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.
Table of Contents
- Why You’ll Love this Instant Pot Lentil Soup Recipe
- How to Cook Lentil Soup in the Instant Pot
- Frequently Asked Questions about this Recipe
- More Instant Pot Lentil Soup Recipes
- Full, Printable Recipe
- Reader Reviews and Comments
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!”
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
- Thyme and
- Vegetable broth
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.
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.
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
- Instant Pot Vegan Herbed French Lentil Soup – Loaded with herbs (tarragon, parsley, and thyme) with a squeeze of lemon at the end. Thick, hearty and satisfying!
- Instant Pot Curried Carrot Red Lentil Soup – Another ★★★★★ five-star rated recipe! Split red lentils, carrots, ginger, and curry. This one’s super fast – and full of flavor.
- Instant Pot Lentil Vegetable Soup. A back-to-basics, hearty, yet full-of-flavor lentil soup with green lentils, carrots, celery, and thyme. Delicious!
Instant Pot Golden Lentil & Spinach Soup
- 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)
- 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!
Thank you! I’ll give this a go soon, and keep the InstaPot recipes coming!
I realized after I talked to you that lentils aren’t exactly low-carb. But I do have a few more recipes up my sleeve! 🙂
I LOVE this soup and I love your recipes too! I agree with you. When I first got one of the infamous Instant Pots, I was a little disappointed. My food came out a little different than it did in my slow cooker, which I had used for almost 10 years to cook similar dishes. But I do love the IP and the things it can do; it just takes some experimenting with to get the basics down. I even bought my mom one too, but she’s afraid to use it, geez! Anyway, this soup looks great and so hearty. Pinning this one for sure!
Thank you so much Heather. 😀 I hope your mom comes around to the Instant Pot! I was leery at first too. I may have told my family they can’t be in the kitchen because I may or may not have been afraid it was going to explode. I’m not proud – ha. 🙂
You summed up my thoughts and feelings about the IP precisely! Thanks for the recipe. I’ll try it tonight!
I guess it took me by surprise because everyone was like, “it’s so eaasssssyyy!” Ha. I hope you liked the soup!
I also recently purchased one. (50% off on Amazon Cyber Monday so I couldn’t resist). I have cooked pinto beans, steel cut oats, brown rice and steamed some veggies. So far I’m happy. I’ve since given away my rice cooker and stove top pressure cooker, freeing up some needed storage space. I plan to get rid of my giant crockpot as soon as I try a slow cook function. I will definitely try this recipe as we love lentil soup. I’m anxious to try the yogurt function. In fact maybe I’ll do that today.
I have yet to cook dried beans but can’t wait to try it them. I didn’t have a rice cooker or another pressure cooker so I haven’t freed up any space but I still think it’s worth it. I’m not sure I can get rid of my Crock Pots though! Too far! Haha. 😉
You can use your instant pot as a slow cooker too, just select the slow cooker setting and follow the instructions in the manual and in the recipe.
Whoops, accidentally left this comment over on the Bits & Bites entry.
I love my Instant Pot too! It makes amazing risotto with that “hands off” technique which is so convenient compared to stovetop. And I make yogurt every week now, super thick and no added sugar. Thanks for sharing this lentil soup recipe, I will definitely try adding turmeric!
Great photos ! Great idea, as usual ! Thank you and have a pleasant day !
I just wanted to leave a quick comment about this soup. It is SO amazing! I normally don’t comment on recipes but this one is a keeper. I didn’t have tumeric so I subbed in a little curry instead. Thanks!
So glad you liked it! Thank you for commenting. 🙂
how much time would this need to cook in a regular pot on stove? thanks, Veronica
I would say about 40 minutes. Be sure to cover it so the broth doesn’t evaporate!
Unfortunately, you will need to get a tight seal, because even with a lid on the broth will escape as steam around the edges (as I discovered when I found out my lid had a bit of wiggle room around the rim of the pot).
Yes, I have discovered that as well – kind of a pain, but still worth the trouble! 🙂
This recipe was easy to make and flavorful. I used the Instapot, and the french green lentils cooked up perfectly based upon the 14 minutes manual setting. I used drained, thawed frozen spinach and added it to the lentils after the allowing for a natural release on the Instapot. This took a good 20 minutes or so after the 14 minute cook time. I would make this again as I and my husband both enjoyed this healthy and flavorful soup. I will likely add some red pepper flakes for a little more pepper zing to the soup broth.
Thank you Katya for your review! Love the idea of adding red pepper flakes.
I really enjoyed this soup. Thanks for the recipe!
This was tremendous. Wow, I just finished a bowl of this lentil soup. Didn’t have thyme in the cupboard so I substituted 1/2 tsp sage and 1/2 tsp oregano. Other than that, I followed the recipe exactly. Yum, yum! Great recipe; thanks for sharing.
I’m so glad you liked it; thank you for sharing! The Instant Pot really does magical things for lentil soup. 🙂
Winter weather is making a comeback this weekend so I thought this hearty soup would be a perfect recipe to try in my Instant Pot! OMG!! This is perfect! I had some reservations about the amount of turmeric and thyme but made this as written and the taste is so so good! No extra salt or pepper needed. I crumbled some feta on top and think it would be wonderful with a dollop of plain Greek yogurt too. Thanks for this delicious recipe!!
I’m so glad you liked it! Winter weather seems to be nonstop around here too, but hey, more cozy lentil soup is always a good thing. 😀
how do I print recipe
Hi Zeida, the Print Recipe button is on a blue bar to the right of the ingredients list.
Can you just double everything provided you have the 6qt. model?
I’m not sure how proportions work with an appliance of this type.
We are a hungry family of six ! LOL
It looks really yummy BTW?
Hi Pat, I have doubled this recipe once in the 6 quart model, but it totally didn’t turn out the same. It was so weird. I haven’t troubleshooted to figure out why. Maybe I missed an ingredient or something. So I can only comment on my own experience which was not good – probably user error which is silly considering it’s my own recipe. 🙂
Oh, but yes, it all fit. It just didn’t taste nearly as good for some weird reason.
I had a feeling?
Made this and loved it
Will keep to your guidelines
I used big can tomatoes for extra liquid and cast enamelled pot to cut down on liquids evaporation .
Recipe was just what I was looking for. TY ?
I have been making lentil soup for years and I don’t use the same recipe twice. I can now say that I have found my favorite! Thank you so much! Even my husband chimed in the same sentiment… “This is the best lentil soup I have ever tasted!”
Thanks so much, Anita! I just adore this recipe too. 🙂
I’m sooooo glad I found this Lentil Soup recipe as my first attempt from another website did not turn out well. However, I did notice an after-taste of bitterness, probably from the turmeric. Nevertheless, I’m definitely going to bookmark this!
Made this dish tonight and WOW – amazing!!!! Thanks for sharing
So glad you liked it! It’s one of my favorites too. 🙂
Can you let me know what is nutrition in this soup.
Hello, I just added nutrition information. Thanks!
I just made this. It was DELICIOUS we added mushrooms and a little Chipotle Tabasco. This one is definitely a keeper. Thanks for sharing it.
So glad you liked it! 🙂
Thank you, thank you, thank you for this easy-to-follow recipe. As an Indian girl who’s never cooked lentils, staples of Indian food, because she is so scared of the old-fashioned pressure cooker, I got a bit emotional after it was completely done. On top of that, my picky husband actually liked it! Thanks again for giving me my first Instant Pot recipe!
Aww, thanks so much Carol! So glad your husband liked it too. I hope you love your Instant Pot! It is pretty awesome, and not nearly as scary as the stovetop pressure cookers (which I am afraid to use too!)
Just ate my first bowl of soup! Delicious! This was the first recipe I tried with my Instapot. It went pretty well, I think! I am trying to eat less meat, so this is a wonderful first try! Thanks so much. Looking forward to trying more of your recipes.
I’m so glad you liked it! I really do love mine. Congrats on your new purchase – I haven’t been using mine as much this summer, but come fall, it’s going to get some heavy use again! 🙂
I cannot wait to try this soup- it looks delicious, and I love lentil soup. I don’t have an InstaPot yet, though; how does it differ from an electric pressure cooker?
I think you can do the same thing in an electric pressure cooker – I have only used the Instant Pot though, so I haven’t tried it in anything else … I hope you love the soup as much as we do! 🙂
Love this recipe! Thanks for posting. I add two bay leaves, which I find round out the flavour really nicely.
Thank you for this recipe! I doubled the ingredients and it seemed like the lentils absorbed most of the liquid so it wasn’t soupy at all. It was still tasty, though! May be less time or more liquid? Thoughts?
This lentil soup was delicious. Thanks for the recipe. I’m not a huge fan of, nor did I have any celery, so I substituted some chopped bell and hot peppers. This was only my second Instant Pot meal, but your steps worked perfect. I wish I had some good crusty bread to go with it!
After eating salmon and chicken breasts all week on my 1500 cal./day diet, I was seriously craving something hearty, without blowing the calorie count. This fit the bill nicely. Thanks.
Just made this for what has to be the miilionth time – AMAZING every time! Thanks for an awesome recipe!
Yay, I’m so glad you like it! It’s one of my favorites too. 🙂
Can I just compliment you on this soup recipe. It is so good and flavourful. Best thing I have made in my instant pit yet.
Thank you Annie! I’m so glad you like it. 🙂
This is so delicious! It’s is a perfect soup for a fall day, and I love that I usually have all the ingredients in my kitchen. It was super easy and had a lot of flavor. I didn’t have any vegetable broth, so I used chicken broth. We had fresh baby spinach on the side so my kids could choose how much they wanted to add to their soup. Served with a dollop of greek yogurt and chopped cashews. Served it with naan. Yum!
Thank you so much, Denise, I’m so glad you and the kids liked it! Love the idea of serving the spinach on the side (and the naan too, of course!)
I tried this recipe and it came out really tasty. I loved the combination of sage and tumeric and it was a really healthy and easy to prep. The spices seemed like a lot for the amount of lentils/veggies, so I reduced them quite a bit and the stew was still really flavorful. I also added more lentils (about 1.5 cups instead of just 1 cup) to increase the amount of protein per serving and threw in some bell pepper and zucchini just because I had them on hand. I also added some red pepper flakes for a bit of heat, which worked well.
As for the Instant Pot, I love it. Veggies can get a bit overdone (as they do in a crock pot) and beans can be tricky as sometimes they are not cooked through with suggested cook-times. The Instant Pot works great for rice and lentils, though.
You’ve perfectly encapsulated my exact feelings on my new instant pot! Ha! why does no one mention the warm-up time? Or the massive amount of counter space it takes up, for that matter. I have mastered the yogurt feature (best yogurt I ever made!) and I can’t wait to try your lentil soup recipe. Yum!
Do you cook this on low or high setting? Thanks!
My Instant Pot only cooks on high so I don’t have a setting – but if you do, choose “high!” Thanks for asking.
I have just started using the Instant Pot and this recipe totally inspires me. SO easy and YUMMY! I have one comment, I live at altitude and I had to add water after cooking because the lentils were almost completely dry when the cooking cycle completed.
Are you using canned lentils or dry?
Hi Marie, dry. 🙂
I made this recipe this evening and it was incredibly easy and so good! I couldn’t find brown lentils so I used green instead. It tasted great! I will definitely be making this again. Even my one year old loved it!
Even though I don’t have an InstaPot and only had Red Lentils in my pantry, this was exactly the type of recipe I was surfing for… so I just made it on the stovetop following the order you gave for adding ingredients. What a delicious and healthy soup that I’m sure glad I didn’t pass up because of not being able to make it in an InstaPot! 🙂
This soup is fantastic! I followed the recipe without making any changes and it was delicious. I’ve made this several times and it really is the best lentil soup I’ve ever had. And my meat-eating husband loves it!
You exactly described my instant pot experience thus far (I’m 3 months in). I will definitely give this recipe a try.
Ahhhh this is the first recipe I am doing in my Instapot and I juts realized I don’t have manual button!! Just the soup button what do you suggest?
Does your Instant Pot have a “pressure cook” button? If so use that one instead. 🙂
What size IP is the recipe for as written? Thanks
I have a 6-quart, but it should work in smaller or larger sizes too.
Thanks for this recipe. I hope that, since posting it, you’ve taken a few minutes to read the manual. It’s very clear and only 17 pages long, with pictures, and will really help.
Wow! Thank you for this. This was SUPER easy to make and absolutely hearty, filling, and delicious. Question for you: Will be making it for a party and would like to double the recipe. Have a 6QT. I can just double all ingredients including the liquids correct? Sorry I know it’s a silly question but I’ve seen instapot recipes wherein it was not recommended to double all ingredients.
It doesn’t quite work out the same for me when doubling. It’s still delicious and the texture is right but the flavor is just not the same. And I have no idea why, except maybe the veggies are more steamed than sautéed when there are so many of them. Maybe sautéing the veggies on the stovetop first will help. I’ll come back and update when I’ve figured it out!
This is by far my favoritest IP lentil soup recipe. The spices provide so much more flavor. I included 1 medium sweet potato (cut into chunks) for some carb, also added 1/2 cup of red lentil. This freezes well (prob better in a freezer bag than a tub). Thank you for this awesome recipe.
Great idea to add sweet potatoes and red lentils! So glad you like the recipe. Thanks Sally!
Just got my Instant Pot as an early Christmas present and this was one of the first recipes I’ve tried out. Easy and delicious! Texture and taste are fantastic. Thanks for the recipe!
Wonderful! So glad you liked it and happy Instant Potting! They really are pretty awesome.
Really looking forward to making this soup. Question, considering making this For an upcoming soup swap. I love my instant pot but unfortunately there are others there who won’t have one. Any recommendations on Alternate cooking methods and times? I have to supply the ladies with the recipe. Thanks in advance!
Thank you for a delicious first successful meal in my new Insant Pot! It was sooo yummy! I added a bay leaf and then squeezed a lemon over it before serving and it was so enjoyable on a cold day. We had bread with it that we could use for dipping and my husband loved it. I have the Instant Pot Duo which does not have a “manual” setting. I used the “pressure” setting on high and it worked perfectly. This recipe will become one of my staples. Thanks again!
So glad you liked it! Thank you for the nice comment! 🙂
Loved this. I made this for my in-laws as something light after all the holiday food this year and everyone thought it was delicious. I had a bunch of kale from my CSA box to use, so I replaced the spinach with kale by chopping it up and putting it into the soup before pressure cooking. The kale held up perfectly and was a really lovely addition. Thank you and thank instant pot for making life so much easier!
Made the lentil spinach soup in my Instant Pot.
Very delicious. This is a recipe keeper.
I actually bought my Instant Pot for this recipe tonight and am not disappointed. Just the right amount of spice and the lentils done perfectly. To my taste, I might leave one of the carrots out next time, but very good. Very flavorful!
Yay, so glad you liked it! And I hope you love your Instant Pot! I have learned to love mine. 🙂
I was excited by the healthy ingredients and interesting spices, but unfortunately thought the soup was very plain. Needs something to spice it up.