Stuffed grape leaves are a classic Greek appetizer that is usually served at every dinner party. Rice, herbs, and ground meat are combined and stuffed in tender grape leaves. They’re individually rolled and that can take plenty of time. However, in this recipe, a giant stuffed grape leaves ring is formed using a Bundt pan and then served with a delicious avgolemono sauce. The result is beautiful, tasty, and so easy to put together.
Where are Grape Leaves Sold?
Grape leaves are packed in brine and sold in jars in local Mediterranean/Middle Eastern markets. I love to keep a couple of jars in my pantry as they come in handy often. You may also purchase the grape leaves on Amazon right here. (affiliate)
Prepare the Grape Leaves
Store-bought grape leaves are simple to use because they do not require any cooking. But, since they’re packed in brine, they need to be rinsed. Take them out of the jar and rinse them using cold water. Gently squeeze them dry and allow them to drain in a colander. Trim the stem using a shop knife or a scissor and set them aside.
Prepare the Filling:
The filling is so simple to make and even though I use ground beef in this recipe, you can feel free to make a vegetarian version by following the recipe for my vegetarian dolmades. Or, you can substitute lentils, chickpeas, nuts, or seeds for the meat and just add some more rice and herbs.
The filling is super simple to make:
- Sauce the onion in the olive oil until soft and golden.
- Add the meat and season with some salt and pepper. Cook it until the pinkness goes away. This usually takes 5-6 minutes.
- Add the rice, some more salt, lemon juice and water and cook it halfway through. Just until the water is absorbed. That should take another 5 minutes.
- Remove it from the heat and add the herbs, cheese, and eggs. That’s it! The filling is that easy to make.
- Feel free to add some raisins or cranberries if you like a hint of sweetness. This would be great during the holiday season.
Can this recipe be made with any other pans?
Yes, of course! I love the way the ring looks. Especially for presentation. So, for that, you will need a Bundt pan. However, you can make this using a deep-dish pie pan or an angel food cake pan. You can also double this recipe and make it in a 9 by the 13-inch baking tray.
Can fresh grape leaves be used for this recipe?
If you’re lucky enough to have a grapevine in your garden or know of someone who does and can give you some fresh leaves, that would be great! To use fresh leaves, rinse them well and then blanche them until they’re tender. Drain well and trim off the stems.
The Avgolemono Sauce
This classic Greek Sauce can be made in under 10 minutes. All you need is some chicken broth, cornstarch, egg yolks, and fresh lemon juice. It takes the dolma to the next level and its the perfect pairing for this dish.
What to serve with the Stuffed Grape Leaves Ring
This recipe is a perfect appetizer. Other than the avgolemono sauce, tzatziki also pairs well. I mean is there any savory dish that I wouldn’t serve tzatziki with? The answer is no. Here’s a link to my recipe.
Watch the Video Tutorial
- 1 pound grape leaves from the jar, rinsed and dried
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup olive oil plus more for the pan
- 1 cup Basmati rice
- Salt and black pepper to taste
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped mint
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped parsley
- 1 teaspoon dried crushed oregano
- 2 eggs, slightly beaten
- 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese
- Juice of a lemon
- 1 cup of water
- For the Avgolemono Gravy:
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 2-4 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 2 egg yolks
- 1 tablespoon corn starch
- Salt, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400 °F, 200 °C.
Rinse the rice under cold water 4-5 times until the water runs clear and allow it to soak for 10-15 minutes in cold water.
Cook the onions with the olive oil over medium heat until soft and golden. About 8 minutes.
Add the ground beef and cook until the pink disappears. About 5-6 minutes.
Season with salt and pepper.
Drain the rice and add it to the pan with a half teaspoon of salt and lemon juice.
Add 1 cup of water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cover the pan.
Cook for 5-6 minutes until the liquid is absorbed. The rice will only be partially cooked.
Remove from the heat and add the herbs.
Add the parmesan cheese and mix together.
Whisk the eggs together in a small bowl and add some of the warm rice mixture to them to temper it.
Add the eggs to the rice and mix together.
Grease the inside of the bundt pan very well with olive oil.
Remove the stems from the grape leaves and cover the inside of the pan with grape leaves.
Add the filling to the center and fold the grape leaves over the filling
Top with another layer of grape leaves and tuck them inside.
Pour a cup of warm water on top and squeeze the juice of half of a lemon on top. Drizzle with a quarter cup of olive oil.
Bake on the center rack of the preheated oven for 30-35 minutes.
Allow it to cool for at least 35 minutes so that it can release easily.
Make the Avgolemono Gravy:
Bring the chicken broth to a boil.
Combine the egg yolks, cornstarch, and lemon juice in a bowl and whisk together.
Add some hot broth to the egg mixture and whisk together.
Add the egg mixture to the stock and cook over medium heat until it thickens. About 3-4 minutes.
Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed. If it thickens too much, add some more broth.
Run a knife around the bundt pan to release the stuffed grape leaves.
Place a serving platter on top of the pan and carefully flip it over.
Serve the exohiko with the gravy and a few lemon wedges. Tzatziki pairs well also. Enjoy!