This Instant Pot Lentil Soup is loaded with vegetables for a healthy, filling meal. This cozy recipe is perfect for a busy weeknight since it cooks quickly in the Instant Pot.

lentil soup

It took me a long time to finally buy a pressure cooker. I wasn’t sure it would be worth it since we don’t eat meat. But once I realized how much faster I could cook dried beans and lentils, I was hooked. I frequently make lentil soup and I love how quickly it cooks in a pressure cooker. I love that this soup is hearty and filling because lentils are a great source of protein and fiber. This is also a great budget-friendly recipe that can feed a large family.

Are Lentils Healthy?

Absolutely! Lentils are an excellent source of plant-based protein. They contain 9 grams of protein per 1⁄2-cup serving. They also contain fiber as well as vitamins and minerals. Plus, they’re an affordable source of protein. In fact, they’re one of the cheapest protein sources you’ll find at the grocery store. If you love lentils as much as I do, try my simple spiced lentils.

a bowl of cooked lentils

Ingredients and Substitutions

  • Olive Oil– This helps enhance the flavors, but you can use additional broth to sauté the vegetables if you wanted to keep this recipe oil-free.
  • Mirepoix– The onion, carrot, and celery are a traditional mirepoix base. If you’re missing an ingredient, check out this post for substitution options.
  • Lentils– Be sure to use brown or green lentils for this recipe. Red lentils break down too quickly and won’t work in this recipe. If you’re looking for a way to use red lentils, try my Instant Pot Red Lentil Soup.
  • Garlic– Don’t skimp on the garlic! If you don’t have fresh garlic you can use minced garlic. In a pinch, you can use 1 teaspoon of garlic powder.
  • Tomatoes– I used canned diced tomatoes. You could substitute with fire-roasted diced tomatoes if you want to add a little smoky flavor.
  • Bay leaf– A bay leaf adds a savory, slightly citrusy flavor. You can leave it out if you don’t have any.
  • Cumin– This adds additional flavor with a hint of earthy spice.
  • Thyme– Dried thyme adds a savory flavor. Substitute with 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary if you don’t have any dried thyme.
  • Vegetable Broth– I like Edward & Son’s “Not-Chicken” style broth, but any style broth is fine.
  • Kale– Adding a little kale at the end of the cooking process is an easy way to give this soup a nutritional boost. Feel free to substitute with spinach.

How to Make this Recipe on the Stovetop

If you don’t have an Instant Pot or a pressure cooker, check out my Mediterranean Lentil Soup recipe. It’s very similar but the instructions are for cooking it on the stovetop.

Substitution Ideas

  • Feel free to use green or brown lentils in this recipe. Do not substitute red lentils which break down much faster.
  • No kale? No problem! Try using spinach instead! Just stir in the spinach at the end of the cooking process.
  • There are lots of additional vegetables you can add to this soup. Try adding chopped red potatoes, frozen corn, frozen green beans, or frozen peas. For a different twist, try this Southwestern Lentil Soup!

How to Store Leftovers

This soup is easy to reheat, so it’s a great meal prep option. Simply reheat the leftover soup on the stove or in the microwave. You can even freeze the leftovers for up to 1 month. It’s perfect to keep in the freezer for a busy night!

More Instant Pot Soup Recipes

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Instant Pot Lentil Soup

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

  • Author: Liz Thomson
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Time to Pressurize: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 8 cups 1x
  • Category: Soup
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegan


This Instant Pot Lentil Soup is loaded with vegetables for a healthy, filling meal. This cozy recipe is perfect for a busy weeknight since it cooks quickly in the Instant Pot.


Units Scale
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 3 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 15oz can diced tomatoes
  • 5 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils, rinsed
  • 1 cup kale, destemmed and torn into 1″ pieces
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice


  1. Set the Instant Pot to ‘sauté’ and add the olive oil, onion, celery, and carrots.
  2. Sauté for 4 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add the garlic and continue to sauté for 1 minute.
  4. Add the thyme, cumin, bay leaf, diced tomatoes, vegetable broth, and lentils.
  5. Cover and seal the Instant Pot. Press cancel to end the sauté function, then press ‘pressure cook’ and set the timer to 20 minutes. The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to pressurize then the timer will begin counting down.
  6. Once the Instant Pot is done cooking, quick-release the pressure by turning the valve to release the steam.
  7. Remove the lid and carefully stir in the kale and lemon juice. Discard the bay leaf.

Keywords: lentil soup, instant pot lentil soup