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Step by step recipe on how to make Turkish stuffed grape leaves. Filled with meat and rice and simmered with layers of fresh lemon.
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4.72 from 7 votes

Mom’s Grape Leaves Recipe

A step by step guide on making my mom's Turkish stuffed grape leaves recipe. Simply filled with rice, ground beef and layered with fresh lemon.
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 30 mins
Course: Appetizer
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: grape leaves recipe, stuffed grape leaves, grape leaf rolls, how to make grape leaves, mediterranean grape leaves
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 325kcal
Author: Samantha Ferraro


  • 1 jar grape leaves
  • 1 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 3/4 cup uncooked white rice
  • 2 lemons sliced
  • 1-2 cups water
  • 3 Tb butter separated
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Remove packed grape leaves from the jar and gently pour into a colander. Unfold leaves, being careful not to tear and run cold water over them for a few minutes. Make sure all the leaves have been rinsed well.
  • In a large bowl, mix together the ground beef and rice. Season with salt and pepper.
  • *You can test out a small meatball size in a frying pan to test the seasoning.
  • On a large work surface, set up an assembly line: Have a place to roll the leaf, the bowl with beef mixture and a large pot to place rolled leaves in.
  • On a flat, clean surface spread the leaf flat. There are 2 sides of the leaf. A "shiny" side and a "dull" side. Have the dull side facing you and the shine side down. Remove the stem with a small knife.
  • Place a small teaspoon size of meat mixture onto the bottom of the leaf.
  • Roll up half way and then tuck the sides in. Continue to roll until sealed.
  • Place stuffed leaves, seam side down, on the bottom of the pot.
  • *Place lemon slices in between layers of stuffed leaves.
  • When all the leaves are stuffed, pour 1-2 cup of water in slowly and 2-3 Tb of butter. Any torn leaves cam be placed on top to help steam.
  • Cook on low-medium for about 1 hour, until the leaves are tender and meat is cooked.


Calories: 325kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 71mg | Sodium: 98mg | Potassium: 286mg | Fiber: 1g | Vitamin A: 235IU | Vitamin C: 14.3mg | Calcium: 30mg | Iron: 1.9mg