Lathera (Greek Vegetable Casseroles), Mediterranean Vegan Recipes, Pasta & Grains

Greek Cabbage with Rice – Lahanorizo

Greek cabbage with rice #cabbage

Greek cuisine has a way of making almost any vegetable desirable. Even if you thought you didn’t like it, somehow, when cooked the Greek way, it manages to be something you want to eat again and again. This can be said for this traditional cabbage and rice dish.

We usually associated cabbage with coleslaw or that famous cabbage soup diet (remember that?) but here it is stewed to perfection along with rice and it is so good and comforting. Trust me, yes there may be cabbage, but you will love it!

Lahanorizo belongs to a category of the popular one-pot Greek vegetable and rice dishes in which all the flavors meld together, the more popular one being spanakorizo (spinach and rice) and my favorite prasorizo (leeks and rice). Apart from the flavor, these dishes are quite (yes you guessed it) healthy. Once again you manage to get large amounts of vegetables in one serving. And these are vegetables rich in antioxidants, plus you are cooking this in olive oil adding even more goodness. Cabbage in particular belongs to the family of the cruciferous vegetables and is rich in vitamins and minerals, but also potent antioxidants and has been associated with reduced inflammation.

To serve

This is served as a main course. If you are eating animal products you can also add feta which is a perfect accompaniment to this, and perhaps some bread, although you don’t really need it as it has the rice. And do not forget the lemon, it really brings out the flavors! And as with all the lathera dishes, this is good for 2-3 days. It actually tastes better the next day. I prefer it warm, but it can also be served at room temperature.

Easy One Pot Greek Cabbage and Rice

This particular recipe is the basic version which I like the best, as there are not to many ingredients which may overwhelm the cabbage, but you can also add leeks, spring onion and carrots. You can also use more vegetables and less rice, just make sure to adjust the water. This works well with a bit of spice, I added some cayenne pepper, you can also try pepper flakes.

A word about the rice

Rice is very important in these dishes, as I’ve mentioned before. Many of you have asked me if you can use brown rice, you can but it will not get that creamy, melt in your mouth feel. Also no long grain rice either. Medium grain rice is what you need, here are some brands that offer medium grain that I found through a quick online search: Goya Medium Grain Rice, Carolina Medium Grain White Rice, Watermaid Medium Grain Rice.

Spicy Greek Cabbage with Rice -Lahanorizo

Greek cabbage with rice #cabbage
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 55 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Creamy and Comforting Traditional Greek Rice and Cabbage.
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Greek, Mediterranean, Vegan, Vegetarian
Keyword: Cabbage, One-pot, Rice
Servings: 2 or 4 sides
Author: Elena Paravantes RDN
Print Recipe Pin Recipe


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion diced (about 1 cup or 4 oz or 115 grams)
  • ½ of a small cabbage (about 10 oz or 300 grams sliced (not too thin)
  • ½ tablespoon tomato paste
  • salt/pepper
  • About ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • ½ cup medium grain rice (uncooked)
  • Lemon and parsley for serving


  • Heat olive oil in a medium pot
  • Add the onion and sauté until soft about 5-7 minutes
  • Add the cabbage and mix until cabbage is coated with the olive oil. Heat for 2-3 minutes (stirring) until cabbage has wilted somewhat.
  • Add about 1 cup hot water hot water and simmer for 20-30 minutes with pot covered until cabbage is soft. Add more water if needed.
  • Once cabbage is soft add the tomato paste that has been dissolved in 2-3 tablespoons of water, and ½ teaspoon salt, freshly ground pepper and cayenne pepper and mix.
  • Add ½ cup (uncooked) medium grain rice, stir so that rice is coated with the oil.
  • Add 1 ¼ cup hot water and simmer (pot covered) until rice is almost cooked (about 15 minutes). Add more hot water in small amount if needed. Once rice is ready, but there is still a bit of water left in the pot, remove from heat and keep covered until rest of water is absorbed. Rice should be somewhat creamy.
  • Serve with plenty of lemon and sprinkle with parsley.


To reheat, you may add a bit more water to soften it.
You may serve with some feta.
DID YOU MAKE THIS RECIPE? Leave a comment or share on instagram and mention @greekdiet


Traditional One Pot Greek Cabbage and Rice #vegan  #cabbage #rice #recipe

Photos by Elena Paravantes All Rights Reserved

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  • Reply alexandra gross June 17, 2021 at 8:43 pm

    can one use basmati rice? i’d like to make this today june l7, 2021

  • Reply alexandra gross June 17, 2021 at 8:42 pm

    i’d like to make this today. how about using basmati rice?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN June 18, 2021 at 4:58 am

      Hi Alexandra, It will not have the same texture or flavor. As I mention medium grain rice is the best choice.

  • Reply Kelly May 2, 2021 at 3:45 pm

    I would also like to know if we simmer with lid off or on. I’m assuming off since it isn’t specified.

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN May 3, 2021 at 9:05 am

      Hi Kelly, Yes you keep the pot closed when you are simmering the cabbage but also after adding the rice, I’ve updated the recipe to reflect this.

  • Reply Chris April 16, 2021 at 7:37 am

    Hi Elena,

    Love your website especially the coverage of traditional Greek foods e.g. horta.

    You mentioned people asking about using brown rice. I often use brown rice for lathera type dishes and the end result is quite creamy. I use a short grain variety though. It reminds me a bit of arborio.

  • Reply Lygia Grigoris January 25, 2021 at 4:10 pm

    Interesting. I am of Greek descent and marridd a Serbian man. Sauerkraut is the preferred way of eating cabbage in that country and the proximity of Balkan nations eating preserved cabbage probably influenced northern Greek culinary traditions as well. My family from Sparta mainly boiled cabbage and served with lemon, oil and salt or stuffed it or lahanorizo. I like it all ways!

  • Reply Carol C January 7, 2021 at 12:26 am

    Would kakuho rose Japanese medium grain rice work in this recipe?

  • Reply Sonia November 1, 2020 at 12:02 am

    I made this today – interesting blend of tastes. Will bookmark this recipe.5 stars

  • Reply Yvonne August 16, 2020 at 9:34 am

    Hi Elena. My mother from Northern Greece has always used sauerkraut with the rice +\- chicken. It’s always a winner just like yours! Thank you

  • Reply Monique Ranger June 10, 2020 at 6:47 pm

    I’ve been a diabetic for a year now (managed by meds) and my husband has just been diagnosed with diabetes as well. We both need to loose weight. We talked with our doctors and they recommended the Mediterranean diet. We agreed to give this a try for a week.

    I found your site on Pintrest. And I’ve written out a menu for the week.

    This is the first dish I’ve made, and it’s great. My husband went back for seconds.

    The feta and lemon brings it to a whole new level. If everything is as good as this one, I think we’ll stick to it.5 stars

  • Reply k.hernach March 23, 2020 at 2:55 am

    i added roasted cashews and a spoon of peanut butter. Tasty.Thank you for sharing that recipe.

  • Reply Jan January 26, 2020 at 10:36 pm

    Just made this with what I had on hand today. Used purple diced cabbage, planned to make slaw, added one diced carrot and some yellow pepper diced. This is the first recipe from your site I have made and can not wait to make more. The dish today was very filling with a half slice of grain bread.
    Thank you so much for this simple and easy recipe.5 stars

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 29, 2020 at 7:14 am

      Thank you Jan! Love the idea of using purple cabbage. Thank you for sharing!

      • Reply Janee March 11, 2020 at 8:34 pm

        Planning to try this soon. Wondering if precut slaw would work for the cabbage?

  • Reply Cookinrobbie December 17, 2019 at 1:35 pm

    I’m sorry if I missed this but I can’t find how many servings you get with the recipe?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN December 17, 2019 at 2:55 pm

      Hi, No you did not miss it, it was accidentally left out, just added it. It is 2 main course servings or 4 sides.

  • Reply Michelle November 22, 2019 at 12:18 am

    Great winter recipe! I added some carrots and sweet potatoes in with the cabbage, and some spinach and paprika at the end. It was really delish and nutrient packed! I also used coconut oil in place of olive oil.

  • Reply Michele Pedlar October 21, 2019 at 12:51 am

    This is my favourite lathera so far! Delish. I made it tonight for the second time in two weeks – it is so good in packed lunches for the office. I added extra cabbage this time!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN October 22, 2019 at 6:21 am

      Thank you for sharing Michele! Yes, that’s the beauty of these rice-veggie dishes you can adjust them and add more veggies!

  • Reply Edie September 17, 2019 at 9:50 pm

    Hi Elena, I hate to be this person, but I always find myself feeling as though these dishes don’t fill me up enough unless there is meat in it. If I were to add a meat, like chicken, what is the best way to go about doing that? Or do you think it will ruin the recipe to add meat (would a type of bean be better)? Thanks!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN September 23, 2019 at 6:57 am

      Hi Edie, No worries. I don’t think that chicken would go as well with this particular recipe. Meat such as chicken would go better with the green beans, peas or okra dishes. Another tip, make sure you eat these dishes with a bit of cheese (feta usually accompanies these type of dishes) and a slice of whole grain bread. Also make sure you use enough olive oil as that provides satiety. And of course the serving size should be generous as it is a main course.

  • Reply Molly May 28, 2019 at 9:19 am

    Hi There Elena,

    I’ve just made this recipe and devoured two bowls of it! absolutely delicious, and guilt free, its a winner!
    Very excited to try some more of your recipes 🙂

  • Reply Angela April 8, 2019 at 3:41 pm

    Hi Elena,
    We ate this somewhere where they added raisins to it, and it went very nicely.
    Just a thought (and it adds more nutrients as well!)
    BTW, your recipes are always my go to-as they are just perfect.

  • Reply Aimee March 28, 2019 at 3:20 pm

    Hi Elena – daft question I know but is it half of a “small, 300g” cabbage – or 300g for the recipe (half a 600g one)? I’d imagined the latter but I don’t cook with cabbage a lot, I just went to the supermarket and ours are about 400g total weight, so now I’m confused! As I have no benchmark I don’t know if our cabbages here in the UK are just particularly tiny 🙂 Also is there a particular type of cabbage you’d recommend more than others?

    Thanks so much for the recipe, I can’t wait to try this. The spinach rice is a staple here and now the leek one too – I honestly don’t remember what I used to eat before your site came along!

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN March 31, 2019 at 9:08 am

      Hi Aimee, Thank you for your kind words! For this recipe we use the classic green cabbage. If it is 400 grams you can use the whole thing.

      • Reply Aimee April 7, 2019 at 10:13 pm

        Thank you Elena! I made it the other day to eat yesterday – so good! I especially like the suggestion to put the parsley on the top, I think it really lifts it and makes a big difference 🙂

        Thanks again for the recipe. Can’t wait for the next one!

  • Reply Kelly March 22, 2019 at 5:29 pm

    I’m not crazy about spicy food, so I make this with dill instead of the pepper and the whole family loves it. It’s such a filling meal!

  • Reply Sage February 23, 2019 at 5:25 pm

    Can you use brown rice in this recipe?

  • Reply Agapia February 1, 2019 at 1:01 am

    Love this recipe, my mom used to make it, & my sister does often.. I forgot how great it is, so thank you for reminding me. I always resort to the Spanakorizo. I also make a cauliflower rice and add fresh dill.

  • Reply Nick January 30, 2019 at 3:37 pm

    Greek cabbage with rice is a staple food in any Greek household, especially in the winter. Sometimes I use shallots instead of onion, depending on what looks good when I shop for ingredients.

  • Reply Marilena January 24, 2019 at 2:46 am

    This was absolutely delicious. Perfect winter comfort food. I actually used the whole cabbage. Just added a bit more rice, water and tomato paste.

  • Reply Dennis January 24, 2019 at 1:36 am

    Thank you!

  • Reply Sarah January 21, 2019 at 1:08 am

    Just made this and it was DELICIOUS! My husband was skeptical, but ended up going back for seconds 🙂 it’s a perfect comfort food – thank you for sharing!

    • Reply anna May 14, 2020 at 11:03 pm

      Do I simmer with the lid on or off?

  • Reply Pam January 20, 2019 at 4:15 am

    sounds yummy and I would imagine help with weight

  • Reply Jane January 19, 2019 at 2:31 pm

    I am making this for lunch tomorrow. Sounds great and especially good after all the rich Christmas food. I have gone right off meat at the moment.Thanks for lovely recipes to get us all eating more veggies !! Greetings from Crete x

  • Reply Maurus January 19, 2019 at 8:07 am

    Do you wash the rice before you cook it? Or woud this prevent the dish from becoming creamy?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 19, 2019 at 10:25 am

      Hi Maurus, No, I do not rinse the rice.

      • Reply Maurus February 1, 2019 at 9:09 am

        Thanks for the reply. It turned out delicous.

  • Reply Bisser January 19, 2019 at 6:26 am

    In my personal experience with this recipe, the fit of rice are all risotto type of rices.
    As Elena noted, “the rice should be somewhat creamy”.
    Cheers 🙂

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 19, 2019 at 7:37 am

      Thanks for your input! Yes arborio rice can also work as it is a medium grain rice.

      • Reply anna May 14, 2020 at 11:02 pm

        Do I simmer with the lid on or off?

  • Reply Nanette January 19, 2019 at 1:41 am

    Would Japanese rice be appropriate? I cook Japanese food often, so that’s what I always have on hand

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 19, 2019 at 7:41 am

      Hi Nanette, Japanese rice would be too sticky and not give the right texture.

  • Reply Lesley January 18, 2019 at 5:16 pm

    What’s the measurement of water in this recipe, it just says 1 1/4 of hot water, 1 1/4 what?

    • Reply Karen January 18, 2019 at 5:33 pm

      That’s my question too. It’s given for the cabbage and then the rice

      • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 18, 2019 at 5:40 pm

        Hello, Thanks for catching that it is 1 1/4 cups of water. Corrected now.

  • Reply Virginia January 18, 2019 at 4:49 pm

    Would it work if the rice is replaced with quinoa?

    • Reply Elena Paravantes RDN January 18, 2019 at 4:56 pm

      I think it would. It may have a slightly different texture, but the cooking directions will be the same.

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