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Instant Pot Red Lentils Recipe: Simple & Savory Instant Pot Red Lentils Recipe: Simple & Savory


Instant Pot Red Lentils Recipe: Simple & Savory

Written by: Emily Smith

Whipped up a hearty batch of red lentils in my trusty Instant Pot. Infused with spices, these lentils are a comforting, nutritious delight. Can't wait to garnish with fresh cilantro!

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Excitement bubbles up as I share one of my favorite comfort foods - Instant Pot Red Lentils! Simple, vibrant, and downright satisfying. With ingredients like garlic, onion, and cumin, this dish provides a warmth that lingers in your kitchen and belly. Don't be surprised if you find yourself making it on repeat. It's that good! Trust me, you've got to try it!

Ingredients for Delicious Red Lentils in the Instant Pot

  • Red Lentils: Red lentils cook quickly and break down easily, creating a creamy texture that is perfect for this dish.
  • Onion: Onions add a savory sweetness and depth of flavor to the dish, enhancing the overall taste of the lentils.
  • Garlic: Garlic provides a pungent and aromatic flavor that complements the earthiness of the lentils and spices.
  • Cumin: Cumin adds a warm and earthy flavor to the dish, enhancing the overall depth of taste.
  • Turmeric: Turmeric not only adds a vibrant color but also brings a subtle warmth and earthiness to the dish.
  • Paprika: Paprika adds a mild sweetness and a smoky flavor, balancing the other spices in the dish.
  • Fresh Cilantro: Fresh cilantro adds a pop of freshness and a hint of citrus that brightens up the dish.

Essential Tools for Making Red Lentils in Your Pressure Cooker

  • Instant Pot: Speeds up cooking time for red lentils, ensuring they are perfectly cooked and tender.
  • Knife: Essential for chopping the onion and garlic to add flavor to the red lentils.
  • Cutting board: Provides a stable surface for chopping ingredients like onion and garlic for the red lentils recipe.

Instant Pot Red Lentils Recipe: Simple & Savory

This Instant Pot Red Lentils recipe is simple, savory, and perfect for a quick and nutritious meal. It's packed with flavors from cumin, turmeric, and paprika, and garnished with fresh cilantro.
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 15 mins
Total Time 25 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Indian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 220 kcal


  • Instant Pot
  • Sauté Function
  • Knife
  • Cutting board


Main Ingredients

  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups water or vegetable broth
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Fresh cilantro for garnish


  • Rinse the red lentils under cold water until the water runs clear.
  • In the Instant Pot, sauté the onion and garlic until fragrant.
  • Add the red lentils, water or broth, cumin, turmeric, paprika, salt, and pepper to the Instant Pot.
  • Close the lid and set the Instant Pot to high pressure for 8 minutes.
  • Once the cooking time is up, allow for a natural pressure release for 5 minutes before doing a quick release.
  • Stir the lentils and adjust seasoning if needed.
  • Serve hot, garnished with fresh cilantro.


This recipe is perfect for a quick and nutritious meal. You can also add other vegetables like carrots or spinach for added nutrition.


Calories: 220kcalCarbohydrates: 39gProtein: 14gFat: 1gSodium: 10mgPotassium: 480mgFiber: 15gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 100IUVitamin C: 5mgCalcium: 40mgIron: 5mg
Keyword Instant Pot, Red Lentils, Vegetarian
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

Prep and Storage Tips for Red Lentil Instant Pot Meals

Make Ahead Instructions

  • Prepare the red lentils as instructed and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
  • Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop with a splash of water or broth until warmed through.

Freezing Instructions

  • Allow the cooked red lentils to cool completely.
  • Transfer to a freezer-safe container or bag, leaving some room for expansion.
  • Label with the date and store in the freezer for up to 3 months.
  • Thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating on the stovetop or in the microwave.

Red lentils are a great source of plant-based protein and are quick to cook compared to other lentil varieties.

Common Questions About Preparing Instant Pot Red Lentils

Can I use green lentils instead of red lentils in this recipe?
Yes, you can substitute green lentils for red lentils in this recipe, but keep in mind that green lentils may have a slightly different cooking time and texture.
How can I make this recipe spicier?
To make this recipe spicier, you can add a pinch of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes when cooking the lentils. Adjust the amount to suit your spice preference.
Can I freeze the leftovers?
Yes, you can freeze the leftover lentils in an airtight container for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight and reheat on the stovetop or in the microwave.
Is this recipe vegan?
Yes, this recipe is vegan as it does not contain any animal products. It's a great plant-based protein option.
Can I add other vegetables to this recipe?
Absolutely! Feel free to add diced carrots, bell peppers, or spinach to the lentils for added flavor and nutrition. Just adjust the cooking time as needed.

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