Lentil Tacos in the Instant Pot

Sharing is caring!

It started in 2014, I would get emails asking if I could create recipes to use in the Instant Pot. My response was always, “sorry, I don’t have an Instant Pot but if you buy me one I’ll make recipes for you.” No one took me up on the offer so eventually I bought one myself. If you aren’t familiar with the Instant Pot it is an electric pressure cooker.

I’ve been slowly adapting my recipes to work in the Instant Pot and today I’m going to share my Lentil Taco’s recipe. You can use the original recipe if you are looking for a stove top version.

Vegan Gluten-Free Plant-Based Lentil Tacos

Lentil Tacos in the Instant Pot


  • 2 cups dry brown lentils
  • 4 cups water
  • 4 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp each of salt, garlic powder, chili powder and onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin


  1. Dump all of the ingredients into our Instant Pot and give it a little stir to mix everything evenly.
  2. Close the lid, make sure you move the pressure release to the sealed position.
  3. Press the Manual button and use the arrows to get to 15.
  4. Once it is done turn the Instant Pot off and release the pressure.
  5. Carefully open the lid and give it a stir. Let it sit for a few minutes before serving.


These are great in crunchy or soft tacos, as part of a burrito or taco salad. If you don’t have an Instant Pot don’t worry you can use the stove top recipe, it’s just as easy and just as delicious. For a little variety try my Quinoa-Lentil Tacos! They are a family favorite!

Sharing is caring!


  1. I just got an electic pressure cooker for Christmas and I LOVE it!! I also love eating plant strong foods! I am wondering if you think it would work to add half quinoa and half lentils? And would I have to adjust the liquid? Thanks so much for all your recipes!

  2. Alicia, It will work. I actually have that recipe coming soon! I use a little less water and more spices when I use quinoa.

  3. I have a simple but very delicious recipe for enchilada sauce and I bet that would be good in place of the tomato sauce in this recipe…..

  4. Actually as I look closer at the recipe, and the spices added to the tomato sauce…that is pretty much the enchilada sauce recipe I use except I add fresh garlic chopped and a bit of tomato paste to thicken the sauce some.

  5. So you are doing a quick release, I think?

  6. How long does the pressure cooking actually take? I’m interested in getting one of these, but it would be good to know how long to expect setting “15” to take.

    • That is a good question but there are several variables. It usually takes 10 minutes or so to come to pressure. It will depend on the amount of food, liquid and the settings.
      I love my Instant Pot and feel like it saves a lot of time, especially on recipes that take a long time like potatoes and beans.

  7. Trying this for the first time in my InstantPot and man does my kitchen smell good 🙂

  8. Could you use green lentils instead if brown?

  9. Made this last night for my omni husband and step daughter.. They loved it!! Definitely a keeper

  10. High pressure or low pressure?!?

  11. Tracy Minyard says:

    Can you double this? I have the same Instant Pot you do, I think… ?

  12. Kathryn Kintzing says:

    Any reason this will not work in a stove top pressure cooker?

  13. I used red lentils and it came out kinda like thick oatmeal! But it tasted great! I just used on nachos

    • Hi Ann,
      Yeah red lentils typically turn to mush. They still takes great though. I’m glad you were able to make it work for nachos. Brown or green lentils will hold together better.

      • Mary Ann Van Cleave says:

        Could you just decrease the cooking time with the red lentils and maybe they wouldn’t be mushy?

        • Hi Mary Ann, sadly no. Red lentils will always turn to mush. I like them in soups and chili but not in recipes where they need to keep their shape. Green or brown lentils are your best bet for tacos.

  14. I really liked this! I used green beans and it did need a longer cooking time. I cooked it for 25 minutes (total 15 + 10) and it turned out fine. I mixed my part with Turkish yoghurt afterwards and loved it and my 3 1/2 year old did too. The baby wasn’t a fan of the yoghurt mixed in, but ate it fine without the yoghurt. I also used 1/4 cup of fresh onion and fried it first as I did not have onion powder. Thank you!

  15. Just got my Instant Pot a week ago and love it! We made these tonight and they were FABULOUS! Two questions or things I want to ask about- my valve was in the seal position but it released steam pretty much the entire time and then nothing actually released when I switched it to venting (I assume b/c all the water was absorbed). Also, some of the lentils were stuck on the bottom, not quite burnt though. Is this because there was no water left? Just not sure if this is normal. Thank you!!

    • HI Eileen,
      I haven’t had that happen. It sounds like the valve might not be working correctly. I would take it all apart and put it back together. Then do a water test.
      If it doesn’t correct itself I would call customer service. You may need a replacement.

  16. Laura Yoerger says:

    How many does this serve? Also, what size Instant Pot do you have? I will need to double maybe even triple this recipe to feed my large clan. Not sure which I can safely do with the 6 quart IP that I was able to find. All the 8 quarts are sold out due to the holidays.

    • Hi Laura,
      This makes about 4 cups and you can double it. You can decrease the water if needed to get it to fit into your pot. I like using a lot of water any time I cook beans or grains becuase I’d rather them have too much instead of not enough. Since the IP doesn’t allow liquid to evaporate I may over do it some time.

      This recipe makes about 4 cups (maybe a little more) and I estimate 1/4 cup for each taco depending on what all you put in them. I don’t know how big of an appetite your family has but I think you could safely estimate 3 tacos for adults, 4 for growing teens 🙂 and 2 for kids.
      I estimate you could serve a family of two adults and two kids with this recipe and still have leftovers.

      If you are making burritos with it you will want to estimate 1/2 cup of the mix in each one (again depending on size).

      I have a 6 quart by the way. I’ve thought about getting the 8 quart but I’m happy with my 6 most of the time.

  17. Would you need to adjust this god the mini instant pot?

    • I don’t have the mini but I don’t think you would need any adjustments. It should be big enough for this recipe without making any changes.

  18. Hello do you think you could add some frozen corn to this? If so would I need to adjust anything else?

    • Nope, you can just toss it in. It won’t need any more adjustments. I love adding corn but my husband can’t have corn so I normally only add it to my portion.

  19. Stephanie says:

    Can I add crumbled tofu as well? Or should I expect disaster? Thx!

What do YOU think?