Traditional recipes

Lentil rice recipe

Lentil rice recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Side dish

A simple and vegan-friendly Arabic dish, which is packed full of protein. It's the perfect meal, when served with a side salad.

77 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 190g dry lentils, rinsed
  • 475ml water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon garlic granules
  • 140g white rice, rinsed
  • 175ml water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 3 onions, sliced into 5mm rings

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:1hr10min ›Ready in:1hr25min

  1. Combine the lentils, 475ml water, 1 teaspoon salt, cumin and garlic granules in a pot over medium heat; bring to a simmer, reduce heat to low and cook until the lentils begin to soften, 20 to 30 minutes.
  2. Stir the rice, 175ml water, 1 teaspoon salt and the olive oil into the lentils. Cover the pot and continue cooking until the lentils and rice are tender, about 40 minutes.
  3. Heat the cooking oil in a frying pan over medium heat; cook the onions in the oil until browned, 7 to 10 minutes. Spread the onions over the rice and lentil mixture to serve.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(118)

Reviews in English (92)

by Aprilbeauty

To have a really authentic taste, consider these two notes: 1- Saute one onion untel soft and translucent in the pot then add the liquid with the lentils but, DON'T ADD SALT before the lentils are soft, then continue as per above. 2- Saute the other two onions in a skillet separately until they are DEEP GOLDEN AND CRISPY, the onions will taste sweeter and more interesting this way. Set aside until they are cooler. Garnish the mujaddara with it and enjoy. For those who felt it was a bit dry, Mujaddara is supposed to be eaten along side a fresh green salad or yogurt. One more thing, consider a bit of all spice and cinnamon along with the cumin to give it more depth.-03 Nov 2010

by Amazing Bacon

My husband is Lebanese and this is a staple in our house. The kids love it. I don't prepare using the garlic powder or cumin but sometimes I do add allspice. We serve this with a yogurt sauce consisting of plain yogurt, crushed garlic and mint.-23 Aug 2010

by JellyFish

I thought this recipe was great. It was so economical and such a comfort food. As per other reviews, I added 1 tsp garam masala to the lentils just before I stirred in the rice. I also sprinkled 1/2 tsp cumin seeds and a few dashes of cinnamon onto the onions as they fried / caramelized. Serving this with yogurt was a must. We used greek yogurt, and it was amazing. The tang of the yogurt with the sweetness of the caramelized onions and cinnamon went so well with the hearty lentil and rice mixture. I fried one large yellow onion, and that seemed to be enough. Next time, I will chop the onions instead of slice them into rings because the rings were difficult to incorporate into the lentil rice mixture. I will absolutely make this again. (I also made homemade whole wheat pitas to go with this dish - they were the perfect for this meal. Used a mixture of whole wheat and AP flour, 2:1 for whatever recipe you use.)-21 Oct 2010

Lebanese Mujadara

Learn how to make Lebanese mujadara, a humble dish yet deeply satisfying and full of flavour. It combines green lentils and brown rice with caramelised onions, all seasoned with cumin and cinnamon.

Brown Lentils – some people know this lentil as green lentils. Either way, it’s always best to use dry lentils over canned. On the odd occasion I’ve used the canned variety which are typically smaller in appearance and a darker shade of brown. Canned lentils also not require to be par boiled as written below.

When using dry brown lentils, it’s best to wash them, sort them (if needed) and then soak them for about 30 minutes prior to using. This will quicken the cooking.

Rice – white rice is preferred, we prefer to use basmati as it cooks the quickest. My mum prefers to wash and soak her rice for about 10-15 minutes to rid extra starch. I personally don’t do this step. Both work well.

If you do give brown rice a try, let me know in the comments below – I would say the taste would be different as there is a distinct difference between the two rices. Note – brown rice will require longer cooking times.

Onion – white or brown onion are best. You will need to cut the onions 2 ways

  1. Finely diced, almost minced to be used within the mjadara – this is our family’s secret ingredient that really BOOSTS the flavour tenfold. Anyone who has eaten our mujaddara has always commented on how flavoursome it is.
  2. Finely sliced to be caramelised for topping the lentils and rice

Olive Oil – always opt for the best extra virgin olive oil, it really does make a difference in taste.

Salt – this is to taste


This is the third time I made this recipe with a few small changes. I didn't have plum tomatoes so I used 1-15 oz. can of diced tomatoes drained and added the tomatoes along with the broth, lentils and rice. Also, I added 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/2 tsp. Za`atar Spice. I cooked the pilaf for 30 minutes because at 20 minutes the lentils were too firm. Removed from heat and placed a clean kitchen towel under the lids to absorb excess moisture for 10 minutes longer. Fluff with a fork. We love this recipe.

I'd never had lentils before so I didn't know what to expect but they were great. The whole side dish was delicious.

This recipe is very good and it went well with salmon. I used brown rice to add some whole grains.

This is a wonderful, healthy recipe. I was surprised at how good it is. It goes well with fish we had it with salmon.

Brown Rice and Lentils

By Chef Michael Smith &bull 10 years ago

Rice is a grain, lentils a legume. Combine the two and you have a perfect source of vegetarian protein. Of course, you don’t have to be a vegetarian to enjoy the wholesome, tasty richness of this healthy duo.


a splash olive oil
1 large onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup brown rice
1 cup dried lentils
4 cups chicken broth or water
a bay leaf or two
a sprinkle or two sea salt and freshly ground pepper


Splash the olive oil into a small pot with a tight-fitting lid over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for a few minutes until they just start to turn golden brown.

Add the rice, lentils, chicken broth (or water), bay leaves and salt and pepper. Bring everything to a simmer. Cover and reduce the heat to low, just enough to maintain the simmer. Continue cooking until the rice and lentils are tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 45 minutes.

Turn off the heat and let stand for a few minutes before serving.


You may add any fresh or dried herbs you like to this dish. Rosemary, thyme and tarragon all work well. At the last second, you may also add 1/2 cup (125 mL) or so of raisins or some sliced green onions.

Lentil Rice Pilaf with Caramelized Onions (Mujadara)

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A warm and comforting lentil rice pilaf with caramelized onions. This pilaf is known as ‘mujadara’ in the middle east and is vegan-friendly and perfect as a side for holidays or weeknight dinners!

Soul-warming Lebanese mujadara.

Mujadara or middle eastern style lentil rice pilaf has been on repeat in our house for last week and a half, and we have gobbled up bowlfuls of this stuff without a single complaint. In fact, Anees polished off the last of it for lunch on Sunday, and I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t mind having it again and again. This uncomplicated pilaf has warming spices, tender lentils, and boatloads of caramelized onions. It’s a vegan-friendly recipe that’s great as a main meal or as a side. It’s simple and flavorful, and in my world, those are always the best kind of dinners.

It’s about that time. You know, when you’re almost into the month of NOVEMBER, and you’re like, how did that even happen? Have you started planning your Thanksgiving menu yet? Are you an on the fly kinda person, or do you meticulously map your spread? Do you have a consistent menu year after year or do you experiment? I’d like to suggest this lentil rice pilaf, which is like red beans and rice but heavier on the spices and done middle-eastern style with lentils, as an option. If you’re in charge of showing up with a side, this is a good one. It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.

No matter the dietary restrictions, everyone can have a piece of this pie.

The last few weeks have been nice and cool in Houston, and we’ve taken full advantage with hearty meals loaded with spices and lentils and so, so many soups and stews. This weekend I made two batches of soup in my instant pot, and we devoured them all weekend long along with homemade lentils and rice.

I’ve noticed a trend when it comes to lentil recipes I’ve shared with you on the blog. Almost all of them are big in the flavor department, and nearly all of them are made using brown lentils. What can I say, I certainly do know what I like! Remember the Moroccan sweet potato soup with lentils? Or my favorite brown lentil daal? Or that autumn lentil salad with kale and parm? Brown lentils are a staple in our house because they’re so good in so many ways. But let me also mention that green lentils would work just as well for this recipe if that’s more your thing, but steer clear of red lentils. They aren’t going to work for this one.

Okay, let’s walk you through this lentil rice pilaf recipe. It’s not a difficult one, but when we hear things like ‘risotto’ or ‘pilaf’ often some major anxiety kicks in.

How to make bomb-diggity lentil rice pilaf:

  1. Lentils: As I mentioned, use either brown or green lentil (affiliate links) for this one. No need to soak your lentils. Just add them to a small saucepan along with water, you want there to be about 1-2 inches of water above your lentils, and you need to cook the lentils for 15-18 minutes or until they’re almost cooked through. If your lentils have been around for a while in the pantry, they’ll take more time to cook than if you’ve just purchased them recently.
  2. Rice: For this recipe, I highly recommend using good quality basmati rice. I like to use Indian basmati rice as it’s the most fragrant and it works beautifully with all the spices we’ll be adding to this recipe. You’ll need to soak the rice for about 20 minutes so right before you start on the caramelized onions, rinse your rice and soak them in a bowl of cold water. Here’s(affiliate link) the basmati rice I use in case you’re looking for a good brand.
  3. Caramelized Onions: take your time when you’re caramelizing the onions. You’ll need two medium onions for this recipe, and you’ll want to slice them thinly, about 1/4 of an inch in thickness. Use good quality olive oil(affiliate link) to fry the onions, trust me it makes all the difference. Also, babysit the onions, they’ll take in the ballpark of 20 minutes. You’ll need to stir them quite a bit during the last 10 minutes so don’t go too far. Know that I’m not lying when I say, homemade lentil rice pilaf is so worth it.
  4. Spices: We’re using cumin, coriander, turmeric, allspice, and cinnamon in this recipe and the smells that come from this lentil rice pilaf are just a tad bit insane. It’s warm and hearty and smells just like fall.

If you’re looking for things to serve this with: how about a little homemade baba ganoush, hummus, or beef shawarma made in the instant pot? You could even make these shawarma bowls and swap out the vermicelli rice for this pilaf.

I serve my pilaf with a simple Shirazi salad. Just chopped tomatoes, cucumbers, and onions, a glug or two of olive oil, a squeeze of lemon juice, a pinch of salt and pepper, and a handful of chopped mint or parsley if I’ve got it on hand. Truthfully, this recipe will take you about 30 minutes of hands-on time, but it’ll be well worth it at the end.

May your cold winter nights be just a tad bit more comfy with this soul-warming lentil rice pilaf!

Interested in in adding more plant-based meals to your diet? This recipe is for you! Lentils, although tiny, are a powerhouse of nutrition that are high in fiber, protein, and the all-important B vitamin folate. Super simple, extremely affordable, and incredibly satisfying, this recipe is a great option for a hearty breakfast, a warming lunch, or healthy dinner. Add more water to make it a soup, or eat it just as it is. You might also try it over brown rice topped with a plant-based “cheeze.” Any way you eat it, these lentils are delicious!

Note: To make this recipe you will need an 8-cup rice cooker or similar piece of equipment.

1. Add all ingredients to the rice cooker, pouring the water in last. Stir to combine and close the cooker. Turn to the white rice setting and let cook.

2. Check for doneness after 30 minutes. Lentils should be fork tender and soft when done if they are still firm, add more water and continue cooking. Fifteen minutes later, check for doneness again. Add water if necessary and cook a little longer if needed.

3. Once done, divide individual portions into bowls and serve. Let leftovers cool completely and transfer to a container with a lid and refrigerate for up to five days.

Lebanese Lentils with Rice (Mujadara)

There are many different varieties of mujadara. This dish is a mixture of green lentils and white rice. Some other varieties are Mujadara Safra which is yellow in color and made with orange lentils, a dark red one which gets its color from over-caramelized onions (to the point of almost burnt), as well as many more regional varieties. Lentils are a rich source of protein and fiber, making this dish a wonderful healthy dinner option.

This dish is definitely considered a one-pot meal. I sauté the onions in some olive oil until soft and translucent and set aside. Using the same pot, I boil the lentils for about 10 minutes before adding the washed white rice and sautéed onions. I then season with cumin, salt and pepper and let simmer for 10-15 more minutes on low heat and ta-da, dinner is served!

Growing up, Mujadara was always the dish that me and my siblings would give the biggest sigh of disappointment when we found out that it was for dinner, due to us under appreciating lentils. I wonder if my almost 1-year old daughter will be the same, as I tried to feed it to her last night with some plain yogurt and suffice to say, she was not impressed. Then again, now that me and my siblings are all older, we seem to appreciate it much more, and I am sure my daughter will too. My husband actually loves all the varieties and requests it quite often! This dish is delicious served with a salad, for example Laban w khyar, a simple tomato/cucumber/onion one, or fattoush. Many people like to eat it with pita bread or even plain yogurt. Whether served as a side dish in a big iftar dinner, or as the main course in a healthy lunch, I believe you will find this recipe a delicious healthy option.


Step 1

Place lentils in a saucepan and add water to cover by 3". Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook, adding more water if needed to keep lentils covered, until lentils are tender, about 20 minutes. Drain spread out lentils on a baking sheet and let cool.

Step 2

Meanwhile, whisk lime juice, oil, garlic, cumin, and sugar in a small bowl to combine. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 3

Combine cooled lentils, rice, tomato, chopped cilantro, and onion in a large bowl. Pour dressing over and gently mix to coat well season to taste with more salt and pepper. Top with avocado, if using. Garnish with cilantro sprigs and lime wedges for squeezing over.

How would you rate Lentil and Rice Salad?

This lentil salad has to be by far the best I have ever tasted Crunchy fresh delicious. One of the best ways to use lentils and fresh produce.

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Huh, I was fascinated by the wildly conflicted reviews, so I decided to do it exactly as listed. and it's fine. No burn warning, rice was crunchy when first released, so I added 1 minute on high pressure, then did the stirring in spinach and letting it sit- and probably if Iɽ just let it do the let-it-sit as stated in the recipe it would have been fine without the extra minute. Flavors are good.

Much like other reviewers, I was left with burnt, inedible mush on the bottom of my instant pot. This recipe needs WAY more than 2 cups of water, as written you'll get a burn warning pretty much instantly. Just make mujadara the normal way instead, avoid this recipe, and save yourself from wasting your dried goods.

Like a previous review, I followed the directions. After adding another 1 1/2 cups of water and two more 5 minute cooks times (with burn warning), most of the rice was done. Should there be more specific InstantPot instructions about adjusting timings or whether to use the keep warm setting? The result was tasty but left the cook very frustrated. I will try again with more water this time.

Made the recipe because I had spinach to use and other ingredients in the pantry. Green lentils take longer to cook than brown or red, so mine resulted a bit stiff. Rice was perfectly cooked. The 2 tsp of salt felt excessive but dish needed it. I’d recommend grating a clove of garlic into yogurt when stirring in the salt.

Smells great, but much of it is completely burnt and stuck to the bottom of the pot. I followed the recipe exactly, too. It seems salvageable for two people, but if I had to serve more Iɽ be ordering pizza right now.

Made this last night for my family - delicious! Everyone loved it, including my 9yo, 6yo and 2yo. Only changes I made were to substitute vegetable broth for the water and double the garlic. Because my broth was salty, I omitted the added salt and just let everyone salt and pepper their own dish. I was skeptical about the rice being fully cooked, because when I opened the lid the second time, it still looked crunchy. But the time with the lid resting on top finished it off perfectly. We didn't bother with the yogurt and olive oil, just topped with the crispy leeks. Will definitely be adding to my regular rotation. Thank you!

Only sub was Arugula and baby Kale instead of spinach (what I had on hand) and dish was wonderful!! Husband is low sodium and recipe was fine for him as is. Served with grilled lamb sausage. Excellent.

I followed the recipe as written and it turned out great. Only change was I didn't have allspice so I used an equal parts mixture of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The yogurt really helped add moisture to the lentil and rice mixture. Only think I would do differently is I should have salted everything more. Make sure you know how to use the instant pot's saute, high pressure, natural release, manual release, lock, and be mindful of the times and you shouldn't have a problem. I wonder if the person below used a different kind of rice? I know when I cook wild rice it takes like 6 times as long to cook in instant pot than white rice.

This recipe was total failure. I followed the recipe step by step and while the lentils were cooked the rice was raw. I tried to cook a little longer under pressure for 5 more minutes and a little more water and it only cooked the lentils to a mushy consistency and the rice was still hard in the center. Pressure cooked another 3 minutes and started to get the dreaded "Burn". Threw it all out and started again (I have a pretty stocked pantry). It pressure cooked for 15 minutes this time and used a half cup more water and the result was mushy lentils and semi raw rice. Had to throw it all out and make a quick pasta al limone. Only gave it a one fork rating because i could not submit unless i rated this recipe.

This is so delicious. I knew it would be good but not as good as it is. I followed the recipe as written and was not disappointed. Very fun to make. I also added the salted yogurt on top and it was the finishing touch. The house smelled amazing as well. We couldn't eat it right away so I left it on warm in the instant pot for about an hour. All the moisture soaked into the rice and lentils which I love. Nothing mushy. Enjoy.