by Olena

Instant Pot Lentil Soup (Video)

by Olena

4.9 from 39 reviews

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 tortilla soup, Instant Pot borscht and chicken wild rice 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 spin-off of my stove top spinach lentil soup recipe but even more simple. Lentils soup cooked in Instant Pot requires no sauteing because I see no point, honestly. I explain why below along with my veggies stock and spinach tips.

You couldn’t ask for a more simple 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 this soup all week haha.

Looking for more dinner ideas? Check out my most popular collection of 30 healthy Instant Pot recipes.

Are Lentils Good for You?

Lentils are a nutrition powerhouse – a plant-based source of complex carbs, fiber and whopping 25% of protein. Yeah! Lentils are edible seeds from a legume family. 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. So many reasons to incorporate lentils in your diet!

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 an Instant Pot yet but are thinking about buying one, I explain which Instant Pot to buy in my humble opinion.

  1. In Instant Pot or any other electric pressure cooker, add carrots, celery and onion.
  2. Then add green lentils, diced tomatoes, cumin, oregano, bay leaves, salt, pepper and bouillon cubes + water or veggie stock.
  3. Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cooking on high pressure for 18 minutes.How to make Instant Pot lentil soup recipe step by step

Why No Sautéing?

Because I truly believe that you don’t always have to when it comes to pressure cooking. 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 as with stovetop method, what is the point of $100 appliance? So, don’t bother. Your green lentil soup will be 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 Vegan Lentil Soup

  1. Open the lid and you will see this beauty. Now is the time to add spinach or kale.

  2. Then it is time to add 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.
  3. Stir and serve 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!

Tip: If you see organic box of spinach on sale – buy it and freeze it. Use in soups, green smoothies or make healthy spinach dip.

How to make pressure cooker lentil soup step by step

Variations of Instant Pot Lentil Soup Recipe

  • You can make lentil soup with red lentils if you 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!
  • If you want to add diced ham or sausage I will not judge you. Just add it along with other ingredients. No changes to the recipe.
  • Throw a few pieces of fresh or frozen chicken. No changes to the recipe.
  • If you have 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!

Make a Freezer Meal

Add all ingredients in the order listed in the recipe minus water, spinach and garlic and freeze uncooked in a gallon size Ziploc bag. Cook from frozen with 10 or 14 cups of water for 20 minutes. Do quick release, then add spinach and garlic.

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

Can I Freeze Soup?

Absolutely. 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.

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 Vegetarian Soups to Try:

Did you know we have entire Youtube channel dedicated to healthy Instant Pot recipes and tips? My goal is to help you become confident with your Instant Pot by demonstrating each delicious foolproof recipe in step-by-step videos.

Make sure to subscribe and hit the Bell icon not to miss new videos.

Print

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

4.9 from 39 reviews

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

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • Total Time: 23 minutes
  • Yield: 7 (6 Qt.), 11 (8 Qt.) servings 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: North American
Scale

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

  1. 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.***
  2. Close the lid, set pressure vent to Sealing and press Pressure Cooking 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

Freezer Meal: Add all ingredients in the order listed in the recipe minus water, spinach and garlic and freeze uncooked in a gallon size Ziploc bag. Cook from frozen with 10 or 14 cups of water for 20 minutes. Do quick release, then add spinach and garlic.

Notes

*Add less salt if using not low sodium tomatoes and stock.

**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.

***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).

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

101 comments on “Instant Pot Lentil Soup (Video)

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  1. Thank you for this excellent recipe! I made a few changes…used 4 cups chicken bone broth, 6 cups liquid and 2 chicken bullion packets. After cooking, I added about 1/4 lb Spanish style chorizo, diced. I also added fresh torn spinach and fresh garlic as you suggested. Served with shaved Parmesan. This makes A LOT! Perfect for a week’s worth of lunches and/or leftovers.

  2. I wanted to make sure before I make this recipe- I am using the Better than Bouillon Vegetable Base. I have the 6 qt instant pot, so should I use 3.75 tbsp of veg bouillon (since it says 10 cups stock)? This seems like a lot!

    1. I made this soup tonight! So tasty and I’m so grateful for your easy and healthy recipes! I had a yellow bell pepper left in my fridge so I put half chopped in the soup (and half for the salad I made to go with it!) I also put in a little ground turkey as I can’t quite cut the cord on some sort of meat in our meals. Everything complimented the soup in a wonderful way. I will definitely be making this a lot this winter!

  3. Made this soup tonight and it is excellent! Very easy and so tasty! I’m new to Instant Pot and am loving your recipes. Thank you so much!

  4. Thank you so much for the EXCELLENT recipe! My family does not care much for lentils but this recipe was loved by my husband, and I especially loved the ease of it with the wonderful taste!!!! (Being 52 with 7 children still at home, ease is so needed for me!) I just wish I knew how to get grated garlic off the grater! That was the hardest part for me! Thank you so very much!!!!

    1. Awesome!!! Happy to hear, Tina.
      From the inside. If you use a Microplane, I bang it on the pot first and then scrape with fingers at the back. And big box grater I just put my hand in there and scrape inside.

  5. Mmmmm Goooood!

    I am new to the Instant Pot, but found this recipe easy and it was delicious. I’ve packed up a big jar to take to my niece who is attending University locally. She likes to eat healthy!

  6. Thank you so much for this simple and delicious recipe! Not having to sauté does not sacrifice any flavor (although it would not hurt I’m sure to enhance the dish) and it was super helpful to have you include variations as well. Added some boneless/skinless chicken thighs since we are carnivores, and all three kids (under 8) had 2nd helpings. Us parents as well 🙂

    This is certainly going to be a go-to dish at least a couple of times per month.

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