This recipe is: Vegan | Vegetarian | High Fiber | Heart Healthy | Gluten Free | Low Sodium 

This recipe is quite like a Lebanese dish, Mujadarrah. It is one of my favorite vegetarian and rice-based main dishes –  so fragrant, rich and delicious.
Mesa de Vida North African inspired healthy cooking sauce gives this recipe Moroccan inspiration, and our sauce makes it so easy.

The concentrated blend of vegetables and whole ground spices contains all the complex, rich, aromatic seasonings already prepared for you, so it makes quick work of this incredible dish that is oh-so satisfying and flavorful.


The flavor base created with the caramelized onions, roasted bell peppers and Mesa de Vida North African inspired healthy cooking sauce can also be the wonderfully flavorful and aromatic beginning for hundreds of dishes.

Mix this magic mixture into leftover cooked grains and ground seeds and form into a superb and simple vegetarian no-meat loaf; add some broth, beans and chopped vegetables from the summer bounty for an incredible summer stew; add some chicken, lamb, beef or fish, a bit of water, and simmer until the meat is cooked.  Or turn this into a Harira-inspired stew by using just ¼ cup each lentils and rice, adding a can of chickpeas, a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes, and 6 cups of broth. Stir it all into the slow cooker and let it cook on low for 6 hours. Stir in 2 cups of baby spinach during the last 5 minutes and serve.

What will you be inspired to make?

I hope you enjoy this delicious recipe that turns simple rice and lentils into an incredible meal! This is how simple it is to make:

Moroccan lentil, rice and caramelized onion pilaf

Serves 8


1 cup red lentils, rinsed
1 cup rice, rinsed (if using brown rice use rice that has been par-cooked for 40 minutes)
6 cups water
2 tsp healthy oil/fat of your choice
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1 cup jarred roasted red bell peppers (or 1 fresh roasted red bell pepper), diced
1 jar (9 oz) Mesa de Vida North African inspired healthy cooking sauce
Salt and harissa to taste (our North African cooking sauce is low in sodium and heat so you control the salt and heat level, allowing those with a range of palates to be able to enjoy our cooking sauces)
1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional as our cooking sauce already contains cinnamon in the complex whole ground spice blend, but a bit extra in this dish is wonderful)
Garnish with fresh chopped cilantro and crumbled feta cheese if you wish


  • Bring the lentils, rice and water to a boil, cook for 20 minutes, then drain.
  • Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat, when hot add oil, swirl to coat. Add the sliced onions and toss to coat. Cook, stirring often, until the onions become deep golden brown and caramelized. Stir in the roasted bell peppers, the North African cooking sauce, salt/harissa/cinnamon (if using), lower the heat to medium low and simmer for 10 minutes to allow the flavors to blend and develop. (Our healthy cooking sauces are almost raw, having only been cooked for 30 seconds.)
  • Turn off the heat and fold in the drained & cooked lentils and rice.
  • Serve topped with fresh cilantro and feta cheese if you like and enjoy!

Like this recipe? Try another vegetarian dish with Moroccan flair like our creamy butternut squash bisque!

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