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Stuffed Grape Leaves

Pressure Cooker Fast Meat Grape Leaves (Dolmas)
Prep Time: 30 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Yield: 25-30 Grape Leaves
Total Cost: About $12

This is my absolute favorite thing to eat and they are even better when you pick them yourself!

I picked these leaves with my son and just did a quick blanch on them and started rolling. If you do pick your own leaves, you want to make sure you try to pick them this month as June is usually the best month to get tender leaves that are not too thick and chewy. When you do pick, do not take leaves from the ground because there could be a risk of pesticides, fertilizers, etc. Try to only pick them from a wild patch to ultimately avoid these chemicals. Also, you’ll want to make sure you’re picking medium sized leaves (about the palm of your hand) We found a couple nice nooks by the ponds in our neighborhood! This is the best way to cook grape leaves, they are done so quickly in the pressure cooker. Recipe below!

Blanching Fresh Grape Leaves

  • 1 gallon Water
  • ½ cup Kosher salt
  • 1 gallon Ice water


  1. Bring your water and salt to a boil. 
  2. Once it is rolling, add the leaves and immediately press down into the water to make sure they’re all submerged. 
  3. Let them sit in the water for about 2-3 minutes until they are soft and pliable. 
  4. Immediately remove them and put them in the ice water to stop the cooking process. I usually leave them in the water as it makes them easier to fish out for rolling.

Grape Leaf Filling

  • 2 jars Grape leaves or 30 of your picked leaves
  • 1 cup Basmati rice, rinsed in cold water
  • 6 ounce Tomato paste (1 micro can)
  • 1 tsp Sumac, ground 
  • 2 tsp Cinnamon, ground
  • 2 tsp Cumin, ground
  • 1 tsp Allspice, ground
  • 1 tsp Coriander, ground
  • 1 tsp Garlic, ground
  • 2 tsp Black pepper, ground
  • 2 tsp Kosher salt
  • ½ cup Fresh cilantro, rinsed and chopped
  • 1# Fresh ground beef or lamb
  • 1# Garbanzo beans, cooked (in can) drained
  • 1 cup Water
  • 2 cups Lemon juice, freshly squeezed


  1. Combine ALL ingredients together and mix thoroughly. Use approximately 1 tablespoon of filling for larger leaves, and about half of that for the smaller leaves you might have.
  2. When your leaf is flat, put the filling in the middle lower part of the leaf. Fold your sides over first, and then roll to seal. See the pictures. 
  3. Once all of your leaves are rolled up, layer them nicely in the insert of your pressure cooker. 
  4. Add the water and lemon juice to the pot and seal. Start on “pressure cook” and set the timer for 20 minutes. 

About a half hour later after the pressure cooker releases steam, they are read to enjoy! I love caramelizing a lemon and squeezing it over mine with some cold pressed extra virgin olive oil with a dusting of dry oregano and sumac.

Sat, April 10 2021 28 Nisan 5781