Ancho Chile Lentils

Ancho Chile Lentils made in the instantpot
We eat a lot of Mexican food. This is one type of food that my entire family loves (meaning no complaining) and we never get tired of eating. I do like to change up the type of fillings that we have and these lentils have been a favorite since the first time that I made them. My husband prefers them to beans so I generally try to alternate lentils and beans when we have Mexican food. These lentils are so versatile I use them in: tacos, quesadillas, taco salad, loaded nachos, burrito bowls.  I am planning to use them as a filling for tamales also ~ I think that they will make a great tamale. For a while I was making just the lentils in my instantpot and finishing them on the stove. I knew that I could streamline the recipe and make it entirely in my pressure cooker. I have been using my pressure cooker for these lentils now for over a year and have no idea why I didn’t try to convert this recipe sooner.  It is so easy and fast to make these lentils and it is hands off once everything is in the pressure cooker so I have time to prepare the rest of the meal while they cook. When I decide at five that we are going to have tacos for dinner these lentils are sure to be made, no special trips to the store because everything is a pantry staple!

Ancho Chile Lentils

Ancho Chile Lentils
Yield about 2 1/2 Cups

2 teaspoons Olive Oil
1 Onion, chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 1/2 Cups Water
1 Cup Brown Lentils, Rinsed and picked over
2 teaspoons ground Ancho Chile Powder
1 teaspoon ground Cumin
1 teaspoon ground Coriander
1 Tablespoon Cholula, Optional (I skip it for my kids and add to the adult portion after cooking)
3 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
1/2 teaspoon salt ~ or to taste
Squeeze of fresh Lime Juice, optional

1. Press the saute button once the pressure cooker is hot add the oil, onion and garlic. Cook stirring until the onion has softened. Hit cancel to stop the saute setting. Add the water, lentils, ancho chili, cumin, coriander, and cholula give it a little stir. Place the tomato paste on top of the lentils. Do NOT stir.

2. Place the lid on the pressure cooker and set the knob to sealing. Cook on high pressure for 7 minutes (increase to 9 minutes if you like really soft lentils). Allow the pressure to naturally release for five minutes and then release any remaining pressure by turning the knob to venting. Once the pressure has come down remove the lid tilting it away from you. Give the lentils a good stir, adding salt and lime juice.

Adapted From Isa Does It

Disclaimer: This post contains amazon affiliate links.
Ancho Chile Lentils perfect for Taco Night!

Share This:


  1. Kathleen Combs Leverett says:

    Oh, this sounds great. I just yesterday ground a big batch of fresh Ancho chili powder and we love lentils.

    • Lindsay says:

      They do freeze really good. They don’t look as pretty since some of the lentils break when stirring and reheating. The texture is slightly creamier after freezing. I make double batches and freeze them quite often for busy nights.

  2. mona says:

    Wow this is a real winner at our house! Wish I could post a photo here of the beautiful tostada I made with this filling. Tasted like we were eating taco meat!
    Like Lindsay, I make double batches and freeze! I do mine 8 minutes and let them sit covered,…because 7 minutes they were still hard. Maybe old lentils….
    Btw I use a different technique ..won’t go into it in length, but I do saute’ my tomatoe paste with my onion mixture,…and bloom the spices in oil in the same pan,…deglaze. (in a skillet…) As long as you heat the mixture up and scrape the bottom of the IP with a flat tool before you put the lid on to bring to pressure,…there is no scorching because it comes to presure quickly when it’s hot. Saute’ing the tomatoe paste creates Umami,…and blooming the spices in oil really brings them to another level! 🙂

Leave a Reply