Lahanodolmades (Stuffed Cabbage with Avgolemono)


For as much as I enjoy food, I can pick what are probably my two favorite dishes with little hesitation: Greek-style stuffed cabbage with egg-lemon sauce (lahanodolmades avgolemono) and roasted lamb with tomatoes and orzo (arni youvetsi) with lots of grated myzithra. But, I tend to not make these dishes at home and wait for my yiayia to make them when I visit Michigan (she takes requests, of course). Tom is not that crazy about cabbage, so I usually make youvarlakia, which are almost the same thing as the dolmades but without the cabbage. And roasting lamb just doesn’t make much sense when there are only two people in the household. So, unfortunately, I don’t eat my two favorite meals all that often.

But, lucky for me, Tom *will* eat anything. In fact the only thing he doesn’t like is Grape Nuts cereal, which he professes tastes like gravel. He likes almost everything else, and things he feels just sort of “eh” about (like cabbage), he will still eat. And hey, I can always eat the cabbage from his plate if he doesn’t want it (much like I did with my dad’s plate, when I was younger).

I have been majorly craving some lahanodolmades (LA-hah-no-dole-MAH-thes) lately, so I decided to make these. In general “dolmades” refer to stuffed grape leaves whereas “lahanodolmades” are stuffed cabbage (lahana = cabbage). I much, much, much prefer lahanodolmades with avgolemono over the tomato sauce many versions of stuffed cabbage tend to have. Plus, it’s really the only way we made them in my family. These are really easy to make vegetarian by simply removing the meat. Normally I don’t thicken my avgolemono with flour or cornstarch but that’s because generally I am making something more soup-like whereas this is more sauce-like so I do add the cornstarch here.

Lahanodolmades (Stuffed Cabbage with Avgolemono)

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  • Kim

    Is the rice cooked first?
    My nana always made stuffed cabbage with tomato sauce, but I love lemon sauces!

    • No, the rice is left raw so it will cook as you are cooking/stewing the stuffed cabbage. Hope you like them if you try them!

      • katie

        I hate to ask, but is the ground beef cooked before being rolled up? (I don’t cook much). I was thinking of using bison because it’s leaner.

        • elly

          Nope, it’s raw. It will cook up with the rice!

  • Kim

    Tried them last night, we had some people over for my husband’s birthday and everyone loved them.
    I used ground turkey and chicken sausage w/garlic and herbs that I removed the casing and chopped up. The chicken sausage really helped flavor the turkey.
    What do you serve with yours?

    • Glad you liked them, Kim! Usually we just eat them with a salad and some bread to sop up the avgolemono.

  • Valery Bunnell

    These are also good with sour cream on top. This is a very similar recipe to what Russians make. I love these.

    I cook my rice and bake these covered in a casserole pan with some butter pieces over the top of each roll.

  • sibel

    dolma and lahanodolma look delicious, for sure. but, they are not Greek. they are traditional Turkish meals invented by the Turkish. even their names derive from the words ‘lahana’ and ‘dolma’ which are Turkish.lahana means cabbage in Turkish and dolma is the noun form of the verb ‘dolma’ which means ‘stuffing’. So please dont give any wrong information here.

    • elly

      There are no doubt Turkish cabbage rolls, too, but these are Greek – especially with the avgolemono. Lahana means cabbage in Greek, too.

      • lena

        Elley is right. There are other counrties that have something similar. So it would be nice if you dont label it as turkish. I am sure you have something like that in your countryther is as is an Eastern Europe and the Middle East as well as Finland and Sweden dish. But just a bit of history for you; most of Turkey was Greece in the anceint times. So we all do share a bit of simmilar food its no surprise. Please know your facts before posting something like that. Thanks.

    • kostas

      Sibel lahanodolmades were made in mikrasia (east turkey) nowfrom the greeks that lived there as most foods that turks copy from greeks,avgolemono is purely greek turkish food is yummy also but you are so wrong here stay hungry eat greek pame pame elladaraaaaaaa!!!

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  • I love eating stuffed food,, its so pratical and healthy……too Querino

  • I love getting stuffed food,,its more practical and tastier…..Barley,,,cus-cus is wonderful cooked this way….There are no rules in stuffed food,,Every country surely has own style….Thanks Querino

  • Nan Kitras

    This is the way we made them at home too. In fact because my dad never made any of the other versions for the the longest time these were simply dolmades. One suggestion you might like to try is using ground pork instead of hamburger. It gives great flavor and they turn out just as well. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  • Robin K

    I was wondering is the rice supposed to be 1/2 cup cooked or raw rice? I’m thinking about making this with ground lamb instead of beef.

    • elly

      Raw! I will go back and specify on the recipe. 🙂

  • Vanalorin Kitras

    Thank you!! I have been wondering if I was making them right and it is nice to know someone else makes them the same way. I grew up making these all the time but because of the area we lived it wasn’t like we could go and talk to others about different recipes. So thank you!!

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  • I on FB with Shanna Egbert who post great recipes. She posted Greek meatballs. I told her l loved Dolmates and she looked up the recipe and got yours..

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