Dolmades are a delicious side (or main, if you make enough) and deserve a place on every dinner table in the world. They can be quite fiddly to make so batch preparing them is a great idea. But, how do you store a large batch of them?
Can You Freeze Dolmades?
Yes, you can freeze dolmades for up to 3 months. Thoroughly cook them, allow them to cool to room temperature, and then pack them into a freezer bag. Once packed, remove excess air and transfer to the freezer.
Do Dolmades Freeze Well? Yes
Can You Refreeze Dolmades? Yes
How to Freeze Dolmades
The first step to freezing dolmades is to ensure they’re freshly made. Therefore, one could argue that the first step is to make them. Stuff and bake dolmades, until they’re thoroughly cooked through.
Got them cooked? You can now follow our method for freezing them:
- Cool: Allow them to sit on the side and cool to room temperature, which usually takes a few hours. It may go a little quicker if you spread the dolmades out in one layer and give a little space between them.
- Bag Up: Pack the cool dolmades into the freezer bags one at a time. Avoid breaking the grape leaf skins of any of the dolmades, while also remembering that you can press them a little to fit more dolmades into the bag.
- Remove Air: Once you have packed as many dolmades as possible into the bag, press as much air out of the bag as possible. This is a great way to prevent freezer burn, as any air within a freezer bag or container will condense to water, and freeze to ice over time.
- Seal: After the air has been pressed out, seal the bag and double-check that the seal is intact.
- Label and Freeze: Once sealed, label and transfer the bag to the freezer, where it can be stored for up to three months.
3 Tips for Freezing Dolmades
Now you know how to freeze them, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing dolmades to have the best results:
Remember You Can Press Them
Dolmades are naturally quite flexible since the outer grape layer tends to be pliable, and the inner filling tends not to be entirely rigid. You can press and manipulate the dolmades to some extent, which will allow you to fit as many as possible into the bag, with as little excess air.
Oil the Freezer Bag
When cooking dolmades, several recipes simply recommend oiling as many surfaces as the dolmades are liable to come into contact with. It may be wise to lightly oil the inside of the freezer bag, which may make the dolmades easier to extract when you come to eat them.
Ensure the Bag is Sealed Tight
This is especially important if you oiled the bag, as in tip two. That will result in there being quite a lot of moisture within the bag, which is liable to spill if there is even a tiny gap in the opening of the gap. To prevent a messy, frustrating cleanup, ensure the bag is sealed tight.
How Long Can You Freeze Dolmades?
You can freeze cooked dolmades for up to three months before they lose any form of texture or flavour on a large scale.
Freezer burn will likely have set in too far by the end of that three months, though, resulting in a poor end meal.
When kept in a covered tray or dish, dolmades will last for around 5 days in the fridge. They should not be kept out at room temperature.
How Do You Defrost Dolmades?
The easiest way to defrost dolmades is to transfer them to the microwave and cook them until they’re steaming hot, all the way through. This will ensure they’re safe to eat.
You can also thaw them slowly in the fridge overnight before warming them up in the oven.
We would avoid thawing them at room temperature as this is when bacteria can get involved – especially if you have any meat or cheese fillings!
Can You Refreeze Dolmades?
Dolmades can be refrozen unless they contain any meat or seafood. In that case, they shouldn’t be refrozen, as both meat and seafood are prone to harbouring bacteria when frozen, thawed and then refrozen.
Do Dolmades Freeze Well?
Yes, dolmades do freeze well – they retain a lot of their texture and flavour during a maximum three-month period in the freezer. Beyond this, the texture will be the first thing to change, even if they remain safe to eat, they won’t be enjoyable.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing dolmades or dolmades in general, then these may help:
Although it is likely to be safe to freeze uncooked dolmades, they will easily crumble and fall apart. It is far easier and safer to freeze cooked dolmades instead.
Yes, grape leaves can be frozen in freezer bags for a few months. You may want to wrap a few leaves in a sheet of cling film so you can grab a portion at a time as they will freeze into a solid block otherwise.
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