Addictive Greek Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolma)

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These Greek stuffed grape leaves are super easy to make and are packed with a ton of flavor.

They contain rice which is cooked along with some tomatoes and onions and is seasoned with a bunch of fresh herbs.

This recipe is also perfect for anyone who’s following a vegan diet plan since it doesn’t contain any meat products or dairy.

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A serving of Greek stuffed grape leaves

Addictive Greek Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolma)

Greek stuffed grape leaves are quite similar to Bulgarian sarma.

However, they’re made with grape leaves instead of sauerkraut and don’t contain any meat.

They’re also a very popular meal across Bulgaria the recipe I’m about to share could pass for a Bulgarian spin off.

Anyway, most of the flavor in this recipe comes from the grape leaves and fresh herbs which are cooked with the rice.

Even though it may seem tricky at first, rolling the grape leaves becomes quite easy once you get the knack of it.

And if you don’t, you can simply chop up the grape leaves and cook them along with the rice.

This will lend you pretty much the same flavor without the hassle of actually rolling the grape leaves.


  • Grape Leaves – I typically make this recipe using partially cooked grape leaves which are sold in 16 oz jars. However, you can also make it using fresh grape leaves as well. In this case, you’ll first need to blanch the leaves with hot water before using them.
  • Rice – Any type of short grained rice will do the trick. For this recipe I am using regular short grained rice.
  • Onion – You’ll need one medium sized onion which will be cooked along with the rice.
  • Tomato – A bit of tomato will enrich the taste of the stuffed grape leaves and add an umami kick.
  • Spices – The stuffed grape leaves are seasoned with a mix of fresh dill, fresh parsley, fresh spearmint and a bit of salt and pepper. There’s also some paprika which is mixed with vegetable oil and poured over the stuffed leaves.

Ingredients for Greek stuffed grape leaves

How to Make

Check out the recipe card at the end of this article for detailed, step-by-step instructions.

Start by rinsing the grape leaves and rice under cold water and draining them from the excess water.

In a medium frying pan, saute the onions and then add the rice and cook until it becomes translucent.

Stir in the diced tomatoes, spices, salt and pepper and pour a cup of hot water over the rice.

Take the rice off the heat once it has absorbed all of the water and start lining a pot with some of the grape leaves.

Cooking the rice and preparing the grape leaves

Place a grape leaf on top of a flat surface and scoop some of the rice mixture over.

Roll the grape leaf with your fingers forward some.

Spreading rice over a grape leaf and rolling the leaf over a cutting board

After that tuck the sides in and finish rolling it fully.

Tucking grape leaf and rolling it into a log

Place each roll in the pot after shaping it.

Once you’ve assembled all of the grape leaves, press them down with a plate and fill the pot with water.

Cook the stuffed grape leaves on low heat for half an hour.

In the meantime, heat some vegetable oil and mix it with the paprika.

Layering stuffed grape leaves inside a pot and pressing them down with a plate

Once the stuffed grape leaves are fully cooked, pour over the vegetable oil mixture and set the stuffed grape leaves aside to cool off.

Serve with some Bulgarian yogurt and a dash of freshly squeezed lemon juice.

Sauteing paprika in vegetable oil and pouring the mixture over the stuffed grape leaves


The great thing about stuffed grape leaves is that they taste better when they’re cold.

So if you have any leftovers you can store them in the fridge and enjoy them without having to reheat them.

When stored in the fridge, Greek stuffed grape leaves can last for up to 3 days before they spoil.

Close-up of a serving of Greek stuffed grape leaves

Addictive Greek Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolma)

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Addictive Greek Stuffed Grape Leaves (Dolma)

Greek stuffed grape leaves are a perfect appetizer for anyone who's looking for a lighter dish without any meat. You can enjoy them as is or serve them with some Bulgarian yogurt and lemon juice.
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Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
by: Aya
Servings: 4
Course: Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine: bulgarian, Greek, Mediterranean


  • 60 vine leaves drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup onion (1 medium onion); chopped
  • 4 cups water warm
  • 1/2 cup tomatoes fresh; peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup dill fresh; chopped
  • 1/4 cup parsley fresh; chopped
  • 1/4 cup spearmint fresh; chopped
  • 1/2 tsp salt more to taste
  • 1 tsp black pepper ground and more to taste
  • 2 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 Tbsp paprika


  • Rinse the grape leaves with cold water, then remove their stems and strain them off. If you're using fresh grape leaves you should also blanch them and let them cool off.
  • Rinse the rice under running water and drain it using a sieve.
  • Saute the onion in a frying pan and add the rice once the onion becomes translucent. Keep cooking for another minute or so.
  • Add the diced tomato, then season the mixture with salt, pepper and the spices, and pour a cup of hot water.
  • Let the rice cook over low heat and take the pan off the heat once the rice has absorbed all of the liquid.
  • Line the bottom of a pot with eight of the grape leaves. This will prevent the stuffed grape leaves from burning.
  • Place a grape leaf on top of a cutting board with its smooth part facing downwards and place a teaspoon of the rice mixture on top. Begin rolling the grape leaf and tuck both of its sides with your fingers. Repeat for the rest of the grape leaves. The stuffed grape leaf shouldn't be too tight since the rice will expand during cooking.
  • Assemble all of the stuffed grape leaves in the pot and press them down with a plate. Cover the stuffed grape leaves with hot water and cook under a closed lid for half an hour.
  • Heat two tablespoons of vegetable oil and stir in the paprika. Remove the plate and pour the vegetable oil over the stuffed grape leaves.
  • Let the stuffed grape leaves cool off and serve.


Sometimes laziness takes over me and I don't feel like rolling 60 grape leaves. In those cases, I do everything the same except I just chop the grape leaves, add them to the mixture of rice, and cook until it's ready. The end result is a meal that tastes like stuffed grape leaves!

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Calories: 574kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 10g | Fat: 37g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 21g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8g | Trans Fat: 0.2g | Sodium: 950mg | Potassium: 638mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 15.736IU | Vitamin C: 19mg | Calcium: 432mg | Iron: 16mg

I do my best to provide you with the nutritional information for recipes but I'm not a certified nutritionist. The nutritional information provided should only be treated as an estimate since it will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.

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