Most kids get mac ‘n cheese when they cry for a quick fix; instead my mom would make me mujadara. To this day, rice and lentils together as mujadara remains my favorite comfort food. I recently learned how to make it, and although I can’t whip it up in minutes like my mom, I am beginning to understand why it is a quick fix.

Quick: Mujadara takes less than 30 minutes to make, and involves only three steps, making it easier than preparing food from a box.

Fix: Mujadara is a fix because it uses only staples from the pantry to create a filling and delicious meal. One warm bowl of mujadara satisfies everyone, from hungry kids to exhausted ultra-marathoners. My mom made mujadara for the grand potluck after the Seneca Creek 50K.

To make mujadara, start with the following ingredients:

  • 1 large onion
  • 1 cups lentils
  • 1 cup rice
  • 3 cups water
  • cumin, salt, and pepper (to taste)

I like to use red onions although, other types work equally well. onion


  1. Thinly slice and caramelize the onion.
  2. Boil the lentils in the water, then lower the heat and cook for 10 minutes (a la dente) .
  3. Add the rice (raw), caramelized onions, cumin, salt, and pepper. Stir and cook for 10 more minutes.

Serve with plain yogurt and tomato salad. Enjoy and relish the fact that this quick fix is also healthier than mac ‘n cheese!