Instant Pot Curried Coconut Lentil Soup

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    Such a creamy and delicious soup! Your Instant Pot is going to make this curried lentil soup a breeze to put together!

    Such a creamy and delicious soup! Your Instant Pot is going to make this curried lentil soup a breeze to put together!

    Is this not the prettiest soup that you ever did see?!

    This curried coconut lentil soup is so vibrant and is so creamy delicious! It is packed with flavor from the curry and spices. The coconut milk gives it a luxuriously creamy texture.

    The best part?! It’s all put together in the Instant Pot!

    Such a creamy and delicious soup! Your Instant Pot is going to make this curried lentil soup a breeze to put together!

    I don’t cook with lentils EVER and I don’t know why. They’re so readily available and they’re a great source of protein.

    They’re so versatile because you can basically mix anything together with the lentils and it’ll soak up all the flavor.

    Such a creamy and delicious soup! Your Instant Pot is going to make this curried lentil soup a breeze to put together!

    This soup is my new obsession and I hope it will be yours too. A lot of readers have requested Instant Pot and vegetarian recipes and I think that this combines the best of both worlds!

    Such a creamy and delicious soup! Your Instant Pot is going to make this curried lentil soup a breeze to put together!

    Such a creamy and delicious soup! Your Instant Pot is going to make this curried lentil soup a breeze to put together!
    4.74 from 15 votes

    Instant Pot Curried Coconut Lentil Soup

    This extremely flavorful and creamy soup will be your new favorite to make in your pressure cooker!
    Prep Time: 10 mins
    Cook Time: 15 mins
    Total Time: 25 mins
    Servings (adjustable, but please note that results, timing, and cookware may vary when adjusting servings): 4
    Calories: 310kcal
    Author: Julie Chiou
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    • 1 medium onion, diced
    • 2 garlic cloves, minced
    • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
    • 1 tablespoon curry powder
    • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    • 3/4 cup dried red split lentils
    • 1 13.5- ounce can unsweetened full fat coconut milk
    • 1 1/4 - 1 1/2 cups water
    • Salt and pepper, to taste
    • 1 14.5- ounce can crushed tomatoes


    • Press sauté on the front of your 6-quart Instant Pot. In the insert, add the onion, garlic, ginger paste, curry powder, crushed red pepper flakes, lentils, coconut milk, water, salt, and pepper. Stir to mix then let it come up to a simmer then press cancel. Immediately add the can of crushed tomatoes LAST and on top of everything else and do not stir it in. Pressure cookers seem to not like tomatoes for some reason and you will often times get a BURN notice. If you don't stir the tomatoes in and just let it sit on top, you should be fine.
    • Close the lid of the pressure cooker and make sure that the vent is set to sealing.
    • Using the manual function, use high pressure and set the cook time to 15 minutes.
    • Once the soup has finished cooking, let sit for 15 minutes before you quick release the pressure. You can choose to either quick release it or let it naturally release, depending on how hungry you are or when dinner is!
    • Divide evenly into bowls and garnish with parsley or cilantro on top.


    Many have mentioned that they get the BURN notice with lentils in pressure cookers. By bringing the mixture up to a simmer, in step 1, prior to closing the lid helps the pressure cooker heat up so it doesn't have to do as much "heat up work" during the "come to pressure" process. So helping it out before throwing the lid on should help with the burn message.
    After about 15 minutes, my lentils were more on the 'mushy' side. If you don't like your lentils like that, I would reduce the cook time to 12 minutes.
    Inspired by Yotam Ottolenghi
    Nutrition Facts
    Instant Pot Curried Coconut Lentil Soup
    Amount Per Serving
    Calories 310 Calories from Fat 144
    % Daily Value*
    Fat 16g25%
    Saturated Fat 13g65%
    Carbohydrates 31g10%
    Fiber 7g28%
    Sugar 6g7%
    Protein 10g20%
    * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
    *Nutrition facts are an estimate and not guaranteed to be accurate.

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    Recipe Rating


  • Cyndi says:

    Delicious soup but not good for the Instant Pot. My Pot came to pressure but kept steaming so I opened it up and discovered a very burned bottom. I was able to salvage the soup and finished cooking on the stove.

    • Julie says:

      So sorry to hear that you had a burned bottom! I haven’t had issues with that but I know in other recipes, people have had issues with tomatoes and burnt bottoms with the instant pot. My suggestion: add the tomatoes in last and don’t stir it up. I’m glad you were able to salvage it though!!

  • Whitney says:

    This recipe made my instant pot give me the “burn” message so I opened it and all the rinsed starchy lentils were stuck to the bottom… very annoying to have to deal with this. This recipe should be modified because it is not the tomatoes that are the issue.

    • Julie says:

      That’s interesting you say that because another reader just emailed me this today about this exact recipe: Oh. My. Goodness! I just made your Curried Coconut Lentil Soup in my new Instant Pot (finally broke down on Amazon Prime Day and got one). Second thing I’ve made. It’s SO GOOD! It’s like a big, healthy, warm hug in a bowl. Thanks for sharing that one. Now to learn some more IP recipes!

      So, I’m not quite sure why yours did that. Sorry though.

  • Keira says:

    The recipe itself is delicious, but as others are saying, this is not safe for the instant pot. I followed the directions perfectly and still wound up with a BURN warning less than 10 minutes in once the pot reached full pressure. It was definitely the lentils that were burned, not the tomato. I was able to salvage most of it and cook it on the stovetop covered at medium heat for 30 minutes. While this cooked it down to a less soupy and more stewlike texture, I have to say the end product was quite tasty. I’ll probably make this again on the stove because I like the flavor, but I’ll definitely be looking for a different instant pot lentil soup recipe.

    • Julie says:

      Thanks for your feedback! I did some research on this just now and I’m going to modify the recipe a bit. I think it’s the lack of enough liquid for the lentils to sit in while it comes up to pressure that causes this. I’ve read several other blogs and the comments and I’m going to test it too! Sorry you had to bring it to the stovetop but really appreciate the feedback!

    • Shirley says:

      I find leaving the coconut milk out of the recipe and adding after it has been cooked prevents the “burn” warning! It does not change the end result.

  • Gill says:

    I sauteed the onions and garlic in some olive oil first, then added all the ingredients, and mixed them. I had no problem with burning. Everyone loved it!

    • Julie says:

      Great to hear!

  • Joanna says:

    Out first Instapot recipe, and it was a success! We followed the recipe, and it turned out perfectly delicious. We had a can of diced tomatoes, so we blended them in our Vitamix, and when we pour we them in, they sunk to the bottom, so I got worried. But not to worry, it still turned out, with no BURN warning!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Wonderful to hear!

  • Sue Cox says:

    I made this and it didn’t burn but also all liquid was gone. It was good flavor wise but not a soup. I used chicken broth and can coconut milk with diced tomatoes. I did manual 8 min and 11 npr. What did I do wrong

    • Julie Wampler says:

      What size instant pot do you use?

  • Brittany says:

    So delicious!!! No burn warning. I did everything according to your recipe and added 3/4 veggie broth and it’s amazing. My son is a big fan as well :)

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Yay! Wonderful to hear this.

  • Zachary Simmons says:

    I just had a question as to how big each serving is.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      A large maybe 6-7 ounces?

  • Karyn says:

    One word: score!
    Made a few tweaks and this was outstanding. We wanted some protein so we added three boneless, skinless chicken thighs. These are the edits I made: seasoned 3 chicken thighs with salt, pepper, Benny T’s Vesta dry very hot sauce, and madras curry. Browned chicken in medium hot skillet for 6 mins to add color and let the seasoning sink in. Then went to step 1 of recipe. Instead of 1 1/2 cup of water I used 2 1/4 cups of chicken broth, 1/4 cup water. Added crushed tomatoes at the end and nestled the chicken into pot. Closed and cooked on high pressure for 15. When it was done I quick released the pot after 5 mins instead of 15 as I didn’t want the chicken to over cook. I prefer my lentils to blend in to my soup so this was perfection.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Glad you enjoyed and thanks for writing your tweaks!

  • Allison says:

    Just made this recipe and it was AMAZING! I didn’t get a burn notice and the lentils and tomatoes were nice and soft come time to eat. I did however have some curdled coconut milk. It was a little strange and I was able to pull most of it out, and we enjoyed the soup once I did it. Have you seen that before, any recommendations?

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Hi! Sorry to hear you had curdled coconut milk. I haven’t had that happen before but since it is heated up to a high temperature, that’s probably a risk. Did you use full fat coconut milk or did you use light coconut milk? It does make a difference so I’m curious which you used. To prevent this next time, you can add it in after the soup has cooked.

  • Melanie says:

    Subbed minced ginger for ginger paste. I also like a lot of spice and garlic so I added more chili flakes and 3 large cloves garlic. I added a little more than 1.5 cup of water. Other than that I followed the recipe exactly and did not get a burn warning. I served it over some jasmine rice for a hearty and filling meal. It turned out delicious! Will definitely bookmark this recipe to make again.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Yum! I’m glad you didn’t get a burn warning! Woohoo! :)

  • Chris says:

    First off, excellent recipe. I do add a bit more post cook to the seasoning, but I think that is something everyone does when making a dish they find online. I had some minor challenges with the burn issue. For any struggling with that, it’s extremely easy to dump it into a pot and finish it off in there. But I have found a few tricks that help avoid it, and since employing them things have been pretty easy.

    So some people mentioned the lentils were causing the issue. I don’t know if they are or aren’t, but to be safe I stir all the other ingredients and add them last after the fact. That may or may not be helping, so take that for what you will.

    The big thing that I think is helping though is how I add the tomatoes. Since the instant pot is a tad narrow, when I made the recipe initially I kinda tilted the can slowly into the pot, since you can’t really fit the whole thing in there. This meant the tomatoes were dropping a good ways and likely getting the speed to fall to the bottom. What I’ve been doing lately is pouring the can into a ladle or saute spoon and then lowing that into the broth and sorta turning it to lay it on top. Since doing this I’ve not had the burn issue once. So maybe the key is to sort of baby the tomatoe into the pot so to speak.

    Sorry for the long post. Either way I loved this and it’s easily one of my most repeated recipes. Thank you for posting it!

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Thank you for sharing your tricks!

  • Matthew Massey says:

    My favorite instant pot recipe. Perfect for meal prepping lunches.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Thank you! So glad to hear this.

  • Caitlin says:

    Delicious! Thank you! My family and I loved it:)

  • Shelley says:

    I’ve made this numerous times and never got a burn warning. It’s one of my favourites – and I just dump the tomatoes on top

    Now my sister wants to make it but doesn’t have an instant pot. How long should she cook it?

    • Julie Wampler says:

      she could cook it on the stove or slow cooker

  • Nicola says:

    Burn notice. This recipe needs modifying or not doing in an instant pot.

    • Julie Wampler says:

      I’ve actually made this three more times after I received comments about this and I haven’t gotten the BURN notice. However, I did give instructions in the recipe notes on how to try to avoid this. Sorry it happened to you.

  • Jane K says:

    What is the white garnish pictured on top of the soup along with the cilantro ?

    • Julie Wampler says:

      Sour cream

  • Chase says:

    This recipe is so quick and easy. It is amazing and versatile. So glad I stumbled upon this

  • Karen says:

    I made this and turned out perfect! I am making again with my other family members in other states and we will compare how they turn out. So flavorful! I had no issues with it sticking.

  • Taylor Alvarez says:

    Just made this….and WOW!!! Seriously so amazing!!!! My husband and I both loved it so much. I made 4 servings, but now I’m wishing I made more. I have to admit, I was nervous after seeing all the ‘burn’ comments. But I followed the recipe exactly and had no problems at all! No tweaks needed. This recipe is here to stay at my household. Thank you so much!

  • Diane Thompson says:

    I LOVE this soup. It is my go to healing receipe for anything that ailes. Thank you!!! Wonderful creamy goodness.

  • Gail says:

    I super LOVE this recipe just as it is. It is perfect for the instant pot. I use a duo mini size. I do double the curry, too. This has become my go-to supper. Everyone loves it:)

    • Gail says:

      I meant to leave 5 stars in my previous comment:)

  • Lori says:

    This is so amazing! Will definitely make again and again. Can you provide rough instructions for regular stove top cooking please?

    • Julie Wampler says:

      honestly i would probably do everything the same as i would in the IP for this recipe except just cook it on the stove longer at a slow simmer until the lentils are cooked to your liking

  • Elaine Marlow says:

    I really love the look of this recipe, but I don’t have a pressure cooker or an instant pot. Do you have any advice for cooking on the stove top?

    • Julie Chiou says:

      Yep, just add everything and cover and cook until lentils are soft. They might take awhile..I’m not sure how long though since I haven’t actually done it on the stovetop before.

  • 5 Hassle-Free Ways to Simplify Mealtime