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
    Great recipe, did this in the Instant Pot and my only changes were adding two bay leaves and subbing baby spinach for kale. Otherwise, excellent recipe, my go to recipe going forward.

    1. Yes! Just follow the instructions for the instant pot through step 4. Add 1-2 cups additional liquid and simmer on medium-low heat for 45 minutes to an hour. I hope this helps!

  2. We have made this over and over again in our house and everyone including picky eaters enjoy every bite. I had to switch to making it on the stove in my Dutch oven bc we load it up with veggies to make it stretch with our family of 7. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. 5 stars
    I made this recipe thinking it was a soup (my fault for not reading correctly) but I’m delighted that it’s actually a stew! It’s simply delicious with fresh flavors and a stick to your ribs goodness. Hubby bought hot Italian bulk sausage so ours is a bit spicy but I wouldn’t change a thing!

  4. 5 stars
    DELICIOUS! Just finished a big bowl of it and am excited to eat it as leftovers this week. Dipped a warm, crusty roll into the soup and was happy as a clam! (Gluten eater here!)

    I used sweet Italian turkey sausage (19 oz instead of 16 oz) and cheated with frozen mire poix instead of chopping the fresh veggies 😉 (quickly thawed under running water before adding). In case anyone else was wondering about this, I did not drain the diced tomatoes. I added the tomatoes with their juice and the consistency was great. I also used kosher salt at the amount specified in the recipe. Seemed like a tasty amount of salt, but I also used no-salt-added diced tomatoes.

    Anyway, a wonderful and easy recipe that I’m adding to the rotation! Thank you so much!

  5. 5 stars
    I use red lentils that make the creamiest soup! This is my absolute favorite soup. Top it with some Locatelli cheese and it’s to die for!

  6. I’ve been trying to find a good copycat recipe for Carabbas sausage and lentil soup. This is my husband’s favorite soup and he loved this one. I’ve tried several but this recipe was delicious. This will be my go to recipe from now on. Love it!!

  7. The recipe states to set timer for 10 minutes and then release – do you not wait for the cooker to come to pressure and it’s own timer counts down 10? It takes a number of minutes for the pot to just get to pressure….
    Thank you

  8. Can you use spinach instead of kale please? And when to add? Made this many times, a huge success every time!

    1. Yes spinach will work great! Just add it at the very end of cooking and it will be delicious. Glad you like the recipe!

  9. 5 stars
    Dear Erin (the lovely old name for Ireland)… Starting with a basic French-style ‘mirepoix’ of onion, celery and carrot (which will improve with a few minutes of ‘sweating’), this basic lentil stew recipe works brilliantly with additions like the suggested sausage, or chorizo, diced pork, sweet potato, mushrooms, skinless chicken thighs ​— in fact, it’s almost infinitely variable. It’s important to check the seasoning, as it does need a reasonable amount. One to memorize, then play with. Wilt in some spinach or kale, for example, and the addition of a big blob of Greek yoghurt is a must for us. I’m keen to try it with diced lamb. Loving that Instant Pot, one of my best purchases for the kitchen…

  10. 5 stars
    I’m about to make this but only have a 3lb pork sirloin roast with plenty of fat. Should I keep everything the same and just reduce cooking time I’m the crock pot? Or should I go the Dutch oven route? Thank you

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    1. Hi Chris! I think with a sirloin roast it would work well to slow cook this for 6-8 hours on low then shred the meat. The sausage makes this stew really flavorful so I don’t know if it would be as good with just the pork though!

  11. 5 stars
    My favorite soup for a cold day. It’s so flavorful. I’ve even frozen it before and it still tastes great reheated a few weeks later. It’s especially great with toasted, buttered sourdough bread on the side.

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