This Instant Pot lentil stew recipe is cozy, comforting, a little bit smoky, and you will love the bacon! Let your electric pressure cooker do the heavy lifting for this tasty meal.
This electric pressure cooker lentil stew is pretty hearty. It's definitely got a stew/thick soup texture, and it will stick to your ribs. Perfect for cooler weather or if you can't stand your air conditioned office. 😉
The Instant Pot is great for making stews/soups in general because you just set it and forget it, and you don't have to babysit it on the stovetop at all. Lentils can take a while to cook, but the Instant Pot makes it simple and pretty hands-off once it gets going.
Am I the only person who doesn't cook lentils for ages and then when I cook them I'm always surprised just how tasty they are, vow to cook them more often, and then repeats the same cycle over and over again? Probably not.
Recipe notes & tips:
- If you want to make it more of a soup, I recommend adding some additional chicken broth after you release the pressure (this quantity of lentils really sucks up the liquid). Leftovers will continue to absorb liquid, so feel free to add more broth as needed when reheating. This is a total guess, but I would say that using half the amount of lentils and keeping the rest of the ingredient quantities the same will produce more of a soup than a stew.
- I recommend using good quality, thick-cut bacon for this recipe.
- I've tested this recipe with green lentils, but brown lentils should be fine too. Red lentils will turn more mushy.
- You can make it on the stove, but I haven't tested it so I have no idea re: timing. Just cook it in a large pot until the lentils are soft and the liquid has been absorbed to your liking.
- This is the Instant Pot that I use for my recipes.
What to serve with lentil stew?
Eat it as-is or serve it with some delicious crusty bread or even cornbread. You could always serve it over rice as well. Or with a simple side salad.
Other Instant Pot recipes to try:
- Instant Pot Split Pea Soup (with ham OR vegetarian)
- Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup
- Instant Pot Beef Stew
Will you give this Instant Pot lentil stew a try? Questions? Give me a shout in the comments below.
Instant Pot Lentil Stew
- 6 strips bacon cut into small pieces
- 1/2 medium onion chopped
- 2 medium carrots peeled & chopped small
- 2 sticks celery chopped small
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound uncooked green lentils
- 1 (14 fluid ounce) can tomato sauce
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Cut the bacon into small pieces (I use kitchen shears) and add it to your Instant Pot. Press the sauté button and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is just about crispy and the fat has been rendered out.
- Meanwhile, prep the onion, carrots, and celery. When the bacon is ready, add them to the Instant Pot and continue sautéing for 4-5 minutes.
- Stir in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds.
- Add in the lentils, tomato sauce, chicken broth, smoked paprika, and cumin. Give it a good stir and ensure nothing is sticking on the bottom of the Instant Pot.
- Close the lid, set the valve on "sealing", press the "manual" button and set the timer for 15 minutes. It'll take about 10-15 minutes for the Instant Pot to get up to pressure.
- Once the countdown has finished, let the pressure release naturally for 15 minutes, and then do a quick release for the rest of the pressure.
- Season the stew with salt & pepper as needed. If you want this to be more of a soup (or you feel it needs more liquid in general), add in more chicken broth and press the "sauté" button to help it warm through.
- Inactive time indicates the time it takes the Instant Pot to get up to pressure and release pressure.
- This is the 6-quart Instant Pot I used.
- Stovetop tips: I have not tested this on the stove, but there's no reason that you can't do that.. it'll just take a while for the lentils and veggies to soften up. I would let them simmer in a large soup pot until they're tender and the liquid is absorbed.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.