Healthy Meal Prep
Deconstructed Dolmades (Unstuffed Grape Leaves) Recipe

Deconstructed Dolmades (Unstuffed Grape Leaves)


The filling is the star of this weeknight spin on dolmas with ground beef, rice, and herbs cooked in a lemony chicken broth with torn grape leaves added right in.


  • 1 cup uncooked long-grain white rice
  • ½ (9 ounce) jar grape leaves, drained and rinsed
  • water to cover
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 6 cups chicken broth, or more as needed
  • 2 ½ large lemons, juiced, divided
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • ½ cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried mint
  • 1 tablespoon dried dill weed
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch, or as needed


  1. Soak rice in a bowl of cool water for 15 to 30 minutes.
  2. Coarsely chop the grape leaves and place in fresh water to soak.
  3. Heat a 2- to 3-quart pan over medium-high heat. Cook and stir beef until browned and crumbly, 5 to 7 minutes. Drain and discard grease. Add broth, juice of 1 lemon, onion, parsley, olive oil, mint, dill, pepper, and salt. Drain grape leaves and add to the pan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered, for 10 minutes.
  4. Rinse and drain rice, then add to the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook, uncovered, until tender, 12 to 15 minutes. Gradually add more chicken broth as needed keep liquid level above the meat-rice mixture. Be careful not to overcook the rice.
  5. Drain cooking liquid into another pan to make the sauce. Add remaining lemon juice; season with salt and pepper. Mix in enough cornstarch until sauce resembles a medium-bodied gravy. Ladle sauce generously over the meat-rice mixture.

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Nutritional Information

Deconstructed Dolmades (Unstuffed Grape Leaves)

Servings Per Recipe: 4
Calories: 506.7
% Daily Value *
protein: 56 %
carbohydrates: 18 %
exchange other carbs:
dietary fiber: 20 %
fat: 33 %
saturated fat: 34 %
cholesterol: 26 %
vitamin a iu: 48 %
niacin equivalents: 93 %
vitamin b6: 31 %
vitamin c: 117 %
folate: 41 %
calcium: 20 %
iron: 37 %
magnesium: 20 %
potassium: 15 %
sodium: 121 %
thiamin: 39 %
calories from fat:
percent of calories from carbs:
percent of calories from fat:
percent of calories from protein:
percent of calories from sat fat:
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
**Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
(-)Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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