When’s the last time you tried lentil soup? If your answer was anything other than “I just polished off a bowl!” then it’s time to give this Crockpot Lentil Soup recipe a whirl.

Two bowls of healthy lentil soup

While they might not appear especially riveting sitting in their simple plastic bag, lentils will surprise you.

I like to compare them to the YouTube videos of celebrity musicians playing in subway stations in disguise. Judge them by their appearance only, and you’ll miss a star opportunity.

Humble as it seems, the lentil is a total diva when it comes to nutritional prowess and culinary possibility. Lentils are loaded with vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, protein, and fiber. They’re also versatile. Since lentils are mild on their own, you can easily incorporate them into a variety of different dishes. From Indian-inspired recipes like this Curry Lentil Soup and Instant Pot Lentil Curry, to Thai-tastic ones like Slow Cooker Red Lentil Curry, this quiet legume is primed to take on bold flavor.

Like any true great, however, lentils don’t have to be showy. Case-in-point: lentil soup.

This Instant Pot Lentil Soup has long been one of my favorite recipes on my site, and it has become a reader favorite too. It’s rich and cozy, earnest but by no means bland. It’s exactly what I crave on a chilly night when I need my dinner to warm me to my bones and to be healthy too.

Since not everyone owns an Instant Pot, I thought it was high time I created a slow cooker version. Both are fantastic. Whichever cooking vessel you choose, rest assured that you are making the best lentil soup recipe.

You can make this soup on a lazy weekend and enjoy the tantalizing smell as it builds in your kitchen, then wafts into the living room and calls everyone to dinner.

Or, you can set it and forget it on a weekday, then return home to a wholesome dinner that’s waiting just for you.

Healthy slow cooker lentil soup with a wooden spoon

How to Make the Best Healthy Crockpot Lentil Soup

This hearty vegetable lentil soup is flavorful and filling. You can doctor it up with bacon or with ham if you like, but we adore the below vegetarian version just as it is.

The Ingredients

  • Veggies. The tried-and-true combination of onion, carrots, and celery makes the soup colorful, nutritious, and provides a backbone of flavor.
  • Spices. Italian seasoning and smoked paprika are the powerhouse spices. The smoked paprika especially gives the soup complexity.
  • Green Lentils. French green lentils are the best choice for this soup. You can also use brown lentils, but I do not recommend red lentils as they are very delicate and won’t hold up to the long cooktime in the crockpot.
  • Fire-Roasted Tomatoes + Crushed Tomatoes. Fire-roasted tomatoes bring the heat and the crushed tomatoes provide richly flavored liquid for our soup.
  • Vegetable Broth. Make sure to use low-sodium broth here to keep this soup from being overly salty.
  • Parmesan Rind. A completely optional but AMAZING addition. As the soup warms, the rind releases delicious bursts of Parmesan flavor into the broth.
  • Red Wine Vinegar. For balance, brightness, and pop. Don’t skip it!
  • Fresh Parsley and Parmesan. My favorite toppings for this lentil soup! If you need to keep the soup dairy free, use nutritional yeast instead.

The Directions

  1. Sauté the onion in a large skillet until soft. Add the carrots, celery, and spices.  Transfer the mixture to the slow cooker.
  2. Add the lentils, tomatoes, and broth to the slow cooker. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours.
  3. Stir in the vinegar and sugar. Serve hot with desired toppings, and ENJOY!

IMPORTANT NOTE: You do not need to cook lentils before adding them to the slow cooker. Raw lentils cook well in the crock pot and will be tender by the time the soup is done. To prepare the lentils, simply rinse them to remove any dirt, then add raw lentils to the slow cooker with the other ingredients.

Two bowls of healthy and delicious hearty soup with lentils


Recipe Variations

  • Crockpot Lentil Soup with Ham. Add 1 1/2 cups diced cooked ham to the slow cooker with the lentils. Cook as directed.
  • Slow Cooker Lentil Soup with Bacon. Prepare 1/4 pound Baked Bacon, and cut crosswise into 1/2-inch slices. Stir almost all the bacon into the slow cooker with the lentils and cook as directed. Top each bowl of soup with remaining bacon pieces.
  • Slow Cooker Lentil Soup with Sausage. Slice 2 pounds of kielbasa sausage into 1/2-inch pieces, and add the pieces to the slow cooker with the lentils. Cook as directed. To make a healthy spin on this variation, use chicken or turkey sausage.
  • Vegan Crockpot Lentil Soup. Use nutritional yeast in place of the Parmesan.
  • Gluten Free Lentil Soup. No changes needed! This recipe is naturally gluten free as written.

How to Store, Reheat, and Freeze Soup

  • To Store. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • To Reheat. Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stovetop with a little water or additional broth to thin as needed.
  • To Freeze. Place soup in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.

Two bowls of hearty and healthy soup that are perfect for family dinner

What to Serve with Crockpot Lentil Soup

Two bowls filled with the best lentil soup made in the slow cooker

Recommended Tools to Make This Recipe

  • Slow Cooker. This one has a “keep warm” function, which helps deter overcooking.
  • Sharp Chef’s Knife. This is my most faithful kitchen companion..
  • Skillet. Perfect for sautéing veggies in this recipe.
Two bowls of healthy lentil soup

Crockpot Lentil Soup

4.96 from 41 votes
Crockpot Lentil Soup is hearty, healthy, and so comforting! A satisfying vegetarian recipe made with lentils, carrots and tomato, slow cooked to perfection.

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 6 hrs
Total: 6 hrs 10 mins

Servings: 6 servings


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion diced
  • 4 medium carrots peeled and cut into a ½-inch dice
  • 3 stalks celery thinly sliced
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Italian seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 1/2 cups French green lentils or brown lentils; I do not recommend red lentils, which are more delicate and break down when cooked for a long period
  • 1 can fire-roasted diced tomatoes 15 ounces
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes 15 ounces
  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
  • Parmesan rind optional; add it if you have it
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon granulated sugar
  • For serving: chopped fresh parsley and Parmesan


  • In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium high. Once the oil is hot, add the onion. Cook the onion, stirring often, until it is very soft and beginning to nicely brown and break down, about 8 minutes. Add the carrots, celery, Italian seasoning, salt, smoked paprika, and pepper. Sauté until the carrots and celery are barely soft, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook just until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Transfer to a 6-quart or larger slow cooker.
  • To the slow cooker, add the lentils, diced tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, and vegetable broth. Cover and cook on high for 3 to 4 hours or low for 6 to 8 hours, or until the lentils are tender and retain a slight amount of pleasant chew but are not mushy.
  • Remove the Parmesan rind (if using). Stir in the red wine vinegar and sugar. If the soup is too thick for your liking, thin with a bit of water or additional broth until you reach your desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasonings as desired. Serve hot with a sprinkle of parsley, Parmesan (if using), and bread for dipping.


  • TO STORE: Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
  • TO REHEAT: Reheat gently in the microwave or on the stovetop with a little water or additional broth to thin as needed.
  • TO FREEZE: Place soup in an airtight freezer-safe storage container in the freezer for up to 3 months. Let thaw overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
  • TO MAKE ON THE STOVETOP: Prepare the recipe in a large Dutch oven on the stove through Step 3. Bring the soup to a boil, cover, and reduce the heat to a simmer. Let cook until the lentil are tender but not mushy, about 25 minutes, stirring once or twice throughout. Enjoy hot.


Serving: 1serving; (about 1 1/2 cups)Calories: 240kcalCarbohydrates: 36gProtein: 12gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPotassium: 609mgFiber: 16gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 7327IUVitamin C: 6mgCalcium: 54mgIron: 4mg

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Erin Clarke

Hi, I'm Erin Clarke, and I'm fearlessly dedicated to making healthy food that's affordable, easy-to-make, and best of all DELISH. I'm the author and recipe developer here at wellplated.com and of The Well Plated Cookbook. I adore both sweets and veggies, and I am on a mission to save you time and dishes. WELCOME!

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  1. Made this with just a few tweaks. Didn’t have fresh garlic on hand so I used garlic salt. Also added a little red wine instead of red wine vinegar and sugar. Turned out amazing!!! I did mine with kielbasa too. Perfect Sunday meal. Served with fresh Italian bread and a salad.5 stars

  2. I have a pretty good recipe for lentil soup but have to say this recipe was absolutely delicious. Loads of flavor. Did add a bell pepper and a few potatoes. This one is a keeper.5 stars

  3. I used this as a “base.” I had to make changes due to diet restrictions. I did not use fire roasted tomatoes or crushed tomatoes, only a 15 oz can of diced tomatoes. I used only Italian Seasoning. I did add some bacon. I didn’t saute’ any of the veggies, I just threw everything in the crock pot. I liked it! I wanted to make some more, and WOW, my favorite grocery store was out of vegetable broth. So I tried Beef Broth. It was very good. I also threw in cilantro.

  4. Hi! I live in a country that doesn’t have red wine vinegar available to me (because alcohol is prohibited to locals). What is the best swap for RWV? Trust me — it makes me sad, too hahah

    1. You could also use Apple Cider Vinegar. Adding vinegar (red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar) at the end of the cooking time will make the lentil soup pop and finish the flavor.

  5. The absolute best lentil soup I ever had. I only used one can of fire roasted tomatoes and omitted the crushed it was outstanding. Will definitely make this again.5 stars

  6. Great flavor but lentils did not cook well on crockpot. 8 hours later and they are still hard. I will precook the lentils next time. Tip: Bay Leaves and Rosemary.3 stars

    1. Hi Jessica! I’m sorry you had trouble with this recipe. They cook well for me in my crockpot, and it’s hard for me to say what went wrong without being in the kitchen with you.

  7. I made this and followed the recipe to a tee. Was absolutely delicious. However, instead of serving with bread, I bought small sourdough loaves, hollowed them out and served the soup in a bread bowl. Needless to say, it was a complete hit with the family. Can’t wait to make it again and try more of your great recipes!5 stars

  8. This sounds delicious. The only thing stopping me making it is that as a novice cook, and especially a novice slow cooker, I’d don’t have a good grasp of measurements. Maybe I missed the information. But I didn’t see what size slow cooker you made this in. If I fill mine up to the rim-I seem to have a 5 quart size cooker. Would this recipe work with that, or would I need to downsize the measurements?

    PS For others similarly measurement challenged would it be possible to put in the recipes the size of the slow cooker used (and Instant Pot if necessary)?

  9. Made this recipe and will be making again! Included a splash of low sodium soy and a bayleaf in cooking. Topped it with parm and ate with baguette with butter and a glass of red wine. Sooo comforting and delicious! Meat eater partner rated it 8/10 and a solid meal!

    Will be looking forward to more vegetarian crockpot / easy meals from your website!5 stars

  10. It’s tasers delicious, but for some reason no matter how long we cooked it, the lentils are still hard…

    1. Hi Sadie, I am glad you enjoy the recipe but am sorry to hear that you are getting that kind of result. It’s hard to know what is going wrong without being in the kitchen with you.

  11. Hello,

    I don’t have access to fire roasted tomatoes, what kind of flavour does that add? can I throw in extra herbs or spices and which ones?? Thanks so much

    1. Hi Channy! Fire roasted tomatoes are sweet and smoky, so it’s hard to offer a flavor substitution. If you can’t find them, I’d recommend swapping in a can of regular tomatoes. I hope you enjoy the soup!

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