sausage.

Nutrition

Serving: 1.5cups | Calories: 547.75kcal | Carbohydrates: 50.8g | Protein: 22.23g | Fat: 28.8g | Sodium: 1328.93mg | Fiber: 4.15g

Overhead view of a bowl full of Cajun Sausage and Rice with a black fork in the side

How to Make Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet – Step by Step Photos

Andouille sausage package

This is the Andouille sausage that I used. Andouille may not be readily available in all areas, so if you can’t find any, just try to get a smoked pork sausage of some sort instead. You really want that smoky flavor!

Sautéed Andouille in the skillet

Slice the Andouille into medallions and add to a skillet with a tablespoon of cooking oil. Sauté over medium heat until the sausage is well browned. Don’t worry if the bottom of the skillet turns brown. That’s just extra flavor that will soak into the rice later!

Bell pepper and spices added to the skillet

While the sausage is browning, dice one bell pepper. Add it to the skillet and continue to sauté for about a minute. Then add the Cajun seasoning: 1 tsp smoked paprika, ½ tsp dried oregano, ½ tsp dried thyme, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp onion powder, ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper, and ⅛ tsp freshly cracked black pepper. Continue to sauté the spices for another minute.

Tomatoes, rice, and broth added to the skillet

Next, add one 15oz. can fire roasted diced tomatoes (with juices), 1 cup long grain white rice, and 1.5 cups chicken broth to the skillet. Stir to combine and dissolve those browned bits off the bottom of the skillet.

Skillet ready to simmer

Once everything is combined, place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low and let the skillet simmer for 20 minutes. (Pictured: before simmering)

Simmered sausage and rice skillet

After simmering for 20 minutes, remove it from the heat and let it rest for an additional five minutes (with the lid on). After resting, it will look like the photo above.

Stirred Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet

Fold everything together to redistribute the sausage, rice, and bell peppers. OMG it looks so good at this point I just want to dive in!

Finished Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet with green onions

Top the skillet with sliced green onions and serve! It’s rich, spicy, smoky, and all around DELICIOUS.

The post Cajun Sausage and Rice Skillet appeared first on Budget Bytes.

One Pot Lemon Artichoke Chicken and Rice

As this unusual summer draws to a close, it’s time to start moving into new routines for fall. Having a routine dinnertime can be so helpful when the world feels like it has turned upside down. Connecting with your loved ones over a great meal on a regular basis can help provide a sense of […]

The post One Pot Lemon Artichoke Chicken and Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.

As this unusual summer draws to a close, it’s time to start moving into new routines for fall. Having a routine dinnertime can be so helpful when the world feels like it has turned upside down. Connecting with your loved ones over a great meal on a regular basis can help provide a sense of stability, normalcy, and gratitude for the simple things in life. Easy recipes like this One Pot Lemon Artichoke Chicken and Rice will make getting back into a dinnertime routine a breeze. 30 minutes, one pot, and you’re done! And don’t forget to get your family or roommates involved—the cooking process can be just as fun and therapeutic as the meal itself!

This post is sponsored by ALDI. Ingredient prices and availability may vary. Find an ALDI store near you here, or visit ALDI on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, or Instagram.

One Pot Lemon Artichoke Chicken and Rice in the skillet with lemon and garlic on the side

Grocery shopping at ALDI has been crucial to helping me get back into a routine among all the chaos this year. The small size of the store makes it easy to just get in, get out, and on my way, all without sacrificing selection. They’ve got all my grocery basics, tons of fresh produce (organics, too), and plenty of fun specialty and seasonal ingredients that inspire me to make delicious and flavorful meals, like this Lemon Artichoke Chicken and Rice.

For this easy one pot meal I combined the briny flavor of artichokes with bright fresh lemon, a pinch of red pepper flakes for a little kick, and a light sprinkle of salty feta to give every bite a little pop. And yes, you can get all of these ingredients at ALDI, even the artichoke hearts and feta (their specialty cheese selection is top notch)! It’s the classic and comforting combination of chicken and rice dish with an elevated flavor twist. 

What Type of Pot Should I Use?

You will need a pot or skillet that has a tight fitting lid for this recipe. I used a 3 quart covered deep skillet, but a Dutch oven will also work well. You could even make this in a rice cooker, if your stove top rice cooking skills still need a little work! Just add everything to your rice cooker, give it a brief stir, and set it to the regular rice cooking cycle.

Tips for One Pot Rice Recipes

As with all “one pot” recipes, having good cookware is key. Using a good quality pot or pan that heats evenly will ensure that your rice cooks thoroughly and evenly without burning. Avoid thin or lightweight cookware as these can tend to cause hot and cold spots that don’t cook evenly.

Make sure to let the chicken and rice “rest” for about 5 minutes after turning off the heat. This allows the steam to redistribute throughout the rice, producing a more even texture and loosening any grains from the bottom of the pot.

Use a pot or pan that is close in size to your burner. Using a pot that is too wide for the burner may cause the outside edges to under cook.

What Can I Serve on the Side?

I consider this a “one pot meal” that is filling and diverse enough that it wouldn’t necessarily require a side dish, but if you want to up the vegetable content of your meal, a simple side salad of mixed greens, grape tomatoes, and a light vinaigrette would be a perfect light side. And yes, you can get all the ingredients for an awesome side salad like that at ALDI! ;)

A bowl of one pot lemon artichoke chicken and rice with a fork in the side

 
Finished one pot lemon artichoke chicken in the skillet

One Pot Lemon Artichoke Chicken and Rice

Get back into routines with this easy One Pot Lemon Artichoke Chicken and Rice dinner. 30 minutes, one pot, and you're done!
Total Cost $7.39 recipe / $1.85 serving
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 409.48kcal
Author Beth - Budget Bytes

Ingredients

  • 1 fresh lemon $0.43
  • 1 lb. Kirkwood Fresh Chicken Breasts (boneless, skinless) $2.49
  • 2 Tbsp Carlini Extra Virgin Olive Oil $0.23
  • 4 cloves garlic $0.16
  • 1 tsp Stonemill Dried Oregano $0.10
  • 1/4 tsp Stonemill Crushed Red Pepper $0.02
  • ¼ tsp salt $0.02
  • 1 12oz. jar Tuscan Garden Quartered Artichoke Hearts $2.59
  • 1 cup Earthly Grains Long Grain White Rice $0.25
  • 1.5 cups Chef's Cupboard Chicken Broth $0.45
  • 1 oz. Emporium Selection Feta Cheese Crumbles $0.55

Optional Garnish

  • 2 Tbsp chopped parsley $0.10

Instructions

  • Zest and juice the lemon. You'll need about 2 Tbsp lemon juice and ½ tsp lemon zest (plus some for garnish).
  • Drain and roughly chop the artichoke hearts. Mince the garlic. Cut the chicken breast into ½-inch pieces.
  • Add the olive oil to a deep skillet or Dutch oven and heat over medium. Once hot, add the chicken pieces and sauté over medium for about 2 minutes (it will not be fully cooked at this point).
  • Add the minced garlic, oregano, red pepper, and salt to the skillet with the chicken. Continue to sauté for about one minute more.
  • Finally, add the artichoke hearts, uncooked rice, chicken broth, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, and ½ tsp lemon zest to the skillet. Stir briefly to combine, place a lid on top, then turn the heat up to medium-high.
  • Allow the broth to come up to a full boil, then turn the heat down to low or just above low to reduce the broth to a simmer. Let the chicken and rice simmer for 15 minutes without lifting the lid or stirring. After 15 minutes, remove the skillet from the heat and let it rest, undisturbed, for five minutes more.
  • Finally, lift the lid, fluff the rice with a fork, and gently redistribute the chicken and artichoke hearts throughout the rice. Top the skillet with crumbled feta, another pinch of lemon zest, and chopped parsley (if desired). Serve hot and enjoy!

Notes

*Ingredient prices and availability may vary.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g | Calories: 409.48kcal | Carbohydrates: 43.65g | Protein: 31.73g | Fat: 11.65g | Sodium: 880mg | Fiber: 4.25g

Find more easy one pot recipes that you can make with ALDI ingredients in our One Pot Meals category.

How to Make One Pot Lemon Artichoke Chicken and Rice – Step by Step Photos

One Pot Lemon Artichoke Chicken and Rice Ingredients

Here is everything you need to make this super simple One Pot Lemon Artichoke Chicken and Rice (all purchased from ALDI!).

Zest and juice a lemon

Start by zesting and juicing a fresh lemon. You’ll need about 2 Tbsp lemon juice (that’s about half the lemon) and ½ tsp lemon zest, plus some for garnishing.

Chopped artichoke hearts

Drain one 12oz. jar of quartered artichoke hearts, then roughly chop them into smaller bite-sized pieces. Mince four cloves of garlic.

Chopped chicken breast

Cut one pound boneless, skinless chicken breast into ½-inch pieces.

Cooked chicken in the skillet with spices.

Add 2 Tbsp olive oil to a large skillet or Dutch oven and heat over medium. Once hot, add the chicken pieces and sauté for about 2 minutes (the chicken will not be fully cooked at this point). Add the minced garlic, 1 tsp dried oregano, ¼ tsp crushed red pepper, and ¼ tsp salt to the skillet with the chicken. Continue to sauté for one minute more.

Artichokes, rice, and broth added to the skillet

Add 1 cup uncooked long grain white rice, the chopped artichoke hearts, 1.5 cups chicken broth, 2 Tbsp lemon juice, and ½ tsp lemon zest to the skillet. 

Ingredients in the skillet stirred before cooking.

Stir the ingredients briefly to combine.

Cooked lemon artichoke chicken and rice in the skillet before fluffing

Place a lid on the skillet, turn the heat up to medium-high, and allow the broth to come up to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, turn the heat down to low or just above low to lower the broth to a simmer. Allow it to simmer for 15 minutes without lifting the lid or stirring. After 15 minutes, remove the skillet from the heat and let it rest with the lid in place for 5 more minutes.

Finished and garnished lemon artichoke chicken and rice in the skillet

After allowing the chicken and rice to rest for five minutes, lift the lid, fluff the rice, and gently stir to redistribute the chicken and artichokes throughout the rice. Garnish with another pinch of lemon zest and some chopped parsley, if desired.

Finished one pot lemon artichoke chicken in the skillet

Serve hot and enjoy!

The post One Pot Lemon Artichoke Chicken and Rice appeared first on Budget Bytes.