by Olena

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

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Olena Osipov
5 from 123 votes

THE Best Instant Pot Lentil Soup with green or brown lentils, canned tomatoes and spinach. Only 5 mins of prep and no sauteing.

Ukrainian in me loves making one meal soups for dinner like Instant Pot chicken noodle soup and Instant Pot beef barley soup. They last for days, are cheap and kids love them!

Instant Pot lentil soup with spinach served in a bowl

Pressure Cooker Lentil Soup

Hey-hey, guys! Here it is, Instant Pot lentil soup with brown or green lentils, canned tomatoes and spinach. Then served with lots of fresh Parmesan cheese. Can you visualize this “yum”?

This pressure cooker lentil soup is a cross between my stovetop lentil spinach soup and slow cooker lentil soup. But even better – no sauteing and ready in an hour-ish.

You couldn’t ask for a more easy and healthy lentil soup recipe with prep time of 5 minutes. Make a huge pot and eat it all week. Considering I own “an 8 quart monster”, you better believe me when I say we will be eating soup all week haha.

Looking for more bean soup ideas? Check out Instant Pot black bean soup, Instant Pot split pea soup and Instant Pot minestrone.

Are Lentils Good for You?

Lentils are edible seeds from a legume family. So many reasons to incorporate lentils in your diet!

  • Lentils are a nutrition powerhouse – a plant-based source of complex carbs, fiber and whopping 25% of protein.
  • According to Healthline, 1 cup of cooked lentils provides 40 grams of carbs, 16 grams of fiber and 18 grams of protein.
  • Fiber in lentils helps with regular bowel movements and good bacteria growth in your gut.

And fun fact, Canada is the largest producer of lentils these days. That’s where I live.

How to Cook Instant Pot Lentils Soup

If you are new to pressure cooking, check out my Instant Pot guide. It explains what happens, why and how to avoid failures. If you don’t have one yet, I share which Instant Pot to buy .

  • Add veggies: In Instant Pot or any other electric pressure cooker, add carrots, celery and onion.
  • Add everything else: Then add green lentils, diced tomatoes, cumin, oregano, bay leaves, salt, pepper and bouillon cubes + water or veggie stock.
  • Pressure cook on high pressure for 18 minutes: Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High or Manual button. How to make Instant Pot lentil soup recipe step by step

Why No Sautéing?

Because I truly believe that food cooked under pressure is more flavorful than same ingredients cooked using a stove top method. If I have to do the same amount of work, what is the point of $100 appliance? So, don’t bother to saute veggies for this green lentil soup or beef for Instant Pot stew. Your soup will come out super delicious my way!

Natural or Quick Release?

After lentil soup is ready but Instant Pot needs to bring pressure down before you can open it, which will be indicated by a dropped down float valve. You can let it do it on its own which will take less than an hour – Natural Release.

OR you can do Quick Release by turning pressure valve to Venting position, which takes 3-4 minutes. I recommend doing so outside to avoid the mess and smell.Instant Pot lentil soup to release pressure outside

Adding More Flavor to Lentil Soup

Open the lid and you will see this beauty.

How to make pressure cooker lentil soup step by step

  • Greens: Now is the time to add spinach or kale. Tip: If you see organic box of spinach on sale – buy it and freeze it. Use to make spinach stuffed chicken breasts, green smoothies or spinach dip.
  • Fresh garlic: Nothing brightens up a soup like fresh garlic, said Ukrainian me. There is a huge difference between cooked and fresh garlic flavour. HUGE! You have to trust me on this one because I’m Ukrainian of all Ukrainians.
  • Parmesan cheese: Stir and serve soup hot garnished with Parmesan cheese. If you are strict vegan, skip Parmesan. If you are strict vegetarian, I believe they sell vegetarian Parmesan cheese or skip.

All those layers of healthy flavors! Enjoy!

Variations

  • Red lentils: Reduce cooking time down to 12 minutes. Red lentil soup comes out more mushy like split pea soup because red lentils do not hold their texture as well as green or brown lentils. I love it too!
  • Diced ham or sausage: Just add it along with other ingredients. No changes to the recipe.
  • Fresh or frozen chicken: Throw a few pieces to make Instant Pot version of chicken lentil soup. No changes to the recipe.
  • 3 quart Instant Pot: Cut 6 quart ingredients measurement in half. Same cooking time. Your pot always should be not more than 2/3 full when making soup in a pressure cooker (read more).

I told you this Instant Pot lentil soup recipe is amazing!

How to Make a Freezer Meal

  • Instant Pot: Add all ingredients in the order listed in the recipe minus water, spinach and garlic and freeze uncooked in a gallon size Ziploc bag for up to 3 months. Cook from frozen with 10 (6 quart Instant Pot) or 14 cups (8 quart Instant Pot) of water/broth for 20 minutes, after do Quick Release.
  • Slow cooker: Add all ingredients in the order listed in the recipe minus water, spinach and garlic and freeze uncooked in a gallon size Ziploc bag for up to 3 months. Cook from frozen on Low for 10 hours or on High for 5 hours.
  • After cooking: Add spinach and garlic. Stir and serve hot garnished with Parmesan cheese.

Check out my full list of 20 healthy freezer meals. I’m obsessed!

How to Store Instant Pot Lentil Soup

Freezing: Lentils freeze beautifully and there are no tender vegetables in this lentil soup either. Well, except spinach. But we already froze, thawed and cooked. So its vibrant color is gone anyways. Freeze cooled down soup leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 months.

Defrosting: Thaw on a counter overnight and reheat. For quick thawing, place frozen soup into a pot and simmer on low covered, stirring occasionally. Takes time but “crap, forgot to take out … from the freezer” happens to the best of us!

More Instant Pot Soup Recipes

Looking for more easy soup ideas? Check out my most popular collection of 45 healthy Instant Pot recipes.

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

Instant Pot Lentil Soup {No Sauteing}

THE Best Instant Pot Lentil Soup with green or brown lentils, canned tomatoes and spinach. Only 5 mins of prep and no sauteing.
4.97 from 123 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Soup
Cuisine: North American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 18 minutes
Total Time: 23 minutes
Servings: 7 (6 Qt.), 11 (8 Qt.) servings
Calories: 244kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

6 Quart Instant Pot

  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 large carrots chopped
  • 2 small celery chopped
  • 2 cups green or brown lentils rinsed & drained (uncooked)
  • 28 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes low sodium
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 1 tsp salt*
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 bouillon cubes + 10 cups water or 10 cups veggie stock low sodium**
  • 11 oz box of spinach or kale
  • 1 large garlic clove grated
  • Parmesan cheese for serving

8 Quart Instant Pot

  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 3 large carrots chopped
  • 2 small celery chopped
  • 3 cups green lentils rinsed & drained
  • 28 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes low sodium
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt*
  • Ground black pepper to taste
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 3 bouillon cubes + 14 cups water or 14 cups veggie stock low sodium**
  • 11 oz box of spinach
  • 1 large garlic clove grated
  • Parmesan cheese for serving

Instructions

  • In Instant Pot, add onion, carrot, celery, lentils, tomatoes, cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, bay leaves and bouillon cubes. Add water enough to fill up to 2/3 full line or approximately 10 cups.***
  • Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cook on High pressure for 18 minutes. Display will say ON, Instant Pot will take about 30 minutes to come to pressure, you will see a bit of steam coming out from a valve, then float valve will rise and countdown from 18 minutes will begin.
  • Lentil soup is ready but your Instant Pot needs to bring pressure down before you can open it, which will be indicated by a dropped down float valve. You can let it do it on its own which will take less than an hour - Natural Release. OR you can do Quick Release by turning pressure valve to Venting position, which takes 3-4 minutes. I recommend doing so outside to avoid the mess and smell.
  • Open the lid, add spinach and garlic, stir and serve hot garnished with Parmesan cheese.

Store: Refrigerate in an airtight container or inner Instant Pot pot with a fitting glass lid for up to 5 days.

    Make Ahead: Refrigerate chopped veggies with spices in an airtight container for up to 3 days and mix with the rest when ready to cook.

    • Freeze: Fully cook, cool completely and freeze in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw on a stovetop covered on low.

    Video

    Notes

    • *Not low sodium cans: Add less salt if using not low sodium tomatoes and stock.
    • **Liquids: I highly recommend to buy organic bouillon cubes available at many grocery stores - cheaper and more convenient than carton broth. You can also do half stock/half water to cut back on cost.
    • ***Pot not more than 2/3 full: If your inner pot doesn’t have 2/3 full marking, it is very important to fill the pot only 2/3 full when pressure cooking. Ignore the cups, L and near the edge Max ticks. Your pot always should be not more than 2/3 full when making soup (read more).
    • Red lentils: Reduce cooking time down to 12 minutes. Red lentils also do not hold their texture as well as green or brown lentils. Be prepared to be OK with more mushy soup. I love it too!
    • Diced ham or sausage: Just add it along with other ingredients. No changes to the recipe.
    • Fresh or frozen chicken: Throw a few pieces. No changes to the recipe.
    • 3 quart Instant Pot: Cut 6 quart ingredients measurement in half. Same cooking time.
    How to Make a Freezer Meal
    • Instant Pot: Add all ingredients in the order listed in the recipe minus water, spinach and garlic and freeze uncooked in a gallon size Ziploc bag for up to 3 months. Cook from frozen with 10 (6 quart Instant Pot) or 14 cups (8 quart Instant Pot) of water/broth for 20 minutes, after do Quick Release.
    • Slow cooker: Add all ingredients in the order listed in the recipe minus water, spinach and garlic and freeze uncooked in a gallon size Ziploc bag for up to 3 months. Cook from frozen on Low for 10 hours or on High for 5 hours.
    • After cooking: Add spinach and garlic. Stir and serve hot garnished with Parmesan cheese.

    Nutrition

    Serving: 2cups | Calories: 244kcal | Carbohydrates: 43g | Protein: 16g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 415mg | Potassium: 891mg | Fiber: 20g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 7169IU | Vitamin C: 18mg | Calcium: 99mg | Iron: 6mg
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    olena osipov in the studio

    Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

    My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys, a wife to Alex and we reside on magical Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. This is our healthy family recipes blog. Originally from Ukraine, I grew up on real food. As an adult, I struggled with diets for years because none worked long-term. Now for over 10 years, I cook easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

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