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What’s for dinner? Crock Pot Lentil Soup

Before I got my electric pressure cooker, I used my crock pot a few times a week at least. This lentil soup recipe is quick to throw together and made primarily from pantry staples. I originally shared it in 2011, but with more people needing easy, simple meals, I thought it was worth re-sharing.

I love my Crock pot. It’s almost like having someone else cooking for me. Tonight it’s making a simple, Lentil Soup. I got the basic recipe here. I doubled it to have plenty of leftovers and made a few substitutions.

Lentil Soup (makes 8-ish servings)

Ginger, ground, 2 tbsp
Turmeric, ground, 2 tsp
Cumin seed, 2 tbsp
Vegetable oil, 1 tbsp
Curry powder, 2 tsp

Lentils, 2 cups
cilantro 1.5 tbsp
Chicken bouillon, 10 cubes (or broth equivalent)
Water, 12 cups

Add the Ginger, Turmeric, Cumin, Oil and Curry to the Crock pot. Cook on high heat for a few (I did 5ish) minutes. Add everything else and cook on high for 4-5 hours or low for 6-8 hours.

Serve with a nice green salad and bread.

Shop update: Freebies and a sale

Knowing that so many are stuck at home right now needing distractions, I’ve decided to make all of my machine embroidery design files free until April 30. That’s the day my area’s shelter in place order expires. If it is extended, I’ll extend the embroidery design freebies, too. If you make something with one of my designs, I would love to see it.

Damask Rose embroidery file available here.

My full shop is still open, and will be as long as everyone in my household is healthy. I’m using extra care with handwashing and using hand sanitizer before coming into contact with products and packaging as well.

All of my handmade soaps are currently on sale for 20% off. You can find them here.

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Whole Chicken and Potatoes for Electric Pressure Cookers

whole chicken recipe for electric pressure cookers

Whole chickens are inexpensive, frugal type of meat. They provide easy leftover meals, and you can use the bones to make homemade broth for soups and to flavor other meals. While you can cook a whole chicken in an Instant Pot or other electric pressure cooker (this is the type I have) just by seasoning it and adding it to the pot with liquid, a few extra steps will add even more flavor to the final result.

Customize your whole chicken

I like to keep the seasonings fairly neutral so that I can get creative with the leftovers. My family often gets bored with multiple meals of chicken and vegetables. If I use some of the chicken for chicken tacos for the next meal and chicken soup with the rest, it makes it less monotonous.

In this recipe, to keep it neutral I use salt, pepper and poultry seasoning to flavor the chicken. It’s easy to adapt the seasonings for a different twist. Cumin, chili pepper and cayenne pepper work well for making chicken chili, tacos or tortilla soup with the leftovers. Garlic, ginger and orange zest work well for making leftover chicken stir-fry. Get creative with the flavors you like.

You can also leave out the potatoes or swap them out for other hardy vegetables. Root vegetables hold up the best with the longer cooking time the chicken requires. Sweet potatoes, carrots and parsnips are some possibilities.

Slow cook

One neat feature on most electric pressure cookers is the ability to use them as a slow cooker. If you’d rather slow cook your whole chicken, follow the steps through step 11. Instead of locking the lid and setting it to cook under high pressure, keep the lid in the venting position and select the slow cook setting. You will want to cook the chicken for about 3-4 hours on “high” slow cook or 6-7 hours on “normal” slow cook, which is the equivalent of “low” on a traditional slow cooker. I do recommend double-checking the instructions for the slow cook setting on your pressure cooker, as there may be some variations.

Electric Pressure Cooker (Instant Pot) Whole Chicken and Potatoes

This is my method for cooking a flavorful whole chicken and potatoes in an electric pressure cooker. After a little prep work, you can walk away and let the pressure cooker do it's job without having to check on it or worry about overcooking. I'm using an 8 quart electric pressure cooker. If yours is smaller, you may need to adjust the size of the chicken and other ingredients accordingly.
Prep Time25 mins
Cook Time35 mins
Course: Main Course
Servings: 6 people


  • Electric pressure cooker
  • Trivet or rack insert for the electric pressure cooker


  • 5-6 lb whole chicken, giblets removed
  • 1 large onion, cut into wedges
  • 5-6 medium potatoes cut into large chunks Firmer potatoes, like Yukon golds work a little better, but I used Russets because that's what I had on hand.
  • 4 tbsp coconut or other high heat oil
  • 3/4 cup water or chicken broth
  • salt
  • pepper
  • poultry seasoning


  • Season both sides of your chicken with your choice of seasonings. I used salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning, but you can adjust this to your family's taste.
  • Select the "Saute" setting on your pressure cooker.
  • Add the coconut oil to the pot and heat until melted and shimmery.
  • Brown the whole chicken on both sides in the coconut oil until lightly browned. I use this time do cut up the onion and potatoes.
  • Remove the chicken and set aside.
  • Add the onion wedges to the pot and cook until translucent and starting to brown.
  • Add about 1/2 cup of water or broth to the pot with the onions to deglaze the pot. Be sure to scrape up the browned bits from the bottom of the pot to mix into the liquid.
  • Turn off the "Saute" function.
  • Place the trivet on top of the onions and liquid in the pot. Add about 1/4 cup more of water or broth to the pot.
  • Place the browned chicken on the trivet.
  • Place the potato chunks around and on top of the chicken.
  • Lock the lid in place and cook on high pressure for 35 minutes.
  • Allow the pressure to release naturally and carefully open the lid.
  • Check the temperature of the chicken to ensure that it has reached at least 165 degrees Fahrenheit. If not done, cook for another 3-5 minutes under high pressure and recheck.
  • Carefully remove the potatoes, chicken and trivet.
  • Optional: Press "Saute" and allow the onions and liquid to simmer for a few minutes to condense the liquid to serve over the chicken and potatoes.
  • Optional: Place the chicken on a broiler-safe pan and place in the oven under the broiler for 3-5 minutes to crisp up the skin.
  • Plate and serve with a side of veggies.


I like to keep the seasonings fairly neutral so that I can get creative with the leftovers without worrying about seasonings clashing. In addition to potatoes, other root vegetables such as carrots can be used. 
Whole Chicken and Potatoes for Electric Pressure Cookers

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