Instant Pot Lentils And Rice Recipe

Isn't it such a treat to open up your fridge on a weekday and have flavorful, healthy leftovers staring you right in the face? Lunch is served, fuss-free, and maybe you can even return to the same dish for dinner. If that sounds like a dream come true, then you have Susan Olayinka of The Flexible Fridge to thank for this delicious Instant Pot lentils and rice recipe. "I like to make this when it's mid-week and I need something quick to put in the Instant Pot without having to babysit it," she says.

Indeed, we love rice and lentils — especially with the tasty spices Olayinka adds — but, ugh, the commitment it takes! It's the Instant Pot that comes to the rescue, with Olayinka explaining about her recipe, "This saves a lot of time, because green lentils, on average, take about 20 minutes to cook. Rice takes about 20 minutes to cook. And then, there [are] the vegetables, which will take 5 minutes to cook — so that's about a 45-minute meal on the stovetop! But, in the Instant Pot, it's just half an hour, and tastes delicious." If you're totally sold, read on for how to prepare this scrumptious recipe.

Gather your ingredients to make Instant Pot lentils and rice

For this recipe to come together, you will, of course, need an Instant Pot. Also, add the following simple ingredients to your next shopping list: vegetable stock cubes, long grain rice, green lentils, garlic, 1 onion, 2 bell peppers, curry powder, turmeric, salt, and pepper. A major bonus to this dish? Turmeric offers many health benefits, chief among them being the seasoning's ability to boost brain health. As for why Olayinka uses this bright spice for her meal, she says, "I used turmeric because it produces a beautiful orange-brown color in the rice." She adds, "I used curry powder because [it] has a unique flavor [and] tastes wonderful with rice and beans."

Meanwhile, as far as why Olayinka chose veggie stock cubes versus broth for this recipe, she explains, "Stock cubes keep for longer in the cupboard, and I wanted people to have the option of having a mainly cupboard-based meal."

Add your ingredients to the Instant Pot

Your first step in bringing this vibrant-looking, tasty meal or side to life is to wash the rice. Why is this task necessary, you may wonder? "Rice contains a lot of starch in it, so washing it gets some of the starch off and prevents it [from] being very sticky," Olayinka says. Next, place your washed rice into your Instant Pot. 

Then, go ahead and chop up your veggies — the garlic, bell peppers, and onion. And here is where things get super simple, with Olayinka instructing home cooks to add the rest of the ingredients to the Instant Pot. Yes, you heard that right — you simply pour in 4 cups of water, plus those vegetable stock cubes, your green lentils, chopped garlic cloves, onion, and bell peppers, as well your curry powder, turmeric, salt, and black pepper. If only every recipe was this easy, right? We wish!

Cook your lentils and rice

Once your ingredients are added to your handy dandy Instant Pot, you will turn it on, and cook on "high pressure" for 30 minutes. And nope, as Olayinka notes, you do not need to babysit this recipe.

Thirty minutes later, natural release the Instant Pot for 15 minutes, with Olayinka noting, "Doing a natural release allows the food in the Instant Pot to [get] fully cooked and the flavors to be heightened." She adds some words of caution, though: "If you leave [the rice] on natural release for longer than 15 minutes, it will become overcooked and soggy." To avoid this, do a "quick release" after that 15 minutes is up.

Finally, fluff the rice up, and serve, with Olayinka noting that this recipe "serves really well on its own with some hummus and salad, or as a side with meats like grilled chicken or steak."

Instant Pot Lentils And Rice Recipe
5 from 50 ratings
This tasty Instant Pot lentils and rice dish is a super easy meal to whip up mid-week and enjoy for dinner.
Prep Time
Cook Time
lentils and rice on plate
Total time: 60 minutes
  • 2 cups (500 mL) long grain rice
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 2 bell peppers
  • 1 onion
  • 4 cups (1 L) water
  • 2 vegetable stock cubes
  • 1 cup (250 mL) green lentils
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) turmeric
  • 1 ½ teaspoons (7.5 mL) salt
  • 1 teaspoon (5 mL) black pepper
  1. Wash the rice, and place into the Instant Pot.
  2. Chop the garlic, bell peppers, and onion.
  3. Into the Instant Pot, place the water, stock cubes, green lentils, chopped garlic cloves, chopped onion, chopped bell peppers, curry powder, turmeric powder, salt, and black pepper.
  4. Turn the Instant Pot on and cook on high pressure for 30 minutes.
  5. Once the lentils and rice are cooked, natural release the Instant Pot for 15 minutes and do a quick release on any extra steam in the pot.
  6. Fluff up the rice with a fork, and it's ready to serve.
Calories per Serving 686
Total Fat 2.6 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Trans Fat 0.0 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Total Carbohydrates 139.4 g
Dietary Fiber 16.3 g
Total Sugars 5.1 g
Sodium 988.4 mg
Protein 25.9 g
The information shown is Edamam’s estimate based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.
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