Instant Pot Lentils – Simple, Tasty and Nutritious

I am just now realizing that I have not shared with you how to make simple, tasty and nutritious lentils in the Instant Pot. Lentils are chuck full of nutrition and a great source of protein, especially if you are choosing to eat a more plant based diet. Instant Pot lentils are the perfect legume to eat in the summer. They are hassle-free to make, especially if you make them in the Instant Pot. You don’t have to pre-soak or babysit them while they are cooking. I love my Instant Pot!

Lentils have a nutty, earthy flavor that can compliment almost any meal. Put them in salads, spreads, soups, tacos, wraps or just eat them flavored by themselves.

Lentil heath benefits include:

1-Lower Cholesterol

Lentils help to reduce blood cholesterol since it contains high levels of soluble fiber.

2-Heart Healthy

Lentils are a great source of folate and magnesium, which are big contributors to heart health. Folate lowers your homocysteine levels, a serious risk factor for heart disease. Magnesium improves blood flow, oxygen and nutrients throughout the body.

3-Stabilizes Blood Sugar

Lentils are full of fiber. Fiber rich foods slow down digestion and stabilize blood sugar levels. This can be especially helpful for those with diabetes, insulin resistance or hypoglycemia.

4- Digestive Health

Insoluble dietary fiber found in lentils helps prevent constipation and other digestive disorders like irritable bowel syndrome and diverticulitis.

5-Good Source of Protein

Of all legumes and nuts, lentils contain the third-highest levels of protein. This makes them a wonderful source of protein those choosing to eat a plant based diet.

Now you know some of the reasons why you may want to start adding this legume to your diet. Let’s get to the how you make them, shall we?

There are a few different types of lentils. The reason I mention it, is because some of them cook faster than others and you will want to make sure you are going to get the results you are looking for.

Types of lentils

Red Lentils: (Actually more orange than red, these lentils are commonly used in soft dishes like soups and curries. This is because they break down quickly and become creamy and mushy when you cook them, making them the perfect thickening agent for stews, soups, and purées.

Brown and Green Lentils: These are the most common lentils, and the ones you will most likely find in the store.  Brown and green lentils are pretty versatile. You can cook them less to get a more firm texture or longer for a softer texture.

Black Beluga Lentils: This type of lentil is a little more expensive. The other versions are VERY cheap. They hold their shape well when cooked, so they make a great side dish or a bed on which you can serve your meal. Black beluga lentils have a hearty, full-bodied flavor.

I am going to share with you how to make a basic pot of Brown & Green lentils.

Ingredients

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil, coconut oil, or oil of your choice
  • 1/2 small onion, diced (about 1/3 cup)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups water, vegetable broth, or chicken broth (Using broth will add more flavor).
  • 1 cup brown or green lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon  salt
  • Don’t be afraid to experiment. Add other spices, or seasonings. ( A little fresh minced ginger is very good).

Instant Pot Lentils instructions

  • Rinse lentils with water
  • Select the “SAUTE” button on the Instant Pot.
  • Place the oil in the pan and add onion, stir and cook about 3 minutes.
  • Add the garlic and cook only until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  • Place the liquid of choice, salt and lentils into the pan and give it a stir.
  • Apply the lid, making sure to flip the valve to “pressure” position.
  • Select the “MANUAL” setting.
  • Adjust time for 15 minutes. (This will give you a soft lentil, if you want it more firm, adjust down to 13-14 minutes)
  • When the beeper sounds, “Natural Release” for about 10 minutes.
  • Remove the lid and enjoy!

This recipe make approximately 2 1/2 cups cooked lentils.

After cooking beans and legumes, the Instant Pot may collect fluid in the little catcher on the back of the pot. Check that and empty if needed.

Storage:

The cooked lentils can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or frozen for up to 2 months. I like to double the batch and freeze for other meals, or to add to soups later in the week.

Another thing I like to do is freeze 1/2 cup servings to add to my smoothies. This is a great protein alternative instead of using protein powders. Use this nifty 1/2 cup silicone Jumbo ice cube tray to freeze small portions. Pop them out and place them in a zip lock bag for single use. *Just make sure you thaw them before adding to smoothies or it will take forever to blend up. I just put a few in the fridge and use as needed.

I hope this was helpful and inspires you to try some lentils if you are not already eating them!

Printable Recipe

Instant Pot Lentils
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
35 mins
Total Time
40 mins
 

 A flavorful brown or green lentil recipe. Great to eat as a side dish, added to soups, salads, tacos, or wraps. Quick and easy to make using the Instant Pot!

Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Instant Pot, lentils
Servings: 5 servings
Ingredients
  • teaspoons  olive oil coconut oil, or oil of your choice
  • 1/2  small onion diced (about 1/3 cup)
  • clove  garlic minced
  • cups  water vegetable broth, or chicken broth (Using broth will add more flavor).
  • cup  brown or green lentils
  • 1/2  teaspoon  salt
  • Don't be afraid to experiment. Add other spices or seasonings. ( A little fresh minced ginger is very good).
Instructions
  1. Rinse lentils with water
  2. Select the “SAUTE” button on the Instant Pot.
  3. Place the oil in the pan and add onion, stir and cook about 3 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and cook only until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  5. Place the liquid of choice, salt and lentils into the pan and give it a stir.
  6. Apply the lid, making sure to flip the valve to “pressure” position.
  7. Select the “MANUAL” setting.
  8. Adjust time for 15 minutes. (This will give you a soft lentil, if you want it more firm, adjust down to 13-14 minutes)
  9. When the beeper sounds, “Natural Release” for about 10 minutes.
  10. Remove the lid and enjoy!

 

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