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Lamb and Rice Stuffed Grape Leaves

Rated as 4.94 out of 5 Stars

"These lamb and rice stuffed grape leaves (dolmas) take some time and effort to put together, so maybe make a double batch. In restaurants these are usually meatless, but I love the lamb in these. No matter what you use, how much rice you use will affect how much liquid you need."
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1 h 30 m servings 250
Original recipe yields 8 servings (32 stuffed grape leaves)


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  1. Place ground lamb, rice, 1/4 cups olive oil, mint, currants, pine nuts, salt, pepper, cumin, cinnamon, oregano, and egg in a bowl. Mix together thoroughly with a fork. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
  2. Gently unroll and separate grape leaves. Rinse in cold water to remove brine. Drain. Reserve broken or less-than-perfect leaves to line pot.
  3. Place grape leaves on work surface with smooth side down (ribs of leaves up). Place a rounded tablespoon of lamb-rice filling near bottom-center of grape leaf. Fold bottom sections of leaf over mixture, fold over sides, and roll toward the top of the leaf into a firm cylinder. Don't roll too tightly or leaves may burst when rice cooks.
  4. Drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil into pot; line bottom of pot with 1 or 2 layers of reserved grape leaves. Place dolmas in pot by arranging them along the sides, then working toward the center to cover the bottom. Leave enough space between dolmas to allow for expansion, but close enough to hold their shapes when cooking. If necessary, stack another layer on top of the first so they all fit. Pour in lemon juice and 2 teaspoons olive oil.
  5. Invert a small plate and then a larger plate over the dolmas to weigh them down while they cook and prevent them from shifting. Pour in hot chicken broth. Bring to a simmer, uncovered, over medium-high heat. As soon as liquid is heated through and starting to bubble (2 to 4 minutes), reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and cook 35 minutes. Remove plates and check for doneness. Dolmas should look a bit puffed up, and a fork should pierce them easily. If not quite done, continue cooking without the weights: cover the pot and simmer until rice is tender, 10 to 15 minutes longer.
  6. Serve warm or chilled. Garnish with curls of lemon zest, if desired.


  • Cook's Note:
  • You'll have more grape leaves than you have filling for, so just choose the biggest, most perfect leaves for your dolmades. Use extra leaves to line the pot for cooking.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 250 calories; 16.1 18.1 9.8 45 2485 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 17
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Wonderful receipt... doubled the amount of rice and only used half of the grape leaves in the 16oz container... I could not stop my self eating. I would recommend it again and again.

This is the first recipe I tried when I began making dolmas, and it was such a good one that it has remained the only recipe I've used since. I double the ingredients so there is enough filling ...


Excellent start for this standard recipe and thanks to Chef John. I added one onion and a couple of garlic cloves. Also added some dill. Could not find currants but will next time. Seems like t...

Wow they were really good! I did a couple changes, tho. Since I had to grind the meat off some lamb chops for the ground lamb, I added in 2 cloves of garlic, 1/2 of a small onion, and 1/2 of a...

Excellent recipe I have made this a lot and my family and friends loved.

Good but I didn't necessarily like it more than the vegetarian dolmas.

These had the most amazing flavor!

It was great! My middle eastern husband loved it! Didn’t have pine nuts or currants. Precooked the rice a bit and the meat a bit too. Doubled recipe. Had extra and not enough grape leaves ( was ...