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. When it comes to lentil soup, Instant Pot preparation is so 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.

A blue ceramic bowl full of Instant Pot Golden Lentil Soup with a blue napkin in the background on a wooden table.

Table of Contents

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

There are so many reasons why I think you’ll love this Instant Pot vegan 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 blue bowl of golden lentil and spinach soup


This 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 – the classic mirepoix helps build layers of flavor.
  • Garlic – a must!
  • Ground cumin, ground turmeric, and dried thyme – this combo of spices adds so much flavor!
  • Vegetable broth – I like to use low-sodium veggie broth because that helps me control the overall sodium content of this Instant Pot lentil soup.
A side-by-side collage showing the ingredients for Instant Pot Lentil Soup and the mirepoix and spices being sautéed in the Instant Pot.

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 while making Golden Lentil and Spinach Soup

The Best Lentils for Instant Pot Lentil Soup

Every kind of lentil is great for lentil soup in the Instant Pot – it just depends on what you want! This recipe calls for brown lentils, which are large for lentils, have a nutty, earthy flavor that soaks up the flavors in this soup, and keep their shape for the most part.

French green lentils take longer to cook, about 20 minutes, and tend to maintain their shape. Split red lentils take the least amount of time, more like 8 minutes – but they will dissolve as red lentil do.

Storing Leftover Soup

Let the soup cool to room temperature. Place leftover soup in an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator.

How Long Does This Instant Pot Vegan Soup Keep?

Lentil soup will keep for up to four days in the refrigerator.

How to Freeze Instant Pot Lentil Soup

This lentil soup 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.

Freeze your cooked soup in an airtight container or freezer bag for up to three months. To reheat, place it in the refrigerator overnight to thaw, then warm in a large pot on the stovetop. Add the spinach at the last minute.

Spoonful of Instant Pot Golden Lentil and Spinach Soup


Is this a vegan soup?

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

I tried making it and when I went to open the instant pot the lentils absorbs all of the liquid! What 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. 

What size Instant Pot is best for lentil soup?

I am using a 6-quart Instant Pot. 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.

More Instant Pot Lentil Soup Recipes

4.92 from 103 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!


  • 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!


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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