Make this traditional Greek rice stuffing for your next holiday dinner. Super flavorful and adds a great element of uniqueness to your holiday table!
This post was originally published on 12/17/2014
I grew up eating this rice stuffing every Christmas and it was always one of my favorite dishes. I turned it into a vegan version and love that I can continue to share it with my family every year!
Traditional Greek Rice Stuffing
When I think of the holidays, this stuffing is top of my list. I didn’t grow up eating bread based stuffing, my parents are immigrants so our holidays always had a Greek twist, and my mom’s stuffing was one of my favorite parts of the holiday season.
History of Greek rice stuffing
In Greece there is no such thing as Thanksgiving, so stuffing is always made for Christmas. This particular version is one that my yiayia (grandmother in Greek) made and my own mom adapted throughout the years.
Growing up my mom didn’t have a lot of money, in fact there were times they weren’t sure if food would last long enough, so when it came time for Christmas they used what they had. This stuffing used the parts of the turkey you wouldn’t eat otherwise, liver and giblets.
I know, not my idea of yum. LOL But such was life in a poor Greek village. Other people were able to use ground beef and chestnuts, but those cost money.
My mom’s version started out using it to stuff our thanksgiving turkey as we adapted to American traditions, and then at Christmas she would make it as a side dish to lamb (another Greek Christmas tradition).
As time went on it has evolved into purely vegetarian side dish. It’s now at the table every Christmas, and often Thanksgiving as well, which means we always have something we love to eat!
Prepping stuffing ahead of time
Since the holidays are usually filled with craziness, it’s great to have a few things you can make the days before. This Greek rice stuffing is one of those recipes. In fact, I’d say that it almost tastes better the next day!
If you want to prep ahead of the prep ahead (does that even make sense? LOL), there are a few things you can do:
- chop all the veggies and herbs
- partially cook the rice
When it’s time to make it everything will be primed and ready!
How to store leftover rice stuffing
I always store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge. It stores great, and you can even freeze it if you want to. However I doubt you will have enough left to do so.
When you are ready to eat it again, it can easily be heated in the microwave, or you can put it in a glass baking dish and warm it in the oven. You may need to add some broth so it doesn’t dry out, but don’t put too much liquid because it will get mushy.
How to Make Greek Rice Stuffing
This rice stuffing has a few steps but totally worth the amazing end result!
- Partially cook the rice.
- Sauté the other ingredients.
- Add the rice and transfer to a baking dish.
- Bake and serve!
What do I serve with rice stuffing?
Since we make this rice stuffing during the holidays, I have loads of other side dishes, and a few main meals, that we eat this with. Here are some of our favorite:
- Smoky maple carrots with lemon thyme drizzle
- Maple roasted brussels sprouts
- Vegan scalloped cauliflower
- Peas with scallions and dill
- Greek vegan moussaka
- Sautéed spinach
Traditional Greek Holiday Rice Stuffing
- 2 cups brown rice medley , and wild, brown or mixed rice works
- 3 ½ cups veggie broth to cook rice , you can also use water but won’t be as flavorful (use low sodium if needed)
- 6 tablespoons seedless currants
- 1 cup white cooking wine , you can cub veggie broth
- 1 cup chopped sweet or yellow onion
- 3 garlic cloves , finely chopped
- 1/4 cup finely chopped celery
- drizzle your favorite oil for sautéing , or use about 1/2 cup broth if oil free, may need more if it gets too dry (low sodium if needed)
- 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley
- 1/2- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt , adjust for preference
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 cup pine nuts , you can sub another nut like walnuts
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- Preheat oven to 350°F/180°C.
- Soak the currants in the wine (or veggie broth).
- Partially cook the rice in veggie broth or water, you can use a rice cooker but watch it carefully so it doesn’t over cook. If using the stove top method, watch it so it doesn’t burn. Cook for about 2/3 as long as the directions state.
- Sauté onions, garlic and celery with a drizzle of oil or the broth in a pan over medium heat until browned. If using broth, use about half the veggie broth to start then add more as needed.
- Add parsley, salt and pepper and sauté a few more minutes.
- Add currants with the wine/veggie broth, pine nuts and almonds. Simmer for a few minutes.
- Add rice and simmer for a few more minutes. Add more veggie broth if it’s too dry.
- Serve as is or transfer to a baking dish and cover with foil, watching so it doesn’t get too dry. Bake for 5-10 minutes.
- Soaking the currants in white wine really helps with flavor but you can also do veggie broth if you don’t use wine.
- Servings vary between 8-10 depending on what else you are serving.
- Precook rice and chop veggies/herbs to be ready when you make it.
Recipe by Veggies Don’t Bite, visit our site for more great plant-based recipes.