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Instant Pot lentil stew (close-up)

Instant Pot Lentil Stew

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. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Instant Pot lentil stew
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Inactive time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 404kcal


  • 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.


Calories: 404kcal | Carbohydrates: 54g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 15mg | Sodium: 1383mg | Potassium: 1299mg | Fiber: 25g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 3937IU | Vitamin C: 27mg | Calcium: 82mg | Iron: 7mg