Lamb-Stuffed Dolmades

    2 hours

    Grape leaves filled with lamb, rice and spices and simmered until perfectly tender. They taste even better after sitting for several hours.

    55 people made this

    Serves: 32 

    • 1 cup (155g) uncooked white rice
    • 1 kg lamb mince
    • 1 kg grape leaves, drained and rinsed
    • 1 teaspoon salt
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon ground allspice
    • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
    • 1 cup (250ml) lemon juice
    • 2 kalamata olives (optional)

    Preparation:45min  ›  Cook:1hour15min  ›  Ready in:2hours 

    1. Soak rice in cold water, and drain. In a large bowl, mix together the lamb mince, rice, allspice, salt and pepper until well blended. Place about 1 tablespoon of the meat mixture onto the centre of each leaf. Fold the leaf over once, turn in the edges on each side, and then roll the leaf closed.
    2. Stack the dolmades in a large pot, covering each layer with slices of garlic. Add just enough water to cover the rolls, then pour in the lemon juice. Add the olives to the pot for flavouring, if desired. Place a plate on top of the rolls to keep them under water.
    3. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat, cover and simmer for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Check the rice for doneness.

    Cooking Tip

    Do not stack the rolled grape leave more than 3 or 4 layers thick in the pan. More layers can make the rolls cook unevenly; the ones on the bottom may overcook before the ones on the top are done.

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    Reviews in English (46)


    I make almost the exact same recipe (from Lebanon), except I use cabbage leaves. I also bake it all in a casserole dish making sure to cover the rolls completely with water, lemon juice, sliced garlic, and some drops of margarine. It is so much easier than doing it on the stove. Salt all over. It is a tangy garlicky lemon flavor that I love!  -  28 May 2005  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    I absolutely love this recipe. For those of you who find them a little bland please read on. I am a Syrian and my grandmother taught me this recipe. Over the years I have tweeked it a little bit to my liking. Everybody raves how these are the best grape leaves they have ever had. After many many trials and errors I find this to be the best! It is even my boyfriends favorite meal. It is a rather difficult recipe that takes alot of time and effort. Good Luck!! yelah!  -  09 Dec 2007  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)


    Robert- thank you so MUCH! These are absolutely fantastic. They are tangy and PERFECT! I found that I didn't need all of the grape leaves though. I only needed about a jar and a half. If you can't find ground lamb meat, ask your butcher to grind up a lamb roast for you, or plan in advance and call some stores to see if they can order you the ground lamb. The lamb taste is essential! Look for the grape leaves in the olive aisle...they actually had them at the Safeway even though I was prepared to go to an ethnic food store for them. I will be sharing this recipe and making the dish again and again!  -  13 Jan 2007  (Review from Allrecipes USA and Canada)