If you’ve ordered from Greek on Wheels in the past, you may have noticed dolmas in the appetizer section of our menu. Maybe you’ve even tried the refreshing vegetable wrap a few times before! This traditional Greek snack is guaranteed to make your mouth water. Here is a brief history on the origins of Dolmas.

Basic Facts

The name dolmas comes from the Greek word dolmadaki, a direct form of the Turkish word dolma meaning stuffed or filled. These appetizers are made from vine leaves that are filled with rice, vegetables and fresh herbs and then rolled into a small bite-sized wraps. They are then boiled or cooked in olive oil until tender. The flavourful filling usually includes onion, dill, mint or parsley. They are generally served with olives, a squeeze of lemon or a dollop of yoghurt on the side.

There’s a real art to cooking Dolmas. The rice and the filling need to cook for long enough to soak up the juices of the vine leaf without the leaf burning in the process. That’s why dolmas are often cooked on low heat over a longer period of time. Traditional Greek Dolmas are usually vegetarian and are served cold. They have a marinated, rich and delicious pickled taste that is highly irresistible!


There are many variations to the classic dolmas recipe. Minced meat (beef, pork or lamb) can be added to the filling. These are usually referred to as Dolmades, indicating that they are made with bigger vine leaves to accommodate more filling.

Dolmades are usually served warm with an egg lemon sauce. These rolls are usually served as a main course rather than an appetizer.  Many Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cultures have their own variations of this classic Grecian finger food.

Traditional Dolmas are a delicious snack loaded with nutrient-rich vegetables. Finding high-quality dolmas outside of Greece can be a challenge. Luckily, Greek on Wheels has some of the most authentic Greek cuisine in the Ottawa area. Browse our menu and give us a call to order from one of our six locations today.