Smokey Lentil Stew (Instant Pot & Stovetop Recipe)

Hearty, deliciously spiced and a little smokey, this vegan-friendly Instant Pot lentil stew is super easy to make and will quickly become a favorite plant-based dinner recipe. Serve it with rice, potatoes or a side of toasted bread rolls or baguette.

Who doesn’t love a good stew, especially when it’s made with nutritious ingredients? This tasty Instant pot stew features protein-rich lentils, vitamin-loaded sweet potatoes and yummy mushrooms. It showcases just how satiating and hearty plant-based meals can be. This dish is also gluten-free.

This Instant Pot lentil stew is quick and easy to make and you can enjoy it as it is with a side of crusty bread or with some rice, pasta or potatoes. We love a dollop of yoghurt or sour cream but you can also go without, and fresh cilantro really compliments the flavours.


As we mentioned above, the stew if very easy to make and the only part that takes a bit of effort is the prep. You will need onions, celery and carrots, plus a bit of garlic as the base for the flavours. 

We used dry green lentils but you could use any other color you like. Sweet potatoes add a bit of starch and thickness to the stew and lovely sweetness, while mushrooms add a little texture and that earthy, woody flavour.

Lentil stew ingredients

The smokiness comes from using smoked paprika. You can use regular sweet or mild paprika or add a little chipotle chile to get some of its smokey tones. The rest is a couple more seasonings, canned chopped tomatoes and veggies stock. It turns out thick, rich and very comforting.

Instant Pot stew with lentils, sweet potatoes and mushrooms


You will find the full list of ingredients, instructions and nutrition info in the recipe card below. Here is a handy video to show you how to make this lentil stew in the Instant Pot pressure cooker, which is fuss-free and locks in all the nutrients. Stovetop instructions are provided below.



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Smoky Instant Pot Lentil Stew (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Smokey Lentil Stew (Instant Pot & Stovetop Recipe)

  • Author: Instant Pot Eats
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 1x
  • Category: Stew
  • Method: Instant Pot
  • Cuisine: European
  • Diet: Vegan


Healthy and delicious Instant Pot lentil stew with sweet potatoes and mushrooms. This hearty dish is lightly spiced but not hot and has a lovely smokiness to it. Enjoy as it is or with a side of rice, potatoes or pasta. This recipe is vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free.

This recipe was made in the 6-quart Instant Pot Duo pressure cooker.



2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, diced finely

2 celery sticks, diced into small cubes

1 medium carrot, diced into cubes (5 oz/150 g)

3 large cloves of garlic, diced

5 large mushrooms, diced (4-5 oz/ 125 g)

1.5 cups diced sweet potato (7 oz / 220 g)

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon cumin powder

1 teaspoon dried thyme (dry rosemary or oregano can be used)

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1 cup dry green lentils (6-7 oz / 180 g, unsoaked!)

1 can tinned chopped tomatoes (about 14 oz/400 g)

1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce (or A1 sauce)

1 tablespoon tomato paste 

500 ml vegetable stock (2-2.5 cups)

To serve: Greek or dairy-free yoghurt or sour cream, cilantro and fried shallots


  • Turn the Instant Pot and press the Saute function key. Once heated, add the olive oil, onions, celery and carrot and season with 1/2 teaspoon of salt. Cook for 3-4 minutes, stirring a few times until softened.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients and stir through. Press Cancel to stop the Saute function.
  • Pop the lid on and close, making sure the top valve is set to Sealing. Press Manual/Pressure Cook and set to 6 minutes on HIGH pressure. The Instant Pot will take about 10 minutes to build up the pressure.
  • Once done, allow about 10 minutes for natural pressure release and then use the quick release method (point the valve to Venting) to let off the remaining pressure.
  • Open and stir, taste for salt.  Serve with Greek or dairy-free yoghurt or sour cream, fresh cilantro and fried shallots (if you like).


Stovetop method: Repeat the Saute process in a heavy pot or saucepan. Once you add the rest of the ingredients, bring everything to a boil and then turn the heat down to simmering (low-medium). Cook for about 20-30 minutes, covered with a lid until the lentils are nice and soft. Stir a few times during cooking.


  • Serving Size: 1-2 cups
  • Calories: 320
  • Sugar: 9.2 g
  • Sodium: 451.9 mg
  • Fat: 8.1 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 51.3 g
  • Fiber: 9.6 g
  • Protein: 14.4 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg


Vegan lentil stew (Instant Pot Recipe)


Smokey Instant Pot Lentil Stew (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

Instant Pot Recipes
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 Instant Pot recipes you can make using your trusted pressure cooker.
PS. This post may contain Amazon affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission for purchases made through these links. 

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    1. Hey, Carol. Yes, that’s the correct can size. Tomatoes can be diced or petite diced, doesn’t matter too much in this recipe.

  1. I would like to substitute rice for the potatoes if possible. If so, what adjustments would I need to make to liquid and timing?

    1. Hey, DeAnn The rice takes less time to cook than lentils so you can, in theory, use it but it might be a little overcooked. Rice needs 4 minutes on HIGH with quick release, whereas the lentils here need 6 minutes on HIGH and we also use some natural release.

      I would add an equal amount of veggie stock or water to rice, so if you’re adding 1/2 cup of uncooked rice, add about the same in extra liquid. Another option is to cook the rice separately (say before the stew) and then add it to the stew once it’s cooked. Mix through or serve on the side.

      1. Hi.
        DeAnn didn’t ask about replacing the rice for lentils, she asked about replacing the potatoes with rice. I’m interested in the answer as well, so could you please?
        Thank You!

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