Albanian Burani is a dish made with spinach, rice and eggs. This is the best way to get your kids to eat a lot of spinach, believe me:). This Mediterranean meal is delicious, economical and cooks fast, plus you only need a few ingredients.
Albanian Burani is a dish made with lots of spinach, herbs, rice, olive oil and eggs. In my native language we call this dish: Burani me Spinaq dhe Vezë.
In Albania we make different variations of this dish and I’ll try to give you options below in case you want to try them. Also, this dish is similar to Greek Spanakorizo recipe in terms of ingredients. However, we do cook it slightly differently!
- The most common variation of this recipe has eggs and it is baked.
- You can make this dish in a deep skillet (with or without eggs) and serve it as a thick stew. If you add eggs to the skillet version it will look like a green Shakshuka. On the deep skillet version, you have to add the rice before the spinach and let it cook slightly before adding the spinach.
- This dish as presented is vegetarian and makes a great Meatless Monday dinner. However, you can also cook it with beef if you would like. Feel free to leave a comment below to ask for the beef version and I’ll try to help you with that. If you are pretty familiar with Albanian cuisine, you can follow my Leeks Casserole recipe that has ground beef to adapt this spinach casserole to have beef as well.
Here are the ingredients I use to make Albanian burani.
- 2 lbs of spinach
- 1 onion (you can replace this with 5-6 green onions)
- 2 cloves of garlic
- about 14 oz blended ripe tomatoes or a 14 oz can of diced tomatoes
- 0.5 cup rice
- olive oil
- about 6 eggs
- fresh dill
- fresh parsley
Let’s Make Burani:)
I love to use proportions of spinach to rice as follows: 2 lbs spinach with half cup of rice. You can change this ratio to make the dish with more spinach or more rice. The recipe is very flexible.
Start by sauteing onions and crushed garlic in olive oil. Then add spinach until it reaches top of the pot. Let it wilt some, then add more. I usually keep heat on medium or medium low at this point. I don’t want it to cook too fast and I want the spinach to release a lot of liquid naturally as it wilts.
Since it is 2 lbs of spinach, it’s a lot, so you’ll work in batches. Once you are done adding spinach, then add herbs, blended tomatoes or diced tomatoes, seasonings and rice. Here is where I check for consistency. Usually I add 1 cup of water.
Let it cook for a little bit so rice absorbs the liquid. You want the consistency to look like a thick stew, not too soupy.
A lot of people will consume this dish as a thick stew. In that case, you need to add the rice before the spinach and give it some time to cook.
If you’re going to bake this dish like I did, then pour the pot into a baking dish, arrange the spinach and rice to spread evenly and bake for 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees F.
Take the baking dish out carefully. Using a wooden spoon, create wells in the middle and add eggs. Place the dish back in the oven for about 10 minutes this time.
How Do You Serve Burani?
My favorite way to serve burani is with a side dish of Albanian tarator. You can also add a salad and few slices of sourdough whole wheat bread. If you are in a rush and can’t make tarator, you can always add a small portion of plain yogurt on the side.
Sonila’s Tips and Notes About This Recipe
This is a very easy recipe to make. However, as many Mediterranean style dishes it requires a certain knowledge of the final version of the recipe to adjust as needed as you’re cooking it. Here are my tips to help you get as close as possible to the original dish:).
- This dish requires a lot of spinach. You need to reserve time to wash the spinach thoroughly and then let it air dry. Or you can buy triple washed spinach that some grocery stores sell (this option is not available everywhere).
- Rice – use the rice you usually use to make pilaf. I have tried both basmati and jasmine rice.
- Spices – you can add a little paprika or crushed red pepper flakes. This dish traditionally is not spicy.
- Dry herbs will not do this dish justice. You need fresh dill and a lot of it. I use parsley as well but you can try to add additional flavors to your taste.
Albanian Burani – Spinach, Rice and Eggs Casserole
- 1 rectangular baking dish
- 2 lbs spinach
- 3 tbsps olive oil extra virgin
- 1 onion (yellow or white) can replace with green onions for a variation in taste
- 2 garlic cloves
- 14 ozs diced tomatoes usually 1 can of tomatoes, can use fresh too and blend them.
- 0.5 cup white rice
- 1 cup fresh dill
- 4 tbsps fresh parsley
- 1.5 tsp sea salt
- 0.5 tsp black pepper
- 0.5 tsp paprika for spicy taste, replace with crushed red pepper
- 6 eggs
- 1 cup water it helps if it's hot, use a kettle.
- Wash the spinach thoroughly or buy pre-washed spinach.
- Chop onion and crush garlic. Add olive oil on a pot and once shimmery, start sauteing onion and garlic until translucent.
- Add spinach slowly, keep heat on medium or a little less as you don't want to cook spinach too fast. As spinach wilts, it will also release liquid. You might have to work in batches as 2 lbs of spinach is a lot of spinach. As one batch wilts, keep adding more spinach until you have added all 2 lbs.
- Add diced tomatoes, chopped dill, chopped parsley, rice, salt, pepper and paprika. Add 1 cup of water. Bring to a boil and lower temp to low so rice can cook.
- Transfer the content of the pot into a baking dish. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes.
- Get dish out, open 6 wells symmetrically using a wooden spoon. Add eggs into the wells and return dish into the oven for another 10 minutes.
- Let dish rest for about 10 minutes or so before serving. Serve with yogurt, tarator, sourdough bread, salad etc. Enjoy:).
While both dishes are similar in terms of spinach, rice and dill as prominent ingredients, the Albanian burani usually will have eggs or even meat occasionally. While the Greek version is usually like a thick stew.
If you would like to save this recipe for later, please save the below image to your boards in Pinterest. Let me know in comments if you have any questions or feel free to leave a rating and feedback:)). Thank you for reading my blog!!
More Albanian Recipes
If you want to see more Albanian recipes, I have plenty more. Feel free to check them out:). Thank you!
- Byrek me Mish (Meat Phyllo Pie)
- Stuffed Peppers
- Baked Okra (Tavë me Bamje)
- Homemade Strained Yogurt (salcë kosi)
- Stuffed Grape Leaves (Japrak)