Instant Pot Lentil Soup

I’ll be honest….I have never had much of a love affair with lentils, no matter how many times I tried new ways to eat them. From long ago days of eating at the Hippy Hut™ (the local food co-op in college….hah!) to so many ways in our years eating vegan. I simply could not get past the mushy texture or the earthy smell. Outside of a few over priced bags of precooked (firm) lentils from upscale grocery stores, we just didn’t eat lentils.

Until I did them in our Instant Pot. And that changed everything. The texture is wonderful, and the aroma is inviting. Bonus? The soup is vegan/plant based friendly, though we liked ours with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese on top.

Instant Pot Lentil Soup


  • 1 Tbsp olive or avocado oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 5 large carrots, peeled and sliced into coins
  • 2 large celery stalks, sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups lentils, picked over and rinsed
  • 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1 Tbsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 4 cups lower sodium vegetable broth
  • 5-ounce bag spinach leaves, chopped
  • Parmesan cheese, if desired


Turn Instant Pot to “Saute” and “more”, let heat up and add in oil, onion, carrot and celery. Saute for 5 minutes, then add in garlic, saute for another minute.

Add in the lentils, tomatoes, herbs and broth, stirring.

Put on lid, sealing properly.

Turn to “Pressure Cook” (Manual on some models), “High” and for 15 minutes time.

When done, use pressure release valve for a quick release. Open lid carefully, and add in spinach, stirring well. Let sit for a few minutes for spinach to wilt.

If desired, sprinkle a bit of Parmesan grated on each serving.

Serves 6 to 8, depending on appetite.


All lentils should be picked and rinsed well before using. I measure, then pour them onto a rimmed baking sheet, to spread out. Take a few minutes to look them over, and remove any that are really wrinkled as well. Then put into a fine mesh strainer and rinse.

I am currently using a 6 quart Instant Pot Ultra. While we have an 8 quart, I found I often didn’t need it that big for our family of 5.