Lentil Soup is just the kind of hearty, healthy meal you want at the end of the day. Easy to make in the Instant Pot and packed with flavor, this recipe is sure to warm you up.
I love a good stove-top soup but sometimes it’s easier to let the Instant Pot do the work for you. Making lentil soup in the Instant Pot is a quick and easy way to have a healthy, flavorful dinner on the table in just around 30 minutes.
Why this recipe works
Healthy comfort food: Filled with nutritious and filling ingredients like carrots, tomatoes and green lentils.
Vegan and gluten-free: Made with only plant-based ingredients, but you can add a variety of toppings.
Quick & easy: Lentils cook in the Instant Pot in just 10 minutes!
Flavorful: The warming spices are pantry staples and are inspired by Trader Joe’s ancient grains lentil soup.
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Lentils: Choose dry green or brown lentils. Red and orange lentils do not work here because they cook too quickly. Try this Instant Pot red lentil curry if you're looking for a recipe that uses red lentils.
Vegetable broth: I like to use a salt-free vegetable broth so that I have more control over saltiness. Homemade broth is also a great option.
Mirepoix: A combination of diced celery, onion and carrots sautéed in olive oil give body and flavor to the soup. To make this recipe oil-free, sauté the veggies in 1-2 tablespoons vegetable broth, replenishing as needed.
Spices: Cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, marjoram, fresh parsley and nutmeg provide warmth and depth to the soup. One tablespoon fresh parsley can be replaced with one teaspoon dry parsley if needed.
Step by step instructions
All of my Instant Pot recipes are made in a 6 qt DUO60 Instant Pot.
Step 1. Sauté onion, carrots, celery in 1 tablespoon of olive oil. When the onions start to turn translucent add in the minced garlic. Sauté until aromatic, about one minute.
Step two: Deglaze the pot with vegetable broth to help prevent the burn error.
Step three: Stir in the spices, vegetable broth, and lentils.
Step three: Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. Allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then carefully do a manual pressure release.
Step four: After cooking, stir in a can of crushed tomatoes with their juices and lemon juice. To thicken the soup, turn on “sauté” mode and simmer until desired consistency is reached.
If you prefer a very soft lentil soup, cook the lentils for 12 minutes instead of 10. For entirely intact lentils with a bit of bite to them, cook on high pressure for 8 minutes.
No. Unlike other legumes like black beans or chickpeas, lentils cook very quickly in the Instant Pot and don't need to be soaked.
This recipe can be doubled if you are using a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot.
Yes! Let the soup cool completely before freezing. Freeze individual portions or the entire batch of soup in freezer-safe containers (these are my favorite containers). It will take up to 24 hours to thaw frozen soup in the fridge. For a quicker process, heat in a saucepan or in the microwave until defrosted.
Keep refrigerated in a closed container for 3-4 days.
- Add a sprinkle of Parmesan (or vegan) cheese, fresh chopped parsley and a dash of hot sauce.
- Serve with with crackers or homemade cheddar drop biscuits.
- Looking for a soup and sandwich combo? Try out this chickpea salad sandwich or vegetarian Reuben with a side of soup.
Don't have an Instant Pot? You can make a variation of this recipe on the stovetop with my Lentil Quinoa Soup.
Looking for more Instant Pot recipes?
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Vegetarian Instant Pot Lentil Soup
- 1 and ½ cups dry brown lentils
- 5 and ½ cups vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ medium yellow onion, diced
- 1 cup diced carrots 1-2 large carrots
- 1 cup diced celery 1-2 celery stalks
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped parsley
- 1 tablespoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon marjoram
- 1 teaspoon paprika
- ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper optional
- ½ teaspoon table salt
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
- 14 ounce can crushed tomatoes with juices
- ½ lemon juice from
- Rinse the dry brown lentils and remove any stones or debris. Set aside.
- Press the saute function on your Instant Pot. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the carrots, onions and celery and sprinkle with the salt.
- Saute until softened, about 6 minutes. Add garlic and saute a minute more, until aromatic.
- Add a splash of vegetable broth to deglaze the pot. Stir to remove any stuck on bits from the pot.
- Stir in the parsley, cumin, marjoram, paprika, cayenne pepper, table salt, nutmeg, black pepper, remaining vegetable broth, and lentils. Seal the lid and set the pressure valve to sealing.
- Cook on high pressure for 10 minutes. It will take about 15 minutes to come to pressure. Once cooked, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes. Manually release the pressure; careful, hot steam will spurt out.
- Remove the lid and stir in the can of crushed tomatoes with their juices. Squeeze in the juice from half a lemon. If you prefer a thicker soup, turn on the sauté function and evaporate off the liquid.
- Enjoy topped with crackers, more fresh parsley, and a sprinkle of your favorite cheese.
- Keeps best for 4-5 days in the fridge.
- To freeze: Let soup cool to room temp before freezing. Freeze individual portions or the entire batch of soup in freezer-safe containers (these are my favorite containers). To thaw: It will take up to 24 hours to thaw frozen soup in the fridge. For a quicker process, heat in a saucepan or in the microwave until defrosted.
- Can I double this recipe? This recipe can be doubled if you are using a 6 or 8 quart Instant Pot.