Fall is in the air and it makes me want to start cooking soups, stews and chili. Yes good old comfort food. I love a hearty lentil soup and we tend to like ours to be more like stew – really thick and packed with goodness. For a while now I have been making a good one in my Instant Pot pressure cooker. It turned out delicious each and every time but I never wrote down what I did so it was slightly different each time and I couldn’t share the recipe because I didn’t know exactly what I did! Last week when our daughter was coming home from the hospital after giving birth to our twin grandchildren – (a boy and a girl – too cute for words) – it was a chilly fall like day. The perfect day to whip up a hearty lentil stew. This time with a note pad by my side I wrote down what went in the pot. Everyone loved the stew – the flavor is outstanding and it’s thick and hearty just the way we like it. I am tempted to call it “Twins Lentil Stew.”
This recipe uses basic pantry and refrigerator items that you most likely have in stock which means you can make it at a moments notice. This recipe makes a huge batch that fills my 8 quart Instant Pot pressure cooker. If you don’t have the 8 quart cut the recipe in half and make it in your 6 quart. As you all know I love to batch cook and make good use of my time in the kitchen so I like to make enough to freeze some for future meals. It doesn’t take much longer to make a big batch of anything and then I only have to mess up my kitchen one time and do dishes once but we enjoy multiple meals for that one effort. We use the Rubbermaid Food Storage containers – the work well in the fridge or freezer. The dissolvable labels are amazing – we date everything and write the name of the recipe on them. We always have a wide variety of homemade frozen items to choose from when life is too busy to cook.
Updated 12/10/22 There is a new salt substitute that is my all time favorite! When you taste it you will think it has salt in it but it doesn’t! Sel-acious from Local Spicery as well as their Herbes de Provence make this stew extra special. They mill their own spices and they are by far the freshest, best tasting spices you have ever tried. You can order them here Local Spicery.
The flavor of this stew is beyond ordinary – I use Herbs de Provence which is a lovely blend of thyme, marjoram, savory, rosemary,basil, sage and lavender. It’s available in most spice sections at the grocery store. I bought a big jar of it at Trader Joe’s last winter and at one time Costco had it too but I haven’t seen it lately at either store. If you can’t find it in your local grocery you can make a jar of your own by using 2 tablespoons of each spice listed and give them a stir to combine – Thyme, Marjoram, Savor, Rosemary, Basil, Sage and Lavender. You could sub an Italian Seasoning Mix for the Herbs de Provence and the flavor profile would be similar – not exact but similar and still quite good.
Here is a look at the ingredients used in the recipe – not shown are the vegetables – you all know what those look like!
Frozen peas are a nice addition to this stew – add them after it cooks and comes down from pressure. If you don’t like peas – I know there are a lot of anti-pea people out there – sub some cut green beans or frozen corn instead they will add a nice color and taste good too. Remember that recipes are just ideas – you can sub ingredients that you have on hand and that you prefer.
This stew recipe makes a huge batch which is perfect for freezing for future meals. We have been using the Souper Cubes for a few years now and they have revolutionized our freezer. Freeze the soup in the Souper Cubes, once frozen pop them out and 4 frozen soup cubes fit perfectly in a gallon size freezer bag. Then we use the plastic storage bins in our freezer to keep them organized.
Souper Cubes make freezer storage easier and more effiecient. I am all about working smarter not harder in the kitchen. Just look at all of this healthy whole food plant based “fast food!” For soup we like to use the 2 cup Souper Cubes. For grains the 1/2 cup and 1 cup work nicely.
This is a thick, hearty, stick to your ribs kind of stew. After setting in the fridge over night it will become thicker. You might want to add a little more low sodium vegetable broth to thin it a bit. You can dice the vegetables or leave them in bigger pieces – it’s personal preference.
I have served this stew with a Sweet Apple Kale Slaw with grapes and apples and chopped in my Holland Bowl Mill wood bowl.
This Fruity Coleslaw goes really well with the stew. Its one of our favorite slaws!
This may sound a little crazy but let me tell you this makes a delicious topping for a Big Beautiful Chopped Salad. I warmed up a small serving of the Hearty Lentil Vegetable Stew and poured it over my chopped salad that I had tossed with some Napa Valley Naturals Grand Reserve Balsamic Vinegar. It was so good I had this for lunch three days in a row.
Hearty Lentil Vegetable Stew – 8 QT Instant Pot Pressure Cooker
- 4 cup onions
- 3 cup diced or sliced carrots
- 2 cups diced celery
- 4 cups peeled diced potatoes – I like Yukon Gold potatoes
- 3 cups green/brown lentils – rinsed and drained
- 1 cup red lentils – rinsed and drained
- 8 cups low sodium vegetable broth – store bought or homemade – I use Engine2 brand from Whole Foods Market
- 2 cups water
- 2 cans (14.5 oz each diced fire roasted tomatoes – I like Muir Glen Organic no salt added
- 4 teaspoons Herbs de Provence seasoning mix*
- 1 tablespoon Table Tasty Salt Substitute or your favorite salt substitute
- Freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon Sweet Paprika
- Reserve the following to add after the pressure comes down:
- 2 cups frozen peas
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1-2 teaspoons more Herbs de Provence
- Set the 8 qt Instant Pot pressure cooker to saute – when hot add the onions, carrots and celery and a couple tablespoons of the low sodium vegetable broth. Saute just until vegetables are no longer raw – 3-4 mintues – they are going to cook when under pressure so we are just giving them a little head start.
- Add the potatoes, green lentils, red lentils, vegetable broth, water, fire roasted tomatoes, Herbs de Provence, Table Tasty, freshly ground black pepper and sweet paprika to the pot. Put the lid on and make sure the venting valve is turned to sealing. Set the time to 6 minutes high pressure.
- Let the pressure come down naturally, then open the lid carefully tipping the lid away from you. Add the frozen peas, balsamic vinegar and a little additonal Herbs de Provence to boost the flavor. I always taste it and then decide how much to add. Put the lid back on and let the peas get good and hot.
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Congratulations to you and your lovely family! Sending good wishes as Momma recovers and a Grandparents snuggle to the beautiful babies and big sister!
Thank you so much Marion – what a blessing these two little babies are!
I don’t have a pressure cooker. How would you adapt for either on top of stove or slow cooker? Thanks! Looks delicious!
I would try cooking it in the slow cooker for 4-5 hours on high or 8 hours on low. I haven’t tried this myself so it is just an educated guess. On the stove top I would saute the onions, carrots and celery, then add the other ingredients bring it to a boil, turn the burner down to a simmer and simmer for about 30-45 minutes or until the lentils, potatoes and carrots are cooked. I haven’t made it this way so this is just an educated guess! Enjoy and happy healthy cooking!
Thanks for sharing these recipes, Tami. I love a good lentil stew! And congratulations on the grandbabies!
Thank you so much Julie!
Congratulations on your precious grand cherubs!! They are beautiful!! As a mom of boy/girl twins who are now 19 years old, I can totally relate. Mine were premies too 🙂 I was grateful for my parents and their help!! Enjoy every minute they grow up so fast! Thank you for this amazing recipe, I can’t wait to try it!
Thank you for sharing your personal story Traci. I don’t know how anyone takes care of twins and toddler without help! I hope you enjoy the recipe. Happy Healthy Cooking!
Sherry Hardwick Thomas
Oh dear! I don’t have a hot pot. How might I make this in my slow-cooker?
Thank You! The Babie are Adorable!
I woult try this in the slow cooker on high for 4-5 hours or on low for 8 hours. I haven’t tried it in the slow cooker so this is just an educated guess. Happy Healthy Cooking!
Oh Tami….they are the sweetest, Congratulations! I’ m going to make your “Twins Lentil Stew” for my family soon.
Thank you Pam – enjoy the “Twins Lentil Stew!” Happy healthy cooking!
Congratulations on those precious angels! Thanks for the stew!
Thank you Betty! I hope you try the stew and enjoy it as much as we do.
The twins are adorable, Tami! How lucky you all are. I’m so happy for you. I hope Katy has been able to finally get some good rest, and that she’s starting to feel better and stronger. Enjoy those little ones!
Thanks for the recipe too! I am really loving lentils, and would like to try this for a change. I’ll have to pick up some sweet paprika, as I always used smoked. This’ll be interesting!
She is starting to feel better but tired of course from all those night time feedings x 2! I love lentils too – they are so hearty and filling and I love the texture. Katy doesn’t like smoked paprika so I used sweet which I think is a better pairing with this stew.
Happy healthy cooking!
I must have been lucky enough to have caught this on Pinterest yesterday, after you posted it! I just made this, mainly based on the picture of a nice thick lentil stew. I’m a WF vegan anyway, so this is up my alley. It tastes great, and I did cut everything in half for my 6qt IP. Thank you, and I’ll be sharing!
That’s great Jessica! Thank you so much for the feedback – I am delighted to know you liked it and will share be sharing the recipe!
This stew is delicious! I halved the recipe for my 6 quart Instant Pot and it worked great! I gave some to a friend who does not eat a WFPBNO diet, and both she and her husband liked it! They commented that it is very filling and they didn’t miss having meat. Thanks Tami for this recipe!
Thank you so much for that review! Bless you for sharing with your friends – if the food wasn’t good we wouldn’t stick with this lifestyle!
Congratulations on the twins!
I saw your post on FB and decided it looked too good to not try it. But since I had some eggplant and sweet Italian peppers I put those in instead of the potatoes. It turned out great! I had about 8 cups to divide up for the fridge and freezer and am freeze drying the rest for future travels.
I can always count on your recipes to be delicious! Thanks for yet another…
Your changes sound wonderful! What a great idea to freeze dry some for traveling.
I am glad you like the recipes I share and appreciate you taking the time to let me know.
Getting feedback like this keeps me motivated to work on the blog!
This sounds delicious. Thanks for sharing it – and congrats on those two beautiful grand-babies.
Wow!! Congratulations to all on the beautiful babies! I just made the stew, and it is so delicious. As I mentioned, I’m taking it to an end of summer beach weekend with lots of our kids and grandkids. We also have twin grandchildren, so we will definitely call it Twin Lentil Stew! It works especially well, because you use two kinds of lentils! I’ll be sure to show family where the stew got it’s name, and show them pictures. I’m sure that will start lots of conversation about when the twins joined our family when their older sister was just one! I know that you are crazy busy, but can you let me know what type of dressing you use in the cole slaw? Love to all, Laura
I am so delighted that you like the stew – my family loves it.I really should name it Twins Lentil Stew! The two types of lentils does make it even yummier! How fun that you are going to take it to share with your close knit family. I am sure our families story of twins will inspire all kinds of memories and stories for your family. I am truly inspired by you and all you do with your grands not to mention how you have transformed yourself this past year and changed your life. You are amazing! I will send you a facebook message to tell you how to make the coleslaw! Super simple but we really liked it. These days I really like simple.
Hugs and much love to you and your family,
This recipe was amazing! Even my 9 year old son who we are working on transitioning to a plant based diet ate 2 servings. Thank you for posting this on top of your busy schedule with your family and newborn grandbabies. Congrats and Lots of Love to you!
Thank you BJ – I am so delighted that your son liked this stew! Thank you for your support.
This Lentil Stew is delicious Tami! I have a busy week ahead and I will be looking forward to coming home to a big bowl of deliciousness! Congratulations on your growing family – more for you to love!
Thank you so much Molly. I am so glad that so many people are enjoying this recipe!
Do you think half the recipe would work in a 3 qt IP?
The full recipe fills my 8 qt Instant pot so half the recipe would be about 4 quarts. You could cut the recipe in thirds and then it will fit in your 3 qt IP. Hope that helps.
I made this today, and you’re right, it fills the Instant Pot slightly above the max fill line. It took 4-1/2 hours from start to finish by the time I chopped all of vegetables, and waiting for pressure to come up and go down. This makes a ton of stew, so even if you have an 8 quart, I recommend halving the recipe. After all that time and effort, I was a little disappointed with the taste, and I would rate this 4 out of 5 stars.
Hi Mark, I am sorry that you were disappointed with this recipe as it has been so popular with my readers. We all enjoy different flavor profiles and prefer some tastes over others. Thank you for your feedback.
Full recipe was to much for my 8qt.
I believe I followed all amounts!
Had made a half recipe before and loved it.
That is so strange because I make it all the time and it fits beautifully in my 8 qt every time!
I recently stumbled across your YouTube channel and found your blog and subscribed. I just made this stew tonight and it’s soooo good. This will be in our regular rotation for sure!
Hi Tami, This Lentil Stew is delicious. I have the 6 qt IP so I cut the recipe in half like you said. It came out perfect! The only thing I added was 2 cloves of garlic finely chopped. Wish that the fire roasted tomato’s where available in the Netherlands where I live, but they aren’t. So I have to use the regular.
Thanks again for your great recipe’s and all the work that you do.
I am glad you like it! Love the additon of garlic.
I am so thrilled to finally have a recipe using Herbes de Provence! I bought a jar a couple of years ago (long before I heard of your blog) and then couldn’t find the recipe that used them. I hope they are still usable!
How many servings does this give you?
It makes 8 quarts and how many servings would depends on how big your servings are. I usually eat about 2 cups of it at a time.
I made this today, and diced all my veggies with my Vidalia Chopper. Made preparation a breeze! It turned out delicious! I put half in the fridge and froze the rest in my Souper Freezer containers. Thank you for all your great recipes!
I’ve been waiting for cooler weather to make this and it’s great, you weren’t kidding when you said it fills an 8qt instant pot. Wonderful recipe thank you,
You are welcome Lisa!
This stew has become a regular in my household. Freezes beautifully! The last time I made it, I didn’t have any white potatoes so I used orange sweet potatoes. I liked the stew even better this way! Thank you so much!
I am delighted to know you like this recipes! Its a family favorite around here.
This was beyond delicious! My daughter has just been diagnosed with breast cancer and she’s joining me in fighting cancer by incorporating a plant-based diet. Lentils are considered Breast Cancer Super Foods. Her husband is ALL IN, too! The beauty of this recipe is it freezes so well! Recently bought some horse gram lentils at an Indian grocery store. They said they’re considered brown lentils and have the highest amount of protein of lentils. Could I use these types of lentils, too? Maybe increase the time or soak them the night before? Any advice would be much appreciated!!!
I’m so sorry about your daughters cancer diagnosis and so grateful that you’re helping her with a whole food plant exclusive lifestyle. I had never heard of that type of lentil so I googled it. From what I read they must be soaked over night before cooking and even then after cooking they can still be some what hard. I would do some internet research and see if you can find any information about how to cook them in a pressure cooker. I wouldn’t increase the cooking time of the stew recipe as the vegetables will turn to mush if cooked longer. They get their name because they are used as horse feed! So interesting. Wishing your daughter the best possible outcome and good health. She’s lucky to have you in her corner to help. ❤️
Thank you so much for indicating the size IP you’re using. So many blogs and vlogs don’t. This looks very good. I just ordered more lentils, as it been cooler weather, so soups and stews are so good.
This is delicious and soooo comforting for these cold days! It’s my first time using Herbs de Provence and I love the flavor it brings the stew. I’ve been eating it over a couple handfuls of fresh chopped spinach. Luckily I made a double batch so I have plenty stored up in the freezer 🙂
Mary Pat Aukema
LOVE this! I did change something…I had a jar of organic veggie juice, and threw it in…delicious!
And I had never heard of adding some balsamic vinegar, but really love the taste….
I am so glad you like it!
I have never had lentil stew before and it was so good! It tasted like a beef stew for some reason. It was filling and comforting. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I have shared it with a few others.
Hi Lois, I am delighted that you like this recipe and that you have shared it with a few others.
Tami, I’d like to thank you for sharing this recipe. It is delicious and just what I needed. Have been recuperating from RSV and it really is so warm and comforting.
I am delighted to know you like this recipe. I am so sorry you have RSV and I hope you are fully recovered soon. In the meantime you are eating healthy meals which will boost your immune system. Take care.
I made this in my 8-quart IP, and it was up to the max fill line after I added the broth but before I added the water. So I pressure cooked it at that point, stirred it up the way you did in your video, _then_ added 2C water. It made the consistency perfect. I used Italian seasoning instead of Herbes de Provence (we don’t like lavender) and left out the paprika (because I didn’t have any!). Used half peas, half corn, which brightened up the color. Used a 1 lb bag of brown lentils, which worked out to about 2 2/3 C, and was just right (in addition to 1 C red lentils). It’s very hearty and good. We’re expecting below-zero weather and a blizzard, so I’m happy to have a big pot of this stew!
I’m so glad it turned out for you! Wishing you all the best during the cold spell!