Instant Pot Lentils & Rice (Mujadara) is the perfect healthy vegan meal. Lentils and rice cooked with fragrant spices and topped with caramelized onions. You will love this one-pot version where you don’t have to cook lentils and rice separately. This vegan and gluten free dish is also budget friendly and nutritious.

Instant Pot Lentils and Rice (Mujadara) in a white plate with yogurt, onions and lemon on the side.
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Are you always looking for a options for your Meatless Monday dinner?  This Mujadara with long grain basmati rice and brown lentils, is a perfect dish packed with protein and delicious. which make this dish protein packed and delicious. It goes perfectly with a side of salad and yogurt.

Watch How to Make Instant Pot Lentils & Rice (Mujadara)

What is Mujadara?

Mujaddara, or Mujadara, translates to a middle eastern Rice and Lentil preparation topped with caramelized onions which is an everyday staple in Lebanese homes.

I first had Mujadara at a small middle eastern cafe near my work place in Foster City, California. This was also the time when I had just started this blog, so about an year back. While eating it, all I could think of was this would be perfect to make in the instant pot 🙂

It is always interesting to find similarities between different cultures and cuisines. In India, lentils and rice cooked together is khichdi. This is very similar to Khichdi and I could easy call it Masoor Dal Khichdi. Masoor Dal is the whole brown lentils I used in this recipe.

The one difference would be that khichdi is not topped with caramelized onions (love, love them). The spices are also very similar. You can also top Mujadara with pine nuts or almonds.  I did not do that in this recipe.

How to make Mujadara Lentils & Rice in the Instant Pot?

Let’s go through the step-by-step recipe for Lentils & Rice in the Instant Pot. If you are new to the instant pot, check out this quick setup guide.

1 – The first and necessary step to make Mujadara as a one-pot recipe is to soak the whole brown lentils. Typically brown lentils take longer to cook than rice, so soaking them is my first hack to get them to cook perfectly with the rice. Brown lentils retain their shape and have a unique taste, which you will very much enjoy in this dish.

2 – Now cut half of the onions into slices and dice half of them. Heat oil in the instant pot and sauté the sliced onions and keep them aside to use as a topping later (left photo below). These caramelized onions is the best part of mujadara, so please don’t skip this step!

3 – Now heat some more oil in the instant pot. Add the diced onions, garlic, and sauté them till they are lightly browned. Then add the spices (picture on the right below).

4 – Drain the water from the soaked lentils. Add the lentils and water to the instant pot. Let it boil for about 3 minutes. This is the second hack so we can cook this as a one-pot recipe. As the lentils take longer to cook, we give them a little head start by letting them boil.

5 – Stir in the rice. Close the lid and pressure cook on Rice mode. The rice mode cooks on low pressure. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.

steps to cook Mujadara in the instant pot

6 – Top the cooked lentils and rice with the caramelized onions. Save some for serving.

Enjoy this delicious Instant Pot Mujadara.

What to serve with mujadara?

Here are a few options

Instant Pot Lentils and Rice (Mujadara) in a serving bowl with yogurt and lemon on the side.

How to make Lentils & Brown Rice Mujadara in Instant Pot?

We can make this Mujadara with brown rice with some minor modifications. Soak brown rice in hot water for about 2 hours. Do not soak the brown lentils. Then follow the recipe, just change the pressure cooking time to 15 mins on high pressure, followed by a 10 min natural pressure release. This means let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then release the pressure manually.

Tips for making one-pot Mujadara

  1. Soak the whole masoor dal for about an hour, so it gets soft and can cook in the same time as rice.
  2. Adjust the spices to taste. I have kept this recipe to be non spicy.
  3. Don’t forget the sautéed sliced onions. They are the best part of Mujaddara.
  4. If you want to save time, you can sauté the sliced onions on the stovetop while the rice & lentils are cooking in the instant pot.
  5. Make a large batch and enjoy for the whole week. These lentils and rice can be easily refrigerated.
  6. Typically veggies are not added in the original Mujaddara recipe, however similar to khichdi feel free to add veggies to taste. Some veggies that could cook well in the same time are – carrots, peas, potatoes, green beans, squash.
Instant Pot Lentils and Rice (Mujadara) in a white plate with yogurt, onions and lemon on the side.

Love lentils and rice? Love one-pot meals? Check out these delicious recipes:

Try these delicious Instant Pot Lentils & Rice for your next meatless dinner. A bowl of Mujadara topped with caramelized onions, some yogurt or tahini on the side…a perfect dinner!

4.82 from 96 votes

Instant Pot Lentils & Rice (Mujadara)

Instant Pot Lentils & Rice (Mujadara) is the healthy vegan and gluten free meal. Lentils and rice cooked with fragrant spices & topped with caramelized onions. You will love this one-pot version of Mujadara in instant pot where you don’t have to cook lentils and rice separately.
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 6

Ingredients 

  • 2 tablespoon Oil, to saute onions (divided)
  • 1/2 Onion , sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 Onion, diced (about 1 cup)
  • 1/2 tablespoon Garlic, minced
  • 3/4 cup Brown lentils (Whole Masoor Dal)
  • 2 cups Water , for cooking
  • 3/4 cup Basmati Rice
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro, to garnish (optional)

Spices

Instructions 

  • Rinse and soak the brown lentils for 1 hour in warm water. 
  • Heat the instant pot in saute mode and add 1 tbsp of oil in it. Add the sliced onions and saute them for about 5 minutes until they brown and are slightly crisp on the edges. Take them out and save for later. 
  • Add 1 tbsp of oil to the instant pot. Add the diced onions and garlic. Saute till they lightly brown for about 3 minutes. Add the ground coriander, cumin, cinnamon and salt. 
  • Stir in the lentils and water. Let it boil for about 6-7 minutes. This will help the lentils to get softer before we add rice. 
  • Add the rice and stir well. Press cancel and close lid with vent in sealing position. 
  • Cook on Rice mode. Instant Pot set the cooking time to 12 minutes at low pressure. Let the pressure release naturally for 10 mins, then release manually (10 minute NPR). Press cancel and take the steel insert out of the instant pot. 
  • Fluff the lentils and rice with a fork. Top the rice with the caramelized sliced onions and cilantro. Enjoy with a side of yogurt and salad.  

Video

Notes

Soaking Dal: Soak the whole masoor dal for about an hour, so it gets soft and can cook in the same time as rice.
Spice: Adjust the spices to taste. I have kept this recipe to be non spicy.
Sautéed onions: Don’t forget the sautéed sliced onions. They are the best part of Mujadara. If you want to save time, you can sauté the sliced onions on the stovetop while the rice & lentils are cooking in the instant pot.
Adding veggies: Typically veggies are not added in the original Mujaddara recipe, however similar to khichdi feel free to add veggies to taste. Some veggies that could cook well in the same time are – carrots, peas, potatoes, green beans, squash.  
Mujadara with Brown Basmati Rice: We can make this Mujadara with brown rice with some minor modifications. Soak brown rice in hot water for about 2 hours. Do not soak the brown lentils. Then follow the recipe, no need to boil the lentils before adding rice. Then change the pressure cooking time to 15 mins on low pressure, followed by a 10 min natural pressure release. This means let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then release the pressure manually.

Nutrition

Calories: 222kcalCarbohydrates: 35gProtein: 8gFat: 5gSodium: 396mgPotassium: 292mgFiber: 8gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 55IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 34mgIron: 2.2mg

Additional Info

Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Diet: Gluten-free, Vegan
Tried this recipe?Mention @pipingpotcurry or tag #pipingpotcurry!

About Meeta

I strongly believe that each one of us has a chef inside us, we just need to explore the ingredients and create great food. My passion is to share easy, healthy, and wholesome recipes made using Instant Pot & Air Fryer, that are well tested, so you can cook with confidence.

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4.82 from 96 votes (61 ratings without comment)

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115 Comments

  1. Hi, this recipe looks great! I’m only able to get green lentils where I live, do they cook differently from brown lentils?

  2. Came out very well in IP. Thank you for the recipe. Didn’t think I would like ground cinnamon in the rice. Actually it was good.

  3. I love your website. Thank you so much for sharing your cooking knowledge it’s me. I have had oral cancer surgery and radiation. This recipe was one that was easy in my tongue and I could actually taste it! It’s a great recipe. God bless you!

  4. My Grandmother and Granddad was from Lebanon and Syria, she use to make this quite often for us, I love it, with her salad and homemade yogurt and flat bread, I will make it more often now that I can make it in the ninja foodi, thanks for posting the instapot version.

    1. Hi Connie – It’s wonderful to hear that this recipe brings back fond memories of your grandmother and the delicious meals she used to make for you. Thank you for trying out the recipe and sharing your story with me.