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How to Cook Lentils in the Instant Pot

Nisha Vora
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!
4.69 from 38 votes
Prep Time 2 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 32 mins
Servings 2 cups


  • Instant Pot


  • 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. 
Keyword gluten-free, nut-free, soy-free, vegan
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