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Lebanese Mujadara is a lentil and rice, satisfying and simple dinner recipe! This one-pot healthy meal is vegan, low fat and full of flavor. With only a handful of ingredients, this simple Lebanese dish is ready in about 40 minutes and requires very little work. Perfect for meal prep too!
Growing up, I never really appreciated Mujadara, but thankfully I have smarter taste buds these days.
As far as vegetarian lentil recipes go, they don’t come much easier to make than this one. This vegan lentils and rice dish is one of my favorite meatless meals to make!
The result is a delicious Lebanese Mujadara dish, that is packed with hearty flavor and loaded with plant based protein. Perfect for a simple lunch or dinner! Serve over Lebanese cabbage salad!
If you love to try recipes with lentils, check out my Easy Lentil Recipes round up post.
What is Mujadara?
Mujadara is a traditional vegan Middle Eastern Lentil and rice dish. It is served and cooked in different forms, and goes by different names depending on the culture. Here’s a list of alternative names and pronunciation: mujaddara, mjadara mjadarah, majadra, mejadra, moujadara, mudardara, and megadarra.
In this Lebanese Mujadara recipe, I use brown lentils and long grain rice. Lebanese Mujadara is also often made with red lentils- also known as Mujadara Hamra. Here is the recipe for Red Lentil Mujadara.
Ingredients for Lebanese Mujadara:
If you’re like me, you’ll likely have all of these humble ingredients to make this Lebanese Lentil and rice dish on hand. They’re staples in my house, so this dish can easily be whipped up on a whim for dinner.
- Brown Lentils: Brown lentils are the most commonly used lentils in Mujadara. They take about 25-30 minutes to cook.
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Onion: Lots of onions- you will need to cut some into wedges and dice the rest.
- Long grain rice: Such as Uncle Be’s. You can also use fine bulgur in place of rice.
- Salt: To taste.
Caramelized Onions for Lebanese Mujadara Recipe:
Mujadara takes lots of onions, that’s where all the flavor comes in. You will thinly dice the majority (about 3) of the onions and cook them with the lentils and rice and you’ll slice one large onion into wedges and caramelize it to serve on top of the mujadara.
The caramelized onions on top are optional.
How To Make Lebanese Mujadara- Lebanese Lentils and Rice
- In the large non-stick pan heat two tablespoons of olive oil on medium heat for a few minutes. You know your oil is ready when you add a piece of onion and it sizzles on contact. Add the wedged onion and fry until golden brown and caramelized mixing frequently for about 15 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside to serve on top of mujadara later.
- In the same pan, heat the rest of the olive oil on medium heat and fry 3 large thinly chopped onions until golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.
- Add rinsed lentils, salt and about 5 cups of water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the lentils are tender – This will take about 20 minutes, and most the water will get absorbed by the lentils or boil off
- Now add the rinsed rice and another 3 cups of warm water. Bring mixture back to boil, cover the pot and simmer until the water is absorbed and the rice and lentils are both cooked through – this will take about 20 minutes. Stirring occasionally to prevent mixture from sticking to bottom of skillet.
- Taste and adjust salt.
- Transfer Mujadara to serving plates immediately while still hot.
- Top each plate with caramelized onions if you’d like.
- Serve hot, warm or at room temperature.
Why you’ll love this Mujadara Recipes:
- One pot meal. This lentil and rice dish is made entirely in one pot, making it easy to throw together and even easier to clean up.
- Make ahead. Enjoy meal prepping? Lebanese Mujadara is perfect to prepare in advance and keep in the fridge for up to 4 days. The flavors in this Lebanese dish will actually intensify and get better over time.
- Freezer-friendly. Double this recipe and freeze half of it so you have an easy dinner on hand at any time. It will stay well for up to 3 months in the freezer!
Tips and Variations for Lebanese Mujadara:
- This Mujadara recipe is made with brown lentils. If you choose a different type of lentils, you will need to adjust the cooking time. The lentils and rice cook together in one pot, and feed a crowd. Check out my Red Lentil Mujadara.
- Sort through the lentils. Pick out any lentils that don’t look great or check for small stones. This is normal to find in a pack of dried lentils sometimes.
- Chopping the onions could be time consuming. To speed it up, you can use your food processor to chop the onions.
- Sauté, then simmer until the lentils are tender (25-30 minutes or so). The exact timing depends on your heat level and the lentils you use. It will be different every time!
Frequently Asked Questions:
Is Mujadara Healthy?
Yes! Lentils are packed with protein, rich in iron, folate and fiber, and are part of a healthy balanced diet. They’re also low in calorie, but fill you up without adding unnecessary calories to your meal.
Wondering what to serve with Lebanese Mujadara?
Mujadara can be enjoyed hot but it’s also delicious served at room temperature or cold and it tastes even better the next day.
Can you Make Lebanese Mujadara Ahead of Time?
Yes, this Lebanese lentil and rice dish can be made up to 4 days ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator in a sealed container. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove. This recipe can also be frozen in individual servings and reheated from frozen or defrosted in the fridge before reheating.
What Kind of Rice do you Need to Use in Lebanese Mujadara?
This recipe calls for rice that will cook along side the lentils. You will want to use a type of rice that doesn’t’ get over cooked while the lentils are cooking. I prefer long grain rice, such as Uncle Bens over short or medium grain rice because it adds a better texture to this dish.
How to Store Mujadara:
This Lebanese lentil & rice stores very well. It’s a great option if you want to meal prep it in advance and refrigerate until serving!
- Store refrigerated for up to 4 days: the flavor improves over time. Reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
- Freeze for 3 months in an airtight container. Thaw overnight in the fridge.
This lentil Mujadara recipe is…
Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free. I hope you enjoy making it!