Lebanese Spinach Stew

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Lebanese Spinach Stew– Tender spinach, ground beef, onion, garlic and lemon give this easy Beef and spinach dish tons of flavor! This simple spinach stew is also known as Sabanekh w Riz in Arabic– which translates to spinach and rice.

Lebanese Spinach Stew- Sabanekh w Riz

One of my favorite Lebanese Stews that I can quickly whip up when short on time or when I need a healthy meal, is this Lebanese Spinach Stew. This stew is made with ground beef, but can easily be made vegan, here you’ll find the vegan spinach stew version.

Lebanese Spinach stew is often served over Lebanese vermicelli rice in Middle Eastern cuisine and is ready in less than 30 minutes! I like to serve it with crusty bread, but you could have it over rice or another grain of your choice if you prefer.

Ingredients Needed to Make Lebanese Spinach Stew:

(Scroll all the way down to recipe card for exact measurements and a printable option.)

  • Fresh spinach: Wilted into the stew just before serving.
  • Ground beef– I use 90% fat.
  • Onion and garlic: The start to any good Lebanese stew.
  • Lemon juice: for a tangy touch
  • Olive oil: Extra virgin
  • Middle Eastern spices: all spice, black pepper and salt all go into this stew.

How to Make Sabanekh w Riz- Lebanese Spinach and Rice:

  • Toast the pine nuts with olive oil, if using. Set aside.
  • Sauté the onions and garlic. Heat the olive oil in a pot and cook for a few minutes until softened.
  • Add in and cook the ground beef, salt and spices.
  • Add fresh chopped spinach and cook for few minutes. Remove from heat, add fresh squeezed lemon juice.

Pro Tip: Add spinach gradually, in batches: When adding fresh spinach, at first, it may feel like all these leaves will not fit in the pot. But add them in batches and I guarantee you it will fit. Due to heat fresh spinach leaves will be significantly wilt and reduced.

  • Taste and adjust salt/sour- add more lemon juice or salt if needed.
  • Sprinkle with toasted pine nuts and serve over rice.
  • Enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I use frozen spinach to make Lebanese Spinach and Rice?

You’ll find many recipes that call for frozen spinach, I prefer to use fresh spinach for this stew. You will need a lot of it, around 1.5 pounds (or three 6 oz bags of baby spinach) because fresh spinach tends to lose half of its volume after cooking. However, if you don’t have fresh spinach on hand or if spinach is out of season, you can use frozen spinach, you’ll need two 10 ounces packs.

Is Spinach Stew Healthy?

Spinach is super healthy! This notorious leafy green, is low carb but high in fiber. Spinach is also packed in Vitamin A, C, K1, calcium, folic acid, and iron.

What to Serve with Lebanese Spinach Stew:

All Lebanese Stews are almost always served over Lebanese vermicelli rice, I have a step by step recipe on how to make it. If your looking for a low calorie alternative, spinach stew also pairs well with quinoa.

How to Store this Lebanese Spinach Stew- Sabanekh:

To store: Let this Lebanese spinach stew come to room temperature before storing it in the fridge in an air tight container for up to 4 days.

To Freeze The stew also freezes well, just defrost it overnight in the fridge and reheat it on the stovetop or in the microwave.

More Spinach Recipes:

If your looking for more healthy recipes with Spinach, I have a few more on the blog:

Chicken Spinach Fettuccine Alfredo

Pasta with Chicken and White Sauce Casserole

Quinoa Hummus Bowl

Spinach Lentil Soup

Lebanese Spinach Pies

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This Lebanese Spinach Stew makes great leftovers, so it’s ideal for meal prep and taking for work lunches during the week.

If you Make this Lebanese Spinach Stew recipe, or any other recipe on Salt & Sweet, then don’t forget to rate it and let me know how it turned out for you!

Healthy Spinach Stew

Lebanese spinach stew

Lebanese Spinach Stew

Yield: 4-6
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Healthy, hearty Lebanese spinach stew made with simple ingredients and can be ready in less than 30 minutes!


  • 1.5 pounds fresh spinach- washed and an chopped into thick pieces
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • One medium onion- diced
  • 5 garlic cloves- cut into thin slices
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground all spice

For pine nuts- if using


  1. Prepare the pine nuts: in a small sauce pan, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium low heat. Add pine nuts and cook until golden brown for about 4 minutes. Mixing constantly to avoid burning them. Set aside.
  2. In a deep pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add diced onion, salt and garlic and cook until wilted but not browned. For about 8 - 10 minutes.
  3. Add the ground beef and spices and mix with the cooked onion- constantly stir to break up the clumps of meat.
  4. Cook for 10 minutes or until beef is fully cooked.
  5. Add chopped spinach, a little bit at a time. Mix well with the beef mixture and cook for 3 - 5 minutes, just until spinach is wilted.
  6. Remove from heat, pour fresh lemon juice.
  7. Mix, taste and adjust salt/sour.
  8. Transfer to a serving plate, top with toasted pine nuts and serve with rice on the side, if desired.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 221Total Fat: 16gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 11gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 478mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 3gSugar: 1gProtein: 14g

Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.

Did you make this recipe?

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  1. Had this at my friends house and she sent me your recipe – already made a batch and plan on adding it to our rotation. So great!! Thanks!

  2. I loved this recipe. Never had this before but my friend recommended to me, and I decided to try it. And so happy that I tried it. Highly Recommended.

  3. I’ve always used frozen spinach but now that I read your recipe I tried it with fresh spinach and it was so much better. Texture and flavor wise, even my kids now eat spinach stew. This makes me happy.

  4. Yum!!
    I loved this. Ground meat is so affordable and at the moment that is such a big deciding factor with what we eat as a family.
    I made this last night for the kids and I and they really loved it. We had it with your vermicelli rice and it was a big hit.
    I have leftovers in the fridge for my lunch tomorrow 🙂

  5. This was absolutely delicious! I used Beyond Beef instead of regular beef in the version I made for myself, and it tasted just as good!

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