← Back to Search Results
Greek, Jewish, Middle Eastern, Syria, mediterranean
Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves

Photo by: Shutterstock, stock photo of a similar dish.
Comments: 0


Yebrah Hamaud

Throughout the Middle Eastern and Mediterranean countries, grape leaves are cooked and filled just as cabbage leaves are in Eastern Europe. The combination of lemon juice, mint, and rice makes a great cold appetizer or satisfying lunch when served alongside hummos b’tahina, tabooleh, and any eggplant salad or dip.

Yield: Serves 10 to 12 (about 3 dozen stuffed leaves)


  • One 16-ounce jar grape leaves packed in brine


  • 1¾ cups Basic Syrian Rice 
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 1½ tablespoons finely chopped yellow onions
  • 4½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1½ tablespoons dried mint leaves


  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint leaves


1. Dislodge the grape leaves from the jar and separate them gently. Place in a large bowl in the sink and rinse under cold running water. Set aside in a colander to drain. Set aside.

2. Prepare the filling. Mix the rice, pine nuts, onions, lemon juice, and pepper together in a medium-size bowl. Add the dried mint by crushing it between the palms of your hands.

3. Prepare the sauce. Combine 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, 1½ cups cold water, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Add the dried mint by crushing it between the palms of your hands. Set aside.

4. Prepare the stuffed leaves. On a clean work surface, spread the grape leaves out 3 at a time with the underside (veins) facing up and the base pointing toward you. Place about 2 teaspoons of the filling on the bottommost center of each leaf, varying the amount according to the size of the leaf. Tightly roll the leaf up once, then fold each side in. Continue to roll upward, making sure that the sides are always folded and tucked inward. Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling.

5. Cover the bottom of a large skillet with a layer of the stuffed leaves packed tightly together (seam side down). Crisscross with another layer. Pour the sauce over the leaves. (There should be enough liquid to fully cover the stuffed leaves. If there is not, add just enough to cover.) Place a small plate directly on top of the leaves to keep them from unraveling while cooking. Cover the skillet with a tight-fitting lid.

6. Simmer for at least 2 hours over low heat; the leaves should be tender, not mushy or too stringy. Check the leaves every 30 minutes and, if all of the liquid is absorbed, add cold water and the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil.

7. Serve at room temperature on a platter, alongside other appetizers and pita bread.

© 2002 Jennifer Felicia Abadi

Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

This recipe serves 12. Nutritional information does not include Basic Syrian Rice. For nutritional information on Basic Syrian Rice, please follow the link above.

97kcal (5%)
1161mg (48%)
8g (12%)
1g (4%)
0mg (0%)
108mcg RAE (4%)
6mg (10%)
120mg (12%)
2mg (9%)

Would you like to leave a comment about this recipe?

Notify me of new comments on this recipe. Add comment

We'd love to hear what you think!

Please or to add a comment to this recipe.

Sign up for
The Cookstr Weekly

Free handpicked cookbook recipes delivered straight to your inbox

Explore Cookbooks on Cookstr

amor-y-tacos Amor Y Tacos
by Deborah Schneider
fruits-of-the-harvest-recipes-to-celebrate-kwanzaa-and-other-holidays Fruits of the Harvest: Reci...
by Eric V. Copage
gluten-free-and-vegan-holidays Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays
by Jennifer Katzinger
new-american-table New American Table
by Marcus Samuelsson
urban-italian-simple-recipes-and-true-stories-from-a-life-in-food Urban Italian: Simple Recip...
by Andrew Carmellini
rice Rice
by Bonnie Tandy Leblang, Joanne Lamb Hayes
young-and-hungry-more-than-100-recipes-for-cooking-fresh-and-affordable-food-for-everyone Young and Hungry: More Than...
by Dave Lieberman
the-provence-cookbook The Provence Cookbook
by Patricia Wells
arthur-schwartzs-new-york-city-food Arthur Schwartz's New York ...
by Arthur Schwartz
unforgettable-desserts Unforgettable Desserts
by Dede Wilson
david-rosengarten-entertains-fabulous-parties-for-food-lovers David Rosengarten Entertain...
by David Rosengarten
the-south-american-table-the-flavor-and-soul-of-authentic-home-cooking-from-patagonia-to-rio-de-janeiro-with-450-recipes The South American Table: T...
by Maria Baez Kijac
julias-kitchen-wisdom Julia's Kitchen Wisdom
by Julia Child
Already a member? Sign in here

Sign up to Cookstr!

  • Receive a free, handpicked selection of recipes in your inbox weekly
  • Save, share and comment on your favorite recipes in My Cookstr
  • Get updates on new cookbooks, Cookstr features, and other exclusives we know you'll love
By signing up you accept the
Terms of Use and Privacy Policy
New to Cookstr? Sign up here

Sign in to Cookstr

Keep me logged in
Thanks for commenting!
Would you like to share your comment on Facebook or Twitter?