This easy rice side dish is a one-pot wonder when you need a simple recipe to feed a crowd! Creamy Spinach Rice is indeed creamy, thanks to Boursin cheese, heavy cream, and the naturally starchy texture of U.S.-grown medium-grain white rice.
Disclosure: This recipe was created in partnership with the USA Rice Federation. I was compensated for my time. Thanks for supporting the brands that support Street Smart Nutrition!
Are you a fan of creamed spinach? It’s a super simple side dish with a creamy texture and rich flavors, and I love enjoying it at restaurants or at a holiday feast. But there’s a major drawback that keeps me from making it at home: you need a ton of spinach. If you’ve cooked spinach in a similar way, you’ve seen it do its little disappearing act!
This Creamy Spinach Rice recipe draws inspiration from creamed spinach, but adding rice transforms it into something hearty, filling, and needs only a fraction of the spinach!
Why You’ll Love This Creamy Spinach Rice
- Can you say “one-pot wonder”? Minimal dishes are needed to make this easy rice side dish!
- Keep it as a simple side, or add your favorite protein and additional veggies to make it a meal.
- The satisfaction factor is high with this one. The creamy texture and savory flavors make every bite delicious, especially when served hot and fresh!
I’ve once again partnered with the USA Rice Federation to share a rice recipe that represents one of the many ways I enjoy this beloved ingredient at home. This year, I’ll be featuring this Creamy Spinach Rice recipe at every potluck I’m invited to. Let’s get into it!
Creamy Spinach Rice Recipe
This easy rice side dish is short on ingredients and uses a very simple stovetop cooking method. Here’s what you’ll need:
Ingredients: U.S.-grown medium-grain white rice, one carton (4 cups) of low-sodium vegetable or chicken stock, heavy cream, Boursin cheese, parmesan cheese, plenty of spinach, an onion, a little bit of butter, and basic seasonings
Street Smart Nutrition Tip: I look for a package of Boursin cheese, but you can swap this for cream cheese if you have it on hand. One package of Boursin cheese is a little over 5 ounces or about 1/2 cup, so if you’re measuring from a block or tub of cream cheese, base your measurement on that.
Equipment: Heavy-bottomed pot like a Dutch oven, measuring cups and measuring spoons, knife and cutting board, and heat-tolerant spoon for stirring and serving
If you’re using a stainless steel or copper-bottomed pot, adjust the heat as you’re cooking to avoid scorching this creamy spinach rice to your pot. No one wants to spend time scrubbing the pans if they don’t have to!
What kind of rice should I use?
This easy one-pot recipe is versatile enough to make with many varieties of rice. However, I prefer to use U.S.-grown medium-grain white rice when I make this creamy spinach rice recipe. Medium-grain white rice is ideal for dishes with a creamy consistency so it’s my rice of choice any time I’m making this dish. It’s also great for dishes like paella or risotto since there is more amylopectin (sticky starch) than some other types of rice.
Can I use frozen spinach?
Yes! Frozen spinach is a great hack for making creamed spinach since it’s pre-cooked and already reduced in volume. That makes it a good option for this one-pot rice recipe, too.
Frozen spinach often comes in 10 to 12 oz. packages, either bags or blocks. I recommend starting with roughly half (4 to 5 oz) and adding more depending on your tastes. I also suggest thawing it ahead of time and giving it a good squeeze to remove excess moisture. From there, you can add it to your creamy spinach rice as you normally would (Step 4 in the recipe below).
What should I serve with Creamy Spinach Rice?
This easy rice side dish is ripe for customization! Here are a few ideas for intensifying the flavors beyond this basic creamy spinach rice recipe:
- Roasted garlic, either in a granulated form or minced and sauteed with the onion in butter
- Artichokes, which would turn it into a rice-based version of Spinach Artichoke Dip!
- Mushrooms, broccoli, or shredded carrots
- Chopped kale, chard, or other leafy greens
And if you want to turn this side dish into a main entree, it’s as simple as adding your preferred protein. That might look like:
- Chopped or shredded chicken, especially rotisserie-style for convenience
- Grilled shrimp
- Roasted or oven-baked salmon
- Leftover holiday ham or turkey. Whether chopped, shredded or sliced, it’ll be a tasty way to finish it off.
Here’s the recipe for my Easy One-Pot Creamy Spinach Rice!
Easy One-Pot Creamy Spinach Rice
- 1 medium yellow onion, diced
- 2 tbsp butter
- 2 cups U.S.-grown medium-grain white rice
- 4 cups low sodium stock, vegetable or chicken stock recommended
- 1 cup heavy cream, half pint
- 1 package Boursin cheese, 5.2 oz
- 8-10 oz fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- 1/4 tsp MSG
- 1/4 tsp black pepper
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- Begin by heating a heavy-bottom pot such as a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the butter and diced onion and saute until translucent and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
- Add the uncooked U.S.-grown medium grain rice and lightly toast. Then add 3 cups of the low-sodium stock, reserving 1 cup. Add the heavy cream and Boursin cheese, stirring to fully combine. Bring to a low simmer and reduce the heat to avoid scorching.
- Simmer, uncovered, for 10 minutes or until the rice thickens, stirring occasionally.
- After 10 minutes, add the MSG and black pepper, then add the roughly chopped spinach and remaining cup of stock. Carefully stir or fold in to combine, then cover and continue cooking 5 to 7 more minutes.
- Once the rice is fully cooked and all liquid is absorbed, stir in 3/4 cup of the parmesan cheese. Stir to combine, then sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup over the top. Remove from heat, allow to cool slightly, and serve hot.
I hope this Creamy Spinach Rice recipe becomes your new go-to option for family meals, holiday gatherings, and potluck suppers! It also works well as a meal-prep option since leftovers are easy to reheat and last four to five days in the refrigerator.
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