Greek Leeks and Rice – Prasorizo

Greek Leeks and Rice Prasorizo

Greek leeks and rice is one of those dishes that is quite common here in Greece especially during the fasting period- nisteia (a period where Greeks do not consume most animal products for religious reasons). It is so delicious and comforting that I would not associate it with any type of “fasting”. Prasorizo is rich, creamy and sweet thanks to the caramelized leeks and honestly I could eat bowls and bowls of it! It’s like a vegan risotto. Of course if you are consuming cheese, feta is the perfect accompaniment.

Prasorizo (praso is the Greek word for leeks) is mainly a dish that is cooked at home and not found very often in restaurants. It tastes better the next day and ideally it is consumed at room temperature. Leeks belong to the same family as onions, but provide a sweeter, milder flavor. Don’t be fooled by its mellow flavor, the leek is a nutrition powerhouse; it is an excellent source of vitamin K, beta-carotene, and manganese, and also contains good amounts of vitamin C, fiber, folic acid and copper. And let’s not forget that they also are rich in anticancerogenic antioxidants.

Greek Leeks and Rice Prasorizo

The beauty in this dish is in its simplicity, I’ve seen many recipes that include all sorts of other ingredients, if you want to enjoy the flavors stick to just the basic ingredients: leeks, rice, olive oil.

The Right Rice

The authentic prasorizo needs to be and look creamy, this is not meant to be like a pilaf. The rice should not have a bite, but you don’t want it sticky either. The key is use the right kind of rice and cooking technique.

Most traditional Greek recipes such as Greek spinach and rice (spanakorizo) and stuffed tomatoes (gemista) require medium grain rice, here in Greece it is called “Carolina” but you may use Arborio if you are unable to find medium grain. From a quick search on Google I was able to find these brands that have medium grain rice here, here and here. Also, I would avoid using brown rice for this recipe as it will not cook to the point that it will be creamy.

This is usually served as a main dish. For non-vegans you can also accompany it with a chunk of feta cheese. It is also very nice as a side dish though.

Best Mediterranean Diet cookbook for beginners

Greek Leeks and Rice – Prasorizo

Greek Leeks and Rice Prasorizo
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Course: Entree, side
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean, Vegan
Servings: 2 main or 4 sides
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  • 1 pound (450 g) leeks sliced in ½ inch wide slices white and pale green parts only
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons chopped dill
  • 2 teaspoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup medium grain rice uncooked
  • 1 ¼ cup boiling water more as needed
  • salt and pepper as needed
  • Lemon for serving


  • Wash and slice the leeks. Place the leeks in a pot of boiling water and boil for 2-3 minutes. Strain leeks and set aside.
  • In a pot or deep pan, heat the olive oil on medium low heat and add the leeks and sauté until leeks are soft (about 6-7 minutes). Note: You do not want to brown them.
  • Add the dill and the tomato paste and stir a couple of times, than add the rice and about 1 ¼ cup of hot water. Add salt as needed (I added about ½ a teaspoon) and mix well.
  • Cover the pot with its lid and simmer at low heat for about 20 minutes, until rice is soft. Check regularly and add additional hot water as needed. Turn off the heat and let it sit for 10 minutes with the lid on.
  • Serve as a main course with a few drops of lemon juice and freshly ground pepper.
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Photos by Elena Paravantes © All Rights Reserved

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  • Reply Cathy January 11, 2022 at 1:12 pm

    Dear Elana. I had been dabbling with the Mediterranean diet for some time and I do not eat meat. I’m so glad I bought your cookbook as rather than eat the same boring salads and veg every day, I now have an amazing range of dishes which I am thoroughly enjoying and which are so easy to make. I feel enlightened and have never enjoyed food so much. Thank you.

  • Reply Xenia January 9, 2022 at 3:12 pm

    This recipe is simplicity at its best! The sum is greater than its. parts. It reminds me a bit of a risotto. I really LOVE this dish! Thanks for posting this again! It’s going on this weeks menu! Oh, and I also freeze chopped leeks so I can keep them on hand all the time!5 stars

  • Reply Lilian January 9, 2022 at 11:07 am

    This is so good!! And so easy to make.5 stars

  • Reply Joanna Jaquette March 12, 2021 at 3:37 pm

    Hi ELena- kind of a random spot to ask a question, but with Great Lent upon us, what do you suggest for breakfasts and lunches? I am trying to make enough of the main dinner meal to have left overs, but there are only so many cheerios I can eat for breakfast- sorry they are quick- before i have to leave for work. I just wondered what you might do… I also am trying to find a source for Vleeta near me, and a source for seeds to grow some this year…do you ever cook with this?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN March 20, 2021 at 11:22 am

      Hi Joanna, That is a good question! So I wrote a post with some vegan breakfast ideas. Yes, we eat vleeta often, boiled with olive oil and lemon.

  • Reply Rosie February 21, 2021 at 3:17 pm

    Hello! Can you advise me please whether what you refer to as tomato ‘paste’ is the same as tomato ‘purée’? And if not what can I substitute for tomato paste?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN February 22, 2021 at 7:52 am

      Hi Rosie,
      Tomato paste is tomato puree that has been cooked and reduced,it’s a thick paste. You can use tomato puree, for every tb tomato paste use 3-4 tb tomato puree.However, you need to adjust any water you add, as tomato paste is not liquidy.

  • Reply Susie March 23, 2020 at 10:52 pm

    Delicious and so easy. Anything could be added to change it up.

  • Reply Thea January 2, 2020 at 12:15 am

    Hi, why do you not want to have the brown part of sauteing the leeks? I’ve never boiled leeks, only sauteed them in a frying pan, and I was just wondering how it would alter the final taste to skip boiling them, and just saute them instead before adding in the rice.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 7, 2020 at 11:42 am

      Hi Thea, Helps soften them up, so that they cook at the same rate with the rest of the ingredients and blend in smoothly. You don’t want to have chunks of leeks in the dish, but rather a smooth texture.

  • Reply Eleni October 12, 2019 at 7:51 pm

    Delicious recipe! It tasted just like my grandmother’s!

  • Reply Eleni October 12, 2019 at 7:50 pm

    Amazing recipe! Just how my sweet grandmother used to make it!

  • Reply Rachel September 14, 2019 at 7:47 pm

    Looks delicious! Can this be made with quinoa instead of rice? Would you change anything to the amount of hot water added?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN September 23, 2019 at 7:07 am

      Quinoa may cook a bit quicker than rice, so you may have to adjust the time while also making sure the leeks are cooked. It will be a different texture though.

  • Reply Kozeta August 11, 2018 at 1:02 am

    I call this pras me oriz totali Albanian .

  • Reply Roxani April 11, 2018 at 12:11 pm

    Hello! I am Roxani from Athens.
    I tried the recipe this easter for my family and it was delicious! Thank you very much

  • Reply Cathy March 11, 2018 at 3:21 pm

    Absolutely delicious and easy rice dish with not too many ingredients. Cooks up quickly and extremely tasty
    Love it!

  • Reply Chef March 10, 2018 at 1:46 am

    Thanks for Prasorizo recipe. Looks delicious and authentic.

  • Reply Judy Matusky March 8, 2018 at 3:16 pm

    Yum! How fresh to add strawberries and feta as a grilled cheese sandwich!

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