Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup (Instant-Pot + Slow Cooker)

This uber easy and crazy flavorful Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup can be made in a pressure cooker, slow cooker, or on the stove – game on!

healthy instant pot slow cooker vegetarian lentil tortilla soup recipe

Cue the jazz hands, people! Today we’re making a luscious, flavor-packed, rock-your-face-off vegetarian tortilla soup.

After much deliberation (ok like 5 seconds) I decided the marriage of my Slow Cooker Chicken Tortilla Soup and Lentil Veggie Chili would make the most delightful union.

Obviously I was right (otherwise we would be talking about kale chips or spinach salads today) and I’m so stupid excited to share this one with y’all today!

healthy instant pot slow cooker vegetarian lentil tortilla soup recipe

Wait! Back to the recipe! It channels the flavor of my go-to tortilla soup perfectly, with the added bonus of extra veggies, extra legumes, and a swirl of creaminess that makes this easy, every day dinner soup feel like a luxurious indulgence.

As for the leftovers, yowza! I’m happily scarfing a leftover bowl of this Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup while typing this, seriously! The flavors mingle and jingle and it’s just plain magic.

You should totally plan on snagging a bowl to take to work/school the next day and another to pair with a cheesy quesadilla for dinner. You can even stash a bowl or two in the freezer for heat and eat “fast food” without the fuss OR the sketchy ingredients.

It’s also a great use for rescuing all those broken tortilla chips at the bottom of the bag. Instead of tossing those crispity crunchity crumbs, use them as a tasty soup topper!

healthy instant pot slow cooker vegetarian lentil tortilla soup recipe

Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup

This easy peasy recipe yields 6 cups of deliciousness. That’s enough for 6 side-dish sized servings or 3 big bowls! Pair it with your favorite Mexican main (anything from tacos to enchiladas to burritos) or a fresh salad for a delicious dinner that won’t disappoint.

Meal prepping? Make it in advance and enjoy for lunches or dinners all week long! It’s FABULOUS the next day and oh so flavorful!

Vegetarian :: Vegan Option :: Gluten-Free :: Freezer-Friendly

Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup (Instant-Pot + Slow Cooker)

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Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup

Prep

Cook

Inactive

Total

Yield 6 servings

This uber easy and crazy flavorful Vegetarian Lentil Tortilla Soup can be made in a pressure cooker, slow cooker, or on the stove, making it one of our favorite make-ahead soup recipes!

Recipe yields approx, 6 cups of soup.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup diced onion
  • 1 tsp avocado oil or olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, diced
  • 2.5 cups vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
  • 1 can (14-15 oz) tomato sauce or crushed tomatoes, extra to taste
  • 1/2 cup salsa verde (or your favorite salsa!)
  • 1 TBSP tomato paste
  • 1 (15 oz) can black beans, drained + rinsed
  • 1 (15 oz) can pinto  beans, drained + rinsed
  • 1 cup corn (fresh, canned, or frozen)
  • 3/4 cup dried red lentils
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/4-1/2 cup heavy cream* (optional - see notes)
  • salt and pepper to taste

For a thicker soup, feel free to add some corn tortillas (torn into pieces) to the soup or simply swirl crushed tortilla chips into the soup after serving!

Pile on the toppings!

  • crushed tortilla chips - my favorite!
  • shredded cheddar  or mex-blend cheese
  • sliced or diced jalapeños
  • chopped red onion
  • fresh pico de gallo or salsa
  • sliced avocado
  • fresh cilantro
  • sour cream or greek yogurt

Instructions

  1. Below are the electric pressure cooker and slow cooker instructions, see blog post below for directions to make this bad boy on the stove.
  2. First, chop your veggies and measure out the ingredients. 
  3. Next add everything but the heavy cream your toppings.
  4. This includes bell pepper, jalapeño, corn, lentils, black beans, pinto beans, broth, tomato sauce, tomato paste, salsa verde, and all your herbs + spices. Toss them in and set IP to high pressure for 15 minutes. Walk away; FREEDOM!
  5. Allow natural pressure release.
  6. Stir in the cream, add all your favorite toppings, and enjoy!

SlOW COOKER INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. First chop your veggies and measure out the ingredients. This will make everything super easy to toss together!
  2. Next add everything except the heavy cream and toppings.
  3. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or low for 7-8 hours, until dried lentils are cooked through and veggies are tender. My soup was perfect after 5 hours on high.
  4. Swirl in the cream, add all your favorite toppings, and dive in!

Notes

* In place of the heavy cream, feel free to use half-and-half or cream cheese. Skipping the cream? No problem! This recipe can be made without it - let your tastebuds be your guide.

Feel free to adjust the consistency of the soup to your liking. The soup can be thinned with a little broth or tomato sauce if desired or thickened with extra cream or beans/veggies! If you add a lot of extra liquid, consider amping up the spices a smidge to compensate. You can also make this as mild or as spicy as you'd like. As written it's on the medium side. The type of salsa used, jalapeños, and cayenne pepper will control the heat factor.

Want it super chunky? Feel free to add extra beans and veggies! Simply amp up the seasoning as needed depending on how much extra goodies you add to the pot.

A NOTE ON SALT AND PEPPER :: I leave salting the dish to the end to prevent over-seasoning. Depending on the brand and type of broth, tomatoes, and beans that you use, the sodium content will vary. I usually don't add any salt until the end once I am able to taste the soup.

Pressure cooker recipes always leave out the details so here's a breakdown of what you can expect time-wise: About 13 minutes to come to pressure plus 15 minutes cook time and 15 or so to release pressure. You won't need to be anywhere near your kitchen for this all to partake, the Instant Pot will handle it all and switch to warm once it's done. So fabulous right? For the slow cooker, simply set a timer and you're good to go.

Nutrition facts below calculated before optional cream + toppings.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 cup

Amount Per Serving

Calories 269

% Daily Value

Total Fat 2 g

3%

Total Carbohydrates 45 g

15%

Protein 16 g

32%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

healthy instant pot slow cooker vegetarian lentil tortilla soup recipe

special diets and swaps

VEGAN CHEFS

Skip the cream and the cheese and you’re good to go

T-REX CHEFS

Use chicken broth if needed and you’re 100% welcome to add chopped or shredded chicken to this BUT promise me you’ll still add all the veggies and legumes too? Deal?

optional stove-top soup instructions

Bring a large pot to medium heat and add a drizzle of your favorite cooking oil. Sauté your onion until edges are golden, then add your bell pepper, jalapeño, and corn. Cook until peppers are tender, approx. 5 minutes.

Next add veggie broth, tomato sauce, salsa verde, beans, and spices; stir to mix. Let mixture come to a boil and add your dried lentils. Once boiling, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, covered, for 25-30 minutes.

The longer you let it cook the more pronounced the flavor will be. Feel free to cook a little longer if time permits, up to you! Lastly swirl in your cream. All that’s left to do is scoop out a bowlful, pile on the toppings, and face-plant into this tasty vegetarian lentil tortilla soup!

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Comments

  • Melinda Samaniego

    Made this on the stove yesterday and it was so good! Will definitely make again. This recipe is a keeper!

  • Jordan

    I made this tonight in the Instant Pot and used green lentils. I read through some of the comments and saw comments about it burning. I added an extra cup of broth and it came out awesome! The Instant Pot wasn’t done naturally releasing pressure after 15 minutes, so I just quick released the rest. I made no other changes and would definitely recommend the recipe as is, but holy shit Greg’s alterations sound delicious! Husband is a vegetarian and we always have trouble finding meals that are filling without being all veggies or pasta. I just found your website and this recipe hit the spot! We will definitely be putting this in our rotation. Can’t wait to make more of your recipes!

  • Greg

    This soup is amazing! I’ve made it 3 times now. I did add and swap some stuff to make more and give it some more Mexican sabor. I used 3 cups of my homemade veggie broth and doubled the dry spices except the cayenne, I swapped the garlic powder for 3 big minced cloves of fresh garlic. I used a large onion and added a red bell pepper with the green one. Also increased the corn to one 15 oz can. I added one can of garbanzo chickpea beans, I tsp of oregano, one bay leaf, a few dried peppercorns, and a dried chili arbol. After cooking I stirred in some low fat cream cheese, juice of half a lime, and some lime zest. Cool, fridge and eat the next day with a squeeze of lime, Mexican queso fresco, tortilla chips, avocado, and cilantro on top. My friend from Mexico gives it 2 thumps up!

    • Love these zesty additions Greg and I’m so honored you’ve been making it on repeat! Woot! The queso fresco and garbanzo beans need to happen next time I make it – yum!!!

  • Frances

    Loved this, perfect. Will make often Thank you

  • Kelly

    Absolutely obsessed over this soup! It was one of the first meals I made in my instant pot when I first got it. I have shared it with many of my instant pot loving friends as well.

  • Kolbi

    Okay so this recipe is a HUGE hit and I share it all the time! Cooking right now as I type this, in fact.

    Everytime I make this soup in the IP, I end up burning the bottom and then needing to transfer it to the stove. Wondering if there is something I’m doing wrong?

    Any help is appreciated!

    • Hey Kolbi! So stoked you’re loving the soup! A few things could be contributing to this! Too thick of a mixture due to adding extra ingredients or more of something listed above. Even something as small as adding green/brown lentils in place of red lentils (which are very thin and cook faster plus soak up less liquid) can burn ze soup in the IP. Overfilling the pot (doubling the recipe or adding additional ingredients) is also a huge culprit. You mentioned it happens a lot, are there small changes/swaps/additions you tend to make to the recipe each time? Let me know and I’m super happy to help troubleshoot, as this recipe for sure has enough liquid to prevent you from having to transfer it every time and I’d love to make your life easier! 🙂 Chat soon – and thank you Kolbi! xo

  • Frances

    I thought this looked good and it was terrific. I think this is a favorite soup. Only change was doubling the spices and adding dried oregano also. Very impressed with the recipe,

  • Brittany

    Phenomenal!! So easy and so flavorful! We skipped the heavy cream but did everything else. Amazing. This will be a go to on a regular. Also easy for food prep.

  • Monique

    This recipe is on our family’s go-to list. Its filling just in its own and freezes well, so you can pack it as individual servings and pull them out of he freezer for an easy lunch or dinner any time.

  • This soup looks amazing! I could go for a big bowl right now!

  • Melissa

    Got my InstaPot yesterday and this was my first recipe. I’ve had multiple “burn” error messages and just kept stirring and scraping stuff up from the bottom. Didn’t seem to affect the taste, it was absolutely scrumptious. Reading the other comments about “burn” messages helped. Not sure what I did wrong, for once I actually followed a recipe, but I’m sure there was some “fudge” factor in my measurements. Still, it was really delicious so I gave it 5 stars.

    • So glad you enjoyed it Melissa, thank you! Chunky soups, chilis, curries, etc… are one of those things that can make the IP go wonky with that dreaded burn notice if even a single ingredient is off (it’s maddening, I tell ya! lol) so I’m glad you stuck with it! Too much of the thicker ingredients or less of a water/broth/liquid ingredient can make things go a little batty. We’ve also noticed that regular brown/green lentils vs the red lentils in the IP can soak up all the liquid.

      Again I’m so glad you stuck through it and hooray for your first IP recipe! So excited you chose mine! I’m stoked for you to try a bowl of the leftover soup tomorrow – gah! SO GOOD the next day!

  • My 6 year old said this is the second best food she’s ever tasted that’s not a dessert. Thank you! We cooked it together and made it with mild red salsa and no jalapenos. We omitted the tomato paste and used roasted diced canned tomatoes. Topped with sharp cheddar cheese, tortilla chips, and avocado. Delish!

  • SS

    This smelled insanely good at each step! Thank you to the reviewer who suggested Rotel tomatoes instead of salsa. The soup tasted as good as it smelled and didn’t need the cream but I only had one issue- so many beans! You really have to like beans to like this soup. I don’t mind beans in my food but the proportion was off for me. The lentils completely dissolved and made the soup creamy which is great but I wanted to be able to feel their texture. I would say this is more like a very tasty vegetarian chili. I really enjoyed the flavors so I might try this out with chickpeas instead of the beans. Thank you for an easy and delicious recipe. I just wanted to be honest in case someone else had similar tastes.

  • Joye

    This was so good! I would never have thought to use the red lentils for thickening. You could not even tell they were in there. I used regular salsa as I didn’t have salsa verde on hand but can’t wait to make this again with the green salsa.

  • Val

    Wondering if this would work with dried green/brown lentils…. they are larger than red lentils, but are currently in my cupboard.

    • Hi Val! The only issue I’ve come across with the brown/green lentils is that they take longer to cook and need a lot more liquid. They soak up a lot of the broth and can burn in the Instant Pot if they soak it all up. I haven’t had a chance to see exactly how much extra this recipe needs but I’d say at least a few more cups of broth, which would also require a little more seasoning as well to cover any dilution. If you get a chance to experiment for sure let me know! Flavor-wise this recipe would be just as glorious with the standard lentils! 🙂

      If you’re using the slow cooker method then the green lentils are perfecto! They may need a bit extra time to cook and a smidge more liquid but won’t run into the same issues as the IP 🙂 For the stove-top method, I’d cook the green lentils on their own in boiling water then add them to the soup! 🙂

      • Brian

        I made this soup with green lentils because I had them on hand. I added an extra cup of broth at the beginning and then a second cup a few hours into slow cooking it because the liquid was reducing. The soup turned out great! I would like to make it with red lentils next time, but if I only have green, I would make it again. I added a bit extra of each spice and the soup came out flavorful and cooked it for an extra hour.

        Also, the soup was even better then next day as the lentils continued to soak and the flavors combined.

        • So super happy to hear it Brian, and I’m crazy appreciative of you sharing your process for using the green lentils in this recipe with the slow cooker method! Thank you oh so much! 🙂

  • Janelle B.

    Wow! My family loved this chili. My 2 yr old especially loved it. I’ll definately make this again.

  • Lisa

    MAde this tonight! Yum! I’ve had issues with Burn with several recipes I have tried and was so glad to have one turn out so fab. I used red salsa and ketchup instead of tomato paste since I didn’t have any and it was great! Thanks.

  • Made this tonight and it was yummy. Didn’t add any cream and didn’t miss it. Added a bunch of fresh cilantro at the end. Loved this!

  • Jay

    Hi again!

    “1/2 cup salsa verde (or your favorite salsa!)”

    Was looking online getting salsa verde but turn out it extremely difficult get it in UK.

    So can I use normal salsa instead (red ones)?

    • Hey Jay! Absolutely! It works great with any salsa really – I’ve made it with whatever salsa is lurking in my fridge and it’s always yummy 🙂

      • Jay

        Fab! That make it much easier!

    • Another Jen ;)

      Tesco has green salsa with the Mexican stuff. Quick question, I love making this but burn my lentils every time. I tried to find the solution in the comments but can’t! Help please!!

      • Hey Jen! We can troubleshoot here or I can shoot you an email if that’s easier? Let me know! My first questions would be, are you burning just the lentils or the whole dish? Instant Pot? If so what size? Also which type of lentils are you using? I’ll help ya get to the bottom of this! xoxo

        • Jen O

          Sorry it took me so long to respond! I didn’t get an email that you had written. It’s just the lentils burning, I have a stove top pressure cooker not an instant pot so maybe that’s why…I’m using red lentils. Thanks!

          • Thanks for popping back over Jen! I’ve been reading more and more about the differences between stove-top pressure cookers and electric like the Instant Pot, and it seems like there’s a definite PSI/pressure difference between them with the stove-top cooker having a much higher pressure. They also cook about 3x faster as well (which is awesome!) but can leave to overcooking/sticking/burning when using a recipe developed with an electric pressure cooker — that could be where things get dicey each time you try to cook lentils! They also have a different capacity right? Is there a fill-capacity line that you know of with your pressure cooker? If so do you think the recipe goes past it? If it’s nowhere near the max fill line for your cooker, I’d say we can try upping the liquid to lentil ratio and decreasing the cook time quite a bit!

  • Niti Raman

    LOVE this soup! So tasty and delicious! I did leave out the heavy cream and tomato sauce since I didn’t have any in stock. Instead, I added 1 tbsp of tomato paste with the veg broth.

    • Such a great swap Niti, and I’m excited to know it works this way as well (I’m always running out of things, lol!) Thank you! 🙂

  • CeCe

    I just made this vegetarian lentil soup in the instant pot and OMG it is SO SO good!!! I am so excited to try your other recipes! Thank you for sharing!

  • Peggy

    Make Instant Pot instructions with your commenter’s advice to save us time. Just like the Instant Pot.

  • ARS

    If I am doubling the recipe, do I need to change the timing for the pressure on the IP?
    I’ve made this recipe 3 times for my family, and have shared the recipe with my cousins too- it’s a hit.

    • I’m so glad y’all are loving the recipe! 🙂 Thank you! A reader recently tried to double the recipe in an 8 QT and reported that it would not work and switched to the safety auto-shutoff feature b/c the pot cannot handle that much soup. They totally need to come out with a 10 QT for us that love to batch cook lots of food for freezer meals and potlucks/gatherings!

  • Jay

    “For a thicker soup, feel free to add some corn tortillas (torn into pieces) to the soup”

    Do I add that with everything before start cooking or I add that at end after cooking? I not quite sure.

    Thanks 🙂

    • Great question Jay! Since the IP is super finicky, I’d actually add it right after cooking and let it sit/cool. Tear or chop them up real small and the piping hot soup will use them to thicken as it cools. I’d say maybe 2 small corn tortillas worth? 3 max if you like it crazy chunky! 🙂

      • Jay

        Hi

        Thanks replying! I wanted to check make sure. I don’t have instant pot yet (none in stock in UK at moment). I am planning use your recipe for my first instant pot cooking. Want get all info ready.
        🙂

        • I’m so excited for you to get your Instant Pot Jay! It’s for sure a fun appliance! Kudos for doing all your research too – love that 🙂

  • Christi Schiffer

    The perfect soup for a dreary day. Best of all I had everything on hand. I loved the luxury of the Instant Pot. I did leave out the heavy cream, but only because I forgot to add it.

  • Inanna

    Very good

  • Lara

    I have a question as I am new to pressure cooking. I see you call for canned black and pinto beans but dried lentils. Why can’t you use dried black and pinto beans too??

    • Hey Lara! Great question and I can totally explain this one for ya! 🙂

      What basically happens is that the delicate vegetables go beyond the point of tender and turn to complete mush. 30-40 minutes of high pressure (plus pressure build and release time) are usually needed to cook the beans and that is a lot of pressure for the veggies to endure, so they lose their shape and texture.

      My favorite time saving hack for skipping cans entirely is to make my beans in the IP meal-prep style and then freeze them all measured out in 1 cup or 2 cup servings after cooking/cooling. This way when I need beans for a recipe I can use my cooked-from-dried beans that I’ve cooked up in my IP and bypass the need for cans entirely! I try to do this whenever possible bc it’s such a time + money saver in the long run!

      Hope this helps and that you get to try the recipe soon – It’s one of my favorites soups, especially when it’s so crazy cold out! xoxo

  • Oh, my dear daughter shared this recipe of yours with me. Thank goodness as I was needing to come up with something for dinner. I didn’t have several of the ingredients, but was able to substitute well enough (creamed corn for the corn, chickpeas and shredded chicken, fire roasted spicy chili tomatoes for the salsa), but I thought it would add more depth of flavor if I sauted the onions and spices a bit before throwing everything else in….DON”T DO IT! I believe it made the bottom too hot and it started to burn before the time was up. Luckily I was able to scoop out most of it without having a scorched taste. Test? My hubby LOVED it! Just one of those, don’t do what I did 😉

    • So glad the swaps worked and that dinner was delicious! Thank you Brenda!

  • Bren

    Use cashew cream instead of cream to make it vegan. Cashew cream is Cashews and water blended together to form thick cream.

  • Tiffany

    How would you do this on the stovetop? My son dropped and shattered my crockpot insert .

    • Oh no! This will toooootally work stove-top! There are instructions at the very bottom of this blog post, LMK if you need me to email them or anything! 🙂

      • Diana

        Where it says put it on medium-low and simmer… that confuses me. I leave it on the stove top for 25-30 minutes on that heat setting? Usually if something says to leave it to simmer, I set the heat to simmer.

        • Hi Diana! I don’t have a simmer setting so I leave it on one of the lower settings so the soup maintains a simmer. On my stove-top if I set it too low it just sits there warm and doesn’t actually do much so I wasn’t sure how to best explain it, if that makes sense? Whatever it takes to simmer the soup for you – simmer away! 🙂 It needs to be hot enough to cook the lentils basically.

  • MC-S

    This soup is SO delicious and satisfying. I had purchased a 7oz can of salsa verde, so I used the whole thing instead of just a half cup, but that was the only change that I made. I froze mine in individual servings to take in my lunch, and it tastes just as good.

  • LJ

    Can this recipe be doubled and still yield the same results? Sounds delish but 6 cups is about one serving for my man 😂

    • LJ

      Whoops nevermind, I just read all the comments 🙂

      • LOL I could easily chug the whole Instant Pot of this stuff 😉 Next time I make it I’ll see if I can cram a double serving in — I think I’d have to leave a few ingredients out and then add them in at the end so it’s not overfull — Will update next time we make it!

        • Kristen

          Doubled the recipe in an 8Qt instant pot and it said burn. Emptied out half, burn again. Emptied a little more, came to pressure and then said burn. I would stick to the one serving but it was delicious and I would definitely make it again.

          • Aw man these pots are just so finicky when it comes to a boatload of soup/chili! I’m glad to know for sure that it can’t be doubled so thank you so so much for updating me Kristen! (and I’m stoked you enjoyed it once it finally decided to cook for ya! lol)

      • Cindy

        I wonder if it would work to 1 1/2 times the recipe in the IP instead of doubling it?

        • I think it still might be too close to the fill line in the 6 QT but maybe in the 8 QT it won’t be too full? Let me know if you channel your inner scientist and experiment with a larger portion Cindy! I’m still so chicken I’ll just make it twice in a row to have some for now and some for the freezer. LOL! xo

  • Christy

    I have never commented on a recipe blog before, but I feel obligated to this time because I am so unbelievably addicted to this recipe. I have made this for dinner probably five times a month for the past six months. So. Good. Thank you.

    • Christy I am SO honored! I’m basically happy dancing over here and so stinkin’ glad you’ve been loving the recipe – thank you! 🙂

  • Chris

    So good

  • JEN

    HI! My family absolutely loves this soup! Thanks for the recipe. If I double it in the instant pot, do you know how I would adjust the time to cook? Thanks!

    • Hey Jen! Thank you! 🙂 Hookay so I use a 6 QT and it seems pretty full every time I make the soup, what size IP do you have? It might be able to double in an 8 QT but I’m not entirely sure, eek! I know it doesn’t work if it’s filled past a certain point in the liner. Keep me posted!

  • Leslie

    This looks so good and would love to make this without a cooker of any kind. What would I need to do differently? Thank you!!

    • Thank you Leslie! At the very bottom of this post I have stove top instructions that will work great 🙂

      • Leslie

        Right in front of my face. Thank you!

        • You’re super welcome! Hope you *adore* the soup, Leslie! 🙂

  • This is one of my favorite Instant Pot recipes. This soup is hearty, tasty, and full of healthy ingredients! In fact, I’ve recommended it to everyone in my life who owns an IP and they all LOVE it! Good work, Jenn!

    • Thank you Parita! So honored you’ve been sharing the recipe!

    • Beccie

      This will be the first thing I make in my new instant pot. Any recommendations on how to set the machine? How much time? Thanks so much in advance!

  • Tiffany

    This was amazing. I’m vegan so I added homemade cashew cheese instead of cream and it was a hit with everyone. Thank you for the recipe!!

    • Looove that it worked with cashew cheese (yum!) – Thank you Tiffany!

  • Susan O'Malley

    Tried this. 5 hours in the crock pot on high turned this to total mush unfortunately. Great flavors but the consistency was not good. I’m wondering if it should be 5 – 6 hours on low? I want to try again but will use the stove top method.

    • Hi Susan! I wonder if some slow cookers run hotter than others?

      Mine was still a little too al-dente at 4 hours so I did 5 hours high in my crock-pot and it was perfection. I checked a few other lentil crock-pot recipes (using dry lentils like this one) for times and a friend’s recipe is 5-6 hours high and 7-8 hours low

      Stove-top should be perfecto for next time (so glad you’ll be making it again – LOVE this soup!) and for your slow cooker I would either check it at the 3-4 hour mark when using high or do low and check around the 5-6 hour mark. I’ll add a note in the recipe about checking at the 4-hour mark for those that may have a similar slow cooker.

  • Anna

    This was so good! I skipped the cream and just added in 1-2 tbsp greek yogurt per bowl. Delicious! It is very thick and could probably work as a dip too! We definitely ended up scooping some up with tortilla chips. I will definitely be making this again!

    • Girrrrl YES! I think it would make a fantastic dip too, love it! Thanks Anna! 🙂 xo

  • Breana

    My husband made this last night and it was amazing!! So much flavor packed into every bite. We chose to skip the dairy options but it was still delicious. Adding the tortilla chips helped make it more creamy and thick. I topped it with avocado and chips. We will definitely be making this again!!

  • Mama Schick

    Have you ever tried doubling it? I made this in the IP and it was DELISH! Thinking of making a double batch for company, but I can’t remember how full my pot was last time… I have a 6qt Instant Pot.
    Thank You!

    • Thank you Mama Schick, so glad you loved the soup! I wish the 6 qt could handle a double batch but it would be overfilled way past the max unfortunately. Do you have a friend who also has an IP? I’d totally be calling up friends to borrow their pot so I could serve a big crowd lol 🙂

  • Scott

    This was really fantastic. Skipped the cream.

  • Jim M.

    Made this with my daughter in our new Instant Pot It was absolutely fabulous. Made exactly as indicated. Cant believe this cooked in 15 minutes! Looked and tasted like it was cooking for hours.

    I think the garnish (in our case the yogurt and plenty of cilantro) was key!

    Thnks for the great recipe!

    • Love mine with yogurt and garlic too – YUM! Thank you Jim!

  • Julie

    I love this recipe and have made it several times. Just wanted to say if you want it creamy but vegan to add vegan sour cream to either individual bowls or the pot. Tastes great!

    • SUCH a great idea Julie, thank you! Loooove me some vegan sour cream <3 <3

  • Shelly

    After this is made in the crock pot, does it freeze well?

  • Kat

    This was the first Instant Pot meal I’ve ever made and it was delish! Thanks for a great start to my new toy! Added the smoked paprika too.

    • So glad you enjoyed it Kat, thank you!

  • Rachel

    This is awesome!!!! Followed it exactly but just added an additional bell pepper (one red, one green). Probably the best thing I made in my instant pot so far. Thank you!

    • Huzzah!!! So happy to hear it Rachel, thank you!

  • Rachel

    Help! I only have dried regular lentils. Will that work? I have everything ready to go but the right lentils.

    • Just got home and saw this – any lentils work great! 🙂

  • Adrienne Forest

    I’m making this for the third time. Don’t change a thing. It’s AMAZING!

  • Ars

    I made this recipe WITHOUT changing anything , and it was delicious ! Thanks for the recipe . Perfect for winter !

    • So happy to hear it Ars, thank you!! 🙂

  • SARA G

    THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS DELICIOUS RECIPE! i MADE IT VEGAN BY SKIPPING THE CHEESE AND SUBSTITUTING THE HEAVY CREAM FOR COCONUT MILK. i ALSO ADDED A SWEET POTATO AND IT WAS ONE OF THE BEST SOUPS I’VE MADE.

    • Oh gosh the sweet potato sounds amazing here, thank you Sara! Glad you’re loving it with these tasty vegan swaps! 🙂

  • Anh

    For the instant pot, is it possible to add small pieces of raw chicken breast into this at the same time as all the ingredients? And do you think that’ll make the chicken moist? Thanks

    • Yes you may absolutely use chopped raw chicken to the pot and cook as directed with a natural pressure release. The 15 minute cook time plus NPR should be adequate to cook the chicken as well as the lentils. Chicken breast may be used but in my experience, the moistest juiciest option is to use chicken thighs. I use both breast and thighs when I make chicken curry in my IP and found myself favoring the thighs majorly! Hope this helps! xo

  • Traci

    This was AMAZING!!! I was hopeful i would like it and i ended up loving it!! Thank you!

    • YAY!!!! So glad Traci! 🙂 Thank you!

  • Sarah Parker

    Has anybody tried this in an Instant Pot yet with the Dried beans and upping the cooking time. If so can you Post aS to how it turned out? I Am trying to stay away from canned beans but would of course prefer not to have to precook the beans before making the soup.

    • Hi Sarah! So I make a black bean dip with dried black beans and peppers/onion mixed in and what basically happens is that the delicate vegetables go beyond the point of tender and turn to complete mush (which is great since I’m blending the dip with a blender and all I need them for is flavor) so I’m not sure if this recipe can be made with dried beans. 30-40 minutes of high pressure (plus pressure build and release time) are usually needed to cook the beans and that is a lot of pressure for the veggies to endure, so they lose their shape/texture/etc in my experience.

      My favorite time saving hack for skipping cans entirely is to make my beans in the IP meal-prep style and then freeze them all measured out in 1 cup or 2 cup servings after cooking/cooling. This way when I need beans for a recipe I can use my cooked-from-dried beans that I’ve cooked up in my IP and bypass the need for cans entirely! I try to do this whenever possible bc it’s such a time + money saver in the long run! 🙂

      Hope this helps and that you get to try the recipe soon – It’s one of my favorites! xoxo

      • Sarah Parker

        Thanks for your prompt reply. I am going to try the recipe this weekend and will do the beans first! Thanks.

  • Ryan

    Just made this and the entire family loved it! Added some cheddar to the soup and used the full 1/2C Heavy cream. Topped with your pico de gallo, cheese, sour cream and tortilla chips. It was so tasty and one of the very best ip recipes i’ve made to date. Thanks!

    • ahhhh yay! So happy to hear it Ryan, thank you! 🙂

  • Kelly

    Making this for a second time. Loved the first batch, but today I’m using soythwest seasoning. Hope I like it just as much!

    • Ooh fun – let me know how the seasoning goes! Thanks Kelly! 🙂

  • Patty

    I made this last night with a side of cheese quesadillas. My husband really enjoyed it. Super tasty.

  • lindsay

    This. is. amazing! Tons of flavor. easy. a huge hit in my house.

  • Gina

    From the moment I saw this recipe, I knew I had to try it. And let me tell you, it did not disappoint! I’ve been a pescetarian for three years and find myself craving tortilla soup often, but most recipes include chicken. I was so happy to find one that I could try! I don’t have an instant pot or slow cooker, but it worked great on the stove as well.

    • Yayyy! Thank you Gina! So glad it worked great on the stove and that you enjoyed the recipe!! 🙂

  • Nathalie r

    Love this recipe, make it once a week in the instant pot. Family loves it too. Thanks for sharing.

  • karen Cassens

    In the crockpot now! I used Trader Joes frozen roasted corn, blistered my grape heirloom tomatoes on the stove and pureed for the sauce, and then charred two Poblano Peppers on the stove too for the salsa and chopped, increasing the spices, as I did not have any Salsa Verde in the house. It smells yummy and I’ll report back! Think I’ll add Masa to thicken if needed, but I’ll wait to see how it turns out! Love the recipe!

    • Sounds awesome Karen, thank you!! I can’t wait to hear what you think! 🙂

  • lucy

    Thanks for converting it, that sounds about right but I’m sure I could add more liquid if not. Our kitchen is being refurbished at the moment but I will do this sooooon!

    • Happy to help! Hope you adore the soup, Lucy! xoxo

  • lucy

    How many millilitres/pints is a “cup” exactly? A cup could be any size so it would be helpful if you specified the quantity. This is my ideal soup but I don’t want to make it too watery. ^.^

    • The US is kind of lame for not having jumped on the metric train ages ago, LOL! I write them up with the measurements I was raised on but feel free to convert them or shoot me a message anytime you need a conversion Lucy, xo!

      Our 1 cup liquid measurement is 240 mL which I believe is also half a pint. (I used this chart)

  • Priti

    Hi! What kind of onion do you use for the diced onion? Yellow? white? red? 🙂 THanks! Making it today!

    • Hi Priti! 🙂 Great question! I’ve used both yellow and white here and both are great! Red would probably work as well if you’re a fan of red onion (I haven’t met an onion I didn’t like, lol!)

  • I actually make this without draining the beans. I think maybe when I originally read the recipe I wasn’t sure what to do so I just dumped them in. It works out well though! I just don’t add any additional salt. I also use a combo of red lentils and green lentils. Really good and easy to throw together! Thanks for the recipe!

    • Ooh Stephanie I bet it acts as a great soup thickener too – that’s awesome that it works great both ways! Thanks chica! 🙂

  • Avery Koch

    I’ve made this so many times..and have gotten so many coworkers hooked. To compltely skip the prep work, I throw in half a bag of Trader Joe’s frozen fire roasted bell pepper and onion mix..game changer! I also skip the cream and just add a dollop of nonfat greek yogurt on the top when it’s prepared, makes it perfectly creamy! I eat on this for dinner all week long – can’t get enough!

    • WOOT! Loving these tips/shortcuts Avery and I’m so stoked you’re enjoying the recipe! Thanks! 🙂

  • Ann Marie

    Hi Jenn, I made this for dinner and it was very good! The problem that I had it was more of a chili rather then
    a soup. I made it in my IP and followed the directions to a T. Any suggestions?

    Thank you!

    • Hey Ann Maire, I’m so glad you liked it! Thank you! There’s a note within the recipe that mentions the consistency since everyone is a little different in their preferences. I like my soups a bit more stew-like (kind of like a chili as you described) but this recipe 110% tastes great “souped up” with extra vegetable broth! Add as much broth as you’d like to reach the perfect soup to veggie/bean ratio and, if needed, you can amp up the spices to compenstae if you find yourself adding lots of broth. It’s super easy and you can even do this with the leftover bowls! 🙂 Hope this helps! xoxo

      • Ann Marie

        Hi Jenn, Thank you for the response! I apologize I didn’t see that in the original recipe. I definitely will be making this again and will add more broth and spices.

        • Hey love, no worries at all! Make that bad boy as soupy as you’d like! 🙂 It’s so flexible and great every which way that we’ve made it. Happy slurping!

  • Katie Schratz

    Hi there Jenn!
    This recipe looks awwwwesome – do you think French Green lentils would work, too? – maybe like I should parboil or like partially cook them first?

    • Hey Katie! Go for it! They’re the same size as the red lentils so I don’t think you’ll need to parboil at all 🙂

  • Jackie

    Hi there! I plan on making this tomorrow but could only find canned lentil beans at the store (no driied lentils). Is that okay?

    • Hey Jackie! Canned lentils are a-ok! Drain and rise them first and you’re good to go! Since the dried lentils suck up so much liquid and the canned will not, you can probably get away with using half the broth the recipe calls for, and then just adding any extra to taste after the recipe has finished cooking. This way you can control how soupy or chunky the soup is 🙂

      If using the Instant Pot method you can also cook the soup faster too without the dried lentils. I’d set the cook time to about 5 minutes or so.

      • Jackie

        Thank you! I’m making in the slow cooker, so I should I add the canned lentils in the beginning when I add all the other ingredients, or wait until it’s all done cooking before adding the lentils?

        • When I make this in the slow cooker I add all the other beans at the beginning so I’d say go ahead and toss ’em in with the others! 🙂

  • Allie

    I found this recipe through a spontaneous google search, made it exactly following the instructions in the slow cooker and oh my is it DELICIOUS. Seriously, I had it for dinner last night, lunch today, and I’m already looking forward to eating more for dinner! If you eat dairy do yourself a favor and eat it with the cream added, it is out of this world. This is a keeper! Thank you!

    • I’m totally happy dancing my face off right now – thank you Allie!!! 🙂

  • Lala

    Thanks for the recipe. I made this tonight. My only change was I added smoked paprika

    • LOVE smoked paprika! So excited you enjoyed it Lala! 🙂

  • Laura

    I’m worried about 15 min on high for he instant pot. I set it, but..almost.everything is cooked. That’s a long time. Oh, and natural release? It keeps cooking. I’m trusting you. Hope I don’t get mush.

    • Hey Laura!

      It works great for me each time I’ve made it (I also fear mushy veggies, I totally understand!) but for this particular recipe I do really love texture from the burst lentils (it makes the soup so creamy!) If you’d like to cut the power early or even quick release the valve, go for it! The soup can always be cooked longer after the fact. xoxo

  • Jasna

    I love the recipe, will do it up without oil and dairy. I was thinking, instead of using dairy, you could soak some raw cashews and blend them and add to the soup for some creaminess.

    • Jasna that sounds marvelous! I’ve been meaning to try a cashew cream sauce forever – YUM!

  • Hilda

    I’m using dried beans, can they be used instead of the canned? If so, how many cups?

    • Hi Hilda! So excited for you to try the recipe!

      I’ve talked to a few other people on the Instant Pot Community on Facebook and they all seem to make their beans from dried on their own in the pot, then use what they need for the soup and freeze the rest. I think if you put the dried beans in with the soup and cooked it for the 40 or so minutes the beans need the veggies might end up suuuuuper mushy, though I’ll have to test it to know for sure!

      You’ll use about 2 cups of black beans and 2 cups of pinto beans 🙂 Happy cooking!

  • Cc

    This was amazing! Did not even need cream at end.. lentils break down and make it creamy

    • So thrilled you enjoyed it! Thank’s Cc! 🙂

  • Jen

    Just made this! Outstanding and the kids love it. One is eating with rice the other with chips. I can tell you there is a sweet potato that will have this poured over it tomorrow for lunch. Great stuff! Thanks so much. I did some crude math and without the toppings this not only delish but a caloric dream!

    • So super happy to hear it Jen, thank you! That sweet potato tomorrow is going to be EPIC! 🙂

  • Tabatha

    Made this for lunch for hubby & I this afternoon. He’s a gotta-have-meat-with-every-meal kind of guy, but he LOVED it. Said the kick of heat at the end of each bite was perfect and requested I add it to our Football Sunday rotation (but add chicken. Darn, thought I had him lol!). I forgot all about the cream, but it was still super yummy. Thanks for this winner!,?

    • Yay!!!! So glad it was a touchdown, haha 🙂 Thank you so much Tabatha! I always do a little happy dance when a straight up carnivore gives a bowl-o-veggies a thumbs up! You could totally make some veggie only freeze-for-later bowls and I bet he’d be like oh that’s fast easy and available? DONE DEAL! Meat who? 😉 I play entirely too many tricks on my man lol

  • Just made this for dinner tonight, OMG it’s so good!!!! Thanks for a keeper!

    • Aimee you just made my day! Thank you 🙂

  • Regan

    Recipe was very good. I tweaked it for personal spice preferences. Leftovers were frozen and were good reheated.

  • Megan

    If I wanted to cook this in my slow cooker on low, do you know how long that would take? I’m at work all day and wouldn’t want it to over cook if I left it on high for 8-9 hours. Thanks!

    • Hey Megan! On low soups typically take about 6-8 hours to cook in the slow cooker but sometimes tomato based soups taste slightly metallic when cooked that long. If you’ve made anything tomato based for 8+ hours in your slow cooker and didn’t have any issues you should be good to go! 🙂 Let me know how it goes!

  • Paula

    I made this recipe today as part of my lunchtime meal prep for next week and tried a portion for my dinner tonight. WOW! It’s amazing! I upped the veggie broth to 4c and doubled my spices, as I split it into 8 servings (5 for lunches, 1 for the dinner I mentioned, and 2 to freeze for my leftover week). I skipped adding the heavy cream and will add Greek yogurt to each portion after warming it up. This will definitely be going into my regular rotation! Thanks for the great Gluten Free (I’m a Celiac) recipe!

  • Hilda

    Hi there, can’t wait to try this receipe, it looks delicious. Just wondering please – at what point does the Salsa Verde go in, in the Stove Top version? Thanks!

    • Oh gosh I must have spaced out, thank you Hilda! I’m updating the stove top version to include the step — it goes in with the broth and tomato sauce 🙂 xoxo

  • Breanne

    How many calories and what is the serving size?

    • Hi Breanne! Depending on swaps and substitutions, the recipe yields 6 one cup servings at approx. 352 calories per serving, before toppings.

  • CatUnderwood

    It was absolutely delicious and very filling. Thank you.

    • Thank you Cat! I’m so stoked you enjoyed it! 🙂

  • M

    Just made this with my own slight adjustments and it’s amazing. Do you have an estimated calorie count/nutritional info? Thank you!

    • Hey M! I don’t currently have a recipe widget that I trust to calculate something so super technical (I’d hate for it to be wrong and mislead anyone!) so I don’t have the nutrition facts. My old widget said the soup was 50 calories per serving which was clearly off, given the protein density of the lentils.

      I’d venture to guess it’s fairly low calorie + high protein thanks to all the lentils and veggies. The toppings and substitutions/adjustments made would also play a big part in your final calculation.

  • I have made this and it is amazing! Instead of cream I subbed masa harina and just threw it into the mix. So great, thanks for the recipe.

  • Kara

    I made this for dinner last night and it was so amazing, I can’t say enough about it. I’m trying to phase out meat from my diet and you definitely don’t miss it in this recipe and it really keeps you full. I cooked this on the stove top and I subbed fresh garlic for the garlic powder and used 1 tbsp of chilli powder. I actually ended up forgetting to add the heavy cream but it wasn’t even missed. This is 100% a keeper.

    • So over the moon to hear it Kara, thank you! 🙂

  • Kim

    We made this last night and decided it’s a keeper! Thanks for this great recipe. I had lunch for the next day as well as extra in the freezer for a lazy day.

    • Ahhhh yay! Thank you Kim!! 🙂 Thank freezer bowl for sure will come in handy!

  • Miller

    Oh my goodness what a wonderful soup!! Made this on Cinco de Mayo and it was so hearty and flavorful we did not even miss the chicken. We are trying to eat less meat…
    Unfortunately we are having a pot luck at work tomorrow and I offered to bring this soup…but that was before I tasted it. Now I want to be greedy and save it all for us!! I think I will be making this again very soon.

    • Thank you! Thank you! So super thrilled you loved the soup and I hope it’s a total hit at the potluck! 🙂 It freezes really well too if you ever want to squirrel a few bowls away for later too, love it so!

  • I made this today and it is super delicious! Thanks for the simple healthy recipe.

  • Sasha

    I made this soup in the slow cooker today. I used half and half at the end. I love this soup. It’s even better with blue corn tortilla chips crushed in it.

    • Digging the addition of crushed blue corn chips (YUM!!) and so glad you loved the soup, Sasha! 🙂

  • Ganrielle

    I am sneakily (is that even a word?) trying to convert my family to eating vegetarian. Currently I am in phase one of my covert operation which includes cutting out meat for breakfast and lunch. So far if my husband has notificed he hasn’t spoken up about it. I made this in my instant pot for our lunch this week and WOW it is so tasty! Not to mention easy as it get! I used brown lentils because that’s all my grocery store had, also omitted the cream and it the soup was still flavor packed. Thanks for sharing!

    • Love it!! Your sneaky plan sounds like a great veggie-filled adventure and I’m so thrilled you enjoyed the soup! 🙂

  • Beth

    Made this tonight in my Instant Pot – it came out PERFECTLY! It was so delicious and my boyfriend loved it too. Saving this to make on a regular basis!!

    • So super thrilled to hear it Beth, thank you! 🙂

  • Carol

    Do I drain the canned black beans, corn, and pinto beans?

    • Yes ma’am! I’ll update the recipe with more details in case anyone else has this question 🙂 Thanks Carol + I hope you adore the soup!

  • Lisa

    This soup was absolutely fabulous! I didn’t even need to add the cream, and I tried it with and without cheese, and with cilantro and a little sliced avocado. It was just the perfect amount of spicy, and so hearty with the lentils and kidney beans. Thanks so much for posting this delicious recipe with all the helpful suggestions!

    • Thank you Lisa! So so happy to hear it! 🙂

  • I just made this in my IP and had to let you know how very much I like this recipe. I didn’t have any heavy cream or cream cheese, so I left it out. It’s a great recipe and I know that I’ll make this time and again.

    • So happy to hear it Paula! Thank you!! 🙂

  • Anni

    Just made this on Sunday for quick, re-heatable weeknight dinners and it turned out great! Not only is it delicious, it only took 15 minutes of prep and then my slow cooker did the rest. I used slightly more chicken broth than the recipe called for, 4oz of cream cheese in place of the heavy cream, and a full 15oz can of corn rather than one cup, it came out like a thick Mexican chili. 🙂 Awesome recipe!!

    • Thank you Anni! So happy you enjoyed it! I LOVE when it comes out all thick and chili-like and the cream cheese in place of the cream? SWOON! Thanks for popping back over to let me know how it went – totally makes my day!

  • Shannon

    Made this tonight. So good! I followed the recipe exactly. At the end, I added the heavy cream, a cup of shredded sharp cheddar and 2 bbq chicken breasts chopped into pieces. Will definitely make again

    • Thanks Shannon, so stoked you enjoyed it! The bbq chicken and cheese sound like a delicious topper! 🙂

  • Rebecca

    I don’t see how much corn to use as it’s not listed on the ingredient list. I’m headed to the store now to pick up these ingredients so I can make this for dinner. Looks yummy.

    • Oh gosh Rebecca my brain must be broken! You’ll use a cup of corn for this one or can use up to 2 cups if you’d like more! 🙂 Fixing it right now (thanks for letting me know!) and I’m so excited for you to try the soup! xoxo

  • Tara

    Looks delicious! What kind of lentils do you use in this one? I’m a lentil newbie 🙂

    • Thanks Tara! I’ve been using red lentils and LOVE them! Bob’s Red Mill has them at my local grocery store and here on amazon too: Red Lentils I updated the post with the specifics too – great question!

  • because saying you all is totally archaic? It’s like saying “let us go to dinner” instead of “let’s go to dinner.” Y’all just makes more sense, imho.

    you know what else makes sense? This amazing tortilla soup. It looks so good and so easy. YUM.

    • Girl, I’m with you – it makes all the sense to say it, yet it feels SO foreign on my tongue. It’s almost like I feel like I’m running around speaking with a British accent and everyone’s looking at me like, no ma’am! If that makes sense? #ineedcoffee Hope you get a chance to try the soup Annie! xo

      • Beth

        Can you tell me how many servings this recipe makes? I’m planning on making it for my party.

        • Hey Beth! Super excited for you to try it! The recipe yields approx. 6 one cup servings. 🙂

          • Beth

            Thanks! I made it and it was a huge hit! Thanks!

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