Simply Lebanese

Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves

Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves
  • Prep Time
    90 mins.
  • Cook Time
    75 mins.
  • Serving
    8
These Lebanese Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves are vegan, delicious and make a perfect appetizer or entrée! They are stuffed with rice, parsley, tomatoes, onions and flavored with lots of lemon juice and olive oil.
Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves

Stuffed grape leaves are a very popular dish all around the world. They can be made with ground beef, lamb or even vegetarian like the ones I am going to share with you today. Every culture has their own way of making them. These Lebanese Vegetarian stuffed Grape Leaves, also known in Arabic as Warak Enab bi Zeit (grape leaves in olive oil) are so juicy and delicious. They can be enjoyed cold or warm.

Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves

I shared my Lebanese version of the meat and rice stuffed grape leaves a couple of years ago. These vegetarian ones are very similar, especially with the technique of stuffing, rolling and cooking them. They both require some decent time and effort but, definitely worth it in the end!

How to make Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves

You can use the same grape leaves whether vegetarian or not. I use the jarred grape leaves as they have a long shelf life, and fold quite easily. The filling for the Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves is actually quite similar to the ingredients in Tabbouleh plus short-grain rice. You need parsley, mint leaves, tomatoes, and onions. Some like to use green onions, but I find regular white or yellow onions work even better in this dish.

You want to finely chop your ingredients. I like to drain the finely diced tomatoes a bit before adding to the filling. The filling is flavored with lots of lemon juice, olive oil, seven spices, salt and black pepper. When rolling the grape leaves, drain most of the juices, so the grape leaves are too “watery” while rolling. But, do not get rid juices as we will add the leftovers to the pot over the rolled grape leaves.

You want to cook the grape leaves in a deep pot lined with sliced tomatoes, potatoes, carrots or combination of any of these! These are to prevent the grape leaves from sticking to the bottom of the pot while cooking. The Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves are cooked in lemon juice, olive oil, salt and enough water to fully cover the grape leaves. They take about 75 minutes to cook thoroughly. Once they have finished cooking, let cool for at least 15 minutes before inverting the pot onto your serving plate. These make a wonderful mezze, or main dish served either cold from the fridge or warm.

STEP 1

If using jarred grape leaves, Rinse the brine using cold water and set aside to drain any water. For fresh grape leaves, boil for 2 minutes before rinsing. Set aside to cool before using.
Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves

STEP 2

Prepare the filling for the grape leaves by chopping all your washed vegetables.

Drain the excess juices from the chopped tomato.

Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves

STEP 3

Wash the short-grained rice thoroughly until water runs clear. In a large bowl, add the finely chopped parsley, mint leaves, onion, tomato and rice.

STEP 4

Juice 2 of the lemons and add to the filling mixture, along with ½ cup of olive oil, seven spices, one teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of black pepper.

Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves

Mix well to combine.

Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves

STEP 5

Lay out the grape leaf with the vein-side up (shiny side down). Remove the stem if it is not already removed. Add 1-2 tablespoons of filling depending on the size of the grape leaf and arrange in a thin line. You want to leave at least 1 cm of room on each side. Be careful not to overfill.

Folding Grape Leaves
Fold each side of the leaf over the filling beginning with the bottom side and roll tightly to prevent the leaf from opening up while cooking. Repeat until you have no more leaves left. *If the grape leaf is very large, cut in half, then stuff and roll.

STEP 6

Peel and wash the large potato and slice in 1 cm slices. Slice the medium tomato the same size. Lay the tomato slices first, then the potato slices on the bottom of a deep pot.
Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves

Arrange the stuffed grape leaves side by side and on top of each other over the potatoes. Sprinkle the remaining two teaspoons of salt over the grape leaves. Juice the remaining lemon and add it to the pot, along with the ¼ of olive oil remaining and leftover juices from the filling.

Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves

STEP 7

Place a plate about 1-2 inches smaller in diameter than the pot, over the stuffed leaves. Fill the pot with enough water to cover all the leaves and up to the plate. Place a heavy item on top of the plate to prevent the grape leaves from opening up while cooking.

Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves
The 8-in-1 Always Pan 728x90
Cook on medium heat for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, and cover with a lid and cook for a remaining 45 minutes. To check if grape leaves are done, take a grape leaf out and try it!

STEP 8

Once the grape leaves are done cooking and have cooled for at least 15 minutes, flip the pot over onto a serving platter. There should be a little bit of lemon water juices left. Serve warm or cold.
Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves

Quick Tip

1. Grape leaves stay fresh in the fridge for up to five days.

Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves

Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves

These Lebanese Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves are vegan, delicious and make a perfect appetizer or entrée! They are stuffed with rice, parsley, tomatoes, onions and flavored with lots of lemon juice and olive oil.
4.89 from 9 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Lebanese
Diet: Vegetarian
Keyword: dolma, grape leaves, lebanese, vegan, Vegetarian, Warak enab bi zeit
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 45 minutes
Servings: 8
Calories: 209kcal
Author: Iman

Ingredients

  • 1 jar Grape Leaves (about 60 leaves)
  • 2 cups Short-Grain Rice
  • 1 lg. Tomato
  • 1 bunch Parsley
  • 1 medium Onion
  • 1 cup Mint Leaves
  • ¾ Olive Oil (Divided)
  • 3 Lemons (Juiced/Divided)
  • 1 tsp. Seven Spices
  • 3 tsp. Salt
  • ½ tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1 medium Tomato
  • 1 lg. Potato

Instructions

  • If using jarred grape leaves, Rinse the brine using cold water and set aside to drain any water.
    For fresh grape leaves, boil for 2 minutes before rinsing. Set aside to cool before using.
  • Prepare the filling for the grape leaves by chopping all your washed vegetables. Drain the excess juices from the chopped tomato.
  • Wash the short-grained rice thoroughly until water runs clear. In a large bowl, add the finely chopped parsley, mint leaves, onion, tomato and rice.
  • Juice 2 of the lemons and add to the filling mixture, along with ½ cup of olive oil, seven spices, one teaspoon of salt, and ½ teaspoon of black pepper. Mix well to combine.
  • Lay out the grape leaf with the vein-side up (shiny side down). Remove the stem if it is not already removed. Add 1-2 tablespoons of filling depending on the size of the grape leaf and arrange in a thin line. You want to leave at least 1 cm of room on each side. Be careful not to overfill.
    Fold each side of the leaf over the filling beginning with the bottom side and roll tightly to prevent the leaf from opening up while cooking. Repeat until you have no more leaves left. *If the grape leaf is very large, cut in half, then stuff and roll.
  • Peel and wash the large potato and slice in 1 cm slices. Slice the medium tomato the same size. Lay the tomato slices first, then the potato slices on the bottom of a deep pot.
    Arrange the stuffed grape leaves side by side and on top of each other over the potatoes. Sprinkle the remaining two teaspoons of salt over the grape leaves. Juice the remaining lemon and add it to the pot, along with the ¼ of olive oil remaining and leftover juices from the filling.
  • Place a plate about 1-2 inches smaller in diameter than the pot, over the stuffed leaves. Fill the pot with enough water to cover all the leaves and up to the plate. Place a heavy item on top of the plate to prevent the grape leaves from opening up while cooking.
    Cook on medium heat for 30 minutes. Reduce the heat to low, and cover with a lid and cook for a remaining 45 minutes. To check if grape leaves are done, take a grape leaf out and try it!
  • Once the grape leaves are done cooking and have cooled for at least 15 minutes, flip the pot over onto a serving platter. There should be a little bit of lemon water juices left. Serve warm or cold.

Notes

*Grape leaves stay fresh in the fridge for up to five days.

Nutrition

Calories: 209kcal | Carbohydrates: 47g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 725mg | Potassium: 231mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1015IU | Vitamin C: 36mg | Calcium: 47mg | Iron: 3mg

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    Recipe Reviews

    • Evelyn Hanni

      5 stars
      I love this tasty recipe without meat. Thank you very much.

      • Iman

        Thank you, so sweet of you!

    • Maryam

      5 stars
      Approximately how many grape leaves are made per serving ?

      • Iman

        A jar has about 60-75 leaves, so for 8 servings, I would say between 7-9 stuffed grape leaves per serving.

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