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Recipe courtesy of Marc Tsakiris

Grape Leaves

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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 2 hr 20 min
  • Prep: 1 hr
  • Inactive: 20 min
  • Cook: 1 hr
  • Yield: 12 to 15 servings
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2 pounds ground beef

2 pounds ground pork

2 cups white rice

1 cup chopped fresh dill 

1 cup chopped white onion 

1 cup chopped spring onion

2 tablespoons garlic powder

2 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons ground pepper

Tomato puree


Olive oil

1 jar preserved grape leaves in brine

Lemon juice


  1. Mix the ground beef and ground pork. Add the rice, dill, both onions, garlic powder, salt and pepper, and then mix.  
  2. Make a puree by first melting some butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Then add enough olive oil and tomato puree until the sauce is orange-red in color. Stir over medium heat but do not boil. Add enough of the puree to the meat so that it is moist but not soupy. Let cool, about 20 minutes. 
  3. Cover the bottom of a large saucepan with a layer of grape leaves. De-stem the remaining leaves and place vein-side up on your work surface. Place about 3 ounces of meat filling on each leaf and roll them up. Once you have rolled all your grape leaves, stack them in a circular pattern in the pan. Add a little lemon juice, some olive oil and enough water to just cover the top of your last stack. Cover and let simmer for about an hour.
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