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Instant Pot Mujadara - a comforting, healthy vegetarian meal of lentils and rice, with fragrant Moroccan spices, served with caramelized shallots, fresh veggies, pine nuts and optional yogurt. Gluten-free and Vegan adaptable.

Instant Pot Mujadara

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 25
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 5
  • Category: Main, vegetarian, vegan, gluten free, instant pot,
  • Method: instant pot
  • Cuisine: middle eastern


Instant Pot Mujadara – a comforting, healthy vegetarian meal of lentils and rice, with fragrant Moroccan spices, served with caramelized shallots, fresh veggies, pine nuts and optional yogurt. Gluten-free and Vegan adaptable. To make this on the stove top…see recipe notes.


  • 1 cup brown lentils (do not split lentils) see notes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 23 fat shallots, thinly sliced ( or 1 red onion)
  • 4 cloves garlic, rough chopped
  • 2 teaspoons  cumin
  • 1 teaspoons coriander
  • 1 teaspoon allspice
  • ½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric, optional
  • ¼ teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried mint or parsley ( or use a tablespoon of fresh)
  • lemon zest from one small lemon
  • 3 cups water (updated from 3 1/2 cups- see notes if using white rice)
  • 1 cup brown basmati rice (rinsed and drained- see notes for white basmati rice)

Garnishes: caramelized shallot or onion, diced tomato, simple roasted veggies, diced avocado, sprouts or greens, sliced cucumber, pine nuts, a drizzle of olive oil, yogurt,  vegan yogurt, zhoug yogurt (amazing),  lemon wedges, fresh parsley, aleppo chili flakes. (In winter, serve with roasted root veggies, shredded kale, carrots, or cabbage or beets!


  1. Place lentils in a bowl and cover with hot tap water (or boiling water), letting them soak until time to add to the instant pot.
  2. Set Instant Pot to Saute function. Saute shallots in the oil, 4-5 minutes, stirring constantly,  until tender and fragrant and slightly caramelized. Remove half, saving for the topping. Add the garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add all the spices, salt, lemon zest and water. Stir. Drain the lentils and add them along with the rinsed rice to the instant pot.  Give a good stir.
  3. Cover the instant pot and set to High pressure for 11 minutes. Let naturally release for at least 10 minutes.
  4. In the meantime, prep any garnishes you like.
  5. To serve, gently fluff the Mujadara with a fork (do not over mix, or it will get mushy ).  Divide among bowls, drizzle with olive oil, add tomatoes, avocado, caramelized shallots, sprouts, a spoonful of yogurt or zhoug yogurt, or tahini sauce – and fresh parsley or mint.
  6. Feel free to serve with other seasonal veggies ( roasted root veggies, shredded cabbage or carrots, etc).


LENTILS & RICE: If you use different lentils (like small ones) or different rice (like white basmati) you will have to adjust the liquid down a bit. Most Lentils take 9 minutes  (unless they’re very small) to cook in the Instant Pot. White Basmati Rice takes 5 minutes in the pressure cooker. That is why we use brown basmati rice here, because they take roughly the same amount to time to cook.

WHITE RICE If using white basmati rice, shorten the cooking time to 9 minutes and reduce water to 2.5 cups. The rice will still get slightly mushy, but not horribly.

This can be made ahead and refrigerated and used as a healthy base for mid-week lunches.

In fall, winter you could serve with roasted winter squash or root veggies.

STOVE TOP: To make this on the stovetop, and if using large brown lentils, par-cook them in boiling water for 15 minutes.  While the lentils are boiling, heat oil in a dutch oven and cook the shallots, stirring often until golden and caramelized. Remove half and continue with the recipe. Drain the lentils and add it along with rice, spices, salt, water to the pot. Bring to a simmer, cover tightly and cook on low heat for 20 minutes. Check to see if lentils and rice are tender. If not, continue to cook a few more minutes, adding more water if necessary. If using small black or green lentils, check cooking directions for cooking time. Adjust par cooking time according to the size of a lentil. For example, tiny black beluga lentils take 20 minutes to cook, so you would not need to par-cook.  Please leave your adjustments below to help other users, thanks!

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