Delicious Egyptian Spinach Recipe with a Twist!

Picture this: the aroma of cumin and nutmeg steaming up from your stovetop while you prepare a delicious, hearty stew that’s perfect for cold weather. That’s exactly what you’ll get with this Egyptian style spinach (sabanek) recipe.

This recipe has been passed down through generations in my family, and it’s one that I always turn to when I want a taste of home. The fragrant mix of spices combined with fresh spinach and tender stew meat is sure to satisfy even the hungriest of diners.

But what makes this dish truly special is the depth of flavor created by the tomato sauce, chicken bouillon cubes, and garlic clove. The result is a savory and slightly tangy taste that will have you reaching for seconds before you realize it.

Not only is this recipe delicious, it’s also easy to make and can be adapted to suit your dietary needs. Whether you swap out the meat for a vegetarian alternative or adjust the spice level to your preference, there are endless ways to tailor this dish to your liking.

So why not take a culinary journey to Egypt from your own kitchen? With its flavorsome ingredients, warming spices, and comforting texture, this Egyptian style spinach (sabanek) may just become your new go-to recipe on cold nights.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Egyptian Style Spinach (Sabanek)
Egyptian Style Spinach (Sabanek)

If you’re a fan of Middle Eastern cuisine, you absolutely must try this Egyptian Style Spinach (Sabanek) Recipe. The dish is packed with flavor, thanks to the unique blend of spices used to season it. You’ll be amazed at how such simple ingredients can result in such a delicious and complex flavor profile.

One of the key ingredients in this recipe is cumin. This spice is known for its warm, earthy flavor and aroma. When combined with nutmeg, pepper, and salt, the result is a truly irresistible savory flavor that will leave you wanting more.

But it’s not just the spices that make this dish so great – the other ingredients are just as important. Fresh spinach is the star of the show, giving the dish its signature texture and bright green color. Tomatoes and tomato paste add depth and sweetness to the stew, while chicken bouillon cubes provide an umami-rich base.

And let’s not forget about the meat – stew meat pairs perfectly with the spinach for a hearty and filling meal that’s sure to please even the most carnivorous eaters.

But what really makes this recipe stand out is its versatility. Whether you’re looking for a vegetarian option or want to switch up the protein, there are plenty of ways to make this recipe your own. Substituting chickpeas for meat or using ground beef instead of stew meat are just a few examples of variations you can try.

Overall, this Egyptian Style Spinach (Sabanek) Recipe is a must-try for anyone who loves bold flavors and Middle Eastern cuisine. Trust me – one taste and you’ll be hooked!

Ingredient List

 Greet your taste buds with a burst of flavors in every bite of this Egyptian spinach dish.
Greet your taste buds with a burst of flavors in every bite of this Egyptian spinach dish.

Let’s talk about the ingredients needed to make this flavorful Egyptian spinach stew. Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 2 lbs. stew meat, sliced into small pieces
  • 3 large onions, sliced
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 can tomato sauce or tomato paste (8 oz.)
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Cumin and nutmeg to taste
  • Fresh spinach leaves, cooked and used
  • Coriander
  • Tomatoes

You can find some of these ingredients in Middle Eastern stores in your area. If some of them are difficult to find, you may be able to substitute them with other similar ingredients.

The Recipe How-To

 Trust me, even if you don't like vegetables, you'll love this recipe!
Trust me, even if you don’t like vegetables, you’ll love this recipe!

Now, let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of cooking this delicious Egyptian Style Spinach (Sabanek) Recipe!

Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

First off, you will need to buy some fresh spinach; wash and drain it thoroughly. Then, cut it into small strips. Now, chop one onion and garlic clove. You will also need to slice three onions and 2 lbs of stew meat. Lastly, prepare your spices – cumin, nutmeg, pepper, salt – and grab two chicken bouillon cubes.

Step 2: Cook the Stew Meat

Heat up 3 tablespoons of butter in a large pot or Dutch oven until it turns slightly brown. Add sliced onions and sauté them in the butter until they turn golden-brown. Add the chopped onion, garlic clove and 2 lbs of sliced stew meat to the same pot. Cook for around 10 minutes until the meat is no longer pink.

Step 3: Add the Spinach

Add the chopped spinach to the pot and stir well until it wilts down into the stew mixture. Once all of it is cooked, add fresh tomatoes and tomato paste to create a tomato sauce. At this point, crush two chicken bouillon cubes into the mixture for flavoring purposes.

Step 4: Spice It Up

Once you have added your bouillon cube mixture to your pot, it is time to season this dish. Introduce your cumin, nutmeg and pepper flakes into the stew according to your own taste preferences. Lastly, add salt as desired.

Step 5: Serve & Enjoy

You’re all set! This Egyptian-style spinach stew is traditionally served with risotto or over rice. Most people prefer plain white rice because it’s a great blank canvas for seasoning with za’atar or other spices! Sprinkle some freshly chopped coriander on top for an extra pop of flavor!

With these simple steps, even beginners can cook up this mouth-watering sabanek recipe that will surely transport your taste buds straight to Egypt!

Substitutions and Variations

 A fantastic way to eat a hearty bowl of greens, while also getting some much-needed nutrients and vitamins.
A fantastic way to eat a hearty bowl of greens, while also getting some much-needed nutrients and vitamins.

When it comes to cooking, there are always ways to adapt and make a recipe your own. Here are some substitutions and variations that you can experiment with while making this Egyptian style spinach (Sabanek) recipe.

1. Vegetarian Meat: If you prefer a vegetarian version of this dish, you can substitute the stew meat with vegetarian meat or chickpeas to create a hearty and protein-packed meal.

2. Lebanese Spinach Stew: For a slight variation, you can try making this dish in the Lebanese style by adding diced tomatoes and tomato paste along with chickpeas or beef to the spinach stew for an extra burst of flavor.

3. Chinese Style Spinach: A unique addition to this dish would be to mix it up by going Chinese style. Incorporate soy sauce, oyster sauce, and sesame oil with garlic and ginger for that Asian fusion twist!

4. Beef Stew: While the Egyptian style spinach (Sabanek) recipe usually calls for lamb or chicken bouillon cubes, feel free to mix it up and use beef bouillon cubes instead. The result is a richer and more savory flavor.

5. Fresh Garlic Coriander Spread: Blend fresh garlic cloves, coriander leaves, a little lemon juice, salt, pepper into a paste using an electric food processor. Add this spread on top of cooked Sabanekh spinach and tomatoes before serving for an extra layer of tangy freshness.

Regardless of which variation you choose to try, remember that cooking is about exploring and finding what works best for you. Experiment with different flavors and ingredients to make this dish your very own!

Serving and Pairing

 This dish will have even the pickiest eater asking for seconds!
This dish will have even the pickiest eater asking for seconds!

Now that you’ve made this delicious Egyptian-style spinach stew, it’s time to think about how you’re going to serve and pair it. Spinach sabanekh is a versatile dish that can be enjoyed as a main course or a side dish.

One way to serve it is over a bed of steaming rice. The stew’s rich flavors and the rice’s subtle taste complement each other perfectly, mellowing out the spiciness of the cumin and adding texture to the silky spinach leaves. You could also opt for riz bi sha’riyeh, commonly known as Egyptian-style vermicelli rice, which has toasted vermicelli mixed in with the rice to create a unique texture and flavor.

For an authentically Egyptian experience, try eating your sabanekh with some fresh pita bread or Egyptian bread, also known as baladi bread. The chewiness of the bread pairs well with the creamy spinach and helps soak up all those juicy flavors.

If you’re looking for a non-traditional pairing, you could also serve it alongside some chickpea stew or beef stew. The nutty flavor of chickpeas complements the nuanced flavors of sabanekh nicely, while beef stew adds a heartier taste.

For those who prefer lighter fare, Mediterranean salads like tabbouleh or fattoush are excellent options to complement sabanekh’s bold flavors. These salads add crunchiness and freshness that perfectly balances out the creamy texture of the spinach stew.

In summary, this versatile dish can be enjoyed in many different ways while still retaining its unique flavor profile. Whether served with rice, bread, or paired with a lighter salad option or even heartier stews; there’s no wrong way to enjoy this flavorful dish!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Bringing a bit of Egypt to your kitchen, one delicious bite at a time.
Bringing a bit of Egypt to your kitchen, one delicious bite at a time.

Now, let’s talk about making ahead, storing, and reheating this delicious Egyptian Style Spinach dish. This dish can be made ahead of time, which is great news if you’re planning a dinner party or need to have a meal on the table quickly during a busy week.

To make ahead, simply prepare the stew as directed in the recipe but do not add any fresh spinach leaves. Allow the stew to cool completely, transfer it to an airtight container, and store it in the refrigerator for up to three days. When you’re ready to serve, gently reheat the stew over low heat until it’s hot and bubbling.

If you have leftovers that you’d like to store, allow the stew to cool completely before transferring it to an airtight container. Store it in the refrigerator for up to four days or freeze it for up to three months. When you’re ready to eat, simply reheat the portions in a microwave or on a stove.

To reheat on the stove, add a splash of water or chicken broth to the pot before heating. Heat over medium-low heat until hot and bubbly. You may need to stir in some additional water or broth if the mixture has thickened during storage.

With these easy make-ahead and storing tips, you can enjoy this savory stew at any time with minimal effort!

Tips for Perfect Results

 A mix of spices elevate this simple spinach dish to a whole new level of taste.
A mix of spices elevate this simple spinach dish to a whole new level of taste.

Now that you have all the ingredients and steps for making the delicious Egyptian Style Spinach (Sabanek) recipe, it’s time for some tips to ensure that your final result will be nothing short of perfection. These tips will help you avoid common mistakes and make the most out of your cooking experience.

Firstly, make sure to wash the fresh spinach thoroughly before using it. You don’t want any grit or dirt to make its way into your dish. After washing, pat it dry using paper towels to avoid adding unnecessary water to the recipe.

Secondly, when adding the spices like cumin, nutmeg, pepper, and salt, always taste and adjust as you go. Remember that flavor preferences vary from person to person, so it’s vital to ensure you have balanced flavors in your recipe at every stage.

Thirdly, when using tomato paste or tomato sauce, make sure to add them slowly while constantly stirring. This is important as tomato-based products tend to stick to the bottom of pans when overheated, which can ruin your stew’s texture and deep orange color.

Fourthly, allow your stew meat and onions enough time in the pot before adding other ingredients like spinach or tomatoes. Cook them well until caramelized to achieve a distinct flavor.

Fifthly, consider substituting some stew meat with chickpeas or vegetarian meat if you’re looking for a vegetarian option rather than beef stew. You’ll love their texture and how well they blend in with the spinach stew.

Sixthly, serving this dish with rice is a great idea. It absorbs the extra juices nicely and pairs perfectly with all the flavors in the sabanek stew.

Lastly, storing leftovers correctly is critical to maintain their quality. Store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days or freeze them for later use by putting them in a freezer-safe container.

By following these helpful tips and tricks for perfecting this mouth-watering Egyptian Style Spinach recipe (Sabanek), you’ll love how easy it is to create this traditional dish in your kitchen. Don’t forget always to experiment, as cooking is an adventure that only ends with success!


As you dive deeper into the recipe, you may have some questions regarding the ingredients, techniques, or variations. To save your time and effort, we have addressed some of the frequently asked questions to help you out. So read on to find answers to all your queries and cook up a sumptuous Egyptian Style Spinach (Sabanek) Recipe like a pro!

How do you eat Egyptian spinach?

When it comes to using this plant, you have a few options depending on the age of the leaves. If they are younger, you can enjoy them raw in a salad or on a sandwich, much like you would with spinach. However, if the leaves are older, it’s best to cook or dry them for optimal flavor. In Egypt, a classic soup with garlic, coriander, and meat includes the leaves, while in other regions it is turned into a hearty stew with cassava, rice, and chicken meat.

What flavor is Egyptian spinach?

When fresh, the leaves have a flavor reminiscent of parsley with a slight bitter undertone. Additionally, when using the dried leaves in soups, they can serve as a natural thickening agent. A popular Arabic soup preparation using the dried leaves is referred to as “Molukhyia” or “Molokhia.”

Is Egyptian spinach good for you?

Egyptian spinach is a versatile ingredient that boasts numerous vitamins that can nourish and hydrate our skin, preventing premature signs of ageing. Additionally, it has beneficial properties such as demulcent, which soothes irritated mucous membranes, diuretic which aids in urine elimination, febrifuge that helps in reducing fever, and tonic which improves overall vitality.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, this Egyptian Style Spinach (Sabanek) recipe is a must-try for all food lovers out there. With its delicious blend of spices and fresh ingredients, it will elevate any meal and take your taste buds on a journey to the Middle East.

Not only is this recipe easy to make, but it is also incredibly versatile. You can switch up the meat or make it vegetarian-friendly by substituting meat with chickpeas or tofu. Serve it as a hearty main dish or as a flavorful side dish accompanied by rice or bread.

But don’t take my word for it. Give this Sabanek recipe a try and let your friends and family be the judge. Whether you’re a fan of Middle Eastern cuisine or just looking for a new way to incorporate spinach into your diet, this recipe is sure to impress.

So what are you waiting for? Get cooking and savor the flavors of Egypt with this delectable Sabanek recipe. Trust me; your taste buds will thank you for it!

Egyptian Style Spinach (Sabanek)

Egyptian Style Spinach (Sabanek) Recipe

This is so good, especially on a cold winter day. Its a very hearty and savory dish. You could also add a squeeze of fresh lemon to bowl before serving, gives it a tangy flavor; and if you like heat, add a dash of red pepper hot sauce to bowl before serving as well. Enjoy!
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Egyptian
Calories 201.6 kcal


  • 1 bunch fresh spinach (cut into small strips)
  • 1/2 lb stew meat
  • 2 large onions, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped fine
  • 2 chicken bouillon cubes
  • 3 teaspoons tomato paste
  • 2 tomatoes (blended in blender or food processor)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 dash coriander
  • 1 dash nutmeg (grated from whole nutmeg if you have, if not ground ok)
  • 1 dash Arabic seven spice
  • 1 dash cumin


  • Wash spinach well and cut into small sized strips. I usually take a few leaves, and slice together into strips, leave the stem, not problem. (This does not have to perfect, you just want to get them into longer, smaller strips.) Set aside.
  • Boil stew meat in water with the two sliced onion and two bouillon cubes. Cook until tender approximately 2 hours.
  • Strain out meat and pour broth into a large bowl.
  • In that same pot used for cooking meat, add chopped onion, garlic and butter and sauté until soft.
  • Add tomato paste, all spices, and stir around until well coated.
  • Add pureed tomatoes, ½ cup water and approximately 2-3 cups of broth. (You can add or decrease broth, depending on how thick you'd like it to be, check while cooking and add more or less broth. End result should be thick, but watery enough to be like a thick sauce -- hope that makes sense.).
  • Bring to a boil, add spinach and simmer for 20- 30 minutes on low heat.
  • Serve in bowls next to plates of rice and browned fideo noodles or with pita bread for scooping.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 215gCalories: 201.6kcalCarbohydrates: 11.5gProtein: 9.9gFat: 13.6gSaturated Fat: 6.7gCholesterol: 40.8mgSodium: 380.1mgFiber: 2.8gSugar: 4.8g
Keyword < 4 Hours, African, Brunch, Egyptian, Greens, Inexpensive, Spinach, Vegetable, Winter
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