Learn how to cook lentils in Instant Pot with the no soak method! Super easy Instant Pot Lentils (Pressure Cooker Lentils) Recipe that makes perfectly tender & evenly cooked lentils. Your family & friends will enjoy this soul-soothing, hearty, flavorful side dish or tasty sauce over rice or pasta.
Comforting . Delicious . Satisfying
We love cooking lentils in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker because it’s a super easy “hands-off” way to evenly cook lentils that comes out tender but not mushy!
These Instant Pot Lentils makes a tasty savory-umami side dish or you can easily serve it over rice, pasta, spaghetti squash, noodles…to make a comforting & wholesome meal.
What are Lentils?
Lentils are high protein legumes, pack with fibre, iron, & complex carbohydrates, yet low in calories & fat.
There are whole lentils & split lentils among the different varieties of lentils (i.e. Red Lentils, Yellow Lentils, Green Lentils, Puy Lentils, Beluga Lentils).
Not only are lentils super quick & easy to cook (no need to soak before cooking), they’re a great & versatile ingredient. Lentils can be used for soups, stews, curry, salads, or casseroles. They’re also great for your vegetarian or vegan diets.
So, time to stock up some lentils in your pantry! 😀
Ingredients for Instant Pot Lentils
- Lentils – We used Green Lentils to develop this lentils recipe because they hold up well after cooking and have a nutty taste. If you use Red Lentils, it’ll not hold up as well as they may come out mushy.
- Unsalted Chicken Stock – Different brands or even different batches of the same brand of salted chicken stock can differ in levels of sodium, so we prefer to develop recipes using unsalted chicken stock for more control & consistency on the dish’s flavor profile. Best if you can make your own chicken stock! 😀
- Vegan Option: Substitute chicken stock with vegetable stock.
Our Secret Ingredients:
- Smoked Sausage – We used smoke sausage in this lentils recipe to kick it up a notch! First, we used the sausages’ smoky-savory flavors & aroma to saute the garlic & onion; secondly, it’ll add a smoky-savory-umami dimension to the lentils; lastly, it’ll add an extra satisfying chew texture to the bowl of hearty lentils.
- Vegan Option: Omit sausage if you’re making this Vegan or Vegetarian.
- Soy Sauce – We used regular soy sauce (aka Light Soy Sauce – NOT low sodium soy sauce) to develop this recipe. Take note that different brands or even different bottles of the same brand of soy sauce can differ in the levels of sodium and taste. So be sure to taste & adjust the amount accordingly.
- Fish Sauce – Fish sauce is one of our favorite culinary weapons as it adds a tasty magical touch of savory-umami depth of flavors to the lentils. Take note that not all fish sauces are created equal, so it’s best to use High Quality Fish Sauce.
- Vegan Option: Substitute fish sauce with regular soy sauce.
Step by Step Guide: Instant Pot Lentils
Prepare the ingredients for cooking lentils in Instant Pot.
We used Kielbasa sausage for this recipe, but if you can’t find them in your local market, any smoked sausages will work fine.
We freshly ground our cumin seeds for maximum flavor & aroma, but ground cumin will work.
First, rinse lentils in cold water, then remove any debris & drain well.
*Pro Tip: You don’t need to soak lentils before cooking! 🙂
Tools for Instant Pot Lentils
First, press “Saute” button to “Sauté More” function to heat up Instant Pot. It will switch to “ON” on the screen.
Wait until it says “HOT” on the screen (takes roughly 8 minutes).
*Pro Tip: Make sure Instant Pot is as hot as it can be in order to induce a maillard reaction.
Now, add 2 tbsp (30g) ghee or unsalted butter in your Instant Pot.
Then, add sliced sausages in Instant Pot and saute for 5 minutes.
Saute Onions & Garlic
Now, add diced onion and shallot in Instant Pot, then saute for 3 minutes.
Add minced garlic, 1 tsp (2.7g) ground cumin, and 2 bay leaves in Instant Pot, then saute for another minute.
Deglaze Instant Pot
Now, pour ½ cup (125ml) unsalted stock in Instant Pot, then deglaze by scrubbing all the flavorful brown bits off the bottom of the pot (as shown in below photo).
Give it a quick mix.
Pressure Cook Lentil
Add 2 cups of green lentils, diced carrots, diced celery, 1 tbsp (15ml) regular soy sauce, and 1 tbsp (15ml) fish sauce in Instant Pot Pressure Cooker.
Pour 3½ cups (875ml) unsalted chicken stock in Instant Pot, then give it a quick mix.
Finally, layer 14oz (400g) crushed tomatoes on top of the other ingredients in Instant Pot. Do not mix.
With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position.
- Pressure Cooking Methods: Pressure Cook at High Pressure 10 minutes + Natural Release 10 minutes
After 10 minutes, release the remaining pressure by turning Venting Knob to Venting Position.
When Floating Valve drops, open the lid carefully.
Thicken & Season
If you like, you can stir & thicken the Instant Pot Lentils with the “Saute More” function.
Finally, don’t forget to taste the lentils, then adjust the seasoning accordingly. 🙂
*Pro Tip: For reference, you will need roughly 1 – 2 pinches of salt to open up the flavors & season the lentils properly.
Serve Instant Pot Lentils
This Instant Pot Lentils makes an excellent side dish, main dish, or sauce. You can serve the lentils over rice, pasta, noodles, spaghetti squash…
No matter how you serve these tasty lentils, garnish it with some freshly grated umami Parmesan cheese. Enjoy~ 😀
*Pro Tip: You can add a dash of balsamic vinegar for another layer of flavor. As always, first taste test with a small portion in a separate bowl to see if you like this flavor profile before adding the balsamic vinegar to the whole pot of Instant Pot Lentils.
Enjoy your Instant Pot lentils!
Instant Pot Lentils
- 2 cups (400g) split green lentils
- 4 cups (1L) unsalted chicken stock or vegetable stock
- 2 (0.5g) bay leaves
- 2 (228g) carrots , roughly diced
- 2 ribs (209g) celery , roughly diced
- 2 tablespoons (30g) ghee or unsalted butter (vegan option - olive oil)
- 1 pound (454g) smoked kielbasa sausage , sliced (omit if vegan)
- 1 (240g) onion , roughly diced
- 1 (70g) shallot , roughly diced
- 6 cloves (18g) garlic , roughly minced
- 14 oz (400g) crushed tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon (2.7g) cumin seed , ground
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) regular soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon (15ml) fish sauce (you can substitute it with regular soy sauce)
- A dash balsamic vinegar (optional)
- Freshly grated parmesan cheese
♥ Share this Recipe so We can create more yummy recipes for you. Thank you 🙂
- Brown Sausage: Press “Saute” button to “Sauté More” function to heat up Instant Pot. Wait until “HOT” appears on the screen (~8mins). Add 2 tbsp (30g) ghee or unsalted butter in Instant Pot. Add in sliced sausages, then saute for 5 minutes.
- Saute Onions & Garlic: Add in diced onion and shallot, then saute for 3 minutes. Add in minced garlic, 1 tsp (2.7g) ground cumin, and 2 bay leaves, then saute for another minute.
- Deglaze: Pour in ½ cup (125ml) unsalted stock, then deglaze by scrubbing all the flavorful brown bits off the bottom of the pot. Give it a quick mix.
- Pressure Cook Lentils: Add in 2 cups (400g) green lentils, diced carrots, diced celery, 1 tbsp (15ml) regular soy sauce, and 1 tbsp (15ml) fish sauce. Pour in 3½ cups (875ml) unsalted stock, then give it a quick mix. Layer 14 oz (400g) crushed tomatoes on top of the other ingredients in Instant Pot - do not mix!With Venting Knob in Venting Position, close the lid, then turn Venting Knob to Sealing Position. Pressure Cook at High Pressure 10 minutes + Natural Release 10 minutes. Open the lid carefully.
- Thicken & Season: If desired, stir & thicken the lentils with the "Saute More" function. Taste & adjust the seasoning accordingly. *Pro Tip: For reference, add roughly 1 - 2 pinches of salt to open up the flavors & season properly.
- Serve: Garnish lentils with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. You can serve these tasty lentils as a side dish, main dish, or serve them on top of rice or pasta. *Pro Tip: You can add a dash of balsamic vinegar for another layer of flavor. Be sure to first taste test with a small portion in a separate bowl to see if you like this flavor profile before adding it to the whole pot of lentils.
More Instant Pot Lentils Recipe
All Our Pressure Cooker Recipes
*Disclosure: We are an Amazon Influencer/Amazon Associate. This means that if you decide to purchase items or services on Amazon through our links on Pressure Cook Recipes to Amazon, Amazon will send a small commission to us at no additional costs to you. Thank you!