Lower Carb Dolma Recipe from the Diapoint Team

At Diapoint, we love food. Who doesn’t?

This lower carb dolma recipe is a Turkish favorite from our Business Development Manager, Ipek. “Dolma” means filling or stuffing in Turkish.

White rice is traditionally used in a dolma recipe, but for a healthier, lower carbohydrate and lower GI alternative, Ipek prefers bulgur, which is a grain made from dried, cracked wheat.

Bulgur is also known to be high in B vitamins, and contains higher amounts of protein, magnesium, iron and zinc compared to rice.

We’ve created an article on rice and carbohydrates that takes you through the carb content, glycemic index rating and other nutritional qualities of different types of rice. Check out our table of rice alternatives for some other options that are even lower in carbs, like cauliflower rice. You might need to experiment a little but it can certainly be done! Let us know in the comments below if you try your own take on this lower carb dolma recipe.

What’s Wrong With White Rice?

Nothing is “wrong” with white rice per se. All foods can be part of a healthy, balanced diet (with exceptions for allergies, intolerances and specific medical conditions).

For people with Type 1 Diabetes, Type 2 Diabetes and other types of diabetes, it is extra important to monitor carbohydrate intake. Carbohydrates have a huge impact on blood sugar, which is a high concern for those living with diabetes. Foods high in carbohydrates (and high on the glycemic index) can cause marked fluctuations in blood sugar levels, making the task of regulating blood sugar more difficult.

Replacing white rice with lower carb, lower GI alternatives can make managing diabetes a little less challenging. This is also a fantastic way to reduce carbs if you are following a low-carb diet for general health.

Check out our resource on the impact of exercise on blood sugar, too!


So try this twist on the traditional dolma recipe for a little extra nutrition in your day!

This recipe makes 15 serves.


High protein dolma recipe

Lower Carb Dolma Recipe

This twist on the traditional Turkish dolma recipe uses bulgur instead of white rice for a lower carbohydrate, higher protein, higher fiber, more nourishing dolma.
Course Dinner, Lunch, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine Turkish
Servings 15


  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 150 g minced beef
  • 100 g minced lamb
  • 15 medium bell peppers
  • 100 g bulgur
  • 200 g tomato sauce
  • salt and pepper (to taste)
  • 1 tsp dried mint
  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 200 ml hot water


  • Preheat your oven to medium to low heat (around 150C).
  • Place a large frying pan on a medium heat on your stove. Add the olive oil.
  • When the oil is hot, add the onion and fry until translucent.
  • Add the meat to the pan and cook until halfway done, then remove the meat from the heat and set aside.
  • Slice the tops off the peppers and set their lids aside, then gently wash and clean out their insides, removing the seeds and white parts.
  • Place the meat and onions into a large mixing bowl with the bulgur, tomato sauce, salt, pepper and dried mint. Mix together.
  • Take spoonfuls of the mixture and stuff it into the peppers. Place the lids onto the peppers and stand them upright in an oven-proof dish.
  • Mix the tomato paste with the hot water and add it to the dish with the peppers.
  • Cook the peppers for 45–60 minutes in your oven.


If you are a vegetarian, remove the meat and substitute with chopped vegetables, mushrooms, tofu or cooked lentils.
You can also use the same mixture for stuffed grape leaves. The procedure is the same, just omit the peppers and roll the mixture in grape leaves.
Keyword dolma, Turkish food