Dolmadakia or Stuffed Vegetarian Grape Leaves recipe

Dolmadakia or Dolmades are stuffed Grape leaves.
Often stuffed of meat and rice and wrapped in grape leaves, are a traditional and very appreciate recipe of the Greek cuisine. But are likewise delicious and frequent all vegetarian versions of the recipe.

Stuffed Grape leaves are often served as part of an appetizer, alongside a Greek salad, or served as a side dish. At the end, I think they can work well also into an unconventional picnic basket.

If you even think homemade food is the best you can eat or serve to your family and friends, you’ll love this recipe! Homemade Greek Dolmadakia are far superior to the canned ones. Obviously.

But this recipe is special for different reasons.

Dolmadakia: food (recipe) from the heart

Few weeks ago I was just watching some photos on Instagram. When I saw a dish of little and delicious little rolls posted by Tortellini&CO Insta-friend Lisa, alias foodsfromtheheart. She is a World Traveler and an authentic food lover and I love her Insta profile.

I left a comment on the post and Lisa answered writing me a bit of history and sharing her own recipe!! She adapted it from an old cookbook of her father had from the Greek Chef, Georgia Sarianides.

I love this recipe also for its adaptability. As Lisa wrote, each one can add or delete ingredients as each one would like or to use ingredients you have at your fingertips.

If you have never tried fresh Greek Dolmadakia, now is the time. They are very easy to make and so delicious!


Dolmadakia or Stuffed Vegetarian Grape Leaves recipe

Food tips
  • Lisa wrote: “My main focus when making these is not to burn them near the bottom of the pan. That is why I line the bottom with flat Grape leaves and check them at 30 mins.
  • A traditional accompaniment for Dolmadakia is a sauce made of eggs and lemon juice.
  • You can store the stuffed grape leaves in the refrigerator for several days, or freeze them for later use.
  • If you find fresh and organic Grape leaves, clean under water and boiled them before to use.
  • Garnish with lemon slices and olives or serve with an olives bowl apart.

Dolmadakia or Stuffed Vegetarian Grape Leaves recipe


Serves 4-6

1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 cup grated onion
1/2 cup finely chopped scallions
1 1/2 cup uncooked white rice
2 tbs chopped parsley
1 small tomato, chopped fine
2 cups of water
Salt and pepper
1 jar of 16 oz grape leaves
juice of 1 1/2 lemons
sliced Lemons for garnish


In a medium size saucepan, heat olive oil, then add onion and scallions, sauté for 2-3 mins until soft.
Add rice and stir until combined. Add parsley, tomato, 2 cups of water, salt and pepper to taste. Stir to mix completely and cook over medium-low and simmer for 10 mins or until liquid is absorbed. Remove from heat and let rice mixture to cool.
Open jar of grape leaves and rinse leaves in cold water, drain & trim any stems.
In another medium saucepan, put a layer of about 5 grape leaves flat on the bottom of inside of pan. This acts as a buffer for heat.
Put 2 tbs or so of rice mixture in at the bottom of each inside of leaf, fold in the sides and roll up. Do this until the mixture is gone. Place rolled grape leaves close together in the saucepan, layering as you go.
After they are all rolled, add lemon juice and enough water to cover the rolls.
Place a plate over the rolls to keep them pushed down a little while cooking. Cover lightly it all with a lid and cook over medium heat for an hour (check at 30 mins) until leaves are tender and water has evaporated.
Remove from heat. Cool a little bit and check one from the center for doneness.

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