Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves Recipe | My Recipe Time

Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves Recipe

Essentially the Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves is a mixture of short-grain rice, tomatoes, parsley, green onions, green peppers, garlic and crushed red peppers, with lots of lemon juice and lots of olive oil. There are many variations of the recipe from different countries. This version is a typical Lebanese recipe that I learned from my parents.

Prep Time:2 hrs
Cook Time:1 hr 30 mins
Total Time:3 hrs 30 mins
Servings: 60 servings
Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves


1 jar grape leaves about 60-70 in brine
2 cups short grain rice
1 large tomato finely chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1 bunch parsley finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1 bunch green onions finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)
1/4 green pepper finely chopped (about 1/4 cup)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper or to taste
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup olive oil + 1/2 cup
1 large tomato sliced
3/4 cup lemon juice


Grape Leaves & Filling Prep

Step 1
Remove the grape leaves from the jar, and soak them in a large bowl of boiling hot water for a few minutes. Drain the grape leaves in a colander and stack them on a plate.

Step 2
It is best to cover them with a damp cloth so they don't dry out, until you are ready to start rolling them.

Step 3
Combine the rice, tomatoes, parsley, green onions, green peppers, garlic and crushed red pepper. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle 1/4 cup of the olive oil over the mixture. Toss to combine well.

Grape Leaves Wrapping

Step 1
To stuff and roll the grape leaves, lay a grape leaf flat on a cutting board, scoop out a heaping teaspoon of the rice mixture into the center of the grape leaf, and carefully fold in the sides and roll it like you would when making a wrap.

Step 2
The trick is to roll it tightly enough so that it doesn't unravel while cooking, but not too tightly since the rice needs room to expand as it cooks. Repeat until all the stuffing has been used.

Putting it All Together

Step 1
Place all the wrapped grape leaves in a tray.

Step 2
Line the bottom of a large pot with tomatoes and/or potatoes and season with salt/pepper. The vegetables at the bottom are used to buffer the grape leaves from burning at the bottom while the stuffing/filling cooks.

Step 2
Neatly arrange the stuffed and rolled grape leaves in rows, alternating directions, to completely cover the circumference of the pot. Make sure to tightly pack them in the pot to prevent them from floating up and unwrapping during cooking.

Step 3
Drizzle each layer with some of the 1/2 cup of olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Step 4
When you've filled the pot with all the grape leaves, place a plate upside down on top of the grape leaves in the pot. Next use something to weigh it down (a second plate works well or a bowl full of water). This will hold down the grape leaves in place, and prevent floating while they are cooking).

Step 5
Add enough boiling water to completely cover the grape leaves and the plate. I use 5 cups of water for 2 cups of rice. Then cover the pot and cook on medium heat for 30 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked.

Step 6
Add the lemon juice on top of the grape leaves, then cook on low heat for an additional 45 minutes. Cooking time may vary depending on the type of pot used and the stovetop heating. You can remove a grape leaf and check if the rice is cook and the leaf is soft.

Step 6
Remove from heat and let cool uncovered. Transfer to a dish and enjoy warm or at room temperature.

Nutrition Information 

Serving: 10g | Calories: 33kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Sodium: 2mg | Potassium: 17mg | Vitamin A: 80IU | Vitamin C: 2.1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 0.3mg

Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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