Baked Mediterranean Rice

Mediterranean rice
Foodcollection RF / Getty Images
Ratings (10)
  • Total: 50 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
232 Calories
6g Fat
36g Carbs
8g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
×
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 232
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 6g 8%
Saturated Fat 4g 18%
Cholesterol 17mg 6%
Sodium 696mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 36g 13%
Dietary Fiber 3g 11%
Protein 8g
Calcium 181mg 14%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

This tasty Mediterranean rice recipe is made with just a few everyday ingredients. It's a perfect side to any main course and easy enough for busy weeknights.

The dish features the simple Mediterranean flavors of basil, oregano, tomatoes, spinach, mozzarella, and Parmesan, which create a party for your taste buds. It's so good that taste-testers even swear that it can outshine nearly any entree. Best of all, it couldn't be easier to make and will stay hot for 30 minutes if you keep it covered.​

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups rice (arborio)
  • 1/2 cup sweet onion (diced)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (melted)
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons oregano (fresh, chopped or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 2 tablespoons basil (fresh, chopped or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 1 teaspoon salt (kosher, or to taste)
  • 1 pint tomatoes (cherry or grape, cut in half)
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded; asiago or Italian blend cheese)
  • 8 ounces spinach (baby, stem tips removed)
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese (fresh, grated)
  • Optional: 1/4 cup parsley (fresh, chopped)

Steps to Make It

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Coat an 11 x 13-inch glass or ceramic casserole dish with butter-flavored vegetable spray.

  2. Add the rice and onions to the casserole. Add melted butter and stir until all of the rice is coated.

  3. Stir the oregano, basil, and salt into the chicken broth. Pour over the rice. Evenly place the halved tomatoes over the top.

  4. Bake for 30 minutes or until the rice is al dente.

  5. Remove from the oven and fold the mozzarella cheese and baby spinach into the hot rice until it's evenly distributed. Top with grated Parmesan cheese and parsley.

  6. Cover with foil and let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Tips

  • If you don't have butter on hand, use olive oil instead.
  • At first, it may seem like this is too much spinach for the dish. Keep in mind that the heat will wilt down the spinach to a fraction of its former amount.
  • The spinach is added last in order to preserve its nutrients, color, and texture.

Recipe Variations

  • The arborio rice can be replaced with another white rice or a white and wild rice blend. For an interesting change of pace, try this recipe with orzo and skip the rice completely.
  • Broccoli makes a great substitute for the spinach. If you choose this route, add the broccoli along with the tomatoes. Frozen broccoli does not need to be thawed.
  • If you wish to make this a vegetarian dish, switch from chicken to vegetable broth.