Lebanese Mujadara

4.99 from 1513 votes

Mujadara is a Middle Eastern lentils and rice recipe with crispy caramelized onions. Just 3 ingredients make a easy vegan, protein-rich meal!

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If there’s one meal I consider my fallback go-to dish in my kitchen, it’s this authentic mujadara recipe. It’s one of those recipes where the dish is greater than the sum of its parts. Lebanese mujadara consists of only three main ingredients: rice, lentils, and onions. These simple ingredients come together so beautifully and have a fantastic texture of soft grains with deeply caramelized and fried onions – so good!

Large oblong decorative platter with Mujadara topped with crispy fried onions and a spoon dipped in.

Table of Contents

  1. What Is Mujadara
  2. Why you’ll love this classic mujadara recipe
  3. Ingredients to make mujadara
  4. How to make mujadara
  5. Tips for making the best mujadara
  6. Popular substitutions & additions
  7. What to serve with lebanese mujadara
  8. How to store & reheat mujadara with rice
  9. Frequently asked questions
  10. More traditional Lebanese recipes
  11. Lebanese Mujadara Recipe

Mujadara is full of warm cumin spice accentuating the soft, tender lentils and fluffy rice. It’s such an easy dish to make and also gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan-friendly. I love sharing this traditional recipe my Lebanese parents taught me growing up. Serve with a dollop of cool and refreshing cucumber yogurt for a creamy addition to this savory dish.

What Is Mujadara

Mujadara is an ancient, traditional Middle Eastern recipe that is often referred to as peasant food because of how inexpensive and simple it is to make. There are countless variations of the recipe, and in some regions, mujadara is referred to as the dish made with lentils and bulgur, while mudardara is the one with lentils and rice. No matter which grain you choose, you’ll love the simplicity of the flavors and how filling it is.

Why you’ll love this classic mujadara recipe

  • Wonderful texture. You’ll be amazed by how delicious the contrasting textures of soft rice and slightly chewy lentils are with crispy fried onions.
  • Inexpensive to make. This frugal recipe combines some of the most common and inexpensive ingredients for a meal or side dish that keeps you full and satisfied.
  • Serve as a main or side. For such a simple dish, this lebanese lentils and rice packs a punch of health benefits, like a whopping 14 grams of protein, and is also an excellent source of fiber. Delicious enough to serve as the main dish for a plant-based dinner or alongside some a large salad.

Ingredients to make mujadara

  • Lentils: You want to use large brown whole lentils for this recipe. They give the mujadara the best texture, and the color is an iconic part of the recipe.
  • Rice: You can pretty much use any type of rice you want for mujadara, but I prefer to use white long-grain rice because it’s how it’s traditionally made and gives the best texture. If you’re using brown rice, you’ll need to extend the cooking time. You can also use bulgur or cracked wheat in place of rice.
  • Onions + oil: Sliced onions are pan-fried until crispy, then left to sit on paper towels while the mujadara cooks. They make a delicious topping and crisp up as they sit.
  • Seasonings: Cumin and salt to taste.
Ingredients for recipe before prepped: oil, rice, green lentils, ground cumin, salt, and 2 onions.

How to make mujadara

It’s easy to make this mujadara recipe. All three parts can cook and be prepared simultaneously for a quick meal. The rice is soaked while the onions are frying, and the lentils cook before adding the soaked rice. It will all come together in about 35 minutes when you time everything out!

Soak the rice

  1. Soak the rice in cold water. This helps to remove extra starch.
  2. Strain the rice before adding it to the par-cooked lentils.
2 image collage show rice soaking in starchy water and rice in a strainer after water removed.

Fry onions for mujadara topping

  1. Heat olive onion over high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring constantly, until the onions are deeply browned and start to crisp around the edges.
  2. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate to help draw out the extra oil, they will crisp up more as they sit.
2 image collage of onions before and after cooked: 1- sliced onions in pot with oil, 2- onions on a paper towel cooked crispy.

Make the mujadara in one pot

  1. While the onions are frying, heat another pot and add the lentils with salt.
  2. Add water and bring to a boil before reducing the heat and covering it with a lid.
  3. After rinsing the drained rice, transfer it to the pot.
  4. Stir to combine the lentils and rice and return the lid to continue cooking.
  5. Remove the pot from the heat and rest, covered, and sprinkle on the cumin.
  6. Fluff the rice and lentils with a fork to combine.
6 image collage cooking recipe in one pan: 1- lentils and salt added to pot, 2- water added, 3- soaked rice added, 4- everything combined, 5- after cooked with seasoning added, 6- mujadara after cooked.

Tips for making the best mujadara

  1. Use the right type of lentils. There are so many lentil varieties in the store. The recipe will work well with most brown and green lentils that I’ve tried. But do not use red/orange lentils. Their texture is softer and will lend themselves to a mushy consistency for the mujadara (mudardara) recipe.
  2. Pay attention to the cooking of the lentils. Like many beans, lentils may vary in cooking time depending on the type of lentils you use. Refer to the package instructions and cook them al dente first, because they will also continue cooking with the rice.
  3. Be confident when cooking the onions. It may seem like a long time to cook onions over high heat, but when frying 2 large onions in ½ cup of oil, stirring constantly, nothing should burn. The onion’s moisture plus the amount of oil helps to caramelize and crisp them up. Doing this while the lentils and rice cook in a separate pot is a great way to utilize your time while working on such a hands-on part of the recipe.
  4. Cook the rice and lentils separately. To save time and avoid washing an extra pot, I like cooking everything together. However, you can cook the rice in one pot and the lentils in another pot and then combine them together. This creates better presentation so I do it for guests sometimes.
  • Cook extra onions into the mujadara. When I originally published this recipe, I included two sets of onions, some mixed into the rice and lentils, and the crispy ones on top of the rice and lentils. This is how my mom prefers to make mujadara, and it adds a ton of flavor, but it does add time to the recipe, which is why I’ve updated it now to only include the onions on top.
  • Make it with brown rice. The difference between white rice and brown rice for mujadara is that brown rice will need to cook a little longer. Instead of adding the rice halfway through cooking the lentils, you’ll start it first, simmer for about 10 minutes, and then add in the lentils to finish cooking for about 25 minutes.
  • Make it with bulgur wheat. This is another traditional way to make this recipe. Follow this mujadara recipe but with a few time changes. Cook the lentils for 20 minutes before adding the bulgur (instead of rice and no soaking required), and continue to cook for only 10 more minutes. Remove from the heat, and rest for 5 minutes with the lid on before adding the cumin and fluffing with a fork.

What to serve with lebanese mujadara

The dish has minimal ingredients but it’s such a well-balanced meal with protein and fiber (lentils), grains (rice), and vegetables (onions). It’s a wonderful vegan dish and served on its own as an entree. Traditionally in Lebanon, we serve it with some whole milk yogurt or Greek Yogurt, or even a cucumber yogurt sauce.

It’s also very common to serve this with some vegetables like radishes or Middle Eastern salads like the following:

Cooked lentils and rice on a large platter with crispy onions on top.

How to store & reheat mujadara with rice

After cooking completely, store any leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge.

To reheat: You can reheat mujadara on the stovetop or in the microwave with a splash of water until heated through.

How long will mujadara last in the fridge?

When stored properly, mujadara will last up to 4-5 days in the fridge.

Can i freeze majadara?

You can freeze the mujadara for up to 3 months by storing it in a freezer-safe container or zip-top bag. To reheat, thaw in the fridge overnight and microwave until heated through.

Frequently asked questions

Why did my mujadara come out mushy?

Because we’re cooking the lentils and rice together, it could affect the texture of them when they come together, especially since the type of rice can affect the amount of water needed for the recipe. To make sure it doesn’t come out mushy, you can cook the rice alone in one pot, cook the lentils alone in another pot and then combine them.

Can I make mujadara ahead of time?

Slice the onions ahead of time, and pan-fry to have a quick topping ready to add to your mujadara. To make the lentils and rice ahead of time, simply cook and cool, storing in the fridge until ready to eat, up to 5 days in advance. Reheat on the stove or microwave with some water to freshen it up for serving.

Can I make mujadara with any type of rice?

Yes, absolutely! You can use long-grain white rice, basmati, or brown rice. Just be sure to adjust the cooking time for each type, so you don’t have any undercooked or overcooked rice.

Which lentils are used for this Lebanese mujadara recipe?

I use dried brown lentils, but you could also use green. Dried lentils are best because they retain a chewy texture, but if you decide to you canned lentils, cook the rice according to the package and simply stir in the drained and rinsed canned lentils at the end as they only need to be warmed up and not cooked.

Mujadara topped with crispy onions on a large platter.

This authentic mujadara recipe is one of my favorites I grew up with that uses basic pantry items, is ultra comforting and is a well-balanced nutritious meal! So if you’re trying to recreate this Lebanese recipe or looking for new vegan recipes, give this one a try!

More traditional Lebanese recipes

If you’ve tried this healthy-ish feel good Lebanese Mujadara Recipe recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

This Mujadara recipe was originally published on April 28, 2019. The recipe has been slightly modified to remove the onions mixed into the rice and lentils and only include crispy onions on top of the rice and lentils. This makes the recipe quicker and easier and the post now includes updated step-by-step photos to reflect this process.

Lebanese Mujadara

Mujadara is a Middle Eastern lentils and rice recipe with crispy caramelized onions. Just 3 ingredients make a easy vegan, protein-rich meal!
5 from 1513 votes
Servings 8 servings
Course Entree
Calories 386
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes



  • ½ cup olive oil
  • 2 large yellow onions thinly sliced
  • 4 ½ cups water
  • 2 cups brown lentils rinsed and drained
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup long grain white rice rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons cumin


  • In a medium bowl, cover the rice with cold water. Set aside.
  • Line a plate with two paper towels. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over high heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring constantly, until the onions are deeply browned and start to crisp around the edges, about 20 minutes. Transfer to the plate and set aside. They will continue to crisp as they cool.
  • Add the lentils to another pot, add water and stir to combine. Bring everything to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Cook for 15 minutes.
  • Drain the soaked rice, rinse and transfer it to the pot with the lentils along with the salt. Stir once, then cover again with a tight-fitting lid and cook undisturbed for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the pot from the heat. Rest, covered, for 5 minutes longer. Add the cumin and fluff the rice and lentils with a fork to combine.
  • Spoon the crispy sliced onions on top of the mujadara. Serve warm, with cucumber yogurt sauce if desired.


Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 4-5 days in the fridge.
Freezing Instructions: You can freeze the mujadara for up to 3 months. To re-heat, thaw in the fridge overnight and microwave until heated through.
Make Ahead Tips: You can chop the onions in advance up to a day before and even caramelize the sliced onions beforehand in order to reduce the prep time.
Sourcing: You can find the brown and green lentils at Middle Eastern markets, natural-foods stores or even in large supermarkets, often located with other Middle Eastern ingredients.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. However here are some common substitutes that would work well in this recipe.
  • Instead of brown lentils, you can use green lentils.
  • Instead of white rice, you can use brown rice or bulgur/cracked wheat.


Calories: 386kcal, Carbohydrates: 50g, Protein: 14g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 2g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 10g, Sodium: 13mg, Potassium: 534mg, Fiber: 15g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 26IU, Vitamin C: 4mg, Calcium: 48mg, Iron: 4mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Course: Entree

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Recipe Rating


  1. I have made this dish using ginger,cumin and coriander so your recipe I will try for this evening’s meal. I will comment when I have my family’s verdict.

  2. Great recipe. Thank you for posting it on your website. But just an FYI, in Lebanon they call the rice version shown here “Mudardara”. The “Mujadara” is made using course bulgar. Also quite tasty.

    1. Yes, that’s true! In my family we always called it mujadara for some reason lol. When I decided what to name this, I went with the google searches which show this dish with the rice and lentils mostly and named mujadara. I have the bulgar version on the website too!

      1. Hello, this is a good recipe. Is there any other spice besides cumin? I’m not fond of it. Would coriander be a suitable substitute?

  3. Your mujadara recipe is the best I’ve come across. Soaking the rice made it much fluffier. I had to add 1/4 cup more liquid because the rice was a bit al dente without it. I also added some coriander, allspice, turmeric & a bit of cinnamon. It came out great & yours will be my mujadara recipe go to from now on!

  4. What’s the point of sitting the rice in water? Is that to remove starch? If so, could I just skip that step is using parboiled rice?

  5. This was amazing!! I’ve had a taste for mujadara and I never in my wildest dreams had any idea it was sooo easy. The crispy onions are such an amazing added touch!

    Thank you!!

    1. You’re so welcome, Amy! So glad you liked it the onions are for sure one of the best parts!

  6. Question. I’m allergic to Cumin. Is there another spice that may lend itself similar flavor and give the dish a similar outcome?

  7. Hi, I’d like to try this with some onions cooked into it (how you said your mother makes it). Do I put them in from the start? Or do they go in mid-way, with the rice, etc?

    Looking forward to trying this though! I had a middle eastern takeaway a few weeks ago and this dish (with a side of vegetarian moussaka) were my favourites, so I’m looking forward to learning how to make them myself!

    1. You can put them in from the start. They need to caramelize well on their own and then you can cook the rice on top or separate and mix with the onions.

  8. Made this today without cumin and used 1tsp salt – SO good! Very easy to follow detailed recipe. Tastes just like my Lebanese mom made it!

  9. Fantastic recipe! This will be added to my regular rotation of foods. Paired with Lebanese baba ganoush and corriander-serrano side.

  10. I love Lebanese food and just leaned how to make Majadara it’s so good with a nice salad !!❤️❤️my friend taught me !!!

  11. Perfect. I have to laugh about all the comments about adding cumin and other spices. I realize that they might be great additions but they certainly aren’t Lebanese. Your flavors are Lebanese. The only things I do differently is to cook the onions at a lower heat with much less oil for a looooooong time so they can fully caramelize. I also cook the rice and the lentils separately because that’s how I’ve always done it, but I’m going to try your method next time. My Lebanese husband will thank you because he does the dishes.

    I was intrigued by the poster who uses mujadara in enchiladas. Not a bad idea! I’ll have to think about that one.

    1. Let me know if you do try it in enchiladas!! The onions are the most tedious part, for sure, but so worth it!

  12. I’ve been a fan of your blog for a while. I decided to leave a review because all the recipes I tried here I got positive feedbacks! My husband is Lebanese and anytime I make a Lebanese dish he’s extremely surprised how close it taste to home. I’m like thank Yumna hahaha . I learnt all from her blog !
    Where can I get your cook book ?

  13. Very good technique. I grew up with this dish especially Fridays during Lent. I am a fan of the green lentils- my mom used the red. I also would eliminate the pepper with cumin- the flavor had a bit of a bite. Also my mom used allspice ( on everything). Don’t skimp on the onions- it adds 50% of the flavor if not more.

  14. I made this today for my hubby he’s Lebanese. He loved it and so did everyone else. It turned out perfectly. I’ve tried other recipes and yours is a definite keeper. Thank you.

  15. Hi! Love that you’re making a cookbook! I love this recipe specially because we’re Syrian and this is a staple in my home! We’d love to have more of this vegan middle Eastern recipes!
    Thank you! Soo good!!! 😋😘

    1. Thank you so much, Martha! I have several new Middle Eastern recipes coming out next month for Ramadan. I do like to include vegan substations in a lot of my recipes so everyone can enjoy them! If you run into a recipe that you’d like to try, but aren’t sure how to make it vegan, don’t hesitate to comment! Thanks, again!

  16. No Doubt i am fan of your Blog… It goes without saying that your Recipe is Stunning and Delicious.. I am from Damascus, and read your recipe with great attention and like it. However, Being from Damascus, and as you said there are many different ways to make this Traditional Mjaddara..when we make it with BURGHUL, we use only Olive Oil at the last minutes,so as not to burn the oil and keep its nutritional Value.. We serve with it either Plain Yogurt, or Pickles of Turnip or Cucumber. When we use Rise, we Add Fried Chopped Meat, and served Hot.. also we serve as side Dish Yogurt with Cucumber and Dry Mint Condiment, of course I am following you on your blogs and sharing recipes on all my Blogs.. Thank you, wish you happiness and everlasting success..

  17. Love your recipes!!! Love how you give measurements to double and triple recipes! So very convenient and useful!! THANKYOU!!!

  18. If you cook onions in olive oil on high heat for twenty months minutes, you’re going to be lucky if you don’t burn your house down.

    1. If you’re cooking 2 large onions in 1/2 cup oil for 20 minutes, stirring constantly, nothing should burn. I make this all the time, and the moisture from all those onions keeps them from burning. But it’s important you don’t leave the pot and continue to stir constantly.

    2. No wonder your house is burning down, if you’re frying onions for twenty months. It’s twenty minutes, not months!

  19. I was really excited about trying this. I followed the recipe to a T and it turned out like mush, plus the amount of lentils is excessively more than the rice. I also felt like there could’ve been more seasoning. I feel like I’m gonna end up throwing this whole thing away. What a waste. I’m so bummed.

    1. I’m so sorry to hear this! I make this recipe all the time, and the texture of the rice with the lentils and onions is soft but definitely not mush. Is it possible you used different lentils or rice? I am actually republishing this recipe in a couple of weeks to eliminate the onions mixed in, which I found makes the recipe easier with a better texture.

      1. I mean, I used long grain white rice and green/brown lentils, so just what the recipe called for. I was able to repurpose it the next day by adding in some other seasonings and some liquid, I can’t remember what I used, and I served it over chicken that I had seasoned with a bunch of spices, and that really helped. I did end up still throwing a whole lot away just because the serving size was so big. I’m sorry this didn’t work out for me, I was really looking forward to it.

        1. I am sorry it didn’t work out for you too, and thank you for taking the time to respond back. Since my last response to you, I decided to do another test run of this recipe and have made some changes that will go live tomorrow to help fix the texture issues. I don’t want anyone to waste food or feel like something is inedible, so I really took what you said to heart.

  20. Great recipe – I used lentils, course bulgar wheat, and wheat berries, which I love. It packs a powerful punch of protein, fiber, and iron and tastes great.

    I seasoned it with salt, pepper, ground cumin, cayenne pepper, granulated onion, granulated garlic, and Tumeric.

    A bit off the beaten path in terms of seasoning but it’s awesome.

  21. Your recipe has lost a whole layer of flavor and taste!
    Sauté your onions in your pot until almost caramelized, then add your lentils and water, cook until not quite done then add rice and spices.
    The very best spicing for this dishes is salt, pepper, cumin 1-1/2 Teaspoons, 1 teaspoon allspice, dash of cinnamon and then proceed.
    This recipe is the very best Lebanese from the North they are noted for the best cuisine!

  22. AMAZING! That is what I call real comfort food – something I have been missing with so many different foods on this way of eating. Especially appreciate the high protein which I feel has been lacking in my diet. Thank you!!

  23. Hmmm, this looked like, and proved to be, double plus the necessary lentils (in different places, brown and green) to rice ratio. I used brown and should not have par boiled them, they were ready before I added the rice, so the end result was a bit messy.

    I also added more cumin & pepper, and am glad I did. Next time, with adjustments, I am sure it will be delish.

    1. I am sorry to hear that. I would definitely recommend only preparing the lentils until they are tender but not fully cooked, so it avoids a messy end result.

  24. I followed the recipe and added 6 cups of water, but the dish turned out very mushy. Also 1 onion for garnish is not enough for such a huge amount (the crispy topping is the best part after all). Also the salt and cumin indicated in the recipe are not enough either for such a big amount of lentils and rice.

    1. Thank you for your feedback! What kind of lentils did you use? Make sure not to use red lentils though because they often get very soft and mushy when cooked!

  25. I’m ve been making Injuthra for over 50 yrs since I married my ‘Lebanese’ husband. I just happened to see this recipe which is similar to the way I have been cooking lentils, rice, and onions, but it was always rather bland. (Too few onions and no cumin.) I followed your recipe leaving out the cumin and substituting my 7 spice mixture I use in other Lebanese recipes. Yummy, never again will I be miserly with onions.

  26. My daughter made this for me last weekend. She found a different recipe that had a lot of spices but I insisted she use your recipe. It was absolutely wonderful. We have used it in several dishes. Today she is using it in enchiladas. I am plant based and my daughter and husband are somewhat. Perfect for us because we try to use leftovers to revamp and make something else. We used no oil and was still delicious. Thank you.

    1. I’m so glad you used this recipe and enjoyed! I would love to try this in enchiladas too – yum!! You’re so welcome!

  27. This was a fun dish to make and the detailed instructions were easy to follow. I love lentils and have a ton of lentil recipes, but have never made mujadara because it’s so time consuming. I’m glad I had the time to try this because it was so different. As others have said, it takes longer than the recipe suggests to properly caramelize the onions, so budget about half an hour. Also, my wife and I both agreed that it needed a LOT more cumin than the recipe calls for. I doubled it to 2 tsp but it could easily have used a tablespoon. I would double the salt too.

    1. Thank you so much! Glad you decided to give this a try and found what to do to make the recipe work for your preferences!

  28. I am SO EXCITED! For years I lived in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and traveled often across the state to see my daughter and the grandkids. EVERY visit, before I left to come home, I would stop at WOODY’S OASIS restaurant in East Lansing to load up on to-go boxes of the food I had come to love – Baked Kibbeh, Mujadara, Kofta, Falafel, Fattoush, and pistachio and walnut Maamoul. It would keep me happy for days!
    But then I moved to Whidbey Island in the PNW, and had to leave all that behind. But now I am SO EXCITED to try your recipes – almost everything I love, all in one place! Mujadara and Baked Kibbeh this week! Oh boy . . . !❤️❤️

    1. Yay!! The mix of foods in that to-go box sounds delicious. Hope you enjoy the recipes! Excited to hear what you think once you give them a try.

  29. I just made 1/2 your recipe… my mouth was watering, but my lentils still came out mushy, even though I purposely used less water and simmered for a few min less.
    Wondering if I need different lentils. I used Goya brand – the subtitle is Masoor Dal, is that the right kind? They were stamped “Best by 06/25” so I would guess they are fresh. Thx

    1. What kind of lentils did you use? Make sure not to use red lentils though because they often get very soft and mushy when cooked.

  30. That’s exectly how cook lentils except the cumin. It’s a dish I cook every week and is delicious. I didn’t know it’s a Lebanese recipe. In cyprus this dish is called mujendra which is similar! I am so glad to have similar dishes with the neighbor country.

    1. I love that! There are so many delicious versions of this recipe depending on where you’re from.

  31. I thought this dish was great! Mine came out a little dry, I think I kept the top on too long once I took the rice and lentils off the heat. I’m glad I started the onions when I started the lentils because to really caramelize them it took close to an hour. For the sliced onion that goes on top, next time I’ll do 2 or 3 onions instead of just one because I loved the crunchy fried Part. I also used chicken stock in place of 4 cups of the water. Overall a great recipe!!

  32. Needs WAY more salt and cumin. And next time I will probably fry all the onions at once rather then two separate batches. Also, the ratio of rice to lentils seems off. Far more lentils then rice. I did 2 cups le tils to one cup rice and worked better.

    1. Thank you for your feedback! Definitely taste and adjust as you go, so the flavor profile is where you like it to be!

  33. I made this for my Lebanese partner and he said it was very bland. He ended up adding another 5-6 teaspoons of cumin and some lemon zest. I’m also surprised at how little onion flavor there was. Next time I’ll do 2 tablespoons of cumin, 1-2 more onion. I’ll also use vegetable broth instead of water to cook the lentils and rice.

    1. Thank you for your feedback! Next time you can also cook the chopped onions until they get a deep golden brown color, and that’s where all the flavor comes in!

      1. Thank you, I’ll make sure they’re very browned next time.

        I’m sorry my comment came off so harsh. The instructions for the doneness of the lentils and rice are great. The recipe has so many 5 star reviews, I must have done something wrong! I don’t mean to tell a Lebanese person how Mujadara should be cooked.

        1. I completely understand! I am always open to receiving feedback, so I can make sure the recipe is as good as possible!

          1. The rice became mushy ..
            I timef it to 18 mns like u said and i didnt want to open the pan too early either..
            I did half the recipe, may b should have cooked it for less?

          2. Aww, I’m sorry to hear that. If you halve the recipe, the cooking time will definitely need to be changed, so it doesn’t turn out mushy.

  34. Made it for my wife for Valentine’s Day (it was a favorite meal when a girl), she loved it. Her mom didn’t use cumin but my wife said to leave it in. Thanks for making her, & therefor my, day.

  35. The age of the lentils will affect cooking time. For those with an undercooked, ‘soupy mess’, your lentils were probably older and needed longer simmering. For those with a mushy outcome, your lentils are fresher and need less cooking. Lentils last forever in the cupboard, but the older they are, the longer they take to cook.

  36. I come from a Lebanese family. Both parents were from Lebanon. I make a lot of Lebanese food. I tried your recipe and it was very similar to my mother’s. I used more onions and added more olive oil. My mother used to add at least a cup or a bit less of olive oil. Thank you for your recipe. I just added more onions and more olive oil and it turned out perfect. Since my parents are no longer here, I have continued these recipes for my adult children. Is there any reason why you didn’t add the long grain rice and lentils at the same time? That’s what my mother did. Maybe the cooking times vary. Long grain rice is 25 minutes. Great web site.

    1. Glad you enjoyed! I did that because the cooking times for both ingredients are different, but you could definitely do it that way too!

      1. Thanks for your reply. All your recipes are very close to how my mother made her dishes. Love your website.
        How long does it take for the brown lentils to cook? Same time as long grain rice? 25 minutes.
        In one of my Lebanese cookbooks, it says to cook the lentils for an hour then add the rice for 20 more minutes. I think that is too long. What do you think?

    1. Aww, I’m sorry to hear that, that might happen with different lentils being used. I’m going to test the recipe one more time and double check the measurements just to be on the safe side!!

    2. Thank you again for your responses to my questions. Appreciate all your Lebanese recipes as well as all your other recipes. Your videos, instructions, photos are most helpful. Thank you.

  37. Yumna, thanks for that. I was wanted to know why my Mujadara is always a little mushy. Maybe it’s over cooked. I’ll cook it less next time. Just a note, Nanna always used Cinnamon rather than Cumin.

    1. Of course! The type of lentils really makes a difference. What kind are you using? Make sure not to use red lentils because they often get very soft and mushy when cooked!

  38. Delicious! I served with sweet potato flatbread and sliced pepperoni. I have extra left over, so I am freezing ; I’ll see how it reheats. Thank you.

  39. Solid core recipe. Timings off.
    I added the zest from half an orange, as well as the juice of 1/4 orange.I also added a *little* bit of Serrano or habanero pepper that was on hand.
    I fried the mortar-and-pestle-ground cumin for a minute before adding the onions. They took a good hour to caramelize.
    The lentils were overly mushy. Next time, I’ll cook the lentils and brown rice simultaneously, for 30 minutes.

    1. Thank you for the feedback! What kind of lentils did you use? I find that red lentils often get very soft and mushy when cooked.

      1. I used green lentils.

        I’ve worked with red lentils before — have found they’re done in 15 minutes or so.

        [I started working in kitchens as a short order cook about 45 years ago — so I’m pretty comfortable at this point 😉]

  40. Amazing love it .. where can I post pictures , to avoid being mushy … put less water for the rice unless when lentil is cooked all the water was absorbed… again I used to make this dish but this recipe much much better my Lebanese husband agrees I made yogurt and cucumber salad from your site with it …. Nom nom nom 😋 🤤

    1. Thank you! Please join my Facebook group called “Feel Good Foodies: A Community!” and share a post with the photos. That’s great advice! Love the sound of pairing this with the salad!

    1. Oh wow I’m so sorry to hear that. It can sometimes be soft, but mushy cardboard sounds like something went really bad. Can you tell me more what happened?

    2. I did it it turned out amazing if there was extra water when you made the lentil, then you should of reduced amount of water for rice ..

  41. This was very good. I halved the recipe and had one white onion and two purple so I used those. I used a bit more salt and lots of pepper. Cumin isn’t my favorite flavor so I went light with it, hence the S&P. This dish turned out really good. It will be a mainstay as the lentil are a good source of iron.

    I’m glad I found you on Pinterest! Thanks for the recipe.

  42. Ate this all the time at a restaurant where I no longer live; got a craving and decided it was time to learn. This recipe came together wonderfully. I made with brown rice because I love it, and found that when all was said and done I wanted a bit more rice in the ratio so I just made some more. Turned into a lot, which just means I happily have some rice and lentil blend frozen for later, just need to caramelize more onions! I also added a pinch of smoked paprika alongside the cumin, yum yum. I put that stuff in everything. Overall, a delicious and welcome addition to our vegetarian meal rota.

  43. Mine turned out a bit mushy and not as pretty as yours but still delicious! I’m going to have to freeze a huge portion of it because my son is picky and won’t even try it. Added a bit more salt and a touch of coriander, nutmeg and cinnamon…so good!

  44. My mom has taught me to make majadra a million times and i always forget the ratios, today I made this recipe and it turned out just as good!! i do add a bit more than 1 tsp cumin, that’s a family preference.

  45. Thanks for the great recipe! I know onions are key in this recipe but I didn’t have enough so I added some herbed salt to give it some extra flavor.

    1. You can pretty much use any type of rice you want. If you’re using brown rice, you’ll need to extend the cooking time. I prefer to use white rice (long grain or short grain), because it’s how it’s traditionally made. You can also use bulgur or cracked wheat in place of rice.

  46. This turned out AMAZING! Loved the texture and the simplicity of this dish. The flavor of the caramelized onions really makes the dish. I had some left over Tahini sauce I made earlier that I added since I didn’t have plain yogurt, and it really gave it an added tang. Keep the recipes coming, Yumna. EVERYTHING I have tried has been incredible.

  47. It’s a miss. The rice to lentil ratio is unbalanced. If you follow this recipe it will be totally bland. I had to add garlic, thyme, parsley, pepper, more salt, and more rice.

    1. I am so sorry to hear that. I didn’t find that to be the case, but I will take that into consideration – thank you.

  48. Yum! I usually don’t like making this as it’s super time consuming but I decided to give it a try. My husband and I both grew up eating this dish and I must say our family recipes are almost identical! For those hesitant about the minimal amount of spices, you can add more cumin and 7 spice or all spice, which is what my family recipes adds. Delicious!

  49. It was really bland for me. I cut the recipe in half and adding the cumin at the end just didn’t add enough flavor. I should have used veggie stock instead of water, which would have helped and a bay leaf or two as well. Just not enough flavor/spice as written.

    1. I’m sorry to hear that. I find that adding more onions really brings the dish together, as the lentils and rice can be pretty bland on their own. Hope that helps!

  50. I’ve start out browning the onions first then I add the lentils (1 cup) with 2 cups of water, bring to a boil and let simmer for 10 minutes, then I add 1 cup rice and 2 cups of chicken stock cook for about 20 minutes…..yummy

  51. Unfortunately, this recipe did not work for me. The timing was off, it took long, and the result just was not worth the effort.

    Caramelizing onions took at least 2Xs the amount of time stated – more like 30mins, not 10-15mins! At a simmer, rice was a raw, soupy mess.

    I have yet to taste it, but I honestly don’t have much hope as the amt of seasoning is very minimal.

    1. Sometimes it may take longer because everyone’s stove is different. Next time, I would recommend turning it up from a simmer or simmering it for longer, so it doesn’t end up in a soupy mess.

  52. Very tasty, however,mine came out mushy.. I did mix rice into lentils then added 2 cups water..perhaps that was the reason?? Instructions said to add rice on top of lentils🙃

    1. It does come out soft when mixing both the lentils and rice together but it’s very common. You can cook them separately and use long grain rice which will help with that!

      1. I am having a really hard time viewing your site because an add completely blocks all of the recipe. It pops up on the left side covering everything underneath and there is no way to get rid of it or minimize it.

        Other than that, I love your tasty recipes and the instructions are easy.

  53. Mine can out really mushy. Not as beautiful as your. Do you have any tips that would help? I have tried adding less water. Maybe I cook the lentil to long.

  54. I was apprehensive as I looked at the humongous pile of onions in my skillet…but they wilted down! Turned out great. Even my 1 year old and 4 year old ate it! I accidentally diced the onion up too much in the food processor, so it took forever to caramelize. Next time I will not overdo it, or chop by hand!

  55. Thanks for this recipe! Being from Windsor and visiting my aunt in Dearborn I always look forward to amazing Lebanese food. I live in Miami Beach and can’t find it the way I can up there! This recipe makes it so easy to recreate my favorite Lebanese meals at home. I’m actually eating a bowl of the leftovers now as I’m typing this! I’m looking forward to making this recipe often. The photos and steps made it easy to create a dish of a cuisine I’m a beginner with as well. Followed this exactly as instructed and came out great. Thanks Yumna!

  56. Thanks for posting this: I’ve been making a very similar variation which claims to be authentic that has you mix the carmelized onions with the rice and lentils before the final 20-min simmer. Also, it says that the most traditional version has no spices, just salt, black pepper and olive oil.
    However, this version intrigues and I’ll try it next time by adding the onions at the end and also the teaspoon of cumin! Might think about a dollop of cashew yogurt on top as well.

    1. I think that recipe sounds pretty good actually and I know a lot of people who like to keep it simple with the salt, pepper and olive oil only. However, my mom always added cumin not just for flavor but also because it’s supposed to help with digestion from all those lentils haha. Cumin also happens to be my favorite spice of all time, so I find any excuse to add it 🙂

  57. I have made this dish several times, and love how easy, filling and delicious it turns out each time! I substitute homemade chicken broth for the water and add a chopped salad with cucumbers, parsley, red onions, tomatoes and lemon juice. I spent most of my childhood in Jordan as an ex-pat because of my parents’ jobs, and this recipe brings back fond memories of our time there. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe!

    1. I love how nostalgic this recipe can be. So glad to hear you’ve made it several times and enjoy it. Thank you so much!

  58. I have made this a few times from different recipes and I have to say, this is by far the best yet. Very delicious, easy to follow directions, Great job!

  59. Wow! This was a super delicious and flavorful recipe! I couldn’t believe how filling and hearty it was also! We made as recipe indicated, although since we don’t do dairy we substituted our own home-made kind’ve ‘creama’ sauce from soaked sunflowers with water, lemon juice, sugar and a hint of salt. It was my first time making it, but it complemented the flavors quite nicely! The next day we had leftovers, so we took them cold and added some chopped grape tomatoes and cucumbers and mixed everything up with the leftover sauce, crispy onions and mint leaves. Then we ate the mixture wrapped in some nice fresh romaine leaves and it was really wonderful!
    Thank you for sharing this and all the other wonderful recipes here.
    My family and I are new to Lebanese/Middle Eastern food, but we are really appreciating all the delicious flavors from such simple wholesome ingredients!

  60. I love this dish! I feel like maybe a little less liquid and a little more salt and it would be perfection!

  61. Great recipe and turns out good every time. I modified it a bit and cooked the rice and lentils in chicken broth to give it some additional flavor. It was delicious with some grilled chicken and Tzakziki sauce on the side.

    1. Thank you so much and so happy to hear that! Love that you served it with chicken and tzatziki sauce!

  62. I made this recipe was delicious and pretty simple. Not too many ingredients and a lot of flavor my family enjoyed it. Will make again

  63. Looks so good I remember my mom Katreen used to make it for us as kids, we loved it. Now it’s my turn to make it for my kids, I’m sure they will love it also. The only thing I can add is we used to make a tomato and green onion salad with mint and plenty of lemon juice served along side of it, we would literally put a spoon full of mujadara and scoop up some salad at the same time, with a little pita bread, they really compliment each other. Thank you for the simple recipe.

    1. I love that you make a simple salad to go with it! My mom always makes a Lebanese style salad to go with it too. It really complements the flavor!

  64. This is so delicious! I didn’t add as much onion since I don’t cook with it due to hubby’s allergy. But next time I’m using more. It added such a sweetness. Only problem with this is that I ate way more than the serving size!! This and a fresh salad is going to be my new go to lunch when I want something quick and filling. Thanks for sharing.

  65. Followed recipe exactly and was disappointed. The ratio of lentils to rice was off with way to many lentils. They came out a little mushy to boot. Probably will go back to my old recipe next time.

    1. So sorry to hear that. The ratio of lentils to rice is usually like this in most recipes I’ve seen. Did you use short grain rice?

  66. Just wanted to let you know that i made your Lebanese Mujadara .. i love lentils and that’s what caught my eye. It was super easy and tasted great! I shared it with my friends and passed on your recipe.. thank you ?

  67. Thank you for the recipe, healthy and delicious! The carmelized onions took a while to cook but so worth the wait!! Love all your recipes!

  68. Everyone who knows me, knows I’m not good in the kitchen, but AT ALL!! I somehow stumbled on this site and tried this recipe. It was so simple to make and absolutely DELICIOUS!! My husband and daughter (my worst critic) devoured it!! Nothing more rewarding than an empty dish with satisfied stomachs 🙂
    Thank you for this delicious easy to make recipe 🙂

    1. Aww that makes me so happy to hear!! And the best part is you probably have lots of leftovers to enjoy tomrorow!

  69. Fantastic dish… I added a tap of Vietnamese cinnamon to the carmelized onions before mixing… delicious

  70. Should I be cooking in the lentils with the lid on? How about once I add the bulgur or rice, should I have the lid on or not? Thanks!

  71. Thanks for the recipe!! Been looking to make this for a while. My family really enjoyed it but I ran into a problem with mine. Lentils were too soft and rice was crunchy. What did I do wrong? Flavors were good and we ate it anyway.

    1. Oh, I think it’s possible you didn’t let the rice steam after it was cooked? It will usually need 15-18 minutes but you have to let it steam afterwards in the pot for 5 minutes. I added that clarification to the recipe. I hope that helps!

  72. Hi Yumna,

    Thanks so much for sharing this recipe and the vine leaves one, both of which are yumny.

    Keep up the good work,

  73. My parents were both of Lebanese descent and my Mom was a great cook and a great lady.I can still see her fixing my brother and me a plate of this hot mujudara and we would take our spoons and circle around our plates because the edges were cooler. I cover the lentils when cooking and cover the lentils when the rice and onions are added. Do you?

  74. If I was to triple the recipe how much onion is needed? 18 onions sounds like too much. Also the cumin?

    1. Wow tripling the recipe! The onions play a huge part of the recipe so I’m leaning towards saying yes 18 onions haha. But You can get away with 12 onions for sure, leaving some on top for caramelizing. I would definitely trip the cumin.

  75. My first atttemp and it turned out well – I’ll give myself a 6/10, allways room for improvement. I’m following a WFPB diet so tried to brown the onions without oil, which was a failure. I added a small amount of Extra Virgin olive oil and they browned well.
    thanks for the great recipe.

  76. When my mom made it, she cooked the onions first in the pot, then put lentils and rice in pot with water, etc. It was delicious, What do you think? How would you do it in one pot? Thank you

    1. Oh yes, you can definitely make it all in one pot. You can cook the onions, then add add the rice and lentils to the onions along with double the water. Then cook it all together. The rice might be more soft that way, but it will be faster and still delicious!

      1. Thank you! I love your recipes! She cooked the onions, then poured the water, then poured the lentils and let them cook for about twenty minutes, then put the rice in for about twenty minutes. Please continue with your delicious recipes!

  77. I was taught to burn some of the onions, then boil them and strain the water. This water is then used to cook the rice, lentils and more onions.

    1. Yes, that’s definitely a great way to do it, but for me it was more time consuming, so I decided to skip that step in the recipe I share.

  78. I’m not able to click on the star rating for some reason, but wanted to thank you for such a delicious recipe! Years ago, when I was pregnant with my youngest, I lived next door to a lovely Lebanese woman who was an amazing cook. She’d bring me samples of her food all the time and this dish, in particular, was a favorite. It’s amazing how much flavor you can coax out of just three simple ingredients!!

    1. Hi there, thank you so much! I’m currently working on fixing the star rating, but I appreciate you leaving a comment still! Your comment made me smile to think about how this dish made you remember the lovely neighbor you had! I’m always amazed at how incredible this tastes with such basic ingredients. Thanks for sharing with me!

      1. Amazing recipe. Everytime I made Mujadara the lentils would be hard. With your recipe it came out perfect. This one is a keeper. Thanks