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Instant Pot Jalapeño Bacon Lentils #lentils #mexicanlentilsoup #instantpotlentils
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5 from 6 votes

Instant Pot Jalapeño Bacon Lentils (with Stovetop Directions)

Tender, nutrition-packed lentils, crispy bacon and spicy jalapeños come together in these Mexican-style Instant Pot Jalapeño Bacon Lentils.
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 4
Author Gemma from Everyday Latina


  • 1 1/2 cups dried, brown lentils
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 5 strips of bacon
  • 1 diced jalapeño
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1/2 diced white onion
  • 1 diced Roma tomato
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 2 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp salt (plus more to taste)
  • 1 pinch black pepper


Preparing the Lentils (See Notes for Stovetop Directions)

  • Sort through the lentils. Pick out any debris or pebbles. Then, place the lentils in a strainer or colander and rinse thoroughly under running water.
  • Add lentils to the Instant Pot with 2 cups of water and the chicken broth. Place the lid on the Instant Pot and move the valve to seal.
  • Pressure cook on high for 12 minutes (if your prefer softer lentils cook them for 15 minutes). Then allow the pressure to naturally release for 10 minutes. Move the pressure release valve from the sealing position to the venting position to release any remaining pressure.

Preparing the Other Ingredients (Whether you use the Instant Pot or stovetop, the following steps are the same.)

  • While the lentils cook, dice the bacon into small pieces. If your bacon is extra fatty, remove some of the excess fat. In a deep pot or Dutch oven, fry the bacon pieces on medium heat until crispy.
  • Once the bacon is crispy, add the diced jalapeño, diced white onion, and minced garlic cloves. Sauté for 3-5 minutes until the onion and jalapeño are tender and fragrant.
  • Add 1 diced tomato and sauté for another minute.
  • Add the cooked lentils with any remaining liquid. Add one half to one cup of hot water to your desired “soupy” consistency.
  • Season with 1 teaspoon of salt, a pinch of black pepper, and 2 tablespoons of chopped cilantro.
  • Let the soup boil for 5 minutes then taste for seasoning. I usually add about another 1/2 teaspoon of salt.
  • Ladle into a bowl and serve with bread, quesadillas or warm tortillas. 


Stovetop Directions
Add the lentils, water and chicken broth to a medium pot. Bring the liquid to a rapid boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to a gentle simmer.
Cover and simmer for 20-35 minutes until the lentils are soft and tender, but not falling apart. To ensure this, check on them at 20 minutes and if they are not done, check on them every 5 minutes until they are at the right consistency.
Kid-Friendly Tip
For a kid-friendly version, omit the jalapeño and keep the rest of the steps the same. Ladle out their servings at the end. Then add the jalapeño to the remaining soup in the pot and let it simmer for a couple more minutes before serving the adults.