Instant Pot Madras Lentils with Ground Beef–lentils, red beans and spices simmered in a creamy tomato sauce. Serve like a chili or over rice.
Get the SLOW COOKER recipe here
Instant Pot Madras Lentils with Ground Beef
When I was at Costco the other day I saw a package of something called Madras Lentils. They looked so good but I didn’t purchase them. Instead I thought to myself, “I bet I can make those from scratch in the Instant Pot.”
I researched a little online and came up with this Instant Pot madras lentils with ground beef recipe. Pretty sure original madras lentils are supposed to be vegetarian but I’m also pretty sure my family would revolt if there wasn’t just a little meat involved.
I love the addition of a little bit of half and half. It makes these lentils just a little creamy. The flavor isn’t too spicy. But if you’re worried you could leave out the jalapeno. You can also cool it down with a dollop of sour cream.
The leftovers are even better than the first day. The flavors get even more married. Try these lentils soon. I think you’ll really enjoy!
More recipes that you’ll love…
Instant Pot Lentil Lemon Chicken Soup
Instant Pot Southwest Shredded Chicken Bowls
Instant Pot Brown Rice Pilaf with Chicken Sausage
Instant Pot Mexican Stuffed Peppers
What Pressure Cooker Did You Use?
To make Instant Pot Madras Lentils with Ground Beef I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*. I love this Instant Pot because it has the yogurt making function which I use almost weekly. It has two pressure settings (high and low), and there are also little slots in the handles so that you can rest the lid there instead of putting it down on your counter-top.
Instant Pot Madras Lentils with Ground Beef
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 10 minutes
- Total Time: 35 minutes
- Yield: 6 servings 1x
Lentils, red beans and spices simmered in a creamy tomato sauce. Serve like a chili or over rice.
- 1 pound lean ground beef or ground turkey
- 1 cup diced yellow onion
- 1 jalapeno, minced (seeds and pith removed)
- 1 Tbsp garlic
- 2 cups chicken or beef broth
- 2 tsp smoked paprika
- 2 tsp cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/8 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1 (14.5 oz) can red kidney beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup uncooked brown lentils
- 1 (8 oz) tomato sauce
- 3 Tbsp tomato paste
- 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup half and half
- Toppings: grated cheese and diced green onions
- Turn your Instant Pot to the saute setting. When the display says HOT add in the ground beef and break it up. Add in the onion and jalapeno. Brown the beef for about 5 minutes. Add in the garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
- Add in the broth and deglaze the pot. Then add in the paprika, cumin, coriander, ginger, sugar, salt, pepper, beans and lentils. Stir. Then dump the tomato sauce, tomato paste on top. Don’t stir.
- Cover and secure the lid. Make sure the valve is set to sealing. Set the manual/pressure cook button to 10 minutes on high pressure. When the time is up perform a quick release by moving the valve to venting. Remove the lid.
- Stir in the vinegar and the half and half. Salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve plain, like a chili, or on top of rice with grated cheddar and diced green onions.
I used my 6 quart Instant Pot Duo 60 7 in 1*.
- Category: Beef
- Method: Instant Pot
- Cuisine: Indian
*Karen Petersen is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
I have organic green lentils. I believe green lentils need more time to cook. How much more time? Please advise.
I would use the same time for green lentils
What does the red wine vinegar do in this dish?
Adds a zippy flavor
Why canned red beans and not dry, like the lentils?
They take a much longer cooking time. You can pre-cook the dried beans if you prefer: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1xXh75S_z6f9uVeGNIopcNqMVn3oOXpK4UrVdjuSaWqk/edit?usp=sharing
Thank you for the recipe! This was super tasty, but reminded me more of a chili than madras lentils. Still very good and I will make it again, it was very simple and quick. I also used impossible meat to keep it vegetarian, instead of the beef. It worked really well.
I need to try that impossible meat! I haven’t yet.
Kellie Z says
Thanks for the recipe. Costco hasn’t had the Madras lentils packets lately and my husband and kids like them for a quick lunch. They’re $3+ for one packet at the grocery store so am glad to see this inexpensive option.
Hope you like it Kellie!
Kellie Z says
I didn’t follow the recipe exactly, but I should have. This is a quick, easy, and tasty meal. We had it with couscous. Next time I will use the full amount of paprika. Ours needed a bit more zing since I added more liquid and an extra half cup of lentils (to finish off the bag). We had enough for lunch for two the next day after three hearty eaters had it for dinner.
I love the idea of couscous!
This is the BEST recipe for Madras Lentils I have had or made. It is outstandingly delicious! Only thing different I did was add 1/2 red pepper (had it sitting in the fridge and decided to use. 🙂 When I printed out the recipe you had a voting section of choosing an Instant Pot cookbook design of three different designs. I placed my vote….for NinaArt , design #2.
With that I have a question. As I was reviewing other awesome recipes for the Instant Pot and thinking of printing them also, it occurred to ask if some of these recipes will be in your new cookbook? thank you show much for sharing.
To all those folks who have considered trying the ones from Costco, Tasty Bite….. don’t bother. Make this recipe…. it is beyond belief better. And needles to say you know exactly what is in the recipe at a lower cost. Win- Win
Thanks Nina!!! So glad you enjoyed it! I definitely will have the recipes from my blog in the cookbook!
Nina Capaccio says
Good Morning Karen:
Well then, guess I see a 365 Instant Pot Cookbook in my future!!! 🙂
What’s half and half? I’m in Australia and am not familiar with it.
It’s half cream and half whole milk. You can just use cream or whole milk if you’d like.
Can I use red lentils? Bought a big bag at Costco (what was I thinking?!?!) & trying to find ways to use it up. Thanks.
Red lentils cook a lot quicker than green/brown lentils. I would only use a 3 minute cooking time for red lentils.
My hubby is a vegetarian, and this looks like it could be great alternative to purchased versions. Any difference in settings if I leave out the hamburger?
You might not need as much seasonings since the salt and other seasonings are used to season the meat. I would half the seasonings and then add in more later if it needs it!
Donna Stephens says
We love it! Quick and easy in the Instant Pot. Glad to see directions for slow cooker too.
I have omitted the jalapeno & used 1 – 15 oz can of tomato sauce with spices as given. Flavorful spicy, but not hot. I IP for 15 min on high pressure. So much better than Tasty Bite, more protein and less expensive.
I agree Donna!
I finally made this and it was excellent! I substituted coconut milk for the sugar and half & half, and used diced tomatoes w/green chilis for the tomato sauce. Served with rice. My hubby came up with the brilliant idea to use the leftovers for nachos! It was simple to reheat, sprinkled a little shredded cheese on top, served with corn chips! So good! This recipe is a keeper!! Thank you!!
I love the idea of corn chips! Yay!
Your suggestion about substitutes is genius. Thank you for sharing. Will be trying that. Also, as soon I finished making it…our thoughts went to nachos! It’s like they were meant to be together.
Spending many lovely years in New Mexico we became addicted to Green Chilis. Chipotles should also be a doable addition too. Nina
This was good. Since I live in a high altitude state, cooked it for 11 minutes and let it sit for 5 minutes before releasing the pressure. It had a few chewy lentils, but it was still good. May cut the smoked paprika and cumin down to 1 1/2 tsp. next time.
I’m glad it worked out for you at high altitude. That can get tricky!
Very good. Could be served as chili but I served over rice. Will make again. Yum
We liked it over rice too!
Linda Gorski says
An you make it in a crock pot?
here is the slow cooker version:https://www.365daysofcrockpot.com/slow-cooker-madras-lentils-with-ground-beef/
Anne Kee says
I will try it. I got the Costco version and was not impressed. I am sure this is much better.
Oh really? I’m glad I didn’t buy it!
I am going to make this! I bought it at Costco. So good but not enough for everyone. Sounds so yummy.
Oh good! I hope you like it. I ate the leftovers for lunch and it was tasty!