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!
I am so happy to have discovered this recipe! It’s the first thing I ever made in my InstantPot! It’s so delicious that it has become a regular meal in my home. Perfect for evenings when you don’t want to spend too much time cooking, yet want something tasty and healthy.
Well I’m honored this was the first recipe you made in your IP. 😀 I’m back to making this one for fall and I’m reminded how much I love it too! 🙂 Thanks so much for your review!
This was the second recipe (ever) I made in my instant pot-TODAY. This was delicious and so easy to make. Thank you for sharing, I will be making this often.
Yay! So glad you liked it! Thank you so much for your review. 🙂
By far… my favorite recipe! Thank you!!
So so good. We are addicted to this soup. Healthy, easy to make. Thank you for this recipe!
I have green lentils and red lentils. Have you every replaced the brown lentils with others?
Hi Donna, I will often use green lentils (not French green) as they’re so similar to brown. They do take longer to cook though; about 20 minutes. I’ve not used red or split red lentils. If you use the latter you should be good with the same cooking time but just know they will pretty much dissolve as split red lentils do! 🙂
This was very easy and very good. I only used 1 tsp of cumin, but that’s a personal taste thing. I’ve had my Insta Pot for almost 2 years and have just recently started using it frequently. I love it now. Was a tad scared of it before, so it made me leery of using much. I recently went plant based and the Insta Pot makes cooking beans so fast and easy. I can make hummus in one afternoon instead of 2 days. Thanks for the recipe. I’ll be sure to check out more of yours.
Hi Pam! I’m so glad you liked the recipe. I was leery of the Instant Pot too! I still have to resist the urge to tell my daughter to stay out of the kitchen when it’s on, ha. 🙂 I’ll have to try hummus in the IP – sounds amazing!
I was wondering if I could just do this at home with no slow cooker or crock pot, just a regular stove top method? Any suggestions, please and thank you in advance!!
So easy to make and it turned out soooo good! Accompanied it with a simple green salad and toasted ciabatta bread. Delish! thank you!!!
Thanks so much, Sandra! So glad you like it. 🙂
Hi–love the recipe–so easy to mix up and saute in the Instant Pot! I’m confused though–I do not see a manual button anywhere. So I’ve selected Soup/Stew instead. We’ll see what happens in the next 12 minutes!
So yummy and easy! I added a sweet potato, some Garam Masala and omitted the celery (too lazy to go to the store) – really enjoyed this!!
SO delicious! Even my non-vegetable-loving husband loved it! I didn’t have celery, but added more carrots. Great seasoning!
So glad you both liked it! 🙂
This is the first recipe I’ve made in my instant pot. My 16 year old son gave it an 8/10! I really enjoyed it and will be making it again. Possibly for wrestling tournaments also! So good – thank you!
I’m so glad you and your son like the recipe! 🙂 Thanks so much for the review.
can you make it traditionally 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? If you try it please report back!
This was the best soup……so easy….so tasty.
I’m so glad you liked it! Thank you for the review. <3
High pressure or low
Hi! I am looking very forward to making this. It looks delicious and everyone seems to be raving about it. Quick question – can I use frozen spinach? If so, do I have to adjust the amount of spinach/cook time/when I add it? Just got an IP so I am planning on this being my first recipe. Thanks!
I’ve not tried frozen spinach but it seems like it would work. I’d just thaw first and squeeze out any excess water then separate it the best you can before adding. If you do give a try please report back!
Perfect lentil soup – thank you!
So glad you like it! 🙂
This stew sounds delicious, but how much does it actually make. I know it says serves 4. 8, 12 or 16-ounce servings?
I haven’t measured recently, but I believe it’s about four 1 1/2 cup servings.
SOOO good! My first recipe after months of side-eyeing my instant pot mini! Just wanted to thank you for your wonderful recipe. Had our first snowfall yesterday in NYC and I was so cozy at home making this soup. It turned out really delicious and so satisfying! Added a dollop of greek yogurt on top…YUM. Thank you again! Look forward to following more of your recipes in the future.
Oh that sounds so cozy! I’m so glad you liked the recipe and gave your Instant Pot a try. It’s kind of scary at first isn’t it?!! 🙂
Hey! So I tried making it and when I went to open the instant pot the lentils absorbs all of the liquid!! 😩 idk why that happened!
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.
I would like to try this recipe for a dinner party I’m throwing. I don’t have an Instant pot. Can I make this on the stovetop and if so, how would I alter the cooking time/recipe? Thank you!
It’s awesome thanks! I add half of a quarter cup of nutritional yeast and it’s supper yummy like that too 🙂
Are you using a 3 quart instant pot or 6 quart?
Hi Andre, I have a 6-quart.
I put the spinach in the insta pot right???
Sorry didn’t see at the end about the spinach. I added it to the instapot, but I also add a cup of onions not a half
Yep, just stir it in at the end! 🙂
If I have a 3qt how do I edit the recipe and timing? Thanks!!
I just finished making the recipe in the 3 qt. No changes are needed.
I made this last night using my Instant Pot for the very first time. This recipe was very simple to make, the IP directions were clear, and the soup came out delicious.
Thanks so much for your review, Lacey! I’m so glad you liked it.
“there’s a definite learning curve”
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the learning curve involved in cooking with the Insta Pot. I’ve been toying with getting one for about a year and a half, but space, among other considerations, has kept me from buying one. What works? What’s been tricky to adapt to? Would love to read your insights and experiences in a column!
For me, I noticed there was a learning curve with the timing. It is not an Instant heat up, once you set the pressure cooking function it still takes a good few minutes to actually achieve pressure and start your countdown. I also noticed there was a learning curve with the buttons, because there are simply so many options.
I may be brave and try doubling. I’ll let you know how it goes!
Absolutely delicious. I already love lentil soup, but this has such amazing flavor!! I used this recipe for my very first time using my new instant pot. It was so easy and turned out amazing. Thank you so much for sharing!!
Hi Hope! I’m so glad you liked this recipe. Thanks so much for the review!
This was a very good recipe- I made it as a good luck dish for new year’s day (the lentils and greens are considered good luck foods!). Very easy to throw together. It was a little cumin heavy (and cumin is probably my favorite spice) so my husband wasn’t a huge fan, so I would probably add a little less next time. Oh and this soup needs a splash of sherry vinegar before eating IMHO 🙂
Love the idea of eating this for New Year’s! And sherry vinegar sounds like a delicious addition. Thanks for sharing!
Very flavorful! Turned out great, family enjoyed it! Would recommend adding a little cayenne at end.
Love the little punch of cayenne!
Very nice recipe and now I understand my Instant Pot better.
So glad you liked it! The IP is a bit of a beast to get to know (at least it was for me) but so worth it!
My family loved it. It was great!
Very good! Thank you for sharing this recipe. I made it just as you suggested except I added some frozen peas in at the end with the spinach. It is delicious.
Great idea! Thanks, Jen!
Best Lentil soup ever!!!! It was flavorful and did not have any leftovers. Looks like I’m gonna have to make another pot!! 🙂
Yay, I’m so glad you liked it! Thanks so much for coming back and rating the recipe.
Is it necessary to soak the beans overnight before using? Thank you.
Has anybody done this in a Crock-Pot or regular soup pot?
Regarding the spinach lentil recipe using the instantpot, I soaked my lentils first! Should I use half the amount of broth when cooking?
Making this for the second time tonight! Turned out great. My only disappointment was that i didnt make enough for leftovers. This time i’m doubling the recipe for leftovers! Thanks for the recipe!
I’m so glad you like the recipe, Kara! 🙂 Thanks!
I made this tonight and ran into the issue of the liquid being fully absorbed. It was still delicious nonetheless! My husband loved it as well. I’ll definitely try it again. So simple and flavorful.
Strange! Did your Instant Pot seal? This has happened to me when the pot never seals.
I made this for dinner the other night and everyone LOVED it! So easy and flavorful; thank you for sharing!
Yay! Love it. Thanks Caroline!
Great recipe, Kare. Made it last night. Was great 😀
Thanks for the rating! So glad you liked it.
This was absolutely delicious. I didn’t have veg broth, so I did it with chicken broth (if you do this, I suggest reducing the salt you add), also I had no spinach, but despite this IT WAS FABULOUS. My husband and I almost ate the whole pot!
I’m so glad you both liked it! Thanks for the info about substituting; that helps others who are making the recipe! 🙂
This was very tasty! I ran out of vegetable broth and had to substitute 2 cups of water and it still turned out really delicious and not lacking any flavor at all. In fact, if anything, I would cut down a bit on the salt and I generally like a lot of salt. I also threw in cubes of roasted squash I had in the fridge. This was my second instant pot dish. Thanks!
I’m so glad you like the recipe! Thank you for sharing about the water. The addition of roasted squash sounds so good!
Hi, I think I have the solution for everyone’s water problem. The cup that comes with the Insta pot. It’s not a true cup. I think some people are using the little plastic cup instead of a regular cup.
This by far is the best lentil soup I’ve made. It’s not a watery base soup and more hearty. It’s delicious and full of flavor! Very little salt is needed.
How would you tweak if you wanted to add ditalini ( or other small pasta) to this?
Delicious! I added 1 TBSP of lemon with the stock and would recommend for anyone who wants a bright flavor.
Yum – great idea! 🙂
Would you know the heating instructions to make this in a crock pot?