Mouthwatering Lemon Spiced Dolmathes ! (My Stuffed Vine Leaves)

Back to some of my Greek roots.  I grew up with my mother making dolmathes – she made delicious ones, lemony, with a touch of cinnamon – they just rocked !  Here is my version of them.  My love for curry, lemon, spices and nuts come together to create an awesome dish.  I have also made a sauce to compliment the stuffing, and integrate the taste, whilst adding some moisture too.  Serve with crispy roast potatoes !  Enjoy !

Serves 4


  • 3-4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon powder
  • ½ cup of sunflower seeds
  • ½ cup of raw almonds, chopped
  • ½ cup of vegan mince of your choice (soya or other, you choose – I use Linda McCartney)
  • 1 cup of American rice  (boil, drain and set aside)
  • salt to taste
  • 1 tbsp flat leaf parsley
  • the zest of one lemon
  • around 20-30 large vine leaves.  If not using fresh, rinse thoroughly under cold water to remove the brine taste and saltiness.  If using fresh, wash and boil for around 4 minutes or so.


Start off by placing your nuts and seeds in a non-stick frying pan and dry fry them on a medium heat, stirring every so often. The idea is to ‘toast’ them so they get some colour, and their flavours are emphasized.  Do this for a few minutes (but don’t burn them please) – then set aside.

Now, pour your olive oil in a separate frying pan, and fry the onion and garlic, mixing without burning.  When they have a little colour (light brown preferably), add your veggie mince, stir for a couple of minutes and then add the turmeric, cinnamon and curry powder.  Give them all a good mix, turn the heat down, and allow the flavours to merge for 2-3 minutes, stirring every now and then.

Meanwhile, add your rice to the mixture and stir well.  Add the nuts and seeds, mix well again, and drop in the lemon zest too.  You may need to drizzle some olive oil, as the mixture will be quite dry at this stage.  Take off the heat, mix in the parsley, and transfer the mixture into a large bowl, and then allow to cool.

At this stage you need to make the lemon and spice sauce in readiness for the dolmathes.  Here is what you are going to need.


  • 2 tsp cornflour, mixed into a paste with a little water
  • the juice of  1½ lemons
  • 2 tsp agave nectar
  • ½ tsp curry powder
  • ½ tsp turmeric powder
  • salt to taste
  • 6 tbsp olive oil (extra virgin please)
  • ¾ tsp garlic powder
  • a pinch of pepper
  • 1½ cups vegetable stock (I used the granules)

Place the ingredients in a bowl, process with a whisk for a couple of minutes, and set aside.


It’s time to stuff the leaves at this point.  Open a vine leaf, lie it down and place 1 teaspoon of the stuffing in the centre of it.  Now fold in the sides gently, and roll it up away from you.  Pick it up gently, and place in a large oven-proof dish in readiness for the oven.   Continue to stuff all the leaves in the same way.

Now pour over the sauce, cover and place in a hot oven, at around 180ºC for 15 minutes.  Then take out and cover with foil, and place back in the oven for a further 30 minutes or so.  It’s important to make sure the leaves have tenderized and softened nicely.  Remove foil, and allow to cool for around 15 minutes if serving hot.  If serving cold, allow to cool for longer, and then refrigerate.

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  1. Pingback: My Stuffed Vine Leaves – – Mouthwatering Vegan Recipes | ClubEvoo

  2. Noted – thanks !

  3. I absolutely love stuffed grape leaves 🙂 My mom also uses the same mixture to stuff cabbage leaves after wilting them in hot water. Also fab!! Thank you for sharing xox

  4. Hi there – good to see your mum makes something similar – yes, I have stuffed these before many times in the past using cabbage leaves instead of vine leaves and they work very well indeed. Cheers !.

  5. Your recipe is very different from the one My Mother taught me.. I was born in Greece in The Peloponese ..We use Dill or Mint in ours. Your recipe sounds more arabic or indian.. However, i might try some of your spices just for a change! Yiasssou Miriam !

  6. As someone with S. Italian roots that include Greek, I have to say, this looks so good. As do all these recipes. Here in Japan they like to cook things wrapped in leaves (and sweets are often made with a leaf wrapper too). But grapevine leaves are not sold as produce. But we love stuffed cabbage. I’ve got to try and find a way to make this here in Japan.

  7. Hi Charles and welcome to my site. Interesting roots you have, not so dissimilar to my own. I think your best bet is going to be to make this recipe and use cabbage leaves instead. Boil or steam them for a few minutes until they wilt, then allow them to cool, handle them with care and use them as wraps. Let me know how it goes as and when. Cheers to you in the meantime !.

  8. Angela Hi there. Thanks so much for your comment. I do make these the conventional way (without meat of course), but I wanted to create the same idea with a different ‘take’ on the ‘dolmathes’ as we know them. Yes, you are right they are a little spicy and have indian undertones, so hope you try them and enjoy them if so – and, most of all would be great to hear back from you if so. Many thanks and best to you in the meantime. Yiassou Angela !

  9. Kathleen Canfield

    Hello Miriam,
    These were awesome!! I made them today and the flavor was great…I used cabbage leaves and substituted one toasted hard roll cubed for the vegan mince and walnuts, as that was what I had on hand. Delicious!!! The sauce was phenomenal. I actually cooked these in a cast iron pan, covered, on the stove top. Really a great recipe…thank you Miriam!!!

  10. Hi there Kathleen, many thanks for your feedback comment on my dolmathes. Great to know you loved the sauce. Cabbage leaves work very well with this, kudos to you for going for it with them. Cheers and best to you !

  11. OMG these were divine. First time ever I have cooked them. I was at my local shop and I am always looking on the shelves at all the yummy goodness they have there. I saw a jar of vines leaves and thought hmmmmm did a quick check on line and up you popped. They are so yummy and flavorsome. And we’re a great snack for our night on
    The grass watching an open air production of a mid summers night dream this evening.

    Thank you. 🙂

  12. How absolutely wonderful Brett, what more can one ask for ? My Dolmathes exposed to Shakespeare, sounds very civilized and fun to me ! So very pleased these went down so well. Thanks for your comment, and look forward to your future comments on my blog !. Cheers to you !.

  13. I’ve tasted these at my local deli. I love them. I don’t have all the ingredients here at home, so may try to make them with what I have. I do have grape leaves I bought a while back until I found a good recipe to use. I found one…thanks for yours! I’m thinking of using sushi rice. What do you think?

  14. Hi there Dee and thanks for your comment – I think that sushi rice would be perfect. Let me know how it goes. Cheers to you !

  15. Delightful! Could you please give me an idea what could substitute vegan mince, which I am unable to find in Brazil? To tell you the truth, I could not yet discover what vegan mince is! Thank you very much.

  16. Mirian Hi there, non-vegan mince is grounded beef/pork – vegan mince is made of plant based stuff and varies from one brand to another – you have 2 choices that will work well with this, one is PVC – hydrated soya mince (you can order this online), or crushed pecan nuts, which you then fry or bake a little and use instead of veggie mince – it is to give the recipe good texture and more intense taste. Go with the nuts if you wish, it will work well – hope you enjoy it and let me know. Best to you !

  17. This is such a lovely and delicious site. Healthy conscious food recipes. I am so thrilled to find this site, and I love all of the recipes. It is a delight to make these recipes and they are simply divine. Thank you so much for being here and sharing your recipes. What a culinary gift

  18. Hi Sherrill and welcome here. Thanks for dropping by with your very complimentary comment – I am delighted that you have found my recipe blog and very much look forward to your future comments and feedback on my blog. All best wishes your way !

  19. These were sooooo devine. Wonderful!!!!! One of my fav meals of all time. Posting in my Vegan group on FB

  20. So glad you enjoyed it Frances ! 🙂

  21. Pingback: Lemon Dolmades |

  22. Being Greek, I recently changed my diet to a whole food plant base diet. I’m happy, that I’m able to find recipes to replace my old and without meat. I will try this and let you know how it turns out.

  23. Elena Hi. That’s super news. Just a thought – my family Greek recipes are published in my book YASOU – here is the link for you to browse for the future : – scroll down to see a handful of the pics, (the hardback is sold on Amazon US and UK and also available in the UK and The Book Depository). Each recipe has a full blown picture 🙂


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