Delicious Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves Recipe

Are you searching for a delicious vegetarian dish that combines Middle Eastern and Greek flavors? Look no further than this recipe for vegetarian stuffed grape leaves! Also known as yalanji or dolmades, these grape leaves stuffed with rice, herbs, and spices are the perfect appetizer or main dish for any occasion.

Not only is this recipe full of flavor, but it also meets the needs of vegan and gluten-free diets. The combination of fresh mint, parsley, and lemon juice gives the filling a refreshing taste while cumin adds a warm earthy flavor. Tomatoes and chickpeas bring a Mediterranean flair to the dish, making it perfect for those who love Greek or Lebanese cuisine.

While this recipe may seem intimidating at first glance, it is actually quite simple to make. With just a few ingredients and some preparation time, you can make a batch of stuffed grape leaves that will rival even the best local Lebanese restaurant.

So why not impress your guests with this authentic Middle Eastern and Greek delicacy? Or simply enjoy it as an easy yet satisfying weeknight meal – either way, this vegetarian stuffed grape leaves recipe is sure to be a hit!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves
Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves

As a vegan chef, I know the importance of having delicious and nutritious meals that satisfy our cravings. That’s why I’m excited to introduce you to my vegetarian stuffed grape leaves recipe!

What makes this recipe so great is the combination of flavorful ingredients that come together to create a refreshing burst of taste in every bite. The brown rice, chickpeas, and pine nuts are mixed with fragrant cumin, fresh mint and parsley, and tangy lemon juice to create a hearty filling that complements the soft texture of the grape leaves.

One of the best things about this recipe is that it’s versatile and customizable. You can adjust the flavors by adding more garlic or onion or by experimenting with different herbs like rosemary or thyme. Plus, you can add your preferred vegetables like diced tomatoes or roasted bell peppers for an extra boost of nutrition.

But flavor isn’t everything – this dish is also packed with healthy fats from the olive oil, chickpeas and pine nuts that help keep you feeling full for longer. Additionally, grape leaves contain antioxidants that contribute to overall health, while brown rice ensures stable blood sugar levels.

Finally, this recipe is perfect for entertaining guests or meal prepping because it can be made ahead and kept in the fridge for up to a week. It’s suitable just for vegetarian but also vegan diets and can be served warm or cold. Trust me when I say everyone will love these stuffed grape leaves – even if they aren’t vegetarian or vegan!

In conclusion, whether you’re an avid fan of greek food or Middle Eastern cuisine, looking for plant-based options to include in your meal plan, this vegetarian stuffed grape leaves recipe is sure to be pleasurable to your senses and nourish your body.

Ingredient List

 These delectable stuffed grape leaves are the perfect appetizer for any dinner party!
These delectable stuffed grape leaves are the perfect appetizer for any dinner party!

As a vegan chef, I always look for fresh ingredients that can give the dish an extra layer of flavor without harming the environment or the animals. To make the perfect vegetarian stuffed grape leaves, have a look at the ingredient list below. You can easily find them at any nearby grocery store or supermarket.

Main Stuffing Ingredients:

  • Grape Leaves: 1 jar of grape leaves (about 50 count) or fresh leaves off your vine.

  • Long-grain Rice: 2 cups of long-grain rice.

  • Chickpeas: 1 can or about 1½ – 2 cups cooked chickpeas.

  • Onion: 1 large finely chopped onion.

  • Tomatoes: 2 large chopped tomatoes.

  • Pine Nuts: ½ cup of pine nuts.

  • Garlic Clove: 1 minced garlic clove.

  • Fresh Parsley: &frac12 cup fresh parsley minced

Flavors and Seasonings:

  • Fresh Mint: &frac12 cup of fresh mint finely chopped.

  • Cumin: 1 teaspoon of cumin.

  • Sea Salt: ¾ teaspoon if using canned chickpeas, otherwise a full teaspoon

  • Lemon Juice: Juice from one lemon.

  • Olive Oil: ½ cup of olive oil (use more if needed).

Tomato Paste Mixture:

  • Tomato Paste: 4 tablespoons of tomato paste.

  • Water: 2 cups of water.

  • Cider Vinegar: ½ cup cider vinegar.

The Recipe How-To

 Each vine leaf is filled with a savory rice mixture and seasoned with flavorful herbs and spices.
Each vine leaf is filled with a savory rice mixture and seasoned with flavorful herbs and spices.

Step-by-Step Guide to Cooking Delicious Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves

Grape leaves are delicious pockets of flavour that are perfect for stuffing. My vegetarian-stuffed grape leaves recipe features a filling of rice, chickpeas, and fragrant spices like cumin and mint. It’s perfect for vegans and vegetarians alike.

Preparing the Grape Leaves

Before you can start stuffing the grape leaves, it’s important to prepare them properly. If you’re using jarred grape leaves, you’ll need to rinse them thoroughly under cold water. This gets rid of any excess saltiness and ensures they’re clean when it comes time to stuff them. If you’re using fresh grape leaves, blanch them in boiling water with a pinch of salt for 1 minute to soften them up.

Preparing the Stuffing Ingredients

For the stuffing, start by heating 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add one chopped onion and cook until softened but not coloured. Next, add one minced garlic clove and stir until fragrant.

Once the onions and garlic have softened, add one cup of long-grain rice to the pan along with two cups of hot vegetable stock. Bring the mixture to a boil then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 18-20 minutes until all water is absorbed and the rice is cooked through. Fluff up with a fork and set aside.

Add half a cup of finely chopped fresh parsley, half a cup of finely chopped fresh mint, one tablespoon of tomato paste, one tablespoon of fresh lemon juice, half a teaspoon of sea salt and half a teaspoon of cumin powder into the cooked rice mixture. Stir everything together until fully combined.

Rolling Up the Dolmas

Take one grape leaf at a time placing it vein-side up on the work surface. Depending on what type you’ve got, put around two teaspoons (or less) full of filling onto each leaf (the bigger ones may take more). Fold over both sides then roll tightly starting at the base.

Arrange them onto plates, seam-side down so they won’t open during cooking.

Cooking the Dolmas

In a small bowl mix together two cups of vegetable stock or water (you may need more depending on how many dolmas you’ve got) with three-quarters cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice and three-quarters cup of extra-virgin olive oil.

Pour this mixture over your stuffed grape leaves in a large pot giving them enough space so they won’t break apart while cooking. Place an inverted plate on top (this helps keep them from moving), then cover with some extra grape leaves if you have any left.

Bring everything to boil gently then reduce heat to low-med allowing it to simmer for 40-45 minutes or until most liquid has evaporated but not completely disappeared (they should still have some residual potion liquid.).

Serve warm with additional lemon wedges if desired! You can also store

Substitutions and Variations

 Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or simply looking for a healthy snack, this recipe is a must-try!
Whether you’re vegan, vegetarian or simply looking for a healthy snack, this recipe is a must-try!

As a versatile recipe, vegetarian stuffed grape leaves allow for several variations and substitutions. Experimenting with different ingredients can result in unique flavors and textures that cater to individual preferences. Here are some ways you can adapt the recipe:

– Rice: Instead of brown rice, you can use short-grain or long-grain white rice or even substitute it with quinoa or bulgur wheat for a nuttier flavor.

– Vegetables: Add finely chopped carrots, zucchini, or bell peppers to the stuffing mixture for more color and nutrients.

– Herbs: Fresh dill, thyme, oregano, or basil can be substituted or added alongside fresh parsley and mint. Experiment with different herb combinations to find your preferred taste.

– Nuts: While pine nuts are popular for this recipe, other nuts like almonds, walnuts, or pistachios can be used instead.

– Protein: Instead of chickpeas, other legumes like black beans, lentils, or kidney beans can be used in the filling mixture.

– Grape Leaves: If fresh grape leaves are not readily available, you can purchase grape leaves in jars soaked in brine from specialty stores or online.

– Sauces: Tomato sauce is a common dipping sauce for the stuffed grape leaves. However, Tzatziki sauce made from yogurt and cucumber adds tanginess to the dish. Pomegranate molasses mixed with olive oil also makes a delicious dressing.

By using these alternatives and playing around with different variations rather than sticking with traditional ones all the time could definitely make your dish stand out.

Serving and Pairing

 The aroma of the grape leaves cooking in the oven is sure to fill your kitchen with mouth-watering scents.
The aroma of the grape leaves cooking in the oven is sure to fill your kitchen with mouth-watering scents.

Now that you’ve filled and rolled the grape leaves with this savory vegetarian stuffing, it’s time to get ready to serve them! This recipe makes for a delightful appetizer or an impressive main course. With this vegan stuffed grape leaves recipe, there’s no need for any meaty entrée.

These stuffed grape leaves pair perfectly with any crisp white wine, such as a Sauvignon Blanc or Pinot Grigio. Sparkling water or a light beer would also complement the flavor of the dish. Alternatively, a glass of iced tea can be refreshing during hot weather.

You may want to add some traditional sides to complete the meal such as hummus, tzatziki, couscous salad or fresh pita bread. Olives also make a great accompaniment, sprinkled with fresh parsley and minced garlic. This vegetarian grape leaf dish, inspired by Greek dolmades and Armenian yalanji recipe dishes, can be enjoyed as an entree by doubling the serving size or you could halve the dessert portion for a perfect lunchtime plate.

Try it out and become versatile for meals including Greek and Arabic cuisines.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 Each bite of these stuffed grape leaves melts in your mouth and delights your taste buds.
Each bite of these stuffed grape leaves melts in your mouth and delights your taste buds.

One of the greatest advantages of this vegetarian stuffed grape leaves recipe is that it can be made ahead, stored and reheated without losing its delicious flavors. In fact, storing the stuffed grape leaves in the fridge overnight will actually enhance the taste as it allows the flavors to mingle and infuse into each other.

To store leftover stuffed grape leaves, place them in an airtight container or tightly wrap them with plastic wrap. They can be stored in the fridge for up to 3-4 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months. To reheat, simply place them on a baking sheet and reheat in the oven at 350°F for 10-15 minutes until they are hot and crispy.

It is worth noting that reheating stuffed grape leaves should always be done in an oven or toaster oven rather than a microwave, as this will ensure that they retain their texture and do not become soggy.

If you want to serve a fresh batch of stuffed grape leaves to your guests, you can prepare and stuff the grape leaves up to one day before serving, cover them with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator overnight. Then, cook them according to the recipe instructions just before serving.

Following these tips will not only help you make the most out of your vegetarian stuffed grape leaves but will also allow you to enjoy their delicious taste whenever you crave them!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The tangy and sour notes of the grape leaves pair perfectly with the fragrant and savory filling.
The tangy and sour notes of the grape leaves pair perfectly with the fragrant and savory filling.

As a vegan chef, I know that every recipe has its own unique intricacies and difficulties. This Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves Recipe is no exception. If you’re new to grape leaf stuffing, or if you’re looking for tips to perfect your technique, these suggestions will help you achieve the best results possible.

Firstly, make sure to pack the leaves snugly in the pot. A tightly packed pot of stuffed grape leaves will help keep them secure while cooking and prevent them from unraveling when it’s time to serve.

Secondly, use a combination of both long- and short-grain rice. The long-grain rice will create a fluffy texture while the short-grain rice will help bind everything together. Make sure to rinse the rice thoroughly before using it so that it doesn’t become too starchy during cooking.

Don’t forget to season properly! Using a mixture of fresh herbs such as parsley and mint, along with spices such as cumin and paprika, will add depth and flavor to the filling. Additionally, adding a splash of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to the filling mixture will brighten up the flavors.

When rolling your stuffing into your grape leaves, don’t make them too tight as they will expand whilst cooking. If they are overpacked with stuffing they will not cook properly at the centre.

Lastly, patience is key! Allow the stuffed grape leaves ample time to cook over low heat for tender results. The filling should be cooked through and the rice should be fully cooked without being mushy.

Following these tips will assist you in cooking this vegan Stuffed Grape Leaves recipe like a pro with delicious exquisiteness with every bite!

Bottom Line

In conclusion, the Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves recipe is a must-try for both vegans and non-vegans alike. This dish is packed with essential nutrients, from the fiber-rich brown rice and chickpeas to the burst of flavors from the tomato paste and freshly squeezed lemon juice. In addition, the use of grape leaves as a wrap adds a layer of complexity to the dish and makes it an authentic Middle Eastern treat.

Aside from its nutritional value and cultural significance, this dish is also versatile and easy to customize. You can add or substitute ingredients based on your preference or what’s available in your pantry. Whether you want to go all-in with pine nuts or experiment with different spices like cumin, there’s always room for creativity in this recipe.

Overall, I highly recommend trying out this Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves recipe. It’s not only delicious but also a great way to incorporate more plant-based meals into your diet. So grab some fresh grape leaves, gather your ingredients, and get cooking!

Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves

Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves Recipe

This is a variation of a recipe I found on called Chickpea Stuffed Grape Leaves. Kosher/Pareve
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Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr
Course Appetizer/Side dish
Cuisine Middle-Eastern
Servings 2 rolls per serving
Calories 124.9 kcal


  • 1 (16 ounce) jar grape leaves, drained
  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup of fresh mint, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups low sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 (15 ounce) can chickpeas, rinsed, drained and roughly chopped
  • 2 tomatoes, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin


  • Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Blanch the grape leaves in the boiling water for 10 minutes, drain and set aside.
  • In the same pot, place the brown rice, olive oil, sea salt, onion and garlic over medium heat. Stir well and cook for 15 minutes, stirring intermittently, or until the rice is browned and the onions are soft.
  • Mix the parsley, mint and tomato paste into the pot, followed by the vegetable broth, and lemon juice. Allow rice mixture to cook for about 25-30 minutes, or until most of the liquid is absorbed and the rice is tender, but not fully cooked. If not enough liquid add some boiled water while still cooking.
  • Add the chopped chickpeas and diced tomatoes to the rice mixture. Season with the cumin and salt to taste.
  • Place a grape leaf flat on a plate. Put about 2 tablespoons of filling in the center of the leaf and roll into a bundle. Repeat until you are out of leaves and filling.
  • Place all the stuffed grape leaves into a pot and pour vinegar and enough fresh water in to cover the bundles.
  • Place the pot on the stove over medium-high heat and bring back to a boil. Turn the heat down and simmer for an additional 15 minutes, or until the rice filling is fully cooked.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 77gCalories: 124.9kcalCarbohydrates: 21.4gProtein: 4.1gFat: 3.2gSaturated Fat: 0.5gSodium: 1044mgFiber: 2.3gSugar: 0.9g
Keyword < 4 Hours, For Large Groups, Kosher, Middle Eastern, Vegetable
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