Go Back
+ servings
mujadara in bowl with yogurt and caramelized onions

Mujadara Recipe

This Middle Eastern Mujadara recipe combines lentils and rice with simple seasonings cooked until tender then topped with plenty of caramelized onions! The result is a hearty side dish or main packed with flavor that’s naturally vegan and gluten-free!
Course Dinner, lunch, Side
Cuisine Lebanese, Middle Eastern
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 40 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 6


  • 5 small-medium (500 g) onions sliced
  • 1.5 cups (300 g) green or brown lentils
  • 1 cup (180 g) brown rice or white rice (see notes)
  • 5-5 1/2 cups water divided (see instructions)
  • 1 tbsp veggie bouillon powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt divided
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp olive oil


  • You can watch the video in the post for visual instructions.
    If using brown rice, I recommend soaking it for 20 minutes before you start making the recipe, then drain. Read the notes below for the white rice method.
  • Method for using brown rice: Add the soaked brown rice and 2 1/2 cups of water to a large pot and bring it to a boil. Stir in the veggie bouillon powder, 1 tsp of salt, black pepper, and 2 bay leaves. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat, cover the pot with a lid and let it simmer for 20 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, you can soak the lentils in a bowl with cold water, then drain. I recommend this step because it cooks the lentils more evenly and a little faster.
  • Also, slice the onions while the brown rice cooks. I used 2 yellow onions and 3 red onions, but you can use just yellow or red ones.
  • After 20 minutes of cooking the brown rice, add the drained lentils to the pot, along with 3 cups of water, stir to combine, and cover the pot with a lid. Once it starts boiling, reduce the heat and set the timer to 25 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large skillet. Once hot, add the sliced onions. Stir, then reduce the heat to medium and cover the skillet with a lid. Cook the onions for about 10 minutes, then uncover the skillet and stir thoroughly. Add the cumin, and 1/2 tsp of salt and continue to cook the onions without a lid for about 5-10 minutes. You can increase the heat for a crispier result.
  • Once the cooking time for the lentils is up, check if the rice and lentils are tender, if not, let them simmer for a few more minutes, then turn off the heat and set the pot aside, still covered, for some minutes.
  • Remove the bay leaves, then add about 2/3 of the caramelized onions to the lentils and rice pot and reserve the remaining 1/3 for garnish. Serve in bowls, top with dairy-free yogurt, caramelized onions, and fresh herbs of choice like parsley or cilantro. Enjoy!


  • Method for using white rice: Soak the lentils and rice in separate bowls for about 20 minutes, then drain the water and add the lentils to a large pot with 3 cups of fresh water, the veggie bouillon powder, 1 tsp of salt, black pepper, and 2 bay leaves. Simmer covered for about 7-10 minutes. Then add the white rice along with 2 cups of water and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat, cook covered for about 18-20 minutes, until both the rice and lentils are tender. If there is any water left after cooking the rice and lentils, simply drain it.
  • Lentils: Use brown or green lentils. The cooking time (when soaked beforehand) is about 25 minutes. Please do not use yellow or red lentils, otherwise, they will turn out mushy.
  • Rice: The cooking time really depends on the type of rice. Regular brown rice needs about 45 minutes (this was also mentioned on the rice packaging that I used), white rice takes about 20 minutes, and white basmati rice about 15 minutes. I recommend checking the packaging of your specific rice and time it accordingly. You will need 2 1/2 cups of water for each cup of brown rice and 2 cups of water for each cup of white rice.
  • The total time doesn't include soaking time.
Nutrition Facts
Mujadara Recipe
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.