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Spinach & Pistachio Herb Rice (Gluten Free & Vegan)

I grew up with a Korean mom which translates to a 24-hour rice cooker on our kitchen counter throughout my childhood. Rice was a staple at EVERY meal. From Italian pasta to Texas bar-b-que, rice and kimchi would accompany all cuisines when dining with the Prikryls. Rice truly is comfort food to me, so it’s always fun to experiment with how to make it new and interesting. A friend of mine recently shared a Turkish Rice Pilaf with Spinach & Pistachio recipe with me that takes your tastebuds to a dream cloud. (click HERE for the link to that version)

With so many family members and friends that have food allergies or are vegetarian, I’m always inspired to experiment with alternatives to traditional dishes that can fit every diet…a dish that everyone can dig into! My version of this Turkish side dish is gluten-free, vegan and uses brown rice. I like the extra texture and nuttiness that the brown rice adds to this crave-worthy dish. Enjoy!


Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Serves  ~ 4-6


  • 1 cup Brown Rice
  • 10 oz. Spinach
  • 1 medium Onion
  • 1 clove of Garlic
  • 1/2 cup chopped Dill
  • 1/2 cup chopped Parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped Mint
  • 4 oz. dry-roasted unsalted shelled Pistachios
  • 2 cups Vegetable Broth
  • 3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
  • Salt & Pepper to taste

Rinse the brown rice and let it sit in warm water for 10 minutes. Drain.

While the rice in soaking, chop the onion into small chunks. Mince the garlic. On the stovetop, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic. Allow to brown.

Coarse chop the spinach. Add the vegetable broth and spinach to the pan. Let the spinach cook a few minutes until it is wilted and increase the heat until the broth is bubbling. Add the brown rice, then salt and pepper. Cover. Once boiling, reduce heat and cook 25 minutes.

While the rice is cooking, de-stem and chop the dill, parsley and mint. Set aside.

After the rice has cooked 25 minutes, add the herbs and pistachios over the top. Fluff the rice with a fork. Turn the stove off, but keep the hot pan on the stovetop. Place a towel over the top, cover with a lid and let stand an additional 10 minutes.

Add additional salt and pepper to taste.

The traditional recipe uses butter. If you are not dairy-free, use butter to cook the onions. In another pan, melt 2 Tbsp. of butter and toast the pistachios until the butter is frothed and brown. Pour over the top of the rice when you add the herbs at the end.

A great addition for non-vegan friends is grated parmesan. Sprinkle some over the top before serving. It gives the dish some additional flavor and a creamy texture resembling a risotto. Delicious!


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Recipe by Sarah Prikryl // Words & Photography by Sarah Prikryl

© 2016 Sirens and Scoundrels

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