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Dolmades me Avgolemono (stuffed vine leaves)


Dolmades me Avgolemono (pr. dol-MAH-thes mé Avgolémono) , are vine leaves stuffed with ground meat and rice which are then served with an egg lemon sauce, called avgolemono (avgo = egg and lemoni = lemon).

There are a few different kind of dolmades depending on the region.  The most common in Greece is that with the Avgolemono (egg-lemon) sauce.  In other regions, including Cyprus, they are called Koupepia and are cooked with tomato and use cinnamon in the fillig.

Koupepia Cypriot dolmades in tomato sauce

Koupepia are Cypriot dolmades cooked in tomato sauce

You can make them with pork, lamb, beef, veal, chicken or turkey mince or a mixture of both.

Dolmades Avgolemono image

During Lent we make them vegan, only with rice or rice with vegetables and they are called Dolmades Gialantzi.   You can also find tinned dolmades gialantzi in supermarkets but they taste, nothing like the homemade ones.

Dolmades avgolemono - egg lemon sauce

Instead of adding water to cook them, if you have homemade vegetable, chicken or turkey stock it’s a great addition as it adds lots of flavour to the dolmades.

Turkey vegetable stock

I always use fresh vine leaves which I buy during Spring when they are very tender and preserve them.  See How to Preserve Vine Leaves and have them all year round.

Dolmades me Avgolemono (stuffed vine leaves)

Preparation time:  30 minutes

Cooking time:  30 minutes

Serves: 5


  • 70 fresh or frozen or preserved vine leaves
  • 1 kilo ground pork or beef (I prefer pork)
  • 1/2 cup of rice preferably Carolina or other short grain rice
  • 1 big onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup of parsley, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup of extra virgin olive oil (only if the meat is very lean)
  • 3 tablespoons dried mint
  • Salt and pepper
  • Water or stock to cover them


  1. Wash the vine leaves thoroughly and then blanch them for 5 minutes. Cool them in running water and strain them.
  2. In a bowl put the ground meat, the rice, the onion, parsley, mint, salt and pepper, as well as half the oil and mix well.
  3. Put a leaf  on a plate, vein side facing up, and put about a tablespoon of the mixture near the stem. Make sure to remove the stem. (The amount of the filling will depend on the size of the leaf).
  4. Neatly fold left edge and then right edge and then roll all the way. Wrap up into a cigar shape (don’t fold too tight as the rice will expand during cooking). Repeat with the remaining grape leaves and filling.
  5. Place neatly in the saucepan starting from the edge to the centre. Second and third layers may be placed on top, then cover with the plate (which must be exactly the size of the pan). This is done so that when the dolmades are boiling they will not open.
  6. Add the remaining oil (only if there is no fat in the meat) and water or stock to cover them.  Bring to a boil, lower heat and cook for 30 minutes.
  7. Let them cool for a while and then pour over the avgolemono sauce and tilt the pot until it goes everywhere.

For the avgolemono (egg and lemon) sauce

  • 3 eggs
  • the juice of two lemons (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup of the hot broth
  • 1 tablespoon of corn flour (cornstarch) optional (again if meat is lean)

See How to Make Avgolemono Sauce with detailed instructions here.


Cypriot dolmades (koupepia) in tomato sauce

You can find my Greek recipes in my cookbooks «More Than A Greek Salad», and«Mint, Cinnamon & Blossom Water, Flavours of Cyprus, Kopiaste!» both available on all Amazon stores. Read more here.


Other related Recipes:

How to preserve vine leaves

Kremmydia Gemista (Stuffed Onions)

Koupepia me Lahana and not Lahanodolmades

Dolmades with Sardines and Black Couscous

Dolmades with Cod



Kopiaste and Kali Orexi,

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6 Responses

  1. Peter M

    Well done Ivy, they look like my moms but she also adds dill in the mix.

  2. Ivy

    Yes I know but I prefer them without the dill, as I am not really fond of it. I am not really sure about the mint if they put it in the Greek dolmades but I add it to mine because I love mint.
    Did you see the video, with the Cypriot couple preparing koupepia? I had such a laugh.

  3. YUM Ivy, it is Sunday morning here but now I am craving dolmades. At first I saw your photo and thought they were the cabbage rolled ones which I love, but have never thought of putting avgolemono on the vine ones. Will have to try that next time, thanks for the tip!!!

    • Ivy

      Hi Trish. Glad to see you again. This is the classic way dolmades are made here in Greece and love them this way!

  4. Helen

    I love, but have never thought of putting avgolemono on the vine ones. Will have to try that next time, thanks for the tip!!! Thank you for recommendation.

  5. Howard

    Hello there! Glad to see you again. This is the classic way dolmades are made here in Greece and love them this way! Thanks a lot for sharing such a great post. I love it. i am waiting for your next post.