Meet Alex Caspero
Alex Caspero is a Registered Dietitian, New York Times Bestselling Chef, and mom of two. She aims to cut through the nutrition noise by providing real-life, nourishing tips for body and mind. Learn more about Alex.
The best Instant Pot Lentil Soup Recipe! Quick and easy to make, healthy and vegan. With directions for both stovetop and the slow cooker. This lentil soup is a must-save for weeknight meals.
This is the time of year where my Instant Pot is always on my kitchen counter. Between quick soups for dinner or making a big pot of beans, my pressure cooker is a must-have for simple, weeknight meals.
I’m getting at least 3-4 uses out of it per week; I like to refer to it as my winter work horse. I honestly never thought I would use my Instant Pot that much when I first bought it a few years ago, but here we are. If you haven’t gotten one yet and you like to eat beans, soups and stews often then I highly recommend grabbing one.
Right now, one of my favorite things to make is this Instant Pot Lentil Soup! Packed with vegetables, tomatoes, and lentils, this one is a crowd-pleaser and simple enough for busy weeknights.
You only need a handful of ingredients for this lentil soup recipe, including dried spices, canned tomatoes, dried lentils and fresh parsley.
The best part is that this Instapot lentil soup can be prepared in a short amount of time – making it a perfect busy weeknight dinner.
In addition to olive oil for sautéing the veggies and spices, you’ll need the following vegetables:
Pantry ingredients like:
I recommend using brown, green or French green lentils. Red lentils can work in lentil soup, but they will lose their shape as soon as they are cooked.
Turn the Instant Pot on and hit ‘saute.’ Add the olive oil, onion, carrots, and celery and cook for roughly 5 minutes until vegetables have softened. Sautéing the vegetables first makes a huge difference in adding a layer of flavor, so even though it takes a little more time, I highly recommend doing it.
Add in the garlic and spices, then hit ‘cancel.’ Stir in the tomatoes with their juices, dried lentils, broth, salt, and cover.
Turn the valve to seal, then cook for 15 minutes on high pressure. When done, let the pressure come down naturally for 10-15 minutes. Turn the valve to open to release any leftover steam, then gently remove the cover.
Remove 2 cups of the soup in a blender and puree until creamy. Alternatively, you can use an immersion blender to puree a few cups of the soup. This step adds more body to the soup without adding in additional cream or dairy.
Stir in the chopped spinach and place the lib back on. Let sit for 2-3 minutes until the spinach has wilted. To finish, stir in the lemon juice and chopped parsley and serve. If you aren’t vegan, a little parmesan cheese on top is delicious or you can use a plant-based option.
To make this lentil soup in a crock pot, saute the vegetables (onion, celery and carrot) first with the olive oil in a skillet. Just like with the Instant Pot, this step adds in so much extra flavor to the soup and I recommend doing it.
Add the cooked vegetables to the base of a slow-cooker, spices, tomatoes, lentils, and salt. Cook on high for 4 hours or until lentils are tender.
Before serving, remove 2 cups of the soup and puree until creamy, then add back to the slow cooker. Add in the spinach and stir to wilt. Just before serving, add in the parsley and lemon juice and serve.
Like with the other directions for the slow cooker and Instant Pot, start by sautéing the aromatic vegetables (onion, celery and carrot) first with the olive oil in a large stock pan or large pot.
Add in the spices, tomatoes, lentils, salt and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook until lentils are tender, about 35 minutes. Remove 2 cups of the soup and puree until creamy, then add back to the stock pan.
Stir in the spinach and stir to wilt. Just before serving, add in the parsley and lemon juice and serve!
You can store any leftover soup in the fridge or freezer. Cool the lentil soup completely first, then place it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4-5 days or in the freezer for three months.
To cook this lentil soup from frozen, remove the soup from the freezer and thaw it in the fridge overnight. Place the leftover soup in a saucepan over medium-low heat on the stovetop and cook until warmed, adding in more broth as needed.
You can also reheat leftovers in the microwave by placing a small amount of the soup in a bowl and cover with a dish towel, then cook for 60-second intervals, stirring in between, until warmed through.
Unlike dried beans, you don’t have to soak your lentils before making lentil soup.
Lentils need to be seasoned well so they aren’t bland, as they don’t have much flavor. This recipe ensures a flavorful, delicious lentil soup!
Lentils can get mushy if you overcook them, this is another reason why I don’t recommend using red lentils, as they break down too much when cooked. Great in some recipes, like my spicy red lentils, but not in lentil soup. Brown or french lentils are best for the desired consistency of this soup.
As a Registered Dietitian, I wish everyone would eat more lentils. They are inexpensive, rich in both protein and fiber, and so good for you. One cup of cooked lentils contains 18g of protein, 15g of fiber and 6.5 mg of iron. This vegan lentil soup is packed with protein and fiber, making it a delicious option for everyone.
Several studies have demonstrated that eating lentils reduces the risk of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, obesity, cancer, and cardiovascular disease.
This vegan lentil soup is for busy weeknights. The times when you are so tired to make dinner, but don’t want to settle for another pantry snack meal of crackers, cheese, hummus and maybe some vegetables.
Not with this instant pot lentil soup! There’s little that needs to be done besides chopping up a few vegetables. Add in some dried lentils, a can of tomatoes, some spices and ta-da! Dinner is served.
This one is slightly spicy because I love spicy food but it’s easily tamed down for those of you who don’t– either reduce or omit the red pepper flakes.
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Instant Pot Lentil Soup! This vegan lentil soup recipe is perfect for fall and winter. Healthy, delicious and so easy to put together! Throw everything in the pressure cooker and dinner is ready.
This recipe was first published in October 2018 and updated in 2023.
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