How to Cook Lentils in the Instant Pot

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How to cook lentils in the Instant Pot! Includes different lentil varieties, suggested cook times, the proper water:lentil ratio, and two easy lentil recipes to make in your Instant Pot!
Prep Time: 2 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 32 mins
4.7 from 36 votes

Learning how to cook lentils in the Instant Pot literally changed my life. I know that sounds hyperbolic, but it really took my meal prep and batch cooking game to the next level. But it wasn’t always that way.

I never used to cook lentils before I got an Instant Pot. The idea of soaking them overnight, draining them, and babysitting them on the stove felt too time-consuming. Instead, I just bought canned or boxed lentils at the store.

But the Instant Pot makes it SO much easier to cook lentils, not to mention so much more flavorful. You can throw them in the Instant Pot with liquid, walk away, and come back to perfectly cooked lentils.

Over the last few years, I have cooked literally hundreds of pots of lentils, so now I’m sharing all my tips on cooking lentils in the Instant Pot. And, this blog post also features two incredibly easy Instant Pot lentil recipes!

As for the Instant Pot itself, even the most basic model will cook your lentils perfectly. For most home cooks, the 6 quart DUO60 or DUO60 Plus is the best option. If you want a more recent version that has nifty features (like a lid that automatically seals), try the DUO Evo Plus.

Watch! How to Cook Lentils in the Instant Pot

Types of lentils and how to cook them in the Instant Pot

Red Lentils: These are commonly used in Indian dal and soft dishes like soups and curries. Red lentils break down quickly and become creamy, making them the perfect thickening agent for stews, soups, and purées. If you’re new to red lentils and open your pot to see a pile of mush, don’t be alarmed. That’s exactly what red lentils do!

For a soup/stew/curry, I like cooking red lentils for about 10 minutes in the Instant Pot at high pressure. This gives them plenty of time to disintegrate and melt into the other ingredients, thereby naturally thickening the texture. But if you’re just cooking red lentils in plain water, they need just 2-3 minutes. And they’ll still get mushy in this short amount of time.

Note: At Indian grocery stores, you will also find “split red lentils,” AKA masoor dal. These are red lentils that have had their skins removed and therefore cook a bit more quickly. You’ll also find “split yellow lentils,” AKA moong dal. If you’d like to learn more about the varieties of lentils used to make Indian dal, check out this blog post on Restaurant-Style Dal Tadka.

two bowls of Indian red lentil sweet potato soup with naanBrown and Green Lentils: These are the most common lentils (at least in the U.S.), and you can find them at any grocery store. These lentils are a little bigger than other varieties of lentils and have a mild, earthy flavor. Bonus: they’re one of the cheapest foods you can buy at the grocery store!

Brown lentils and green lentils are pretty versatile, so the ideal cook time depends on your use case. If you want to keep them whole and on the firmer side, cook for 6-8 minutes at high pressure. This is great when you want to add lentils to salads, grain bowls, or in a wrap. If you want them a little softer, you can cook for 12 minutes. And if you want them to break down and soften, you can cook for 15 or even 20 minutes. This last option is great for a puréed dish, soup or, stew.

bowl of brown lentils cooked in the instant pot, flavored with parsley and thyme.
French Green (Puy) Lentils: These lentils also hold their shape when cooked, making them perfect in salads. If you find brown or green lentils to be too mushy for your taste or use, try these French green lentils instead. They have a pleasant, peppery taste.

French green lentils take 6-8 minutes in the Instant Pot and will stay nice and firm. I prefer to cook them for 6 minutes.

Black Beluga Lentils: These are the fanciest of lentils and are a bit more expensive than ordinary lentils. Similar to French green lentils, they hold their shape well when cooked. They make a great side dish or a bed on which you can serve your meal. Black beluga lentils have a hearty, full-bodied flavor.

Cook black beluga lentils for about 6-8 minutes in the Instant Pot, or up to 10 minutes for a softer texture. As with French green lentils, I prefer to cook beluga lentils for just 6 minutes.

An instant pot resting on a table with carrots in the background

Tips for cooking lentils in the Instant Pot

Basic Lentils

Unlike cooking lentils on the stove, you don’t need to soak lentils in advance when you make them in the Instant Pot. Another benefit is that you don’t have to watch the lentils to make sure they don’t burn or get too mushy. You can simply toss all the ingredients into the Instant Pot, walk away, go take a nap, and come back after the pressure has been released.

Water:Lentil Ratio

  • 1 3/4 cups liquid (vegetable broth or water) for 1 cup of lentils

    • Plus 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper

    • You can also add other seasonings like bay leaves, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, dried chile peppers, etc., depending on what flavor you’re going for.


  • Once you combine everything, select the Pressure Cook setting and cook for the desired cook time (see the previous section for recommended cook times based on lentil variety).

  • Once the cook time is done, allow a natural pressure release on the Instant Pot for 10 minutes, then manually release any remaining steam.

    • In practice: once the timer goes off, let the pot sit for 10 without touching it. Then, move the pressure release valve from from the Sealing position to the Venting position to release any remaining pressure. Once the pressure has been released, the float valve will drop and you can open the pot.

.Sweet potato lentil soup in a bowl

Adding Flavor to Lentils

But if you want to make your lentils more flavorful, you’ll need to add some more flavorings (obvi). Lentils are sponges, so they absorb the flavors of the ingredients in which they’re cooked.

I like to begin my lentils by sautéing some aromatics in oil, such as onion and garlic. And because I like things spicy, I often sauté some chili peppers too. If I’m cooking Indian food, I’ll also add in cumin seeds and ginger before adding the lentils. Or, if I’m making Mexican-flavored lentils, I might sauté an onion, green pepper, and jalapeño pepper.

After you cook your aromatics, it’s time for more seasonings. You can keep it simple with just salt and pepper, or you can add an array of your favorite spices, such as cumin, paprika, or turmeric. The exact spices will depend on the flavor profile/specific cuisine you are cooking. I also love adding fresh herbs to the cooking liquid for more depth of flavor. Sturdy herbs like thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage, and bay leaves work excellently.

Finally, I like to cook the lentils in vegetable broth instead of water since it gives the lentils a little more richness and flavor.

Below you will find four incredibly easy recipes for Instant Pot lentils. And in case you are a fan of other legumes (why wouldn’t you be??), here are more Instant Pot recipes featuring lentils and other legumes!

And if you want more than 90 incredible vegan Instant Pot recipes, be sure to check out my cookbook, The Vegan Instant Pot Cookbook! Here’s a sampling of just some of the recipes featuring lentils in my book.

  • Spiced Lentil, Kale and “Sausage” Soup
  • Red Lentil Almond Curry
  • Red Curry Rice Noodle Soup
  • Lentil-Walnut Gyros with Vegan Tzatziki
  • Lentil Shepherd’s Pie
  • Khichdi / Kitchari (Indian Rice and Lentil Porridge)

How to Cook Lentils in the Instant Pot

4.7 from 36 votes
How to cook lentils in the Instant Pot! Includes different lentil varieties, suggested cook times, the proper water:lentil ratio, and two easy lentil recipes to make in your Instant Pot!
Prep Time: 2 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 32 mins
Keyword: gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegan
Serving size: 2 cups


  • 1 cup lentils (see recipe notes for details on varieties)
  • 1 3/4 cup water or vegetable broth
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Other seasonings as desired (bay leaves, fresh or dried herbs, whole spices, chopped onions, garlic cloves, etc.)


  • Add the lentils and water or broth to the inner pot of the Instant Pot. Add salt, pepper, and any other seasonings of choice. Stir to combine.
  • Secure the lid and select the Pressure Cook setting. Set the timer to 6 to 8 minutes for al dente lentils, or 10 minutes for softer lentils.
  • When the timer beeps, allow a natural pressure release for 10 minutes. Perform a manual pressure release to vent any remaining steam. Open the pot, discard any aromatics, and transfer the lentils to a bowl or tupperware using a slotted spoon.
  • Store cooked lentils in an airtight container in the fridge for 5-7 days, or freeze for 4-6 months.


This cook time range works well for most lentil varieties, including brown, green, French green ("Puy"), and black beluga lentils. However, it does not work for red lentils, split red lentils, and yellow split lentils (i.e., lentils that are commonly used in Indian dal recipes). 
For a guide on different lentil varieties and how to use them in the Instant Pot, refer to the blog post above. 

Indian-Spiced Black Beluga Lentils

4.5 from 24 votes
Give lentils an upgrade with Indian spices and aromatics! Just sauté onions, garlic, ginger, chile peppers and Indian spices before adding black Beluga lentils to the Instant Pot. The lentils remain somewhat firm but they’re cooked in a soft, gravy-like mixture so you get the best of both worlds.
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 50 mins
Course: Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: Indian
Diet Vegan
Keyword: gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegan
Serving size: 4


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or oil of choice)
  • 1/2 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 serrano pepper diced with seeds (omit seeds for mild version; use 2 peppers for a spicy version)
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon garam masala
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon Indian red chile powder (use 1 teaspoon for a spicy version; can sub with half the amount of cayenne pepper)
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (or water)
  • 1 cup black Beluga lentils
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt + more to taste
  • 1-2 tablespoons vegan butter (optional)
  • Chopped cilantro (for serving)
  • Coconut yogurt (optional, for serving)


  • Select the Sauté setting on your Instant Pot and heat up the coconut oil. Once it's shimmering, add the cumin seeds and fry for 1-2 minutes, or until the seeds are sputtering.
  • Cook the diced onion for 3 minutes. Then add the garlic, ginger, serrano pepper, coriander, garam masala, red chile powder, turmeric, and black pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently and scraping up any bits that are stuck.
  • Pour in the vegetable broth to deglaze the pot, using a wooden spoon or scraper to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the lentils and 1 teaspoon sea salt. Stir to combine all of the ingredients. Select the Cancel setting.
  • Secure the lid of the Instant Pot and seal. Select the Pressure Cook (or Manual, depending on your model) setting and cook at high pressure for 6-8 minutes, depending on your desired firmness (I prefer 6 minutes).
  • Once the timer is up, allow a natural pressure release for 10 minutes before switching the pressure release valve from Sealing to Venting. Open the Instant Pot and stir in the vegan butter (if using), stirring until it's melted and mixed through. The butter adds more creaminess and richness to the lentils, but they are still good without it.
  • Serve the lentils with fresh cilantro and coconut yogurt, if desired.

Simple Brown or Green Lentils

4.5 from 24 votes
This is my go-to recipe when I want a simple pot of lentils to eat throughout the week, but I want to jazz them up just a bit and not simply cook them in water. You can use brown or green lentils, or if you prefer a firmer texture, use French green (Puy) lentils or black Beluga lentils.
Prep Time: 7 mins
Cook Time: 35 mins
Total Time: 42 mins
Course: Lunch, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Diet Vegan
Keyword: gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegan
Serving size: 4


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 chili pepper, such as serrano or jalapeño, diced with seeds intact (omit seeds for mild version; or use 2 peppers for a spicy version)
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup brown lentils or green lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt + more to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 small handful of fresh thyme sprigs (optional)
  • 1 bay leaf (optional)
  • 1 3/4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth or water
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice (for serving)
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped


  • Select the Sauté setting on your Instant Pot and heat up the coconut oil. Once it's shimmering, add the diced chili pepper and cook for 30 seconds until aromatic.
  • Add the diced onion and cook for 3 minutes. Then add the garlic and cook until the onion is softened and garlic is turning golden, 1-2 minutes.
  • Pour in the vegetable broth to deglaze the pot, using a wooden spoon or scraper to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the lentils, sea salt, pepper, thyme sprigs (if using), and bay leaf (if using). Stir to combine. Select the Cancel setting.
  • Secure the lid of the Instant Pot and seal. Select the Pressure Cook (or Manual, depending on your model) setting and cook at high pressure for 6-10 minutes, depending on your desired firmness (I prefer the 6-8 minute range).
  • Once the 10 minutes is up, allow a natural pressure release for 10 minutes before switching the pressure release valve from Sealing to Venting. Open the Instant Pot and stir in the lemon juice and parsley.

Spiced Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup

4.5 from 24 votes
This is a creamy and spiced soup/stew inspired by Indian dal. It gets its natural creaminess from red lentils, which break down and mushy when pressure cooked, and sweet potatoes, which melt into the soup thanks to the high pressure of the Instant Pot.
Prep Time: 15 mins
Cook Time: 40 mins
Total Time: 55 mins
Course: Dinner, Lunch
Cuisine: Indian
Diet Vegan
Keyword: instant pot, red lentils, sweet potatoes
Serving size: 4


  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil (or oil of choice)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 serrano pepper, diced (remove seeds for mild version)
  • 2 teaspoons garam masala
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into large dice
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth*
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons sea salt + more to taste
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1-2 teaspoons maple syrup (optional)
  • For serving (optional): coconut yogurt, fresh cilantro, and flatbread or rice


  • Select the Sauté setting on the Instant Pot and heat up the coconut oil. Once it's shimmering, add the onion and cook for 3-4 minutes until slightly softened.
  • Add the garlic, ginger, serrano pepper, garam masala, curry powder (if using), cumin, and turmeric and stir until aromatic, about 30 seconds.
  • Pour in the vegetable broth to deglaze the pot, using a wooden spoon or scraper to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Add the lentils, sweet potatoes, sea salt, and pepper. Stir to combine all of the ingredients. Select the Cancel setting.
  • Secure the lid of the Instant Pot and seal. Select the Pressure Cook (or Manual, depending on your model) setting and cook at high pressure for 10 minutes.
  • Once the 10 minutes is up, allow a natural pressure release for 10 minutes before switching the pressure release valve from Sealing to Venting. Open the Instant Pot and give the soup a stir. Taste for seasonings. You may want to add more salt, or to balance the acidity, you may want to add a teaspoon or two of maple syrup or sugar.
  • Once the soup has slightly cooled, top with coconut yogurt and fresh cilantro. If desired, serve with flatbread or rice.


*This soup is quite thick and creamy, almost like a stew, so if you prefer a soupy texture, just add more vegetable broth or water. You can do that before pressure cooking when you add the vegetable broth, or after pressure cooking once you see the texture so you can add as much liquid as needed.

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69 comments on How to Cook Lentils in the Instant Pot

  1. Holley Bennett

    Delicious! I chopped spinach and put the lentils on top with the yogurt and cilantro and it was very satisfying! Thank YOU! Can’t wait to get the cookbook!
    Every single recipe I’ve made from you has been wonderful!

  2. Sunny White

    I love your recipes, my only problem with them is that I like to copy and paste a picture of them when I save them but with Pintrest I can’t seem to find a way to do that. Is there a way? If not can you have at least one picture that can be copied and pasted?

  3. Steve

    Made the Indian spiced black lentils in the instant pot – really delicious! Thank you!

  4. Bev

    I cooked large green lentils for the recommended 6 minutes(wanted them firm). They actually came out too soft and creamy for a salad.
    Should reduce time to 3 minutes if you want lentils with texture/bite.

  5. Laurie Parma

    Hey Nisha,
    Awesome post, very tempted to buy an instant pot as I LOVE lentils.
    I just wonder if the lack of soaking might make them hard to biggest?
    I know one of the benefits of the soak is to let the pulse get out of its dormant state, wake up, re-activate a bunch of cellular processes aimed at generating a new plant which increases active proteins, improve their bio-availability and reduces phytic acid. Not sure the pressure cooker sorts this out, does it? I have no idea how pressure interferes into the mix!

  6. Naomi

    The red lentil sweet potato soup is so delicious! I love how quickly it comes together. For anyone who may not have serrano peppers, red pepper flakes worked well for me. I also made it a smooth creamy soup with the immersion blender.

  7. Hank

    Love the sweet potato red lentil recipe!

  8. Sravya

    this is probably the most useful recipe I have found on the internet to date!! I find myself coming back to it over and over again (and sharing it with people). Not just for the recipes but also for the instructions on how to make lentils. they are always perfect!
    Thank you, Nisha!

  9. Puja

    I definitely need more lentils in my diet as a new mom so this was very helpful, thank you!

  10. Basil

    Hmmm, I got a burn warning with 1 and 3/4 cup water and scant 1 cup puy lentils. Upon opening pot was dry and lentils not fully cooked.

  11. Gwen

    Made the Spiced Red Lentil Sweet Potato Soup last and Oh. My. Goodness!! Love, love, LOVE the sweet heat of this dish! So easy to make and so, so yummy! Leftovers were even better the next day. Thank you for such a simple yet flavorful recipe!

  12. Jess

    I have to admit that before this I was not lentil literate. (Illentilrate!?) Thank you so much for putting all of this info and the recipes in one place. So healthy, inexpensive, and good for the Earth.

  13. Autumn DeCesare

    Wow Just Wow!!! I just tried the green lentils with the jalapeño and it is delish!!! I am going to make this ever week!

  14. Daniel Daisy

    Thanks for the great effort. I must share your content with others. That is really helpful for us. I also share one more content with your people that is

  15. Mariaphillips

    I recently purchased the vegan instant pot cook book and made the red lentil almond curry. The red lentil dish turned out amazing! This dish tasted like restaurant quality curry, my partner asked for three helpings and he thought he wouldn’t like vegan food. The red lentil almond curry is only the second recipe I’ve made, but so far I’ve received rave reviews on both dishes. Thank you Nisha can’t wait to try them all!

  16. Marilyn

    Thanks for all of this good information. I’m trying to use what I have and want to make a lentil or bean salad. Thought the red lentils would be pretty in a salad but after reading your blog I realize that won’t work. I have a new instant pot and will try some of your recipes soon.

  17. Jill

    Thanks for this post. I have a question. I am trying to convert a stovetop recipe to an instant pot recipe. this recipe contains a LOT of ingredients and I’m wondering how to adjust cooking time. Basically it’s 1 pound of french green lentils (though sometimes I use yellow lentils), 4 cups diced onion, 4 cups chopped leeks, 3 cups diced celery, 3 cups diced carrots, 3 quarts chicken stock, a pound of kielbasa … and other spices (I just listed the substantial things). How long do you think I just put it in the Instant Pot?

  18. Anna

    Thank you, this is very useful information for me, I am going to use it soon!

  19. Theresa

    This was an awesome recipe, easy and quick to set up and so tasty, timing excellent.I used Bob’s Red Mill Heritage Lentils they are brown and green.I used 2 cups of lentils and 4 cups of stock with 2 cups of water to adjust to my liking. I was very intimidated by the Instant Pot so it took me time to try this recipe but it actually is the creamiest lentil soup I ever made.thank you so much for this recipe!!!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Theresa! Thank you so much for your lovely feedback :) Once you get the hang of it, the Instant Pot is actually quite easy and I’m happy this was a success! I have a lot more Instant Pot recipes and tips on my Youtube channel if you are interested in learning more about how to use it!

  20. Stacey

    I followed this recipe to make beluga lentils that were going to go into a salad. 6 minutes was too long and they were mushy and not usable for my salad. :( I did 6 minutes and then 9 minute natural release before I opened my pot to find them over done.
    Have you ever made beluga lentils that were more firm?

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Stacey, I normally cook my beluga and French green lentils for 6 minutes + 10 minute natural pressure release when I want them plain or for a salad, and they come out quite firm. If I am making something more saucy, I’ll cook them for 10-15 minutes, so I’m not sure what happened since you cooked them for only 6 minutes. How much liquid did you use? And what kind of model of instant pot do you have? I ask because some of the newer models have a max pressure setting that is higher than the high pressure setting.

  21. Cycy

    In the sweet potato and lentil soup recipe, can all the spices be replaced with Garam Masala? If so, how much of Garam Masala?
    Thx 😊

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi there, garam masala is different from curry powder and turmeric (the other spices in this soup). If you want to read about their differences, you can read more here:
      That said, I don’t think it would be bad with that substitution, just different!

  22. Michael

    This is fantastic info. Thanks!

  23. Phillip Martin

    Thanks for posting these! I really want lentils to be a staple in my family’s diet, and you have made it easy (and tasty!). Question: roughly how many people are served with each of these recipes? Can each of them be doubled, and still fit a typical 6-quart pot?

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Phillip! Red lentils are one of my favorite ingredients :) They each serve about 4, and yes you can double them in a 6 quart!

  24. Laura W

    Thank you! This is the first site I’ve found that explains different cooking times for different lentils. I was ready to give up on my IP as all recipes seemed to have the same cooking time and I always got mush. My brown lentils turned out perfectly. This will be my go to site from now on!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Laura, you’re so welcome! I am happy to hear that your lentils came out great :) I also have lots of lentil recipes + cook time charts for beans, lentils, and grains in my new cookbook if you are interested!

  25. Helen C

    Finally gave in and got an IP this week, and was looking for easy "starter" recipies to try on YouTube. Should have remembered to check out Rainbow Plant Life first – never let me down yet! Just made the 3rd one (modified) and I love it! (I didn’t have fresh onion, so I put in the lentils, veg broth, garlic powder & onion powder with a dash of Himalayan pink salt & let it go. This will be my go-to for lentil making!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Helen! So nice to hear that :) I am flattered that I have never let you down haha. So happy you have a new recipe for making lentils!

  26. Dianne

    I have made the 3rd recipe multiple times and I love it! Have shown it to many people. The changes I made are, I use French Green Lentils (love these), I left out the salt and oil and instead used vegetable broth (trying to eat SOS), and so far have skipped the lemon and parsley because I keep forgetting to use it frankly… I love it both hot and cold the next day! I also added it (the extra I had) to Marinara sauce in place of meat and that was great too – put over zucchini noodles.

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Dianne! So nice to hear that you’ve made it so many times and have customized it to your own taste. I absolutely love French Green lentils too – have some in my Instant Pot right now hehe. I love the sound of your easy lentil bolognese too!

  27. Amrit

    Thank you for these recipes! I have made the red lentils I omitted the curry powder and added rainbow swiss chard and more ginger. It is delicious. I made the brown lentils and added chopped zucchini. I will definitely share them with friends. I will also check out your blog.

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Amrit! You’re very welcome :) I am so happy you enjoyed the recipes and customized them to your own taste. Thank you so much for sharing the recipes with friends!

  28. Todd Bradley

    I made something midway between recipe #2 and #3, but found than 10 minutes on high with a 10 minute natural release wasn’t long enough. The lentils were undercooked, with lots of liquid left. I’m in Denver, so maybe it’s a high altitude problem. This was my first time trying to make lentils in my Instant Pot.

    1. Andrea

      Todd!!!! Hey, it’s Andrea. Small world!

  29. ryan

    Thanks for the recipe!
    I followed your instructions for the black lentils, and only put them in for 7 minutes, natural release for 15 (It was actually 20). The top layer was perfect – but everything underneath became mushy.
    Would you recommend a different time, method, less liquid, to cook the lentils just enough that they hold there shape and texture?
    Either way – fabulous! Thank you!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Ryan,
      Thanks for your comment. I’m glad you enjoyed them but sorry to hear it was a bit mushy underneath. I have revised the recipe to include a cook time of 6-8 minutes because I also prefer firm lentils, but I haven’t ever experienced the bottom getting mushy. The only thing I can think of is that you allowed a full natural pressure release, instead of allowing a natural pressure release for 10 minutes (which means, after 10 minutes of resting, you manually switch the pressure valve from Sealing to Venting to remove the remaining steam).

  30. Tina Maghakian

    Hi! I’m going to be cooking with lentil for the first time and your site is so wonderful! Any chance you have a print setting for these recipes? Thank in advance! Tina

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Tina! I am so happy you like my site – thank you for stopping by! I have tried to install a print button, but unfortunately it’s not super straightforward to add a print button on Squarespace, which is what I use to host my site. I am still working on the print button, but in the meantime, if you use Google Chrome as your browser, I recommend installing the Print Friendly Chrome extension – it’s really easy to install (takes 1 minute) and it lives on your browser. You just click the button once it’s installed, and it will generate a printable PDF for that specific page. Hope that helps!

  31. Hannah Davisson

    This was really helpful. Thanks for posting this valuable information! :)

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Hannah! That makes me so happy to hear :) Really glad it was useful for you!

  32. Ilana

    I added shitake mushrooms and collard greens to the Simple Brown recipe for a complete one pot meal :-) SO good, I ate the whole thing (I have a mini pot so I made half the recipe). Thanks for this super easy, nutritious recipe <3

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Ilana! Thank you for stopping by to let me know :) I am so happy you enjoyed it and great to know you can make it in the mini Instant Pot. I’ll have to try it with some mushrooms and greens next time – did you pressure cooke the veggies along with the lentils in the Instant Pot? Or did you just serve them alongside each other?

  33. Deitra Jackson

    I made the red lentil recipe (10 minutes) just now and the lentils are mushy but tastes great! I will make this again but lower the cooking time.

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Deitra! I’m glad you enjoyed the lentil soup! Just fyi, red lentils turn to mush no matter what – that’s how they are supposed to be, which is why they are great in soups and curries :)

  34. Hillary

    I made green lentils using your method – 7 min on high then 10 min of natural pressure release – and they were super mushy at the end. The cook time must be much too long.

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Hillary, green lentils (and brown and red) get pretty mushy when you cook them, even on the stove. If you are looking for firmer lentils, I recommend cooking Puy (French green) lentils or Black beluga lentils.
      For reference, the lentils in the below recipe stayed firm and were cooked in the Instant Pot – they are French green lentils. Hope that helps.

  35. sonia

    Hello, for the simple brown lentil recipe, if I would like to double the amount of lentils, how much liquid is needed? Double?

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Sonia,
      Yes, you would double the amount of liquid (but no need to change the cook time or Instant Pot settings). If there is a bit of liquid leftover at the end, just use a slotted spoon to drain off the liquid.

  36. Anita

    I just made the brown lentil version and it is delicious! Thank you for the recipe. :)I added quorn sausages and some spices (cumin and coriander), which I can recommend.I wondered if it might be worth adding a note on the ingredients not to add salt if the stock used already has salt? My lentils ended up being a bit on the salty side because of this, which I should have realised, but it may avoid others having the same problem in future.I will give some of your other recipes a go and will report back! Thanks again! Anita

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Anita, Thank you for your comment and feedback! So very happy you enjoyed the lentils. I am loving the addition of those spices!
      I will update the recipe regarding the vegetable broth – great point. For reference, I use low-sodium vegetable broth but understand that everyone has a different salt preference. Thank you!

  37. Noelle

    Hi, I made the #1 Red Lentil recipe, it was very, very tasty! I just had a couple of questions/comments… I used my 3qt mini IP and followed the directions, but when I got to the slow release part, I did it for 15 minutes as got distracted, and then did a quick release as the pressure button hadn’t dropped yet. I’m not sure whether that is why it was so thick or not? I had planned on adding coconut milk as per another person’s suggestion, but really didn’t think I needed it! Flavour was great, but very thick, as the red lentils had disappeared into mush! I loved it though, and had it with some sourdough bread for dipping. I also rinsed the red lentils prior to adding, is this necessary? I’ll try another of your lentil recipes next… thank you!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Noelle, glad you enjoyed the soup! The soup is naturally pretty creamy, which is why the recipe doesn’t call for coconut milk (although I think a little coconut milk is fabulous in it)! Red lentils turn really mushy and soft as soon as you cook them, which–along with the sweet potatoes–makes this soup creamy. So it sounds like the recipe came out as intended :) I’ve never used a 3 quart model, but I don’t think that the timing of the quick release should affect the texture. And for rinsing lentils, it can be helpful to rinse them because it helps you easily discover and discard any debris or pebbles that might be hiding amongst the lentils, but rinsing doesn’t affect the taste.

  38. Freddie

    I made the brown lentils dish and it was amazing. Thank you so much and please keep posting! I was wondering: if I were to double the ingredients to make a double batch, would I need to double the cooking time on the instant pot?

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hey Freddie! Thank you for letting me know and so great to hear that you liked it so much! I have some more Instant Pot recipes on my Youtube channel (and blog) and will definitely be sharing more in the future :)
      When you double the recipe, no need to increase the cook time. The volume of the ingredients doesn’t change the cook time, as long as the size/density of the ingredients doesn’t change. Hope that helps!

  39. Mareena

    Thank you for posting these recipes! I made your delicious red lentil soup, (wow! it is good!), and then made a bbq red lentil to stuff in sweet potatoes for my weekly lunches. Thank you for helping my healthy lifestyle choice.

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Mareena! So glad you enjoyed these recipes. That lentil soup is a favorite of mine because it’s so easy and so healthy! That bbq red lentil stuffing sounds amazing. Really happy I can help you make healthier eating choices :)

  40. Delia

    Thank you for your great instructional video!

    1. Nisha Vora

      You’re very welcome, Delia! Glad it was helpful for you :)

  41. Laura

    I made recipe #1, the sweet potato red lentil soup. It was super quick and easy and tastes superb. I doubled the recipe and it fit great in my 8 qt. Instant Pot. To cook, I left out 1/4 of the broth. When done, I added coconut milk instead. It makes it rich and creamy, and was how I compensated for not having coconut yogurt to top with. I also left out the salt since my broth was salted. This was a great recipe; I look forward to trying others of yours.

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hi Laura! Thanks for stopping by to let me know! So glad you enjoyed the soup. It is one of my favorites for a super-fast, nourishing meal, and I usually add some coconut milk for extra creaminess (great call)! I hope you enjoy my other recipes, let me know if you are looking for something specific :)

  42. Prynce

    I made recipe #3 with minor changes and great results!I used ghee as my oil and didn’t have any fresh peppers so I used about 1 tsp crushed red pepper. I even used bottled lemon juice and parsley flakes and it turned out great!After a few years of essentially abandoning lentils, the love is back!

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hey Prynce! So glad you tried out the lentil soup and great to hear it worked with those modifications. I’m especially happy that you’re getting back into lentils – they are such a great superfood!

  43. tracey

    What did you sprinkle on top of the black lentils?

    1. Nisha Vora

      cilantro and sesame seeds (mostly to make the picture pretty hehe).

  44. laurie

    I just made the red lentil w/sweet potatoes in my brand new instant pot and OMGGGG It is sooooo good. thank you so very much for that recipe. Will make it over and over.

    1. Nisha Vora

      Hey Laurie! Thank you for letting me know! I love that soup – so easy and so tasty! So happy you enjoyed it :)

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