Instant Pot Lentil Soup

This Instant Pot Lentil Soup is the absolute easiest way to get a tasty, healthy meal on the table in minutes. Put everything directly into your pressure cooker (no sautéing necessary) and cook for 15 minutes.

Pressure cooker lentil and sausage soup in a rustic bowl with spoon next to it.

Our basement flooded a few weeks ago. It was annoying and gross in all the ways those things are, but luckily we had already known our basement was a flood risk, so we don’t keep much down there. And what we do is all up high, off the ground.

The one exception, for some reason, was my Instant Pot. When we ran to the basement after we realized how heavy the rain was, I saw the Instant Pot sitting on the ground, and water creeping toward it. At the last minute, I ran through the flood, scooped it up and rescued it.

What’s funny is that this isn’t an appliance I’ve used often. In truth, I only bought it for a freelance project for a client (where they requested Instant Pot recipes), and I never grew to love and rely on it. But in the spirit of “I saved this thing from a flood so now I’m going to show it a little love,” I bring you this Instant Pot Lentil Soup today.

Overhead photo of lentil soup topped with yogurt and cilantro, with naan bread next to it.

About this Instant Pot Lentil Soup Recipe:

In truth, this recipe is an oldie but a goodie! I had already perfected my Slow Cooker Lentil Soup recipe, so I just needed to re-test it and adapt a few ingredient amounts to make it suitable for Instant Pot cooking.

The soup’s flavor comes from classic aromatics like carrot, celery and onion, as well as warming spices like cumin and curry powder. To add protein and flavor, I’ve also included smoked turkey sausage (interchangeable with turkey kielbasa), which adds a depth of flavor without adding a ton of calories and fat.

If I’m being honest, I like this Instant Pot version better than the original crock pot recipe. The pressure cooking allows the flavors to really develop and meld together in a way that the slow cooker does not. Jeff and I couldn’t get enough of this Instant Pot version each time I tested it! I’ve also found a deep love for instant pot apple butter and even instant pot salmon recently.

How to make lentil soup in an instant pot:

I am NOT a fan of Instant Pot recipes that require you to use the sauté function before you start the pressure cook. If I’m going to sauté something, I will probably just finish cooking whatever the item is on the stovetop or in my oven. No, if I’m using my Instant Pot, I want to set it and forget it. No pre-cooking, please!

In that spirit, all you do for this recipe is throw all of the ingredients into the pot and turn it on (same with my Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup). While I was worried that skipping the sauté of the aromatics would lead to a less flavorful soup (I tested it both ways to compare), that wasn’t the case at all.

This soup is so richly flavorful that I would never guess it took just about a half hour to make. It truly tastes like it has simmered for hours. 

Overhead photos of two bowls of soup with lentils and sausage, with bowl of yogurt and naan bread alongside.

How long to cook lentil soup in an instant pot?

I’ve found that 15 minutes on high pressure is just right! The aromatic vegetables are all tender, and the lentils are cooked through but not mushy, which I think is the sweet spot for any lentil soup.

Yield: 4 servings

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

Two fluted rustic bowls of Instant Pot lentil soup topped with yogurt, cilantro and limes wedges.

This Instant Pot Lentil Soup is the absolute easiest way to get a tasty, healthy meal on the table in minutes. Put everything directly into your pressure cooker (no sautéing necessary) and cook for 15 minutes.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Additional Time 10 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes

Ingredients

  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 medium leek (white and light green part only), thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces smoked turkey sausage, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1-1/4 cup green lentils, rinsed and picked through
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 6 cups less-sodium chicken broth

Instructions

    1. In bowl of 6-quart Instant Pot, stir celery, garlic, carrots, leek, sausage, lentils, tomato paste, curry powder, thyme, cumin, salt and pepper until well combined. Stir in broth.
    2. Secure lid and set Pressure Release to Sealing. Select Pressure Cook or Manual Setting and set cooking time for 15 minutes at high pressure (pot will take about 10 minutes to come to pressure before cooking time begins).
    3. When cooking time ends, perform quick pressure release by moving Pressure Release to Venting.
    4. To serve, divide soup between bowls and top with yogurt and cilantro, if desired. Serve with lime wedges and naan.

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Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 352Total Fat: 6gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 30mgSodium: 2078mgCarbohydrates: 51gFiber: 18gSugar: 9gProtein: 28g

Nutrition information does not include optional garnishes.

MORE GREAT LENTIL RECIPES:

Collage of two images of soup with overlay "INSTANT POT LENTIL SOUP"