Instant Pot Split Pea Soup

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This Instant Pot split pea soup is hearty and delicious. It’s the perfect dish to warm you up on a cold winter day. I’ve included instructions for the instant pot but also try this one on the stove or in the slow cooker as well. 

bowl of split pea soup and loaf of bread

Let’s get one thing clear right now. Split Pea Soup is not generally attractive. There may be some food photographer out there who can make it look amazing, but generally speaking, green soup can only look so good.

Now that we’ve addressed that important point, let’s look beyond externals to the heart of the matter. Despite it’s ugly exterior, Split Pea Soup is amazingly delicious. And really that’s all that matters, at least where food is concerned.

I would never have come to this glorious revelation if I hadn’t broken my jaw at the age of 19. Pride goes before the fall, and I was quite the prideful girl. I thought myself above Split Pea Soup. How wrong I was.

Since you’re wondering by now, HOW one faceplants on the pavement, I shall sum it up as such:

  1. Buy a very cheap bike from Kmart to get yourself from class to work to home.
  2. Ignore the fact that very cheap bike has brakes that are stuck and fail to get someone to help you unstick them.
  3. Kick said brakes on your way home from work in pitch black dark while you’re riding, trying to get them unstuck.
  4. Get your foot caught in the wheel of the bike so that it acts as a brake in and of itself.
  5. When you bike stops, know that your body won’t. Flip over the handlebars and smash your face on the pavement.
  6. After the subsequent ride in an ambulance and wait in the ER, spend the next six weeks drinking your food and talking like a ventriloquist. Bonus: lose 15 pounds.

Sorry. You asked.  The moral of the story? There are two actually.  Don’t kick your brakes AND Split Pea Soup is delicious!  Hopefully, you won’t need to break your face in order to try this soup. I recommend the soup, not the face-breaking.

What is split pea soup?

Split pea soup is a hearty soup that is made with dried split peas. Usually ham or bacon is added to it. I added bacon to this instant pot split pea soup recipe. It is smoky comforting soup. And did I mention delicious?

Is split pea soup healthy? 

This instant pot split pea soup is a great way to get a good intake of fiber – about 20 grams of fiber for every cup.

And, of course, it can be a great way to get more vegetables into your diet.

What’s the difference between yellow and green split peas?

Yellow split peas do have a bit of a milder flavor and are a bit sweeter than green split peas. But they do have similar cooking times, nutritional content and similar flavors. 

bowl of split pea soup and spoon

How do you make instant pot split pea soup?

Over the years, I’ve prepared Split Pea Soup on the stove, in the slow cooker, and now in the Instant Pot. I’ll confess, the Instant Pot is slowly becoming one of my favorite kitchen gadgets. I’m going to be making Broccoli Cheddar Soup in it tomorrow. Stay tuned!

Anyway, back to Split Pea. It may not be gorgeous, but it saved my life. Okay, it didn’t save my life, but it did save me from putting pizza slices in the blender as my doctor said I might be tempted to do.

I first tasted the love of Split Pea in a can of Andersens. Remember this was college, back when I still ate soup from a can.

Since then, I’ve played with different split pea concoctions. In my freezer book, you’ll find a very traditional, thin Split Pea Soup. Today, I’m sharing a chunkier version. I like them both tremendously. You’ll have to tell me which you like better.

Should split peas be soaked?

You don’t need to soak them, which would be done overnight. But I do recommend that you sort and rinse them. Split peas can contain dirt, stones, or pea pod fragments. So sort through the dried split peas, and then give them a rinse in a strainer.   

How to make this good and cheap:

Here are some of the strategies you can use to make this recipe more economical:

Tools I use to make this recipe easy:

This is a pretty straight-forward dish. You don’t need any fancy equipment. However, having some good basic kitchen tools can really make your time in the kitchen more enjoyable. Over time, I’ve honed my collection so that they are perfect for my needs. Here are the tools that I like to use in this recipe.

This post contains affiliate links which provide a means for me to earn fees linking to Amazon and other affiliate sites.

3.5 from 4 votes
Easy Split Pea Soup Recipe
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
30 mins
Total Time
40 mins
Split Pea Soup is super easy to make, hearty and delicious. It’s the perfect dish to warm you up on a cold winter day. Try this one on the stove, in the slow cooker, or in the Instant Pot.
Course: Main Course, Soup
Cuisine: American
Keyword: instant pot split pea soup, split pea, split pea soup
Servings: 8
Calories: 266 kcal
Author: Jessica Fisher
  • 4 slices bacon chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 teaspoon chopped garlic
  • 1 pound split peas sorted and rinsed
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 tablespoon FishMama Spice Mix
  • 1 bayleaf
  • fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  1. In the instant pot on sauté or in a skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until crisp. Drain the bacon bits on paper toweling and set aside.
  2. Remove all but 2 tablespoons bacon drippings. Discard or reserve for another use.
  3. In the hot drippings in the pot, cook the onions, carrot, and celery until the onion is clear, about ten minutes. Add the garlic and cook another minute more.
If using a slow cooker or stockpot:
  1. If you’re using a slow cooker or stockpot, you’ll need to transfer the vegetables to that vessel. 

  2. If you’re using a slow cooker, cook on low for 6 hours. If using a stock pot on the stove, simmer the soup, covered for 2 hours.
If using the Instant Pot:
  1. If using the Instant Pot, add the peas, stock, water, bayleaf, and spice mix.

  2. Secure the lid of the Instant Pot, set it to the manual setting for 20 minutes. Once the setting is complete, allow for a 10-minute natural release before releasing the pressure.
To finish the soup:
  1. When the soup is done, adjust the seasonings with salt and pepper. If you like, use an immersion blender to smooth the soup to your preferred texture. Serve with reserved bacon bits.
Recipe Notes

To freeze: Divide the soup into meal-sized portions. Chill the soup completely in the fridge before storing in the freezer. Thaw and reheat before serving.

Nutrition Facts
Easy Split Pea Soup Recipe
Amount Per Serving
Calories 266 Calories from Fat 45
% Daily Value*
Fat 5g8%
Saturated Fat 1.5g9%
Cholesterol 10mg3%
Sodium 632mg27%
Potassium 727mg21%
Carbohydrates 38.6g13%
Fiber 15.5g65%
Sugar 6.7g7%
Protein 18.2g36%
Calcium 40mg4%
Iron 2.9mg16%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

instant pot split pea soup

About Jessica Fisher

I believe anyone can prepare delicious meals—no matter their budget.

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  1. Alice E says

    That soup looks so tasty, I may have to make some very soon. I think I still have some split peas in the pantry even after the challenge. Bless you, I have seen lots of recipes calling for ham or ham bones, but bacon is much easier to stock and keep. This looks really good, and I have a weakness for split pea soup, since I discovered it as a much younger adult. My first time was using one of those instant packets, and of course even canned is better than that. But I still fell in love with it.

    Can I guess at the amount of bacon? For something like this I usually just take the frozen bacon and my chef’s knife and slice strips off one end, then put it back in a freezer bag and return it to the freezer. We don’t use bacon much and that way I don’t risk it spoiling and having to throw it out.

    • Yes, definitely guess at the bacon. It’s really just to give a little smoky flavor. If you wanted to omit it, you could and just use some oil for the saute part.

  2. Raelynne says

    Going to add this to my menu this week. I have a couple of ham bones in the freezer that I will use to make broth first. Love that you are sharing recipes for the instant pot. I received an instant pot for a Christmas gift and have been having fun experimenting with it. I like to make tried and true recipes which I know I can always count on you for. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Brooke says

    How did you know I have a pound of these on my pantry shelf right now? I think it’s a sign that I should make this!

  4. Stephanie M. says

    Split pea soup is an awesome thing!!! I have not yet made it this winter but I have an appointment with my dietician in two weeks and the only question I have for her, believe it or not, is how much I can have and how many carbs it will cost me. Honestly, this question has been written on my calendar on the appointment date for three weeks now. And today you posted about it. LOL And when I find out, I am headed straight to the store to pick up a bag of peas. It’s just not winter without pea soup. 🙂 Looking at your “beautiful” picture, I can taste it now.

  5. Whitney says

    So excited to see an Instant Pot recipe for my favorite soup! I got an Instant Pot for Christmas and am still quite intimidated by it (and have found the slow cook setting NOT to work!! So I’ll be curious if you try it). So thanks for this recipe!!

    • I have three slow cookers, so I’ve never messed with that setting. Now I know not to! 😉

  6. Roberta says

    Mmmmm. Love split pea soup. I plan to have broccoli cheese soup this week (’cause Sprouts had broccoli on sale for .88/lb). Then when I was shopping I noticed they also had dried split peas for .89/lb. so I picked up a pound. I’ll do split pea later in the month. Yum!

    • Both of those are favorites of mine. And I have all the stuff for both! Decisions, decisions!

  7. Jessie says

    I’m excited that you’re experimenting with the instant pot! I have toyed with getting one, but didn’t want one more appliance and then no recipes to make. Your recipes are always a win, so let us know how it goes!

    • We’ve been using it quite a bit for simple things: poached chicken, rice, hard cooked eggs, and beans. It’s a game changer for beans since you don’t need to presoak. My picky healthy person says he likes them better than canned.

  8. Busy Mom in Alabama says

    You are right! The pressure cooker has been a game changer for my kitchen. I use it to cook in bulk, things like frozen chicken, green beans, dried beans, ground beef, boiled eggs. It helps keep my freezer stocked! It has definitely made my work in the kitchen easier!

    I think you’re recipes are the best. They are always seasoned so well. I have a split pea soup recipe already, but I am going to try yours!

    Here is an easy recipe that we love for the pressure cooker. It has some heat and the chicken is so tender! I make it for my mom lunch!

    Adobo Chicken:
    1 cup soy sauce
    1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
    1/3 cup white vinegar
    1 cup water
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon black pepper
    1 bay leaf
    1 diced and seeded fresh jalapeño
    6 boneless skinless chicken thighs.

    Mix all ingredients and pour over chicken. Make sure your chicken is fully submerged (add more of the sauce above if needed). Cook for 12 minutes on high pressure. Serve with brown rice.

  9. Thanks Jessica, for updating your recipes with Instant Pot directions! Hunky dunky Hercules bought me one recently and I’m loving experimenting with it. It’s already earned itself a place next to the revered KitchenAid, which formerly has been the only appliance kept on the counter at all times. When I peeked into the freezer tonight wondering what was for dinner (hangs head in shame, I fell off the meal planning wagon last week when I went out of town) I found a ham bone, already chopped onion, and homemade ham broth, and then in the pantry I found split peas, so i knew where I wanted to go with dinner, but wasn’t sure how long to cook it in my instant pot, SonI looked up your site. Viola, dinner is served. Thanks Jessica!

  10. Tiffany says

    This was definitely a delicious recipe. Mine came out extra thick but I added more broth at the end to thin it out a bit. After stirring in the broth there was no need to blend. I added cheese on the top of our bowls. Super delicious and resembled mashed potatoes.

  11. Cathy D says

    Would you still sauté the veggies if using a stock pot? I don’t want it getting too mushy, so I’m thinking not? Two hours is long for veggies

    • The veggies get very soft as is the texture of this kind of soup. If you prefer firmer veg, just add it about 30 minutes before serving.

      • Cathy D says

        Thank you l! After I posted this I thought this is a really soft soup lol. I’m home sick and blame my aching head for this! Thanks for responding so quickly!

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