Best Stuffed Grapevine Leaves Recipes: Greek Dolmades Recipe, Other Options
Stuffed grapes leaves are a delight as a snack, entrée or as a side dish for a main meal. There are many varieties and many recipes.
This article has gathered together the best of the best recipes of various types in one place so that you can see and try the many options that are available.
Some are simple, some are complex.
Some are hot and spicy, others are more gentle and delicate in flavor.
Some have meat, others are vegetarian and vegan.
Whatever your tastes you will find great stuffed grape recipes here to try!
Simple Greek Dolmades Recipe
- Salt to taste
- juice of 2 lemons
- 2 cups warm water
- 2 onions, finely chopped
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 1 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup parsley, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons dill, finely chopped
- 60 large grape vine leaves, washed, drained and dried
- 1 cup of rice (you can used wholegrain, black, wild and other varieties)
Use fresh grape vine leaves if you have access to them or use processed vine leaves that are sold in jars. Wash and drain the vine leaves, fresh or preserved. The fresh leaves should be blanched in boiling hot water before setting aside in a colander to drain and cool. Rinse the rice in cool water and drain. Heat a large saucepan or Dutch oven to medium hot and then add 1/3 cup of olive oil. Add the onions and sauté until soft and translucent. Add the rice and sauté the mixture for 1-2 minutes. Pour 2 cups of warm water and half the lemon juice into the pan. Bring to the boil and then lower the heat and simmer for about 7-8 minutes. The rice will absorbs all the water and become parboiled. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add the herbs and mix well. Remove the pan from the stove and set aside to cool. This completes the preparation of the filling.
The next step is to start rolling the dolmades. Place one vine leaf on a flat surface with the shiny side down. Add 1-2 teaspoons of the mixture (depending on the leaf size) near to the bottom of the leaf, close to the stem. Take care not to overfill the dolmades. The rice will expand as it cooks and keep the amount of filling small to stop the dolmades splitting apart.
Fold the lower section of the leaf over the filling, angling it towards the center of the leaf. Next fold in the two sides in towards the center and roll the leaf up over the filling. The rolls should be tight and firm.
Place the stuffed vine leaves on the bottom of the pot with the fold side down, Cover the base and then add more layers. Pack the dolamdes tightly together and this helps to keep them intact when they are cooking. Drizzle the rest of the olive oil and lemon juice over the dolmades and season with salt and pepper. Place an inverted plate inside the pan on top of the dolmades to hold them down when cooking. Pour in enough water just to cover the dolmades. Cover the pan with its lid or with foil and simmer the dolmades gently for about 30-40 minutes. When cooked remove the dolmades and set aside for at least 30 minutes to cool. Serve warm or cold with a squeeze of lemon juice and some fresh herbs.
Egyptian Style Stuffed Grape Leaf Recipes with Beef and Rice
- 3 cardamom pods
- 2 onions, peeled
- 2 lemons, juiced
- 400 g (14 oz) minced beef
- 130 g (4.5 oz) white rice
- 2 pieces of mastic (optional)
- 500 g (1 lb) lamb forequarter pieces, rinsed
- lemon wedges, natural yogurt and flat bread (for serving)
- 2 x 500 g (1 lb) jars preserved grape vine leaves (or fresh leaves)
Place lamb in a stockpot or Dutch oven. Add 3 litres of water, the onions, mastic (optional) and cardamom. Bring the water to the boil, and then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 60-70 minutes until the lamb is tender. Set the lamb aside to cool. Then pull the meat from bones. Reserve 1.5 litres of the stock used to cook the meat, discarding the solids. Season with the lemon juice, 1 tablespoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, and set the liquid aside. Next combine the cooked beef with the rice and season with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper. Rinse the vine leaves and then drain in a colander. Working in batches, roll 1 teaspoon of the rice mixture with the vines leaves to form, tight finger-like rolls.
Assemble the stuff vine leaves in a pan, close together, fold-side down, in several layers if necessary. Scatter the pulled lamb on top. Put an upturned plate on top of the vine leaves stop the rolls unravelling during cooking. Pour 1.5 litres of the reserved stock on top. Bring the pan to the boil and then lower the heat under the pan to low and simmer, partially covered for 45-60 minutes, until the rolls are tender. Set the pan aside with the rolls in the cooking liquid for about an hour to cool and develop their flavor. Serve with lemon, yogurt and warm flat bread.
Stuffed Grape Vine Leaves with Black Olives, Feta and Parsley
- pinch turmeric
- pinch cumin seeds
- olive oil (to serve)
- pinch ground cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- lemon wedges (to serve)
- 1 tablespoon white wine
- pinch paprika (to serve)
- 75 g (2.5 oz) feta, sliced
- 1/2 red onion, finely chopped
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 200 ml (7 fl oz) hot vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
- 2 tablespoons black olives, pits removed and sliced
- 100 g (3.5 oz) short grain rice, rinsed (or brown rice)
- 10 vacuum-packed vine leaves in brine, drained (or fresh leaves)
Add the olive oil to a heavy medium saucepan or Dutch oven. Add the onion and fry until softened. Add the garlic and rice and cook for 1 minute, until the rice grains are all coated with the oil and have started to cook, slightly. Add the stock a little at a time, the white wine and the spices and cook for about 15 minutes. Add the feta, parsley and black olives and mix well to complete the filling. Place the vine leaves onto a flat surface. Add about 1-2 teaspoons of the mixture and roll tightly.
Serve warm or cold, drizzled with olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika. Serve on a plate with lemon wedges.
Vegetarian Stuffed and Rolled Grape Vine Leaves Recipe
- 1/2 cup pine nuts
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 1 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1/2 cup fresh minced dill
- 1/4 cup fresh minced mint
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 3/4 cups vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup Extra Virgin olive oil
- 1 1/2 cups long grain white rice
- 6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 50 large grape leaves (fresh or preserved)
- Fresh mint leaves, olives, lemon slices (for garnishing when serving - optional)
Place the pine nuts in a small dry skillet and lightly toast them over moderate heat until they are golden brown.
Pour 1/4 cup of olive oil into a deep pot or Dutch oven and heat to moderate. Add the onion and fry until soft, and then add the rice and stir to coat all the rice grains with oil and fry for 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup of vegetable broth in small batches while stirring. Reduce the heat and gently simmer the rice uncovered for about 8-10 minutes until most of the stock is absorbed and the rice is half-cooked. The rice will finish cooking in the grape leaves, so you want it half-cooked at this stage, Add the mint, toasted pine nuts, minced dill, lemon zest and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice. Mix and season with salt and pepper, and set aside. Blanch the trimmed vine leaves in boiling water for 3-5 minutes to soften them. Drain the leaves in a colander and flush with cold water. Shake and pat the leaves dry. Take each grape leaf and place on a board with the shiny (smooth) side down. Place 1-2 tablespoons of rice filling at the base end of the leaf, and roll the leaf tightly folding in the sides. Do not roll too tightly as the rice will expand when cooking.
Place the stuffed vine leaves in the bottom of the sauté pan, packing them snugly as this helps to stop them unravelling. Add a second layer if needed. Pour 1 cup of broth, 1/4 cup of olive oil, and 1/3 cup of fresh lemon juice over the stuffed vine leaves. Heat the pan over moderate heat until the liquid just starts to simmer, but do not boil as this will unravel the vine leaves. Reduce the heat to low. Put a plate on top of the leaves in the pan, cover and simmer very gently for 30-40 minutes. Serve warm or cold with a sauce such as spicy tomato, tahini or tzatziki.
Spicy Stuffed Grape Vine Leaves with Lamb and Herbs
- 1 large lemon
- 2 garlic cloves
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 250 g (9 oz) minced lamb
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 peeled and chopped tomato
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 250 g (9 oz) long-grain rice
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 150 ml (1/4 pint) stock or water
- 40 fresh or preserved grape vine leaves
- 3 tablespoons flat leaf parsley, chopped
Blanch the fresh vine leaves in boiling water for 5 minutes, and the preserved leaves for 20 minutes to soften them. Wash the rice, cover with boiling water and set aside for 15-20 minutes to partially cook it. Then, drain the rice, add to a bowl with the parsley, oregano, onion, tomato and lamb. Mix and set aside. Make a sauce by crushing the garlic with some salt and pepper corns and transferring to a small bowl. Squeeze in half the lemon and add the garlic. Place the vine leaves on a board two or three at a time with their points facing the top and the shiny side facing down. Place 1-2 teaspoons of filling in the centre, fold the bottom of the leaf over the filling, fold in the sides and then roll to complete the dolmades. Pack the dolmades snugly with seam down, in a heavy pan or Dutch oven. Drizzle olive oil, water and lemon juice over the top and put a plate over the top to compress the dolmades while they are cooking. Cover the pan with a lid or a double layer of foil and cook over low heat for 50-70 minutes hour. Serve warm or cold with the sauce.
Turkish Style Rolled Vine Leaves Recipe (Sarma)
- 30 grape vine leaves
- 1 teaspoon dried mint
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- Plain yogurt for serving
- 1/2 cup of chopped parsley
- 1/4 cup fresh dill, chopped
- Salt and ground pepper to taste
- 2 medium onions, finely chopped
- 8-10 sour green plums (optional)
- 1 large tomato, diced (optional)
- 1 teaspoon tomato paste (optional)
- 350 g (12 oz) minced lamb or ground beef
- 1 cup water to cook the stuffed vine leaves
- 120 g (4 oz) long grain rice, rinsed and drained
Line the base of a heavy saucepan or Dutch oven with left over vine leaves or cabbage, to prevent the rolled vine leaves sticking to the bottom of the pan. Blanch the vine leaves in boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Drain and pat dry. Place the minced lamb or beef in a medium size bowl with 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add onions, herbs, spices, salt and pepper, chopped tomato and tomato paste (if using) and mix well. Place each vine leaf on a chopping board, shiny side down. Place 1-2 teaspoons of filling in the center and roll firmly, folding in the sides. Arrange the stuffed vine leaves, seam side down, in the pan that has been lines with excess vine leaves. Pack the rolled vine leaves snugly together, layer by layer. Scatter the green plums on top, if available. Drizzle with oil and 1 cup of water, to almost cover the top layer of rolls. Place a heavy plate on top of the rolls and heat using a moderate setting until the liquid just starts to simmer. Lower the heat to a gentle simmer and cook for 40-50 minutes, until cooked. Serve hot with yogurt, herbs and slices of crusty bread.
Lebanese Style Stuffed and Rolled Grape Leaves Recipes
- 2 lemons
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
- 1 cup long grain rice
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 80-100 grape leaves, medium size
- 1 pound lean ground beef or lamb
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 large grape leaves (for lining the pan)
- 2 lamb or pork neck bones, 2 bone-in pork chops, or 6 chicken wings (optional)
Rinse the leaves thoroughly, blanch in boiling water, and soak in cold water for about 15 minutes. Line a heavy, deep pan or Dutch oven with the meat bones if using. Then, cover with grape leaves. Just use the grape leaves if the meat is not being used. Assemble the filling in a medium size bowl by combining the rice, butter, salt, pepper, ground beef or lamb and cinnamon. Mix well with your hands or a wooden spoon. Place grape leaves on a flat surface and place 1-2 teaspoons of filling on the leaf and roll firmly, folding in the sides. Arrange stuffed grape leaves in layers in the pan, alternating the direction of each layer. Cover the packed rolls with lemon slices. Cover the rolls with a plate inserted inside the pan to prevent the rolls from floating or unravelling. Add water or stock to the pan up to the level of the plate. Cover the pan with a lid or two sheets of foil and heat until the liquid just starts to bubble. Simmer gently for 30-40 minutes. Serve hot or cold drizzled with olive oil, lemon juice, and sprinkled with herbs, salt and pepper.
© 2015 Dr. John Anderson