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

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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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  1. 5 stars
    Wow, this was delicious! I made it in my 3 quart Instant Pot. I didn’t have to half the ingredients except for the chicken stock. Everything else I either decreased portion by 1/3 like the sausage and lentils or left as written like the seasoning. This came out with so much flavor! Thank you!

  2. Is there a stovetop version of this? My IP broke and I know I will be getting requests for this soup any day now! I need that version as a backup plan.

    1. Hi Cat – Yes! You can easily make this on the stovetop. Just follow through step 3 as directed, add 1 more cup of water or chicken stock then simmer the soup on low for 30-40 minutes.

  3. 5 stars
    This is my sons (7) favorite soup ever! I sub kielbasa for the sausage which I brown separately and add at the end. Any time I make this he is elated. Will keep this in our rotation forever. Thank you so much!

  4. 5 stars
    Our 11 year old T1D loves lentils! She basically made this recipe all by herself! Cannot wait to try it, about 10 min away!! Thank you for the easy peasy recipe!

  5. 5 stars
    I made this soup this morning and it didn’t disappoint. I used mild turkey sausage instead of the Italian sausage, cut back a bit on the red pepper flakes, added about 1-1/2 cups finely chopped butternut squash because I had some that needed to be used up, and replaced the kale with spinach because that was what I had on hand. I didn’t use an Instant Pot so had to add more chicken broth but the seasonings were still perfect. Makes a huge batch which I like. Will definitely be making it again. I have also been making your banana bread and zucchini bread recipes and they are spot on too. Thanks for the great recipes!

    1. I’m so glad you like the soup! Thanks for the comment. Happy to hear the other recipes have worked for you too!

  6. 5 stars
    I’ve had this in my “rotation” for about a year now, and it’s great! I love how simple it is, and tasty too! Just shared it with two friends tonight, and then it dawned on me that I should maybe tell you that we love the recipe! Thank you for sharing this recipe, and will browse your site for more goodies!

  7. 5 stars
    My husband and two year old love love love this recipe. My babysitter said it smelled good and saw how much my daughter devoured is so she asked for the rest cipe for her kids, and now they love it too. So good!

  8. 5 stars
    This soup is so delish!
    I’ve never cooked with lentils before, but this has become a firm favourite, keen to try it without the sausages too for a cheap meat free meal.
    One thing I did wonder was how the calorie content was so high, I put the recipe into my fitness pal and it is significantly lower (under 300 calories) but I am in New Zealand so wondered if our sausages and stock were lower. Either way I am happy as it easily fits into my meal plan and doesn’t have to be a cheat meal!

  9. Would a regular can of tomatoes suffice? I don’t have a 29 oz can. I just have a 15 oz can.

  10. I am making this now… but I always thought beans won’t soften if cooked with tomatoes?? No one else seemed to have trouble.. but I think I’ll leave them out and add at the end with the kale.. I’ve had one too many bad attempts of hard pressure cooked beans ..

  11. Hi Erin,
    Looks yummy! Is it really 601 calories per serving? I guess it depends on the type of sausage you use.
    Thanks so much for the great IP recipe!

  12. 5 stars
    My husband expressed an interest in trying lentils….saw a segment about Indian cooking at Truck Stops today on TV. This was a perfect recipe to introduce them. Easy in the instant pot but also hearty and delicious. Thank you for sharing.

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