Lebanese Stuffed Grape Leaves

5 from 842 votes

These Lebanese Stuffed Grape Leaves (Warak Enab) are made with a spiced ground beef and rice mixture - a delicious Mediterranean dish commonly served as an appetizer!

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Lebanese Stuffed Grape Leaves are my all-time favorite dish that I grew up eating and actually grew up helping my mom make! In Arabic, we call it “warak enab” which means leaves of grapes, and traditionally it’s stuffed with rice and meat or rice and veggies. While this is the rice and beef version, I also have the vegetarian stuffed grape leaves recipe if you prefer.

Close up of Lebanese stuffed grape leaves - warak enab

I may not have learned to cook until after I was married, but I learned to stuff and roll grape leaves when I was probably only 12 years old! This recipe is a near and dear to my heart, and truly a labor of love.

RECIPE VIDEO TUTORIAL

How do you make stuffed grape leaves

Prepare Stuffing

The first part is the hashweh. Hashweh is an Arabic word for stuffing. There are many variations of a hashweh recipe, but the two popular ones are these meat and rice with spices and the the vegetarian version with no meat.

Use a non-stick skillet to brown the ground beef (or lamb if you prefer), then add the uncooked short grain white rice. That basically makes up the hashweh. There’s no need to cook the rice, because it will cook in the pot after rolled in the grape vine leaves.

As for seasoning, I keep it simple with some salt, 7 Spice and cinnamon. Mix that all together and the stuffing is ready.

Collage of two images showing the stuffing before and after getting mixed

Prepare the grape leaves

You’ll most commonly find leaves in a jar filled with brine. Look for ones that appear to have soft leaves, which make it easier to stuff and roll them. I like the Orlando brand.

Jar of Orlando grape leaves - warak enab

Next, wash the leaves individually with cold water and remove the middle stem. This is the thickest part of the leaf and if left, it can create a stringy texture. I’ll demonstrate below how to properly cut it.

Collage of washed grape leaves before and after cutting the veins

Stuff and roll the grape leaves

Now that you’ve prepared the stuffing and the leaves, it’s time to get rolling. Start by folding the grape leave so the thick stem sticks out, then cut and discard that part. Next, open up the leaf flat on a cutting board and add a heaping teaspoon of stuffing in the middle of the leaf.

Collage of process shots showing how to cut the grape leave and stuff it

Now, carefully fold in the sides and roll it like you would when making a wrap. I recommend cutting all the stems first, then laying out four leaves a time on a cutting board to create a faster rolling process.

Collage of process shots showing how to roll them

It will take about 45 minutes to roll one jar of grape leaves and this is what they’ll look like when you’re all done. Bravo! Truly a labor of love and one that goes by even faster when rolling with friends (hint, hint solicit friends to roll with you!)

Tray of rolled grape leaves before cooking

Cook the grape leaves

Next I use a deep pot for cooking the warak enab. I start by layering the pot with olive oil, sliced potatoes and/or tomatoes. Then I add the stuffed and rolled grape leaves over them and repeat the layers.

Adding the potatoes is a great tip to ensure that the leaves don’t touch the bottom of the pot, which can result is charred grape leaves. It’s also very popular to place a lamb rack on the bottom of the pot.

Collage of two images of a pot with potatoes and then the grape leaves stacking on top

Repeat the layers in the pot until you run out of grape leaves. You can alternate the direction of the leaves in the pot to help keep everything tucked neatly and rolled.

Collage of two images of grape leaves getting stacked in pot

When you’re done, add lemon juice, a couple slices of lemons and season with salt and pepper. Then place a small plate on top of the grape leaves to hold everything in place, and add boiling water on top. You want enough to cover the plate. It will all be absorbed by the rice in the cooking process.

Collage of two images with grape leaves all piled and then small plate on top to apply pressure

Then it’s cooking time until the grape leaves are tender, juicy and utterly tantalizing!  Trust me, you will be eating them straight from the pot while they’re still piping hot! This grape leaves recipe is one that will definitely impress your family and friends. I haven’t found anyone who doesn’t absolutely love them!

Pot of grape leaves with lemon on top after cooking

Tips for making grape leaves recipe

  1. Remove the thick stem from the middle of the leaves. This is not mandatory, but the experience of chewing the grape leaves is so much more pleasant without a stringy stem getting in the way. Sometimes boiling the leaves will help soften them. But I find it faster to just cut them off.
  2. Don’t over stuff the leaves. Remember that the stuffing contains uncooked rice that will expand once cooked. So use a heaping teaspoon per leaf and spread it out into a thin line over the middle of the leaf.
  3. Fold lightly to allow for expansion. Roll it tightly enough so that it doesn’t unravel while cooking, but not too tightly since the rice needs room to expand as it cooks.
  4. Allow time to rest before serving. Of course, you’ll need a taste test when the timer goes off. But before transferring the grape leaves to a serving dish, allow them to rest for half an hour in the pot to absorb any remaining liquid and set. This also helps prevent any from unrolling accidentally.
Close up of Lebanese stuffed grape leaves - warak enab

This dish is very popular in several Mediterranean countries and in the Middle East. There are some varieties in the ingredients and the technique depending on the region of the recipe, but it’s essential stuffed grape leaves with a soft and delicious mixture. It’s commonly served as part of a mezza in the Middle East or as an appetizer and it’s loved by so many!

The Greek call it Dolmades.

The Turks call it Dolma.

The Lebanese call Warak Enab.

I call it YUMMY!

Final stuffed grape leaves lined up on a long plate

Frequently asked questions

Can I make this vegetarian?

Absolutely! I love the vegetarian version which is made with rice, parsley, onions and tomatoes. You can find the full Vegetarian Stuffed Grape Leaves recipe on my blog.

Can I make stuffed grape leaves with brown rice?

I have not tried it myself because I’ve heard of poor results. Brown rice needs extra cooking time as compared to white rice. That extra cooking time can result in overcooking the grape leaves. However if you’d like to try it, I’ve heard some people use instant brown rice with some success.

More Lebanese Recipes

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Stuffed Grape Leaves recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

Lebanese Stuffed Grape Leaves (Warak Enab)

These Lebanese Stuffed Grape Leaves (Warak Enab) are made with a spiced ground beef and rice mixture – a delicious Mediterranean dish commonly served as an appetizer!
5 from 842 votes
Servings 60 Grape Leaves
Course Main Course
Calories 45
Prep Time 1 hr 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 2 hrs 30 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil plus more for drizzling between layers
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt plus more for seasoning layers
  • 2 teaspoons 7 Spice
  • 1 1/2 cups short grain white rice
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 jar grape leaves about 60-70 in brine
  • 2 medium Yukon gold potatoes sliced
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice

Instructions

Grape Leaves Preparation

  • Drain grape vine leaves and soak them in a large bowl of water.
  • Gently separate and wash the leaves individually. Stack them on a plate and set them aside. It is best to cover them with a damp cloth so they don't dry out, until you are ready to start rolling them.

Prepare Stuffing (Hashweh)

  • Heat a large pan with olive oil, and cook ground beef until browned. Season with salt and 7 Spice.
  • Add uncooked rice to the ground beef, then cinnamon and mix well until everything is incorporated.

Stuff, Wrap and Cook

  • To stuff and roll the grape leaves, lay a grape leaf flat on a cutting board, scoop out a heaping teaspoon of the rice mixture into the center of the grape leaf, and carefully fold in the sides and roll it like you would when making a wrap. Repeat until all the stuffing has been used and place the wrapped grape leaves in a tray.
  • Line the bottom of a large pot with tomatoes and/or potatoes and season with salt and pepper. Neatly arrange the stuffed and rolled grape leaves in rows, alternating directions, to completely cover the circumference of the pot. Drizzle each layer with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Place small round plate on top of grape leaves in the pot to hold them down and prevent floating while they are cooking.
  • Add 5-6 cups of boiling water to completely cover the grape leaves and the plate, then cover the pot and cook on Medium heat for 30 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed and the rice is cooked.
  • Add the lemon juice on top of the grape leaves, then cook on low heat for an additional 45 minutes.
  • Remove from heat and let cool uncovered for 30 minutes. Transfer to a dish and enjoy warm!

Video

Notes

Recipe: There are so many variations of this grape leaves recipe depending on the region adapted from. There is no absolute one way to make this dish, but this was the recipe passed down from my Lebanese parents and it’s one that I’ve made and enjoyed for many many years.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are frequently asked substitution questions
  • You can use ground lamb instead of ground beef or a mixture of both.
  • Avoid using brown rice. If you use brown rice, you have to increase the cooking time by 30 minutes, which may result is overcooking the grape leaves. I have not tried it but heard of poor outcomes.
Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 3-4 days in the fridge. 
Make Ahead Tips: You can make the hashweh stuffing up to 2 days in advance. You can also wash the grape leaves from the brine in advance to minimize last minute work.
Sourcing: You can find jars of grape leaves at Middle Eastern markets, natural-foods stores or even in large supermarkets, often located with other Middle Eastern ingredients. You can also buy on amazon.com. These are my favorite brands: Orlando or Cortas.
Equipment: If you have a pressure cooker, the grape leaves can be made with that. Just pack the rolled grape leaves in the pressure cooker, add the water, close and cook for 15 to 20 minutes at the first pressure mark.

Nutrition

Serving: 10g, Calories: 45kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 5mg, Sodium: 25mg, Potassium: 49mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 1g, Vitamin A: 15IU, Vitamin C: 1.1mg, Calcium: 3mg, Iron: 0.5mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

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Final stuffed grape leaves lined up on a long plate

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Comments

  1. Disgusting. Very overcooked rice and leaves. Awful flavor, needs easily twice as much seasoning. Meat is dry and flavorless because of how grossly overcooked it is. Find a new recipe this one isn’t worth your time.

    1. I appreciate your honest feedback. I’ve tried this recipe multiple times and have not had those issues. I wonder if it could come down to preference?

  2. I have a fifty foot or longer of grape vine growing up my fence around back yard,. I love to make this with the fresh vine leaf. I also like garlic in mine and on bottom pot I use chops and tomatoes garlic then layer. Yum yum, making some today in fact 7-22-22

  3. We try to use fresh grape leaves when possible but they are difficult to find unless you grow your own or know someone who grows them.

    In addition, we do not cook the meat before stuffing the leaves. We mix the meat and rice together, then stuff the leaves. We put lamb shoulder chops on the bottom of the pot instead of potatoes. The meat on the bones is tender and flavorful when cooked. And, lastly, we add about half a dozen cloves of garlic. I like to slice them lengthwise in half or you could leave them whole if you like. My Dad, who passed away 20 years ago today, loved garlic. RIP, Lou. I will make them in honor of you this week.

  4. I was watching a vlog and a grandma made a variation of stuffed leaves, but just picked the leaves right from the garden. I wanted to try and stumbled upon this recipe. Would it be possible to use leaves straight from the vines? Thank you

      1. Yes. The very best grape leaves to use are fresh grown and the ones that first appear on the grapevine in the spring. Those are the very tender young leaves and are perfect for stuffed grape leaves. Try to pick them when they are about the size of your outstretched hand.

  5. Making this recipe now! Such a fun process and a little time consuming but therapeutic I guess!

    Question: If you rinse the grape leaves in advance, how do you keep them until you’re ready to fill them? Do you soak them in water until you need to use them? Thanks!

    1. Yup! I would recommend leaving them in the water until you are ready to use them so they don’t get too dry. Enjoy!

  6. I made this recipe last weekend. It has way too much cinnamon. Does anyone have a real Lebanese recipe? The stuffed grape leaves in Lebanon are amazing – these are not.

    1. This is a traditional Lebanese recipe, but there are also other similar versions out there. For the cinnamon, you can definitely adjust the quantity moving forward, so you don’t find it too powerful. 🙂

    2. I generally taste the recipe as I go so it is how I like it. I like a lot of lemon seasoning and cinnamon in my grapeleaves, but you may not like it that way.
      You can always just look up the recipe online. There are several online.
      I am sure you can find one you like. I learned to cook arabic food from my best friend while I was in the middle east.
      I hope you find a recipe that you like.

  7. These look amazing, I will make them for my Lebanese husband, thank you for sharing – unfortunately I cannot find short grain rice in our town, maybe sushi rice – would that be the same?Can I use long grain rice? Thank you so much for your help.

  8. I’m interested in your comment on being able to use a pressure cooker. Can you expand more on the detaild,?

    1. If you have a pressure cooker, the grape leaves can be made with that. Just pack the rolled grape leaves in the pressure cooker, add the water, close and cook for 15 to 20 minutes at the first pressure mark.

  9. I only use ground lamb and long grain rice. Do not cook meat but add raw meat with rice and spices and roll. Line bottom of pan with unusable leaves in lieu of potatoes.

  10. I love this food and I usually make it in spring with fresh grape leaves. In Iranian style, it is made sour and sweet by adding vinegar or lemon juice and some sugar or pomegranate paste. Sooo yummy 🤤

  11. Your recipes look amazing, I can’t wait to try them! My brother-in-law is Lebanese and makes THE best food. I think one day I’ll surprise him with one of your recipes!

  12. I’m also Lebanese, and my family’s grape leave recipe is almost the same as yours, only we call it Yabrah. All my parents and grandparents are gone and it’s so fun to add more Lebanese recipes to my cooking repertoire. 🙂

    Cindy

  13. Your recipe for this is so tasty!! It’s like an amazing little bonus gift how the potatoes also come out yummy too, cooking with the lemons and leaves and meat. Crazy thought – Have you ever thought of making a tshirt with your fun words “The Greek call it Dolmades. The Turks call it Dolma.
    The Lebanese call Warak Enab. I call it YUMMY!” I would totally buy that tshirt!! And one each for my family members too!!

  14. Made this following the directions… very good.

    Made it again using whole grain basmati rice and Arborio rice,soaked it 30 min.

    Just as good but more nutrition from the whole grain basmati.

    Thanks

    1. I’ve used every kind of brown rice and added in all kinds of wild rice, and it always works fine. I’m on the keto diet now and use grated cauliflower and that also works just fine. It also works for making hashweh too. 🙂

      Cindy

  15. My mother just mixed the raw meat, long grain rice and seasonings together. I have always done the same. I also use a combination of water, lemon and chicken broth. I tried with brown rice a couple of times. I usually cook the brown rice for 10-15 minutes to soften before mixing with the meat. Long gain, short grain and brown rice all work.
    Your seasonings are the right balance and provide the best flavor. All your recipes are excellent and provide lots of room to be creative. Thank you.

    1. My family also mixes it all together with our hands in a big bowl. But instead of doing the lining of the pot with meat/bone and extra grape leaves, I use a big crock pot. There’s not need for any kind of lining with the crock pot. I just put the rolled grape leaves straight into the pot, fill to the top, and let the glass crock pot lid hold the grapeleaves down. So much easier for busy me! I do let them cook in the crock pot for many hours, first on high to get started, then on low for the rest of the time.

  16. Never browned meat first. I will try it.
    Good recipe, easy to follow
    Still have problem with mujadra. Comes out squishy. Brought up in Detroit, cooked every weekend growing up. Still can’t make it on my own. 😄

    1. I like the Crock Pot idea. Thanks.
      Do you use water? My mother used tomato juice. I think my mother used whatever ingredients she had available.

  17. I get so excited when I see a new recipe from you- I love Middle Eastern foods and yours are great! Made lots of dolmas before so can’t wait. Is there a way to post on Pinterest?

  18. I loved these growing up as well. My Grandma made them. Right down to putting the plate on top of them to not make them float. I cannot speak Arabic so I learned the names phonetically. She made them with lamb and rice.

  19. Hello
    I love making your recipes each recipe is always a hit with my husband

    I wanted to ask if you have a recipe for vegetarian warak enab

  20. Your stuffed grape leaves made me homesick..I am Greek and my grandma was a pro on making those…vegeterian and with meat and egg lemon sauce😇😇😇😙simply divine!!!

  21. My mother knew a lady in new castle pa mrs hammid she was Mohammad. She made the best stuffed grape leaves I wanted to try making them it’s been along time since I had them she also made Syrian bread it was all so good.

  22. Hi Yumna, is there a reason you cook the meat first before stuffing? Does it preserve the flavor more? I’ve seen other recipes put the meat in raw and let it cook in the water. Thanks!

  23. I was always scared to attempt this recipe but I finally gave in and did it and it turned out AMAZING!! Hubby says thanks 💝

  24. I absolutely love these. My family is from Syria and these are almost exaclty how we always have them – super lemony and savory. I’ve made these several times but I’m always left with a lot of liquid at the bottom of the pot. Am I using too much liquid or should I use a bigger pot with fewer layers? Cook for longer? Any tips?

    1. That’s amazing! When you add the water, you want enough to cover the plate, so it will all be absorbed by the rice in the cooking process.

    2. I’m afraid I’m having the same problem with a lot of liquid left in the pot after putting in boiling water to just cover the grape leaves and the plate. Not sure why the water isn’t soaking up into the rice. I am trying to cook it for 15 minutes longer but right now it still looks the same. I may dump out the water after and just add in the lemon juice and cook on low for 45 min.

  25. Excellent recipe that i have improved on especially using potatoes. My family likes this so much that to have enough we put one thin layer top and bottom and still use only two potatoes.
    Our ancestors are Romania/Macedonian from Albania and as a kid I remember we had stuffed grape leaves every Sunday with our soup and meal.
    I am not sure if it is right but I use the liquid that comes in the grape leaves jar. It makes the stuffed grape leaves more tasty.
    I tried different types of rice and while I like Indian rice it cooks too fast so I use Uncle Ben’s here in the US. What do you use?

    1. That makes me so happy to hear that you are all enjoying it! That’s so nostalgic! I like to use short grain white rice!

        1. This recipe does not require grapes, as the grape leaves are made from grapevine plants and not grapes itself.

          1. If you are planning to make these ahead, you can make the hashweh stuffing up to 2 days in advance. You can also wash the grape leaves from the brine in advance to minimize last minute work.

    1. Yes store them in the fridge. If I have a lot left I’m planning to freeze some. I read that they do freeze well too!

  26. Could you make these with cooked rice and eliminate the pot cooking? Would they need to marinade in something? Just wondering about a time saving method or if you’ve done it that way. Thanks!!

    1. I find that this way makes for the most flavorful version of this recipe. You could do it that way, but you’d have to skip the water step and probably not cook it for as long.

  27. I am 67 years old and have enjoyed grape leaves since I was a teen . My friends mom owned a Lebanese resteraunt near Pittsburgh Pa . I liked them so much she would get myself & my friend to pick leaves in the spring . It never seemed to be enough . I am Scottish & our diet is not near as good .

    1. Lebanese club in aliquippa— has the best. I’m going there to get some tonight. I’m going make this recipe Sunday but i just can’t wait. :-). Thanks so much for this recipe and all the advise :-)) Yumm

    1. Of course! Usually hashweh is integrated inside other recipes as a stuffing, but you can also eat this on its own with some pita or homemade pita chips, or on top of rice!

  28. It looks like you added a garnish on the finished product? The seed/flake looking pieces and the leafy pieces I mean. What are those? I am going to try this soon 🙂

  29. I made the Salad Shirazi! My dad is from Tehran so we have it a lot at home. I added the fresh peppers to the salad and it made a huge difference. We all really liked it!

  30. Are these grape leaves of a special kind? We own a winery and large vineyard and would love to try your recipe when we prune the vines.

      1. Hi Yumna,
        I am pleased to view yr receipe , however I wonder whether it is possible to buy these products in UK as I like Lebanese food but I have limited time to go to restaurants due pandemic too
        Will appreciste very much if you can recommend a supplier I. Uk
        Have a nice day

        Michael

        1. Hi Michael! I hope you get to try the recipe. Unfortunately I’m not familiar with UK suppliers enough to know who would carry some of the ingredients.

    1. We love fresh grape leaves. Make sure to take the grape leaves when they are young, for us that’s usually May and beginning of June. Past then they become stringy and tough to eat!

  31. Hello Yumna,
    And the Assyrians call them ” Prahkheh”!
    I too call them YUM!
    I also like to see and try different versions!

    We have been making these for as long as I remember.
    I started out as a child learning everything from my Mom. Who to me was the most amazing cook!
    (Aren’t all our mothers???)
    Cooking together was loads of fun.

    We actually have the assortment of stuffed zucchini, eggplant, onions, capsciums both red and green, tomatoes and of course the grape leaves all in the one huge pot with lamb forequarter chops lining the base of the huge pot. (I’m going to try the sliced potatoes next. Thanks for the suggestion.
    The pot was huge enough to feed at least twenty people, sometimes we’d cook two or more pots for sure!
    Layla

  32. Hello Yumna,
    I love the recipe, it was so delicious. My husband is from Saudi Arabia and he loved the warak enab. Their recipe is similar.
    Thanks so much!

  33. Hi there, Yumna. I love how thorough you are with your information and explanations! I need to make some Specialized versions of these that don’t contain any pepper or cinnamon. Also, I’ve heard chipped venison or lamb blackstrap can be used. What do you think?
    My other question is do you know how to preserve these in smaller quantities?
    We could only eat about 5-10 per week but want to make them in bulk in advance so we have a steady supply. Is canning an option? Thank you for your wisdom here. 🙂 Cheers from Australia

    1. Hi Jessica, you can leave out the pepper and cinnamon for sure. If you can use other warm spices like nutmeg, cumin or all spice, it will really help flavor it. And yes you can use other meat alternatives as you suggested. As for preserving them, I think freezing might be your best option which is what I’ve done before. I’ve never tried canning them after stuffing and cooking, but it’s possible it works. If you try it, let me know!

  34. For a main dish i suggest you mention the Damascus version of Warak anib which is called yabra..
    To be fair check it out

    1. I don’t know much about it. My parents are from Lebanon and this is just one recipe I’m sharing, not a historical reference of the recipe.

  35. Hi. What is in your 7 spice mix? I ran out and wanna make it.

    Also..can i use fresh lime juice instread of lemon? I do not have access to lemons.

    1. This is the mix I use: I will actually create a blog post about this because a lot of people ask:
      1 tablespoon Allspice
      1 tablespoon black pepper
      1 tablespoon cinnamon
      2 teaspoons ground cloves
      2 teaspoons ground ginger
      2 teaspoons coriander
      2 teaspoons nutmeg

      And yes, you can use fresh lime juice instead. Enjoy!

  36. My dad and I have been wanting to make stuffed grape leaves for so long. He is Palestinian and has not made them since he was a kid. Thought it would be a great bonding experience so we made them on Father’s day! They turned out perfectly!!! Good cold or hot in our preference. Thank you for such an amazing recipe!!! Will be making again as soon as we run out. Oh and the potatoes layered at the bottom absorb all the flavor and are so delicious!

    1. I’m so glad to hear you enjoyed them and what a wonderful time to spend with your dad making this recipe…definitely a labor of love and so happy the results came out like you expected!!

  37. Thanks so much for publishing this! Today while my 88yo grandma was mixing the stuffing together, I heard my mom ask her, “So about a tablespoon?” and of course my grandma looked at her and said, “No measuring. Just taste it!” I’ve done spinach pies and grape leaves with my grandma before, but have nothing written down and it’s nice to have your work to reference specific quantities. (BTW, our version just uses lemon juice, allspice, and cumin.) She has a few spots around town where she picks the grape leaves herself, but I’m going to probably have to find them in a jar when it’s my turn! Ha!

    1. Awww, that’s the best cooking these with your grandma! I first learned to make them with my mom and watched her carefully every time. That’s how we learn but it’s really nice to have measurements to fall back on! I’m glad you’ll have this to reference in the future 🙂

  38. I used to regularly eat brown and red rice for my meals.I think using brown rice may work, provided it is soaked in water, say for 30min-1 hour, then drained well and then mixed with the stuffing.
    I tried making dolmades with minced beef but using mulberry leaves, as I do not have grape leaves. I have plenty of mulberry leaves in the tree that often needs to be pruned.
    It tastes good.
    I did not put any sliced potatoes underneath but I didnot have any problems

    Thanks for this post. Will add more spices and try other versions next time

  39. Yumna! I made your waraq 3enab recipe today and my mom (we’re Egyptian ) was soooo proud!!! I feel like it’s a rite of passage and I can’t believe it hahah. Anyway love you and all your recipes! You make it seem easy and explain the method really well❤️❤️❤️❤️

    1. Awww that makes me so happy to hear! It’s such a wonderful feeling to cook one of these traditional recipes!

  40. Hi, great looking recipe! I bought fresh grape leaves from local market. Do I just boil and cool before stuffing them w/hashweh?
    I’ve made dolmas before, but your recipe sounds like the one’s we eat from restaurants. Thank you!

    1. If you bought fresh grape leaves, you actually should soak them overnight with brine not boil them. I buy the jarred kind but you can find some tutorials and super easy brining. Hope that helps!

  41. I made the recipe but the grape leaf after cleaning it it still had like a vinegar flavor
    Anda they were a bit hard i used the same brand

    1. Did you cook them long enough? It will usually have the brine flavor there still which is part of the taste. And the stems should be taken out before stuffing to soften them.

  42. My husband is diabetic and can’t have rice. Have you ever made these without rice, or with some other substitute? Thank you.

    1. I haven’t personally, but I know some people who have used rice cauliflower instead. If you do that, keep in mind that the cauliflower will shrink a bit as it cooks, so you want to wrap them tighter than you would using rice. Hope that helps!

  43. This recipe was so easy to follow and I am obsessed with how they turned out!! My kids love these and this recipe has been a Godsend during this quarantine because normally the grandmas make my kids grape leaves. I am lebanese and I think this is the best recipe for grape leaves as well! Came out perfect! Thanks again for taking the time to make these videos and recipes and broadening the reach of yummy Lebanese food.

    1. Thank you so much Lisa!! Means so much to me that you loved the recipe and that your kids even loved it!

  44. Hi there,
    I want to thank you for this great recipe! We just cooked them and they reminded me of home. I am Colombian with Palestinian descent and my boyfriend is Lebanese! lol. We followed the recipe along but wanted to ask you, any recommendations to make the leaf softer? Have you tried boiling them before rolling?

    1. So glad you made it! Usually with the one hour and 15 minutes cooking, the resting time and the lemon juice our leaves become super soft. Boiling them is an excellent idea though and make sure to remove any hard stems which will also help with making them softer. Thank you!

  45. I tried making these for the first time ever yesterday afternoon.

    I followed the recipe to a t , and after the stuffed grapes leaves cooled and I tried one , the rice ( short grain -white ) was overcooked and mushy inside. I did have to add a few more cups of water in my pot to get it to cover all of the grape leaves . I don’t know if that messed things up .

    Any suggestions for my next attempt at these ?

    1. Did you use a plate to push down the grape leaves while cooking? I think it’s possible you put too much water or cooked it at too long. But with that said, the rice is supposed to be super soft because of the long cooking time.

  46. I’m Polish and typically make cabbage rolls, but being able to purchase jarred grape leaves, I decided to give this recipe a try. I’m glad I did- they turned out great. I’m serving the dish for Easter alongside Lamb roast.

    1. I’m so glad to hear it! Yes, they’re very similar to the cabbage rolls actually. Happy Easter!!

  47. My partner grew up eating Lebanese food so is a comfort food that he Loves- I found a vine to prepare my own leaves that am now preparing using yr method for the second time after the first attempt was fantastic ???

    1. Awww that makes me so happy! Thank you so much for sharing. So glad you’re making it for the second time!

  48. Your recipe looks perfect and has the ingredients that we like. One question. Can I freeze or can the extras?
    Thanks, too, for your brand recommendation of grape leaves and for the great photos and the video. Have never made them before and am anxious to try while “sheltering at home.”
    I have grape vines growing on my perimeter fence, all organic. Is there a way to use those later this year when the vines are producing grapes?

    1. Thank you so much for the feedback! Yes you can freeze the stuffed grape leaves or you can freeze the leaves on their own even. That’s amazing that you have some growing at home. You should pick them when they’re ripe brine them. I’ve never done it myself, but there are some excellent tutorials online for it! Hope you enjoy this recipe!

      1. You can roll them in bundles, in plastic wrap, and freeze them as is. No need to brine. Unbrined leaves can taste better than brined.

  49. With so much time on my hands now staying indoors, I decided to try your recipe with a twist. I’ve been plant based since oct 2019 but love warat anab. So I bought the “beyond meat” ground beef and followed recipe. The dish came out so good! You can’t even tell it’s plant based ground beef! I also tried your veggie stuffed and that was also a homerun! Thank you!!

    1. Yes they are. You can add them on top in the middle like a garnish or on the side of the plate. They come out delicious!!

    1. No it doesn’t have to be cooked first. Most people prefer not to cook it first, but I like browning the beef before stuffing them.

  50. My family used to make this but never sprinkled the layers with olive and added the lemon for the entire cooking process. Of course we picked the vine leaves ourselves and brined them in salt for at least 2 weeks. Didn’t have readymade jars in the good old days! This worked for us however (My mom did not like olive oil!). This was a family event. Thanks for providing the memory. I’m passing it on to my grandkids.

    1. So great that this was part of your family event and I’m glad you tried the recipe! Thanks so much for sharing!

  51. I see some spices in the photos that aren’t referenced in the recipe (it looks like maybe something red sprinkled on the potato slices, as well as something red/green on the finished Warak Enab — possibly chili flakes and parsley?). Is there anything else you’re adding for the garnish/finishing touches?

    Thanks for the recipe — looking forward to testing it out tonight!

    1. Hi Sara – Yes, I added red chili flakes and parsley to garnish the finished dish, but that’s about it. I will make sure to include that as optional for serving. I hope you enjoy the recipe!!

  52. Thanks for the recipe… can I make this in advance and freeze the whole pot until ready to serve. if I was to boil the leaves…how long do I do this for? I’m so excited to try this and serve for thanksgiving

    1. Hi Annie! Yes, after cooking, allow the grape leaves to cool fully, then drizzle with olive oil, place in a freezer bag or back in the pot, and freeze. If you’re boiling the leaves unwrapped before, they only need 5-10 minutes. I don’t boil mine.

  53. This is very close to what my mom makes. Nearly the same. Try using chicken wings in place of the potatoes. My dad likes to eat the lemon chicken wings and not the stuffed leaves. I never thought of using allspice however. We just use black pepper and cinnamon. I’ll keep the allspice in mind this thanksgiving.

    1. Oh that makes me happy to hear that it’s close to your mom’s recipe! Good idea about the chicken wings. I know a lot of people use meat at the bottom of the pan, but my mom always used potatoes and tomatoes so that’s what I got used to! Thanks so much for sharing!

  54. Excellent recipe Thank You
    I had dill to mine and once in a while a little mint but not too often but lots of garlic and a product in the states called Greek seasoning found at Walmart ironically made in the state of Arkansas but it really is excellent and captures the Greek flavor ideally. I guess there are Greeks in Arkansas too

    1. So glad to hear that you enjoyed the recipe! I like that you added dill and the extra Greek flavors in it! Yummy!

  55. what do you mean by allspice, sorry am not a chef not familiar with. But i loved this food , i have tasted it before in saudi

    1. It’s the name of the spice. You can find it in stores as AllSpice, very similar to nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and other warm spices. You can substitute it with just black pepper or any of those spices if you can’t find it.

    1. Yes you can! I haven’t tried it personally but it should work fine. I would just recommend that you wrap them tighter since the rice won’t expand the way regular rice would.

  56. My husband and his family are Lebanese. I’ve been trying to get him to make some like Teta does but I was tired of waiting. I made these today and they were fantastic! The only change I made is to add sumac as well because that’s how I’d seen Teta do it. Thanks!

    1. Aww I’m so glad to hear that you tried it and liked it! I think sumac is such a great addition to the recipe. Hope your husband enjoyed it!

    1. I’ve actually never brined them myself, but I think it’s just water, lemon juice and salt. There may be some good guidelines to follow online. Good luck!

    2. My mum would pick off our tree then once stem removed and sizes of leaves bunched together accordingly she would place them in low boiling water or hot water from kettle and soak them till they turn from light green to dark . Make sure the inner leaves in bunches have all turned dark then wallah there ready to be stuffed and rolled

    1. I’m so happy you’re finding the instructions helpful! Thanks so much for leaving the feedback 🙂

  57. Do you also make these with ground Lamb? My mother in law (Sadly, long time passed on) made the very best of Lebanese food and I learned to eat lamb in her Lebanese dishes. She rarely used beef….Unfortunately not being Lebanese myself she didn’t share her recipes BUT she MADE them for me…I considered her to be the BEST Lebanese cook in all of California…LOL Can I substitute Lamb with your beef and still get the results of your delicious Warak Enab?

    1. Aww glad to hear you got to enjoy her recipes! I hope these live up to her recipe. And yes you can absolutely use lamb instead of ground beef. Enjoy!!

  58. I wrapped the leaves on Friday. Cooked them on Saturday. I am still enjoying the Warak Enab today. Best meal. Great instructions.

  59. I enjoyed your blog thank you… and keep up the good work… I liked the feed back of others..

  60. Im surprised there is not parsley used in the recipe. I thought that was a must. Do you think it would ruin the flavor if I added parsley?

    1. Yup, traditionally the parsley is in the vegetarian grape leaves. I know there are many variations though of grape leaves. I don’t think parsley would ruin it if you wanted to add it!

  61. استخدمه وافعله دائما ولاكن بعد الطهي يصبح لونه اسود وبعد مايبرد

  62. Different recipe from the grape leaves I was raised on and make. My seasonings are basically rice (Uncle Ben’s is preferred) salt, pepper, mint and garlic powder. Never put allspice, cinnamon, etc…. I guess it’s different regions of Lebanon that spice differently.

    1. Hi Theresa – Yeah, it seems that there may be some variations of the recipe, but essentially the basic recipe is similar with the ground beef, rice and seasoning of your choice. Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  63. when my hubby and I went to Samreny’s in east liberty, Pittsburgh, pa. don’t know if spelling is correct but they have been closed for a long time now . I miss there food so much. hubby n I went on our first date there and every anniversary for years. I thought the grape leaves had lamb and rice in it and every thing was so lemony. the rice n pignolias was so fluffy not greasy or sticky ,what was on it? , so good. I have tried to make there food many times I am close but .would love to buy a good lebanese cook book

    1. Hi Cindy – I’m sorry I’m not sure what you’re referring to. Hopefully one day I’ll have a Lebanese cookbook to share!

    1. Oh that’s awesome! I would recommend soaking the leaves in hot water for 15 minutes so they soften. This will make it easier to roll them without them breaking. Enjoy!

  64. These are even BETTER if you have your own fresh leaves (not the one picked in brine). Fresh leaves melt in your mouth!! For holidays growing up, we always had these with Laban as well as kibbe and fatayer on the side. My mom made the fresh bread. Never any turkey and dressing for me growing up! Today, I make the turkey and dressing biut always have a pot of grapeleaves on the side.

    1. Hi Heather, yes absolutely! That’s pretty much what I usually do. I roll them at night (while watching TV) and then cook them the next day! Enjoy!