If you are trying to get more vegetables in your meals, try this Egyptian spinach with tomato sauce. This recipe is vegan, gluten-free, and packed full of vegetables. Just to keep the record straight, this recipe isn't molokhia, which is sometimes called Egyptian spinach. This recipe uses actual spinach, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and cilantro.
The tomato sauce, also known as Egyptian magic red sauce, is the sauce base for this recipe. It's a freezer-friendly, easy to make red sauce.
Ingredients You'll Need
- Spinach: Full leaf adult spinach is the best option for spinach in this recipe. It looks like the image below. The entire spinach leaf including the stems will be chopped finely for this recipe.
- Tomatoes: Any type of red tomato will work for this recipe from Roma tomatoes, beefsteak tomatoes, tomato on the vine, and grape tomatoes (for a sweeter tomato sauce).
- Onion: White onion, yellow onion, red onion, or sweet onions are the best option.
- Cilantro (Coriander): Fresh cilantro, or coriander, is needed for this recipe.
- Garlic: I prefer fresh garlic whenever possible.
- Broth: You can use any type of broth. Duck broth, chicken broth, vegetable broth, or oxtail broth are all great options. Additionally, you can use water and a bouillon cube, which is what I did. This recipe is vegan if using a vegetable broth.
- Spices: Ground coriander, salt, and pepper are the spices used for this recipe.
How To Make Egyptian Spinach
- Prepare the ingredients. Blend the onions and garlic in a food processor. Blend the tomatoes in a blender and strain. Wash and chop the spinach very finely. Wash and chop the cilantro.
- Make the rice. Lebanese vermicelli rice in an instant pot is a good side. Or, make steamed Calrose rice on the stovetop.
- Make the tomato sauce. Sautee the onion and garlic mixture in a little bit of olive oil for around 5 minutes. Add the strained tomatoes, salt, pepper, and sugar. Cook on medium-high heat for about 10 minutes covered.
- Add the chopped spinach. Cook for another 10 minutes covered while continuing to stir every few minutes. Add the chopped cilantro and ground coriander and continue to cook for another 2 to 3 minutes.
- Serve with rice.
Tips and Variations
- Try to use full leaf spinach instead of baby spinach leaves. Adult spinach is more fibrous than baby spinach making this recipe less mushy. For the right texture, I wouldn't recommend using baby spinach. However, if the texture is not an issue for you, then baby spinach is an option.
- Wash the spinach really well. For some reason, my spinach is always super sandy. I have to wash and re-wash the spinach in a large bowl (or sink) about 4 or 5 times until the water is clear.
- Chop the spinach finely (see image). Chop the spinach leaf and stem all together very finely. Add the chopped spinach to a strainer.
- Use fresh tomatoes. The tomato sauce is made from scratch, and it's what I call Egyptian magic red sauce. This tomato sauce base is used for bamia (okra), bisilla (peas), and this one-pan chicken and potatoes meal.
- Serve with rice. Egyptian spinach is best with a side of steamed rice. I prefer Calrose rice, which is medium-grain rice. However, it's completely possible to eat this recipe as is, it's that good!
How To Store
Keep the spinach in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 or 5 days. Freeze this spinach dish without rice for up to 3 months.