Category: Meal/Appetizer    |     Prep Time: 10 mins   |    Cook Time: 1 hr

Makes: Approx. 8 servings


Dolmas, or stuffed grape leaves, are savory grape leaves rolled around a filling of rice, nuts and spices. A traditional dish found in the Middle East, our version comes from the mothers of our SOS Children’s Villages in Syria. Dolmas are often made with minced meat, however our version is vegetarian. We hope you enjoy this traditional Syrian dish!


Our dolmas contain raisins and pine nuts, but you can substitute with the ingredients of your choice! In Greece, dolmas made with lamb are popular and other favorite vegetables include zucchini, green peppers, cabbage and onions. This tasty dish can be served as a main course or as an appetizer!


Did you know?  Dolma is the Turkish word for “stuffed” or “filled”!



  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 1 ½ cups uncooked white rice
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp. raisins
  • 2 tbsp. pine nuts
  • 1 tbsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp. dried mint
  • 1 tbsp. dried dill
  • 1 tsp. allspice
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1-8 oz. jar grape leaves, drained and rinsed


  • Medium saucepan
  • Medium saucepan cover
  • Large pot
  • Steamer
  • Stovetop



1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Sauté the onions until tender. Stir in rice and hot water, covering and allowing the mixture to simmer until the rice is half cooked, about 10 minutes.

2. Remove the rice mixture from the heat. Stir in the tomato paste, raisins, pine nuts, cinnamon, mint leaves, dill weed, allspice and cumin before allowing the mixture to cool.

3. Prepare your steamer in a large pot to protect the dolmas from direct heat while steaming. Tip: If you do not have a steamer, you can use an inverted cook-safe plate in the bottom of your pot to protect your dolmas.

4. Rinse the grape leaves in warm water before draining them, removing any excess stems. Place 1 tsp. of the cooled rice mixture in the center of each leaf.

5. Fold in the sides and roll into a cigar shape. Place in the prepared pot and repeat with your remaining grape leaves.

6. Pour in just enough warm water to reach the bottom of the first layer of dolmas. Cover and simmer over low heat for 30-45 minutes, or until rice is totally cooked. Check the water level often and add more as necessary.

7. Enjoy with family and friends!



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