Stovetop Red Lentils
Bring the lentils and water to a boil, reduce to a low simmer, then cover and cook the lentils until they reach desired texture, anywhere from 5 to 12 minutes. Most, if not all, of the water will be absorbed by the lentils. Season with salt after cooking.
Stovetop Red Lentil Cooking Time
5 to 7 minutes: Tender/firm
8 minutes: Tender/soft
9 minutes: Soft, starting to get mushy
10+ minutes: Very soft/mushy
Instant Pot Red Lentils
Combine 1 cup lentils with 2 cups water in an Instant Pot. Secure the lid and make sure the steam release valve is in the sealed position. Program the Instant Pot to cook at high pressure for 3 to 5 minutes (I usually cook them for 3 minutes). Let the pressure release naturally for about 5 minutes, then turn the steam release valve to "venting" to immediately release the steam. Season with salt after cooking.
Instant Pot Red Lentil Cooking Time
3 to 5 minutes: Very soft, creamy, mushy