Brown rice with spinach and Parmesan cheese is an easy, healthy, one-pot side dish with just a few simple ingredients!
This post is sponsored by ALDI. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Hiya friends! How is the week treating you so far?
Before we get to today’s brown rice with spinach and Parmesan cheese recipe - a delicious and healthy side dish - let me tell you about my latest shopping excursion.
I finally… after years of hearing about it from a good friend who lives close to one… after moving across town and finally having one up the road… after hearing three neighbors in the past couple of weeks talk about going there…
I finally visited an ALDI grocery store. #longoverdue
I went without the kids on a rainy weekend morning and just had a fun time wandering the aisles and seeing what all they had. I came home with a trunk full, too, because there were so many great finds and the prices are incredible!
Oh, two quick tips for any other newbies like me:
1. You'll need a quarter to unlock a shopping cart.
2. Bring your own bags to pack your purchased groceries in - they don't have any (except for purchase). It helps them keep their prices low.
What I love the most about ALDI is how prominently they feature and call out healthier products. You know I’m all about that!
Plus, they have tons of gorgeous produce at a great price. Lots of it is organic, too, if that's important to you.
I also had some serious scores in the freezer section. Veggie burgers, quinoa mixes, tons of meats and lots of great seafood options too.
Definitely my kind of store!
So now I guess I know why everyone’s been telling me to go… 😉
And for today’s recipe, I snagged some SimplyNature Quick Cook Brown Rice, which is ready faster than regular long-grain brown rice and has a better texture than Minute rice, in my opinion.
I also picked up a bag of fresh spinach and a wedge of Parmesan cheese. Parmesan cheese is normally so pricey, but not so much at ALDI! 🙌
OK, so this brown rice with spinach recipe. It’s similar in method to my one-pot broccoli cheese brown rice and easy cheesy zucchini brown rice, meaning we cook the rice with all kinds of flavor, then add the veggies at the end to steam and top it all off with some cheese.
I mean, it’s really kind-of a winner!
And this is so creamy and tender and just perfectly seasoned.
Even M, who sometimes gives a snake eye to green things mixed into foods, loved it!
Notes on this brown rice with spinach:
- You can use chicken or vegetable broth, whatever you have, but do try to use low-sodium so you can control the amount of salt.
- I managed to cram all of the spinach into my pot but if you don’t have room, you can either do it in batches (waiting for the first batch to wilt down before adding more) or just put in as much as you can fit. I tend to like A LOT of spinach 😉
- Serve this with a little extra Parmesan shaved on right at the table. Such a great touch!
- You could also add a sprinkling of pine nuts for a little crunch if you have some.
Oh, and if you don't have quick-cooking brown rice and want to use just regular brown rice (the long grain kind), you can certainly make that substitute.
The only change you need to make is the cook time. Follow the directions and then instead of simmering for 15-20 minutes, you'll need to cook it for 30-35 minutes to get it cooked through and tender.
You could round out the meal with some quick and easy balsamic chicken, or my slow cooker balsamic chicken if you want a hands-off, cooks-all day main dish. It would also go great with pork chops (or my balsamic roasted pork tenderloin with thyme) or a nice steak.
Do try this dish though - I think you’ll really like it!
Have a wonderful weekend!
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 ¼ cups quick cook brown rice (see notes)
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- 2 ½ cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
- 1 (8 oz.) bag fresh spinach, roughly chopped
- ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese (plus extra for serving)
- Heat olive oil in a large pan over medium heat.
- Add onion and sauté 5-6 minutes, until softened. Add garlic and sauté another 30 seconds.
- Add quick cook rice, thyme, salt and pepper and stir to get the rice coated in the oils.
- Add chicken or vegetable broth and bring to a boil. Then cover, lower the heat to medium low and cook 15-20 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed and the rice is cooked through.
- Add chopped fresh spinach on top of the rice, then cover and let sit for 5 minutes off the heat.
- Stir spinach into the rice and add Parmesan cheese. Taste and adjust seasoning and serve hot.
The ALDI SimplyNature quick cook brown rice that I use takes 15-20 minutes to cook. If you are substituting another kind, you may need to adjust the cooking time. Regular long-grain brown rice will need to simmer for 30-35 minutes.
You can use chicken or vegetable broth, whatever you have, but do try to use low-sodium so you can control the amount of salt.
I managed to cram all of the spinach into my pot but if you don’t have room, you can either do it in batches (waiting for the first batch to wilt down before adding more) or just put in as much as you can fit.
I like to serve this with extra Parmesan shaved on right at the table.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 269Total Fat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 309mgFiber: 4gSugar: 1gProtein: 6g