Instant Pot Italian Lentil Dinner

  • Author: Katie Kimball
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 45 mins
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Category: main dish



  1. Combine rice and lentils in the Instant Pot or a separate bowl and cover with water.
  2. Allow to soak overnight with the machine turned off (or in the bowl, covered).
  3. Note: If you’re not soaking, add another cup of broth to the recipe.
  4. Drain the water off, then add all the other ingredients except the cheese to the Instant Pot and mix well.
  5. Set the IP to “poultry” which will cook at high pressure for 15 minutes (you could also do this manually).
  6. Click in the lid and make sure the valve is closed.
  7. When the time is up, use the quick release. After the pin goes down (usually about 2 minutes), give the whole appliance a little jiggle to release any potential pockets of steam trapped in the thick food. You can also do a natural release (ignore it for 15 minutes) and the food won’t be overcooked.
  8. Add the cheese on top and wait 10 minutes on warm to melt it with the lid on or stir it in to melt almost immediately.
  9. Serve with optional warmed spaghetti sauce on top.


Roast a chicken to easily have delicious shredded chicken on hand in the freezer and meals like this are a cinch! It’s ok if the chicken is put in frozen, too, it will thaw as the meal cooks and you can just stir it in. You might add 2-3 minutes of cook time if the chicken is frozen.

Soaking the rice and lentils is not necessary for the cooking BUT it increases the nutrient benefit. More here and here.

No Instant Pot? First of all, get one. But while you’re waiting, this recipe was originally done in the slow cooker. Super easy.

Make it meatless for Lent by omitting the chicken. Still filling and delicious. Use vegetable broth or water if you want totally vegetarian.