Recipe: Brown Rice Bowl with Lentils, Caramelized Onions & Fried Egg

updated May 1, 2019
Brown Rice Bowl with Lentils, Caramelized Onions & Fried Egg
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(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

Mujadara a traditional Middle Eastern recipe made with long-grain rice, brown lentils, and caramelized onions — is typically served as a side dish. For this meatless version, we’re serving up these smoky, cumin-scented lentils with a fried egg, spicy harissa, and toasted pine nuts, and calling it a meal perfect for any time of day.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

A Meal Planning Winner

The beauty of this dish is how well you can break it into components — easily prepped on a Sunday so you can bring this one-bowl meal together at a moment’s notice for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

  • The lentil and rice mixture can be made ahead and stored in the fridge for up to five days.
  • The caramelized onions can be made ahead as well. If you’ve got some stored in the freezer from a batch you made in the slow cooker, you’ve got an even better head start. Mix half of these into the rice and lentil mixture and then store the rest separately for topping the assembled bowls.
  • When you’re ready to dish thing up, assemble these bowls with a healthy spoonful of harissa and a sprinkling of pine nuts and top with a fried egg. If you want to take this bowl for lunch, a jammy, 6 1/2-minute egg is the way to go.

Brown Rice Bowl with Lentils, Caramelized Onions & Fried Egg

Serves 4

Nutritional Info


For the mujadara:

  • 1 cup

    brown basmati rice

  • 1 cup

    brown lentils

  • 4 1/2 cups

    low-sodium vegetable broth

  • 3 tablespoons

    olive oil, divided

  • 2

    large yellow onions, thinly sliced

  • 1

    clove garlic, minced

  • 1 teaspoon

    ground cumin

  • 1/2 cup

    fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped

  • Salt

For the bowls:

  • Cooking or olive oil spray

  • 4

    large eggs

  • Salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • Paprika

  • 2 1/2 tablespoons

    spicy or mild harissa

  • 1/4 cup

    toasted pine nuts


  1. Bring the broth to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the rice, lentils, and a big pinch of salt, and return to a boil. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook until the rice and lentils are tender, about 40 minutes, adding more liquid a little at a time if all of it is absorbed before the rice and lentils are cooked. Meanwhile, cook the onions.

  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add the onions and cook until deeply browned and beginning to caramelize, about 20 minutes (add small amounts of water as needed to prevent the onions from burning; you can also continue cooking the onions for as long as the rice and lentils cook for a deeper caramelization). Add the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.

  3. When the rice and lentils are ready, remove from the heat and let sit covered for 10 minutes. Add 1/2 of the onion mixture, cumin, chopped parsley, and remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and gently fold to incorporate. Reserve the remaining onions for serving.

  4. Wipe the skillet used to cook the onions clean, lightly grease with cooking spray, and return to medium heat until the pan is hot. Crack the eggs into the pan and cook to your desired doneness. Season the eggs with salt, pepper, and a dash of paprika. (Read more: How To Fry an Egg)

  5. Divide the rice and lentil mixture equally between 4 bowls. Place a fried egg on each bowl. Garnish with the remaining caramelized onions, harissa, and toasted pine nuts.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.