Easy 1-minute recipe for plain green or brown instant pot lentils! Learn the liquid ratio for cooking, plus ideas on how to serve lentils with rice, greek dressing, & more!
My Instant Pot has saved my life on more than one occasion.
From perfect Instant Pot hard-boiled eggs to perfect Instant Pot brown rice to perfect Instant Pot mashed potatoes, everything comes out… well… perfect!
Which is why I love making Instant Pot lentils.
Not only do they come out just how I like them (perfectly cooked and not too soft), but I don’t have to worry about water boiling over on the stove anymore!
Which is pretty much what happens when I make lentils on the stove. I boil the water, add the lentils and walk away…
Completely forgetting about the lentils until I hear a hard hissing sound. Which is either water boiling over onto the stove, or the sound of lentils burning on the bottom of the pot.
Thankfully, the Instant Pot eliminates both of these for me!
Instant Pot Lentils
You can cook lentils on the stove (of course), but I love making Instant Pot lentils because:
- It’s foolproof.
- You can set the timer and walk away.
- They come out al dente, every time.
- It frees my hands for other things.
Most importantly, you can make a 2x or 3x batch in the same amount of time!
This makes meal prepping or getting ahead for the next day a real possibility! Here is the Instant Pot I have.
Ingredients for Instant Pot Lentil Recipes
For the simplest of recipes, you only need two ingredients for Instant Pot lentils:
- Lentils (green or brown, not red or yellow)
You CAN add other spices like bay leaf, garlic, or onion, but I like to make my lentils plain so they can be used in a variety of recipes.
Garlic and onion might be good in a soup or stew, but not necessarily in a salad with strawberries!
What’s the difference between green lentils and brown lentils?
For most recipes calling for green or brown lentils, they can be used interchangeably.
Red lentils and yellow lentils are NOT the same and will disintegrate as they cook, so don’t try to substitute!
How to Cook Lentils in the Instant Pot
Cooking lentils in the Instant Pot couldn’t be easier:
- Measure lentils and water in the Instant Pot.
- Seal the Instant pot, set the timer and walk away (but not too far!)
- Use Quick Pressure Release when the timer goes off, drain, rinse with cold water and serve!
Do I need to soak lentils?
You can soak lentils, but it’s not required for cooking them in the Instant Pot.
How long does it take to cook lentils?
I like to cook mine for just 1 minute, so they still have a bite in my salads and meals. You can cook them for up to 6 minutes in the Instant Pot for a softer lentil. The longer you cook, the softer the lentils will be.
Can you overcook lentils?
YES! If you cook lentils for too long, you’ll end up with a pot of mush!
What do you serve with lentils?
I like to add lentils to my lunch salads or even our main meal dinner salads. They’re a great way to stretch ground beef, and if you mix them with sun-dried tomatoes and homemade Greek dressing, they’re a great dish alongside baked potatoes and roasted vegetables!
Green lentils are the star of my lentil macaroni, and red lentils are featured in my red lentil vegetable soup.
More Great Instant Pot Side Dishes
- Simple Instant Pot Beans
- One Minute Instant Pot Quinoa
- Instant Pot Steamed Vegetables
- Creamy Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes
- Instant Pot Yellow Rice
Instant Pot Lentils
Easy 1-minute recipe for plain green or brown instant pot lentils! Learn the liquid ratio for cooking, plus how to serve with rice, greek dressing, & more!
- Prep Time: 2 mins
- Cook Time: 2 mins
- Total Time: 4 minutes
- Yield: 2.5 cups of cooked lentils 1x
- Category: Sides
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: American
- 1 cup green or brown lentils
- 1 ½ cups water
- Combine the ingredients in the pot of an Instant Pot.
- Seal the valve, set the pressure to “high” and cook for one minute. Use QPR to release the pressure.
- Drain immediately and give them a quick rinse under cool water to stop the cooking process.
- Serve immediately, or save for another meal.
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