Garlic & Spinach Parmesan Rice

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This is fast food, Mouse House style.

We eat a lot of rice. It’s almost always our starch of choice over pasta. This rice is bursting with fresh spinach flavor. It’s salty, garlicky, and laced with a heavenly amount of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

And hey, with a little bit of fresh garlic and all that spinach, it’s *almost* health food.

Spinach is packed with vitamin C, magnesium, and folate. Fresh garlic is full of allicin, a compound some studies have found helps fight infections, but that breaks down when cooked.

Garlic & Spinach Parmesan Rice—a fresh, fast, and easy side dish

And of course, the most important parts: It’s loaded with flavor and it’s a total breeze to make.

The hot rice melts the cheese and warms up the spinach and garlic just enough, but still leaves both with plenty of bite.

For an extra satisfying meal, toss in some leftover roast chicken or a handful of sliced almonds.

Vampires beware

One tiny word of warning. Because the garlic only comes into contact with the hot rice, it’s still really very raw. This means that this rice is super-duper (duper, duper) garlicky.

If that’s not your cup of tea, cut down on the amount of garlic, or toss the garlic in the pot when you cook the rice.

A note on ingredients and technique for garlic & spinach parmesan rice

Use any rice you like. I prefer the nuttiness of Basmati (cooked by absorbtion method with a ratio of 1 part rice : 2 parts water), but jasmine would also work. Use fresh rice, or just reheat leftovers.

This is more technique than exact recipe. Measurements are approximate. Use more or less garlic, spinach, and cheese, depending on your tastes.

The following proportions yield a salty, cheese-y, spinach-y rice. Don’t add any extra salt until the end. There’s already plenty in there from the Parmesan.

Garlic & Spinach Parmesan Rice

1 1/2 cups cooked Basmati rice
1-2 cups baby spinach, loosely packed
1 small clove garlic, mashed
2 Tbls. freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly cracked black pepper

Prep or cook the Basmati rice

If you’re using leftover rice, start by heating it up.

If you’re using fresh rice, set a pot of it to cook.

(Put 1 part rice and 2 parts water in a medium-sized pot, bring to a boil, cover and lower the heat, then turn the heat off to finish cooking when most of the liquid has been absorbed.)

Garlic & Spinach Parmesan Rice: Prep your ingredients

When your rice is ready, set it aside and prep the other ingredients quickly.

Measure out the baby spinach (pick out any blemished leaves and discard them).

Give it a quick rinse and pat it dry with paper towels if you like (or give it a whirl in a salad spinner).

Mince the spinach.

I like mine to look about like this:

Put the minced spinach in a bowl. Add the mashed garlic.

Toss on some freshly cracked black pepper.

Add the Parmesan.

With a fork, toss all the ingredients together to combine them well. You want to evenly distribute the cheese, and make sure that you break up any larger lumps of garlic.

Garlic & Spinach Parmesan Rice: Assemble the dish

Top the spinach mixture with the hot rice.

Mix the rice and spinach together with a fork until well combined.

It should look about like this:

And that’s it!

Garlic & Spinach Parmesan Rice: Serve and enjoy!

Nowadays, I tend to use chopsticks more often than a fork.

For any New Year’s dieters out there, this is a great trick for slowing down when you eat. Chances are, you’ll feel fuller after less.


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Jessie Cross is a cookbook author and creator of The Hungry Mouse, a monster online food blog w/500+ recipes. When she's not shopping for cheese or baking pies, Jessie works as an advertising copywriter in Boston. She lives in Salem, Massachusetts with her husband and two small, fluffy wolves.


  1. Interesting...never would have thought of adding parmesan cheese. The Food Critic will probably give this a pass (if I ever try this) because the spinach and the garlic is not cooked! He's just too used to cooked vegs. But I love this. ~Foong~
  2. I tried the recipe yesterday night, it is fabulous and I think it's going to turn into a classic!! I've made another dish with it and took some photos to post , so I'll link my post to your website :))
  3. That looks good. I started adding parmesan cheese to rice and it was good. I stumbled upon this looking for different ways to make it. This is definitely improved. :claps: