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.
Health Benefits Of Lentils
Lentils are not just delicious, but also good for you! Here are some of their health benefits:
- Plant-based fiber, protein, and other nutrients: They’re also full of iron, as well as being full of antioxidants and have anti-inflammatory properties.
- Contain phytochemicals: These compounds can protect against chronic diseases, such as diabetes and heart disease.
- Can help chronic health problems: Eating a diet containing lentils can help lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure, decrease your risk of heart disease, and can help with weight loss by making you feel full faster.
- Naturally Vegan and Gluten-Free: Lentils are a great addition to any vegan, vegetarian and gluten-free diet.
If you’re following a particular diet, it is always best to confirm these with your physician!
Are Lentils Good For You
Lentils are edible seeds from a legume family. So many reasons to incorporate lentils in your diet!
- Lentils are a nutrition powerhouse a plant-based source of complex carbs, fiber and whopping 25% of protein.
- According to Healthline, 1 cup of cooked lentils provides 40 grams of carbs, 16 grams of fiber and 18 grams of protein.
- Fiber in lentils helps with regular bowel movements and good bacteria growth in your gut.
And fun fact, Canada is the largest producer of lentils these days. Thats where I live.
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Adding More Flavor To Lentil Soup
Open the lid and you will see this beauty.
- Greens: Now is the time to add spinach or kale. Tip: If you see organic box of spinach on sale buy it and freeze it. Use to make spinach stuffed chicken breasts, green smoothies or spinach dip.
- Fresh garlic: Nothing brightens up a soup like fresh garlic, said Ukrainian me. There is a huge difference between cooked and fresh garlic flavour. HUGE! You have to trust me on this one because Im Ukrainian of all Ukrainians.
- Parmesan cheese: Stir and serve soup hot garnished with Parmesan cheese. If you are strict vegan, skip Parmesan. If you are strict vegetarian, I believe they sell vegetarian Parmesan cheese or skip.
All those layers of healthy flavors! Enjoy!
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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How Long Do I Have To Cook Lentils In The Instant Pot
- Soaked green/brown/black lentils require a 1 to 1.25 ratio of lentils to liquid when cooking in the Instant Pot. Cook them at HIGH pressure and then wait for full natural pressure release.
- 2 minutes for salads
- 3 minutes for softer lentils
- 5 minutes for mushy lentils .
- They can be cooked up to 30 minutes without disintegrating.
More Easy Indian Recipes And Lentil Recipes
- HAPPY NEWS! This Instant Pot Lentil Curry has become one of my most popular recipes. It turns out you all love curry flavors in the Instant Pot as much as I do . Ive also added a recipe for Instant Pot Butter Chicken, Instant Pot Chicken and Rice, AND Instant Pot Chicken Tikka Masala. All are super flavorful, easy, and healthy Instant Pot recipes!
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How To Cook Lentils In The Instant Pot
How to cook lentils in the Instant Pot! Includes different lentil varieties, suggested cook times, the proper water:lentil ratio, and two easy lentil recipes to make in your Instant Pot!
Learning how to cook lentils in the Instant Pot literally changed my life. I know that sounds hyperbolic, but it really took my meal prep and batch cooking game to the next level. But it wasnt always that way.
I never used to cook lentils before I got an Instant Pot. The idea of soaking them overnight, draining them, and babysitting them on the stove felt too time-consuming. Instead, I just bought canned or boxed lentils at the store.
But the Instant Pot makes it SO much easier to cook lentils, not to mention so much more flavorful. You can throw them in the Instant Pot with liquid, walk away, and come back to perfectly cooked lentils.
Over the last few years, I have cooked literally hundreds of pots of lentils, so now Im sharing all my tips on cooking lentils in the Instant Pot. And, this blog post also features two incredibly easy Instant Pot lentil recipes!
As for the Instant Pot itself, even the most basic model will cook your lentils perfectly. For most home cooks, the 6 quart DUO60 or DUO60 Plus is the best option. If you want a more recent version that has nifty features , try the DUO Evo Plus.
Why I Love This Instant Pot Lentil Curry
Dont be fooled by Instant Pot Lentil Currys modest appearance. Every bite is rich and lively, courtesy of fresh ingredients such as ginger and garlic and captivating Indian spices such as turmeric and curry powder.
In addition to its flavor, what I love most about this lentil curry is its indulgent, creamy texture.
This perceived richness is due in part to the addition of coconut milk but even more so to the way the lentils are cooked.
I used light coconut milk and was worried the curry wouldnt be creamy enough. I couldnt have been more pleasantly surprised! The texture was PERFECT.
If coconut milk isnt an ingredient you regularly keep in your pantry, consider picking up a few cans, which are sold in the Asian or international food aisle of most grocery stores. You can use one for todays Instant Pot Lentil Curry, then the others to make other quick, healthy dinners like this fabulous Coconut Curry and this Chickpea Curry.
Those looking for a vegan lentil curry without coconut milk could swap it for a nut milk, such as cashew milk or almond milk, though coconut milk is my overall recommendation. Its worth it here.
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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:
- Excellent source of plant protein
- High in fiber, so heart healthy
Here is a detailed post on benefits of lentil.
Should I Soak Lentils Before Cooking
Many legumes, like dried raw beans, are typically soaked for several hours, even overnight, to neutralize lectins. However, lentils are low enough in PHA that they dont require soaking.
For this Instant Pot Lentils recipe, both soaked and unsoaked lentils will work. Youll just need to adjust the cooking times. Personally, I always soak my lentils. Ive found theyre much easier to digest this way. Plus, lentils soak quickly compared to most other legumes, only requiring 2-4 hours of soak time. If youre pressed for time, then you can quick soak your lentils with some boiling water for 20 minutes or so before rinsing and cooking.
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Different Kinds Of Lentils
There are actually many types of beans and lentils. However, we are going to go over the five most common types which include brown, red, green, yellow and black lentils.
If you’re wondering how to cook lentils, these can be added to many different types of dishes include salads, soups, purees, and stews to name a few.
- Brown Lentils
- These are the most common type of lentil in the United States. The color can range from a light brown to an extremely dark brown and have a very mild and earthy flavor. Their shape is barely altered through the cooking process, which makes them good for recipes that cook for a long time. The inside is a very delicious and creamy consistency. Theyre often used in salads, casseroles and soups, and can also be used in a vegetarian meatloaf.
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.
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How To Make Lentils In An 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:
- Brown or green lentils
- Vegetable broth
- Onion powder
How Do You Know When Lentils Are Done
The perfect time to stop cooking lentils depends on the type of lentil youre cooking. It takes about 10-15 minutes for red or yellow lentils, up to about 30 minutes for darker varieties like green and brown lentils.
But the easiest way to tell? When theyre tender enough that they can be mashed with a wooden spoon.
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How To Make Instant Pot Lentils
If making lentils to serve on a salad, only season with salt and omit the garlic and onion.
Can You Eat Lentils Right Out Of The Bag
Most definitely not. Lentils and Legumes contain lectin which is a type of protein that can disturb your digestive tract and lead to an extremely uneasy stomach.
However, once you heat lentils, that lectin is broken down into a more digestible element.
If you have already added some lentils into your smoothie tobulk it up a bit, no worries. Since lentils are miniature versions of legumes,they also contain a smaller amount of lectin, so you may just have an uneasystomach that will be all better in no time.
To avoid this though, be sure to cook them for theappropriate amount of time.
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Why I Love This Easy Lentil Soup
A lover of sun and warm weather, I struggle during this stretch of the year, when the sparkle of the holidays is behind but summer still feels forever away. However, one of the things that brings me cheer all winter long is making recipes that shine their brightest when the cold is at its worst.
While Id happily eat Instant Pot lentil soup any night of the week and in any temperature, it tastes especially satisfying when the wind is blowing and the frost is creeping into the corners of our windows. Each bite instantly transports me to a place of warmth, comfort, and deliciousness.
Lentil soup is healthy, super filling, warming, and the best kind of recipe to have in your refrigerator. It reheats like a dream and tastes better and better as the week goes along.
Do Lentils Have To Be Soaked Before Using
While soaking lentils prior to cooking isn’t necessary, I prefer to soak a few varieties. The soak time may be different for each variety. Some lentils only need a rinse, while some benefit from a 10-minute soak, and others for a few hours.
Long ago, when I researched the reasons to soak, this is what I learnt:
- The shells of lentils contain anti-nutrients such as lectin and phytates, which can be hard to digest. Soaking lentils helps neutralize those and makes lentils easier on your stomach.
- It gets rid of the anti-nutrients that can keep the body from fully absorbing the nutrients.
- Just like beans, lentils contain sugars that can cause flatulence and bloating, soaking and rinsing, helps minimize that.
- Soaking lentils prior to cooking cuts down on cook time as well.
To soak your lentils, rinse them first. Add them to a large bowl and cover them with enough fresh water. Depending on the kind of lentil, let it soak for 10 minutes to overnight. After they’ve soaked, rinse them again before cooking.
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