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Greek Dolmas – Stuffed Vine Leaves

Live on-line class from the beauty island of Crete
showing participants of a Nutrition for healthy ageing Class how to prepare authentic Greek Dolmas. Who wouldn't enjoy cooking with such a beautiful back-drop.
Authentic Ingredients
working with the freshest and most authentic Greek ingredients. Real Greek Yoghurt is one of my favourite probiotic superfoods and makes the best Tzatziki, of course
Preparing the filling
Use long-grain rice. Add ground beef or lamb for a meat filling.
Make shift kitchen studio on the terrace
What could be more enjoyable than teaching how to prepare authentic Greek food with the Sea of Crete for a back-drop.
Stuffed Dolmas with Tztatziki
These delicious dolmas with freshly prepared tzatziki were polished off in an instant.
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Dolmas - Greek Stuffed wine Leaves

This classic Greek starter dish, I aught in an on-line class for healthy-ageing live from the beautiful island of Crete. I love this recipe, as it's the perfect example for using everything from a plant to make a simple and healthy dish, that is also versatile. It can be made with a with a vegetarian or meat filling.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish, Snack
Cuisine Greek, Mediterranean
Servings 8 pieces


  • 1 Saucepan
  • 1 frying pan
  • 2 Bowls
  • chopping board, knife
  • 1 small ceramic plate to fit into the large saucepan up-sode down for weighing down the dolmades


  • 450 gr vine leaves (or cabbage, Swiss chard, etc)
  • 350 gr long grain rice
  • 6 spring onions finely chopped
  • 1 onion (red or yellow) peeled and chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 lemons
  • 1 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp fresh chopped herbs (parsley, coriander, mint, chives, dill, etc)
  • 600 ml water or vegetable stock use nutritional yeast based stock for extra digestibility and health benefits
  • freshly ground pepper and salt to season


  • Heat 3 tbsp of olive in a pan and add the vegetables.
  • Sauté over medium heat for 8-10 minutes, or until the onion becomes translucent.
  • Add the rice to the pan and sauté with the vegetables for a few more minutes, stirring everything through to make sure the rice grains are coated in the oil.
  • Add one cup of boiling water and simmer, stirring occasionally.
  • When the water has boiled down, add a little more water.
  • Once the rice is half cooked and all water has evaporated (remember to stir occasionally reaching the bottom of the pan, to prevent sticking), add salt and pepper.
  • Remove the pan from the heat and cover with a lid.
  • Add the chopped herbs and green onions
  • Put the rice filling in a bowl or plate and let cool down to room temperature.

Preparing the Leaves

  • Bring a pot of water to the boil and blanch the leaves for 2 minutes
  • Remove and rinse the leaves with cold water (do in batches, if necessary)
  • Line the bottom of a saucepan with a layer of leaves (to protect the dolmades whilst cooking)
  • Spread out one or two grape leaves at a time (depending on size)
  • Place a tbsp of rice stuffing over the leaf/leaves and roll the dolma folding the sides in as you go along to make parcels.
  • Place in the pot and finish the process with the rest of the leaves and filling.
  • Pour the lemon juice and rest of the olive oil over the dolmades
  • Place a plat small enough to fit inside the pot over the dolma to prevent them floating up.
  • Submerge the rolls with water, and a little salt. Cover the lid and simmer gently for around35-40 minutes.
  • Add more water, if needed, during the cooking process.
  • Remove the Dolmas with a spoon or slotted spoon and serve warm or at room temperature with tzatziki or another preferred sauce or dip.


Serve with a fresh home-made tzatziki, it's the perfect summer snack or side dish for a BBQ. The wine leaves can easily be substituted for Cabbage or Swiss-Chard leaves. After all, we don't all have a vineyard around the corner...
For alternative fillings:
  • include grilled sardines (popular in Thessaloniki)
  • Jewish ‘Yaprakes Finos’ – stuffed with rice, pine nuts, tomatoes and onions
  • Iranian ‘Dolma Bargh’ – stuffed with rice, peas, cilantro (coriander) and spices
  • Armenian ‘Yalachi Sarma’ – rice, parsley, tomatoes and cinnamon.

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