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How to Cook Lentils on the stove, in a slow cooker or Instant Pot

Do you have a bag in your pantry but are not really sure how to cook lentils? Or use them? These are my go-to, tried-and-true ways of cooking green and brown lentils from dry on the stove, in a slow cooker or in an Instant Pot.
Course: Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Mediterranean
Keyword: easy lentil recipe, how to cook lentils, how to cook lentils from dry, instant pot lentils, vegan, vegetarian
Servings: 5 servings
Calories: 167kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 cup brown or green lentils picked over and rinsed
  • water, broth or stock amount depends on cooking method. See individual method below.
  • seasoning of choice see above for suggestions

Instructions

To cook lentils on the stove top

  • Place rinsed lentils in a large sauce pot and cover with 3 cups of water/broth/stock.
  • Add seasoning of choice.
  • Bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the lentils are tender. If you prefer a softer lentil, extend cook time to 30-35 minutes.
  • Once cook time is up, carefully drain lentils. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Enjoy or let cool and store in fridge for up to 5 days.

To cook lentils in the Instant Pot

  • Place rinsed lentils in Instant Pot and cover with 3 cups of water/broth/stock.
  • Add seasoning of choice.
  • Place lid on your Instant Pot and lock it into place. Make sure the valve on the top is switched to sealing.
  • Cook on HIGH pressure for 9 minutes. It will take your Instant Pot about 10 minutes to get up to pressure.
  • Once cook time is up, carefully quick release the pressure by switching the valve on the top to venting. Remember that this releases hot steam, so keep your hands clear of the vent on to of the valve as you turn it (I like to use tongs sometimes to do this).
  • Check lentils for desired tenderness. If you prefer a softer lentil, turn the Sauté feature on your Instant Pot on and let your lentils simmer until desired consistency is reached.
  • Carefully drain lentils. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Enjoy or let cool and store in fridge for up to 5 days.

To cook lentils in slow cooker

  • Place rinsed lentils in your slow cooker and cover with 4 cups of water/broth/stock.
  • Cover and cook on HIGH for 3-4 hours or on LOW for 6-8 hours. Time depends on your individual slow cooker, as not all cook at the same temperature.
  • Once lentils are done cooking, carefully drain lentils. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed.
  • Enjoy or let cool and store in fridge for up to 5 days.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 167kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 452mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 18IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 4mg