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Farro Dolmades Recipe with Whipped Feta Cheese and Olives

Try this twist on a classic for a Farro Dolmades Recipe with Whipped Feta Cheese and Olives that make for the perfect appetizer.
Course Appetizer
Cuisine Greek
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Servings 24
Calories 129kcal


For the dolmades:

  • 1 cup Bob’s Red Mill farro
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ yellow onion diced
  • 1 16 oz jar grape leaves
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano
  • cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 4 garlic cloves roasted or fresh, minced
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • Juice of 1 lemon

For the whipped feta:

  • 8 oz feta at room temperature
  • 4 oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • cup Greek olives finely chopped
  • Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling


  • Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Season the water with salt and add the farro. Bring back to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Drain and let cool.
  • Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Cook the onion until translucent, about 8–10 minutes.
  • Bring another saucepan of water to a boil. Drain the grape leaves, unroll, and rinse. Add grape leaves to the boiling water and cook for 2 minutes. Drain and rinse the grape leaves with cool water.
  • Combine the cooked farro, cooked onion, ground beef, oregano, parsley, garlic, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Toss gently with your hands to combine.
  • Sort the grape leaves, setting aside the torn leaves or very small leaves. Take 6–8 of the usable leaves and lay them on a work surface. Place 1 tablespoon of filling onto each leaf toward the stem end. Arrange the filling into a long cylinder shape and roll each leaf like a burrito, folding the stem end over the filling and rolling, tucking in the sides as you roll. Wrap firmly but not too tightly, as mixture may expand slightly when cooking. Repeat until the filling is gone.
  • Place half of the remaining torn/small leaves in the bottom of a saucepan. Stack the dolmades next to each other in the pan, making 2–3 layers if necessary. Add 2 cups water and the juice of 1 lemon. Place the other half of the remaining grape leaves on top and cover. Bring the water to a simmer and cook for 40–50 minutes, or until the ground beef is cooked through. Carefully remove the dolmades with tongs and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Combine feta and cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer. Whip until mixture is light and fluffy, about 5–8 minutes. Stir in the lemon zest. Top with the olives and drizzle with olive oil. Serve with the dolmades.


Calories: 129kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Cholesterol: 27mg | Sodium: 358mg | Potassium: 99mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 219IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 64mg | Iron: 1mg