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Simple Brown or Green Lentils

Prep Time7 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Total Time42 mins
Servings: 4
Calories: 213kcal
Author: Nisha Vora


  • Instant Pot


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups (480 mL) low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 cup (190g) 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 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 oil. Once it's shimmering, add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently.
  • 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 minutes (8 minutes for very soft lentils).
  • 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.
    NOTE: If the lentils aren't as soft as you'd like, add 1/4 cup additional water and pressure cook for 1 or 2 more minutes. Allow a natural pressure release for 5 minutes.