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Can You Freeze Stuffed Vine Leaves?

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By Lewis Brindley

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Stuffed vine leaves are a tasty treat – not only are they wonderfully flavoured, but they’re a great crowd-pleaser at any event – even if they’re a bit of a faff to make. So, is there a way to store them for the long term?

Can You Freeze Stuffed Vine Leaves?

Yes, you can freeze stuffed vine leaves for up to 6 months. The basic idea is that you should allow them to completely cool, before drizzling them with a little olive oil. Then, place the leaves in a freezer bag, and freeze them.

Do Stuffed Vine Leaves Freeze Well? Yes

Can You Refreeze Stuffed Vine Leaves? Yes

How to Freeze Stuffed Vine Leaves

The basic method of freezing stuffed vine leaves is simple. You could opt to freeze them initially on a baking tray but this isn’t necessary and takes a lot more effort than our method!

  1. Cook Thoroughly: To begin with, you need to ensure that the vine leaves are completely cooked through – from the filling to the tips of the leaves, they need to be tender and cooked.
  2. Coat in Olive Oil: After ensuring they’re cooked, add them to a high-sided baking dish like a lasagna dish, and drizzle olive oil over them. Tip them from side to side a little to ensure the olive oil gets into the food. Work in batches if you need to.
  3. Transfer to Freezer Bags: Finally, transfer the oiled vine leaves to freezer bags. The best idea is to pack them into the bags a little, stacking and smushing them slightly to get more into a tighter space. This will limit the amount of air in the bag, which will prevent freezer burn.
  4. Freeze: Once they’re bagged up, transfer the bags to the freezer, and allow them to freeze. They’ll keep for up to three months.

3 Tips for Freezing Stuffed Vine Leaves

Now you know how to freeze them, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing stuffed vine leaves to have the best results:

Try Mixing with Flavoured Oils
We would suggest using a flavoured oil to toss over the stuffed vine leaves when you’re at that step – a nice garlic or chilli infusion could be really tasty! 

Remove Air
Press as much air out of the bag as possible by packing the vine leaves in tightly. This will help to prevent freezer burn.

Wrap the Bags
If you’re worried your bags aren’t completely airtight then wrap the bags in one or two sheets of foil – this reduces the amount of air that can seep into the bag, cutting down on freezer burn.

How Long Can You Freeze Stuffed Vine Leaves?

Stuffed vine leaves can be frozen for up to six months. Ensuring that they’re cooled completely and pressing some air out of the bag you’re freezing them in can extend that a little.

We’d suggest pressing each stuffed vine leaf into the bag firmly, applying pressure with your fingertips. This is a great way to ensure that as much air is forced out of the bag as possible, leading to much-reduced freezer burn.

When freezing stuffed vine leaves, you’re going to be fighting against freezer burn. Condensation from still-warm vine leaves and air in the freezer bag will both lead to freezer burn. Avoid them as much as you can!

How Do You Defrost Stuffed Vine Leaves?

The best way to defrost stuffed vine leaves is to do it slowly, thawing them on the countertop overnight. We would suggest placing the stuffed vine leaves over a bowl, which will catch any dripping condensation.

There’s nothing quite as simple as placing the whole bag into a colander and placing the colander in the sink, however. You could also lie the stuffed leaves out on a tea towel!

When reheating after that, steam them on the stovetop until they’re steaming hot all the way through – they should cook much the same as they did when you made them originally.

Can You Refreeze Stuffed Vine Leaves?

Yes, you can – these stuffed vine leaves freeze remarkably well. We’ll get into that a little bit later on, but it’s worth mentioning here.

Fortunately, we’ve been really impressed by how easily you can refreeze stuffed vine leaves too – their texture remains constant, and the flavour is barely affected at all!

The reason for this is that, despite the leaves themselves, there’s little liquid within them. Therefore, when the contents freeze, freezer burn is much less of a concern.

As they’re thawed and recooked, the leaves come back to their soft state – which is ideal, and a product of frozen vegetables in some situations.

Do Stuffed Vine Leaves Freeze Well?

Yes, stuffed vine leaves do freeze well! Stuffed vine leaves freeze impressively well for two main reasons – their shape, and their water content.

Their shape lends itself to them freezing well as it allows for you to pack them into a freezer bag or container very easily and tightly.

The smooth edges and soft curves are great for conforming to the bag while not losing too much of their own shape, but the great thing is that you can pack them in tightly, cutting down on the air between them, which cuts down on freezer burn.

The water content also helps vine leaves freeze well – the only water is in the external leaf, not the filling itself.

This means that the consistency of the entire object will be well maintained, and the food won’t crumble, become chewy, or otherwise have its texture damaged over time.

If you’ve still got questions about freezing stuffed vine leaves or dolmades in general, then these may help:

Can You Freeze Unstuffed Vine Leaves?

Yes, it is possible to freeze vine leaves before they are stuffed. Layer them up in a freezer bag or airtight container. You may want to put a sheet of greaseproof paper between individual leaves. Freeze Vine Leaves

How Long Do Vine Leaves Keep in the Fridge?

Stuffed vine leaves can be kept in the fridge for 3 to 4 days, providing that they are kept in an airtight container.

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