This is an authentic Greek dolmades recipe for you to recreate this delicious traditional delight at home. It makes for a great vegetarian appetizer as it is made from tender vine leaves, wrapped into little rolls and stuffed with rice and fresh herbs. These juicy stuffed dolmades, you will find often served as part of a meze platter. They are the ultimate bite-sized appetizer!
So read along our blog to discover our authentic recipe with a step by step guide on how to make them to perfection!
- 1 16-oz jar grape leaves in brine (about 60 to 70 leaves)
- 1 ½ cup short grain rice
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
- 12 oz lean ground beef
- Kosher salt
- Black pepper
- 1 tsp allspice
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ cup EACH chopped fresh parsley, fresh dill & fresh mint
- 1 to 2 tomatoes sliced into rounds
- About 4 cups or more low-sodium chicken broth or water
- Juice of 2 lemons
Prepare the Grape Leaves
- Remove the grape leaves from the jar and drain of the brine. Rinse the grape leaves well then place them in a sieve to drain.
Prepare the Stuffing
- Let the rice soak in plenty of water for about 20 minutes then drain well.
- While the rice is soaking, start to cook the meat. Heat 1 tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil in a large pan. Add in your onions and cook for around 2 minutes until translucent. Next, add the meat and cook until browned whilst tossing occasionally.
- Once cooked, drain of any excess fat. Season the meat with kosher salt, pepper, and spices. Mix well to combine all seasonings then remove from heat and leave to the side to cool.
- In a mixing bowl, mix together the meat, rice, and herbs. Add a sprinkle of kosher salt. Then add a large drizzle of extra virgin olive oil, and mix well.
Stuff Grape Leaves, Assemble, and Cook
- With a large cooking pot, lightly coat the bottom with extra virgin olive oil. Arrange a few grape leaves to the bottom and top with sliced tomatoes.
- To stuff the grape leaves, you will work one leaf at a time. Place one grape leave on a cutting board the textured/rough side facing you. Take 1 teaspoon of the filling and place in the center of the leave, then fold the sides over the filling and roll. Keep repeat with the remaining grape leaves or until you’re out of stuffing.
- Arrange the grape leaves neatly in row, seam side down, covering the circumference of the pot. Then place a small plate inverted on top. Boil the broth or water and pour over the grape leaves, arriving at the top layer.
- Now cover the pot with the lid and cook over medium heat for 30 minutes until the liquid has been absorbed. Then pour juice of 2 lemons. Cover again with the lid, cook on low heat for 30 to 45 more minutes or until fully cooked.
- Remove grape leaves from heat. Allow to rest for 30 minutes without the lid before serving.
- Add a generous drizzle of quality extra virgin olive oil and transfer the dolmas to a serving platter.
- Enjoy with a side of Greek Tzatziki sauce or plain yogurt and wedges of lemon.
We hope you have enjoy this recipe. Don’t worry if you’re not up for the task or don’t have enough time to prepare these at home from scratch. We have a selection of Greek Dolmades which you can purchase form our online shop. Choose from either Onassis or Melina by finding them under the Meze Food section of our website.
The Greek Deli
Visit our dedicated e-shop and check out our plethora of delicious Greek food items available both for cooking as well as immediate consumption. The Greek Deli stocks artisanal products, including Greek juices, tsoureki, egg dyes, olive oils, wines, cheeses, and mezedes. In addition, ready meals (such as pastitsio and gemista), sweets (such as baklava and kourabiedes), and Greek coffee (Loumidis) can be found in our online shop. We even stock beloved Greek chocolates and cookies. Furthermore, brands such as Lacta, Ion, Sokofreta, and Gemista cookies, as well as an impressive selection of Greek wines. You can purchase and customise our unique Greek gift boxes, with your favourite products or pre-made. One box includes extra virgin olive oil, two bottles of wine and two jars of olive paste. Along with roasted peppers, honey, chilies, and balsamic vinegar. Perfect for sending the best of Greek tastes to a distant beloved!).
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