Preparing a batch of lentils from scratch allows you to simmer the legumes with aromatic vegetables so they soak up all their tasty goodness. This all-purpose vegan instant pot lentil recipe makes a nice hearty dinner for two people. It calls for a classic combination of onion, celery, carrot, and garlic as a base, then kicks the flavor up even more with tangy diced tomatoes. The result is an extremely versatile dish that can be served on its own or over grains (it is especially good with whole-wheat couscous), spooned into tortillas, served cold as a spread or dip, and even thinned with broth to make soup. Green lentils will hold their shape better than brown, and you could also use black (beluga) lentils here, too.
Set an Instant Pot electric pressure cooker on the sauté setting and allow it to heat. Add the onion and cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently and adding water 1 tablespoon at a time as needed to prevent sticking. Add the celery, carrot, and garlic; cook for 2 more minutes, stirring frequently.
Press the cooker’s “Cancel” button, then stir in 3 cups of water plus the tomatoes and lentils.
Lock the cooker’s lid in place, adjust the setting to “Manual,” and cook for 20 minutes. Let it stand to release pressure naturally, at least 10 minutes. If necessary, carefully open the steam vent to release any remaining pressure. Open lid carefully. Stir in the parsley, salt, and pepper.
Molly Patrick is the founder of cleanfooddirtygirl.com, a website dedicated to helping people eat more whole plant food and less of everything else. Through her writing, recipes, programs, and coaching, she inspires, motivates, and educates people all over the globe to prevent illness and disease with the food they eat.