Instant Pot Lentil Soup is hearty, full of flavor, nutritious, and a meal-in-one. I call this version “golden” because it sports the current it-food, turmeric, which gives it a golden glow. And it really is a vibrant lentil soup recipe, both looks-wise and taste-wise – it packs a ton of flavor and nutrition. And it’s about the coziest dinner around.

Plus, lentil soup is the perfect thing to make in your Instant Pot – it really is super easy and with that intense cooking environment, the flavors seriously amp up, in record time.

I love this hearty soup recipe, especially for the winter months. Add a crusty slice of bread and it’s the perfect fast, easy, and satiating winter weeknight meal.

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

Table of Contents

Why You’ll Love this Instant Pot Lentil Soup Recipe

There are so many reasons why I think you’ll love this soup.

  • It’s fast! This hearty soup cooks for a mere 12 minutes (not including Instant Pot warm-up time), but it tastes like it simmered all day.
  • It’s SO hearty. It’s super filling and so satisfying – especially with a hunk of crusty bread alongside.
  • It’s healthy. It’s packed with protein and fiber and is 100% plant-based vegan as-is.

But enough from me – this is what other readers like you have said:

  • “This soup is so easy to make and delicious! Thank you.”
  • “This is the BEST lentil soup ever!! I literally make it once a week.”
  • “Thank you so much for sharing this recipe. Utterly delicious! Reminds me so much of the Sri Lankan dahl curry we make, yet so much easier and less prep time. I will be making this again and again.”
  • “I love this recipe. It’s perfect for not owning any other cooking device other than an instant pot (did that for a bit). I found this recipe is really awesome to take care of older greens (lettuce, spinach, kale etc) and I prefer throwing it all in before sealing the lid. I keep coming back to this recipe and sharing it with my friends and family. Thank you for the deliciousness!”
Close-up of a bowl of golden lentil and spinach soup

Ingredients

Instant Pot Golden Lentil & Spinach Soup has a pretty simple list of ingredients, including:

  • Brown lentils – these are probably the most common lentils out there; at least where I am, they are the easiest to find. You can also use French green lentils or other lentils but may have to adjust the cooking time.
  • Baby spinach – pre-washed makes it so easy to just grab a few handfuls and throw them in
  • Onion
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Garlic
  • Cumin
  • Turmeric
  • Thyme and
  • Vegetable broth
Instant Pot Lentil Soup

How to Cook Lentil Soup in the Instant Pot

Start with a six-quart Instant Pot Electric Pressure Cooker (this one’s just like mine [affiliate link]).

Like many Instant Pot soup recipes, it’s a two-step process. First, you sauté your veggies in a bit of olive oil – onion, carrots, celery, garlic. And include your spices – cumin, turmeric, and thyme – to really amp up the flavors.

Then, you add your broth and lentils, then place the lid on the Instant Pot and set it to high pressure.

Remove the lid after it’s done, stir in the spinach, and serve. That’s it!

For the full recipe, including exact measurements and directions, scroll down to the printable at the bottom of the page.

Stirring the spinach into Instant Pot Golden Lentil and Spinach Soup

Frequently Asked Questions About this Recipe

Q: Is this a vegan soup?

Yes! And in the Instant Pot, vegan lentil soup is made extra flavorful because of the pressure cooker environment.

Q: I tried making it and when I went to open the instant pot the lentils absorbs all of the liquid! I don’t know why that happened!

A: Did the Instant Pot seal? I’ve had this happen. I’ve forgotten to make sure my handle is in the “seal” position, or I’ve needed to clean the sealing ring, lid area, float valve, and anti-block shield. Usually one of those things is the culprit. 

Q: What size Instant Pot are you using?

A: I am using a 6-quart Instant Pot.

Q: How would you edit this recipe for a 3-quart Instant Pot?

A: I have not tried the recipe in a 3-quart, but as long as you don’t double the recipe, everything should be the same.

Q: Can I double this recipe?

A: I have tried doubling this recipe and while it cooks up just fine, the flavor isn’t quite as nice. I’m honestly not quite sure why that is, but I’m determined to figure it out!

Q: Can I use another kind of lentils?

A: Yes! But be prepared to alter your cooking time and know the outcome may be different than what you see in photos. French green lentils would up the time to about 20 minutes. Split red lentils would take more like 8 minutes but they will dissolve as red lentil do.

Spoonful of Instant Pot Golden Lentil and Spinach Soup

Q: Can I freeze this lentil soup?

A: Yes, it freezes beautifully! However, the spinach loses its vibrant color when you freeze it. My suggestion is to freeze without the spinach then add it at the last minute when you warm it back up.

Q: Can you make this in a pot on the stove?

I haven’t tried it that way yet, but I’m sure you can – I’d say it should take about 35-40 minutes?

Q: Is it 12 minutes manual on low or high pressure?

A: High pressure. 

More Instant Pot Lentil Soup Recipes

4.92 from 102 votes

Instant Pot Golden Lentil & Spinach Soup

Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 30 minutes
Total: 35 minutes
Author: Kare
Yield: 4 Servings
Thick, hearty, and oh-so full of flavor, this Instant Pot Lentil Soup is my very favorite Instant Pot recipe. Add a thick slice of crusty bread and your winter weeknight dinner is made!

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1/2 medium yellow onion (diced) (about 1 cup)
  • 2 medium carrots (peeled and diced) (about 1 cup)
  • 1 medium stalk celery (diced) (about 1/2 cup)
  • 4 medium cloves garlic (minced) (about 2 tablespoons)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (+ more to taste*)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (+ more to taste)
  • 1 cup dry brown lentils (rinsed well in cold water)
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth (one 32-ounce box)
  • 8 ounces baby spinach (about 6 cups)

Instructions

  • Hit “Saute” button on Instant Pot. Add oil. When hot, add the onions, carrots, and celery. Saute, stirring occasionally, until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cumin, turmeric, thyme, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring constantly, for one minute.
  • Add the lentils and pour in the broth. Stir.
  • Place the lid on the Instant Pot and make sure the release valve is in the “sealing” position. Press the “Manual” button and set the timer at 12 minutes.
  • The Instant Pot will warm up for about 10 minutes and then start cooking. After the 12 minutes is up, quick-release by flipping the release valve to “venting” (a little bit at a time at first).
  • Once venting is complete, remove the lid of the Instant Pot. Stir in the spinach. Taste and add additional salt and pepper if desired. Serve.
  • Keeps in the refrigerator for about 3 days. Freezes well too!

Notes

Cook time includes sautéing and warm-up.
* Update 11/8/19: Based on a handful of reader comments about this soup tasting too salty, I reduced the initial salt amount from 1 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon. Please taste and adjust at the end until it’s perfect for you!

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1.5cups, Calories: 245kcal, Carbohydrates: 40g, Protein: 16g, Fat: 3g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 371mg, Potassium: 961mg, Fiber: 19g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 10488IU, Vitamin C: 22mg, Calcium: 120mg, Iron: 6mg
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