Celebrating My Heritage With Stuffed Grape Leaves

Welcome back to our weekly Foodie Friday link up! I’m linking up with Farrah from Fairyburger, Esther from Chocolate Runner Girl and Jess from Hello to Fit.  Also, make sure you hop around to check out all the amazing recipes in this link up and feel free to add your recipes as well! 

Today our theme is all about celebrating recipes from our heritage so I decided to share a recipe which was originally posted over a year ago.  Not only are these grape leaves a family favorite but they are a favorite of mine as well! 

Stuffed Grape Leaves {Gluten Free}

I have posted a lot of Italian recipes and mentioned before that I am part Italian but I am also actually part Lebanese and grew up eating a variety of different Middle Eastern and Lebanese dishes.  One of my favorites since I was little is stuffed grape leaves.  My late grandmother and her siblings were all first generation Americans with their parents coming straight off of the boat from Lebanon.  This particular recipe was popular amongst their family and has been passed down from their mother to my grandmother and each of her sisters.  

Naturally I called on my Mom to help me make this recipe.  I needed her guidance and expertise, plus it is a family recipe after all!  While the ingredients themselves are pretty simple she showed me how to artfully spread out each leaf and neatly tuck and roll them up just as she was taught as a child.

Stuffed Grape Leaves #GlutenFree #FoodieFridayStuffed Grape Leaves Recipe #GlutenFree #FoodieFriday

Stuffed Grape Leaves #GlutenFree #FoodieFriday

She instructed that when you lay out the leaf, you make sure that the vein is right side up then you place about a tablespoon of the lamb meat and rice mixture at the bottom, carefully fold in the sides and roll up making sure that it is tight.  She likened it to being similar to rolling a cigarette, which made me chuckle because she’s never smoked a day in her life!

Stuffed Grape Leaves Recipe | TheFitFoodieMama.com


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While the original recipe back in the day called for fresh picked grape leaves, we resorted to using jarred which was still fabulously tasty and much less work.  I could only dream of being lucky enough to live amongst a vineyard where I could just pick the greenest grape leaves at my leisure! Maybe someday 😉 For now here is the recipe for those of us who have to shop at the grocery store like regular people:

Stuffed Grape Leaves
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Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
Prep Time
30 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
1 hr 10 min
  1. 1 cup long grain rice, precooked according to instructions
  2. 1lb jar of grape leaves in vinegar brine
  3. 1 lb raw lamb meat
  4. 1/4 cup lemon juice
  5. 1/4 cup of pine nuts
  6. 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  7. 1 tbsp salt (or to taste)
  8. ground pepper (to taste)
  9. 1/2 tsp all spice
  10. 1/2 tsp onion powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Remove grape leaves from jar and set aside brine.
  3. In a large bowl combine raw lamb meat, cooked rice, lemon juice, seasonings & a splash of brine.
  4. Unfold grape leaves and lay out flat, vein side up.
  5. Place a tablespoon of the meat mixture at base of grape leaf then gently fold in sides and roll up.
  6. Place in a 9x13 baking dish.
  7. Repeat until all leaves/mixture have been used and rolled.
  8. Pour remaining brine and splash of lemon juice over top of stuffed grape leaves.
  9. Bake for approximately 35-40 minutes.
  10. Remove & enjoy! :)
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The Fit Foodie Mama http://thefitfoodiemama.com/

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Pin for later:
How To Roll Grape Leaves Tutorial via TheFitFoodieMama.com

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About me

Annmarie is a self proclaimed foodie, avid long distance runner and functional fitness coach. A DVRT Master Trainer, HKC Instructor and food allergy sufferer, she writes about strength training for runners as well as shares allergy friendly recipes for busy athletes.   She is also the owner of Strength In Motion Studio, mother of two sassy sisters and wife to a chronically busy chiropractor.   Subscribe by email for updates to get the latest workouts, advice and recipes straight to your inbox!


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