Sausage Lentil Soup! A cozy, hearty stew made easy in the slow cooker instant pot. Full of flavor and so satisfying!

This post was originally published in December 2017. It was republished in 2023 and continues to be an all-time reader and family favorite recipe!

close up of sausage lentil soup being scooped with ladle

If you’re like me and always on the hunt for easy, delicious and satisfying soup recipes, you’ll want to try this one!

I love how hearty and cozy sausage lentil stew is and this recipe doesn’t disappoint. It is full of flavor and perfect for a cold night.

We’ve made this soup for a few years now and it’s always a crowd-pleaser. We most often make it with a side of gluten-free cornbread or gluten-free corn muffins. My kids love this meal!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Easy-to-make
  • Can be made in the instant pot or on the stovetop
  • Hearty and comforting
  • Full of flavor!
sausage lentil soup in bowl topped with parmesan

VIDEO: See how to make it!

Ingredients You’ll Need

Here are a few notes on the key ingredients you’ll need to make this soup.

  • Sausage: I like to use mild Italian sausage in this lentil sausage soup. You can also use hot Italian sausage if you prefer! I usually use pork sausage, but chicken sausage will also work.
  • Lentils: I like to use small, French lentils. I think they have the best texture and flavor when cooked, but any kind of lentil (brown lentils, red lentils) will work!
  • Kale: I like to add some chopped kale to this stew when it’s finished cooking for some greens. Sausage and kale go so well together in stews – even people who aren’t crazy about kale will like it.
  • Chicken stock: You can also use chicken broth. I usually use the boxed kind from Costco.
  • Red pepper flakes: 1/2 teaspoon won’t make it too spicy! It just gives the soup even more flavor. You can use more if you prefer!


Just a note about lentils – they are often cross-contaminated with other gluten-containing grains. So be sure to carefully rinse and pick over lentils before cooking with them. I like to use French green lentils as they hold their shape well and aren’t as often cross-contaminated.

You can top this is so parmesan cheese or leave it off like I do to keep things dairy-free. My husband likes to top his with hot sauce.

This recipe makes a big batch of stew which is great because the leftovers are delicious. Add it to your weeknight instant pot dinner rotation! You also might like this gluten-free chicken pot pie, sirloin tip roast or this gluten-free beef stew!

close up of sausage lentil soup in bowl with parmesan


close up of sausage lentil soup being scooped with ladle
5 from 44 votes

Sausage Lentil Soup (Instant Pot or Slow Cooker!)

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Sausage Lentil Soup! One of our family's all-time favorite meals. A cozy, hearty stew made easy in the slow-cooker or instant pot. Full of flavor and so satisfying!



  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 2 stalks celery chopped
  • 3-4 carrots peeled and chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 29 oz canned diced tomatoes
  • 5 cups chicken stock (+1-2 more cups for the slow cooker)
  • 1 1/2 cups dry lentils rinsed and picked over (preferably French Green Lentils)
  • 1 cup finely chopped kale optional



  • Press the SAUTE button on the instant pot and let preheat for 1-2 minutes. Add the olive oil and Italian sausage. Cook, breaking into small pieces with a spoon, until no longer pink.
  • Add the onion, celery and carrot. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables start to soften. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and salt.
  • Add the diced tomatoes, chicken stock, and lentils. Stir to combine.
  • Close the instant pot and press MANUAL and set timer for 10 minutes. When the time is up let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then quick release the rest of the steam.
  • Stir in the chopped kale. Serve topped with parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy!


  • In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil and Italian sausage. Cook, breaking into small pieces with a spoon, until no longer pink.
  • Add the onion, celery and carrot. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the vegetables start to soften. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes and salt.
  • Transfer the sausage/vegetable mixture to the slow-cooker. Add the diced tomatoes, 6 cups of chicken stock, and lentils. Stir to combine.
  • Cook on low for 6 hours. Stir in the chopped kale. Serve topped with parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy!


This recipe makes a larger batch but the leftovers are delicious! This soup also freezes well.
GLUTEN-FREE? Lentils are frequently cross-contaminated with other grains. Be sure to rinse and pick through the lentils before adding them to the soup. I like to use small green French lentils because they are usually very clean.


Calories: 357kcal | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 18g | Fat: 19g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 3g | Monounsaturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 38mg | Sodium: 883mg | Potassium: 778mg | Fiber: 11g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 3239IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 77mg | Iron: 4mg

Categories: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hi, I’m Erin!

BS Food Science,

MS Nutrition

I believe you can make amazing, gluten-free food with everyday ingredients that everyone will enjoy. I’m here to share my tried-and-true recipes with you!

You may also like

image for website to buy cookies cookbook


  1. 5 stars
    We loved this stew – I had quite a bit more of the little green lentils than called for so it came out pretty thick and filling, so I added some water to the leftovers, since I figured it would just get thicker in the fridge. I had two Al Fresco chicken Italian sausages and just chopped them up and added for the meat. Used part Italian seasoning and part Tuscan blend seasoning that I get at my local HEB. It was so flavorful with all the veggies and seasonings I may just be eating this for lunch for a long time – it made a ton of leftovers.

  2. Hi! I would love to make this in a crockpot. After I sauté everything and add to the crockpot, how long and what temp (hi or low) should I cook it??

    1. Hi Sarah! After you saute everything you can cover and cook on high for 5-6 hours or low for 7-8 hours. 🙂

  3. Absolutely fabulous!!! Very flavorful, and fits into my dietary restrictions (I subbed turkey sausage and spinach). Thanks for a wonderful recipe!

  4. I tried this recipe tonight with hot italian sausage. Skipped the red pepper flakes, did only 1 cup of lentils, and about 2 cups of kale. Oh, and I used fire roasted diced tomatoes.

    Either way, this recipe is pretty spot on!

  5. This lentil/sausage soup recipe is fantastic! The soup is delicious… because I was basically cleaning out the fridge, I put in extra carrots and celery. My lentils were simply a pound package. Didn’t hurt the recipe one bit. I will be making this soup again.

  6. Hi. I want to make this recipe tonight. I have an instant pot. So do I put it on pressure cook on low pressure cook medium pressure cook or high pressure cook? Thank you

  7. Looks tasty and I want to try it! But I can’t eat legumes. Do you think it would be okay if I omitted them?

  8. Wonderful stew! I used jalapeño chicken sausage in it to bring down the points and make it Weight Watchers friendly. Those of you who follow WW, it will be 1-2 points per serving depending on the size of the serving. I’m counting 3 Sp for 2 cups. It was quick, easy and delicious! Thanks for sharing!

    1. If you simmer it for 20-30 minutes that should work. You’ll also need more liquid! I’d say 1-2 cups more chicken stock.

  9. I just made my first attempt at cooking with a pressure cooker last night. This recipe turned out great! I pre-soaked the lentils for about an hour and a half because I was afraid they would not cook through in the 10 minute cooking time. They came out soft, so that was probably a mistake- but it still tastes good. It is a little spicy, probably because of the red pepper flakes and also because I used mild Italian sausage. Very tasty, though- can’t wait to have the leftovers tonight!

  10. This was excellent – hearty and very healthy! It was the first thing I tried in my Instant Pot. I misplaced the instructions, but what I did turned out to be right. I don’t have a “Manual” button on my instant pot, so I tried the “Pressure Cook” button and hoped that was okay – it was correct. I used mild Italian chicken sausage removed from the casings and followed the recipe as shown. Looking forward to trying many other recipes on your blog!

    1. So glad that “pressure cook” worked like manual! Thanks for letting us know 🙂 I’m happy you liked it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating