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!

Gluten-Free?

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

MORE COMFORTING SOUPS

close up of sausage lentil soup being scooped with ladle
5 from 48 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!
 

Video

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions 

FOR THE INSTANT POT:

  • 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!

FOR THE SLOW-COOKER:

  • 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!

Notes

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.

Nutrition

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

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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!

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This was delicious! Hubby, adult daughter and I just loved it. Cooked as expected. Good flavor. We are looking forward to leftovers.

  2. 5 stars
    One of the best soups I’ve made in my instant pot. Used baby spinach and hot Italian sausage other than that stuck straight to the recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    Thanks for this. I veganised it with vegan sausage and made it slightly curry based and used chana Dal instead of green lentils, so not really the same! But the process worked really well so thank you!

  4. 5 stars
    Excellent and yet simple recipe! I had all the ingredients that I needed to use up and found your recipe online. I also have an instant pot. Dinner was ready in less than a half hour! And my husband said it tasted a lot like bolonase without the spaghetti.

  5. 5 stars
    This was made for family outing and I didn’t bring any home. Everyone had seconds it was so good. Have made it again and again, a great staple and it freezes well for days when I don’t want to cook. Thank you for sharing.

  6. 5 stars
    Made this for grandson and family for dinner one night and didn’t take any home. Everyone back for seconds.

  7. 5 stars
    This came out sooo good. It was my first time using the pot (Instant Pot Ultra) and when I saw to set to manual I went directly to the comments. Luckily it was one of the first so I followed, 10 min on Pressure Cook, I left it on the high setting and it came out delicious! I did add the kale before pressure cooking because I normally find kale tough and thought it was great as well, next time will add more kale (though the husband thought it was just the right amount). A win for my first recipe! On a side note, it took over 20 min to get to temp!

  8. I tried this recipe tonight and it was delicious. The Italian market across the street from my office had turkey fennel sausage and I went hunting for a good soup recipe for it. I added some chopped parsnips as well. Instead of dried lentils I used canned lentils and added them at the end after the steam release. Hubby had a mancold and enjoyed two bowls!

  9. 5 stars
    I just made this for supper. It is a chilly rainy/snowy night and this is perfect comfort food for this weather. I used sweet Italian turkey sausage and the flavor is wonderful. Plenty to share or freeze. Thanks for the great easy recipe!

  10. 5 stars
    Made this for dinner tonight and it was amazing! My husband ate three large bowls! Made it with Hot Italian sausage so didn’t add the red pepper flakes. Tons of flavor and super easy. Thank you for sharing this recipe.

  11. Hi,
    What size instant pot is this recipe for? We just got the 3 quart one and wondering if this recipe should be cut in half or not.

    thanks!

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