by Olena

Instant Pot Lentil Soup (Video)

by Olena

4.9 from 28 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 28 reviews

Best Instant Pot Lentil Soup Recipe 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.

74 comments on “Instant Pot Lentil Soup (Video)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

    1. Me and my family LOVE lentil soup! This recipe is awesome. We try and get all of our veggies from our local farmers market. This soup is so wholesome and filling . I always feel so good after I eat it. We try to make it at least a few times a month. The fresh garlic at the end is what makes this lentil soup so good! Thankyou!

  1. I use my mom’s old (1960’s, made in Canada) Presto 6qt. pressure cooker. Did you know that the Instant Pot was invented by a guy from Kanata (Ottawa) Ontario? “https://ottawacitizen.com/business/local-business/the-ottawa-inventor-behind-instant-pot-is-coming-for-the-rest-of-your-kitchen”
    But I am a cheapskate because the old Presto is what I already have. I followed your recipe but I still cook my onions with the garlic until they become translucent because it seems to bring the garlic out a bit more and used shredded red cabbage because it was time to use it or toss it. also used a pinch (~1 tsp.) of crushed dried red peppers and used a bit of Maggi instead of any additional salt or the second bouillion cube. Still tasted delicious and reminds me of my German mom cooking for her 10 kids. Try Maggi next time, it really is a wonder spice just cut the salt.

    1. I knew Instant Pot is Canadian. Wang didn’t invent electric pressure cooker but came up with a smart name for his brand.
      Using old pressure cooker you are comfortable with is great!
      I would not be using Maggi because I like healthy ingredients of my organic bouillon cubes better.:) Glad you enjoyed your version of my soup and made your own.

  2. I don’t even care for lentils and I thought this soup was absolutely delicious!!!! My family loved it too!

  3. Love love love your videos – and will try this soup this week! In fact I googled Instant Pot lentil soup and landed here – where I was anyway earlier today!

    Just one little thing – it would be lovely if the music wasn’t playing while you were talking. Just distracting (for some brains that automatically go to the music!) and it’s your words that are the gems. It’s like if you went to a lecture, music wouldn’t be playing while the famous lecturer was speaking, right? That’s you – Ms. Famous Instant Pot Lecturer. Demo-er. 🙂

    1. Yay, perfect! Please let me know how you like it with the star review haha. I will pass on your wishes to the videographer and editor.:) We might lower the volume, can’t get rid of it completely but will definitely pay attention to the volume next time.:) Hope you like the soup, Beth.:)

  4. Just made, it was excellent. Grew up with lentil soup as a regular part of the rotation but haven’t had it in years. Was looking for something that looked familiar to what I remember my mother doing. This one though may have been better since we never added the cumin, spinach and garlic. Very tasty. Made 1/2 batch to try but will be doing full batch from now on.

  5. I love this video. Ukrainians truly love EVERYTHING garlic. My Ukrainian Baba used to rub it on my toast! Can’t wait to try this soup!

    1. YES, we do! We rub it on toasts lol. My fave from childhood was fresh dark rye bread rubbed with garlic, spread with baba’s sour cream and sprinkled with salt. How can I enjoy McDonald’s after being raised on baba’s real food?! Haha. That is real yummy food!

  6. Oh yum, this is so good. My 13 year old daughter asked me what was cooking (the smell) and I told her dinner. She ate her serving in under 5 mins.

  7. This is so yummy. I add bacon to it, then top with shredded cheddar cheese and a dollop of sour cream. Love it!

  8. Flavor was terrific. I liked adding garlic at end – really boosted the flavor. I have a 3 quart and didn’t get the measurements quite right so it was a little watery but still delicious. Thanks.

  9. Made this today. Quick, easy, and very thick. Can’t use any spice so put cubes of pesto in it. Very wholesome.
    Thank you so much

  10. I have made many different lentil soups over the years and I must say this is one of the best ever. I used canned San Marzano tomatoes and chopped them up which I think added even more flavor compared to just regular diced tomatoes. This recipe is definitely a keeper!!

    I also just found your site and I have yet to browse through your recipes, but I hope you have some authentic Ukrainian dishes because my husband is Ukrainian and I’m American which means I have little knowledge of his cuisine haha hopefully some of your recipes will help me out with that. Thank you!!

    1. Awesome!!! Happy to hear, Lisa. Welcome and so happy you found my website. I have some, not many. I would say my cooking is influenced by my Ukrainian roots but is more of West Coast and American style. Ukrainian food is time consuming or not that good for you haha. It’s treat. Borscht and cabbage rolls are my faves.

  11. Made it. Added ham. Delicious. My 12 yo daughter said we needed to add it to the regular menu. Was not hard to make either.

The information on this website is for educational purposes only. It has not been evaluated by the FDA and is not intended to diagnose, treat, prevent, or cure any disease. You assume full responsibility and liability for your own actions.

This page may contain affiliate links. ifoodreal.com is a participant of Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. If you make a purchase, we will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. It helps keep iFOODreal recipes free. Thanks for your support!