Pressure cooker, Side dish, Weeknight dinner
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Instant Pot Beluga Lentils

A bowl of cooked beluga lentils, next to a bowl and bag of uncooked lentils, and an Instant Pot
Instant Pot Beluga Lentils

Instant Pot Beluga Lentils. Black caviar lentils, ready in about a half an hour thanks to pressure cooking.

Beluga lentils are commonly called black caviar lentils, because they have the small, round, shiny shape of sturgeon roe. They don’t taste like fish eggs (thankfully, they taste like lentils.) And, they’re not from the Caspian sea, they’re grown in the northern plains of America and Canada.

What’s the difference between these black lentils and regular brown lentils? They’re smaller and firmer, but the only big difference is the dark color. They are a great substitute anywhere you’d use regular lentils, or French Lentils du Puy.

Of course, I’m using my Bean Cooking Secret Weapon, my Instant Pot. Now, lentils cook quickly on the stovetop, even without pressure cooking, so this isn’t a huge timesaver, start to finish. Where it does save time is in ease of cooking – I can sauté my onions, then dump everything in the cooker and walk away. The lentils will be ready about 30 minutes later, after a natural pressure release, freeing me up to finish the rest of dinner. Or have a tasty beverage. Or both.

Recipe: Instant Pot Beluga Lentils

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A bowl of cooked beluga lentils, next to a bowl and bag of uncooked lentils, and an Instant Pot

Instant Pot Beluga Lentils

  • Author: Mike Vrobel
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Total Time: 40 minutes
  • Yield: 6 cups of lentils 1x


Instant Pot Beluga Lentils. Black caviar lentils, ready in about a half an hour thanks to pressure cooking.


  • 1 pound black caviar lentils (beluga lentils)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 carrot, peeled and diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 4 cups water
  • 1½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • ½ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


  1. Rinse the lentils: Put the lentils in a strainer and rinse thoroughly with cold water. Let stand to drain while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
  2. Saute the aromatics and toast the spices: Heat the oil in an Instant Pot set to Sauté mode (or in a stovetop PC over medium heat) until the oil starts to shimmer. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, then sprinkle with ½ teaspoon fine sea salt. Sauté until the onion softens and turns translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Pressure Cook the lentils for 10 minutes with a Natural Release: Stir in the lentils, 4 cups of water, and 1½ teaspoon fine sea salt. Scrape the bottom of the pot with a flat-edged wooden spoon to loosen any bits of onion that stuck to the pot. Lock the lid and cook at high pressure for 10 minutes (“Manual” or “Pressure Cook” mode in an Instant Pot), or for 8 minutes in a stovetop PC. Once the cooking time is done, let the pressure come down with a natural release, about 20 minutes more. (if you are in a hurry, quick release any remaining pressure after 15 minutes.)
  4. Taste for seasoning and serve: Open the pressure cooker lid (away from you – the steam is hot). Stir in the pepper, serve and enjoy!


  • I always make a whole pound of lentils, because extra lentils keep so well in the freezer. I freeze them in 2-quart containers for up to 6 months.


  • Category: Weeknight Dinner
  • Method: Pressure Cooker
  • Cuisine: American

Keywords: Instant Pot Beluga Lentils, Instant Pot Black Caviar Lentils, Pressure Cooker Beluga Lentils

What do you think?

Questions? Other ideas? Leave them in the comments section below.

Related Posts

Pressure Cooker Umbrian Lentils and Sausage
Pressure Cooker French Green Lentils (Lentils du Puy)
Instant Pot Quick Lentil Curry
My other Instant Pot Pressure Cooker Recipes

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Filed under: Pressure cooker, Side dish, Weeknight dinner


Hi! I’m Mike Vrobel. I’m a dad and an enthusiastic home cook; an indie cookbook author and food blogger with a day job, a patient spouse, and three kids who would rather have hamburgers for dinner.

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