Instant Pot Lentil Ham Stew is going to be your new go to recipe for a quick healthy gluten-free legume comfort meal. (Dairy-Free, Egg Free and perfect for Busy Week Meal Planning)
You are just going to love this pressure cooker Lentil Ham Stew as it super cozy. On the first aromatic bite you are going taste the smoky flavor of our Air Fryer Ham with Cranberry Glaze, aromatics, spices, the zest of the tomatoes and the creaminess of the lentils. We also have stove top and slow cooker recipe directions for you too.
- The Longer you Wait, the Better it Gets!
- Slow Cooked Flavor without the Fuss
- What is a lentil?
- What type of lentils to use in the Stew?
- Instant Pot to Cook Lentils
- 30 Minutes of Free Time?
- Vegan Option
- Vegetables for the Win
- Aromatics and Spices
- Ham Bone Broth?
- Frequent Asked Questions (FAQ's)
- More Cozy Recipes
- Instant Pot Lentil Ham Stew
The Longer you Wait, the Better it Gets!
We have been eating this delicious Ham Stew for the last 2 days. Honestly, we swear it is getting better each day its flavors have a chance to mingle together. Instant Pot Lentil Ham Stew is a great meal plan for when you want to feed your family healthy nutritional meals but do not have a lot of time to get sorted.
It’s a delicious lunch to bring to work or school. When you open your thermos or lunch box, you are going to have 5 of your closest “cube buddies” asking you for a taste.
Slow Cooked Flavor without the Fuss
The beauty of this Instant Pot Lentil Ham Stew is that it is a dump and go kind of recipe. That, dear friends, is instrumental so you can get all of your other tasks done at work or around the house. This Instant Pot Lentil Ham Stew has all the flavors of the slow cooked loved stew without all the fuss.
What is a lentil?
Lentils are small round legumes that are high in protein and fiber and low in fat. A legume is any plant that bears its fruit inside a pod. Sometimes, lentils are referred to as pulses. Pulses include beans, lentils, peas, etc.
Lentils come in many different colors and characteristics. The most common lentil in the US is either the brown or green lentil like we used in our Baked Tilapia with Caramelized Onion Lentils.
Lentils also come in black, yellow and even red. Red lentils cook fast and are a delicious addition to our Middle Eastern Rice and Lentils (Mujadara). However, they each have a slightly different cooking time. We used brown lentils for this recipe.
What type of lentils to use in the Stew?
You can feel free to use green, brown, black or yellow lentils. However, we do not suggest red lentils as the cooking time is so much less. Red lentil may lead to a mushy stew. If you still have ham in the freezer or left over ham, you are going to love our Red Lentil and Ham Soup
Instant Pot to Cook Lentils
If you choose to use your instant pot to cook the lentils, we first used the sauté function just to cook the aromatics and vegetables for about 5 minutes. We, then used the high-pressure function on the instant pot. Our Instant Pot (pressure cooker) has been a life changer. This week we also made our Instant Pot Pumpkin Risotto for an easy cozy dinner.
With the addition of all the ingredients and cooked for 15 minutes. Do not use the quick release function as the lentils continue to cook for an additional few minutes while on natural release. Natural release took place around 15-20 minutes later.
30 Minutes of Free Time?
o you know what this gave us? 30 minutes of time to get things done, time to exercise, get caught up with work e-mails, finalize that power point presentation, fold the laundry, walk the dog or help your kids with their homework. Adding 30 minutes to your day may not seem like much but for a working parent, this time is worth its weight in gold!
You can also choose to make this recipe on the stove top or slow cooker. We will add this information in the recipe notes for you. If you enjoy using your instant pot or slow cooker, you are going to love our 55 MUST TRY Cozy Crockpot Slow Cooker Instant Pot Recipes.
You sure can. Just substitute the chicken broth with a vegetable broth and exchange the ham with mushrooms. Also skip the ham broth optional addition.
Vegetables for the Win
The key to a successful lentil stew is to pick firm vegetables that take a bit longer to cook. You also want to cut everything up the same size. Keeping your vegetables uniform in size adds to that silky cozy texture of the stew. We used only carrots and onions as that is what we had in the crisper but celery, parsnips, sweet potato and such would all work very well too.
Aromatics and Spices
These seasonings are the key ingredients for deliciousness. Garam masala is a spice blend made up of many different ingredients depending on the region. The brand of garam masala we used has a blend of paprika, chilies, spices, salt, turmeric, garlic and saffron.
We would just omit the saffron as it is expensive spice and with so many other delicious flavors here, you will not miss it. However, if you have saffron at home feel free to add it and try our Creamy Parmesan Risotto with Saffron.
Ham Bone Broth?
Have you ever cooked a bone in spiral sliced ham? Fabulous way to feed a crowd but it comes with loads of leftovers. That is exactly why this Instant Pot Lentil Ham Stew came about.
Have you tried our Red Lentil and Ham Soup? This is also a delicious way to use up those ham leftovers. When you cook a ham in the oven, you end up with a little ham broth at the bottom of the pan. These little ham drippings are like gold. So much flavor packed in just a few tablespoons. It is not mandatory that you add this to your recipe. However, if you happen to be cooking a whole ham do make sure you keep those drippings as they are delicious in soups, stews and such.
Our family just adored this cozy Instant Pot Lentil Ham Stew. It made so much that we ate one meal and then froze the rest for another busy day. This is a great recipe for meal planning Sundays.
Frequent Asked Questions (FAQ's)
If you cannot obtain garam masala at the store, you can still make this recipe with a few ground dry spices. You can add ¼ teaspoon dried turmeric, ¼ teaspoon paprika, ¼ teaspoon ground coriander and ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper or chili pepper.
Lentils need to first be picked over for foreign things that do not belong and lentils that have an odd color compared to the rest. Set these items aside for the trash bin. We like to put a few in a plate at a time to complete this process. Then rinse well.
More Cozy Recipes
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Instant Pot Lentil Ham Stew
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- 1 Onion
- 4 cloves Garlic minced
- 1 cup Ham chopped (we used gluten free brand)
- 3 Carrots
large peeled and chopped
- 1.5 cups Lentils dried brown or green lentils
- 4 cups Chicken broth
or vegetable broth (low sodium)
- 32 oz Tomatoes canned chopped
- 3 whole Bay leaves
- ½ teaspoon Thyme
- 1.5 teaspoon Garam masala
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 3 tablespoon Ham broth
(optional) – from the cooked ham
- Cilantro or parsley
for garnish (optional)
- Cooked rice to serve (optional)
- Set up your instant pot and set to saute. Add olive oil, onion, garlic, ham and carrots and saute for about 5 minutes.
- Add your lentils, chicken or vegetable broth, canned tomatoes, bay leaves, thyme, garam masala, salt and pepper to taste, ham broth and stir. Lock your lid on your instant pot. Set your instant pot to high pressure cook for 15 minutes and switch the steam release handle to SEALING.
- It will take some time for the instant pot to come to temperature maybe up to ½ hour depending on how cold your ingredients were. Allow your instant pot lentil ham stew to cook and allow the natural release of pressure. The lentils will still cook some during the natural release method.
- Once the float valve is in the down position and the instant cooker has released its pressure, carefully open the instant pot lid. Stir your Instant pot Lentil Ham Stew and serve with a side of rice if desired. Garnish with cilantro or parsley, if desired. Enjoy!
Loved the flavor of this stew. The spice combination was excellent. The only thing I noted was felt like it had to be eaten over rice as opposed to be optional due to the saturation of the spice in the stew. The strength of flavors needed to be cut by some neutral starch. But it really did have excellent flavor. I just wish I could have eaten a slightly larger portion without needing to add a cabohydrate.
HWC Magazine says
Delighted you enjoyed our Instant Pot Lentil ham and stew. Its also a great way to use up that holiday ham. I bet you seen all of our photos showing the stew served with rice but it is also delicious with couscous too. Wishing you a super day ahead.
Tina Swain says
Made this and was thrilled at how easy it was.I wasn’t a fan of lentils but I will be making this again! Love how flexible this is. Next time sweet potatoes go in zucchini too. Ham was a supporting cast member. Doesn’t really need meat. So happy I found this recipe!
HWC Magazine says
Thank you Tina. We are delighted you enjoyed our instant pot lentil ham stew. Love your ideas for additions. Absolutely, you can add really any vegetables to the pot you enjoy. Stay well and take care
Thank you so much for sharing this delicious lentil recipe! I love trying different lentil recipes, and while many are good, most don’t get a repeat. I was intrigued by yours because it used ham and I usually use ground poultry. But what really hooked me was the garam masala addition. Verdict: best lentils ever eaten!
HWC Magazine says
Thanks so much Clair! We are delighted you enjoyed our instant pot lentil ham stew. The spices really make this recipe special. Leftovers are even better the next day. Wishing you and your family a super week ahead. Take Care
I searched high & low for a lentil stew recipe, and this was exactly what I was looking for! I added potatoes, celery & leeks in addition and Wow! Excellent flavors! I made in my Dutch oven on the stovetop and it took about 45 minutes. It thickens as it sits too. This one is a keeper, thank you!
HWC Magazine says
Thanks so much Connie. So glad you enjoyed our recipe for Lentil Ham stew. It is really warm and comforting on these cool autumn days. Stay well and take care
Eha Carr says
This tastes SO good, Bobbi! Do you know how I know . . . 'cause when I no longer grew on 'mother's milk' as a babe I was directly transferred to this . . . all year round ! OK - Estonians used very little garlic and I do not think had heard of garam masala but all the rest was usually there ! Well, I am a 'big girl' now - so next time around shall make it your way and I am certain enjoy it very much . . . sending you warm hugs and warmer winds . . .
HWC Magazine says
Thanks so much Eha! From mom's milk to lentil stew...seems like it's right on target. Maybe that is why there is less garlic? Thanks for the warm hugs and warm wishes and sending some right back your way across the pond.