Delightful Dolma: Stuffed Grape Leaves from the Mediterranean


Embark on a flavorful journey through the Mediterranean with these irresistible Dolma, or stuffed grape leaves. Each bite unveils a harmonious blend of fragrant rice, tender vegetables, and aromatic herbs, wrapped in briny grape leaves – a true celebration of flavors and cultural traditions.

Delightful Dolma: Stuffed Grape Leaves from the Mediterranean

Preparation Details

  • Preparation Time: 1 hour
  • Cooking Time: 45 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes

Number of Servings and Serving Size

  • Servings: 6
  • Serving Size: 4-5 dolma rolls

Nutritional Information (per serving)

  • Calories: 210
  • Total Fat: 10g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.5g
  • Cholesterol: 0mg
  • Sodium: 320mg
  • Total Carbohydrates: 28g
  • Dietary Fiber: 3g
  • Protein: 4g


  • 1 jar (16 oz/454g) grape leaves, drained and rinsed
  • 1 cup (200g) long-grain rice, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup (80g) finely chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup (30g) finely chopped parsley
  • 1/4 cup (30g) finely chopped dill
  • 2 tablespoons (15g) tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon (5g) salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon (2.5g) black pepper
  • 1/4 cup (60ml) olive oil
  • 2 cups (480ml) vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 tablespoons (30ml) lemon juice

Detailed Method of Preparation

  1. Prepare the filling: In a large bowl, combine the rinsed rice, chopped onion, parsley, dill, tomato paste, salt, and black pepper. Mix well.
  2. Stuff the grape leaves: Place a grape leaf, vein side up, on a flat surface. Place 1-2 tablespoons of the rice mixture near the stem end of the leaf. Fold the stem end over the filling, then fold in the sides and roll tightly into a cylinder. Repeat with the remaining grape leaves and filling.
  3. Arrange the dolma: In a large pot or Dutch oven, create a layer of any torn or damaged grape leaves on the bottom. Arrange the stuffed dolma rolls in a single layer on top, seam-side down.
  4. Cook the dolma: Pour the olive oil and broth over the dolma, and sprinkle with lemon juice. Place a heat-proof plate or inverted pot lid on top of the dolma to weigh them down. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce heat to low, cover, and simmer for 45 minutes, or until the rice is tender.
  5. Serve: Remove the dolma from the pot and arrange on a serving platter. Drizzle with some of the cooking liquid and serve warm or at room temperature.

Tips for Culinary Success

  • Soak the grape leaves in warm water for 15-20 minutes if they seem stiff or dry.
  • Roll the dolma tightly to prevent the filling from spilling out during cooking.
  • Use a heat-proof plate or lid to weigh down the dolma and keep them submerged in the cooking liquid.
  • Add a few lemon slices or a dollop of yogurt to the cooking liquid for an extra burst of flavor.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q: Can I use fresh grape leaves instead of jarred?

A: Yes, fresh grape leaves work beautifully in this recipe. Blanch them in boiling water for 2-3 minutes before using.

Q: Can I make dolma ahead of time?

A: Absolutely! Dolma can be made a day or two in advance and stored in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Q: Can I use a different filling?

A: While the traditional filling is rice-based, you can experiment with variations like ground meat, lentils, or a mix of vegetables.

As you bite into these delectable dolma, let the flavors transport you to the sun-drenched shores of the Mediterranean, where every bite is a celebration of culinary tradition and cultural heritage.