This chicken and lentil soup is a hearty meal that'll warm you to the bone!
45 Minutes or Less,  Chicken,  Food,  Instant Pot,  One Pot Meals,  Soup

Chicken and Lentil Soup in the Instant Pot

This simple chicken and lentil soup made right in your Instant Pot (or any pressure cooker) is a hearty meal that’ll warm you to the bone!

Ever since getting an Instant Pot back in 2017, I’ve wondered how I managed without a pressure cooker for so long.

Don’t get me wrong, a pressure cooker’s no substitute for a slow cooker… It’s just, I’ve found many of the same recipes can be whipped up in a fraction of the time — which can be helpful if you’ve not planned a meal hours in advance.

It’s been fun to play around with ingredients I’ve had in the fridge and pantry, particularly when they can create a simple soup or stew.

In my mind, that’s the perfect kind of comfort food for chilly weather!

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A spoon in a bowl of chicken and lentil soup with bits of spinach. The bowl is sitting on top of a wooden cutting board.

 

Chicken and Lentil Soup in the Instant Pot

 
To get started, I coated three boneless skinless chicken thighs with salt, pepper, and turmeric. Then I seared them in olive oil with the Instant Pot sauté setting for a few minutes on each side, removed them, and let them rest on a cutting board.

Boneless chicken thighs cook quickly, which (in addition to having great flavor) is one of the reasons I love using them so much.

Diced chicken on a cutting board after being seasoned and seared in the bottom of an Instant Pot, which is sitting in the background.

While the chicken was resting, I sautéed some smashed garlic cloves in the bottom of the pot, and then added two cups of dried green lentils. After a few minutes, I diced the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

The beauty of the Instant Pot (or any pressure cooker) is that you don’t need to soak or prep the dried lentils before using them, aside from making sure little bits of non-lentil debris is removed … though I don’t usually find much of that.

Dried lentils in a bowl, prepped for making chicken and lentil soup in the Instant Pot.

Giving the lentils a minute or two to warm with the olive oil and garlic before adding the chicken stock adds a layer of flavor that’s hard to beat!

Sautéing garlic in the bottom of an Instant Pot with olive oil and frond from seared chicken.

Sauteed dried lentils with garlic on the bottom of an Instant Pot.

Next, I poured chicken stock and water into the Instant Pot, taking care to scrape up all the lovely bits at the bottom with a wooden spoon, and lastly added the chicken and a cup of thawed, drained frozen spinach.

Once the lid was securely in place, I set it on high to cook for ten minutes (it took about five or ten minutes to come to pressure).

When the time was up, I let the pressure release naturally, but you could manually release it, too. If you do choose to manually release, just give it at least ten minutes for the pressure to come down a little, and then be careful of the steam when it shoots out.

I added salt and pepper as the final step, and then I promptly devoured two bowls.

Simple step-by-step photos of making chicken and lentil soup in an Instant Pot. A hearty meal that'll warm you to the bone!

Folks, this soup is out of this world! So warm and comforting. I can’t wait for lunch leftovers!

 

This chicken and lentil soup is a hearty meal that'll warm you to the bone!

Chicken and Lentil Soup in the Instant Pot

Yield: 6
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

This simple chicken and lentil soup is a hearty meal that'll warm you to the bone!

Ingredients

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 2 cups dried green lentils
  • 1 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Instructions

  1. Place the Instant Pot on sauté and add the olive oil.
  2. Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with half the salt and pepper, and all of the turmeric.
  3. Once hot, add the chicken to the Instant Pot and let it cook for 3 minutes. Flip the chicken (it may stick a little), and continue cooking for another 3 minutes. Remove the chicken to a plate, cover with foil, and set it aside.
  4. Add the garlic to the Instant Pot and let it simmer for a minute. Add the lentils, give a few stirs, and then pour the chicken stock and water in all at once, taking care to scrape the bits off the bottom (I like to use a wooden spoon).
  5. Add the spinach. Dice the chicken into bite-sized pieces and add it. Give another stir, and then secure the lid and set it to cook for 10 minutes on "Manual."
  6. Once finished, you can let the pressure release naturally, or you can release it manually. Stir in the remaining salt and pepper, and then serve immediately!

Notes

This is a quick cooking recipe, but remember — you need to allow additional time (about 5-10 minutes) for it to come to pressure before the cook time countdown begins.

If you choose to release the pressure manually, wait at least 15 minutes for pressure to come down a bit beforehand and steer clear of the steam as it exits.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 246Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 887mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 20g

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Hi, I'm Liza, a self-proclaimed word-nerd who loves getting sucked into whimsical stories and epic movies. I have laid-back, practical attitude towards life, and as a foodie at heart, I relish the chance to both cook and eat. (No picky-eater here!) Always on the hunt for good eats, easy recipes, binge-worthy shows, relaxing road trip destinations, the perfect mojito and time to finish my novel!

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