Instant Pot Lentils and Smoked Sausage is one of those fall or winter hearty meals that warms to the core. It is simple and quick to put together. Lentils do not need a pre soak and the cooking cycle on the Instant Pot is short for this meal. This is another budget minded meal that is very inexpensive to put together. There are a couple of big instructions to follow so this turns out trouble free. 1. Follow the order of adding ingredients to your Instant Pot 2. Use the Soup/Broth or Bean/Chili program button and you will not get a “BURN” error code. 3. Do not add the smoked sausage until after cooking. The sausage is already fully cooked. 4. Do not skimp on the Broth, the liquid ratios are important for trouble free cooking.
One pound bag of brown lentils
4 – cups of chicken broth
1 – 29 ounce can of tomato puree
4 – tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 – tablespoons minced garlic
2 – tablespoons canola or olive oil
1 – Medium onion diced
2 – Celery Stalks diced
Seasoning – Weber Roasted Garlic & Herb to taste
1 Teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 Hillshire Farms Smoke Sausage (says fully cooked on the wrapper)
A few things to note. Make sure to get Tomato puree and not tomato sauce. I keep a jar of minced garlic in the refrigerator and that is because it saves time and I cook with it regularly. There is no need to mince garlic all the time. I use the Smart and Final brand of Seasoning, but that store is regional to where I live. It comes in a mill bottle, so when I grind it into the pot, I probably put in close to a tablespoon. The heat level of the Instant Pot will soften down the onion and celery to almost mush which is fine, there is no need to saute the onion and celery.
Add the ingredients to the pot in the following order:
1. 2 tablespoons of oil and make sure to coat the bottom of the pot with it.
2. Rinse the lentils and add those to the pot.
3. Chicken broth/stock
4. Tomato puree
5. Diced Celery and Diced Onion
6. 2 tablespoons of minced Garlic
8. Crushed Red Pepper
Put the lid on the Instant Pot. Set the program to “SOUP/BROTH” or “BEAN/CHILI” (Not Manual). Set the Time to 15 mins. Pressure = HIGH. Keep Warm = ON. Press the start button. The programing controls your Instant Pot differently depending on what you want to cook. Using the programming buttons is important as the heating element is programed to cycle on and off uniquely for each setting as to lessen the chances of getting a “BURN” Error when cooking meals like lentils.
All Instant Pots ship with a recipe book in the box. Located near the back of the recipe book are the time charts; indicating how long to cook different food items in the Instant Pot. These times are the correct times as provided by the manufacturer. Most of the online recipe websites that tell you to cook everything on Manual typically have the wrong cook times listed along with other recipe errors. The Instant Pot recipe book says to cook lentils 15-20 mins and the lentils in this recipe turn out great at 15 mins in my 6 quart Instant Pot Ultra. If you live at higher altitudes then you may have to adjust your cook time.
While the Instant Pot is cooking your lentils, thinly slice the sausage. The sausage will be added after the lentils are done cooking and as you stir in the sausage, it will heat up right away.
After the cooking cycle is complete, do not release the pressure, leave your Instant Pot in the keep warm mode for 15 – 20 mins. This will be a Natural Pressure Release (NR). At any time after 15 mins you can release any remaining pressure with the pressure release button. After all the pressure has been released and the pressure pin has dropped, open the lid and stir in the Smoked Sausage. The contents are hot enough that if you sliced the Sausage thin, they heat up right away. Time to serve! Garnish with parsley or chopped scallions and a slice of garlic toast.