How Long To Cook Lentils In Instant Pot

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Brown Lentils Or Green Lentils


These are one of the most common lentils and the easiest lentils to find at any market. Brown lentils are flat little disks with a mild, hearty and earthy flavor. Brown lentils are firm and for the most part hold their shape, but will break up easily if overcooked. Brown lentils are incredibly versatile and often used to make soups and stews. They can also be used in dips and to make burgers.

How To Cook Lentils

  • Sort and Rinse: Sift through the dried lentils and pick out any small stones, discolored lentils or stray bits. Place the brown lentils in a fine mesh sieve and rinse under cold running water
  • Cook: Add 1 cup of brown lentils, 4 cups of water and a bay leaf to a pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered for about 20 to 25 minutes or until tender.
  • Drain: Drain and remove the bay leaf.

How Long To Cook Lentils

  • Brown Lentils Cooking Time: Cook Brown lentils on the stove top for 20 to 25 minutes. You can cook brown lentils in the Instant pot on high pressure for 10 minutes or 11 minutes if you prefer a softer texture. After the cooking cycle is complete, do a quick pressure release.

How Long Do Lentils Last After Cooking

  • Once you have learned how to cook lentils, they can be placed in a nice airtight container and stored inside the refrigerator for up to a week.
  • If you would really like to prolong their life, you can place them in your freezer for up to three months and use them whenever you have a recipe in mind that you are eager to try.

How To Cook Instant Pot Lentils + Video

A recipe for how to cook lentils in the Instant Pot with perfect results every time. Using this super easy water to lentil ratio and cook time makes for the best, tender lentils in your electric pressure cooker.

It seems whenever Im cooking bean-based dishes lately, I always use the Instant Pot. It saves so much time, and I love how hands-free it makes the cooking process with no soaking. Ive made Instant Pot Refried Beans, Instant Pot Red Beans & Rice, Instant Pot Chickpeas and Instant Pot Bean Soup with Pesto. And while Ive made Instant Pot Lentil Soup and Instant Pot Cheesy Southwestern Lentils, I thought it was time to just write a straightforward post on how to cook lentils in the Instant Pot, with simple seasonings, to use in other recipes or to just eat plain on their own, perhaps with a dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cilantro?

As with other Instant Pot recipes Ive tested, I find that when cooked in the Instant Pot, the spices in recipes become a bit less noticeable. So, I amped up these Instant Pot Lentils with a few of my favorite spices cumin, onion powder and paprika. I also used my homemade Instant Pot Bone Broth as the stock , but you can swap it out for some boxed chicken or beef broth too.

Also Check: How To Cook Frozen Tamales In Instant Pot

Ingredients For Instant Pot Lentils

  • Lentils We used Green Lentils to develop this lentils recipe because they hold up well after cooking and have a nutty taste. If you use Red Lentils, itll not hold up as well as they may come out mushy.
  • Unsalted Chicken Stock Different brands or even different batches of the same brand of salted chicken stock can differ in levels of sodium, so we prefer to develop recipes using unsalted chicken stock for more control & consistency on the dishs flavor profile. Best if you can make your own chicken stock!
  • Vegan Option: Substitute chicken stock with vegetable stock.

Our Secret Ingredients:

  • Smoked Sausage We used smoke sausage in this lentils recipe to kick it up a notch! First, we used the sausages smoky-savory flavors & aroma to saute the garlic & onion secondly, itll add a smoky-savory-umami dimension to the lentils lastly, itll add an extra satisfying chew texture to the bowl of hearty lentils.
  • Vegan Option: Omit sausage if youre making this Vegan or Vegetarian.
  • Soy Sauce We used regular soy sauce to develop this recipe. Take note that different brands or even different bottles of the same brand of soy sauce can differ in the levels of sodium and taste. So be sure to taste & adjust the amount accordingly.
  • Fish Sauce Fish sauce is one of our favorite culinary weapons as it adds a tasty magical touch of savory-umami depth of flavors to the lentils. Take note that not all fish sauces are created equal, so its best to use High Quality Fish Sauce.
  • How To Make Lentils In An Instant Pot

    How to Cook Beans in the Instant Pot

    Making Instant Pot lentils is one of the easier things you can make in your pressure cooker! Now that weve become Instant Pot experts, let me be the first to admit: Im all about the Quick Release. Why? Because Im impatient. If youve used your Instant Pot a lot, youll know that many recipes call for a natural release: which is perfectly well and good, except it does tack on extra time to the recipe.

    Were happy to report that this Instant Pot lentils recipe is seriously quick. How long do you cook lentils in an Instant Pot? 9 minutes. Then, do a Quick Release and youre done! The only other time you have to factor in is the preheat time, which takes about 5 to 10 minutes depending on your Instant Pot. Overall, this Instant Pot lentils recipe has about 5 minutes of hands on time, and 15 to 20 minutes start to finish.

    For our Instant Pot lentils recipe, we wanted to add seasonings so that you could serve these lentils as part of a dinner recipe without having to add anything more. Here are the pressure cooker lentils ingredients:

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    How To Cook Lentils In The Electric Pressure Cooker

    Sauté onions and garlic:

    When I dont know what to make for dinner, I throw some lentils in the pressure cooker. By the time theyve finished cooking, Ive usually figured out what to do with them. And as much as I love lentil soup, I prefer them in other dishes, like tacos, salads, or simply seasoned and topped with an egg. Heres how to cook lentils with the electric pressure cooker so you can make dinner in a hurry.

    Health Benefits Of Lentils:

    As I have already mentioned lentils are rich in fiber and proteins, they are one of the healthiest plant-based foods. For those in Whole Food Plantbased Diet, lentil is an amazing grain to include. Because lentils are edible seeds, they are rich in minerals, phytochemicals, and plant-based amino acids too. Some of the major benefits are:

    • Reduces
    • Excellent source of plant protein
    • High in fiber, so heart healthy

    Here is a detailed post on benefits of lentil.

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    How To Cook Red Lentil Curry In Pressure Cooker

    Lets start with gathering the ingredients. This Masoor Dal recipe uses very basic ingredients red lentils, onions, tomatoes, ginger, garlic, green chili pepper and spices to make the dal.

    You can use whole or split red lentils in this recipe.

  • The first step is to rinse the lentils. In this case, soaking the lentils is not necessary as these red lentils cook very quickly.
  • Start the pressure cooker in sauté mode and let it heat. Add oil and cumin seeds. Sauté for 30 seconds.
  • When the cumin seeds change color, add green chili, onions, ginger and garlic. Sauté for 3 minutes until the onions become golden brown while stirring frequently.
  • Then add tomatoes and spices. Stir and sauté for another 2 minutes.
  • Now we are ready to add the lentils and water. The red lentils to water ratio for cooking is 1:3 in the instant pot. Then pressure cook for 5 minutes at high pressure.
  • After the cooking time is done, let the pressure release naturally for 5 minutes, then quick release the pressure.
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    Instant Pot Lentils Faq

    Cooking Lentils in the Instant Pot Pressure Cooker

    How much does 1 cup of dry lentils make?

    One cup of dry lentils makes 2½ cups of cooked ones.

    Do lentils cause gas?

    Lentils contain sugars that may contribute to flatulence and bloating. If you soak your lentils before cooking, they will become easier on the digestive system.

    Do lentils have to be soaked before using?

    You don’t have to soak lentils prior to cooking them. However, if you are prone to stomach upset after eating lentils, soaking can greatly help your body to digest them.

    Do lentils make you put on weight?

    Lentils can actually help you lose weight by making you feel fuller more quickly.

    Also Check: What To Do If Your Instant Pot Says Burn

    Other Instant Pot Beans And Lentils Tips:

    • Beans will generally double in volume after cooking. All recipes are for one cup of dried beans which will yield two cups of cooked beans.
    • Your beans must be fully submerged in water. They need to absorb the water, and it will run fast! If you dont add enough water, you will burn your beans. Generally speaking, you will use 8 cups of water per cup of beans, so as a rule of thumb, follow the 1:8 ratio. For lentils, you will generally use 2 cups of water per cup of lentils. Use a 1:2 ratio.
    • Dont increase the recipe so much that you cant accommodate with enough water. You should never fill your Instant Pot past the max line with liquid. You wont get consistent cooking results with this. Make sure your pot has the capacity for the recipe youd like to make before cooking.
    • Get spicy with it! Plain beans are great to use in different cuisines throughout the week. To boost flavour, add whole spices or bay leaf to inject flavour. Another thing you can do to boost umami is to cook your legumes in chicken broth or vegetable broth. Finally, you can add things like dried mushrooms which pack a punch.

    Adding Flavor To Lentils

    But if you want to make your lentils more flavorful, youll need to add some more flavorings . Lentils are sponges, so they absorb the flavors of the ingredients in which theyre cooked.

    I like to begin my lentils by sautéing some aromatics in oil, such as onion and garlic. And because I like things spicy, I often sauté some chili peppers too. If Im cooking Indian food, Ill also add in cumin seeds and ginger before adding the lentils. Or, if Im making Mexican-flavored lentils, I might sauté an onion, green pepper, and jalapeño pepper.

    After you cook your aromatics, its time for more seasonings. You can keep it simple with just salt and pepper, or you can add an array of your favorite spices, such as cumin, paprika, or turmeric. The exact spices will depend on the flavor profile/specific cuisine you are cooking. I also love adding fresh herbs to the cooking liquid for more depth of flavor. Sturdy herbs like thyme, rosemary, oregano, sage, and bay leaves work excellently.

    Finally, I like to cook the lentils in vegetable broth instead of water since it gives the lentils a little more richness and flavor.

    Below you will find four incredibly easy recipes for Instant Pot lentils. And in case you are a fan of other legumes , here are more Instant Pot recipes featuring lentils and other legumes!

    • Spiced Lentil, Kale and Sausage Soup
    • Red Lentil Almond Curry
    • Red Curry Rice Noodle Soup
    • Lentil-Walnut Gyros with Vegan Tzatziki
    • Lentil Shepherds Pie
    • Khichdi / Kitchari

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    Red Lentils Orange Lentils And Yellow Lentils

    Red and orange lentils are simply yellow lentils that have been hulled and split. These lentils cook much quicker than any other variety and can become very soft and lose their shape quickly. Red lentils have a mild, nutty flavor and soft, creamy texture. Red lentils are mostly used for stews, curries, purees and for the famous Red Lentil Dal.

    How To Cook Red Lentils

    • Sort and Rinse: Sift through the dried lentils and pick out any small stones, discolored lentils or stray bits. Place the lentils in a fine mesh sieve and rinse under cold running water
    • Cook: Add 1 cup of red lentils, 3 cups of water . Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered for about 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.
    • Drain: Drain.

    How Long To Cook Lentils

    • Red Lentils Cooking Time: Cook Red lentils on the stove top for 15 to 20 minutes. I prefer not to cook Red lentils in the pressure cooker because they are naturally soft and cook very quickly on the stove top. That is however a personal preference. If you are short on time, cook red lentils on high pressure for 3 to 5 minutes. After the cooking cycle is complete, do a quick release.

    How To Cook Lentils On Stove

    How to Cook Lentils
  • This section should have the title how to cook green lentils. Theyre the best variety to cook on the stove. Brown or black lentils are also good choices for the stove, but green will still remain the firmest. To cook lentil beans on the stove:
  • Put lentils in a fine-mesh sieve to rinse
  • Place lentils in sauce with a bay leaf
  • Bring to a boil
  • Reduce to simmer, cover, at let cook for 20-30 minutes
  • Check for softness around 15-minute mark
  • Strain and season
  • You may have read that and thought dont lentils need to be soaked? As a matter of fact, they do not. It may save a little bit of time, but because they are small, its unnecessary. In fact, it may make them mushy.

    Depending on the dish youre making, youll either want to cook your lentils longer or shorter. If youre making a lentil salad, youll want firmer lentils. Therefore you should check on them after 10-15 minutes to ensure they are still whole. If youre pureeing them for a dish, you can let them cook until they split.

    Tip: dont add salt until after theyre done cooking. They get tough if you add salt too early.

    Recommended Reading: How To Cook Frozen Tamales In Instant Pot

    How To Season Lentils

    The recipe below will guide you on cooking plain lentils that you can use in any meal or recipe, but if you want to season them at the same time, heres my favorite combination for a taco-inspired flavor.

    Per cup of dry lentils:

    • 1 teaspoon cumin
    • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon salt

    When the lentils are done cooking, add a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon juice, and adjust the seasoning as needed to your taste. If you use this seasoning with red lentils, their mushy texture reminds me of refried beans! You can use the Instant Pots sauté function if you want to cook some chopped onion and garlic first, then you can add in the lentils and water and cook them together using the timing below.

    • 1/4 to 1/2teaspoonsalt

    How To Cook Red Lentils & Rice Together

    One of the big advantages of the Instant Pot is the option to do Pot-in-Pot Cooking or PIP. This means being able to cook multiple things at a time, by also cooking in a small pot inside the main pot. To do pot-in-pot cooking, you need a tall trivet and stainless steel containers that you can use within the main pot.

    After adding all the ingredients for the lentils. Place a trivet. Then a steel bowl with rice and water on the trivet.

    The cooking time for white basmati rice is similar to the cooking time of Masoor Dal. You always want to match things that cook in approximately the same time when doing pot-in-pot cooking.

    The cooking time for white basmati rice is similar to the cooking time of Masoor Dal. You always want to match things that cook in approximately the same time when doing pot-in-pot cooking.

    Stir in the lime juice and garnish with cilantro.

    The lentils are perfectly cooked and so creamy!

    Also Check: How Long To Steam Broccoli In Instant Pot

    Read Also: How To Cook Frozen Hamburger Meat In The Instant Pot

    How Do I Cook Lentils In A Pressure Cooker

    Instructions Combine the lentils and water in the bottom of the Instant Pot. Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to Sealing. When the cooking cycle completes, immediately move the steam release valve to Venting to release the pressure right away. Stir the lentils and make sure they are tender to your liking.

    What To Do With Green Lentils

    Smoky Instant Pot Lentils and Rice

    I love to save money on groceries and last Christmas I came across lots of root vegetables, reduced to clear that because they were old, needed cooking straight away. I filled up my Ninja Foodi and made a batch of my instant pot green lentil curry. It made a HUGE batch, and I was reheating it from frozen for months.

    That is my number #1 thing to do with green lentils.

    Then after that I am making air fryer lentil burgers. They are amazing and are loaded with sweet potato, green lentils, seasonings, and carrots. They are then rolled in gluten free oats and can be made ahead and added to the freezer for later. But that recipe starts first with preparing green lentils in the instant pot.

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