An Easy Vegan Instant Pot Lentil Dal That’s Sure To Fill You Up!

instant pot lentil dal
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Instant pot lentil dal! It’s vegan, takes about 10 minutes to cook, and is high in protein. I don’t know what else you can possibly need in a recipe. Other than maybe it’s warm and perfect for cold winter evenings too.

This recipe is based off of a one-pot method that I found a few weeks ago, and I didn’t want to make it on the stove, so I’ve been playing around with how to make it in my instant pot. If you don’t have a pressure cooker, definitely follow her instructions for a quick meal on the stove.

Some things I like about this vegan dal recipe: it’s quick, it’s vegan, vegetable broth is not necessary (but can be used), and it only uses spices (no pre-made pastes!). These are great aspects for me, because I can use my safe ingredients for my corn intolerance, and it’s easy to modify for other food sensitivities.

Equipment you’ll need for this recipe: an instant pot or pressure cooker, cutting board and knife, measuring cups, and a blender (only if you’re making your own cashew cream).

vegan, gluten free instant pot lentil dal. A quick week night recipe to make!

The Ingredients

So the ingredients for this vegan dal recipe are all super straightforward, and I’ll mention optional ones, as I have issues with some so they get skipped by me. There are also some alternatives to ingredients, which I’ll discuss. This recipe is also double the original, because I love leftovers (or you could even double this double recipe)! This could easily be halved as well.

Dry Spices

spices for the lentil dal
  • 1.5 tbsp cumin
  • 2 tsp tumeric
  • 2 tsp coriander
  • 1 tbsp sea salt (use less if using vegetable broth)
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2 tsp ground chili (optional)

Fresh Ingredients

fresh ingredients for the lentil dal
  • 1 onion, chopped (optional – I don’t use)
  • A few cloves of garlic, minced (optional – I don’t use)
  • 1 inch of ginger, minced
  • A jalapeno, or other spicy pepper, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot medium, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bell pepper, finely chopped

Other Ingredients

misc ingredients for vegan instant pot lentil dal
  • 2 cups (400 grams) brown lentils
  • 5 cups water or vegetable broth (I do 2 cups homemade vegetable broth, the rest water)
  • 2 tbsp liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
  • Drizzle of oil for the pot
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk or cashew cream (I make cashew cream for this)
    • I’ve tried almond milk, but it isn’t creamy enough.
    • Oat milk is a good substitute for this if you’d rather!

Cashew Cream & Oat Milk

How to make Cashew Cream: Soak 1/3 cup (50g) cashews in boiling water for 15 minutes (ideally in a glass measuring cup). Drain the water. Pour it into a blender and add water until they are covered. Blend for about 1 minute, until it’s a thick cream consistency.

Oat milk: soak the oats in water for about 10 minutes (cover the 1/3 cup oats with water) and then blend for about one minute.

Make the Lentil Dal

This instant pot lentil dal recipe is one of the easiest I have in my notebook. It takes about 10-20 minutes of prep (depending on how fast you are cutting up vegetables), about 15 minutes of cooking, and that’s it!


Combine the dry spices in a small bowl. Set aside. Then cut up all of the produce. Bring water to a boil with a kettle (optional if you’re not using vegetable broth). Rinse the lentils under cold water.

Turn the instant pot onto saute mode, and add the oil and allow it to heat up for about a minute. Starting with the onion (if using), add that to the instant pot. Saute for about a minute, then add in all of the other fresh ingredients. Cook for another 2-3 minutes, then add in the spices, liquid aminos, lentils, and water/vegetable broth.


Close the lid, and set the instant pot to manual, and set the time for 15* minutes. The time to pressurize will differ depending on whether or not you’re using hot water or cold to start. Immediately after the 15 minutes are up, release the pressure manually. *The time will vary depending on the type of lentil you have, or even where you’ve purchased it from. Some take 3 minutes for me, others take 15 minutes.

Once the pressure has been released, add in the coconut milk, cashew cream, or oat milk (how to make cashew cream is above if you want to use that). Stir to combine, taste and see if it needs any last minute additions.

Serve this lentil dal over rice and enjoy!

vegan instant pot lentil dal - about 10 minutes of cooking time!


I hope you liked this recipe! Leave a comment below if you’ve made this!


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