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This easy and healthy vegetarian Instant Pot Lentil soup is incredibly tasty and hearty! There are vegan lentil soup adaptations as well as crockpot instructions. 

two bowls of Instant Pot lentil soup topped with parsley and a bowl of garlic bread.
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Packed full of veggies and other delicious flavors, this Instant Pot lentil soup is going to knock your socks off!

You can make it in your Instant Pot, slow cooker, or on the stovetop. You can make it vegan, vegetarian, or omnivarian (<—- let’s call that a thing). It’s versatile and delicious and so easy to make!

Looking for more vegan/vegetarian soup recipes? Check out Spicy Vegan Butternut Squash Soup and Gluten-Free Tomato Soup. Check out all my Instant Pot Soup recipes for more inspiration. 

How Long Do Lentils Take in the Instant Pot?

You’re going to be cooking your lentils for only 12 minutes in this recipe. This recipe uses brown lentils, but you can also use green lentils and cook for the same amount of time. If you are going to be rocking some red lentils in this recipe, reduce the cooking time to 10 minutes.

If you have leftover dried lentils, use them later to make these incredible Lentil Nachos.

veggies, broth, and lentils on a white board.

Do I Have to Soak the Lentils Before Cooking?

Heck no you don’t, not when using the Instant Pot! You will want to rinse them and remove any pebbles or debris that snuck their way into your bag of lentils.

But no soaking? Your life is about to rule!

Lentil Soup Ingredients

What’s in this soup? Pure heaven and unicorn dust. And um, lentils.

Make your prep even easier by learning how to freeze pesto, how to freeze celery, how to freeze carrots, how to freeze garlic, and how to freeze onions.

Want to take this soup to the next level? Top each bowl with some Fried Shallots.

Serve with a side of Cheesy Garlic Bread, Air Fryer Biscuits, or Air Fryer Texas Toast and your life will be complete.

3 photos showing how to make vegetarian lentil soup in an instant pot

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes

an overhead photo of a bowl of lentil soup topped with fresh parsley.


One serving has 1 WW Freestyle SmartPoints.

5 from 25 ratings

Instant Pot Lentil Soup

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 12 minutes
Pressurizing/Depressurizing: 15 minutes
Total: 42 minutes
two bowls of Instant Pot lentil soup topped with parsley and a bowl of garlic bread.
This easy and healthy vegetarian Instant Pot lentil soup is incredibly tasty and hearty! There are vegan lentil soup adaptations as well as crockpot instructions. 


  • 8 carrots {peeled and chopped}
  • 7 stalks celery {chopped}
  • 1 onion {diced}
  • 1 cup potato {peeled and chopped}
  • 6 cloves garlic {minced}
  • 1 1/3 cup dried brown or green lentils
  • 6 cups broth of choice
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 2 tbsp prepared pesto
  • salt and pepper to taste


Instant Pot Instructions

  • Add all the ingredients to the Instant Pot. Stir.
    8 carrots, 7 stalks celery, 1 onion, 1 cup potato, 6 cloves garlic, 1 1/3 cup dried brown or green lentils, 6 cups broth of choice, 1 tsp smoked paprika, 1 tsp dried parsley, 1 tsp dried thyme, 2 tbsp prepared pesto, salt and pepper to taste
  • Secure the lid and set the vent to sealing. Press manual>high pressure>12 minutes. It will take around 10 minutes to get up to pressure.
  • When the cooking time is up, do a natural release for 5 minutes and then flip the vent to venting and perform a quick release.

Slow Cooker Instructions

  • Place all ingredients in your slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.

Stove Top Instructions

  • In a heavy-bottomed saucepan, combine olive oil, carrots, celery, and onions. Cook down for 10 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the remaining ingredients and cook on medium until lentils are soft (about 30 minutes).


  1. This soup was made in an 8-quart Instant Pot. If you have another sized Instant Pot, the cooking time will be the same. Just make sure you don’t fill the inner pot more than two-thirds full.
  2. As written, this recipe is vegetarian. Use a dairy-free pesto to make it vegan. 
  3. Throw in some spinach at the end of the cooking time for some added greens.


Serving: 1cupCalories: 154kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 8gFat: 2gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 1mgSodium: 653mgPotassium: 588mgFiber: 11gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 8748IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 60mgIron: 3mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Tried this recipe?Mention @sustainablecooks or tag #sustainablecooks!

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  1. Add in some ham after the fact for a non veggie bit of deliciousness. Regular staple at our house now. 5 stars

  2. We like lentils fixed just about any way so today I made this soup after a weekend of “bad” choices. All my husband kept saying was, “Mmmm, mmmm, mmmm, mmmm!” Yep it was delicious!5 stars

    1. So funny Mary because that is what we had for dinner last night too! 🙂

      I’m thrilled you and your husband both enjoyed it so much.

  3. Hi Sarah, 
    This looks delicious. Do you think regular paprika would be ok instead of smoked paprika? I’m out of smoked paprika. And would you cut the recipe down for a 6 quart IP? Thanks so much!

    1. Regular would be fine but it would be missing that awesome smoky flavor that I love. You might try just a pinch of cumin if you have any to replicate it. But you’ll still be great regardless!

      The recipe is designed for a 6 quart. I develop all my recipes for the 6 quart because they’re more common than my massive 8 quart. 🙂

  4. Yum yum yum! Thanks Sarah for a quick, tasty soup. This will be going on rotation as we head into winter and I go back to work. I think I can even trust my 4 year old (under supervision) or other half to make it.5 stars

    1. I love that you lumped your 4-year-old and your spouse into the same group! 🙂

      So glad you loved the soup and thanks for taking the time to leave a review.

  5. Well…. this recipe floated past my eyes this morning and unusually I had just about got everything to make it without major substitutions. I have to thank you for your most excellent recipe, but I have to say also that the credit for such delicious soup is partly mine! I used some turkey stock and serrano ham bone stock as the base. I only had 6 cups, but the full quantity wouldn’t have fit in my 6 litre pot, 3/4 recipe was perfect.

    It looked completely different and wasn’t artistically presented like yours was as I put the veg through the chipper attachment of the food processor and then mashed a little, as my dd likes soup that is more of a puree.

    Another fab recipe Sarah!5 stars

      1. What kind of lentils did you use Amanda? It’s definitely not a super brothy soup, but if it is super stewy, it makes me think that the lentils used weren’t the kind that holds their shape well (like brown or green). If you look at the photos in the post, there isn’t a lot of extra broth.

        Another culprit might be if you did a quick release as soon as it finished cooking. There is supposed to be a 5 minute “rest” before releasing the steam.

        I’m happy to troubleshoot this with you!