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Spicy Cabbage and Rice Pilaf

This Greek recipe is a great vegan or vegetarian main course, originally from the northern Greek province of Thrace, where the food is a little spicier than it is elsewhere in Greece. You can also serve this Greek rice recipe as a side dish for grilled meat, chicken, and game. It’s great with duck and it’s even great with Thanksgiving turkey.

Course side dishes, starter
Cuisine Greek cuisine, Mediterranean diet
Keyword cabbage, cinnamon, Diane Kochilas, pilaf, rice, spicy
PREP TIME 5 minutes
COOK TIME 15 minutes


  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup onion coarsely chopped
  • 3 ½ cups green cabbage washed and thinly shredded
  • 1 cup peeled and chopped plum tomato
  • 2 ¾ cups water
  • 1 cup long grain rice
  • ½ cup dark seedless raisins
  • ½ cup blanched almonds finely chopped
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • Salt to taste


  1. 1. In a heavy stewing pot, heat the butter and sauté the onion until soft, 2-3 minutes. Add the cabbage and sauté over medium heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until soft and translucent, 3-5 minutes.
  2. 2. Add tomatoes and water and bring mixture to a gentle boil. Add rice, raisins, almonds, cinnamon, and salt. Lower heat and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, until liquid is absorbed and rice cooked.
  3. 3. Place the mixture into a lightly buttered mold and allow to set for 5-10 minutes, then turn out onto a platter. Or toss gently in serving bowl. Serve warm.