This is perfectly cooked Instant Pot sausage and lentil soup with just enough Italian sausage to add rich, satisfying flavor and hints of fennel, rosemary, thyme and oregano.
Most often, I make lentil soup without meat. But sometimes, the meaty flavor of Italian sausage sounds just right in a bowl of lentil soup.
Instant Pot sausage and lentil soup is both hearty and healthy. A big pot of this sausage and lentil soup can feed your family dinner, and then lunch, or perhaps another dinner the following day. It's filling and nourishing and keeps well for days.
This is the type of soup that I call "weekend soup" because you can cook once, and eat it all weekend.
Especially when you have little kids, it's not like cooking on the weekend is much easier than cooking during the week. In some ways, I think weekend cooking is harder.
On the weekends, I'm done. I've been cooking all week and the last place I want to spend my time over the weekend is in the kitchen.
That's why I love a pot of weekend soup!
The prep for this soup is quick and easy. This is a basic dump-everything-in-one-pot soup recipe that cooks on it's own while you do something else.
What I like most about cooking lentil soup in the Instant Pot is the texture of the lentils. They're not too mushy, they're not too firm. As Goldilocks would say, this lentil soup is just right.
Can I Make this Instant Pot Lentil Soup Without Sausage?
Yes, this lentil soup is still delicious without sausage.
Can I Make Soup with Different Types of Sausage?
Yes, you can use your favorite sausage for this soup. You can also used sliced sausage rather than ground sausage. You can also just use plain, ground meat instead of flavored sausage.
How Do You Cook Lentils in an Instant Pot?
Cooking lentils in an Instant Pot is the easiest way cook this nutritious legume, because you can set the cooking time and the lentils will cook perfectly without supervision. Lentils, no matter how you cook them, don't need to be soaked ahead of time.
The texture of cooked lentils is determined by the type of lentil and how long you cook them.
The cooking times below are a good starting point and how I usually cook lentils, but it might take a few batches of lentils to find the perfect cooking time for your preference. If the lentils seem too soft, reduce the cooking time by 1 or 2 minutes the next time. Or, if the lentils seem too firm, add a minute or two of cooking time.
Instant Pot Brown and Green Lentils:
Softer lentils: 15 to 18 minutes
Soft lentils: 11 to 14 minutes
Firm lentils: 7 to 10 minutes
Instant Pot Red Lentils:
3 to 5 minutes: Tender
6 to 7 minutes: Tender/soft
8 to 9 minutes: Soft
9 to 12 minutes: Very soft/mushy
Instant Pot Black "Beluga" Lentils:
Soft lentils: 8 to 10 minutes
Firm lentils: 6 to 8 minutes
Instant Pot French "Puy" Lentils:
6 to 8 minutes
Brown and Green lentils are interchangeable and the most common and easiest to find in grocery stores. They are often used in soups, but can also be used in salads.
French or "Puy" lentils are a more expensive variety of green lentils. The texture is slightly firmer than regular green lentils.
Red and yellow lentils break down quickly and become soft and mushy. For this reason, they're usually used in soups with a creamy texture or in Indian dishes like daal.
Black or "beluga/caviar" lentils are a shiny black color and hold their shape very well. They have a texture that is more firm than brown and green lentils. For this reason they are often used in lentil salads, although they can be used in soup too.
More Soup Recipes
- Instant Pot White Bean, Cabbage and Tomato Soup
- Instant Pot Red Lentil Soup with Crispy Parmesan Chickpeas
- Simple Vegetable Soup
- Crockpot Lentil Soup
Instant Pot Sausage and Lentil Soup
I love cooking lentil soup in my Instant Pot because it cooks the lentils perfectly every time. This recipe for Instant Pot sausage and lentil soup makes a big batch of soup, and you can enjoy the leftovers for lunch or dinner for several days after it's made.
Total Instant Pot Cooking Time: 20 minutes to come up to pressure + 18 minutes cooking time + natural release
- Prep Time: 15
- Cook Time: 18 minutes
- Total Time: 33 minutes
- Yield: 8 servings 1x
- Category: Soup
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Italian
- Diet: Gluten Free
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped or grated (I use a cheese grater or food processor to grate onions)
- ½ pound ground sweet Italian sausage (you can buy uncooked Italian sausage and remove the outer casing)
- ¼ cup red wine
- 1 14-ounce can chopped tomatoes
- 2 carrots, grated
- 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons salt, plus more to taste
- 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 small bay leaf
- 4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
- 4 cups water
- 2 cups dried brown or green lentils
Optional: A few inches of parmesan cheese rind, if you have it
Optional: A few handfuls of baby spinach or kale
Optional: Chopped fresh herbs, to garnish cooked soup (parsley or basil)
- Drizzle olive oil into the Instant Pot. Press the saute button. Add the onion and sausage and cook, breaking the sausage into small pieces with a spatula or a wooden spoon, until the sausage becomes less pink, about 3 minutes.
- Add the red wine. Use the spatula or wooden spoon to continue breaking up the meat and to scrape up and loosen any bits of meat or onion that have stuck to the bottom of the pot. Simmer for 1 minute more, to reduce wine slightly.
- Press Cancel to turn the Instant Pot off. Add the tomatoes, carrots, garlic, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, thyme, bay leaf, broth, water, lentils and parmesan rind. Stir.
- Secure the lid. Set steam valve to sealed position. Press the Manual button and program the Instant Pot to cook on high pressure for 18 minutes. The pot will take about 20 minutes to come up to pressure.
- When the cooking time is done, let the pressure release naturally for at least five minutes before turning the steam valve to venting. If you turn it sooner than five minutes, some of the soup might splatter up out of the valve, which is a bit messy. For soup, I prefer to let the steam valve release naturally until the float valve drops down on its own.
- When the steam has released, open the lid and stir in a few handfuls of greens if you want. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with herbs.
Why Do I Grate the Onion and Carrot? I often use a cheese grater or food processor to grate onions and carrots for soup. I do this because it’s often easier than finely chopping vegetables. Also, because grated onions and carrots meld into soup and my kids are less likely to notice them
Can I Make This Soup Vegetarian? Yes, just leave out the sausage and otherwise follow the same recipe. You can also try this recipe for Crockpot lentil soup.
Keywords: lentils, lentil soup, sausage soup, lentil and sausage soup