Florentine Rice Recipe - Spinach and Parmesan Cheese Rice from Italy

Florentine Rice

Florentine Rice Recipe - Spinach and Parmesan Cheese Rice from Italy
Region / culture: Italy | Preparation time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes | Servings: 4


Florentine Rice
Florentine Rice

Florentine Rice is a delicious and nutritious dish that combines the flavors of fresh spinach, red bell pepper, garlic, and parmesan cheese with toasted pine nuts. This recipe is a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet while still enjoying a flavorful and satisfying meal.


Florentine Rice is inspired by the traditional Italian dish "Risotto alla Fiorentina," which is a creamy rice dish cooked with spinach and parmesan cheese. This version of the dish adds a twist with the addition of red bell pepper and toasted pine nuts for extra flavor and texture.


How to prepare

  1. Remove the stems from the spinach; wash the leaves thoroughly and tear them into large pieces.
  2. Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat; add the spinach, red bell pepper, onions, garlic, pepper, and rosemary.
  3. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes or until the spinach is softened.
  4. Stir in the rice, cheese, and nuts.
  5. Continue stirring until the mixture is thoroughly heated and the cheese is melted.


  • Add cooked chicken or shrimp to the dish for extra protein.
  • Substitute different types of nuts, such as almonds or walnuts, for the pine nuts.
  • Use different types of cheese, such as feta or mozzarella, for a different flavor profile.

Cooking Tips & Tricks

Be sure to thoroughly wash the spinach leaves to remove any dirt or grit before cooking.

- Toasting the pine nuts before adding them to the dish will enhance their flavor and add a nice crunch.

- Use freshly grated parmesan cheese for the best flavor and texture in this dish.

Serving Suggestions

Serve Florentine Rice as a main dish with a side salad or roasted vegetables for a complete meal. It can also be served as a side dish alongside grilled chicken or fish.

Cooking Techniques

Be sure to cook the spinach until it is just wilted to preserve its bright green color and fresh flavor.

- Stir the rice mixture constantly to ensure that the cheese melts evenly and coats the rice.

Ingredient Substitutions

Use olive oil or butter instead of margarine.

- Substitute kale or Swiss chard for the spinach.

- Use any type of cooked rice, such as white or brown rice, in place of the specified amount.

Make Ahead Tips

Florentine Rice can be made ahead of time and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop before serving.

Presentation Ideas

Garnish Florentine Rice with fresh herbs, such as parsley or basil, for a pop of color and flavor. Serve in individual bowls or on a platter for a beautiful presentation.

Pairing Recommendations

Pair Florentine Rice with a crisp white wine, such as Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio, to complement the flavors of the dish. A side of crusty bread or garlic bread is also a great accompaniment.

Storage and Reheating Instructions

Store any leftovers of Florentine Rice in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop until heated through before serving.

Nutrition Information

Calories per serving

Each serving of Florentine Rice contains approximately 300 calories, making it a satisfying and filling meal option.


Florentine Rice is a carbohydrate-rich dish due to the rice and vegetables included in the recipe. Carbohydrates are an important source of energy for the body and can help fuel your daily activities.


The margarine, parmesan cheese, and pine nuts in this recipe contribute to the fat content. While fats are high in calories, they are also essential for absorbing certain vitamins and providing energy for the body.


This dish contains a moderate amount of protein from the cheese and nuts. Protein is important for building and repairing tissues in the body, as well as supporting immune function.

Vitamins and minerals

Florentine Rice is a good source of vitamins and minerals, particularly vitamin A, vitamin C, and iron from the spinach and red bell pepper. These nutrients are important for maintaining healthy skin, immune function, and oxygen transport in the body.


This recipe contains dairy (parmesan cheese) and nuts (pine nuts), which may be allergens for some individuals. Be sure to check for any food allergies before preparing this dish.


Florentine Rice is a well-rounded dish that provides a good balance of carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. It is a nutritious and flavorful option for a meal or side dish.


Florentine Rice is a flavorful and nutritious dish that combines the earthy flavors of spinach and red bell pepper with the richness of parmesan cheese and pine nuts. This recipe is a great way to enjoy a satisfying meal while incorporating more vegetables into your diet.

How did I get this recipe?

The moment I found this recipe is etched in my memory forever. It was a warm summer day in Florence, Italy, and I was strolling through the bustling streets, taking in the sights and sounds of the beautiful city. As I walked past a quaint little cafe, a delicious aroma wafted out, drawing me in like a magnet.

I couldn't resist the temptation and decided to pop in for a quick bite to eat. I ordered a dish called Florentine Rice, curious to see what it was all about. As soon as the first bite touched my lips, I was hooked. The creamy risotto mixed with tender spinach, juicy tomatoes, and flavorful Parmesan cheese was a symphony of flavors in my mouth.

I knew then and there that I had to learn how to make this dish myself. I begged the chef to share his recipe with me, but he simply smiled and shook his head. Determined not to leave without it, I sweet-talked my way into the kitchen and watched him prepare the dish from start to finish.

As he stirred the rice, adding a ladle of hot broth at a time and patiently waiting for it to absorb before adding more, I knew I was witnessing something special. The chef's hands moved with precision and grace, his eyes focused and determined. I took mental notes, memorizing every step and ingredient he used.

After the dish was finished and plated beautifully, he handed me a spoonful to taste. It was even better than I remembered. I thanked him profusely and left the cafe with a skip in my step, eager to recreate the magic in my own kitchen.

Back home, I gathered all the ingredients I needed and set to work. I followed the recipe to a tee, remembering the chef's techniques and tips. As the rice simmered on the stove, I could already smell the familiar aroma that had captivated me in Florence.

When the dish was finally ready, I took a bite and closed my eyes, savoring every mouthful. It was perfect. The flavors were just as I remembered, the texture creamy and comforting. I felt a sense of accomplishment wash over me, knowing that I had mastered the art of making Florentine Rice.

I shared the dish with my family and friends, who were all blown away by how delicious it was. They couldn't believe that I had learned to make it all the way in Italy. I smiled and humbly accepted their praise, knowing that I owed it all to the kind chef who had taken me under his wing for a brief moment.

Since that day, Florentine Rice has become a staple in my cooking repertoire. I make it for special occasions, family gatherings, and sometimes just for myself when I want a taste of Italy. Every time I take a bite, I am transported back to that warm summer day in Florence, standing in that tiny cafe, watching the chef work his magic.

I am forever grateful for the experience and the recipe that has brought so much joy and flavor into my life. It is a reminder that sometimes, the best recipes are not found in cookbooks, but in the hearts and hands of those who love to share their passion for food. And for that, I will always be thankful.


| Italian Recipes | Parmesan Cheese Recipes | Quick And Easy Side Dishes | Rice Recipes | Spinach Recipes |

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