Lunch\ Dinner

20-minute Lemony Red Lentil Soup, Instant pot or Stove Top


Sit back and grab a bowl of this comforting and nourishing lemony red lentil soup. A 15 minute instant pot red lentil carrot stew recipe with a stove top option. No need to work hard for this delicious meal! A hearty vegan family recipe with a refreshing lemony flavor. Perfect for those busy weeknights or lazy Sundays.

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Close up of a bowl of lemony red lentil stew. Topped with avocado and lemon for a delicious vegan recipe

Perfect for busy weeknights

Have you ever had weeks or months where life just seems to be moving way to fast! Like you just can nt get ahead of feeling behind on everything. Just when you feel like you are catching up on chores and housework a huge pile more just plops on your lap!

This is how these past few weeks have gone for us. So we have really needed to rely on quick and easy family meals more than ever. 30-minute meals have been on constant rotation around here, which is all fine by me. Easy and simple recipes, like this red lentil carrot stew, can be just as delicious as an elaborate recipe! delicious does not have to be fancy!

Top down view of vegan stew

Make it in the Instant pot

This lemony vegan red lentil stew was first introduced to me by one of my favourite Instagrammer Amanda over at mamaeatsplants. If you are not following her go check her out. She has amazing recipes, links to amazing recipes and is a huge zero waste inspiration. You can find her here. I have adapted and changed it slightly but it has quickly become one of our most favorite family meals. Plus it is naturally a gluten free recipe which is always a bonus for our tribe!

The best part is that it can be made in the instant pot. A set-it-and-forget-it kind of meal. With three kids, homework and chores the instant pot is a huge life savor. No need to watch the pot or remember to stir. So add this lentil stew to your instant pot meal ideas!

Don’t have an instant pot? No problem

No worries if you do not own an instant pot. You can just as easily cook this red lentil carrot stew on the stove. However you may need to add a bit more water as it cooks. So keep an eye on the water level as it cooks. And make sure to stir every once in a while to prevent any burning. Other than that the recipe is the exact same! and just as quick.

How to make the best lemony red lentil soup recipe

It is very easy to make this red lentil soup with lemon recipe. Here is what you need:

Red lentils

Veggie broth


Spinach or kale


You do not need much. This is a 30 minute instant pot lentil stew recipe after all!

Prep shot of the ingredients for lemony red lentil soup made in the instant pot

Easy to prepare

This Red lentil carrot stew is made with minimal ingredients so the prep is very easy. The only chopping is the onion, garlic and carrots. the spinach can be added whole and the red lentil does not need to be pre-cooked or soaked beforehand.

Simple add all the ingredients to the pot and away you go!

Make it a pantry recipe

Make this recipe a more pantry friendly recipe with the following steps. You can eliminate the kale and carrots. If you have frozen or canned peas or corn that would make a great addition. You can also use cubed veggie bouillon or water. To make this a delicious recipe using water you may need to increase the amount of spice you use. Lemon is a staple in this ingredient but it will still be delicious without it. You can also add in a bit of soy sauce or coconut cream. Really the options are many as this recipe is a good base!

Close up shot of a bowl of red lentil, carrot and spinach stew topped with avocado

Some FAQ

  • Is red lentil stew healthy? Lentils are not only healthy but they are a very inexpensive and cheap protein source. Lentils are no only high in protein, with roughly 18 grams of protein per cup, but they are high in iron and zinc. They are an important part of a plant-based diet. Lentils are a significant source of a vast array of vitamins and minerals. Some of the highest include selenium, folate, calcium, thiamine, B6, and choline.
  • Do red lentils thicken soup? Red lentils cook up to be fairly soft so they are a great way to thicken soups and stews. They are a great addition to pureed soups to get a nice thick texture. They also work well to help thicken plant-based bolognese sauces.
  • How much protein is in red lentils? Lentils are an inexpensive source of protein and contain a low amount of fat. In just 1 cup of cooked lentils, there are roughly 18 grams of protein. With such a high protein and low-fat content, lentils are a great source of protein while also being heart healthy.
  • Can I use any kind of lentil to make this soup? Lemony red lentil soup is best made with red lentils. Red lentils tend to cook a bit quicker and also break down a lot more than brown or black lentils. So you will get more of a soup and not as much of a stew. You can certainly replace the red lentils with brown but the texture will vary.
  • Do lentils take a long time to cook? Lentils require a short cooking time when compared to other pulses or legumes. They do not necessarily need to be soaked and can even be prepared in the Microwave.

Alright and now on to the recipe. If you like this easy family recipe be sure to check out some of these easy recipes as well:

Hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we do! And don’t forget to tag me on Instagram if you make this recipe (! I love to see your creations.

Recipe for lemony red lentil and carrot stew made in the instant pot

Delicious lemony red lentil carrot stew recipe

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A delicious and flavoutful lemony red lentil and carrot stew. The perfect weeknight recipe to make for you family. Made with simple ingredients that you can toss into the instant pot for a hands free meal. Grab a bowl of this nourishing comforting and refreshing soup!
*Stovetop option below
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Gluten-free, Vegan
Keyword: 1 pot recipe, easy vegan recipe, lentil stew, vegan stew
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 208kcal


  • 1 tbsp olive oil (or use water for oilfree)
  • 1 onion diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tbsp poultry spice (there is no animal products in poultry spice)
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 2 cups red lentils
  • 6 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 carrot diced
  • ¾ cup lemon juice

Optional toppings

  • 2 cup spinach sliced small
  • 2 avocados sliced


Instant pot instructions

  • Set your instant pot to saute. Then add the oil (or water if making this oil-free) and onions and cook until soft. Then add in the garlic and spices and cook for another minute.
  • Add in the red lentils and stir to coat with the spices. Then add in the broth and carrots. Close the lid and set to bean for 15 minutes.
  • Once the time is up, vent the instant pot. If using spinach add it in along with the lemon juice and stir. Close the lid and let it sit for 2 minutes to wilt the spinach.
  • Serve with some sliced avocado or over steamed rice.

Stove top instructions

  • Over medium high heat add your oil to a pot. Add in the onions and cook until soft. Next, add in the garlic and spices and cook for another minute.
  • Then, add in the red lentils and stir to coat with the spices. Next add in all the vegetable broth. Cover and let it come to a boil. Once boiling reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 15 minutes. the red lentils should be soft.
  • Now add in the carrots and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. If you like your carrots more tender go ahead and add them in with the veggie broth 1 step before.
  • Finally add in the lemon juice and stir. If you are adding spinach then add it in here as well. Turn the heat off and close the lid. Let it sit for 2 minutes to wilt the spinach.
  • Serve with some sliced avocado or over steamed rice.
Instant pot


Serving: 1serving | Calories: 208kcal | Carbohydrates: 35g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 722mg | Potassium: 583mg | Fiber: 15g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 2521IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 52mg | Iron: 4mg
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Wide shot of a table with plates of red lentil stew and condiments.

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