M’juddarah (Lentils, Rice, and Caramelized Onions)

A protein-packed side dish or vegetarian main, m’juddarah is a humble dish of lentils and rice topped with addictively delicious caramelized onions.


Isn’t it funny how the most simple and basic foods are the often ones we crave most regularly? M’Juddarah, a Lebanese side dish, is exactly that: nothing more than a humble yet satisfying bowl of lentils and rice topped with caramelized onions and maybe a dollop or two of plain yogurt. You can serve it warm, room temperature, or cold out of the refrigerator. My great aunt Vieve would make it often, and it was always served alongside her amazing Middle-Eastern dinner spreads. I learned a lot of Lebanese cuisine in her kitchen, and I love shar it with you!  


  • Oil: I like to use olive oil as it’s heart healthy, and blends well flavor wise. But vegetable or canola oil will also get the job done.
  • Onion: A white or yellow onion will give you a delicious mild flavor that caramelizes really well!
  • Lentils: High in protein, and earthy and nutty in flavor, I usually use brown or green lentils, but you could use any color.
  • Rice: Keeping the dish simple and classic, I use white, short-grain rice. But use what you have!

How to Make M’Juddarah

Rinsing rice

Start your m’juddarah by rinsing your rice and your lentils.

Adding onions to pot

Then in a medium sized pot, hear some oil over medium-high heat and sauté your sliced onion until it becomes a rich, caramel color. Remove and set aside.

Toasting lentils in pot

Then in the same pot, add the lentils and toast for about a minute.

Adding water to pot

Then pour in the water. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and simmer until the lentils are halfway done, about 15 minutes.

Adding rice to pot

Then add your rice as well as some salt and pepper to taste. Bring back to a boil and stir to combine, then cover with a lid and reduce the heat down to a simmer until fully cooked and liquid is fully absorbed.

Serving mjuddarah in a bowl

Serve your rice and lentils in a bowl before topping with the caramelized onions.

Dolloping yogurt onto m'juddarah.

Top your m’juddarah with plain yogurt and fresh herbs, and enjoy!

Frequently Asked Questions:

What does m’juddarah mean?

M’juddarah, or mujaddara, means “pockmarked” since the lentils among the rice resemble pockmarks.

What countries eat mujadara?

Many Middle Eastern countries eat it, including Lebanon, Iraq, and Egypt.

How do you store leftovers?

Keep the leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.

M'juddarah (lentils, rice, and caramelized onions)

More Lebanese Dishes

Eat It, Like It, Share it!

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Liz eating m'juddarah

While this dish brings back fond, nostalgic memories for me, I hope that serving it to your family will help you build fond memories of your own around the dinner table. M’juddarah is simple, but delicious, and I know you’ll enjoy it.

Your fork is waiting.


M’Juddarah (Lentils, Rice, and Caramelized Onions)

3.74 stars average
A protein-packed side dish or vegetarian main, this humble dish of lentils and rice is topped with addictively delicious caramelized onions.
PREP: 5 minutes
COOK: 45 minutes
TOTAL: 50 minutes
Servings: 4


  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion (thinly sliced)
  • 1 ¾ cups lentils (rinsed and sorted)
  • 1 cup rice (white par-boiled)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper


  • Heat oil in a deep sauce pot over medium heat and sauté onions until translucent and caramelized, 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently. Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste. Remove from pan and set aside.
  • In the same pan, add lentils and increase heat to medium-high. Toast lentils for 60 seconds then add 6 cups water. Bring pot to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer until lentils are halfway cooked, about 15 minutes.
  • Add rice, salt and pepper to the pot and bring mixture to a boil. Stir once, cover with lid, then reduce heat to low. Cook until all liquid is absorbed, about 15 minutes.
  • Fluff lentils and rice with a fork before serving with caramelized onions. Serve with plain yogurt or Lebanese Cucumber Laban if you wish.


Calories: 296kcalCarbohydrates: 49.8gProtein: 7.4gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gSodium: 926mgFiber: 6.1gSugar: 2.5g

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70 thoughts on “M’juddarah (Lentils, Rice, and Caramelized Onions)”

  1. Love the combo, Liz. I’ve been cooking a lot with lentils recently. Did you know you can make caramelized onions in the crockpot? I just made a big batch. Slice onions, sprinkle with a little olive oil, and cook on high for about 8 hours. The recipe, which I saved ages ago, uses six cups of onions to two tablespoons olive oil. You can freeze leftovers for use later. No standing over the stove trying not to burn the onions!

  2. Aunt Vieve’s onions were fried to a perfection of crispiness. not one stuck to another so
    I don’t think of them so much as carmalized, but crisp. crunch crunch

  3. Hi Liz ! I don’t post much, but I love your blog! (Read it every day!!) I love your stories. Love your pics, family & recipes!! Every one is a winner!! You are an inspiration. I Have 2 grown kids & 2 granddaughters. I wish I had blogs like yours 30 years ago when I was raising my kids!! I cringe when I think back to those days of Kraft Mac & cheese and frozen chicken fingers. Despite that, my kids are wonderful. My daughter does BLF w her 2 & grandma now shops at TJs, Whole Foods & cooks healthy dishes like your recipes!!! Thank you so much !!
    I love lentils & def trying M’Juddarah. Is it sacrilege to use brown rice? I don’t have white in the house but can always get some.
    Thanks again!!!

  4. I may have said this before, but I love that you post Lebanese recipes. I had a Lebanese boyfriend in the distant past, who taught me how to make hummus (and introduced me to pita bread, tahini and string cheese). So the Lebanese version is my gold standard for hummus, and besides that, the food is very tasty. This dish sounds absolutely wonderful, so I’m adding it to my long list of recipes to try.

  5. Oh I’ve made this once before! From a cookbook and I had no clue what the end result was supposed to be except lentils and onions haha Yours definitely looked better than mine (and I bet yours may even taste better ;) )

    1. hahah I want to be her too!! Isn’t she so cute? I’m so jealous that you found good m’juddarah!! I’ve tried it in many restaurants and it’s always overly cooked and mushy. The lentils should have a bit of a bite to them still and the rice shouldn’t be too puffy. And yes, they definitely deep fry the onions. :) My Aunt French fries them and they are to die for!!

  6. Oh I love this so much! And I love that pic of your Aunt!! What a great recipe, and I can see why you would crave it. I am craving it right now!

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