Instant Pot Lentil Stew (Veggie-Loaded , Step-By-Step)

In this beginner-friendly recipe, we are going to teach you how to make super easy Instant Pot lentil stew. With detailed instructions, step-by-step photos and cooking tips, this vegetable-loaded stew is both flavorful and nutritious. It’s somewhere between a thick soup and a stew and you can use this recipe as a template. It’s gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan-friendly. Please, leave a rating or comment at the bottom of this post if you’ve made this recipe or have any questions!


Instant Pot Lentil Stew (Veggie-Loaded , Step-By-Step)

Cooking lentils in the Instant Pot is fast and easy and you don’t even need to pre-soak them. This Instant Pot vegetable and lentil stew is a fantastic recipe for beginners and comes together pretty quickly once you’ve done all the dicing and chopping.

What we love about this pressure cooker lentil stew is that it’s very flavorful and satiating while being super healthy, nutritious and low in calories at the same time. For a vegetarian/vegan meal, it packs in a lot of protein and provides a big dose of your daily dietary fibre requirements. You can serve it as is or with a side of quinoa, rice, pasta or couscous. 

INGREDIENTS FOR INSTANT POT LENTIL STEW

As we mentioned, this is a beginner-friendly, easy recipe but there are a few ingredients involved. The stew is loaded with vegetables, so the first step is to dice everything up so you’re ready to go once the Instant Pot is on. You’re welcome to substitute sweet potatoes with white potatoes and zucchini with green beans or bell peppers. 

Vegetable for Instant Pot Lentil Stew

The rest is all you pantry staples: brown or green lentils (unsoaked is fine!), vegetable stock (you could use stock cube and water here), paprika, cumin, salt, pepper, tomato paste and crushed tinned tomatoes. We’re ready to cook! 

Ingredients for lentil stew for the pressure cooker

You will find the recipe for this lentil stew just below or you can jump to detailed step-by-step photo instructions under the recipe card. These are especially handy if you’re an Instant Pot beginner.


You might like more recipes from our Instant Pot For Beginners series: 

WATCH OUR TOP 10 VEGETARIAN VIDEO RECIPES HERE


Vegetable Lentil Stew (Instant Pot Recipe)

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Instant Pot Lentil Stew With Vegetables

Instant Pot Lentil Stew (Veggie-Loaded , Step-By-Step)

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 23 minutes
  • Total Time: 38 minutes
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: Stew
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: Mediterranean
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Learn how to make a nutritious and flavorful Instant Pot lentil stew with our beginner-friendly, step-by-step recipe for the pressure cooker. This stew is loaded with vegetables and uses dry green lentils and can be on the table in about 30 minutes. It’s gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan-friendly.


Ingredients

Scale

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced finely

2 smaller carrots or 1 large (7 oz/200 g), diced into cubes

2 celery ribs (without leaves), diced into cubes

5 cloves garlic, diced finely

1 teaspoon paprika powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 small sweet potato, peeled and diced into larger cubes (220 g)

1 medium zucchini (6 oz / 160180 g), diced into cubes

2 cups brown lentils, unsoaked

34 cups vegetable stock (depending on how thick you like it and amount of veggies)

14 oz / 400 g can diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon tomato paste

To finish:
1 teaspoon lemon zest

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

Garnish: extra parsley on top


Instructions

  1. Prep. Dice all the vegetables and prepare all the ingredients you need for the recipe. You can start with the onions, celery and carrots as those get cooked first, giving you a few minutes to do the rest of the veggies. If using vegetable stock cubes, prepare the stock first.
  2. Sauté. Turn the Instant Pot and press the Sauté button. It should say Normal on the display (this indicates heat level). Allow the bottom to heat up for a couple of minutes, then add the olive oil, onions, carrots and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Press Cancel or Keep Warm/Cancel to stop the Sauté.
  3. Add ingredients. Then add the garlic, spices, salt and pepper followed by zucchini, sweet potatoes and dry lentils (no need to soak the lentils for this recipe!).
  4. Pour in the stock and stir. Add the tomato paste and diced canned tomatoes and stir slightly.
  5. Set & cook. Secure and lock the lid; make sure the pressure handle is pointing to Sealing on Duo Classic. Select Manual/Pressure Cook and adjust the timer to 8 minutes on HIGH pressure. After a few beeps/seconds, the ON sign will come on indicating the pot is heating up and the pressure is building; pressurizing will take about 12 minutes and then the 8-minute timer will begin.
  6. Once the timer is done, allow the pressure to release naturally for about 10 minutes. Then use the quick release method to let off the remaining pressure (press the steam knob down or point to Venting on older models).
  7. Finish the stew. Open the lid and stir in 1 teaspoon of lemon zest, 1-2 tablespoons chopped parsley and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Taste for salt and pepper.

Notes

  1. Saute time: 3 minutes | Pressurizing: 12 minutes | Cooking at pressure: 8 minutes | Release: 10 minutes natural followed by quick release | Total cooking time: 23 minutes.
  2. Storage: You can store this lentil stew for up to 4 days in the refrigerator or freeze it for up 3 months. Make sure to cool down before storing. Defrost in a fridge overnight or in a microwave and reheat well.
  3. Serving suggestions: Serve as is with a side of crusty bread, dinner rolls or buttered toast; top with croutons; you can stir in some cheese, sour cream or yogurt on top. The stew can also be served over rice, pasta, couscous, quinoa or cauliflower rice/vegetables. 

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 cups
  • Calories: 291
  • Sugar: 7.5 g
  • Sodium: 600.1 mg
  • Fat: 5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 49.4 g
  • Fiber: 8.5 g
  • Protein: 15.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: Vegan, Vegetarian, Gluten-Free, Lentils, Vegetables, Stew, Instant Pot, Healthy

HOW TO MAKE INSTANT POT LENTIL STEW

Here are step-by-step instructions for making vegetable lentil stew in the Instant Pot. We used Instant Pot Duo Nova 6-quart pressure cooker for this recipe.

Step 1. Dice all the vegetables into cubes. Keep sweet potato and zucchini cubes slightly larger. Mince or crush the garlic. 

How to dice vegetables for a stew - step 1

Step 2. Turn the Instant Pot and press the Sauté button. It should say Normal on the display (this indicates heat level). Allow the bottom to heat up for a couple of minutes, then add the olive oil, onions, carrots and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring a couple of times. Press Cancel or Keep Warm/Cancel to stop the Sauté.

Step 2 for cooking lentil stew in the Instant Pot

Step 3.  Then add the garlic, spices, salt and pepper followed by zucchini, sweet potatoes and dry lentils (no need to soak the lentils for this recipe!). Pour in the stock and stir. Add the tomato paste and diced canned tomatoes and stir slightly.

How to make vegetable lentil stew step 3 - sauteeing
How to make instant pot lentil stew - step 4 adding the rest of ingredients

Step 4. Secure and lock the lid; make sure the pressure handle is pointing to Sealing on Duo Classic. Select Manual/Pressure Cook and adjust the timer to 8 minutes on HIGH pressure. After a few beeps/seconds, the ON sign will come on indicating the pot is heating up and the pressure is building; pressurizing will take about 12 minutes and then the 8-minute timer will begin.

Once the timer is done, allow the pressure to release naturally for about 10 minutes. Then use the quick release method to let off the remaining pressure (press the steam knob down or point to Venting on older models).

Pressure cooker settings for lentil stew step 5

Step 4. Open the lid and stir in 1 teaspoon of lemon zest, 1-2 tablespoons chopped parsley and 2 tablespoons lemon juice. Taste for salt and pepper.

Final step - finishing the lentil stew after cooking with parsley and lemon


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By Instant Pot Eats

About us: We are a team of Instant Pot enthusiasts, who love good food and cooking. Our blog is dedicated to delicious recipes you can make using your trusted pressure cooker.

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3 Comments
  1. I accidentally put 7mins to pressure cook and the lentils came out a little underdone ,would 1minute have really made much difference? (I want to make this recipe again) I also let the pressure release naturally, not sure if that counts for some amount of cooking time…. I ended up not chopping the courgettes at all (just the hard tips )which worked fine, they would be cut when cooked when I mixed with a large spoon. I used chopped frozen veg but had to guess because I didn’t know what the average weight of a carrot onion etc… are . Would have been great to have weights and non cup measurements such as millimetres and grams… mainly because I also have the 6quart IP & wouldn’t want to overfill it. I did try to cook it after but because I had mixed the food more at that stage got the burn warning, which apparently gets triggered by tomato.

    1. This depends on the size of your Instant Pot. When we made this recipe, we fed 8 people with it so it’s already quite a large batch. It as made in the 6-quart Instant Pot and I remember when I put everything in the pot before cooking, I still had a bit of space before the Max line but not enough for a double the volume. I could have added another quarter of all ingredients. If you have an 8-quart Instant Pot, then you can easily double it. As long as your food/liquid volume stays below the Max line of the Instant Pot, you can make a bigger batch.

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