Spicy Vegan Stuffed Grape Leaves

Spicy Vegan Stuffed Grape Leaves

  • Author: Full of Plants
  • Yield: 20 small stuffed leaves 1x


  • 1 tbsp (15ml) oil
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp pine nuts (optional)
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) soy sauce
  • 1 and 3/4 tsp ground chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 3 tbsp (45ml) tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup (90g) brown rice*
  • 1/2 cup (100g) green lentils
  • 3/4 cup (177ml) water
  • 3 tbsp chopped spring onions
  • 1820 grape leaves (in brine), drained and rinsed
  • 1 and 1/2 cup (360ml) water
  • 3 tbsp (45ml) lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp (15ml) oil


  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the onion and garlic and cook for 5-7 minutes or until onions are golden brown. Add the pine nuts if using and toast for 2 minutes.
  2. Add the soy sauce and cook for another 30 seconds. Add the spices, tomato paste, brown rice, lentils, water, and spring onions and cook for 5-8 minutes or until no water remains. The rice and lentils won’t be cooked, this is normal as they will cook later once wrapped in grape leaves.
  3. Let the rice and lentils cool until they are no longer hot.
  4. Place 4-5 grape leaves in the bottom of a heavy-bottomed pot. This will prevent the stuffed grape leaves from sticking to the bottom. If you don’t have extra grape leaves, just place a plate in the bottom of the pot.
  5. To assemble: lay one leaf on a working surface. Place about 1 and 1/2 tsp of the rice and lentil filling at the bottom of the leaf. Fold both sides of the leaf over the filling and then roll it up into a cylindrical shape. It should be tight but not too much as the filling will slightly expand. Place the roll in the prepared pot. Repeat with the remaining filling and grape leaves.
  6. Try not to leave any gap between the rolls, otherwise, they might open during cooking. If using a small pot, you can layer the rolls.
  7. Place a large plate on top of the stuffed grape leaves, this will keep the rolls submerged.
  8. Pour the 1 and 1/2 cup of water into the pot with the lemon juice and oil. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. You don’t want the water to be boiling or the leaves will explode. Let simmer covered for 45-50 minutes or until the rice and lentils are cooked.
  9. Remove from heat and let cool a few minutes before transferring the stuffed grape leaves to a serving plate. Stuffed grape leaves can be eaten warm, or cold!


*I recommend using Thai or basmati brown rice that usually cooks in 30-35 minutes.

If using fresh grape leaves, blanch them in boiling water for about 5 minutes. You may have to add a good pinch of salt to the cooking water as the leaves won’t be salted.


  • Serving Size: 5 rolls
  • Calories: 226
  • Sugar: 3.2g
  • Fat: 4.4g
  • Carbohydrates: 38.2g
  • Fiber: 9.3g
  • Protein: 9.1g