Vegan Dolmades: A Delicious and Nutritious Greek Classic

Welcome to my Vegan Dolmades Recipe – a delightful and healthy vegan dish that will transport you to the Mediterranean with its aromatic flavors and unique sensation. Dolmades, also known as stuffed grape leaves, are a beloved dish in many cultures around the world, particularly those of the Middle East and the Mediterranean regions. Whether you’re looking for something new to add to your vegan recipe collection or simply looking for a delicious vegan alternative, this recipe is sure to satisfy your cravings.

As someone who has traveled extensively throughout the Mediterranean, I can tell you that dolmades are a staple dish that hold a special place in my heart. They evoke memories of family gatherings, lively conversations over shared plates, and the unique cultural traditions that make these regions so captivating.

In addition, my Vegan Dolmades Recipe offers a healthier take on traditional dolmades by omitting meat in favor of nutrient-dense plant-based ingredients. This recipe is rich in fiber from the grape leaves and high in protein from pine nuts and rice. Plus, it’s gluten-free and entirely vegan-friendly,

I believe that food is much more than mere sustenance; it’s also an opportunity to connect with others through shared experiences and flavors. Join me on this culinary adventure as we explore the wonders of Vegan Dolmades together!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vegan Dolmades
Vegan Dolmades

Dear food lover,

Allow me to tell you about a recipe that has stolen my heart – the exquisite vegan dolmades recipe. You might wonder, what is it about stuffed grape leaves that makes everyone fall in love with it? Well, let me tell you why you’ll love this vegan dolmades recipe.

Are you searching for a healthy and delicious dish to share with your friends, family, or just for yourself? You will be happy to hear that this recipe is packed with wholesome and nutritious ingredients such as pine nuts and grape leaves.

But the benefits don’t stop there. If you’re looking for a recipe that can be made gluten-free, this vegan dolmades recipe is your answer. You can have all the flavors without having to worry about any gluten lurking in the meal.

Let’s not forget about the burst of flavors from the combination of fresh herbs such as dill mint, parsley leaves, and bay leaf paired with lemon juice and tomato paste. It will make your taste buds dance with joy!

Furthermore, this dish has a special place in Middle Eastern culture – from Turkish dolmas to Assyrian food, to Greek dolmades. Each region has its unique twist on this classic dish. This recipe allows you to add your flair while exploring its rich history.

Finally, preparing the dish is half of the fun! The process of wrapping the grape leaves around each filling is like a mindful meditation practice that brings relaxation and joy.

In conclusion, whether you are searching for a healthy meal packed with taste or looking for exploring new cultures’ cuisine or busy unwinding after a long day – this vegan dolmades recipe will become a staple in your kitchen. So why not give it a try and let it conquer your taste buds?


Your dedicated vegan chef assistant

Ingredient List

 These Vegan Dolmades are the perfect appetizer for any occasions!
These Vegan Dolmades are the perfect appetizer for any occasions!

Here are the ingredients you will need to make this delicious vegan dolmades recipe:

  • Grape Leaves: 60 leaves, rinsed and drained
  • White Rice: 2 cups of long grain or short grain rice, uncooked
  • Onion: 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • Olive Oil: 1 cup of olive oil
  • Pine Nuts: ¾ cup of pine nuts
  • Currants: ¾ cup of currants
  • Mint Leaves: 1 bunch of fresh mint leaves, chopped
  • Fresh Parsley Leaves: 1 bunch of fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • Dill: 3-4 sprigs of fresh dill
  • Bay Leaf: 1 piece of bay leaf
  • Ground Cinnamon: ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • Lemon Juice: juice of a lemon
  • Tomato Paste (optional): 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • Vegetable Broth (optional): 3 cups of hot water mixed with vegetable broth

You can find grape leaves either in a jar or fresh from Mediterranean stores. It is best to use organic grape leaves for more flavor and nutrients. The herbs are essential for the dolmades’ distinctive taste, so buy them fresh, if possible. If you have allergies with pine nuts or prefer other seeds like sunflower seeds or hemp seeds, you can substitute them as well. You can also use bulgur wheat in combination with rice for added protein and fiber. For this recipe, I advise using short grain rice as it releases starch while cooking, binding the ingredients together better.

The Recipe How-To

 Roll up your sleeves, it's time to make some delicious Vegan Dolmades!
Roll up your sleeves, it’s time to make some delicious Vegan Dolmades!

Now that you have gathered all the ingredients, it’s time to get our hands dirty and start making some delicious vegan dolmades. Follow these simple steps to create your own batch!

Step 1: Soak the Grape Leaves

Take the grape leaves out of their jar and rinse them under running water for a couple of minutes, so that they become more pliable. In a large bowl, soak the leaves with hot water for about 10 minutes until they are soft.

Step 2: Preparing the Filling

To prepare the filling, begin by heating up one medium finely-chopped onion over medium heat in a skillet with olive oil. Once translucent, add 1 cup of white rice and 3/4 cup pine nuts, stirring for about 2 minutes before adding 1/2 cup of currants. Season with salt and ground cinnamon, followed by the juice from half a lemon. Add 2 cups of vegetable broth and wait for it to come to a boil. Bring the heat down to low-medium and let simmer until all liquid is absorbed, which should take around 15-20 minutes.

Step 3: Assemble the Dolmades

Now that filling is ready, set it aside to cool down while we assemble our dolmades. Drain and loosen up our grape leaves, placing each one flat on a cutting board. Grab a generous tablespoon or so of rice mixture (depending on how big your leaf is), and place it on the center of each leaf. Roll up the leaf starting from the bottom and tucking in each side as you go. Repeat until all of your filling is used.

Step 4: Cooking

Arrange your rolled-up dolmades in circular layers at the bottom of a bottomed pot, ensuring there is no free space left. You can place an inverted small plate or a few extra grape leaves at the bottom of your pot to prevent sticking or burning. Place a bay leaf on top of each layer and tightly pack with dolmades until all filling is used up. Drizzle olive oil over everything generously.

Add just enough hot water (around 3 cups) to cover them – but don’t overcrowd! Bring to boil over high heat then reduce your stove temperature to medium-low heat for about 45-55 mins or until your dolmades are firm; check occasionally to make sure they’re not dry through adding boiling water if necessary.

Step 5: Plating

Once cooked take off from heat then place each dolma gently onto serving plates using tongs or fork; drizzle over fresh lemon juice around them then serve alongside slices of fresh tomato, cucumber, lettuce or parsley leaves.

You just mastered making vegan stuffed grape leaves!

Substitutions and Variations

 Love Mediterranean food? These Vegan Dolmades are for you!
Love Mediterranean food? These Vegan Dolmades are for you!

As with any delicious recipe, there are always ways to make it your own. Here are a few options to customize this Vegan Dolmades Recipe:

– Instead of currants and pine nuts, you can also add chopped dried apricots or raisins for a sweeter flavor.

– For a gluten-free version, replace the white rice with bulgur wheat or quinoa.

– You can also mix up the herbs in this recipe depending on your personal preferences. Try dill, cilantro or basil for a unique twist.

– If grape leaves are unavailable or hard to find, you can use collard greens or kale leaves instead for a similar effect.

– To change up the flavor profile of these dolmades, try adding tomato paste or harissa paste to the rice mixture before stuffing the grape leaves.

Remember, cooking is all about experimenting and finding what tastes good to you. So don’t be afraid to get creative and have fun with it!

Serving and Pairing

 Don't wait for your next Greek vacation to enjoy some mouth-watering Dolmades!
Don’t wait for your next Greek vacation to enjoy some mouth-watering Dolmades!

Now that you’ve finished making your delicious vegan dolmades, it’s time to think about how you will serve and enjoy them. This dish is suitable for a variety of occasions, from a light snack to a full meal. The tanginess and the freshness of the lemon juice provide a perfect contrast to the savory and filling dolmades. Moreover, the aroma of mint leaves and fresh parsley adds an earthy tone to the mix.

When considering pairing options, one thing to keep in mind is that these dolmades are quite flavorful on their own, so you’ll want something light and refreshing to go with them. A simple salad of greens and tomatoes is always a great choice. You can also put together a plate full of your favorite olives and hummus for some extra texture and taste.

If you’re looking for something more substantial, these dolmades pair well with a falafel or roasted vegetable wrap. Try stuffing them into some crispy pita bread pockets along with some tahini sauce for an added element of indulgence.

For a more authentic Middle Eastern experience, serve your dolmades alongside some thick and creamy tzatziki sauce or hummus. These dips are perfect for adding an extra layer of tangy flavor to the savory-sweetness of the stuffed grape leaves.

Lastly, don’t forget to pour yourself a cool glass of white wine or iced tea to complete your mealtime experience. With their unique combination of flavors and textures, these vegan dolmades are sure to be a hit at any gathering, big or small!

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 These Vegan Dolmades are so good, they might just become a staple in your kitchen!
These Vegan Dolmades are so good, they might just become a staple in your kitchen!

Darling, let me tell you a secret: these vegan dolmades are even better the next day! So, you have some options here. You can either store the leftovers in the fridge for up to 3 days, or freeze them for up to 2 months.

If you choose to store them in the fridge, I suggest you place your dolmades in an airtight container with some lemon wedges and fresh herbs like mint and parsley. The lemon will preserve their bright flavors, while the herbs will infuse them with an extra aroma. When you’re ready to eat them again, simply reheat them in the oven at 350°F for about 15 minutes, or in the microwave on high for 1-2 minutes.

If you opt for freezing your dolmades, use a freezer-safe container or wrap them tightly in plastic wrap and aluminum foil. They can be easily reheated from frozen by baking them at 350°F for about 25-30 minutes. No need to thaw them first.

Remember that rice tends to dry out as it’s stored or frozen, so if your dolmades feel a bit dry when reheated, don’t hesitate to drizzle some olive oil or lemon juice over them. They’ll come back to life just like that!

Tips for Perfect Results

 Looking for a vegan snack that's full of flavor? Try these Vegan Dolmades!
Looking for a vegan snack that’s full of flavor? Try these Vegan Dolmades!

As a vegan chef, I’ve spent many years mastering the art of dolmades making. Here are some useful tips to make sure your vegan dolmades turn out perfectly every time.

Firstly, use fresh herbs! Dolmades have a special flavour that can be achieved using a combination of dill, mint and parsley. Make sure to use fresh herbs and chop them finely.

Secondly, when it comes to choosing rice to use in this recipe, I recommend using long-grain (such as basmati) or short-grain (such as Arborio) rice. Avoid using sticky or glutinous rice as they won’t hold up well during the cooking process.

Thirdly, rinse and drain grape leaves thoroughly. The brine solution in which they are packaged can give them a salty taste if not rinsed properly under cold water. Leaving them too wet can also make the rice mixture watery during rolling.

Fourthly, when stuffing the grape leaves, be sure not to overfill them with rice mixture as it can cause them to burst open while cooking. Press lightly on the filling so it is compact but still has some give.

Fifthly, arrange dolmades tightly in the pot so they don’t open during cooking. Make sure you choose a pot that is deep enough.

Sixthly, always start cooking your stuffed grape leaves in gently simmering water or vegetable broth before adding tomato paste or lemon juice. Adding these acidic ingredients from the beginning can toughen up the leaves and lead to failure in their tender consistency.

Lastly, allow your vegan dolmades to rest for 10-15 minutes before serving so all of the delicious flavors can come together.

By following these tips and using high-quality ingredients, you should end up with delicious vegan dolmades every time!


As you prepare to make these delicious vegan dolmades, you may have some questions or concerns. That’s why I’ve put together this FAQ section to help alleviate any confusion or doubts you may have. From cooking times to ingredient substitutions, I’ll cover the most common queries and provide you with helpful tips for perfect results. So let’s dive in and get ready to make some mouth-watering dolmades!

What is the difference between dolmas and dolmades?

When it comes to stuffed grape leaves, the Turkish and Greek versions both have distinct differences in their flavor profiles. The Turkish dolmas, called yaprak sarmasi, tend to have a combination of tomato paste and pine nuts. Meanwhile, the Greek version, known as dolmades, contains more herbs like green onions and dill. Despite these variations, both types are similarly prepared by rolling the stuffed mixture into cigars.

What can I use instead of grape leaves for dolmas?

When seeking the ideal leaves for dolma, grape vine leaves are the go-to option. These can often be located in jars near pickled items at numerous markets. If brined grape leaves are unavailable, viable replacements include Swiss chard or collard greens.

Are dolmades healthy?

Stuffed grape vine leaves, also known as dolmades, possess potent antioxidant properties and hold significant nutritional value.

Are vegetarian stuffed grape leaves good for you?

These leafy greens offer a variety of health benefits due to their nutrient-rich profile. Not only are they low in calories – with a mere 14 calories in just five leaves – but they’re also packed with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin K, and complex B vitamins. Additionally, grape leaves contain niacin, fiber, iron, folate, calcium, magnesium, riboflavin, and manganese.

Bottom Line

With every bite of these vegan dolmades, you’ll be transported to the sun-soaked lands of Greece and Turkey. The blend of Mediterranean flavors and fresh herbs used in this recipe will tantalize your taste buds and nourish your body. Not only are these dolmades delicious, but they are also a healthy alternative to traditional meat-based dishes.

I implore you to give this vegetarian dolma recipe a go. Whether you’re a devoted vegan or simply looking to add some variety to your weekly menu, this recipe is sure to delight. With simple substitutions and variations, you can customize the dolmades recipe to fit your dietary needs and preferences.

So why not get adventurous in the kitchen and explore the rich culinary heritage of Greek and Turkish food through this simple yet mouth-watering recipe? I promise you won’t regret it!

Vegan Dolmades

Vegan Dolmades Recipe

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Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Mediterranean
Servings 24 dolmas
Calories 87.3 kcal


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup white rice, uncooked
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 1/4 cup currants
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley leaves, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons mint leaves, chopped
  • 24 grape leaves
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice


  • Chop.
  • Cook.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 39gCalories: 87.3kcalCarbohydrates: 11.3gProtein: 1.5gFat: 4.4gSaturated Fat: 0.5gSodium: 230.3mgFiber: 0.8gSugar: 2.6g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Easy, Low Cholesterol
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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