This Mexican Lentil Stew (Pressure Cooker) combines red lentils with a variety of garden vegetables to make a quick dinner and meatless meal!
Lentils are one of the best pantry staples you could keep on hand at home. Whether it be red, green, or brown. They are incredibly easy to include in any meal and full of protein.
You can use them in salads to add some protein, or you can use them instead of meat in meatless recipes like Sloppy Joes, Barbecue Lentils, or, Meatless Chili. You can whip up red lentils and puree them with seasonings to make them an incredible pasta sauce – it’s all about creativity.
Ya’ll… you can even make Lentil Pizza. I’ve done it – it’s gluten-free and unbelievably good.
You might discover that your kids love lentils – ours particularly love the red lentils the most. .. probably because they blend in so well with bright colored veggies, they simply make food look SUPER fun to eat. 😋 I’ve been told that green and brown lentils look like boogers – so we’ll just keep those in the pantry for mom and dad to eat, because boys certainly won’t touch food that looks like boogers.
Even more, my husband is crazy for lentils If I make them for dinner, he’ll find any way he can to jet out of work early just for a huge bowl. Nothing gets him more excited than hearing “We’re eating lentils for dinner”.
I wish I could say I felt the same! I don’t mind lentils, but I’d rather sit down with a big bowl of chocolate. I’m just being real here.
Instant Pot Mexican Red Lentil Stew
Even more, if you have an Instant Pot, you have just reduced your cooking time by 50%! You can easily make brown and green lentils in your Instant Pot in 15 minutes, while red lentils can cook in half that time (7-8).
Unlike brown or green lentils, red lentils cook up much softer – cook them too long and they will turn mushy, but with just the right amount of time, they will come out soft & tender.
Pick up organic red lentils from Vitacost in bulk – the bags are relatively inexpensive and will last quite a while. Bookmark 10 Lentil Recipes to help put them to use after this soup… and Over 100 Yummy Instant Pot recipes you might want to try for your family, too!
This Mexican Red Lentil Soup is a great way to use up odds and ends of veggies in your refrigerator Plus, it only takes a few minutes in the Instant Pot. It’s a great option for a meatless meal – especially if you used your Instant Pot to make Vegetable Broth just a few days prior.
Make a huge pot of this soup and enjoy over a few days, then freeze a few jars for later or pass some along to a friend.
Having extra soup in a rotation in your freezer will give you variety on nights that you don’t feel like cooking, and save you money at the same time.
Mexican Red Lentil Stew
- Pressure Cooker
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 3 stalks celery diced
- 5 cloves garlic minced
- 1 medium onion diced
- 1 red bell pepper diced
- 1 jalapeño seeded & diced
- 2 carrots peeled and diced
- 14 oz fire roasted tomatoes
- 1/2 Tbsp chili powder
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
- 1 tsp salt or more, to taste
- 1.5 C. dry red lentils
- 5 C vegetable broth
- 5 limes sliced; for serving
- 1/2 bunch cilantro chopped
- 1 Tbsp hot sauce
- Add the oil, celery, garlic, onion, red pepper, carrots and jalapeño to the instant pot and push the saute feature. Saute for 2-3 minutes or until veggies are soft.
- Turn off the saute function and add the tomatoes, chili powder, cumin, turmeric, dry red lentils, and vegetable broth.
- Place the lid on the instant pot, and close the valve (seal).
- Set the Instant Pot on manual (high pressure) for 5 minutes - then walk away.
- The pot will take a little while to come to pressure, and then count down. After the pot beeps, allow the pressure to release naturally for 10 minutes, then do a quick release.
- The lentils should be broken down - not mushy, but enough to have thickened the stew.
- Add the chopped cilantro leaves and salt to the soup, and stir to combine. Taste and determine if more hot sauce or salt is needed, then ladle into bowls and serve with the juice of a lime.