Last updated on October 15, 2023 by Liza Hawkins
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 when you convert them to a pressure cooker — which can be helpful if you’ve not planned a meal hours in advance. Think BBQ ribs, white chicken chili, chicken stock, and so many more recipes…
It’s been fun to play around with ingredients I’ve had in the fridge and pantry, particularly when those ingredients can create a simple soup or stew — perfect kind of comfort food (especially for chilly weather)!
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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 and a versatile texture) is one of the reasons I love using them so much.
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.
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!
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.
Folks, this soup is out of this world! So warm and comforting. I can’t wait for lunch leftovers!
This simple chicken and lentil soup is a hearty meal that'll warm you to the bone!
- 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
- Place the Instant Pot on sauté and add the olive oil.
- Sprinkle the chicken on both sides with half the salt and pepper, and all of the turmeric.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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."
- 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!
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.
As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.
- OXO Good Grips Large Wooden Spoon, Beech
- OXO Good Grips Stainless Steel Ladle
- OXO Good Grips 3-Piece Everyday Cutting Board Set,Multicolor,One Size
- J.A. Henckels International 31161-201 CLASSIC Chef's Knife, 8 Inch, Black
- OXO Good Grips 12-Inch Tongs with Black Silicone Heads
- Instant Pot Lux 6-in-1 Electric Pressure Cooker, Sterilizer Slow Cooker, Rice Cooker, Steamer, Saute, and Warmer, 6 Quart, 12 One-Touch Programs
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 246Total Fat: 11gSaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 57mgSodium: 887mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 5gSugar: 4gProtein: 20g