Mujadara is a naturally vegan Middle-Eastern recipe made with lentils, rice and caramelised onions. Infused with warming spices and served topped with caramelised onions, this fragrant and delicious recipe is great for lunch or a light dinner.
Mujadara is a simple recipe originating from the Middle East and especially popular across Lebanon and Syria.
It’s made from a combination of onions, lentils and rice. It exists in various forms, and it’s a popular comforting dish that can be served hot or cold.
Even though mujadara is a budget-friendly recipe made with very humble ingredients, it’s still super flavourful and satisfying.
This mujadara recipe is the perfect thing to try if you love onions. You’ll have to caramelise onions separately while the rice and lentils are cooking, but the flavours are so worth the effort!
Why you’ll love mujadara
- It’s very easy to make with simple ingredients.
- It’s naturally vegan and gluten free.
- It’s budget-friendly.
What goes into this Lebanese lentils and rice?
Onions — Yellow onions are perfect for mujadara, but you can also use red onions, white onions or shallots. You can slice all the onions or slice the ones you caramelise and dice the ones that go into the pan with the lentils and rice.
Olive oil — Use the best quality extra virgin olive oil to make mujadara, as it really makes a difference.
Garlic — Add as much garlic as you like — I like to make mujadara lentils with at least 4 garlic cloves.
Lentils — Use green, brown, or even black lentils to make mujadara. You don’t need to pre-soak them, but give them a rinse first.
Rice — Basmati rice is perfect for mujadara. You can soak it in cold water for half an hour before cooking this recipe. If you want to use brown basmati rice, you may need to add 15 to 20 minutes to the cooking time.
Spices — Different mujadara recipes use different spices. I personally like to make it with a mix of warming spices like ground cumin and ground cinnamon. I also add two bay leaves. You can also make it with just cumin or with a spice blend such as baharat.
How to make mujadara
Start by caramelising the onions. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large pan over medium heat and add the sliced onions. Stir to cover the onions in oil, season with salt and lower the heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onions are translucent and softened.
Add the sugar and continue to cook the onions, stirring frequently, until brown and reduced in size. This should take about 30-40 minutes.
Add the garlic and continue to cook for another minute.
Bring to a simmer, then cover the pan with a lid and lower the heat to low-medium. Cook for 30 minutes or until the rice and lentils are cooked to your likening.
Stir in the caramelised onions (reserve some for garnishing) and parsley. Adjust the seasoning and serve topped with the reserved caramelised onions.
Recipe notes and tips
- Mujadara can be served hot, cold or at room temperature. It will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 days in an airtight container, and you can reheat it in the microwave or allow it to warm to room temperature.
- You can serve mujadara with a dollop of plant-based yoghurt on top.
- Add a handful of raisins at the end for a bit of juicy sweetness that pairs great with the caramelised onions.
If you liked this mujadara recipe, you might also like some of my other easy vegan rice recipes:
- Vegan Spanish Chickpeas and Rice
- Lahanorizo (Greek Rice with Cabbage)
- Easy Vegan Biryani
- Easy Vegan Mexican Rice
- Cilantro Lime Rice