Home » Region » Lebanese » Mujadarrah Lebanese Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions

Mujadarrah Lebanese Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions

by Lily

Mujadarrah is Lebanese lentils and rice with caramelized onions, and it’s a dish I grew up on. We used to eat mujadarrah with a shredded cabbage salad and pita bread. Mujadarrah is such a simple dish with only 3 ingredients (not including olive oil and salt). It’s vegan-friendly and reheats really well.

Part of food blogging is trying to capture the essence of the dish through food photography. I’m not going to lie, I’ve been having a hard time lately taking photos of ugly food. There, I said it. Some food dishes are ugly inherently (like mulukhiyah).

Not every recipe looks as good as fatoosh or better than baba ganoush eggplant dip. Mujadarrah is an unflattering brown color, so the struggle is real. This dish is so good especially if eaten with a shredded cabbage salad.

The thing I love about Mujaddarah is the caramelized onions. Sometimes, I double the onions just to make sure I have enough because I like to have some of the caramelized onions in every bite.

Ingredients You’ll Need:

  • Lentils: Mujadarrah uses brown or green lentils. Any other type of lentil, including red lentils, are not suitable substitutes because they cook too quickly.
  • Rice: Any type of rice is suitable for this dish.
  • Onions: I like to use white onions, brown onions, or sweet onions for this recipe. Green onions are not suitable, and I think red onions throw off the taste a tad bit.
  • Olive oil: The best part of this dish is the caramelized onions, and they are made by slowly sauteing the onions in olive oil until they caramelize.
  • Salt: Add salt to taste. Any type of salt will work well for this recipe.

You will also need:

  • Large stockpot
  • Non stick frying pan
  • Spatula
  • Immersion blender (or food processor)

Tips for Making Mujadarrah

  1. Soak the lentils ahead of time. At a minimum, soak the lentils for 3 hours prior to cooking. My mother used to soak the lentils overnight, which is what my Tayta used to do too. The main reason for soaking the lentils is that it makes them easier to digest. Secondly, lentils cook quicker if soaked.
  2. After soaking the lentils, rinse with fresh water. Drain the water that was used to soak the lentils, and rinse the lentils with fresh water.
  3. Caramelize the onions slowly. In order for the onions to caramelize correctly, the temperature needs to be between medium and medium-high heat.
  4. Make sure there’s adequate water. When cooking the lentils, make sure there is always enough water so the lentil doesn’t burn.
  5. Top the lentils and rice with caramelized onions. Add half of the caramelized onions into the dish, and the other half on top. The caramelized onions are the magic ingredient to this dish.
mujadarrah lebanese lentils and rice

How Do You Pronounce Mujadara?

Mujadara is pronounced moo-jada-ra. Try saying that 5 times fast.

Is Lentil Rice Healthy?

Yes! Lentil rice is made with lentils and rice only. If desiring to make this even healthier, you can substitute brown rice for the white rice.

How Long Does Mujadarrah Last?

If you keep mujadarrah in an airtight container in the fridge, it should be good for 5 days. The best way to reheat mujadarrah is in the microwave.

Try Some Other Lebanese Recipes

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mujadarrah lebanese lentils and rice

Mujadarrah Lebanese Lentils and Rice with Caramelized Onions

  • Author: Lily
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x
  • Diet: Vegan


Mujadarrah is Lebanese lentils and rice with caramelized onions. It’s vegan-friendly and made with 4 ingredients! 



  • 1 lb (500 gram) bag brown lentils
  • 2/3 cup rice (any type of rice)
  • 2 large onions (or 3 medium onions)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt to taste


Make the Lentils and Rice

  1. Soak the lentils in water for a minimum of 3 hours (preferably overnight).
  2. Cook the lentils on medium-high heat in a large pot of water for about 1 hour (cover with a lid). Make sure there is adequate water in the pot (about 3 inches above the lentils). Stir the lentils every 15 minutes.
  3. After 1 hour of cooking, remove from the stovetop.
  4. Place a bowl under a strainer. Pour the lentils into the strainer in order to strain the lentils and liquid from one another. Add the lentils back to the pot.
  5. Measure back 3 cups of the liquid. Add the rice. 
  6. Turn the lentils down to medium-low heat and cover. Cook for an additional 30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Make sure the stove is in a low setting otherwise the lentils can burn on the bottom.
  7. Season with salt. The final mixture should be thick.

Make the Caramelized Onions

  1. Peel and slice the onions thinly into long pieces.
  2. In a nonstick pan on medium-high heat, add olive oil. Add the onions. Once the onions start to brown, turn the heat to medium heat. Slowly cook the onions for 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Once the onions are a caramel brown color, remove from the stove.

Assemble the Mujadarrah

  1. Add half of the caramelized onions to the lentils and rice. Using a handheld immersion blender, blend everything together until smooth. 
  2. Pour the mujadarrah into a large dish. Top with the remaining caramelized onions.
  3. Serve with pita bread and shredded cabbage salad.


  1. If using a food processor in lieu of a handheld blender, add the mixture to the food processor. Blend on high until smooth. Pour the mujadarrah into a large dish.
  2. To save time making this dish, caramelize the onions while the lentils are cooking.
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Lebanese


  • Serving Size: 2 cups
  • Calories: 258 calories
  • Sugar: 1 g
  • Sodium: 143 mg
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1 g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 4 g
  • Trans Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 44 g
  • Fiber: 4 g
  • Protein: 10 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: mujadara, mujadarra, mujadarrah, lebanese lentils and rice, vegan lentils and rice

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Neli Howard November 1, 2020 - 10:03 am

And why haven’t I tried this before ?! An interesting recipe and photo is really not bad. I like that it is vegan and I will definitely try your recipe!

Jovita November 1, 2020 - 9:10 am

I am always up for authentic dishes from all over the world. Mujadarrah looks gorgeous, and only 4 ingredients?? Wow. Definitely trying this one!

Charla November 1, 2020 - 7:12 am

I can’t say I tried any Lebanese food but love the sound of lentils with caramelized onions because both are my weakness.

Toni October 31, 2020 - 11:32 am

I love recipes like this. It’s easy to make and so delicious. I love that it only needs 4 ingredients too.

Romina October 28, 2020 - 6:23 am

A great dish. And with just 4 ingredients I will definitely be making this again and again.


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