This one pot lentils and rice with caramelized onions, formerly known as Lebanese Mujadara, is bursting with flavor and perfect for meal prep year round!
You won’t be able to get enough of this Lebanese mujadara!
This recipe definitely takes a bit longer than some of our other meal prep recipes; however, it’s absolutely worth every single second.
This recipe is full of flavor with each and every bite. This is one recipe that you want to pull out of the files every time you are trying to impress someone.
Also, if you or someone you know if weary of lentil recipes, this is definitely a game changer for them!
What is mujadara?
The origin of mujadara is Middle Eastern. Most credit it as being a Lebanese recipe; however, others say it’s Iraqi.
It is a dish where lentils and rice (sometimes bulgur depending on culture) are cooked to together with onions. Sometimes crispy onions are served on top. Yogurt and vegetables are often served with it as well.
Mujadara can be served warm or cold.
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Why You’ll Love This Dish
- Huge Flavor – This dish doesn’t disappoint when it comes to flavor
- Great for Meal Prep – this is one of those dishes where the flavor just gets better with time and since it’s rice and lentil based, it lasts for awhile after it’s prepared, meaning perfect for meal prep.
- Allergen Friendly – amazingly, there are no top 9 allergens in this dish which means it is perfect whether you need to be gluten free or nut free and more!
Gather your ingredients!
- Lentils – you want to use dried lentils – brown or green lentils will work best for this recipe
- Brown Rice – we are using brown basmati rice for this recipe. It holds up well while not taking almost an hour to cook.
- Yellow or White Onions – we are caramelizing our onions, and yellow or white onions work best when doing that.
See my recipe card below for a complete list of the ingredients with measurements.
Substitutions and Variations:
- Lentils – you can use black lentils for this recipe as well
- Brown Rice – other types of rice can be used but you want to make sure that it cooks within the 25-35 minute range.
- Yellow or White Onions – red onions could also be used but they onions will turn a grayish color when caramelized.
- Stretch this meal – Feel free to add vegetables like peppers or squash to the skewers as well. Or even something like mushrooms and tofu can also be added to stretch.
Step by Step Instructions for mujadara:
Step 1. Add onions to a heavy bottomed pot with oil and stir together to coat all of the onions well. After 5 minutes, add salt and stir together again.
Step 2. Continue to cook onions, stirring every 4-5 minutes, for 45-50 minutes until they are completely caramelized. Remove half the onions to a plate.
Step 3. Add in ginger, garlic, and seasonings and cook for 1-2 minutes. Then, add tomato sauce, stock, and chili garlic sauce. Stir again, scraping the bottom. Bring to a low boil.
Step 4. Add in rice and stir. Reduce to simmer then cover and stir occasionally on and off for 10 minutes.
Step 5. Stir in the lentils and let the mixture return to a simmer.
Step 6. Cover again, reduce the heat to medium-low, and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice and lentils are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Discard the bay leaves.
This dish is Top 9 Allergen Free as written. Always check your own products.
Yes. Once cooled, place in a sealed container and in the fridge for up to 5-6 days.
Yes! This recipe can be doubled, tripled, etc to be what you need. You will need to use a large pot.
We do not recommend freezing this dish.
Other Vegan Lentils Recipes to Consider:
Mujadara (One Pot Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions)
- 1 cup lentils (brown or green), rinsed, soaked in brine, drained (see notes)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 large onions, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
- 2 teaspoon cumin
- 1 ½ teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon coriander
- 1 ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes, more or less to taste
- 2 bay leaves
- 3 ½ cups vegetable stock
- ¾ cup tomato sauce (or 2 tablespoon tomato paste)
- 1 teaspoon chili garlic sauce
- 1 cup brown basmati rice, rinsed and drained
- ½ cup green onions, chopped
- ½ cup cilantro, chopped
- juice of 1 lime
- In a heavy bottomed pot with a lid (preferably a dutch oven), add oil over medium heat. Add in the sliced onions and stir well until they are all coated with the oil. Turn heat to medium low and let cook for 5 minutes. Then, sprinkle ½ teaspoon salt across the onions and stir again. Let the onions cook for another 35-60 minutes, stirring every 4-5 minutes, careful to not burn the onions. *If you notice they seem like they are burning, turn your heat lower and add more oil or a splash of vegetable stock if needed.Remove half the onions to a plate. Set aside.
- With half the onions remaining in the pot, add in garlic, ginger and all the seasonings (cumin to bay leaves). Stir together and cook 1-2 minutes.
- Add in vegetable stock, tomato sauce (or paste), and chili garlic sauce. Stir to combine, scraping the bottom of the pan. Bring to a low boil. Add in rice and stir. Reduce to a simmer, then cover and stir occasionally on and off for 10 minutes.
- Stir in the lentils and let the mixture return to a simmer (medium low heat). Cover again and cook until the liquid is absorbed and the rice and lentils are tender, about 20 to 25 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and fluff with a fork.
- Add in ½ to ¾ of the green onions and cilantro. Carefully stir together. Move to a serving platter/dish and top with remaining onions, cilantro and green onions. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.
- As written above- remove half the onions and use caramelized onions as a topping at the end.
- You can leave all the caramelized onions in the pan and continue cooking so they are a part of the dish and not a topping.
- Only caramelize 2 onions. With the remaining two, make crispy onions for a topping. Do this by thinly slicing onions evenly. In batches, fry in 1 inch of oil for 2-4 minutes, just until golden brown. Or you can air fry in batches. 300˚F for 18-25 minutes, tossing every 5 minutes. Do not overcook your onions.
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