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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. Very good! And so quick and easy! I used chicken broth. My only change for next time will be using less thyme. That much is a little strong for me. Thank you for sharing this recipe!5 stars

      1. I used dried. Thyme is just one of those herbs that is strong for me. I have to be careful to not get too much. Rosemary is the same way for me.

  2. Thank you for such a satisfying soup. I was surprised how deep the flavors were for such simple ingredients. It has become a regular on my lunch menu. Love that it can be done in the instant pot, uses pantry staples and is so healthy and satisfying!5 stars

    1. So glad you enjoyed it, Kimberly. It’s one of my favorites too and it is pretty much a “kitchen sink” kinda soup – anything goes!

  3. This is my favourite lentil soup recipe ever!  I’ve been a vegetarian for 36 years, so I’ve eaten. Lot of lentil soup.  This is the winner! Thank you for sharing.  5 stars

  4. Love this soup, especially with the update that there’s no need to sauté everything. Thank you, Even better! I make this often but last night’s version was the best. Used Bobs Red Mill Pacific northwest lentils (not sure if they are green or brown and it doesn’t say), better than bouillon roasted garlic stock, subbed a sweet potato since we didn’t have any potatoes and didn’t have celery either. And used Bitchin’ Pesto which is a non dairy pesto made with almonds (super creamy). So delicious and love that this recipe lends itself to the versatility of what I happen to have. And last year when I first posted on this recipe I was debating If I needed an IP. Started with the mini and now have the 6-qt.  Worth it for this soup alone!!5 stars

    1. KC, I’m so glad you enjoyed it and I love your Instant Pot evolution!

      I’ve never heard of Bitchin’ Pesto. Is it a storebought item or do you make it yourself?

      1. Bitchin’ Sauce is from San Diego, but I discovered it and buy here in Seattle at several stores (Thriftways, Ken’s Markettime) so you can probably find it in your area. I’m a fan of all the flavors, but the pesto is perfect for this soup as I’m dairy-free

  5. I made this last night with red lentils (as that is what I had) and cut down on the cooking time as suggested. It was sooooo good!!!!5 stars

    1. LeeAnn I’m so glad you liked and I love that you were able to use what you had on hand. Thanks so much for taking the time to review it!

    1. Sure does! This soup freezes like a boss! Pro tip: freeze in wide mouth pint mason jars for easy grab and go meals. A quart-sized jar would be better for 2-3 servings.

  6. Hmmm, do I open my Instant Pot Christmas present early (that I bought for myself from my husband), or do I wait until Christmas? I’ve had it a week and a half and have, so far, ignored the box sitting in my entryway.

    1. You open it up and use it every day until Christmas and then put it back in the box on Christmas Eve and put it under the tree!

  7. Omg this was delicious. Made without meat and have never cooked lentils before but am trying to eat less processed foods. Packed it in our lunches during the week. Wow. Smoked paprika and the pesto-genius! I might have to make another batch today!5 stars

    1. Hollie, I’m so glad you liked it! It’s fun to find meals that help us eat towards our goals, and I’m honored to know I had a little part of it. Smoked paprika is the business!