Cook black lentils in the Instant Pot for an uber-healthy and protein-packed dish.
This easy and delicious recipe starts with basic veggies, such as carrots and celery, and seasonings for a simple lunch or light dinner! Make a batch or two of Instant Pot black lentils and serve them in hot or cold recipes all week!
Protein-Packed Black Lentils
- Black lentils, AKA beluga lentils, are small and round (think caviar) and taste delicious! They have a higher protein content than most lentils and hold their shape (al dente) once they are cooked.
- Serve black lentils on their own or as a hearty side dish to any protein.
- Enjoy all the health benefits of black lentils and add them to a salad or make energizing black lentil burritos with eggs, veggies, or rice.
- The Instant Pot makes cooking lentils so easy! By pressure cooking lentils, there’s no soaking, no stirring, or extended cook time on the stove.
Ingredients & Variations
BELUGA LENTILS: Small, round beluga lentils have an earthy flavor like black beans. Substitute red or French green lentils if black lentils aren’t available or use a colorful combination of all three! Be sure to adjust cooking time accordingly.
VEGETABLES: Carrots, onion, and celery provide the base flavor for black lentils. This is a great recipe to add leftover veggies like tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach, or zucchini.
SEASONINGS: Garlic and thyme are all that’s needed for this recipe. Taste test and add salt and pepper, as needed. For a spicy kick, add a splash or two of Tabasco sauce, if desired.
How to Make Black Lentils in the Instant Pot
- Chop carrots, celery, and onion and saute with garlic and thyme until tender (per recipe below).
- Add lentils and stock (or water) and cook until tender.
Garnish with sliced green onions or a dollop of sour cream.
Our Secrets to Successful Lentils
Here’s how to ensure your black lentils come out perfect every time!
- Always pick through lentils and remove any small bits of debris that they might have been packaged with. For best results, rinse lentils thoroughly before using. Rinsing lentils before cooking also makes them less gassy.
- Beluga lentils are firmer than regular lentils once they are cooked. For a softer texture, add extra minutes to the cooking time, or use the natural release instead of the quick release function.
- Keep leftover Instant Pot black lentils in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days or freeze in zippered bags for up to 6 weeks. Reheat on the stovetop.
Other Side Dishes in the Instant Pot
- Instant Pot Egg Salad – Soft and creamy
- Instant Pot Butternut Squash Soup – Warm and comforting
- Instant Pot Southern Style Green Beans w/ Spinach, Bacon & Potatoes – Filling
- Easy Instant Pot Chicken Salad – A picnic favorite
Instant Pot Black Lentils (AKA Beluga Lentils)
- 1 cup beluga lentils
- 1 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 1 tablespoon butter
- ¼ cup carrots finely chopped
- ¼ cup onion finely chopped
- ¼ cup celery finely chopped
- ¼ teaspoon thyme
- 2 cups chicken stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- Set your Instant Pot to saute and add the butter. Add the garlic, celery, onions, carrots, and thyme.
- Cook for about 2 minutes, until the vegetables are slightly softened. Add the lentils and cook for one minute. Add the chicken stock and set it to "soup" for 20 minutes.
- Once they are done cooking quick release for 5 minutes.