This One Pot Mujadara with leeks and greens checks all boxes: it has the healthy goodness of lentils, rice, and beans, it is a mess-free recipe that comes together in minutes, and it is absolutely delicious. Vegan, soy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free recipe.
Mujadara, a Lebanese medley of onions, rice and lentils, is delicious proof that the simplest of recipes can sometimes be the most satisfying and flavorful.
I have been making this One Pot Mujadara in my kitchen for years, after seeing a recipe in the New York Times that used leeks instead of onions. I have tweaked the recipe a bit over time, and it’s even more delicious now.
There are many reasons I love it. Chief among them, this mujadara is:
-Versatile, you can switch up the greens with whatever you have handy
-A complete meal
-Healthy, of course
-Kid-friendly! Yes, Jay loves it and polishes off his plate in minutes.
There are healthy greens and lentils and rice in the recipe, so it is truly a complete meal. All you need to do is to ladle it out into bowls or on plates and serve. I sometimes serve it with some fresh summer veggies, like cherry tomatoes or cucumbers.
You do need to cook the lentils a bit first, but you can do it in the same pot. You can also use any greens. I often use kale but this time I had some baby spinach and spring greens sitting in the refrigerator, so I went with those.
This is an almost foolproof recipe and it packs so much flavor for so little work that it’s almost criminal. Oh, and did I say it was quick? But you don’t have to take my word for it. Here’s the recipe for my vegan One Pot Mujadara.
One Pot Mujadara with Leeks
This one pot mujadara with leeks and greens checks all boxes: it has the healthy goodness of lentils, rice, and beans, it is a mess-free recipe that comes together in minutes, and it is absolutely delicious. Vegan, soy-free, gluten-free, and nut-free.
- 2 leeks, cleaned thoroughly. Trim the roots and slice the white and green parts into thin ribbons (use a large onion if you can’t find leeks)
- 1 cup brown lentils (whole masoor, sabut masoor).
- 3/4 cup basmati or other long-grain rice
- 1 tsp cumin powder
- 1 tsp allspice powder
- 5 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 1-inch stick of cinnamon
- Salt to taste
- 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 4 cups leafy greens(use any combination of vegetables. I used 3 cups of spring greens and 1 cup of baby spinach). You can chop larger leaves into smaller bits.
Place the lentils in a large pot and add enough water to cover by an inch. Place the pot on the stove and when the water boils, cover and cook the lentils for seven minutes. Drain immediately and reserve.
Heat the oil in the same pot. Add the leeks and a pinch of salt and saute, stirring, over medium-high heat until the leeks start to caramelize.
Remove half the leeks to a bowl and set aside.
- To the pot with the remaining leeks, add the garlic and bay leaves, stir for about 30 seconds, and then add the cumin, allspice and cayenne. Stir for a few seconds to coat with the oil and then add the rice. Saute for a few seconds until the rice turns opaque.
- Add the drained lentils, cinnamon, and salt to taste. Stir well, then add 4 cups of water.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then lower the heat to low until the water just simmers. Place a tight-fitting lid on the pot and let it steam away for 15 minutes.
- Open the pot, arrange the greens on top in an even layer, cover, and cook for five more minutes. Turn off the heat.
- Let the mujadara stand at least 10 minutes before opening the pot. Garnish with the reserved leeks and serve hot.