How to Make Stuffed Grape Leaves (Warak Einab)

Making traditional Turkish food dolmades - stuffed grape leaves

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Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Soak: 3 hrs
Total: 4 hrs
Servings: 10 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
388 Calories
14g Fat
43g Carbs
23g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 10
Amount per serving
Calories 388
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 19%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 64mg 21%
Sodium 67mg 3%
Total Carbohydrate 43g 15%
Dietary Fiber 7g 25%
Protein 23g
Calcium 205mg 16%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Stuffed grape leaves are not only delicious but are fun to make. In my kitchen, my family stuffs and wraps the grape leaves together, even the children! It can be time-consuming for one person, but with many, the time goes by very quickly and you are on to eating this delectable appetizer.


  • 1 1/2 lbs. ground beef (or ground lamb, uncooked)
  • 16 oz./1 can tomato sauce (or 2 1/2 cups peeled, diced tomatoes)
  • 2 cups white rice (uncooked)
  • 1/2 cup parsley (fresh, finely chopped)
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 16-ounces/1 jar grape leaves (or 1 pound fresh vine leaves)
  • 1 lemon (sliced)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Remove grape leaves from the jar and soak for a few hours in cold water. If not soaked properly, they will have a very salty taste.

  3. While grape leaves are soaking, mix together ground beef, tomato sauce, rice, parsley, coriander, salt, pepper and lemon juice. This is best done with your hands. Cover and place in refrigerator until ready to stuff leaves.

  4. Drain grape leaves and dry with paper towels. Remove stems. Place leaves shiny side down and have your meat mixture ready.

  5. Put about a teaspoon of mixture towards the bottom of the leaf. Fold in sides and roll upwards firmly. Do not roll too tightly. The rice does expand during cooking and may tear the leaf.

  6. Repeat with remaining leaves and mixture.

  7. In a large saucepan or dutch oven, place them side by side in circular layers. Place two lemon slices between the layers of grape leaves.

  8. Put a weight on top of the last layer of stuffed grape leaves—a ceramic plate works well. This ensures that the leaves to do not move around during cooking. Fill the pot with water, covering the leaves. Simmer and cook for 30 minutes on low until the rice is done.

  9. When rice is tender, remove vine leaves from the pot and serve.

  10. Enjoy!