Instant Pot Lentil Soup with Sausage & Kale

Instant Pot Lentil Soup with Sausage & Kale comes together quickly with the help of your electric pressure cooker. It's a hearty soup that's perfect for chilly days. 

Instant Pot Lentil Soup with Sausage & Kale comes together quickly with the help of your electric pressure cooker. It’s a hearty soup that’s perfect for chilly days.

Remember when I mentioned in this post about wanting to host a Soup Swap Party? I think I’ve found the perfect soup to make for the event – Instant Pot Lentil Soup with Sausage & Kale. It’s thick and hearty and so full of flavor! It may even replace this recipe as my favorite soup of all time. Bonus points for easy cooking and cleanup in the Instant Pot!

It may come as no surprise that I have a bit of an obsession with lentils… Take these recent recipes for instance:

    1. Lentil Bolognese Sauce
    2. Southwest Lentil & Brown Rice Salad
    3. Chipotle Lentil Soup
    4. Cheesy Southwestern Lentils & Brown Rice
    5. Lentils, Radicchio and Walnuts with Honey

This soup was bound to jump to the top of my favorites list. Not to mention that Italian sausage and hearty kale… This soup is basically a meal in a bowl. Plus, it’s packed with protein, fiber and vitamins.

Did you know that lentils are part of the superfoods category called “pulses”? Pluses are the dry, edible seeds of plants in the legume family, which also includes chickpeas, dry peas and beans. They’re naturally high in protein and fiber, but low in fat. If you’re looking for ways to eat healthier, sneaking pulses into your daily routine is definitely a great way to do it.

This recipe starts by sauteing the sausage right in the Instant Pot. That’s one of my favorite features. I love that you can saute and cook all in the same pot. I used mild Italian sausage in this recipe, just to make it suitable those who don’t care for too much heat. But then, I doctored it up with some red pepper flakes… You can totally customize this recipe to your preference by adding more or less red pepper flakes, or you can use hot Italian sausage and have that spice right from the start.

Instant Pot Lentil Soup with Sausage & Kale comes together quickly with the help of your electric pressure cooker. It's a hearty soup that's perfect for chilly days. 

Once the sausage gets all crumbly and golden, add in some onion, garlic, celery. Let it saute for about 5 minutes longer, to soften the veggies and then add in some canned tomatoes, lentils and stock. I used some of my homemade slow cooker bone broth as the stock (I had it on hand in the freezer), but you can swap it out for some boxed chicken broth too. Give everything a good stir and then place your lid on the Instant Pot, make sure it’s set to seal, and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes. After the time is up, give it a quick release, and remove the lid.

Then it’s time to doctor things up a bit more… Adding in the kale and some additional seasonings to make everything pop.

There’s a whopping 5 cups of baby kale in this recipe, which sounds like a massive amount, but really, as it cooks in the warm soup, it shrinks down to almost nothing. Don’t be alarmed when you first try to fit it all into your Instant Pot at the end. Just add a bit at a time and keep stirring.

I added in a splash of red wine vinegar and some fresh parsley to really give this soup some bright flavor, and, don’t forget to season with salt and pepper – You’ll need a good sprinkling of both, but it will depend on the salt content of your chicken stock… So, season and taste, and season and taste.

As I’m typing this post, I’m really wondering why I didn’t grate a bunch of parmesan cheese over the top of these warm bowls of soup – Definitely doing that next time. But even without it, this Instant Pot Lentil Soup with Sausage and Kale was a standout!

Instant Pot Lentil Soup with Sausage & Kale comes together quickly with the help of your electric pressure cooker. It's a hearty soup that's perfect for chilly days. 

Do you have a favorite soup recipe? A favorite Instant Pot recipe? Tell me about them in the comments below.

Instant Pot Lentil Soup with Sausage & Kale comes together quickly with the help of your electric pressure cooker. It's a hearty soup that's perfect for chilly days. 

Instant Pot Lentil Soup with Sausage & Kale

Course: Soup
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: instant pot, lentil soup, soup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes
Servings: 6 people
Calories: 549 kcal
Author: Erin
This Instant Pot Lentil Soup with Sausage & Kale comes together quickly with the help of your electric pressure cooker. It's a hearty soup that's perfect for chilly days.
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Ingredients

  • 1 pound bulk mild Italian sausage
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 2 celery stalks thinly sliced, with leafy tops
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 cups bone broth or chicken stock
  • 2 cups dried lentils
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 5 cups baby kale leaves loosely packed
  • 2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

  1. Hit "saute" button on Instant Pot. Add sausage and cook until meat crumbles and begins to brown, about 5 minutes. Add onion, celery and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add stock, lentils, red pepper flakes, tomatoes and stir.

  3. Place lid on Instant Pot and make sure the release valve is in the "sealing" position. Press "manual" button and set timer for 12 minutes.
  4. The Instant Pot will warm up for about 10 minutes and then start cooking. After 12 minutes, quick-release by flipping the release valve to “venting."
  5. Add kale and vinegar. Stir to combine and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Sprinkle with chopped parsley before serving.

Don’t have an Instant Pot? Here’s how to make this Lentil Soup with Sausage & Kale on the stove top. Also, be sure to sign up for the Half-Cup Habit, and see how easy it can be to add ½ cup serving of pulses to your diet 3x per week.

If you loved this recipe for Instant Pot Lentil Soup I would appreciate it so much if you would give this recipe a star review! Also, be sure to snap a picture of your “plating and pairing” and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #platingsandpairings and tagging me @platingsandpairings.

Nutrition Facts
Instant Pot Lentil Soup with Sausage & Kale
Amount Per Serving
Calories 549 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 37%
Saturated Fat 8g 40%
Cholesterol 57mg 19%
Sodium 656mg 27%
Potassium 1158mg 33%
Total Carbohydrates 46g 15%
Dietary Fiber 20g 80%
Sugars 2g
Protein 35g 70%
Vitamin A 119.4%
Vitamin C 93%
Calcium 14.8%
Iron 37.7%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Wine Pairings for Instant Pot Lentil Soup with Sausage & Kale:

      • Medium-bodied, rustic wines like Chianti, Cotes du Rhone, and Sangiovese have earthy, spicy flavors that echo those in the Italian sausage and lentils.

Instant Pot Lentil Soup with Sausage & Kale comes together quickly with the help of your electric pressure cooker. It's a hearty soup that's perfect for chilly days. 

Looking for more Instant Pot recipes? Be sure to try these too: 

Instant Pot Split Pea Dal

Overhead closeup view of split pea dal with pickled red onions

Instant Pot Steamed Artichokes

Instant Pot Steamed Artichokes

Instant Pot Persian Beef Stew

Overhead shot of Instant Pot persian beef stew next to bowl of rice and radishes for serving.

Instant Pot Authentic Italian Sunday Gravy

Overhead shot of two bowls of Instant Pot Sunday Gravy served over spaghetti.

This post was sponsored by USA Pulses & Pulse Canada.

27 comments

  1. Yoni

    What type of lentils did you use?

    Thanks!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Yoni – I used brown lentils.

      Reply

  2. Celeste

    What size instant pot did you use for this soup? Thanks!!

    Reply

  3. Anna

    Do you know what the conversions for time would be for a crock pot?

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Anna – I would loosely follow this recipe and cook it for 8-10 hours on low. Hope this helps!

      Reply

  4. Sam

    This was absolutely delicious – perfect for a day when the temps stayed in the single digits! The lentils were cooked perfectly in the Instant Pot, I ended up using 2 – 14 oz. cans of diced tomatoes since I didn’t have crushed and it was perfect. Thank you for a great recipe – will definitely put lentils into the rotation after trying this.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      So glad to hear that you liked this soup Sam – The Instant Pot makes things so easy!

      Reply

  5. Charlene

    I should’ve read the comments before I made this dish in my 3 quart instant pot. I realized after I put the hot pepper flakes that I was up to the fill line so I just cooked what was in the pot minus the tomatoes. Once the pressure cooking was done I transferred everything to a stockpot added the tomatoes kale and red wine vinegar and he did gently on the stove came out fine. Under servings above it says “people’ is a serving size a cup? Cup and a half? Not sure what you were calling a serving size.

    Reply

  6. 19 Insanely Tasty Instant Pot Recipes to try NOW!

    […] Instant Pot Lentil Soup with Sausage and Kale- Platings and Pairings […]

    Reply

  7. Janice S Ribeiro

    This soup is delicious! I added an extra clove of garlic to the pot and a drizzle of olive oil just before serving! It is a meal, for sure. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to more as I learn to cook in the Instant Pot. So far, I love it.

    Reply

    1. Erin

      So glad to hear that you liked this soup Janice! Please stop by again soon – I’ll be putting a new Instant Pot recipe out each week!

      Reply

  8. Joya

    Sooooo delicious and so easy it felt like cheating. I used roasted crushed tomatoes and WOW!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Yay! So happy you enjoyed the recipe Joya!

      Reply

  9. Leslie

    I made this tonight with some leftover smoked pastrami from st patties day. I skipped the vinegar, used fire roasted tomatoes and added a few dashes of spike. Yum yum yum!!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Your substitutions sound amazing Leslie! So glad you liked it!

      Reply

  10. Smitha @ Running with SD Mom

    I made this tonight for dinner tomorrow night and everything is perfect! Especially that last minute add of red wine vinegar. God bless the Instant pot!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I’m so happy to hear that you enjoyed the recipe!

      Reply

  11. Nicole

    28 oz can of tomatoes seems like it would be way too much….do you mean 15 oz can?

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Nope! The 28-ounce can works perfectly!

      Reply

  12. Megan

    This is great! I the only changes I made were to use hot Italian sausage (and omitted the red pepper flakes) and spinach instead of kale as that’s what I had. The soup is super thick, which I like, but I still added another cup of chicken broth. So excited to freeze in portions so I can take to work for lunches now that the weather is getting cooler. 🙂

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I’m so happy to hear that you liked it Megan! This soup is DEFINITELY perfect for these cooler months!

      Reply

  13. Mo

    Can tofu be used instead of sausage? What about French green lentils?

    Reply

    1. Erin

      Hi Mo! I would give it a try! The French Green Lentils will definitely work! Let me know how the tofu works out!

      Reply

  14. Nicole

    This is one of my husband and my favorite (Instant Pot) meals. It’s hearty, healthy, and like a perfect hug in a bowl for a cold day. It’s thick like a stew. Great with a piece of crusty loaf of bread. Freezes beautifully if you want to meal prep. Happy for the cold weather since I get to make this again!

    Reply

    1. Erin

      I’m so happy to hear you like it Nicole – Thanks for the feedback!

      Reply

  15. Art

    Excellent recipe! I used Swiss chard instead of kale and went a little lighter on the red pepper flakes…..makes for a thick soup with superb flavors….thank you!

    Reply

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