This is what happened when I used my Instant Pot without reading directions – or, Lentil Stew in 30 Minutes

Dear fast,

I just got an Instant Pot. I joined every other human in the world on Prime Day to snag the glorious, coveted 8-quart pot and obviously change my life permanently for the better via the AWESOMENESS THAT IS PRESSURE COOKING.

Join my REALLY AWESOME Facebook group for Instant Pot addicts, I mean lovers, and enjoy our crazy, I mean educational, conversations!


What is the Instant Pot? If you don’t already know, I am here to make life worth living again. It is pressure cooking with foolproof, pre-programmed buttons that make things so easy, and no adjusting of weights, carefully tending stove temperatures, turning heat up and down (GAH), or any of the other standard features of old-fashioned pressure cooking. (Dear Instant Pot, can you come out with a 25-quart canning version now? I will take 10 right off the top plz. THANKS! – Andrea) No defrosting meat, no cooking beans for 20 hours, no running your slow cooker all day in the baking summer heat. Just FAST.

Of course, I didn’t waste any time reading instructions. I just started putting things in the pot like an idiot. And guess what?! It came out amazing. #noregrets


I think I was supposed to do some kind of water test first. That didn’t happen. Sorry, Instant Pot creators. My B. I did look at the seal first, does that count? Probably not.

I do recommend reading the instructions – I have been using pressure cookers and canners for years which made me feel rather cavalier/lazy/hurried, but I at least already knew what the basic process was such as VENTING and all of that, although I suppose now that I have a tasty meal in front of me I will sit down and read through the entire booklet like a good, responsible person, and see all the things I did not do and should have done *cough*.

I also didn’t measure anything because that takes TIME and I was ANXIOUS to get cooking and even MORE anxious to be eating, and I just dumped in what I HAD at the moment …  so here goes.



Lentil Stew in 30 Minutes – super fast, super good, also delicious and amazing

I used the 8-quart pot for this. I believe it would also fit in the 6-quart as it was not very full, even after cooking. Also, next time I will double this because it’s so insanely good I WANT MORE. 

4 carrots, chopped
6 celery stalks, chopped
2 15-oz cans crushed tomatoes
2 pints chicken stock or veggie stock
2 tablespoons ghee or a a vegan alternative
salt & pepper
1 tablespoon ground cumin
4 tablespoons Pav Bhaji spice blend or another favorite curry blend
7 cloves garlic
2 cups lentils (I used brown – use a combo or whatever you like)
Optional: 2 lbs frozen ground beef
Optional: Sour cream or cream, chopped fresh dill or parsley or spinach for garnish

  1. (probably optional) saute the garlic and Pav Bhaji in some fat on the stove or on the SAUTE setting of your Instant Pot.
  2. Put everything else in the pot and close it up.
  3. Proceed with manufacturer’s instructions and cook on BEAN/CHILI – I left the preset time at 30 minutes but you may be able to do it in as low as 15 minutes (I will try that next)
  4. Once cooking process is done and you have opened according to manufacturer’s instructions, garnish if desired and inhale quickly. Especially good with hot, tender naan or chappati to scoop it with!!


Yep, it’s basically magic.

Join the Facebook group because we are that cool

Get the Instant Pot if you haven’t yet

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xoxoxox Happy COOKING!!




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